Category Archives: Religion

17. The brothers of Jesus

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introduction

I found a interesting page about this issue in bibbia.it and decided to translate it into English and discuss the Catholic doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity. 

Index

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Was Jesus the firstborn?

That Jesus had brothers and that he was the eldest son in the family nucleus composed of Joseph and Mary is explained in the first instance by the meaning of “firstborn” that we find in the Gospel of Luke 2:77.

7 and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space.

It is unlikely that Luke had used that word being aware that Mary had not given birth to other children, because in that case she would have had another word used in the same gospel to indicate an only child as in Luke 7:12 :

“12 Now when he was near the gate of the town there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople was with her.”

and Luke  8:42

42 because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, who was dying. And the crowds were almost stifling Jesus as he went

It is worth noting that the words recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew 1: 25 

25 he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.”

this indicate that after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary had a normal marriage relationship followed by birth of other children.
These brothers and sisters of Jesus at first did not recognize the nature of his mission. As we read in Mark 3:21

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Jesus brother James

Mark 3:21 tells: “When his relations heard of this, they set out to take charge of him; they said, ‘He is out of his mind.'”

John recalls in John 7: 5:

Not even his brothers had faith in him.

But after the resurrection, his brothers, and especially James, clearly changed their position: we meet them, in fact, in Acts 1:14 gathered in prayer together with their mother Mary, the twelve apostles and an unspecified number of women who were you are following Christ:

” With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”

According to Paul when he affirms About Jesus, in the first letter to Corinthians 15: 7 7 “then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles.”

It was probably this experience that led him to conversion along with the rest of his family.
Later, in the church of Jerusalem, James was a recognized leader. The observation of Paul regarding his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion is significant. He says he saw no other of the Apostles except James the Lord’s brother Galatians 1: 18-19

18 Only after three years did I go up to Jerusalem to meet Cephas. I stayed fifteen days with him

19 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord’s brother.”

 and for Paul this meeting must have been extremely important because it gave him the opportunity to learn about the life of Jesus directly from someone who had known him very closely.

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Jesus brother Judas, 

Judas appears simply as the brother of James, who was one of the greatest exponents of the church of Jerusalem and author of the epistle of the same name. In this case Judas would be another brother of Jesus, in fact among the brothers of the Lord, besides James, a certain Judas is also mentioned in Matthew 13:55:

Mark 6:3 says:

3 This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him.

There is a discussion if  the brothers 

1 are halphbrothers of Jesus, that means the sons of Joseph and Jopsephs precious wife or

2. are the son of Mary and Jesus. Those who  say that Mary remained in celibate support of course the first hypothesis. So does my Catholic priest and the Jehovas witnesses.

“The Catholic Church made the matter of Mary’s being a virgin perpetually a teaching of the Church though because of the sanctity that virginity is supposed to impart.” (Source: Jw.org)

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Arguments against Marys perpetual virginity =
hildren beside Jesus

JW says in https://wol.jw.org : “That Mary had other children also seems indicated by the incident that occurred when Jesus was twelve years old and Joseph took his family to Jerusalem for the festival. On the way back they had traveled a whole day before Mary noticed that Jesus was not with them. Had Jesus been her only child (and miraculously conceived at that), could we imagine her maternal instincts being so dormant that she would have started out without him and not missed him for a whole day? But if by this time she had six or more children by Joseph, we can imagine her having been so busy that she might not have missed Jesus for a whole day.​—Luke 2:41-50.”

and “The apostle Paul tells married people not to deprive each other of the marital due, which Mary would have done had she remained a virgin after bearing Jesus.​—1 Cor. 7:3-5.

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Arguments for Marys perpetual virginity =
only halphbrothers and halph sisters

JW says in https://wol.jw.org : “Catholic theologians state: “Greek-speaking Semites used the terms adelphos and adelphē, not only in the ordinary sense [as meaning “brothers” and “sisters”], but also for nephew, niece, half-brother, half-sister, and cousin.” This argument was first presented by Jerome, the early Catholic Church “father,” and goes back no earlier than 383 C.E. But he produces neither Scripture nor tradition to support his position. The fact is that in his later writings he expressed misgivings as to the soundness of his theory that, when the Scriptures spoke of the “brothers” of Jesus, “cousins” were meant.​—St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, Lightfoot.”

JW concludes that Jesus had halphbrothers and halphsisters

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Conclusions

I am a bit reluctant about the Catholic doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity as a sign of Sanctity. I believe that Sanctity has nothing to do with your sexual life. You can be a saint and do good deeds even if you have children after intercourse.

I personally prefer the view that Jesus had both brothers and halphbrothers. Some of the brothers mentioned in the Gospells may have been halphbrothers. So Mary was a great women even if  Joseph and Mary had children after having had Jesus. Joseph as being elder, may have had children in a previous relationship. I also think that Joseph was elder and died earlier as we never read about him in after Jesus death like we did with Mary in Acts 1:14 .

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Sources

 

 

16. Jesus about Hell and repenting

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Introduction

I believe in a God that pardon “7×77 times” ( Matthew 18:22 ) , a  God that  forgives those who repent ( Quran 2:37 and Luke 13: 1-5 ) .

When we die, we  know nothing ( Ecclesiastes 9:5 ), we just sleep as Jesus said about Lazarus . ( John 11:11  )

God is all-knowing, all-wise and all-hearing

I talked with my son about hell and paradize in Umeå summer 2018. he thought about that and came back reminding me about what Jesus said about this issue.

My son inspired me to start this article in July 2018. I have now updated it to share about Jesus view about the issue “if you do not repent” as was read about in Luke 13: 1-5 at the Catholic Mass March 24.

Index

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“if you do not repent”

This text is partly  taken  from www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/about-god/#christians

At the catholic mass March 24 we from learn from Luke 13: 1-5 that the possibility of conversion or to become a good human is not ethernal. What happens when you die, if you did not do good during your earthly life? 

Luke 13: 1-5 says:

“1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, 2 ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? 3 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 5 They were not, I tell you. No; butunless you repent you will all perish as they did.‘”

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Hell

 “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  So it will be at the end of the age.” (   Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50   ) 

 “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire…where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire.”Mark 9:43, 48-49  )

Dante Alighieri visited Hell and documented all he saw in his “Inferno”. I have the book  and will maybe share some of his text.

Here is a image by Gustave Doré. (Credit: via Wikimedia Commons)

Hell and resurrection in the Quran

The Quran mentions “hell” several times. Searching the Quran for the word “hell” in www.searchtruth.com I find it 98 time(s) in 196 verse(s).

Resurrection

the word “resurrection” appears 211 time(s) in 206 verse(s) in the Quran, a word you find 55 times in the Bible.

Our souls

The Quran about our souls.

God takes our souls when we fall asleep and gives it back when we wake up, But God takes our soul also when we die. I presume god gives it back on Resurrection day. (as I understand Quran 6:60 )

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Paradise

The word Paradise appears 238 times in the Quran. It is explicated as

  • recompense of their good
  • a promise

Paradise where Adam was created was in heaven not on Earth. Adam was sent to Earth as a punishment as he did not obey God. ( Quran 2:36 ) To a Hell of Earth?

Clergymen, hell and paradise

Hell has been used as a threat by the clergy for those who did not believe the priests.

When may we go to hell or paradize?

In the Gospel you read clearly when that will happen:

So it will be at the end of the age.. when the … the angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous (  Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50  ) That period is described in the Revelation . )

The Quran doesnt talk about it but it talks a lor sbout Resurrection without saying any details.

Read more in https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20081101/What-Did-Jesus-Teach-About-Hell/#link0

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Conclusions

I believed in hell and paradize  and I had a explanation of how a hell could work. I liked the Buddhist teaching that:

“You prepare the bed in this life, a bed you will sleep in during your next life.”

But that next life could come maybe after the resurrection.

I have now  accepted the idea that my mother, my grandfather and all those who died, are sleeping and one day, they will be resurrected.

Jehovah witnesses are right that there is no warning for a hell when we die. But you may experience hell after the resurrection of the dead and the 1000 years that will come.

God, being all-knowing, should know we humans have a animal brains often lead by our instincts we inherited from our evolutional ancestors.

I think it is nice to get the possibility to change our behaviours during a 1000 year kingdom as revealed in the Book of the Revelations after the Resurrection both the New testament and the Quran talks about.

And it is  nice if Paradise will be here on Earth, something the Biosphere really is a good candidate for.

Jesus warns us and invites us to repent asap. How can we understand that we have a god that pardon 7×77 times while sending us to hell. I believe that 

We create our own hell during our earthly life.

Inspired by Zoroastrian and Buddhist believes about afterlife, I now personally believe that we will get a more developed empathy and understanding after death or our resurrection.

We will understand the pain we created in our previous life and maybe also feel the pain  as our victims did.

We will maybe feel that pain we caused thousand times stronger. And that will be our hell for a long time.

15 Jesus and the prophets

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Introduction

At the catholic massMarch 17, we read about Jesus encounter with the Prophets Moses and Elia.

index

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Luke about the encounter

Luke 9,28-36 says

28 Now about eight days after this had been said, he took with him Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray29 And it happened that, as he was praying, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became sparkling white. 30 And suddenly there were two men talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah 31 appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they woke up and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what he was saying. 34 As he was saying this, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. 35 And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’” 36 And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.”

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Jesus, God or the greatest prophet

Thias text reminds us that Jesus is not God but a great prophet, a prophet that is at the level of Moses.i would say that Jesus is the greatest prophet bwing  entangled with God. I I wrote about the entanglement in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/02/10/12-is-jesus-god-20190210/#entangled

As Muslims recognize Jesus, “Isa ibn Maryam” the only prophet filled with special signs and the Holy Spirit and  able to do miracles, something that even Muhammed (PBUH) couldnt do.