Religion: Jesus & His Brethren

And they say to him, behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And answering them, he said, Who is my mother and my brethren?

—Mark 3:32-33 Christ's famed question has long been a poser to Biblical scholars. Roman Catholic teaching holds that Mary was perpetually a virgin, and there is an additional Roman Catholic tradition that Joseph was perpetually chaste. If so, who were Jesus' "brothers," named (together with unspecified "sisters") as James, Joseph, Jude and Simon?

The Arguments. The Catholic answer is based on the fact that the word brother...

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