He was the son of Alphaeus, possibly the brother of Matthew (mentioned in Mark 2:14). We only know that Luke 6:15 gives his name however he is not really mentioned elsewhere in scripture on his own. We know James’ mother was Mary (Mark 15:40) who had a son that was devoted to Jesus. She was present at the crucifixion and one of the women that prepared Jesus for burial. James “the Less”, in the Greek, meant “little”, “small in stature”, and “younger”. It could have referred to his actual appearance or that he was younger than James the son of Zebedee. There is no sign in scripture that he sought after recognition for anything (suggests that he was humble and content), had great leadership skills (he was more in the background), or that he asked critical questions (he probably was just a complete follower). Basically James was very much like an average Christian in comparison to today, but after Jesus’ death he radically lived for Christ by taking the Gospel to the nations. Early church history says that James took the Gospel to Syria and Persia. There are a few different accounts on how he died: being stoned, beaten to death, and crucified; however all agree that he died for his faith and the Message of Jesus Christ.