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The Ever Virginity of Mary

Discussion in 'Christianity in General DIR' started by James the Persian, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    The Greek word rendered 'till' in that passage does not imply that after the time was up, the opposite happened (like English does). Greek (and many other languages) works quite differently. All that verse says is that Joseph did not have sex with Mary before Christ was born. It neither says, nor implies, anything about what happened afterwards. You can't make arguments like this from imperfect translations. The author did not write in English.

    James
     
  2. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Did you actually read the previous posts in this thread? Not one of those verses says that Christ had siblings in the sense of children sharing his mother. It's not even clear if they're siblings at all, as the same words could be used for cousins and the like. Scripture, in fact, implies that they were not Mary's children as it would have been encumbent upon one of her sons (rather than St. John) to look after her had she done so. There are other hints in the Scriptures that the 'siblings' were not Mary's children also, so I'd say that the evidence is fairly heavily set against your interpretation of the passages. But, as I said, we already covered all this in this thread.

    James
     
  3. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    You know, in all the comfusion of everyone trying to pove their own points, I've completely forgotten (perhaps it wasn't even mentioned at all) what the importance of this is. Why is it so important that Mary remain a virgin after Jesus' birth? What is the significance of her doing so?
     
  4. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi joeboonda

    Yes, you are absolutely correct. The reason I used the scripture I did as some who do NOT want to accept what the scriptures say try and claim what were referred to as sisters and brothers were simply cousins. Why? They would rather accept hogwash from creeds than Bible truths.

    Keep up the good Biblical post, many need to learn more about the Bible and to take off 'mental creedal blinders."

    Your Friend in Christ Iris89
     
  5. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    But you didn't use the Scripture in its original language did you? (At least I didn't see any Koine in there and you appear to be unable to respond to my answer to you, so I guess you don't have much of an idea about the language). In the original language it does not say that any of the 'siblings' of Christ were the children of Mary. Nor does your interpretation of the English word 'till' have any relation to the untranslated text in Koine.

    The word rendered 'brother' in Scripture would be better translated as 'reasonably close male relative', but that would be unwieldy. It covers concepts ranging from full biological brother, through half-brother, through step-brother to cousin. The Scriptures, unlike your personal interpretation of their English translation, are anything but clear in their meaning in this regard. I don't claim that the Scriptures say they were cousins, half-brothers or anything else. I say they are all but silent on the issue. They tell us he had male and female relatives but strongly imply that these are not Mary's children. That is all. You have to look to other aspects of Holy Tradition to find much evidence as to who they actually were. I'd love to know what creeds you think are the source of this belief, however. We accept only one Creed and it says almost nothing of Mary in it. You have to look elsewhere to find Traditions about the Theotokos.

    James
     
  6. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    I answered this question earlier in the thread but, in summary, it doesn't. It is not dogma, it will not affect your salvation to accept or reject it. (I'm not sure about the RCs, however). We Orthodox believe it because it has been part of Holy Tradition from the beginning of the Church (which is the pillar and ground of the Truth). We defend it because we believe it to be true. That is all. For me, at least, it is more about history than faith. I don't attack those who believe she didn't remain a virgin (though I think they're wrong) as they are entitled to their opinion. This thread started because I was perplexed as to why the opposing camp felt obliged to attack us for holding a belief they cannot find evidence to disprove. It smacks, to me, of trying to deny the Theotokos the honour that Scripture tells us should be afforded. I don't mean by that that if Mary did not remain virgin she would be less than if she did but rather that the attitude of those who fight so vehemently against this belief is one of trying to 'knock her down to size' . That is hardly honouring her, is it?

    James
     
  7. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    I think that people get lost in the whole siblings/no-siblings thing.

    The presence of siblings would indicate that Mary may have had other children, but the bible is not clear on whether or not Mary had other children. This unclarity is quite obvious due to the amount of debate encricling the issue.

    But, those who would counter the possibility that Mary had other children need to understand something. The absence of children does not imply an absence of a sexual relationship.

    That's so important to this debate that I'll say it again. The absense of children does not imply an absence of a sexual relationship.

    In the Old Testament, Ezekiel prophecized that no one set aside the Messiah would enter the earth through the same vessel as the true Messiah. This is a common argument that people use to say that Mary held perpetual virginity. However, Ezekiel's prophecy has been translated and retranslated through thousands of years. The meaning is still vague and open to interpretation, as all prophecies are. Even supposing that Ezekiel meant that Mary would bear no further children does not imply that Mary would not maintain a sexual relationship with her husband. There is also the possibility that either Mary or Joseph was sterile or the two were genetically incompatible. There also exists the possibility that they had no other children due to happenstance. Of course, there is also the possibility that they never had a sexual relationship.

    Personally, I have seen no proof or explicitness to indicate whether Mary had or did not have other children besides Jesus. I have seen no proof or explicitness to either confirm or deny perpetual virginity. The acceptance of perpetual virginity as "truth" is to accept an assumed guess as truth.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that I am attacking the issue or the belief. What I am saying that I disagree that something should be taught as truth in the Church that can not be described scripturally.

    I have nothing against honoring Mary as a dead human who birthed the Messiah (though idolizing her, praying to her, etc. takes the issue to a cult-level). The problem I have is with the Church fabricating "truth".
     
  8. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi James the Persian

    FIRST, Go back to my first two post, one of which was:



    And as I said to another,


    This still holds. Please open your mind and look at the facts apart from 'creedal blinders.'


    SECOND, I do not speak Koine Greek and neither do you or anyone else today so get real; however, I have checked with the Koine Greek expert, Rolf Fruille [spelling may be off], at the University of Oslo, one of the two acknowledged greatest living experts on this ancient language and Jason Beduhn at the University of Northern Arizona, and they both stated that the most probable meaning was brothers and sisters or in this case half brothers and half sisters. Also, I have checked the meaning in Bibles in other languages I read and so has my husband a PhD. Theologian so I think it is time you start doing some re-thinking.



    Your Friend in Christ Iris89

     
  9. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    No, what I said still holds true, the word rendered 'till' does not mean what you assume it does. I am looking at the text from the point of view of linguistics and no 'creedal blinders' (incidentally, what creed is it that is supposed to be blinding me? I can't think of one that speaks of the ever-virginity of Mary). I couldn't care less if you or anybody else does not believe that Mary remained a virgin, as I have stated more than once in this thread. That doesn't mean, though, that I'm not going to correct your misreading of Scripture. The 'till' simply does not mean what you say it does.




    Firstly, I never claimed to speak Koine. I do claim to know something about the language, however, and speak another language which shares its use of the word until, so I'm pretty familiar with the misunderstandings that can result from translations into English. Your assertion that nobody alive today speaks Koine, however, is laughable. It, not modern Greek, is the Liturgical language of both the Greek Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople as well as the Church of Cyprus. There are hundreds if not thousands of priests, therefore, who speak it on at least a weekly basis. I know one of them pretty well.



    First, acknowledged by whom? Second, I note that you say that the most probable (so not as certain as you made out originally) translation was half-brothers and half-sisters. This supports my argument, not yours. Firstly it shows that the translation is far from clear (or there'd be no probably about it) and secondly, unless you wish to posit that Mary remarried after Joseph's death, any half-brothers or half-sisters must be children by Joseph from a previous marriage and so not Mary's children. It seems as though you are the one who needs to rethink their views if the evidence you provide supports mine rather than your own.

    James
     
  10. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi Chris Bianchi



    Your comment,



    is right on. As I told another,





    Just to avoid the hogwash with respect whether she had other children or not. It makes you wonder if individuals will ever cast of their ‘creedal mental blinders’ and be able to view the Bible objectively per 2 Peter 1:19-21, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (Authorized King James Bible; AV).



    Thanks for your comment,



    Your Friend in Christ Iris89
     
  11. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    Actually, this is not true even in the least. A half-sibling would be one who shares half-blood. What you are describing, James, are step-siblings in which no blood is shared.

    In order to be a half-sibling, at least one parent must be shared. Since we obviously know that Jesus' father was God and that God fathered no other children than Jesus, the only parent that would leave would be Mary. Thus a child to Mary and Joseph would be a half-sibling to Jesus. A child to Joseph to any woman aside from Mary would be a step-sibling.

    So, half-siblings would -have- to be Mary's children. Step-siblings would -not- be Mary's children.

    Therefore, the presence of half-siblings would counter your argument just fine. Claiming that half-siblings would have to be Joseph's from a previous marriage only shows a lack of understanding of blood relationships.
     
  12. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Only if you're looking at parenthood in a biological manner rather than a legalistic one. Joseph was Christ's father according to Jewish law and would have been the only father known to the witnesses who spoke of Christs 'siblings'. Your argument, then, lacks substance. And please don't forget (as you seem to be doing) that the Church existed before the New Testament was penned and you are not debating with sola scripturalists when you debate with us or the RCs. If you wish to hold to that rather recent tradition that is up to you, but you cannot expect us to. Nor can you claim that the Church is 'fabricating' Tradition just because it is not found in the NT. Oh, and the Orthodox Church does not teach this belief as dogma, so that charge rather falls down.

    James
     
  13. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi James the Persian



    FIRST, Your Comment,



    I believe what the Bible says all the way, not half way as do the creeds that even try to give a different meaning with lame justification such as saying that the original Koine Greek meant something different or other hogwash. Even the Roman Catholic Bible says the same thing so get real, Matthew 1:18-25, “Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. 19 Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: 23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. 25 And he knew her not till she brought forth her first born son: and he called his name Jesus.” (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible; DRCB) and the Complete Jewish Bible clearly shows the same truth, “Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. 19 Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: 23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. 25 And he knew her not till she brought forth her first born son: and he called his name Jesus.” (The Complete Jewish Bible, Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources Int'l..; CJB)



    So now you are in effect saying all the expert translators are in error, even the Catholic who hold to the same in error creedal creed of the ever virginity of Mary. Also, I checked this scripture out with the same two experts, , Rolf Fruille [spelling may be off], at the University of Oslo, one of the two acknowledged greatest living experts on this ancient language and Jason Beduhn at the University of Northern Arizona, and they both stated there was no possibility of another meaning on Matthew 1:25. So let’s realize this is correct.



    Your Friend in Christ Iris89
     
  14. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi Linus



    Your question,



    is an excellent question and the answer is that some creeds have creedal beliefs that act for their members as ‘blankets of protection’ against what they consider the ‘outside world’, and they find this more important than Bible truths and reality.



    Your Friend in Christ Iris89
     
  15. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    I have asked noone to limit their beliefs to scripture only. What I have done is challenge people to demonstrate where the scriptures support the possibility and significance of perpetual virginity.

    I can make the claim of fabriction when guesses and assumptions are infered from scripture and taught as truth. Blame Martin Luther for forcing people to consider the fallibility of the Church, not me.
     
  16. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi Chris Bianchi



    FIRST, Your Comment,



    is correct.



    SECOND, Your comment,



    Actually Martin Luther was not the first to ask all to check the scriptures to see if what they were being told was indeed the truth, we find the Apostles expressing this at Acts 17:10-11, “But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea. Who, when they were come thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, daily searching the scriptures, whether these things were so.” (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible; DRCB).



    Your Friend in Christ Iris89
     
  17. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Since the Bible is a product of the Church, the fallibility of the Church necessarily means that the Bible is fallible also.
     
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  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Deffinately frubal worthy! :clap
     
  19. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

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    Hi Everyone

    The Bible is NOT the product of one committee or strongman. It has over 40 individual writers who wrote under divine inspiration/guidance putting the thoughts of God (YHWH) into the words of men much as transcribing secretaries today taking transcription and then later typing it out. In other words one real author, God (YHWH), and many scribes each of whom wrote in his own style over a period of approximately 1,600 years. All of what people call or consider inconsistencies are really not such, but most often just a problem of translation and/or understanding, i.e., lack of understanding of what the original writer writing in his own language and culture meant/said in his original writing. What is remarkable, is the writers over such a period of time all wrote in harmony when even most posters on threads on this forum can not even stay on track or subject over a period of a few days and/or weeks at most with the original subject of the thread. This fact of harmony over a period so great as to almost stagger the imagination shows that it had one guiding force or author who divinely inspired its writers as humans of their own volition can not keep on track over short periods of time.



    To wit, the Bible is the ONLY book God (YHWH) ever inspired men to write as his scribes. In other words, God is its author and men only put his thoughts given to them by divine inspiration into their own words, the words of men.

    And its importance to Civilization was immense. Let's look at Civilization and the Bible

    1) Our entire civilization as we know it is actually built on the ability to store information in one form or another and to pass it on to others for their use. This storage can take many different forms such as books, memory cores and disks, scrolls, clay tablets, writings on stones and artifacts, etc. Storage of the repository of human knowledge and better reasoning ability are the things that set humankind apart from all other species that inhabits this planet. We know what happened in the past and can learn from the past because of our store of knowledge. Without this ability to store knowledge we would not know anything about the Roman Empire, the various ancient dynasties of the Chinese or the scientific findings of the past that we have built on and developed on in a synergistic way to continually advance. This sets us apart from all the other concurrent inhabiting species of this planet; take the common cat, this animal has coexisted with mankind during are entire existence, but it lacks the ability to pass on anything more than the most rudimentary information to the next generation and it has NOT advanced; we see no great cat cities or developments by this species and we never will.

    2) Our advancement was made possible by this ability to build on our collective knowledge in a continuing progressive upward path. We name things and this name is accepted as valid my others and our knowledge is added to. Take for example the color we call red, why is it red? It is red only because we collectively decide to use this term for it and to reference it to artifacts such as color chips, vases, etc. that are that color. Could we prove anything is red apart from our collective knowledge of what is red and our artifacts? Definitely not since it is only red due to our collective knowledge and our artifacts. Without our collective knowledge and our artifacts we would be just like the lesser animals having only a here and now existence. Of course there are those among us that differ with our collective knowledge and question the obvious of what we know or have learned as a society. The Flat Earth Society (London and California) maintain that the earth is flat and not round and there are still some primitive people that believe the earth is not only flat but carried by a great turtle through the cosmos and also those who maintain man has never gone to the moon. However, are their beliefs reasonable in the light of knowledge accumulated by society and the artifacts now possessed by society, the answer is a resounding NO.

    3) Also, are advancement is built on our ability to classify our knowledge. Many things are as we classify them. These classifications are not intrinsically right or wrong, but a method of ordering our collective knowledge into a coherent form for better understanding. In other words it is humanities attempt to take a group of disconnected information and put it into some order so we can better understand it. Of course one can disagree with classifications used and maintain that standard classifications are inadequate in one way or another, but he/she does thins strictly on the basis of the collective body of human knowledge. For example, take the classifications of several forms of deviant sex, pedophile, homosexual, and heterosexual deviant sex practitioner. Our collective knowledge is that a heterosexual relates to one who has sexual desires toward a member of the opposite gender; a homosexual relates to one who has sexual desires toward a member of his own gender; Pedophilia relates to a sexual perversion in which children, either sex, are the preferred sexual object. Now one could maintain that pedophilias are neither homosexual or heterosexual deviant sex practitioners as they are driven by different behavior motivations, i.e., power and control in addition to sex, than deviant sex practitioners who prefer adults. While their behavior motivations are different, they, depending on the gender of the victim and the perpetrator would be either heterosexual pedophiles or homosexual pedophiles; note, as previously mentioned this classification is apart from the differences in underlying motivation due to how we have collectively set up the classification in our collective body of knowledge.

    4) Since God created us and everything else in the universe and new our makeup since he had made us, he caused men under his direction or inspiration to write a collective body of information to tell us of his requirements, laws and principles; of the history of his people with whom he had concluded a covenant with; to tell us salient items to occur in the future, prophecy; and to inspire us. For example, the history given in the Bible was intended to show how when his people kept his laws and principles all went well with them and when they disobeyed how he brought punishment on them. This history also showed how punishment was executed on wicked nations before our modern era. All this was for the purpose of adding to our collective knowledge so we could learn from it and act in an intelligent manner on it if we were so disposed. Whereas, prophecy, the foretelling of history in advance, had basically a two fold purpose of first advising us of what would happen in the future and in most cases why and the second was so we would indeed know that his addition to our collective knowledge was indeed from him and the writers of it were indeed inspired. In fact, one mathematician once took the hundred of scriptures in the old testament concerning Jesus, prophecy related to him, and calculated that the possibility of them all being fulfilled by coincidence was so great as to be mathematically impossible.

    In addition to prophecy to show the Bible is inspired and from God is the many recorded eyewitness accounts recorded in the Bible and elsewhere that relate to the life and times of Jesus. For example, the accounts written by Josephus, a first century Jewish historian employed by the Romans, clearly acknowledge Jesus (see "The Jewish Antiguities" by Josephus) and many of his activities/accomplishments as do other contemporary historians such as Tacitus, a Roman historian in "The complete works of Tacitus, " and numerous others. "The New Encyclopedia Britannica states: "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus." The Jews, however, did not accept Jesus and the "Encyclopaedia Judaica says, "The Jews of the Roman period believed [the Messiah] would be raised up by God to break the yoke of the heather..." but they did admit his existance and many of the powerful works he did.

    5) Some specific examples of its inspiration were the prophecy at Jeremiah 49:17-18 17 "Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. 18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it." Note, Jeremiah's recording was finished by 580 B.C. The prophecy was fulfilled when the Edomites were driven from Palesting during the 2nd century B.C. by Judam Maccabaeus, "The New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia. There are many more examples such as this that can be found in reference books in all major libraries for any who should care to do further research in the repository of collective knowledge of our civilization.

    6) Therefore the Bible is proved as reliable by are repository of collective artifacts, many from archeological discoveries, that verify Biblical facts and details, and our collective repository of recorded knowledge external to the Bible. As previously noted this can be checked out at any major library with a little research on the part of any interested individual who wishes to do his/her homework.

    Your Friend in Christ Iris89

     
  20. DTrent

    DTrent Member

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    We can take a look at Matt.13:53-56 of the Jerusalem Bible where it talks about Jesus astonishing people in the synagogue with his teaching. So the people wanted to know where he got his wisdom from since he is the carpenter's son, his mother is the woman called Mary, and his BROTHERS (GREEK, adelphoi) James and Joseph and Simon and Jude, and his SISTERS (GREEK, adelphai) were all there with them.
    (Mary had other sons and also had daughters.)

    Mark 3:31-35 of the JB talks about how Jesus' mother and BROTHERS came asking for him. Jesus replied, "Who are my mother and my BROTHERS"?
    (Here he made the clear distinction of the difference between SPIRITUAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS and FLESHLY ones, or NATURAL ones. Really, no one claims the ref to Jesus' MOTHER means anything different from what it says. Is it consistent, then, to reason that his NATURAL BROTHERS were not that but were perhaps cousins?
    When what is meant is not brothers but relatives, a different Greek word (syggenon) is used, as at Luke 21:16.)

    I would say that this info is impt to me becuz it reaffirms my faith in God's Word and makes sense. Why would I think that Joseph and Mary had no other children after Jesus was born? Since God instituted the marriage arrangement with its many joys I would not expect Him to expect Joseph and Mary NOT to indulge in them. What would be the point?? There would'nt be any...


    RE: Ezek.44:2 - Actually, chapters 40-48 speak of Ezekiel's vision of restored temple and land. In the midst of a land of pagan idolatry, it strengthened hope in the repentant Jewish exiles of again worshipping the true God at his temple.
    (No mention of Mary in research of this Scripture or vision.)
     
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