How old was Jesus when he died? – Jesus was born around 4 B.C. and was crucified in A.D.30, according to the PBS FRONTLINE show “From Jesus to Christ.” Britannica cites his birth year as ranging from 6 to 4 B.C, and has the same death year as Frontline.

  • In general, Jesus’ age at death is heavily contested by scholars, according to “Dating the Death of Jesus” by Helen Bond and published online by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
  • Some cite Jesus’ death as happening on 14th of Nisan, which would be “Friday April 7th 30 or April 3rd 33,” based on a scholar’s timeline preference, but Bond does not subscribe to the specificity of those dates.

Depending on which calendars or accounts of Jesus’ final days people use, it is difficult to find one specific answer on when Jesus died and as a result, how old he was. However, Bond makes the case Jesus died around Passover, between A.D.29 and 34. Considering Jesus’ varying chronology, he was 33 to 40 years old at his time of death.

What did Jesus do at the age of 12?

Jesus, at the age of twelve, accompanies Mary and Joseph, and a large group of their relatives and friends to Jerusalem on pilgrimage, ‘according to the custom’ – that is, Passover.

How long did Jesus live?

Jesus
Born c.6 to 4 BC Herodian Kingdom of Judea, Roman Empire
Died AD 30 or 33 (aged 33–38) Jerusalem, Judaea, Roman Empire
Cause of death Crucifixion
Known for Central figure of Christianity

How old was Mary when Jesus was born?

Birth of Jesus – The adoration of the shepherds, a nativity scene in France According to the gospel of Luke, a decree of the Roman Emperor Augustus required that Joseph return to his hometown of Bethlehem to register for a Roman census, While he was there with Mary, she gave birth to Jesus; but because there was no place for them in the inn, she used a manger as a cradle.

  1.  p.14  From the age at which Jewish maidens became marriageable, it is possible that Mary gave birth to her son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age.
  2. No historical document tells us how old she actually was at the time of the Nativity.
  3. Most Jewish girls married in their mid to late teen years according to NRSV, or between 13 and 16 years old, according to CSB.

After eight days, the boy was circumcised according to Jewish law and named ” Jesus ” ( ישוע, Yeshu’a ), which means ” Yahweh is salvation”. After Mary continued in the ” blood of her purifying ” another 33 days, for a total of 40 days, she brought her burnt offering and sin offering to the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22), so the priest could make atonement for her.

They also presented Jesus – “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23; Exodus 13:2; 23:12–15; 22:29; 34:19–20; Numbers 3:13; 18:15). After the prophecies of Simeon and the prophetess Anna in Luke 2:25–38, the family “returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth”.

According to the gospel of Matthew, magi coming from Eastern regions arrived at Bethlehem where Jesus and his family were living, and worshiped him. Joseph was then warned in a dream that King Herod wanted to murder the infant, and the family fled by night to Egypt and stayed there for some time.

After Herod’s death in 4 BC, they returned to Nazareth in Galilee, rather than Bethlehem, because Herod’s son Archelaus was the ruler of Judaea. Mary is involved in the only event in Jesus’ adolescent life that is recorded in the New Testament. At the age of 12, Jesus, having become separated from his parents on their return journey from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, was found in the Temple among the religious teachers.

: p.210

What year was Jesus 30 years old?

The Year Jesus’s Ministry Began – If Jesus, as the Gospels seem to indicate, began his ministry not long after John, then based on the calculations above, the earliest date for Jesus’s baptism would be in late AD 28 at the very earliest. However, it is more probable to place it sometime in the first half of the year AD 29, because a few months probably elapsed between the beginning of John’s ministry and that of Jesus (and the year AD 30 is the latest possible date).

Where did Jesus go for 17 years?

Ancient texts reveal that Jesus spent 17 years in the Orient. They say that from age 13 to age 29, Jesus traveled to India, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet as both student and teacher.

Where did Jesus go for 18 years?

New Testament gap – James Tissot ‘s depiction of a young Jesus at the Temple ( Luke 2:46 ), c.1890. Brooklyn Museum Following the accounts of Jesus’ young life, there is a gap of about 18 years in his story in the New Testament. Other than the statement that after he was 12 years old ( Luke 2:42 ) Jesus “advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men” ( Luke 2:52 ), the New Testament has no other details regarding the gap.

  1. Christian tradition suggests that Jesus simply lived in Galilee during that period.
  2. Modern scholarship holds that there is little historical information to determine what happened during those years.
  3. The ages of 12 and 29, the approximate ages at either end of the unknown years, have some significance in Judaism of the Second Temple period : 13 is the age of the bar mitzvah, the age of secular maturity, and 30 the age of readiness for the priesthood, although Jesus was not of the tribe of Levi,

Christians have generally taken the statement in Mark 6:3 referring to Jesus as “Is not this the carpenter.?” ( Greek : οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τέκτων, romanized : ouch outos estin ho tektōn ) as an indication that before the age of 30 Jesus had been working as a carpenter.

What is Jesus full name?

Jesus’ name in Hebrew was ‘Yeshua’ which translates to English as Joshua. So how did we get the name ‘Jesus’?

Did Jesus have a last name?

What Was Jesus’ Last Name? | Angel Studios by Angel Studios | December 20, 2022 Jesus is sometimes referred to as Jesus Christ, and some people assume that Christ is Jesus’ last name. But Christ is actually a title, not a last name. So if Christ isn’t a last name, what was Jesus’ last name? The answer is Jesus didn’t have a formal last name or surname like we do today.

How many siblings did Jesus have?

Did Jesus have any siblings? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk

  • Did Jesus have any siblings?
  • Kareena, Sydney Australia
  • Hung Hsiu-ch’uan, leader of the nineteenth-century Taiping Rebellion in China, claimed to be the “younger brother of Jesus Christ”.
    1. A. Morton, Bangkok Thailand
  • The scriptures suggest that this is the case: “Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?” (Matthew 13.54-56). Matthew 1.25 also implies the married couple assumed a normal relationship following the birth of Jesus: “but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.” Emphasis on the word “until”. The Roman Catholic church explains away these and other statements as being metaphorical, referring to cousins and disciples. With such reliance placed upon metaphors, one could equally argue then that “son of God” is also a metaphor.
    • Terence Hollingworth, Blagnac France
  • The Pope says “no”. The Bible says “yes”. You work it out.
    1. Garrick Alder, London
  • Well, I heard from a scholar type person on TV (so it has to be true) that Joseph’s marriage to Mary was his second and that he had fathered 8 kids previously.Can anyone shed light on this? I guess that a chance of a virgin birth gave him a break.
    • Mark Butcher, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Aren’t we all the children of God, making us all his siblings?
    1. Glen Smeaton, London, UK
  • According to the film ‘Dogma’ by Kevin Smith he did have siblings, one of whose descendants was Linda Fiorentino
    • Frances Foster, Leicester, UK
  • Barabra Thiering’s book “Jesus the Man”, based upon an interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a good guide. She says that Jesus’s brother James was, for some time, a political rival to Jesus. As they both were, through Joseph, decendants of David they had claims to be regarded as King. Jesus was “revolutionary” in that he thought he could be a priest as well, despite not being a Levite. Even if you believe in Christianity (she dismisses the virgin birth, etc as metaphorical) or not it’s an excellent book.
    1. richard, london uk
  • If the Vatican deny it, it must be true
    • Paul Jarvis, Glasgow Scotland
  • Since Jesus was the son of God and Mary, any other children of Mary would have beeb half-brothers and -sisters at best. Other children of Joseph would not be siblings.
    1. Martin Pitt, Sheffield UK
  • While this answer may be treated with suspicion by some who love to disagree with anything the Catholic Church teaches, it is the case that the Church affirms definitively that Mary was a perpetual virgin. This means (1) she was a virgin when Jesus was conceived, (2) she remained a virgin despite childbirth, (3) she did not have sexual relations, and therefore no other children. The Bible does not comment on this question specifically, but the saints and the tradition of the church have been very clear on this matter. The Bible certainly does not say that Mary had other children – references to brothers and sisters of Jesus must be understood in context. In many ancient languages, such words were used as synonyms for “kinsmen”, “cousins”, etc. I’m sure this answer will be virulently attacked, but the perpetual virginity of Mary is a defined dogma of the Catholic church.
    • Kurt Barragan, London
  • Jesus had two half brothers. They were half because they were Mary and Joseph’s, whereas Jesus was Mary and God’s.
    1. Lyndsey,
  • Referring back to Frances Foster’s mention of the film ‘Dogma’. The dead man, Rufus, says to Jesus’ great (x8) niece ‘to believe in a virgin birth requires a leap of faith – to believe that a man remains married for the rest of his life and not have sex with his wife is sheer gullibility’. See the film, anything that casts Alanis Morrisette as God has to be worth a viewing!
    • Mark Butcher, Geneva Switzerland
  • Certainly, the Bible mentions some of Jesus’ siblings by name (Joseph, James, Judas, Simon – Mark 6:3). There is even some speculation that the latter of these three were three of the apostles. (ie. James = James The Less, Judas = Jude The Obscure, Simon = Simon The Zealot). However a reference to James The Less as the son of “Alphaeus” (Mark 3:18) seems to contradict this. (Having said that, in the different Gospels various names are given for some of the Apostles: eg. Levi=Matthew, so Alphaeus may be another name for Jesus’ (Step-)Father Joseph.) A very strong suggestion that James The Less was Jesus’ brother comes in Galatians 1:18-19 where Paul writes “I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles – only James, the Lord’s brother” although admittedly, the interpretation is ambiguous and could mean that the James referred to was not an apostle, or that he was. Another indication that Jude The Obscure was brother to James The Less (and therefore possibly also to Jesus) comes in Jude’s own epistle, which opens “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,”. Also notice the stylistic similarities between the epistles of Jude and of James. Any suggestion that Mary preserved her virginity after the birth of Christ is nonsense. There is now biblical basis for it, only a dogmatic tradition. Indeed Matthew 1:25 “He had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.” undeniably states that the pair had a sexual relationship after the birth of Christ.
    1. Matt Becker, Oxford UK
  • Yes, he had sisters and brothers.it’s mentioned in the bible. Thomas is considered to be his twin brother as Thomas (two mass) means twin birth. If he had been a bachelor at the age of 33 he would not have had any credibility in that society. Children were betrothed at 14, married by at the latest 21 and were expected to be breeding up to the very high kill off rate that existed then. He also had a son Barabbas by his wife Mary Magdalin (the most slandered woman in history). After Jesus had tried, as the son of David, to wrest the throne from the Romans, Barabbas had to be saved as when he was old enough he had to try. Also virgin birth is as common as dish water in many societies still. In Latin and in those times virgin meant ‘girl who has yet to menstruate’. If a married girl’s first ovum was fertilised she would have given birth before she had ever menstruated and thus would experience a ‘virgin’ birth. By that definition of virgin, virgin birth is nothing special.
    • Richard Hines, Perth Western Australia
  • I don’t know about his siblings, but his mother Mary’s sister is the Auntie Christ.
    1. Richard Walbrook, Derby, England
  • In middle eastern Jewish tradition, the body was left to rot, the bones collected, and the remains reburied in ossuaries. There is an ossuary, currently, I believe, on show in Toronto, which bears the inscription ‘James, brother of Jesus’. Jesus was a relatively popular name, so to speculate that it is the brother of Christ is maybe pushing it, but some believe it.
    • John, Leicester UK
  • An acquaintance of my mother’s once said: “If it were good to have siblings, then Jesus would have had some too!”
    1. Magdalena, Prague, Czech Republic
  • According to Mark 6:3 Jesus had four brothers (and two sisters): “Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” Given that brother here is used in the same context as mother it is likely the author means that Mary did indeed have other children.
    • Nick, Ormsteel Bolivia
  • Have any of the people so glibly quoting the Bible (especially those who keep talking about this ‘until’ business) actually read the bible in the original tongue? I always understood that the translations were pretty haphazard – and some of the quotes appear to be from the ‘Good News’ Bible, which is not even a good modernization of the King James! Doesn’t this make such quibbles rather meaningless?
    1. P aul, Prague Czech Rep
  • The good news bible is NOT a translation of the king james bible, it is a more accurate translation from the original texts, utilising more accurate modern understanding of the ancient languages. That people consider the KJB to be the definitive translation when many modern ones are more accurate and much more easily understood seems strange to me. Not an answer to the question i know but a useful point nonetheless!
    • steve b, london uk
  • I do know a little of the original Greek. The original Greek (Textus Receptus) of Matthew 1:26 describes Jesus as “protokon”, which is “first”. If Jesus had been Mary’s only child, it would have used something like “monogene” – “only”.
    1. Simon Richardson, London, UK
  • Who cares? The really interesting point is that this (semi-)mythological character seems to have turned out pretty well in spite of his father’s homicidal tendencies and liking for plagues etc. Maybe having an absent father isn’t such a bad thing after all.
    • Ian Iles, Taunton, UK
  • To understand what Matthew means when he says “He (Joseph) had no union with her (Mary) UNTIL she gave birth to a son”, one only has to look at the Hebrew meaning of “until” and other references in the bible. “Until” makes reference to ONLY the time that has passed before the occurence; therefore meaning “before”. It does not mean that Joseph necessarily had relations with Mary after this time. Two examples in the bible which support this: 1 Timothy 4:13 “Till I come, attend to reading, to exhortation, and to the doctrine”. This clearly doesn’t mean that they should stop this when he returns, but rather “while I am gone”. Another example from Psalms 109:1 “The Lord said to my Lord: Sit Thou at my right hand UNTIL I make Thy enemies Thy footstool”. We know that that the Lord is eternally at God’s right hand and not just “until” he makes His enemies His footstool. As for Jesus having siblings, the use of word “firstborn” is not meant to suggest that Mary had other children after Jesus, but that she bore no child prior to this. According to the Law of Moses, “thou shalt dedicate the first born of every household” (Exodus 13:11-16). When Matthew refers to Jesus’ “brothers” (James, Joseph, Simon and Judas) and “sisters”, since the bible never mentions that Mary bore other children, it is likely that they were his cousins or nephews. According to Jewish custom, as is African languages, there are no special terms for various degrees in family relationships, so cousins and nephews are all included as brother and sister. Lot and Abraham were refered to as “brothers” although the bible later describes them as uncle/nephew. “Thare’s sons were called Abraham, Nachor and Aran; and Aran had a son called Lot” (Gen 13:8).
    1. Chris Fowler, Mountain View, California, USA
  • The word “brethren” is translated from the Greek word for “brother” – “adelphos.” This word may mean a spiritual brother, but it does not mean “cousin.” The English word “cousin” in Luke 1:36 and 58 is translated from “suggenes” in the original Greek. This clearly shows that the New Testament, when referring to Jesus’ family, makes them brothers and not cousins. In Matthew 1:25 we find that Christ is called the “FIRSTBORN” son of Mary. The word “firstborn” is translated from the Greek word, “prototokon” which means the firstborn among other children – the oldest of several children in a family. If Jesus had been Mary’s ONLY child, the Greek word “monogenes,” meaning “only child,” would have been used in the original Greek text. Jesus was the “only begotten” human son of the Heavenly Father (John 1:18). But He was the “first born” – not an “only child” – of Mary! As a final proof that Jesus Christ was not the ONLY CHILD of His mother, let us turn to Psalm 69:8, which all Bible scholars recognize as a prophecy concerning Christ. In this scripture we read, “I am become a stranger unto MY BRETHREN, and an alien unto MY MOTHER’S CHILDREN.” Christ certainly was speaking of His PHYSICAL mother and brethren – blood relatives – in this prophecy. Christ’s spiritual mother is the Church (Rev.12:1-5) and His spiritual brethren are His followers – those who compose the true Church today (Matt.12:49-50, Rom.8:16-17,29).
    • Ramon Sandoval, Smithfield, Virginia United States
  • Considering that Jesus was created by his father, god, and then god went on to create all the other angels (including the ones who became the devil and his demons), then Jesus’ brothers/sisters are all the angels AND Satan, himself! Then, once on the planet in human form, if he did have any (half) brothers or sisters, this would be the start of his second family. If god created us in his own likeness and shows us the way by example, then with all the divorces, re-marrying, adoption of one’s new partner’s children. aren’t we now, in contemporary society, just starting to achieve god’s great plan. I’ve got a wayward brother who’s been married a few times (4 kids by different mothers), I also have quite a few half nephews/nieces, etc. So what’s all this rubbish about staying married and not spreading your oats – god does it.
    1. Johnathan Wilkinson, Surabaya Indonesia
  • Jesus had a twin brother called Thomas. The name derives from the Hebrew word “teoom” meaning twin. Thomas doubted his brother’s claims, hence he was called “doubting Thomas”
    • Hamish McSmall, Dundee Scotland
  • Ask his Father.
    1. Iain Stewart, Sydney, Australia
  • Isn’t is weird that sometimes (for instance when it comes to the question of homosexuality) the bible, even at its most confusing, is considered definitive; yet other times the same bible, at its clearest, (for instance when telling us the names of Jesus’ siblings) is apparently “open to interpretation”. the thought also occurs that, surely for Jesus to be the “everyman” he is sold as, he must’ve had some sex somewhere along the way; equally, there are few men who would accept a sexless marriage in these “enlightened” times – one can hardly imagine poor old Joseph schlepping around with his Missus and not expecting a bit of how’s-yer-father.
    • Gerry, Edinburgh
  • This question is far more open than people think. Many people will simply point to the Bible and say “see, it says it right there”. But this reading is largely based on a misunderstanding of how family relationships work in other cultures. Europe is rather unique in how it strictly defines familial relations. In many cultures, there is no distinction made between ones cousins (sometimes only on a certain side of the family) and ones direct brothers and sisters. It just so happens that the ancient Hebrews had such a culture. In fact, Arimaic lacks ANY word that distiguishes ones cousins from ones siblings. This is something the people back then would have understood, but was slowly “lost in translation” as time passed on. Tradition, on the other hand, taught from the earliest days that Jesus had no siblings. When put in that context, I would side with tradition.
    1. Chris, Pittsburgh, PA USA
  • To “side with tradition” is simply ignorance. To side with the Bible, which is not in any way ambiguous, is a concrete stand. The claim that some cultures don’t make a distinction between brothers and cousins and the like is also irresponsible, as it is clear from scripture that the writers, inspired, by God, were clearly trying, and in fact were successful, to indicate that Jesus had siblings. Many posts have already pointed out that the Greek is exact in its rendering of “brother” and “firstborn” vs. “cousin” and “only”. So, Jesus had brothers and sister, and if he did not, so what. Are we to believe that Mary and Joseph never had relations? There is no indication to that effect nor any indication that she or Joseph were somehow commanded to abstain from sex. Why would God want that? To what end or for what purpose? This is simply absurd!
    • carlos, Pomona, Ca USA
  • Interesting though the point about Aramaic not having a word for sibling may be, the New Testament was (probably) written in Greek, a language which was understood across ethnic divisions in the eastern half of the Roman Empire. The Greek of the day did have such a word, and was therefore capable of being used with some precision. Many critics say that up to that point the Church had to rely on an oral tradition. Many cultures do, to this day, and to suggest that makes their history dubious is cultural arrogance. I think we can accept that Jesus had a clutch of brothers and sisters. or half-brothers and half-sisters if you like.
    1. Paul Thompson, Perth Scotland
  • If Jesus did have half siblings due to Mary’s marriage to Joseph, where were they when Jesus was crucified and He said to John ‘here is your mother’? Surely they would have been there to be with her? And yet I find it difficult to believe Mary and Joseph had no other children together.
    • Shirley Rodgers, Lincoln, United Kingdom
  • Yeshua (Jesus) was abandoned by his brothers and sisters at the crucifixion. They did not come to believe in him until after His resurrection. Jacob (who wrote the book of James) is one of Yeshua’s 1/2 brothers whose faith was very great, but not at the time of Yeshua’s death. He was not there. The word of G-d records this in Psalm 69:8. I stated this earlier in these posts, but will quote it here “.all Bible scholars recognize as a prophecy concerning Christ. In this scripture we read, ‘I am become a stranger unto MY BRETHREN, and an alien unto MY MOTHER’S CHILDREN.’ ”
    1. Ramon, Smithfield Virginia
  • What I find interesting about all “anti-tradition” responses, dating back to Luther and Calvin, is that we are to accept their personal interpretation of Scripture, but not the Tradition passed on by the Catholic Church. Who are they that we should take their interpretation? Oral tradition was the means of telling ALL these until the Bible was actually put to paper. Although written in Greek, the actual scribe would choose the Greek word based on his understanding of an oral tradition passed down. Therefore, it is possible that the Arameic “brother”, referring to all relations, could be actually written in Greek and misunderstood by future generations. And as far as translations go, let’s remember depending on which you are reading, you may have read from the original text translation (Septuagent) or the Protestant bible which came many years later. Remember as well, Jesus commanded His apostles to preach and teach. He did not command any of them to “write”.if He had, then aren’t the many who didn’t remiss in their duties? He established a “teaching Church” long before any word was written down. How was it then written? Passed down by oral tradition, which is what the Catholic Church does even today. Jesus promised to protect His Church from all error.how has that been done with all the division and inconsistencies in the Protestant church? One side feels the other is in error, and vice versa. Who is right? Luther or Calvin? They taught such different things. Which one is Christ protecting from error? So, since by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ promised to protect those oral traditions from error, might we not take them at their word?
    • Melanie, New Orleans United States
  • Myths are malleable and mutable. You pays your money and you takes your choice. The ossuary of Jesus’ brother James turned up in Israel not too long ago. Relics will occur, let us say, to fit the myth. That is part of the power, and persistence of myth.
    1. Anthony Gumbrell, Seattle USA
  • I think so too! Jesus did have siblings according to the bible! But according to MY relatives no one believes it, because in 2007 on the 14th of May the POPE said “Jesus has siblings and that is us the whole world!”
    • Dewinsman Anton, Southend-on-Sea, UK
  • From the human perspective, he had. But per the divinity all about ‘NO’.
    1. Nagesh Reddy, Hyderabad, India
  • I think the original question makes a huge presumption – that Jesus actually existed. There is no contemporaneous evidence other than a book, the Bible, which contradicts itself over and over again.
    • John Gribben, Belfast, Ireland
  • It could be possible that Joseph had another wife before he married Mary. I believe he was much older than her when they married. The term “brothers” could perhaps mean step brothers? Possibly.
    1. Diana, Atlanta, Ga USA
  • I think what a lot of us are looking for is the truth about the historical Jesus. When I was young and Catholic, the nun said that no, he didn’t have siblings-they were cousins, and that Joseph was in his 90s (and therefore couldn’t “cut the mustard.”) There’s a lot of energy around keeping the Virgin unsullied. People are threatened by the notion of siblings because it makes Jesus and his mother more human and less divine. In some ways, to me, whether he had siblings or not doesn’t matter. I’m very much interested in the truth, but I also appreciate the story and its rich metaphors, symbolism, and thoughts that are important and more ancient than Jesus. Myths (which are stories, not false things) are what we need to recover in this society – the mystical, not the factual and the ethical. Read the Nag Hammadi library (Dead Sea scrolls and other ancient texts) for some fascinating pre-Christian mysticism and other texts with post-Christian influence and renderings.
    • Joe, Vancouver Canada
  • Brothers and sisters, our lord was born of virgin Mary. Jesus or Emmanuel had no brothers or sisters. It’s not a catholic dogma to say Mary was a virgin, she was actually a virgin in the true sense. Assuming that we are all Christians, whether Christ had brothers or sisters, how does it deepen our faith? Some issues are not worthwhile pursuing. What is happening now is people are using info from the web as fact. You can get anything from the net so don’t ever think that what you read from blogs and Google is the honest truth.
    1. Max Savanhu, Mandara, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Yes, he had brothers that was born after him from Mary and Joseph. I also think Jesus had a sister too.
    • Janet F Lopez, Rochester,ny united State
  • Jesus didn’t exist anyway. The bible is a fable written by poets.
    1. Rob, Kent England
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: Did Jesus have any siblings? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk

How many children did Mary have after Jesus?

When Catholics call Mary the “Blessed Virgin,” they mean she remained a virgin throughout her life. When Protestants refer to Mary as “virgin,” they mean she was a virgin only until Jesus’ birth. They believe that she and Joseph later had children whom Scripture refers to as “the brethren of the Lord.” The disagreement arises over biblical verses that use the terms “brethren,” “brother,” and “sister.” There are about ten instances in the New Testament where “brothers” and “sisters” of the Lord are mentioned (Matt.12:46; Matt.13:55; Mark 3:31–34; Mark 6:3; Luke 8:19–20; John 2:12, 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Cor.9:5).

  • When trying to understand these verses, note that the term “brother” (Greek: adelphos ) has a wide meaning in the Bible.
  • It is not restricted to the literal meaning of a full brother or half-brother.
  • The same goes for “sister” ( adelphe ) and the plural form “brothers” ( adelphoi ).
  • The Old Testament shows that “brother” had a wide semantic range of meaning and could refer to any male relative from whom you are not descended (male relatives from whom you are descended are known as “fathers”) and who are not descended from you (your male descendants, regardless of the number of generations removed, are your “sons”), as well as kinsmen such as cousins, those who are members of the family by marriage or by law rather than by blood, and even friends or mere political allies (2 Sam.1:26; Amos 1:9).

Lot, for example, is called Abraham’s “brother” (Gen.14:14), even though, being the son of Haran, Abraham’s brother (Gen.11:26–28), he was actually Abraham’s nephew. Similarly, Jacob is called the “brother” of his uncle Laban (Gen.29:15). Kish and Eleazar were the sons of Mahli.

Kish had sons of his own, but Eleazar had no sons, only daughters, who married their “brethren,” the sons of Kish. These “brethren” were really their cousins (1 Chr.23:21–22). The terms “brothers,” “brother,” and “sister” did not refer only to close relatives. Sometimes they meant kinsmen (Deut.23:7; Neh.5:7; Jer.34:9), as in the reference to the forty-two “brethren” of King Azariah (2 Kgs.10:13–14).

No Word for Cousin Because neither Hebrew nor Aramaic (the language spoken by Christ and his disciples) had a special word meaning “cousin,” speakers of those languages could use either the word for “brother” or a circumlocution, such as “the son of my uncle.” But circumlocutions are clumsy, so the Jews often used “brother.” The writers of the New Testament were brought up using the Aramaic equivalent of “brothers” to mean both cousins and sons of the same father—plus other relatives and even non-relatives.

  • When they wrote in Greek, they did the same thing the translators of the Septuagint did.
  • The Septuagint was the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible; it was translated by Hellenistic Jews a century or two before Christ’s birth and was the version of the Bible from which most of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are taken.) In the Septuagint the Hebrew word that includes both brothers and cousins was translated as adelphos, which in Greek usually has the narrow meaning that the English “brother” has.

Unlike Hebrew or Aramaic, Greek has a separate word for cousin, anepsios, but the translators of the Septuagint used adelphos, even for true cousins. You might say they transliterated instead of translated, importing the Jewish idiom into the Greek Bible.

They took an exact equivalent of the Hebrew word for “brother” and did not use adelphos in one place (for sons of the same parents), and anepsios in another (for cousins). This same usage was employed by the writers of the New Testament and passed into English translations of the Bible. To determine what “brethren” or “brother” or “sister” means in any one verse, we have to look at the context.

When we do that, we see that insuperable problems arise if we assume that Mary had children other than Jesus. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would conceive a son, she asked, “How can this be since I have no relations with a man?” (Luke 1:34).

From the Church’s earliest days, as the Fathers interpreted this Bible passage, Mary’s question was taken to mean that she had made a vow of lifelong virginity, even in marriage. (This was not common, but neither was it unheard of.) If she had not taken such a vow, the question would make no sense. Mary knew how babies are made (otherwise she wouldn’t have asked the question she did).

If she had anticipated having children in the normal way and did not intend to maintain a vow of virginity, she would hardly have to ask “how” she was to have a child, since conceiving a child in the “normal” way would be expected by a newlywed wife.

  1. Her question makes sense only if there was an apparent (but not a real) conflict between keeping a vow of virginity and acceding to the angel’s request.
  2. A careful look at the New Testament shows that Mary kept her vow of virginity and never had any children other than Jesus.
  3. When Jesus was found in the Temple at age twelve, the context suggests that he was the only son of Mary and Joseph.

There is no hint in this episode of any other children in the family (Luke 2:41–51). Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and the people of Nazareth referred to him as “the son of Mary” (Mark 6:3), not as ” a son of Mary.” In fact, others in the Gospels are never referred to as Mary’s sons, not even when they are called Jesus’ “brethren.” If they were in fact her sons, this would be strange usage.

  1. Also, the attitude taken by the “brethren of the Lord” implies they are his elders.
  2. In ancient and, particularly, in Eastern societies (remember, Palestine is in Asia), older sons gave advice to younger, but younger seldom gave advice to older—it was considered disrespectful to do so.
  3. But we find Jesus’ “brethren” saying to him that Galilee was no place for him and that he should go to Judea so he could make a name for himself (John 7:3–4).

Another time, they sought to restrain him for his own benefit: “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, ‘He is beside himself'” (Mark 3:21). This kind of behavior could make sense for ancient Jews only if the “brethren” were older than Jesus, but that alone eliminates them as his biological brothers, since Jesus was Mary’s “first-born” son (Luke 2:7).

Consider what happened at the foot of the cross. When he was dying, Jesus entrusted his mother to the apostle John (John 19:26–27). The Gospels mention four of his “brethren”: James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude. It is hard to imagine why Jesus would have disregarded family ties and made this provision for his mother if these four were also her sons.

Fundamentalist Arguments Fundamentalists insist that “brethren of the Lord” must be interpreted in the strict sense. They most commonly make two arguments based on Matthew 1:25: “nd he did not know her until (Greek: heos, also translated into English as “till”) she brought forth her firstborn son.” They first argue that the natural inference from “till” is that Joseph and Mary afterward lived together as husband and wife, in the usual sense, and had several children.

  1. Otherwise, why would Jesus be called “first-born”? Doesn’t that mean there must have been at least a “second-born,” perhaps a “third-born,” and so on? But they are using a narrow, modern meaning of “until,” instead of the meaning it had when the Bible was written.
  2. In the Bible, it means only that some action did not happen up to a certain point; it does not imply that the action did happen later, which is the modern sense of the term.

In fact, if the modern sense is forced on the Bible, some ridiculous meanings result. Consider this line: “Michal the daughter of Saul had no children till the day of her death” (2 Sam.6:23). Are we to assume she had children after her death? There is also the burial of Moses.

The book of Deuteronomy says that no one knew the location of his grave “until this present day” (Deut.34:6, Knox). But we know that no one has known since that day either. The examples could be multiplied, but you get the idea—nothing can be proved from the use of the word “till” in Matthew 1:25. Recent translations give a better sense of the verse: “He had no relations with her at any time before she bore a son” ( New American Bible ); “He had not known her when she bore a son” (Knox).

Fundamentalists claim Jesus could not be Mary’s “first-born” unless there were other children that followed him. But this shows ignorance of the way the ancient Jews used the term. For them it meant the child that opened the womb (Ex.13:2; Num.3:12). Under the Mosaic Law, it was the “first-born” son that was to be sanctified (Ex.34:20).

Did this mean the parents had to wait until a second son was born before they could call their first the “first-born”? Hardly. The first male child of a marriage was termed the “first-born” even if he turned out to be the only child of the marriage. The Holy Family Fundamentalists say it would have been repugnant for Mary and Joseph to enter a marriage and remain celibate.

They call such marriages “unnatural” arrangements. Certainly they were unusual, but not as unusual as having the Son of God in one’s family, and not nearly as unusual as having a virgin give birth to a child. The Holy Family was neither an average family nor should we expect its members to act as would members of an average family.

The circumstances demanded sacrifice by Mary and Joseph. This was a special family, set aside for the nurturing of the Son of God. No greater dignity could be given to marriage than that. Backing up the testimony of Scripture regarding Mary’s perpetual virginity is the testimony of the early Christian Church.

Consider the controversy between Jerome and Helvidius, writing around 380. Helvidius first brought up the notion that the “brothers of the Lord” were children born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus’ birth. The great Scripture scholar Jerome at first declined to comment on Helvidius’ remarks because they were a “novel, wicked, and a daring affront to the faith of the whole world.” At length, though, Jerome’s friends convinced him to write a reply, which turned out to be his treatise called On the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mary,

  1. He used not only the scriptural arguments given above, but cited earlier Christian writers, such as Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, and Justin Martyr.
  2. Helvidius was unable to come up with a reply, and his theory remained in disrepute and was unheard of until more recent times.
  3. So, if it is established that the “brethren of the Lord” were not Jesus’ brothers or half-brothers through Mary, who were they? Prior to the time of Jerome, the standard theory was that they were Jesus’ “brothers” who were sons of Joseph though not of Mary.

According to this view, Joseph was a widower at the time he married Mary. He had children from his first marriage (who would be older than Jesus, explaining their attitude toward him). This is mentioned in a number of early Christian writings. One work, known as the Proto-evangelium of James (A.D.125) records that Joseph was selected from a group of widowers to serve as the husband/protector of Mary, who was a virgin consecrated to God.

When he was chosen, Joseph objected: “I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl” (4:9). Today, the most commonly accepted view is that they were Jesus’ cousins. Of the four “brethren” who are named in the Gospels, consider, for the sake of argument, only James. Similar reasoning can be used for the other three.

We know that James the younger’s mother was named Mary. Look at the descriptions of the women standing beneath the cross: “among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (Matt.27:56); “There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome” (Mark 15:40).

  1. Then look at what John says: “But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25).
  2. If we compare these parallel accounts of the scene of the crucifixion, we see that the mother of James and Joseph must be the wife of Clopas.

So far, so good. An argument against this, though, is that James is elsewhere (Matt.10:3) described as the son of Alphaeus, which would mean this Mary, whoever she was, was the wife of both Clopas and Alphaeus. But Alphaeus and Clopas are the same person, since the Aramaic name for Alphaeus could be rendered in Greek either as Alphaeus or as Clopas.

Another possibility is that Alphaeus took a Greek name similar to his Jewish name, the way that Saul took the name Paul. So it’s probable that James the younger is the son of Mary and Clopas. The second-century historian Hegesippus explains that Clopas was the brother of Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus.

James would thus be Joseph’s nephew and a cousin of Jesus, who was Joseph’s putative son. This identification of the “brethren of the Lord” as Jesus’ first cousins is open to legitimate question—they might even be relatives more distantly removed—but our inability to determine for certain their exact status strictly on the basis of the biblical evidence (or lack of it, in this case) says nothing at all about the main point, which is that the Bible demonstrates that they were not the Blessed Virgin Mary’s children.

  • Taken from Catholic Answers.com NIHIL OBSTAT : I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
  • Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004 IMPRIMATUR : In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
  • Robert H.
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Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

Where did Jesus go when he died?

Question: I heard Colin Smith on the radio today talking about his book regarding the thief on the cross, I’m confused about what Jesus said to him. I’ve always been taught that Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43, NIV), and I’ve always found that strange because, on that day, Jesus didn’t go to heaven.

  1. Even after his resurrection, he says to Mary Magdalene, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.
  2. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” (John 20:17, NIV) I’ve recently heard that lack of punctuation is the culprit and cause for confusion.

That it could/should read, “I tell you the truth today, you will be with Me in paradise.” Thank you for any light you can shed on this particular subject. Answer: The question that you raise has often been discussed and is part of a wider question about where Jesus was between his death on Good Friday and his glorious resurrection on Easter morning.

  1. In that regard, I think that it is important to take seriously the last words of Jesus before he died: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” (Luke 23:46).
  2. Death is the separation of the soul or spirit from the body and, at the point of his death, the spirit of Jesus was in the hands of the Father.

We know that the Father is in heaven. The same was true for the thief, according to the promise of Jesus. On Easter morning, when Christ rose, his spirit was clothed in a new resurrection body. His Spirit came back from heaven. His body was raised. What happened on that morning is a model or a picture of what will happen to believers whose souls or spirits are now with the Father in heaven.

When Christ returns, they will come from heaven with him, and they will receive the resurrection body, which will be patterned after his resurrection body (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16). What happens to believers will be an exact reflection of what happened to Jesus. At death his Spirit went to the Father in heaven, and then returned to be clothed in the resurrection body, in which he appeared to the disciples over a period of 40 days before the ascension.

The statement in John 20:17 tells us that the ascension of the resurrected Christ had not yet happened. But it does not prevent us from believing that the spirit of Christ was with the Father between his death and resurrection. One other question that is related to the above is the (I believe) mistaken idea that Jesus descended into hell between his death and resurrection.

  • The creed says that Christ descended into hell, but I believe the way to understand this is that Christ experienced all the dimensions of hell on the cross.
  • I deal with this in the book,
  • Everything hell is, Christ experienced for us on the cross as he took our place and became the sacrifice on our behalf.

This is how the reformers understood the creed. Hope this helps, and thanks for taking the time to write with a good and thoughtful question. In Christ, Colin Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near – So Far, Colin is the Founder and Teaching Pastor for Open the Bible. Follow him on Twitter,

When was Jesus’s actual birthday?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Birth of Jesus

Nativity by Robert Campin ( c.  1420 ), depicting the birth of Jesus Christ during Spring
Date 6 to 4 BC

The date of birth of Jesus is not stated in the gospels or in any historical sources, but most biblical scholars generally accept a date of birth between 6 BC and 4 BC, the year in which King Herod died. The historical evidence is too incomplete to allow a definitive dating, but the year is estimated through three different approaches:

  • analysing references to known historical events mentioned in the nativity accounts in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew,
  • working backward from the estimation of the start of the ministry of Jesus, and
  • astrological or astronomical alignments.

The common Christian traditional dating of the birthdate of Jesus was 25 December, a date first asserted officially by Pope Julius I in 350 AD, although this claim is dubious or otherwise unfounded. The day or season has been estimated by various methods, including the description of shepherds watching over their sheep.

At what age did Jesus realize who he was?

We know that at 12 Jesus understood in a conscious human way he was the Son of God.

Did Jesus and Buddha live at the same time?

New book looks at parallel sayings of Jesus, Buddha CORVALLIS, Ore. – The religious philosopher Siddhartha Gautama – better known as Buddha – once said, “The faults of others are easier to see than one’s own.” Some 500 years later, Jesus uttered these words: “Why do you see the splinter in someone else’s eye and never notice the log in your own?” Coincidence? Perhaps.

But a new book edited by an Oregon State University professor provides a look at a surprising number of similarities in sayings attributed to two of the world’s most important religious figures. “Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings” was recently published by Ulysses Press. “The primary purpose of this collection of essays and sayings was not to make a scholarly case for Jesus having known the teachings of Buddhism, or for cultural borrowing from Buddhism to Christianity,” said Marcus Borg, the Hundere Professor of Religion and Culture at OSU, and editor of the book.

“It is to provide an opportunity for reflection and meditation. These sayings illuminate each other.” The book raises the fascinating question: How could Jesus, living 500 years after Buddha and 3,000 miles away, embody teachings so similar in nature to his predecessor? Borg said some historians believe that Buddhist principles had filtered through the Roman Empire by the time of Jesus.

Still others suggest that Jesus may have visited India during “the missing years” – a period in his teens and early 20s when there was little documentation about his life. A more likely explanation, Borg said, is that the similarity in their sayings mirrors the similarities in their experiences. The Buddha, after a six-year religious quest, had an enlightenment experience under the Bo tree; Jesus’ quest led him to the wilderness and his spiritual mentor, John the Baptist.

Both began renewal movements within their respective, inherited religious traditions – Hinduism and Judaism. And both were given an exalted, even divine status by the communities which grew up around them. “The similarities of their wisdom teaching may flow out of the similarity of their religious experience,” Borg said.

Buddha: “The avaricious do not go to heaven, the foolish to not extol charity. The wise one, however, rejoicing in charity, becomes thereby happy in the beyond.” (Dhammapada 13.11) Jesus: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Matthew 19.21)

Buddha: “Consider others as yourself.” (Dhammapada 10.1) Jesus: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6.31)

Buddha: “Let us live most happily, possessing nothing; let us feed on joy, like radiant gods.” (Dhammapada 15.4) Jesus: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6.20)

Buddha: “If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter no evil words.” (Majjhima Nikaya 21.6) Jesus: “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.” (Luke 6.29)

Buddha: “During the six years that the Bodhisattva practiced austerities, the demon followed behind him step by step, seeking an opportunity to harm him. But he found no opportunity whatsoever and went away discouraged and discontent.” (Lalitavistara Sutra 18) Jesus: “When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4.13)

“The Parallel Sayings” provides more than 100 examples of similarities between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, including sayings about compassion, wisdom, materialism, inner life, temptation, salvation, the future, miracles, disciples, attributes and life stories.

  • There were differences between Jesus and Buddha, and not just in their backgrounds, the language they used or their imagery, Borg said.
  • There is a social and political passion in Jesus we do not find in the Buddha,” Borg said.
  • In the judgment of many Jesus scholars, in addition to being a wisdom teacher and healer, Jesus was a social prophet.

He challenged the domination system of his day and its ruling elites, and affirmed an alternative social vision. “Jesus’ activity as a social prophet – as a voice of religious social protest – is the most likely reason his public activity was so brief compared to the Buddha’s,” Borg added.

  • It lasted only a year, or three or four years – according to the different Gospels – compared to Buddha’s nearly 50 years of teaching.
  • Jesus’ early death was probably because of his social and political passion.
  • If he had been simply a wisdom teacher and healer, I doubt that he would have been executed.” Jack Kornfield, best-selling author of several books on Buddhism, wrote an introduction to “The Parallel Sayings,” in which he describes his view of Jesus and Buddha.

Trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India, he visited a monastery in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam during the war. “Then (the monks) took us to the end of the island where, on top of a hill, there was an enormous 50-foot tall statue of a standing Buddha,” Kornfield wrote.

Did Jesus ever come to England?

Did Jesus visit Cornwall? I remember the ephemera at the back of St Barnabas. The church stands in Oxford’s suburb of Jericho, near the University Press. It had proper church clutter: stumps of candles, dogeared pamphlets and reminders of long gone diocesan initiatives. St Barnabas, Oxford The piece of uselessness that most captivated me, as I pretended to help tidy up at the back when an undergraduate, was a pamphlet entitled ‘DID JESUS COME TO BRITAIN?’. The question was answered in the very first word of the long diatribe that followed, which was an emphatic, capitalised ‘YES’.

Even among the collection of publications advocating zany ideas and seemingly lost causes that make up this sort of church clutter, this one stood out as particularly loopy. Obviously it became my favourite. The hypothesis is that Christ came to Britain – specifically the West Country, which was one of the ancient world’s primary sources for tin – with an elder relative, the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea, who would eventually provide the tomb in which he would be laid on that first Good Friday.

Joseph was a wealthy trader, specifically in metal, and so, it is said, he allowed the young Jesus to travel with him on a sort of business trip. Certainly civilisations as early as the Phoenicians used Cornish tin, and archaeological finds from the Mediterranean can be traced, with some accuracy, to the gloriously named ‘Ding Dong’ mine near Penzance. The sub-tropical gardens at St Just today It is said that the ship carrying the teenage Jesus took refuge in a cove, near to the church of St Just in Roseland on the southern Cornish coast. The church now is a riot of alien colour, the result of an enthusiastic planting programme of Australian species by a local gardener. The view towards Looe Island, Cornwall Blake’s poem turned hymn Jerusalem is, of course, the most famous encapsulation of the myth – asking the question about those feet on mountains green. It is itself a reference to the most famous supposed location of a visit by Christ: Glastonbury, not its festival but its Tor. The ruins at Glastonbury Abbey While Jesus may be the most important figure to have supposedly swung by Blighty, he is not the only one. The Blessed Virgin Mary is purported to have made visits to both Walsingham in Norfolk, where she told a local noblewoman to build her a house, and to St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London, where she told the then prior, in a dispute with his own monks, that he was definitely, absolutely right.

These holy visits to the British isles tend to occur, as we have seen, at times, if not always places, that are remarkably convenient. Some trace the tales of such apparitions back to the superstition of areas far from central ecclesial authority; others to the need to create a sense of England as ‘special’ rather than as a backwater.

Many think they are merely the result of the avarice of monks. Sunrise at Glastonbury Tor Back to Glastonbury. On Sunday, in the early hours of the morning, Jesus will be present – this time, however, not as a pimply Messianic teenager but as the heart of the Easter celebration. And, while the sunrise service beneath the Tor is quite something, Glastonbury isn’t special or unique in this regard.

Easter is a time where the reality of Christ, not as corpse or phantasm, but as resurrected flesh, is proclaimed across the country, at Glastonbury and at St Just and among the clutter in suburban Oxford. The truth of this resurrection is the pin on which every other facet of Christianity hangs, and the hope which shapes every Christian soul, moulds them, it is to be hoped, into a facsimile of love.

Did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green? Perhaps not; I’m not sure it matters. This Easter, what will stir once again, through those odd corners of England, whether they claim a visitation or not, is a life-giving spirit of love.

What is Jesus called in India?

A Hindu’s Perspective on Christ and Christianity The Three Wise Men who came to worship the Christ child hailed from India and named him Isa, or “Lord,” in Sanskrit – a name that became Jesus in the Bible. The star they followed to find the infant Jesus was not a physical celestial body.

  1. It was the omniscient “wisdom star of infinite perception” in the spiritual eye, located between the eyebrows, which the wise men accessed through deep meditation.
  2. Later, Jesus traveled to India, where he practiced yoga meditation with the great sages there some time during his “lost years” from age 13 to 30, a time of his life scarcely mentioned in the New Testament.

As Christians immerse themselves in the Advent season to prepare for Christmas, such assertions might sound like blasphemy or pure fantasy. But they come from a renowned Indian guru, the late Paramahansa Yogananda, in a newly published work that is being praised as the first detailed interpretation of the four Gospels by a Hindu.

  1. Compiled from decades of Yogananda’s speeches and writings, the book is being published by his Los Angeles-based Self-Realization Fellowship 52 years after his death.
  2. The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of Christ Within You,” offers startling ideas about the deeper meaning of Jesus’ teachings and their essential unity with yoga, one of the world’s oldest and most systematic religious paths to achieving oneness with God.

According to fellowship senior editor Brother Chidananda, the book aims to recover what Yogananda believed were major teachings lost to institutional Christianity. Among them was the idea that every seeker can know God not through mere belief but by direct experience via yoga meditation.

  1. This gives a way to enter the kingdom of heaven within through the science of meditation and gives a vision of the oneness of religion,” he said in an interview at the fellowship’s headquarters in the Mount Washington neighborhood.
  2. I can’t think of anything more timely, with all that’s happening in the Mideast and other places.” At two volumes and 1,642 pages of intricate discourse on various Gospel passages, the book (listed at $58 and available for about $41 at some major bookstores) is not expected to be a bestseller.

But it has been praised as a groundbreaking work by comparative religion scholars. Robert Ellwood, a USC professor emeritus and specialist in world religions, called it a “rare bridge-building book” that could change the way people see Jesus. Arvind Sharma, a professor of comparative religion at McGill University in Montreal, said the book represented a “path-breaking” effort of a Hindu in claiming the right to interpret the Christian Gospels.

More and more people will draw understandings from religious texts that are not their own,” Sharma said. “We have to let go of the attitude that only Christians have the right to interpret the Bible, that a religion belongs only to its followers. What Yogananda was saying is that Jesus did not preach to Christians; he preached to humanity.” Christopher Chappel, a professor of theological studies and an expert on the religious traditions of India at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said many of Yogananda’s assertions would enhance Christian faith, because they affirm the resurrection and other accounts of Jesus’ experiences.

But other assertions, such as Jesus’ purported sojourn in India, are impossible to judge, Chappel said, because they have not been thoroughly researched in the West, even though a minority of people in certain Hindu and Muslim traditions have long claimed that Jesus traveled to India, Kashmir, Tibet and elsewhere.

  1. Yogananda came to the United States in 1920 and, five years later, moved to Los Angeles to establish an international headquarters for his Self-Realization Fellowship.
  2. The organization, which disseminates his teachings on yoga and meditation, now has more than 500 temples and meditation centers, with members in 178 countries.

Followers say Yogananda’s mission, bequeathed to him by his gurus, was to present to the West actual techniques to commune with God and show the underlying harmony between the original teachings of yoga and Christianity. The new book, Chidananda says, represents a milestone in that mission.

Believers in the Bible’s literal truth, however, are certain to reject Yogananda’s explanations that many biblical stories are metaphorical and metaphysical, rather than actual fact – beginning with the book’s title, “The Second Coming of Christ.” The guru did not focus on a literal return of Jesus.

Rather, he said, the significant Second Coming involved a return of the “Christ consciousness” of divine intelligence, wisdom and perception that was incarnate in Jesus and other masters, such as Krishna of India. As it spreads among seekers, it will bring peace and harmony, he said.

Yogananda also says that John’s puzzling Book of Revelation is not a treatise on Armageddon and the final days before Christ’s Second Coming, as perceived by many Christians. He says John, whom he described as the most deeply mystical of Jesus’ disciples, was providing a road map to divine union using yoga techniques.

Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute International in Rancho Santa Margarita, criticized Yogananda’s belief in a unity between yoga and Christianity. He said the fellowship belief that God is present in all creation was pantheistic, while Christians were monotheists.

The idea that a unifying theme underlies all religions is nice to say, but it makes little sense,” he said. If the book confounds or offends traditionalists, however, Chappel and Sharma say it might not surprise mystics. The path to God or enlightenment through meditation is found in Sufism of Islam and cabala of Judaism, monastic Buddhism and contemplative Christianity.

Chidananda says such Christian mystics as Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart and John of the Cross have described experiences of divine union that uncannily resemble the yoga experience. In many accounts, Chidananda says, deep meditators report hearing a “cosmic hum,” then perceiving a light in their brains’ frontal lobe and experiencing a blissful, expanded sense of self.

Yogananda draws parallels between the Christian trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the yoga concept of Sat, Tat and Aum. Both traditions use the trinity to distinguish among the transcendent, divine reality; its immanence in creation; and a sacred, cosmic vibration that sustains the universe, he says.

And he asserts that Bible passages used to exclude non-Christians from salvation have been misconstrued. Some Christians believe, for instance, that Jesus’ saying that “no one comes to the Father except through me” requires a belief in Jesus the man as God and personal savior.

What happened to Jesus after 12 years old?

The lost years of Jesus: The mystery of Christ’s missing 18 years The unaccounted years, also known as the ‘Lost Years’ of, between the age of 12 and 30 is a biblical conundrum that has baffled scholars and Christians for years. There are no written records where Jesus may have been or travelled to during that period, leaving a religious vacuum that has been filled with theories largely inspired by religious belief, hearsay and folklore, depending on the sources.

Whether readers are believers or not this article looks at the colourful range of stories that have surfaced since the 1900s. Many attempts have been made to fill in the missing eighteen years when Jesus disappears from the scriptures. This has lead to stories of him having travelled to far-flung places such as India to study with Eastern mystics, Persia and also tales of him having visited North America.

Other stories, such as ones revolving around beliefs that Jesus made his way to Britain and even visited Cornwall, have generated colourful narratives linked to King Arthur and the legend of the search for the Holy Grail. So what evidence is there supporting beliefs that Jesus travelled thousands of miles from Judea to other countries? The earliest sources come from the Gospel texts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

  1. Bethlehem is where Christ is believed to have been born, but the Gospels say his family left soon afterwards and settled in the town of Nazareth, fulfilling what the prophets in the Bible predicted; that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
  2. Nazareth was a quiet, farming and fishing area where the community lived frugal lives, suggesting that Jesus’ status was ‘blue collar’ as he and his carpenter father Joseph earned their meagre living as craftsmen.
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With little prospect of work, one theory is that Jesus may have sought some kind of occupation three miles away in the bustling town of Sepphoris in the central Galilee region of today’s Israel, a town known then for its elaborate mosaic artwork created by the Romans.

With many opportunities to build houses and walls, this town may have been the first stepping stone to what is later believed to be the starting point for Jesus’ quest for spiritual enlightenment. If as some Christian scholars believe that Jesus spent most of these intervening years working as a carpenter in Galilee, there are few references to this in the Bible.

The eighteen-year gap in the scriptures has generated several surprising theories, but so far none corroborated by reliable evidence. One theory about Jesus and his missing years is that he went on an epic ‘walkabout’ from his home in Nazareth. If this event occurred Jesus would have been little more than a boy of 12, so how emotionally equipped and knowledgeable would such a youth have to be to undertake a huge and possibly dangerous journey? Most likely while living in Sepphoris the young Jesus may have gained his early knowledge of the world through both speaking the Aramaic language and learning to read.

The one piece of written scripture suggesting this is found in the Gospel of Luke, which states that Jesus went into the synagogue and read from the scroll of the prophets. During this time as a youth, he would have experienced first-hand the social and economic oppression of the Palestinian-Jewish peasantry of his time, of which he was a part.

Such knowledge may have been the inciting factor encouraging Jesus to seek answers in the outside world and may have influenced what would have been a controversial decision to leave his family. Some scholars believe that Jesus’ father Joseph died when he was about 12 and that this traumatic event could have been the catalyst for him, still as a young boy, to begin a personal quest to attain spiritual enlightenment.

  • This ‘walkabout’ lasting nearly two decades may have started shortly after he was 13-years-old.
  • It is at this vulnerable age that the alleged ‘missing years’ begin and the multiple theories of where Jesus spent his formative years growing into adulthood are open to many interpretations.
  • Whatever responsibilities a young Jesus may have had towards his mother and extended family in Nazareth, it must have been a controversial decision to leave those close to him at such a young age, as he set out on an epic and dangerous tour by foot.

However, some Christians believe the missing years are of little consequence and any revelations about them unlikely to make a difference to the understanding of the Christian faith. In other words, if it was important, it would have been included in the Bible.

  1. Other scholars have taken the view that knowing where Jesus was and what he experienced during those undocumented years, could help understand many of the enigmas surrounding Christianity.
  2. There have been rumours for many years that the holds mysterious truths about the life of Jesus and his lost eighteen years.

This information could drastically alter traditional beliefs. To date, nothing has been revealed about the existence of such documents and what Jesus was doing and where he was from the age of 13 to 30. Some researchers believe that he spent these undocumented years visiting Britain with one ‘Joseph of Arimathea’, while others believe he travelled to India and Persia.

In the late 19th century a Russian traveller claimed to have discovered genuine texts in a monastery in India that proved that Jesus travelled and taught there and elsewhere in the East This story is based on a belief that Jesus travelled to Britain with ‘Joseph of Arimathea’, a tin trader who some believe was his uncle, although other ‘canonical gospel’ texts describe him mainly as a rich man and disciple of Jesus.

A great degree of literature had been written about this particular tale, taking it into the realms of tradition, so that by the 15th century, Glastonbury in Somerset was touted as the birthplace of British Christianity. Joseph was believed to have erected the first church there to house the Holy Grail.

There was also an account that Joseph of Arimathea had earlier visited Glastonbury with Jesus as a child, which inspired artist and poet William Blake to compose a poem that became the words to the English hymn Jerusalem. ‘And did those feet in ancient time/walk upon England’s mountains green? And was the Lamb of God/On England’s pleasant pastures seen?’ The mysterious tale of the Holy Grail and its existence in England may have been embellished by a story circulating by the late 15th century that Joseph of Arimathea had brought two silver flasks containing Christ’s blood to Britain and that these relics were buried in his grave.

Despite this story having evolved into shades of King Arthur and his legendary knights on their quest to find the holy relic, there has never been any record of a shrine marking the exact spot of the grave. Another variation on this theme mentions that Joseph buried the Holy Grail underneath Glastonbury Tor, said to be the entrance to the underworld and where a natural spring, the ‘Chalice Well’ began flowing.

These waters were believed to bring eternal youth to whoever drank from them. Another legend associated with Joseph of Arimathea describes him bringing the ‘Holy Thorn’ to the Somerset town. The story tells of Joseph planting his wooden staff in the ground where the staff then miraculously flowered into the ‘Glastonbury Thorn’, a variety of the Common Hawthorn which flowers twice annually in Spring and again around Christmas.

One of the most intriguing of stories relating to Joseph of Arimathea and one seen as a recent invention is that as he was a tin merchant by trade he brought the young Jesus with him on a trading voyage to south-west Britain and Cornwall where tin was abundant.

  1. The story may have originated from the English author Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, who introduced it in his 1899 book of Cornwall.
  2. Twenty-three years later in 1922 the legend of Jesus visiting Britain was added to a pamphlet by one Reverend Lionel Smithett Lewis, Vicar of St John’s church in Glastonbury, Somerset.

Lewis was deeply interested in stories about Joseph of Arimathea’s connection with the area and may have appropriated Baring Gould’s ideas about Joseph and Jesus trading for tin in Cornwall and relocating the tale to Glastonbury. By the time it reached its final edition in 1955 the Apostolic Church of Britain had expanded the story to around two hundred pages with a claim that Glastonbury was the burial place of the Virgin Mary.

In 1894 a controversial book called ‘The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ’ written by Russian born resident of Paris called Nicolas Notovitch was published. The work made the astonishing claim that during the lost years of Jesus’ life he had visited India and trained as a Buddhist monk. In the book, Notovitch told the story of his visit to India seven years earlier accompanying it with photographs of people and places he’d encountered.

Notovitch gave an account explaining that during the trip he had broken his leg and was forced to convalesce in a remote monastery at Hemis in the highlands of Ladakh, India. While recovering there he was shown an ancient document about which he’d already heard stories.

  • It was written in the language of the Pali (Indo-Aryan language) in two big volumes in cardboard covers with leaves yellowed by the lapse of time.
  • The texts described the travels and studies in India of a man called ‘Issa’ who could have only been the biblical Jesus; Issa being the Arabic name of Jesus in Islam.

Indeed the document was entitled Life of Saint Issa: Best of The Sons of Men. According to the text Jesus left Judea at the age of 13 and set out on an epic journey of self-enlightenment through studying other religions. Notovitch wrote that Jesus.‘Crossed Punjab and reached Puri Jagannath where he studied the Vedas (Indian book of ancient texts) under Brahmin priests.

He (Jesus) spent six years in Puri and Rajgir, near Nalanda, the ancient seat of Hindu learning. Then he went to the Himalayas and spent time in Tibetan monasteries studying Buddhism and through Persia returned to Judea at the age of 29′. At the time Notovitch’s book was a global publishing sensation translated into several languages including English and going through eleven French editions in its first year of publication.

More than a century and a quarter later however Notovitch’s book is largely forgotten and its contents and claims relegated to the realms of fantasy by his contemporaries. But some supporters of Notovitch believe that documents that prove the author’s claims may be kept in the Vatican.

  1. Even at the time of Notovitch’s writings several people were sceptical and found his claims incredulous.
  2. German-born philologist Max Muller stated at the time that either the monks at the monastery played a joke on the Russian author, or he had invented the entire story for money and faked the ancient manuscript.

One respected Indologist called Notovitch’s claims ‘a big fat lie’. Muller even wrote to the Head Lama at the monastery where Notovitch alleged he stayed after injury and received a reply stating that there had been no western visitors at the monastery in the last fifteen years and that there were no ancient documents like the one described by the author.

Shortly afterwards J. Archibald Douglas, Prof of English and History at the Government College in Agra, India, actually visited Hemis monastery and also interviewed the Head Lama who stated definitively that Notovitch had never been there. Both Muller and Douglas wrote articles refuting Notovitch’s claim that Jesus had travelled to India, even allying to write a book together titled ‘Jesus did NOT live in India’, insisting that Notovitch’s writings about Jesus’ ‘lost years’ was a total fabrication.

After Notovitch had visited Hemis monastery and claimed to have seen a document proving Jesus had stayed there, no material evidence was found to corroborate his claim, such as a photograph of the mysterious manuscript itself. Notovitch went to some lengths in the preface of his book to explain why none were included.

  • In the course of my travels I took many curious photographs, but when I came to examine the negatives on my return to India, I was dismayed to find that they were absolutely destroyed’.
  • Further damning evidence against Notovitch was recently discovered in a contemporary report held in archives of the British Library written by a Russian speaking British official, Donald Mackenzie Wallace.

The Scottish public servant and foreign correspondent of The Times revealed that after having encountered Notovitch several times in July 1887, he claimed that on one occasion the Russian traveller volunteered his services as a ‘spy’ for the British government in India.

Wallace declined the offer describing Notovitch as an ‘unscrupulous adventurer’. Despite these allegations, Notovitch stood firm with his book’s claims promising to return to the monastery and bring back the original manuscript. Nothing more was heard from him on the subject leaving the writer’s claims of Jesus visiting India little more than a myth with no basis in fact.

One angle to scrutinise claims that Jesus as a teenager embarked on an epic journey by foot to other continents is to look at the travelling practicalities of the day and the realities of reaching a country over inhospitable terrain and at times unsurpassable routes.

  1. According to The New Testament, the principal locations for the ministry undertaken by Jesus were Galilee and Judea, with activities also taking place in surrounding areas such as Peres and Samaria.
  2. Christian texts refer to Jesus walking 3,125 miles during his ministry.
  3. Taking into account that a determined person, on a mission, could make the trip from Judea to Galilee (150 – 200 km) on foot in six days, it is possible that an experienced walker with knowledge of the terrain could venture far greater distances.

Over Jesus’ lifetime, a conservative estimate of the number of miles he may have walked is put at around 21,525 miles, almost the equivalent of walking around the entire world. The standard mode of transport was usually by foot with an estimated mileage of around 20 miles a day, but citizens also rode on oxen, donkeys and camels.

It could be the case that during Jesus’ walkabout and journey to far distanced places, such as the Himalayas, that he was able to utilise such transport, with the addition of caravans to carry supplies. Referencing the standard walking habits and abilities of the time, such an epic journey, allegedly undertaken by Jesus alone and over many years could be physically possible.

But how credible could this undertaking be for someone so young, no more than a boy to begin without accompaniment, medical knowledge or experienced navigation abilities? During the time of Jesus’ teachings (AD 27 -29), Judea was under Roman rule and subject to tyranny by its Roman rulers, who were given authority to punish by execution.

This was a dangerous time, even within the enclaves of Judea where robbery and murders were not uncommon. Ironically the Romans did more to facilitate travel than any other empire as they constructed major roads and cleared the seas of pirates. The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) declared by Emperor Augustus (27 BC-AD 14) enabled people like Paul the Baptist to travel relatively safely.

Historian Lionel Casson writes: ‘The traveller could make his way from the shores of the Euphrates to the border between England and Scotland without crossing a foreign frontier. He could sail through any waters without fear of pirates, thanks to the emperor’s patrol squadrons’.

  1. The fastest form of long-distance travel was by ship, which was only done between April and October because of the danger in the winter seas.
  2. Paul himself is alleged to have sailed eastwards from Greece to Israel and westwards by land from Israel to Greece.
  3. By AD 300 the Romans had built a network of 85,000 km of well-made roads throughout their empire, primarily for military purposes.

Taking into account that poor people mainly travelled by foot and wore heavy shoes or sandals while facing changing seasons as well as natural phenomena such as floods and snow, there was also danger from wild animals and ‘bandits’ as Paul himself stated in The New Testament of the Christian Bible 2 Cor 11:26, ‘I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits.in danger in the country’.

Whatever the condition of roads, the terrain in all its diversity, the dangers of wild animals and robbers and the availability of inns and hotels of the time, it appears that a determined adult could cover many thousands of miles by foot, donkey, horse and ship, despite the probability of illness, injury and other misfortunes.

Whether Jesus as a young man managed to reach the destinations claimed by some scholars and Christians is still a mystery that continues to generate heated debate ever since Nicolas Notovitch’s controversial claims in his book ‘The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ’ written over one hundred years ago.

Did Jesus go to Egypt?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Return from Egypt by James Tissot The return of the family of Jesus to Nazareth, also known as the return from Egypt, appears in the reports of the early life of Jesus given in the canonical gospels, Both of the gospels which describe the nativity of Jesus agree that he was born in Bethlehem and then later moved with his family to live in Nazareth,

  1. The Gospel of Matthew describes how Joseph, Mary, and Jesus went to Egypt to escape from Herod the Great ‘s slaughter of the baby boys in Bethlehem.
  2. Matthew does not mention Nazareth as being the previous home of Joseph and Mary; he says that Joseph was afraid to go to Judea because Herod Archelaus was ruling there and so the family went to Nazareth instead.

The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, does not record anything about the flight to Egypt, but says that Joseph had been previously living in Nazareth, and returned there after the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple,

How did Jesus choose his 12?

“Chapter 18: Jesus Chooses His Apostles,” New Testament Stories (2005), 44–47 “Chapter 18,” New Testament Stories, 44–47 Chapter 18 Image Jesus on boat One day Jesus taught people from a boat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The boat belonged to a man named Peter. Image Jesus on boat Peter and his friends had fished all night without catching any fish. After Jesus finished teaching, He told Peter to take the boat into deep water. Then He told Peter and his friends to put their fishing nets into the water. Image fishermen catching fish They caught so many fish that their nets began to break. Image fishermen on boat Peter called to his friends in another boat to come and help. The fish filled both boats so full that they began to sink. Image fishermen on boat Peter and his friends were amazed. They knew that Jesus Christ had made this happen. Image Peter kneeling in front of Jesus Peter knelt by the Savior’s feet. He said that he was not worthy to be near Jesus. Jesus told Peter not to be afraid. Image Jesus teaching fishermen Two of Peter’s friends, James and John, were brothers. Jesus told Peter, James, and John to follow Him and become “fishers of men.” The men left everything they had and went with Jesus. The Savior also asked other men to follow Him. Image Jesus and 12 Apostles Jesus chose twelve Apostles to lead His Church. He prayed all night so that He could choose the right men. The next morning He chose and ordained twelve men, giving them the priesthood and the authority to be Apostles. Image Apostles traveling The Apostles traveled to many cities. They taught the gospel and healed people. They returned to tell Jesus what they had done.

What is the story of Jesus in the temple at age 12?

Reflect – Do you like to listen to family stories? In Luke 2:41-52, Jesus was learning in the temple with the priests and teachers for three days! His parents were frantic, but he was happy listening to stories about his Father and asking questions.

  • Not only was he learning the teachers’ ideas, he was asking questions that amazed the priests.
  • When Joseph and Mary found him, Jesus said that he had been doing “my Father’s business”.
  • Just like Jesus said, we also need “be about my Father’s business.” Luke 2:52 says that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” When we grow in wisdom, we spend time reading God’s word, the Bible, and asking questions about it.

Talk with your parents and church youth leaders about God’s word. Listening to podcasts like this is another good place to start. What questions do you have? Who specifically can you ask? Want to dig deeper and learn more about the joys of God’s word? Check out Psalm 119:9-16, Proverbs 4:20-23, and Psalm 19:7-11,

Who was Jesus’s 12?

Understanding Jesus’ 12 Disciples – The names of the 12 disciples are not difficult to find in the Bible. Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew/Nathanael, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas the Greater, and Judas Iscariot are names that have been closely associated with the Jesus’ teaching since the earliest days of Christianity.

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What mystery is finding Jesus in the temple at age 12?

The finding of Jesus in the temple: 5th Joyful Mystery. “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.

  1. His parents did not know it,
  2. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” ( Lk 2:41-47).
  3. The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus.

Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: ‘Did you not know that I must be about my Father`s work?’ ( Lk 2:49)” (CCC, 534). Our Father, 10 Hail Marys (contemplating the mystery), Glory be to the Father.