The family of Jesus.

Matthew 12.46-50 = Mark 3.20-21, 31-35 = Luke 8.19-21  (John 15.1-17).

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Notes and quotes.

§ I note the following agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark:

  1. Matthew 12.46 and Luke 8.19 each have the dative αυτω (to him) where Mark 3.31 has the accusative αυτον (him).
  2. Though the phrases are not exactly parallel, Matthew 12.46 has τοις οχλοις (the crowds) and Luke 8.19 has τον οχλον (the crowd) where Mark 3.32 has only οχλος (a crowd), lacking the article.
  3. Matthew 12.47 and Luke 8.20 have δε (but or and) where Mark 3.32 has και (and). A rather common agreement.
  4. Matthew 12.47 and Luke 8.20 each have εστηκασιν (are standing) where Mark 3.32 has no parallel word.
  5. Matthew 12.47 has the participle ζητουντες (seeking); Luke 8.20 has the participle θελοντες (wishing); and Mark 3.32 has the finite verb ζητουσιν (seek).
  6. Matthew 12.48 and Luke 8.21 have ο δε (but he), while Mark 3.33 has only και (and) with an implied subject for the verb. This pattern with δε and και constitutes a rather common agreement.
  7. Matthew 12.48 and Luke 8.21 have the aorist ειπεν (said), while Mark 3.33 has the historic present λεγει (says). A common agreement

§ The family of Jesus is intercalated with the Beelzebul controversy in Mark.

§ Thomas 40:


Jesus said: A grapevine has been planted outside of the father, but, since it is unfortified, it will be pulled up by its roots and destroyed.

Thomas 99:


The disciples said to him: Your brothers and your mother are standing outside. He said to them: Those here who do the will of my father are my brothers and my mother. It is they who will go into the kingdom of my father.

§ 2 Clement 9.11:

Και γαρ ειπεν ο κυριος· Αδελφοι μου ουτοι εισιν οι ποιουντες το θελημα του πατρος μου.

For the Lord also said: My brethren are these who do the will of my father.

§ From Epiphanius, Panarion 30.14.5, writing of the Ebionites:

Παλιν δε αρνουνται ειναι αυτον ανθρωπον, δηθεν απο του λογου ου ειρηκεν ο σωτηρ εν τω αναγγεληναι αυτω οτι, Ιδου, η μητηρ σου και οι αδελφοι σου εξω εστηκασιν, οτι, Τις μου εστι μητηρ και αδελφοι; και εκτεινας την χειρα επι τους μαθητας εφη· Ουτοι εισιν οι αδελφοι μου και η μητηρ και αδελφαι, οι ποιουντες τα θεληματα του πατρος μου.

But again they deny that he was a man, apparently from the word which the savior spoke when it was announced to him: Behold, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, that is: Who is my mother and brothers? And he stretched out his hand over the disciples and said: These who my brothers and mother and sisters, those who are doing the wishes of my father.

§ Polycarp to the Philippians 10.1; 12.3:

In his ergo state et domini exemplar sequimini, firmi in fide et immutabiles, fraternitatis amatores, diligentes invicem, in veritate sociati, mansuetudinem domini alterutri praestolantes, nullum despicientes. ....

Stand in these things, therefore, and follow the example of the Lord, firm in faith and immutable, lovers of brotherhood, mutually dedicated, associated in the truth, demonstrating the meekness of the Lord with one another, despising no one. ....

Pro omnibus sanctis orate. orate etiam pro regibus et potestatibus et principibus, atque pro persequentibus et odientibus vos, et pro inimicis crucis, ut fructus vester manifestus sit in omnibus, ut sitis in illo perfecti.

Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and potentates and princes, and for those who persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross, so that your fruit may be made manifest to all, and so that you may be perfect in him.

§ The expression οι παρ αυτου in Mark 3.21...:

Και ακουσαντες οι παρ αυτου εξηλθον κρατησαι αυτον, ελεγον γαρ οτι εξεστη.

And those about him heard and went out to seize him, for they were saying that he was beside himself.

...literally means those about him or those with him. It (and its variations) can also be translated as his own people.

In the Septuagint this phrase appears numerous times with various meanings. I intend to list those cases in which the article (οι in Mark 3.21) indicates a person, not a thing:

  • In 1 Kings 20.20 (3 Kingdoms 21.20 LXX) each soldier is said to have struck down his own man (τον παρ αυτου).
  • In Proverbs 31.21 the excellent wife is said to clothe her household (οι παρ αυτης) in scarlet.
  • In 1 Maccabees the phrase is used of Jonathan and his men in 9.44, 58; 10.87; 12.27, 28, 29. The phrase is also used of Simon and his men in 13.52, of Numenius and his men in 15.15, and of Ptolemy and his men in 16.16.
  • In Susanna [1.]33 Susanna is wept for by her family (οι παρ αυτης; refer back to 1.30).
  • In Bel [1.]14 Daniel calls in his servants (τους παρ αυτου).

In Mark 3.21 the phrase seems to indicate the family of Jesus (a meaning that would line up with the usages in Susanna [1.]33 and Proverbs 31.21 above), since it is his mother and brothers who show up in 3.31.

§ This pericope is also available in a somewhat different format in a file supplied by a correspondent of mine named Ovadyah, who has modified certain synopses by S. C. Carlson in order to take broad text types into account.