MARY HAD OTHER CHILDREN...? Or did she?
MATTHEW 13:55-56, and MARK 6:3, both say, "Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary, the brother of JAMES, and JO'SES (JOSEPH), and of JUDE and SIMON? And are not His sisters here with us?" (Note! Only the 'carpenter' is called 'THE Son of Mary', not 'A Son of Mary') Some people refer to these verses as 'proof', that Mary had other children. See also: Mt 12:46, Mk 3:31, Lk 8:19, Jn 7:5.
The word: 'Brethren'...appears over 530 times in the Bible.
'Brother'....appears over 350 times.
'Brothers'...appears only once, in Num 36:11.
'Sister'.....appears over 100 times.
'Sisters'....appears over 15 times.
BRETHREN: This is a plural word for 'brother' as shown in dictionaries.
BROTHER: The Hebrew word 'ACH', is ordinarily translated 'brother'. Since Hebrew, and Aramaic in which the Gospel of Matthew was written, had fewer words than our English, the Jews at that time, used it in a broader sense to express kinship. The Hebrew terms for different levels and degrees of relationship did not exist. 'Brother' meant the sons of the same father, and all the male members of the same clan or tribe. In Greek, in which the Gospel of Mark was written, the word "brother" is "adelphos" (adelphos), meaning a blood brother, or belonging to the same people, or a countryman, or a fellow believer. Even today, the word is used in a larger meaning, so that friends, allies, fellow believers, and fellow citizens can be included in the same brotherhood. It was no different in the time of Christ. Four dictionaries I have checked list three or four classes of meanings of the word 'brother'. The first class concerns sons of the same parents. The other two or three classes say, kinsman, fellow man, a close friend, a pal, a member of a religious order, a fellow member of a Christian Church, etc. How many times have you seen T.V. Evangelists address their audiences as 'Our brothers and sisters'? Marian detractors accept the last three meanings to suit themselves, but when it comes to Mary, the mother of GOD, they always refer to the first meaning. Is this fair to her? How do you explain this?
In the words of Jesus Christ Himself, look at John 20:17, where He said to Mary Magdalen, "Do not touch Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My 'BRETHREN' ('BROTHERS' in some Bibles) and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My GOD and your GOD.'"
Now in the very next verse, to whom did she go?
John 20:18, "Mary Magdalene came, and announced to the "DISCIPLES", "I have seen the Lord, and these things He said to me."
When Jesus said "BRETHREN", He meant His "DISCIPLES", and not blood brothers.
See Matt 28:10, Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go, take word to My BRETHREN that they are to set out for Galilee; there they shall see Me."
Now who did go to Galilee to meet Jesus?
Matt 28:16, "But the eleven DISCIPLES went into Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them to go."
Yet again, when Jesus said "BRETHREN", He meant His "DISCIPLES", and not blood brothers.
Matt 23:8, Jesus said, "...and you are all brothers."
Are we all blood brothers?
Lk 22:31-32, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren."
Jesus spoke to Simon Peter here and the word "brethren" is plural. Did Jesus mean Peter's blood brothers or the other Apostles?
Another example of the words of Jesus Christ...
Jesus tells us who his "Brothers" and "Sisters" are in Matt 12:50, and Mk 3:34-35, "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, HE IS MY BROTHER AND SISTER AND MOTHER."
So for those who insist that the word "brother" or "sister" means blood siblings only, or from the same womb, they will have to adjust their thinking to conform to what was said here. If not, then everyone in the whole world will have to be seen as a blood brother or sister of Jesus Christ.
Here is yet another important verse regarding "the brothers":
Jn 7:5, "Even his brothers didn't believe in him."
Now if those were blood brothers of Jesus as many non-Catholics claim they were, then they must have lived with Him for much of His first 30 years on earth. Those who claim He had brothers, know full well that His mother and foster father knew who He was, and of course believed in Him. Would they then also have us believe that His siblings did not know who He was and did not believe in Him?
Here is one from the Old Testament that I would like someone to explain who believes that Mary had 'other children' simply because the Bible uses the word 'brethren' in several verses.
1Chronicles 23:22: King James Bible...
"And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their brethren the sons of Kish took them."
Please explain how the daughters of Eleazar were taken by their blood brothers when Eleazar had no sons?
See also: Num 8:26, 1Sam 30:23, 2Sam 1:26, 1King 9:13, 2Chron 29:34, Acts 2:37, Acts 3:22, Acts 7:23.
If you will read Gen 29:15, "And Laban said to Jacob, because thou art my brother..." At first you would think Jacob and Laban are blood brothers. Now compare Gen 29:5, "..know ye Laban, the son of Nahor..." Compare Gen 25:21-26, and you will see Jacob was the son of Isaac and Rebekah. Laban was the son of Nahor. They were not blood brothers but fellow citizens. Christ tells the Multitude and His disciples in Mt 23:1-8, "AND ALL YE ARE BRETHREN." Did He mean they were all blood brothers? Of course not.
In 1Cor 15:6, Jesus appeared to five hundred 'brothers' at one time. Could
all of these be blood brothers? Hardly. Then there is Peter speaking before one
hundred and twenty brothers in Acts 1:15-16. 1Chron 26:30 tells us that
Hashabiah had seventeen hundred 'brothers'. How did his mother
ever accomplish that feat?
Paul speaks of one 'called a brother', in 1Cor 5:11 and 1Cor 8:11-13. Paul asks 'BRETHREN, pray for us. Greet all the BRETHREN with a holy kiss', in 1Thes 5:25-26.
The Bible has many more similar verses. No one has a problem with these verses. Why then do they have a problem when 'Mary' is introduced into the verse?
Now we have four 'brothers', JAMES, JO'SES, SIMON, and JUDE to account for as written in Mk 6:3...
Mk 15:40, "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of JAMES the less and of JO'SES, and Salome." These people were at the crucifixion.
Jn 19:25, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother (Mary) and His
mothers sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene."
Note that if in this verse the word "sister" meant blood sister, that she is not named here. The context and placement of the commas preclude that there were two girls in the same family, both having the same name of Mary. Would not this cause much confusion in the family? By careful comparison to Mk 15:40 it is seen that Mary the Mother of Jesus is not mentioned, but Salome is. Also Salome is indirectly mentioned in Matt 27:56 as the mother of the sons of Zebedee. It can therefore be assumed that Salome is the unnamed sister of Mary in this verse.
Mt 10:2-3, "...'JAMES' the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus." Alphaeus is an alternate translation of Cleophas (Clophas) and so he is the same person.
Acts 1:13, "...JAMES, the son of Alphaeus, and SIMON Zelo'tes, and JUDE the brother of JAMES."
From these four passages, we see we have another 'Mary', who was the wife of Cleophas (Alphaeus), and the mother of three of Jesus's 'brethren', JAMES (the less), and JO'SES, and JUDE. This clearly shows that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not the mother of JAMES, JO'SES, and JUDE of Mk 6:3. To keep Mk 6:3 in harmony, since three are not children of Mary, the mother of Jesus, then SIMON is not either. SIMON is the Canaanite Mk 3:18, also called the 'Zealot' (Zelo'tes), Mt 10:4, Lk 6:15, Acts 1:13. Jude, who authored the Epistle of Jude, says he is the brother of James in Jude 1:1. Jude was also called 'Thaddeus' in Mt 10:3, and in Mk 3:18. This was to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. Lk 6:16 further distinguishes the two by saying, "And Judas (Jude) the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor."
More on the topic of 'Mary's other children', I have another point to make...
Jn 19:26-27, "When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple
standing by, whom He loved..." The disciple was John, the author of the Gospel
of John. "Then He said to the disciple, BEHOLD THY MOTHER."
Was John a child of Mary and blood brother of Jesus?
Read the following verses to see...
Mk 1:19, "...He saw James, the son of Zebedee, and 'JOHN', his brother."
Mk 3:17, "And James the son of Zebedee, and 'JOHN' the brother of James."
In neither of these passages is it said that Jesus saw a blood brother or even recognized them as men that He knew.
Mt 27:56, "Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, (the less) and Jo'ses (Joseph), and the mother of Zebedee's children."
Mt 20:20, "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons..."
Mk 15:40, "...among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome (the mother of Zebedee's children)."
Lk 24:10, "It was Mary Magdalene...and Mary ('the other Mary') the mother of James (the less)..."
A comparison of Mt 27:56, and Mk 15:40, clearly shows that Zebedee had a wife whose name was Salome. She is called the 'mother of Zebedee's children' in Mt 27:56, and 'Salome' in Mk 15:40. They had two children, JOHN and JAMES, Mk 3:17. JOHN at the foot of the cross to whom Jesus gave His mother, was not a child of Mary, the mother of Jesus, but of Zebedee and Salome. If Jesus had blood brothers, why then did He not give His mother to them? Jewish law would have demanded it...
+ >------begat--------James and John-------------------------
---Salome------------Mt 27:56, Mk 15:40--------------------
+ >------begat------James (the less), Joseph (Joses), and Jude---------
---Mary----the other Mary, Mt 27:56,61, 28:1, Jn 19:25------
+ >------begat------JESUS THE CHRIST--------------------
"Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no
children besides Him . . . 'brothers' really means 'cousins' here, for Holy Writ
and the Jews always call cousins brothers."
Martin Luther, (Sermons on John, chapters 1-4, 1537-39).
Mt 1:25, "And knew her not till...". The meaning of the word 'till' or 'until', means an action did not occur up to a certain point. It does not imply the action did occur later.
Gen 8:7, "He sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, 'until' the
waters were dried up off the earth."
Did the raven stop flying after?
Deut 34:6 , Moses died, "...and no one knows his grave 'until' this day." Have we found Moses' grave?
2Sam 6:23, "...the daughter of Saul had no child 'until' the day of her death." Did she have a child after she died?
1Cor 15:25, "For He must reign 'until' He has put all His enemies under His feet." Does He stop reigning after He has put His enemies under His feet? If you think so, then compare Luke 1:33, "and of His kingdom there shall be no end".
1 Macc 5:54, "...not one of them was slain 'until' they had returned in peace." Were they slain afterward?
Luke 1:80, John the Baptist "...was in the deserts 'until' the day of his manifestation to Israel." Did he stay in the desert? (Matt 3:1; Mark 1:3-4; Luke 3:2-4)
Rom 8:22, "For we know that all creation groans and travails in pain 'until' now." Does it still groan?
1 Tim 4:13, "'Until' I come, be diligent in reading, in exhortation and in teaching." When Paul has come is there no more reading, no more exhorting, and no more teaching?
1 Tim 6:14, "....that you keep the commandment without stain, blameless 'until' the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" When Jesus comes back, do we still obey the commandment?
Rev 2:25-26, "But that which you have hold fast 'til' I come. And to him who overcomes, and who keeps My works 'until' the end, I will give authority over the nations." Should we stop holding fast and stop keeping His works when He returns?
Lk 1:34, "Then said Mary unto the Angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" This shows Mary had no relations with a man before and was virgin.
Lk 2:7, "And she brought forth her 'firstborn' Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes..." Firstborn, at the time of the writing of the Gospels, meant, 'the child that opened the womb'. See Ex 13:2 and Num 3:12. Firstborn does not imply that Mary had other children, as an ONLY son, IS a 'FIRSTBORN SON'. The author of this letter is one.
THE FIRST PERSON TO CALL MARY 'BLESSED' IS GOD, THROUGH THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL IN LK 1:28.
MARY IS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE TO BE CALLED "BLESSED ART THOU AMONG WOMEN."
YES, SHE IS A MOTHER LIKE ANY OTHER MOTHER, BUT WHAT A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SONS.
LIKE ANY GOOD SON, JESUS CHRIST WILL DEFEND HIS MOTHER AGAINST ALL OF HER DETRACTORS.
THE BRIDE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS MANY CHILDREN SPIRITUALLY, FOR SHE IS THE MOTHER OF US ALL...