Mark Contradicts Catholic Church?

Mary thought Jesus was crazy!!!

Read this:

Mark 3:20

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.

You might try to justify this, saying we don’t know Mary was with the rest of the family. However, we do know that she was with them. Continue reading on:

(While Jesus was talking in the house)

(verse 31-32)
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

There is only one way I can justify this to make it agree with Catholic teaching:

Mary herself didn’t think He was crazy- the others in the group said it.
(In those days, they took the men’s words over the women’s, so maybe that was it.)

My footnotes say "Our Lord’s relatives did not yet believe in him. It is not clear that they said "He has gone mad " The Greek text means “He was beside himself”. The Blessed Virgin was with them on this occasion, but she had no misconception of His nature and mission:shamrock2::bible1:
Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. " St. Jerome

Actually, “they” doesn’t necessarily refer to Jesus’ family. The RSV translation of Mark 3:21 reads:
And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, “He is beside himself.”

Just because scripture records something someone or some person said does not necessarily mean that it is true. The fact that they said it is true, not the content.

Nothing in Sacred Scripture contradicts the Catholic Church because they work in union together. Using this particular example to refute teachings about Mary is quite a ‘stretch.’ As the original post even quotes, Mary arrived later. Regardless, the following is the Douay Rheims translation of this passage and some related commentary from the Haydock version of the D-R:

Mark 3:21 And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is become mad.

Ver. 21. And when his friends had heard of it;[1] literally, his own. We cannot here understand his apostles, for they were in the house with him; but either some of his kindred and friends, or some that were of the same country and town of Nazareth, though perhaps enemies to him. — For they said. It is not certain who said this, whether his friends or his adversaries. — He is become mad.[2] By the Greek, he is not himself. Christ might be called a madman by the Scribes and Pharisees, when he blamed their vices and when he preached with such extraordinary zeal. Or, as the Greek implies, he was thought to be transported out of his wits, and, as the Protestant translation hath it, was beside himself. If they were his friends that said this of him, they did not think so, but only pretended it, that they might get him safe out of the hands of his adversaries. (Witham)


How could “Mark contradict the Catholic Church?” He wrote the second Gospel, that was included in the New Testament of the Sacred Scriptures (Bible), organized and determined by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If Mark contradicts the Church, then the entire New Testament is false (you sound like our Muslim brothers?)

**There is no word in Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke! No Jesus didn’t have a King James Bible!!) for cousins or step brothers, etc. they are all ‘brothers and sisters’!

This is the same “family” that causes Jesus to say; "And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mk 6:4)**

**If Jesus had a brother, being a good Jew, He never would have said to John, while dying on the Cross,

“When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” (Jn 19:26-27).

These juvenile arguments over singular Sacred Scripture quotes taken totally out of context and misinterpreted by people who know little or nothing about Jewish and Christian history or Sacred Scripture in it’s perfect entirety, are really tiring! Patience is a virtue!!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


First off, if Mary thought Jesus was out of his mind, that would not seem to square with the virgin birth. Are you telling me she could believe that, but not that Jesus thought he was the messiah?

This passage in Mark, far from decrying the Catholic belief, only makes sense in the Catholic belief. If Jesus had no other blood brothers, that means that these were relatives.

Now picture the incident in a new light. Mary knows Jesus is the messiah. Jesus’ relatives think he’s crazy, and are going to take hold of him. Mary follows along to keep the peace. It brings to mind when I had a cousin that was telling my mom he wanted to “woop me”, and so was looking all through the house at a family reunion. Mom followed him along, worried he was going to start something, then of course interjected when things got out of hand.

In the Catholic belief, Mary knows her boy is special, the relatives don’t. In the other view, Mary apparently ignores the miracle of the virgin birth, then EXPECTS Jesus to turn water into wine, then goes back to ignoring multiple healings and demon exorcisms, then out of the blue thinks her boy is nutso. This view doesn’t square with the text. When it says “your family”, that doesn’t grammatically have to refer to Mary as well. They were all there looking for Jesus. But does that mean they all thought he lost it? Doubtful. VERY doubtful.

Note that these “brothers” have to be older than Jesus. Younger relatives would never correct elders in that society.

There is a theory that Joseph was a widower with children from his previous marriage. As far as I know there is no official teaching for or against this.

Assuming that this is true one can speculate that the children of the previous marriage feel that Jesus and Mary are ruining the family name and come to straighten them out. Mary goes along to avoid an early confrontation knowing that Jesus will straighten it out.

The idea of Mary thinking her son is ‘out of his mind’ doesn’t line up with other Gospel accounts. In the infancy narrative of Luke, she knows he is to be God’s son. There was no ambiguity regarding his identity in Mary’s mind. She willingly entered into this arrangement, it was not forced upon her. In John’s Gospel she tells the servants to ‘do whatever he tells you’. Hardly an appropriate directive regarding someone who is ‘out of their mind’. Mary is also found with sympathetic others at the foot of the cross. If one was thought to be ‘out of their mind’ why would he be receiving such sympathy? Why would anyone associate with him, much less family?
Also as other have pointed out, the NAB translation from the Greek differs from other translations. So there is some room for interpretation differences regarding this text.

We at least have to look at all four Gospels before jumping to conclusions.

Hope this helped.


The verses from Mark 3 may be in disagreement with other Gospels but certainly fit what else Mark writes about Jesus and His family. Mark’s Gospel does not contain the story of the Nativity or the origins of Jesus, so there is nothing about Mary’s virginity or the Holy Family. When one reads the Gospel of Mark separately, without pre-dispositions, it becomes quite clear that Mark had a different point of view from the other Gospels regarding who and what Jesus was.

This Gospel says little about the divinity of Jesus and most of it comes at the Passion and Resurrection. Perhaps Mark wrote the way he did because he did not consider Jesus totally divine until that moment. In his Gospel, there is no indication that anyone, even His mother, really understand who Jesus was or the meaning of what happened until after the Resurrection.

In Mark 6 Jesus is preaching in his home area and is not received well there, including by his own family. He says that a prophet is “without honor among his own kin.” So in Mark 3 and in Mark 6 the family of Jesus does not know how “special” He is; they appear to consider Him somewhat of an embarrassment. To them He is just a member of the family who appears to be somewhat wacko, acting like a prophet, preaching and performing miracles for others around the countryside.

Another telling part in Chapter 3 is Jesus not responding to His mother and family when they came to Him. How could that happen if He and they really knew who and what He was at that time? There is no indication in Mark that anyone in His family, including His mother Mary, followed Him during his ministry.

And then there is the scene at the Crucifixion. In Mark, other women are there but not His mother Mary. Mark does not mention her at all. Again, this may be because to Mark the family of Jesus played no positive role in His ministry or in His divinity.

It is interesting to compare the four Gospels and see how the different authors approached the divinity of Jesus. Each one has a somewhat different idea of when Jesus “became” the Son of God, and of what that exactly meant. The contrast is particularly obvious when one compares the low key, more human Jesus in Mark with the much more assertive and eternally divine Jesus in John’s Gospel. It took a few hundred years for the Church to finally come up with an agreed definition on the dual nature of Jesus and His eternal divinity, as well as of the Trinity. In some respects it is amazing that the early Church Fathers saw fit to include Mark’s Gospel in the Canon since it does not readily support these basic doctrines.

Kamalayka has either copied this nonsense from a website or pamphlet without reading the chapter, or he is being dishonest.

Actually reading the Chapter makes it clear that the Mark 3.20 incident with the relatives who thought him mad, and the Mark 3.31 visit from His Mother and “brothers” are two separate incidents. In the first incident Mary is not present, and in between the incidents, Jesus teaches and has a confrontation with the pharisees. No time scale is mentioned in a chapter that is a quick overview of Jesus’s early ministry and constantly goes from lepisode to episode. The wording of Verse 3.31 specifically indicates a new arrival of Mary and Jesus brothers/cousins.

Even without looking at the context of either of these, or looking at translations, etc., Mary arrived after people / family / relatives which ever way it is translated said that He was “beside Himself”. So . . . therefore that quote cannot be contributed to Mary.

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