Did Jesus Have a family?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Elizabeth May, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Elizabeth May

    Elizabeth May Well-Known Member

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    Not the married stuff but I read somewhere that he had a brother.
    Now of course theres whether they meant spiritual or brother by blood bu does it say anyway in the Bible that jesus actually had relative? That would be great to find out about.Or is it a plot to discredit Jesus?
    Ta very much for any answers.
     
  2. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    James is described in the text as "the brother of Jesus." But the letter attributed to James makes no claim that it was a biological relationship.

    Try looking at Mark 3:31.

    "Then his brothers and his mother came, and standing outside...

    Jesus answered them, "Who is my mother or my brothers?"

    And he looked at those sitting in the circle around him and said, "These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother."

    So, according to one interpretation, even total strangers could claim the title of "the brother of Jesus" or even his "sister" or his "mother" if they did "the will of God."

    Very hard to be precise about this, but it isn't a plot to discredit anyone.

    [ADMIN EDIT by I.Brian to remove unnecessary tone]
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I'm sorry about this - I didn;t see this for ages - and then when I did I wanted to bring a few sources together.

    I'm pressed for time so I'll paste a few extracts from a couple of sites first, to present the core arguments and scriptures:



    The reference to Jesus having borthers is a generalised term, and does not implicitly imply immediate blood relations:
    The term of reference was often to other non-immediate relative and clan relatives:

    There are also a couple of comments in the NT apparently recording the impressions of the mother of Jesus:

     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    The arguments can be quite complex and strained, with the issue being seen as an issue peculiar to Roman Catholic doctrine, and quite unsustainable to a modern reading:




    Anyway, apologies for the simply cut and pastes of the past two posts - I somehow lost most of my original post, and simply want to bring all the pertinent information together again for further discussion.
     
  5. Elizabeth May

    Elizabeth May Well-Known Member

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    That's a lot of information! I'm glad my question has been answered. Did Jesus really have brothers and sisters? It's really interesting that idea. Did anyone of them become disciples?
     
  6. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    The Catholics claim that one of the pairs of disciples "James the younger" (or "lesser" in older translations; "younger" was always the meaning) and "Jude the younger" (omitted in some gospels to make room for Matthew in the list of twelve) were the same people as James and Jude the "brothers". This is not possible because the twelve are listed as disciples before the passage about how the "brothers" thought Jesus was out of his mind and should be locked up. The name "James" (from Latin Iacomus, a distortion of Iacobus) is rendering Hebrew Ya'akov same name as "Jacob", and one of the most common Jewish male names of the day, so there are lots of them; James "the older" ("greater") son of Zebedee is different from both James "the younger" and James "the brother".
    James the brother did come to believe in Jesus' mission, and was afterwards the head of the Jewish-Christian community in Jerusalem, until he was executed, a martyrdom recorded in Josephus as well as Acts and considered by some, both at the time and since, as one of the major provocations leading to the Jewish revolt. The Gospel of Thomas endorses James' succession as head of the community: "The disciples asked Jesus, What shall we do when you are gone? And he replied, Go to James the Just [in Josephus he is also referred to by this title], for whose sake heaven and earth were created." This Jewish-Christian sect, the "Ebionites", continued to be headed by members of the family, the "Desposyni" or "royal heirs", until about the 4th century AD. They rejected the doctrines of the virgin birth and of Jesus' superhuman status: to them, each Desposyn in turn was the "Messiah" or "rightful king", but Jesus was distinguished as the "king of kings", who would be exalted as the ruler over all humans including the other "kings" at the end of time.
     
  7. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting that you note the passages that mention James and Judes position to Jesus as in the wrong order. Is it not possible that in having been written later in a literary form, that a clear chronological order of events might not always be evident? My thinking is that if two or more oral sources were involved for any one Gospel then would errors of time of occurrence not creep in?
    Thank you very much for the mention of the Ebionites as I had not heard of their position before. I had thought all the Jewish Christians wiped out in the Jewish Revolt. Why would the execution of James be a provocation for it? I do not understand that.
     
  8. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters Well-Known Member

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    In comaprative mythology, Jesus would have brothers and sisters. He is set up similar to the Egyptian God Horus as he was worshipped in Alexandria. In Egypt there was no problem. The goddess was considered an Earthly virgin, not a heavenly one, thus she could engage in all kind of sexual acts with the gods and still maintain virginity. Temple prostitutes who sold themselves for a particular god were also considered virgins.

    Mary took on the persona of Virgo/Isis which has a duel natual of the Sacred Virgin and Holy Whore. However in the story of the birth of a messiah, they both could not be the same. That is why there are two Marys in the Bible, with opposite roles, both associated with Jesus.

    The brothers and sisters of Jesus were never meant to be cousins. That is something the Catholics introduced so Mary could be the ever Virgin. The other explanation that was popular is that they were Joseph's children from a previous marriage. I heard both stories from the nuns.

    It is also correct to assume in certain passages brothers is a generic term. This would be a correct Greek usage. However, when the Bible gives specific names in the context of the story, it means biological relatives. Why would Jude be a brother of Jesus and his two closest apostles Peter and John not be included in the list if it was a generic term?

    James was known as the "Brother of Jesus." Josephus attested to it as does the works of Paul, a rival of James. The fact that Paul does not refute this title of demean it would indicate it meant a biological relationship.
     
  9. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    The previous marriage issue is also a logical issue that cannot easily be dismissed - certainly if generic usage of familial terms is to be seen to be limited.

    However - I'm wracking my brains here - I could have sworn that there is a passage somewhere in the Gospels that implies that Joseph is dead and that Jesus is to bury him (or just has). I'll have to check that out later.
     
  10. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    Because he had a following, only a minority to be sure, but members of every faction were worried and upset when he was abruptly executed. If George Bush suddenly had Michael Moore taken out and shot, even Republicans who don't care for Michael Moore at all would think that was going a little too far, don't you think?
     
  11. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    I’m not sure if this is accurate, but maybe someone who is Islamic could verify for me that, The Qur'an states that Joseph was a widower and that the other children where from a past marriage. Thus making them step brothers. I’d like to know if my thinking this is correct.
     
  12. white

    white New Member

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    I've read that Jesus had several brothers, but that they for the most part discredited him a dreamer, and an adventurer...
     
  13. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Moderator

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    Zdrastvuitsye, hola, shalom, salaam, Dia dhuit, namastar ji, hej, konnichiwa, squeak, meow, :wave:, white.

    Um, I know this is a stupid question, but can you tell me where to find the quotes concerning your particular statement? I'm sorry, but I was raised Jewish, so I'm not that familiar with the New Testament.

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
  14. benOddo

    benOddo Member

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    My Dear sister,

    Know and understand, there are no "stupid questions", as any teacher will afirm, when asked with a pure heart. If a teacher can't reply, he'll tell you he will seek it out, and give you a reply.
    If you seek, with all your heart, and all your mind, you will find !. Pray and ask, it will be given.

    shalom,
    benOddo
     
  15. Kalimiel

    Kalimiel Observer

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    What about Mary of Magdala? She is supposed to have borne the scions of Jesus. If you look closely at da Vinci's last supper you will see her there as the Beloved Disciple.
     
  16. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    No! No mas da Vinci Code! LOL

    I've always taken the reference to Jesus' brothers and sisters as meaning what it says. I figure that if the gospel author wanted to clarify that it was a figurative usage or they were only his half-siblings, then he would have done so.

    The point Jesus seems to be making in the instance in Mark is negated by the apologetic contention that reference to brothers and sisters is figurative. In this literary device, he draws a distinct contrast between relatives by blood and relatives in faith, putting the second above the first. If the crowd gossiping about siblings were simply referring to immediate family in an uncharacteristically endearing way, the metaphor would lose its point.

    And then you have the crowds muttering of Jesus as the son of a carpenter, etc. The literary device here is to indicate that the pressing crowd didn't think he was anything special, allowing the reader to be privy to knowledge that the characters couldn't possibly grasp. Take away the implications of 'aren't his siblings here with us' and the passage loses its meaning.
     
  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    OK, for the sake of discussion, is anybody here familiar with the traditions of Glastonbury? And the wattle church that was acknowledged by the Catholic church as the first Christian church established outside of the Holy Land?

    Or that Jesus' blood decendent went on to found the Merovingian dynasty of kings?

    Any info to this end would be appreciated, particularly local (read: source, or close to it) traditions or folklore.
     
  18. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    The family of Jesus:

    An interesting topic to speculate on about the family of Jesus...

    Baha'is believe Jesus was a poor itinerant teacher Who had no place to rest His head and therefore did not have a wife or children.

    Baha'u'llah revealed:

    "He that married not (Jesus Christ) could find no place wherein to abide, nor where to lay His head, by reason of what the hands of the treacherous had wrought."

    pp. 49-50 "Epistle to the Son of the Wolf"

    Mary's purity and chastity are also supported in our Faith.

    Other than that, I don't think we Baha'is have a position or stated view on the subject.

    But the explanation about who was the family of Jesus for us maybe closer to the Eastern Church traditions, that Joseph was considerably older than Mary and had an earlier family and Jesus therefore had older "half-sibs" from that:

    "And the priest said to Joseph, Thou hast been chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the virgin of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying: I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl."

    - The Protoevangelium of James, verse 9

    That other children could have been born from Mary herself is probably a more modern Protestant idea. I think that repels Eastern tradition because that would mean Joseph would have had relations with Mary after the miraculous birth of Jesus.

    The virgin birth is also upheld in the Qur'an:

    She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?"

    - Surih 3:47

    Another explanation I've heard is that on the cross, Jesus assigns the care of His mother to the Beloved Disciple or John. See John 19:26-27. So this would also seem to suggest Mary had no other children aside from Jesus.

    - Art :cool:
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    That source is Bloodline of the Grail, which is a rather sensationalist book to say the least. The only book I have ever seen that makes claim to having a complete and accurate event of everything that happened in the European Dark Ages. I wrote a review for Amazon, essentially saying it would have been interesting as a work of fiction, but as a work of fact it read as dishonest. Disppeared from the site a week or so after it went up.
     

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