As a pastor who has been preaching the word of God for more than a decade, I often hear
people debating on Jesus’s siblings in the scripture. The Bible says that Jesus’ resulted from a
supernatural union between Mary and the Holy Spirit. Since bible scholars have different views,
I decided to share my insights on this and answer the question, did Jesus have siblings?
In this article, I will uncover whether Jesus had siblings. Join me as we explore this topic and
find out where in the Bible it shows that Jesus had siblings. By the end of this article, you will
also learn whether the gospel books indicate that Jesus had biological siblings and who Jesus’
brothers and sisters were. Stick around for this and much more!
Where in the BibleBible does it mention Jesus’ siblings?
Jesus’ siblings’ are mentioned across the gospel books and in some books in the New Testament; Mark 6:3, Mark 3:31, John 2:12, 1 Corinthians 9:5, Mathew 12:46-50, and Mathew 13:55. Mark 6:3 strongly suggests that Jesus had four brothers and sisters. According to this scripture, Jesus had four brothers, but his exact sisters were not mentioned. Mark 6:3 notes, “is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are His sisters not here with us? And they took offense at Him.”
Something unique about Jesus’ brothers and sisters is that they were not mentioned until Jesus started his ministry. Mathew 13:55 also suggests that Jesus had four brothers, giving the exact names the gospel of Mark gave; Simon, Judas, Joses, and James. John 2:12 also hints at Jesus having brothers. This scripture gives testimony to when Mary, the mother of Jesus, moved to Capernaum with Jesus and his brothers.
Additionally, the gospel of Mathew indicates that Jesus had brothers. In Mathew 12:46, when Jesus was in Cana of Galilee attending a wedding, someone informed him that his brothers and mother were outside and wanted to speak to him. Furthermore, according to the gospel of John, Jesus had brothers who did not believe in him.
Consequently, Jesus’ siblings are mentioned in 1st Corinthians 15:7 during His resurrection. Paul notes that Jesus appeared to one of his brothers mentioned in the gospel of Mark, James, before appearing to the apostle. Even on the day of Pentecost, Acts 1:14 mentions that Jesus’ brothers and Mary, his mother was among the people who were waiting for the power of the Holy Spirit to come.
Who were Jesus’ brothers?
The Bible mentions the brothers of Jesus in several verses. Luke 8:19, Mathew 12:46, and Mark 3:31 talk about Jesus’ mother alongside his brothers going to see Him. According to Mark 6:3, Jesus had four brothers; Simon, Joses, Judas, and James. Mathew 13:24-57 echoes the same that Jesus had four brothers and lists the names that the gospel of Mark listed. Luke 8:19 says, “now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.”
According to Jude 1:1, the author of this book is identified as James’ brother. According to Galatians 1:19, this James is believed to be the brother of Jesus and the author of the book of James. Jude (Judas) and James are speculated to be among Jesus’ brothers who were ashamed of his popularity and came to take him home.
Though the Bible has mentioned Jesus having brothers in several verses, some Roman Catholics and Bible scholars still argue that these brothers of Jesus were his cousins. However, the Bible uses the specific Greek word for brother when referring to them instead of using the specific Greek word for cousins. Additionally, if these were cousins of Jesus, why would the scripture describe them as being with the mother of Jesus, Mary?
On the other hand, other scholars note that these brothers were the sons of Joseph from his previous marriage. However, this is entirely unverifiable as the Bible does not hint at Joseph having a previous marriage or children before his union with Mary. Therefore, there is no biblical evidence to believe that these were not the actual brothers of Jesus.
Did Jesus have any sisters?
According to gospel scriptures, Jesus had sisters, but their names were not mentioned. The conclusion that Jesus had at least two sisters is reached because anytime they are mentioned in the Bible, the word ‘sisters’ is used in the plural.
Mark 6:3 notes, “is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are his sisters not here with us? And they took offense at Him.” However, beyond the few time that Jesus’ sisters were mentioned in the Bible, there is no additional information about them. The only siblings of Jesus mentioned by name were his four brothers.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.