Thoughts on Jesus's Family via Mary and Joseph
Based on early church records
- Cleophas (or Cleopas or Alphaeus) was spoken of in early church writings as the brother of Joseph, and married to Mary who was the mother of James the Less i.e. Younger or Minor, one of Jesus's disciples and thus also his cousin. Other children Cleophas and Mary had were Joses, and also Simon, the overseer in Jerusalem after 70AD. And while church records are (possibly understandably) silent on the subject, Mark 2:14 mentions Alphaeus also as the father of the publican named Levi (with the Greek name of Matthew in Matthew 9:9, writer of the gospel). Cleophas's wife Mary was seen at the crucifixion. See Mark 15:40, John 19:25.
- Salome, thought to be the sister of Jesus's mother, Mary. Married Zebedee, becoming the mother of Jesus's cousins John and James Major i.e. Older, thus differentiating this cousin James from James Minor. Salome and her son John were both present at the crucifixion. Since Joseph, Mary's husband, is thought to have passed away, Jesus asks John, his cousin and, outside of James, probably Mary's closest male blood relative, to look after her. See Mark 15:40, Matthew 27:55, John 19:25.
- Elizabeth, an aged relative of Jesus's mother Mary possibly through her mother as Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron. Elizabeth marries Zachariah, also from the tribe of Aaron. In their old age, they have a son, John (the Baptist). With the massacre of the infants by Herod, about 1 BC, she seeks hiding in the desert/mountains with her son, John. Zachariah is then thought to have been murdered in the temple when he refused to surrender the whereabouts of his son. He is thus believed to be the righteous Zachariah, son of Berechiah, referred to by Jesus in Luke 11:51 and Matthew 23:35 when Jesus declares the punishment about to come on the Pharisees for all the righteous blood spilt from Abel to Zachariah. John now grows up (under God's protection) in the desert.
See http://ww1.antiochian.org /zacharias_the_prophet
- James, writer of the New Testament book of James, and thought to have been Jesus's step-brother through Joseph. Not a believer before the crucifixion, but then Jesus appeared personally to James after the resurrection. James (also called the Just) was then made overseer in the early church in Jerusalem. Traditionally Joseph the father was much older than Mary when he was betrothed to her at the temple in Jerusalem, perhaps 90, a builder in Nazareth and a widower from an earlier marriage when James and other step-brothers and step-sisters of Jesus were born. One of those brothers is thought to be the disciple in the gospels referred to as Jude or Judas not Iscariot, writer of the book of Jude, and referred to also as Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus .
And those aunties (with Mary Magdalene and Joanna) there on that world-changing Sunday, the day of the resurrection.
There are four accurate accounts, accurate because this is scripture, but with different perspectives — Matthew, who would have heard the ladies account on the Sunday before seeing Jesus Sunday evening, Mark and Luke who heard about it later, and John who raced to the tomb at Mary's words, but again saw nothing before the evening.
So reconciling the four accounts:
Aunt Salome, the one blood relative via Jesus's mother, wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John, comes with Aunt Mary, Joseph's sister-in-law, also with Mary Magdalene and Joanna (probably the one who was the wife of Herod's steward Chuza), they all come along with other ladies to anoint the body early on the Sunday.
They see the empty tomb. Mary (Magdalene) shoots off to tell the disciples. John and Peter come running, though John runs the faster , but they go inside, see nothing and leave.
Then, looking inside, two angels suddenly appear to the ladies who were still there. One tells them the good news, tells them to go and let the disciples know. And Mary, sobbing her eyes out, encounters Jesus, who encourages her not to cling to him at this time but yes, to go and let the disciples know. He then appears to those ladies who were going to see the disciples, and they worship at his feet. But from Mark's account, there is still great fear, they are freaked out, needless to say, still at least some, if not all, go to let the disciples know. Peter runs back to the tomb, goes inside, but again sees nothing and leaves, wondering at it all.
Jesus, in another form, next encounters Cleopas and another man on the way to Emmaus, and sees Peter, and then all the disciples (except Thomas) that evening. Thomas sees Jesus the following Sunday, worshipping him. Lastly, we have the fishing breakfast, Jesus spending time with Peter. Paul recounts that he is also seen by about 500 people at one point, by his step-brother James, by all the apostles, and lastly by Paul .
Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, 1 Corinthians 15
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