Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Relatives Of Jesus In The Bible And Church History

Jesus' relatives are significant as witnesses to the historical Jesus. They're also significant in Roman Catholic theology and other contexts. What I want to do in this post is gather together some links to posts we've written about the relatives of Jesus.

The gospels agree in presenting an unusual view of Jesus' closest relatives that's unlikely to have been fabricated by the early Christians.

On the credibility of the infancy narratives, including what they say about the relatives of Jesus, see here.

The antagonism between Jesus and His family that we see in the gospel accounts of Jesus' public ministry is often alleged to be inconsistent with what Matthew and Luke say about Jesus' childhood. Why would Jesus' family oppose Him during His public ministry if what Matthew and Luke report about His childhood had actually happened? But the accounts of His childhood and adulthood are consistent, as I explain here and here.

What the gospels report about Mary's unfaithfulness to Jesus, during both His childhood and His public ministry, creates problems for Roman Catholicism and other groups that hold a higher view of Mary. Concerning Biblical and early patristic references to her sinfulness, see here. And here's a post I wrote about later patristic sources and Popes who referred to Mary as a sinner. For more examples, see here.

On Mary's alleged perpetual virginity, see here.

Here, here, and here are some articles about the Biblical and extra-Biblical evidence pertaining to an assumption of Mary. And I reviewed a debate on the subject between Robert Sungenis and James White.

I've also written about whether the ark of the covenant should be seen as a type of Mary and whether we should see references to Mary in passages like Psalm 45 and Revelation 11:19. I wrote about Mary as a second Eve and a parallel to the ark of the covenant here and here. And here's a post about whether Mary is the woman of Revelation 12.

On praying to Mary, see the links on praying to the dead here. Catholics and Orthodox often claim that they don't pray to Mary, but instead ask her to pray for them. Or they acknowledge that they pray to her, but suggest that their prayers to her consist of little or nothing more than asking for her prayers on their behalf. For a response to such claims, see here, here, and here.

On venerating images of Mary, see here.

Here's a post in which I use Tertullian as an example of how Christians of the patristic era contradicted the Roman Catholic view of Mary on a wide variety of issues.

I've also written about the history of Roman Catholicism's elevation of Mary.

Regarding the Marian beliefs of the Protestant reformers, see here.

See here and here on Marian apparitions.

Here's a post Steve Hays wrote about whether Catholics worship Mary.

Here's a post about an inconsistency in how Marian beliefs have developed over time in Catholicism.

I wrote an article about Jesus' relatives as potential sources of the information reported in the infancy narratives. And go here for a discussion of how much Matthew and Luke agree about Jesus' childhood, including family issues. Here's a post on popular claims about Mary related to Christmas.

Was James still an unbeliever at the time the risen Jesus supposedly appeared to him? I address the issue here. And here's something about why the gospels don't discuss the resurrection appearance to James.

Regarding what the gospels tell us about James in general, see this post.

In Appendix VII of The Infidel Delusion, I discuss the possibility that one or more of Jesus' other brothers also saw the risen Jesus.

Here's a post Steve wrote about some evidence for early Jesus traditions in the letter of James.

And he addressed the authorship of the letter of Jude here.

He's also written about the possibility that the apostle John was a cousin of Jesus.

On the James Ossuary, see here.

Concerning the genealogies of Jesus, see here, here, here, here, and here.

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