Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Did Mary have other children besides Jesus?

Linda from Washington asked: Did Mary have other children besides Jesus? 

Thanks for the question, Linda. The Catholic Church (and the Orthodox Church) teaches that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus, but the Bible speaks of Jesus' brothers and sisters. What's up?

I could answer in a paragraph or two, but you probably want a more in depth answer. I did some internet research and found this article (click HERE) which goes into quite a bit of detail about the answer.

Many of the Biblical passages I would have cited in my abbreviated response are included in the linked article.There are other examples in Scripture, too. But the article covers the subject quite nicely.

I hope this helps.



  1. Whether Jesus had 1/2 brothers and sisters or not is irrelevant to the teachings of Jesus. John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." We own a deep honor to Mary as a chosen one to give birth to God's son but she is not the way of salvation. So with all respect for different biblical theology I believe the discussion is irrelevant to living a live for God in these tumultuous times. The bottom line is Act 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

  2. I do not think I could agree with you more, Sinco. Jesus alone is our only hope for salvation, and only for those who trust Him for eternal life. I was only answering a question posed to me by Linda.

    But you do bring up an important issue, I think. I find too many people get way too hung up with other things than Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:1-2). All I want to do is teach about Jesus. What else matters in this life -- or the next?

    That's why I write my several blogs.

    It's all about Jesus. Always has been. Always will be.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. And another thing: I get so distracted by people -- especially those who should know better -- I get so distracted by people who spend their time arguing about peripheral issues when our world is barreling toward hell.

    Oh Lord Help Us! Does anyone read the news lately? Wars are out of control. Men, women, children are being massacred in practically every country. We kill more than a MILLION babies in the womb each year in America (and how many in other nations?), the earth itself is upheaving. And where is the Church? Seems like we are spending time talking about everything BUT Jesus, sin, salvation, holiness, eternal life and eternal death.

    Ancient Israel thought disaster wouldn't affect them. "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord is here" they said (Jeremiah 7:4). But in a very short time Jeremiah wrote, "How lonely sits the city that was full of people" (Lamentations 1:1) because God's judgment did, in fact, fall because Israel refused to repent. They were too content with rules, rituals and form -- all without passion for God and holiness.

    I fear for us.

  4. And speaking of Lamentation, I am reminded now of Jeremiah's words in 2:14, "Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity, but they have seen for you false and misleading oracles."

    Again, I fear for us.

  5. Sounds like you don't want any questions to me! I agree the core issue is Jesus, AND that to have more faith in Him means having faith that the Bible is true and accurate. So if someone has a question about a "peripheral issue" in the Bible or about what the Church teaches, they may be trying to strengthen their faith. With all due respect, Mr. Maffeo, you just shot them down.

  6. Hello, Anonymous. I apologize, but I read your comment a few times and I don't yet understand what you are saying. But, let me try to clarify my point in different words:

    Yes, I do invite questions about Scripture. I will also try to answer questions about Catholic Church theology -- althought I readily confess my understanding of RC theology is not as deep as my understanding of Scripture. I have been studying the Bible for nearly 40 years. I've only been in the Catholic church for 5.

    I consider all questions besides those that address Jesus Christ, His deity, virgin birth, atoning death for our sins, His resurrection and soon return -- I consider all other questions as 'peripheral' only insofar as discussion of those things -- while they are important in and of themselves, do not bring salvation to anyone. Only Christ's blood spilled for our sins, and our faith in His atonement, is salvific.

    I am sorry I may have confused you. I hope my clarification sets it right.