Jesus' brothers and sisters


So, I was wondering. If Jesus had brothers and sisters as most Bible Christians believe, what are the implications of that to Christianity? I mean, His blood descendants are walking around here today, right?
I’m a little fuzzy on this, but about how many siblings do Bible Christians assert that He had? How many were Apostles, and where did the rest go to after the Resurrection? Any record of their activities?
Seems like they would have been highly sought after as teachers, or did they all (supposedly) remain fallen away after the Resurrection and Ascension?
Maybe Joseph Smith was one of the descendants and that’s why he was chosen for the golden plates?:shrug:


Jesus didn’t - end of story.


Jesus had no blood siblings, Mary was a perpetual virgin.

There are different beliefs on who these people were. Some say cousins (siblings and cousins are the same word in Aramaic). Others (mostly Orthodox I think) say that St. Joseph had children from a first marriage. There are non-canonical writings that suggest Joseph was elderly and a widower. People at the time would have thought that these were half-siblings of Jesus (knowing nothing of the Incarnation).

God Bless


The very act of entrusting His own Mother into the house of one of His Disciples, John, shows that there was no one else to take care of Mary after Christ’s death.

If you study Biblican history you will see that after the husband dies the Mother is entrusted into the care of the eldest son. If he dies then the Mother is entrusted into the care of the next eldest and so on.

To entrust that care of your Mother to a non family member would have been the greatest insult Jesus could have paid to his supposed ‘brothers or sisters’ that most biblical Christians believe He had.

So if ‘sola scriptura’ Christians believe that Jesus had brothers and sisters, then by extention they have to believe that Jesus paid the ultimate insult to them by placing His Mother into the care of a non-family member.


Joseph Smith prophesy according to Doctrines and Covenants 127.2:

And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.

In D&C 3:4 (given in 1828), we find this: “For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him…”

Joseph Smith gave a speech in May 1844, Smith proclaimed this: “I have more to boast of than any man ever had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a church together since the days of Adam.…Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”

Just 30 days from making that boast, on June 27, 1844; Joseph Smith was shot in Carthage jail.

Christ died, according to the Father’s will, asking forgivness for His persecutors.

Joseph Smith died with a gun in his hand.

John Taylor, who became the third President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made these statements concerning the death of Joseph Smith:

“Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time, ‘Would any of you like to have this?’ Brother Joseph immediately replied, ‘Yes, give it to me,’ whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket… I was sitting at one of the front windows of the jail, when I saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming around the corner of the jail, and aiming towards the stairs… (Hyrum was shot in the face and was killed instantly, John Taylor continued)
I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, ‘Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed died.” (History of the Church, Vol. 7, p. 100, 102 & 103)"

I don’t see any resemblance myself.

Deu 18:20 But the prophet, who being corrupted with pride, shall speak in my name things that I did not command him to say, or in the name of strange gods, shall be slain.

Deu 18:21 And if in silent thought thou answer: How shall I know the word that the Lord hath not spoken?

Deu 18:22 Thou shalt have this sign: Whatsoever that same prophet foretelleth in the name of the Lord, and it cometh not to pass: that thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath forged it by the pride of his mind: and therefore thou shalt not fear him.

God Bless,
Prodigal Son1


Please, please do not misunderstand me. I am a devoted Catholic and I have no doubts about Mary’s perpetual virginity. I am asking for *what might be problematic implications *of the Bible Christian’s idea that Jesus did have siblings. I was being sorta sarcastic by citing Joseph Smith. I mean, if there are (as it seems there would have to be) descendents of Christ, who share His Bloodline, then they might be able to make some absurd claim to a shared divinity, or authority to start a new religion.


If you look at Matthew 1:18-25, it says Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, but while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then visited by an angel, Joseph was told to go ahead with his marriage to Mary. Verse 25 says, But she remained a virgin UNTIL her son was born. I believe that she then consummated the marriage AFTER Jesus was born.
Jesus did have brothers. Look at 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 brothers.
So yes, Mary did conceive children AFTER Jesus was born. This is a stated fact in the Bible.
If you say that this is a false statement, then you’re telling me that God is a liar. That would be a no, no!!!

To comebacktome, your last statement about starting a new religion . . . understand this, religion will take you straight to hell, true christianity will lead you to heaven.


Christ was an only child…I have never heard anyone say otherwise, that knew what they were talking about


Go to John Martignoni has free CDs and/or tapes explaining all of this. Per scripture, which "bible’ Christians do not consistently follow, Christ had more than 100 siblings. This means that Mary, rather than being perpetual virgin, would have been in perpetual labor!

Check it out.


Then you were misled. I’ve quoted scriptures from the Bible. You’re telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Look it up yourself. The Bible that is.


It is how you are interpreting it…Kinsman were called brothers and sisters…There is not one drop of historic evidence Christ had siblings…

Why was Mary entrusted into the care of St John if there were other children to care for her?

There is a differnce in actually studying scripture and just reading it


Luke 1:36 - Elizabeth is Mary’s kinswoman. Some Bibles translate kinswoman as “cousin,” but this is an improper translation because in Hebrew and Aramaic, there is no word for “cousin.”

Luke 22:32 - Jesus tells Peter to strengthen his “brethren.” In this case, we clearly see Jesus using “brethren” to refer to the other apostles, not his biological brothers.

Acts 1:12-15 - the gathering of Jesus’ “brothers” amounts to about 120. That is a lot of “brothers.” Brother means kinsmen in Hebrew.

Acts 7:26; 11:1; 13:15,38; 15:3,23,32; 28:17,21 - these are some of many other examples where “brethren” does not mean blood relations.

Rom. 9:3 - Paul uses “brethren” and “kinsmen” interchangeably. “Brothers” of Jesus does not prove Mary had other children.

Gen. 11:26-28 - Lot is Abraham’s nephew (“anepsios”) / Gen. 13:8; 14:14,16 - Lot is still called Abraham’s brother (adelphos") . This proves that, although a Greek word for cousin is “anepsios,” Scripture also uses “adelphos” to describe a cousin.

Gen. 29:15 - Laban calls Jacob is “brother” even though Jacob is his nephew. Again, this proves that brother means kinsmen or cousin.

Deut. 23:7; 1 Chron. 15:5-18; Jer. 34:9; Neh. 5:7 -“brethren” means kinsmen. Hebrew and Aramaic have no word for “cousin.”

2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 9:13, 20:32 - here we see that “brethren” can even be one who is unrelated (no bloodline), such as a friend.

2 Kings 10:13-14 - King Ahaziah’s 42 “brethren” were really his kinsmen.

1 Chron. 23:21-22 - Eleazar’s daughters married their “brethren” who were really their cousins.

Neh. 4:14; 5:1,5,8,10,14 - these are more examples of “brothers” meaning “cousins” or “kinsmen.”

Tobit 5:11 - Tobit asks Azarias to identify himself and his people, but still calls him “brother.”

Amos 1: 9 - brotherhood can also mean an ally (where there is no bloodline).

It is also believed that Joseph was a widower, who had children from a previous marriage. These would have been step-brothers and sisters of the Lord.

God Bless,
Prodigal Son1


In the Bible, until means only that some action did not happen up to a certain point. You are forcing the modern sense of the word to make your point. Take a look:

“Till she brought forth her firstborn son”… From these words Helvidius and other heretics most impiously inferred that the blessed Virgin Mary had other children besides Christ; but St. Jerome shows, by divers examples, that this expression of the Evangelist was a manner of speaking usual among the Hebrews, to denote by the word until, only what is done, without any regard to the future. Thus it is said, Genesis 8. 6 and 7, that Noe sent forth a raven, which went forth, and did not return till the waters were dried up on the earth. That is, did not return any more. Also Isaias 46. 4, God says: I am till you grow old. Who dare infer that God should then cease to be: Also in the first book of Machabees 5. 54, And they went up to mount Sion with joy and gladness, and offered holocausts, because not one of them was slain till they had returned in peace. That is, not one was slain before or after they had returned. God saith to his divine Son: Sit on my right hand till I make thy enemies thy footstool. Shall he sit no longer after his enemies are subdued? Yea and for all eternity. St. Jerome also proves by Scripture examples, that an only begotten son, was also called firstborn, or first begotten: because according to the law, the firstborn males were to be consecrated to God; Sanctify unto me, saith the Lord, every firstborn that openeth the womb among the children of Israel, etc. Ex. 13. 2.

You forgot to add verse 15, In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty: )

120 brothers…that sure is a lot of children for Mary to have given birth to!

Where is it a stated fact? Where does it say that Mary gave birth to more children? When Jesus was lost in Jerusalem, why no mention of any other children when Mary and St. Joseph went back for Him?


And everyone would have thought they were half-brothers and sisters.

God Bless


Yes, thanks for the correction. My mind drew a blank as to the correct term, imagine that on a thread like this. :wink:

God Bless,
Prodigal Son1


From Brethren of the Lord:

Consider this line: “Michal the daughter of Saul had no children till the day of her death” (2 Sam. 6:23). Are we to assume she had children after her death?

There is also the burial of Moses. The book of Deuteronomy says that no one knew the location of his grave “until this present day” (Deut. 34:6, Knox). But we know that no one has known since that day either.

Your believe that she then consummated the marriage AFTER Jesus was born is found neither in Scripture nor in the beliefs and writings of the early Christians.

It’s a false statement, but not because God is a liar (I refer you again to the above Brethren of the Lord link).

Look one verse further, at Acts 1:15, which states, “During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place).”

120 brothers! That’s not “Mary Ever Virgin”, that’s “Mary Ever Pregnant”!


Christ had half-brothers, from an apparent earlier marriage of Joseph. Scripture fails to explain this clearly, as that is not its purpose. “Brothers” and “sisters” were those who lived in the same town or area, as well as extended family. Recall also that “family” back then meant all of your blood relatives, not just your immediate family. It also meant those who travelled with you, as the disciples were. Aramaic has no word for cousin, niece or nephew. All were either a brother or sister. Scripture fails to explain this, since that was also not its purpose.

Please explain why Jesus, as his last physical action on the cross, gave Mary to John and John to Mary (John 19:26-27). Why would he do this extremely mean and inconsiderate thing which disinherited all of his brothers and sisters? It stole the very mother from every one of them, since John took her into his home from that very hour. What was their great sin that caused Him to do this? Which passages reveal their disobedience to God, thus meriting the loss of their own mother?

Recall from Luke 7:11 that Christ has such great pity for the childless widow of Nain, that He restored her son to her. Recall also from both Mark 12:42 and Luke 21:2 that Christ admired the poor widow who gave the two small coins - all she had to live on, since widows had to beg to live. Christ specifically made this a teaching for His disciples, and pointed it out to them. Recall from John 14:18 that Christ promised His disciples that He would not leave them orphans. Now, apply all of this to the situation with Mary at the foot of the cross, along with the only disciple who did not flee from him.

Simply put, once you understand Christ’s great love, especially for the poor widows, you see that there was a very good, in fact perfect, reason for giving Mary to John and vice versa. Mary had no one to support her and Jesus would soon ascend. He left her a new son, John, and she lived with him for the rest of her earthly life.

Jesus had no brothers and sisters from Mary. Her purpose was to bring God in Christ into the world (Luke 1). With such a blessed mission, what else would you need? Why was Mary with Christ from beginning to end? Where were his brothers and sisters at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-3)?


Actually if St Joseph had children prior to his marriage to Mary they wouldn’t be any blood relation to Jesus at all…Joseph was not Christ’s father


Amen! :thumbsup: And also a big difference between “bible alone” and realizing that scripture is inadequate to support the church. Without Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the church, you get all of the hair-brained ideas you see put forth here.


You’re correct, but those outside the family who knew them would have called them brothers and sisters.

Mar 6:3 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.

God Bless,
Prodigal Son1

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit