How do we explain Matt 1:24?


My ‘born again’ experience’ was in a Protestant environment. Following that, I have been reading a lot - most of them Protestant authors (Catholic bashers like Rebecca Brown). I have been led to verify and authenticate the quoted verses in these books. I have also read the Poem of the Man God ( Maria V). The more I read from Catholic bashers and started to verify biblical references, I was becoming a stronger and stronger Catholic - (bizarre?).
I have no problem accepting M Mary’s EVER virginity and can defend it fairly well with Scripture. However, I am still struggling to understand this particular verse:
Matt 1: 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

Our Protestant brothers, will insist that this means that whilst M Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born, she bore other children subsequently to Joseph. Please help.



This is actually an easy one. It has to do with the use of the word “until”. Some people don’t realize that this word can be understood in two ways. One can use it in a unlimited way as in: “Little children always get cranky until they have a nap.” But one can also use it in a limited way as in: “He was faithful to his wife until he died”. This doesn’t mean that after he died he was unfaithful. This is the sense in which the word is used in Matt 1:24.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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