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In the Name of God بسم الله

James... Half Brother Or Cousin Of Jesus?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Veteran Member

Hi Nuriyah

Quote: James... was he a half-brother or second-cousin of Jesus respectively? Please could someone explain how James was related to Jesus Thank you.

Response: --- James was the half-brother of Jesus. --- Joseph and Mary were married and after Jesus was born, they had more children, as it says in Matthew 13:

54 When He (Jesus) had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?

55 Is this not the carpenter (Joseph) ’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?

56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”

It mentions the brothers a few places in the Gospels --- and James went on to be the Pastor or Elder of the Church in Jerusalem, and he wrote the Book of James.

He was killed in Jerusalem, they believe, at about the age of 62,

Another brother, Jude, wrote the Book of Jude, and the other family members are not mentioned after being together at His ascension in Acts 1, and waiting with the Apostles for the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. --- It says this in Acts 1:

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

The concept of James and the other brothers being cousins is a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, which just came into being after 300 AD, --- and they wrote some doctrines that are not quite Scriptural, --- after some time they began to glorify Mary, they came up with the false teaching that Mary was a “Perpetual Virgin,” --- which meant that they had to shop out the other children to a relative.

The Scholar Jerome translated the Bible from Greek to Latin in the Latin Vulgate in 400 AD. --- This was the Bible that the Roman Catholic Church used till 1600 AD when the Latin was translated to English in the Douay Version.

There was no change in the Scriptures, --- there is only a footnote in this one place in the Douay which says they were cousins, --- but it is not the case.

There was an Apostle James plus others by that name, but the above identifies James as the half-brother of Jesus.

Placid

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  • 11 months later...
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You are incorrect Placid. Jesus had no Brothers or sisters whether blood relative or not.

One needs to realise in Hebrew, Old Aramaic, Syriac...and even Arabic there is no word for nephew or niece, nor even a precise word for cousin neither for aunt or uncle in ancient Hebrew or Aramaic - the words that the Jews used in all those instances were "brother" or "sister"

To this day in the Middle East even strangers call each other 'brother' or 'sister' in greeting them, let alone relatives.

but let's stick to scripture then:

An example of my above point can be seen in Gen 14:14, where Lot, who was Abraham's nephew, is called his brother.

Another point to consider. If Jesus had had any brothers, if Mary had had any other sons, would the last thing that Jesus did on earth be to grievously offend his surviving brothers?

In John 19:26-27, right before Jesus dies, it says that Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to the beloved disciple, John. If Mary had had any other sons, it would have been an incredible slap in the face to them that the Apostle John was entrusted with the care of their mother!

Plus The Lord is dying where are his 'brothers' and 'sisters'?? 3am yil3abo bil ghilé?

Also, we see from Matt. 27:55-56, that the James and Joses mentioned in Mark 6 as the "brothers" of Jesus, are actually the sons of another Mary.

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Hi Shreek,

 

Quote: You are incorrect Placid. Jesus had no Brothers or sisters whether blood relative or not.

 

Response: --- I don’t mind you telling me I am wrong, but your explanations are quite faulty.

In mentioning the various languages, you didn’t mention Greek, --- but what we read in the Gospels is translated into English, So when the Scripture says that Jesus had brothers, then I believe it, --- as it said above in Matthew 13:

55 Is this not the carpenter (Joseph)’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?

56 And His sisters, are they not all with us?

--- So if this is wrong, then your argument is with God and not with me. --- His word said it, did it not?

 

Quote: Another point to consider. If Jesus had had any brothers, if Mary had had any other sons, would the last thing that Jesus did on earth be to grievously offend his surviving brothers?
In John 19:26-27, right before Jesus dies, it says that Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to the beloved disciple, John. If Mary had had any other sons, it would have been an incredible slap in the face to them that the Apostle John was entrusted with the care of their mother!

 

Response: --- The beloved disciple John was the only man at the foot of the cross. The brothers were not there, partly because they had not believed in Jesus before this, even though they knew Him all their lives.

--- So, John took her home from the cross, --- Joseph, Mary’s husband had died, so Jesus was caring for her as the oldest son, --- The next in line was James, His half brother, but he wasn’t there, --- so it was ‘caring for His mother,’  to have John take care of her.

 

However, after Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to many, and it says in 1Corinthians 15:

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

”After that He was seen by JAMES,” then by all the apostles.

 

Also Paul visited James in Galatians 1:

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.

19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

 

Finally in the 40 days that Jesus appeared after His Resurrection, the brothers believed because they were there to see His ascension, --- Then it said in Acts 1:

12  Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

--- When ‘His’ is capitalized it refers to Jesus, so they were His (Jesus’) brothers, sons of His mother Mary, were they not?

 

Placid

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You mean Koiné Greek which is different to Greek as we know it.

The term 'brother' (Greek adelphos) has numerous meanings in the Bible.

It is not restricted to the literal meaning of a full brother or half-brother.

The same goes for 'sister' (adelphe) and the plural form 'brothers' (adelphoi).

Plus you haven't addressed the issue of Jesus' 'brothers' or 'sisters' not being at his death (crucifixion).

To say they didnt believe in him is rather a weak argument.

I'm sorry but The Lord had he brothers would not give care of his mother to St John.

This is a disgrace and a slap in the face to the dignity of his mother in Jewish custom, let alone Lebanese or Arab!

Does the Bible contradict itself?

I mentioned to you we see from Mt. 27:55-56, that the James and Joses mentioned in Mark 6 as the "brothers" of Jesus, are actually the sons of another Mary.

Also one other passage to consider is Acts 1:14-15, "[The Apostles] with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers...the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty."

A company of 120 persons composed of the Apostles, Mary, the women, and the "brothers" of Jesus. Let's see there were 11 Apostles at the time. Jesus' mother makes 12. The women, probably the same three women mentioned in Matthew 27, but let's say it was maybe a dozen or two, just for argument's sake.

So that puts us up to 30 or 40 or so. So that leaves the number of Jesus' brothers at about 80 or 90! Do you think Mary had 80 or 90 children? She would have been in perpetual labor!

No, Scripture does not contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church about the "brothers" of Jesus, when Scripture is properly interpreted in context.

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I believe the greek word for brother and sister used in NT also can mean cousin. If so it is not possible to determine if Jesus had siblings, but my personal view is that he did. This is not a controversial issue within Christianity.

 

The Evangelical and other peripheral 'Protestant' (for want of a better word) sects like the JW, they want to advertise this issue to contradict Catholic (and Orthodox) teaching on the virginity of Mary (Aeiparthenos).

 

because if the Blessed Virgin had other children, that would not then make her a virgin (virgo post partum).

 

but you're right it's not an issue, the perpetual virginity of Mary has always been a belief of the Christian Church, both Protestant and Catholic alike.

 

Luther and Calvin both supported this position as well.

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Quote from Post 5:

Also one other passage to consider is Acts 1:14-15, "[The Apostles] with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers...the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty."

 

Response: --- I am not sure why you want to distort verses to say something IS in the Bible which ISN’T. --- It is written this way in Acts 1:

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Matthias Chosen

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled.”

 

In the upper room it says, “Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Did Mary borrow these brothers of Jesus from the other Mary?

 

When it says, “In those days Peter stood up among the disciples,” it may have been a day or a week later. --- You have to read it the way it is written.

 

--- All Bibles say the same, do they not? --- Even the Catholic, Douay Version, which says the following in Matthew 13:

54 And coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogues, so that they wondered and said: How came this man by this wisdom and miracles?

55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren* James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?

--- There is a footnote* on ‘brethren’ which says: “These were the children of Mary, the wife of Cleopas.” --- (So this was added in a footnote in this one place to support the Catholic doctrine of Mary being a ‘Perpetual Virgin.”)

 

--- There is no footnote in the Douay Version on Acts 1:

13   “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James.

14 All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

--- If you believe the Scriptures the way they are written, --- you don’t try to make them say something else, to fit men’s doctrines.

 

Placid

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Minorities somtime are right. There was a time when the church decided that the Earth was the center of our solarsystem. This was later proven wrong. In this case both Placid and Shreek has good arguments, but we will probably never be able to prove who is right. Personally I believe Jesus had brothers and sisters. Maybe even 100% brothers, but thats another discussion.

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I can't go as far as 100% brothers for obvious reasons, but when it mentions The Apostles, Mary, mother of Jesus, and His brothers, why mention a bunch of people then single out mother and brothers?

 

Koine Greek is not so much different than the Greek used in translation.

 

In the Hebrew they didn't have a specific word for cousin but it didn't mean they lumped half the nations family into one big word. They used the term "bnai dodeihen" lit. "children of their uncle."

 

Again, when it mentions;

55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren* James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?

 

Sounds to me like the ones asking the question already knew the family.

 

αδελφοι is the word used for brother, αδελφαι = sister

 

 

 

Check out Luke 1:36

36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:

 

The Douay version seems to have no trouble discerning siblings from cousins. That could be because the Greek uses the word συγγενης instead, which means cousin, kinfolk, kin, etc.

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He can be his brother, he can be his cousin, and he can be his close companion. Most evidence suggests that the two were at least relatives. I believe Aramaic does not have a word for "cousin". Remember that `Ali (as) was the cousin of Muhammad (pbuh), but he was also sometimes called his "brother" as well. I highly recommend that everyone studies James the Just, and the movements that claimed to have inherited his teachings - including the Ebionites, the Elchasaites, and the Manichean. Very interesting stuff. There are a lot of parallels between James the Just and Imam `Ali.

 

The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"

Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

 

(Gospel of Thomas, saying #12)

Edited by Qa'im
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I think a language evolves from time to time.

 

It may not be easy to extrapolate what it was two or three thousand years ago.

 

In the Quran, Aaron refers to Moses as 'son of my mother'.

 

Islamic literature often uses the expression 'son of my uncle'  (ibn-e-umm) for cousins.  

 

Personally, I find that somewhat cumbersome.

 

But that may have been the practice then.

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I think a language evolves from time to time.

 

It may not be easy to extrapolate what it was two or three thousand years ago.

 

In the Quran, Aaron refers to Moses as 'son of my mother'.

 

Islamic literature often uses the expression 'son of my uncle'  (ibn-e-umm) for cousins.  

 

Personally, I find that somewhat cumbersome.

 

But that may have been the practice then.

If they didn't have a word for "son of my uncle" then son of my uncle has to do. The fact of the matter is, that is what they used, so why think when they say brother it might mean son of my uncle?

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This quote by Qa’im in Post 12 has merit:

The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"

Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just,”

 

Before Jesus ascended He gave them instruction in Acts 1:

7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 

--- So the Apostles were instructed to go out from Jerusalem to carry the Gospel message to the world. --- James the Just, the Lord’s brother remained in Jerusalem and was the Elder or Leader in the Church in Jerusalem.

--- Peter, James (the Apostle) and John remained longer than the others in Jerusalem, but it says in Acts 12:

1 “Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.

Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also.”

 

--- Peter was kept in prison, but God miraculously released him and he went to the house of Mary, the mother of Mark, where the believers were praying.

When they opened the door and saw that it was Peter, he said this in 12:

17 And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place. --- This was James the brother of Jesus, because it says that the Apostle James had already been killed in verse 1.

 

In Acts 15, there was a large business meeting in the Church in Jerusalem and James officiated at the meeting. --- James, called 'the Just' continued as the Leader of the Church.

 

--- After Paul was converted and become a Missionary to the Gentiles, he wrote a letter to the Galatians, and said in Galatians 1:

18 “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.

19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.”

--- And it says the same in the Douay Rheims Version in 19,

“But other of the apostles I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord.”

 

Placid

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