Originally posted by FMF
Was acknowledgement of James' role and authority knowingly diluted by those Early Christians who sought to shift focus and prominence to Peter and Paul?
mmm, not that i am aware of. From what we understand, at least what i understand, is that Hellenistic schools of learning had prominent individuals who gave their name to a particular school and who had disciples, thus we read in the scriptures of the influence of this among early Christians , 'I belong to Apollos,', 'i to Paul', where the apostle Paul goes to great lengths to get them to give up the idea due to its potential for causing division.
(1 Corinthians 1:10-15) . . .Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought. For the disclosure was made to me about you, my brothers, by those of the house of Chloe, that dissensions exist among you. What I mean is this, that each one of you says: “I belong to Paul,” “But I to Apollos,” “But I to Cephas,” “But I to Christ.” The Christ exists divided. Paul was not impaled for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I am thankful I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
THus it seems that some were attaching great importance to individuals perhaps due to the background of the Hellenistic schools of thought.
What of James?
I appears that James was initially, not opposed to Christ, but simply a non believer. this changed, according to scripture when the resurrected Christ appeared to James as reported at 1 Corinthians 15:7, so convincing this onetime non-believer that he was indeed the Messiah. Thereafter James became a prominent member and, apparently, an “apostle” of the Jerusalem congregation. Thus, at Pauls first visit with the Jerusalem brothers (about 36 C.E.), he says he spent 15 days with Peter but “saw no one else of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.” (Ga 1:18, 19) Peter, after his miraculous release from prison, instructed the brothers at John Mark’s home, “Report these things to James and the brothers,” thereby indicating James prominence. (Ac 12:12, 17) About 49 C.E. the issue of circumcision came before “the apostles and the older men” at Jerusalem. Following personal testimony by Peter, Barnabas, and Paul, James spoke, offering a decision that was approved and adopted by the assembly. (Ac 15:6-29) Referring to that occasion, Paul says that James, Cephas, and John “seemed to be pillars” among those at Jerusalem. (Ga 2:1-9) At the close of a later missionary tour, Paul, in Jerusalem, reported on his ministry to James and “all the older men,” and these then gave him certain counsel to follow.—Ac 21:15-26; see also Ga 2:11-14.
Thus it seems FMF that James was indeed fairly prominent, according to these scriptural instances. What prompts you to ask the question? Do you feel that others such as Peter and John are given more prominence in comparison?