Skip to comments.Essays for Lent: Mary Ever-Virgin
Posted on 03/24/2012 7:24:43 PM PDT by Salvation
by Sebastian R. Fama
Some say that Mary had children other than Jesus. They cite several passages of Scripture that supposedly say as much. One example is Matthew 1:24-25, which reads, "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."
The word "until" seems to indicate that after the birth of Jesus there were normal marital relations. However, the Greek word heos (ἕως) which is translated as until, does not imply that anything happened after Jesus' birth, nor does it exclude it. The point of the verse is that Joseph was not responsible for the conception of Jesus.
The word "until" is used this way elsewhere. In reference to John the Baptist, Luke 1:80 states: "The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel." Does this mean that once he appeared publicly he left the desert? It might appear so, but Jesus says otherwise in Luke 7:24: "When the messengers of John had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. 'What did you go out to the desert to see, a reed swayed by the wind?'" John had already begun his ministry back in chapter 3. Here we are in chapter 7, and he is still in the desert.
Luke 2:7 is often pointed to as evidence that Mary had other children. It reads: "And she gave birth to her firstborn son." If Mary had a first born wouldn't that indicate that she had at least a second born? Not at all. In Hebrew culture the term first-born is simply a title for a woman's first child. If she only had one child he would still be her first-born. There is a perfect example of this in Numbers 3:40: "The Lord then said to Moses, 'take a census of all the first-born males of the Israelites a month old or more, and compute their total number.'" How many of those one month old babies do you suppose had younger siblings? I think it would be accurate to say, none of them. And yet they are still referred to as "first-born."
But what about the verses that speak about the brothers and sisters of Jesus? For instance, Matthew 13:55-56: "Is He not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother named Mary, and His brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Are not His sisters all with us?" Could Matthew be referring to Jesus' cousins? Although both Greek and English have a word for cousin, Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, does not. Hence the words brothers and sisters are used. These terms can also be used to refer to friends. Observe how Jesus himself uses the word "brothers" in Matthew 28:10 and see what happens in verse 16: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me'...The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had ordered them." Were the disciples His siblings? Of course not!
A comparison of the three gospel accounts of the women at the foot of the cross demonstrates that James and Joseph, two of the named brothers, are the sons of Mary and Cleophas (Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40, and John 19:25). This Mary is obviously not the mother of Jesus, as she is mentioned in addition to her. Another obvious reason is the fact that Jesus' mother was married to a man named Joseph, not Cleophas.
In Mark 6:3 Jesus is called "THE" son of Mary not "A" son of Mary. Elsewhere, Mary is called the mother of Jesus, but never the mother of anybody else. Even Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli taught that Mary remained a virgin. They believed that it was the clear teaching of Scripture.
In Luke 1:30-35, we find the following: "Then the angel said to her, 'Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?' And the angel said to her in reply, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.'" Mary's statement would make no sense unless she intended to remain a virgin. The angel said; "you will conceive" not you have conceived. Surely Mary knew the facts of life. If she were to conceive, her normal thought would have been that at some future time she would have relations with a man. Her protest could only have meant that she was a virgin and that she would like to keep it that way. The angel's reply is an assurance that such would be the case. Mary's point becomes even more obvious when you consider the fact that she was already betrothed to Joseph.
Additional evidence can be found at the foot of the cross. In John 19:26-27 we find: "When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son.' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." If Jesus had brothers and sisters, why did He entrust the care of His mother to the Apostle John?
Copyright © 2001 StayCatholic.com
Wow! Great work!
Just a few words as comment. Tortured, twisted, and painful attempts to make scripture mean what the CC wants it too.
The redefinition of common words has been the basis of fitting major Catholic doctrine into the Scriptures instead of drawing an understanding from the Scriptures.
An example is the meaning attached to the common English word “begotten” or “to beget”, in other words “create”. And so the term “begotten” is dropped entirely from John 1:18 in the NAB though “begotten” appears in the Greek.
In a footnote it is explained that the incorrect reading “Son” was used along with “God” or “god” to show a filial relationship.
Thus the Catholic scholars who produced this translation of John 1:18 acknowledge their translation is incorrect yet include it in the text as though it is part of Scripture.
Why? Because it thus seems to support Catholic doctrine.
That is a good work Daniell....just one thing...why is it catholics ‘want’ Mary to be elevated above what scriptures depict?
Their devotion and celebration of her is beyond what I see they give the Lord Jesus...and this is obvious to most who view all the statues, paintings, and my gosh the parades where they even put money on the statue of her....which remiinds me of pagans who celebrate before their statues... etc. of Mary.....she’s everywhere!
But why do they do this? Anyone who has a true understanding of who God is knows He doesn’t have a mother.....so it’s truly amazing she is such a Goddess to them.
But you, as well as other members of other denominations would agree with me, that the original Bible and translations came from the Catholic Church, wouldn’t you?
Catholics have not twisted words here. I maintain that the REformation tried to REformat the meanings of some of the Gospels and other Scripture.
This REprocessing of the original facts of the original Bible don’t hold water for me. It would seem that you have a leaky sieve, right, and all Scripture is selectively sieved?
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.
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).
Yes, Daniell always does good work and appreciated, his web site is a treasure if you haven’t been there yet. Chocked full of good information.
If Jesus had brothers and sisters, why did He entrust the care of His mother to the Apostle John?
Easy, maybe becuase his sisters and brothers didn't believe in him.
I came from a family who didn't know the Lord....in my will while they were youngsters, if anything were to happen to me I did not leave the care of my children to family members, I appointed a Christian family to raise the.
So I have no problem with Jesus 's words to Mary and John....that they be family to one another.....because the family blood line we now have is in Christ....thus the "family of God"
From the article....”But what about the verses that speak about the brothers and sisters of Jesus?..... For instance, Matthew 13:55-56: “Is He not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother named Mary, and His ‘brothers’ James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Are not His ‘sisters’ all with us?” .....Could Matthew be referring to Jesus’ cousins?”
Ha! Well it’s quite clear Jesus’s brothers and sisters were among them...to pull anything other then the clear meaning of this is way more than a stretch.....but common for those who use scripture to justify false teachings.
The whole point was they knew the family ,and the simple carpenter they knew didn’t meet the expectations of the “king” they imagined as the Messiah who would come...and surely wouldn’t be from the common ordinary folk they knew.
Distorting the word is a hallmark of false teachings....this is a prime example of trying to get scripture to support a teaching when it clearly does not do so by even a stretch.
When you have a quote this can mean Christ in the Psalm 69.
5 You, God, know my folly;
MY GUILT is not hidden from you.
6 Lord, the LORD Almighty,
may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me;
may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mothers children;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
"MY GUILT IS NOT HIDDEN"
THis was used for this.
5 You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you. 6 Lord, the LORD Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. 7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. 8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mothers children; 9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
Of Course. WE know HE is Not a Sinner.
"a stranger to my own mothers children;"
This is being used to say other children.
Everybody Read carefully what is presented examine it for real. Anybody can present nice neat words. But always examine.
I found this a lot about the Early Church Fathers go to the original words. Watch ourselves.
And Obama and the Federal government follow the original constitution right? Dont give me that nonsense about the Catholic Church staying true to original scripture. It doesnt hold up any more. The Israelites are the original people of God yet the Catholic Church says they no longer are treated as Gods chosen people so the old we are the originals obviously isnt something the CC really holds to either. All of those we are the original and the church Christ instituted is folly when its obvious that over time people fall away from whatever it was that originally formed the belief system and the CC is one prime example as is the current Federal Government example.
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If the Catholic Church brought us the Bible claim it was only they who are responsible why do they not clarify? Then there are those Catholics that claim scripture contains errors. Why would the CC perpetuate a collection of books that contain errors?
Indeed “anybody can present nice neat words,” and indeed you should “always examine,” and thus we need to watch ourselves before we or you jump to conclusions.
For as you should know, a Messianic verse is not determined by whether all of the context is about Christ, and the very Psalm you disallow as having Messianic text is quoted from by the Holy Spirit as such more than once, even if some RCs think they knew better.
See right after the text at issue where it says,
“I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. “ (Psalms 69:8-9)
And which is just what the Holy spirit in Jn. 2:17 states:
“And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. “ (John 2:17; cf. Rm. 15:3)
And there are more, for if Ps. 69:5 disallows v. 8 from speaking of Christ, as some reactionary Romans rule, then it would follow that Ps. 69:4 (They that hate me without a cause..) which is referenced in Jn. 15:25 cannot be either. And the same gospel that invokes Ps. 69:9 in applying it to Christ, also records that “His own received Him not,” “neither did His own brethren believe in Him.” (Jn. 1:11; 7:5)
In addition, while Catholics lack the extensive Scripture commentaries of evangelicals, the conservative Catholic Haydock commentary applies Ps. 69:8 to Christ as well, if not to His own siblings:
Ver. 9. Mother. This might be true with respect to some apostate Jews. But it was more fully accomplished in Christ, who was betrayed by Judas, &c. (Calmet) -— His own received him not, John i. (Berthier) haydock1859.tripod.com/id793.html
Also, contrary to your rule, Ps. 41:9 (Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me) which is confirmed (Jn. 13:18) to be prophetic of Christ, is nor disallowed as being such by v. 4 which states, I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
But the reason Ps. 69:8 is disallowed as being prophetic of Christ is that my mother’s children is another example in which the most straight forward denotation would be the siblings of the subject.
The Jews were and still are, in my opinion, the chosen people. At this point in time, though, the Gentiles have outnumbered them to a great extent.
The “King of the Jews (I.N.R.I,( Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews is biblical. Written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin.....hope I’m right there.
Remember, in one of the Gospel readings someone objects to that moniker by saying “He says he is the King of the Jews.)
It was the wise men in Matthew 2 that called Him the king of the Jews. You dont believe Jesus was the ruler prophesied in MICAH 5.2?
I myself gave the link, as well as one to my responses to the rest so far, and there is no reason to post over 13,000 words from your source, while ha ve salvation also reposts what i posted from the same, as if i never did. Its almost like redundant propaganda is supposed to be convincing.