This is especially for Irish Melkite : [bgcolor=#d70000]Q and A concerning Apostolic Succession[/bgcolor]
I met The Assembly of Jerusalem's site since 2006, and I am trying to understand about the history of your Church.
According to Yeshuans' site, there is the following Apostolic Succession:
"1º) 33 Mar Keifa, Mar Ya'aqub, and Mar Thoma; 2º) 33 Bar Tulmay; 3º) 33 - 45 Mar Addai; 4º) 45 - 81 Agai; 5º) 48 - 81 Mari; 6º) 90 - 107 Abris (relative of the Virgin Marta Miriam); 7º) 130 - 152 Oraham I (Believers were expelled from Jerusalem in 135 C.E.); 8º) 172 - 190 Yacob I (relative of Yosip the Carpenter); 9º) 191 - 203 Ebid M'shikha; 10º) 203 - 227 Yusef I; 11º) 223 - 225 Yusef II; 12º) 225 - 268 Thoma Yusef; 13º) 268 - 281 Yosip Petros (Yosip I), 14º) 281 - 312 Yosip II; 15º) 312 - 352 Yosip III…"
I am reading "The Church History of Eusebius", and there have the following Apostolic Succession of Bishops of Jerusalem:
"After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed, it is said that those of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh (for the majority of them also were still alive) to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James.
They all with one consent pronounced Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph". Book II, Chapter VI, vers.1 and 2
Ahead, in Book 6, there is this line of succession in The Church of Jerusalem:
"They all with one consent pronounced Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph; the second, Symeon; the third, Justus; the fourth, Zacchæus; the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca; the eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephres; the fourteenth, Joseph; and finally, the fifteenth, Judas.
These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them belonging to the circumcision". Book IV, Chapter V, vers. 3 to 4.
According Eusebius, there was a succession between the relatives of the Holy Family, and that matchs with your history, but comparing the succession related by Eusebius, and your succession, we see diferent people on the "Chair of Saint James".
Please, could you explain me that?
Regarding Eusebius and his religious history. Remember, that not all histories are entirely accurate or objective.
2 major events occurred in the Church in the era of Eusebius: with the sacking of Jerusalem in 135ad and with the excommunication of the western church 318ad.
Remember that the patriarchate was in exile in Mesopotamia from 135ad, onwards and after 318ad all contact between churches loyal the Jerusalem and churches loyal to Rome was been pretty much dead in the water.
A religious historian in 2nd centrury Caesarea, just because he was in close proximity to Jerusalem, at that time, would not have meant he was appraised of who was in charge of the actual, historic Church of Jerusalem or sitting on the Apostolic Throne with any degree of accuracy.
At the time of Aelia Capitolina, Emperor Hadrian, Set up a pagan altar in the Temple, he would not allow the Jewish people into Jerusalem not even the Jewish Followers of Messiah. Not a single Caesarean bishop said a word of defense or support for the original families Miryam and Yosip.
Also, there was false patriarchate with a gentile bishop was set up in Jerursalem under Markos the First, i believe.It would not be out of the realm of possibility to mix elements of Markos (the false patriarchs) line, with parts of the original line of St. James.
So there are going to be stark differences in the apostolic lines of the Essene Patriarchate and the false patriarchate
For his part, Eusebius, did not check with Essene historians to either confirm or deny his history. Millenia later, people read and believe its written in rock. And instead of thinking "Hey, Eusebius got some of his information wrong about the Church of Jerusalem" the end result is people ask "Why doesnt your history line up with Eusebius?"
That is not meant to criticize Eusebius but to say you can only report the information you have available, if you don't know it, then how can you report it?
The sad thing is, you report a half truth long enough, it becomes someone else's whole truth many centuries later.
On the matter of Markos the First, the only information I have is that he was a gentile bishop who was pretender to the apostolic throne of St. James placed their by Rome, and that a lineage of patriarchs out of this false line developed over time but I don't have any other knowledge about him other than for the Essenes, we tell people that if there is an apostolic lineage claiming to be for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and they happen to see the name of Markos the first within it, then they know this is the false patriarchate and not the actual historic line of St. James and should summarily disregard it.
May God bless you.