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Juan wrote:

Hi, guys —

Matthew Chapter 13: 55-56 states:

Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?

I know that the word ¨"brother" is used in the Bible in a different way than the way we use it today. Abraham called Lot his "brother" and we know that he wasn't his brother.

My Question:

  • Is there any way to explain the true relation of all these people in Jesus' family?
  • What were James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas in relation to Jesus?

I guess part of the confusion comes from the fact that there is a "Mary" who is mother of a "James" and a "Joses":

  • Mark 15:47:

      And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

  • 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.

  • Acts 1:14

      These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

I would like to hear from any of you guys.

Thanks in advanced,

Juan

  { What was the relationship of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas to Our Lord? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Juan —

First, Merry Christmas!

I believe Biblical scholars and Catholic theologians generally believe that James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas were probably first or second cousins or just close friends.

As for a certainty, I really don't know. I don't believe we have any early Church writings that speak directly to this issue.

Here are some articles that should help:

Hope this helps,

Mike

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