Biblical Proofs Against Mary's Perpetual Virginity


#1

Greetings,

I’ve been attending a Wesleyan church. At one of the bible studies that the pastor has, it was mentioned that Christ had brothers and sisters from Mary and Joseph’s union after Christ was born. It seemed so matter of fact.

I grew up Catholic and never questioned her being ever Virgin. I still don’t for the most part, but I have been reading some articles from the Protestant perspective.

Is the Perpetual Virginity of Mary a Biblical View?

The Alleged Perpetual Virginity of Mary

How would you counter these arguments?

Thanks!


#2

An important historical document which supports the teaching of Mary’s perpetual virginity is the Protoevangelium of James, which was written probably less than sixty years after the conclusion of Mary’s earthly life (around A.D. 120), when memories of her life were still vivid in the minds of many.

According to the world-renowned patristics scholar, Johannes Quasten: “The principal aim of the whole writing [Protoevangelium of James] is to prove the perpetual and inviolate virginity of Mary before, in, and after the birth of Christ” (Patrology, 1:120–1).

To begin with, the Protoevangelium records that when Mary’s birth was prophesied, her mother, St. Anne, vowed that she would devote the child to the service of the Lord, as Samuel had been by his mother (1 Sam. 1:11). Mary would thus serve the Lord at the Temple, as women had for centuries (1 Sam. 2:22), and as Anna the prophetess did at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:36–37). A life of continual, devoted service to the Lord at the Temple meant that Mary would not be able to live the ordinary life of a child-rearing mother. Rather, she was vowed to a life of perpetual virginity.

However, due to considerations of ceremonial cleanliness, it was eventually necessary for Mary, a consecrated “virgin of the Lord,” to have a guardian or protector who would respect her vow of virginity. Thus, according to the Protoevangelium, Joseph, an elderly widower who already had children, was chosen to be her spouse. (This would also explain why Joseph was apparently dead by the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, since he does not appear during it in the gospels, and since Mary is entrusted to John, rather than to her husband Joseph, at the crucifixion).

According to the Protoevangelium, Joseph was required to regard Mary’s vow of virginity with the utmost respect. The gravity of his responsibility as the guardian of a virgin was indicated by the fact that, when she was discovered to be with child, he had to answer to the Temple authorities, who thought him guilty of defiling a virgin of the Lord. Mary was also accused of having forsaken the Lord by breaking her vow. Keeping this in mind, it is an incredible insult to the Blessed Virgin to say that she broke her vow by bearing children other than her Lord and God, who was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The perpetual virginity of Mary has always been reconciled with the biblical references to Christ’s brethren through a proper understanding of the meaning of the term “brethren.” The understanding that the brethren of the Lord were Jesus’ stepbrothers (children of Joseph) rather than half-brothers (children of Mary) was the most common one until the time of Jerome (fourth century). It was Jerome who introduced the possibility that Christ’s brethren were actually his cousins, since in Jewish idiom cousins were also referred to as “brethren.” The Catholic Church allows the faithful to hold either view, since both are compatible with the reality of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

Today most Protestants are unaware of these early beliefs regarding Mary’s virginity and the proper interpretation of “the brethren of the Lord.” And yet, the Protestant Reformers themselves—Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli—honored the perpetual virginity of Mary and recognized it as the teaching of the Bible, as have other, more modern Protestants.

The Protoevangelium of James

“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by [St. Anne], saying, ‘Anne! Anne! The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.’ And Anne said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in the holy things all the days of its life.’ . . . And [from the time she was three] Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there” (Protoevangelium of James 4, 7 [A.D. 120]).

“And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of priests, saying, ‘Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord?’ And they said to the high priest, ‘You stand by the altar of the Lord; go in and pray concerning her, and whatever the Lord shall manifest to you, that also will we do.’ . . . [A]nd he prayed concerning her, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him saying, ‘Zechariah! Zechariah! Go out and assemble the widowers of the people and let them bring each his rod, and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. . . . And Joseph [was chosen]. . . . And the priest said to Joseph, ‘You have been chosen by lot to take into your keeping the Virgin of the Lord.’ But Joseph refused, saying, ‘I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl’” (ibid., 8–9).

“And Annas the scribe came to him [Joseph] . . . and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest and said to him, ‘Joseph, whom you did vouch for, has committed a grievous crime.’ And the priest said, ‘How so?’ And he said, ‘He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord and has married her by stealth’” (ibid., 15).

“And the priest said, ‘Mary, why have you done this? And why have you brought your soul low and forgotten the Lord your God?’ . . . And she wept bitterly saying, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I am pure before him, and know not man’” (ibid.).

catholic.com/tract/mary-ever-virgin


#3

Origen

“The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity” (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).

Hilary of Poitiers

“If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Mary’s sons and not those taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ and to John, ‘Behold your mother’ [John 19:26–27), as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate” (Commentary on Matthew 1:4 [A.D. 354]).

Athanasius

“Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary” (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).

Epiphanius of Salamis

“We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit” (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]).

“And to holy Mary, [the title] ‘Virgin’ is invariably added, for that holy woman remains undefiled” (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6 [A.D. 375]).

Jerome

“[Helvidius] produces Tertullian as a witness [to his view] and quotes Victorinus, bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian, I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel—that he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. [By discussing such things we] are . . . following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against [the heretics] Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man” (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).

“We believe that God was born of a virgin, because we read it. We do not believe that Mary was married after she brought forth her Son, because we do not read it. . . . You [Helvidius] say that Mary did not remain a virgin. As for myself, I claim that Joseph himself was a virgin, through Mary, so that a virgin Son might be born of a virginal wedlock” (ibid., 21).

Didymus the Blind

“It helps us to understand the terms ‘first-born’ and ‘only-begotten’ when the Evangelist tells that Mary remained a virgin ‘until she brought forth her first-born son’ [Matt. 1:25]; for neither did Mary, who is to be honored and praised above all others, marry anyone else, nor did she ever become the Mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin” (The Trinity 3:4 [A.D. 386]).

Ambrose of Milan

“Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of material virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son” (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388]).

Pope Siricius I

“You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord’s body, that court of the eternal king” (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).

Augustine

“In being born of a Virgin who chose to remain a Virgin even before she knew who was to be born of her, Christ wanted to approve virginity rather than to impose it. And he wanted virginity to be of free choice even in that woman in whom he took upon himself the form of a slave” (Holy Virginity 4:4 [A.D. 401]).

“It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?” (Sermons 186:1 [A.D. 411]).

“Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband” (Heresies 56 [A.D. 428]).

Leporius

“We confess, therefore, that our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, born of the Father before the ages, and in times most recent, made man of the Holy Spirit and the ever-virgin Mary” (Document of Amendment 3 [A.D. 426]).


#4

That’s all well and good, but one of those articles refutes explicitly that writing as it is not scripture.


#5

Perhaps the two most commonly employed texts by those who deny Mary’s perpetual virginity are:

Matthew 13:55-56: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brethren James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all of his sisters with us?”

and:

Matthew 1:24-25: “And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn [Greek, prototokon] son: and he called his name JESUS” (Douay-Rheims).

A surface reading of these texts seems to raise some questions. If Jesus had brethren (brothers) and sisters, doesn’t this mean that Mary had other children? If Jesus was Mary’s firstborn, doesn’t this imply there was at least a second-born? And doesn’t “he knew her not till” imply that he “knew her” at some point thereafter? We’ll begin with Matthew 13:55-56.

Oh, brother!

First, we must understand that the term brother has a wide semantic range in Scripture. It can mean not only a blood brother but an extended relative or even a spiritual brother. Abraham and Lot are classic examples of “brother” being used for an extended relation (see Genesis 13:8 and 14:12). Though they were actually uncle and nephew, they called one another “brother.” Moreover, in the New Testament, Jesus told us to call one another “brothers” (see Matthew 23:8). Obviously, this doesn’t infer that all Christians have the same physical mother.

Second, if we examine more closely the example of James, one of these four “brothers" of the Lord mentioned in Matthew 13:55, we discover him to actually be a cousin or some other variety of relative of Jesus rather than a blood brother. For example, St. Paul tells us:

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:18-19).

Notice, the James of whom St. Paul speaks was both a “brother of the Lord” and an “apostle.” There are only two apostles named James among the twelve. The first James is revealed to have been a son of Zebedee. He would most likely not be the James St. Paul speaks of in Galatians, because this James, the brother of John, was martyred early on, according to Acts 12:1-2. And even if it were him, his father was Zebedee. If he were the blood brother of the Lord, his father would have been Joseph.

The second James who was an apostle, according to Luke 6:15-16, is most likely to whom St. Paul refers, and his father was Alphaeus, not Joseph. Thus, James the apostle and Jesus were not blood brothers.

Easy enough. However, some will argue that the James spoken of in Galatians 1 was not an apostle—or, at least, he was not one of the Twelve. Though this is a possibility—there are others in the New Testament, such as St. Barnabas in Acts 14:14, who are referred to as “apostles” in a looser sense—the argument from Scripture is weak.

When St. Paul wrote about going “up to Jerusalem” to see St. Peter, he was writing about an event that occurred many years earlier, shortly after he had converted. He was basically going up to the apostles to receive approval lest he “should be running or had run in vain.” It would be more likely he would have here been speaking about apostles proper, or the Twelve.

But for those inclined to argue the point, the Catechism of the Catholic Church uses another line of reasoning:

[T]he Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus,” are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary.” They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression (CCC 500).

The Catechism here refers to the fact that, fourteen chapters after we find the “brothers” of the Lord listed as “James, Joses, Simon and Judas,” we find “James and Joses” mentioned again, but this time their mother is revealed as being named Mary—but not Mary the mother of Jesus. The conclusion becomes apparent: “James and Joses” are “brothers” of Jesus, but they are not blood brothers.

The problem of the “firstborn”

So what about Matthew 1:24-25 and the claim Jesus was Mary’s “firstborn son” and that Joseph “knew her not until” Christ was born? Does St. Matthew here teach Mary to have had other children?

Exodus 13:1-2 reveals something important about the firstborn in Israel:

The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn; whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and beast, is mine.”

The firstborn were not given the title because there was a second-born. They were called firstborn at birth. Hence, Jesus being referred to as firstborn in Matthew 1 does not require there to be more siblings after him.


#6

cont.

Propositions about a preposition

Scripture stating Joseph “knew [Mary] not until she brought forth her firstborn” would not necessarily mean they “knew” each other after she brought forth Jesus. Until is often used in Scripture as part of an idiomatic expression similar to our own usage in English. I may say to you, “Until we meet again, God bless you.” Does that mean after we meet again, God curse you? By no means! A phrase like this is used to emphasize what is being described before the “until” is fulfilled. It is not intended to say anything about the future beyond that point. Here are some biblical examples that may help clarify things:
•II Samuel 6:23: “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to [unti] the day of her death.” Does this mean she had children after she died?
•I Timothy 4:13: “Until I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching.” Does this mean Timothy should stop teaching after St. Paul comes?
•I Corinthians 15:25: “For he [Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” Does this mean Christ’s reign will end? By no means! Luke 1:33 says, “[H]e will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

In recent years, some have argued that because Matthew 1:25 uses the Greek words heos hou for “until,” whereas the texts I mention above from the New Testament use heos alone, there is a difference in meaning. Heos hou, it is argued, would indicate the action of the first clause does not continue. Thus, Mary and Joseph “not having come together” would have then ended after Jesus was born.

The problems with this theory begin with the fact that there is no scholarship available that confirms it. In fact, the evidence proves the contrary. Heos hou and heos are used interchangeably and have the same meaning. Acts 25:21 should suffice to clear up the matter:

But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be held until (Greek, heos hou) I could send him to Caesar.

Does this text mean that St. Paul would not be held in custody after he was “sent” to Caesar? Not according to the biblical record. He would be held in custody while in transit (see Acts 27:1) and after he arrived in Rome for a time (see Acts 29:16). The action of the main clause did not cease with heos hou.

A positive outlook

Having dispatched some of the objections to Mary’s perpetual virginity, perhaps some positive reasons for faith would be in order. In my book Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines, I give eight positive reasons, but for brevity’s sake, we will briefly consider three:

  1. In Luke 1:34, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, she asked the question, literally translated from the Greek, “How shall this be, since I know not man?” This question makes no sense unless Mary had a vow of virginity.

When we consider Mary and Joseph were already “espoused,” according to verse 27 of this same chapter, we understand Mary and Joseph to then have had what would be akin to a ratified marriage in the New Covenant. They were married! That would mean St. Joseph would have had the right to the marriage bed at that point. Normally, after the espousal the husband would prepare a home for his new bride and then come and receive her into his home where the union would be consummated. This is precisely why St. Joseph intended to “divorce her quietly” (Matt. 1:19) when he discovered she was pregnant.

This background is significant, because a newly married woman would not ask the question, “How shall this be?” She would know! Unless, of course, that woman had a vow of virginity! Mary believed the message but wanted to know how this was going to be accomplished. This indicates she was not planning on the normal course of events for her future with St. Joseph.

  1. In John 19:26, Jesus gave his mother to the care of St. John even though by law the next eldest sibling would have the responsibility to care for her. It is unthinkable to believe that Jesus would take his mother away from his family in disobedience to the law.

Some will claim Jesus did this because his brothers and sisters were not there. They had left him. Thus, Jesus committed his mother to St. John, who was faithful and present at the foot of the cross.

This claim reveals a low and unbiblical Christology. As St. John tells us, Jesus “knew all men” (John 2:25). If St. James were his blood brother, Jesus would have known he would be faithful along with his “brother” Jude. The fact is, Jesus had no brothers and sisters, so he had the responsibility, on a human level, to take care of his mother.

  1. Mary is depicted as the spouse of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. When Mary asked the angel how she was going to conceive a child in Luke 1:34, the angel responded:

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

This is nuptial language hearkening back to Ruth 3:8, where Ruth said to Boaz “spread your skirt over me” when she revealed to him his duty to marry her according to the law of Deuteronomy 25. When Mary then came up pregnant, St. Joseph would have been required to divorce her, because she would then belong to another (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Jeremiah 3:1). When St. Joseph found out that “the other” was the Holy Spirit, the idea of St. Joseph having conjugal relations with Mary would not have been a consideration for a “just man” like St. Joseph.

One final thought

An obvious question remains: Why did St. Joseph then “take [Mary] his wife,” according to Matthew 1:24, if she belonged to the Holy Spirit?

catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/how-we-know-mary-was-a-perpetual-virgin-0


#7

cont.

The Holy Spirit is Mary’s spouse, but St. Joseph was her spouse and protector on Earth. Tthis is not a contradiction. All Christians have a nuptial relationship with our Lord. The Church is, after all, “the bride of Christ.” But in the case of Mary and Joseph, Joseph was essential in the life of Mary, his spouse, for at least two obvious reasons. First, as St. Matthew points out in his genealogy in chapter 1, St. Joseph was in line to be a successor of David as King of Israel. Thus, if Jesus was to be the true “son of David” and king of Israel (see II Samuel 7:14; Hebrews 1:5; Revelation 19:16, 22:16), he needed to be the son of St. Joseph. As the only son of St. Joseph, even though adopted, he would have been in line for the throne.

Also, in a culture that did not take kindly to espoused women becoming pregnant by someone other than their spouse, Mary would have been in mortal danger. Thus, St. Joseph became Mary’s earthly spouse and protector as well as the protector of the child Jesus.

catholic.com/magazine/on…etual-virgin-0


#8

All biblical history is not “scripture”. It is an “authentic” historical document always accepted by the Church since its earliest days.

The “Trinity” is not in “scripture”. Do other Christians reject it? If not, why not? ANSWER: because the early church always understood the Trinity to be “true”.

Nothing is “refuted”.


#9

See also:

catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/more-reasons-for-marys-perpetual-virginity

catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/how-to-explain-the-perpetual-virginity-of-mary

catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/marys-perpetual-virginity


#10

For one, why does it not being scripture mean it doesn’t matter? This is how the early Church understood Mary’s perpetual virginity and specifically how it understood the scriptural passages the Protestants take issue with. If Protestants wish to believe something other than what the early Church believed regarding a particular scripture passage, it’s on them to substantiate it. If they wish to make a “best guess reconstruction” of the faith and what scripture meant 1600 years (and more) removed from it, I see no reason to go with that over what the apostolic and early Church confessed.

Second, there are two other alternatives. First, perhaps one of the most common views of the Church Fathers, Saint Joseph has often been understood to have been a widower who had previously been married. The “brothers of Jesus” therefore could quite simply be Jesus’ step brothers (and sisters): the children of Joseph raised under the same roof and who Jesus grew up with. A second alternative: cousins. It was not uncommon for adult brothers and sisters to raise their families in close quarters with each other. Jesus could very likely have, after the family’s return from Egypt, grown up alongside many of his cousins/kinsmen (whether the Blessed Virgin Mary’s family or Saint Joseph’s family). Aramaic and Hebrew didn’t have a specific word for cousin, and the translation into the Greek could easily have been a translation of how Jesus was commonly referred to in the Aramaic with his kinsman, who may have been first cousins, second cousins, once removed cousins, uncles, aunts, step-nieces, step-nephews. If in the native language (Aramaic) the cousins of Jesus were casually referred to as his brothers, then that will carry over into the Greek, even though Greek does have the distinction, because it’s still how they referred to themselves. Recall that Lot was Abraham’s nephew, but many translations of the Bible use the word “brother” to describe their relationship in some passages.


#11
  1. Each and every uniquely protestant doctrine is man-made. In this case, John Wesley. 1,700 years later.
  2. The devil is prevented from attacking Mary. Thus, he dupes well-meaning Christians into doing his work for him. Gabriel told Mary that she would bear “a Son” - singular. Ask them to name the “Children of Mary” from the bible. Jesus.
  3. Where did Jesus teach that those who follow Him must run to a collection of scriptures to know the truth? He did not. Man did.

#12

I would ask the teacher who was wrong about Mary. The early reformers agreed with the Catholic teaching of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. Are they wrong or is the interpretation this group holds wrong. Which of course leads to the obvious ?, if there is differences in views who is going to “decide” who is right without guidance from the Holy Spirit to lead without error in matters of faith and morals? THE PROTESTANT REFORMERS ON MARY
When Fundamentalists study the writings of the “Reformers” (or founders of their particular sect)* on Mary, the Mother of Jesus, they will find that the “Reformers” accepted almost every major Marian doctrine and considered these doctrines to be both scriptural and fundamental to the historic Christian Faith.

**Martin Luther:
**Perpetual Virginity
Again throughout his life Luther held that Mary’s perpetual virginity was an article of faith for all Christians - and interpreted Galatians 4:4 to mean that Christ was “born of a woman” alone.
"It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a Virgin."2

John Calvin:
It has been said that John Calvin belonged to the second generation of the Reformers and certainly his theology of double predestination governed his views on Marian and all other Christian doctrine . Although Calvin was not as profuse in his praise of Mary as Martin Luther he did not deny her perpetual virginity. The term he used most commonly in referring to Mary was “Holy Virgin”.
"Elizabeth called Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God.“7
"Helvidius has shown himself too ignorant, in saying that Mary had several sons, because mention is made in some passages of the brothers of Christ.” Calvin translated “brothers” in this context to mean cousins or relatives.
"It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of his Son, granted her the highest honor.
“To this day we cannot enjoy the blessing brought to us in Christ without thinking at the same time of that which God gave as adornment and honour to Mary, in willing her to be the mother of his only-begotten Son.”
*
****“It was given to her what belongs to no creature, that in the flesh she should bring forth the Son of God.”
“I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.”

Zwingli

used Exodus 4:22 to defend the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity.
“I esteem immensely the Mother of God, the ever chaste, immaculate Virgin Mary.”
"Christ … was born of a most undefiled Virgin."Ulrich Zwingli:

“It was fitting that such a holy Son should have a holy Mother.”
“The more the honor and love of Christ increases among men, so much the esteem and honor given to Mary should grow.”

catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/general/mary.htm


#13

Hhmm? How odd Jesus had siblings and not one ever bothers to join Him for three years?


#14

As another poster touched upon, just because a certain truth is not written explicitly, does not mean that the the truth is not there to be found. In fact, when one begins to excavate the truth in Scripture, as demonstrated here by other posters in rightful defence of Our Lady’s Perpetual Virginity, then the treasure is revealed and shines most brightly.


#15

But Scripture itself does not offer ‘proof’ against Mary’s perpetual Virginity.

Here’s the thing – even Martin Luther and John Calvin, among the first and most ‘successful’ Protestants-- believed in Mary’s perpetual Virginity.

Yes, they --reading ‘non Latin’ bibles, reading ‘for themselves’, reading the very same texts that later were cited as ‘proof’–argued FOR the perpetual Virginity, and criticized as wrong the citations dragged out now of ‘Brethren’ and ‘until’.

Why is that?

And why do the ‘Biblical proof’ articles never mention just how ‘new’ this teaching is, so new that the first Protestants themselves never believed it?

Do they really believe that never in 1500 years of people reading the Bible --and yes, Virginia, there were ‘non-Latin’ bibles so that ye good olde English ‘brethren’ and ‘until’ were known (and their ‘variants’ to French and other ‘vernacular’ languages as well)–did people ‘catch’ these texts?

Or is it possible that it was a redefinition and an insistence on only ‘one’ definition, such narrowing and redefining taking place only from the 17th century or so, which caused this ‘proof text’? Is it possible that it was only by redefining the word ‘until’ to mean only a conditional to be used in situations where there is a before and an after, and that, always and forever, actions which were ‘not’ done in the ‘before’ were always done ‘in the after’, without exception?

Is it possible that a broad and well-known understanding that ‘brethren’ expressed degrees of kinship which were not limited to ‘uterine siblings’ was ‘redefined’ so that the word ‘brethren’ always and only meant those who were full-blood siblings, and never any other kind of relationship?

There is no ‘Biblical proof’ against Mary’s perpetual Virginity. There was not at the time of the apostles. There was not at the time of the setting of the Scriptural canon, either in the 4th century or yet the 16th (take yer choice). There was no proof when the first Christians ‘broke away’ from the universal Church. There is no proof now.

There are only those who seek to redefine Scripture and reinterpret it, some perhaps from honest conviction (people can be wrong without malice), others from long term indoctrination and obstinate determination. They’re still wrong and, God willing, if they are sincere in their desire for Christ, they will be led to the Truth.


#16

The One Holy Catholic (Universal) and Apostolic Church has always taught that there are two sources of Divine Revelation, namely Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. May Our Blessed Lord have mercy on your parents and catechists for not having given you a deeper understanding of the faith into which you were born. To discount that which the Lord has passed down to us through Tradition because it didn’t come from scripture directly is to reject part of His divine revelation which, unless we guard it whole within our hearts, we cannot be saved.

I assume the Wesleyan Church celebrates the Nativity of Our Blessed Lord on December 25. Is that correct? Does your pastor have an explanation of why he celebrates this on December 25, since that date is not mentioned even once in the Holy Scriptures?


#17

Here is an old debate link I found helpful some years back

DID MARY HAVE OTHER CHILDREN?
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=7485548&postcount=8 Link Randy Carson


#18

Hi, Ron!

…I looked it up: “Methodist.”

What is Methodism?

Did you know that their history goes as far back as the 18th century… they are only missing a small chunk of Church history (about 1700 years) so it is not surprising that they would not understand but rather challenge Catholic theology.

…many people believe in ufos; many in sash quash; many in chupa cabra; some in “Biblical proof” of extra terrestrials; some in becoming gods and populating the universe… they all express their belief in a “matter-of-factly” way. Are all of these people correct, because they hold to their belief in a staunch and unyielding way?

There’s not one single passage in Scriptures that states, explicitly, that anyone other than Jesus is the Virgin’s birth child.

If you could travel through time you would find that the early Church believed in the Virgin Birth and that the Virgin did not give birth to any other child.

…now, before you go into your lab and start tinkering with contraptions… just pick up the writings of the early Church (which in a way that is a mode of time travel) and you will discover many Catholic Doctrines that were observed and celebrated from Apostolic times!

Maran atha!

Angel

PS: You’re searching in the wrong place for the Fullness of Faith.


#19

Hi, Ron!

…remember that time travel thing I was talking about?:

Maran atha!

Angel


#20

Hi, Ron!

…quite rightly so; it is not Biblical and it is not non-Catholic; ever exchange words with Jehovah Witnesses? Their “scholars” and “theologians” have correctly translated Scriptures and only their interpretation is true to the Word of Yahweh God–oops, they reject Yahweh God in favor of “Jehovah” a derivative of Yahweh (which I believe was coined by a Catholic Priest)!

…get my drift?

…I am pretty sure that your pastor reads and recommends books authored by Methodists and perhaps all other non-Catholic sources… but they are not Biblical are they?

Maran atha!

Angel


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