Hank and Mary's Virginity

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JackPaul

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Ok, I admit I am a new guy. I would like to be a defender of the faith and I am trying to align my ducks to do so. However, I have been repeatedly bashed by a Sister In law who insists that Mary and Joseph had other children. I know the Catholic translation argument that says that there were no direct translations for the word cousin and that James and others could have been Jesus Cousins or close friends. It is really hard to sell this to my hard headed/hearted sibling. Today, some nice gentleman called our only Christian radio station and asked Hank Hanagraph to get the straight scoop on this very issue. Hank explained that Mathew 1 clearly implies (ain’t that an oxymoron?) that Mary and Joseph had marital sex… “He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus”. Also, that Mathew 13:55 is further evidence that he had brothers and sisters. These are the same arguments that my sister in law uses on me. They must learn these passages from their Baptist apologist website. What are effective and persuading arguments for Mary’s perpetual virginity (even though they only will be heard by those willing to hear).
 
but if you like typology:

Ezekiel 44
1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.

God said it. It’s in the bible. I believe it.

Peace in Christ…Salmon
 
If you have a concordance, look up the word until. Tell your S.I.L. that if she wants to have that reasoning, ‘the word **until ** implies that the described act changes afterwards.’ Then she would have to apply it to all the words ‘until’ in the Bible. You’ll soon find out that it doesn’t work. If she insists that the word until has different meanings, then she would have to prove that her meaning is the correct one. If she can’t (which of course she can’t) it’s a matter of opinion on her part and a teaching passed down from Early Church Fathers on your part. (the ECF’s by the way, got pre-interpreted information from the Apostle’s themselves so their teachings count)
 
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JackPaul:
Hank explained that Mathew 1 clearly implies (ain’t that an oxymoron?) that Mary and Joseph had marital sex… “He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus”. Also, that Mathew 13:55 is further evidence that he had brothers and sisters. These are the same arguments that my sister in law uses on me. They must learn these passages from their Baptist apologist website. What are effective and persuading arguments for Mary’s perpetual virginity (even though they only will be heard by those willing to hear).
The word “until” is deceptive here. In the English language, it implies a change of status after a certain point in time. The original word in Greek doesn’t imply any sort of change. A more accurate translation might be “He had no relations with her by the time of Jesus’ birth…”

The footnotes in the Douay-Rheims Bible says this about it:

“Till she brought forth her firstborn son”… From these words Helvidius and other heretics most impiously inferred that the blessed Virgin Mary had other children besides Christ; but St. Jerome shews, by divers examples, that this expression of the Evangelist was a manner of speaking usual among the Hebrews, to denote by the word until, only what is done, without any regard to the future. Thus it is said, Genesis 8. 6 and 7, that Noe sent forth a raven, which went forth, and did not return till the waters were dried up on the earth. That is, did not return any more. Also Isaias 46. 4, God says: I am till you grow old. Who dare infer that God should then cease to be: Also in the first book of Machabees 5. 54, And they went up to mount Sion with joy and gladness, and offered holocausts, because not one of them was slain till they had returned in peace. That is, not one was slain before or after they had returned. God saith to his divine Son: Sit on my right hand till I make thy enemies thy footstool. Shall he sit no longer after his enemies are subdued? Yea and for all eternity. St. Jerome also proves by Scripture examples, that an only begotten son, was also called firstborn, or first begotten: because according to the law, the firstborn males were to be consecrated to God; Sanctify unto me, saith the Lord, every firstborn that openeth the womb among the children of Israel, etc. Ex. 13. 2.

As far as Matthew 13:55 goes, the Douay-Rheims Bible says this:

“His brethren”… These were the children of Mary the wife of Cleophas, sister to our Blessed Lady, (St. Matt. 27. 56; St. John 19. 25,) and therefore, according to the usual style of the Scripture, they were called brethren, that is, near relations to our Saviour.
 
Karl Keating dealt with this in Cath and Fund years ago, and his arguments still stand. A summary of them are here…

Brethren of the Lord

Mary: Ever Virgin in the Fathers

There are more sophisticated defenses, but this suffices for your average person. The clincher for me is the original Protestants Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and their “successors”, and John Wesley (founder of the Methodists) had no problem with the perpetual virginity of Mary, and they were all “sola scriptura” kind of people.

“A very ancient tradition of the Church affirms a perpetual virginity of Mary; and the Reformers of the sixteenth century themselves confessed ‘Mariam semper virginem’ [Mary ever-Virgin]…The entire tradition of the Church has held to the perpetual virginity of Mary as a sign of her dedication and of the fullness of God’s gift of which she was the object. The Reformers themselves respected this belief…For Calvin and the other Reformers accept the traditional view that Mary had only one son, the Son of God, who had been to her the fullness of grace and joy…In regard to the Marian doctrine of the Reformers, we have already seen how UNANIMOUS they are in all that concerns Mary’s holiness and perpetual virginity.” (Thurian, Mary: Mother of All Christians, pages 37-40, 89, 197)

Phil P
 
I don’t think I’ve seen this as a formal argument, but what always struck me was Mary’s response to Gabriel when told that she was to conceive and bear a son: “How can this be, since I do not know man?” (Luke 1:34)

Now consider the situation, here was a Jewish woman, *betrothed * to Joseph, which in Jewish law meant married but not yet consummated. She is told that she is to be a mother, which would be the most natural thing in the world to expect in her situation, but she says, “how can this be?” To me, that indicates that she intended a life of virginity.

Just a thought.
 
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JimG:
…but she says, “how can this be?” To me, that indicates that she intended a life of virginity.
YES! Exactly. Mary wasn’t cognically disordered. She knew perfectly well how to make a baby. Her response does indeed indicate that she took a lifelong vow of chastity.
 
One verse with the word until, you decided:

1 Corinthians 15:25 - “Christ must reign until God has put all enemies under his feet.” Will Christ cease to reign once God has put all enemies under his feet?
 
The bible DOES say “brothers” doesn’t it?
So why is it that this question did not arrive in all of christianity for centuries?
Surely the early christians would have known about other children/grandchildren of Mary?

And if James is indeed the “brother of the Lord” would not Mary be his mother?

So it is very important to study what the early christians said about Mary - and how they interpreted this particular verse in scripture.

Interestingly enough - in the ancient liturgy of St. James - Mary is referred to as “ever virgin” hmmm…but wouldn’t she have been his mother if our critics are right?
This “ever virgin” title has been used by christians right from the beginning.
St. Jerome - who translated scriptures and would have been very familiar with this verse - confronted a certain heretic during his life.
The man’s heresy? Challenging Mary’s virginity based on the verse you are being challenged on.
St. Jerome was actually a little peeved he had to waste time on the guy - because he thought the idea was ludicrous and pointed out that Mary’s virginity had always been accepted by christians.
 
Where are these other Children written about in the early Christian Church?

If there were other Children why do we see nothing of them?
 
“He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus”.
I’d like to find the verse in the NT that shows that the word “until” in this case means “afterwards, it changed.” Hint: This interpretation is nowhere in the Bible, it depends on an extra-biblical authority.

Now, if Mary actually bore other children, wouldn’t it make sense that the Bible mentioned that Mary had these children?

C’mon, look in the old testament, and you’ll see verses that say “X went into Y and she bore a son (or daughter), Z”

Why would this pattern be broken in the New testament?

If Mary had other children, why would the Bible NOT mention it? C’mon, where are the verses that say she gave birth to someone else besides Jesus? The OT went into details over mere human beings (like kings, etc,) but when it comes to the Lord’s family, silence? This makes no sense!
 
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funkyhorn:
YES! Exactly. Mary wasn’t cognically disordered. She knew perfectly well how to make a baby. Her response does indeed indicate that she took a lifelong vow of chastity.
Isn’t it interesting, how some want to insult the Mother of Our Lord by insinuating that she was clueless like this? 🙂

Catholic doctrine is highly respectful of Mary, even here!
 
Is it not in the Bible that “all generations shall call me blessed” why is it so hard for them to do what the Bible says to do?
 
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srkbdk:
Is it not in the Bible that “all generations shall call me blessed” why is it so hard for them to do what the Bible says to do?
Because then they’d have to be Catholic, and that scares them! 🙂
 
O.K. the best responce is a combination of Old Testament and New Testament, remember Jesus is the begining of the NT so, much abouT Mary, is from the OT. Mary, prior to her “annunciation” was under a vow of virginity, this vow is renewed during the annunciation in her accecptance of her divine mission. Now, read the OT. Numbers chaps 27 - 30, (i don’t have my Bible with me or I’d be more exact) this deals with a man taking a woman into his house as a wifw who is under a “vow” If he knows of the vow, which he does according to Mt, and does not make her break this vow, he must NEVER make her break it. This is under the Jewish Law, now I suppose, Mary and Joe, being pious, upright Jews, who by the way had each been visited by an angel, COULD have said oh the heck with the Law, but ya know, I HIGHLY doubt it. BTW, point out to your SIL that in Gn (around) 4 or 5, Lot is referred to as Abrahams “brother” when in fact we know he is Lots’ uncle. That’s when Lot was captured and Abraham went to save him, i can’t recall the exact verse.
 
Where were these siblings when Jesus hung on the cross? Jewish tradition would have His siblings look after Mary, the Mother. Why would He tell John to take care of her, if there were other sibs? :rolleyes:
 
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Tom:
Numbers chaps 27 - 30, (i don’t have my Bible with me or I’d be more exact)
BTW, point out to your SIL that in Gn (around) 4 or 5, Lot is referred to as Abrahams “brother” when in fact we know he is Lots’ uncle. That’s when Lot was captured and Abraham went to save him, i can’t recall the exact verse.
Sorry for the incorrect verses, should have been Nm Chap 30
and abram an Lot, in the KJV Gn 14, 14
 
The point made about who was standing at the foot of the cross is an excellent one.
Especially considering that “brothers” of the lord supposedly existed.

Jesus handed his mother over to St. John at that moment.
He would not have done so if she had other sons. Correct?

Also - the part where scripture says the brothers and sisters of the Lord were present along with Mary.

I have often wondered if that was used in a more spiritual term.
We know the early christians referred to each other as “brothers and sisters.”

So, I wonder if those people with Mary were actually a group of early christians who possibly traveled around with her?
Maybe they were a group who administered charitable functions?
I imagine Mary would have been the sort of person to help the poor - maybe she organized a group to help her? And could they have been referred to as “brothers and sisters” of the Lord out of their spiritual connection to Him?
 
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Dadof9:
Where were these siblings when Jesus hung on the cross? Jewish tradition would have His siblings look after Mary, the Mother. Why would He tell John to take care of her, if there were other sibs? :rolleyes:
Yup.

Why would Jesus, who perfectly followed the law, decide to break the law by giving his Mother into a non-family member’s hand?

The law required the oldest son to take care of his mother if her husband died, so that she would not wind up starving. If the oldest son died, the second oldest would take the place, and so on and so on.

Jesus didn’t have a younger brother. If He did, He was required by Mosaic law to give responsibility of His mother to the younger brother, and the younger brother would be required to be at the crucifixion.

Of course, this is protestantism’s way of saying that Jesus sinned, and if this is true that Jesus sinned, then its time to buy some BobCatholic brand Yarmulkes 🙂
 
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Lorarose:
Also - the part where scripture says the brothers and sisters of the Lord were present along with Mary.

I have often wondered if that was used in a more spiritual term.
We know the early christians referred to each other as “brothers and sisters.”

So, I wonder if those people with Mary were actually a group of early christians who possibly traveled around with her?
Maybe they were a group who administered charitable functions?
I imagine Mary would have been the sort of person to help the poor - maybe she organized a group to help her? And could they have been referred to as “brothers and sisters” of the Lord out of their spiritual connection to Him?
Several possibilities, one, the language spoken by Jesus was aramaic, and Hebrew, NOT greek. The words used (please look them up, there are about 25 different spellings) equate to “kinsman” not brother or sister, if you have a KJV Bible look up Gn 14, 14, Lot is referred to as Abrams “brother” in the NAB it says “nephew”, which of course he was, each case is not really correct, again in Hebrew, the correct translation would be “kinsman” NAV uses nephew because from the rest of the text that is what the relationship is.

The “brothers and sisters” of the Lord were thought to be children of Joseph from a previous marriage, but not Mary. This is affirmed by non Scriptural writings like the protoevangelum of James. Be careful reading the non Scriptural writings, they are NOT guaranteed to be free from error, but it does give an possibility.

Again, as you said ALL were “brothers and sisters”, read His Words, who is my brother sister, mother? He is talking to us right now! If we’re worried about His brothers and sisters, we’re missing the point.
 
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