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  #1  
Old Dec 9, '05, 7:25 am
Philomena Philomena is offline
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Question Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

In yesterday's Gospel,(Luke chapter 1) I noticed that Elizabeth is referred to as Mary's 'relative'. Some translations say 'cousin'. We all know her as Mary's cousin, right?
Was the same word used when the Bible refers to Jesus' brothers and sisters? I mean, in the original Hebrew or Greek, was the word 'sister' used to refer to Elizabeth and Mary's relationship? I'd like to know because it can help defend Mary's perpetual virginity.
I often refer to the verse in Genesis that calls Lot, Abrahm's brother, when we know he was his nephew. Another verse from the NT would be an additional help.
I posed this question to the apologists, but haven't seen any new posts, so I thought I'd try you guys. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Dec 9, '05, 9:35 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

It's not the same word. The word used in Luke 1:36 is the Greek word suggenes, which is usually rendered kinsman or cousin; persons of a close but undefined family relationhip.

The word used for Jesus' "brothers" in, for example in Matthew 12:46-47, is adelphos. It has a very broad meaning and is used for everything from brothers germane (as in refering to Peter and Andrew in Matthew 10:2), or as in brothers in the faith, like in Matthew 7:4.

For more info on this, see the Catholic Answers tract:
"Brethren of the Lord"
http://www.catholic.com/library/Bret...f_the_Lord.asp
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  #3  
Old Dec 9, '05, 11:06 am
trumpet152 trumpet152 is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidelis
It's not the same word. The word used in Luke 1:36 is the Greek word suggenes, which is usually rendered kinsman or cousin; persons of a close but undefined family relationhip.

The word used for Jesus' "brothers" in, for example in Matthew 12:46-47, is adelphos. It has a very broad meaning and is used for everything from brothers germane (as in refering to Peter and Andrew in Matthew 10:2), or as in brothers in the faith, like in Matthew 7:4.

For more info on this, see the Catholic Answers tract:
"Brethren of the Lord"
http://www.catholic.com/library/Bret...f_the_Lord.asp
Well put.
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  #4  
Old Dec 9, '05, 12:47 pm
RCCDefender RCCDefender is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

I don't think Mary had any siblings...
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  #5  
Old Dec 9, '05, 2:09 pm
DaveBj DaveBj is online now
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCDefender
I don't think Mary had any siblings...
Wouldn't it have been a bear, growing up with a sister who never sinned?

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  #6  
Old Dec 9, '05, 2:18 pm
Kotton Kotton is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBj
Wouldn't it have been a bear, growing up with a sister who never sinned?

DaveBj
Yea, God knew what He was doing.

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  #7  
Old Dec 9, '05, 3:18 pm
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBj
Wouldn't it have been a bear, growing up with a sister who never sinned?

DaveBj

No kidding, who would you have to blame things on
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  #8  
Old Dec 9, '05, 3:23 pm
Strider Strider is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBj
Wouldn't it have been a bear, growing up with a sister who never sinned?

DaveBj
How 'bout being married to a woman who never sinned and having a stepson who never sinned?

Joseph must've been given LOTS of graces!
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  #9  
Old Dec 10, '05, 7:01 am
Philomena Philomena is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCDefender
I don't think Mary had any siblings...
I think it was in St Catherine Emmerich's writings, where she says that Mary had several siblings. Does anyone else remember that? It doesn't make it gospel, but it's fun to think about.....a sister who never sinned! That's gotta be rough!!
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  #10  
Old Dec 10, '05, 7:03 am
Philomena Philomena is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidelis
It's not the same word. The word used in Luke 1:36 is the Greek word suggenes, which is usually rendered kinsman or cousin; persons of a close but undefined family relationhip.

The word used for Jesus' "brothers" in, for example in Matthew 12:46-47, is adelphos. It has a very broad meaning and is used for everything from brothers germane (as in refering to Peter and Andrew in Matthew 10:2), or as in brothers in the faith, like in Matthew 7:4.

For more info on this, see the Catholic Answers tract:
"Brethren of the Lord"
http://www.catholic.com/library/Bret...f_the_Lord.asp
Thanks, Fidelis....do you know about the Hebrew or Aramaic words used to describe Elizabeth?
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  #11  
Old Dec 10, '05, 7:06 am
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Difficult living with those who "never sinned?"

Hey, guys, didn't you see the article about Pope Benedict speaking earlier this week, when he said that living a virtuous life was NOT BORING?

That we didn't have to experience rebellion against God to have a "full human experience?"

I love, love, LOVE that man. "Never sinning" is what the human experience was meant to be in the first place, and what it CAN be with the help of our models Mary and Jesus.

Not that I am being a wet blanket (I hope), and the comments were amusing, but I do want to, as it were, present the "other side of the story", the side which should be emphasized more often, the "positive" aspects of being "full of grace".

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  #12  
Old Dec 10, '05, 8:08 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

If you read the Protoevangelium of James (not inspired writing but nevertheless interesting) which tells of the birth of Mary, her mother Anna was childless before Mary and had no further children.
It also mentions Elizabeth as a kinswoman.
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  #13  
Old Dec 10, '05, 8:22 am
StCsDavid StCsDavid is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philomena
I think it was in St Catherine Emmerich's writings, where she says that Mary had several siblings. Does anyone else remember that? It doesn't make it gospel, but it's fun to think about.....a sister who never sinned! That's gotta be rough!!
I believe you are correct. If my memory serves it was an older sister. Of course that's private revelation versus Gospel. I wonder if any of us have a blood line that goes back to Mary's older sister? Now that might make for an interesting work of fiction.
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  #14  
Old Dec 10, '05, 9:54 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philomena
Thanks, Fidelis....do you know about the Hebrew or Aramaic words used to describe Elizabeth?
Luke's Gospel, which is the only one to mention Elizabeth, was written in Greek. It is my understanding that the Hebrew/Aramaic term translated into the Greek adelphos also is a catch-all term for "kinsmen." Otherwise they were forced to use a clumsy circumlocution like "the son of the sister of my mother."

As for the Blessed Virgin having siblings, we read in John's Gospel: "But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his motherís sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene" (John 19:25).
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  #15  
Old Dec 11, '05, 5:56 am
Philomena Philomena is offline
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Default Re: Elizabeth, Mary's 'sister' or 'cousin'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidelis
Luke's Gospel, which is the only one to mention Elizabeth, was written in Greek. It is my understanding that the Hebrew/Aramaic term translated into the Greek adelphos also is a catch-all term for "kinsmen." Otherwise they were forced to use a clumsy circumlocution like "the son of the sister of my mother."

As for the Blessed Virgin having siblings, we read in John's Gospel: "But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his motherís sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene" (John 19:25).
Wow, you know, I don't think I ever noticed that about Mary's sister! Is 'sister' actually used there and not 'kinsmen'?
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