New Testament
Virgin Mary

Did Mary have more children after Jesus?

Answer

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05/22/2013

Yes, Mary had other children; James, Joseph, Simon and Judas , as well as sisters.

The names of four brothers of Jesus are actually listed in the Gospels. According to Matthew: "Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?" [Matt. 13:55-56)

Catholic Answer:-

No, Mary did not have more children She was a Virgin all her life. The Bible phrase that mentions other children, James,John, Judas, etc., comes from the word that is translated "brothers and sisters" in the Greek (in the Bible) is an Aramaic word which includes cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, etc.: any close relative.

Non-Catholic Answer:-

There are two parallel passages in the Bible that both refer toMary and her children:-

Mat 13:55-56 KJV Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? (v.56) And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

As it may be argued that the King James version is a version for Protestant, but Catholic versions such as the Douai-Rheims and New Jerusalem Bible would render Mar 6:3 differently, let's see what they say:-

(Douai-Rheims) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us? And they were scandalized in regard of him.

What do other translations say:-

(ASV) 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?...

(BBE) Is not this the woodworker, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?...

(CEV) Isn't he the carpenter, the son of Mary? Aren't James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon his brothers? Don't his sisters still live here in our town?" ...

(GNB) Isn't he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters living here?"...

(ISV) This is the builder, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon, isn't it? His sisters are here with us, aren't they?" ...

(MKJV) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? ...

(MSG) But in the next breath they were cutting him down: "He's just a carpenter--Mary's boy. We've known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?" ...

(NET) Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren't his sisters here with us?" ...

(WEB) Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" ...

(ESV) 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?" ...

(GW) Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" ...

(NASB) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" ...

(NKJV) Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" ...

Not a single translation - not even Catholic translations or even paraphrases - render Mar 6:3 as other than "brothers" and "sisters". To believe otherwise is unscriptural and is simply not common-sense:-

Albert Barnes in his Commentary "Notes On The Bible" said on Matthew 13:55-56/Mark 6:3:-

His brethren, James ... - The fair interpretation of this passage is, that these were the sons and daughters of Joseph and Mary. The people in the neighborhood thought so, and spoke of them as such.

In his "Commentary On The Bible" Adam Clarke said on Matthew 13:55/Mark 6:3:-

Is not his mother - Mary, and his brethren, James, etc. - This insulting question seems to intimate that our Lord's family was a very obscure one; and that they were of small repute among their neighbors, except for their piety.

It is possible that brethren and sisters may mean here near relations, as the words are used among the Hebrews in this latitude of meaning; but I confess it does not appear to me likely. Why should the children of another family be brought in here to share a reproach which it is evident was designed for Joseph the carpenter, Mary his wife, Jesus their son, and their other children? Prejudice apart, would not any person of plain common sense suppose, from this account, that these were the children of Joseph and Mary, and the brothers and sisters of our Lord, according to the flesh? It seems odd that this should be doubted; but, through an unaccountable prejudice, Papists .... are determined to maintain as a doctrine, that on which the Scriptures are totally silent, viz. the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord.

This idea of Mary being a perpetual virgin is definitely not Scriptural or Christian, but came from ancient Chaldea via the pagan Babylonian Mystery religion, and is definitely not Christian. Mary had children other than Jesus, (and anyway, common-sense would tell you it's a bit hard being a virgin after having kids.)

Catholic Answer:

As mentioned in an earlier answer, the terms 'brothers and sisters' referred to any close relative. The Blessed Virgin's cousin was also named Mary and she was married to Clopas and they were the parents of James, Joses, Simon and Jude. This Mary was the 'third' Mary at the foot of the cross.

Also, why would Our Lord appoint unrelated Apostle John from the cross as the guardian of his mother if there were other 'children' in the family to whom that responsibility would have fallen?