Jesus Divinely Appoints James the Just
As stated earlier an Imam always exists on earth. This is because just as God’s wisdom necessitates that He must send prophets for humanity’s guidance, it necessitates that after the prophets of every age there must be an imam and leader for people’s guidance in order to protect the commandments of the prophets and divine religion from alteration and change, and to clarify the needs of every era and invite people towards God and the religion of the prophets (3:81 & 33:7). Otherwise, the purpose of creation which is perfection and success will remain barren. Humanity will be left back from guidance, the commandments of the prophets will be ruined and people will be errant. Therefore, before Jesus was raised to Allah, he appointed by Allah’s instruction for his brother James the Just to be the Imam after him. This is clearly seen in the Gospel of Thomas (50 ce) Saying 12
(12) The disciples said to Jesus: We know that you will depart from us; who is it who will be great over us? Jesus said to them: Wherever you have come, you will go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.
Furthermore, as we explained earlier, the grand role and duties of the divine guides demands that they be protected from sinning or failing in their responsibilities. Otherwise, their position as role models and examples will be scathed and there will be no point in trusting them as divine representatives if they themselves make mistakes or exercise poor judgment, even if it is a minor falter or a once in their lifetimes. The concept of infallibility of the Prophets and Imams is made crystal clear in the Quran. As a result we can also see that the reputation of these infallible divine guides was well known by the people of their time. Muhammad (pbuh) was known as the Trustworthy even before he announced his prophethood and the same is true for James who was known as The Just.
Hegesippus (100 to 180 CE) was the earliest of the Church’s chroniclers. He was a Palestinian Jewish Christian who summarized what he had learned Concerning the martyrdom of James, the brother of the Lord, from Book V.
My comments highlighted in red below
“James, the Lord’s brother, succeeds to the government of the Church, in conjunction with the apostles. He has been universally called the Just, (this further verifies James, the brother of Jesus, is “James the Just”) from the days of the Lord down to the present time. For many bore the name of James; but this one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank no wine or other intoxicating liquor, nor did he eat flesh; no razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, nor make use of the bath (this is not to imply James was filthy, just that he was too holy to make use of the Roman public bath houses). He alone was permitted to enter the holy place: for he did not wear any woolen garment, but fine linen only. He alone, I say, was wont to go into the temple: and he used to be found kneeling on his knees, begging forgiveness for the people, so that the skin of his knees became horny like that of a camel’s, by reason of his constantly bending the knee in adoration to God, (notice he was not doing this in adoration to Jesus – who had already been raised to God and was now being worshipped by Saul’s Christians as God) and begging forgiveness for the people. Therefore, in consequence of his pre-eminent justice, he was called the Just, and Oblias, which signifies in Greek Defense of the People, and Justice, in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him.”
The important statement made by Hegesippus is “but this one was holy from his mother’s womb.” Again, James was called the Just because he was infallible from birth which is central to Shia theology. We have clear proof of divine appointment to an infallible leader occurring in Jesus’ time.
“Accordingly, James and his successors provide us our best historical link to Jesus and his original teachings. That we find no trace of Paul’s gospel, nor of Pauline theology, in the Q source, or in the letter of James, or in the Didache, should not surprise us. James and his successors represent an original version of Christianity, linked more directly to the historical Jesus, that has every claim of authenticity.” – James D. Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty, 311