Did Mary have any children beside Jesus?

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By BibleAsk Team


The question of whether Mary, the mother of Jesus, had any other children besides Jesus is a topic of theological importance. There are various passages in the Bible and historical considerations that offer insights into this question.

Scriptural References to Mary’s children (Jesus’ siblings)

Matthew 13:55-56

“Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”

In this passage from the Gospel of Matthew, residents of Nazareth refer to Jesus’ brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas, as well as His sisters, suggesting that Jesus had siblings in addition to Himself.

Mark 6:3

“Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?’ So they were offended at Him.”

Similarly, in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is identified as the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon, and His sisters are mentioned in the context of His family relationships. This passage reinforces the idea that Jesus had siblings, including brothers and sisters, who were known to the people of His hometown.

Mark 3:31

“Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him.”

Luke 8:19

Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd.”

Acts 1:14

“These all continued with one [a]accord in prayer [b]and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” After the Resurrection, Jesus’ brothers and Mary are described as praying with the disciples.

In addition, Galatians 1:19 mentions that James was Jesus’ brother.

Jesus had both brothers and sisters, but the brothers. The fact that Jesus committed His mother to the care of John (John 19:27) may mean that Mary had no other children of her own. On the other hand, she may have had children who were not able to care of her or who were unsympathetic toward both her and Jesus.

The Marital Relationship of Joseph and Mary

The Bible clearly teaches that Joseph had a normal physical relationship with Mary after she gave birth to Jesus. “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:24, 25). The most natural meaning of verse 25 is that although Mary did not live with Joseph as his wife before the birth of Jesus, she did so afterward.

The form of the verb in Greek for the phrase “Knew her not” is against the Roman Catholic tradition of Mary’s perpetual virginity, for it implies that Mary’s virginity continued only until the birth of Jesus. Some Catholics, in defense for the tradition of the perpetual virginity of Mary, teach that these “brothers” were Jesus’ cousins. However, in each instance, the specific Greek word for “brother” is used. There was a Greek word for “cousin,” but it was not used in the Bible to refer to Jesus’ brothers.

For more on the “perpetual virginity of Mary”, check the link:

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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