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Brothers of Jesus


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#1    Dang

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 05:38 PM

Okay. The Vatican might sue me for pilfering but ......The Brethren of the Lord
A group of persons closely connected with the Saviour appears repeatedly in the New Testament under the designation "his brethren" or "the brethren of the Lord" (Matt 12:46, 13:55; Mark 3:31-32, 6:3; Luke 8:19-20; John 2:12, 7:3-5; Acts 1:14; I Cor 9:5). Four such "brethren" are mentioned by name in the parallel texts of Matt 13:55 and Mark 6:3 (where "sisters" are also referred to), namely, James (also mentioned Galatians 1:19), Joseph, or Joses, Simon, and Jude; the incidental manner in which these names are given, shows, however, that the list lays no claim to completeness.

Two questions in connexion with these "brethren" of the Lord have long been, and are still now more than ever, the subject of controversy: (1) The identity of James, Jude, and Simon; (2) the exact nature of the relationship between the Saviour and his "brethren".

(1) The identity of James, Jude and Simon. James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first  Epistle. His identity with James the Less (Mark 15:40) and the Apostle James, the son of Alpheus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18), although contested by many Protestant critics, may also be considered as certain. There is no reasonable doubt that in Galatians 1:19: "But other of the apostles [besides Cephas] I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord", St. Paul represents James as a member of the Apostolic college. The purpose for which the statement is made, makes it clear that the "apostles" is to be taken strictly to designate the Twelve, and its truthfulness demands that the clause "saving James" be understood to mean, that in addition to Cephas, St. Paul saw another Apostle, "James the brother of the Lord" (cf. Acts 9:27). Besides, the prominence and authority of James among the Apostles (Acts 15:13; Galatians 2:9; in the latter text he is even named before Cephas) could have belonged only to one of their number. Now there were only two Apostles named James: James the son of Zebedee, and James the son of Alpheus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). The former is out of the question, since he was dead at the time of the events to which Acts 15:6 ssq., and Galatians 2:9-12 refer (cf. Acts 12:2). James "the brother of the Lord" is therefore one with James the son of Alpheus, and consequently with James the Less, the identity of these two being generally conceded. Again, on comparing John 19:25 with Matt 27:56, and Mark 15:40 (cf. Mark 15:47; 16:1), we find that Mary of Cleophas, or more correctly Clopas (Klopas), the sister of Mary the Mother of Christ, is the same as Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, or Joses. As married women are not distinguished by the addition of their father's name, Mary of Clopas must be the wife of Clopas, and not his daughter, as has been maintained. Moreover, the names of her sons and the order in which they are given, no doubt the order of seniority, warrant us in identifying these sons with James and Joseph, or Joses, the "brethren" of the Lord. The existence among the early followers of Christ of two sets of brothers having the same names in the order of age, is not likely, and cannot be assumed without proof. Once this identity is conceded, the conclusion cannot well be avoided that Clopas and Alpheus are one person, even if the two names are quite distinct. It is, however, highly probable, and commonly admitted, that Clopas and Alpheus are merely different transcriptions of the same Aramaic word Halphai. James and Joseph the "brethren" of the Lord are thus the sons of Alpheus.

Of Joseph nothing further is known. Jude is the writer of the last of the Catholic Epistles (Jude 1). He is with good reason identified by Catholic commentators with the "Judas Jacobi" ("Jude the brother of James" in the Douay Version) of Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13, otherwise known as Thaddeus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18). It is quite in accordance with Greek custom for a man to be distinguished by the addition of his brother's name instead of his father's, when the brother was better known. That such was the case with Jude is inferred from the title "the brother of James", by which he designates himself in his Epistle. About Simon nothing certain can be stated. He is identified by most commentators with the Symeon, or Simon, who, according to Hegesippus, was a son of Clopas, and succeeded James as Bishop of Jerusalem. Some identify him with the Apostle Simon the Cananean (Matt 10:4; Mark 3:18) or the Zealot (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). The grouping together of James, Jude or Thaddeus, and Simon, after the other Apostles, Judas Iscariot excepted, in the lists of the Apostles, (Matt 10:4-5; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13) lends some probability to this view, as it seems to indicate some sort of connexion between the three. Be this as it may, it is certain that at least two of the "brethren" of Christ were among the Apostles. This is clearly implied in 1 Cor 9:5: "Have we not the power to carry about a woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" The mention of Cephas at the end indicates that St. Paul, after speaking of the Apostles in general, calls special attention to the more prominent ones, the "brethren" of the Lord and Cephas. The objection that no "brethren" of the Lord could have been members of the Apostolic college, because six months before Christ's death they did not believe in Him (John 7:3-5), rests on a misunderstanding of the text. His "brethren" believed in his miraculous power, and urged him to manifest it to the world. Their unbelief was therefore relative. It was not a want of belief in His Messiahship, but a false conception of it. They had not yet rid themselves of the Jewish idea of a Messiah who would be a temporal ruler. We meet with this idea among the Apostles as late as the day of the Ascension (Acts 1:6). In any case the expression "his brethren" does not necessarily include each and every "brother", whenever it occurs. This last remark also sufficiently answers the difficulty in Acts 1:13-14, where, it is said, a clear distinction is made between the Apostles and the "brethren" of the Lord.

(2) The exact nature of the relationship between the Saviour and his "brethren". The texts cited at the beginning of this article show beyond a doubt that there existed a real and near kinship between Jesus and His "brethren". But as "brethren" (or "brother") is applied to step-brothers as well as to brothers by blood, and in Scriptural, and Semitic use generally, is often loosely extended to all near, or even distant, relatives (Gen 13:8, 14:14-16; Lev 10:4; 1 Par 15:5-10, 23:21-22), the word furnishes no certain indication of the exact nature of the relationship. Some ancient heretics, like Helvidius and the Antidicomarianites, maintained that the "brethren" of Jesus were His uterine brothers the sons of Joseph and Mary. This opinion has been revived in modern times, and is now adopted by most of the Protestant exegetes. On the orthodox side two views have long been current. The majority of the Greek Fathers and Greek writers, influenced, it seems, by the legendary tales of apocryphal gospels, considered the "brethren" of the Lord as sons of St. Joseph by a first marriage. The Latins, on the contrary, with few exceptions (St. Ambrose, St. Hilary, and St. Gregory of Tours among the Fathers), hold that they were the Lord's cousins. That they were not the sons of Joseph and Mary is proved by the following reasons, leaving out of consideration the great antiquity of the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary. It is highly significant that throughout the New Testament Mary appears as the Mother of Jesus and of Jesus alone. This is the more remarkable as she is repeatedly mentioned in connexion with her supposed sons, and, in some cases at least, it would have been quite natural to call them her sons (cf. Matt 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19; Acts 1:14). Again, Mary's annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Luke 2:41) is quite incredible, except on the supposition that she bore no other children besides Jesus. Is it likely that she could have made the journey regularly, at a time when the burden of child-bearing and the care of an increasing number of small children (she would be the mother of at least four other sons and of several daughters, cf Matt 13:56) would be pressing heavily upon her? A further proof is the fact that at His death Jesus recommended His mother to St. John. Is not His solicitude for her in His dying hour a sign that she would be left with no one whose duty it would be to care for her? And why recommend her to an outsider if she had other sons? Since there was no estrangement between Him and His "brethren", or between them and Mary, no plausible argument is confirmed by the words with which he recommends her: ide ho uios sou, with the article before uios (son); had there been others sons, ide uios sou, without the article, would have been the proper expression.

The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins. If Simon is the same as the Symeon of Hegesippus, he also is a cousin, since this writer expressly states that he was the son of Clopas the uncle of the Lord, and the latter's cousin. But whether they were cousins on their father's or mother's side, whether cousins by blood or merely by marriage, cannot be determined with certainty. Mary of Clopas is indeed called the "sister" of the Blessed Virgin (John 19:25), but it is uncertain whether "sister" here means a true sister or a sister-in-law. Hegesippus calls Clopas the brother of St. Joseph. This would favour the view that Mary of Clopas was only the sister-in-law of the Blessed Virgin, unless it be true, as stated in the MSS. of the Peshitta version, that Joseph and Clopas married sisters. The relationship of the other "brethren" may have been more distant than that of the above named four.

The chief objection against the Catholic position is taken from Matt 1:25: "He [Joseph] knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son"; and from Luke 2:7: "And she brought forth her firstborn son". Hence, it is argued, Mary must have born other children. "Firstborn" (prototokos), however, does not necessarily connote that other children were born afterwards. This is evident from Luke 2:23, and Ex 13:2-12 (cf. Greek text) to which Luke refers. "Opening the womb" is there given as the equivalent of "firstborn" (prototokos). An only child was thus no less "firstborn" than the first of many. Neither do the words "he knew her not till she brought forth" imply, as St. Jerome proves conclusively against Helvidius from parallel examples, that he knew her afterwards. The meaning of both expressions becomes clear, if they are considered in connexion with the virginal birth related by the two Evangelists.

For the Cousin Theory: ST. JEROME, Adv. Helvid. in P.L., XXIII; MILL, Pantheistic Principles, 220-316; VIGOUROUX, Les Livres saints et la critique, V, 397-420; CORLUY, Les frères de N.S.J. C. in Etudes (1878), I, 5, 145; MEINERTZ, Der Jacobusbrief und sein Verfasser (Freiburg im Br., 1905), 6-54; CORNELY, Introductio (Paris, 1897), III, 592 sqq.; SCHEGG, Jacobus der Br¨der des Herrn (Munich, 1883); LAGRANGE in Rev. Bibl. (1906), 504, 505. For the Step-Brother Theory : LIGHTFOOT, Comm. on Gal., 252-291. For the Helvidian View : HASTINGS, Dict. Bib., I, 320; ZAHN, Forschungen, VI, Brueder und Vettern Jesu (Leipzig, 1900).

So you see, By using the Bible as a "whole" instead of grabbing a verse here or there as needed, we can prove that the so called ,Brothers of Jesus, are really just reletives. Which is why St. John must bring Mary, Mother of Our Lord, into his care. (Jn:19:27) thumbsup.gif






#2    Dang

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 05:39 PM

Don't miss next weeks exciting subject: Why Catholics worship "COOKIES"


#3    Sherapy

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 07:02 PM

Whats the point  how will it affect the meaning of your life?? Namaste sheri




#4    Dang

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 08:12 PM

QUOTE(Sheri berri @ Jul 24 2005, 08:02 PM)
Whats the point  how will it affect the meaning of your life?? Namaste sheri

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  The point is that Mary, The Mother of God, Our Lord, Jesus Christ was, and still is a Virgin. Defending Her and Church Doctrine gives my life meaning. If anyone of you who consider themselves "opened minded" next time hears that Mary had other children can answer that the Catholic Church has a strong leg to stand on to support their claim that she had no other children and..... remained a virgin. thumbsup.gif
Of course there are those Christians who are so Anti-Catholic their minds can never be changed.


#5    AnhZors

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 08:34 PM

It is really THAT Importants shees... cant we all just get along?



#6    JennRose

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 01:02 AM

Just one more way for the Church to make us feel guilty about sex. sleepy.gif  

When will we get out of the Dark Ages and realize that sex is not something to be ashamed of??  disgust.gif

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#7    Dang

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 02:49 AM

QUOTE(JennRose @ Jul 25 2005, 02:02 AM)
Just one more way for the Church to make us feel guilty about sex. sleepy.gif 

When will we get out of the Dark Ages and realize that sex is not something to be ashamed of??  disgust.gif

View Post



What the hell are you talking about? What the hell does sex have to do with this thread? If you have nothing interesting to reply about the subject maybe you ought to turn off the computer and go watch a Disney video.

Edited by Dang, 25 July 2005 - 02:50 AM.


#8    Dang

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 04:01 AM

QUOTE(AnhZors @ Jul 24 2005, 09:34 PM)
It is really THAT Importants shees... cant we all just get along?

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Anhzor, What kind of a reply is that? "Can't we all get along?"  
Where are all my angry Protestant Christian friends? I guess I better go to a forum where grown-ups hang out at.
"....can't we all just get along?" SHEES!


#9    mako

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 12:01 PM

QUOTE
The point is that Mary, The Mother of God, Our Lord, Jesus Christ was, and still is a Virgin

And there is a Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny leaves easter eggs and all other myths - no difference between them and the myth that Mary was an eternal virgin.  She was a woman, a mother of many children (that is if she even existed, isn't it strange that the first Christian writer (Paul) never mentioned her by name) yes.gif





Our earth is degenerate in these latter days.  There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end.  Bribery and corruption are common,   Children no longer obey their parents.  Every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world evidently is approaching.
                    Assyrian tablet circa 2800 BCE

#10    Dang

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 12:57 PM

QUOTE(mako @ Jul 25 2005, 01:01 PM)
QUOTE
The point is that Mary, The Mother of God, Our Lord, Jesus Christ was, and still is a Virgin

And there is a Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny leaves easter eggs and all other myths - no difference between them and the myth that Mary was an eternal virgin.  She was a woman, a mother of many children (that is if she even existed, isn't it strange that the first Christian writer (Paul) never mentioned her by name) yes.gif

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Paul was the first Christian??? LOL LOL LOL
Attention all Christians! Paul, A devout Jew, Persecutor of Christians before his own conversion was actually the "Fist Christian".

Mako. Mako. Poor poor innocent Mako. Our beloved Saint Paul use to hunt down Christians with a passion. He loved God the Father & his Jewish Faith so much he felt it was his duty to do this. Jesus knew it was for the love of God that Paul was chasing down Christians like crooks. So Jesus appeared to him and set him straight and Paul converted and "joined" the Christian Church. Read all about it in Acts.
So where on earth did you learn that Paul was the first Christian? On the forum? LOL!




#11    JennRose

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE(Dang @ Jul 24 2005, 10:49 PM)
QUOTE(JennRose @ Jul 25 2005, 02:02 AM)
Just one more way for the Church to make us feel guilty about sex. sleepy.gif 

When will we get out of the Dark Ages and realize that sex is not something to be ashamed of??  disgust.gif

View Post



What the hell are you talking about? What the hell does sex have to do with this thread? If you have nothing interesting to reply about the subject maybe you ought to turn off the computer and go watch a Disney video.

View Post



Look, if you are going to try such heavy sarcasm, maybe it would be good to know what you are talking about.  The point of this thread is whether or not Mary remained a VIRGIN all her life or if she bore other children. From the Church's point of view, if she wasn't a virgin, she wasn't holy enough to be the mother of God.

See, a vigin is someone who has never had sex.  If you need, I can send you a link to some educational videos that may help you with your understanding.  Then maybe you could actually add something meaningful to YOUR OWN topic rather than childish sarcasm and weak derision.

Edited by JennRose, 25 July 2005 - 01:12 PM.

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#12    mako

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE
Paul was the first Christian??? LOL LOL LOL

Are you normally this dense?  Nowhere did I say Paul was the first Christian, I said Paul was the first Christian WRITER!  What about that statement did you not understand?  Like many Christians, if someone shows how illogical you religon is, you immediately twist what they say in a vain attempt to PROVE you are right.  Sorry, not even a good try!  no.gif

Our earth is degenerate in these latter days.  There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end.  Bribery and corruption are common,   Children no longer obey their parents.  Every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world evidently is approaching.
                    Assyrian tablet circa 2800 BCE

#13    Dang

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 02:29 PM

QUOTE(mako @ Jul 25 2005, 02:11 PM)
QUOTE
Paul was the first Christian??? LOL LOL LOL

Are you normally this dense?  Nowhere did I say Paul was the first Christian, I said Paul was the first Christian WRITER!  What about that statement did you not understand?  Like many Christians, if someone shows how illogical you religon is, you immediately twist what they say in a vain attempt to PROVE you are right.  Sorry, not even a good try!  no.gif

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Whoa! My bad! Sorry buddy. Didn't even see the word "writer".  that changes everything. Now your post makes a hell of a lot more sence.
Once again, I'm sorry. Let me buy you a beer. I'm really a nice guy.



#14    mako

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 03:07 PM

No problemo, but make mine water or soda, I have a liver problem from drinking water from the Nile and can't have any alcohol at all - Mako yes.gif

Our earth is degenerate in these latter days.  There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end.  Bribery and corruption are common,   Children no longer obey their parents.  Every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world evidently is approaching.
                    Assyrian tablet circa 2800 BCE

#15    Dang

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE(JennRose @ Jul 25 2005, 02:09 PM)
QUOTE(Dang @ Jul 24 2005, 10:49 PM)
QUOTE(JennRose @ Jul 25 2005, 02:02 AM)
Just one more way for the Church to make us feel guilty about sex. sleepy.gif 

When will we get out of the Dark Ages and realize that sex is not something to be ashamed of??  disgust.gif

View Post



What the hell are you talking about? What the hell does sex have to do with this thread? If you have nothing interesting to reply about the subject maybe you ought to turn off the computer and go watch a Disney video.

View Post



Look, if you are going to try such heavy sarcasm, maybe it would be good to know what you are talking about.  The point of this thread is whether or not Mary remained a VIRGIN all her life or if she bore other children. From the Church's point of view, if she wasn't a virgin, she wasn't holy enough to be the mother of God.

See, a vigin is someone who has never had sex.  If you need, I can send you a link to some educational videos that may help you with your understanding.  Then maybe you could actually add something meaningful to YOUR OWN topic rather than childish sarcasm and weak derision.

View Post



No Jenn, The issue of the thread isn't about Mary's virginity. You see when bible thumping Jesus freaks approach me and ask "Have you found Jesus yet?" I in turn ask them "Why? Don't tell me Joseph and Mary misplaced him again." And they go ha ha. Then they invite me to worship with them and I'll tell them I already go to a church and they ask what church and then they always throw out the "brothers of jesus" verses from the bible when I tell them Im catholic and before I knew better it would confuse me and made me question my faith. My point of the thread was that the catholic church can also use the bible to back their belives that Jesus did not have brothers. Thats all. As a matter of fact most of Catholic theology is biblical. Including Mary's Perpetual Virginity. But that not the issue here.
I guess you have to be a Catholic to understand. Did you know most Christians don't even think Catholics are Christians? They call us cannibals, idolaters and superstitous. Most protestants were taught that Catholics were told not to read the bible.
You for example don't know all what the Church teaches about sex. And I'm not attacking you but just go to Barnes and Noble and look up what the Catechism says about sex. It ain't all bad. It's very positive.
I guess I was hoping to have a dialogue with non-catholic christians. LOL Boy, am I on the wrong forum for that.  






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