This analysis must begin in the figure of the Apostle Santiago, figure that is between the History and the Legend.
Historically it is well identifiable as James the Higher, brother of John the Evangelist, son of Zebedee and Salome, settled in Bethsaida, on the shores of the so-called Sea of Galilee, where his family had an deal dedicated to fishing and therefore had a certain social rank. The brothers Santiago and Juan had to have an education, which, if it was not of the elite of the rabbinic schools, if it was a formation superior to the average of Jewish life, with frequent contact with Greek culture and its language, Very widespread then on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and of course I was familiar with Latin, the language of the dominant Rome, with whom I would probably do some commercial trading in fisheries. In keeping with this, John, brother of James and a beloved disciple of the Lord, was known to the High Priest (Jn 1816) and was commissioned by his crucified master to care for his Mother (Jn 1927).
The discovery of a first-century boat exposed in the Kibbutz Ginosar (Galilee) museum, where some even want to see the boat of the fishermen apostles in which Jesus Christ also sailed and acted, at least tells us much about what the Life of the first apostles and in what environment the call of the first elect took place.
The call of Christ to the apostles is counted in summary form in the scriptures, but between Christ and Santiago there was a personal relationship that is deduced from the own scriptures. There was family relationship as cousins on the part of mother. Several evangelical passages accredit the relationship and treatment between the Virgin Mary and Salome, respective mothers of Jesus and Santiago. John in his Gospel account (Jn 1926-27), in relation to Christ crucified, quotes Mary and Salome as the mother and sister of the mother, who reveals a very close kinship among them, possibly carnal sisters. Salome was one of the women of the group of disciples closest to Christ, who knew the special charisma of Jesus, manifested from his adolescence, known from the loss of Jesus in his adolescence and his discovery among the doctors (Lc 246-50).
Among them was the closeness of their native cities (between Bethlehem and Yafia were about three kilometers) and their places of residence, and there were also family relations, perhaps interrupted by their respective professional duties: Jesus towards carpentry in Nazareth (Is identified as “the carpenter” in the scriptures, Mc 63) and Santiago towards fishing in Bethsaida.
A relevant link between Jesus and the early apostles was John the Baptist, also related to Jesus through the maternal way, who reveals to John and Andrew that Jesus was the expected Messiah, which informed James, Peter, and other friends Of Bethsaida, which is where the first nucleus of disciples and apostles of Jesus arises, all according to the same apostle and evangelist John, as a direct protagonist of the facts (Jn 135-51).
The coexistence between Christ and the brothers Zebedee can be seen at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, of which John relates in his Gospel (Jn 21-12) that Jesus and Mary attended with relatives and disciples, which reveals that John and his family attended and witnessed the special event that John will be the only evangelist to report.
They are different passages that tell us that what the Scriptures count as an instant, is the result of a process of mutual knowledge. Christ does not propose to make fishers of men to the first that finds, but to those who share a reciprocal knowledge.
It is understood that James, together with Peter and his brother John, is one of the three favorite apostles of Christ, as revealed by his presence at key moments of the New Testament, such as the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus, and the Prayer in the Orchard of Gethsemane. He receives from his Master a specific name, Boanerges or son of thunder, which some relate to his temperament, but which I intuit was related to the reaction of paternal anger, because that nickname gives it to the two Zebedee brothers, who abruptly abandoned his father with the task of the nets, something that Peter and Andrew, workers of the estate of Zebedee, also did, so Zebedee quite possibly had an understandable reaction of anger for lose his more faithful and close personnel, including his His own wife Salome, who was also an assiduous follower of Christ and often accompanied him in the group of close disciples.
It is well known the maternal request (Mt 2020-28) in which Salome asks Christ to grant a preferential place to his children, thinking that the kingdom of which he spoke was an earthly kingdom. The moment is taken by the Master to win the commitment of the brothers Zebedee, at the same time to teach everyone: “Whoever wants to be great among you, must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you, must be slave of everybody”(Mt 2026-27), in tune with the maxim of one of his parables over the kingdom of heaven, that of the workers of the vineyard: the lasts will be the firsts (Mt 201-16), or as in the last supper when during a discussion among the apostles about who should be considered the most important (Luke 2224) Jesus told them that whoever wants to be the most important of everybody, should be the servant of others as he had just done by washing their feet (Jn 134-14).
It is important to remember in this analysis that they describe well the human and historical dimension of the Apostle James and his close proximity to his Master, which allows us to understand other later aspects.
But in Santiago there are legendary elements that detract from the historical dimension of the character, and that interests to know to value what may be behind them.
After the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ some sources locate to Santiago preaching in Spain, and in his return to Jerusalem is captured and condemned to death by Herodes Agripa.
Here is a synthesis of the Jacobean Legend. After the death of Santiago, his disciples take the body, take him to the port of Joppe, where they embark and transfer him by sea to Iria Flavia of Roman Galicia, in 7 days and 7 disciples tell some traditions, are presented to the called Queen Lupa who in turn leads them before the Roman legacy of Dugio, who imprisoned them as fugitives from Rome; are freed by an angel, flee and are protected from their pursuers by the sinking of a bridge; overcome a dragon and tame brave bulls with the strength of the sign of the cross, bulls that will lead the holy body meekly to their place of burial; this generates the conversion of Lupa, that makes donation of place for the burial of the body of the Apostle.