James the Greater was the son of Zebedee a Galilean
fisherman and the brother of John the apostle.
Jesus called James and John as they were mending their fishing net with
their father on the Sea of Galilee. The
brothers immediately left their father and followed Jesus. (Matthew 4:21-22) Possibly because of their tremendous zeal,
Christ gave them the name the “sons of thunder.” (Mark 3:17) James was part of
the trio of disciples, with John and Peter, who were eyewitnesses to the
raising of Jairus’s daughter (Luke 9:40-55), Jesus at the Transfiguration (Mark
9:2-8), and Jesus in his agony in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-33). The martyrdom of James is recorded in Acts
12:2 where he was beheaded at the hand of Herod Agrippa in A.D. 44.