Question: Did Jesus have brothers and sisters?

    Answer: The scriptures are plain and decided about the fact that Jesus had brothers and sisters. "Is not this the carpenter's son?," the Jews asked, "is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are thy not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" (Matt. 13: 55, 56). It is evident that the Greek adelphos (brothers/sisters) is used in the case of Jesus' brothers and sisters in the flesh. There is also no evidence or reason to say that these were Joseph's children by a previous marriage.

    Why is there any doubt about Jesus having brothers and sisters? In the first place, it must be understood that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (Matt. 1: 18-25). Hence, Jesus' brothers and sisters were subsequent to Jesus' birth (see also Matt. 12: 47). The main reason there is controversy over this matter is because of the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, a Catholic doctrine. You see, part of the reason for the worship of Mary is because of the belief that Mary was "holy" in a special sense, even to the point of never having other children.

    The fallacy of the perpetual virginity doctrine. As we have seen, the Jews who best knew the family of Joseph and Mary not only knew that Jesus had siblings, but they knew the names of Jesus' brothers. If Catholicism can be wrong about this doctrine, how about their doctrine of salvation by meritorious works, the Pope being the head of the church, and holy water salvation (Tit. 3: 5; Eph. 1: 22, 23, Matt. 28: 18; Matt. 26: 28)?

    Beloved, the fact that Jesus had brothers and sisters who were obviously the offspring of Mary and Joseph does not in any way take away from Jesus' identity. Jesus remains "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1: 29). He is truly the Son of God (John 3: 16).

Close Window