No word for "cousin" in the Bible?


#1

I have heard the question asked, “How can Mary have been a perpetual virgin, when the Bible refers to Jesus’ brothers?” The answer as been that the word in question could have meant “brother” or “cousin.” Apologists have said that in those Biblical times, there was no word that denoted “cousin”; hence, the word “brother” was used.

But during the Scripture readings on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, it specifically said that Elizabeth was the cousin of Mary. So is there or is there not a word for “cousin” in Bible?

Thanks for your insight!


#2

There is.
anepsios’

The word in that passage is
syggenēs

Translated AV — kinsman 7, cousin 2, kinsfolk 2, kin 1
in the King James Version -AV-
which I doubt was used though :wink:


#3

Luke 2:36: And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. (KJV)

The word in that passage is
syggenēs

Translated AV — kinsman 7, cousin 2, kinsfolk 2, kin 1
in the King James Version -AV-
which I doubt was used though

But why didn’t the translators say “sister”?


#4

Not sure what you are getting at.


#5

What word is used in the passages that speak of Jesus “brothers”?

“Brethren of the Lord”


#6

Adelphos


#7

Ok…and how many different meanings does it show?


#8

I thought we were talking about cousins CM.
Why did this change to the brethren debate?


#9

Because this information is relevant…I’m curious if the word translated as brethren is ever translated as cousin. Is it?


#10

I was under the impression that there were no words for “cousin” in Jesus’s original and primary language - Aramaic. There is a word for cousin in Greek that has already been mentioned here:
adelphos.
The problem therefore stems from the particular translation used in the biblical reading. At least, that’s how I’ve understood it. :slight_smile:


#11

No it is not.


#12

kinsman 7, cousin 2, kinsfolk 2, kin 1

This is how the word asked about in the OP is translated. In the KJV.


#13

These apologists are wrong, though they insist on using this same tired argument. Even their very own bibles prove them to be in error.

Here is the officially approved, Catholic Douay-Rheims:

“And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age”

So is there or is there not a word for “cousin” in Bible?

What does the Catholic Church and the Holy Spirit say?


#14

Actually it is not the apologists who are wrong. The apologists argument is an accurate potrayal of the Greek, which is what matters since Greek is the original language. Translations from the original Greek are not perfect, including the DRV.

There is a Greek word for cousin–anepsios. However, this is not the word used in Luke 1:36 (which is translated to English as “cousin” by the DRV and the KJV). The Greek word used in Luke 1:36 is suggenes which means “kinswoman” or “relative”. In checking the parallel bible online, the vast majority of Bibles translations say “kinswoman” and not cousin.

Regarding the OP, there is no official Catholic position that says the 'brethren of the Lord" are cousins. It is supposed, by many, that they were cousins or at least relatives. If the NT writers had consistently used “adelphos” for blood brothers, there might be a case for the Lord having had blood brothers through His mother. However, the word “adelphos” is liberally used for men who are shown in other passages to be sons of other women and it is also used for disciples of the Lord.


#15

They told the OP:

“there was no word that denoted ‘cousin’”

Wrong.

The apologists argument is an accurate potrayal of the Greek, which is what matters since Greek is the original language.

Accurate portrayal???

“Apologists have said that in those Biblical times, there was no word that denoted “cousin””

That is everything BUT an accurate portrayal of both the Scriptures and Greek.

Translations from the original Greek are not perfect, including the DRV.

LOL.

So even the most respected Catholic translation***s*** have it wrong and are inaccurate.

Sigh. :rolleyes:


#16

They told the OP:

“in those Biblical times, there was no word that denoted “cousin””

That is wrong…both in regards to Scripture and Greek.

The apologists argument is an accurate potrayal of the Greek, which is what matters since Greek is the original language.

An accurate portrayal of Greek?

Yet you yourself go on in this very post to contradict them.

They claimed:

“in those Biblical times, there was no word that denoted “cousin””

You claim:

“There is a Greek word for cousin–anepsios”

If they are accurate, then you are not…but I already know that is not true.

Translations from the original Greek are not perfect, including the DRV.

So now even very respected Catholic translations are not accurate or trustworthy in this regard?

Sigh.


#17

Catholic apologists are not wrong because they do not make the claim that the OP stated. It is likely that the OP was confused or misinformed by a fellow CAF poster, but you have been around long enough to know that Catholic apologists do not say there is “no word for cousin in Greek or in scripture.” As another poster already said, the apologists claim there is no word for cousin in** Aramaic**. If you claim there is word for cousin in Aramaic, please post it. The apologists do say there is a Greek word for cousin. They are not wrong. It is anepsios. Anepsios is NOT the word used in Luke 1:36 which YOU gave as an example of the word cousin in scripture. You were wrong to use it as an example. Elizabeth is NOT a cousin according to the Greek, she is simply a kinswoman or a relative.

As I stated before, the Catholic Church does not take the position that the brethren of the Lord were cousins. Some people speculate that they were cousins, in which case anepsios should have been used. However, adelphos was commonly used in scripture to describe people who were not blood brothers. In the Greek translation of Genesis, adelphos is used to describe Lot’s relationship to Abraham. Then later, it is clearly shown that Lot is a nephew of Abraham, not a brother. There are many examples of adelphos being used for non-blood brothers, including when the Lord told Mary Magdalene to go tell His brothers He had risen and she goes to the disciples. Thus, even though adelphos is used when referring to the “brethren of the Lord” some people speculate that some of those “brethren” are actually cousins.


#18

LOL.

So now you argue for a group of fantasy apologists besides the ones specifically mentioned in the OP.

I said they were WRONG. You responded to my post by saying they were not wrong.

Now you change your position and agree with me…only so you can disagree.

No internal consistency at all.

It is likely that the OP was confused or misinformed by a fellow CAF poster, but you have been around long enough to know that Catholic apologists do not say there is “no word for cousin in Greek or in scripture.”

Wrong.

I have heard that line many times. It is a staple of Catholic apologetics.

As another poster already said, the apologists claim there is no word for cousin in** Aramaic**. If you claim there is word for cousin in Aramaic, please post it. The apologists do say there is a Greek word for cousin. They are not wrong.

Of course, you know full well that I nowhere was discussing Aramaic…and neither was the OP.

How convenient.

Anepsios is NOT the word used in Luke 1:36 which YOU gave as an example of the word cousin in scripture.

LOL, no.

That is not the example I gave.

That is the example that repected, official Catholic translations give.

If you have a problem with that, take it up with them, not me. Don’t blame me if your church’s own translationa have made such a blunder.

You were wrong to use it as an example. Elizabeth is NOT a cousin according to the Greek, she is simply a kinswoman or a relative.

How do all these Catholic translators get it wrong but you get it perfectly right?

Are you more educated than they?

Again, don’t blame me. I can only repeat Catholic teaching. You don’t have to like it.


#19

Well, banter aside it would seem that there are several Greek words that can fit the bill for cousin. Some more directly than others.

We have (in context of how they are used in the Bible):

Adelphos: Which was used in the Septuagint to address nephews, cousins, kinsmen and countrymen, brothers and fellows. Examples: Genesis 14:14 and 16; Genesis 29:12; Leviticus 25:49; Jeremiah 32:8-12; Tobit: 7:2; Acts 9:17;

Anepsios: There is only (to my knowledge) one use of this word in the Bible and it is to define a cousin or more precisely a “sister’s son”. Example: Colossians 4:10

Suggenes: Kinsmen, cousin or relative. This (at least in context of the Bible) seems to be like Adelphos a broad term. Examples: Mark 6:4; Luke 1:58; Acts 10:24.

The list of verses is by no means exhaustive I just put in a few so you could see them in various contexts.

Hope it helps.


#20

Take a deep cleansing breath, Atemi . . . :slight_smile:

I’m the OP, and I was mistaken by saying “Greek” in my initial post. I meant “Aramaic,” and I appreciate the responses of those who clarified the Catholic apologists’ position.


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