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Jude, brother of Jesus

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Part of the series on
Jewish Christians
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Jude (alternatively Judas or Judah), was an apostle often called "brother of Jesus of Nazareth", mentioned in the New Testament. He is traditionally identified as the author of the Epistle of Jude, a short epistle which is reckoned among the seven catholic epistles of the New Testament. Because this letter quotes from the apocryphal book of Enoch it is rejected by many. Nevertheless by age and use it has gained authority and is considered canonical by Christians.[1][2]

Identity

Over the years the identity of Jude has been questioned. Indeed, it must be admitted that there are objective problems. For example, both Judas and Jude are English are translations of the Greek name Ιουδας. Secondly, it was a very common name at the time of Jesus. Also Jude, the "brother" of Jesus, goes against Roman Catholic teaching. Thus there is much confusion among Biblical scholars even today.[3] [4] [5] * (See also Jude)

New Testament

Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 write of Jesus being the carpenter’s son. His mother was Mary and his brothers were James, Joses, Simon and Jude. Jesus's sisters are also mentioned, but not by name. There is no mention of Joseph being the father of those mentioned; nor is there any indication that Mary was a lifelong virgin. (See the Virgin Mary and Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church)

Jude has sometimes been identified with Jude the Apostle. The name "Jude of James", as given in Luke 6:16, was interpreted as "Jude, brother of James" (See King James Version), though such a construction commonly denotes a relationship of father and son.

There are theories that Jude was one of Twelve Disciples, but was known as Thaddaeus. His nickname may have occurred due to a resemblance to Jesus and to avoid confusion between Jude and Judas Iscariot.[6] [7] [8] A local tradition of eastern Syria identifies Jude with the Apostle Thomas, also known as Jude Thomas or Judas Didymus Thomas (Thomas means twin in Aramaic, as does Didymus in Greek.)

The Epistle of Jude has also been attributed to him. (Jude 1:1)

Family Tree and Pedigrees of Jesus

In Jerusalem and throughout the Galilee, (until the Bar Kokhba War) the family members of Jesus were the most influential and respected leaders of Jewish Christianity. They were known throughout, and were part of the Jewish community. This family was better known to the Hebrew historian Josephus than were Paul or Peter. The hagiographical and apologetic features of the early second-century Palestinian traditions recorded by Hegesippus enable us to glimpse significance of this truly remarkable dynasty. Mary, Jude and his brothers laid the foundation of Christianity. [9]

      __________________________________________
      |                                        |
      |                                        |
 Mary=Joseph                                   Cleopas=Mary
     |                                                |
     |______________________________________          |
     |    |     |     |     |      |      |           Simeon
     |    |     |     |     |      |      |           d. 106
    Jesus James Joses Simon Sister Sister Jude
          d.62                             |
            |                            Menahem
          Jude                           ____|____
            |                            |        |
         Elzasus                       James     Zoker
            |                                 ?
          Nascien                             |
                                             Bishop Judah Kyriakos
                                         fl.c.148-149.
   

The Family of Jesus[10] [11] see also the Desposyni, the Gospel of the Hebrews and James the Just.

Descendants

Hegesippus, a 2nd century Christian writer, mentions descendants of Jude living in the reign of Domitian (81-96). Eusebius relates in his Historia Ecclesiae (Book III, ch. 19-20):

"But when this same Domitian had commanded that the descendants of David should be slain, an ancient tradition says that some of the heretics brought accusation against the descendants of Jude (said to have been a brother of the Saviour according to the flesh), on the ground that they were of the lineage of David and were related to Christ himself. Hegesippus relates these facts in the following words.
"Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord's brother according to the flesh.
"Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. For Domitian feared the coming of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed that they were. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how much money they owned. And both of them answered that they had only nine thousand denarii, half of which belonged to each of them;
and this property did not consist of silver, but of a piece of land which contained only thirty-nine acres, and from which they raised their taxes and supported themselves by their own labor."
Then they showed their hands, exhibiting the hardness of their bodies and the callousness produced upon their hands by continuous toil as evidence of their own labor.
And when they were asked concerning Christ and his kingdom, of what sort it was and where and when it was to appear, they answered that it was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly and angelic one, which would appear at the end of the world, when he should come in glory to judge the quick and the dead, and to give unto every one according to his works.
Upon hearing this, Domitian did not pass judgment against them, but, despising them as of no account, he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church.
But when they were released they ruled the churches because they were witnesses and were also relatives of the Lord. And peace being established, they lived until the time of Trajan. These things are related by Hegesippus. [1]

Eusebius also relates (in Book III, ch. 32,5f.), that they suffered martyrdom under the Emperor Trajan:

Epiphanius of Salamis, in his Panarion, mentions a Judah Kyriakos, great grandson of Jude as last Jewish Bishop of Jerusalem, that lived beyond Bar Kokhba's revolt.

References

  1. Thomas Patrick Halton, On Illustrious Men, Volume 100 of Fathers of the Church:a new translation, CUA Press, 1999 p.11
  2. See Richard Bauckham, Jerome and the Early Church Fathers
  3. Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004 pp. 171-173
  4. Richard R. Losch, All the People in the Bible Eerdmans Publishing, 2008 p. 246
  5. J. H. Neyrey, Jude, The Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, 1993 p. 44-45
  6. John 14:22
  7. Commentary on John 14:22, Expositor's Bible Commentary CDROM, Zondervan, 1978
  8. Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to Saint John volume 2, Anchor Bible p. 641
  9. Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004 pp. 374 -378
  10. Richard Bauckham Jude and the relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004 pp. 19-25
  11. The Family of Jesus "Wilson (1992) [Wilson, A.N. Jesus: A life. 1992. New York: Norton & Co.] has hypothesized that the negative relationship between Jesus and his family was placed in the Gospels (especially in the Gospel of Mark) to dissuade early Christians from following the Jesus cult that was administered by Jesus’ family. Wilson says: “…it would not be surprising if other parts of the church, particularly the Gentiles, liked telling stories about Jesus as a man who had no sympathy or support from his family (p. 86).” Butz (2005) [Butz, Jeffrey. The brother of Jesus and the lost teachings of Christianity. 2005. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions.] is more succinct: “…by the time Mark was writing in the late 60s, the Gentile churches outside of Israel were beginning to resent the authority wielded by Jerusalem where James and the apostles were leaders, thus providing the motive for Mark’s anti family stance… (p. 44).” Other prominent scholars agree (e.g., Crosson, 1973 [Crosson, John Dominic. “Mark and the relatives of Jesus”. Novum Testamentum, 15, 1973]; Mack, 1988 [Mack, Burton. A myth of innocence: Mark and Christian origins. 1988. Philadelphia: Fortress]; Painter. 1999 [Painter, John. Just James: The brother of Jesus in history and tradition. 1999. Minneapolis: Fortress Press])."

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