Did Jesus Have a family?

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

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Wil -

    Sorry for any confusion. A quick reply, I suppose...

    I think my basic stance is that there is less evidence to suppose Jesus had brothers and sisters than there is more, as it were.

    The Holy Blood/Da Vinci stuff has now been thoroughly disproved. The only people to benefit from the recent hoo-ha is Random House, the publisher of both.

    Thomas
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Thomas,

    I tend to agree with you regarding the Jesus family ie. wife and kids, but disagree as to brothers and sisters. I think the former is possible but as evidence at this time is circumstancial and circumspect, as to the latter it appears to me that the concensus is headed to he did have a family(brothers and sisters). And the church is holding on to keeping Mary in such high esteem to deny this. It is strange as I have no issues holding any mothers in high esteem for all they do.

    I think this will go the way of other things the church held onto for years. The game of cousins and half brothers is a stretch utilizing the same techniques that one denies others in regards to wife and kids. It is interesting the hoops and loopholes that are used to justify passages that are clearly contradictory.

    This sorta tosses the look niether high nor low in the wastbasket. Brings heaven back to that hollywood cloudy version...
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Wil –

    I tend to agree with you regarding the Jesus family ie. wife and kids, but disagree as to brothers and sisters.

    I think the former is possible but as evidence at this time is circumstancial and circumspect...
    I tend to think there's not a jot of evidence for the idea that Jesus was married or that he had children. There's none in Scripture, and none in the texts of the tradition.

    as to the latter it appears to me that the concensus is headed to he did have a family(brothers and sisters).

    Is it? I'm not so sure. I thought the concensus view – at least the scholarly concensus – was that the terms brother and sister had a much broader compass than we have today?

    And the church is holding on to keeping Mary in such high esteem to deny this.

    As the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is the only doctrinal statement on this topic, was not promulgated until 1854 (and appears to endorsed by the Apparition at Lourdes 4 years later), I think this is relatively 'new', rather than 'holding on'.

    Thomas
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Ok my brother, I agree that this reference while appropriate does not mean that we are kin. However it seems to me that both are used in scripture as today. And maybe I just travel in other circles (duh) but James is appears widely reported and accepted to have been Jeus's brother. Hence the bruhaha about the fake box a year or two ago.

    As to your second point, this is why I so truly appreciate you and your knowledge with the finger on the pulse of some of this stuff. The way I see the church and the statuary, reverence of Mother Mary...at some times it almost seems in equal or higher esteem than Jesus. Again this is my perception, but I doubt that I am alone...and with all this I am surprised this notion is only a century and a half old. So if I am reading you right, up until 1854 the concept of Mary having other children was openly debated, discussed and/or accepted until this doctrine was established as the be all and end all?
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi brother Wil -

    but James is appears widely reported and accepted to have been Jeus's brother. Hence the bruhaha about the fake box a year or two ago.

    Again - by some, but the evidence is far from conclusive ... but yes, the question will rumble on ...

    As to your second point ... The way I see the church and the statuary, reverence of Mother Mary...at some times it almost seems in equal or higher esteem than Jesus. Again this is my perception, but I doubt that I am alone...

    Indeed you are not. In the words of Pope John Paul II: "In union with Christ and in submission to him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity..." which has caused something of a furore at the suggestion of Mary as 'co-mediatrix' which for many, including some Catholics, is simply making too much of her position.

    But the teaching certainly does not imply her equality with her Son, but rather that God's plan for man's salvation could not be realised without her assent, in the same way that God's plan for each and every individual's salvation cannot be realised without their assent.

    By this Catholicism holds that man assents to his salvation – hence we hold to faith and works, rather than to faith alone – the act of assent is part of the work, and by assenting it's not good enough to say 'yes please', one has to live it – one has to do the work, or one's faith means nothing.

    This is why, for us, salvation is offered, but not guaranteed. It is not an insurance policy.

    Pope John II said "In God's plan, Mary is the 'woman' (cf. John 2:4; John 19:26), the New Eve, united to the New Adam in restoring humanity to its original dignity. Her cooperation with her Son continues for all time in the universal motherhood, which she enjoys in the order of grace. Trusting in this maternal cooperation, let us turn to Mary, imploring her help in all our needs."
    This is a statement, but not ex-cathedra, so it is neither infallible, nor is it doctrine. Personally, I'm all for it.

    and with all this I am surprised this notion is only a century and a half old.
    It might surprise many to find out just what has been declared doctrine, and when. The Canonical books of the Bible, for example, were not 'ratified' by a Constitutional statement until the 16th century.

    So if I am reading you right, up until 1854 the concept of Mary having other children was openly debated, discussed and/or accepted until this doctrine was established as the be all and end all?

    No, I don't think so. I think that the debate arose in the wake of the Historical Critical method of Biblical research in the 18th/19th centuries. Prior to this it was generally accepted that Mary was Virgin and Mother.

    As an example, the Church has never made a doctrinal statement with regard to reincarnation, becaause it has never been an issue requiring clarification. I doubt it will, either, because it is so contrary to the Catholic idea of the divinely-authored integrity of the person that it rules itself out.

    In fact there is some evidence that the Church has, historically, been 'quiet' on the aspect of Marian devotion, but in the faith of the Catholic community it will not go away ... Certainly some of our greatest mystics have displayed a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

    Again we must assume the Disciple John was close, as Christ entrusted His mother to him, and him to her (although there is a profoundly symbolic dimension to this) – then again St Luke, who was a disciple and companion of St Paul, shows a particular regard for the Theotokos.

    Thomas
    (ps - thanks for the compliments, bro!)
     
  6. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    I know that I have suggested this book before, but maybe not here. Robert Eisenman, professor of religion at Long Beach State U. wrote a book in the late 80's or early 90's titled, James The Brother of Jesus. Very enlightening as he draws his information from sources contemporary to the early formation of the Church in the 1st century ad. The book is very appropriate to the materials in this thread.

    flow....:)
     
  7. BlaznFattyz

    BlaznFattyz Well-Known Member

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    of course he had an earthly mother and a father, who like most parents went on to have a family.
     
  8. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    Jesus' Family--Who Were They? - Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site interesting link about Jesus family and who they were
     
  9. pfw

    pfw interested

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    Oh good grief...I'mnot doing the work for you, look this one up yourselves but in the Gospels it mentions and NAMES Jesus 'biological' brothers and sisters. Questins like this wouldnt be asked if Christians could actually be bothered to pay attention when they read the Bible...
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Who says they're not paying attention?;)
     

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