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Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Mary: Virgin and Ever Virgin
CatholicApologetics.org ^ | 05-09-10 | Dr. Robert Schihl and Paul Flanagan

Posted on 05/09/2010 8:29:20 PM PDT by Salvation

Catholic Biblical Apologetics


Apologetics without apology!


What does the Roman Catholic Church teach about ...? ... and why?

This website surveys the origin and development of Roman Catholic Christianity from the period of the apostolic church, through the post-apostolic church and into the conciliar movement. Principal attention is paid to the biblical basis of both doctrine and dogma as well as the role of paradosis (i.e. handing on the truth) in the history of the Church. Particular attention is also paid to the hierarchical founding and succession of leadership throughout the centuries.

This is a set of lecture notes used since 1985 to teach the basis for key doctrines and dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. The objectives of the course were, and are:

The course grew out of the need for the authors to continually answer questions about their faith tradition and their work. (Both authors are active members of Catholic parish communities in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Robert Schihl was a Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts at Regent University. Paul Flanagan is a consultant specializing in preparing people for technology based changes.) At the time these notes were first prepared, the authors were spending time in their faith community answering questions about their Protestant Evangelical workplaces (Mr. Flanagan was then a senior executive at the Christian Broadcasting Network), and time in their workplaces answering similar questions about their Roman Catholic faith community. These notes are the result of more than a decade of facilitating dialogue among those who wish to learn more about what the Roman Catholic Church teaches and why.

Mary: Virgin and Ever Virgin

Mary: Virgin and Ever Virgin

All Christians believe that Mary was a virgin before and at the time of the birth of her son Jesus.

Is 7:14
The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
Mt 1:18-25
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Lk 1:26-27
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.
Nicene Creed (325), Constantinopolitan Creed (381)
... Who for us men and because of our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became human.

Roman Catholic Christians and many other Christians also believe that Mary remained a virgin for the rest of her life.

Constant faith of the Church

Great teachers of the Church from at least the fourth century spoke of Mary as having remained a virgin throughout her life:

Magisterium of the Church

Council of Constantinople II (553 - 554) twice referred to Mary as "ever-virgin."

Protestant Reformers

The great protestant reformers affirmed their belief in Mary's perpetual virginity:

German reformer Martin Luther's (1483-1546) writings often address the subject of Mary: On the Divine Motherhood of Mary, he wrote
In this work whereby she was made the Mother of God, so many and such great good things were given her that no one can grasp them. ... Not only was Mary the mother of him who is born [in Bethlehem], but of him who, before the world, was eternally born of the Father, from a Mother in time and at the same time man and God. (Weimer's The Works of Luther, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, v. 7, p. 572.)
Luther, true to Catholic tradition, wrote on the Virginity of Mary:
It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a virgin. ... Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact. (Weimer's The Works of Luther, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, v.11, pp. 319-320; v. 6. p. 510.)
The French reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) also held that Mary was the Mother of God
It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of his Son, granted her the highest honor. ... Elizabeth called Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God. (Calvini Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Braunschweig-Berlin, 1863-1900, v. 45, p. 348, 35.)
On the perpetual virginity of Mary, "Calvin routinely brushes aside the difficulties sometimes raised from "first born" and "brothers of the Lord."" (O'Carroll, M., 1983, Theotokos, M Glazier, Inc.: Wilmington, DE, p. 94.)
The Swiss reformer, Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), wrote, on the divine motherhood of Mary:
It was given to her what belongs to no creature, that in the flesh she should bring forth the Son of God. (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 6, I, p. 639.)
On the perpetual virginity of Mary, Zwingli wrote,
I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin. (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 1, p. 424.)
In another place Zwingli professed
I esteem immensely the Mother of God, the ever chaste, immaculate Virgin Mary ...; Christ ... was born of a most undefiled Virgin. (Stakemeier, E. in De Mariologia et Oecumenismo, Balic, K., ed., Rome, 1962, p. 456.)
The more the honor and love for Christ grows among men, the more esteem and honor for Mary grows, for she brought forth for us so great, but so compassionate a Lord and Redeemer. (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 1, pp. 427-428.)

Objections to Continued Virginity

There are some very common objections to the belief that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus. The first considers the "brothers" of Jesus from the Gospels.

Mt 12:46-50; Mk 3:31; Lk 8:19
While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers (adelphoi) appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. (Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers (adelphoi) are standing outside, asking to speak with you.") But he said in reply to the one who told him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers (adelphoi)?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers (adelphoi). For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother (adelphos), and sister (adelpha), and mother."
Mk 6:3
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother (adelphos) of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters (adelphai) here with us?

First it is important to note that the Bible does not say that these "brothers and sisters" of Jesus were children of Mary.

Second, the word for brother (or sister), adelphos (adelpha) in Greek, denotes a brother or sister, or near kinsman. Aramaic and other Semitic languages could not distinguish between a blood brother or sister and a cousin, for example. Hence, John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus (the son of Elizabeth, cousin of Mary) would be called "a brother (adelphos) of Jesus." In the plural, the word means a community based on identity of origin or life. Additionally, the word adelphos is used for (1) male children of the same parents (Mt 1:2); (2) male descendants of the same parents (Acts 7:23); (3) male children of the same mother (Gal 1:19); (4) people of the same nationality (Acts 3:17); (5) any man, a neighbor (Lk 10:29); (6) persons united by a common interest (Mt 5:47); (7) persons united by a common calling (Rev 22:9); (8) mankind (Mt 25:40); (9) the disciples (Mt 23:8); and (10) believers (Mt 23:8). (From Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Thomas Nelson, Publisher.)

A second objection to Mary's virginity arises from the use of the word, heos, in Matthew's gospel.

Mt 1:25
He (Joseph) had no relations with her until (heos) she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

The Greek and the Semitic use of the word heos (until or before) does not imply anything about what happens after the time indicated. In this case, there is no necessary implication that Joseph and Mary had sexual contact or other children after Jesus.

A third objection to the perpetual virginity of Mary arises from the use of the word, prototokos, translated "first-born" in Luke's gospel.

Lk 2:7
(Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son (prototokos). She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger ...

The Greek word prototokos is used of Christ as born of Mary and of Christ's relationship to His Father (Col 1:25). As the word does not imply other children of God the Father, neither does it imply other children of Mary. The term "first-born" was a legal term under the Mosaic Law (Ex 6:14) referring to the first male child born to Jewish parents regardless of any other children following or not. Hence when Jesus is called the "first-born" of Mary it does not mean that there were second or third-born children.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: blessedvirginmary; catholic; catholiclist; saints
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To: Irisshlass

Praise Jesus and Haily Mary Indeed


21 posted on 05/09/2010 9:10:51 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

Do you believe in that Christ came as Divinity as a human by being born of the Virgin Mary?


22 posted on 05/09/2010 9:20:47 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: narses

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

This captures in a nutshell what we feel about Mary and what we ask of her.


23 posted on 05/09/2010 9:23:17 PM PDT by Melian (The two most common elements in the world are hydrogen and stupidity.)
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To: Salvation; Amityschild; Brad's Gramma; Cvengr; DvdMom; firebrand; GiovannaNicoletta; Godzilla; ...

I still find this unmigated UNBiblical nonsense—to put it mildly and politely.


24 posted on 05/09/2010 9:27:10 PM PDT by Quix (BLOKES who got us where we R: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Quix

Did you read yesterday’s thread with all the quotes from the Bible.

This thread, also, had many biblical quotes.

Thoroughly explained too. Did you read the entire post?


25 posted on 05/09/2010 9:33:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I won’t swear that I read every line.

I read a lot of them.

None of them were remotely convincing of the Roman Catholic et al position.


26 posted on 05/09/2010 9:39:24 PM PDT by Quix (BLOKES who got us where we R: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Quix; Salvation
Have you ever watched a kid open a really super-neat present... and all he wants to do is play with the box it came in???

The frustration here is comparable.

27 posted on 05/09/2010 9:42:46 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: Salvation

St. Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be thou our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, o prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell satan, and all the evil spirits which prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls.

Lord Jesus Christ, Risen Son of the Living God, please bless us this day and every day with Your Holy presence here. In Your Holy Name I pray, amen.


28 posted on 05/09/2010 9:45:12 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: roamer_1

True true.

Heading to bed.

Thx

Good night.

LUB


29 posted on 05/09/2010 9:45:23 PM PDT by Quix (BLOKES who got us where we R: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: xone; Salvation
[...] Lutherans are not bound by his personal opinion that has no Scriptural warrant. Hence this personal belief never made it into the Lutheran Confessions.

Or Zwingli, or Calvin, or Wesley, or any other, for that matter - It seems our FRiends have the false belief that tearing away at the Protestant founders will somehow cause Protestantism to fail.

We have long ago stepped off of the shoulders of our founders, and onto the sure Foundation, which is Christ.

30 posted on 05/09/2010 9:49:28 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: Salvation

Bookmark.


31 posted on 05/09/2010 9:56:40 PM PDT by Sergio (If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would he make a sound?)
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To: roamer_1

** It seems our FRiends have the false belief that tearing away at the Protestant founders will somehow cause Protestantism to fail.**

I’m going to turn this around

It seems our FRiends have the false belief that tearing away at the Catholic Church and her members will somehow cause Catholicism to fail.

Turnabout, fair play, no?


32 posted on 05/09/2010 10:06:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Judith Anne

What a pray. Truly anointed. POWERFUL!


33 posted on 05/09/2010 10:09:30 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: Salvation
Turnabout, fair play, no?

Sure, but it doesn't apply here.

No Protestant figures to convert anyone, nor tear down anything. We have no claim to power. The Father will do so in His own time.

It is written.

34 posted on 05/09/2010 10:10:45 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: Judith Anne

Do You remember the Story behind the pray? Has to do with the end times. Was going to be just Hundred years.


35 posted on 05/09/2010 10:12:09 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: roamer_1

Not trying to convert anyone, just put out the Catholic facts, that’s all.

Thanks for chiming in.


36 posted on 05/09/2010 10:14:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Not trying to convert anyone, just put out the Catholic facts beliefs, that’s all.

There. Fixed.

Thanks for chiming in.

nP.

37 posted on 05/09/2010 10:19:12 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: roamer_1

Do you believe there are visions.


38 posted on 05/09/2010 10:35:37 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
Do you believe there are visions.

Sure. More than most.

39 posted on 05/09/2010 10:41:33 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: roamer_1

Right now I am watching these end time teachers in a conference on ctn. How do you know the difference between a real vision from God or one from the enemy?


40 posted on 05/09/2010 10:47:43 PM PDT by johngrace
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