shared from and with BibleTexts.com users
#55 - Jesus' brothers and sisters
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
Question/insight #55: I've been told that Jesus had a brother. Where in the Bible does it mention him and what is his name? Was he older or younger? Did Jesus have any sisters?
Yes, the most well known brother was James, "the brother of the Lord," as Paul described him." (Gal 1:19, 2:9,12; 1Co 9:5; 1Co 15:7) It may certainly be assumed that James was a younger brother of Jesus. The Book of James is traditionally portrayed as having been written by Jesus' brother James. From Paul's writings, it appears that James had the most authority of anyone at the church in Jerusalem, which is considered by today's scholars as the mother church of apostolic Christianity. In the second chapter of Galatians (Gal 2:11-14), Paul illustrates how even Peter deferred to Jame's authority.
According to the Gospel and according early Christian tradition, Jesus had other brothers and sisters. (See Mat 12:46-50; Mar 3:31-35; Joh 2:12; Joh 7:2-5.)
In the BibleTexts.com bibliography, there are more resources at:
Under http://www.bibletexts.com/bibliogr/06Com-NT.htm you will find commentaries on the book of James, which provides some descriptions of James. Under http://www.bibletexts.com/bibliogr/12His-NT.htm you will find books on the history of early Christianity, including James the Brother of Jesus: Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Robert Eisenman (New York: Penguin Books, 1997). Whether or not one concludes that Eisenman is correct in his conclusions, Eisenman provides lots of material on the history and theories regarding James, the brother of Jesus.
For more info regarding James, the brother of Jesus, browse:
Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer