Q:

Who were Jesus's relatives?

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Quick Answer

The relatives of Jesus were his parents, Mary and Joseph, and four brothers named James, Joses, Judas and Simon, as well as at least two unnamed sisters.

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Full Answer

While the fact that Jesus' parents were Mary and Joseph of Nazareth is undisputed, the relation to his alleged brothers and sisters is debated. In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, only four brothers are named, and sisters are merely mentioned. Because of the ambiguity of Koine Greek adjectives, the number of Jesus' sisters, according to the Bible, be anywhere from two and above. Later Christian tradition asserts that Jesus had in fact two sisters named Mary and Salome, but this is never confirmed in canonized Scripture.

Furthermore, the actual blood relation between Jesus and his relatives is also debated. While some assert that the relatives mentioned in the Gospels were in fact his siblings, there are some who suggest that some were instead children of Joseph from a previous marriage, or even cousins. Although Jesus' brothers were doubtful of his ministry during his life, history shows that all four became missionaries of his gospel following his death, with James being a church leader in the first century and probably the author of the Epistle of James in the New Testament.

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