[quote="mummato2, post:11, topic:301761"]
Very true. For me it wouldn't make a difference if Mary was a perpetual virgin or not - it wouldn't matter if something appeared in the ruins conclusively proving she had other children or a sexual relationship with Joseph.
You have been provided great answers to your question. Let me give you another perspective..this time, fromt the St. Joseph, often overlooked.
From Matt 1.....18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
From v19...as you can read from the account, St. Joseph is about to divorce Mary, but an angel talks to him...and look at what the angel says...in v20 and 21...the child is from the Holy Spirit....something divine.
Now put yourself in St. Joseph's shoes...an angel just told you there is something divine in Mary's womb....what would you think? What would you do?
After Mary gives birth...would you dare touch someone carnally whom you know is specially favored by God? Would you still have your libido after knowing all this? Would not feel blessed that you are taking care of someone from God and all you would think about is to have sex?
Translations can be difficult because there are so so many of them - and even when looking at the Greek and Hebrew original documents, there is still room to move within the meaning (same thing we have in English - the written word lacks human expression and intonation so it really is how the individual takes the writing). Look at the number of Commentaries that exist - depending on which side the author is wanting to argue - there will always be verses to support the argument.
Well...that is why Jesus did not leave us the Bible, He gave us the Church...the pillar and bulwark of truth....to guide us.
Now ponder on this....the perpetual virginity has always been believed by the Church...and was defined by a Church council........the Church convened via Council, following the model of Acts 15 Jerusalem council...to define the perpetual virginity of Mary, despite this verse from Matthew.
So let me ask you....do you think the Holy Spirit guided that council to come to the right conclusion on the perpetual virginity of Mary?
And now, here you are, about 1500 years later....and do you think it is the same Holy Spirit that is guiding you to come to a different conclusion from that Church council?
Anyway, just something for you to ponder.