Translation of the words "brother" and "cousin"


-Origen says ‘open’ in that quote and you had him as your first reference. I see no reason to assume what you assume: that he’s talking about the hymen unless I’m missing more context somewhere in that first quote. Certainly Jesus opened Mary’s womb during his birth, he was the first thing ever to pass through her and we as Catholics believe he remains the only such thing, but I see nothing there contradicting the view that Our Lady’s bodily virginity was left intact.

-You have two quotes by Tertullian, the first one saying this:
“he other humiliations of nature, the womb for nine months growing larger, the sickness, the delivery, the blood, the swaddling-clothes…”

I didn’t even see it before but I see now that there’s no reason to even assume Tertullian changed his mind. It seems more likely that Tertullian believed Mary had a normal birth (with blood and all) but was still a virgin (in that she never had intercourse).

I.e. You’re assuming there’s only one possible meaning to the use of the word virgin: making it only about hymen when it is often about whether a person has had intercourse. Is there a reason to believe that if a hymen is broken, a person who has never had intercourse is no longer a virgin? We have to assume that to think the second quote indicates a change of mind by Tertullian.

I also do not see a reason to equate “blood” with “hymen breaking”, why do you assume so? Even if our lady’s hymen was miraculously opened by God without affecting it, there would still be blood. Ordinary mothers who certainly are not virgins bleed some amount when giving birth.

In addition, Tertullian is not the end all be all. He might have been wrong about certain details.


I am curious where your source is for this claim. Origen used James as a reference so it is a surprise that he would reject it but then it depends on what is meant by rejection. When you say it is not reliable what isn’t reliable. It is true that it is not inspired but that does not mean that what it contains is not what people believed. It is evidence of what the people of the time believed. It is probably the first time in print that we see that Mary was ever virgin. You can’t just say it isn’t inspire so nothing is reliable in it.

As a side note. Thank you for this exchange. You will never know how much I have gained from it. It is late and I must go to bed I will try to answer you other post later. In my searching and researching I have come to an awareness that I will try to explain. I am not sure I can but I have you to thank for a wonderful incite. God Bless you.


Betrothed is often equated to today/s engagement. They fail to understand that it was a marriage. I remember being at a bible study and one lady said to another so Joseph and Mary weren’t married when Jesus’ was born.


I think this is taken out of context. The writing you quote from does not in actuality deny Mary’s virginity. A portion of paragraph 23 is copied below, but to be honest one must read and understand the entire writing

While turns of phrase are unfamiliar to modern ears, study confirms its purpose is to assert the humanity of Christ, against

Those whose design it is so to disturb the faith of the resurrection as to deny that that hope extends even to the flesh

and in particular

Marcion, with the purpose of denying Christ’s flesh, also denied his nativity

(23) Who is truly holy, except that holy Son of God? Who in a strict sense has opened a womb, except him who opened this that was shut? For all other women marriage opens it. Consequently, hers was the more truly opened in that it was the more shut. Indeed she is rather to be called not-virgin than virgin, having become a mother by a sort of leap, before she was a bride. Why need we discuss this any further? In stating, on these considerations, not that the Son of God was born of a virgin, but of a woman


Brant Pitre’s new book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, just came out today. And really, he does a better job explaining the doctrines, showing their Biblical and Jewish nature, and countering objections, than anybody else modern whom I have read.

So anybody interested in the topics on this thread, and how they deepen our understanding of Jesus, should go get the book.

(Yes, I pre-ordered on Kindle, and I read the whole book this morning. Good thing it is my day off!)

The big news for me was that the Bible prophecies and Jewish tradition about the Messiah (and his queen mother) have a ton more connections with Mary’s experiences than I had ever heard or understood.


This was your response to

You obviously cannot provide any of their writing to support that she did not remain a virgin

So I am assuming that this an answer is support that she did not remain a virgin. Your quotes have me dumbfounded as why you posted them. What they speak to is that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born. We agree on that point… Where are they saying she did not remain a virgin?


Crocus Mcq is not denying the virginity of Mary but that she remained a virgin. Yes what was posted in support of this is confusing.


The texts speak are speaking of her being a physical virgin or not after the birth, or in spite of it…but you are right, doesn’t address other children.


I realize that. :wink: People have said before that Tertullian denied the virginity, may be, not in this writing though. My point is his only purpose here is to prove the humanity of Jesus.

  • “In the case of every other woman, it is not the birth of an infant but intercourse with a man that opens the womb. But the womb of the Lord’s mother was opened at the time when her offspring was brought forth …” (Origen, Homilies on Luke, Homily 14 , paragraphs 7-8). (says nothing of the “womb” closing up again)

I had a difficult time finding an online source but it was worth it. I cannot copy and paste from it but it was well worth the effort to find it,it put the quote in perspective. It also changed the meaning for me.


yes understand, but that lady was partially right , if she meant that Mary had not had her wedding yet, and engagement is partially close to betrothed but not wedded yet, but not alike for the engagement covenant does not have the finality as in betrothed covenant …but i am with you that betrothed is like our married in terms of the contract/covenant though not wedded…so Mary was married in terms of contract/covenant but not wedded


ok good…saw something also that we had touched upon earlier, when discussing why Mary said or asked “how?”

Origen says he believes Mary conceived at the moment the angel pronounced the “how”. i had posted that others think that the conception had already begun,no longer a future thing but already happening, translating it to the one "being born’’ (already conceived) , not “to be born”. Perhaps the source was aided by this Origen text. I used it to show that perhaps it helps answer why Mary asked her question, almost like not how will i get pregnant, but how could I already be pregnant…but not sure, origen does not go that far, says it happened the moment angel spoke the "how " of it, which is after Mary’s question…but origen goes halfway and eliminates the understanding of the apparent future tense of the verb, perhaps down to a nano second.


May i add that what is considered a virgin in the church at that time was a physical condition (intact hymen, even after the birth)., not today’s understanding of just never having sexual relations.


Yes, and to help show this humanity was to show His normal birth, and to say her hymen remained intact is not normal humanity birth ( for sure the only thing not normal was the conception, which however did not affect His total humanity). Focusing on Mary (being ever virgin) at that time was detracting from the gospel of, and essence of Christ, feeding Gnosticism and dualism etc…


I don’t know what you mean by married but not wedded. In fact they were wrong. Marriage took place in two steps. The first was the agreement of marriage at which they were married. It is what is referred to at the betrothal. The couple did not live together or have sex. The second part is when the husband came and took his wife to his home. We see this when the angel says take your wife into your home. What the angel was saying was complete the wedding. When Jesus was born Joseph had taken Mary into his home making the marriage complete. The women were not even a little bit right. Only ignorant.


I would like to see the source. As Mary had not agreed. The conception needed her agreement. Speaking of Origen found a source that said Jesus was Mary’s only child. The text doe not support your speculation. I have not found anything that would suggest it either.


You are correct on this. I


Yes of course, but there is foreknowledge…i mean before the earth foundation were laid Christ was, even we were known, just as you say Mary was immaculate, due to His “future” sacrifice…so knowledge of her answer, of how she would decide, was foreknown.


I am not certain what you are saying here. You aren’t saying because God knew she would say yes that He had the Holy Spirit overshadow her before she actually said yes. BTW did you look at that link of Origen? I just did and he says: “Mary was perpetually a virgin” the article I read said somewhere between 238 and 244. My math might be off but I believe that would be 100 years before Jerome was born.


Just as she was immaculate before she was born, or before Christ had paid the penalty on Calvary before such a thing could happen?

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