Q&A: Confused About James' Name

Confused About James' Name

Question

What is James' real name? - James 1:1. Does the Greek really say Jacob?

Answer

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, yo the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
The name James is from the Greek word, Iakobos. The Vulgate uses Iacobus. The Hebrew word Yaʻaqov means heel-catcher, supplanter. As A.T. Robertson points out, James is the Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew. The English name James is a transliteration of the Greek name Jacobos, which in turn in a transliteration of the Hebrew name Jacob.

James is used of several different persons in the New Testament, but most scholars agree that in this context the James referred to is the Lord's brother.

Reference

Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic. B&H Publishing Group 1997). Nashville, TN.: 1997

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).