Hi, Robert —
Thanks for your question.
While the Bible says Jesus had brothers,
and even sisters, no where does it
say they were sons and daughters
There are two possibilities:
- One deals with the use of the
word brothers in that (society|culture).
That is, it was common place to
call a close relative a brother.
For instance Abraham's nephew,
Lot, is also called his brother. (Genesis 14:12-16, Genesis 29:10-15)
- The other possibility is that
Joseph was a widower and had children
from a previous marriage. We know
from extra biblical sources (i.e.
the Proto Evangelium of James) that Mary was a virgin consecrated
to the Temple by her parents.
This meant she would have lived
a celibate life. This was a common
tradition of the day.
It was also part of the tradition
that the Temple priests would
find an older man to become the
(husband|protector) for these
women. After all, once the woman's
parents died, this woman would
have no means of support or protection.
Remember this was 2,000 years ago:
Women didn't own property, they
didn't inherit property, and they
didn't really have careers. Besides,
these particular women spent the
day at the temple.
it is very possible that these
brothers and sisters of Jesus
were simply sons and daughters