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


When Jesus went to His home town the citizens questioned His wisdom seeing that this was the Jesus they all had known.
In this context, the question was posed. “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? and are not his brothers James, Joseph and Simon and Judas? and are not all his sisters with us? … Jesus responded by saying, A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in His own HOUSEHOLD.” Mat. 13:55

I’ve heard the spin about this on this web sight. Anyone brave enough to face the biblical narrative must embrace what the word of God says, despite tradition.


Is Jesus the son of the carpenter? That is also what was questioned. But we know better than these who did not know or believe.

These were NOT the children of Mary. They may have been children of Joseph, but not Mary.

If you study the early Christians, you will find many Saints, including Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, etc. Who ALL testify to an understanding that Scripture is NOT saying that Mary had other children.

I understand it “appears” that way, but its not what is really being said.


Jesus wasn’t first born because of the mention of “brothers and Sisters” but because He was the first born which you mentioned was significant in the culture. It never uses the term sons and daughters. The named brothers are shown to have other mothers than Mary. When there is an interaction with Jesus, they behave as ones older than Jesus not younger. It would be unthinkable for Jesus to prepare for His mother to be taken care of by anyone but a brother if He had one. He did not so He cared for His mother by having John adopt her and she him as a son.


On the Ever-Virginity of the Theotokos (Mother of God) by Bishop Lazar Puhalo


A couple of things here: #1 we do not know who exactly asked this question. Jesus was in the town synagogue teaching. It was his wise sayings and apparent miracles that brought about the question of His identity. I’m sure the town gossip was already primed.

This was not an ordinary man. why not? his wisdom and his mighty works tell us this.

It may be that Joseph was already dead for whatever reason,
I don’t think anyone knows. But Jesus’ home town was trying to piece together how this son of a carpenter had such wise sayings and miraculous works.

So they clearly started to examine Him and His immediate family, to which they obviously rejected once they understood all that was at stake. To say they were examining His distant relatives as proof to one’s common origin, is a stretch. It would make no sense to argue from the standpoint of immediate family if only His mother was immediate. It actually weakens the argument.

When the Greek counterpart for the word “brother” is employed, there is no drifting. The Greek word for cousin on the other hand is the word syngenes’ and it can also be translated, Kin, Kinsfolk, Kinsman. The Holman translation also uses the word relative.

But that is not the word employed in Matthew 13:55.

#2 If the holy Spirit wanted to convey this narrow truth, (that Mary had no other Children) and he wanted to secure it as a truth in every generation, He could have easily employed the Greek word syngenes’. Anyone in history is welcome to give their opinion including those you’ve mentioned. But none of them rise to the authority of holy scripture.

After naming Christ’ family members and realizing they were a common family, then they became “offended.” Why? He had to be all human but nothing more! After all His immediate family, the ones located at His home, are all with us.

But Jesus’ response is telling. “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own HOUSE.” Not even his immediate family believed in Him at this point, with the acception of Mary. This was the thrust of His point. The members of His own household (His personal home) did not believe He was the Christ. Only Jesus could say the things He was saying and do the things He was doing because He was God come in flesh. A truth the Jews all denied in this chapter.

Matt. 13:55


Joseph’s children.


So was Lot Abraham’s brother? The Bible says so

And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. - Genesis 14 12

But the Bible also says by genealogy Lot was Abraham’s nephew. So the brothers of Jesus could be kinsmen and not brothers in the sense of being of the same mother or father. How do you know which is which? How can you insist on brothers in the sense of of the same mother or father when the Bible doesn’t say they are?


Too bad you didn’t read the link that I provided. Then we could have a more reasoned discussion. The first error you make is treating that society as the same as this society. They didn’t have a nuclear society. The family consisted of parents grandparents aunts uncles and cousins. Their close family relatives would be such. You failed to acknowledge that the brother of Abraham was his nephew. Nor do you address the other indications that Jesus was an only child. You give no explanation as to why Jesus asked John to treat Mary as his mother. You have already been told that the named brothers have a mother that isn’t Mary. Yet you keep to your narrative which has been shown to be false.


Anepsos is the Greek word for cousin.the Greek suggenes simply means kinsman or relative. Now what do you do with John 19:25 or do you suggest that Mary’s parents named two children Mary?


I am talking about the attitudes of some people outside the Catholic church, towards the Catholic church and commenting that such views are valid to a very limited extent.


I am too, and those same attitudes have done terrible damage to the Christian orthodoxy in some Anglican and Lutheran communities


I am more interested in the limit of the reality of those thoughts, the implications for the church and for evangelising to those who hold those thoughts.


What did the holy Sprit write in Jn. 19:25? Shall we reassign the words because we don’t like them?
If there is some other explanation for Mary’s sister having the same name, I am not at liberty to impose such a suggestion, and then call it a “truth,” until or unless the holy scripture validates my opinion. Until then, Mary’s sister was also called Mary.

Your right, Anepsos is the Greek word for cousin but Vines also translates suggenes into cousin. What was your point on that?

A relative, a kinsman, etc.


This is an imposes opinion unsubstantiated in the passage itself. We do not know this is the case in this passage. It is simply one explanation among a few. I choose to believe that the Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to write the exact words he wrote to convey the exact meaning. Anything else is conjecture in my view.


You are not addressing the point or maybe just ignoring it. It is unlikely that a parent would name two daughters with the same name. I suspect that you do not want to acknowledge this because frankly it shoots down your unwarranted insistence that the only meaning of brother has to be that they are Mary’s children. My point was exactly what you claim you do not do and that is reassign a meaning. We do not know how Elizabeth and Mary were related. We only know they were kinsman. Strong’s list the Greek as meaning kinsman. Vines does not actually give a translation of the Greek word, For instance with Abraham it states that it is meaning nephew and not brother even though the word use is brother.


Only because you wish to use only one meaning. It is obvious in scripture that brother is used to mean other relationships, Again you ignore those scriptures that do not support your view. Since scripture identifies these “brothers” having a mother other than Mary, it shows that you are trying hard to interpret it to mean one thing when obviously the Holy Spirit did not expect you to translate it that way. Again you ignored Jesus giving Mary to John and the fact that the way His “brothers” talked to Him showed they were older. You really do not want truth otherwise you would have read my link but I know that you are unable to answer it. .


Except that when you make a comparison with “like” passages found in N.T. scripture, they do not interchange these ideas as you suggest. The context can decide how the word “brothers” and “sisters” was used here quite nicely. If you want to interject a cultural norm to the passage in question, go ahead, but it won’t be enough. Two things are said in Jesus rebuke that tell the story.

Number #1 A prophet is not without honor but in his own town and among his own kin= relatives, AND!!! in His OWN HOUSE. (=HOUSEHOLD.) This word HOUSE is the exact same Greek word used in Mt. 2:11 when the Shepherds went into Mary’s literal house, her personal home. It is also the same Greek word used when Jesus entered Matthews house and reclined at the table. The point is, there is no spin here on the distinction between the town, the relatives, and the literal house of Joseph and Mary.

It is not unreasonable to tie-in the context of the argument (Which was: How can this be the Messiah?) to the fact that the narrative not only acknowledges but goes beyond hometown citizens and relatives. His brothers and sisters were included to the mix, making a distinction rather than a general statement. And the brothers were specifically named in association with Joseph and Mary and their daughters.

#2 We see this distinction in His rebuke between the hometown itself, (it’s citizens) along with His relatives and actual members of His HOME who would not honor Him, suggesting that even his brothers and sisters were not believing in Him at this point in time.

Then there is this thing called “transcending truth” When the holy Spirit guided Matthew’s hand to write this verse in Greek, over two thousand years ago, He easily could have cleared up any preconceived confusion or misunderstanding by directly saying, “these were not Mary’s biological children!, they were cousins!” (by employing that specific Greek word) So that we can be comfortable reading the passage at face value to understand what the holy Spirit wanted us to know in our generation today through an English translation.

But that is what we have now. The Holy Spirit chose the exact Greek words for Matthew to record. You just refuse to believe what your own Greek scholars must tell you if they are honest to the text. The word brothers and His sisters was a deliberate rendering, and consistent with other "like’ passages found in the New Testament. There is no suggestion here of a cultural norm to be applied without evidence.


Let me see if I can explain something to you. My belief is that Matthew first conveyed this gospel in Aramaic. It was than translated into Greek. The translator just kept the word as it existed in Aramaic. Just like it was kept in the Old Testament for Moses and his brother (nephew) You keep asking why the Holy Spirit would do such and such. I don’t know the mind of God but I do know that He left His Church to guide us. Jesus didn’t leave any written words Himself. The Church did not come out of Scripture not one word of the New Testament was written when the Church was established no the Church did not come out of Scripture but Scripture came out of the Church.


From a bible only mind set I can see how the bolded statement above works. If you could possibly put your self into the late 2nd century when the “NT” was much more than the 27 books you know today as the NT and make this statment you would have many more books to chose from that might clear it up, i don’t know. Im just glad i don’t have to choose on my own what the Holy Spirit truly meant. Im almost certain I woud get it wrong. :wink:



I wanted to say this is a fact that led to my conversion. My Protestant Church had a Holy Week tradition of reading from the accounts of the week. One year accompanying the Friday readings the Stabat Mater Was sung. It really hit me the role of Mary and John. I came to realize Protestantism had discarded Mary and had ignored the significance of Jesus giving Mary to John. I started to see that Catholicism fit the many pieces together far better than Protestantism.

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