Why do Anti catholics think Mary had other sons?

This is based on how Anti Catholics often use Matthew 12:46. Even before I found catholic answers and when these arguements made me doubt my faith I still just shrugged and thought “So what?” Has anyone else noticed this?

Their intent is to challenge our belief that Mary is Ever Virgin.

They are trying to claim that apostolic tradition is incorrect, thereby making room for their modernist ideas.

There is simply no basis for this Protestant error except for a misunderstanding
of the Koine Greek. There was no word for “cousin”, the original interpretation
was “brethren” as in family. It is still, nonetheless, factually proven that quite
a few of the Apostles were cousins of the Lord.


also, do some reading on the Aposles, I recommend The Twelve by
C. Bernard Ruffin, by no means exhaustive, but a handy 200 pg or so
account in plain language.


Even the Muslims have a reverence towards Mary, because she was an amazing women…
Which puts in perspective to anti catholic showing a lack of Chivalry towards women.

Some people have great respect towards women, but then their are the losers/failures who don’t, consider the sources and write it off as classless people that don’t appreciate women.

People are confused by the subject, because in some societies and religions women are to be held to great esteem and respect.

It warrants recognition in some civilizations the women are to rear the children, and to not have to work outside the home, they are to take care of the children as Mary did. the Men wouldn’t think of sending the women off to war or to toil to provide an existence to sustain the family, they honor the women, that forgotten chivalry of men to honor women…
and to that, we have to remember that women at time where the first teachers of their children, and Mary would have been a key in teaching her son to do Gods will, not mans. The perfect human was Jesus, for he was the perfect sacrifice to open that all men “might” attain Gods salvation…
When you cant hold chivalry to that, your mere ignorant to whats important in life, and to appreciate women…

Catholics are to be of a nature that hold a great respect and chivalry towards women, to honor them with up most respect, to not is failure, and Mary was the prime example of such we look to to follow, the example. more than a Saint, the Mother of the infallible Church many deny as easy as they deny to all women.

Mary didn’t deny God, nor should we. The perfect example for all Mothers and Women to follow.

See something they don’t realize is that they call themselves “Christians”, they say they know the bible front and back and know everything their is to know, yet they have no respect towards the mother of God. I love my mother (my birth mother) if somebody spoke in a bad way about her I wouldn’t be too happy and I would put that person in his spot. Now let’s look at God, if these “Christians” say they love Jesus, but don’t have any respect for our Holy Mother, whom by the way she herself says “All generations shall call me Blessed”, I don’t see how anyone can see themselves in good terms with God if they don’t have any respect nor acceptance of his mother.

One cannot say “So what?” to the assertion that Mary had other sons.

If Mary had other children then Jesus is not God.

Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit and had one son by her spouse - Jesus. For Mary to have then gone on to have other children make her an adulterer, and that makes Jesus Christ the son of an adulterer. It is not possible that God chose to be born through one who would be an adulterer. God did not design an adulterous mother for himself.

It is not possible for both Jesus to be God and Mary to have had other children. The two are mutually exclusive.


Love this answer!! :thumbsup:


I’ve never understood the obsession with Mary and claiming she had relations with Joseph. If you had been approached by an Angel and he said you were to be the MOTHER OF THE SAVIOR…you’d plan to spend ALL your time devoted to RAISING THAT ONE SON.

Not in the eyes of a Protestant. To a Protestant Mary had one spouse and that was Joseph. She became pregnant by the Holy Spirit and was still a virgin after giving birth to Jesus. To them, there wasn’t any reason for Mary to not have other children. That wouldn’t make her an adulterer because she wasn’t married to the Holy Spirit and they didn’t have sex. So yes, in their eyes, Jesus is God and Mary could have other children with her spouse Joseph.

Personally, I’ve never understood the obsession with Mary’s perpetual virginity. As Joseph’s wife it would not be unreasonable to assume that she had relations with him. Possibly even having children with him. That would not make her a sinner any more than it would make me a sinner for having relations with my husband.

The Church teaches that Mary had no other children. Other denominations suggest that she did. Most don’t regard it as a significant issue. Myself, I just don’t know. In any case, even though Catholics don’t believe it, it is not illogical or unreasonable to be open to the possibility.

I don’t see the connection between having love and respect for her, and believing she had other children. I think they’re wrong, but not necessarily disrespectful.

Originally posted by Snowball
There is simply no basis for this Protestant error except for a misunderstanding
of the Koine Greek. There was no word for “cousin”, the original interpretation
was “brethren” as in family. It is still, nonetheless, factually proven that quite
a few of the Apostles were cousins of the Lord.


*Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that ‘brothers’ really mean ‘cousins’ here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers. * - Luther

and more Luther-like

Helvidius, that fool, was also willing to credit Mary with more sons after Christ’s birth because of the words of the Evangelist: ‘And he knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son.’ This had to be understood, so he thought, as though she had more sons after the first-born Son. How stupid he was! He received a fitting answer from Jerome.


When the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary she became the Spouse of the Holy Spirit and therefore sacred to God alone. The word overshadowed is quite deliberate, because the only other thing to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit was the Tabernacle in the OT dedicated to God alone. Joseph would understand this connection and that is why he “feared” to take Mary as his wife, as St. Matthew tells us. But the Angel assured him that he could be her husband, but he understood that the Child was the Son of God, thus making Mary the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, so he was their guardian, not her sexula partner, although he was truly Mary’s husband. We also know from Mary’s words to the Angel Gabriel that she did not expect to have children by Joseph, although she was betrothed to him, because she asked: “How shall this be since I have not had relations with a man?” If she had intended to have relations with Joseph she would have assumed the father of Jesus would have been her husband, like Elizabeth or other women who were told they were going to conceive a child in Jewish history. She and Joseph were vowed to virginity in their marriage, which is another reason why he was so concerned, and had concerns about her pregnancy. Does that help/make sense? :slight_smile:

If Mary the mother of God, had other children from her womb, where are they? What are their names? If there were other children, something like this surely wouldn’t have been overlooked. If there was a geneology going back to Mary by some family out there, we’d hear about it.

I guess the answer would be that there aren’t genealogies that go that far back. Who there were doesn’t really matter b/c they weren’t a part of Jesus’ ministry.

I’m trying to come up with more answers they might give.

I don’t see any moral problem… ie sin for Mary to have relations with Joseph. But I do see the theological beauty of Mary remaining ever virgin.
… Not definitive.

The bible does not give a clear indications but is certainly supports that Mary bore no other children. only Jesus = son of Mary, Mary given to John at the crucifixion, etc]
… Not definitive, but suggestive.

However, apostolic Tradition, as part of the infallible teaching of the Church teach us that she DID NOT have relations with Joseph and therefore had no other children.
… This is definitive: She was ever virgin, without sin, immaculately conceived, and assumed body and soul.

Read these fine explanations on the Churches teachings regarding Mary. You’ll notice these teachings are not only Biblical, when properly understood (2Pet 1:20 and 2Pet 3:15) but it is also the only logical conclusion because of who Christ is.


You can’t use that argument.

Jesus genealogy in scripture goes back to Adam.

[Lk 3:23-38]
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Obviously Jews kept excellent records of genealogies. So if Mary had other children, given this detailed lineage of her son Jesus, it wouldn’t be hard to trace her other children if she had them.

I never thought of this before. That actually makes a good answer when people bring this up. Thank you Tim.

No basis for this protestant error except for a misunderstanding of koine greek???

What about Paul’s usage of the word “cousin” in this verse?

Colossians 4:10
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)

It seems to me that this was an available greek word for cousin. This was widely used in the greek language.

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