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Did Jesus have brothers and sisters (siblings)?

Yes! The Bible tells us that Jesus had both brothers and sisters. They all would have been younger than Jesus because Joseph "had no union with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus" (Matthew 1:25). Jesus' brothers and sisters were born after Him, from the union of Mary and Joseph—Jesus' mother and earthly father. So technically they were his half-blood siblings, sharing a common mother, since Jesus' true Father is God in Heaven (Luke 2:29).

Biblical Evidence of Brothers & Sisters

Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say that Jesus' mother and brothers came to see Jesus while He was teaching. Matthew 13:55 gives us the names of his four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. Galatians 1:19 also names James as a brother of Jesus. In Acts 1:14, Jesus' mother and brothers are listed among those praying with the disciples. Matthew 13:56 mentions Jesus' sisters, though they aren't numbered or named. John 7:1-10 describes how Jesus' brothers tried to get Jesus to come with them to the Jews' Feast of Booths, but Jesus told them to go along without Him. He knew the Jews wanted to kill Him, but the time had not yet come for it to happen, so Jesus stayed in Galilee.

The Controversy of Cousins

Some believe that Jesus' brothers were actually His cousins because sometimes the Greek word for "brother" refers to other relatives. However, there IS a specific Greek word for "cousin," yet that word was never used in any references to Jesus' siblings. Also, if Mary wasn't their mother, it wouldn't make sense that they are so often placed in attenance with her. Nothing in the biblical context implies that they were anything but Jesus' literal, blood-related half-brothers.

There's another controversy that states Jesus' siblings were all Joseph's children from a previous marriage. However, the Bible doesn't provide any evidence to support that. And logically, if Joseph and Mary had extra children with them before Jesus was born (as many as six more), they would have been mentioned in Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-7) or later during their trip to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15) or their trip back to Nazareth (Matthew 2:20-23).

Going by what the Bible says, we can know for sure that Jesus indeed had younger half-brothers and half-sisters who were all the natural children of Joseph and Mary.

TL;DR

The Bible tells us that Jesus had both brothers and sisters. They all would have been younger than Jesus because Joseph "had no union with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus" (Matthew 1:25). Jesus' brothers and sisters were born after Him, from the union of Mary and Joseph—Jesus' mother and earthly father. So technically they were his half-blood siblings sharing a common mother, since Jesus' true Father is God in Heaven.

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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