Date: Fri Oct 25 2002 - 18:36:41 EDT
Preston Garrison wrote:
> >This article reports on an ossuary inscription from 63 AD which mentions
> >Jesus. Not conclusive, but interesting. The URL is long, so copy and
> >paste into your browser
> >--Bill Yates
> >--Moderator, Christian Writer's Workshop
> >--Editor, WorldVillage.com's Believer's Weekly
> >--Theron Services: Web Design, Editing, Writing
> The ossuary in question is supposed to be that of "James the son of
> Joseph, the brother of Jesus." In the newspaper account of this, it
> was indicated that the Catholic church maintains that "James, the
> brother of Jesus" means "cousin." Do any of the language experts here
> know if there is any linguistic basis for this claim, or is it just a
> doctrinal necessity?
In general usage the Greek _adelphos_ in the NT means
"brother" in our sense.
But in the Septuagint it is used to translate the Hebrew _'ah_ which
can mean not only
brother but half-brother, cousin, & brother-in-law. So it isn't
unreasonable that it
could have one of these meanings in the NT. It has been suggested,
e.g., that the
_adelphoi_ of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a previous marriage.
A couple of other points in favor of such an interpretation:
1) It's hard to see why in the 4th Gospel Jesus on the cross
gives his mother
into the care of the Beloved Disciple if she had other sons. (This
assumes that that
event was historical & not simply a theological statement that the
church is given into
the care of believers.)
2) Belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary developed in
the 2d century.
Would this have been likely to happen if it were known that prominent
leaders in the
church of the 1st century had been her sons?
George L. Murphy
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