Jesus Brothers and Sisters in the Bible

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    Lifted from another site,

    Brothers and Sisters of Christ?
    by Denis Keohane

    Would you willing to try a small test, to see what happens if you try a different approach to the Scripture? It will only take a few minutes, I promise, and we’ll use nothing but the Bible. It is based on the exegetical principle that any interpretation of Scripture must be done in harmony with all the other Scripture that speaks to that subject. In others words, it is ALL true. We have four Gospels, and one of the manifest blessings of that is that we can compare them, as small things in one or two can and do clarify for us what is in another. That is, of times, called Scripture interpreting Scripture.

    When Protestants insist that Mary had other children, they quote these verses, among others:

    Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”

    Mark 6:2-3 – “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?”

    Gal. 1:19 – “But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother”

    James, Joseph, Jude, and Simon – Blood Brothers of Jesus?

    These verses, importantly, actually named the Lord’s brothers, whereas all the others shown did not. That is why I suggest we look at these four men: James, Joses (or Joseph), Judeas (or Jude) and Simon.

    First …. James and Joseph

    Let’s begin with James. There are two men named James among the disciples. One, of course, is the brother of John and the son of Zebedee. This cannot be him then. So, this is the other James, called in Scripture James the less:

    Mark 15:40: “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joseph, and Salome.” (emphasis added)

    So James is indeed the son of a woman named Mary. Not only that, but Joseph is his brother. That’s two of the four, right? Then, in Matthew, reciting the names of the twelve:

    Matt 10:3: “…’James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus.” (emphasis added)

    This too is talking of James the Less, as the other James, son of Zebedee, is spoken of in the previous verse. It is NOT a trick or really that hard! Alphaeus is this James’ father, not Joseph, the husband of Mary, mother of the Lord.

    Now let’s do serious Bible Study, and go to Strong’s and the KJV (both Protestant, by the way).

    Go to that link, and search for these two passages, one at a time: Matt 10:3 and John 19:25. In the first, click the ‘C’ icon for the Strong’s Concordance, then click the Strong’s number for the name Alphaeus.

    Comes up ‘father of James the Less’.

    We knew that. Now hit the back button to start again with John 19:25. Go to the Concordance (‘C’ icon), then hit the number for Cleophas, and gosh: it comes up father of James the less!

    In other words, Alphaeus and Cleophas are simply two forms of the same name, and that is all we had to establish. Happens a lot in Scripture (John 11:16 Thomas, who is called Didymus; Acts 13:1 Simeon who was called Niger, etc…). So, James and Joseph are the sons of Cleophas (or Alphaeus) and a woman named Mary. Right?

    Now, remember when we read in Mark 15:40 where a Mary who was the mother of James the less was standing off from the Cross? Now go to John also speaking of those witnessing the Crucifixion:

    John 19:25: “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother (Mary) and His mothers sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” (emphasis added)

    Did you get that? That Mary, who was the mother of James the less, and of Joseph, from Mark 15:40, is the wife of Cleophas, the father of James the less, and she is called the ‘sister’ of Our Lord’s mother – Mary!

    This still leaves Jude and Simon, though, of the brothers named, right? The Protestant hypothesis is still hanging on by a thread! Two of the four ‘brothers’ have been identified as the children of parents other than Joseph and the Virgin Mary!

    Next … Jude

    Acts 1:13 “…James, the son of Alphaeus , and Simon Zelo’tes, and Jude the brother of James…” (emphasis added)

    There goes Jude out of the mix! Matter of fact, Jude says the same in his own epistle:

    Jude 1:1 “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James…” (emphasis added)

    It is not only NOT being held up that these brothers ‘may’ be Our Lord’s siblings, but that idea is being REFUTED by the Scripture, when one harmonizes the Gospels! We should also point out that the Scripture nowhere calls them Mary’s children.

    Lastly … Simon

    Oh wait! One more! There is still Simon, the fourth brother!

    Simon, called the Zealot, is identified as coming from Cana, not Nazareth as were Joseph, Mary and the Christ!

    Luke 6:15 “and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,” (emphasis added)

    Mark 3:18 “Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean…” (emphasis added)

    Matt 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. (emphasis added)

    Simon is a Cananean, while Jesus is a Nazarene!

    We see that Simon the Zealot being from Cana, and a ‘brethren’ or ‘brother’ of the Christ. Let’s go to John’s Gospel, chapter 2. Mary and Our Lord are invited to a wedding there! So, close business associates, maybe, of Joseph from the carpentry trade, or more likely – family, or brethren, relatives, are having this wedding! Like, maybe the Holy Family had actual kinfolk in Cana, be they cousins, in-laws, nephews, aunts, uncles, all of which are routinely called ‘brethren’!

    Remember what Mary said to the servants? She told them to ‘Do as He says.’

    Think about that a second? What would give this humble woman from Nazareth any position to so speak to the servants of someone else in an entirely different town, at their wedding? The simplest and most easily understood answer would be – she is a family relation to those giving the wedding feast..

    So Simon is from Cana, and a ‘brother’ of the Lord! He’s not a sibling though, but very likely related. And James, Joseph and Jude all have the same father and mother, and it is not Joseph and the Virgin Mary, but their mother is named Mary and called the sister of Jesus’ mother Mary. Even here ‘sister’ may not mean blood sibling, or we have two sisters with the same name in the same family.

    So, why do Protestants still want to convince everybody that where you read ‘brothers and sisters’ it is clearly intending blood siblings, in spite of what the Scripture shows?

    Sisters of Christ?

    We do also read about Our Lord’s sisters, correct? Maybe scriptures will bail the Protestants out on this?

    Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome (emphasis added)

    If this Mary, the wife of Cleophas, is the mother of James the less and Joseph, and also of Salome, then Salome could be called a sister of the Christ just as her blood brothers (same mother) could be called brothers of Christ, without being a sibling, right?

    Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

    As we can see, in every instance in which a brother or sister of Christ is named, each one can clearly be shown to be a son or daughter of someone other than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Now that’s the look from the Bible alone, and with serious respect for the word of God, not man’s opinion jumping to conclusions.

    Now, after you’ve searched the Scripture and studied it, and harmonized all the Scripture, maybe ask – why is the perpetual virginity of Mary important to the understanding of the eternal Divinity of Christ? What does it say about an important proof of His Godhead, enough that even Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Bullinger and Wesley all strongly proclaimed that doctrine, in the defense of Our Lord?

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