It was once reported that Abraham Lincoln, in print, was one of the most memorialized individuals in human history. More than 15,000 books (and counting) have recorded the life and influence of the 16th president of the United States. One historian is noted as saying he believes there is still much more to say about Honest Abe. Because of this, authors continue to document accounts of his life ranging from his inauguration to his assassination.
As the infant church in the book of Acts enjoyed periods of growth (Acts 2:41, 4:4), it also was faced with periods of fierce persecution from men such as Saul of Tarsus (8:3) and Herod the king (12:1). James, the son of Zebedee, is recorded to have been a casualty of Herod’s harassment. Acts 12:2 states, “And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword” (NASB). He was the first recorded apostle to have been martyred for the cause of Christ. It was a shocking blow to the Way and no doubt one of the most momentous events in the early church. Yet, the account of the death of the apostle James, one-half of the “sons of Thunder,” begins and ends in Acts 12:2.
Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, provides one of the many pieces of evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible: the Bible is a restrained book. In today’s 24-hour news cycle, this story would have been running nonstop and covered for weeks. If mere uninspired men were writing the Bible, pages upon pages would have been dedicated to the apostle and his legacy. They would argue that there is still more to say about James and his influence on early Christianity. However, we must remember that God tells us what we need to know and does not elaborate unnecessarily to satisfy our human curiosity (2 Peter 1:3). We see this over and over again in the word of God. Truly, the Bible is infallible and inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).