Logical conclusion of what mary meant

when she said “how can this be since I know not man”. I believe we can pretty logically argue that Mary meant this to be that she has not known man in the past… we can also logically conclude that she meant that she didn’t plan on having sex in the VERY near future. This would then open the possibility that she may have planned to have marital relations in the distant future…

As I believe the conception of Jesus happened at the annunciation or within a day or two of the annunciation. And Mary probably understood this also.

How do we know this?

The Catholic calendar celebrates the feast of the annunciation on March 25th… what happens exactly 9 months later?

This would lead us to conclude that the most likely explanation is that she conceived at or shortly after the angel visited her.

Otherwise we would have to conclude that the annunciation happened at least a year before she actually conceived

OR

that Jesus was born premature… which in that day and time would be very dangerous and even then you can only get away with a month or two. Typical Jewish betrothals could last for quite a while and Mary may not have planned to actually wed Joseph for many months.

This ‘possibility’ you mention doesn’t logically follow from what you’ve presented. For starters, why then would Mary not have said, “how can this be, since I will not know man until…”? Your assertion here smacks more of eisegesis – reading an opinion into the text – rather than exegesis (reading what the text itself tells us).

As I believe the conception of Jesus happened at the annunciation or within a day or two of the annunciation. And Mary probably understood this also.

Gabriel used the future tense – you ‘will’ conceive in your womb – so, some time in the indefinite future makes sense.

The Catholic calendar celebrates the feast of the annunciation on March 25th… what happens exactly 9 months later?

Umm… the Catholic calendar celebrates the solemnity of Christ’s birth? :rolleyes:

The fact that these two events on the annual calendar are separated exactly by nine months to the day does not imply that they were separated exactly by nine months to the day in real life. :shrug:

You can’t draw the conclusion you’re drawing, simply by looking at the span of time in the Church calendar. By its placement, as you’ve noted, the Church is clearly saying that the Annunciation and Nativity are related; but, that doesn’t mean that the Church is making an assertion about the count of days between the historical Annunciation event and the historical Nativity event.

that Jesus was born premature… which in that day and time would be very dangerous and even then you can only get away with a month or two. Typical Jewish betrothals could last for quite a while and Mary may not have planned to actually wed Joseph for many months.

Huh? ‘Very dangerous’? Umm… that’s why Joseph was confronted with the need to make a decision about taking her into his house. Do you think that he was the only Jewish husband who ever faced dilemma? :wink:

The ‘dangerous’ part would only be the suggestion that adultery was present.

27 - To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 - And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 - Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
30 - And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
31 - Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
32 - He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
33 - And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 - And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
35 - And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Gabriel didn’t specify how much in the future. He just said you will
Gabriel didn’t tell Mary she would immediately conceive until after her question.

Ah… why have sex in the distant future and not the near future? We’re not talking about postmodern power-girls who wait until they’re halfway up the career ladder and living in a swank house in a nice neighborhood to have their 2.1 kids. She was betrothed to be married.

I agree with your conclusion that Mary did not intend to have sex any time soon, and had not had sex before. But it puzzles me why, if she was going to have sex at all, she would wait until long after she’d gotten married. In that time and society, if you don’t have sex with your husband now, you probably will not ever.

As I believe the conception of Jesus happened at the annunciation or within a day or two of the annunciation. And Mary probably understood this also. snip

Agreed, agreed.

If you listen to Scott Richert’s talk about Christmas in the radio archives - I think it’s for December 24th, 2014, or around there - there is a distinct tradition among early Christians to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation around the 25th of March. He considered that rather strong evidence that Christ was actually born on Christmas Day. One of the Church Fathers (I forget who; I think it was Tertullian or Justin Martyr) also mentioned Jesus’ birthday being on the 25th of December.

Nonetheless, this particular tradition is not binding; no one’s required to believe Jesus was conceived on such and such a date, nor born on such and such a date.

Otherwise we would have to conclude that the annunciation happened at least a year before she actually conceived

Why?

[Or] that Jesus was born premature… which in that day and time would be very dangerous and even then you can only get away with a month or two. Typical Jewish betrothals could last for quite a while and Mary may not have planned to actually wed Joseph for many months.

Sorry, I’m a bit thick. Your point is?

Sorry but the logical conclusion is that she planned to never have sex. let’s review.

The angel says " You WILL (future tense) become pregnant.
Mary says " How can this be since I know not man."

She was betrothed at this time and the angel did not say " You are pregnant."
So the angel told her she WILL become pregnant, when she is to be married to a man. Her surprise only makes sense if she intended not to have sex with her husband.

Steveabrous - people like you are miracles.
Of course, such a simple and profound answer. Mary was surprised at the thought of becoming pregnant. It would be no surprise to her if she intended sexual relations after marriage, but the natural expectation.

There is a similar idea when they lost Jesus in the Jerusalem. When they went to Jerusalem it was Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, but no word that other children went as well. And were she not a virgin they would likely have had four or five or more other children. And there would be no reason for Luke not to mention them. But she was a virgin, they had no other children. I like yours much better - it is like it leaves no room for argument.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.