virgin Mary question


#1

I have a question and would like it answered from a Catholic perspective

From what i remember being taught at school - it is a catholic belief that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus.

I was just reading Matthew 1:25 and i would like to know what the Catholic response would be*

"But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her - the end. Why make the inclusion of until unless the situation changed afterwards.

And please, respectful answers guys i am genuinely curious


#2

[quote="mummato2, post:1, topic:301761"]
I have a question and would like it answered from a Catholic perspective

From what i remember being taught at school - it is a catholic belief that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus.

I was just reading Matthew 1:25 and i would like to know what the Catholic response would be*

"But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her - the end. Why make the inclusion of until unless the situation changed afterwards.

And please, respectful answers guys i am genuinely curious

[/quote]

"Brethren of the Lord"
Mary: Ever Virgin


#3

[quote="mummato2, post:1, topic:301761"]
I have a question and would like it answered from a Catholic perspective

From what i remember being taught at school - it is a catholic belief that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus.

I was just reading Matthew 1:25 and i would like to know what the Catholic response would be*

"But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her - the end. Why make the inclusion of until unless the situation changed afterwards.

And please, respectful answers guys i am genuinely curious

[/quote]

In the footnote of the New American Bible it says that Matthew in 1:25 was principally concerned with emphasizing that Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus. Also it says that the word "until" does not imply that Mary had normal marital conduct with Joseph after Jesus's birth nor does it exclude sexual relations. However, it has been the constant teaching of the Church since the first centuries of christianity that Mary remained ever a virgin and the Catholic Church holds Sacred Tradition, the unwritten word of God, to be a source of revelation alongside Sacred Scripture.


#4

[quote="mummato2, post:1, topic:301761"]
I have a question and would like it answered from a Catholic perspective

From what i remember being taught at school - it is a catholic belief that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus.

I was just reading Matthew 1:25 and i would like to know what the Catholic response would be*

"But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her - the end. Why make the inclusion of until unless the situation changed afterwards.

And please, respectful answers guys i am genuinely curious

[/quote]

Luther spoke to this common thought regarding the use of the word "until".

The form of expression used by Matthew is the common idiom, as if I were to say, 'Pharaoh believed not Moses, until he was drowned in the Red Sea.' Here it does not follow that Pharaoh believed later, after he had drowned; on the contrary, it means that he never did believe. Similarly when Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her. Again, the Red Sea overwhelmed Pharaoh before he got across. Here too, it does not follow that Pharaoh got across later, after the Red Sea had overwhelmed him, but rather that he did not get across at all. In like manner, when Matthew says, 'She was found to be with child before they came together,' it does not follow that Mary subsequently lay with Joseph, but rather that she did not lie with him. - Martin Luther

and:

"When Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her"

Jon


#5

In English the word "until" has the connotation that such a thing happened after (although it is not implicit). The Greek doesn't. The phrase simply focuses on the period beforehand and is making no comment on the period after.


#6

[quote="mummato2, post:1, topic:301761"]
"But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her - the end. Why make the inclusion of until unless the situation changed afterwards.

And please, respectful answers guys i am genuinely curious

[/quote]

As Nine_Two says, it is just a translation issue. In English, we so often use "until" to mean "only until" that we can forget it can also be "at least until": "I will be here until Tuesday" could mean "I leave on Tuesday" or "I leave no earlier than Tuesday".

The same Greek term, 'εως, is used by the same writer again very obviously in the "at least until" sense: "Mat 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool". Clearly, it does not mean, "And then go away from me".

Something worth considering here is that the reason for the traditional belief in Mary's continued virginity is that the Early Church believed it, and, for a great many of them, Greek was their native language.


#7

If i say “My class was good until I came back,” then I’m emphasizing what happened while I was gone- not that they were suddenly bad because I came back.


#8

Didymus the Blind

"It helps us to understand the terms ‘first-born’ and ‘only-begotten’ when the Evangelist tells that Mary remained a virgin ‘until she brought forth her first-born 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]).

.
[INDENT]catholic.com/tracts/brethren-of-the-lord
[/INDENT]

Obviously, the Catholic position is that the word "until" neither implies normal marital relations nor does it exclude it.

Here is what I found in Luke 9:27.

"Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."

According to argument #1 and #2, that would mean that they would in fact taste death after seeing the kingdom of God, that is, they will die after being in Heaven. This goes against ETERNAL LIFE!

[INDENT]forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=535727[/INDENT]

Now, does Matthew’s use of "until" mean what your friend says it does? Not necessarily. The Greek word for "until" (heos) does not imply that Mary had marital relations after the birth of Christ. In 2 Samuel 6:23, we read that Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no child "until" the day of her death. (Rest assured that she didn't have any children after that day, either.) Hebrews 1:13 and 1 Timothy 4:13 are similar examples.

When we interpret any passage, we must consider what the author was trying to say. Matthew’s intent here is not to explain what happened after the birth of Christ. He is only concerned with the fact that Joseph and Mary had no relations before then. It is the virgin birth, not later siblings, that Matthew is concerned with.

[INDENT]archive.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0007sbs.asp[/INDENT]

Hope this is helpful...links have abundance of details.
Pax Christi


#9

[quote="Mystophilus, post:6, topic:301761"]

Something worth considering here is that the reason for the traditional belief in Mary's continued virginity is that the Early Church believed it, and, for a great many of them, Greek was their native language.

[/quote]

People should always remember they are using translations, and word meaning almost never translates exactly.


#10

Thank you everyone - that is exactly the sort of stuff I was looking for :)

I'll take some time to read through it and come back with any questions - if they pop up


#11

[quote="Nine_Two, post:9, topic:301761"]
People should always remember they are using translations, and word meaning almost never translates exactly.

[/quote]

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.

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.

So confusing!


#12

I know you already have good answers but thought I'd add this quick thought...

Have you ever watched a TV program where the host, at the end of the program says..."Until next week I'm (gives his name)"...Do you believe that after next week he will be someone different?

Of course not. The Host of the show will continue to the the same person with the same name. So - "until" does not necessarily mean a change.

Peace
James


#13

[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.

So confusing!

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.

[/quote]


#14

[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.

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.

So confusing!

[/quote]

and now you can see the importance of having an authoritative and authentic interpretation of the Bible. That is what the Catholic Church does. Sacred Scripture + Sacred Tradition + the magisterium is what assures us of knowing the Truth.


#15

Matthew 1:25 “But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus”

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her

the purpose of the inspired author is NOT to let us know Mary an Joseph sexual relations after the the birth BUT to specify that Jesus was born without a man intervention BEFORE the birth:)
the word “until” does not necessary says that after that it happened, there is some cases like that on the bible like 2 samuel 6:23, matthew 28:20,
I invite you to study everything it has to do with Mary like the importance of why Mary has to be virgin, there is a lot to say about that,
if anyone says that Marry had more children or did NOT remain virgin they do Not know the glory of GOD they don’t glorify Him as the Lord


#16

[quote="damiagua07, post:15, topic:301761"]
Matthew 1:25 "But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her

[/quote]

the purpose of the inspired author is NOT to let us know Mary an Joseph sexual relations after the the birth BUT to specify that Jesus was born without a man intervention BEFORE the birth:)
the word "until" does not necessary says that after that it happened, there is some cases like that on the bible like 2 samuel 6:23, matthew 28:20,

I invite you to study everything it has to do with Mary like the importance of why Mary has to be virgin, there is a lot to say about that,
if anyone says that Marry had more children or did NOT remain virgin they do Not know the glory of GOD they don't glorify Him as the Lord


#17

[quote="mummato2, post:1, topic:301761"]
I have a question and would like it answered from a Catholic perspective

From what i remember being taught at school - it is a catholic belief that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus.

I was just reading Matthew 1:25 and i would like to know what the Catholic response would be*

"But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus"

Every translation ive read uses words related to the sexual union and this verse goes so far as to specify there was no union UNTIL. Not, but he had no union with her - the end. Why make the inclusion of until unless the situation changed afterwards.

And please, respectful answers guys i am genuinely curious

[/quote]

the purpose of the inspired author is NOT to let us know Mary an Joseph sexual relations after the the birth BUT to specify that Jesus was born without a man intervention BEFORE the birth:)
the word "until" does not necessary says that after that it happened, there is some cases like that on the bible like 2 samuel 6:23, matthew 28:20,

I invite you to study everything it has to do with Mary like the importance of why Mary has to be virgin, there is a lot to say about that,
if anyone says that Marry had more children or did NOT remain virgin they do Not know the glory of GOD they don't glorify Him as the Lord

Ezekiel 44:2 says no one should come through this door because the Lord came through it! God Bless YOU! ;)


#18

[quote="pablope, post:13, topic:301761"]

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?**

.
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

This is my favorite - and most convincing argument for the P.V. I don't know why I did not offer it in my earlier post.

It does not require any deep understanding of Scripture, just a simple and realistic understanding of what it would mean to be the spouse of Mary and foster father to Jesus...

Peace
James

[/quote]


#19

[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.

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.

So confusing!

[/quote]

The Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth. But which church? Go back in time century by century, the Catholic Church is always there, the others will cease to exist. Ignatius of Antioch uses the term casually (not as a new term) as early as 110AD (way before Constantine or anything like that...) The issue of who has authority to interpret the scriptures is the main reason I returned to the Catholic Church, where the pastors do not operate and preach on their own, but within the context ofl the long history and tradition of the Church. The Bible is part of that history and tradition.

The perpetual virginity of Mary is an ancient belief of the Church which has been made dogma, no need to reinvent the wheel.


#20

Copied and pasted:
I had surgery on my left hand on Oct. 11th, which means I must hunt and peck with my right hand. That is so slow that I plan to desert my usual grammar and spelling for the next few days, until I can use my left hand a little. Thank you all for your patience!

more engl lang examples -

i studied hard until i got into med school.

i saved up until i could afford a car.

i walked along 7th street until i got to the store.


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