Over 250 Protestant Leaders Sign 'Reforming Catholic Confession' on Essentials of Christian Faith


Okay you want to keep talking about this. I have said on this web site, even recently, if the plain sense does not make sense, you should look for a figure of speech. A metaphor, and Idiom, a simile etc. A custom or a known tradition may play a role in the interpretation and can sheds light on the passage but must be validated. (More on that in a moment.)

Context, many times will determine how you will make your interpretation. In the example you just gave about how many times Peter should forgive his “brother,” context may determine who he meant when he was talking about his brother.

In that particular case, that question was not answered. Peter may have had his blood brother in mind or may have had a brother in the faith or a family member in mind. The passage doesn’t answer that specific question. Therefore since the bible is silent on this narrow question, I would contend it is a mistake to impose an answer anyway based on some outside source. A rule of interpretation is: be silent where the bible is silent and speak where the bible speaks.

As I mentioned on this site recently, Mark 6:3 and following is crucial to answering the “brother” question. Mark also list his four brothers and at least two sisters. But Jesus response refuted your idea that these four men were relatives or cousins. Jesus said, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives, and his own household. (6:4)

Contained in Mark’s version are all of the variables in one place where Matthew leaves out the word “relatives.”

Jesus told us, he was not welcome in three distinct places: (1) His hometown, (2) among his relatives, AND… IN HIS OWN HOUSE."

This last part of the answer makes sense since the Greek word for brothers and sisters meant exactly that. a blood brother and sister. If everyone present were only “relatives,” the passage would have to read something like this:

“A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his RELATIVES who live in his own house.”

But that is not the case. A distinction is made between relatives AND, those of his own house. The implication is that those who lived in his house were the same ones listed by the men in the synagogue.
Secondly, I’ve heard the argument that the word firstborn doesn’t mean first of more sons born. But actually it does. A firstborn son, always receives a double portion of the inheritance. An only son is a different story. Matthew’s gospel was written well beyond the birth of Jesus’s brothers. He understood Jesus to be the first of at least four… This is the face value evidence found in scripture.

Reading a custom into the interpretation would be believable if the Greek counterparts were able to justify it. The holy Spirit did not use the Greek word for relatives or cousin when he said the word BROTHER. And, how this word is also used in other New Testament passages doesn’t surprise anyone. It means exactly what is says.

It’s time to get a grip to what inspired scripture actually says and hold it up higher than the traditions of men. This is what Jesus taught us to do.



You may have forgotten what Jesus taught about tradition in general. He did not speak of it as the best way to convey divine truth. Actually it was not considered at all.

When Paul wrote about keeping the traditions he laid out, it was with the understanding that those traditions were absolutely in-line with his letters of inspired scripture. It did not include traditions formulated later in time by people outside of the Apostolic circle. The further out you go, the more likely there will be traditions that have nothing to do with God’s word.

There was no wiggle room or flexibility in the New Testament day when it came to how transcending truth was to be treated. Paul went on in another place to say “if I, or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Gal. 1:8

Oh, yeah. there’s is one more thing. I notice you are all caught up on this Catholic v’s Protestant thing. But I have to tell you, in heaven there is no such thing as Catholic and Protestant. There is no Catholic child of God and a Protestant child of God. There are no Baptist or Lutherans, or whatever child of God. This is small thinking. People in my circle do the same thing. It’s wrong.

Our God has only one body who calls upon the name of the Lord and any sectarian way of looking at it is what the Apostle Paul called (in 1st. Cor. 3:1) “… people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.”



I have not forgotten.

I am answering your post that belittles Tradition as ways to get information and understand scripture.

How do you know Jesus had brothers and sisters whereas we say he did not?

Contrary to what you said, depending on scripture exigesis alone is inconclusive as the discussion shows.

It is your word against ours; your interpretation against ours.

But we have the tradition. We know about this. Peter was with us, he was our first Pope. Traditions are passed from generation to generation until today because not all are written in scripture.

You despise tradition because you do not have one to refer to. And if you do, you would be referring to the Catholic sources, which you would not want to, for obvious reason.


I was under the impression it was a truth vs not truth thing. I agree there is no protestan-catholic distinction in heaven but truth is is forever.



Obvious in scripture: where in scripture does it say Mary had other children?
I don’t believe anyone is trying to discredit what is in scripture. The teaching of the Church Universal since the time of St Jerome, including Luther, Calvin and Zwingli has been semper vergo . Why should there be a change in that belief without explicit proof from scripture?


There is a lecture that I viewed from a professor that some of you may have heard of as I had, and that some may be quick to dismiss as I was, based on his reputation. But, after watching, I think he made some very valid points. I would appreciate feedback from anyone that watches.


Jesus said, "A prophet is not without honor, ex cept in his hometown and among his relatives, and his own household. (6:4)v

Jesus told us, he was not welcome in three distinct places: (1) His hometown, (2) among his relatives, AND… IN HIS OWN HOUSE."
“A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his RELATIVES who live in his own house.”

This is all wrong as I pointed out before. What is said here is The Greek word uses is (suggenes (1) of the same kin, akin to, related by blood 2) in a wider sense, of the same nation, a fellow countryman)
So what it is saying is there is no honor in His home town, His countryman and His own Family.The family being is mother, aunt and uncle and their children or according to the Eastern church Joseph’s sons. As I pointed out, you are trying to read scripture as if they are written with this societies traditions.

A firstborn son, always receives a double portion of the inheritance. An only son is a different story. Matthew’s gospel was written well beyond the birth of Jesus’s brothers. He understood Jesus to be the first of at least four… This is the face value evidence found in scripture.

A false statement unless you can provide proof. The first born had to be redeemed. According to what you have wrote they would have to wait until another child was born. The first born son was the son who opened the womb and had to be redeemed. It did not depend on a second child. An only son would be called first born because he opened the womb. first born redemption of
It goes to prove what I stated before. If you go outside the culture, you cannot understand the scripture as you have demonstrated.


And to show further this is not a protestant vs catholic thing i say :+1:



He misleads the listener to think he is the authority of the JDJ and he is far from any authority on a document he does not agree with. I can undertsand his anti-Catholic stance but demeaning the Lutheran authorities and others who did sign the JDJ is beyond me.

It is quite understandable that he disagrees with the JDJ but that is not enough for this guy. He not only disagrees but he accusatory to those who did sign the document of not understanding what they signed. Quite arrogant of him to profess others do not understand what they drew up and signed.

Im pretty sure there are non-Catholics here that would agree.



Hope, you very cleverly cut and pasted my quotes together out of context. Why?


Out of what context are your referring to? Out of context with scripture? Or out of context with how you were trying to use it?
Since is doesn’t say what you want it to, everything you wrote was mute which is what I posted. The Greek word uses is (suggenes (1) of the same kin, akin to, related by blood 2) in a wider sense, of the same nation, a fellow countryman)What it is saying is there is no honor in His home town, His countryman and His own Family. It is further born out in other scripture
Luke 4 24: And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.
John 4 44: For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
Again scripture shows that those who are called brothers have other mothers. Your they are common names does not work because they are shown to be kin. Maybe that is why scripture names them so that it is obvious that they are not Mary’s children. No one but Jesus is called Mary’s son. The brothers treat Jesus as younger than they are. Jesus provides for Mary an unnecessary thing to do if she had sons. Who does Jesus say our His mother and brothers? Did it ever occur to you that this is the reason that brothers would be used to show that we are all adopted into God’s family when we do His will?
I have been meaning to add this. You treat the Greek word for brother as if it only had one meaning but this is what Strong’s Greeks Lexion has to say
80 adelphos {ad-el-fos’} from 1 (as a connective particle) and delphus (the womb); TDNT - 1:144,22; n m 1) a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother 2) having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman 3) any fellow or man 4) a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection 5) an associate in employment or office 6) brethren in Christ 6a) his brothers by blood 6b) all men 6c) apostles 6d) Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place


I have just found this which is the best I have seen.

Fr. William Saunders
In the New American Bible’s English translation of the Gospel of St. Mark we do indeed read about the crowd asking, “Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, a brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Aren’t His sisters our neighbors here?” (Mk 6:3) A similar reference occurs earlier in Mk 3:31—"His mother and brothers arrived…"
The problem emerges in understanding the meaning of the word brother. In the original text of the Gospel, we find the Greek word <adelphos,> meaning brother, used. However, does not just mean blood brothers born of the same parents. Rather, was used to describe brothers not born of the same parents, like a halfbrother or stepbrother. The word also described other relationships, like cousins, nephews, etc.

For example, in Gn 13:8 and 14:1416, the word was used to describe the relationship between Abraham and Lot; however, these two men did not share a brother relationship, but one of uncle and nephew. Another instance is that of Laban, who was an to Jacob, not as a brother, but as an uncle. (In the New American translation, “kinsman” or “relative” will be used in these Old Testament cases; I do not know why this is not true in the English translation of the Gospel.) The same is true for the word sister.

Actually, the confusion originates in Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages of most of the original Old Testament texts and of Christ. In these languages, no special word existed for cousin, nephew, half-brother, or step-brother; so they used the word brother or a circumlocution, such as in the case of a cousin, “the son of the brother of my father.” When the Old Testament was translated into Greek and the New Testament written in Greek, the word was used to capture all of these meanings. So in each instance, we must examine the context in which the title is used. In all, the confusion arises in English because of the lack of distinct terms for relatives in the Hebrew and Aramaic, and the usage of the Greek to signify all of these relations.

Nevertheless, other Gospel passages clarify these relationships. James and Joses were the sons of Mary of Clophas (Mk 15:40). Judas was the son of James (not either of the Apostles) (Lk 6:16). James the Lesser was the son of Alphaeus (Lk 6:15). James the Greater and John were the sons of Zebedee with a mother other than our Blessed Mother Mary (Mt 20:20).


The Gospels are also very clear that Mary was a virgin at the time she conceived Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt 1:18-25, Lk 1:26-38). Remember when the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary God’s plan, she responded, “How can this be, since I do not know man?”

After the birth of our Lord, although the Gospels do not give us many details of His childhood, no mention is made of Mary and Joseph ever having other children. Never does it refer to the “sons of Mary” or “a son of Mary,” but only the son of Mary.

This point is again corroborated at the crucifixion scene: Before He dies, our Lord says to Mary, “Woman, there is your son,” and then to St. John, who is definitely not a blood brother, “There is your mother.”

According to Jewish law, the oldest son had the responsibility of caring for the widowed mother, and that responsibility would pass to the next oldest if anything happened to the first-born son. By this time, St. Joseph has died. Since Jesus, the first born, had no “blood brother,” He entrusted Mary to the care of St. John, the Beloved Disciple.

Interestingly, the Orthodox Churches solve this problem over brothers and sisters by speculating that St. Joseph was a widower who had other children before he married Mary. These brothers and sisters would really then be half-brothers and half-sisters. Perhaps this notion is why St. Joseph sometimes appears elderly in paintings.

Actually, this whole confusion is not new. About 380, Helvidius suggested that the “brethren” were the children born of Mary and Joseph after Jesus. St. Jerome declared this as a “novel, wicked, and daring affront to the faith of the whole world.” In his <On the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mary,> St. Jerome used both Scripture and the fathers, like Saints Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus and Justin Martyr to refute Helvidius. Later, the First Lateran Council (649) definitively declared that Mary was “ever virgin and immaculate.”

Therefore, as Catholics, based on Sacred Scripture and Tradition, we do not believe that Mary and Joseph had other children and consequently that Jesus had blood brothers and sisters.

Fr. Saunders is associate pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish and president of the Notre Dame Institute, both in Alexandria.


I paid attention to your message not to how you quoted. You accuse me of clever posting the
way you cut and paste makes me say something I didn’t. Now that is clever posting.


yeah… I read two of my statements from you, back to back but parts were left out. I would have to go back and hunt it down. Maybe it wasn’t intentional.

If it wasn’t intentional please forgive me. I was wrong.


There is nothing to forgive I thought it was quite amusing God bless you


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