Mary, the Ever-Virgin?

In Isaiah 7:14, the Lord promises a sign, that a virgin shall conceive a child called “God with us,” or Immanuel. We are told in the Gospels that this virgin was Mary, the wife of Joseph.

However, what was given as a sign (a virginal conception) has been wrongly augmented into the Roman Catholic teaching that not only was Jesus conceived within a virgin’s womb, but that Mary remained a virgin perpetually after that:

The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.” #499 of the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church

There are a few key features to that confession: 1) Only as the Church increased in their Marian beliefs did they create the belief of perpetual virginity. 2) No scriptural support is given for the belief.

So it is interesting to see what the Bible actually says about Mary.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Matthew 1:24,25

The Holy Spirit testifies that Joseph & Mary did know each other intimately, though it was not until Mary “had brought forth her firstborn son.” That Joseph & Mary waited to be intimate was inherent in Isaiah’s prophesy as well, which stated that a virgin would do 3 things: conceive, bring forth a son, and call him Immanuel.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. Mark 6:3

Here Jesus was in His “own country” (v.1) teaching in the synagogue (v.2). But the people there knew Him not as Lord & Savior but as the Son of Mary, and when faced with His teaching and His power, they were astonished. How could this man which they grew up with, who has a mother, brothers, and sisters which they also knew, have such power?

It wouldn’t be logical for these people to claim that his disciples were his brothers & sisters, for to accept that it is possible to be brethren with the Lord would be to accept His claims, which they clearly are not. They stumble at Christ’s teachings because they are all too familiar with His humanity.

And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. John 2:17

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

Jesus fulfilled this prophecy from the Psalms, including the portion about His “mother’s children,” for Mary had several besides Him. We have testimony that He was alien to His brethren:

For neither did his brethren believe in him. John 7:5

Even after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven we can find testimony that He had at least one half-brother (a child of Mary & Joseph, whereas He was of Mary but not Joseph).

But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Galatians 1:19

It has been claimed (by Roman Catholicism, for instance) that Paul actually meant “James the Lord’s cousin” and that “brother” is an acceptable substitute. However, “cousin” was not a foreign word to the followers of Jesus, and had Paul meant that, he would have used it, as Luke did in Luke 1:36. The word translated “brother” in Galatians 1:19 is adelphos, which refers to the womb. Brothers are of the same womb; cousins are not.

Brethren, truth is important in all aspects of our belief, including what we know about Mary. In a world much more familiar with the Roman Catholic Church’s Mary than with the Bible’s, truth in our belief is all the more important.

Be sure that you are able to defend your beliefs if need be, and be willing to teach them to others.

[ Special Thanks ]

2 thoughts on “Mary, the Ever-Virgin?”

  1. It’s also interesting to note that Joseph “knew” Mary. This lends high credibility to the fact that “knew” and “loved” have similar usages. “And those God ‘foreknew’ He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

    Anyway, interesting. I didn’t even know Catholics believed in perpetual virginity.

  2. I think this is the problem. Your church is probably 50 years old. No roots. The Bible is your only foundation. The Bible is also the RC churchs book, since these books you say are inspired were cannonized by the RC church back at the end of the 3rd century. Seems odd to me that you would take the books of the Bible as your churchs only foundation, since they were decided upon by the RC church. Does that mean you accept the RC churchs authority to decide which books are in the Bible? We took the books that mirror what the RC church believes were the truth. Add to that we have an unbroken lineage of priests which go all the way back to the original Apostles. That gives us an oral tradition that goes back 2000 years and has not changed. Read the books written by the Fathers of the Church. They built the Catholic Church. They were taught by the original Apostles. It really amazes me that the modern seperated church is so down on the RC Church. We were the ones who sent martyrs to the Roman colliseum to be fed to the lions for the first 300 years of persecution so that you could have your freewheeling, personal interpretation, anti Catholic church. Show a little apprecitation for all the blood we spilled and for safegaurding and giving you a Bible.
    P.S. Would you treat the Ark of the Tabernacle like a coffee table? Then why would you treat the Ark of the New Testament as a regular person. Mary was the tabernacle of the Living Word of God. She had the living God inside of her. Christ was 100% of Marys DNA. She was the first to accept Christ literally into her life. She was the first to put her life on the line for Jesus. What if she would have said NO to God. She had free will and could have certainly done so. You should be honoring her for this great sacrifice she gave to us. Her job on earth was to be the caretaker of the Living God. Not to be having a bunch of children. I hope you at least refer to her as “Blessed”, the way the Bible says how she should be refered as.

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