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Mark 6:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,a]">[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
As is well known, the New Testament contains several references to the “brothers” and “sisters” of Jesus. At first glance, these passages seem to be the strongest argument against Mary’s perpetual virginity.
They are certainly the most popular reason for thinking Mary had other children besides Jesus. Once again, however, we need to examine this evidence in its ancient Jewish context. When we do so, some of the very passages that mention Jesus’ “brothers” actually present important evidence that Mary did not have other children. Let’s take a few moments to examine the data.
The first and most important reason for concluding that the “brothers” of Jesus are not children of Mary is also the most often overlooked. It is this: The Gospels themselves explicitly state that the so-called brothers of Jesus are in fact the children of another woman named Mary. In order to see this clearly, all we need to do is compare the identities of the “brothers” of Jesus in the account of Jesus’ ministry in Nazareth with the accounts of the people present at his crucifixion and burial.
Luke 1:36 – Elizabeth is Mary’s kinswoman. Some Bibles translate kinswoman as “cousin,” but this is an improper translation because in Hebrew and Aramaic, there is no word for “cousin.”
Luke 22:32 – Jesus tells Peter to strengthen his “brethren.” In this case, we clearly see Jesus using “brethren” to refer to the other apostles, not his biological brothers.
Acts 1:12-15 – the gathering of Jesus’ “brothers” amounts to about 120. That is a lot of “brothers.” Brother means kinsmen in Hebrew.
Acts 7:26; 11:1; 13:15,38; 15:3,23,32; 28:17,21 – these are some of many other examples where “brethren” does not mean blood relations.
Rom. 9:3 – Paul uses “brethren” and “kinsmen” interchangeably. “Brothers” of Jesus does not prove Mary had other children.
Gen. 11:26-28 – Lot is Abraham’s nephew (“anepsios”) / Gen. 13:8; 14:14,16 – Lot is still called Abraham’s brother (adelphos”) . This proves that, although a Greek word for cousin is “anepsios,” Scripture also uses “adelphos” to describe a cousin.
Gen. 29:15 – Laban calls Jacob is “brother” even though Jacob is his nephew. Again, this proves that brother means kinsmen or cousin.
Deut. 23:7; 1 Chron. 15:5-18; Jer. 34:9; Neh. 5:7 -“brethren” means kinsmen. Hebrew and Aramaic have no word for “cousin.”
2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 9:13, 20:32 – here we see that “brethren” can even be one who is unrelated (no bloodline), such as a friend.
2 Kings 10:13-14 – King Ahaziah’s 42 “brethren” were really his kinsmen.
1 Chron. 23:21-22 – Eleazar’s daughters married their “brethren” who were really their cousins.
All the early reformers upheld the perpetual virginity of Mary. Until the mid 18th century, every Protestant church on the planet accepted it. Mary having other children is a RECENT man made tradition. It diminishes the uniqueness of the Incarnation and that is why, IMO, it is a doctrine of demons.