Skip to comments.Did Mary retain her virginal integrity while giving birth to Jesus?
Posted on 10/06/2010 7:56:37 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Overall, Catholics liked the movie "The Nativity" but had several problems with it. For one thing they changed Scripture during the closing of the movie. On the screen they flashed the Bible passage from Luke 1:46-54. But they left out the words "for me" from middle of the sentence "The Lord has done great things for me, and Holy is his name." I don't think they should have taken that out of the Word of God, without using any elypses to show they skipped it. Another issue with the movie is they showed Mary screaming and pushing in pain as she gave birth to Jesus.
The Early Church Fathers are almost unanimous in the assertion that the birth was painless and had no loss of Mary's virginal integrity during the birth. In other words, her Hymen didn't break. St. Augustine said "Jesus passed through the womb of Mary as a ray of sun passes through glass." Pope Martin in 649 AD defined the doctrine that Mary:
Excerpted from the article:
Did Mary Have a Bunch of Kids? Mary's perpetual virginity before, during and after Jesus' birth
See also the much longer and heavily footnoted study:
THE VIRGINITY OF OUR LADY IN PARTU: The Painless, Miraculous Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Forgetting everything else in the article, having her hymen rupture doesn’t make her a non virgin. Sexual intercourse would make her a non virgin. So that particular point is moot.
What kind of a confirmation is it, that has the phrase...’IF xxxxx happened, then yyyyy is possible’?
In God and in Faith, everything is possible.
I’m with you. I think it’s ridiculous to imagine that Jesus didn’t have a real normal birth.
This is edging rather high on the creepy question scale. And i can’t really see how it matters at all to the truth of Christian theology. Does it say anywhere in the Bible that it was a painless birth?
I don’t understand why explicit information about the post-birth status of Mary’s innards is important to Christianity.
“Sexual intercourse would make her a non virgin. So that particular point is moot”
When used about the perceived scope of miracles, it seems an apt logical construct.
For instance: “if Jesus rose from the dead, then it is certainly possible that He healed the man born blind”
Also you could use it of a person’s perceived moral limits.
For instance: “if Hillary had Vince Foster killed, then it is possible she could order you kacked as well”.
I’m curious about James and Judas (the Judas mentioned in Acts) - weren’t they Jesus’ half-brothers? My understanding is that Jesus was sired by God through Mary, and that James and Judas were sired by Joseph through her...how does that reconcile with perpetual virginity?
Gross. I think a decent amount of respect for Mary - or pretty much anybody - precludes an unhealthy interest in her vagina.
“Pope Martin in 649 AD defined the doctrine that Mary”
I understand that Catholics believe in a semi-divine nature for Mary, and im not insulting that belief. But i will freely question the ability of a man who lived 650 years later to speak authoritatively on the topic.
If i tried to discuss the effects of childbirth on a woman from the year 1350, people would think i was deranged.
And the method of the birth of Christ in no way impacts his message and gift of redemption.
Nope. She's human, but without sin. This whole can of worms sets up blasphemous attacks on Catholic beliefs, but also those of the Eastern Orthodox, who hold the same belief.
I guess I'm just not sure, yet.
Good question, though.
More speculation on the part of the Roman Catholic Church. Their quest for elevation of Mary to some level above normal human being is never ending.
I didn’t say that it wasn’t possible for her to have a painless birth. I said that a ruptured hymen doesn’t mean you aren’t a virgin.
Thank you. I think tha pretty much sums things up for us non-Catholics.
I’ll tell ya who’s causing who pain. YOU are causing ME a pain in my head. So Knock it off!
I agree, why does it matter?
Yes, but is it really a confirmation of that happening?
One can just easily say in response, “The Protestant/”Reformed”/non-denominational/what have you quest to pull down Mary into a normal sinful human being is neverending.” I mean, just on the fact that this person bore, lived with, and raised a perfect person who is both human and divine ought to tell you something about that person! Even she acknowledged, “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name” (Luke 1: 48-49).
Indeed. This is the kind of question and debate you'd find on "ask the imam.com".
Thats why i said “semi-divine”. I think describing a woman utterly free of sin as “semi-divine” is reasonable. And why the case of the vapors about potential “blasphemous attacks”? I couldn’t have been more respectful in the way i wrote that comment. I specifically said i was NOT insulting whatever belief Catholics hold about Mary. Anyone using MY words as a starting place to attack catholics is a moron.
At best, i insult the guys 650 years later, thinking about things no decent man would ever think to worry about.
“Nope. She’s human, but without sin. This whole can of worms sets up blasphemous attacks on Catholic beliefs, but also those of the Eastern Orthodox, who hold the same belief.”
You deny Mary is divine, but then contend that questions about her constitute blasphemy. Blasphemy is criticism of a faith’s beliefs about divinity so criticisms or questions about Mary should not be considered blasphemy unless you consider Mary divine. I’m confused.
Nope. That would be confusing her human nature.
That’s a common mistake, caused by the fact that the terms “brother” and “sister” in the New Testament simply do not mean what we mean by those terms. They also denote various degrees of cousin-hood or in-law relation.
For instance: James, Joseph/Joses, Simon and Judas/Jude are not sons of the Virgin Mary but of Clopas and his wife Mary/Maria.
Mary the wife of Clopas is the “sister” of Mary the mother of Jesus, which makes the “brothers” actually Jesus’ cousins (or possibly even more distant relatives).
In another place, St Paul refers to the apostle James as the Brother of the Lord - but this James is the son of Alphaeus, not the son of Mary or Joseph.
The key to all this confusion: the New Testament wasn’t written in Modern English. Most translations use “brother” when (if they had been written for modern sensibilities) they should have used some word like “relative”.
How can you say she is without sin when the Bible contradicts that? I am asking this question sincerely and without malice.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Is that true, about His half-brothers?
WTF does this have to do with Faith? Seriously a repulsive question.
I agree wholeheartedly. Her subsequent virginal or non virginal status is of no import. I should think there is a lot bigger ‘faith’ issues to worry about than this.
2: "irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable"
I'm using that second definition.
You contradict yourself. Catholics do not believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary possesses a "semi-divine nature".
But i will freely question the ability of a man who lived 650 years later to speak authoritatively on the topic.
Then you no doubt feel the same about John Calvin, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli who also believed in and taught of the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the 16th century.
I think this is becoming circular. I don’t see anything in the new testament saying Jesus birth was anything but normal. This despite the fact that several other miracles at that time were recorded.
I don’t think that degrades Mary in any way, or impacts Jesus message. So that works for me,, thats my official interpretation on the matter.
They are useful constructs to use when discussing matters which simply cannot be put under a magnifying glass: e.g. Hillary's moral limits, what sort of miracles Jesus could do, and so on.
Perhaps blasphemy is more general but I have always thought blasphemy was when a person of a particular faith criticized the beliefs of his or her own faith. For example, I do not consider myself guilty of blasphemy when I question the existence of Allah or Krishna. Nor do I consider people not of my faith ridiculing what is sacred in my faith blasphemous because they never believed it was sacred in the first place. Uncouth, ignorant, or deluded, maybe, but not blasphemous.
“Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name (Luke 1: 48-49).”
That is a beautiful passage of scripture that speaks wonderfully of a young woman who loved the Lord. It does not say that she was without sin however.
David was called a man after God’s own heart and he was not without sin.
No one is trying to demean the role of Mary. She was blessed. But the Bible is clear that Jesus was the only perfect one.
I really didn’t want to open this thread but curiosity got the best of me.
“Most translations use brother when (if they had been written for modern sensibilities) they should have used some word like relative.”
Is this article real? More emphasis on the gospel and less emphasis on Mary’s vajayjay please!
Essentially then, anyone’s lemma could be right, or wrong.
WHO sits down and thinks this stuff up??? Have they never heard of VIDEO games, Turner Classic Movies, libraries, long walks, sleep, sports, work, useful enterprises....
But the question remains,, how could this even slightly affect true Chritian salvation theology?
Okay, I’ll open up a can of worms the size of Michelle O’s backside to answer your question: The same people who covered up for priests who diddled little boys. Have fun with this one everybody!
Here is a Catholic view with scripture:Mary is Ever Virgin
Exodus 13:2,12 - Jesus is sometimes referred to as the “first-born” son of Mary. But “first-born” is a common Jewish expression meaning the first child to open the womb. It has nothing to do the mother having future children.
Exodus 34:20 - under the Mosaic law, the “first-born” son had to be sanctified. “First-born” status does not require a “second” born.
Ezek. 44:2 - Ezekiel prophesies that no man shall pass through the gate by which the Lord entered the world. This is a prophecy of Mary’s perpetual virginity. Mary remained a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus.
Mark 6:3 - Jesus was always referred to as “the” son of Mary, not “a” son of Mary. Also “brothers” could have theoretically been Joseph’s children from a former marriage that was dissolved by death. However, it is most likely, perhaps most certainly, that Joseph was a virgin, just as were Jesus and Mary. As such, they embodied the true Holy Family, fully consecrated to God.
Luke 1:31,34 - the angel tells Mary that you “will” conceive (using the future tense). Mary responds by saying, “How shall this be?” Mary’s response demonstrates that she had taken a vow of lifelong virginity by having no intention to have relations with a man. If Mary did not take such a vow of lifelong virginity, her question would make no sense at all (for we can assume she knew how a child is conceived). She was a consecrated Temple virgin as was an acceptable custom of the times.
Luke 2:41-51 - in searching for Jesus and finding Him in the temple, there is never any mention of other siblings.
John 7:3-4; Mark 3:21 - we see that younger “brothers” were advising Jesus. But this would have been extremely disrespectful for devout Jews if these were Jesus’ biological brothers.
John 19:26-27 - it would have been unthinkable for Jesus to commit the care of his mother to a friend if he had brothers.
John 19:25 - the following verses prove that James and Joseph are Jesus’ cousins and not his brothers: Mary the wife of Clopas is the sister of the Virgin Mary.
Matt. 27:61, 28:1 - Matthew even refers to Mary the wife of Clopas as “the other Mary.”
Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:47 - Mary the wife of Clopas is the mother of James and Joseph.
Mark 6:3 - James and Joseph are called the “brothers” of Jesus. So James and Joseph are Jesus’ cousins.
Matt. 10:3 - James is also called the son of “Alpheus.” This does not disprove that James is the son of Clopas. The name Alpheus may be Aramaic for Clopas, or James took a Greek name like Saul (Paul), or Mary remarried a man named Alpheus.
V. Jesus’ “Brothers” (adelphoi)) = Cousins or Kinsmen
Luke 1:36 - Elizabeth is Mary’s kinswoman. Some Bibles translate kinswoman as “cousin,” but this is an improper translation because in Hebrew and Aramaic, there is no word for “cousin.”
Luke 22:32 - Jesus tells Peter to strengthen his “brethren.” In this case, we clearly see Jesus using “brethren” to refer to the other apostles, not his biological brothers.
Acts 1:12-15 - the gathering of Jesus’ “brothers” amounts to about 120. That is a lot of “brothers.” Brother means kinsmen in Hebrew.
Acts 7:26; 11:1; 13:15,38; 15:3,23,32; 28:17,21 - these are some of many other examples where “brethren” does not mean blood relations.
Rom. 9:3 - Paul uses “brethren” and “kinsmen” interchangeably. “Brothers” of Jesus does not prove Mary had other children.
Gen. 11:26-28 - Lot is Abraham’s nephew (”anepsios”) / Gen. 13:8; 14:14,16 - Lot is still called Abraham’s brother (adelphos”) . This proves that, although a Greek word for cousin is “anepsios,” Scripture also uses “adelphos” to describe a cousin.
Gen. 29:15 - Laban calls Jacob is “brother” even though Jacob is his nephew. Again, this proves that brother means kinsmen or cousin.
Deut. 23:7; 1 Chron. 15:5-18; Jer. 34:9; Neh. 5:7 -”brethren” means kinsmen. Hebrew and Aramaic have no word for “cousin.”
2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 9:13, 20:32 - here we see that “brethren” can even be one who is unrelated (no bloodline), such as a friend.
2 Kings 10:13-14 - King Ahaziah’s 42 “brethren” were really his kinsmen.
1 Chron. 23:21-22 - Eleazar’s daughters married their “brethren” who were really their cousins.
Neh. 4:14; 5:1,5,8,10,14 - these are more examples of “brothers” meaning “cousins” or “kinsmen.”
Tobit 5:11 - Tobit asks Azarias to identify himself and his people, but still calls him “brother.”
Amos 1: 9 - brotherhood can also mean an ally (where there is no bloodline).
The word used in the Greek is the Greek word for brother not the Greek word for cousin.
Also the scripture is clear that Joseph did not have marital relationship with Mary until after Jesus was born. How is this scripture explained?
But he (Joseph) had no union with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus (Matthew 1:25).
Again, I am asking these questions sincerely and not with malice because I do not understand. I do think that these beliefs are in error but I don’t hate Catholics. In fact I have several close friends that are Catholic (although we never discuss religion). I know there are alot of people that bash other beliefs and hurl insults (on both sides) and I have no interest in doing that.