20181213 Madonna

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Siblings of Jesus
Whether or not Mary gave birth to other children besides Jesus, as evidenced by several Biblical and extra-biblical testimonies of Jesus‘ siblings, is one of the contentious issues between the denominations due to teaching controversies on the virginity of Mary.

The names of the brothers of Jesus are recorded in Mark 6.3 EU: James, Joses, Judas and Simon; besides, sisters are also mentioned in the same place.

In the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, the siblings of Jesus are thought of as the cousins and bases of Jesus or, more rarely, as the children of Joseph from a previous marriage, since Joseph is referred to in apocryphal sources as a widower.

The Greek word for ‚brothers‘, áŒ€ÎŽÎ”Î»Ï†ÎżÎŻ adelphoi, allows for this interpretation. Others, however, claim that it seems unlikely, since in Greek there is a separate word for cousins (ጀΜΔψÎčός anepsios, also used biblically in Col 4,10 EU); moreover, this use of adelphoi was possible but not common.

In Luke 2: 7 EU, Jesus is referred to as the „firstborn“ son of Mary, suggesting that Jesus had siblings. In antiquity, however, certain rituals, responsibilities and special inheritance rights were associated with the (male) first birth, regardless of whether the child remained an only child thereafter or not.

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