Did Jesus have brothers and sisters?
Recently, I found myself in a discussion with some fellow Anglicans, at my Parish who insisted Jesus had brothers and sisters, because of Bible translations that speak of brothers and sisters of Jesus. For some reason, these few people are completely disregarding Tradition.
I know the Semitic languages do not have a specific word for brother or sister. Even the Greek word for brother, adelphos, is used for relatives other than brother.
James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas are called the “brothers” of Jesus.
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Let’s start with James.
The first mention of James is found in Matthew, Chapter 4. This James is identified as James the son of Zebedee and is usually mentioned with his brother John. I think he is traditionally called "James the Greater."
21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
We find James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, and the other James identified as the son of Alphaeus (traditionally called “James the Less”) named among the Apostles.
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
James (son of Zebedee) is mentioned again as one of the witnesses to the Transfiguration:
1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
James the brother of John, son of Zebedee, is killed.
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, . . .
**So, I’m assuming further mentions of James refer to James the son of Alphaeus (James the Less.) **
16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.
James at the Jerusalem Council:
13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, . . . .
Paul is accepted by the Apostles, including James:
7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Paul visits James:
17 When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
Isn’t this a reference to the same James as above, the son of Alphaeus?
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
**And then there is the Book of James.
Is there another James mentioned in the N.T. besides James the son of Zebedee and James the son of Alphaeus?
Also, I haven’t found anyone called the son of Joseph, except Jesus.
I welcome your help. I do believe that Mary is the Ever Virgin.