The family of Jesus (Mk 6:3-6:3)

“‘Is not this the carpenter,

The son of Mary,

The brother of James,

Joses,

Judas,

And Simon?

Are not his sisters

Here with us?’

They took offense

At Jesus.”

 

οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τέκτων, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας καὶ ἀδελφὸς Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσῆτος καὶ Ἰούδα καὶ Σίμωνος; καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν αἱ ἀδελφαὶ αὐτοῦ ὧδε πρὸς ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ.

 

This story about the relatives of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:55-56, while Luke does not go into this problem.  Mark said that the local people asked, whether Jesus was a carpenter (οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ῦ τέκτων), not a carpenter’s son as in Matthew?  A carpenter could also mean a builder or artisan.  However, Mark explicitly mentioned the name of Jesus’ mother, Mary (ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας).  Were not his brothers there James, Joses, Simon, and Judas (καὶ ἀδελφὸς Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσῆτος καὶ Ἰούδα καὶ Σίμωνος)?  There is a difference in one brother’s name mentioned by Matthew and Mark.  Could Joses be the same as Joseph with a simple letter mistake?  Were not all his sisters there with them also (καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν αἱ ἀδελφαὶ αὐτοῦ ὧδε πρὸς ἡμᾶς)?  These relatives took offense or were scandalized by Jesus (καὶ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ).  Once again there is the question of the brothers and sisters of Jesus.  These brothers and sisters could be biological brothers or sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters from a first marriage of Joseph, or kissing cousins or other close cousins of the family.  The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the words “brother” and “sister” were often used to mean more than a biological brother.  Just as today, people sometimes refer to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link.  However, the Greek language did have a word for cousins.  Half-brothers often refer to themselves as brothers or sisters today also.  The traditional belief of Christians, even though the Reformation period, has been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only son.  Here there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas, who may have been leaders in the early Christian community but were never mentioned as disciples.  They clearly were relatives of Jesus, exactly how is not clear

 

Peter remembers Jesus’ words (Mt 26:74-26:75)

“At that moment,

The cock crowed.

Then Peter remembered

What Jesus had said.

‘Before the cock crows,

You will deny me

Three times.’

He went out.

He wept bitterly.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν.

καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τοῦ ῥήματος Ἰησοῦ εἰρηκότος ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με· καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἔξω ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:72, except that Mark has the cock crowing twice instead of once.  In Luke, chapter 22:60-62, not only does the cock crow, but Peter sees Jesus look at him to remind him of his failures.  John, chapter 18:27, has only the simple remark that the cock crowed when Peter denied Jesus the 3rd time, without Peter weeping.  Matthew recounts that at that moment when the rooster cock crowed (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν), Peter remembered what Jesus had said (καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τοῦ ῥήματος Ἰησοῦ εἰρηκότος).  Before the cock or the rooster crowed (ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι), he would deny, disown, or repudiate Jesus 3 times (τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με).  Thus, Peter went out and wept or lamented bitterly (καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἔξω ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς).  The early followers of Jesus, the primitive Christian community, were in shambles.  Both Peter and Judas, two of the 12 leaders, had betrayed Jesus, while Jesus himself was about to be led off to death.

Judas arrives (Mt 26:47-26:47)

“While Jesus

Was still speaking,

Judas,

One of the twelve apostles,

Arrived.

With him

Was a large crowd

With swords

And clubs.

They were sent

From the chief priests

And the elders

Of the people.”

 

Καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος, ἰδοὺ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα ἦλθεν, καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος πολὺς μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων τοῦ λαοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:43.  Luke, chapter 22:47, is somewhat similar, while John, chapter 18:2-3, is more detailed.  Both Mark and Matthew said that while Jesus was still speaking (Καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος), Judas, one of the 12 apostles, arrived (ἰδοὺ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα ἦλθεν).  He had with him a large crowd of people (καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος πολὺς) with swords and clubs (μετὰ μαχαιρῶν) sent by the chief priests and the elders or presbyters of the people (καὶ ξύλων ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων τοῦ λαοῦ).  Apparently, these leaders were expecting some resistance from Jesus and his followers.  Thus, they sent a large armed group of people with Judas.  In John’s more descriptive account, Judas knew where to find Jesus because they had often been there at this place.  He said that they also brought lanterns and torches.

 

Peter is adamant that he would never deny Jesus (Mt 26:35-26:35)

“Peter said to him.

‘Even if I must die

With you,

I will not deny you.

Thus,

All the disciples

Said the same thing.”

 

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Πέτρος Κἂν δέῃ με σὺν σοὶ ἀποθανεῖν, οὐ μή σε ἀπαρνήσομαι. ὁμοίως καὶ πάντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἶπαν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:31.  Peter said to Jesus (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Πέτρος) that even if it was necessary that he had to die with Jesus (Κἂν δέῃ με σὺν σοὶ ἀποθανεῖν), he would never deny or repudiate him (ὐ μή σε ἀπαρνήσομαι).  Then all the other disciples said the same thing (ὁμοίως καὶ πάντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἶπαν).  Thus, all the 12 leaders exaggerated their own loyalty to Jesus.

 

Ten angry men (Mt 20:24-20:24)

“When the ten heard it,

They were angry

With the two brothers.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ δέκα ἠγανάκτησαν περὶ τῶν δύο ἀδελφῶν.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:41, but slightly different.  There was a little dissention here.  When the ten other leaders or apostles heard (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ δέκα) about this situation of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, they were angry, incensed, or indignant with these two brothers (ἠγανάκτησαν περὶ τῶν δύο ἀδελφῶν).  Why did they want to be prominent?  What about them?  Were not all the apostles equal?  What made these two so important?

The mother of the sons of Zebedee (Mt 20:20-20:20)

“Then the mother

Of the sons of Zebedee

Came up to Jesus,

With her sons.

She knelt before him.

She asked a favor

Of him.”

 

Τότε προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν Ζεβεδαίου μετὰ τῶν υἱῶν αὐτῆς προσκυνοῦσα καὶ αἰτοῦσά τι ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:35, but there the brothers, rather than their mother approached Jesus.  Was she with them on this trip to Jerusalem, or did this take place earlier?  The mother of the sons of Zebedee (ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν Ζεβεδαίου), or the wife of Zebedee, came to Jesus (Τότε προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ) with her sons (μετὰ τῶν υἱῶν αὐτῆς), James and John, who were part of the 12 leaders of Jesus.  She knelt before Jesus (προσκυνοῦσα) and made a request to him for a favor (καὶ αἰτοῦσά τι ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ).

On the way to Jerusalem (Mt 20:17-20:17)

“While Jesus

Was going up

Near to Jerusalem,

He took

The twelve disciples aside.

He spoke to them

On the way.”

 

Μέλλων δὲ ἀναβαίνειν Ἰησοῦς εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα παρέλαβεν τοὺς δώδεκα κατ’ ἰδίαν, καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς

 

Mark, chapter 10:32, and Luke, chapter 18:31, have something similar to this.  While Jesus was near Jerusalem (Μέλλων δὲ ἀναβαίνειν Ἰησοῦς εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), he took his 12 leaders aside by themselves (παρέλαβεν τοὺς δώδεκα κατ’ ἰδίαν).  They were merely called the 12 “τοὺς δώδεκα,” not distinguishing between apostles and disciples, but clearly indicating the elite 12 apostle leaders.  He spoke to them as they went on their way to Jerusalem (καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  In other words, this was not a general proclamation, but a semi-secret saying just for the leaders, the 12, much like a gnostic group with some at the top people knowing more than the others.

The family of Jesus (Mt 13:55-13:56)

“Is not this the carpenter’s son?

Is not his mother

Called Mary?

Are not his brothers

James,

Joseph,

Simon,

And Judas?

Are not all his sisters with us?

Where then did he

Get all this?’”

 

οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός; οὐχ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ λέγεται Μαριὰμ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ Σίμων καὶ Ἰούδας;

καὶ αἱ ἀδελφαὶ αὐτοῦ οὐχὶ πᾶσαι πρὸς ἡμᾶς εἰσιν; πόθεν οὖν τούτῳ ταῦτα πάντα;

 

This story about the relatives of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 6:3.  The local people asked, was he not this carpenter’s son (οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός)?  Matthew did not use the carpenter’s name, when in the prologue Joseph played a major role.  A carpenter could also mean a builder or artisan.  However, Matthew explicitly mentioned the name of Jesus’ mother, Mary, who played a minor role in the prologue.  Was not his mother called Mary (οὐχ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ λέγεται Μαριὰμ)?  Were not his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ Σίμων καὶ Ἰούδας)?  Were not all his sisters there with them also (καὶ αἱ ἀδελφαὶ αὐτοῦ οὐχὶ πᾶσαι πρὸς ἡμᾶς εἰσιν)?  Where then did he get all this  knowledge and power (πόθεν οὖν τούτῳ ταῦτα πάντα)?  Once again there is the question of the brothers and sisters of Jesus as mentioned earlier in chapter 12:46. These brothers and sisters could be biological brothers or sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters from a first marriage of Joseph, or kissing cousins or other close cousins of the family.  The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the word “brother” and “sister” was often used to mean more than a biological brother.  Just as today, people sometimes refers to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link.  Half-brothers often refer to themselves as brothers or sisters today also.  The traditional belief of Christians, even though the Reformation period, has been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only son.  However, the Greek language did have a word for cousins.  Here there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, who may have been leaders in the early Christian community but were never mentioned as disciples.  They clearly were relatives of Jesus, exactly how is not clear

Theological Process

Theology is an interaction.  First Arius gave a theological interpretation on the role of Christ and God.  Second the leaders of the Church considered it carefully and came up with their decision.  Then Arius did not accept the decision.  He then was removed and excommunicated or cut off from the communion of the Church.  This problem led to discussion and consensus.  The lived faith in the worship service experience led to a consensus about the most appropriate expression.  The final result was the Nicene Creed, the oldest and most important creed.  Most dogmas came out of disputes.  Over the last two thousand years there have been many more disputes within Christianity.

Haggai stirred up the spirits of the people of Jerusalem (Hag 1:14-1:15)

“Yahweh stirred up

The spirit of Zerubbabel,

The son of Shealtiel,

The governor of Judah.

Yahweh stirred up

The spirit of Joshua,

The son of Jehozadak,

The high priest.

Yahweh stirred up

The spirit of all the remnant

Of the people.

They came.

They worked

On the house

Of Yahweh of hosts,

Their God.

This was

On the twenty-fourth day

Of the month,

In the sixth month.”

Yahweh stirred up the spirits of the people of Jerusalem.  This included the 2 leaders, Governor Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua.  Once again, they were mentioned with their father’s name and title also.  All the rest of the people in Jerusalem were also stirred up.  Thus, they came to work on the house of Yahweh, their God, 23 days after Haggai had first spoken to them at the beginning of this chapter.