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The Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by ChrisBianchi, Jan 18, 2006.

?
  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    19.0%
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
    71.4%
  3. The Scriptures do not say

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  1. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    The Catholic Church teaches that Mary remained a virgin for her entire lifetime. Where is the scriptural evidence?

    I have done some web searching and have found many arguments in favor of Mary's perpetual virginity none of which provide any scriptural evidence to support them. The following appear to be some key passages that arguers in favor use as argument:

    This passage appears during the crucifixion. Jesus is telling Mary to love the disciple as a son. He is telling the disciple to love Mary as a mother. The final sentence is open to interpretation. Either Mary went to live with the disciple or she was thereafter welcome at the disciple's home. Since the verse is ambiguous, it is neither proof nor evidence of the possibility that Jesus had siblings. Neither is the existence of siblings indicitive of Mary's sexual relationship with Joseph. Either could have encountered sterility or no pregnancy due to pure happenstance.

    Some claim that this verse expresses a marriage between Mary and God. Therefore, a sexual relationship with Joseph would have been adulterous. However, if Mary maintained a marriage to God, then even marrying Joseph would have been adulterous. An angel later told Joseph to take Mary as his wife. Paul later preached that a woman and man should give of their bodies freely to one another in marriage.

    Some claim that this verse indicates that Mary never intended to have a sexual relationship with Joseph. But, the verse gives us no indication of Mary's future intentions. Mary was engaged to Joseph prior to the pregnancy, and we have no indication of what her intentions were. One would assume that her intentions were the same as any other woman that would be getting married during her time period - establish herself with a working man and raise a family. Mary is merely asking the angel how she could possibly be pregnant since she hadn't been with a man.

    None of the above passages give any indication of Mary's sexual relationship with Joseph after the birth of Jesus. Therefore, what scriptural evidence is there that tells us of Mary's perpetual virginity?
     
  2. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    I voted yes, but it really doesn't matter. Weather her other children were hers or her step children would not change the way I see her. She was the mother of Christ. That's what's important. ;)
     
  3. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    I always find it a little amusing when people think it's unlikely that Mary was sexually abstinent after the birth of Jesus, but have no trouble believing she was a virgin until his birth. Which is more plausible?
     
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  4. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    I do agree with you, however I am not questioning whether or not she had other children. It would have been quite possible for her to have a sexual relationship without further pregnancy. I don't want this to start into a discussion of James or other possible siblings of Jesus. Specifically, I would like someone who does believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary to show scriptural evidence to support that belief.
     
  5. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    James was the brother of Jesus, so i very much doubt it.
     
  6. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    Again, I don't want this to turn into a siblings case because, quite frankly, the scriptures do not say that James was the son of Mary. Jesus called many people brothers and sisters. The use of the term did not necessarily define a blood relationship.
     
  7. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Joseph was up in his years when he married Mary. He is thought to have died when Jesus was about 14. Joseph had children from a previous marriage. And like I said, whether or not they had relations would not change who she is.
     
  8. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    I said no, just because it's very highly unlikely that she was a virgin for that long, and it really doens't make her any less to think that (Gasp! :eek: ) she had sex.
     
  9. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    There are non-canonical scriptures which say James was his brother, but if you don't want to talk about siblings then that's the last i'll say on it. :)

    The virgin birth idea stemmed from a mistranslation of an old testament prophecy where they translated young woman as virgin. Since the whole virgin birth idea is thus probably untrue, i find it likely Mary was not a virgin her whole life.
     
  10. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    It's one thing we will never know.... until we die, get to heaven, then you can ask her! ;)
     
  11. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Mark 6:3 is pretty conclusive for me.

    "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."

    Looks like he had four brothers and at least two sisters and I see no evidence that suggests these are Joseph's children from a previous marriage.
     
  12. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    You are correct in that the virgin birth concept stemmed from prophecy. However, one must note the differences in language and translation between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is in the New Testament where we find Mary, a young, unmarried woman, pregnant and questioning the pregnancy since she had not been with a man.
     
  13. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    There are nuns today that feel they are 'married to God' that go their entire life without sex. Their are Priests that go their entire life without sex.
     
  14. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    You are correct n saying that there is "...no evidence that suggests these are Joseph's children from a previous marriage." However, there is no evidence to suggest that they aren't half-brothers, either. This is an ambiguous and inconclusive passage that does not constitute either proof or evidence.
     
  15. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    This is another interesting question. Since so many nuns claim to be married to God concurrently, is God a bigamist?
     
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  16. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Even the apostle paul spoke about it being better to go without sex, if your life is devoted to God. I really don't see why, especially Mary, could not go without sex? If God is really 1st in your life, as with nuns, this does not seem to be a hard choice,
     
  17. ChrisBianchi

    ChrisBianchi Member

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    Actually, Apostle Paul spoke about it being better to go without marriage. However, if a man and woman are married, Paul teaches that they should give of their bodies freely to one another.
     
  18. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Nuns and priests are married to a member of the opposite sex. Mary was.
     
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Aside from the mass amount of historical writings that records how most Christians understood Mary's perpetual virginity and the various verses we use it will not deviate others from holding to their interpretations. Since catholics are not bound to the Bible Alone, it does not matter if it's in the Bible or not to us. We believe things that are not in the Bible.

    ~Victor
     
  20. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    So if you think Mary was a perpetual virgin then who are the brothers and sisters mentioned in the above verse?
     
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