Why do Catholics believe Mary is a "virgin"?

Howdy folks. I love y’all, so don’t get offended.

But it is not scriptural to try and sell the idea that Mary is a virgin. Do you think they will change their thoughts on that?


Why isn’t it scriptural? Where does the Bible say that Mary bore children other than Jesus? Where does it say Mary was not a Virgin throughout her life.

Unless you can show where the NT says that the “brothers of Jesus” are called “children of the Virgin Mary,” then what you are saying is what is unscriptural.

Modern arguments won’t wash here either. Martin Luther and John Calvin (I take it they are your friends? :slight_smile: ) likewise affirmed that the Virgin Mary was a Virgin throughout her life.

Are you saying that the founders of the Reformation were unscriptural?



You know I continue to hear about “cults” and the like in regards to Mary. Yet what I do see in Jesuits, Friars, MaryKnoll, Dominicans, Camelites and every other order one could imagine in direct line and thinking with the Blessed Mother.

What I do hear more often than not is individuals who read the Bible on there own, Then conclude, whats the big deal with Mary? Basically Sola Scriptura.

And I would imagine if you read only about apparitions, revelations, then the flare for sensationalism is real also. Yet there’s a very real aspect to the supernatural and the Blessed Mother which many just seem to either not want to grasp, or just can’t wrap their head around?

I believe also that when you say Virgin. And then Immaculate Conception? The issue also comes up about Mary being in the same thinking as with Christ, Adam and Eve. Here also is a split in thinking. I believe its accurate to say Mary was free of Sin at the moment of conception by Gods will. And of course she was a Virgin which when you come right down to it, its not even uncommon with women today consecrated to God.

Now the thought of being absent of original sin? Gets back to St Anne etc. Which becomes a debate based on no evidence. It may be appropriate but how accurate is it?

What is harder to believe than a woman remaining a perpetual Virgin is that woman bearing the Son of GOD, then going on to bear other children, and not showing the least bit of favoritism.

Picture Mary calling in children. “Jesus, Anne, Elizabeth, James, Joses, etc. Come to dinner.”
"Anne, please stop dawdling. JESUS never dawdles."
"Elizabeth, please stop gabbing with your friends. JESUS never gossips."
"James, put away your toys please. JESUS never leaves his toys out."
"Joses, please stop gobbling. JESUS never gobbles his food."

oh, and the brothers and sisters never have a TRACE of rivalry.

"No fair, Jesus NEVER gets a wrong answer at school."
"No fair, Jesus NEVER trips or falls playing games."
"No fair, Jesus never does ANYTHING wrong. It’s not like He even has to TRY to be good, and He gets everybody applauding Him. WE work HARD to do the right thing and all we get told is how much better JESUS does it than we do.


The Bible mentions Jesus has brothers, and mentions them by name. The Bible also mentions Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins. So my question is why does the Catholic Church teach differently?

For the record, let me clarify. I do believe Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus. I believe through the backing up of the scripture she was not a virgin afterwards. And Alex, where does the Bible does not say she remained a virgin her whole life?

LOL! Awesome Tantum, awesome.

Your asking totally fair questions. I think the virginity of Mary boils down to a matter of faith, you can’t really “prove” it.


  Even in our culture, we refer to others as "brothers" and "sisters" even though they are not blood relatives.  If I went to your church and spoke to your congregation, beginning with, "Brothers and sisters..." and it was recorded, what do you think someone 1000 years from now might think upon hearing that and reading that there were 500 people present?  "Wow!  I'd like to meet HIS daddy!"?  LOL

 Another consideration is that St. Joseph was a widower before meeting Mary.  It's very possible he had children, too.  These would be Jesus' "brothers" and "sisters" but not Mary's blood children.

 Here's a good article on the topic:


The earliest understandings of this are held in the Catholic teaching. Before the Reformation, the following two were the most common understandings:

  1. that those called ‘brethren’ of Christ were his cousins. Note that Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, does not have a word for cousin. The word for brother has a far looser meaning in that language, however. This was propagated primarily by St. Jerome, the man who translated the Old and New Testaments into the Latin 1500 years ago.
  2. that these ‘brethren’ of Christ are step-brothers. This is the older, but less popular, understanding (due to the lack of endorsement by St. Jerome). This theory goes that St. Joseph was older – far older than Mary, and had children from a previous marriage.

#2 is the same as Scoobyshme’s second consideration.

Actually, at least some of those mentioned as Jesus’ brothers and sisters can actually be seen to be the children of another mother, if you sort out what scripture actually says of them by name.

Nowhere does it say that these “brothers and sisters” were actually Mary’s children. Theoretically they could have been Joseph’s children, as we do not know from scripture whether or not he was married before he was married to Mary.

Just as the Arc of the Covenant could not be touched by man, neither can the Arc of the New Covenant, Mary, be touched by man.

As for Mary’s perpetual sinlessness, how would it make sense to have a soiled Arc of the Covenant? She did, after all, hold God. He was made from her genetic material and he was perfect. If she was not perfect, how could he be perfect?

When Elizabeth greeted Mary, she referred to Mary as “full of grace”. If one is full of grace, there is no room for sin.

The Bible mentions only four brothers of Jesus… and not a single one of them is a son of Mary (much less a son of Mary and Joseph).

Where does the Bible say Mary did not remain a virgin her whole life?

I have one question for you to consider: You use the Bible to support your opinion that the Catholic Church is in error, at least in this area. Why? The book that is commonly called “The Bible” was compiled by the Catholic Church after carefully choosing which scriptural texts to include. If you do not regard the Catholic Church as having truth and the authority to declare this book “as being without error” what then supports your basis?

Again, I don’t want to come on here and cause chaos. I just ask we look at this honestly leaving our pride at the door. Scooby, I agree with you. Brothers and sisters can be used as a general term and I don’t have a problem with that. Is that what the Bible talks about here? The evidence would say no in my opinion. If the Bible just says brothers and sisters as a broad statement, then i might buy the argument that Mary was a virgin. The Bible doesn’t do that however.

In Matthew 12, it reads: While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. - Matthew 12:46. Honestly, if someone uses mother and brother in the same sentence, you are thinking a true mother and brother. If they said brothers and sisters, then you might have an argument.

In Luke 1, we know that Jesus and John the Baptist are literal cousins. They are relatives. This shows that the term relative, brother can be used as literal, not just talking about a group of believers. The disciples are those “brothers” right?

In Matthew 13, it reads: When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”– Matthew 13:53-56. Here the Holy Spirit actually names the brothers, many of whom we have never heard of. If he was talking about the disciples, then why wouldn’t he name one of the twelve? The evidence demonstrates that this is a very specific naming of his literal brothers. Again, the Bible never says Mary was a virgin either, so keep that in mind when you look at my argument.

In Galatians, we read: Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. – Galatians 1:18. Now again James is mentioned here as the Lord’s brother. He is not named as a disciple or an apostle, but a “brother”. If this was just a general term for brother, it’s quite an odd coincidence that James is named both in Matthew’s gospel and here in Paul’s letter. We don’t know anything about this guy named James, except he is referenced as his brother. The evidence is starting to become overwhelming at this point.

In John, we read: What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. – John 2:11:12. Here the Holy Spirit distinguishes Jesus’ brothers and his disciples. They cannot be one in the same because he says “his brothers AND his disciples”. They are not mutually exclusive. That’s like saying that the NFL suspended Terrell Owens and Ocho Cincho. They are two separate individuals. In John, the disciples which are thousands are not brothers according to what the sentence says. Looking at the evidence, there really isn’t an argument for Jesus not having literal brothers.

Back to John, we read: Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. – John 7:6-9 We again see the disciples distinct from the brothers. The disciples are for Jesus, and the brothers at this point in his life are mocking him. Jesus’ brothers were not believers at this point in their lives and are basically telling him to put your money where your mouth is. the point you made earlier is that brothers are within the body of believers and I said I had no problem with that. Here Jesus’ real brothers are not only not believers, but they are mocking him and basically telling him to go down to Judea since he says he is the son of Man. Only later on did his brothers believe, and two of them wrote epistles in the New Testament.

So, I don’t want to offend anyone, and nobody’s salvation is in danger here. My point is that the Bible needs to be taken literally and by looking at what the Bible says, not what a minister or pastor says is what’s really important. I think we all know there are a lot of false teachers out there. I want everyone to have a great understanding of the Bible and I hope to see all of you great Christian brothers with me in heaven!

Never, because Truth cannot change.

What makes you say it is not Scriptural? And you do realize that the Church pre-dates the Bible, don’t you?

Brethren are relatives.

Mary never had any other children and her purity and virginity were perpetual. As the ark was not allowed to be touched by man,so the ark of the new covenant.Mary. Mary,Queen of heaven Queen of the angels, spiritual mother of humanity. Her soul magnifies the Lord.

The Church does pre-date the book we know as the “Bible”. But the scriptures predate the Church. And I don’t want to come off like I am a pro protestant guy because they have sound biblical errors as well. :slight_smile:

WhoDatChristian, welcome to the forms! I hope you will have a good and profitable time here!

Mary is a virgin, and it is scriptural, as others have pointed out. No, it will not change. Catholics cannot, and will not change their minds on Truth.

In fact, the idea that Mary was NOT a virgin did not develop until the late 300 A.D. The Early Church Fathers (those men who were taught by the apostles, the first few generations of Christians), believed in Mary being Ever-Virgin. So even early on, this belief was present. This isn’t something that Catholics/Orthodox just pulled out of their head. It has a long standing, and accepted view.

I am not a Biblical scholar, nor do I know Greek/Hebrew. But if we think logically, the Bible was translated from different languages that did not have words for brother/sister/ kin etc that we do today. Like the Greek “Adelphos” - it means breathren. That could mean anyone In Jesus’ close family (and families back then were pretty close!). We cannot, in modern day times, look at the Bible through our lens.

While that may be true, Catholics do not see it that way. We see the Bible and Tradition on equal terms for our faith. Tradition teaches us that Mary was Ever-Virgin. The Bible does NOT contradict this. So it is true.

Yes, there are a lot of false teachers out there. Many of them teach Mary had children after Christ! :stuck_out_tongue:

I too would like everyone to have a great understanding of the Bible (myself being first in line), but you may be surprised on how many Catholics know their Bible!

In Christ,

Scripture does not pre-date the church. Holy Mother Church began on the first Pentecost following Christ’s death and resurrection—with the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing was WRITTEN until much later.

If it’s not your intention to sound pro-Protestant I can’t imagine what is.

Mary was a virgin. Luke 1:27, Luke 1:34 Just because Jesus had brothers doesn’t mean they were by Mary.Joseph could had been married before and had sons.Therefore he’d had stepbrothers.I was always taught he was a widower of 90 years old when he married her with sons and died later.I wasn’t raised Catholic. When Jesus was on the cross and told his disciple to behold His mother why would He do this if He had brothers to care for her.John 19:26-27