Did Jesus have any brothers, sisters or siblings?
Throughout history, there has been great debate about the precise nature of their link to Jesus and his apostles. Consequently, the issue remains: Did Jesus have siblings? There have been three main points of view put forward: They have been identified as (1) Jesus’ actual siblings/brothers, that is, half-brothers, sons of Joseph and Mary (and therefore younger than Jesus); (2) His stepbrothers, that is, children of Joseph by a previous marriage (and thus all older than Jesus and not His blood relatives at all); (3) Jesus’ cousins, either on the mother’s side or on the father’s side, depending on who you believe.
Where exactly was Jesus’ birthplace?
Three views about Jesus’ siblings
Some adhere to the first viewpoint, arguing that it is the most natural way to interpret the multiple allusions to these brothers, as well as the most evident intention of Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7. Second, those who believe in family ethics claim that younger siblings should not be permitted to mock or otherwise interfere with an older brother in the same way that Jesus’ brothers ridiculed Him (see Mark 3:31; John 7:3-4). Moreover, they argue, Jesus’ decision to entrust His mother’s care to the apostle John (John 19:26-27), rather than to one of His brothers, clearly shows that Mary did not have any other children.
Their relationship as cousins on Mary’s side is predicated on the unconfirmed identification of “Mary, the wife of Cleophus” with Mary’s sister (John 19:25; Mark 15:40), as well as the unsubstantiated relationship between “Clopas” and Alphaeus (John 19:25; Mark 15:40).
Jesus’ brothers, sistersmother
Several of Jesus’ siblings are reported as joining him and his mother to Capernaum following their marriage at Cana (Matthew 19:9). (John 2:12). The next year, Mary and these brothers are mentioned as attempting to have an audience with Jesus (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21). A few chapters before the conclusion of Jesus’ public career, His brethren are recorded as asking Jesus to demonstrate His Messiahship, which they themselves had questioned (John 7:3-5). Their conversion is obvious from the fact that they are portrayed in Acts as joining with the disciples and others in “prayer and supplication” before to the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–3).
Paul makes the implication that they were all married (1 Corinthians 9:5).
Also widely held to be the case is that James the brother of Jesus was the spiritual leader of the early church in Jerusalem (see Acts 12:17; 15:13).
How Many Brothers and Sisters Did Jesus Have?
When it came to Joseph and Mary’s household in Nazareth, who was there? Are we to believe that Jesus was an only child in the family, or if there were brothers and sisters, what was their status in regard to Him? His siblings and sisters are frequently mentioned by the gospel authors. What were the names of Jesus’ siblings? This is a matter that has been debated since the beginning of time, and many lengthy writings have been published on the subject. Due to theological reasons related to the perpetual virginity of the Lord’s mother, denominational difficulties, and the canonicity of non-apostolic epistles, it has been difficult to have an objective discussion on the subject.
Assuming that we will ignore them for the time being, and that we will refrain from making any wild assumptions, let us endeavor to put the topic in its more significant aspects fairly before us.
Bible Verses about Jesus’ Brother and Sisters
Let us begin by summarizing what we know about the brothers and sisters of the Lord from the Scriptures of the New Testament. Their names are found in Matthew 12:46-50, 13:55-56, Mark 3:31, 6:3, and Luke 8:19, as well as John 2:12, 7:3, Acts 1:14, and 1 Corinthians 9:5, and Paul refers to a James the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19). There appear to have been four brothers who are listed in Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, according to the evidence (seeMark 6:3). The sisters are mentioned in Matthew and Mark, although neither the number nor the names of the sisters are recorded.
- They were reportedly married and living in Nazareth at the time of Christ’s death.
- They are first described as traveling to Capernaum with His mother and Himself (John 2:12).
- Most claim that they were converted to Christianity as a result of His resurrection, since they appear in the company of the Apostles (Acts 1:14).
- The following is an adaptation of The Life of Our Lord on the Earth by Samuel James Andrews.
Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?
Those of us who have siblings are well aware of the toll they may have on our ability to remain calm under pressure. I recall thinking as a youngster that I would have sinned significantly less if I had not been given siblings. I was probably right. Of course, knowing me, I would’ve sinned regardless, but I had a strong belief in this idea for many years before I realized it. Our first thoughts aren’t often about Jesus’ brothers and sisters; they’re more typically on Jesus himself. As a result, we tend to think of Jesus as an only child throughout his early years, in a stable and a manger, which makes it easy to overlook that Mary and Joseph had numerous children after Jesus arrives.
This would indicate that they may have had a number of children before Joseph died, if not enough to fill an entire homeschool passenger van.
But who are the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ? Are there any of them that we get the chance to meet in the Bible? And what unanticipated insights may we get from Jesus’ brothers and sisters?
Did Jesus Have a Twin?
In a nutshell, no. After the birth of Jesus, the Bible makes it plain that Joseph and Mary did not have sexual relations until after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25). Despite this, the belief that Jesus has a twin brother continues to pervade churches today. The notion that Jesus had a twin called “Didymus Judas Thomas” is completely absurd, especially in light of the fact that Joseph and Mary did not engage in sexual intercourse until after the birth of Jesus. Jesus, on the other hand, did not grow up in a family without siblings and sisters.
Let’s have a look at some of the names of Jesus’ brothers and sisters that appear in the Bible.
Jesus’ Brother and Sister Names
In the Bible, we don’t have any names that are similar to ours. Women’s names are rarely mentioned in the Bible, unless they had major parts in the story, such as the judge Deborah or Mary the mother of Jesus, who were both mentioned. Consider some of the scriptures that refer to Jesus’ brothers and sisters. While Jesus was still speaking to the multitude, his mother and brothers remained outside the door, waiting for an opportunity to speak with him. Matthew 12:46 As a result of the verses below, we know that Jesus had sisters.
- “How did he obtain all of these things?” you might wonder.
- What is now happening to some of these brothers will be discussed in detail later.
- The number of children he has is not specified in the Gospels.
- Joseph was most likely deceased, and she need Jesus to serve as the home’s head of household.
- Regardless of one’s objections, Scripture refers to these individuals as Jesus’ siblings, and for the sake of this essay, we will refer to them as half-siblings.
What Happened to Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters?
Although Mary initially supports Jesus’ work, when difficult circumstances arise, she urges him to step back and return home to care for his family, according to the Matthew 12verse. In the New Testament, we don’t learn anything about what happened to Jesus’ family until much later in the book of Matthew. The New Testament story is dominated by two of Jesus’ brothers, James and Jude, and we know that they play a significant role in it. As we have seen, James and Jude must have had some reservations about Jesus at initially since they arrive with Mary in order to stop Jesus from continuing his teachings.
- Following his conversion, James becomes the pastor of a church in Jerusalem, and he later goes on to write the Book of James.
- A stone or a fall from the Temple tower is used to bring him to his death.
- The Book of Jude, as you would have guessed.
- Beyond the fact that Jude converted after Jesus returned to the Father’s presence in heaven, we don’t know much about his life.
As far as the rest of Jesus’ siblings are concerned, we know that many of them have converted and gone on to perform missionary travels themselves (1 Corinthians 9:5). Whether or not they all decided to have a saving connection with him is unknown, but it is likely that a significant number do so.
3 Lessons from Jesus’ Brothers
In spite of the fact that we don’t get to learn much about Jesus’ siblings and sisters in Scripture, we may take away a number of important truths from them. First and foremost, Jesus’ relationship with his siblings demonstrates that he fully comprehends every element of our existence. He understands what it’s like to grow up in a family with folks who don’t always agree with you. Even though ancient Israel did not have the same individualistic worldview as we have now, there was nonetheless sibling rivalry and competitiveness between brothers and sisters.
- Second, even Jesus’ siblings expressed skepticism.
- Until after Jesus has ascended back into heaven, James and Jude do not accept him as their Lord and Savior.
- We may take consolation from Jesus’ example, knowing that even his own family did not stand by him during his trial.
- This might provide encouragement to those of us who have family members who have not yet made a commitment to Christ in their life.
- Both of them are New Testament authors that compose books for the New Testament.
- That exemplifies real dedication.
- In the end, many of us are stubborn and stubbornness can stand in the way of developing a positive relationship with others.
Perhaps, like Jesus’ half-brothers and half-sisters, they will come to understand the magnificent lovingkindness of our Lord.
When it comes to our siblings, we should ask God for patience and prayer.
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Did Jesus have brothers and sisters (siblings)?
QuestionAnswer More than a few verses in the Bible make reference to Jesus’ brothers. A visit by Jesus’ mother and brothers is recorded in three different Bible passages: Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31. The Bible teaches us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, according to the book of Matthew (Matthew 13:55). Although the Bible says that Jesus had sisters, they are neither named or counted in the book of Matthew (Matthew 13:56). In John 7:1-10, Jesus’ brothers accompany him to the feast, while he remains at home.
- James, according to Galatians 1:19, was Jesus’ younger brother.
- Some Roman Catholics believe that these “brothers” were actually Jesus’ cousins, rather than his siblings.
- While the word can apply to other relatives as well, its conventional and literal meaning is a physical brother in the traditional sense.
- If they were Jesus’ cousins, why were they so frequently represented as being with Mary, Jesus’ mother, if they were Jesus’ cousins?
- It is also possible, according to a second Roman Catholic theory, that Jesus’ brothers and sisters were the offspring of Joseph from a prior relationship.
- There is a difficulty with this because the Bible makes no mention of Joseph being previously married or having children before he married Mary.
- No scriptural basis exists to assume that these siblings are anything other than the biological children of Joseph and Mary, as is commonly believed.
- “And he named Him Jesus,” the Bible says (Matthew 1:25).
In God’s Word, there is a clear and unequivocal teaching on the subject of marriage. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) Is it possible that Jesus had brothers and sisters (siblings)?
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What Happened to Jesus’ ‘Brothers’?
Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! A number of “brothers and sisters” are referenced in the Gospels, but only James and Jude are mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament—James as the leader of the early church in Jerusalem, and Jude in the brief epistle that bears his name. See “Mary” for a potential meaning of “brothers and sisters.” According to the Gospel of John, Jesus’ family was first doubtful of his mission: “Even his brothers did not believe in him,” the Gospel reads.
At the Jerusalem Council, James, the eldest of Jesus’ brothers, made the decision that Gentile Christians did not have to follow traditional Jewish rules.
Some believe he led an austere lifestyle, and it has been stated that he spent so much time in prayer that his knees “were like those of a camel.” According to Jewish historian Josephus, James was stoned to death by Jewish religious authorities.
It is unknown if this James or someone else was the author of the epistle that bears his name.
The other disciples
Following the Gospels, the disciples are only briefly mentioned in the New Testament. We have only legends to go on for more specifics, some of which are questionable. Andrew, Peter’s brother, is said to have preached in Asia Minor, Thrace, and Greece before being crucified on an X-shaped cross, according to a tenth-century story. He was recognized as the founder of the church in Constantinople, and he may have had a connection to the development of written language. Congratulations, you have reached the conclusion of this Article Preview.
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Did Jesus Really Have Half-Siblings?
Jesus had at least four brothers, according to Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph (sometimes referred to as Joses), Simon, and Judas. James was the oldest of the brothers (also referred to as Jude). Matthew 13:56 indicates that he had at least two sisters, which is consistent with the plural form of the word “sister.” Despite the fact that the Greek term for “brothers” and “sisters” does not necessitate that someone be a blood related, it is most likely that these six persons are the offspring of Joseph and Mary and half-siblings of Jesus, according to tradition.
Why Is This Question So Controversial Among Christians?
Mary’s eternal virginity is at the heart of this debate, which has raged for more than two centuries. It is possible that Mary is eternally a virgin, in which case Jesus would have no biological relations. This offers the potential of Jesus having half-brothers and sisters if Mary remained a virgin until the birth of Jesus, but then began having sexual intercourse with her husband Joseph afterward. Because of Jesus’ virgin birth, Joseph was not his biological father, therefore they would act on his behalf as step-siblings.
- In the first place, it is important to note that Jesus’ siblings were offspring of Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born (referred to as the Helvidian view).
- Third, they were first cousins of Jesus, which was a great honor (the traditional Roman Catholic view).
- It is true that the Greek terms for “brothers” and “sisters” can be difficult to distinguish from one another, but there existed a word for “cousin” in the Bible.
- It is interesting to note that they are never referred to as Jesus’ cousins throughout the New Testament or the first two centuries of Christian history, which is surprising.
Why Are There Objections to Jesus Having Half-Brothers?
The dogma of Mary’s permanent virginity is the primary source of opposition to Jesus having half-siblings in the first place. From the early church through the Reformation, this idea was embraced by a large number of people. It is Matthew 1:25 that is important since it says, “but (Joseph) did not have sexual contact with her until she gave birth to a son.” “And he gave him the name Jesus” (CSB). In this case, the term “until” is at the core of the debate. This term signifies the conclusion of a span of time in a chronological sense.
Matthew 2:15 states that they remained in Egypt “until Herod’s death” (CSB), which is the identical term that is used in Matthew 1:25 and Matthew 2:13 as well.
The New Testament states that Mary remained a virgin until the birth of Jesus, but it makes no mention of whether or not she continued to be a virgin beyond this time.
Early Christian writings such as the Gospel of Peter (which was not actually written by Peter), the Protoevangelium of James (which was not actually written by any James in the New Testament), and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (which was not actually written by the Apostle Thomas), all of which date from the second century, appear to support this point of view.
There isn’t enough information to make a definitive determination on whether or not these youngsters are Mary’s biological offspring.
In the passage cited above, Matthew 1:25, it appears to indicate that Mary only remained a virgin until the birth of Jesus.
The way this line is written establishes a stronger connection between Mary and Jesus’ half-brothers than it does with Joseph.
In fact, Joseph (Mary’s husband) isn’t even mentioned by name in the text. As a result, these are most likely Mary’s offspring, as well as Jesus’ half-brothers and half-sisters.
What Do We Know about the Half-Siblings?
The most prominent half-sibling of Jesus was James. This is not to be confused with James the son of Zebedee, brother of John (seeMatthew 4:21). (seeMatthew 4:21). James the son of Zebedee was killed early in Christian history according toActs 12:2. Jesus’ half-brother James is referenced several times in the New Testament. BesidesMatthew 13:55, we know that Mary and Jesus’ brothers (probably including James) went to talk to Jesus while he was ministering (Matthew 12:46;Mark 3:31;Luke 8:19-20).
- John 2:12references a wedding that Jesus attended with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.
- John 7:3-5, 10, says that Jesus’ half-brothers did not believe in Him.
- Acts 12:17and 15:13 indicates that James was a leader of the church in Jerusalem.
- It’s possible that his conversion is related to Jesus appearing to James as referenced in1 Corinthians 15:7: “ Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles ” (CSB) (CSB).
- He also referred to James, Cephas (that is, Peter), and John as pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9), indicating that James was a leader in the church in Jerusalem when Galatians was written (probably around AD 49-50).
- Finally, most Evangelical scholars believe that the Letter of James was written by Jesus’ half-brother (seeJames 1:1).
- Early church history says that James remained the leader in the church in Jerusalem until he was martyred in AD 62.
Some early church historians believe that they were traveling missionari es.
This indicates that Jesus’ brothers were well-known by the Corinthians.
Jude refers to himself as a “servant of Jesus Christ,” causing some to doubt that he was Jesus’ half-brother.
In Eusebius’ church history, he provides an interesting story about the grandsons of Jude as they were brought before the emperor Domitian near the end of the first century.
Regarding Jesus’ other half-siblings, the New Testament has almost nothing definitive.
While great historical figures such as Augustine, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Wesley all appear to affirm this doctrine, the evidence in Scripture is lacking.
Since Jesus was not the biological child of Joseph, they are Jesus’ half-siblings.
His publications includeUrban Legends of the Old Testament(co-author with Gary Yates, B H, 2019),Urban Legends of the New Testament(B H, 2015),Tithing After the Cross(Energion, 2013), andYou Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe(Pickwick, 2010). (Pickwick, 2010).
How to Respond When People Say Jesus Had Brothers and Sisters
From the early days following the Resurrection, the Church has held that Mary was a perpetual virgin and that Jesus did not have any biological brothers or sisters, as was traditionally thought. The carpenter, son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, is this not the carpenter, and are his sisters with us?” “Are his sisters among us?” —Matthew 6:3 Is it possible that Jesus had siblings and sisters? Some people believe that the Gospel of Mark appears to support their claim.
- The subject is brought up once more in Luke 8:19-21.
- “Your mother and brothers are gathered outside, waiting to meet you,” the mob exclaims loudly.
- “Can you tell me who my mother and brothers are?” he inquires.
- On his blog, biblical historian James Tabor provides the names of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon, as well as Mary and Salome, according to some sources.
- So where did Catholics obtain the concept that Mary never had sexual relations or had any other children of her own?
- What is your brother’s name?
- We Christians are all “brothers in Christ,” as the phrase goes.
- The same is true in the Scriptures as well.
Consider the following verse from Genesis 13:8: For this reason, Abram replied to Lot, “Let us not have any quarrels among ourselves or between your herders and mine, for we are brothers.” Despite the fact that Abraham and Lot are not biological siblings, the title “brother” is used to describe them since they are uncle and nephew.
- Without a doubt, Paul was not attempting to make the assertion that Mary had given birth to more than 500 children!
- What occurred to the Twelve following the Resurrection of Christ is known to us from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, as well as from historical documents.
- We know how they died, and we know where they are laid to rest.
- Nope, not a thing, zilch.
- As he lay dying, Jesus handed Mary over to John the Baptist.
- And then he turned to face John and said, “Behold your mother.” And it was at that point that the disciple welcomed her into his house (John 19:26-27).
- And wouldn’t they have taken on the task of caring for their mother by welcoming her into their own homes?
Another clue: The “brothers” of Jesus mentioned in John 2:1 and Acts 1:14 are never referred to as Mary’s offspring, despite the fact that Jesus himself is.
There is yet more reason, though, to conclude that Mary did not have any further children after Joseph and Mary.
Consider the promise made by Jesus, who said that he would send the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to lead his Church and keep her safe from error.
However, we do have Christ’s promise that he would be with us forever, until the end of time.
Mary was thought to be a perpetual virgin from the very beginning of the Church’s belief in the Resurrection, and Jesus was believed to have no biological brothers or sisters from his birth.
Saint Joseph was an elderly widower with children, according to the Protoevangelium, and he had been selected by the angel Gabriel to be Mary’s spouse in order to care and protect Mary while also observing her vow of virginity.
Many people in the Orthodox Church today believe this to be true as well.
383 wrote: “You assert that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim even more than Joseph himself, on account of Mary being a virgin, so that from a virgin marriage a virgin son was born.” And in the following century, Pope St.
Did Jesus have brothers and sisters?
The lone kid is frequently given a negative reputation. People who grow up without siblings are often stereotyped as entitled and self-important, and this is especially true among those of us who have at least one sibling or two of our own to compare them to. Even though Jesus appears to have behaved as if he were an only child at times in the gospels, all four of the gospel writers make some mention of his brothers and sisters. As recorded in Mark, a large group of people confronted Jesus and said, “Isn’t this the carpenter?
- Isn’t he the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
- When a throng assembled to hear Jesus speak is informed that “your mother and your brothers are standing outside, yearning to see you,” Jesus famously dismisses them, saying, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it” (8:19-21).
- After the virgin birth of Jesus, another fourth-century theologian, Helvidius, wrote that Mary had additional children with her husband, Joseph, which sparked the first documented debate between St.
- However, according to St.
- These children of Mary, according to Jerome, were descended from Mary of Clopas, Jesus’ aunt and his mother’s sister, thereby making them cousins of the Savior himself.
- Advertisement In addition, Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis and a contemporary of Jerome and Helvidius, drew attention to another alternative.
- When it comes to the birth of Jesus, Joseph is never mentioned, leading some to conclude that he was considerably older than Mary and that he died before Jesus began his public career.
- This is not the first time that this has been suggested.
- In their writings, the New Testament writers did not provide a clear picture of what first-century Christians believed about Mary’s virginity following the birth of Jesus, assuming they provided any information at all.
- This article is also accessible in Spanish for those who prefer to read it that way.
This story first published in the December 2013 issue of United States Catholic (Vol. 78, No. 12, page 46). Do you have a question you’d like to have addressed? Inquire with us at [email protected]! Image courtesy of Flickr user Nicole O’Neil Photography.
Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?
The only kid is frequently given a poor rap by the rest of the family. People who grow up without siblings are often stereotyped as entitled and self-important, and this is especially true among those of us who have at least one or two siblings. At times in the gospels, Jesus may have behaved as if he were an only child, yet the gospel writers make mention to his brothers and sisters at least once each. As recorded in Mark, a large group of people confronted Jesus and said, “Isn’t this the carpenter?
- Isn’t he the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
- When a multitude assembled to hear Jesus speak is informed by a member of the audience, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, yearning to see you,” Jesus famously refuses them, saying, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (8:19-21).
- Helvidius, another fourth-century theologian who had stated that Mary had additional children with Joseph after the virgin birth of Jesus and St.
- However, according to St.
- They were cousins because, according to Jerome, they were descended from Mary of Clopas, Jesus’ aunt and his mother’s sister.
- Advertisement In addition, Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis and a contemporary of Jerome and Helvidius, tossed another idea into the mix.
- Outside of the birth of Jesus, Joseph is never mentioned, leading some to conclude that he was considerably older than Mary and that he died before Jesus began his public ministry.
- This is not the first time that this has been speculated about.
- There is no clear image of what first-century Christians felt about Mary’s virginity after the birth of Jesus, if any details are left at all, in the New Testament writers’ writings.
- In addition to English, this article is accessible in Spanish.
In the December 2013 edition of United States Catholic, there was an article titled (Vol. 78, No. 12, page 46). Want to obtain an answer to a question you’ve been pondering? Write to [email protected] with any questions or comments! Nicole O’Neil Photography has shared a photo on Flickr.
- As a result of a prior marriage, there were children born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born, resulting in His younger brothers and sisters (natural half-brothers and sisters)
- These were the offspring of Joseph from that previous marriage (step-brothers and sisters). This was the point of view of Epiphanius, a fourth-century supporter of Mary’s everlasting virginity who held this belief. It was also the point of view of the classical scholar Jerome at the time. The famous scholar Joseph Barber Lightfoot, among others, has defended this point of view in modern times, stating that they were cousins of Jesus rather than genuine brothers and sisters. They were the sons of Cleopas, who was purportedly Joseph’s brother or brother-in-law
- They were the sons of Cleopas
- And they were the sons of Joseph.
The manner in which they are labeled is one of the reasons why some people feel they were not the offspring of Joseph and Mary. According to Mark 6:3, Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Mary,” and he is distinguished from the other named brothers as well as the other female siblings. In the Upper Room, There Was a Dispute Among those present in the upper chamber were “Mary, Jesus’ mother, and. his brothers” (Acts 1:14). They were referred to as Hisbrothers rather than her sons in this context.
- SummaryJesus had four brothers and at least two sisters, according to the gospels.
- Though no one can be certain of the facts, it is reasonable to assume that the allusions to his younger brothers and sisters were made by him in the context of his genuine younger brothers and sisters.
- Later on, however, they rose to prominence as church leaders, with two of them (James and Jude) penning letters that were eventually included in the New Testament as a result of their efforts.
- However, there is no way to know for definite.
Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters? by Don Stewart
Question 15: Do you believe in the existence of Jesus Christ? The marriage of God and Mary that resulted in the birth of Jesus was the outcome of a supernatural union. At the time of Jesus’ conception, she was still a virgin. Some believe that Mary lived her entire life as a virgin, despite the fact that she married twice. According to this interpretation, Jesus would have been an only child. The Scriptures, on the other hand, reveal that Jesus had siblings and sisters of his own.
1. The Testimony of Matthew: Mary Did Not Remain a Virgin
Earliest and foremost, the first chapter of Matthew provides the first evidence that Mary was not a virgin after the birth of Jesus. When Joseph learned that Mary was expecting a child, he made the decision to quietly divorce her from the rest of the family. He had never had sexual intercourse with her and was well aware that the child was not his biological child. However, in a dream, an angel appeared to Joseph and informed him that his wife’s pregnancy had been brought about by God, through the Holy Spirit.
And he gave Him the name Jesus.
(Matthew 1:25 HCSB) (Holy Bible Study Bible) Following the birth of Jesus, Matthew 1:25 strongly suggests that Joseph and Mary had regular sexual intercourse after the birth of Jesus. As a result, this verse presents a compelling case against any notion of Mary’s permanent virginity.
Jesus Had Brothers and Sisters
Aside from that, Scripture bears witness to the fact that Joseph and Mary had additional children who were brothers and sisters to Jesus. We are told that Jesus’ brothers accompanied Him and His mother to Capernaum after this: “After this, He went down to Capernaum with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples, and they only stayed there for a few days,” the Bible says. The HCSB version of John 2:12 is a paraphrase. This occurred after they had attended a wedding at Cana of Galilee, where Jesus had been speaking.
The story goes that He was still speaking to the throng when His mother and brothers appeared outside, asking to speak with Him.
In fact, anybody who carries out the will of My heavenly Father is considered to be My brother, sister, and mother.” (12:46-50, HCSB) Matthew 12:46-50, HCSB In the Bible, it is stated unequivocally that Jesus had siblings and sisters.
2. The People at Nazareth Acknowledge Jesus’ Family
The people in His hometown of Nazareth became enraged when He claimed to be the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and we are told that His sisters were present when He made this claim: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” They were offended by him, to say the least. (Mark 6:3 New Revised Standard Version) They were well acquainted with His family. Four brothers and at least two sisters are mentioned by the audience.
3. Jesus’ Brothers Did Not Initially Believe in Him
The people in His hometown of Nazareth became enraged when He claimed to be the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and we are told that His sisters were present when He made this claim: “Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?” They were offended by him, and he took offense. (3:3 NRSV) (Mark 6:3) His family was well-known to them. Four brothers and at least two sisters are mentioned by members of the crowd as having died.
4. His Brothers Believe in Him after His Resurrection
All of this altered as a result of His resurrection from the grave. It has been reported that Jesus appeared to His brother James in the wilderness. After then, He was seen by James, and then by the rest of the apostles, according to Paul. (1 Corinthians 15:7 New King James Version) When we arrive on the Day of Pentecost, we find His brethren eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Holy Spirit’s power. According to the Bible, they all gathered together in prayer on a consistent basis, alongside the ladies and Mary, Jesus’ mother, as well as with his brothers.
(Acts 1:14 New International Version) There were several of his brothers present. This is most likely an indication that Jesus appeared to them in some way.
5. James Becomes a Leader in the Church
James rose to the position of active leader in the church. In reality, he served as the spiritual leader of the church in Jerusalem. He presided over a council that was assembled in Jerusalem at the time of his death. This is what we read about in the Book of Acts: After that, there was no more dispute, and everyone listened intently as Barnabas and Paul related the amazing signs and wonders that God had performed through them among the Gentiles. When they were finished, James stood up and said, “Brothers, pay attention to what I’m saying.” (Acts 15:12,13 New International Version) Paul made reference to James in one of his letters: “Three years later, I traveled to Jerusalem to pay a visit to Peter, where I remained with him for fifteen days.” The only other apostle I saw was James, the Lord’s brother, who was the only other apostle I saw.
- Paul writes in Galatians 1:18–19CEV: James was referred to as a “pillar of the church” by Paul, who equated his power to that of the apostles Peter and John.
- The backbone of the church, it is said, is comprised of these gentlemen.
- This was done to demonstrate that we were willing to collaborate with Gentiles and that they were willing to collaborate with Jews.
- According to James, “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes that are spread abroad,” he wrote Greetings.
- To everyone who has been selected and loved by God the Father, and who has been protected by Jesus Christ.
- ‘For whomever performs the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother,’ says Jesus.
6. There Are Three Views As to the Identity of Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters
In the first place, who were these real-life Jesus brothers and sisters? There are three different perspectives on their identities that have gained popularity. The following are the details.
View 1: They Were Younger Brothers and Sisters of Jesus
According to the first point of view, Mary and Joseph had children after Jesus was born to them. As a result, His younger siblings and sisters were the four brothers and two sisters that were described in the passage (natural half-brothers and sisters). This is, without a doubt, the most natural and straightforward approach to comprehending the entirety of the New Testament evidence. In the book of Luke, we learn the following regarding Jesus’ birth: “She gave birth to her first-born son.” There was no space in the inn for them, so she clothed him in baby clothes and lay him on a bed of hay to keep him comfortable.
While the term “firstborn” can refer to someone who is the most prominent, it can also refer to someone who is the first in time.
Everything is dependent on the situation. The fact that Mary and Joseph had children of their own after the birth of Jesus is compatible with all of the available evidence.
The Argument from Jesus’ Kingship
Additionally, it has been asserted that because of Jesus’ claim to David’s kingdom, He could not have had elder brothers and sisters. Jesus had to be the oldest son in order to be legally recognized as the lawful successor to the throne of David. This is a good way to convey the current situation.
The Promise to David
The promise made to King David was that his descendants would rule over Israel in perpetuity. This is mentioned in the First Chronicles. According to the Bible, “But the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘You have shed a great lot of blood and fought many wars.'” You are not permitted to construct a shrine in my honor since you have poured a huge lot of blood on the earth in front of me. Look, you’re going to have a boy who will grow up to be a calm guy. I will protect him from all of his adversaries from every direction.
- He will construct a shrine in my honor; he will be adopted as my son, and I will be adopted as his father.
- Through King David’s son Solomon, Matthew opens his gospel by tracing the lineage of Jesus Christ back to the beginning of time: This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David and the son of Abraham, as recorded in the Bible.
- David was the father of Solomon, and Solomon was the father of Rehoboam.
- Despite the fact that Mary was a descendant of David through David’s son Nathan, she was not a member of the royal line.
- Because the family of Joseph was the royal line, Jesus had to have been the eldest son of Joseph in terms of legal succession.
- The eldest son of that union would have been the legitimate successor to the kingdom if the situation had been reversed.
View 2: They Were Children of Joseph from a Previous Marriage
It has been speculated that the brothers and sisters who are listed were offspring of Joseph from a prior marriage, according to certain scholars (step-brothers and sisters). Consequently, Jesus would have been four years older than the boys and at least two years older than the sisters. One of the reasons why some people feel they were not the children of Joseph and Mary is because of the manner they are identified in a handful of different places.
Jesus Is the Son of Mary
In Mark 6:3, the Bible says Jesus is referred to as the ‘Son of Mary,’ and he is differentiated from the other brothers and sisters who are also mentioned.
However, the reason that He is referred to as Mary’s Son may be owing to the fact that Joseph, Mary’s husband, was no longer living at the time of His birth. That the other brothers and sisters were offspring of Joseph from a prior marriage is not implied by the evidence in any way.
They Are Called Jesus’ Brothers
“Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his siblings” were present in the upper room (Acts 1:14). They were referred to as His brothers rather than her sons in this context. Some have speculated that these were Joseph’s sons from a prior marriage, which has led to another round of speculation. This term, on the other hand, might just be a method of differentiating them from the rest of Jesus’ disciples. The fact that they were not Mary’s children does not necessarily rule out the possibility that they were.
It was also the point of view of the classical scholar Jerome at the time.
The difficulty arises, however, if this is the case, because the firstborn son is considered to be the legitimate heir to the kingdom.
This is one of several factors that appear to rule out the hypothesis that these two men were half siblings of Jesus from a prior marriage of Joseph, as has been suggested by others.
View 3: They Were Cousins Of Jesus, Not Brothers And Sisters
There has also been the suggestion that the brothers and sisters that are listed were really relatives of Jesus, rather than His actual siblings and sisters, which has been challenged. They were the sons of Cleopas, who was purportedly a brother or brother-in-law of Joseph, according to the biblical narrative. As evidence for this claim, look no farther than the use of the term ‘brother’ in Hebrew and Aramaic. In the Old Testament, the term “brother” is used to refer to close relatives: After this conversation, Abram said to his nephew Lot, “Let us not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, because we are brothers.” (Genesis 13:8 New International Version) Lot was actually Abraham’s nephew, according to legend.
(Genesis 14:16 New International Version) Jesus would be recognized as the firstborn Son of Joseph and the legitimate heir to the throne of David if this view were to prevail.
Which Solution Is Correct?
Despite the fact that all three answers have been proposed as viable, the conventional viewpoint is the only one that is consistent with the scriptural evidence. Consequently, we might assume that Jesus had biological siblings and sisters who were the biological children of Mary and Joseph.
Summary – Question 15Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?
The New Testament claims that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, was born to Mary, a virgin, as recorded in the Bible. The New Testament makes it plain that Jesus was not Joseph’s biological son, despite the fact that she was married to him at the time. However, because Joseph adopted Jesus, He was considered to be the legal son of Joseph, though not biologically. As a result, Jesus possessed all of the necessary qualifications to serve as the promised Messiah. According to the Scriptures, Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters in addition to his parents.
Throughout the history of the church, there have been three widely accepted viewpoints.
His actual younger brothers and sisters, as well as the offspring of Joseph and Mary, are the most obvious context in which to understand the references.
There is something more that should be recognized and appreciated.
Being the oldest son of Joseph would have provided Jesus with the necessary qualifications to fulfill his prophecy of coming as the anticipated Messiah.
Another reason to believe that the brothers and sisters of Jesus were born to Joseph and Mary after Jesus was born is the fact that they were born after Jesus was born.
As a result, Joseph was a widower at the time of his marriage to Mary.
According to a different point of view, they were relatives of Jesus.
The oldest Son of Joseph and Mary, and therefore legally in line for the kingdom, is permitted under this perspective, but there is no basis for concluding that this is what the gospel authors meant when they spoke of Jesus’ siblings and sisters.
As a result, the most reasonable interpretation is that they were Jesus’ younger brothers and sisters, who were born to Joseph and Mary shortly after His birth. As a result, Jesus would have had the necessary qualifications to be recognized as the prophesied Messiah.