(CP also Mk 3:31-32; Lu 8:19-20; Jn 2:12; 7:3-10; Ac 1:13-14; 1Cor 9:5). Brethren in all these scriptures are Jesus' half-brothers. Brethren is from the Greek word adelphos, which in the context of those scriptures refers to male children of the same mother - from the same womb. Jesus was Mary's "firstborn" child as scriptures clearly teach, not her only child as many erroneously believe (CP Mt 1:24-25; Lu 2:7). Firstborn is prototokos in the Greek, which means first begotten, not only begotten. Jesus was God's only begotten son, but Mary's first begotten son. Had Jesus been Mary's only child the Greek word used in Mt 1:25 and Lu 2:7 would not have been prototokos, but monogenes, which is used in scripture of an only son, only daughter and only child of human parentage, and of Jesus as the only begotten of the Father. Monogenes means unique, one of a kind, one and only (CP Lu 7:12; 8:42 and 9:38 with Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18 and 1Jn 4:9). The phrase His brethren when applied to Jesus, always refers to His halfbrothers. Had they just been cousins or kinsfolk the Greek word used for them would not have been adelphos, but suggenes. Scriptures clearly distinguish brethren and brother from cousin and kinsfolk (CP Lu 1:36, 58; 2:44 with 14:12; 21:16 and Ga 1:19). Scriptures teach that Mary had four sons and at least three daughters to Joseph after the virgin birth of Jesus (CP Mt 13:53-56; Mk 6:1 -3). Sisters in the Greek is adelphe, the feminine form of adelphos. This is irrefutable proof that Jesus had four half-brothers and at least three half-sisters (CP Mk 3:20-21). Friends in Mk 3:21 (KJV) also refers to Jesus' half-brothers and Mary. Friends here is derived from the Greek phrase hoi par autou, which means those from the side of him. That this refers to Mary and Jesus' half-brothers is confirmed in V31 -32 (CP V31 -32). They had come to lay hold of Jesus and take Him away because they had heard that He was out of His mind, being completely fanatical about religion, but they could not get to Him because of the crowd. Beside himself in V21 is from the Greek word existemi, which means to be out of one's senses, insane. Jesus' mother and brothers thought He was insane. God predicted this in the Old Testament (CP Psa 69:8-9). As we saw earlier on, none of Jesus' brothers believed in His deity until after the resurrection (CP Jn 7:1-5; Ac 1:13-14; 1Cor 15:7). James is one of Jesus' half-brothers (CP Ga 1:19; Jas 1:1). Jude is also another half-brother (Jude 1). The other two half-brothers, Joses and Simon are never directly mentioned again in scripture after being named in Mt 13:55 and Mk 6:3 (see also comments on Mt 1:18-21, Mk 3:20-21).
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