Perpertual Virginity of Mary Part Unknown:


#1

I don’t know how times we discussed this topic but it was brought up again in Immaculate Conception thread by Shawn. He writes the following:

I don’t think anyone denies the virgin birth of Jesus. It was not till after the birth of Jesus that they consumated the marriage. After…After…After the birth of Jesus.

What I’m saying is she was not the “ever virgin” that people claim.

You base this on what? Many of the Early Church Fathers affirm that she was base on their interpretation of Scripture.

Let me point out this out:

And indeed it was a virgin, about to marry once for all after her delivery, who gave birth to Christ, in order that each title of sanctity might be fulfilled in Christ’s parentage, by means of a mother who was both virgin, and wife of one husband. Again, when He is presented as an infant in the temple, who is it who receives Him into his hands? Who is the first to recognize Him in spirit? A man just and circumspect,’ and of course no digamist, (which is plain) even (from this consideration), lest (otherwise) Christ should presently be more worthily preached by a woman, an aged widow, and the wife of one man;’ who, living devoted to the temple, was (already) giving in her own person a sufficient token what sort of persons ought to be the adherents to the spiritual temple,–that is, the Church. Such eye-witnesses the Lord in infancy found; no different ones had He in adult age." Tertullian, On Monogamy, 8 (A.D. 213).

“For if Mary, as those declare who with sound mind extol her, had no other son but Jesus, and yet Jesus says to His mother, Woman, behold thy son,’ and not Behold you have this son also,’ then He virtually said to her, Lo, this is Jesus, whom thou didst bear.’ Is it not the case that every one who is perfect lives himself no longer, but Christ lives in him; and if Christ lives in him, then it is said of him to Mary, Behold thy son Christ.’ What a mind, then, must we have to enable us to interpret in a worthy manner this work, though it be committed to the earthly treasure-house of common speech, of writing which any passer-by can read, and which can be heard when read aloud by any one who lends to it his bodily ears?” Origen, Commentary on John, I:6 (A.D. 232).

“Therefore let those who deny that the Son is from the Father by nature and proper to His Essence, deny also that He took true human flesh of Mary Ever-Virgin; for in neither case had it been of profit to us men, whether the Word were not true and naturally Son of God, or the flesh not true which He assumed.” Athanasius, Orations against the Arians, II:70 (A.D. 362).


#2

"And when he had taken her, he knew her not, till she had brought forth her first-born Son.’ He hath here used the word till,’ not that thou shouldest suspect that afterwards he did know her, but to inform thee that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may be said, hath he used the word, till’? Because it is usual in Scripture often to do this, and to use this expression without reference to limited times. For so with respect to the ark likewise, it is said, The raven returned not till the earth was dried up.’ And yet it did not return even after that time. And when discoursing also of God, the Scripture saith, From age until age Thou art,’ not as fixing limits in this case. And again when it is preaching the Gospel beforehand, and saying, In his days shall righteousness flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken away,’ it doth not set a limit to this fair part of creation. So then here likewise, it uses the word “till,” to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what follows, it leaves thee to make the inference.” John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).

“But as we do not deny what is written, so we do reject what is not written. We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. That Mary was married after she brought forth, we do not believe, because we do not read it. Nor do we say this to condemn marriage, for virginity itself is the fruit of marriage; but because when we are dealing with saints we must not judge rashly. If we adopt possibility as the standard of judgment, we might maintain that Joseph had several wives because Abraham had, and so had Jacob, and that the Lord’s brethren were the issue of those wives, an invention which some hold with a rashness which springs from audacity not from piety. You say that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim still more, that Joseph himself on account of Mary was a virgin, so that from a virgin wedlock a virgin son was born. For if as a holy man he does not come under the imputation of fornication, and it is nowhere written that he had another wife, but was the guardian of Mary whom he was supposed to have to wife rather than her husband, the conclusion is that he who was thought worthy to be called father of the Lord, remained a virgin.” Jerome, The Perpetual Virginity of Mary Against Helvedius, 21 (A.D. 383).

((continue))


#3

shrug I still want to know why it matters one way or the other. (You know, aside form that the RCC says so.) What difference does it make to our faith?


#4

Now I like to point out from Scripture.

In Mark 6:3, Jesus was always referred to as* “the”* son of Mary, not “a” son of Mary. Also in some traditions of the Eastern Christianity “brothers” could have theoretically been Joseph’s children from a former marriage that was dissolved by death. However, it is most likely, perhaps most certainly, that Joseph was a virgin, just as were Jesus and Mary. As such, they embodied the true Holy Family, fully consecrated to God.

Luke 1:31,34 - the angel tells Mary that you “will” conceive (using the future tense). Mary responds by saying, “How shall this be?” Mary’s response demonstrates that she had taken a vow of lifelong virginity by having no intention to have relations with a man. If Mary did not take such a vow of lifelong virginity, her question would make no sense at all (for we can assume she knew how a child is conceived). She was a consecrated Temple virgin as was an acceptable custom of the times.

Here are other verses that prove the point that Mary remain a virgin.

Luke 2:41-51 - in searching for Jesus and finding Him in the temple, there is never any mention of other siblings.

John 7:3-4; Mark 3:21 - we see that younger “brothers” were advising Jesus. But this would have been extremely disrespectful for devout Jews if these were Jesus’ biological brothers.

John 19:26-27 - it would have** been unthinkable for Jesus to commit the care of his mother to a friend if he had brothers**.

John 19:25 - the** following verses prove that James and Joseph are Jesus’ cousins and not his brothers: Mary the wife of Clopas is the sister of the Virgin Mary**.

Matt. 27:61, 28:1 - Matthew even refers to Mary the wife of Clopas as “the other Mary.”

Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:47 - Mary the wife of Clopas is the mother of James and Joseph.

Mark 6:3 - James and Joseph are called the “brothers” of Jesus. So James and Joseph are Jesus’ cousins.

Matt. 10:3 - James is also called the son of “Alpheus.” This does not disprove that James is the son of Clopas. The name Alpheus may be Aramaic for Clopas, or James took a Greek name like Saul (Paul), or Mary remarried a man named Alpheus.


#5

Because one of your fellow Protestants brought up the issue again.


#6

But it’s not as though it’s something you’re going to be able to prove one way or another. This has been debated ad nauseam. Why not simply respond with “We’ll just have to agree to disagree” and accept that it’s okay to disagree on minor issues, so long as the important stuff is agreed upon. The importance is that Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth. Since there’s nothing unholy/wrong/sinful about sex between a husband and wife, there’s no problem with assuming either way.


#7

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

**But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” **

Luke 1:26-34 (NAB)

Re: the bolded portion.

This seems like an odd reply for Mary to make. After all, she was betrothed to a man, and in Jewish law at that time, a man who was betrothed to a woman could exercise his conjugal rights. If Joseph hadn’t yet exercised those rights, then it’s safe to assume that since they were betrothed, he would do so in the near future.

The angel Gabriel didn’t say, “Behold, in five minutes you will conceive a son.” In fact, he didn’t put any timeframe on it at all. So **why **would Mary be puzzled by the fact that she was to conceive a son if she also knew that Joseph, her betrothed, had or would be shortly exercising his conjugal rights?

Surely, if she was expecting to have a marriage in the full sense of the word, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise that she would eventually have children. So **why **was she surprised by Gabriel’s prophecy?

The answer is that Mary was puzzled because she was a consecrated virgin to the Lord and intended to remain so her entire life (hence her reply, “How can this be, when I have had [nor would ever have] no relations with a man?”).

It’s theorized that her marriage to Joseph, who may have been a temple elder and a widower (with children from his first marriage, hence the “brothers” of Jesus), was to protect her viriginity.

Thus, Mary remained a virgin before and after the birth of Jesus. The angel’s later admonition to Joseph to “know her not” after Jesus’ birth was to reinforce that Mary was special, holy, and consecrated unto the Lord, just in case Joseph was ever tempted to exercise his conjugal rights under Jewish law.


#8

It matters because it calls into question the divinity of Christ.
What’s being discussed is the Helvidian Heresy which was best answered by Jerome. You can read Jerome’s answer to Helvidius here:

ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.vi.v.html

Basically, the gist of the arguement against Christianity by Muslims and others is that if Mary had other children and they are not divine, then Jesus is not divine.

Mary’s perpetual virginity was proclaimed as Christian dogma by the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451.

The reason it is NOT okay to respond with “We’ll just have to agree to disagree” is that it is not a “minor issue”. Disbelief in the perpetual virginity of Mary opens the door for disbelief in the divinity of Jesus. As you know, many people consider the divinity of Jesus to be a minor issue so long as the important stuff like the existence of God is agreed upon. See how the poison works?

As for proof, the fact that the Bible does not record any other children of Mary is proof enough for us Bible loving Catholics.

BTW, there are no non-essential doctrines. All truth is from God Everything from God is “important stuff”, even if we don’t agree upon it. This includes the perpetual virginity of Mary.

So PC Master, why do you think it’s important stuff “that Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth”? God is all-powerful and nothing is impossible for God, so could not God have been born of a non-virgin? Why wouldn’t Mary’s virginity at Jesus birth be a “minor issue”?


#9

If we agree that Mary was a virgin at the time of her conception, and up through Jesus’ birth, how can it call the divinity of Christ into question. I don’t understand this.

Basically, the gist of the arguement against Christianity by Muslims and others is that if Mary had other children and they are not divine, then Jesus is not divine.

The same would (and do) also argue that Jesus is not divine even if he was an only child.

The reason it is NOT okay to respond with “We’ll just have to agree to disagree” is that it is not a “minor issue”. Disbelief in the perpetual virginity of Mary opens the door for disbelief in the divinity of Jesus. As you know, many people consider the divinity of Jesus to be a minor issue so long as the important stuff like the existence of God is agreed upon. See how the poison works?

Yes, but I think this is a flawed assumption.

While accepting that Mary was ever-virgin would indeed show Christ’s birth to be miraculous, I don’t know of anyone who ever believed the former before the latter, so it’s of no use in that regard. On the other hand, if someone wishes to disbelieve in the divinity of Christ, they will question it no matter what you say.

What I was speaking of is whether or not the fact of the matter actually makes any difference. If Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus birth (as we believe), then his birth was miraculous, and attests to his divine status. If Mary was a virgin after that…big deal. If she wasn’t, and had other children, what does it change? She was still a virgin when she bore Jesus.

So PC Master, why do you think it’s important stuff “that Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth”? God is all-powerful and nothing is impossible for God, so could not God have been born of a non-virgin? Why wouldn’t Mary’s virginity at Jesus birth be a “minor issue”?

Absolutely – Mary could have been a non-virgin. However, her virginity at the time of Jesus birth attests to (provides extra support for) the claim of his divinity. God could have done things in many different ways – but I ask you: if Mary remained a virgin until her death, what does it actually change about your faith in God, your belief in the divinity of Jesus, etc?


#10

Can you please cite the Scripture where that Law is found.

Thank you.

The answer is that Mary was puzzled because she was a consecrated virgin to the Lord and intended to remain so her entire life (hence her reply, “How can this be, when I have had [nor would ever have] no relations with a man?”).

She never gave that reply and such cannot be found in any translations.

Why did you add words to what Mary actually said which the Spirit recorded for us?

Thus, Mary remained a virgin before and after the birth of Jesus.

No Scriptural evidence has yet been provided for any such “thus.”

The angel’s later admonition to Joseph to “know her not” after Jesus’ birth was to reinforce that Mary was special, holy, and consecrated unto the Lord

Please cite the Scripture where an angel admonished Joseph to “know her not” after Jesus’ birth.

I am seeing many additions to the Word of God in your post and it is disturbing.


#11

And if it truly does not matter than why are you [and other protestants] attempting to re-write Christian belief and understanding that is found in the early writings, implicit in the scriptures, etc…?

Funny, all the early reforers even believed in the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother … so if it does not matter why are you trying to change the “catholic” teaching, the original lutheran teaching, the orginal teaching of Calvin et al ???

Hummmm?


#12

What was the teaching of Calvin?


#13

It is not, and has never been, consistent Christian belief since Christ.

Christ did not teach it, and the Apostles did not teach it. The earliest fathers and writings don’t teach it either. Some early fathers blatantly deny it.

And Mary’s “perpetual” virginity is anything but implicit in the Scriptures. No one ignorant of the biases involved could read the Gospel accounts and ever come to the belief that they imply Mary never, ever had sex with her husband…nevermind that is something we have to know and even need to actively believe…nevermind as a litmus for salvation for a single soul.

Funny, all the early reforers even believed in the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother

Funny…they were all Catholics.

It is not a coincidence.


#14

[quote=Atemi]Can you please cite the Scripture where that Law is found.

Thank you.

[/quote]

It’s not necessary. Secular historical sources tell us as much.

She never gave that reply and such cannot be found in any translations.

Why did you add words to what Mary actually said which the Spirit recorded for us?

She did give that reply. See my quoted scripture. The brackets are text added by me for clarification, but in line with what the Church has taught.

You are avoiding my question. Why would Mary be puzzled about conceiving a child if she knew she was going to have conjugal relations with her husband in the near future? Please respond.

No Scriptural evidence has yet been provided for any such “thus.”

See here.

Please cite the Scripture where an angel admonished Joseph to “know her not” after Jesus’ birth.

From this article:

Fundamentalists insist that “brethren of the Lord” must be interpreted in the strict sense. They most commonly make two arguments based on Matthew 1:25: “[A]nd he did not know her until (Greek: heos, also translated into English as “till”) she brought forth her firstborn son.” They first argue that the natural inference from “till” is that Joseph and Mary afterward lived together as husband and wife, in the usual sense, and had several children. Otherwise, why would Jesus be called “first-born”? Doesn’t that mean there must have been at least a “second-born,” perhaps a “third-born,” and so on? But they are using a narrow, modern meaning of “until,” instead of the meaning it had when the Bible was written. In the Bible, it means only that some action did not happen up to a certain point; it does not imply that the action did happen later, which is the modern sense of the term. In fact, if the modern sense is forced on the Bible, some ridiculous meanings result.

Consider this line: “Michal the daughter of Saul had no children till the day of her death” (2 Sam. 6:23). Are we to assume she had children after her death?

I am seeing many additions to the Word of God in your post and it is disturbing.

Please cite the Scripture that states that the Bible is self-interpreting.

The bracketed comments are called “clarification,” because the Bible isn’t self-interpreting. That’s why Jesus established a Church to infallibly interpret Scripture. :thumbsup:


#15

Can you please cite the Scripture where that Law is found.

It’s not necessary. Secular historical sources tell us as much.

Understood.

You cannot back up your claim:

“in Jewish law at that time, a man who was betrothed to a woman could exercise his conjugal rights”

This is what I suspected.

**She never gave that reply and such cannot be found in any translations.

Why did you add words to what Mary actually said which the Spirit recorded for us? **

She did give that reply.

Wrong.

Every translation on the planet, even Catholic ones, do not say what you have her saying. You put words in her mouth.

See my quoted scripture.

“How can this be, when I have had [nor would ever have] no relations with a man?”

Mary never said “nor would ever have.”

You added that to prop up your argument.

The brackets are text added by me for clarification, but in line with what the Church has taught.

Sure it is in line with what your church teaches, but it is not in line with what she actually said.

It seems you have no problem altering the latter to excuse the former.

You are avoiding my question. Why would Mary be puzzled about conceiving a child if she knew she was going to have conjugal relations with her husband in the near future? Please respond.

You assume more than the text allows.

Mary gave us her response and we rightly agree with her chosen context. Betrothals can last about a year. Mary assumed, as most readers do, that the conception the angel announced was imminent. To make the case that the angel was speaking of something that may happen something like 15 years later is silly conjecture.

Mary responded:

“How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Mary spoke in the present tense. Her state right then and there. She could have easily said “I will NEVER know a man,” as you added to the Word…but she did not say that for some strange reason.

Mary asked how it would happen considering that she was a virgin…not how it would happen considering that that she would always be a virgin. That is your addition, not her own. I believe Mary here, not you.

Please cite the Scripture where an angel admonished Joseph to “know her not” after Jesus’ birth.

From this article:

Still nothing cited where any angel supposedly admonished Joseph to never have sex with his wife after Jesus’ birth.

Your claim is baseless and false.


#16

Why are you lying? I did back up my claim. I said that secular historical sources give us that information, and it’s consistent with what we find in the Bible. See, for example, page 72 of Jewish Marriage in Antiquity By Michael L. Satlow.

“How can this be, when I have had [nor would ever have] no relations with a man?”

Mary never said “nor would ever have.”

You added that to prop up your argument.

The text in brackets, AS I SAID, was text ADDED BY ME for CLARIFICATION. I **never said **that the bracketed text was Mary’s words. :confused: Why are you telling lies? Are you aware that’s a violation of “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?”

You assume more than the text allows.

Mary gave us her response and we rightly agree with her chosen context. Betrothals can last about a year. Mary assumed, as most readers do, that the conception the angel announced was imminent.

Mary NEVER SAID that she assumed the angel mean that conception was imminent! Where is that in Scriputre? You are putting words in Mary’s mouth. Why are you adding to Scripture what isn’t there?

[quote] To make the case that the angel was speaking of something that may happen something like 15 years later is silly conjecture.

I never said fifteen years later. The angel DID NOT SPECIFY A TIMEFRAME. Look at the verse. He just said, “You will conceive a son.” He didn’t say right now; he didn’t say five minutes from now; he didn’t say fifteen years from now. He didn’t specfiy. He just said, “You will conceive.” And there is no Scriptural support for your claim that Mary assumed it would happen that very minute, nor does Scripture say when Jesus’ conception happened. You are putting your own inference in Scripture that doesn’t exist.

“How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Mary spoke in the present tense

. Her state right then and there. She could have easily said “I will NEVER know a man,” as you added to the Word…but she did not say that for some strange reason.

But why would Mary even mention that to the angel if she knew that she would SOON know a man? The angel said “You WILL conceive a son,” not “You are going, right now, at this very minute, to conceive a son.”

If an angel had come to me, say, two months before my marriage, and said, “You will conceive a son,” I would naturally assume that the angel meant after my marriage, since I knew that even though I was a virgin then, soon I wouldn’t be, and it’s only natural to assume that my husband and I would eventually conceive.

If I’d intended to, say, enter a convent in two months at the time the angel appeared to me, THEN I would ask, “How can this be, since I’ve never had sex?” – and never would?

Your claim is baseless and false

.

Ditto.

What makes your interpretation superior to mine? Are you an infallible interpreter of Scripture? If not, you have no basis on which to claim that my interpretation is flawed, since you are not infallible and it’s just as likely that YOU are wrong.
[/quote]


#17

Interesting to note that some posters have cited early church fathers’ Private interpretations of Scripture, which I thought was discouraged in Catholicism:rolleyes:

this whole thread is pointless. We will never know for certain whether or not Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, and besides, it has absolutely no bearing on the Divinity of Christ, salvation, etc. I do not understand how people can be so passionate about a moot point.


#18

Please cite your source for this claim from a reputable Catholic site.

Referring to the early Church fathers is not discouraged; on the contrary, it is encouraged. What *is *discouraged is assuming that the early Church fathers’ *individual *interpretations are infallible, which they are not. They can, however, provide valuable insight into what the early Church taught and believed shortly after Christ’s ascension.

this whole thread is pointless. We will never know for certain whether or not Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, and besides, it has absolutely no bearing on the Divinity of Christ, salvation, etc. I do not understand how people can be so passionate about a moot point.

Actually, we do know with 100% certainty that Mary’s virginity was perpetual. This dogma was defined by the Magisterium of Catholic Church as infallible – and they were given this authority by Christ Himself. :thumbsup:


#19

**Understood.

You cannot back up your claim:**

“in Jewish law at that time, a man who was betrothed to a woman could exercise his conjugal rights”

Why are you lying? I did back up my claim. I said that secular historical sources give us that information

That is not backing up your claim. That is nothing. We all can make the same claim.

and it’s consistent with what we find in the Bible

Again, please show us in Scripture where:

“a man who was betrothed to a woman could exercise his conjugal rights”

It may be there for all I know. I just want something to support all these claims.

See, for example, page 72 of Jewish Marriage in Antiquity By Michael L. Satlow.

A great start.

So what is on page 72 of Jewish Marriage in Antiquity By Michael L. Satlow?

**“How can this be, when I have had [nor would ever have] no relations with a man?”

Mary never said “nor would ever have.”

You added that to prop up your argument.**

The text in brackets, AS I SAID, was text ADDED BY ME for CLARIFICATION.

Agreed. “Added” being the key word.

I never said that the bracketed text was Mary’s words.

You said that was, in effect, what she was saying.

Mary’s actual words say something entirely different.

Why are you telling lies? Are you aware that’s a violation of “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?”

I am not lying. Geez.

Please control yourself.

Mary gave us her response and we rightly agree with her chosen context. Betrothals can last about a year. Mary assumed, as most readers do, that the conception the angel announced was imminent.

Mary NEVER SAID that she assumed the angel mean that conception was imminent! Where is that in Scriputre?

I showed you.

Her question was specifically about her present sexual state…not any future sexual state.

You are putting words in Mary’s mouth. Why are you adding to Scripture what isn’t there?

Actually, those are the exact words she used herself. She specifically responded in the present tense…not the future tense as you forward.

To make the case that the angel was speaking of something that may happen something like 15 years later is silly conjecture.

I never said fifteen years later. The angel DID NOT SPECIFY A TIMEFRAME. Look at the verse. He just said, “You will conceive a son.”

Yes. And Mary responded as if that conception was imminent.

Sorry if this bugs you. This is the reality of the matter.

I agree with Mary. It was a good question she asked.

**“How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Mary spoke in the present tense. Her state right then and there. She could have easily said “I will NEVER know a man,” as you added to the Word…but she did not say that for some strange reason.**

But why would Mary even mention that to the angel if she knew that she would SOON know a man?

Because she believed that the declared conception was imminent. If she believed this may possibly happen years down the line, then she would have said “I will always be a virgin” which she specifically did not.

If I’d intended to, say, enter a convent in two months at the time the angel appeared to me, THEN I would ask, “How can this be, since I’ve never had sex?” – and never would?

And never would??

More assumptions?

My mother-in-law entered the convent and was a nun.

Guess what?

She had sex afterwards.

**Your claim is baseless and false. **

Ditto.

Listen, you are the one who said that an angel admonished Jospeph to never have sex with Mary after Jesus was born. Either produce and back such a claim up or get over the fact that people will call you on it.

What makes your interpretation superior to mine?

Becuase I am going by what Mary actually said. You are going by what you wish she would have said, or hoped she did, and adding that little commentary to the text.

Unacceptable exegesis.


#20

Again, please show us in Scripture where:

“a man who was betrothed to a woman could exercise his conjugal rights”

It may be there for all I know. I just want something to support all these claims.

Scripture says that Mary and Joseph were betrothed, and that when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he planned to quietly divorce her. Both of these tidbits of information indicate a Jewish betrothal contract, one that could only be dissolved by divorce, and secular historical sources about first-century Jewish betrothals tell us that men could exercise conjugal rights with their betrothed spouses.

So what is on page 72 of Jewish Marriage in Antiquity By Michael L. Satlow?

Look it up.

You said that was, in effect, what she was saying.

Mary’s actual words say something entirely different.

I disagree.

I am not lying. Geez.

Please control yourself.

You are lying. Your are claiming I said or did something that I did not say or do. That is called lying.

Her question was specifically about her present sexual state…not any future sexual state.

That’s your interpretation. Mary could have been inquiring about her present AND future sexual states.

Actually, those are the exact words she used herself. She specifically responded in the present tense…not the future tense as you forward.

Again, that’s *your *interpretation. She could also be speaking about a present condition that will continue into the future.
**
According to the NASB, the angel says, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”

Mary’s reply: “Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’” **

The angel doesn’t give a timeframe for when Mary will conceive, nor does Scripture. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Mary to ask, “When will this happen – right now or after my marriage?” But no, she asks, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” She doesn’t adhere to a timeframe, either. She doesn’t indicate that she will shortly NOT be a virgin. She says, “I am a virgin,” with no indication that her virginity will soon be ending.

Yes. And Mary responded as if that conception was imminent.

Again, that’s your fallible interpretation.

Because she believed that the declared conception was imminent. If she believed this may possibly happen years down the line, then she would have said “I will always be a virgin” which she specifically did not.

See above.

More assumptions?

My mother-in-law entered the convent and was a nun.

Guess what?

She had sex afterwards.

Unlike your mother-in-law, I’m sure Mary, who was the New Eve and the New Ark of the Covenant, conceived without sin, meant to KEEP her vow of virginity.

Listen, you are the one who said that an angel admonished Joseph to never have sex with Mary after Jesus was born. Either produce and back such a claim up or get over the fact that people will call you on it.

Do you think Joseph is the kind of man who would desecrate the Holy of Holies, the New Ark of the Covenant? Can you provide Scriptural support for THAT claim?

Becuase I am going by what Mary actually said. You are going by what you wish she would have said, or hoped she did, and adding that little commentary to the text.

No, you are going by YOUR FALLIBLE INTERPRETATION of what Mary actually said.


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