Cleopas ben Jacob
|Also Known As:||"Cleophas", "Clopas", "Kleophas"|
|Death:||(Date and location unknown)|
Son of Jacob ben Matthan and Eucharia
|Managed by:||Sharon Doubell|
About Cleopas ben Jacob
In the 2nd century Papias and Hegesippus mentioned Cleopas as a brother of Joseph who was the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, and as the father of Simeon, the second bishop of Jerusalem. Cleopas is sometimes identified with Alphaeus, but in other versions Alphaeus was his son-in-law.
Identification of Cleophas and Alphaeus
Some Christian scholars identify him with Alphaeus, but there are difficulties. "This name, Clopas, is thought by many to be the Greek transliteration of an Aramaic Alphaeus. This view is based on the identification of Mary, the mother of James etc. (Mark, xv, 40) with Mary, the wife of Clopas, and the consequent identity of Alphaeus, father of James (Mark, iii, 18), with Clopas. Etymologically, however, the identification of the two names offers serious difficulties: (1) Although the letter Heth is occasionally rendered in Greek by Kappa at the end and in the middle of words, it is very seldom so in the beginning, where the aspirate is better protected; examples of this, however, are given by Levy (Sem. Fremdwörter in Griech.); but (2) even if this difficulty was met, Clopas would suppose an Aramaic Halophai, not Halpai. (3) The Syriac versions have rendered the Greek Clopas with a Qoph, not with a Heth, as they would have done naturally had they been conscious of the identity of Clopas and Halpai; Alphaeus is rendered with Heth (occasionally Aleph). For these reasons, others see in Clopas a substitute for Cleopas, with the contraction of eo into w. In Greek, it is true, eo is not contracted into w, but a Semite, borrowing a name did not necessarily follow the rules of Greek contraction. In fact, in Mishnic Hebrew the name Cleopatra is rendered by Clopatra, and hence the Greek Cleopas might be rendered by Clopas. See also, Chabot, "Journ. Asiat.", X, 327 (1897). Even if, etymologically, the two names are different they may have been borne by one name, and the question of the identity of Alphaeus and Clopas is still open." (Catholic Encyclopedia).
Ancient belief, attested to by a sermon of St. John of Damascus (c. 676-749, was that Anne married once. However, according to a medieval tradition, Anne was also grandmother to five of the twelve apostles: John the Evangelist, James the Greater, James the Less, Simon and Jude. She is said to have married three times, first to Joachim, then to Cleopas, and finally to a man named Solomas, and that each marriage produced one daughter: Mary, mother of Jesus; Mary of Cleopas; and Mary Salomae, respectively. This legend, called the trinubium, has been traced to Haymo, Bishop of Halberstadt (d. 853) in his Historiae Sacrae Epitome.
Anna solet dici tres concepisse Marias, Quas genuere viri Joachim, Cleophas, Salomeque. Has duxere viri Joseph, Alpheus, Zebedeus. Prima parit Christum, Jacobum secunda minorem, Et Joseph justum peperit cum Simone Judam, Tertia majorem Jacobum volucremque Johannem. Jacobus de Voragine, 2.131.
(Anna is usually said to have conceived three Marys, Whom her husbands Joachim, Cleophas, and Salome begot. These [Marys] the men Joseph, Alpheus, and Zebedee took in marriage. The first bore Christ; the second bore James the Less, Joseph the Just, with Simon [and] Jude; The third, James the Greater and the winged John.)
However, the tradition is not reliable: "The renowned Father John of Eck of Ingolstadt, in a sermon on St. Anne (published at Paris in 1579), pretends to know even the names of the parents St. Anne. He calls them Stollanus and Emerentia. He says that St. Anne was born after Stollanus and Emerentia had been childless for twenty years; that St. Joachim died soon after the presentation of Mary in the temple; that St. Anne then married Cleophas, by whom she became the mother of Mary Cleophae (the wife of Alphaeus and mother of the Apostles James the Lesser, Simon and Judas, and of Joseph the Just); after the death of Cleophas she is said to have married Salomas, to whom she bore Maria Salomae (the wife of Zebedaeus and mother of the Apostles John and James the Greater). The same spurious legend is found in the writings of Gerson (Opp. III, 59) and of many others. There arose in the sixteenth century an animated controversy over the marriages of St. Anne, in which Baronius and Bellarmine defended her monogamy." Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "St. Anne" In Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)