Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospels mention James, Joseph/Joses, Judas/Jude, and Simon as brothers of Jesus. The same verses also mention “sisters of Jesus” (who are named in The History of Joseph the Carpenter [an apocryphal book written in the 5th century] as Assia and Lydia). However, to confound these statements, the Catholic doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary had become well established by the 3rd century, and this doctrine was accepted by Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran church), Huldrych Zwingli (founder of the Reformed Church), and John Wesley (founder of Methodism). The History of Joseph the Carpenter explains that Joseph had a first wife who died, but she was the mother of James and the others - making them stepbrothers and stepsisters of Jesus. The Catholic doctrine further states that Joseph was 80 or 90 years of age when he married Mary, and their relationship was never consummated. Regardless, James became an early leader of the Jerusalem Church until he was martyred in the first century. Jude is believed to have written the Epistle of Jude. Joseph ‘Joses’ may have been one of the candidates to fill the vacancy left by Judas Iscariat.
~Dr. Gil Haas
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.