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Maricruz Carmona wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Someone told me that Judas the Traitor was Jesus' cousin; is this true?

I know that John the Baptist was his cousin, but I did not know that Judas was!


  { Was Jesus' cousin Judas Iscariot or Jude Thaddeus? }

Bob replied:

Dear Maricruz,

Keep in mind that this is not Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, but (Jude) Thaddeus, cf. Mark 3:14-19.

14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, [Jude] Thaddaeus (bio.), Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, (bio.) who also betrayed Him.

Mark 3:14-19

You can search our database for questions concerning whether Jesus had any immediate family e.g. brothers and sisters. (Example) We have answered this before in detail but the short answer is No, He had no siblings. The Church holds Mary's perpetual virginity and references to brothers in the Scripture simply means his extended family (the same word is employed for cousins, brothers and uncles, etc.)

Bob K.

John replied:


There are two traditions in the Church regarding those called brothers of Jesus.

  • The Western tradition is that they were cousins or kinsmen.
  • The Eastern tradition is that they were sons of Joseph from a previous marriage and that Joseph was a widower.

Neither is strictly a matter of faith but it is obviously a matter of faith that they weren't sons of Mary and, No, Jude is not to be confused with Judas Iscariot.


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