I’m researching the topic of Jesus having siblings and so far I discovered from the Bible that brother doesn’t have to actually stand for brother (didn’t need to look into greek words to figure this out!). But as I’ve been researching, I’ve come across so many Marys and James-s that I want to know whether some of them are the same person.

  1. How do we know that James the Less (Mark 14:40-41) is the same as James son of Alphaeus (Mark 18)

  2. Who is Clopas from John 19:25? The verse is very similar to Mathew 17:56 and Mark 15:40-41. Assuming the verses are related, Clopas could be Zebedee (assuming there were three women under the cross), or Alphaeus (assuming there were four women under the cross and that James the Less is the son of Alphaeus also), or he could be just Clopas, father of James and Joseph or James and John (assuming he is the husband of Mary). Which one is he and why.

Before doing this research, I would just say the Bible alone is not enough to interpret Scripture but now I understand why it isn’t. Feel free to cite any manuscripts from the early Church to backup your answers. I really appreciate any one willing to help me out!

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