Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics (PhD)


Anthony Chadwick Thornhill


James, Jesus, Resurrection, Skeptic, Martyr, Apologetics


Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


For many years, James, the brother of Jesus, was all but neglected when it came to biblical scholarship. Around four decades ago, there was a resurgence of serious inquiry about James. Since that time, a considerable amount of scholarly material has been published about him, including a possible connection between James and a first-century ossuary box that bears his name. But one aspect of James’s life has not enjoyed such widespread discussion, namely, his conversion. The reason his conversion has been ignored is because there is so little prominent information. The only glimpse afforded to us comes from Jesus appearing to James in 1 Corinthians 15:7, which most scholars believe is the turning point. However, highly respected scholars have challenged this notion in recent years. This work seeks to offer plausible reasons that Jesus’s appearance to James was the critical turning point in his life from a skeptical mocker of his brother to a loyal and faithful martyr. Given the paucity of data to come to concrete conclusions, reasonable inferences, drawn from religious and sociological first-century realities, must be employed to present this thesis as the best possible explanation. Afterwards, both actual and potential objections will be answered to hopefully further the discussion of the conversion and person of James.

Available for download on Friday, April 21, 2023