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The Protoevangelium of James
Early Christian Writings ^ | 2nd century AD | Attributed to St. James

Posted on 11/21/2005 2:11:12 PM PST by annalex

The Protoevangelium of James
The Birth of Mary the Holy Mother of God,
and Very Glorious Mother of Jesus Christ

IN THE RECORDS OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL was Joachim, a man rich exceedingly; and he brought his offerings double, saying: There shall be of my superabundance to all the people, and there shall be the offering for my forgiveness to the Lord for a propitiation for me. For the great day of the Lord was at hand, and the sons of Israel were bringing their offerings. And there stood over against him Rubim, saying: It is not meet for thee first to bring thine offerings, because thou hast not made seed in Israel. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and went away to the registers of the twelve tribes of the people, saying: I shall see the registers of the twelve tribes of Israel, as to whether I alone have not made seed in Israel. And he searched, and found that all the righteous had raised up seed in Israel. And he called to mind the patriach Abraham, that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: I will not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer shall be my food and drink.

2. And his wife Anna mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childlessness. And the great day of the Lord was at hand; and Judith her maid-servant said: How long dost thou humiliate thy soul? Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand, and it is unlawful for thee to mourn. But take this head-band, which the woman that made it gave to me; for it is not proper that I should wear it, because I am a maid-servant, and it has a royal appearance. And Anna said: Depart from me; for I have not done such things, and the Lord has brought me very low. I fear that some wicked person has given it to thee, and thou hast come to make me a sharer in thy sin. And Judith said: Why should I curse thee, seeing that the Lord hath shut thy womb, so as not to give thee fruit in Israel? And Anna was grieved exceedingly, and put off her garments of mourning, and cleaned her head, and put on her wedding garments, and about the ninth hour went down to the garden to walk. And she saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as Thou didst bless the womb of Sarah, and didst give her a son Isaac.

3. And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a sparrow's nest in the laurel, and made a lamentation in herself, saying: Alas! who begot me? and what womb produced me? because I have become a curse in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in derision out of the temple of the Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like the fowls of the heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like the beasts of the earth, because even the beasts of the earth are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like these waters, because even these waters are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like this earth, because even the earth bringeth forth its fruits in season, and blesseth Thee, O Lord.

4. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shall bring forth; and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anna said: As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life. And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath heard thy prayer Go down hence; for, behold, thy wife Anna shall conceive. And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying: Bring me hither ten she-lambs without spot or blemish, and they shall be for the Lord my God; and bring me twelve tender calves, and they shall be for the priests and the elders; and a hundred goats for all the people. And, behold, Joachim came with his flocks; and Anna stood by the gate, and saw Joachim coming, and she ran anti hung upon his neck, saying: Now I know that the Lord God hath blessed me exceedingly; for, behold the widow no longer a widow, and I the childless shall conceive. And Joachim rested the first day in his house.

5. And on the following day he brought his offerings, saying in himself: If the Lord God has been rendered gracious to me, the plate on the priest's forehead will make it manifest to me. And Joachim brought his offerings, and observed attentively the priest's plate when he went up to the altar of the Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said: Now I know that the Lord has been gracious unto me, and has remitted all my sins. And he went down from the temple of the Lord justified, and departed to his own house. And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? and she said: A girl. And said Anna: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called her name Mary.

6. And the child grew strong day by day; and when she was six months old, her mother set her on the ground to try whether she could stand, and she walked seven steps and came into her bosom; and she snatched her up, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, thou shall not walk on this earth until I bring thee into the temple of the Lord. And she made a sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass through her. And she called the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, and they led her astray. And when she was a year old, Joachim made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the child to the priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever. And her mother snatched her up, and took her into the sanctuary of her bed-chamber, and gave her the breast. And Anna made a song to the Lord God, saying: I will sing a song to the Lord my God, for He hath looked upon me, and hath taken away the reproach of mine enemies; and the Lord hath given the the fruit of His righteousness, singular in its kind, and richly endowed before Him. Who will tell the sons of Rubim that Anna gives suck? Hear, hear, ye twelve tribes of Israel, that Anna gives suck. And she laid her to rest in the bed-chamber of her sanctuary, and went out and ministered unto them. And when the supper was ended, they went down rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel.

7. And her months were added to the child. And the child was two years old, and Joachim said: Let us take her up to the temple of the Lord, that we may pay the vow that we have vowed, lest perchance the Lord send to us, and our offering be not received. And Anna said: Let us wait for the third year, in order that the child may not seek for father or mother. And Joachim said: So let us wait. And the child was three years old, and Joachim said: Invite the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them stand with the lamps burning, that the child may not turn back, and her heart be captivated from the temple of the Lord. And they did so until they went up into the temple of the Lord. And the priest received her, and kissed her, and blessed her, saying: The Lord has magnified thy name in all generations. In thee, on the last of the days, the Lord will manifest His redemption to the sons of Israel. And he set her down upon the third step of the altar, and the Lord God sent grace upon her; and she danced with her feet, and all the house of Israel loved her.

8. And her parents went down marvelling, and praising the Lord God, because the child had not turned back. And Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there, and she received food from the hand of an angel. And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of the priests, saying: Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, test perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord? And they said to the high priest: Thou standest by the altar of the Lord; go in, and pray concerning her; and whatever the Lord shall manifest unto thee, that also will we do. And the high priest went in, taking the robe with the twelve bells into the holy of holies; and he prayed concerning her. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him, saying unto him: Zacharias, Zacharias, go out and assemble the widowers of the people, and let them bring each his rod; and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. And the heralds went out through all the circuit of Judaea, and the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and all ran.

9. And Joseph, throwing away his axe, went out to meet them; and when they had assembled, they went away to the high priest, taking with them their rods. And he, taking the rods of all of them, entered into the temple, and prayed; and having ended his prayer, he took the rods and came out, and gave them to them: but there was no sign in them, and Joseph took his rod last; and, behold, a dove came out of the rod, and flew upon Joseph's head. And the priest said to Joseph, Thou hast been chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the virgin of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying: I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl. I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to the sons of Israel. And the priest said to Joseph: Fear the Lord thy God, and remember what the Lord did to Dathan, and Abiram, and Korah; how the earth opened, and they were swallowed up on account of their contradiction. And now fear, O Joseph, lest the same things happen in thy house. And Joseph was afraid, and took her into his keeping. And Joseph said to Mary: Behold, I have received thee from the temple of the Lord; and now I leave thee in my house, and go away to build my buildings, and I shall come to thee. The Lord will protect thee.

10. And there was a council of the priests, saying: Let us make a veil for the temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Call to me the undefiled virgins of the family of David. And the officers went away, and sought, and found seven virgins. And the priest remembered the child Mary, that she was of the family of David, and undefiled before God. And the officers went away and brought her. And they brought them into the temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Choose for me by lot who shall spin the gold, and the white, and the fine linen, and the silk, and the blue, and the scarlet, and the true purple. And the true purple and the scarlet fell to the lot of Mary, and she took them, and went away to her house. And at that time Zacharias was dumb, and Samuel was in his place until the time that Zacharias spake. And Mary took the scarlet, and span it.

11. And she took the pitcher, and went out to fill it with water. And, behold, a voice saying: Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women! And she looked round, on the right hand and on the left, to see whence this voice came. And she went away, trembling, to her house, and put down the pitcher; and taking the purple, she sat down on her seat, and drew it out. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before her, saying: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found grace before the Lord of all, and thou shalt conceive, according to His word. And she hearing, reasoned with herself, saying: Shall I conceive by the Lord, the living God? and shall I bring forth as every woman brings forth? And the angel of the Lord said: Not so, Mary; for the power of the Lord shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Most High. And thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. And Mary said: Behold, the servant of the Lord before His face: let it be unto me according to thy word.

12. And she made the purple and the scarlet, and took them to the priest. And the priest blessed her, and said: Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name, and thou shall be blessed in all the generations of the earth. And Mary, with great joy, went away to Elizabeth her kinswoman, and knocked at the door. And when Elizabeth heard her, she threw away the scarlet, and ran to the door, and opened it; and seeing Mary, she blessed her, and said: Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? for, behold, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee. But Mary had forgotten the mysteries of which the archangel Gabriel had spoken, and gazed up into heaven, and said: Who am I, O Lord, that all the generations of the earth should bless me? And she remained three months with Elizabeth; and day by day she grew bigger. And Mary being afraid, went away to her own house, and hid herself from the sons of Israel. And she was sixteen years old when these mysteries happened.

13. And she was in her sixth month; and, behold, Joseph came back from his building, and, entering into his house, he discovered that she was big with child. And he smote his face, and threw himself on the ground upon the sackcloth, and wept bitterly, saying: With what face shall I look upon the Lord my God? and what prayer shall I make about this maiden? because I received her a virgin out of the temple of the Lord, and I have not watched over her. Who is it that has hunted me down? Who has done this evil thing in my house, and defiled the virgin? Has not the history of Adam been repeated in me? For just as Adam was in the hour of his singing praise, and the serpent came, and found Eve alone, and completely deceived her, so it has happened to me also. And Joseph stood up from the sackcloth, and called Mary, and said to her: O thou who hast been cared for by God, why hast thou done this and forgotten the Lord thy God? Why hast thou brought low thy soul, thou that wast brought up in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel? And she wept bitterly, saying: I am innocent, and have known no man. And Joseph said to her: Whence then is that which is in thy womb? And she said: As the Lord my God liveth, I do not know whence it is to me.

14. And Joseph was greatly afraid, and retired from her, and considered what he should do in regard to her. And Joseph said: If I conceal her sin, I find myself fighting against the law of the Lord; and if I expose her to the sons of Israel, I am afraid lest that which is in her be from an angel, and I shall be found giving up innocent blood to the doom of death. What then shall I do with her? I will put her away from me secretly. And night came upon him; and, behold, an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream, saying: Be not afraid for this maiden, for that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit; and she will bring forth a Son, and thou shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. And Joseph arose from sleep, and glorified the God of Israel, who had given him this grace; and he kept her.

15. And Annas the scribe came to him, and said: Why hast thou not appeared in our assembly? And Joseph said to him: Because I was weary from my journey, and rested the first day. And he turned, and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest? and said to him: Joseph, whom thou didst vouch for, has committed a grievous crime. And the priest said: How so? And he said: He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord, and has married her by stealth, and has not revealed it to the sons of Israel. And the priest answering, said: Has Joseph done this? Then said Annas the scribe: Send officers, and thou wilt find the virgin with child. And the officers went away, and found it as he had said; and they brought her along with Joseph to the tribunal. And the priest said: Mary, why hast thou done this? and why hast thou brought thy soul low, and forgotten the Lord thy God? Thou that wast reared in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel, and didst hear the hymns, and didst dance before Him, why hast thou done this? And she wept bitterly, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, I am pure before Him, and know not a man. And the priest said to Joseph: Why hast thou done this? And Joseph said: As the Lord liveth, I am pure concerning her. Then said the priest: Bear not false witness, but speak the truth. Thou hast married her by stealth, and hast not revealed it to the sons of Israel, and hast not bowed thy head under the strong hand, that thy seed might be blessed. And Joseph was silent.

16. And the priest said: Give up the virgin whom thou didst receive out of the temple of the Lord. And Joseph burst into tears. And the priest said: I will give you to drink of the water of the ordeal of the Lord, and He shall make manifest your sins in your eyes. And the priest took the water, and gave Joseph to drink and sent him away to the hill-country; and he returned unhurt. And he gave to Mary also to drink, and sent her away to the hill-country; and she returned unhurt. And all the people wondered that sin did not appear in them. And the priest said: If the Lord God has not made manifest your sins, neither do I judge you. And he sent them away. And Joseph took Mary, and went away to his own house, rejoicing and glorifying the God of Israel.

17. And there was an order from the Emperor Augustus, that all in Bethlehem of Judaea should be enrolled. And Joseph said: I shall enrol my sons, but what shall I do with this maiden? How shall I enrol her? As my wife? I am ashamed. As my daughter then? But all the sons of Israel know that she is not my daughter. The day of the Lord shall itself bring it to pass as the Lord will. And he saddled the ass, and set her upon it; and his son led it, and Joseph followed. And when they had come within three miles, Joseph turned and saw her sorrowful; and he said to himself: Likely that which is in her distresses her. And again Joseph turned and saw her laughing. And he said to her: Mary, how is it that I see in thy face at one time laughter, at another sorrow? And Mary said to Joseph: Because I see two peoples with my eyes; the one weeping and lamenting, and the other rejoicing and exulting. And they came into the middle of the road, and Mary said to him: Take me down from off the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth. And he took her down from off the ass, and said to her: Whither shall I lead thee, and cover thy disgrace? for the place is desert.

18. And he found a cave there, and led her into it; and leaving his two sons beside her, he went out to seek a widwife in the district of Bethlehem. And I Joseph was walking, and was not walking; and I looked up into the sky, and saw the sky astonished; and I looked up to the pole of the heavens, and saw it standing, and the birds of the air keeping still. And I looked down upon the earth, and saw a trough lying, and work-people reclining: and their hands were in the trough. And those that were eating did not eat, and those that were rising did not carry it up, and those that were conveying anything to their mouths did not convey it; but the faces of all were looking upwards. And I saw the sheep walking, and the sheep stood still; and the shepherd raised his hand to strike them, and his hand remained up. And I looked upon the current of the river, and I saw the mouths of the kids resting on the water and not drinking, and all things in a moment were driven from their course.

19. And I saw a woman coming down from the hill-country, and she said to me: O man, whither art thou going? And I said: I am seeking an Hebrew midwife. And she answered and said unto me: Art thou of Israel? And I said to her: Yes. And she said: And who is it that is bringing forth in the cave? And I said: A woman betrothed to me. And she said to me: Is she not thy wife? And I said to her: It is Mary that was reared in the temple of the Lord, and I obtained her by lot as my wife. And yet she is not my wife, but has conceived of the Holy Spirit. And the widwife said to him: Is this true? And Joseph said to her: Come and see. And the midwife went away with him. And they stood in the place of the cave, and behold a luminous cloud overshadowed the cave. And the midwife said: My soul has been magnified this day, because mine eyes have seen strange things -- because salvation has been brought forth to Israel. And immediately the cloud disappeared out of the cave, and a great light shone in the cave, so that the eyes could not bear it. And in a little that light gradually decreased, until the infant appeared, and went and took the breast from His mother Mary. And the midwife cried out, and said: This is a great day to me, because I have seen this strange sight. And the midwife went forth out of the cave, and Salome met her. And she said to her: Salome, Salome, I have a strange sight to relate to thee: a virgin has brought forth -- a thing which her nature admits not of. Then said Salome: As the Lord my God liveth, unless I thrust in my finger, and search the parts, I will not believe that a virgin has brought forth.

20. And the midwife went in, and said to Mary: Show thyself; for no small controversy has arisen about thee. And Salome put in her finger, and cried out, and said: Woe is me for mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God; and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if burned with fire. And she bent her knees before the Lord, saying: O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; do not make a show of me to the sons of Israel, but restore me to the poor; for Thou knowest, O Lord, that in Thy name I have performed my services, and that I have received my reward at Thy hand. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by her, saying to her: Salome, Salome, the Lord hath heard thee. Put thy hand to the infant, and carry it, and thou wilt have safety and joy. And Salome went and carried it, saying: I will worship Him, because a great King has been born to Israel. And, behold, Salome was immediately cured, and she went forth out of the cave justified. And behold a voice saying: Salome, Salome, tell not the strange things thou hast seen, until the child has come into Jerusalem.

21. And, behold, Joseph was ready to go into Judaea. And there was a great commotion in Bethlehem of Judaea, for Magi came, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. And when Herod heard, he was much disturbed, and sent officers to the Magi. And he sent for the priests, and examined them, saying: How is it written about the Christ? where is He to be born? And they said: In Bethlehem of Judaea, for so it is written. And he sent them away. And he examined the Magi, saying to them: What sign have you seen in reference to the king that has been born? And the Magi said: We have seen a star of great size shining among these stars, and obscuring their light, so that the stars did not appear; and we thus knew that a king has been born to Israel, and we have come to worship him. And Herod said: Go and seek him; and if you find him, let me know, in order that I also may go and worship him. And the Magi went out. And, behold, the star which they had seen in the east went before them until they came to the cave, and it stood over the top of the cave. And the Magi saw the infant with His mother Mary; and they brought forth from their bag gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by the angel not to go into Judaea, they went into their own country by another road.

22. And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall. And Elizabeth, having heard that they were searching for John, took him and went up into the hill-country, and kept looking where to conceal him. And there was no place of concealment. And Elizabeth, groaning with a loud voice, says: O mountain of God, receive mother and child. And immediately the mountain was cleft, and received her. And a light shone about them, for an angel of the Lord was with them, watching over them.

23. And Herod searched for John, and sent officers to Zacharias, saying: Where hast thou hid thy son? And he, answering, said to them: I am the servant of God in holy things, and I sit constantly in the temple of the Lord: I do not know where my son is. And the officers went away, and reported all these things to Herod. And Herod was enraged, and said: His son is destined to be king over Israel. And he sent to him again, saying: Tell the truth; where is thy son? for thou knowest that thy life is in my hand. And Zacharias said: I am God's martyr, if thou sheddest my blood; for the Lord will receive my spirit, because thou sheddest innocent blood at the vestibule of the temple of the Lord. And Zacharias was murdered about daybreak. And the sons of Israel did not know that he had been murdered.

24. But at the hour of the salutation the priests went away, and Zacharias did not come forth to meet them with a blessing, according to his custom. And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias to salute him at the prayer, and to glorify the Most High. And he still delaying, they were all afraid. But one of them ventured to go in, and he saw clotted blood beside the altar; and he heard a voice saying: Zacharias has been murdered, and his blood shall not be wiped up until his avenger come. And hearing this saying, he was afraid, and went out and told it to the priests. And they ventured in, and saw what had happened; and the fretwork of the temple made a wailing noise, and they rent their clothes from the top even to the bottom. And they found not his body, but they found his blood turned into stone. And they were afraid, and went out and reported to the people that Zacharias had been murdered. And all the tribes of the people heard, and mourned, and lamented for him three days and three nights. And after the three days, the priests consulted as to whom they should put in his place; and the lot fell upon Simeon. For it was he who had been warned by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he should see the Christ in the flesh.

And I James that wrote this history in Jerusalem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, withdrew myself to the wilderness until the commotion in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying the Lord God, who had given me the gift and the wisdom to write this history. And grace shall be with them that fear our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory to ages of ages. Amen.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; History; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS: anna; james; jesus; joachim; mary
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Today is the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, described in the Protoevangelium of James.
1 posted on 11/21/2005 2:11:18 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex


Joachim among the Shepherds

Giotto di Bondone
1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

3 posted on 11/21/2005 2:15:27 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex


Marriage of the Virgin

Giotto di Bondone
1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

4 posted on 11/21/2005 2:20:37 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex


Visitation

Giotto di Bondone
1306 Fresco, 150 x 140 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

5 posted on 11/21/2005 2:31:26 PM PST by annalex
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To: Salvation; NYer

For your bumping enjoyment


6 posted on 11/21/2005 2:33:32 PM PST by annalex
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To: Certain_Doom

Cousin.


7 posted on 11/21/2005 2:34:24 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

8 posted on 11/21/2005 3:36:16 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
Thank you.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is mariology in one lesson:

It was a deed of perfect justice that our nature, which was voluntarily enslaved and struck down, should again enter the struggle for victory and cast off its voluntary enslavement. Therefore, God deigned to receive our nature from us, hypostatically uniting with it in a marvellous way. But it was impossible to unite that Most High Nature, Whose purity is incomprehensible for human reason, to a sinful nature before it had been purified. Therefore, for the conception and birth of the Bestower of purity, a perfectly spotless and Most Pure Virgin was required.

Today we celebrate the memory of those things that contributed, if only once, to the Incarnation. He Who is God by nature, the Co-unoriginate and Coeternal Word and Son of the Transcendent Father, becomes the Son of Man, the Son of the Ever-Virgin. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8), immutable in His divinity and blameless in His humanity, He alone, as the Prophet Isaiah prophesied, "practiced no iniquity, nor deceit with His lips" (Is. 53: 9). He alone was not brought forth in iniquity, nor was He conceived in sin, in contrast to what the Prophet David says concerning himself and every other man (Ps. 50/51: 5). Even in what He assumes, He is perfectly pure and has no need to be cleansed Himself. But for our sake, He accepted purification, suffering, death and resurrection, that He might transmit them to us.

God is born of the spotless and Holy Virgin, or better to say, of the Most Pure and All-Holy Virgin. She is above every fleshly defilement, and even above every impure thought. Her conceiving resulted not from fleshly lust, but by the overshadowing of the Most Holy Spirit. Such desire being utterly alien to Her, it is through prayer and spiritual readiness that She declared to the angel: "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord; be it unto Me according to thy word" (Lk. 1:38), and that She conceived and gave birth. So, in order to render the Virgin worthy of this sublime purpose, God marked this ever-virgin Daughter now praised by us, from before the ages, and from eternity, choosing Her from out of His elect.

[...]

Now, when Righteous Joachim and Anna saw that they had been granted their wish, and that the divine promise to them was realized in fact, then they on their part, as true lovers of God, hastened to fulfill their vow given to God as soon as the child had been weaned from milk. They have now led this truly sanctified child of God, now the Mother of God, this Virgin into the Temple of God. And She, being filled with Divine gifts even at such a tender age, ... She, rather than others, determined what was being done over Her. In Her manner She showed that She was not so much presented into the Temple, but that She Herself entered into the service of God of her own accord, as if she had wings, striving towards this sacred and divine love. She considered it desirable and fitting that she should enter into the Temple and dwell in the Holy of Holies.

Discourse on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos


9 posted on 11/21/2005 4:01:02 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Its quite wonderful, isn't it!


10 posted on 11/21/2005 4:05:02 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Certain_Doom
This is Jesus' brother, right?

Wrong. Jesus was an only child. St. James was the brother of St. John and they were the sons of Zebedee and Salome.

"And going on from thence a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were mending their nets in the ship:" Mark 1:19

"And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he named them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:" Mark 3:17

"And James and John the sons of Zebedee, come to him, saying: Master, we desire that whatsoever we shall ask, thou wouldst do it for us:" Mark 10:35

"And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men." Luke 5:10

Zebedee & Salome begat James (the great) and John

Cleophas-(Alphaeus) & Mary (the other Mary, Mt 27:56,61, 28:1, Jn 19:25) begat James (the less), Jo'ses, and Jude

THE HOLY SPIRIT & the Blessed Virgin Mary begat Jesus Christ

Where do you suppose the descendents of Jesus are these days?

You do realize that the Da Vinci Code is poorly written fiction, don't you?

11 posted on 11/21/2005 5:17:09 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Certain_Doom
Well then, you'll have no trouble providing Scriptural reference for the Blessed Virgin Mary giving birth to any child other than Jesus Christ. (Hint: You won't be able to.)

Disputation of the fact that Jesus Christ was an only child is a relatively recent hobby, in the history of Christianity, practiced by the linguistic literalist sect who think they've found the smoking gun by pouncing on the words "brother(s)", "sister(s)" and "until" in Scripture. All that proves is that they misinterpret Scripture.

By the way, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, et al, all believed and taught that Jeus Christ was an only child and that His mother was a perpetual virgin.

13 posted on 11/21/2005 5:51:33 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham; Certain_Doom

Let me add that the literalist interpretation is that they are cousins, or perhaps other kinsfolk, because that is how "adelphoi" was normally used in the period, to describe any relative belonging to the same generation.


14 posted on 11/21/2005 7:48:52 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex; A.A. Cunningham; Certain_Doom

"Let me add that the literalist interpretation is that they are cousins, or perhaps other kinsfolk, because that is how "adelphoi" was normally used in the period, to describe any relative belonging to the same generation."

That is correct. Even today in Greek, any kinfolk of an older generation are called uncle or aunt even though they might in fact be 4th cousins twice removed.


15 posted on 11/22/2005 3:36:11 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: annalex

Thanks for posting this and the great pictures!


16 posted on 11/22/2005 5:35:08 AM PST by Convert from ECUSA (It really, truly is a "religion of peace", and the jihadistinian rioters in France prove it!)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; Certain_Doom; Kolokotronis
Matthew 1:25, referring to St. Joseph not knowing Mary till she brought forth her Son, does not indicate that she had relations to Joseph following the birth of Jesus either.

The only precise way to translate "eos" is "prior to". It does not necessarily indicate that the opposite happened after the event the preposition controls; that should be inferred, or not, from the context. For example, if I say "I did not drink alcohol prior to the age of 18" the context indicates that after that age I did drink alcohol. That is because the mentioning of age is otherwise meaningless. But if I say "I did not drink alcohol prior to this blood test" it does not mean that I walked out of the clinic and drank. The context is about the blood test, which would be affected by alcohol consumption prior, but not after.

In Matthew the context is the supernaturality of the birth of Jesus, so he explains things in relation to that event. He is simply not concerned with Mary and Joseph as a couple.

"Eos" is used in the sense that precludes the understanding "prior but not after" many times in the scripture. For example, Luke 1:80 refers to John the Baptist being in the desert "eos" his manifestation to Israel. But we know he remained in the desert and preached to Israel till his arrest much later. In 1 Timothy 4:13 Timothy is told to continue studies "eos" Paul arrives. Clearly Paul is not telling Timothy to stop afterwards.

17 posted on 11/22/2005 7:45:38 AM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Keep alive.


18 posted on 01/19/2013 8:29:59 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
It is not a canonical book, so one is free to believe it wholly or disbelieve it wholly. The authorship of St. Apostle James is doubtful. However, it is most likely of the 2nd century, so it is evidence of the faith of the Early Church. As such it is also historical evidence, on the following grounds. If I were to produce a fraudulent document about Jesus' time today (like someone did recently regarding Jesus's "wife", The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed), I could put virtually anything in it and some people will believe me, because we are not very familiar with the life in 1 c. But if I put together a fraudulent document about events of 100 years ago, people will likely catch me on contradictions because we are quite familiar with life in early 20c. So, whoever wrote the Protoevangelium was believable to his readers of 2nd c, or else it wouldn't have survived. The Protoevangelium therefore is evidence of what the Early Church thought credible. And the Early Church had an advantage over us: they knew the culture of the time and they knew oral stories from their grandfathers, who were witnesses of the events around Jesus.

So I think that the Protoevangelium tells us a true story in essentials: that Mary was a dedicated temple virgin, form a pious Jewish family, betrothed to Joseph as an economic arrangement as she reached adulthood. This explains how she said to the Angel "I know not man" as if having children with Joseph naturally was somehow out of question.

For more on temple virgins see Did Jewish Temple Virgins Exist and was Mary a Temple Virgin?

19 posted on 01/19/2013 8:52:56 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; Certain_Doom
You do realize that the Da Vinci Code is poorly written fiction, don't you?

Oh, the irony. You do realize that the Protoevangelium of James is poorly written fiction too, don't you?

20 posted on 01/19/2013 9:59:33 AM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: annalex
I've read the Infancy Gospel of James before. When you say:

“So, whoever wrote the Protoevangelium was believable to his readers of 2nd c, or else it wouldn't have survived. The Protoevangelium therefore is evidence of what the Early Church thought credible”

Not so believable perhaps. The inspired gospel writers seem to have missed all this “believable” stuff about Salome and fingers being thrust into Mary and the cave. And this “gospel” was not in the recognized canon of Scripture.

In fact lots of garbage has survived like the Gnostic writing and “gospels”.

21 posted on 01/19/2013 10:01:30 AM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: annalex

I wondered how I missed this. Now I know — looking at the date.


22 posted on 01/19/2013 10:06:06 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: count-your-change

The Evangelists wrote, under the dictation of the Holy Ghost, the narrative centered on Jesus. This was one of the criteria for selection into the canonical New Testament: that the book be direct evidence of the life and teachings of Jesus. There were others: that the authorship be plausible by one connected to the Apostles, and that it be consistent with the other canonical books. Obviously, the Protoevangelium is failing the Jesus-centeredness test of canonicity; also the authorship of St. James is not certain. There were other multiple writings circulating around, that likewise failed, and some of them failed also on the account of consistency with the known teachings of Church. That there were other surviving writings that reflected heresy is not a proof that this is also a heresy.


23 posted on 01/19/2013 10:48:51 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Salvation

It was brought up on a recent marathon thread and I asked the poster there to move the discussion of the Protoevangalium here.


24 posted on 01/19/2013 10:50:35 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
” That there were other surviving writings that reflected heresy is not a proof that this is also a heresy”

You said it was the survival of the writing that gave support to the Evangelium. The best one can make of it is that it's survival is also not a proof that it is NOT heresy. This one writing that fails the test of agreement with the inspired Scriptures.

It certainly was not written by James. He knew the details of Christ's birth and we can hardly suppose he would be so far afield from the facts.

It wasn't written by James, it contradicts the inspired Scriptures, it has never been accepted as part of the Biblical canon. In brief, it's fraud. Written to support some doctrine? Perhaps but still fraud.

25 posted on 01/19/2013 11:21:01 AM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change
The multiplicity of surviving manuscripts ("about 130", Wiki), not the mere fact that it survived in some form, points to its popularity in the Early Church.

We are not sure if it was written by St. James. We are also not sure if the Epistle to the Hebrews was written by St. Paul. It was common practice in antiquity to attribute a book to a better known figure, -- there was no intention to defraud.

It does not contradict the inspired scripture. Where do you see a contradiction?

It was not accepted for a good reason that does not impugn its content: it is not about Jesus.

You must have some strange definition of "fraud".

26 posted on 01/19/2013 11:42:47 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Where do I see contradictions of Scripture in the Evangelium? Good question! From the Evangelium:

“Why hast thou brought low thy soul, thou that wast brought up in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel? And she wept bitterly, saying: I am innocent, and have known no man. And Joseph said to her: Whence then is that which is in thy womb? And she said: As the Lord my God liveth, I do not know whence it is to me.”

Mary knew exactly how she came to be pregnant, it was announced to her before it ever began. Is she lying?

No woman could approach the altar least of all the holy of holies in the temple.

Any writer, any Christian would know this.

Shall I go on? No magi, wise men came to a cave but only when Mary was living in a house well after the birth of Jesus. This was well know too by any Christian and from the inspired Scriptures.

Yeah, “fraud” is exactly the right word, perhaps too gentle a word.

27 posted on 01/19/2013 12:31:14 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

Her reply, “I do not know whence it is to me” merely explains that she does not have a natural explanation for her pregnancy. A reply “I am pregnant by the Holy Ghost” would not be fitting as it would sound as horrible blasphemy to her husband, so Mary wisely sidesteps it.

Regarding the entering the Holy of Holies, the text does not exactly say that she did. It was an exaggerated rebuke, as surely Joseph did not think that Mary actually “was reared” on the altar and had her meals there. Also, as Dr. Taylor Marshall notes in the link I gave a few posts back, the Holy of Holies was empty at the time anyway.


28 posted on 01/19/2013 12:52:52 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: count-your-change

Forgot to say: from the gospel of Matthew alone it is not evident that the wise men visited “well after the birth of Jesus”; in fact, the opposite is evident, as the wise men went to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:8), and therefore went not to the house in Nazareth but where the birth occurred. That it was a cave and not some other structure is a detail that cannot be contradicted by the use of generic “house” in Matthew 2:11.


29 posted on 01/19/2013 1:03:47 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
The Gospel accounts say nothing about a house in Nazareth, the magi were sent to Bethlehem seeing that was where the prophecy indicated the child would be born.

The writers certainly knew the difference between a manger where the shepherds went to view Jesus and a house where the magi went.

How old Jesus was when the magi visited the house would depend upon how long it took them to travel from Jerusalem to Bethlehem's and search out the child. That would have been well after the birth.

If you have contrary evidence, let's hear it.

30 posted on 01/19/2013 2:10:14 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: annalex

Returning to your comment....the only time Jesus and family are spoken of as living in Nazareth is after they return from Egypt.


31 posted on 01/19/2013 6:12:28 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: annalex
"You must have some strange definition of "fraud"."

What we must keep in mind is that the POJ is an extant document from the early second century. The fact that it is not recognized as an inspired or inerrant document does not make it 100% false. For example we learn that it was common enough knowledge that there were consecrated Temple virgins to not immediately invalidate the document in the second century. That does not affirm that Mary was such a virgin but it does introduce the possibility.

Peace be with you.

32 posted on 01/19/2013 6:55:43 PM PST by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
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To: annalex

The motives and actions you suggest are neither expressed nor implied in the story. There simply is no way to make sense of this nonsense tale or rationalize it into anything of use to Christians.


33 posted on 01/19/2013 7:19:06 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change
the magi were sent to Bethlehem

Exactly, and the Protoevangelium puts them there. That the magi visited the house somewhere else "well after the birth" is your conjecture. The Protoevangelium conflicts with your conjecture. It does not conflict the Gospels.

34 posted on 01/20/2013 7:59:54 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: count-your-change
The motives and actions you suggest are neither expressed nor implied in the story

They are however consistent with the Gospel of Matthew:

[18] ...she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. [19] Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately (Matthew 1)

You might as soon discredit Evangelist Matthew with the same remark as in 27, since apparently Mary did not explain her pregnancy to Joseph according to the gospel either.

35 posted on 01/20/2013 8:06:40 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Natural Law
For example we learn that it was common enough knowledge that there were consecrated Temple virgins to not immediately invalidate the document in the second century.

Salient point. And there were temple virgins; see Dr. Taylor Marshall.

36 posted on 01/20/2013 8:08:29 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Not an unfounded conjecture since as I said the time was however long it took the wisemen to make the journey to Bethlehem and locate Jesus. How long was this? Weeks? Days?
“well after”? They didn't see Jesus in a manger or a cave contra Evangelium but in a house. That's what Gospel account says, No? Yes? If you disagree with my phrase, “well after” suggest a better, more accurate one.

“The conjecture that Mary “had forgotten” the “mysteries” of the Annunciation is indeed a psychological elaboration that rings false”

Whose conjecture? It's what the author of the Evangelium says.
If false then it is his falsehood, amongst others.

Mary didn't forget Jesus when he was twelve, Luke 2:41-44 says his parents assumed he was with the relatives and acquaintances traveling with them from Jerusalem but when they sought him out he was missing.

“According to the Protoevangelium, she did not forget about the Annunciation altogether, but “of the mysteries”.

What “mysteries”? Something too trifling to remember?
An angel comes to Mary and she forgets part of the message? What can a person say? Really.

37 posted on 01/20/2013 9:40:03 AM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Natural Law; annalex; count-your-change
What we must keep in mind is that the POJ is an extant document from the early second century.

It has been a while, but IIRC, the earliest extant copy is third century (like almost everything else the RCC leans upon). As such, it is disingenuous to claim that what is contained therein is accurately attributable to 2nd century, and to my knowledge, it is inaccurate to claim an extant mss dating to that time.

The fact that it is not recognized as an inspired or inerrant document does not make it 100% false. For example we learn that it was common enough knowledge that there were consecrated Temple virgins to not immediately invalidate the document in the second century. That does not affirm that Mary was such a virgin but it does introduce the possibility.

I find such an observation to be ignorant of Temple/Jewish history. The Jewish priesthood and particulary rabbinical law enumerated an absolutely suffocating blanket of rules and laws which governed even the most mundane of every-day actions, to include a correct method wrt putting on and tying one's shoes - Yet in my memory, I cannot recall *any* regulation wrt 'temple virgins,' or any other orderly assembly of virgins whatsoever.

I would submit that if such an order of virgins were in existence, there would no doubt be a large body of regulation governing such a group, not to mention other anecdotal evidence in Jewish tradition. To my knowledge, no such evidence exists.

So to use such a document to 'introduce the possibility' of such an order of virgins is specious to say the least, and lends no credence in the first part, not to mention an inference that Mary might possibly be from among their ranks.

Secondly, The POJ shows itself to be so uninformed in the nature of Judaism as to be positively daft, as I am certain any of our Jewish FRiends will be happy to affirm. To draw any sort of authority or history from such a document is wholly without merit. It may not be 100% false, as you suggest, but whatever percentage of truth one might find within it is certain to be negligible.

38 posted on 01/20/2013 9:47:49 AM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: annalex

Shall I go dismantling this fraud?

. Also calling it “fraud” does not make it so.
The conjecture that Mary “had forgotten” the “mysteries” of the Annunciation is indeed a psychological elaboration that rings false. It is an artistic attempt to give a background to Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), which it proceeds to quote in part. It does not discredit the factual content of the book.
Let us also remember that Mary is not free from human weakness; she did, for example, forget her child in the Temple. According to the Protoevangelium, she did not forget about the Annunciation altogether, but “of the mysteries”. Her subsequent speech explains that her perplexion is not of her mission, but of the fact that it is she who was chosen for it. It is a reasonable and humble attitude, same as when she is rebuked by St. Joseph and answers obliquely.”

Mary didn’t forget Jesus, Joseph and Mary were traveling with friends and family, it was assumed Jesus was with them. (Lue 2:41-44)
It was an angel that informed Joseph and with no hint he would think it blasphemy that Mary was pregnant by the power of the holy spirit.

You are quite right, the Evangelium is not a fraud because I say it is, it’s a fraud because what it says is false. But if you wish to assert it has true statements I invite you to grab that blue pencil and have at it. Saying that means this and this means that doesn’t make it so either.
“You might as soon discredit Evangelist Matthew with the same remark as in 27, since apparently Mary did not explain her pregnancy to Joseph according to the gospel either”

Did she say, “I dunno how this happened!”? as the Evangelium asserts?”


39 posted on 01/20/2013 10:59:42 AM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change
If you disagree with my phrase, “well after” suggest a better, more accurate one

May be I did not understand what your objection was in your "No magi, wise men came to a cave but only when Mary was living in a house well after the birth of Jesus" (post 27).

In chapter 21 Magi follow the star and come to the cave. In the Matthew's gospel the Magi follow the star and come to "where the child was" (Matthew 2:9) and then they enter "into the house" (v. 11) and adore him.

In Luke 2:7 we learn that Christ was born outside the inn in what apparently housed animals, as thee was a manger in there.

None of that is a contradiction, unless you don't think a visit to the cave serving as a stable of the house cannot be described as visit to the "house".

If you think that the Magi visited not in Bethlehem but someplace else and much later, then it is your own interpretation of events. The Book of Matthew seems to suggest that they went to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:8).

Whose conjecture? It's what the author of the Evangelium says.

The conjecture, by St. James or the author other than St. James, that Mary forgot "the mysteries" is a psychological portrait that I personally find unconvincing. But it is plausible that in fact she continued to wonder about the "mystery" of her being of all women the chosen one. It is poetic license, not a hard contradiction; it only contradicts my personal sense of how she felt.

What “mysteries”? Something too trifling to remember?

The Protoevangelium does not say she forgot because of the mystery being trifling. Most likely, if she indeed forgot it was because it was impossible to express in words, and left her wondering afterwards. Compare Luke 2:33: "his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him".

40 posted on 01/20/2013 11:33:16 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: roamer_1; Natural Law; count-your-change
Good point about extant copies; however, that same is true of of the inspired scripture: the preserved copies are much older than we know the books actually are.

Regarding evidence from scripture and the Jewish tradition, let me quote from the link I already posted.

There are, however, three Scriptural accounts that are used by Catholics to demonstrate that there were special women who ministered at the Temple complex. 

Exodus 38:8 mentions women who "watch (צָבָא) at the door of the tabernacle."

The second is in 1 Samuel:
“Now Heli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel: and how they lay with the women that waited (צָבָא) at the door of the tabernacle:” (1 Samuel 2:22, D-R)
In both of the verses above, Hebrew verb for "watch" and "waited" is the same. It is the Hebrew word צָבָא, which is the same verb used to described the liturgical activity of the Levites (see Num 4:23; 8:24). This corresponds to the Latin translation in the Clementine Vulgate, which relates that these women "observabant" at the temple doors - another liturgical reading.

So these women are not simply hanging out around the Temple, looking for men, gossiping, or chatting about the weather. These are pious women devoted to a liturgical function. In fact, the Court of Women might exist formally for these special "liturgical women."

The third and final reference to these liturgical females is in 2 Maccabees:
And the virgins also that were shut up, came forth, some to {High Priest} Onias, and some to the walls, and others looked out of the windows. And all holding up their hands towards heaven, made supplication. (2 Macc 3:19-20)
Here are virgins that are shut up. In the Greek it is "αἱ δὲ κατάκλειστοι τῶν παρθένων" or "the shut up ones of the virgins." In this passage the Holy Spirit refers not to all the virgins of Jerusalem, but to a special set of virgins, that is, those virgins who had the privilege and right to be in the presence of the High Priest and address him. It's rather ridiculous to think that young girls would have general access to the High Priest of Israel. However, if these virgins had a special liturgical role at the Temple, it becomes clear that they would both address the High Priest Onias and would also be featured as an essential part of the intense supplication in the Temple at this moment of crisis.

There is further testimony of temple virgins in the traditions of the Jews. In the Mishnah, it is recorded that there were 82 consecrated virgins who wove the veil of the Temple:
"The veil of the Temple was a palm-length in width. It was woven with seventy-two smooth stitches each made of twenty-four threads. The length was of forty cubits and the width of twenty cubits. Eighty-two virgins wove it. Two veils were made each year and three hundred priests were needed to carry it to the pool" (Mishna Shekalim 8, 5-6).
We find another reference to the "women who made the veils for the Temple...baked the showbread...prepared the incense" (Babylonian Talmud Kethuboth 106a). 

Rabbinic Jewish sources also record how when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in AD 70, the Temple virgins leapt into the flames so as not to be abducted by the heathen soldiers: "the virgins who were weaving threw themselves in the flames" (Pesikta Rabbati 26, 6). Here we also learn that these virgins lived in the three-storey building inside the Temple area. However, it is difficult to find any other details about this structure. The visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich placed the cloisters of the Temple Virgins on the north side of the Temple (Emmerich's Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary 3, 5).

Even more, the first century document by the name of the Apocalypse of Baruch (sometimes called "2 Baruch") describes the Temple virgins living in the Temple as weavers of the holy veil: 
"And you virgins who weave byssus and silk, and gold from Ophir, in haste pick it all up and throw it in the fire that it will return it to its Author, and that the flame will take it back to its Creator, from fear that the enemy might seize it" (2 Baruch 10:19).
So then, there is ample evidence for the role of consecrated women, especially virgins at the Temple. If one were to accept the passages above, we have plenty of testimony for cultic women in the time of Moses' tabernacle, in the time of David, in the Second Temple era, and in the first century of Our Lord.

This substantiates the claims of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church who claim that the Blessed Virgin Mary was presented to the Temple and served there from the age of three until the age of fourteen. To claim that Temple virgins are a myth of celibacy-crazed Catholic bishops does not hold up. Scripture and Jewish tradition records that there were specially commissioned virgins associated with the Temple. We may not know much about them, but we know that they existed.

Did Jewish Temple Virgins Exist and was Mary a Temple Virgin?

41 posted on 01/20/2013 11:43:28 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: count-your-change
“I dunno how this happened!”? as the Evangelium asserts?”

Quite possibly, since the Gospel of Matthew indicates that Joseph's doubt remained till he received a vision of an angel.

I find this reaction, as described int eh Protoevangelium, in keeping with Mary's meek character and her reliance of divine providence, rather than her own powers to see her and her Divine Child through this.

42 posted on 01/20/2013 11:48:03 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: roamer_1
"I find such an observation to be ignorant of Temple/Jewish history."

Please review Lamentations 1:4 and 2:10, 2 Maccabees, and Book 5 of the Jewish Wars of Josephus. All speak matter of factly of the existence of consecrated virgins. Other documents reference virgins used to weave the temple veil. While none of these affirm that Mary was a consecrated virgin they certainly affirm that it was a possibility.

43 posted on 01/20/2013 12:07:53 PM PST by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
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To: annalex
“In chapter 21 Magi follow the star and come to the cave”

No mention is made of a cave only a manger which is hardly a house. Certainly the writer knew the difference. By the time the wisemen arrived in Bethlehem Jesus and family were living in a house not a manger. That is what the Gospel says. Matthew says the wisemen went into the house not a stable, not a cave, not a manger...a house.

Poetic license can only be stretched so far. And the Evangelium remains what it is.

44 posted on 01/20/2013 12:15:51 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

A “house” is a collective term for anything, including the adjacent buildings and the service spaces.


45 posted on 01/20/2013 12:42:31 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

And so it is. Jesus and family were in a house in Bethlehem when the wisemen visited and went in. Not cave, manger, etc.


46 posted on 01/20/2013 1:00:12 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change
a house in Bethlehem ... Not cave

That house apparently had a cave adjacent to it or under it, and a cave was used as a stable or something.

That cave, incidentally, is still there. The house is not; it was, naturally, replaced by a church.



Nativity Grotto, looking toward the entrance



The place of Divine Birth in the cave.

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

47 posted on 01/20/2013 1:57:42 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: count-your-change
The early Christian writers, who also read the Matthew's Gospel, find it not a contradiction to speak of a cave:
when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him.

Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 78

With respect to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, if any one desires, after the prophecy of Micah and after the history recorded in the Gospels by the disciples of Jesus, to have additional evidence from other sources, let him know that, in conformity with the narrative in the Gospel regarding His birth, there is shown at Bethlehem the cave where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes. And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it being said that in this cave was born that Jesus who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians.

Origen, Contra Celsus, Book I, 51.

(Both finds thanks to Wikipedia)

48 posted on 01/20/2013 2:12:20 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

I would consider Matthew a more reliable witness he being on hand and all rather than someone a century and more later.

As for the writings of the rabbis....one has to sift an awful lot of sand to find a flecks of gold.


49 posted on 01/20/2013 4:48:20 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

There is no contradiction between “house” in St. Matthew and “cave” in the Protoevangelium and the oral tradition.


50 posted on 01/21/2013 5:34:37 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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