Mary . . .Wife of a sinner

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walkeke

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An evangelical at work posed this question to me:

If Mary is immaculately concieved and sinless why did God provide for her as a husband and spiritual leader in Joseph, a sinful man.

That was a stumper for me – any answers (of course hopefully rooted in scripture) are most welcome …

Thank you!
 
Wouldn’t a similar question be, why did God provide for Jesus a sinful father (and, according to Evangelicals, a sinful mother)?
 
So that Jesus could be adopted by a direct descendant of David, in fulfillment of the scriptures?
 
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walkeke:
An evangelical at work posed this question to me:

If Mary is immaculately concieved and sinless why did God provide for her as a husband and spiritual leader in Joseph, a sinful man.

That was a stumper for me – any answers (of course hopefully rooted in scripture) are most welcome …

Thank you!
VociMikes point is a good one but I’d follow it with ‘who cares?’. Not to be rude, but what possible difference does this question or any of its answers make? God clearly gave Mary a man for a husband named Joseph (though I’m not sure why they would make a point of Joseph being Mary’s ‘spiritual leader’ - when you are the mother of God, I don’t think you require any addition ‘spiritual leadership’). God clearly became man through the cooperation of Mary and was conceived in her womb.
 
Your friend’s question might stem from a false belief that Mary and Joseph had conjugal relations (and more children) together. Their marriage however was anything but a typical marriage.

Mary’s true spouse (and therefore her spiritual leader) is the Holy Spirit.
 
I often think of St. Joseph and can relate to him. Can you imagine living with two perfect, sinless people? HA :ROFLMAO:

Yet, if we are following Jesus and love his mother (and our mother) Mary, we are also “living with” these sinless people.

While a lot of the time we feel so unworthy to be in their holy presence, we are also SO BLESSED to have them in our lives. If we become holy by being in the presence of God (through prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, reading Sacred Scripture) – just think of HOW HOLY JOSEPH BECAME – being in their presence every day! HOW AWESOME! :dancing:

Besides, if you believe in God’s Providence and His All-Knowing, All-Wise Nature, don’t you think He would pick the perfect foster father for His Son? I think so!
 
According to the Proto-evangelium of James (150 A.D.), Mary was a temple virgin, dedicating herself to God alone and therefore a lifelong committed virgin. Joseph, an older widower, took on Mary as his wife with this understanding and gave her financial support as well as protected her virginity. This book, which as you see dates fairly close to the time of Christ and the Apostles, also explains were Jesus’ brothers and sisters came from (Joseph had children in his previous marriage, Mary became their step-mother so Jesus was their step-brother).
 
The Protevangelium of James does show that those beliefs existed very early on, but we have to be careful using that as a reference. It is not scripture. It doesn’t “prove” anything except that those beliefs about Mary and Joseph indeed existed back then. We have no guarantee that the book is inerrant.
 
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Socrates:
The Protevangelium of James does show that those beliefs existed very early on, but we have to be careful using that as a reference. It is not scripture. It doesn’t “prove” anything except that those beliefs about Mary and Joseph indeed existed back then. We have no guarantee that the book is inerrant.
Proof? No. Evidence? Most certainly.

Here we have a manuscript, written within 150 years of Christ’s birth, that gives a reasonable explanation of Mary and Joseph’s relationship. If you have reliable documents that counter the claims presented in the Protoevangelium of James, please present them.

If you object to the evidence because it is not scripture and has no guarantee that it is “inerrant”, what exactly can be presented as evidence for any historical explanation, of anything?
 
Joseph was a “just man” Mt 1:19. We see several examples of God giving him messages in dreams. I guess my answer is that he was as good a man as one could be, better than I am as I doubt that I am just and I know that I have not had angels give me messages from God.
 
If your friend used that argument to deny the immaculate conception it doesn’t refute it. We can string a line of what if’s and why not’s. Why weren’t Mary’s parents immaculate? How about Joseph’s parents? Why not Joseph’s parent’s pet hampster? Mary was conceived immaculate only by the grace of God. Her salvation was possible only because of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t due to her own graces. Joseph didn’t need to be born immaculate. He was a God loving and just man.
 
Vitus -

I wasn’t saying that I object to the Protoevangelium of James or anything that you were saying. In fact I agree with you. I understand the significance of the P of J and the fact that there seem to be no contemporary refutations of it. My point is that when using such evidence with evangelicals or other sola scriptura types, we need to be very clear to them why exactly it is evidence and of exactly what it is evidence.

I’ve seen a lot of Catholics toss things like that out in discussions with protestants in the same manner that the protestants throw “proof texts” at us. People will often interpret others’ arguments based on their own preconceptions and practices. “Proof texters” will often interpret historical evidence from apocryphal books or from the Church Fathers as if we were proof texting back at them. So while I think it’s important to put that evidence in front of them, it’s equally if not more important to make the case for historical evidence in general. Otherwise a “proof text” that they don’t see as authoritative (since it’s not scripture) will go in one ear and out the other.

As Catholics we don’t believe what we do about Mary because of the Protoevangelium of James. We believe it because of the Church and Tradition. The Protoevangelium is a historical reflection of the Tradition not the source of it. We need to be clear about that when we use it as evidence. That’s all I’m saying.
 
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Vitus:
According to the Proto-evangelium of James (150 A.D.), Mary was a temple virgin, dedicating herself to God alone and therefore a lifelong committed virgin. Joseph, an older widower, took on Mary as his wife with this understanding and gave her financial support as well as protected her virginity. This book, which as you see dates fairly close to the time of Christ and the Apostles, also explains were Jesus’ brothers and sisters came from (Joseph had children in his previous marriage, Mary became their step-mother so Jesus was their step-brother).
We know from Tradition that Joseph was pure and chaste. He is seen carrying lilies in his arms. There was no previous marraige and no other children. The term “brothers” or “brethern” was a term used in that time period as “family” or “kin”. If there were any siblings of Jesus, He would not have given Mary to the Beloved Apostle, John at the foot of the cross because Jewish law had the next son take over the mother’s care.
 
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