Here is an 18th century Greek icon. It depicts a fellow dressed as a bishop, but to know who he is, we must read the title inscription at upper right.
Here it is:
It is rather faint, but it reads:
Ὁ ἉΓΙΟς ΙΑΚω
ΒΟς Ὁ ΑΔΕΛΦΟ
If we put it all together, it is:
Ὁ ἉΓΙΟC ΙΑΚΟΒΟC Ὁ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΘΕΟC
HO HAGIOS IAKOBOS HO ADELPHOTHEOS
“[The] Holy Jacob/James the Brother [of] God”
In Greek he is called Iakobos — Jacob — but in English that is traditionally rendered as “James” when referring to this person. Adelphotheos is a composite word made from adelphos (“brother”) and Theos (“God”). That title comes from what Paul wrote in Galatians 1:18-19:
Ἔπειτα μετὰ ἔτη τρία ἀνῆλθον εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἱστορῆσαι Κηφᾶν, καὶ ἐπέμεινα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡμέρας δεκαπέντε· ἕτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εἶδον, εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου.
Epeita meta ete tria anelthon eis Hierosolyma historesai Kephan, kai epemeina pros auton hemeras dekapente. heteron de ton apostolon ouk eidon, ei me Iakobon ton adelphon tou kyriou.
“Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Cephas [Peter], and stayed with him fifteen days. But of the other apostles I saw none, except James the brother of the Lord.”
Given that in Eastern Orthodoxy Jesus is considered to be God, the title was adapted for James as “Brother of God.”
And here is his scroll text:
It is a rather tricky one, because it consists of two joined excerpts from the Liturgy of St. James. Here is the first part:
ΙΔΕ Ὁ ΑΜΝΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ Ὁ ὙΙΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΤΡΟΣ Ὁ ΑΙΡΩΝ ΤΗΝ ἉΜΑΡΤΙΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ ΣΦΑΓΙΑΣΘΕΙΣ ὙΠΕΡ ΤΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ ΖΩΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΣΩΤΗΡΙΑΣ
Ide ho amnos tou Theou ho huios tou Patros ho airon ten hamartion tou kosmou sphagiastheis huper tes tou kosmou zoes kai soterias
“Behold the Lamb of God, the son of the Father, who takes away the sins of the world, sacrificed for the life and salvation of the world.”
The second part is abbreviated in phrasing, but I have added in brackets what is missing:
Ὁ ΜΕΛΙΖΟΜΕΝΟC [ΚΑΙ ΜΗ ΜΕΡΙΖΟΜΕΝΟC ΚΑΙ ΤΟΙC ΠΙCΤΟΙC ΜΕΤΑΔΙΔΟΜΕΝΟC] ΚΑΙ ΜΗ ΔΑΠΑΝΩΜΕΝΟC ΕΙC ΑΦΕCΙΝ ἉΜΑΡΤΙΟΝ [ΚΑΙ ΖΩΗΝ ΤΗΝ ΑΙΩΝΙΟΝ ΝΥΝ ΚΑΙ ΑΕΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΙC ΤΟΥC ΑΙΩΝΑC]
Ho melizomenos [kai me merizomenos kai tois pistois metadidomenos] kai me dapanomenos eis aphesin hamartion [kai zoen ten aionion nun kai aei kai eis tous aionas]
“Who is parted [and not divided, and distributed to the faithful] and not expended; for the remission of sins [, and the life everlasting; now and always, and into the ages.]”
That refers to the Eucharistic bread, which is, in Eastern Orthodox belief, the “Lamb of God” — Jesus.
Here is another icon of James, painted in a much simpler manner, and from the end of the 18th century”
You should be able to easily read the title inscription. But let’s look at the text on the book he holds:
This one — if you have been a careful reader of this site — should be rather easy too, if you note the common abbreviation. Remember how I always say that icon inscriptions are very repetitive, so learning a few enables one to read many icons? Well, we just saw this inscription (at least most of it) in the preceding posting on Antipas of Pergamum, and we also saw it earlier on an icon of St. Nicholas of Myra. In this example it reads:
It begins with the words
ΕΙΠΕΝ/EIPEN means “said.”
Ὁ /HO is of course the masculine definite article “the.”
ΚC/KS, you will note, has a horizontal line above it, signifying that it is an abbreviation. It abbreviates ΚΥΡΙΟC/KYRIOS, meaning “Lord.” That gives us
ΕΙΠΕΝ Ὁ ΚΥΡΙΟΣ/EIPEN HO KYRIOS
So literally it reads “Said the Lord,” but in normal English order we translate that as:
“The Lord said.”
Then it continues with the beginning of that now familiar (I hope!) text:
Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ θύρα· δι’ ἐμοῦ ἐάν τις εἰσέλθῃ, σω– [θήσεται, καὶ εἰσελεύσεται καὶ ἐξελεύσεται, καὶ νομὴν εὑρήσει].
Ego eimi he thura: di emou ean tis eiselthe, so-[thesetai, kai eiseleusetai kai exeleusetai, kai nomen euresei.]
And of course it is from John 10: 9:
“I am the door: by me if anyone enters in, he shall be sa- [ved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture].”