Questions for Christians re: age of Mary at the conception of Jesus

I am Catholic and my question is for all Christians regardless of their denominations. The true age of Mary at the time of Jesus’ conception is not known but is generally accepted by Christians as between the ages of 12-16. On a personal level I find it more acceptable to believe that the mother of Jesus was 14-16 when she “concieved of the Holy Spirit” as opposed to 12-13. My question is what if Mary was in fact only 9yrs old would this change the way you saw Christianity and your beliefs in God? Would Jesus having a mother who is underage (by your own standards) mitigate Jesus’ claim to be God in the Flesh? It does for me.

Blessings to all.

I am a Muslim, and I think one of the questions the various Christians need to answer is whether there is any textual proof from the Christian texts prohibiting Christian girls from entering into a marriage relationship at the age of 12-13, or even at the age of 9.

I think the first poster’s question is based on his view that a 9-year-old or 12 year-old girl being associated with pregnancy is not acceptable, thus his other questions for Christians.

defendingislam, Hi and Welcome CAF :slight_smile:

What would such “textual proof” prove for a Christian do you think?

Partly correct. Pregnancy in children is a different topic. For a Christian (and Muslim I know) premarital sex is against God’s laws. However Mary falls into a catergory all of her own as she was a virgin when she concieved and though betrothed was pregnant before her marriage to St Joseph. However, virgin or not her age at the time of conception is important as who she was and all she is reflected on Jesus. Some Christians do not view Mary as that important to Christian beliefs but as a Catholic I believe that without Mary’s consent to carry Jesus in her womb God’s plan of salvation would not have been possible. This consent had to be freely given. Therefore she had to be old enough to understand what God was asking of her. And being the mother of Jesus (God in the Flesh) be of an age that is acceptable to humans of ALL generations, not just the era she was born into but ALL eras.

I’m struggling with the “What If…Mary was only 9” Is there a Christian that would find this acceptable? I don’t nor do I want to. Hope I’m making sense.

Anyhow, hope you stick around and share your thoughts. Peace and blessings

“What if” merely leads to endless hypothetical conjecturing. Personally I think she was probably 15 or 16, but that’s opinion only, since there is no firm data to go on.

The recent approved apparitions all seem to indicate a very young woman, but the age is not specified.

I doubt if she was nine. I find it a bit hard to imagine a nine year old breaking out into an advanced song like the Magnificat, plus I’d be a bit cynical about God allowing it. After all He’s the one who made her pregnant.

However our modern cultural ideas would not necessarily mesh with those of ancient Israel. Most marriages were arranged for a start. And as a rule they married early, or the girls did.

I think you can safely put aside any “what if” conjecture that she was only nine years old.

We don’t know how old Mary was - nine is most unlikely, most girls then as now were too physically undeveloped to bear children at that age, for one thing.

As for you, defendingislam, the answer to your question depends upon several things - what do you mean by ‘entering into a marriage relationship’?

If you mean merely going through a wedding ceremony, with sex not taking place for several years afterwards, that was not uncommon. And that’s quite a different thing to actually having a physical relationship at the age of 9 or even 12. Which is what Mohammed is alleged to have done with Ayesha when she was nine. She was young enough to still be playing with her dolls according to that account, so clearly neither physically nor emotionally mature enough to be a wife.

No, it wouldn’t change anything. I don’t much care about this question, really, because the pregnancy was not of normal, human means, so it was not a sign of any sort of sexual interaction between Mary and anyone else. This is, after all, the sort of activity mitigated by consent laws: physical and other aspects of marital relationships, which the modern law recognizes as necessitating some minimum age in order to be assumed. This was not the situation with Mary, as she was chaste all throughout her life, so I don’t see why this is even a relevant question for Christians, at least not Catholics or Orthodox.

**Please leave Ayesha alone from this topic. The Muslims do not believe that Ayesha was 9 years old when married. The christians do not like to believe that Mary was 9 years old when she became pregnant. So why to discuss things from that angle?

Let us see the age of Mary when she became pregnant.

All people say that she was pregnant before marriage to Joseph. She was grown up enough to know how the conception takes place. That could not be 9 years age. She was serving inside the temple under guidance of Zakariyya. She was a pure soul. She did not know any man. But she was grown up enough to understand the meaning of knowing a man.

I hope an age of 12 upwards would be quite good for Mary and 13 years (upward) for the birth of Jesus**.

How is a nine-year old supposed to have the physical or intellectual maturity to be a mother ? Women are **not **baby machines :mad:

Pardon me? Muslims do not believe that? Was she a liar or are hadiths all false/weak? If these are not true then how can you believe anything is true in quran and hadiths.

Bukhari - Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234:

Narrated Aisha:

The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.

Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236:

Narrated Hisham’s father:

Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina… He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and **he consumed that marriage **when she was nine years old.

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 118:

Narrated ‘Ursa:

Aisha said, “While the Ethiopians were playing with their small spears, Allah’s Apostle screened me behind him and I watched (that display) and kept on watching till I left on my own.” So you may estimate of what age a little girl may listen to amusement.

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 163:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

The Prophet was screening me with his Rida’ (garment covering the upper part of the body) while I was looking at the Ethiopians who were playing in the courtyard of the mosque. (I continued watching) till I was satisfied. So you may deduce from this event how a little girl (who has not reached the age of puberty) who is eager to enjoy amusement should be treated in this respect…

Volume 8, Book 73, Number 151:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)

**
Charlotte has shifted the discussion from Mary to Ayesha, quite un-necessary. Never mind. just remember that while Ayesha being married never gave birth to any one, Mary while being un-married gave birth to a son. How do you like that !!

No need to ascertain the age of Ayesha. It is more important to look after your un-married mothers and un-married fathers. You are presenting the Hadith to me. I am presenting the actual cases of many un-married mothers and un-married fathers to you. Could we adjust some of our these things some where peacefully? or better leave these things and get on with the topic in hand i.e. the age of Mary at the time she concieved Jesus.

I believed that she gave birth at a good age of 13 and above.

G o G has written:

How is a nine-year old supposed to have the physical or intellectual maturity to be a mother ? Women are not baby machines

**

I do not know whether it refers to Ayesha or Mary, the mother. So I let it pass without understanding. No harm.

**
Charlotte,we had many enemies who invented the Hadith for us. Hadith is subject to scrutiny. You have presented a few Hadith. i will check up all of them and then give my reply about those hadith relating to the age of ayesha at the time of her marriage.

Remember that Ayesha was the only virgin wife of the prophet Muhammad. And he needed one very young wife to keep the message for a long time even after the death of the prophet. That is what Ayesha did.She was the beloved wife of the messenger of Allah. The other wives were also beloved.

There are two major groups amongst the Muslims,i.e. the Shias and Sunnis. They split up very early during the life of Ayesha. the Shias were (and still are) averse to Ayesha. It is possible that some Shias cooked some bad Hadith about Ayesha. The books of Hadith were written by men 200 years after the passing away of prophet Muhammad. The rift inside was long before that, long before the writing of the collection of hadith.

**

Actually it was YOU that I was replying to. The age of Aisha is very relevant to islam and whether mohammed was a paedophile or not. What else do you call a man who lusted after a crawling baby and thighed a little girl from the age of six? Do you lust after babies and kids? Doubt it.

God did not have sex with Mary it was an immaculate conception. Mohammed did have sex with Aisha. HUGE difference.

The Bukhari Hadiths are considered the most reliable and are quoted by muslims all the time so do not know why you can deny it is in there. I doubt you could use the excuse tactics of “enemies” writing that. As for Aisha - she died when she was 18 so how could she “keep the message of islam for a long time”. Anyway, if they were written by men so long after mohammed died how can you rely on any of them?

Bear in mind Charlotte that Planten is Ahmadi Muslim, a group which is considered non-Muslim by the majority of the Muslim world as they accept the claim of a prophet after Mohammed. As a result he finds himself in an invidious position here as he despises Christianity but a number of Muslim posters here in the past have made it plain they do not regard him as Muslim either, as a member of a fringe sect in the Muslim world he is forced (like fringe ‘Christian’) groups to engage in bizarre conspiracy theories and distortions of logic.

Also, his understanding of Christianity can be gauged from the pointless and offensive endless comments about unmarried fathers, by which he means priests as he thinks they are literally fathers or something equally odd.

On the subject at hand Mary was probably very young by present day standards but even until recently women married much younger than now, my grandmother on the paternal side was married at age 16 and had been engaged at age 15 and this was not abnormal in the rural area of Ireland she came from. The kind of protracted concept of teenage years/young adult we are familar with was largely non-existent, one might be regarded as a young man or young woman but the emphasis was very definitely on the man or woman and the long, long time we spend maturing in todays society was not the case then.

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