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Jesus’ “Brothers” Print E-mail
By Howard Kainz   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011

The perpetual virginity of Mary, the mother of Jesus, has been consistently taught from the early Christian era. Western and Eastern Catholicism, and the Orthodox, consider it a fixed doctrine. Even early Protestant reformers, including Luther and Calvin, asserted the doctrine as worthy of belief. At present, however, most Protestants, accept the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, but dispute Mary’s perpetual virginity.

The New Testament mentions Jesus’ brothers and sisters, which is obviously related to the issue, and to Protestant doubts about the “perpetuity” of Mary’s virginity. In Mark 6:3, four brothers are named – James, Jose, Simon, and Judas. In Matt. 13:55ff, the same four are  specified, but “Joses” is called by the more common “Joseph.” “Sisters” are also mentioned, although not specified by name. Other references to the brothers or sisters, sometimes by name, are to be found (Mark 3:31-35, Matt. 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21; 6:3; John 7:3-10; Acts 1:14; Gal. 1:19; and 1 Cor. 9:5).

Many contemporary Protestants, looking to the Bible for support, take these references as pointers to biological siblings of Jesus. They find additional support in Matt. 1:25, which states that Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary “until” the birth of Jesus; and in the reference there and also in Luke 2:7 to Jesus as Mary’s “firstborn” child.

The attempts made to identify the “brothers” in Patristic works, including the biographical chronicles of St. Hegesippus in the second century, and St. Jerome’s defense of Mary’s perpetual virginity against Helvidius, have led to the tradition, with some variations, that the “brothers” spoken of in the Gospels were cousins of Jesus.

Important considerations regarding the parentage issue include the following: There is no word for biological brother in either Aramaic, which Jesus spoke, or in Hebrew. There are multiple examples in the Bible of the use of the word, “until,” which do not imply “only until”; and of the use of “firstborn” which do not imply subsequent offspring. In Luke’s account (Lk. 2:42) of the multi-week pilgrimage the Holy Family made for Passover to Jerusalem, and the three-day search for Jesus, no mention is made of younger siblings. Pope Benedict notes in his new book that Jesus on the cross entrusted his mother to the “beloved disciple,” not to any biological children, as one might have expected if there were any.


James, the brother of Jesus (iconographer unknown)

The “sisters” have never been credibly identified. Differing opinions exist about the “brothers.” Some Catholic commentators think that Joseph was a widower and the “brothers” were thus stepbrothers; others maintain that they were children of the “other Mary,” who was present at the crucifixion (Mt. 27:56, Mk. 15:40, Jn. 19:25), and married to Clopas. The theologian Josef Blinzler, however, in Die Brüder und Schwestern Jesu, finding insufficient evidence that the “other Mary” was the wife of Clopas, comes to the following more conservative conclusion about the individual brothers, based on Patristic traditions, as well as an analysis of Biblical texts:

·       James and Joses (Joseph) were cousins of Jesus, probably of Levitical ancestry, and sons of the “other Mary.” James was the oldest of the brothers, unconvinced about Jesus’ messiahship until the resurrection; Jesus appeared to him then, and he became the leader of the brothers; he also became the leader of the believers in Jerusalem after Peter had to depart (Acts 12:17ff.), and was visited by Paul, who mentions James as a “brother of the Lord” in Galatians. He was not an apostle, since there were two apostles named James, one of whom was designated as a son of Zebedee (Mark 3:17), along with John, and was martyred under Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:2), and the other was designated as the Son of Alpaeus (Mark 3:18). James was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin when Annas II, the son of the Annas mentioned in the Gospels, became high priest.
·       Simon was born seven years before Jesus, according to the chronicles of St. Hegesippus, and chosen as bishop of Jerusalem after the martyrdom of James. Hegesippus writes: “[After James’ death] the son of an uncle of Jesus, Clopas, was installed. All agreed to his precedence, since he was another cousin of the Lord.”
·       Judas, like Simon, was a son of Clopas, the brother of Jesus’ father, Joseph. According to Hegesippus, two grandsons of Judas were summoned to Rome about 95 A.D., since the Emperor Domitian heard that they were descendants in the Davidic line. But the Emperor released them when it was established that they were farmers with no troublesome claims to the throne of David. Judas was the author, or “designated” author, of the short letter of Jude in the New Testament (the so-called “Catholic Epistle”).

If this is a trustworthy account of the cousins, Jesus’ early life seems to come into clearer focus: He was not an only child living a rather sheltered life until he received a “call” at the baptism by John, and performed his first sign of messiahship at the marriage at Cana (John 2:12). He would have been much involved in work and play with relatives in an extended family. One imagines the return of the Holy Family from Egypt after several years as an arduous resettlement, alleviated somewhat by help from relatives like Joseph’s brother, Clopus. 

The story of Jesus being lost at twelve during the Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem has, as background, a large group of traveling kinsmen. And the movement of Jesus, the cousins and the disciples to Capharnaum after the Cana miracle (John 2:12) gives us the impression that this town was a frequent domicile for the extended family. Finally, accounts of the disbelief of Jesus “brothers” (Mark 3:21; John 7:5) indicate some conflicts in the nascent community of believers at Capharnaum, since the “disciples” seemed to be domiciled there also.

All of which enriches our notion of Jesus’ “family,” while leaving intact traditional teaching about Mary’s perpetual virginity.

 

Howard Kainz is emeritus professor of philosophy at Marquette University. He is the author of many books, including the recently published The Existence of God and the Faith-Instinct
 

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written by Dr. Lorenz, May 05, 2011
It is my belief that the apostles are the ones who are mentioned as Brothers Of Jesus, so it should be noted that in original languages of the bible it said Brethren not Brothers
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written by Lagniappe, May 05, 2011
Respectfully, as a former Catholic, I found the use of tradition trumping Scripture a serious issue. To me, it is a major stretch of logic, reason, and conscience to accept the writings of those early post-John times as altogether accurate in light of the variety of Christians that existed in those days (thus, the councils were formed to settle and unify beliefs). For Mary to remain "untouched," is opposite every Biblical teaching on marriage and Jesus would have been an oddity growing up for adopted children were second-class then; however, he is spoken of, in the gospels, as ordinary - the son of Joseph -- the son of a carpenter. How would Joseph's sexual (normal) drive been handled? Adopted brothers from a previous marriage? Why would Joseph even consider such a young bride if he was old enough to be her father. And consider Peter - he submitted to James in Acts 15:19; was excoriated by Paul in Gal 2:11f; and Mary is mentioned in Acts 1 and that's it. Her modern position of reverence is not substantiated by any text (except the mystics). Last, at the cross, John was given the duty to care for her because the rest of his family were still unbelievers (John 7:5). Many leave your church because you require them to accept the unbelievable. This is only one teaching but other doctrines have an equal effect.
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written by jsmitty, May 05, 2011
Yes but there is a Greek word for "cousin" which Paul himself uses in Col 4:10. And this makes his reference to Jesus' "brother" in say, Gal 1:19 all the harder to explain if there really were a tradition of the "brothers" really being cousins.

Moreover, even the gospel passages are written in Greek--not Aramaic. And, as nearly everyone agrees, they are composition Greek not translations from Aramaic. (This is especially the case with Luke and John) Why did the gospel authors not go to some pains to clarify the status of Jesus' "brothers" by employing the word "cousin" or at least explaining parenthetically that the "brothers" of Jesus were not really the children of Mary. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John do not seem especially concerned that we be mislead into thinking Jesus had blood brothers. This is why Jerome's explanation smacks of special pleading. Catholics would do well to abandon it.

The best case for the Catholic view was defended by Epiphanius that the brothers of Jesus were really the step-brothers which Joseph had by a previous marriage. The evidence for this is the unusual description of Jesus as "son of Mary" (Mark 6:3) instead of the usual "son of Joseph." The overwhelming custom was to describe the son as the son of his father. The one exception to this is when two brothers are born to different mothers. An example of this is Adonijah the son of David who four times is described as the "son of Haggith" (2 Sam 3:4; 1 Kgs 1:5, 1:11, 2:13) to distinguish him from David's other son, Solomon whose mother was Bathsheba.
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written by Re, May 05, 2011
Objection: “(Peter) was excoriated by Paul in Gal 2:11”
Reply: Pope isn't God. He always has Jesus-promised God's assistance when he confirms his brothers in faith (Luke 22:31-32) and when he permanently binds (Matthew 16:19) but outside of that as a sinner he can make mistakes and be corrected.

Objection: “Mary is mentioned in Acts 1 and that's it. Her modern position of reverence is not substantiated by any text (except the mystics). Last, at the cross, John was given the duty to care for her because the rest of his family were still unbelievers (John 7:5).”
Reply: Mary is mentioned in Luke as mother of The Lord (Luke 1:43). Apostle Paul says that everything exists in The Lord (Acts 17:28). Even a blind would see that then Mary is the mother of literally everything that exists, of the whole creation, of God's grace, of Redemption, of salvation from sin, of you Lagniappe, of you name it. God is The Father of everything and willed to make Mary The Mother of everything. Even a blind would then see that then God makes nothing except through Mary (no matter how great a mystery to our finite human minds it is) and that if you don't pray The Mother Mary you necessarily insult The Father God Whose Spouse She obviously is.

Comment: “Many leave your church because you require them to accept the unbelievable. This is only one teaching but other doctrines have an equal effect. “
Reply: Many leave The Church because they don't know Christian doctrine, they don't care about Christian doctrine, they don't think about Christian doctrine, they read the books which say they teach Christian doctrine but do lie and teach un-Christian doctrine etc. All these replies above prove that that what you believe isn't Christian doctrine and that your objection regarding other Catholic i.e. Christian doctrines isn't credible.
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written by Re, May 05, 2011
Objection: "For Mary to remain "untouched," is opposite every Biblical teaching on marriage and Jesus would have been an oddity growing up for adopted children were second-class then".
Reply: Issue of intimacy between spouses isn't public issue. Thus public didn't know that Jesus wasn't of Joseph's flesh.

Objection: "however, he is spoken of, in the gospels, as ordinary - the son of Joseph -- the son of a carpenter."
Reply: See above the reply of jsmitty.

Objection: "How would Joseph's sexual (normal) drive been handled?"
Reply: Being a father of The Lord and execution of God's will are more than sufficient reasons helped by God's grace to quench the remnants of the drive in an already aged man Joseph was at the time (was a widower - see the jsmitty's reply above).

Objection: "Why would Joseph even consider such a young bride if he was old enough to be her father."
Reply: See the previous reply.
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written by Re, May 05, 2011
Objection: "And consider Peter - he submitted to James in Acts 15:19"
Reply: No, Peter spoke first and silenced the crowd, James spoke only when they had already held their peace due to Peter. Peter alone spoke on the Pentecost (Acts 2), before people in the temple (Acts 3) and before Sanhedrin before the consultations (Acts 4). Apostle Paul went to see Peter (Galatians 1:18). Peter baptized the Jews (Galatians 2:8) and was still the one who baptized the first heathen convert Cornelius (Acts 10). Jesus singled out Peter in Luke 22:31-32, in John 21:19,22 and in Mark 16:7. Peter's name is by far the most mentioned in the New Testament of all The Apostles...
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written by addison, May 05, 2011
Amen Lagniappe. Amen. Especially those last two sentences. Let me add, though. It is written: "I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother's children" (Psalm 69:8 NIV).
Yeshua, I beg you to open the ears of Catholics and Orthodox that they may hear. AMEN
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written by Howard Kainz, May 05, 2011
Just a few responses to some of the comments: @Dr. Lorenz: I mentioned all the texts in the Gospels referring to "brothers," and none of these refer to the Apostles. @jsmitty: In Greek there are words for "cousin" and "nephew," but the translators of the Old Testament used the Greek word, "adelphos," i.e. "brother," even when it was clear that no blood brother is meant. Blinzler, in the above-mentioned work, mentions twenty examples from the Greek Septuagint: for instance, in Genesis 13:8, Abraham refers to his nephew, Lot, as his brother; in Genesis 29:15, Laban calls his nephew, Jacob, his brother; in Leviticus 10:4 Misael and Elisaphan are cousins of Nadab and Abiu, but are called brothers; etc., etc. The Greek translators, certainly familiar with the Hebrew usage, did not feel constrained to re-interpret the text. As I emphasized at the end, we are dealing here with very close-knit extended families. @Lagniappe: This is not just a matter of blindly following tradition. The individual brothers named in the Gospels, as I have shown, are specified as the sons either of Clopas or of "the other Mary," or (as some maintain) of both Clopas and "the other Mary."
My personal reaction to the "biological" interpretation is this: why would the woman who was chosen and spiritually prepared to be the worthy mother of the Son of God harbor any desire to still increase the numbers of her progeny? And: as an older brother myself, I shudder to think of the extreme discomfort Jesus’ younger siblings would have if they ever suspected his divinity.
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written by Lagniappe, May 06, 2011
Short response: Objection: “Mary is mentioned in Acts 1 and that's it. Her modern position of reverence is not substantiated by any text (except the mystics). Last, at the cross, John was given the duty to care for her because the rest of his family were still unbelievers (John 7:5).”
Reply: Mary is mentioned in Luke as mother of The Lord (Luke 1:43). Apostle Paul says that everything exists in The Lord (Acts 17:28). Even a blind would see that then Mary is the mother of literally everything that exists, of the whole creation, of God's grace, of Redemption, of salvation from sin, of you Lagniappe, of you name it. God is The Father of everything and willed to make Mary The Mother of everything. Even a blind would then see that then God makes nothing except through Mary (no matter how great a mystery to our finite human minds it is) and that if you don't pray The Mother Mary you necessarily insult The Father God Whose Spouse She obviously is.
The reply is straight on as I stated in my first post -- logic, reason, and conscience -- ahhh, your syllogism is incorrect and a serious stretch. The Father NEVER EVER gives up His glory (e.g., Romans 11:33-36). Moreover, He is a Spirit (incorporeal) and to compare Him to one who has a spouse is near blasphemy!! The creation of all things is in Christ (before Mary existed), e.g., Colossians 1:15-20. And, because you noted my "blind" condition, pause and think about what you and your church are supporting -- sounds like some Mormon pre-existence of God procreating with women -- but the truth is in 1 Corinthians 1:28-31.
Again, I say with humility and great respect for my whole education was Catholic, but many dogmas of Catholicism are not grounded in Scripture but visions, mystics, saints, emperors, and other miraculous concepts that cannot be challenged, or worse yet, are unprovable. Faith is a gift from God; grace is a gift from God, repentance is a gift from God; and the Holy Spirit is His great guarantee that His true people will persevere to the end. Oh, and if you find a moment, read Mr. Shea's recent blog on masturbation along with the comments. Joseph was a MAN not a impotent subordinate to Mary -- to allege that God gave him a special way to not discharge his seed is ludicrous. Return to reason (as Luther stated in defying the simony and corruption of the church in his day) for our minds are to be sober and ever increasing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) Peace to all.
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written by Mick Lee, May 06, 2011
As Lutherans, Mary does not have the same importance for us as it does for Catholics. With all due respect, Lutherans tend to find the veneration Catholics have for Mary…well, odd. Of course, we tend to view tradition differently as well. It is not as if tradition is unimportant. It is that if a doctrine in tradition has no warrant in Scripture it is deeply suspect. Citing a long chain of tradition outside Scripture may be interesting; but it has little value. Any defense or presentation which begins with “The Church has always taught…” has no purchase without specific Biblical teaching.

Speculation also has no place in Lutheran theology. This last is significant. Regarding the “perpetual virginity” of Mary, two things must be said from our point of view. First, Scripture is silent in support or refutation of such a doctrine. Thus one is free to believe it or not. The second, given Mary’s relatively modest place among Lutherans (that is, compared to that of Catholics), “perpetual virginity” is of little importance in the life of faith. In fact, to Lutherans, Mary may have been a “perpetual virgin” but while it may be true it scarcely rises to the level of a “doctrine”.

Lutheran theology is heavily Christo-centric and has been perceived and criticized as lacking “balance” by both Catholics and the Orthodox. In making such a charge, the Lutheran would feel that you would be paying him no higher compliment. From our point of view, going beyond what Scripture has to say about Mary is at best a diversion.

Catholics tend to be mystified and sometimes irritated at the virtual absence of Mary in Protestant devotional life and worship. Protestants, in turn, often grow irritated in the Catholic insistence in a larger significance for Mary in the Christian life. It cannot be overstated that Protestants are horrified at the presence Mary has in Catholic devotional life and worship. My experience is that this catches most Catholics by surprise and they have difficultly grasping such a thing.

When it comes to the subject of Mary, it seems it is extremely easy for us to offend each other.
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written by Rachel, May 06, 2011
Forget the Greek word for biological brother. MARY WAS MARRIED! There is no indication at all that Joseph was anything other than an ordinary man who wanted to live like one -- with his wife. Scripture says he kept her a virgin UNTIL Jesus was born.

She was also planning to marrying him before Gabriel showed up. Why does she have to be a virgin forever? That makes no sense. She was chosen because she's just like you and me.

You cannot argue a theological point based on the absence of something. The absence of the word "biological" doesn't mean Mary was perpetually virginal.

By the way, this doctrine was not taught since the beginning. It's a relatively young theory.

Protestants don't have to find support for Jesus having brothers. It's clear He did. What Catholics need to do is find support for perpetual virginity. You can't build a doctrine on the absence of the word biological.

There is NO other evidence to suggests Mary's special conception or that she took a vow of virginity (even though she married) or that she was anything different than you or me.

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written by Howard Kainz, May 06, 2011
@Lagniappe: You cite Martin Luther's "return to reason" as support of your thesis. But, as I mentioned above, Luther affirmed Mary's perpetual virginity. Mary's greatness consists primarily in her humility, and we can all gain by imitating that.
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written by Re, May 06, 2011
Objection: "ahhh, your syllogism is incorrect and a serious stretch.".

Reply: Jesus sometimes used syllogisms not The Scripture when he exposed Christian doctrine: e.g. "If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!" (Matthew 6:23) or "And if the grass of the field, which is to day, and to morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?" (Matthew 6:30).

Now, Lagniappe, show us a syllogistic error and a stretch in the syllogism I used for Mary (If she is the mother of The Lord as The Bible tells us (Luke 1:43) then necessarily she is the mother of everything that is in The Lord: the mother of everything that has ever existed and will exist since everything must be in The Lord to exist) and I become a Protestant like you. If you can't then you are wrong and being wrong in faith isn't trait of Christian faith. Thus if you can't you will have to become a Catholic to have Christian faith.
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written by Re, May 06, 2011
The Sinless and Infinite Creator of everything (God) to share the flesh of the same woman (Mary) with a mere finite creature born in sin (Joseph)? Do you really believe that God and Joseph shared Mary's flesh?
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written by Howard Kainz, May 06, 2011
@Rachel: If Mary had other biological children, who are they? As I showed, the four named brothers are all ascribed to other parents in the Gospels.
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written by Re, May 07, 2011
Only the high priest is allowed to enter the Holy of Holies once a year (Hebrews 9:3,7).

The High Priest, The Holy Ghost, entered Mary once (to incarnate Jesus Christ) leaving her virgin and that's it.

Thus Mary's perpetual virginity is in harmony with The Scripture and Christian faith while the contrary manifestly contradicts The Scripture and Christian faith.
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written by jsmitty, May 07, 2011
@Howard Kainz....Listen I'm basically on your team here. But what you say doesn't hold water. The NT is not a translation from Aramaic and thus the analogy from the OT is not apt. The NT is composition Greek, thus the fact that "cousins" is never used for brothers is a problem, whether you want to admit it or not...The "cousins" explanation also fails to explain why Paul (who is also not a translation) would use "brother"...There's no getting around that the normal meaning of adelphos is blood brother.

That's why you should drop the "cousins" explanation of Jerome, which is only convincing to people who are already convinced of the dogma to begin with. Go with Epiphanius instead!!!
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written by Howard Kainz, May 08, 2011
Epiphanius' view that Jesus' brothers were stepchildren, resulting from the fact that Joseph was a widower, doesn't jibe with the fact that according to the Gospels the four named brothers are children of "the other Mary" and/or Clopus.
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written by Michael PS, May 08, 2011
The LORD said to me, "This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. [Ezekiel 44:2]
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written by Nick, May 09, 2011
Rachel,

If Our Lady and Saint Joseph were supposed to be just another married couple, why did Mary, when he told her she was was to have a child, ask the angel Gabriel, "How shall this be done, because I know not man?" (Luke 1:34)

If Mary and Joseph were going to be a normal married couple, why would she ask this?

Think about it. A man and a woman are betrothed to be married. By Jewish custom this "engagement" would be a period of one year before the actual marriage ceremony. But, it still meant they were legally obligated to each other.

So, they were planning on getting married, and the Archangel Gabriel visits her one day and says, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found grace with God. 31 Behold you shall conceive in your womb and shall bring forth a son: and you shall call his name Jesus."

Now, if Mary's intent was to be a normal Jewish housewife and bear her husband as many children as God would bless them, why would she ask Gabriel, "How can this be?" Wouldn't she be glad that her plans were about to be answered by God?

No, the only reason to ask such a question is that she had planned to remain a virgin all her life. We know that there were Temple-virgins who took a vow of chastity. So, it is entirely possible that in first century Judiaism Our Lady had taken such a vow herself.
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written by jsmitty, May 10, 2011
@ Howard Kainz. WHat's the basis for supposing that James and Joses found at Calvary are the same as the "brothers of Jesus" --James, Joseph (Joses) Judas and Simon and mentioned earlier? The earlier figures are connected to the other Mary while the latter ones are ties to Jesus? Given that many of these names are common and that the NT writers normally take pains to disambiguate them, this seems rather arbitrary..all the more since Mark calls him by the nickname "Little James" only in Mark 15:40 But then Jerome's explanation is arbitrary in many respects.
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written by DNoonan, May 10, 2011
"There is no word for biological brother in either Aramaic, which Jesus spoke, or in Hebrew." This is on its face a false statement; of course there are perfectly good words in both languages to refer to biological brothers. The problem is that there is no (extant) word to designate fraternal relationships that are other than usual "full blood" fraternal relationship.
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written by Howard Kainz, May 10, 2011
@jsmitty: Josef Blinzler discusses the issue you mention: "If someone has doubts about whether Mark identifies the James and Joses from 15:40 with the two "brothers of the Lord" mentioned in 6:3, these final doubts must disappear, if he takes into account the fact that Mark in both cases uses the unusual name, "Joses." This form of the name, "Joseph," does not appear further in all of the extant New Testament, which altogether lists eight different persons with the name, Joseph."
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written by Re, May 10, 2011
Great physical similarity between Jesus and Apostle James the Less, brother of The Lord (Galatians 1:19) and son of Alpheus (Matthew 10:3), was the reason why Judas chose to show Jesus by kiss to the mob (Matthew 26:48).

But why James was called “brother of The Lord (Jesus Christ)”? And why James is son of Alpheus while his mother's husband is written as Cleophas (Clopas)?

All brothers and sisters german (blood brothers and sisters) have blood which has at least one of two parts (two from their father and mother) common to all. It seems that mothers of Jesus and of James the Less had both parts of their blood in common (both parents same) and through them Jesus Christ and James the Less had one of two parts of their blood in common as if they had the same mother.

Hence Jesus and Apostle James the Less were brothers german (blood brothers) although having no common parent but only common blood (one of two parts of their blood).

Apostle James the Less' father Alpheus either died and his mother Mary re-married for Cleophas or Alpheus was Cleophas as Raguel (Exodus 2:18) was Jethro (Exodus 3:1). I'm not sure whether The Scripture reveals which of these two options is the true one but our salvation doesn't depend on what was with Alpheus.
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written by Re, May 10, 2011
Now it becomes more and more interesting: Apostle Thaddeus a.k.a. Jude writes he is the brother of James (Jude 1:1), obviously of James the Less not James the Greater of Zebedee who has brother Apostle John.

Apostle Paul singles out “brethren of The Lord and Cephas (Peter)” from the rest of the Apostles (1 Corinthians 9:5) while Luke singles out “His (The Lord's) brethren” but with Apostles James the Less and Jude, “brethren of The Lord”, already mentioned (Acts 1:13-14)!
Also all Apostles saving maybe Judas Iscariot believed in Jesus from the beginning (John 15:27) but Jesus brethren didn't believe in him even close to His Passion (John 7:5)!

If James and Jude mentioned as brethren of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) are Apostles James the Less and Jude (Thaddeus) as father Blinzler claims then how Apostle John writes that Jesus' brethren didn't believe in him when half of them obviously did believe?

Thus it seems that James and Jude of the four brothers of Jesus Christ aren't Apostles James the Less and Jude but other James and Jude (which, btw, were fairly common names).

Many scenarios are possible and it seems that The Scripture has no intention to resolve which kind of brothers Jesus had (through Mary as explained, through Joseph being a widower or even through both Mary and Joseph). Our salvation doesn't depend on which kind of brothers Jesus had but only on beliefs that Jesus' mother Mary is perpetual Virgin and that She gave only virgin birth to Jesus Christ.
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written by Re, May 10, 2011
I would also like to point out the fact that Virgin Mary tells Jesus about Joseph: “your father” (Luke 2:48) and not ”your stepfather” or “your foster-father”! It should teach us a great lesson: children who aren't made by man/woman who is now married to their mother/father still have a true father/mother and not only a surrogate and somewhat defective father/mother!

Terms like step-father or foster-father or step-mother or foster-mother or step-brother etc. aren't to good but are to evil (“Poor me, I have no true father/mother/brother/sister like my friends but only a step/foster-father/mother/brother/sister”) and are manifestly opposed by The Scripture.
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written by Howard Kainz, May 10, 2011
@Re: You say, "If James and Jude mentioned as brethren of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) are Apostles James the Less and Jude (Thaddeus) as father Blinzler claims." But Blinzler doesn't claim that James and Jude are Apostles. They were both sons of "the other Mary," and, as regards James, as I mentioned, Blinzler says they are not Apostles. There were two Apostles named James, one the son of Zebedee, and the other the son of Alpaeus. He doesn't say that Alpaeus was married to "the other Mary," but mentions that some commentators think that Clopas was married to "the other Mary."
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written by Nick, May 10, 2011
Re,

This is what Christ's brethren didn't believe, in Saint John's Gospel 7:5, that the Messiah was to suffer, die, and rise on the third day.

All the Apostles and disciples, up until the Last Supper, were still under the false impression of first century Jews, that the Messiah would free them from Roman rule and restore Israel's glory.

Even after the Reserection, some disciples came to Christ and asked, "Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?" (Acts 1:6) These disciples still didn't get it! But, then again, don't we all do this?
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written by jsmitty, May 11, 2011
@howard kainz....this is an interesting argument. But I don't find it very convincing since 1) Joseph was a very common Jewish name and 2) Joses was in general a very common nickname for Joseph so it would not be terribly unusual if two different men named Joseph each had the same nickname..particularly if unlike Joseph the Carpenter or Joseph of Arimathea they were each young men and thus known by a more youthful form of the name. Moreover, if they were the same people this explanation fails to account for the omission of the other two brothers in the sibling group (Simon and Jude), or mention of their relation to Jesus, which would have more clearly identified them with the figures mentioned earlier. We should generally suppose as a rule with the scarcity of names in first century Palestine (around 3/4 of all men had one of four names)that writers would take some care to differentiate them, by other clues. One way of differentiating like names was in association to other people. (Other ways were by trade, or place of origin, or patronym, or nicknames). If this is right, we should expect that these sons of "the other Mary" are different than those of the same names known as "the brothers of Jesus." Mark (unless perhaps he was unaware) would have more clearly told us otherwise.

And of course, you don't answer the other more obvious objection that none of the Biblical or early Christian sources ever call James, Joses, Simon and Jude "cousins". One cannot explain this on the basis of hypothetical Aramaic sources, since in most cases there could not have been any. Also, the theory of Jerome depends on the identification of Clopas with Alphaeus which is philologically very dubious.

On the other hand there are at least three ancient sources (much older than Jerome) who tell us that Joseph did have children by another marriage.

Jerome's view was OK until the critical era. Now it looks desperate to hang onto it and unnecessary since we can do better.
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written by Re, May 13, 2011
Howard Kainz: you're right, that was mistake and I retract it. Wanted to write: “If James and Jude mentioned as brethren of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) are Apostles James the Less and Jude (Thaddeus) as father Blinzler claims -->that the James and Jude are the sons of Mary of Cleophas (Clopas)
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written by Re, May 13, 2011
It is grievous Christian duty to warn people about things on which everyone's salvation depends.

There are two things in Mick Lee's comment (“Lutheran theology is heavily Christo-centric and has been perceived and criticized as lacking “balance” by both Catholics and the Orthodox.”) which people must be warned about:

first, The Body of Jesus Christ are all the faithful, especially the saints (1 Corinthians 12:27) while Jesus Christ is only The Head of His Body (Ephesians 1:22-23). Thus Lutheran and Protestant refusal to venerate the glorified Body of Jesus Christ (the saints) necessarily means that they venerate only The Head of Jesus Christ and not Jesus Christ! Is such doctrine Christo-centric?;

second, Catholics, Protestants and people who call themselves 'Orthodox' have different beliefs. Thus if anyone who differs from people who call themselves 'Orthodox' also calls them 'Orthodox' he outright condemns himself and everyone else who differs from those people as heterodox i.e. as heretical!
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written by Re, May 15, 2011
Nick, for the disciples of Jesus The Scripture says that they "believed in him (Jesus)" (John 2:11). For the brothers of The Lord The Scripture says that they "didn't believe in him (Jesus)" (John 7:5). Your explanation would equalize the former with the latter and due to that it cannot be true.

Howard Kainz: "The theologian Josef Blinzler … in Die Brüder und Schwestern Jesu … comes to the following more conservative conclusion about the individual brothers, based on Patristic traditions, as well as an analysis of Biblical texts: … James ... was visited by Paul, who mentions James as a “brother of the Lord” in Galatians. He was not an apostle".

Galatians 1:19: "But other of the apostles I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord." (compare with Acts 12:1-3: “Herod the king … killed James, the brother of John … and … proceeded to take up Peter also.”).
According to The Scripture, James, the brother of The Lord, was an Apostle (as were James, the brother of John, and Peter). He was James the son of Alpheus (Matthew 10:3) since James, the brother of John, was the son of Zebedee (Matthew 10:3).
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written by Nick, May 16, 2011
RE,

Yes, the disciples believed Christ, in the beginning, after the miracle at Cana. But, after He told them they would have to eat HIs flesh and drink His blood, in chatpter 6, many disciples no longer believed Him.

"Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it,said: 'This saying is hard; and who can hear it?' But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: 'Does this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But THERE ARE SOME OF YOU THAT BELIEVE NOT.' For Jesus knew from the BEGINNING WHO THEY WERE THAT DID NOT BELIEVE and who he was that would betray him. And he said: 'Therefore did I say to you that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.'AFTER THIS, MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES WENT BACK AND WALKED NO MORE WITH HIM." (Emphasis mine.)
- Gospel of Saint John 6:60-66

Also, are you claiming that the Apostles and disciples believed Christ's teachings that He would suffer, die, and rise on third day? If so, why were they all surprised when it all came true?
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written by Re, May 16, 2011
Nick: “This is what Christ's brethren didn't believe, in Saint John's Gospel 7:5, that the Messiah was to suffer, die, and rise on the third day.”.
John 7:5 says: “For neither did his brethren believe in him.” while John 7:31 says: “But of the people many believed in him and said: When the Christ cometh, shall he do more miracles than this man doth?”.

The Apostles who were closest to Jesus didn't understand what was to happen to Jesus (Luke 18:34). Much more other people who also believed in Jesus didn't believe, at that time(!), what you wrote. Jesus' brothers obviously didn't believe much more. Hence your claim cannot be true.

Nick: “Yes, the disciples believed Christ, in the beginning, after the miracle at Cana. But, after He told them they would have to eat HIs flesh and drink His blood, in chatpter 6, many disciples no longer believed Him.”.
John 6:68-71: “Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? … we have believed and have known that thou art the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve? And one of you is a devil.”.

Many disciples left Jesus but not all and not the Apostles. Jesus told the Apostles at the Last Supper: “you are with me from the beginning” (John 15:27) i.e. from/through Cana until now. And James, the brother of The Lord, was an Apostle. He couldn't be James of the four Jesus' brothers (who didn't believe in Jesus) for if he had been then John would have written “neither did MANY OF his brethren believe in him” as he wrote and you quoted: “MANY OF his disciples … walked no more with him.” (John 6:67; EMPHASES mine).
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written by Howard Kainz, May 16, 2011
@Re: I didn't know this thread was still going. In regard to Galatians 1:19, Paul says he had seen Peter, but "I did not see any of the other apostles [besides Peter], only James the brother of the Lord." This doesn't imply that James was an Apostle, but just the opposite.
You are using a different translation. The Greek is "eteron de twn apostolwn ouk eidon ei mh iakwbon ton adelfon tou kuriou." Other translations I've seen translate ei mh, as "only" or "I only saw..." "ei mh" is a conjunction which can be either adversative, meaning "but I did see James" or exceptive, meaning "except for James." Since the exceptive meaning might imply that would mean that there was some third apostle named James, son of "the other Mary," the other meaning is closer to the context.
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written by Nick, May 17, 2011
Re,

Your argument is becoming confusing and contradictory.

Did you not try to use John 2:11 to claim that the disciples always believed in Christ? As compared to his brethren, who didn't? Also, where is it written that His brethren "obviously didn't believe much more?"

You state that James the Apostle was the "brother of the Lord" (with which I agree.) But, then you cite John 7:5 as if it is saying, "For neither did [ANY OF] His brethren believe in Him." How can this be? When James, the brother of Jesus, was an Apostle? Does this not mean that at least one brother of Christ DID believe in Him?

Also, John doesn't name the brethren in 7:5, so, we don't know to whom he was referring, do we?
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written by Re, May 17, 2011
Nick: “Did you not try to use John 2:11 to claim that the disciples ALWAYS believed in Christ? As compared to his brethren, who didn't? Also, where is it written that His brethren "obviously didn't believe much more?" (emphasis mine).

No. Some became disciples of Jesus as soon as they heard The Gospel, some disbelieved at first but later on became the disciples. Some were the disciples all the time since they had become the disciples, some not. No believing in Jesus, no disciple of Jesus.
James the brother of The Lord and the other ten Apostles (Judas Iscariot of course excluded) became disciples of Jesus as soon as He called them and were disciples all the time (John 15:27). James and the other Jesus' brothers didn't believe in Jesus (John 7:5) and thus weren't His disciples but after His Resurrection became His disciples (Acts 1:14). Thus there were two James, called “brother of Jesus”.
“NEITHER did his brethren believe in him” (John 7:5) says that also many other didn't believe in Jesus (John 7:43; Luke 2:34).
“obviously didn't believe much more” is conclusion which necessarily follows from the necessary difference between the two contrary sides.

You claimed that “didn't believe in Jesus” from John 7:5 meant only “didn't believe in His Passion and Resurrection that were to come”. But the very same didn't believe also those who “believed in Jesus”. Thus, according to you, there would be no difference between the two. Which cannot be true.
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written by Re, May 17, 2011
Nick: “You state that James the Apostle was the "brother of the Lord" (with which I agree.) But, then you cite John 7:5 as if it is saying, "For neither did [ANY OF] His brethren believe in Him." How can this be? When James, the brother of Jesus, was an Apostle? Does this not mean that at least one brother of Christ DID believe in Him? Also, John doesn't name the brethren in 7:5, so, we don't know to whom he was referring, do we?”

We know who they were from Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3. John didn't have to repeat what was already known.

If you carefully read what I wrote before you could see that unlike us The Scripture uses the term “brother” also for those of the same blood (at least half of it) who don't have even a single common parent (close relatives). Thus James was the brother of The Lord (close relative), an Apostle and always believed in Jesus and wasn't James of the four Jesus' brethren who didn't believe in Jesus until His Resurrection (Acts 1:14).
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written by Re, May 17, 2011
Howard Kainz: There were only Jesus and the eleven Apostles in Gethsemani (Matthew 26:20,30,36). When Judas Iscariot came to betray Jesus he said to the mob he would show them Jesus by kiss (Matthew 26:48). The Church has always taught as it is only reasonable: it was because of one of the Apostles, who was physically very much like Jesus.

It was no one of the four Jesus' brothers since they didn't believe in Jesus (John 7:5) until His Resurrection (Acts 1:14) while the Apostles always believed in Jesus (John 15:27). Except them there is only this James that is called “brother of The Lord” by The Scripture (Galatians 1:19) and could thus have a good reason for great physical similarity to Jesus.

James the brother of The Lord from Galatians 1:19 must be the same James mentioned in Galatians 2:9 with Cephas (Peter) and John as “pillar (of The Church)” since no ordinary disciple called James would merit special mentioning by name by Paul in Galatians 1:19 in the very same sentence where the (Twelve) Apostles are mentioned. And “pillar” can only be one of The Twelve Apostles where there were only two James, not three or more.

James the brother of John (a.k.a. James the Greater by The Church) was already dead (Acts 12:1-3) when Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:9 mentioned James as one of the “pillars” (it was 17 years(!) after Paul's conversion at Damascus: see from Galatians 1 and 2). Thus James the brother of The Lord can only be Apostle James the son of Alpheus (a.k.a. James the Less by The Scripture: Mark 15:40) and the writer of Epistle of James.

Hence it was because of James the Less, the son of Alpheus, the brother of Jesus, one of The Twelve Apostles and the one mentioned in Galatians 1:19 and 2:9, why Judas Iscariot had to show Jesus to the mob in Gethsemani.
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written by Nick, May 19, 2011
Re,

Does your interpretation that John 7:5 ONLY includes the four brothers of Christ, and not James the Less, the brother of Jesus, have any corroboration in any other Scripture, or any of the early Church Fathers?
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written by Re, May 19, 2011
Nick: "Does your interpretation that John 7:5 ONLY includes the four brothers of Christ, and not James the Less, the brother of Jesus, have any corroboration in any other Scripture, or any of the early Church Fathers?"

Individual Church Fathers sometimes made no small mistakes. Only when they were unanimous their teaching was regarded as teaching of The Church by all Christians.

It is absolutely certain that there can be no proof for unanimity of The Church Fathers on the claim that James the Less together with the four Jesus' brethren didn't believe in Jesus. Because James the Less was an Apostle and, as was shown, believed in Jesus when those four brethren didn't. The Church, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), cannot teach against the truth.

Whether there were other Jesus' brothers (close relatives: see previous comments) who didn't believe in Jesus is not important. We know the four who didn't believe in Jesus but believed in Him after His resurrection (Acts 1:14).
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written by Nick, May 20, 2011
Re,

I was just curious, I wasn't sure. This discussion is fairly new to me. How about your claim that Christ resembled James, His brother, do you have corroboration for this from Scripture or the Fathers?
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written by Daniel, May 22, 2011
With the basic mistake , Howard Kainz , of placing the wrong brother of John within Acts 12 . 2 , you have no continuity of scripture . Do you not see that you read something in Acts 12 . 2 that is not there ? Do you see son of Zebedee written there ?

Can not anyone see who the other brother of John Zebedee
named James is ?

Who is not blind ?
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written by Howard Kainz, June 04, 2011
@Daniel: Yes, James the Apostle in Acts 12:2 is the son of Zebedee and brother of John, but this James is not James the son of "the other Mary," who was a brother of Jesus but not an Apostle. I think the confusion comes from assuming that James the brother of the Lord in Gal. 1:19 is an Apostle, but he was not. As I have argued above, the two meanings of the Greek conjunction have to be taken into account in translating 1:19.
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written by Daniel, June 06, 2011
Howard , thanks for your reply , although you haven ' t answered the question : Can you see who the other brother of John Zebedee named James is ?

You do realize that John bar Zebedee has two brothers named James ?

You do see the term applied to this kind of ( other ) brother ?

James the Less , also named James bar Alphaeus , ( who was brought up with the Lord ) - the son of Mary of Clopus ; is one of the Twelve Apostles .

James , the Brother of the Lord , named by Paul at Gal . 1 . 19 . is an Apostle , one of The Twelve - on Paul ' s authority : besides Peter , ' other of the apostles saw I none , save James the Lord's brother . '
Paul called him an Apostle , and in context , - one of the
Twelve .

Ref . Epiphanius , on James the Less , brother of The Lord .

Origen : on Gal . 1 . 19 . - Paul 's reasoning , for calling James The Lord's brother .
( Regarding continuity . )



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written by Daniel, June 06, 2011
Redaction references ( for the post above , June 6 ) , are from : Epiphanius : Panarion 29 - record shows James the Less and Judas his brother , were brought up with The
Lord .

Origen : Contra Celsus Bk 1 . ch 47 - record shows this James at Gal . 1 . 19 . was described by Paul as the
Lord ' s Brother on account of his virtue and doctrine -
one of merit ; and not of upbringing , or nearness of blood ( kin ) .
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written by Daniel, June 16, 2011
Contrasting the mistake of reading something and giving to it credence , when it is not there , - { son of Zebedee is not written at Acts 12.2 , above May 22 , } - there is the mistake of reading something written and giving to it
credence , - when it doesn't belong there .

In deference to John 19 : 25 in which Mary , " wife " of Clopas is quoted , - " wife " is an added word from the translators .

Do enlightened readers presume that John bar Zebedee , the Apostle and original scribe , would n ' t know who the kin of his foster brother were ?

Alphaeus , was the son of Clopas , and so his wife Mary , or Mariame , or Miriam or such , the younger sister of the Virgin Mary , was called Mary of Clopas , { belonging to that family or clan } , - for recording purposes , to differentiate between both Marys being of , or belonging
to the family of , Joachim and Anna , grandparents of The Lord .

By making a father in law an husband , disorder is created in the family ties , and so there is no continuity of scripture in this instance also .

Ref ' s : Papias : Fragments X ; scholars of Professor Howard Kainz ' station - on Aramaic and Jewish differences for the same name - ( Mary ).




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written by Daniel, June 22, 2011
When you , Howard , bring into account the extended meaning of terms , such as brothers in the case of James bar Alphaeus and John bar Zebedee , { both given or foster sons of The Virgin Mary and therefore brothers } ; you can jibe Matthew 27:56 with Mary , wife of Alphaeus .
James Alphaeus is her stepson . Joses is her stepson James' foster brother and so she is Joses' extended mother . In the verse , she is primarily James' mother , and then more distant mother of Joses . Even with Joses , by far being the elder , he is listed second .
And so in this instance , one would set it down as the meticulous recording of Matthew , ( his trade ) , over any recension of translators in substituting Joses for Judas .

Ref. 1. History of the Nativity of Mary ; The History of Joseph the Carpenter . 2. Deuteronomy 13:6 ; Leviticus 18:6 ff , Leviticus 20:17 ff . - concerning extended kin and Law .
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written by Daniel, July 05, 2011
With James the Less , - a commemorative name , - in place at Acts 12 : 2 ; we have continuity of Scripture . The Scriptures come alive with harmony .

The Lord ' s chosen three , Peter , James , and John , show forth the Godhead in the New Testament . They follow on from the three in the Old Testament , Abraham , Issac , and Jacob . We have the three strong of the Twelve Patriarchs . And the three strong of the Virgin Mary ' s virgins .

The Virgin Mary has alive James bar Zebedee , the son of thunder , at her Assumption . James the Less is brought as a Martyr to her Assumption .

Thereupon , James the Just is then more fully revealed by The Lord ' s testament in James' Apocalypse .

And thereupon the The Lord ' s brothers are revealed .

Refs . 1 . Of the Life of The Virgin , Forbes Robinson . 2. The History of the Virgin Mary , W . Wright .






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written by sue, July 17, 2011
I was Catholic and things didn't make sense to me until I became a born again Christian. As I became knowledgeable on the scriptures, I began questioning my earlier teachings. I attended a funeral at a Catholic Church and found a panphet that said that Mary was physically taken to heaven. Certainly, Mary was chosen. She was blessed "Among" women, not, "Above". She herself needed salvation, she said so. I find this chat helps me with the inner knowledge I have gain throughout the 40 years I've been a Christian.
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written by Jesse, March 26, 2012
I'll use one verse to end this discussion: "... for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23
If Mary was indeed sinless then it would have been MARY who was sacrificed on a Roman cross and it would have been MARY who rose from the dead 3 days later and it would be MARY who sits at the right hand of the Father and it would be MARY who is coming again (soon) to judge the living and the dead. Mary, however, sinned when here and her sons showed unbelief in Jesus (see Matthew 12:46-48, where Jesus points out his mother and brothers NOT adhering to the will of God). Unbelief is sin. This argument over Mary's "perpetual virginity" needs to seriously stop once and for all ... virginity does NOT constitute a sinless life. The end. Period. I'm tire of all this blasphemy of God's Holy Spirit and the reverence of the mother of Jesus, who may have remained a virgin (highly unlikely because then Joseph would have become an adulterer by giving into his lust and then having slept with other women) but again VIRGINITY DO DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A SINLESS LIFE. Only God knows why Mary was chosen but it was NOT because of her lack of sin... utter nonsense for those who believe that.
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written by Steve, June 02, 2012
Having been raised Catholic & having studied the Scriptures, I have come to the conclusion that 'the Word of the Lord' (the Bible) supports the belief that the 'brothers & sisters' of Jesus in Matthew 12:46-50 & Matthew 13:54-57 are Jesus' half-brothers & sisters, & NOT referring to His disciples, cousins, or spiritual brothers & sisters:

First, Matthew 13:54-57 gives us their names: James, Joses (Joseph), Simon, & Judas (Jude). They are clearly brothers, since they are part of a family unit, with the father, 'the carpenter' (Joseph) & Mary, their mother.

Second, at the cross, Mary the wife of Alphaeus (aka: Clopas), who is the mother of James the Less & Joses (Joseph) are mentioned (Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25-27). James is the son of Alphaeus (Matthew 10:3). However, James & Joseph are never paired in Scripture as 'brothers' of Simon & Judas (Jude). So, they are 'not' the 'James & Joseph' in Matthew 13:54-57.

Third, at the cross Salome (Mark 15:40) is the sister of Jesus' mother (Mary) (John 19:25-27) & the mother of Zebedee's sons (Matthew 27:55-56). Zebedee's sons are James & John (Mark 10:35). However, James & John are never paired in Scripture as 'brothers' of Simon & Judas (Jude). So, this 'James' is 'not' the same 'James' in Matthew 13:54-57.

Third, since the 'James' who is the 'son of Mary & Zebedee' & since the 'James & Joses (Joseph)' who are the sons of 'Mary & Alphaeus (Clopas)' are NOT the same 'James & Joses (Joseph)' who are the brothers of Simon & Judas (Jude) in Matthew 13:54-57, then these 'brothers' in this verse are sons of Mary & Joseph, & Jesus' half-brothers.

Fourth, in Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus compares his 'believing brothers' by pointing to his disciples INSIDE, with his 'non-believing brothers' OUTSIDE (compare to John 7:3-5 & Psalm 69:8).

Fifth, Jesus makes a distinction between his brothers & his BELIEVING disciples (John 2:12).

Sixth, these 'brothers' in Matthew 13:54-57 aren't Jesus' cousins, because the Greek words for 'cousins' ('synggenes' & 'anepsios') used in Luke 1:36 & Colossians 4:10 are not used in Matthew 13:54-57, or anywhere else by Jesus to give us the impression that His 'brothers' in this verse are actually His cousins.

Sixth, the Greek word for 'brothers' & 'sisters' (adelphos & adelphe) can mean LITERAL blood brothers, such as James the BROTHER (adelphos) of John, & Martha & Mary the SISTERS (adelphe) of Lazarus.

So, using the Word of the Lord (the Bible), which cannot be wrong, & comparing it to church tradition (which 'can' be wrong), the most correct understanding of Jesus' 'brothers & sisters' in Matthew 13:54-57 is that they were his LITERAL half-brothers & sisters. Therefore, Joseph kept Mary a virgin UNTIL she gave birth to Jesus (Matthew 1:24-25), & then had at least 6 children together (4 sons & at least 2 'unnamed' daughters).
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written by Michelle, June 23, 2012
@Mick Lee: I find it interesting that you keep pulling from Luther's tradition who himself was a mere man but object when the Catholics utilize the tradition of the church. I find it ironic that you can sever that relationship with the Catholics when in fact the Sola Scripture Lutherans so love in fact get their Biblical Cannon from the Catholic church. My question is this: How do you even know that the Biblical Cannon is correct if you do not adhere to at least some of the authority of the Catholic church? Interesting.
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written by David Hughes, October 31, 2012
Was Mary "ever virgin"? Much has been debated on the dogma that Mary was "ever virgin", which became Church doctrine in the seventh-century. The dogma has brought into question the identities of Jesus’ (so-called) "brothers" and "sisters", of which there are three major views: (a) the Protestant view [expoused by Helvidius] is that they were the later children of Joseph and Mary; which is based on the text "she gave birth to her firstborn son" (Lk 2:7), however, this does not imply that there were later born children, for the grave of the first-century Jewish woman, Arsinoe, found near Leontopolis, Egypt, dated 5BC, gives the inscription saying that the woman had died giving birth to her "firstborn" child, and, if she died giving birth to her "firstborn", obviously she had no more children, hence, according to Jewish usage, the first to open the womb (Ex 13:1,12; Num 3:12) was the "firstborn", whether or not any other children were afterwards born; too, the word "firstborn", i.e., "prototokos", is sometimes used as the equivalent to "monogenes", i.e., "only born" (Ps 13:8; 18:4; IV-Ezra 6:58); (b) the Catholic view [theorized by St. Jerome] is that they were His cousins, that is, the children of either Joseph’s brother Ptolas, which is the more probable case, or the children of Joseph’s brother Clopas, which is a preposterous solution for it identifies His "brothers" with His "disciples". The "brothers" of Jesus are always spoken of separately from His disciples, and they appear in the Bible as two separate groups (Mk 6:13-35; Jn 6:66-7:10; & Acts 1:14). The most feasible scenario is that upon the early death of Ptolas his widow Escha moved into the home of her "in-laws", Joseph and Mary, and soon afterwards died herself leaving behind her young children to be brought-up by them; and (c) the Orthodox view [theorized by Epiphanius] is that they were Joseph’s children either by a previous marriage [which view has many difficulties] or by a "levirate marriage" [which is not improbable]; the possibility that Joseph had children of his brother’s [Ptolas’] widow, Escha, in a "levirate marriage" (Dt 25:5) though also married to Mary would not be contrary to Jewish practice of the time. That they were not Mary’s children is suggested by Jesus’ provision for His mother (Jn 19:26), for that would not have been necessary if they were her children. Too, that Mary’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, claimed her son’s, Jesus’ body, on her behalf as her next-of-kin, suggests the same. For, the authorities would never have given Jesus’ body away, which they were then arguing about how to dispose of it, either of burying it in "the potter’s field" or burning it in the trash heaps outside the city’s gates, except for the Jewish law that gave the next-of-kin the right to claim the corpse, and had to turn the body over to Joseph of Arimathea, Mary’s uncle. It seems that the early Church elders did not have all of the facts, for as late as the second century they were still assuming that Jesus’ "brothers" and "sisters" were his half-siblings, and that their mother was Mary, who later begot them by Joseph, their father. It is Origen (185-254), who, in the third century, says otherwise, due perhaps to recently discovered documents or due perhaps to the growing reverence to Mary.
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written by Terik Ororke, October 26, 2013
Compare the new Moses, Jesus, to the Moses of the old Testament. Some Christians claim that James of Jerusalem and other close relatives of Jesus (perhaps brothers) were in positions of authority. Jesus would have followed the lead established by Moses but forfeited by the Kings that eventually followed and who were interested in blood lines. Moses did not pass on authority to his own sons or to Aaron, his bgrother.Instead he passed it to Joshua. The words of Jesus as to who is closest to him make good sense, and while they do not exclude his relatives, they too must abide by them and not claim relationship based on physical realites.
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written by ryan, November 10, 2013
Please stop arguing about it.
Does it matter whether or not
the savior we all on this page
believe in had brothers? He did
his bid on earth and got out.
Now we get to do the same.
So live and love while your
here. Peace homies.
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written by Stacey, January 11, 2014
IF Joseph had other children then prior to marrying Mary then:

1)Why is there no mention of them?

2) Why arethey not mentioned in Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-7) or their trip to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15) or their trip back to Nazareth (Matthew 2:20-23)?

3) Why wouldn't he take them for census?

I contend Jesus did indeed have brothers and sisters. James and Jude, his brothers wrote the epistles. There were three main James in the NT, James, son of Alph, James son of Zeb, then James, brother of Jesus.

Thoughts?


Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Je...z2q7fOYyOn
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written by bob, January 16, 2014
On judgement day we will not be asked did you believe the perpetual virginity of Mary. We may well be asked why did you spend so much time arguing about things you did not understand and so little on preaching the gospel as you were commanded.
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written by Mort, February 24, 2014
Bob makes a great point. As an Eastern rite Byzantine Catholic, I have always been amazed at how truly devout Catholics can get hung up on what effectively amounts to theological minutiae. It is interesting and there should be a continuing debate among theologians but neither Catholics nor our Orthodox and Protestant brothers and sisters should allow these disagreements to detract from spreading the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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