The apparent ambiguity of hoi par’ autou, literally, “those with him” (Mark 3:21), has been exploited by those who are unhappy with the negative picture of Jesus’ family painted here. (Presumably the same motive explains the omission of this incident by both Matthew and Luke. The fabrication of this event at a later stage, when the mother and brothers of Jesus were prominent disciples [Acts 1:14], is impossible.) In terms of Marcan narrative technique, however, it is certain that “those with him” are those later explicitly identified as “his mother and his brothers” (Mark 3:31). See the discussions in Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Mark (London, 1963), pp. 235–237; and in Brown et al., eds., Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (Philadelphia, 1978), pp. 55–56.