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Q&A

Did Jesus have siblings?

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Did Jesus have siblings?

Question: Mark 6:3 – Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” Doesn’t this mean that Jesus had siblings?

Answer:

If you are referring to the usage of the words “Brother” and “Sisters” at the time, then yes, Jesus had siblings. However, these weren’t literally his brothers and sisters, they were most likely his cousins. As is many languages at the time, there were no words for “Cousin”.

The belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, conceived and gave birth to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that she remained a virgin throughout her life, is a central tenet of the Christian faith. This teaching is based on the accounts of Jesus’ birth in the New Testament, which state that Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus. Despite references in the New Testament to Jesus having brothers and sisters, it is the belief of the Church that these siblings were actually cousins or other close relatives, and that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life.

This belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity is rooted in the understanding of the time in which she lived, as well as in the cultural practices of certain societies today, where people refer to their cousins or other close relatives as “brothers” or “sisters.” Additionally, the belief that Mary remained a virgin serves to underscore the unique relationship between Jesus and his mother, as Mary is the only blood relation to Jesus, and her bond with him is spiritual rather than physical. This spiritual bond, rooted in Mary’s perfect faith and obedience, is seen as being even stronger than a natural blood relationship, and serves to highlight the special relationship between Mary and her son, Jesus.

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