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Old Oct 31, '11, 11:57 am
Cranch Cranch is offline
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Default Re: Mt. 1:25 No Relations Until She Bore a Son?

As usual I am late to the party, but I just wanted to address the following.
Originally Posted by Mike Harrison View Post
We have the official Catechism of the Catholic Church to guide us. For my Catholic sisters and brothers, refer to section 499. It is very specific in the last sentence. "And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin."

I researched this in the Catechism because I too was troubled by verse 25 in as much as I would like to be an effective apologist for the Church.

Of course, I began by reviewing Mt 1:25 and the notes in the New American Bible. The New American Bible is an approved Bible of the Catholic Church and, in fact, was translated from original scriptures by a large group of Catholic scholars. It has the Nihil Obstat as well as the Imprimatur and was approved by the USCCB on September 30, 2010. What I read caused me concern.

In Mathew Chapter 1, which describes the birth of Jesus, verse 25 in the New American Bible reads "He had no relations with her (Mary) until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus." It references a foot note that reads "[1:25] Until she bore a son: The evangelist is concerned to emphasize that Joseph was not responsible for the conception of Jesus. The Greek word translated as "until" does not imply normal marital conduct after Jesus' birth, nor does it exclude it." (Italics are mine).

The note was ambiguous so I referenced the Catechism. The Catechism underscores the fact that Mary conceived and gave birth to Jesus as a virgin and even cites Mathew 1:18-25 (see Section 497]). It doesn't address Mt. 1:25 specifically though or the idea of Mary remaining a virgin after Jesus' birth. However, section 499 is very specific in the last sentence. "And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin."
Originally Posted by Mike Harrison View Post
What are your thoughts about the ambiguous footnote in our Bible versus the very clear and definitive statement in our Catechism?
My thoughts are the NAB notes are not to be relied upon and this is a perfect example of why not. Instead of taking this opportunity to definitively teach what the Church proclaims on this matter, this note deliberately interjects wording that might possibly foster confusion for a reader (as it did for Mike) regarding the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity. Is the note technically incorrect? No. Is it Catholic? Not in my eyes.

As far as the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur go, the following note (found for example on the title page of the NAB-Basic Youth Edition) is instructive:
The nihil obstat and imprimatur are declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the nihil obstat or imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions or statements expressed.

In other words, in this case, you do not find the NAB notes saying the the Blessed Mother is NOT a Perpetual Virgin. You just find the door left open in the notes. Thankfully, Mike made the wise decision to go to the CCC for an answer to his question.