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Why Is The Apostle Jacob Called "james" In N.t.?


consiglieri

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I have a question on which I am seeking some input.

I grew up learning that Jesus' three main apostles were Peter, James and John.

Then, when I went on my mission to Japan, I found to my surprise that we were teaching the same three apostles' names as "Peter, Jacob and John." (Petero, Yacobu to Yohane.)

I learned after I got off my mission that, in the Greek, the name actually is Jacobus.

Does anybody know how it is that we English speakers got "James" out of "Jacob"?

And is there any truth to the rumor that it was so translated in the King James Version because, well, it was the version translated for King James?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Thanks for the links, Zak.

I don't know about some of the reasons posted for the change from Jacobus to James, though.

One tries a comparison from Jeshua to Jesus. Now, that one I can at least see. I don't know any Greek, but it seems that Greek transliterations often put in the letter "s" where it did not occur in Hebrew.

Some instances of this would be "Judas" for "Judah."

Or "Elisabeth" for "Elizabeth."

Or "Zacharias" for "Zachariah."

Or "Esaias" for "Isaiah."

Because of this, I can see how "Jeshua" would logically be transliterated as "Jesus" without an overt attempt to change the name from the OT counterpart; it is just the function of the Greek transliteration.

On the other hand, if the translators had followed the same principle with "Jacobus," I would expect to just see the name "Jacobus" in the New Testament for the apostle. That alone would distinguish the NT name from the OT counterpart of "Jacob." Much as "Judas" distinguishes from the OT counterpart of "Judah." (Not to mention "Jude" in the NT)

What has me flummoxed is how the translators substituted a letter "m" for the letter "b" in Jacobus, to come up with the new and apparently unnecessary transliteration of "James" from Jacobus."

Are there other instances of this in the Bible? Going from an "m" to a "b"? Or is this the only one?

And if a special exception was made for "James," then I would think there must be some reason behind it; more than just an attempt to distinguish the NT name from the OT counterpart.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Interestingly, even in English the term "Jacobean" is used to refer to the reign of James I of England and his times.

That is a good point, and probably drives at the heart of the question I am asking.

So I will ask another: Why was the reign of James in England referred to as "Jacobean"?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri (Italian for "Historically Challenged")

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Wikipedia gives us this insight:

The (Jacobean) era took its name from the Latin form, Jacobus, of the name of King James I and VI.

I am not sure this helps, but maybe somebody can see something I do not.

It seems that this article is saying that the Latin form of James is Jacobus. But we already know that the Greek NT name is Jacobus in Greek, as well as Latin, and yet somehow "James" was translated instead of Jacobus.

A little help here?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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It seems that this article is saying that the Latin form of James is Jacobus.

The Late Latin form of James is Jacomus.

Edit: From a "meaning of names" site, it said that both James and Jacob mean: "he who supplants." So, perhaps whoever did the translating of the NT saw a name that meant "he who supplants" and translated into the James in lieu of Jacob.

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King James I of the UK paid for the translation.

How else are scholars to pay back the benefactor but through using the King's name for the Master's brother?

Note, please, that OT Jacob remains Jacob.

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Edit: From a "meaning of names" site, it said that both James and Jacob mean: "he who supplants." So, perhaps whoever did the translating of the NT saw a name that meant "he who supplants" and translated into the James in lieu of Jacob.

It seems to me that they both mean "he who supplants" because they are the same name.

In which case we're still no closer to how "Jacob" turned "James." Although, your observation that the LL form is "Jacomus" perhaps helps us out--I can hear how "Jacomus" might mutate into "James".

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King James I of the UK paid for the translation.

How else are scholars to pay back the benefactor but through using the King's name for the Master's brother?

Note, please, that OT Jacob remains Jacob.

Now, this is what I have heard before, but wondered if anybody had a line on any documentation of this proposition. I have read the preface that the translators wrote, and which is in the front of the LDS KJV Bible, in which they are pretty sycophantic toward King James. But I suppose that is to be expected.

It would not surprise me in the least if they jimmied the name of Jacob around a little bit to come up with the thoroughly English name of James. "It's good to be the King."

Any documentation for this proposition?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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It seems to me that they both mean "he who supplants" because they are the same name.

In which case we're still no closer to how "Jacob" turned "James." Although, your observation that the LL form is "Jacomus" perhaps helps us out--I can hear how "Jacomus" might mutate into "James".

If I understood the good doctor correctly, he was not saying that the late Latin form of Jacob was "Jacomus," but that the late Latin form of James was Jacomus.

That still leaves us with that pesky permutation of the "b" in Jacobus to an "m" in Jacomus.

Same problem, a couple of steps removed, I think.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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If I understood the good doctor correctly, he was not saying that the late Latin form of Jacob was "Jacomus," but that the late Latin form of James was Jacomus.

That still leaves us with that pesky permutation of the "b" in Jacobus to an "m" in Jacomus.

Same problem, a couple of steps removed, I think.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

If you test it out yourself, you'll notice that both the nasal "m" and the voiceless stop "b" are formed by using the lips. As languages change over time, bilabials can change their character, and thus, to a linguist, "m" and "b" and "p" are, or at least can be, interchangeable.

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If you test it out yourself, you'll notice that both the nasal "m" and the voiceless stop "b" are formed by using the lips. As languages change over time, bilabials can change their character, and thus, to a linguist, "m" and "b" and "p" are, or at least can be, interchangeable.

Okay, I did the lip thing and I see what you mean.

But does that mean it wasn't an intentional act on the part of the KJV translators to get in good with the King?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I have a question on which I am seeking some input.

I grew up learning that Jesus' three main apostles were Peter, James and John.

Then, when I went on my mission to Japan, I found to my surprise that we were teaching the same three apostles' names as "Peter, Jacob and John." (Petero, Yacobu to Yohane.)

I learned after I got off my mission that, in the Greek, the name actually is Jacobus.

Does anybody know how it is that we English speakers got "James" out of "Jacob"?

And is there any truth to the rumor that it was so translated in the King James Version because, well, it was the version translated for King James?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

The same way Jesus is greek for Joshua go figure. Yes if we used the Hebrew name for Jesus the name of the Church would be The Church of Joshua Messiah of Latter-day Saints. By the way Christ is the greek word for Messiah.

Pa Pa

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A quick trip to the Etymology Dictionary gives the following history:

Ya'aqobh (Hebrew) -> Iakobos (Greek) -> Iacobus (Classical Latin) -> Iacomus (Late Latin) -> James (Middle-English)

Another source elaborates on this suggestion and says that 'James' comes to middle-english via Old French, where the Latin 'Iacomus' was rendered as either 'James' or 'Jacques' depending upon regional dialect. It says that the former was used by the Normans, and subsequently became the preferred version in English.

It appears then that 'James' was used simply because it was the appropriate and accepted English equivalent of 'Iacobus' in the New Testament, rather than a deliberate attempt to please the King.

-Dave

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Just to throw in a monkeywrench to the thread...

In Spanish, James/Jacob is called Santiago.

Does anyone know how THIS happened?

I am thinking of Santiago de Compostela, in northwest Spain, which is the traditional burial site of St. James the Just. (This tradition is absurd, of course, since James' death is recorded in Acts, and it happens in Jerusalem. I sincerely doubt that someone then carried his body 1500 miles away.)

Beowulf

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I have a question on which I am seeking some input.

I grew up learning that Jesus' three main apostles were Peter, James and John.

Then, when I went on my mission to Japan, I found to my surprise that we were teaching the same three apostles' names as "Peter, Jacob and John." (Petero, Yacobu to Yohane.)

I learned after I got off my mission that, in the Greek, the name actually is Jacobus.

Does anybody know how it is that we English speakers got "James" out of "Jacob"?

--Consiglieri

It was part of Godâ??s plan.

That's what I've heard. But nothing Official. I still call them Peter, James, and John too.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was â??bornâ? out of the NT, Epistle of James, when Joseph Smith believed in the words that James had written: â??If any of you seek wisdom, ask of Godâ?¦â? (James 1:5)

Yep it's another Bible error.

I donâ??t believe in errors; I believe in explaining things that are not understood.

Why is Joshua called "Jesus"?

I have a Bible that I received at my RC confirmation when I was fourteen. I read only Genesis and never opened it again for thirty years. When I began to ask questions and to seek wisdom it proved very disappointing. In my Spirit directed journey I was comparing this Catholic Bible (the Douay Version of the OT and the Confraternity Version of the NT, Publishers Co. Inc.) with the King James and the Jerusalem Bible as well as with The Stone Edition of the Chumash. What I found was that the Catholic version had renamed some books and Latinized the titles thereby making cross-referencing very difficult. I chose to return it to the shelf, probably for another thirty years.

But in answer to your question, I also noticed that the name of Jesus was placed (substituted) in any messianic prophesy that might tolerate it. Hence, Joshua became Jesus. [And in LDS doctrine, we become Christ.]

King James I of the UK paid for the translation.

How else are scholars to pay back the benefactor but through using the King's name for the Master's brother?

Note, please, that OT Jacob remains Jacob.

I donâ??t believe men of the era had any such foresight.

I believe the hidden reason in God, to go from Jacob to James and back to Jacob, was to demonstrate the progression the world was to take. The apostle Jacob is first Latinized to Jacomus and then Anglicized to James and then realized in a fourteen year old boy, Joseph Smith, who becomes the turning point back to Israel (Jacob).

Oh, and as you stated: The OT Israel remains an unconverted Israel.

It seems to me that they both mean "he who supplants" because they are the same name.

Solar-Power(ed) radiates the final truth; the LDS Church, directed by Christ, has supplanted the first born, Esau, who lost his birthright. If only his descendants would set out like Jacob to Haran to choose a wife of old, in a celestial marriage for time and all eternity.

As for the reunion of Esau with Jacob, I have no worries that my God, El Shaddai, will bless it; for he is sufficient to remove all enmities. And we shall fall upon each others neck in remembrance.

Zemah

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I donâ??t believe men of the era had any such foresight.

You need to read more Elizabethan poetry. Half the stuff that's preserved was written by the poet in honor of the patron so that the checks would keep coming.

USU "Cui Bono, lads" 78

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I had a thread on this very subject a few years ago...

Yep it's another Bible error.

It's not a 'Bible error', it's a translation choice.

I beleive the transliteration happened by trying to de-judify the texts.

It is not a transliteration. A transliteration would have been 'Yacobi', as indeed it is in a number of non-English translations.

As for 'trying to de-judify the texts', translating someone's name differently isn't going to change what the text says.

Wrong.jpg

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