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Did Jesus have a brother???

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Raphael, Oct 22, 2002.

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  1. Raphael

    Raphael Member

    139
    +4
    Catholic
    <DIV>i've been looking for a thread about this here but haven't found it yet.&nbsp; what do you guys think of this?</DIV>

    <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>

    <DIV>http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/10/21/jesus.box/index.html</DIV>

    <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>

    <DIV>WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A limestone burial box, almost 2000 years old, may provide the oldest archeological record of Jesus of Nazareth, according to several experts who announced the finding Monday.
    </DIV>

    <DIV>The ossuary, as the bone boxes are known, dates to 63 A.D. and has an inscription in Aramaic which translates to: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," said Andre Lemaire, an expert in ancient writing who identified the writing on the box in Jerusalem last spring.</DIV>

    <DIV>
    </DIV>

    <DIV>Writing about his findings in the new issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Lemaire, who teaches at the Sorbonne in Paris, calls it "very probable" that the box belonged to Jesus' brother James, the leader of the early church in Jerusalem.</DIV>

    <DIV>
    Some scholars expressed doubt that the box, which is 20 inches long by 11 inches wide, could be definitively linked to Jesus, a Jewish carpenter by trade revered by Christians as the son of God.
    </DIV>

    <DIV>"We may never be absolutely certain. In the work I do we're rarely absolutely certain about anything," said Kyle McCarter, a Johns Hopkins University archaeologist, who said that the finding was probable, but that he had "a bit of doubt."

    While most scholars agree that Jesus existed, no physical evidence from the first century has ever been conclusively tied with his life. Two scientists from the Israeli government's Geological Survey tested the box last month -- inspecting the surface patina and inscription under a microscope. They concurred that the object is more than 19 centuries old, the archaeology magazine reported.

    "It's hard to avoid the conclusion that these three names refer to the personages so identified in the New Testament," said Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review.
    </DIV>

    <DIV>Many of the conclusions reached by experts relied on the inscription written on the ossuary. The boxes commonly were used by Jewish families between 20 B.C. and 70 A.D. to store the bones of their loved ones.</DIV>

    <DIV>
    </DIV>

    <DIV>The inscription reads "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," according to scholars.

    Lemaire said out of hundreds of such boxes found with Aramaic writing only two contain mentions of a brother. From this, scholars infer that the brother was only noted when he was someone important.

    James, Joseph and Jesus were common names in ancient Jerusalem, a city of about 40,000 residents. And Lemaire estimates that there could have been as many as 20 Jameses in that city with brothers named Jesus and fathers named Joseph. But it is unlikely there would have been more than one James who had a brother of such importance that it merited having him mentioned on his ossuary, Lemaire said.

    Lemaire found the box in June by accident, said Shanks, who was able to inspect the box personally. The owner is reported to be a collector of ancient Jewish artifacts. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought the box some 15 years ago from an antique dealer for $200 to $700, Shanks said.

    The boxes "are not popular on the market because ... people don't want a bone box in their living room," Shanks said.

    The collector, who is Jewish, was not aware that Jesus had a brother. And he only discovered the interest in the object when he met Lemaire at a dinner party last spring and asked him to decipher some Aramaic written on a number of collectibles, Shanks said.

    The box owner "didn't realize the significance," Shanks added. "He threw up his hands, 'How could the Son of God have a brother?'"</DIV>

    <DIV>
    Plans are under way to exhibit the box at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada during the annual meeting of Bible scholars in November, Shanks said.

    But he said whether or not the box belonged to Jesus' brother, it still provides a powerful link with the past.

    "This is something that provides a bridge over time," he said. "My reaction is not so much excitement as it is awe."</DIV>
     
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  2. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    For an article on the brothers of the Lord, see here.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm

    As for the ossuary, I think it's a great find. I spent a while reading about it last night, and I find it fascinating. They really cannot prove that it was the Jesus and James of the Bible, but nonetheless, it is a fascinating piece of history... and I like to think it is a Holy Relic. :)

    Neal
     
  3. paulewog

    paulewog Father of Insanity; Child of Music.

    +369
    Baptist
    Married
    US-Republican
    /me thinks he had a couple brothers, actually
     
  4. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,249
    Catholic
    Sure Jesus had brothers, however the New Testament never states that they all share the same mother. One possibility is that they were the sons of Joseph (like the ossuary states) from a prior marriage (with Joseph being a widower prior to marrying Mary).
     
  5. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Veteran

    +179
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    Married
    US-Constitution
    While I know that it goes against Catholic belief to support the idea that Mary did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus, I believe that there is a very strong case for it. There are always people who will argue over whom is being refered to as Jesus' brothers, whether they were speaking of the apostles or any number of other people, but it does seem that in a book where the language is so specific that if God had meant for it to say something other than "brothers", it would have. :) Still, like so many things, it is always up for debate. I would challenge that it makes no real difference though, because the gravity of Mary's acceptance of God's will is not measured by whether or not she had other children after Jesus. She could still not be viewed as anything less than a wonderful servant of our Lord.



    Matthew 12:46-50

    46While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."[7]
    48He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
     
  6. Raphael

    Raphael Member

    139
    +4
    Catholic
    i've been always taught that the Blessed Mother was a virgin her entire life. i'm finding this a bit shocking and i don't know what to make of it. i would like to agree with nyj but would like some scripture to go along with it? bah, like jenna says, it shouldn't matter. but it's just too big a thing for me to just "forget."
     
  7. paulewog

    paulewog Father of Insanity; Child of Music.

    +369
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    Married
    US-Republican
    Oooo, very good Mrs. Jenna, especially the part about sisters :D

    Because it'd be werid if "brothers" meant cousins to include "sisters" too :)

    Anyways. Yeah. hehe
     
  8. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Jenna, Paul, and Raphael:

    Please understand, the New Testament Scriptures were written in Greek. However, Jesus spoke Aramaic. And in ARAMAIC, there are no words for cousin. If you were related to someone, in some remote way, that person was your "brother."

    There are writings available which were contemporary to the Scriptures which fully explain the family relationships in Palestine at the time of Christ. A study of languages and history is often necessary to get a full meaning of the Bible. That is why there are so many, many different interpretations of Scripture.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  9. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,249
    Catholic
    What is a shock to you? The ossuary that states James is the brother of Jesus? Or the fact that I mentioned that Joseph might have been a widower? Or that Mary may not have been a virgin her entire life?

    The Protoevangelium of James states that James is a son of Joseph, a widower, and is a detailed account of the betrothal of Joseph to Mary. This has been known by the Catholic Church for quite sometime (millenium) and should not come as any surprise.

    Exactly what would you like scripture for? Contrary to what Jenna stated (sorry Jenna :) ), aramaic was not a "precise language", not at least to the extent that English is. Add to that the fact that culturally, mediteranean culture is way different, focusing on a larger, more extended family. St. Jerome who translated the Bible into Latin from both Greek and Hebrew texts wrote an entire apologetic work on the meaning of the word "brethren" to Helvidius, defending the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. It's been a while since I've defended the perpetual virginity of Mary, let me see if I can hunt down some of my old resources.


    Letter to Helvedius - http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3007.htm
     
  10. paulewog

    paulewog Father of Insanity; Child of Music.

    +369
    Baptist
    Married
    US-Republican
    /me understands that... although, the Bible was inspired in Greek, I thought :)

    /me did notice that the quoted verses had "sister" in it too, though. Kinda interesting to think about.
     
  11. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    Do some research, Paul. The earliest texts of the NT which have been discovered in modern times do NOT date from the Ascension, or any time near that period. Furthermore, Biblical scholars have analyzed the Greek sentence structure and have determined that the Greek is most likely a translation from Hebrew.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  12. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,249
    Catholic
    St. Jerome, who translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin, writes of examining the Gospel of Matthew, in Hebrew.

    Note however, that the word for sister shares the same root word as that for brother. Adelphos.
     
  13. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Veteran

    +179
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    What really amazes me is the lengths to which people will go to explain how it could be for Mary to remain a virgin. So, there is no word for cousin, so they might have been refering to a cousin of Jesus'. Ok, so what if they weren't? What if they really did mean "brother"? To me, it just seems to be a non-issue, the mole hill turned into a mountain. :) Is the continued virginity of Mary after Jesus' birth THAT important? Really? It has no real bearing on salvation or whether or not she was a great woman. Even if she were to have had a hundred children after Jesus, it still does not take away the bravery and self-lessness of her act in following the will of God. It just leaves me to wonder why it would be something to go back and forth over, you know? Why is Mary's virginity or lack thereof so important?

    With greatest love,
    Jenna
     
  14. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Jenna:

    To Catholics, it is the ones who insist that Joseph must have claimed his marital rights with Mary following the birth of Jesus who are the ones making such a big deal.

    Mary was the Mother of God. She held God made flesh, Immanuel, within her body. The honors the Catholic Church bestows upon her recognizes her place far above the rest of us mortals (although we do not say she is divine) and her submission to God's will is an example to us all. The arguments for the Immaculate Conception and for Mary's Assumption into Heaven all stem from the understanding that she was a virgin, and remained so all of her life.

    Does it deal directly with salvation? No. But understanding Mary's role in the life of Jesus helps us to see the great lengths to which God went in order to give us His Son.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  15. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,249
    Catholic
    I don't think that people are going to "great lengths" to explain how it was possible. For over a 1500 years the default position was that Mary was a Perpetual Virgin. It's a belief that even Luther, Calvin and Wesley believed.

    Actually, there is a greek word for cousin, anespios but it is only used once in the New Testament.

    I think they are the brothers of Jesus, the point of contention though is, do Jesus and His brothers share the same birth mother? Scripture has no direct insight into this question. Tradition says that if they are His brothers, they had a different mother.
     
  16. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Here is a good article, complete with Scripture citations, which explains who the bretheren of the Lord were. The link to the article can be found on page one, the second post.

     
  17. Raphael

    Raphael Member

    139
    +4
    Catholic
    ...that Mary may not have been a Virgin her entire life.&nbsp;


    thanks nyj, but this is actually enough.&nbsp; i've heard a little about that whole meaning of "brethren" before so i knew i shouldn't have overreacted the way i did.&nbsp;

    thanks much for this explanation also.&nbsp; all is good in the world...
     
  18. daughter of the king

    daughter of the king dancer chick

    641
    +4
    Christian
    jesus did have several half brothers and sisters The book in the bible james is written by jessus brother james.
     
  19. Extirpated Wildlife

    Extirpated Wildlife Wanted: Room to Roam

    +34
    Protestant
    I appreciate your insight. I left this statement above to comment on. I have an understanding to which great lengths God went in to give us His Son. I don't question the role Mary played. But i do question the Tradition that the Catholic church hold in the role of Mary. Jesus himself tells us that Mary is no different than us. I hold Mary in the same place as John the Baptizer, Moses, David, Abraham, and Paul, to name a few. Those people played as big of a role as she did.

    The tradition that Mary was a virgin all her life is that. Tradition. It does not hold any factual basis. It a tradition, or should i say speculation, that has become a stronghold of the Catholic church, in my eyes. Nothing wrong with it, neccesarily. But without proof, both the speculation that she is a virgin for life and the speculation that she was married to Joseph and consumated their marriage can neither be found wrong, whether those brothers of Jesus are Mary's or not.
     
  20. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
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    I guess the question to you, Quizzler is this:

    How do YOU define "Tradition"?


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
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