Mary's Perpetual Virginity? Praying to Saints?


#1

I received a list of nearly a thousand apologetic scripture verses in over 50 categories. Awesome list and almost everything makes perfect sense but these:

What do these scriptures have to do with Mary’s perpetual virginity? (that is where they were listed)

Some help recognizing the theology here or perhaps some direction as to where these should actually be located would be a blessing.

John 7:3-4
3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 No one works in secret if he wants to be known publicly. If you do these things, manifest yourself to the world.”See next verse

Mark 3:21
21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Matthew 28:20
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

1 Timothy 4:13
13 Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.

1 Corinthians 15:25
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

Luke 1:80
80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Exodus 13:2
2 Consecrate to me every firstborn; whatever opens the womb among the Israelites, whether of human being or beast, belongs to me.

And what do these have to do with intercessory prayer to the Saints?

1 Peter 2:5
5 and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Mark 10:18
18 Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

Matthew 25:23
23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

John 10:11-16
11 I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. 13 This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.

John 21:15-17
Jesus and Peter
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Ephesians 4:11
11 And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,

Hebrews 3:1
1 Therefore, holy “brothers,” sharing in a heavenly calling, reflect on Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession

Hebrews 7:24
24 but he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away.

Hebrews 9:12-13
12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed

Revelation 1:6
6 who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever [and ever]. Amen.

Revelation 5:10
10 You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”


#2

Actually, I was hoping that someone else would respond to this thread, but since about 200 people have declined I will offer some possible explanations. An exercise of trying to guess what another person is thinking is filled with all kinds of pitfalls.

In Hebrew culture there is a tremendous respect for elders. Younger siblings do not challenge or confront older siblings. It would just be considered too disrespectful. The siblings above instruct, command?, correct, and set out to control or “sieze” Jesus. According to Hebrew culture these siblings must be older than Jesus as we can reasonably rule out that they are unbelievably rude. Since Mary was a virgin when she had Jesus, these siblings must not be Mary’s biological children although possibly they are her step-children.

These verses could be used as a rebuttal to the Protestant objection based on the word “until.” For more context see

defendingthebride.com/ma4/until.html

This verse could be used as a rebuttal to the Protestant argument based on the word “firstborn.” For more context see

defendingthebride.com/ma4/until.html#firstborn

The reference to sheep not of this fold could be used as an argument for sheep up in heaven. Or perhaps grouped together they could be used as an argument for the Papacy. Different gifts for different people could be used to show that it is not just “Me and Jesus.” There is a hierarchical aspect to the Church. We should listen, believe and obey what God tells us through the hierarchical members of the Church, the Pope. Therefore, we should accept what the Church teaches on the intercessory prayers of the Saints because the Church has the authority to teach us. For more context on Hierarchy see

defendingthebride.com/ch/hand.html#5

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#3

I don’t believe I have heard this argument used, but I believe a strong argument for the prayers of the Saints in Heaven could be made that is based on Christ’s Priesthood. A Priest makes sacrifice to God for the sanctification of others. Christ is our High Priest. As noted in the verses above we somehow share in that Priesthood. His Priesthood last forever. **Hebrews 7:24. **Therefore, that suggests that our share in that Priesthood also lasts forever. So, the Saints in heaven can offer a sacrifice of prayer that is connected and united to Christ’s Priesthood for the spiritual well-being of those here on earth.

I would not suggest that you just throw these verses at a Protestant and say, “Read these verses. This explains why the Saints can intercede for us in heaven.”

Rather, an indirect approach may work better because your conclusion is based on several premises that must be established first. I suggest you begin by quoting the scripture verses that say Christians here on earth should pray for one another. Then submit the question, “What value is it for one Christian to pray for another? God already loves that person more than the person praying for them. The prayers of the first do not increase God’s love or concern for the other? So why does God want this? What is going on?”

Scripture commands it. So, obviously it is a good thing to do.

Work on developing this conversation. And guide them into seeing the following

Now, Jesus is not saying that He, Jesus, is not good. Rather, everything that God effects or affects is at least partially good precisely because God is all good. Jesus, in my opinion, is pointing out that All goodness come from God. God is so Good that He shares His goodness with us. Only by yielding to His grace in us can we do good. And His grace does make our actions and in this case it makes our prayers good. By being connected to Jesus’ Priestly ministry, the things we do like offering prayers, in Christ, while here on earth for our fellow Christians here on earth is a good thing.

After you develop that point …

Then bring out how Christ is a Priest forever. Therefore, our connection to that Priesthood lasts forever. Therefore, the Christian who goes to heaven can still offer holy prayers to Jesus for the Christians here on earth. Death cannot conquer the work or power of Jesus Christ.

No doubt there are many questions left unanswered on the issue of the intercessory prayers of the Saints. Some of them are answered here

defendingthebride.com/mary.html#obj

In summary, I suggest that your thousands of verses might be very useful, but only if you provide the context. As observed above an argument that might be obvious to one person might not connect at all with another person.

I hope this helps. You might contact the person who wrote down or sent you the verses to explain his thoughts more.
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#4

Praying to saints explained:

catholic.com/tracts/praying-to-the-saints

And for Mary’s perpetual virginity:

catholic.com/magazine/articles/the-case-for-mary%E2%80%99s-perpetual-virginity

catholic.com/tracts/mary-ever-virgin

Peace,
Ed


#5

This by itself persuades me that Mary was ever-virgin:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God…"

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”


#6

Thanks guys but I have no problem with Mary’s perpetual Virginity or the idea of praying to the Saints for help.

In fact I’m trying to bolster the Catholic teaching with scripture references for those who believe in the Bible but not the Catholic Church.

So my question still stands, if I quote the scripture passages (in my original post) how do I explain what these mean in this context? If I as a Catholic believer cannot see the relevance of these passages I can’t expect a non-believer to understand them. I have since learned that some passages I had previously questioned about Infant Baptism had significance through the baptism of entire families. I so noted this in my project. I simply need an explanation of the above passages so they will make sense to the reader.

That’s precisely why I’m searching for help here. I’m trying to create a comprehensive apologetics tool that can be used by Catholics to explain our faith.

Shooting bible verses back and forth is wholly unproductive. But since the majority of non Catholic beliefs are erroneously attributed to the Catholic “Lack of scripture” giving examples of why we believe in what we do, based on scripture is a valuable tool in our kit.

The issue at hand is that I need to at least include a preamble to a few of these verses that explains why they relate to the referring subject matter.

Yeah, I’ve tried that, he is a priest at a distant Parish and he failed to respond for so long I resorted to posting here. I’ve since found out (He e-mailed me just this morning) that he’s been on pilgrimage and retreat for a few months and will be calling to discuss my issues at length.

So between him and you all, I think I’m well on my way to completing this task. When it is finished, I’ll post a link for your comments!

And JohnR77… thanks for your insightful comments.


#7

“If I as a Catholic believer cannot see the relevance of these passages I can’t expect a non-believer to understand them.” I don’t use verses that aren’t relevant to me, even if someone else finds them compelling.


#8

Isn’t that the basis for all Protestant interpretation of the scriptures? Personal interpretation and acceptance or rejection of scripture that doesn’t agree with one’s beliefs?

I can certainly delete verses I don’t understand, but I find it much more satisfying to understand them in their context and be able to explain the relevancy to the topic based on Catholic teaching.

I’m just hoping someone can help me out with this…

Thanks!


#9

John 7:3-4
3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 No one works in secret if he wants to be known publicly. If you do these things, manifest yourself to the world.”See next verse

Mark 3:21
21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

I believe these verses are cited as evidence that Jesus’ “brothers” were older than him. The phrases "[They] said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea,’ " and, “They set out to seize him,” are supposed to illustrate that they were older than Jesus, because it was supposedly against Jewish customs for younger brothers to give advice to older brothers.

I say supposedly, not because I don’t believe that, but because I’ve never done any research to see if that’s true.

Now, you may ask, why would it matter to Mary’s perpetual virginity whether these “brothers” were older than Jesus or not? The reason is because the Scriptures say that Jesus was Mary’s firstborn. If these brothers were older than Jesus, that rules out them being sons of Mary, because one of them would have been the firstborn, rather than Jesus.

If those “brothers” were not sons of Mary, but Mary had only one son, Jesus, that supports her perpetual virginity because, if she had had ordinary sexual relations with Joseph, she would be likely to have had other children. Since Jesus’ “brothers” were not sons of Mary, that indicates that Mary had only one child, and did not have normal sexual relations with Joseph.

Does that make sense?

Matthew 28:201 Timothy 4:131 Corinthians 15:25Luke 1:80

I believe these verses are cited to show that the word “until” does not always imply a change. Some people argue that Matthew 1:25 contradicts Mary’s perpetual virginity because it says Joseph “knew her not until she brought forth her firstborn son.” These verses are cited to show that “until” does not always imply a change, because they all say that something happened “until” a certain time while also implying that it continued afterward. Similarly, it is argued that Joseph did not have relations with Mary “until” Jesus was born, but that is no proof that he had relations with her afterward, because that’s not what “until” means in the New Testament.

Does that make sense?

Exodus 13:2
2 Consecrate to me every firstborn; whatever opens the womb among the Israelites, whether of human being or beast, belongs to me.

I believe this verse is cited to show that the word “firstborn” does not imply that there was a “secondborn,” a “thirdborn,” and so forth. Some Protestants argue that Mary had to have children after Jesus because there would be no reason to call Jesus the “firstborn” if Mary didn’t have other children to distinguish Him from. Jesus is called firstborn in Luke 2:7 and Matthew 1:25.

Exodus 13:2, however, calls children “firstborn” from the moment they are born, before any others are born. Even the mother of an only child had to follow the law about firstborn sons. Therefore, Jesus was a “firstborn,” but it does not follow that there were other children that He was being distinguished from.

Does that make sense?

1 Peter 2:5Mark 10:18

I don’t know why these two are cited.

Matthew 25:23
23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

I sometimes cite this verse to show that the saints have responsibilities. This supports the intercession of the saints because it supports the idea that some saints are patrons of certain causes, which is another way of saying that they are in charge of certain things, as this verse says. I think it only makes sense that if you are having spiritual trouble with something, you ought to go to the person who is in charge of that matter. And this verse says the saints are in charge of different things. Therefore, we should go to the saints about issues we are having spiritual trouble with.

Does that make sense?

John 10:11-16John 21:15-17Ephesians 4:11Hebrews 3:1Hebrews 7:24Hebrews 9:12-13Revelation 1:6Revelation 5:10

I don’t know why these verses are cited to support the intercession of the saints. Are you sure they are cited for that topic rather than some other topic?

If so, perhaps someone else’s reply can help.


#10

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