Mary asked:

I was reading a book and it said that James The Just was one of Jesus' younger brothers as was Jude. And it appears that James was skeptical of Jesus' claims as was his family until they saw Jesus resurrected. My understanding was Jesus had no brothers because Mary was a virgin. How can I address this with my friend?

Jimmy Akin replied:

"Scripture talks about Jesus having brothers. They're mentioned in the gospels. They're mentioned in Saint Paul's apistles ... There are four specifically: James and Judas and Simon and Joses or Joseph...

In the protestant community you're gonna find many people who just assume that they're Jesus' half brothers ... There are at least two sisters as well that are mentioned. Their father then on this understanding would have been Saint Joseph...

Instead of being half brothers of Mary, they could have been adopted ...They could have been cousins ... In Aramaic they didn't have a word for cousin...You'd have to use a circumlocution like the son of my uncle or the daughter of my aunt. So the term brother was used somewhat more broadly ... The other common theory was that they were step brothers through Saint Joseph."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: September 5, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Jimmy Akin

Question appeared in show: 16:30

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