Did Jesus Have Brothers?
It’s common for non-Catholics to insist that what Catholics believe contradicts Scripture. While some of what the Catholic Church teaches may be not be EXPLICITLY found in Scripture, this does not mean that it “contradicts”.
The following verse is often used to “prove” that Mary had other children:
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Notice one thing—Mark 6:3 says “THE” son of Mary, not “a” son. But doesn’t Mark 6:3 above also say that this Mary was the mother of Jesus and was also the mother of James and Joses? Matthew 27 below says that a different Mary is the mother of James and Joses.
And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.
We know that this Mary (mother of James and Joses) was NOT the mother of Jesus because it says she was looking on from afar and Jesus’ mother was standing at the foot of the cross.
Scripture doesn’t contradict itself. So, what is going on? One idea that is plausible is that James and Joses are Jesus’ cousins (or other kinsmen) but they are called “brothers” because the Jews didn’t have a separate word for close relatives. So, Scripture does NOT clearly or explicitly state that Mary had other children.
Also, if Mary had any other sons, wouldn’t Jesus have given his mother over to them to care for? In that day, it would have been highly offensive for Jesus to ask anyone other than his own brothers to look after their mother, yet this is what he did in his final moments…
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then saith he to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!” And from that hour that disciple
took her unto his own home.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: It was common in that day to be consecrated as a virgin and take on a spouse, who’s purpose was to protect that vow. This is said about Mary in other ancient texts, which may also aid us in knowing the surrounding context of Scripture. But there is nothing in Scripture that states that Mary was NOT a perpetual virgin, so this Catholic teaching does not contradict Scripture, as some like to claim.
Excerpts from ThisCatholicJourney.com