Was Mary Really aVirgin?


#1

Is there there anywhere in the scripture that indicates Mary maintained her virginity for the entirety of her life? I’m a Catholic, and I would like to know why the Catholic Church claims that Mary was a virgin for her whole life.


#2

It's suspected that mary was a young girl and was a perpetual virgin of the temple. Which explains why Joseph was probably an older man who was given mary to protect her (he would be less inclined to have relations with her).

But here's why I believe she stayed perpetually virgin. She was the "spouse of the holy spirit" ...... the reason she gets this title is that she was impregnated by the holy spirit.....and in the jewish faith, that meant something.....that a marriage was consumated.

Jospeh who is depicted in the bible as being "a just man".....meaning he followed the jewish law and did it well! Would have not DARED to touch her! He was told in a dream that the Holy Spirit impregnated her.

God bless.


#3

From what I know, there is no where in the bible that clearly states that she maintained her virginity. There is debate on how to interpret Matthew 1:25 that Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son.” Many think this means that he did, indeed, “know” her after Jesus was born.
There is another sentence that says something vague about how no one can follow where Jesus has been or something (I can’t find it right now)…but…

I think the perpetual virginity was not doctrine for the first several centuries after Jesus died. That’s what the encyclopedia says, anyway.

In fact, the bible names a brother for Jesus, James. Many say this was a cousin and that there was no word for cousin at that time, but I have read scholars who have studied the languages who disagree.

There is also a debate on the word “virgin” since the word it is translated from can also mean “young woman”.


#4

To continue your bible search…I don’t think there is any place in the bible that says Joseph is all that much older than Mary. I can’t find anywhere that mentions his age or that he is an “older” man.
Michael, do you know of any sentence?


#5

I would point people to a scholar of Scripture par excellence: St. Jerome - Against Helvidius - On the Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary. If one thinks that discussions on this board can get heated, wait until you get a taste of St. Jerome's writing style in defense of the Faith :D


#6

no. there isint. it's through our ancient traditions:

catholic.com/tracts/mary-ever-virgin


#7

It helps to recognize Biblical typology when it comes to Mary. The evidence is there, you just have to know how to recognize it. For example, Mary is certainly the Ark of the Covenant. And the Ark was not to be "touched." (2 Sam. 6:7) That is a theological testament to her virginity and the Church has recognized her as the Ark. Mary is also the type of the virgin bride, the Church, wedded to the bridegroom Christ.


#8

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:6, topic:318800"]
no. there isint. it's through our ancient traditions:

catholic.com/tracts/mary-ever-virgin

[/quote]

Not exactly true.

Please note:
scripturecatholic.com/blessed_virgin_mary.html#the_bvm-V

This is the most extensive site I have come across regarding this topic.


#9

Thanks. This is sooo cool. :thumbsup:


#10

[quote="DaddyGirl, post:3, topic:318800"]
In fact, the bible names a brother for Jesus, James. Many say this was a cousin and that there was no word for cousin at that time, but I have read scholars who have studied the languages who disagree.

[/quote]

I was going to say something; but St. Jerome says it more than sufficiently starting at point #16.

It should be noted that he fails to include the book of Tobit in his extensive list of examples. I'm not faulting him, (as if); I just thought I'd point it out since Tobias refers to his wife as his sister and the Angel Raphiel (disguised as a distant cousin) as his brother.


#11

Mary’s question to the angel was very strange. She asks the Angel how can she be pregnant when she knew not man. At this time, Mary was married to Joseph but she doesn’t mention Joseph at all.

The language that was spoke was Aramaic and it does not have a word for cousin. Brother is used in many senses in the Bible. Lot is called the brother of Abraham although he was his uncle is just one example that brother doesn’t mean having the same parent.

The until argument is frankly put forth by ignorance as is the misunderstanding about the term first born.

Joseph is thought to be older because it would explain his absence during the ministry of Jesus in that they thought he had died.

There is internal evidence that Jesus was not oldest when it comes to the brothers that are mention. They treat Him as being younger. As Jesus was Mary’s first born, they could not be her children. As has been mentioned, the giving of Mary into John’s care shows there was no sibling.


#12

I can't quote a reliable source, so will pose my comment as a question to any Eastern Catholics or Orthodox who might read this: isn't there an Eastern tradition that states Joseph was an older widower with children?


#13

[quote="Monkey1976, post:5, topic:318800"]
I would point people to a scholar of Scripture par excellence: St. Jerome - Against Helvidius - On the Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary. If one thinks that discussions on this board can get heated, wait until you get a taste of St. Jerome's writing style in defense of the Faith :D

[/quote]

That is a really really intense read, I love the sarcasm:

I was requested by certain of the brethren not long ago to reply to a pamphlet written by one Helvidius. I have deferred doing so, not because it is a difficult matter to maintain the truth and refute an ignorant boor who has scarce known the first glimmer of learning, but because I was afraid my reply might make him appear worth defeating.

It's fantastic.


#14

#15

While affirmed by the 649 Lateran Synod and Pope Paul IV (D 256, 993), according to Dr. Ludvig Ott the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is only indirectly referred to in the Holy Scriptures. Many Church Fathers such as St. Ambrose, St. Jerome and St. Augustine supported the teaching, while it was denied by people like Tertullian, Eunomius, Jovinian and Helvidius. Along with the Motherhood of God (AD 431), the Immaculate Conception (AD 1854), and the Assumption into Heaven (AD 1950) it is one of the four Marian dogmas.

The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:

Holy Writ only indirectly attest the continuance of Mary's virginity after the birth. From the question which Mary puts to the Angel, Luke, 1, 34: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?" it is inferred that she had taken the resolve of constant virginity on the ground of a special Divine enlightenment. In the light of this text St. Augustine and many Fathers and theologians believed that Mary made a formal vow of virginity. However, the subsequent espousals can hardly be reconciled with this. We note that the fact that the dying Redeemer entrusted His Mother to the protection of the Disciple John (John 19, 26: "Woman, behold thy Son"), presupposes that Mary had no other children but Jesus. Cf Origen, In Ioan, 1, , 4 (6) 23.


#16

There are a few reasons based on Scripture why i don't think Mary had other children.

We never have Scriptural references to 'Mary's children' nor 'the children of Mary'. We also do not have references to Jesus and his brothers and sisters where 'their mother' is mentioned. I think the brothers and sisters term is quite easily accepted as the Greek translation of the Aramaic which did not distinguish between brother, half-brother, adopted brother, nephew, cousin, uncle etc.

Also, after Jesus' death we do not have any internal squabbles regarding leadership based on Jesus' blood-line which we could expect if Jesus had actual blood brothers. For example, the Muslims split after Muhammad on exactly this issue.

Lastly, when the New Testament writers speak of Jesus' special nature they never mention a brother or sister in order to highlight the difference. If Jesus had full brothers and sisters you would expect this to have been an issue when discussing Jesus' special nature.

Also other sites which may help.

catholic.com/tracts/mary-ever-virgin

orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/evervirgin.aspx


#17

[quote="abucs, post:16, topic:318800"]
I think the brothers and sisters term is quite easily accepted as the Greek translation of the Aramaic which did not distinguish between brother, half-brother, adopted brother, nephew, cousin, uncle etc.

[/quote]

Thank you
You have put succinctly into words what thoughts that I have not been able to express. :thumbsup:


#18

I believe that through the Overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, Mary was permanently espoused to God in the sense of bearing children.


#19

Wasn’t there something about Mary being a virgin of The Lord, meaning that she was raised in the temple…if you would compare to today it would mean she was like a nun raised in a convent. When she was of age, she had been betrothed to Joseph…him being being more like her guardian than a husband. I believe Joseph was thought to be much older than her. If she was a virgin of The Lord, this would mean for life…in the Jewish tradition.

When I have more time, I will provide some references.

Here’s a great reference right here…

catholic.com/tracts/mary-ever-virgin


#20

Why can we look to the protoevangelium of James to help explain the perpetual virginty of Mary, isn't that book considered heresy?........

patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/09/clear-thinking-about-the-protoevangelium-of-james.html


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