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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






06 September 2005

Names of Jesus’ Brothers


Q: What was Jesus’ brother’s name or that of other siblings?

A: Matthew 13:55 says, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” After the risen Jesus had appeared to him (1 Cor. 15:7), this James became a leader of the Jewish-Christian church at Jerusalem (Gal. 1:19; 2:9; Acts 12:17). Tradition stated that he was appointed first bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord himself (see Eusebius’ Church History). He presided at the first Council of Jerusalem.

According to the Bible, no other names are recorded — and these these may be half- or step-brothers or cousins. It’s unclear whether Mary had other children or if she ever was other than a virgin.

One other connection is in Jude 1, where he begins his epistle by calling himself, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.”

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

1 Comments:

Blogger Stan said...

Pr. Snyder,
Certainly it isn't that unclear as to whether Jesus had brothers or sisters, is it? I mean, hasn't the church of old spoken in unison on this matter? It only seems to be the contemporary church and "enlightened" thinking that questions such a thing as the Holy Mother's birthing of our children.

- Stan

06 September, 2005 23:31  

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