The depiction of the size of Jesus’ family in Mark 6:3 puts the number of people in the family above the average family size estimated by historians for his time and place in history.
I had this come up in connection with a blundered attempt by a mythicist (who apparently doesn’t understand what an average is) to use an estimate of the maximum family size in Iron Age I proto-Israelite settlements to try to argue that the information about the size of Jesus’ family could not be correct. Yes, seriously.
But once my thoughts turned to this topic, it led to some interesting and more serious questions and reflections. I’ve argued on other grounds
that Jesus’ family appears to have had some significant social status. I wonder whether an above-average sized family is more likely to have been of higher status, with their better economic status and/or social connections having provided the opportunity to see more children live to adulthood. Some books and articles I’ve read suggest that a large family was a sign of status, while others suggest that the wealthy tended to have smaller families. If anyone has relevant archaeological, socioeconomic, and other perspectives to offer on this, please do share them!