Translation of the words "brother" and "cousin"


#242

I disagree with you that false piety is why Paul wrote. By quoting the way you did you have led a false impression. Let’s not get into a debate that takes us from the point which was that taking a vow of virginity was not unheard of even if as you say it was not uncommon. The point you have brought up does not dispute that statement.

I disagree with you also that when we agree it is what is plainly understood. I see the opposite when something is not plainly understood we agree. It cannot be plainly understood what Joseph and Mary knew.

As to Cana, Jesus tells Mary it is not his time. That is plain to me that Jesus believed Mary was asking Him to perform a miracle. As her only child, she must have known what He meant that it was not His time.

God gave no instructions to Mary or Joseph not to have relations after the birth , her first fruits. What declaration is there already from God to abstain or not ? Again , I am not assuming any vow the two had taken previously in this regard

Is everything written down what was told to Mary and Joseph. Obviously not as is demonstrated through the conversation at Cana. Mary’s vow to be a virgin would not have necessitated an instruction from God. Joseph being a just many would not have touched Mary. He would not have had to know full Christology all he needed to know is that the pregnancy was of God that would alone prevented him if Mary’s vows hadn’t of.


#243

I believe you have misunderstood my remark. What I was referring to was the thread itself. It was not a pleasant thread.


#244

I think it is to the point for it may give reason as to why many might want to believe she took a vow, that she chose to be ever virgin, for if one teaches that one is more holy or pleasing to God by remaining virgin, then for sure Mary would have had to chosen that.

It is evident that some religious groups forbade to marry for such reasons that Paul addresses. Most commentators point this out. The Catholic church became more ascetic , separating priest from wives by Jerome’s time, a time when we first hear debates about Mary’s ever virginity.

This is old material, but Marian doctrine did not develop in a vacuum, but in fact at at time when what we discuss here is pertinent. Again, is not something wrong when one is deemed a heretic and excommunicated for teaching that the widow, the virgin, and the married have equal merit? (Jerome vs Jovinian)

I was referring to my post, that i thought you agreed with, that scripture states that Mary was a virgin, even when she says she knew no man, fulfilling such a prophecy, that she was holy and obedient , not falling to fornication, nor adultery that Jesus cites as prevalent sins, and that her conception was by the Holy Ghost, casting light on David saying the messiah would not be by the “way of man”…again, i meant what is plain is scripture, that is explicit, not implicit…not saying you can’t be extra biblical, or make implications that may not be plain nor in "writing’’, but that when you do, there can just as easily be another competing "implication’’, as your Cana implication bears out.


#245

Just a quick question. You indicate that this developed. I am not sure what you mean by developed? Do you have any evidence that those in the early Church did not believe that Mary was ever virgin. I don’t mean those who were heretics. Jovinian was condemned for more that what you state but I know little on the subject so I will let it go at that. He died around 405. Mary being ever virgins was always taught. If you have evidence that shows it was not always taught I would be interested in seeing it. Only when what is taught is disputed do we see arguments arise.

I was referring to my post, that i thought you agreed with, that scripture states that Mary was a virgin, even when she says she knew no man, fulfilling such a prophecy, that she was holy and obedient , not falling to fornication, nor adultery that Jesus cites as prevalent sins, and that her conception was by the Holy Ghost, casting light on David saying the messiah would not be by the “way of man”…again, i meant what is plain is scripture, that is explicit, not implicit…not saying you can’t be extra biblical, or make implications that may not be plain nor in "writing’’, but that when you do, there can just as easily be another competing "implication’’, as your Cana implication bears out

I am glad you clarified because I was understanding you differently. You are correct we do agree. I am learning a lot in our conversations.


#246

Well, it is not explicitly taught, as it is today, in the gospels or any apostolic writing ( unless you believe James wrote a gospel). It is not until Jerome that we begin to have a paper trail. Didache, Barnabus, Clement(s), Ignatius, Polycarp, Martyr, Iranaeus do not explicitly teach as today. I could be wrong, did ask in earlier post for any quotes if i am wrong. So it is not until 383 AD , do we have explicit teaching from Jerome on Mary being ever virgin.

So as to developed it could be several things. One, the teaching was always there but way on the back burner, with few teaching it. or, only opinions existed, as we see on this forum, but all on backburner. or it was understood as actual brothers, on the backburner, save for scriptures being plain/explicit about it, and later, contrary interpretations coming, as proposed by church leaders few centuries later, all the way up to 1950 (Assumption) with more to come in future (co redemptrix etc).

Understand you think the silence was in your favor , as in no need to bring it up for it was understood by all till dissenters came. The only trouble I have is that other things developed, that may have tainted , or created a need for the doctrine (ascetism, dualism ). For example, i would not trust anything middle age church, even luther , would say about scripture interpretations of fate of Judaism and Jews, for in other places the abundance of their heart is made plain , with anti semite gurgitations coming from both. So it could be that from the beginning what was understood was literal brothers, virgin birth only, and low key. But when church began to view sex and marriage not as meritorious as virginity, and a rise to ascetic life, the old understanding was put to the microscope to find a "deeper’’, better understanding, that brother did not mean brother in the first sense but in a secondary or third sense, also with “until” and “first born”…etc, ect…, and everything fit once again.


#247

thanks…me too


#248

You have given my a lot. I have been researching.
The Didache doesn’t contain even that Mary was a virgin. Barnabus left no writings that I could find,
Clement(S) of of Alexandria? Polycarp, and Ignatius spoke on the Virgin Birth but found nothing that said they thought she was not a virgin always.
St. Irenaeus (202 A.D.) referred to Jesus as “the Word Himself, born of Mary who was still a Virgin.” He adds, “The belief in the Virgin Birth has been handed over to the Church by the Apostles and by their disciples, the same as the other truths of the Faith.”
Martyr
"Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary conceived faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy One begotten of her is the Son of God”
You may not like Protoevangelium of James but it is evidence that Mary ever virgin was part of the teachings.


#249

Understand you think the silence was in your favor , as in no need to bring it up for it was understood by all till dissenters came. The only trouble I have is that other things developed, that may have tainted , or created a need for the doctrine (ascetism, dualism ). For example, i would not trust anything middle age church, even luther , would say about scripture interpretations of fate of Judaism and Jews, for in other places the abundance of their heart is made plain , with anti semite gurgitations coming from both.

I do not understand what you are saying about the highlighted. If it was believed that Mary was not Ever Virgin than where are the Church Fathers saying so?

So it could be that from the beginning what was understood was literal brothers, virgin birth only, and low key

But there is no evidence that this is the way it was understood, there is not debate. And there were those who were saying she was ever virgin and no one disputing it. Someone mentioned that the brothers being uterine brothers did not occur until after the 16th century. I have no evidence do you?

But when church began to view sex and marriage not as meritorious as virginity, and a rise to ascetic life, the old understanding was put to the microscope to find a "deeper’’, better understanding, that brother did not mean brother in the first sense but in a secondary or third sense, also with “until” and “first born”…etc, ect…, and everything fit once again.

Paul’s writing show that the idea that virginity was more worthy than marriage shows that the church did not “begin” but it always was.


#250

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/barnabas-lightfoot.html

The epistle of barnabus

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-lightfoot.html http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-lightfoot.html

Clement of rome

Actually , here is list of all of them http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/churchfathers.html


#251

Nice but listing their writings does not detract that they didn’t write about Mary Irenaeus and Martyr did as I quoted.


#252

Yes and they were declared heretics, same as those in 3,4 th century…so it was not new in 16th century.


#253

No, it only shows we have no teaching recorded of her ever virginity to that point, including Iranaeus and Martyr, who only state what scripture states, that a virgin conceived.(at least per your quotes)

As a side note, in Jerome vs Helvidius, he seems to imply that had Helvidius read some of these authors he would have understood her ever virginity, which is strange for some of them make no mention of them, maybe none of them do.


#254

Mcq72 – Jerome had plenty of works by the Fathers that we do not, for the very good reason that a lot of important books didn’t survive antiquity or the early Middle Ages. If you ever take any kind of Classics course, you will learn about the books that once existed, and which scholars know about and are still hoping to find. We have scraps of quotes from some books, and we have summaries of the argument of others. But we also have long lists of titles and authors that we keep preserving from generation to generation, just in case. Pagan authors, Christian authors, Greek, Latin, Syriac, whatever… we have our civilizational want list.

Every so often, we find out that some important book has been preserved, in whole or in part, in some badly catalogued corner of a manuscript book, or even inside its binding. We find books in jars underground or in a cave, or buried in scraps in a trash heap in the desert. We find books translated into Coptic or Old Church Slavonic, preserving bits that nobody else made enough effort to keep safe and pass on.

But we still don’t have the library that a guy like Jerome, or Eusebius, or Isidore would have had, or that Helvidius could have had if he had made the effort.


#255

Now, as for dogma, we know that all sorts of things were taught by the early Church, from the earliest times or passed along direct from Jesus, which were not recorded in the Bible. The NT is a book meant to be read in Church as part of liturgical celebrations, or to be read by newbies who need a simple reference to basic historical and doctrinal info. It was not supposed to be a textbook of every single dogma and doctrine ever. (And actually, we have some early Church writers like Papias, who said outright that he thought oral tradition and eyewitness testimony was more trustworthy and complete than anything in the NT Bible. So he recorded five volumes of it as a book, and then all five volumes were lost. I guess he should have trained a corps of rememberers instead.)

The vast majority of the teachings of the Church were to be learned from a teacher, directly, as both a matter of good formation and of protection for holy things. (And later, to protect the Church’s doctrines from scornful and violent pagans, or even other Jews.) You were not allowed to learn most of the good stuff until after you were Baptized, in part because the Sacraments explained themselves, and in part because an unbaptized person couldn’t be expected to be holy enough to understand, until he did receive the Holy Spirit. We have a lot of information about this, including a big speech from St. Cyril of Jerusalem where he swears all the catechumens to secrecy about the text of the Lord’s Prayer. Having a named person as a teacher, or having a chain of named teachers, was one of the basic proofs of trustworthiness in the ancient world.

Also, a lot did not need to be said, because a lot of Talmudic teaching about the prophesied Messiah included lots of stuff teaching about his prophesied mom. If you were a Jew who became Christian, you already knew this stuff and didn’t have to be told. If you were a Gentile, somebody would tell you. Putting it into Luke would have been a waste of space.

So yes, a lot of the later sources say that the Church purposefully was vague, in its written sources, about things like the perpetual virginity of Mary (before, during, and after Jesus’ birth, and until her death). But the Church was not vague about it in its oral teaching, which is why the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers get so angry when anything else is suggested. And yes, the Targums and Talmud outright say at one point that the Messiah is to be born from a closed womb, as with the ever-closed gate in Ezekiel’s Temple where only the Lord would ever pass, and as with the closed letter shapes in some of the crucial messianic verses.

And of course that doesn’t sound like an “argument,” because it’s not. It’s people talking pious associations with something they already know for sure.


#256

There is nothing in the Bible that proves decisively that “the sky is blue” or “dogs don’t talk.” There is no textbook on how to read Hebrew letters. There is no dictionary of definitions. You are expected to bring a body of basic knowledge with you, and you are not expected to be able to understand anything about it properly without a teacher. (As the eunuch and Philip discuss, and as Deuteronomy itself explains about doubtful Scripture situations.)

The perpetual virginity of Mary is part of those basics, one of those things meant to be taught by a teacher.

So of course, you can say, “What if Mary wasn’t a virgin? What if she had sex with Joseph after being totally consecrated by God as an Ark, and he didn’t blow up or get swallowed up by the earth, or get set on fire? What if she had other kids, and they didn’t all walk around with their faces glowing like Moses, or get blown up? What if having sex with the queen mother of David’s kingdom wasn’t an act of treason and usurpation against Jesus the King?”

You can also say, “What if the name El actually means ‘Martian,’ and Temple means ‘Olympic swimming pool?’” After all, the meaning of Hebrew words is also outside information that isn’t inspired. Every other piece of Hebrew literature could be part of an elaborate hoax, or an enduring mistake.

At some point, you have to believe the authority of some teacher, or you can’t read or learn anything at all.

The Talmudic references to the power of binding and loosing, describe it (among other things) as a power to accurately interpret Scripture and the unwritten Law, and for God to back up one’s accurate interpretation. The Apostles and their successors possess this power as part of their office, granted by Jesus. They are authoritative teachers. You need to believe them, if you are going to make any sense of Christian teaching.

If you don’t want to believe them, feel free to remain confused. Let me know how the Olympic swimming pool interpretation works out for you.


#257

The whole story of Adonijah, btw, is about What If You Marry One of the King’s Widows. The story of Absalom is on a similar topic (What If You Have Sex with One of the King’s Wives or Concubines), and the story of David’s daughter Tamar (What If You Have Sex with One of the King’s Daughters). There are also various Bible stories about What If You Rape One of the Royal Women.

The kingship or sovereignty was seen as residing in the royal women, in some sense, much as Jewish inheritance comes through the dad but Jewish tribalness comes through the mom. If you had sex with a royal woman without her husband or son or father giving permission, you were saying that you were king now, and that the previous king had lost his power to you. And he would have lost all legal power. His only chance was to execute you quickly, or have some loyalist do it, before everybody else knew that you’d lost your power. Killing the usurper and then having sex with royal women would transfer the kingly power back to the original king. (It also gave the king the legal rights of a conqueror as well as an inheritor from the royal women.)

That’s why the first thing a conqueror would do, all over the Middle East, was to invade the quarters of the king’s women and have his way with them (at least ceremonially); or if he was some king’s general, he would send them back home to his king and conspicuously not allow anyone but his own king to touch them.

That’s also why it’s a big deal whether or not Sarah was left alone by the kings in countries she and Abraham visited. If Sarah had had sex with them and Abraham had done nothing about it, he wouldn’t have had any covenantal promise of kingly power anymore.

If the king did give his permission for you to marry one of the royal daughters (and you weren’t a foreign king having a daughter shipped over to you as a treaty of peace), you were being told that you were his heir. (And that he either trusted you not to kill him, or that he expected to die so soon that it didn’t matter if you usurped his throne and killed him next day.)

Queen Mother Bathsheba didn’t understand this fully, which is why she agreed to petition her son King Solomon to let Adonijah marry the Shunamite woman. She apparently thought that since the Shunamite had never actually had sex with old King David, and had literally just warmed his bed, that she didn’t really count as a concubine, and nobody could usurp anything through her. But Solomon understood it. Hooboy, did he understand it. And thus, things did not go well for Adonijah.

So if Mary had ever had sex with Joseph after Jesus’ birth, Jesus would no longer have been the Son of David and the King of Israel. Joseph would have become the Davidic King, and Jesus would have just been a schmo.


#258

Okay, He still would have been God made man.

But the point is that He would have had no earthly standing at all. He would have had His Davidic inheritance legally stolen away, unless He had immediately executed Joseph as a traitor. And yet tradition tells us that Joseph died peacefully, of natural causes, when Jesus was already an adult.

Also, we do not see Joseph trying to kill Jesus, or Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” trying to kill Jesus and vice versa. There is a total lack of internecine family murder.

Nor are we told (in the Gospels or any tradition) that Mary was punished or executed by Jesus, or shut away in prison; or that Jesus suddenly made an effort to have sex with royal women. So obviously Jesus wasn’t afraid that His queen mother, Mary, had already had sex with someone else, or that she was ever going to have sex at all.

Now, since God clearly promises in the OT that David will have an heir who will be king forever and who will never have his kingship taken away. Since Christianity has always read that as being Jesus, it’s obvious that Joseph did not steal the kingdom from Jesus. So obviously Joseph didn’t have sex with Mary, and neither did any other human being (or angel, or Martian). He took Mary into his house and called her his wife, but that’s all he did – or our hope is vain, and Jesus is not the Son of David promised to us; or God broke His promise, and we need to find a more trustworthy god.

Obviously your preschool religious education class is not going to cover the history of royal Middle Eastern sex and power! It’s not a suitable subject for most sermons, either, although you can find this in lots of ancient or medieval commentaries on Kings and Samuel.

But we’re all grownups here, so let’s not be mealymouthed about these topics – if folks are going to be confused by talking around stuff.


#259

Ok, but it cuts both ways. For example, to my knowledge we do not have any of Helvidius writings, the ones Jerome rebutts(and yet he is a heretic).

Your point also shows the wonder of what has survived, such as scripture. Things survive, and don’t survive, based upon what is desired and what is not and by whom. It is battle ground for opposing forces. So while secular Rome burned Christian literature, Christians saved it, and the latter prevailed. Later when secular and church merged, they burned what was deemed heretical, and heretics did their best to save them, with mixed resuls.


#260

Well, we don’t know if indeed Helvidius did not read any of the authors mentioned, nor if he had a decent library much less anything to boast about as Jerome does.

Interesting that Jerome puts into print more quotes from the heretics (Helvidius himself), than say an Ignatius or Polycarp etc, which you now imply their quotes on an ever virgin Mary are lost forever ( but not Helvidius’s).


#261

Martyr does not call Mary but Virgin Mary. If she had not remained a virgin, calling her that would not have been appropriate. No teaching recorded? but you do have James. It may not be inspired but it does show what was being taught that is reliable. All of them talked of her virginity, none of them refer to other children.


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