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Jesus’ True Family

31 Then[a] Jesus’[b] mother and his brothers[c] came. Standing[d] outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers[e] are outside looking for you.” 33 He answered them and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”[f] 34 And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, “Here[g] are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is[h] my brother and sister and mother.”

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  1. Mark 3:31 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  2. Mark 3:31 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. Mark 3:31 sn The issue of whether Jesus had brothers (siblings) has had a long history in the church. Epiphanius, in the 4th century, argued that Mary was a perpetual virgin and had no offspring other than Jesus. Others argued that these brothers were really cousins. Nothing in the text suggests any of this. See also John 7:3.
  4. Mark 3:31 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  5. Mark 3:32 tc ‡ Many mss read “and your sisters” here after “your brothers” (A D Γ 700 pm it). However, the pedigree of several of the mss which lack this phrase is considerable (א B C K L W Δ Θ ƒ1,13 28 33 565 892 1241 1424 2542 pm lat sy). It seems likely that this phrase was added by an early Western scribe to harmonize this statement with Jesus’ response in v. 35. NA27 has the words in brackets, indicating some doubt as to their authenticity.
  6. Mark 3:33 tn Grk “Who is my mother and my brothers?” The use of the singular verb ἐστιν (estin) here singles out Mary above Jesus’ brothers, giving her special prominence (see ExSyn 401-2). This is slightly unnatural in English since the predicate nominative is plural, though, so a plural verb was used in the translation.
  7. Mark 3:34 tn Grk “Behold my mother and my brothers.”
  8. Mark 3:35 tn The pleonastic pronoun οὗτος (houtos, “this one”) which precedes this verb has not been translated.