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Uncle Clopas. A Glimpse into the Family of Jesus. Matthew 13:55.

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uncle clopas

Uncle Clopas

A Glimpse into the Family of Jesus

matthew 13 55
Matthew 13:55
  • “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses (Joseph), Simon (Symeon), and Judas (Jude)? And his sisters, are they not all with us?”
could brother disciples
Could Brother=Disciples
  • Brethren=Disciples=Brother?
  • Acts 1:12
  • Lists each disciple (James Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas the son of James) but THEN talks about “the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.”
  • SO…Brothers do NOT = Disciples here.
  • Matt/Mark/Luke 8:21=Jesus makes a metaphor to distinguish his brothers from followers.
mark 3 31 matt 12 46 luke 8 19
Mark 3:31/Matt 12:46/Luke 8:19
  • “Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking you.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brother?” And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
other spots that reference brothers
Other spots that reference brothers…
  • John 7: 1-9 His brothers disbelieve

1After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

6Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

what does this mean
What does this mean?
  • A. Mary & Joseph had children after Jesus was born.
  • B. Joseph had a previous wife who died and left him with children.
  • C. Joseph had a brother who died. According to Jewish custom/law, the wife became his responsibility; the children became his responsibility.
for example
For example…
  • Africanus:
  • Luke (Heli=legal) vs Matthew (Jacob=Bio)
  • Er>Onan>Judah w/Tamar
  • In other words, if Joseph had an older brother, and this brother died, he would be responsible and would legally “claim” these children as his own, along with care for the widow.
who is clopas
Who is Clopas
  • John 19:25 But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
  • This is the only NT mention of a man named Clopas.
  • According to Hegisippus, an early Christian writer, Clopas was the brother of Joseph.
  • Can this be proven Biblically?
  • Was Clopas the uncle of Jesus?
many marys at the cross
Many Marys: At the Cross
  • Mark 15:40There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome.
  • Matt 27:56: Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.
  • John 19:25: Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
  • Luke (No cross, but next day) 24:10: It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
sister in law
Sister…in law?
  • Fact: James and Joses are labeled as “Brothers”
  • The mother of James and Joses=Mary
  • Mary is also labeled as the wife of Clopas.
  • Who is the Virgin Mary’s Sister?
  • If Clopas married a Mary, this would be Mary’s Sister-in-law. Is this what John meant? Mary would not have a sister named Mary, right?
  • St. Jerome deduced Sister-in-law & Wife of Clopas
  • Wife of Zebedee? Mary’s Sister? John 1:38=Not cousin!
  • Most probable=Clopas+Mary=J,J,J,S,+daughters.
who is clopas not
Who is Clopas NOT?
  • There is some speculation, based on poor Greek, that Clopas was simply another word for Alphaeus.
  • Thus…James, Son of Alphaeus
  • Thus…Matthew Levi, Son of Alphaeus
  • Heth can=Kapp, but only in the middle of the word, not the beginning. Syriac=Qoph/Aramaic=Halophai
  • Clopas is NOT Cleopas w=not eo
my clopas theory
My Clopas Theory
  • Joseph’s older brother was Clopas, head of Carpenters.
  • Joseph had to save money for a while to have a family, thus…older than Mary theory.
  • When Jesus was born, Clopas was still alive, with 4 sons and a couple of daughters.
  • While Jesus was still young, Clopas died.
  • Thus…every saw James, Joses, Jude, and Simeon as the “Brothers of Christ”
  • In order for the apostles to seek a ruling from James in Acts, he had to be wiser/older, thus…older than Jesus.
many james s
Many James’s
  • James Zebedee
  • James Alphaeus=Disciple=Matthew 12:10=not lesser! Killed in Ostrachina, Egypt by pagans.
  • James Clopas=Mark 15:40=o’mikros=little/less/young (1st Corinth 15:7)=Not 1 of the 12 
  • Acts 12:2=James Zebedee killed
  • Gal 1:19: James, the Lord’s Brother
  • Acts 12:17=Go Tell James and the Brethren
  • Acts 14v4:Jews vs. Apostles=Ask James (15:13)
  • Jude 1:1=Jude is the brother of James=Clopas
official explanations
Official explanations
  • Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis (70-110)
  • Hegisippus (110-180)
  • Eusebius (265-340)
  • Clopas was the Brother of Joseph
  • Simon (James, Jude, Joses) was the cousin of Jesus
  • James the Just/Righteous was the brother of Simon
  • Because…Simeon replaced his Brother James.
  • Jude was the brother of Jesus=Jude 1:1
  • These were NOT the children of Mary, or THEY would have taken care of her after Jesus. Instead, Jesus puts John Zebedee in charge of her care?
james the just
James the Just
  • AKA James the Righteous or James of Jerusaelm
  • Bishop of Jerusalem
  • Epistle of James attributed to him
  • One of the 3 pillars (John/Peter)
  • Had a special meeting with Jesus 1 Cor 15:7
  • Nazarean=Samson
  • Allowed to enter Holiest of Holies? A High Priest?
  • Camel Knees=praying all the time
  • Priests tried to get him to diffuse Christianity. Instead, he got up on top of the temple parapet and declared the divinity of Christ. They threw him off (didn’t die), then stoned him, recognized his truth, but then someone clubbed him in the head.
  • Josephus feels this is why Jerusalem was destroyed.
about jude
About Jude
  • In the Epistle of Jude, he proudly identifies himself as the Brother of James. Why?
  • Many of the disciples were dead. James was Bishop of Jerusalem.
  • The Epistle of Jude shows that he was well-read, citing books like the Book of Jubilees, Assumption of Moses, and the Book of Enoch
about simon joses
About Simon & Joses
  • Joses?
  • 2nd Bishop of Jerusalem
  • Doubtful=Simon Zealotes
  • Cousin of Jesus
  • Known as Son of Clopas
  • Took Christians to Pella
  • Crucified by Trajan in 107/117 in Jerusalem
sisters
Sisters
  • Curious? What happened to them?
grandsons of jude
Grandsons of Jude
  • Following the destruction of Jerusalem, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian instituted a policy that anyone with Davidic blood was hunted down and killed.
  • By the time of Domitian, the Jewish bloodline had been all but destroyed.
  • The two grandsons of Jude were arrests and brought before Domitian, who confirmed that they were of royal blood but did not see them as a threat, since they were common laborers. He also interrogated them about the purpose of Christianity, which he did not grasp. He let them go, but they went on to be leaders in the Church  Big mistake.