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Jesus’ True Family

46 While Jesus[a] was still speaking to the crowds,[b] his mother and brothers[c] came and stood outside, asking[d] to speak to him. 47 [e] Someone[f] told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting[g] to speak to you.” 48 To the one who had said this, Jesus[h] replied,[i] “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” 49 And pointing[j] toward his disciples he said, “Here[k] are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is[l] my brother and sister and mother.”

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  1. Matthew 12:46 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  2. Matthew 12:46 tn Grk “crowds, behold, his mother.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
  3. Matthew 12:46 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. Matthew 12:46 tn Grk “seeking.”
  5. Matthew 12:47 tc A few ancient mss and versions lack this verse (א* B L Γ ff1 k sys,c sa), while almost all the rest have it. The witness of א and B is especially strong, but internal considerations override this external evidence. Both v. 46 and v. 47 end with the word λαλῆσαι (“to speak”), so early scribes probably omitted the verse through homoioteleuton. Without v. 47 the passage is nonsensical: v. 46 says Jesus’ family members wanted to speak to him, and v. 48 begins with “to the one who said this.” The antecedent of “the one who said this” must surely be “someone” in v. 47. Thus, the omission of v. 47 is too hard a reading. This verse therefore should be regarded as part of the Ausgangstext.
  6. Matthew 12:47 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  7. Matthew 12:47 tn Grk “seeking.”
  8. Matthew 12:48 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  9. Matthew 12:48 tn Grk “And answering, he said to the one who had said this.” This construction is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) at the beginning of the clause has not been translated.
  10. Matthew 12:49 tn Grk “extending his hand.”
  11. Matthew 12:49 tn Grk “Behold my mother and my brothers.”
  12. Matthew 12:50 tn The pleonastic pronoun αὐτός (autos, “he”) which precedes this verb has not been translated.