NKJV - 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" So they were offended at Him.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
Yes, Jesus had several siblings as Mary give birth to other childten after Jesus was born. Psalms 69:8 "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children." This prophecy in Psalms 69:8- 9 was fulfilled in Christ. Quoted in Jn. 2:17 Rom. 15:3. "...my brethren, and an alien unto MY MOTHER's children*". This prophecy proves that Christ had half- brothers and Mary had other children after Christ was born. See Lk. 8:19 Evidences that Mary had other children‼ 1. It is plainly stated that Jesus had four brothers (i. e., half brothers), James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. He had at least three half sisters also:"are not his sisters here with us?" These are referred to as "HIS OWN KIN." His mother, brethren, and sisters are used literally (Mt. 13:55- 56 Mk. 6:3). 2. The Lord is called Mary's "firstborn" (Mt. 1:25; Lk. 2:7), and the natural inference is that she had other children. The Greek:prototokos (G4416) is used only in Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15- 18 Heb. 1:6; 11:28; 12:23; Rev. 1:5 of the first of many others. Had He been her only son, the word would have been monogenes (G3439), which occurs in Lk. 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; of human parentage of the "only son," "only daughter" and "only child"; and of the Lord Jesus as "the only begotten of the Father" (Jn. 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1Jn. 4:9). 3. It was predicted by God that Mary would have other children and the Messiah would have brothers:"I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children" (Ps. 69:8- 9). 4. "His mother, and His brethren" are mentioned as following Him to Capernaum and seeking to hinder His work (Mt. 12:46- 50 Mk. 3:31- 35 Lk. 8:19- 21 Jn. 2:12). The children of some other woman would not be following Mary as "His brethren." 5. "His brethren" are mentioned as not believing on Him until after the resurrection (Jn. 7:3- 10 Acts 1:14). 6. James is called "the Lord's brother" (Gal. 1:19). See Mk. 6:3. 7. The natural meaning of "His brethren" would never have been questioned but for the fact of pagan corruption in the church-- in seeking to raise Mary from a mere "handmaid of the Lord" (Lk. 1:38) to that of mother of God and to invest her with divine powers as a goddess. Thus the way was prepared for identifying her with the goddess of paganism, who is thought to be the mother of a divine son, and who is yet a virgin-- a deity known in Egypt as Isis, the mother of Horus; in India, Isi; in Asia, Cybele; in Rome, Fortuna; in Greece, Ceres; in China, Shing Moo; and in other lands by different names, but always with a son in arms. So it is said that Mary had no other children and that His brethren were cousins by another Mary and Cleophas, that Joseph was too old to have children by Mary, or that he had children by a former marriage. All this is false, as nothing is mentioned in Scripture or history about these claims. If Joseph did have children before Jesus was born, then Jesus could not be the legal heir to David's throne, which by law went to the firstborn.
All major branches of Christianity agree that Mary was a virgin until Jesus was born. But the question of whether she continued as a virgin is not agreed on. Catholic theology teaches that Mary continued in “perpetual virginity” after the birth of Jesus, while Protestants believe she had normal marital relations with her husband, and gave birth to several more children. Mark 6:3, says, “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?” Matthew 13:55-56 says the same thing. Protestants interpret this to mean that after Jesus’ birth Joseph and Mary produced several children in the normal way. Catholics disagree. Some argue these were children of Joseph by a former wife (of which Scripture is silent). Most focus on the Greek word adelphoi, translated “brothers.” They interpret this to refer to relatives other than immediate family, usually “cousins.” They correctly point out that the word adelphoi is sometimes used for close relatives other than brothers and at times for fellow countrymen. But in this passage Jesus is called “the carpenter” (a very specific reference), as well as “Mary’s son” (a close family reference), and then the adelphoi are listed by name (again suggesting immediate family), and “sisters” (adelphai) are mentioned as a group. Because the context uses such specific and close terms for Jesus and Mary, it is likely that the adelphoi are best understood as “brothers” and the adelphai as “sisters.” A relevant incident is found in Matthew 12:46-47, Mark 3:31-32 and Luke 8:19-20. Jesus was busy with ministry, surrounded by a crowd so large that when “Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him” they couldn’t get near him. Jesus was told, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” We again admit that adelphoi can refer to relatives besides direct siblings, but the use of “mother” along with “brothers” suggests these were immediate family members. Some argue Jesus’ response, that those who do God’s will are his “mother and brothers,” indicates those outside were not his real mother and brothers. That is not what Jesus meant, however. He was contrasting his genuine blood relatives with his metaphorical relatives. Jesus always did the will of his Father, and those who do the same are akin to him. One last notable point concerning the word “brothers” (adelphoi): If the authors of Scripture intended to mean “cousins” rather than “brothers,” there is a Greek word that would have more precisely said that. It is the word anepsios, used in Colossians 4:10, where we read that Mark “was the cousin of Barnabas.” Psalm 69 is a Messianic psalm, quoted several times in the New Testament with reference to Jesus (John 15:25 quotes verse 4; Romans 15:3 quotes vs. 9; Matthew 27:34 quotes vs. 21; Acts 1:8 quotes vs. 25). But the verse that is relevant to our question is Psalm 69:8, which reads, “I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother's sons.” It describes how Jesus’ brothers would reject him, which at first they did. These “brothers” were not his cousins, for they were his “own mother’s sons.” There are other indications that Joseph and Mary had sexual relations after Jesus was born. Luke 2:7 says, “...she gave birth to her firstborn, a son...” Why call Jesus “firstborn” unless others were born? Jesus is called God’s “only born” (Greek monogenes), so why not call him Mary’s “only born?” I suggest it is because he wasn’t her only born. Matthew 1:24-25 tells us, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son…” The sentence would be complete without the phrase “until she gave birth to a son.” Why include it? Because apparently Joseph had union with Mary after she delivered Jesus. The natural result of this would be other children, half-siblings of Jesus.
We know that Mary and Joseph had at least six other children. The Gospel accounts say that Mary had children with Joseph, both sons and daughters. James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas were Jesus’ half brothers. She had at least two daughters. (Matthew 13:55, 56; Mark 6:3) However, these children were conceived in the usual manner. (King James Version Matthew 13:55,56 "Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" Mark 6:3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.") Joseph had great respect for Mary’s privilege of bearing God’s Son. Consequently, he refrained from having sexual intercourse with her before Jesus’ birth. Matthew 1:25 states that Joseph “had no intercourse with her until she gave birth to a son.” The word “until” in this verse indicates that after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary had normal sexual relations as husband and wife.
John Chrysostom (347–407) defended Mary having no other children but Jesus, using Jesus' commands to his mother in Calvary: "Woman, behold your son!" and to his disciple "Behold, thy mother!" in John 19:26-27. Since the second century these two statements of Jesus from the cross had been the basis of reasonings that Mary had no other children and "from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home" because after the deaths of Joseph and Jesus there was no one else to look after Mary, and she had to be entrusted to the disciple. The Eastern Orthodox Church, which names Joseph's first wife as Salome, holds that Joseph was a widower and merely betrothed, but never married, to Mary, and that references to Jesus' "brothers" are to children of Joseph and Salome. The position of the Catholic Church, derived from the writings of Saint Jerome, is that Joseph was the husband of Mary, but that references to Jesus' "brothers" should be understood to mean cousins or step-brothers.
Both positions on this subject should be respected. We look to Jerome as the one who first translated the Bible into Latin and did not agree with the inclusion of the Apocrypha but defended his actions to other scholars by stating "who am I to disagree with the Pope". In the 1700 years we have had to study and verify the Word in scripture, we have been able to, especially in recent years with computers, parallel translations and with the blessings of so much previous study and scholarship, resolve many small issues and seeming inconsistencies. It is pretty clear that Mary had other children with Joseph. It just makes more sense. It makes her more human, her contribution more fantastic, and Jesus more human.
The Bible isn't completely clear about how many children Mary had. Looking at it from the point of view of Mary, is it better for her to devote all her time and attention to raising the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the World, or would it be better for her to split her attention between four or five children, one of whom is of a miraculous birth? Mary would probably choose the former, the much safer choice. Conditions in Judea, Egypt, and later Nazareth were not oriented to prosperity for the Jews since the Romans and Herod's dynasty were brutally oppressive. Life was not easy for most of the population. Keeping body and soul together was a full-time job, and bringing extra mouths to feed into the world could mean less than enough for the parents and the firstborn. Even in the last century, during the Great Depression of the 1930's, there was a marked reduction in births. There is a subtle incongruity with a woman giving birth by both sexual and non-sexual means. The sexual births may imply that the non-sexual birth wasn't significant enough to exist on its own merits from the woman's viewpoint. More blessing and favor from God (the extra children) would be needed for the woman to have a fulfilled life. The argument would be that one child, no matter how important, is never enough, and two or more are needed to replace the parents. However, we don't see examples in the Old Testament of a mother of one outstanding child bearing many more afterward. One does seem to be enough. The weight of argument from economic and family considerations seems to favor only one child for Mary.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.