Was This The Family Of Jesus?
Was the family of Jesus just him, Mary and Joseph? Or was the holy family of Jesus made up of more than just this three? Did Jesus have six brothers and sisters?
(Fig 1) Jesus in the house of his parents?
According to some accounts the six referred to in the New Testament as the brothers and sisters of Jesus were in fact his step brothers and sisters. There are claims that when Joseph was forty years, he married a woman named Melcha or Escha. Other sources name this woman Salome. In any case it is said that they were married for forty nine years and that the couple had six children – two girls and four boys.
According to some sources the names of the six siblings were Justus, Simon, Judas and James and Assia and Lydia. And according to some accounts James was the youngest of the four boys. Others claim that James was the eldest of the boys since he is almost always mentioned first in the list. However even Matthew and Mark do not agree on the order in which the boys were born. Matthew (Matthew 13.54–56) lists them as “James and Joseph and Simon and Judas”, whereas Mark (Mark 6.3) lists them as “James and Joses [a variant of Joseph] and Judas and Simon”.
So did the family of Jesus comprise of nine rather than the three popularly referred to as the Holy Family of Jesus Christ?
The other controversy relating to the family of Jesus is: was James the eldest or the youngest of the siblings?
Both the Evangelists who list the siblings mention James making him the eldest.
If the six so called brothers and sisters were indeed the step siblings of Jesus, it is likely that James was the eldest and elder to Jesus. But if they were the blood brothers and sisters of Jesus then while James could still be the eldest of the six siblings he would be younger than Jesus.
The answer to this and other questions will depend on Mary’s place in the Family of Jesus.
For more on this please read “Jesus May Have Had 6 Brothers And Sisters” at bit.ly/1UktdAC
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Siblings of Jesus
bible blog 211