What the scriptures say about
BROTHERS (and SISTERS) of Jesus
References:
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

BROTHERS in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
Matthew 13:55-57 - Isnít this the carpenterís son? Isnít his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? Arenít all of his sisters with us? ...
Matthew 12:46, Mark 3:31-33 - His mother and his brothers came... Who are my mother and my brothers?       Mark 3:35 - For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
Mark 6:3 - Isnít this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Arenít his sisters here with us?Ē
Luke 8:19-21 - His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd...
John 2:11-12 - This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
John 7:3-5 - His brothers therefore said to him, ďDepart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do. For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world.Ē For even his brothers didnít believe in him.
Acts 1:13-14 - When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is
    Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.
    All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication,
    along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
1 Corinthians 9:5 - Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
Galatians 1:19 - But of the other apostles I saw no one, except James, the Lord's brother.
Hebrews 2:11 - For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers


BROTHER [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

# In the natural and common sense (Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:1,19).

# A near relation, a cousin (Genesis 13:8; 14:16; Matthew 12:46; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; Galatians 1:19).

# Simply a fellow-countryman (Matthew 5:47; Acts 3:22; Hebrews 7:5).

# A disciple or follower (Matthew 25:40; Hebrews 2:11,12).

# One of the same faith (Amos 1:9; Acts 9:30; 11:29; 1 Corinthians 5:11); whence the early disciples of our Lord were known to each other as brethren.

# A colleague in office (Ezra 3:2; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2co 1:1).

# A fellow-man (Genesis 9:5; 19:7; Matthew 5:22,23,24; 7:5; Hebrews 2:17).

# One beloved or closely united with another in affection (2 Samuel 1:26; Acts 6:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:1).

Brethren of Jesus (Matthew 1:25; 12:46,50: Mark 3:31,32; Galatians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 9:5, etc.) were probably the younger children of Joseph and Mary.

Some have supposed that they may have been the children of Joseph by a former marriage,

and others that they were the children of Mary, the Virgin's sister, and wife of Cleophas.

The first interpretation, however, is the most natural.


BROTHER [Smith's Bible Dictionary]

The Hebrew word is used in various senses in the Old Testament, as,
1. Any kinsman, and not a mere brother; e.g. nephew, (Genesis 13:8; 14:16) husband, (Solomon 4:9)

2. One of the same tribe. (2 Samuel 19:13)

3. Of the same people, (Exodus 2:11) or even of a cognate people. (Numbers 20:14)

4. An ally. (Amos 1:9)

5. Any friend, (Job 5:15)

6. One of the same office. (1 Kings 9:13)

7. A fellow man. (Leviticus 19:17)

8. Metaphorically of any similarity, as in (Job 30:19) The word adelphos has a similar range of meanings in the New Testament.


BROTHER [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

bruth'-er ('ach; adelphos = kin by birth, from the same parents or parent): Used extensively in both Old Testament and New Testament of other relations and relationships, and expanding under Christ's teaching to include the universal brotherhood of man. Chiefly employed in the natural sense, as of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:8); of Joseph and his brethren (Genesis 42:3); of Peter and Andrew, of James and John (Matthew 10:2). Of other relationships:
(1) Abram's nephew, Lot, is termed "brother" (Genesis 14:14);

(2) Moses' fellow-countrymen are "brethren" (Exodus 2:11; Acts 3:22; compare Hebrews 7:5);

(3) a member of the same tribe (2 Samuel 19:12);

(4) an ally (Amos 1:9), or an allied or cognate people (Numbers 20:14);

(5) used of common discipleship or the kinship of humanity (Matthew 23:8);

(6) of moral likeness or kinship (Proverbs 18:9);

(7) of friends (Job 6:15);

(8) an equal in rank or office (1 Kings 9:13);

(9) one of the same faith (Acts 11:29; 1 Corinthians 5:11);

(10) a favorite oriental metaphor used to express likeness or similarity (Job 30:29, "I am a brother to jackals");

(11) a fellow-priest or office-bearer (Ezra 3:2); Paul called Sosthenes "brother" (1 Corinthians 1:1) and Timothy his spiritual son and associate (2 Corinthians 1:1);

(12) a brother-man, any member of the human family (Matthew 7:3-5; Hebrews 2:17; 8:11; 1 John 2:9; 4:20);

(13) signifies spiritual kinship (Matt 12:50);

(14) a term adopted by the early disciples and Christians to express their fraternal love for each other in Christ, and universally adopted as the language of love and brotherhood in His kingdom in all subsequent time (2 Peter 3:15; Colossians 4:7,9,15).

The growing conception of mankind as a brotherhood is the outcome of this Christian view of believers as a household, a family (Ephesians 2:19; 3:15; compare Acts 17:26). Jesus has made "neighbor" equivalent to "brother," and the sense of fraternal affection and obligation essential to vital Christianity, and coextensive with the world.

The rabbis distinguished between "brother" and "neighbor," applying "brother" to Israelites by blood, "neighbor" to proselytes, but allowing neither title to the Gentiles.

Christ and the apostles gave the name "brother" to all Christians, and "neighbor" to all the world (1 Corinthians 5:11; Luke 10:29 ff). The missionary passion and aggressiveness of the Christian church is the natural product of this Christian conception of man's true relation to man.

See also FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS .

Dwight M. Pratt


BRETHREN [Thompson Chain Reference]
    * (Kindred of Christ)
          o Matthew 12:46
          o Matthew 13:55
          o Mark 3:31
          o John 2:12
          o John 7:3
          o John 7:5
          o 1 Corinthians 9:5
          o Galatians 1:19
    * Spiritual
          o THE FAMILY OF GOD
          o (Known as Brethren)
          o Matthew 23:8
          o Matthew 25:40
          o Luke 8:21
          o John 21:23
          o Romans 8:29
          o Hebrews 2:11
          o Hebrews 2:17
          o Revelation 12:10
          o Revelation 19:10
          o SEE Brother
    * Duty to
          o (Special Teachings concerning)
          o Impartial
                + Deuteronomy 10:19
          o Unselfish
                + Matthew 22:39
          o Proof of Discipleship
                + John 13:35
          o Christ's Love the Standard of
                + John 15:12
          o Sincere
                + Romans 12:9
                + Romans 13:9
          o Abounding
                + 1 Thessalonians 3:12
                + Hebrews 13:1
                + James 2:8
          o Fervent
                + 1 Peter 1:22
                + 1 John 4:7
          o SEE Benevolence
          o SEE Helpfulness
          o SEE Poor, The
          o SEE Strangers
          o SEE Sympathy
          o SEE Duty  
   See Brother and more...

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