Did Mary Have Other Children?

Q.The best way to find an answer of what is true is to go
right to the Scripture and let it speak for itself.
A.The Scripture cannot speak for itself. It has to interpreted/understood by a human being. And human beings can come up with different interpretations. That is why the Protestants have splintered into thousands of denominations.

Q. Remember, the scriptures (the Word of God) are the ultimate Authority.

A. Where does scripture actually say anywhere at all that the written word of God is the "Ultimate Authority"? This contention is not based on scripture. Sola Scriptura is surprisingly not based on Scripture!

Q. Hear are some of the scriptures that show that Mary had other children.


Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?”

A. This can be understood to mean kinsmen not strictly siblings. Note Jesus is called the Carpenter’s son. Jesus’s mother is called Mary. Jesus’ brethren/kinsmen are James, Joses, etc.. This passage does not designate sons of Mary as you seem to think. It says nothing about sons of Mary or specifically names Mary as their mother.

Q.  Matthew 27:56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

A. If you note Mary the Mother of James…is not designated as Mary the Mother of Jesus. And for a good reason. She was not the Virgin Mary. She was “the other Mary” as pointed out in John:

John 19:25 2Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother (Holy Mary), his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Three Marys…And Salome.

So we have the Virgin Mary was Jesus’ mother and Mary the wife of Clopas was most likely the mother of James and Joses etc., “sister” of the Virgin Mary;  Mary Magdalene‘s children are never mentioned so Salome was probably the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Matthew 27:56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Note that the sister of Jesus’ mother is called Mary. Most families do not name two of their children the same name. So, this is further evidence that the Greek word adelpha translated here as sister is more accurately translated as kinswoman.

You come to  scriptures with a bias that James and Joses etc.are Jesus’ siblings and therefore “see” this undefined “Mary” (in Mt.) as Jesus’ mother even though nothing in the Matthew passage identifies this Mary as Jesus’ mother.

And the passage in  John supports the Catholic historical understanding that these “brethren” of the Lord Jesus are  kinsmen and not literal siblings.

Q. the problem is that the Roman Catholic church places tradition over and above the Authority of the Word of God, making it non effectual (mark 7:13).

A. I know this is the standard Protestant contention. But, it is due to ignorance of what the Catholic Church means when we talk about Scripture and Tradition. We too condemn “the traditions of men that nullify the word of God.” What we call Tradition is nothing less than the TEACHINGS of Jesus as taught to His disciples and passed down from one generation to the next for 400 years before the New Testament, as we know, it was canonized.

Q. There is nothing in God’s Word that either implicitly or explicitly says Jesus was the lone son of Mary, or that Mary remained a virgin.

A.    That is correct. But neither is there anything in scripture that says all Christian truth is contained in scripture and scripture alone. All historical information about the apostles and Mary and all that went on in the early church is not contained in scripture.

That does not make that history, therefore nonexistent. It does exist in writings of early church fathers and others. But not all of it as St. John tells us.

John 21:25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

So, scripture itself tells us there is MUCH more information that is not written. The Catholic Church has preserved these unwritten teachings of Jesus and His apostles in her SACRED TRADITION. She accepts all of the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, written and unwritten as St. Paul exhorted us to do.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:15
    So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6
    Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

One Response

  1. This is one the clearest examples of the folly of private interpretation and sola scriptura. The direct witness of the apostles and first Christians has degenerated into fables for the biblists. They are so far removed from the family genealogy and heritage of the “pristine” Christianity.

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