What is the truth about Jesus's Brothers and Sisters?

The Bible says that Jesus had brothers and sisters. When I was in grade school, the nuns explained to us that the Bible was originally written in Aramaic, and that in the Aramaic language “brothers,” “sisters” and “cousins” were all the same word. A few years later, a priest told us that the brothers and sisters reference could be explained if Joseph had children from a prior marriage. Which explanation is correct? Are there other explanations? Why did the nuns give us one answer while the priest gave us another answer? Shouldn’t there be just one answer?

The following links should help you understand the Church’s position on whether Jesus had brothers. If you have any further questions, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

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