Translation of the words "brother" and "cousin"




I mean a comment as in Chapter 2 of De Viris Illustribus, which I believe is the main source that we have for Jerome’s theory about the “cousins”:

James, who is called the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just, the son of Joseph by another wife, as some think, but, as appears to me, the son of Mary sister of the mother of our Lord, of whom John makes mention in his book, ….

Note Jerome’s qualification, “… as appears to me …” (“ut autem mihi videtur”). He is not stating it as a known fact but only as his own view.


ok thank you…have you read him tearing apart the other two views…to me indeed an opinion but he writes quite vigorously in defense of it and against others views

but if he was not dogmatic enough about it to put his view into translation that is good, that tradition goes just so far authoritatively , unlike Scriptures, that deserved to be left alone, reverentially, to speak for themselves.


We never hear of those brothers until AFTER Jesus is thirty. I’m allowing for time to pass for Joseph and Mary to have their “so-called” children


I like to think she was probably worried about Jesus as well. (She believed but she wasn’t exactly full of understanding.)


Exactly. I was being vague.


The issue is only “complicated” because the genealogists of the Jewish people were largely lost in the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem… Most people only memorized their own genealogies, not those of all their cousins.

But Eusebius, who lived in Palestine, has a fair-sized section of his Ecclesiastical History about the joys of being a member of the House of David when both the Jewish and Roman authorities do not like you much.

Anyway… The other known genealogies, from Jewish rabbis of the time, are generally full of adopted sons, cousin marriages where people are cousins both ways or even more, Levirate marriages, and so on. “Complicated” was the breath of life to Jewish family history.


I think I may be missing the point here, but……

Mark 3:21 –

I guess it depends on how you look at it –

I think you could have two readings/interpretations/takes on the passage. Essentially, it seems like his family was doing one of two things – either trying to ‘rescue’ him from the crowds and possible danger and allow him to have some ‘space’, or they were trying to rescue him from the crowds, carry him off to some safe place where he could indulge in his ‘delusions’ without doing any harm to himself. In the first scenario, they are protecting him from the crowds and possible harm from the crowds; in the second, more or less protecting him from himself.

This seems to suggest that even his own family didn’t quite believe in him (yet). Or they sort of believed but really didn’t understand.

I may be missing something here, but I don’t see the connection between this and that it was his own siblings involved in the above.

If you were one of several children and the eldest once day declared he was the Messiah and started acting on that idea, as a family, you might be tempted to place a call to the nice people with the nifty white jackets that tie in the back. Again, I think the passage speaks to the idea that even his own family, his brothers and sisters didn’t really believe he was divine.

With John 3 – I think it’s the same idea – his own family didn’t believe in him and they seem to be suggesting that old sibling comment “oh yeah, prove it”. It seems here they wanted him to sort of prove to them he was who he said he was.

Again though, I guess I’m missing something here – what connection is this to the subject?

Both passages seem to indicate that even his own siblings didn’t believe him.


In a patriarchal society, it was “younger serves older.” People back then followed the rule “Respect your elders” to the letter. So in that day and age, you must admit it was an abnormality to go grab your older brother if you think he’s crazy.

In both passages, Jesus’s family tell Him what to do, so to me at least, there has to be some authority these “siblings” had over Him. They’d have to be older.


Ok, I get it now…I don’t see a problem with them not being mentioned when Jesus was 12, the only time Jesus is mentioned also. Furthermore, that one time Jesus is mentioned when “left behind”, seems more plausible when Mary and Joseph have their guiver full (lots of kids as opposed to an only child). I am reminded of the Home Alone movies, where amidst all the chaos of a large family, one is left behind from a family vacation departure. Again, not as plausible story if only one child to care for.


As stated earlier, Mary, the mother was with the siblings, which to me is not upsetting the “chain of command” that you propose. I believe a forefather or two may cite this case, and her “pondering”, that leave Mary quite like us, and not perfectly sinless, at least at this stage or the beginning of His ministry (Chrysostum?).


It is because you do not know the culture that you make these mistakes.
Families didn’t go in a caravan together. They were separated. Men traveled together as did women. Children would travel with women. Joseph assumed He was with the women and Mary assumed He was with the men. They didn’t realize He was with neither until they came to the end of the day and then the families would be together.


3 So his brothers said to him, `Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing;

21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Where does it say that Mary was with these cousins? Even if she were, the culture would not be that they were under her authority but that she was under the authority of her son. The so called chain of command was Husband, Oldest son. Women did not figure into that at all.

What is the sin in pondering?


thank you for the lesson, though not totally ignorant of them.,Makes no difference to my case, which is that one child, an only child, is less prone to be left behind than if there were many.

Even in your statement, that children go with women, you must then answer how a perfect women would assume otherwise (that Jesus would go with Joseph)… only possible explanation was that at twelve Jesus was a “man”, possibly now bar mitzvahed, but then why would the parents not know of change and that Jesus would go with the men (Joseph) now . Again, an error in communication , but still easier to do with many children.

I would also think families were together at the beginning, and at the end of each day


“Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.”

Pondering is not sin, but neither is it exactly knowing.


Mary was sinless. I am sure she made mistakes which would not be sin. As you state, Jesus would be thought of as a man and go with the men. Joseph use to him going with the women was unconcerned that He was not with him. Mary would have assumed that He would be with the men. Having more than one, which is not the case would not have mattered. If Joseph believed He was with Mary and Mary assumed He was with Joseph does not matter that there was only one.


You are combining three versus from three different Gospels. When the brothers counciled Jesus to go to Judea or when they planned to seize Him was not the same incident as when they sought to talk to Jesus. But it doesn’t matter because your point was that Mary was in command which she was not. Younger siblings would not talk to an older one like this that is because they were neither siblings nor were they younger.


Ok…not sure but I think some people think the two texts are related…the brothers conspiring and the later attempt to "speak"to him…just like you read about Pharisees conspiring and later read of their attempts


It is not important as either way it shows that they are older not younger therefore not children of Mary. Nowhere in scripture does it state that there are other children than Jesus. Scripture states that Jesus is The son of Mary not A son of Mary.


Well, that is what for centuries has been discussed , for scriptures plainly states brethren and sister of Jesus.

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