The Virgin Mary was she always so?


#1

So i’ve read through the Bible and i know what it says. but my question is what proof does the Catholic church have that proves that Mary was a virgin all her life? i know what you say about the different ways of interpretting until but that doesn’t really sit with me. because in all the references to it one of two things were involved. either they are comparing two different (Greek and Hebrew) a 1200 year gap in between or they say “John was faithful until he died” saying that he was not unfaithful after death which obviously he wasn’t because he’s dead which is a bad arguement because it was physically impossible for him to be unfaithful. also there are verse in the Bible which say that Jesus had brothers and sisters. here are some verse that dispute the catholic claim: Matt 12:46, mark 3:31, Luke 8:19, and Matt 13:55. so please give me proof of why the catholic church believes she never had children or sinned. also no quoting Saints and Popes because their opinions mean nothing to me, because they are just that, opinions. i want the proof to come from the Bible which is the infallable word of God.


#2

Hello,

My first question is how do you know that the Bible is the infallible Word of God? Where does it state that it is the sole authority of faith?

Next, in Hebrew there was no word for cousin, uncle, aunt, etc. It was all just brothers and sisters.

Now at the base of the Cross, there stood Mary and John. Jesus gave Mary into the protection of John. Why would He do this if there were other siblings to take care of His mother? Why would one of His last acts be to tear apart His family at the moment of their greatest grief? That doesn’t compute with Him being God and sinless, does it?


#3

No problem.

Brothers of Jesus, Not Sons of Mary

Many non-Catholics deny the Perpetual Virginity of Mary by referring to passages of scripture that mention the “brothers” of Jesus. A rigorous analysis of scripture, however, proves their position is false. Consider the following:

1. Jesus had a “brother” named James.

"Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?”* (Matthew 13:55)*

2. James, the Lord’s “brother”, is an apostle.

“Then, after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Galatians 1:18-19)

3. There are two apostles named James.

“When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”* (Luke 6:13-16)*

4. One James (the brother of John) is not the uterine brother of Jesus; his father is Zebedee.

James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder)” (Mark 3:17)

5**. The other apostle named James is not the uterine brother of Jesus; his father is Alpheus.**

“And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he called apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter and Andrew his brother, and James and John and Philip and Bartholomew, and Matthew and James the son of Alpheus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” (Luke 6:13-16)

6. Therefore, neither apostle named James was a uterine brother of Jesus.

7. The man named Joseph (or Joses) is not the uterine brother of Jesus; his mother is Mary and his brother is James. Therefore, this Mary is the wife of Alphaeus.

“Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” (Matthew 27:55-56)

8. Judas is not a uterine brother of Jesus because he is the son of James.

“When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.” (Acts 1:13)

**9. While Matthew 15:35 declares James, Joseph and Judas to be the “brothers” of Jesus, it has been demonstrated from scripture that they are NOT uterine brothers of the Lord. From this, it is apparent that scripture must be using the term “brothers” to mean relatives other than sons of Mary. **

Therefore, it can be reasonably assumed that when the Early Church Fathers who were disciples of Peter and John spoke of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, they knew what they were talking about!

Now, you need to consider that God left an infallible Church to interpret His inerrant Word.

The FULL revelation of God includes the Bible AND Tradition.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


#4

There are old traditions that say that Mary was a consecrated virgin and Joseph was an old widow who married her to help her protect her virtue. Joseph had children from his previous marriage and Mary and Joseph had siblings who had children that Jesus likely grew up with and thought of as siblings. Jesus also said in the gospels that anyone who follows him is his brother and sister, when the disciples pointed out that his mother was at the gate nearby.

That’s why. And I have to say that it will be difficult for you to get answers that do not include traditions as well as bible verses from Catholics because Catholics believe in traditions AND scripture, not sola scriptura.


#5

Isn’t that funny?? Those people that you don’t want quoted acknowledged what you call the infallable Word of God. How can you want proof from a Bible that came from a Church that means nothing to you?? There are many biblical typologies showing the perpetual virginity of Mary but we are at a roadblock if you want proof from books (Bible) that have no source(in your opinion).

I am the world’s smartest man. Because I said so.

The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Because it says so.
So does the Koran. So does the Jehovah’s witness’ distorted New World translation.

Christ founded a Church not a blible. The Church says that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the Church says that Mary remained a perpetual virgin. Same source. Same authority…God Bless Happy Easter…teachccd:)


#6

The Church relies on the entire deposit of faith handed down from the apostles, not just on the bible (which is not the entire deposit of faith).

But for scriptural support, there is no stronger evidence than the fact that Mary went to live with John for the rest of her days. This would have been impossible, inconceivable, and actual sin on Jesus’ part, if Mary had other children. Consider:

If Jesus had other brothers who were somehow not worthy to care for their mother because they were not believers (a common Protestant suggestion), then by the very fact that they didn’t believe that their brother was the Messiah, they would have regarded His words to Mary as insane ravings. They would have physically removed Mary from the house of an unrelated male. The scandal of having their mother live in another man’s house would have been unbearable (imagine it happening even today in the middle east). And yet scripture says that she lived in John’s house for the rest of her days.

Besides, it is not and has never been Christian belief that a mother cannot live in the home of her unbelieving children. If Christ had prevented it for His own mother, surely other Christians would have followed His example, but nowhere do we ever see it taught that parents cannot live in the homes of their unbelieving children. Just more proof that it did not happen.

Finally, if Mary really did have other children, then it would have been sinful for Christ to tear her away from her only remaining children in this time of great grief and need, and for the rest of her life. Even the worst sinner would not do that to his own mother and brothers and sisters, and yet we are supposed to believe that Christ did it to His mother and to His brothers and sisters?


#7

When Mary and Joseph were traveling and lost twelve year old Jesus, where were these other children? Would they have let their other children travel for four days without them? Luke 3:44 states: " Thinking that he was in the caravan,they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him they returned to Jerusalem to look for him."

There is no mention of other children here. Would they be more concerned about Jesus than their other children by leaving them behind?? If Jesus got lost with them there wouldn’t they have been concerned that their other children might get lost with them gone??

Aside from Scriptures use of the Greek word adelphos which is translated brother (but can also mean cousin), no where does it state that Mary had other children. In reference to Scripture we hear “Jesus **the **Son of Mary”, not a son of Mary.

I’ll bring up the typology referring to the ark ot the covenant in a later post as my time is dwindling down… Happy Easter…teachccd:)


#8

Makes perfect sense to me…:thumbsup: Could you imagine a womb giving birth to God and then bearing other children with original sin?? That’s like taking the tablets (written Word of God) out of the Ark of the Covenant and replacing them with plain dusty stones. Wow!! I think much higher of Jesus than that idea. The womb that bore God could not be defiled unless you think that Jesus is not God in which case it wouldn’t matter…teachccd


#9

Another question to ask of Christians who would deny her perpetual virginity is, when is it acceptable for a woman to bear the children of two different fathers? When the first father dies, of course, but did God the Father die? When the first father abandons mother and child, perhaps, but did God the Father abandon Jesus and Mary?

This is just another reason why it was fitting that Mary would not have children by any other father.


#10

[quote=kra130]also there are verse in the Bible which say that Jesus had brothers and sisters. here are some verse that dispute the catholic claim: Matt 12:46, mark 3:31, Luke 8:19, and Matt 13:55. so please give me proof of why the catholic church believes she never had children
[/quote]

Genesis 11:26
Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot

That verse just told us that Abram is the uncle of Lot. Now we see they are brothers in the following verse:

Genesis 14:12,14
And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And when Abram heard that his brother Lot] was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

Another example:

Genesis 29:13
And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

And two verses later, Laban calls Jacob his brother:

Genesis 29:15
And Laban said unto Jacob, “Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?”


#11

Excellent point!:slight_smile:


#12

kra130, Does any of this help? Are you still there??:wave:


#13

Through all my research I have found no proof of Mary’s supposed perpetual virginity forwarded by the RCC.

No proof can truly be forwarded because this is another “developed” doctrine.

God’s Word is abundantly clear on this matter, and as the earliest and surest witness, it must be believed IMO.

Even as a Catholic, and now as a non-Catholic, I always wanted an explanation why if Mary had sex with her lawful husband…

[LIST]
*]what does it change the Gospel or the Atonement one bit?
*]what business is it of ours what Mary did privately with her husband?
[/LIST]

I have never received a substantial response to either question.

I personally find making dogmas about a woman’s private sex life totally outside of the Apostolic witness…and even a little disturbing.


#14

Why do you want proof? St. Jerome himself consider Mary remain a Virgin during all her life.

You need to double check you research.

The Gospel especially in Luke’s account about Jesus, Joseph, and Mary in the Temple mention no other children. At this age Jesus was already twelve.

Now think. If Jesus had brothers and sisters, they would be there. Yet they are not. Those mention in Gospels that state the brothers and sisters of the Jesus are Jesus cousins. There is no Hebrew or Aramaic word for cousins or nieces so brothers and sisters were use to describe blood relative.


#15

he Early Church Fathers believed that Mary remained a virgin her entire life.

Origen

The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the first fruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the first fruit of virginity (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).

Hilary of Poitiers

If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Mary’s sons and not those taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, “Woman, behold your son,” and to John, “Behold your mother” [John 19:26-27], as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate (Commentary on Matthew 1:4 [A.D. 354]).

Athanasius

Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that He took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary (Discourses against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).

Epiphanius

We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]).

Jerome

But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel—that he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).

Didymus the Blind

It helps us to understand the terms “firstborn” and “only begotten” when the Evangelist tells that Mary remained a virgin “until she brought forth her firstborn son” [Matt. 1:25]; for neither did Mary, who is to be honored and praised above all others, marry anyone else, nor did she ever become the mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin" (The Trinity 3:4 [A.D. 386]).

Ambrose of Milan

Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of maternal virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388])

Pope Siricius I

You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the Flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord’s body, chat court of the eternal King (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).

Source: staycatholic.com/ecf_mary_ever-virgin.htm


#16

PROT. ATTACK: Jesus’ unbelieving neighbors were stupified by His power because they knew His whole family–His mother, Joseph, His SISTERS, and His BROTHERS. When these unbelievers referred to Jesus’ brothers and sisters they were in no wise be referring to His disciples. It is obvious that they were talking about His physical family who they all knew and grew up with.

Mark 6:3 Is not this [referring to Jesus] the carpenter, THE SON of Mary, the BROTHER of James, and Joses, and of Judas, and Simon? and are not HIS SISTERS here with us? And they were offended at him.

ANSWER: First, St. Mark the carpenter (Christ) as THE SON of Mary, note this is very singular. Second, James, and Joses, and of Judas, and Simon are only listed as Christ’s Brother, the original Greek the term “brother” (adelphos : Strong’s Number: 80) can mean a near kinsman (such as a cousin, uncle or grandparents) or can mean their own the same people or village. The term Sisters comes from the Greek word adelphe (Strong’s Number: 79) Strong’s lists this Word’s (adelphe) Origin is from the Greek term adelphos (Brother, Strong’s Number: 80). Why this ambiguous usage? Because neither Hebrew, Aramaic (the language spoken by Christ and his disciples) nor Greek had a special word meaning only “cousin.” Speakers of those languages used either the word for “brother” or a circumlocution, such as “the son of the sister of my father.” But circumlocutions are clumsy, so the Jews naturally enough took to using “brother.”

The writers of the New Testament were brought up to use the Aramaic equivalent of “brothers” to mean both cousins and sons of the same father–plus other relatives and even non-relatives. When they wrote in Greek, they did the same thing the translators of the Septuagint did. (The Septuagint was the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible; it was translated by Hellenistic Jews a century or two before Christ’s birth and was the version of the Bible from which most of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are taken.)

In the Septuagint the Hebrew word that includes both brothers and cousins was translated as adelphos, which in Greek usually has the wide meaning that the English “brother” has. The translators of the Septuagint favored adelphos, even for true cousins.

BROTHER, BROTHERS,BRETHREN

Greek: adelphos: denotes "a brother, or near kinsman;" in the plural, "a community based on identity of origin or life." It is used of: (Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words)

Greek: adelphos: having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman (Strong's Number: 80  Definition # 2)

catholicapologetics.net/apolo_96.htm


#17

St. John Lists three Marys:

1) Mary, mother of Jesus

2) Mary the of Wife of Clopas (Alphaeus in the Aramaic), Mary's (Christ Mother's) sister

3) Mary Magdalene

St. Mark only lists two NETHER ONE is listed as Jesus’s mother.

Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome (NOTE: This Does NOT say "Mother of Jesus");

catholicapologetics.net/apolo_96.htm


#18

What I don’t understand is the use of the term “perpetual”. If Mary never had intercourse, then of course she remained a virgin her whole life, so why tack on the term “perpetual”? A nun never has intercourse either, do we consider a nun a “perpetual” virgin? I just don’t quite understand the terminology, and from talking to other people, it seems that I’m not alone.

FWIW, in the OT, an uncle is referred to as “father’s brother”, an aunt as “father’s sister”, and so on. So it is possible to be quite specific about how two particular people are related, even without using the words uncle, cousin, etc.


#19

The Church has no control over those things which God chooses to reveal to her. If you are disturbed, you are disturbed by God’s revelation.

But of course you are not disturbed by the revelation of the virgin birth. So in fact you are only selectively disturbed by revelations “about a woman’s private sex life”.

It all comes down, as usual, to the unbiblical (and disturbing) insistence that the entire deposit of faith must be found explicitly in the bible.


#20

Whatever God touches living or not becomes Holy. Even the Ark which is Holy anyone who touches it dies.

St. Joseph knowing that Mary carried Jesus, the Word made flesh in her womb would not consider having sex to the Woman who gave birth to Jesus. Since Jesus lived in Mary during the first 9 month on earth, I would think that he would defile God’s perfect creature.

Second it is in Scripture itself that there were no other children. No Protestant have answer this question. Where are the other children of Joseph and Mary during their trip to the Temple with Jesus. If they had kids, thereafter, they would be there. Jesus is twelve by that time.

Surely, we would see other little brothers or sisters of Jesus. We don’t. Second, the brothers and sisters mention of Jesus are his cousins. Even St. James, “brethren of the Lord,” is His first cousin.


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.