Since the previous page gave the details related to verifying ancient personalities, I will just list the information that supports the historic personalities referred to as Simon, the skeptical brother of Jesus as well as Joses, the skeptical brother of Jesus.
Guideline of Independent Attestation
Three independent authors write about Simon and Joses, both being brothers of Jesus.
- Independent Author of the gospel of Mark: identifies Simon as well as Joses by name as the brother of Jesus. "Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas (Joses) and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" (Mark 6:3)
Mark identifies Simon and Joses as rejecting their brother Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus said of them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." (Mark 6:4)
- Independent Author of the gospel of John: identifies that Jesus has many brothers and sisters that are skeptics, though he does not cite them by name as recorded in John 7:3-5.
- Independent Author of the book of Acts: identifies that Jesus' brothers being present on the day of Pentecost in Acts 1:14, though he does not cite them by name at this time.
The written evidence recorded before the end of the 1st century gives us three independent sources that support the existence of Simon as well as Joses, the brothers of Jesus.
Guideline of Dissimilarity
The Guideline of Dissimilarity is about negative ideas or negative writing. If a person testifies against their interest, that testimony is likely to be true. Jesus’ brothers and sisters being skeptics fit this criteria. In the gospels, both Simon and Joses are identified as skeptics of Jesus prior to Jesus' crucifixion. "...For even his own brothers did not believe in him. " (John 7:3-5)
Only after the resurrection did Simon as well as Joses accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Guideline of Contextual Credibility
The Guideline of Contextual Credibility relates to authors who wrote about Jesus as close as possible to when Jesus lived. Did the author know Jesus in person? Or did the author know people that knew Jesus in person?
In general, this limits the reliability of documents to the end of the 1st century. All authors noted on this page wrote well before the end of the 1st century.
How Credible are Simon and Joses?
Based on the evidence presented above, how certain can we be that Simon and Joses actually existed as skeptical brothers of Jesus that became a devoted followers of the Messiah?
Once again, I use a statistical tool referred to as a chi-square test of independence. This is the ideal tool for this calculation.
To use this tool, we must state a hypothesis that can be evaluated with known data. Then we can test whether the data supports if the hypothesis is true or false at a calculated confidence level.
Chi-Square Test of Independence
Consider that some people will claim that Simon as well as Joses, brothers of Jesus, are simply mythic. Therefore, let's hypothesize by stating that "Simon as well as Joses, the brothers of Jesus are a myth due to no supporting evidence." Having made that statement as the hypothesis, we simply calculate a level of confidence that the hypothesis is true or false.
Since the hypothesis is "Simon as well as Joses, the brothers of Jesus are a myth due to no supporting evidence," we would expect to find zero evidence supporting that Simon or Joses actually existed.
The same method used to calculate the probability of James is used for Simon and Joses. We expect zero items to support the hypothesis since some people think that biblical characters are mythic. But the research cited above reveals there are 3 credible independent authors, the negativity that Simon as well as Joses did not believe Jesus is the Messiah, and 3 independent sources written before the year 100. Therefore, we have a total of 7 items that support Simon or Joses, the brothers of Jesus, actually existed. Therefore, let's do the calculation using 7 as the expected value and zero as observed value as shown below:
The chart above shows that we expected 7 items and observed zero. This yields the following values of 0 (Bottom Left Corner Above). The difference between the expected (+7) and observed (0) is +7 units (Middle Column Above). The number +7 is squared to equal 49. The value of 49 is divided by the expected value of +7 to yield a chi-square value of +7 (Bottom Right Corner Above). What does the value of +7 mean?
We can state that Simon or Joses, brothers of Jesus, were historic persons at a probability level of 99.2% at the 95% confidence level. And it appears certain that Simon and Joses met with other New Testament characters such as Peter, Luke, John and others.
The probability level infers that Simon and Joses did in fact witness Jesus as the resurrected Messiah. The analysis done herein supports that biblical faith is credible. Simon as well as Joses, the brothers of Jesus, did exist with less than 8 chances in 1,000 that either of them is a fictional character.