How do we Know that James Converted because of an Appearance by Jesus?

Christians apologists make a big deal about the conversion of James the brother of Jesus by saying that he was a non-believer when Jesus appeared to him, therefore making his appearance claim much more believable than if the claim had come from a believer.  His claim is therefore an example of “enemy attestation”, they say.

How do they know this?

Yes, the Gospels seem to indicate that early in the ministry of Jesus his family did not believe him but how do we know that James did not become a believer later in Jesus’ ministry or shortly after Jesus’ death for reasons other than an appearance?  Bottom line:  We don’t know.  But for Christians to claim that James’ appearance claim is evidence of “enemy attestation” is just another in a long line of Christian assumptions about their ancient tale.  It is very possible that James’ appearance claim was no different than the appearance claims of the disciples:  emotional hysteria of people who wanted to “see” their recently departed friend/loved one again.


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