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.

How the Catholic Church is WRONG!


The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was. . .

1) born of an immaculate conception (i.e., born without sin) 1) God says in Rom. 3:23 and 5:12 that ALL are under the curse of sin. That “none [are] righteous” (Rom. 3:10.) The CC says that Mary was “preemptively” saved, i.e., saved before birth from sin, since she was to be chosen to carry the Word made flesh and that no sinner can give birth to a sinless child if we all fall under the curse thru conception. The only problem with this is GOD’S OWN WORDS make the CC’s dogma a lie (1 John 1:8, 10.) Mary even said in Luke 1:47 that she needed a savior. Only SINNERS need a SAVIOR.

BFHU: Romans 3:1010as it is written,”(A)THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

Then what about Jesus? If you have one exception, why not two? But that is beside the point. This is a quote from Psalms where in Ch 52 where people ARE called RIGHTEOUS.

  1. Psalm 1:5
    Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
  2. Psalm 1:6
    For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,But the way of the wicked will perish.
  3. Psalm 5:12
    For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD,
  4. Psalm 11:3
    If the foundations are destroyed,What can the righteous do?”

  5. Psalm 11:5
    The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked,
  6. I could go on, but you get the idea.

So, your quotation is hyperbolic and not meant to be taken absolutely literally. Even Scripture calls some people RIGHTEOUS. This then does not present a problem for the doctrine that Jesus was righteous, and of course Mary also and many others as well. Click Here–> The Righteous. Noah, Abraham, Job,

Paul: 2) the mother of God–2) Technically, this is true, seeing as Jesus is God in the flesh and required a human woman to bring Him into the world. But since Jesus was since before the foundation of the world (Psa. 90:2, 93:2; 1 Pet. 1:20; John 8:58), it makes a weak reason for such a title. Also, Jesus Himself said who His mother would be considered as in Matt. 12:50.

BFHU: You do not understand the reason for the title: Mother of God. As you say it is a true title, since Jesus was God and Mary was His mother, she is therefore the Mother of God. This phrase was coined during a heresy that denied the divinity of Jesus. This became an easy way to declare the deity and the humanity of Jesus at the same time. THAT is the reason for the title. Amazingly sublime.

You might want to see that the Reformers defended this Marian title. Mother of God and the Reformers

Paul:  3) a perpetual virgin, never having been touched by her husband, Joseph (i.e., no sex) 3) Matt. 1:25 says that Joseph didn’t know (consumate his union) with Mary UNTIL after the birth of Jesus. The word “until” shows that Joseph obeyed God and waited so as not to touch Mary (have sex with her) because to do so would defile her womb and introduce the sin curse thru Joseph’s seed (sperm), thus contaminating the Child and, in essence, screwing up God’s plan for mankind’s redemption.

 BFHU: Mt. 1:25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Your interpretation is certainly a possibility,  but it does not prove what you want it to prove because the word until does not always have to be interpreted the way you are interpreting it.

2 Samuel 6:23

23As to Michal daughter of Saul, she had no child till the day of her death.

The way you interpret this word this would have to mean that Michal did have a child after her death. Which we all know is impossible.

Job 27:5
“Far be it from me that I should declare you right;Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.

Does this mean that after death Job put away his integrity?

Psalm 72:7
In his days may the righteous flourish,And abundance of peace till the moon is no more.

Does this that when the moon is no more that the righteous, abundance and peace, will not flourish ?

I could go on…

You also might want to read what Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli thought about the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Paul: 4) assumed into Heaven without dying- 4) Nowhere in the Bible does it speak of ANYONE being assumed into Heaven without dying, save only Elijah and Enoch. God even tells us what happens when we die in Ecc. 12:7. Only the spirit, or the Breath of Life, returns to God. Not the whole body.

BFHU: Exactly, there is precedence for people being assumed into Heaven, Enoch and Elijah. Mary is not the first. And the whole body will be resurrected at the end of time. This is what the creed means about the resurrection of the dead. The soul does not die but goes immediately to Judgment.

Peter is Not the Rock


The Catholic Church, should be guided by continuing revelation. It should have prophet and the authority from God. (Peter is not the ROCK, the ROCK is revelation)

BFHU:Jeff where does Jesus say that the ROCK is revelation!!! for our readers here is what Jesus actually said,
to Peter:

“you are Rock and on this Rock I will build MY Church.”
I do not see the word “revelation” in there at all.

Jeff: The Pope should be able to communicate directly with God and be able to clarify doctrines as did the original Apostles.

BFHU: Where does this assertion come from? Can you back this up with scripture?

Jeff: Too many of the beliefs of the Catholic Church are doctrines of men mingled with scripture.

BFHU: You are correct. They are the doctrines taught by the man, Jesus, to His men the apostles, and passed down to the present time in written and oral form just as the man St. Paul asserted in I Thess.

Jeff: If the Church was governed by revelation there would not be so many contradicting doctrines.

BFHU: Uhhhh…such as? We have no contradicting doctrines. Some of our doctrines CONTRADICT PROTESTANT DOCTRINES or PROTESTANT INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE.
But we do not have any contradicting doctrines. That is one of the sublime beauties of the Catholic Faith. It is soooooo much more intellectually satisfying, cohesive, deep and complete than the Protestantism I was involved in.

Jeff: The Catholic Church is not founded upon revelation:

BFHU: It certainly is. It is founded upon ALL that Jesus Revealed and taught to his apostles, along with the OT. It is founded on more revelation than Protestantism, which has only written revelation to rely upon.

Jeff: Mary The Virgin:
I give to Mary the utmost respect, but she should not be worshiped as if she were another God, as she is worshiped in the Catholic Church.


Jeff: You cannot simply dismiss the fact that Mary had other children. She was a virgin at the time of conception of Jesus but did not remain a virgin.

BFHU: Historically Mary had no other children. That is why Jesus gave her into the care of St. John from the cross. Even Luther, Calvin and Zwingli believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Upon what reliable source document do you assert that Mary had other children?

Jeff: This cannot be dismissed simply with ” This is a legitimate interpretation of scripture but it is not the only legitimate interpretation. ” It is THE ONLY interpretation.

BFHU: Is your interpretation infallible then? The so called brothers and sisters of Jesus were merely kinsmen.

Jeff: Nor was Mary sinless, Jesus was the only sinless person to ever live, allowing him to atone for our sins. He was the only pure and spotless lamb.

BFHU: Where does it say this in Scripture? You are espousing a Protestant Tradition of Men called Sola Scriptura.

Luther on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Q. What did Luther and the other reformers think about the perpetual virginity of Mary?

A. All three of the first reformers, Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, accepted and defended this doctrine completely. So, if the Catholic Church believes in this doctrine and the reformers believed in this doctrine–by whose authority and when was this doctrine rejected by all the Protestant Churches?

Martin Luther: “It is an artcle of faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin…Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact.” (Works of Luther, V. 11, pp319-320; V. 6, p 510)

John Calvin: “there have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage (Mt 1:25) that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what folly this is! For the gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph’s obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company…And besides this our Lord Jesus Christ is called the firstborn. This is not because there was a second or third, but because the gospel writer is paying regard to the precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the first-born whether or no there was any question of the second.” (Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, published 1562)

Ulrich Zwingli: “I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.”.” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., V6,1 P. 639