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Author Topic: James, brother or cousin? OO fathers view  (Read 1344 times) Average Rating: 0
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Suryoyutho
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« on: August 16, 2012, 03:43:13 AM »

I know that H.H. Baba Shenouda III was of the stance that James, Joses, and the rest were the Lord's cousins and not from a previous marriage of Joseph (at least in his book Comparative Theology).

Then I read this: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm

Quote
The majority of the Greek Fathers and Greek writers, influenced, it seems, by the legendary tales of apocryphal gospels, considered the "brethren" of the Lord as sons of St. Joseph by a first marriage. The Latins, on the contrary, with few exceptions (St. Ambrose, St. Hilary, and St. Gregory of Tours among the Fathers), hold that they were the Lord's cousins.

So what is the belief regarding this issue among our saints, previous patriarchs, etc.?
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 03:59:07 PM »

I didn't know Joseph was married before. 
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 10:42:11 AM »

If Joses and the others were really His brothers then they had to have been from an earlier marriage of St Joseph (in that case he was a widower).

But according to H.H. Pope Shenouda III (and the latin fathers according to the article) they were his cousins. From what I have read I agree with this.

I know the important thing is the ever-virginity of Mary but I came across it and got a little curious about what our OO church fathers thought if they ever wrote anything about it.
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 12:42:54 PM »

My understanding is the word used could mean either, but I also have read Joseph was married and a widower.  I can't recall his first wifes name, but I think it was Salome.  I think they were half brothers through marriage.
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 02:12:51 PM »

This is actually one of the many things which helped guide me to the Orthodox Church.  Simple things such as this which I learned had been twisted or omitted over the centuries.
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 03:24:07 PM »

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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 09:06:56 AM »

This is actually one of the many things which helped guide me to the Orthodox Church.  Simple things such as this which I learned had been twisted or omitted over the centuries.
You mean Joseph or the ever-virginity?

Let's look in the Scriptures a little.

Mark 6:2-3:

Quote
And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.

Mark 15:47:

Quote
And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

Is this Mary the same as Salome?

Pope Shenouda III:

Quote
Therefore, the brothers of Jesus are His cousins, the sons of Mary, the Virgin's sister, the wife of Clopas or Halpha and mother of James, Joses and the rest of the brothers.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 09:36:02 AM »

This is actually one of the many things which helped guide me to the Orthodox Church.  Simple things such as this which I learned had been twisted or omitted over the centuries.


You mean Joseph or the ever-virginity?

 

Both, but mainly learning when people started teaching against her ever-virginity.  That came a little late in history and is a fairly recent development.
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2012, 08:43:27 AM »

Yup, you're right about that Kerdy.

On the cousins vs. half brothers issue, I found this by H.H. Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of Antioch:

Quote
Those, Who were called the Lord’s brethren in the Holy Gospel (Matt 13:55) were his relatives, that is his cousins on both mother’s and father’s side, because this term “brethren” is used in the divine inspiration to denote relatives and members of one tribe (Gen. 31:37, Ex. 2:11). For that reason, Abraham called Lot, who was his nephew, his brother.

On both mothers and fathers side?
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 12:27:34 PM »

It is also possible that some where half-brothers/sisters and some were first cousins. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 04:15:34 AM »

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3)

If they were his cousins wouldn't they have called Him "the son of Joseph" here?

If they were His stepbrothers then they would've said "the son of Mary" to distinguish.

Confusing  Huh

Seems like generally EO = stepbrothers, RC = cousins, OO = cousins (at least Zakka I Iwas and Shenouda III).
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 04:50:58 PM »

Jerome says they were cousins.

Epiphanius said they were brothers from a previous marriage of Joseph

Helvidius, the opponent of Jerome said they were sons of Joseph and Mary after the birth of Christ.

The Helvidian view may be rejected. The Epiphanian view seems to have other early Palestinian support. Hegesippus, writing in Palestine in 160 AD discounts the view of Jerome. Eusebius and Epiphanius draw on Hegesippus, and the same view is adopted by Clement of Alexandria and Origen. Indeed my source says that all the Fathers before Jerome considered that these were the brothers from a previous marriage, other than Tertullian.

My source says that since Jerome the West has held the view of Jerome, while the East retained the view of Epiphanius. It would seem to me, without doing further research, that this is another instance of a Western and Catholic influence on the modern Coptic and Syrian Churches rather than an ancient tradition.
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 05:00:55 PM »

Jerome says they were cousins, and would have known the Palestinian tradition I suppose.
St. Jerome made it up, Father.

St. Epipanios was a Palestinian, and goes in some detail that they were step-brothers.
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 05:07:20 PM »

Another source points me to writings of St Cyril of Alexandria which attest to the Epiphanian view.

(ialmisry, you will see that I revised my first sentence as I wrote)

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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 05:12:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3)

If they were his cousins wouldn't they have called Him "the son of Joseph" here?

If they were His stepbrothers then they would've said "the son of Mary" to distinguish.

Confusing  Huh

Seems like generally EO = stepbrothers, RC = cousins, OO = cousins (at least Zakka I Iwas and Shenouda III).

This is the substantiate the legal maternal role and dignity which Our Lady received through adopting those Saints as Her own children, sort of like the modern equivalent of dads asking their children to nicely and politely respect their step-mother. This is just the same as She has kindly adopted us all as Her children Smiley

Further, they are both step-brothers AND cousins because Saints Joseph and Mary were related Smiley

Jerome says they were cousins.

Epiphanius said they were brothers from a previous marriage of Joseph


My source says that since Jerome the West has held the view of Jerome, while the East retained the view of Epiphanius. It would seem to me, without doing further research, that this is another instance of a Western and Catholic influence on the modern Coptic and Syrian Churches rather than an ancient tradition.

From the Ethiopian Synaxarium:

Quote
On this day James the apostle and martyr became Bishop of the city of Jerusalem. This
saint was the son of Joseph the carpenter, and he was the youngest of his sons; and he was
a virgin, and chaste, and was called the “brother of our Lord” because he was brought up
with our Lord when He was in the house of Joseph, even as Joseph was called his father.
July 25 entry

I understand the Ethiopian fathers teach that Saint Joseph was an older man, who was essentially living as a monk the way widowed men and priests often become monks in the Church tradition.  This man was chosen by the clergy of the Temple to be wedded to Our Lady Mary according to the Law he being a relative of Her of the Davidic family line there in Jerusalem, and his sons were already grown at this time.  After all Jesus died in his 30s, which could have easily had grown older "brothers" in their 40s and 50s who were still His contemporaries.  Our Icons of Saint Joseph most often (but not always) portray him as an elder with gray hair rather then a younger man similar in age to the teenage Virgin Mary.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 05:18:00 PM »

It is interesting that the Ethiopian Synaxarium takes the Epiphanian view as well.

It is also found in the Protoevangelium and it would seem therefore that the opinion of Jerome was not current at that early date.

Gregory of Nyssa also held it.

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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 05:21:33 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It is interesting that the Ethiopian Synaxarium takes the Epiphanian view as well.

It is also found in the Protoevangelium and it would seem therefore that the opinion of Jerome was not current at that early date.

Gregory of Nyssa also held it.



The Ethiopian Synaxarium essentially legitimizes most of the Protoevangelium.  Almost every detail from that apocryphal text is also included in the Ethiopian Synaxarium as perfectly valid theology.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 05:22:45 PM »

There is a well written and patristic article here, by a Copt, which describes the whole issue and explains that the step-brother model is the most ancient and Orthodox.

http://www.copticheritage.org/orthodoxy/james_the_brother_of_the_lord
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2012, 05:26:29 PM »

It is interesting that thopugh the SUSCOPTS site promotes the idea that the brethren are cousins, and says that the view that they are step-brothers is not held by the Coptic Church...

..a second question asks why the Antiphonarium states that James is the brother of the Lord and the SON OF JOSEPH.

Which seems to me to clearly indicate that the Tradition of the Coptic Church has been that he is a step-brother, but that some more recent influence has changed this.

I note that those who try to show that he is a cousin do not tend to refer to patristrics but only to their own logic and reading of the Scripture. This is fine, but the fact of the ancient and universal tradition in the East being that the relationship is step-brethren cannot be ignored.
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2012, 05:27:03 PM »

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3)

If they were his cousins wouldn't they have called Him "the son of Joseph" here?

If they were His stepbrothers then they would've said "the son of Mary" to distinguish.

Confusing  Huh

Seems like generally EO = stepbrothers, RC = cousins, OO = cousins (at least Zakka I Iwas and Shenouda III).
St. Mark used the same term in 6:17-8 for Philip's stepbrother Herod.
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« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2012, 05:28:32 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It is interesting that the Ethiopian Synaxarium takes the Epiphanian view as well.

It is also found in the Protoevangelium and it would seem therefore that the opinion of Jerome was not current at that early date.

Gregory of Nyssa also held it.


.

The Ethiopian Synaxarium essentially legitimizes most of the Protoevangelium.  Almost every detail from that apocryphal text is also included in the Ethiopian Synaxarium as perfectly valid theology.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Basically the same with the EO
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« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2012, 05:30:04 PM »

Another source points me to writings of St Cyril of Alexandria which attest to the Epiphanian view.

(ialmisry, you will see that I revised my first sentence as I wrote)


ah, great minds think alike...
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« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2012, 05:37:32 PM »

It would be interesting to know when the Jeromian view gained currency in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It does not seem to me to be possible to say that it is the traditional view. It does seem to suggest a Western influence. I note that Augustine, who has gained much popularity in the Coptic Orthodox Church, also adopts the view of Jerome that the brethren are cousins, and I wonder if Augustine is the means of introducing this view, and the cause of the confusion surrounding the traditional Orthodox view.
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« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2012, 07:06:19 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It would be interesting to know when the Jeromian view gained currency in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It does not seem to me to be possible to say that it is the traditional view. It does seem to suggest a Western influence. I note that Augustine, who has gained much popularity in the Coptic Orthodox Church, also adopts the view of Jerome that the brethren are cousins, and I wonder if Augustine is the means of introducing this view, and the cause of the confusion surrounding the traditional Orthodox view.

Again though, Father aren't they also in a way cousins? I always understood that this was the source of all the confusion, was that they were both distant cousins by the Davidic ancestry of both Joseph and Our Lady (which is why Joseph was chosen similarly to the situation with Ruth) and also then step-brothers because of the marriage?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2012, 03:13:18 AM »

I understand what you mean, but this is not the basis of either view as held.

Jerome says that the brethren were NOT the children of Joseph.

The rest of the Fathers and our own Tradition says that they were.

That is the real issue, in so far as it is an issue. So I am interested to know when our tradition was changed, since it was clearly not what many seem to think it now is.
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« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2012, 10:34:05 AM »

Thank you all for your replies. Sometimes you come across something by accident and start thinking about it and it turns out to be very interesting, even if it isn't the most important thing in the world. I'm also interested in when our tradition regarding this changed. Hopefully I can find something.
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2012, 11:24:22 AM »

It is interesting that the Coptic Synaxarium also points to Joseph being a widower, and therefore follows implicitly the tradition that the brethren are sons by this first marriage. It says..

On this day, the righteous man St. Joseph, the carpenter, who was worthy to be called the father of Christ in the flesh, departed at a good old age. The Holy Gospel bore witness that he was a righteous man, and God chose him to be betrothed to the all-pure, our lady, the Virgin St. Mary. When he finished his course, his strife, his toil in the journey together with the Lord and the Virgin Lady from Bethlehem to the land of Egypt, and the tribulations that befell him from the Jews, he departed in peace. When the time came for him to depart from this world, to the world of the living, the Lord Christ was present at his departure, and laid His hand upon his eyes. He extended his arms, and delivered up his soul, and was buried in the tomb of his father Jacob. All the days of his life were one hundred and eleven years; forty years before his marriage, fifty-two years married, and nineteen years a widow. His departure was in the sixteenth year of the advent of the Lord Christ.

Certainly St Joseph predeceased the Virgin Mary, and therefore if he was 19 years a widow according to the Synaxarium then he must have been previously married.

What is interesting is that an older Arabic version of the Synaxarium in the Patrologia Orientalis series adds additional material that is not present in the modern English version. It is added..

And when the time came for him to pass from this world to the world of life, he called his four sons, Youstos, Yahouda, Yousab and Yacoub,  and his three daughters. He made his recommendations and farewells to them, stretching out his hand and giving up his soul. The total length of his life were one hundred and eleven; until his marriage there were forty years, he was married for fifty-two years, and widowed nineteen years, three years before the incarnation of the Messiah.

This passage has been removed from the Arabic translation into English. It seems very clearly to describe the children of Joseph being gathered around him when he reposed. There is no reason for his nephews and nieces to do so.

It would seem to me that this material from the Arabic texts used in the early years of the 20th century suggests that any change to the tradition of the Church concerning these brethren has taken place after that date and within the 20th century.
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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2012, 08:24:31 AM »

As usual, a bit late.
Here is a link http://www.ninesaintsethiopianorthodoxmonastery.org/Saint_Mary_-_Kidist_Mariam.html an Ethiopian site.Don't know if it's copied from an EO writer but it's interesting.
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