Originally Posted by Cachonga
I guess I'm coming in a bit late on this as well, but here's my 2 cents worth -
2 Sam 6:23 uses the word Greek word heos (from the LXX). Matt 1:25 uses a Greek phrase, heos hu, which does indicate a change afterward. That Joseph and Mary DID have relations after the birth of Jesus is (I assert) obvious from Scripture. Let's review - Mary was engaged to Joseph BEFORE she was told she would be the mother of Jesus. Joseph was told in a dream not to be afraid to take Mary as his WIFE (which he did)! There is nothing in Scripture (other than Matt 1:25 where we're told Joseph didn't know Mary UNTIL the birth of Jesus) telling us the marriage was NOT consumated (other than "oral tradition", based (apparently) on human logic, but not backed up anywhere in scripture), so why should we think that Joseph and Mary DIDN'T have normal, marital relations? Furthermore, Matt 13:54-56 and Mark 6:1-3 clearly indicates (actually names) brothers (James, Joses, Simon & Judas) and sisters (plural, so at least 2). Notice, no other relatives were mentioned (other than Joseph and Mary), so the claim that these brothers and sisters are actually cousins (or some other relation) doesn't jive with the context. We can also look to Matt 12:47-50 and Mark 3:31-35 where Mary is traveling with the brothers of Jesus.
In conclusion, I would say that Joseph and Mary definitely did NOT have marital relations before Jesus was born. I would also assert (based on scriptures) that Joseph and Mary DID have normal, marital relations AFTER Jesus was born. I would also point out that even if heos hu doesn't mean there was a change, the bare word "until" doesn't disprove the other evidence provided.
There is no conclusive evidence in Scriptures that Mary had other children aside from Jesus. The Hebrew does not have a word for cousin, but has a word for brother (ach) that would also apply to any relative. Notably, the word was used for the "brothers" of Jesus and it was used to describe the relationship between Abraham and Lot in Genesis 14. The Greek has a word for brother (adelphoi) and the word was used for the "brothers" of Jesus, but it was also used to describe the relationship between Abraham and Lot in Genesis 14 (Septuagint). Thus, the adelphoi was used in the Hebrew context of familial relationship and not in the Greek context.
"[W]hy should we think that Joseph and Mary DIDN'T have normal, marital relations?" Indeed, it would not be irrational to think that way. But that is only based on your assumption. That is not what the teachings (tradition) of the leaders of the early Church taught. It is your assumption vs. the Church's tradition. I'm sorry, but if I will not believe what these leaders, like Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria and Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who were closer than us to the times of the Apostles have taught in favor of the ever-virginity of Mary, why would I believe you?