Simon, brother of Jesus

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Martyrdom of St. Simeon (Menologion of Basil II, 10th century)

Simon is described in the New Testament, as one of the supposed brothers of Jesus (Greek: ἀδελφοὶ, translit. adelphoi, lit. 'brethren').[1]

In Matthew 13:55, people ask concerning Jesus, "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" while in Mark 6:3 they ask, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?"

The Catholic Church defined a doctrine that "brothers of Jesus" are not biological children of Mary,[2] part of the doctrine of perpetual virginity of Mary, thus rejects the idea that Simon was a biological son of Mary, suggesting that the so-called Desposyni were either sons of Joseph from a previous marriage (in other words, step-brothers) or else were cousins of Jesus.[3] The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that Simon may be the same person as Simeon of Jerusalem or Simon the Zealot.[3] Protestant interpreters who deny the perpetual virginity of Mary usually take Simon to have been a half-brother of Jesus.

James Tabor, in his controversial book The Jesus Dynasty, suggests that Simon was the son of Mary and Clophas.[4] While Robert Eisenman suggests he was Simon Cephas (Simon the Rock), known in Greek as Peter (from petros = rock), who led the Jewish Christian community after the death of James in 62 CE.[5]


  1. ^ Greek New Testament, Matthew 13:55: "οὐχ οὖτός ἐστιν ὁ τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός; οὐχ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ λέγεται μαριὰμ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ ἰάκωβος καὶ ἰωσὴφ καὶ σίμων καὶ ἰούδας;"
  2. ^ Jimmy Akin, Ossuary of James - I: Burial Box of St. James Found?, Catholic Answers 
  3. ^ a b "The Brethren of the Lord". New Advent. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Tabor, James (2006). The Jesus Dynasty. Simon & Schuster. pp. 90–91. 
  5. ^ Eisenman, Robert (2007), "James the Brother of Jesus" (Watkins)

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