The Temptation of James, son of Thunder
Ink on watercolor paper
James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels state that James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him.[Matt. 4:21-22][Mk. 1:19-20] James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus sel...ected to bear witness to his Transfiguration. The Acts of the Apostles records that Agrippa I had James executed by sword. He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament. He is, thus, traditionally believed to be the first of the 12 apostles martyred for his faith. [Acts 12:1-2] Nixon suggests that this may have been caused by James' fiery temper, for which he and his brother earned the nickname Boanerges or "Sons of Thunder".[Mark 3:17] F. F. Bruce contrasts this story to that of the Liberation of Peter, and notes that "James should die while Peter should escape" is a "mystery of divine providence."