Brothers of Jesus
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The New Testament describes James, Joseph (Joses), Judas (Jude) and Simon as brothers of Jesus. Also mentioned, but not named, are sisters of Jesus. Some scholars argue that these brothers, especially James, held positions of special honor in the early Christian church.
Catholic, Assyrian, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, as well as some Anglicans and Lutherans, believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, as did the Protestant leaders Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Wesley. Those who hold this belief reject the claim that Jesus had blood siblings and maintain that these brothers and sisters received this designation because of their close association with the nuclear family of Jesus, and are actually either his cousins or children of Joseph from a previous marriage.
In the 3rd century, blood relatives on account of their connection with the nuclear family of Jesus, without explicit reference to brothers or sisters, were called the desposyni, from the Greek δεσπόσυνοι, plural of δεσπόσυνος, meaning "of or belonging to the master or lord". The term was used by Sextus Julius Africanus, a writer of the early 3rd century.
- 1 Jesus' brothers and sisters
- 2 As church leaders
- 3 Degree of consanguinity between Jesus and his brothers
- 4 Family trees and pedigrees
- 5 Rejection of Jesus
- 6 Absence of Jesus' brethren
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Jesus' brothers and sisters
The Gospel of Mark 6:3 and the Gospel of Matthew 13:55-56 state that a James, Joses (or Joseph), Judas, and Simon were the brothers of Jesus, the son of Mary. The same verses also mention unnamed sisters of Jesus. Another verse in the Epistle to the Galatians 1:19 mentions seeing James, "the Lord's brother", and none other of the apostles except Peter, when he went to Jerusalem after his conversion. The "brothers of the Lord" are also mentioned, alongside (but separate from) Cephas and the apostles in 1 Corinthians 9:5, in which it is mentioned that they had wives. Some scholars go on to claim that Jesus' relatives may have held positions of authority in the Jerusalem area until Trajan excluded Jews from the new city that he built on its ruins.
That the "brothers" were children of both Mary and Joseph was held by some people of the early centuries; The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church claimed that Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225) was one of them. The 3rd-century Antidicomarianites ("Anti-Mary") maintained that, when Joseph became Mary's husband, he was a widower with six children, and that he had normal marital relations with Mary, but they later held that Jesus was not born of these relations. Bonosus was a bishop who in the late 4th century held that Mary had other children after Jesus, for which the other bishops of his province condemned him. Jovinian, and various Arian teachers such as Photinus held a similar view. When Helvidius proposed it, again in the late 4th century, Jerome, representing the general opinion of the Church, maintained that Mary remained always a virgin; he held that those who were called the brothers and sisters of Jesus were actually children of her sister, another Mary, whom he considered the wife of Clopas. The terms "brothers" and "sisters" as used in this context are open to different interpretations, and have been argued to refer to children of Joseph by a previous marriage (the view of Epiphanius of Salamis), Mary's sister's children (the view of Jerome), or children of Clopas, who according to Hegesippus was Joseph's brother, and of a woman who was not a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus (a modern proposal).
As church leaders
According to Robert W. Funk, founder of the Jesus Seminar, the Gospel of Mark shows that Jesus' mother and brothers were at first sceptical of Jesus' ministry but later became part of the Christian movement.[page needed] James, "the Lord's brother", presided over the Jerusalem church after the apostles dispersed and other kinsmen probably exercised some leadership among the Christians in the area until the emperor Hadrian built Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem and banished all Jews from there (c. 135), after which point the Jerusalem Christians were entirely of Gentile origin. Traditionally it is believed the Jerusalem Christians waited out the Jewish–Roman wars (66–135) in Pella in the Decapolis. The Jerusalem Sanhedrin relocated to Jamnia sometime c. 70.
According to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, when Peter the Apostle left Jerusalem, it was James who became leader of the church in Jerusalem, ie. the principal authority, and was held in high regard by the Jewish Christians. Hegesippus reports that he was executed by the Sanhedrin in 62.
For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account... But as there had been kept in the archives up to that time the genealogies of the Hebrews as well as of those who traced their lineage back to proselytes, such as Achior the Ammonite and Ruth the Moabitess, and to those who were mingled with the Israelites and came out of Egypt with them, Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible. Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth." And at the end of the same epistle he adds these words: "Matthan, who was descended from Solomon, begat Jacob. And when Matthan was dead, Melchi, who was descended from Nathan begat Eli by the same woman. Eli and Jacob were thus uterine brothers. Eli having died childless, Jacob raised up seed to him, begetting Joseph, his own son by nature, but by law the son of Eli. Thus Joseph was the son of both.—Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiae, 1:7:11, 1:7:13–14
Eusebius has also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus (c.110–c.180), who wrote five books (now lost except for some quotations by Eusebius) of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96) to that of Trajan (98–117), and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:
There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.
So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labour. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labour, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.
Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.
Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trajan.—Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiae, 3:20
Degree of consanguinity between Jesus and his brothers
The etymology of the word "brother" (adelphos) originally comes from "of the same womb" (a-delphys), though, in New Testament usage, the Christian and Jewish meaning of "brethren" is wider, and is applied even to members of the same religious community. In the Bible, the Greek words adelphos and adelphe were not restricted to their literal meaning of a full brother or sister nor were their plurals.
There are several views from an early date over whether the Greek term adelphos applied in these accounts to people described as adelphoi of Jesus means that they full brothers, half brothers, stepbrothers, or cousins. Helvidius, quoting Tertullian in support of his view, claims that the adelphoi were children of Mary and Joseph born after Jesus; yet Jerome replied that Tertullian did "not belong to the Church", and he argues that the adelphoi were Jesus' cousins. Some scholars[who?] consider Helvidius' view as the most natural inference from the New Testament. In support to this it is occasionally noted that James (Jacob Iakobos) as oldest of the brothers takes the name of Joseph's father (also James, Iakobos in the Solomonic genealogy of Jesus in Matthew), when in Bible times the grandson occasionally gets the name of the grandfather.
The term adelphos (brother in general) is distinct from anepsios (cousin, nephew, niece). Second-century Christian writer Hegesippus distinguishes between those who were anepsioi of Jesus and his adelphoi. However Jesus and his disciples' native languange was Aramaic (as in Matthew 27:46; Mark 5:41), which could not distinguish between a blood brother or sister and a cousin. Aramaic, like Biblical Hebrew, does not contain a word for "cousin".
Aramaic and Hebrew inclined to use circumlocutions to point out blood relationships, calling some people "brothers of Jesus" would not have always implied the same biological mother. But, "sons of the mother of Jesus" would have been used to indicate a same mother. Scholars and theologians, who assert this view, point out that Jesus was called "the son of Mary" rather than "a son of Mary" in his hometown (Mark 6:3).
Relationship of Jesus' brothers to Mary
By the 3rd century the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary was well established and defended by Hippolytus, Eusebius and Epiphanius, important early Christian theologians. This is partly because early church did not accept that Mary had any children apart from Jesus. Eusebius and Epiphanius held that these men were Joseph's sons from (an unrecorded) former marriage. Jerome, another important early theologian, also held the perpetual virginity doctrine, but argued that these adelphoi were sons of Mary's sister, whom Jerome identified as Mary of Cleopas. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church mentions that a modern scholar, whom it does not identify, has proposed that these men were the sons of Clopas (Joseph's brother according to Hegesippus) and Mary, the wife of Cleopas (not necessarily referring to Jesus' mother's sister).
Roman Catholic and Eastern Christianity held doctrine of Early Christianity that Mary was a perpetual virgin; this view was also held by many of the early Protestants, including Luther and Zwingli, as well as John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism. Roman Catholic, following Jerome, conclude that the adelphoi were Jesus' cousins, while Eastern Orthodox, following Eusebius and Epiphanius, argue that they were Joseph's children by his (unrecorded) first wife. But Catholic Church only defined a doctrine that they are not biological children of Mary, their position, either as cousins or stepbrothers (children of Joseph), is not defined as a doctrine.
Modern Protestants view the adelphoi as Jesus' half-brothers or do not specify, since the accounts in the Gospels do not speak of Mary's relationship to them but only to Jesus. Certain critical scholars of the Jesus Seminar say that the doctrine of perpetual virginity has obscured recognition that Jesus had full brothers and sisters.
In the Book of Genesis, all the other sons of Jacob are repeatedly called brothers of Joseph, although they were children of different mothers. Similarly, in the Second Book of Samuel, Tamar is described as a sister both of Amnon and of Absalom, though these were David's sons by different mothers.
Family trees and pedigrees
In the article "The 'Brethren of the Lord'" in A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, gives the following tree.
Anne=Joachim Jacob | | | ____________________________ | | | | | | Mary=Joseph Clopas=another Mary | | Jesus _____________________________ | | | | | | | | James Joses Simon Jude
In a book produced by Augsburg Fortress, the official publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, John J. Rousseau and Rami Arav present the following diagram of relationships in line with their view that the brothers and sisters mentioned were children of Joseph and Mary; in which they claim Hegesippus, along with Eusebius, and Josephus support the view that Mary had other children besides Jesus. Though The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church states that the view of early church (should be including those Fathers) was the "brothers" were son of Joseph by a former marriage.
__________________________________________ | | | | Mary=Joseph Cleopas=another Mary | | |______________________________________ | | | | | | | | Simeon | | | | | | | d. 106 Jesus James Joses Simon Sister Sister Jude d.62 | | Menahem Jude ____|____ | | | Elzasus James Zoker | ? Nascien | Bishop Judah Kyriakos fl. c. 148–49.
James Tabor's theory
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2014)|
The following represents James Tabor's attempted reconstruction. The view has not found wide support among other scholars.
Matthat bar Levi | Eleazar | | Heli/Eliakim | | Matthan _______|___________ | | | | | | Mary + GOD = Joseph (1st) = Clophas (2nd) | | | ______________________|_________ Jesus | | | | | | 5 BCE – CE 28. | | | | | | James Jose Judas Simon Mary Salome d. CE 62 | d. CE 101 ____|____ | | | | Zechariah James alive in the reign of Domitian
Rejection of Jesus
According to the Synoptic Gospels, and particularly the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was once teaching a large crowd near the home of his own family, and when this came to their attention, his family went to see him and "they" (not specified) said that Jesus was "...out of his mind."
Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’
And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, 'He has lost His senses.'
In the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels, and of the Gospel of Thomas, when Jesus' mother and adelphoi are outside the house that Jesus is teaching in, Jesus tells the crowd that whoever does what God wills would constitute his mother and adelphoi. According to Kilgallen, Jesus' answer was a way of underlining that his life had changed to the degree that his family were far less important than those that he teaches about the Kingdom of God. The Gospel of John states that Jesus' adelphoi did not believe in him, because he would not perform miracles with them at the Feast of Tabernacles.
Some scholars have suggested that the portrayal in the Gospel of Mark of the initial rejection of Jesus by his family may be related to the tension between Paul of Tarsus and Jewish Christians, who — according to them — held Jesus' family in high regard, for example at the Council of Jerusalem.[page needed][page needed]
Karl Keating says that in Jewish culture younger brothers (blood siblings) never rebuked, or even advised, their elders, for it was considered great disrespect to do so; but in Mark 3:21, also in John 7:3-4, Jesus' "brothers" are shown doing that.
Absence of Jesus' brethren
There are some events in Scripture wherein existence of brothers or sisters of Jesus not shown, eg. when Jesus lost in the Temple and during his crucifixion, and used to support the view that "brothers" of Jesus are not blood brothers or siblings though some people reject that.
Luke 2: 41-51 reports the visit of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to the Temple of Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old in which Luke did not tell anything at all about the presence of the "brothers". Robert Eisenman is of the belief that Luke sought to minimise the importance of Jesus' family by whatever means possible, editing James and Jesus' brothers out of the Gospel record. In other side, Keating argues that Mary and Joseph rushed without hesitation straight back to Jerusalem, when they realized Jesus was lost, which they would surely have thought twice about doing if there were other children (Jesus' blood brothers or sisters) to look after.
Gospel of John records the sayings of Jesus on the cross, i.e. the pair of commands "Woman, behold your son!" and "Behold, thy mother!" (John 19:26-27), then John states that "from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home". Since the era of the Church Fathers this statement has been used to reason that after the death of Jesus there was no other biological children to look after Mary, and she had to be entrusted to the disciple. Vincent Taylor points out difficulties in this interpretation of the text: it ignores both the fact that Jesus 'brothers' opposed his claims, and the position of honour of John, the 'beloved disciple'. But Constantine Zalalas argues that it would have been against Jewish custom for Jesus to give his mother to the care of the disciple (John) if Mary had other living sons, because the eldest son would always take responsibility for his mother. Karl Keating supports that by saying: "It is hard to imagine why Jesus would have disregarded family ties and made this provision for his Mother if these four [James, Joseph/Joses, Simon, Jude] were also her sons". Pope John Paul II also says that the command "Behold your son!" was the entrustment of the disciple to Mary in order to fill the maternal gap left by the death of her only son on the cross.
In popular culture
The idea of Jesus having relatives features in the following tales:
- Dogma (1999) relies on the idea that Jesus had half-siblings conceived by Mary with Joseph, with protagonist Bethany Sloane being Jesus's great-great-great-great-great-grandniece.
- The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman presents "Jesus" and "Christ" as distinct people, with Jesus preaching the message while his brother Christ calculated how best to use that message to influence others.
- The Red Dwarf series ten episode "Lemons" includes the idea that Judas was actually the twin brother of Jesus, who died in his place to 'fake' the resurrection and spread Jesus' gospel.
- Robert Rankin introduced two siblings for Jesus in his novel Waiting for Godalming; Christine, Jesus's twin sister, and Colin, his half-brother (Conceived with God's wife Eartha while he was 'apologising' for his dalliance with Mary), both of whom never made it into the Bible because God gave Jesus copyright control and Bibles were no longer being written by the time Colin was born.
- Anne Rice uses the idea that Jesus had step-siblings from widower Joseph's prior marriage in her two 'Christ the Lord' novels.
- Paul the Apostle refers to James as "the Lord's brother" and as one of the "pillars" alongside Cephas and John Galatians 1:18–19;2:9–10
- Africanus, Julius, The Epistle to Aristides, p. 242.
- Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert, A Greek-English Lexicon.
- Cross, FL, ed. (2005), "Jerusalem", The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press.
- Cross, FL, ed. (2005), "Brethren of the Lord", The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, New York: Oxford University Press.
- William H. Brackney, Historical Dictionary of Radical Christianity (Scarecrow Press 2012 ISBN 978-0-81087179-3), p. 31
- Brackney 2012, p. 57
- Painter, John (2004), Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition, University of South Carolina Press, p. 326.
- Brown, Raymond Edward; Achtemeier, Paul J (1978), Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars, Paulist Press, pp. 65–68, ISBN 0-8091-2168-9.
- of Caesarea, Eusebius, "11", Church History, Book III.
- Funk 1998, pp. 527–34.
- Cross, FL, ed. (2005), "James, St", The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press.
- of Cæsarea, Eusebius, "Ecclesiastical history", Bibliotheca Augustana, DE: HS Augsburg, 1.
- of Cæsarea, Eusebius, "Ecclesiastical history", Bibliotheca Augustana, DE: HS Augsburg, 3.
- Segal, Charles (1999), Tragedy and civilization: an interpretation of Sophocles, p. 184,
word for ‘brother,’ adelphos, from a- (‘same,’ equivalent to homo-) and delphys (‘womb,’ equivalent to splanchna).
- Bible Hub: Matthew 12:50
- Bethel (1907)
- T. C. Lawler, Walter J. Burghardt, ed. (1951), Tertullian, Treatises on marriage and remarriage, p. 160
- Jerome, "The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary - Against Helvidius", in Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6, Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley (1893 ed.), Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co. (retrieved from New Advent)
- Hastings (1927), "Part 4", Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, p. 653,
In later times, but still within the period covered by the Bible, the grandson often gets the name of the grandfather.
- M. Miller (1953), "Greek Kinship Terminology", The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 73, Cambridge University Press, p. 46-52, doi:10.2307/628235, JSTOR 628235
- 431. anepsios, Bible Hub
- Shanks, Hershel; Witherington III, Ben, The Brother of Jesus – The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family, pp. 94–95, retrieved 4 August 2014,
There was indeed a word for cousin in Greek, anepsios, and it is never used of James or the other siblings of Jesus. It is interesting how the second-century Christian writer Hegesippus distinguishes [page 95] between those who were cousins of Jesus (anepsioi), and James and Jude, who are called brothers of Jesus (cited in the fourth-century historian Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 4.22.4; see 2.23.4, 3.20.1).
- Allen C. Myers, ed. (1987). "Aramaic". The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. p. 72. ISBN 0-8028-2402-1.
- Robert Schihl, "The Perpetual Virginity of Mary", A Biblical Apologetic of the Catholic Faith, retrieved from EWTN
- John Saward (2002), Cradle of Redeeming Love: the Theology of the Christmas Mystery, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, p. 18, ISBN 0-89870-886-9
- Achille Camerlynck (1910), "St. James the Less", The Catholic Encyclopedia 8, New York: Robert Appleton Company (retrieved from New Advent)
- Harrison, Everett F (1968), A Short Life of Christ, p. 58,
In opposition to Helvidius, Jerome (Hierony- mus, hence the name Hieronymian for his view) insisted that the brethren were kinsmen, specifically first cousins, being sons of Mary's sister, namely, that Mary who was the wife of Clopas.
- Origen, Commentary on Matthew, Christian classics ethereal library, §10.17.
- Martin Luther on Mary's Perpetual Virginity.
- Zwingli, Ulrich (1905), "Eini Predigt von der ewig reinen Magd Maria", in Egli, Emil; Finsler, Georg; Zwingli-Verein, Georg, Huldreich Zwinglis sämtliche Werke (in German) 1, Zürich: C. A. Schwetschke & Sohn, p. 385, retrieved 2008-07-01,
I firmly believe that [Mary], according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin
- The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, p. 112,
I believe that He was made man, joining the human nature with the divine in one person; being conceived by the singular operation of the Holy Ghost, and born of the blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as before she brought Him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.
- Jimmy Akin, Ossuary of James - I: Burial Box of St. James Found?, Catholic Answers
- Witherington, Ben III, "Jesus' Extended Family", Bible Review 19 (3): 30–31,
So James, according to this view, would be Jesus' younger half-brother.
- The Nelson Study Bible (NKJV), pp. 2102, 2156,
James, the half brother of Jesus, traditionally called ‘the Just’ [...] Jude the brother of James and the half brother of the Lord Jesus. The term "half brother" is used to denote parentage, not genetics. In this view, the other brothers and sisters listed in the Gospel passages would have the same relationship to Jesus. However, some Protestants reject the term "half brother" because it is too specific; the Gospel accounts refer to these relatives as brothers and sisters of Jesus, without specifying their parents, and refer to Mary only in relation to Jesus.
- Funk 1998, pp. 51–161.
- For instance, in 16 of the 36 verses of the chapter Genesis 37.
- 2 Samuel 13.
- 2 Samuel 3:2-3.
- S. Shearer (1953). "The 'Bretheren of the Lord'". In Orchard, Orchard. A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. § 673f. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons.
- Rousseau, John J; Arav, Rami (1995), Jesus and His World, Fortress, ISBN 978-0-80062903-8.
- "Jesus' Family Tree", Frontline, PBS
- Wilson, AN (1992), Jesus: A Life, New York: Norton & Co, p. 86,
...it would not be surprising if other parts of the church, particularly the Gentiles, liked telling stories about Jesus as a man who had no sympathy or support from his family.
- Butz, Jeffrey (2005), The brother of Jesus and the lost teachings of Christianity, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, p. 44,
...by the time Mark was writing in the late 60s, the Gentile churches outside of Israel were beginning to resent the authority wielded by Jerusalem where James and the apostles were leaders, thus providing the motive for Mark’s anti-family stance...
- Crosson, John Dominic (1973), "Mark and the relatives of Jesus", Novum Testamentum 15.
- Mack, Burton (1988), A myth of innocence: Mark and Christian origins, Philadelphia: Fortress.
- Painter, John (1999), Just James: The brother of Jesus in history and tradition, Minneapolis: Fortress.
- Karl Keating (1988), Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians", Ignatius Press, p. 284, ISBN 9780898701777
- Robert Eisenman (2002), James, the Brother of Jesus" (Watkins)
- Burke, Raymond L.; et al. (2008). Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 pages 308-309
- Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pages 62-63
- Fundamentals of Catholicism by Kenneth Baker 1983 ISBN 0-89870-019-1 pages 334-335
- Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to St Mark, 1952, MacMillan, London. p248
- Constantine Zalalas: Holy Theotokos: Apologetic Study
- L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 30 April 1997, page 11 Article at EWTN
- Bethel, Florentine (1907), "The Brethren of the Lord", The Catholic Encyclopedia 2, New York: Robert Appleton Company (retrieved from New advent)
- Funk, Robert W (1998), The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus, The Jesus Seminar, San Francisco: Harper
- Kilgallen, John J (1989), A Brief Commentary on the Gospel of Mark, Paulist.
- Tabor, James D (2006), The Jesus Dynasty, Simon & Schuster.
- Aslan, Reza (2014), Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, HarperCollins Publishers India, ISBN 978-9351360773
- St. Jerome, "The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary - Against Helvidius", in Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6, Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley (1893 ed.), Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co. (retrieved from New Advent)
- John J Rousseau, Rami Arav (1995), "Jesus' Family Tree", Jesus and His World, Augsberg Fortress (retrieved from PBS)