Brother of Jesus Protestant POV Wikipedia article on Jesus

Hello all, I was wondering if there are some folks here who edit Wikipedia articles could review the current Wikipedia article on Jesus, specifically on his early life section. There are two sources cited that some editor has used to state in the article that the Catholic view that Jesus did not have biological brothers or that the biblical word itself means kin or cousins not necessarily brother is debunked:

“Some early Christian writers, concerned that mention of Jesus’ brothers and sisters contradicted the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, argued that these represented either older children of Joseph by a previous marriage, or that the reference was actually to “cousins”. Both interpretations are discounted by modern scholars.”

Neither book quoted seems to assert that and it should be challenged, my problem is I just do not have the spiritual or physical energy to engage in any type of editing on Wikipedia that is likely to be long drawn out and frankly a spiritual warfare right now but I could help with suggestions or background on processes. I am not yet a member of the church but I have come from a protestant upbringing and I know this doctrine is used to bash Catholics which is why I am concerned.

Here are articles from this website that will help:

Also, reading from my Youcat (youth catechism), it says that in Aramaic, Jesus’ mother tongue, there’s only one word for sibling and cousins. Thus when the Gospels speak of the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus, they are referring to Jesus’ close relatives. (P. 56, Q. 81)

Anyone can edit Wikipedia. Go ahead and do it.

I have not studied Aramaic, but I am happy to accept that there is no disctinction betwen ‘brother’ and ‘cousin’ in that language.

However the NT was written in the very precise language of Greek. The Ancient Greek language did have a word for ‘cousin’: anepsios, which is used in Colossians 4:10 to describe the relationship between Barnabas and Mark.

As there was a word available for ‘cousin’ the NT writers would certainly have used it. Such as Galatians 1:19 where James is referred to as the brother of Jesus, the word adelphos was used.

I think that the 'not being a word for ‘cousin’ argument does not hold water, and we need to find another way of arguing this point.

I have found the following article which seems to give a good explanation:

The bible also mentions cousins. It would be erroneous to imply that the people during bible time did not have words to differentiate between a brother and a sister.
The world over the, simplest family unit is very distinct; father, mother, sons, daughters. Children from the same mother would not refer to one another as cousins. Even today, the Hebrew language does not use brother/sister to mean cousin.
If the writer, says a brother and a sister which is easily understandable, why would we want to assume that he did not understand what he wrote, and we try to correct him with what is not applicable even today.

Hello eamonnroma. You are actually correct, and I have previously provided links that explain the use of Jesus’ brothers. But we have to consider the fact that the only evidence we have is that the original text of Matthew and Mark was written in Greek, which supports your claim. We can’t be completely certain that the other Gospels were too, but they were probably written in Greek.

Hello Oska2, I am talking about Jesus’ mother tongue, which is Aramaic. It is possible that Jesus and his apostles could have communicated in Aramaic. But that is true, since people at the biblical times spoke multiple languages, they could have easily used Greek.

I’d like to be on the right side of the truth. The sons of Zebedee, John and James were brothers. Apostle Simon Peter and Andrew were brothers too. Would the usage of the term brother when referring to these mean siblings from the same mother, while when referring to Jesus be implying ‘cousins’.
In other parts of the Bible throughout history, there is no one time when the word brother was used to mean cousins or any other relative. Cain & Abel were brothers. Isaac son of Abraham had a half brother called Ishmael. Jacob and Esau were brothers. Jacob had 12 sons who referred to one another as brothers. There has never been a dispute on the ‘brotherhood’ of all these cases.

James is named as a ‘brother’ of Jesus. There are two apostles named James. One was the son of Zebedee along with his brother John; the other James was the son of Alphaeus. Are we saying that Mary had an affair with either Zebedee or Alphaeus?

:thumbsup: Excellent

The Greek language had a word for “cousin”, the Aramaic did not.

Here’s an old CAF thread you might find informative.

Hello Oska2, when I was referring to the truth, I was talking about what you had previously mentioned, that the New Testament was written in Greek.

Also, the other CAF users gave you excellent responses, but I am not in a position to give you an appropriate answer.
So, here you go:

Thanks for the correction, and am sorry that I had misunderstood the focus question and talked about something else. U have given me an assignment on Aramaic language.

You’re welcome! Don’t be sorry, everyone makes mistakes.

Good luck on your task! :smiley:

I have one question: how in the world do you study the Aramaic language and its words? :shrug:

It has been my experience that editing Wikipedia on any controversial subject is probably a pointless endeavor. Either you will be immediately “re-edited” or a “flame-war” will erupt – and very likely both.

Here’s a different viewpoint.

There is no need for all this wrangling to support an erroneous theological position concocted in the dark ages by dualistic philosophers that had taken control of the Roman Catholic Church

An historically inaccurate and deliberately loaded anti-Catholic polemic.

Was Luther a “dualistic philosopher”? Calvin? Zwingli?

The author of the article “says” wants to keep to Scripture – but contorts himself into knots to explain Scripture away.

Not a convincing viewpoint at all.

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