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Christian: Is The Perpetual Virginity of Mary a true Christan Doctrine

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Joannicius, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Joannicius

    Joannicius Active Member

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    What do you thinK?
    And why?
     
  2. Rozs

    Rozs Member

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    No because Mary had many children...

    Mark 6:3 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.

    These are the brothers and sisters of Christ in the flesh.... ;)
     
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  3. Joannicius

    Joannicius Active Member

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    It does not say that these are children of Mary and the Greek used here can easily be step-brothers, step-sisters, even cousins.

    Also why should the Church of today believe in contridiction with the whole of Christendom
    for the first 1600 or so years?
     
  4. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Yes, she is perpetually virgin. Our earliest testimony places its being present firmly in the mid-second century, and we have no reason to assume that the Fathers got the doctrine from the Protevangelium of James.

    It has also been preserved by the Church as one of her doctrines.
     
  5. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I propose Genesis 29.15 as an example.

    But Laban said to Jacob, because you're my brother, you won't serve me for a gift. Tell me what your prices is. Translated from the LXX

    Greek (transliterated, pronounce a "d" as "th" in "the," and pronounce "th" in the words as "th" as in "through"):

    Ipen de Lavan to Iakov oti gar adelfos mou i, oo doolevsis mi dorean; apangilon mi tis o misthos soo estin.

    The word adelfos is the one that normally refers to "brother" :).
     
  6. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    So, why does Mary have to be celibate?

    She doesn't. It's a myth and I trust the NT and not those who would re-write it to suit their purposes.

    This is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
     
  7. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Remember what happened with the Ark of the Covenant when people touched it? It was like that, because it was holy and God was supposed to have an especial presence there of some sort, complete with smoke coming from it and all.

    Mary became the Mother of God. God assumed flesh in her womb, and for nine months she carried God about in her belly, taking her flesh from her to become a man. If the ark had to be extremely holy on account of what happened in it, Mary would have to be even holier. Her womb was the Gate of God, and thus no man should enter by it.

    The NT doesn't speak on it, so I can understand with your principles how you wouldn't believe it, but it also doesn't contradict it.
     
  8. chris9178

    chris9178 Member

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    So Joseph marries Mary, but never sleeps with her?

    Ok......
    Seriously now. I can understand the arguement about her having no more children (the "brothers" of Christ actually being step-brothers), but for her to have never had sex with her husband????? And comparing her to the Ark of the Covenant????

    Matthew 1:
    Does that not imply that they had sex afterwards?

    Is that some sort of error in translation? Does Greek have a different use of the "until" than we do?
    I'd like somebody to clarify that.

    Thinking about this reminds me of a few years ago when President Clinton was testifying before Congress and said something to the effect of "well that depends on the definition of "is"". That was rather comical, right? Well, it seems like Christians aer doing it every single day with the Bible.

    One more note. This is the second time I've had to type out this post, and this happens quite often. I press the "Post Quick Reply" button and it sends me to a screen that tells me to log in (which I had already done). I re-log in and everything I typed is lost! It's maddening, and it happens to me almost every day!!! Does this happen to others as well?????? It's discouraged many, many replies that I've lost and didn't feel like re-typing. Argh.
     
  9. Joannicius

    Joannicius Active Member

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    Chris,
    Compare that to a man in syria whose wife was constantly seeing and talking to Mary......so he reguarded her to holy to "touch" (just because she communicated with Mary)
    http://www.soufanieh.com/eravaz.htm
    UNTIL Mary gave exsplicit instructions that they should have normal relationships, which they did and have two beautiful children now.

    The Church KNOWS that Joseph and Mary never consumated their marriage, that is why he has the titile "Joseph the Betrothed"

    Two simple facts of history
    1. Joseph was a man quite older than Mary and he had been married before, lost his wife who left him with children.
    2. It was obvious at the foot of the cross when Jesus committed Mary to be taken care of by John the beloved that She had no childred responsible by Jewish custom to care for her or Jesus would not have given the responsibility to John and he wouldn't have done it if Joseph was still alive.......It was Jesus's responsibility to care for his mother as he was the first born male.
     
  10. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I would like to see your proof for #1 and would assure that #2 is not obvious.

    Again, there is so much emphasis on the PHYSICAL in this, when it's the SPIRITUAL aspect that is important.

    There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that this has any bearing on your salvation. God created sex as a wonderful experience. Why would he deny Mary that wonderful experience?
     
  11. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Actually, Greek word eos does have a different sense of "until." Here's my favorite example. The Greek word for "until" used here was also used by Jesus when He says, "Behold I am with you until the End of the Age." There is a change in condition there, but He will still be with His people. It didn't change.

    If I can find it, I'll post an excert from something St. Jerome wrote and dealt with it in detail (a man in the early Church who studied languages and spoke Greek).

    I haven't had to log in once since I joined :confused:. I wonder what's happening to you here. I can see how that would be frustrating, though. Just a word of caution, don't toss the monitor out the window. It won't help ;).
     
  12. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Actually Jesus was with us until the end of the "age". We are under a new age and a new covenant. During this age we have his spirit indwelling in his children!
     
  13. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Well on 1, you will find none in the Bible. We will see that Mary had no husband or children to care for her at Christ's death, which would work with this easily. However, there is no proof from the Bible.

    Proof comes in the Tradition of the Church, which I know you don't accept. The earliest testimonies are Justin Martyr and the Protevangelium of James, and the latter is a very fanciful novel. The former is a Christian apologist. The latter is a rather fanciful novel (think about the novels that "tell" the lives of biblical chars in the store).

    Beyond that, I can't provide anything in the way of proof other than it doesn't contradict the Bible.
     
  14. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I think we are interpreting this a bit differently :). When I read that, I think of the Second Coming. Jesus was about to leave them and was assuring them of His return, which makes sense in the context.
     
  15. angellous_evangellous

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    Not as if Eusebius is the final authority on the issue, but I ran across this a few nights ago. If you beleive in apostolic succession, I am not sure where else you draw your history from. If not Eusebius, then I would like to know. Here we have all of Jesus' relatives drawn together to rule the church. This is not an uncommon practice, as seen in the notes. This is from Eusebius, Church History 11. Available online at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.htm

    1. After the martyrdom of James[1] and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed,[1] it is said that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh[1] (for the majority of them also were still alive) to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James.

    2. They all with one consent pronounced Symeon,[1] the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention;[1] to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph.[
     
  16. Joannicius

    Joannicius Active Member

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    As far as #1 is concerned, you're right No*s, you have to accept the history of the one who kept the history from then until now.

    The Orthodox Church can tell you where Lazarus went to be Bishop after he was raised from the dead, they can tell you the name of the woman at the well, her daughters names and when and how they died as martyrs preaching the Gospel in another land.

    I don't know any others source that has all the facts as we do from those times.

    #2 I'm sorry, I was assuming, which I know better. I just get sloppy and in a hurry sometimes. I was thinking that you had probably studied the Jewish culture enough to know how important and precise they took care of these responsibilities and as you know Jesus was a good Jew........make that a perfect Jew.

    The emphasis is on combining the physical with the spiritual which is what our Lord did by becoming human.

    And you are right there is no requirement for these understandings for our salvic work, just good to know and love the one who bore Christ our God, the picture of the Church itself as we are to bear God and not be consumed.

    To see the culmanation of having God born in us, it does require the sensual pleasures and the desires for them to deminish, and in some instances as Mary, they
    were able to let them die, which is our goal. Having God born and come to stature in us is a pleasure so far beyond any earthly pleasure that the martyrs and Saints went to death with songs on their lips and praise in their hearts.
     
  17. chris9178

    chris9178 Member

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    Well it sounds like we have the same meaning to the words to me. "Until" can be used both ways, but in one way it implies change afterwards, and in the other way it doesn't.

    So far it sounds like the Greek wording is good, so how about the interpretation? Maybe that's faulty? Otherwise I don't see how you can logically deny it. Not by this mere argument, but by the collection, only some of which we've seen here. It's really starting to sound more like a delusional belief to me.

    Of course, in the scheme of Christianity I don't find it important, so I wouldn't say you're wrong simply by having the belief.

    Well, I use mostly computers from the labs at the university when I'm posting, so I rarely have the same one. And there's no way I'd throw one of their monitors out the window! I'd hate to see that charge on my fee bill!!!
     
  18. angellous_evangellous

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  19. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Apostolic succession is the succession of bishops. Eusebius only participated in that briefly, and it is affirmed by writer after writer (Ignatius, Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Eusebius, etc.). If you mean Apostolic Tradition, then all writers in the Church share in it, and there is no single writer that one can point to and say "Here is Apostolic Tradition!" It is the consensus of the writers, the teachings of Scripture, the Liturgy, the Lives of the Saints, and oral sayings passed down.

    So, in one sense, it continues to be built, but in another, it is unchanging: the teachings of the Church today are the same they were one thousand years ago, and it five hundred years before that, and it a hundred years before that, and so on. Theologians in each generation do not look for something new, but simply try to repeat what has been said. Their words and lives then become part of Tradition. I really don't have an easier way to explain it. The Church can still produce a Church Father.

    On to the subject :). Eusebius wrote:

    After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed, it is said that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh (for the majority of them also were still alive) to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James. They all with one consent pronounced Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.11.1).

    I reccomend we cross-reference with the following:

    Then James, whom the ancients surnamed the Just on account of the excellence of his virtue, is recorded to have been the first to be made bishop of the church of Jerusalem. This James was called the brother of the Lord because he was known as a son of Joseph, and Joseph was supposed to be the father of Christ, becaue the Virgin, being betrothed to him, "was found with child by the Holy Ghost before they came together," as the account of the holy Gospels shows. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.4.2)

    Here we have our explanation of James the Just. He was accounted the Lord's brother "because he was known as a son of Joseph." This would contradict an assertion that James was the son of Mary. It could not be Symeon, for that would make him Jesus' cousin. The logical explanation for this is that "according to the flesh" refers to Jesus' physical family, but not inherently "sons of Mary." Juxtapose this with Christ's assertion that whoever does the will of His Father is His mother, brothers, and sisters in Mark 3.31-35.

    However, St. Jerome wrote in the same century as Eusebius against a teacher who taught against the perpetual virginity of Mary, saying in his normally acidic manner (the man had an extremely short fuse and sharp pen):

    I was requested by certain of the brethren not long ago to reply to a pamphlet written by one Helvidius. I have deferred doing so, not because it is a difficult matter to maintain th etruth and refute an ignorant boor who has scarce known the first glimmer of learning, but because I was afraid my reply might make him appear worth defeating. (Jerome, The Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed mary: Against Helvidius 1).

    Jerome's contempt is palpable, and his treatise makes it clear the opinion was unknown. However, he certainly knew of Eusebius. I think we can trust Jerome to further back up the interpretation I have given. Against Helvidius may be read here. Since Hevlidius attacked the perpetual virginity of Mary with almost the same arguments as its modern opponents, Against Helvidius affords ample defense on every aspect.
     
  20. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    On until, from Jerome, who probably has forgotten more about Greek, Latin, and Hebrew than the group of us on this thread:

    Our reply is briefly this,—the words knew and till in the language of Holy Scripture are capable of a double meaning. As to the former, he himself gave us a dissertation to show that it must be referred to sexual intercourse, and no one doubts that it is often used of the knowledge of the understanding, as, for instance, “the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and his parents knew it not.” Now we have to prove that just as in the one case he has followed the usage of Scripture, so with regard to the word till he is utterly refuted by the authority of the same Scripture, which often denotes by its use a fixed time (he himself told us so), frequently time without limitation, as when God by the mouth of the prophet says to certain persons, “Even to old age I am he.” Will He cease to be God when they have grown old? And the Saviour in the Gospel tells the Apostles, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Will the Lord then after the end of the world has come forsake His disciples, and at the very time when seated on twelve thrones they are to judge the twelve tribes of Israel will they be bereft of the company of their Lord? Again Paul the Apostle writing to the Corinthians says, “Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ’s, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” Granted that the passage relates to our Lord’s human nature, we do not deny that the words are spoken of Him who endured the cross and is commanded to sit afterwards on the right hand. What does he mean then by saying, “for he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet”? Is the Lord to reign only until His enemies begin to be under His feet, and once they are under His feet will He cease to reign? Of course His reign will then commence in its fulness when His enemies begin to be under His feet. David also in the fourth Song of Ascents speaks thus, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy upon us.” Will the prophet, then, look unto the Lord until he obtain mercy, and when mercy is obtained will he turn his eyes down to the ground? although elsewhere he says, “Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.” I could accumulate countless instances of this usage, and cover the verbosity of our assailant with a cloud of proofs; I shall, however, add only a few, and leave the reader to discover like ones for himself. (Against Helvidius, 6).

    Nate is right that Greek is often used to prove theology, but the word eos is used in several ways in Scripture. It means "until" with change, "until" without change, and with eos ou it often means "while." The construction in Matthew 1.25 is the latter, and it has a standard lexical definition of "while" even in Attic Greek. The preceding came from A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, but we can always confirm it with Liddell and Scott's Lexicon.

    In light of that, I ask the other side to put forward reason why it must mean a change of status, when both Attic and Hellenistic Greek lexicons acknowledge the opposite. If not, the lexical magic and jumping is not on our side ;).
     
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