Not sure what guidelines to use for ‘closest living relative’ but there must be someone who claims to be some direct decendant of Christs’ family via Joseph or Marys’ siblings. Or an aunt or uncle off the same branch.
There are no records of Jesus’ family past what is in the New Testament. We don’t know the descendants of royalty and nobility from that era, much less peasant families from the provinces.
Jesus had a number of brothers and sisters, including a brother called James, but, unlike in Islam, nobody seems to have kept track of the Savior’s family. Why this was so almost calls for a separete thread in my opinion.
And, of course, if you’d believe the argument made in the book The Da Vinci Code, Jesus was actually married to Mary Magdalene, and a secret order called “The Priory of Sion” is keeping track of the descendants…
Well, if Jesus had a number of brothers, you’d expect a gigantic number of direct descendants if they haven’t all died out, since if everyone has a couple of kids…
To ask who is ‘closest’ you’d probably have to look for (1) shorter chain of descendants (say a branch of late-breeding people or something) or (2) interbreeding. An extreme example would be if Jesus had a brother and a sister who married, and had two kids who married, etc. Each would, I think, share as much genetic material with Mary as the original brother and sister. Of course, this is implausible, but if you have a relatively small community with distant cousins marrying you’d get a better figure than the 1/2^generations a naive calculation would expect.
Of course, it’s moot, because there aren’t any records.
A couple of casual points.
First, the “Holy Blood/Holy Grail” and “DaVinci Code” arguments are tin-hat material. It’s possible, but so is the idea that a dragon lives within every volcano, and that’s why it erupts.
Second, there’s some material from about 100 AD that makes reference to two grandsons of Jude, brother of James the Just, and half-brother to Jesus, having been arrested as potential Christian subversives and having been released when there was no case against them.
Third, there are all kinds of legendary interrelationships of probably-legendary ancestors of royal families with the Christian lineage. One that comes to mind is the ancestry of Cunedda, the just-post-Arthurian-times migrant to Wales who gave rise to the three Welsh royal houses, being traced back to Guin the son of Beli (=Heli or Joachim) and Anna, and therefore a brother of the Virgin Mary.
You would think that something like this would carry down via word of mouth. “I’m the grandnephew of that late Jesus guy”, or something to that effect, 'cept carried on from generation to generation. I mean, who could forget being the direct decendant of Christ? I realize the Church didn’t pick up steam 'till much later (AD) but the events surrounding his life and end thereof would be memorable enough to pass on from parents to siblings.
I don’t know if you realized how loaded that question is. It depends who you talk to. When I asked a similar question to people my head started to hurt. According to Catholic doctrine there are no desendants. Mary was a virgin. Period. Always. Some Christains believe that he had at least one younger half brother. Of course thats only if you believe that Mary was more than a surrogate and was actually his mother. If he was just planted in the womb by an angel then he couldn’t have had real relatives. Except for that Sion thing. My head hurts.
And that idea – that Jesus did not inherit humanity through Mary, is one of the classic heresies, and contrary to the official doctrine of nearly all Christians other than the Assyrian Church in Iraq.
Wello, Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
So, Jesus must be related to Mister Clean!
I’m going to Hell for this one.
Probably just the latest on a long list
"My sister says she never married because she’s ‘married to Jesus.’ I said, ‘Cool! That makes Jesus my brother-in-law! And yet we never see him at family functions.’ " - Suzanne Westenhoefer
Considering that JC was executed as a criminal in his time, and was persona non grata with both the Romans and the Jews, claiming relation to him was probably a smart thing to not do too publicly.
In addition, the spread of the Christian religion was directed by Paul, who was not related to him. So from the very earliest days, there was no doubt a focus on the message rather than the man.
Or, rather, neither of the above, since Paul pretty much ignored the message of Jesus of Nazareth (Sermon on the Plains, Sermon on the Mount, etc) to focus on the metaphysical “Son of God, God incarnate” stuff.
Which, btw, lends us this answer to the OP’s question: God, if we may posit the existence of such, and grant creedence to Christian theology for the moment, would appear to be the closest living relative of Jesus of Nazareth.
I think I may be directly related. I distinctly remember my father saying to me: “Jesus Christ, clean up your room!”
A classic Bill Cosby bit, yes?
“Damn it, get in here!”
“But Dad, I’m Jesus Christ!”
Worst beating I ever got.
Still a funny bit.
A direct descendant is a child, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc. Not nephews or grandnephews; those are collateral descendants.
Well, James was a leader in the early Church, but they soon split off from him and then he was also executed - by the Sanhedrin, note. Paul ran the Church after that- and since he never even met Jesus the man- let alone be related to Him- I’d guess Paul made sure to squelch that whole “I’m His Cousin, thus I am important” thing early.
It is likely that there were collateral descendants, but after a bit the Church (Roman Catholic) started pushing the “no siblings of Jesus” thing- so you saying that you were be be squelched and possible heresy.
AFAIK- no one other than “tinfoilhat brigade” dudes now claim they are in any way related to Jesus. There is no one related to Ceasar, either, AFAIK- in fact I don’t think anyone has tracked any solid lines of descent much more than a thousand years (early Norse & English Kings go to 900 AD or so…)
The best online source for this topic is the magazine Dagobert’s Revenge, http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com/index.shtml.
“Prince Michael of Albany” claims to be a direct descendant of Jesus, but for some reason think’s it’s much more important that he’s a direct descendant of Bonnie Prince Charlie. DR interviewed him (http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com/articles/interviews/pminterview.shtml):
I’d like to see that book . . .
Flubbed a link . . .
It’s to the page of Laurence Gardner, Prince Michael’s official “Historiographer Royal,” and author of Bloodline of the Holy Grail (Fair Winds Press, 2002).
I love this stuff! Hoo-boy fun!