How many siblings did Jesus have?

There is no Bible verse that clearly states the names of all of Jesus' siblings, but we can infer from the book of Mark that He had at least six siblings: "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" (Mark 6:3; see also Matthew 12:46; 13:53–58). Based on this verse, we know that Jesus had at least four brothers and the word "sisters" is plural, which indicates that He had at least two sisters, maybe more.

Beyond this mention, we know no information about any of Jesus' siblings except for James and Judas—also known as Jude. Each wrote a book of the Bible. In Jude 1:1, Jude identifies himself as the brother of James, Jesus' brother who wrote the book of James (Galatians 1:19). So, we can know with certainty that two of Jesus' siblings began to follow Him as Lord after His resurrection.

There are those who hypothesize that the Greek words adelphos ("brothers") and adelphai ("sisters") that we see mentioned in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:54–56 to describe Jesus' siblings are used to refer generally to brothers and sisters in a spiritual sense. Another theory that some cling onto is the concept of Mary being a perpetual virgin after the birth of Christ. This theory assumes that Joseph had other children from a previous marriage. Neither of these ideas have any biblical basis or support. Logically, the siblings mentioned in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:54–55 were Jesus' true siblings and Mary and Joseph's biological children.

Related Truth:

Why doesn't the Bible say much about Jesus' childhood?

Where was Joseph during Jesus' adulthood?

What do we know about the real, historical Jesus? Who is Jesus?

What were the key events in the life of Jesus?

Who is Jesus Christ?

Return to:
Truth about Jesus Christ

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