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BRETHREN


768


BREVIARY


heretics, like Helvidius and the Antidicomarianites, maintained that the "brethren" of Jesus were His uterine brothers the sons of Joseph and Mary. This opinion has been revived in modern times, and is now adopted by most of the Protestant excgetes. On the ortliodox side two views have long been cur- rent. Tlie majority of the Greelv Fatliers and Greek writers, influencetl, it seems, by the legendary tales of apocryphal gospels, considered the "brethren" of the Lord as sons of St. Joseph by a first marriage. The Latins, on the contrary, with few exceptions (St. Ambrose, St. Hilary, and St. Gregory of Tours among the Fathers), hold that they were the Lord's cousins. That they were not the sons of Joseph and Mary is proved by the following reasons, leaving out of consideration the great antiquity of the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary. It is highly signifi- cant that throughout the New Testament Marj- ap- pears as the .Motlier of Jesus and of Jesus alone. This is the more remarkable as she is repeatedly mentioned in conne.xion with her supposed sons, and, in some cases at least, it would have been quite natural to call them her sons (cf. Matt., xii, 46; Mark, iii, 31; Luke, viii, 19; Acts, i, 14). Again, Mary's annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Luke, ii, 41) is quite in- credible, except on the supposition that she bore no other children besides Jesus. Is it likely tliat she could have made the journey rtgularly, at a time when the burden of child-bearing and the care of an increasing number of small children (she would be the mother of at least four other sons and of .several daughters, cf. Matt., xiii, 56) would be pressing heavily upon her? A further proof is the fact that at His death Jesus recommended His mother to St. John. Is not His solicitude for lier in His dying hour a sign that she would be left with no one whose duty it would be to care for her? And why recom- mend her to an outsider if she had other sons? Since there was no estrangement between Him and His "brethren", or between them and Mary, no plausible motive for such an action can be imagined. This argument is confirmed by the words with which He recommends her: tSe 6 vi6s irou, with the article before Ms (son); had there been other sons, I5e Ms aov, without the article, would have been the proper expression.

The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubt- edly His cousins. If Simon is the same as the Sj-meon of Hegesippus, he also is a cousin, since this ^Titer expressly states that he was the son of Clopas the uncle of the Lord, and the latter's cousin. But whether they were cousins on their father's or moth- er's side, whether cousins by blood or merely by marriage, cannot be determined with certainty. Mary of Clopas is indeed called the "sister" of the Blessed Virgin, (John, xix, 25), but it is uncertain whether "sister" here means a true sister or a sister- in-law. Hegesippus calls Clopas the brother of St. Joseph. This would favour the view that Mary of Clopas was only the sister-in-law of the Blessed Vir- gin, unless it be true, as stated in MSS. of the Pes- hitta version, that Joseph and Clopas married sisters. The relationship of the other "brethren" may have been more distant than that of the above named four.

The chief objection against the Catholic position is taken from Matt., i, 25: " He [Jo.seph] knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son"; and from Luke.


ii, 7: "And she brought forth her firstborn son" Hence, it is argued, Mary must have borne other chil dren. "Firstborn" (ir/juTiTOKos), however, does no necessarily connote that other children were bori afterwards. This is evident from Luke, ii, 23, am Ex., xiii, 2, 12 (cf. Greek text) to which Luke refers "Opening the womb" is there given as the equiva lent of "firstborn" (irpMT6roCTs). An only child wa thus no less "firstborn" than the first of many Neither do the wortls " he knew her not till she brough forth" imply, as St. Jerome proves conclusivel; against Helvidius from parallel examples, that li' knew her afterwards. The meaning of both expres sions becomes clear, if they are considered in con nexion with the virginal birth related by the !«■ Evangelists.

For the Cousin Theorv: St. Jerome, Adv. Helvid. in P. L XXIII; Mill, Panlheisiic Principles, 220-316; VlGOUROlx Les Livres saints et la critique, V, 397-420; CoRLXJY, Les frcrt de N. S. J. C. in Etudes (1S78), I, 5. 145; Meinertz. De Jacobusbrief und sein Verfasser (Freiburg im Br., 1905), 6-54 CoRXELY, Introductio (Paris, 1897), 111. 592 sqq.; Schegc Jacobus der Bruder des Herm (Munich, 1SS3): L.\gr.\nge i: Rer. Bibl. (1906), 504, 505.

For the Step-Brother Theory: Lightfoot, Comm. on Gal 252-291.

For the Helvidian View: Hastings, Diet. Bib., I, 32C Zahn, Forschungen, VI, Bruder und Vettem Jesu (Leipzii 1900). F. Bechtel.

Brethren of the Poor Life. See Apostolici.

Brethren of the Redemption. See Trinit.vri.u Brothers.

Brethren of the Strict Observance. See Friar. Minor.

Brethren of the Twelve. See Nabhow Con

TROVEKSY.

Breton, Rayiioxd, a noted French missionar; among the Caribbean Indians, b. at Baune, 3 Septem ber, 1609; d. at Caen, 8 January, 1679. He entere. the Order of St. Dominic at the age of seventee and was sent (1627) to the famous priory of St Jacques, at Paris, to finish his classical educatio and make his course of philosophy and theologj Having obtained his degree in theologj', he saile with three other Dominicans for the trench Wes Indies (1635). Nearly twenty years were devote to the Antilles missions. During twelve of thes he was on the Island of San Domingo, practicall alone with the Indians. The other eight years h spent going from island to island, teaching and evar gelizing the natives in their own tongue, becomin an adept in the various Carib languages. Returnin to France in 1654, he devoted much of his time t preparing young priests for the West Indian mission; ■To this end he WTote: A Catechism of the Christia Doctrine in Carib (Auxerre, 1664); a French-Cari and Carib-French Dictionary, with copious note: historical and explanatory, on the Carib languafi (ibid., 1665); a Carib grammar (ibid., 1667). A the request of the general of the order, he also wrol a valued history of the first years of the French Don inicans' missionary labours among the Caribbea Indians: "Relatio Gestorum a primis Pra?dicatorui missionariis in insulis Americanis ditionis gallic pra?sertiin apud Indos indigenas quos Caribes vulg dicunt ab anno 1634 ad annum 1643" (MSS This is considered of great historical importanc- and has been used by several \iTiters.

QuETiF AND EcHARD, Script. Ord. Pr(Fd., II.

Victor F. O'Daniel.

Breton Version. See Versions op the Bible.

Breviarium Alaricianum. See Law, Roman.

Breviary. — This subject may be divided, for coi venience of treatment, as follows: I. Definitioi II. Contents; III. The Hours; IV. Componej Parts of the Office; V. History of the Breviab' VI. Reforms.

I. Definition. — The word breviary (Lat. bre