explain the catholic faith
If you ever have a question about what you read at IAmOnetruth, please Email me at::
For a FREE Trifold on:
Unity of Christians

In the Septuagint, (the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible translated by Hellenistic Jews a
century or two before Christ), the Hebrew word that includes both brothers and cousins was
translated as adelphos, which in Greek has the narrow meaning that the English word
'brother' has. Greek does have a separate word for 'cousin', anepsios, but the translators
of the Septuagint favored adelphos, even for true cousins.
This same usage was employed by writers of the New Testament and so passed into
English translations of the Bible.

To determine just what 'bretheren' or 'brother' or 'sister' means in any verse you have to
look at the context.
John 20:17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father.
But go to my brethren (80 adephos ad-el-fos' from 1 (as a connective particle) and delphus
(the womb); a brother (literally or figuratively) near or remote (much like 1):--brother.)
Strong's Bible Dictionary
and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God.
In v. 17 Jesus tells Mary Magdalene to tell Jesus' brothers about His resurrection. then in v.
18 Mary goes to tell His 'disciples'.
It would have been a real mistake for Mary to tell the disciples first if Jesus really meant His
blood brothers, especially considering the extreme importance of the event. In these two
verses Jesus clearly equates 'brothers' or 'bretheren' with people close to Him, not siblings.
Someone may quote: Luke 1:36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived
a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. (DR)

Luke 1:36 And2532, behold2400, thy4675 cousin4773 (4773 suggenes soong-ghen-ace'
from 4862 and 1085; a relative (by blood); by extension, a fellow countryman:--cousin,
kin(-sfolk, -sman). Strong's Bible Dictionary)
Elisabeth1665, she846 hath4815 0 also2532 conceived4815 a son5207 in1722 her846 old
age1094: and2532 this3778 is2076 the sixth1623 month3376 with her846, who3588 was
called2564 barren4723. (KJV)

The word 'cousin' as it is used here in Luke actually can mean close or distant relative. It is
translated as 'cousin' in some translations because of 'Oral Tradition' not because the word
means 'cousin'!


If Jesus had brothers, His statement to His Mother in the Gospel of John 19:26-27, "behold
your son...Then He said to the disciple,"Behold your mother." This would have been a
grave insult to His real brothers, that is, to give the care of their mother to a non-relative.
Catholics know that this was Jesus' way of giving His mother to the Church that he

Luke 2:1 - 14.7: "... and she gave birth to her firstborn son.":
In Mosaic Law the first male child in a family had certain rights and obligations. Luke was
pointing out that Jesus had these rights and obligations! Not that Jesus was the first of a
large family!
Bookmark and Share