Mother & Daughter
Daily Inspiration for Catholic Homeschoolers
    Dave Armstrong
Mary: Perpetual Virgin? 6 Biblical Arguments

Mary: Perpetual Virgin? 6 Biblical Arguments

Once upon a time, virtually no Christians denied that Mary the mother of Jesus was perpetually a virgin: including Protestants. Of the early leaders of that movement, virtually all fully accepted this doctrine: including Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Bullinger, and Cranmer. Moreover, most Protestant exegetes continued to believe it for at least another 350 years or so.

But today (for various reasons) things are very different, so it’s helpful to revisit the biblical arguments, since the Bible is the authority all Christians revere in common. A surprising number can be found: so many that they will require more than this article to highlight the major ones: even in summary.

1. Visiting the Temple

Luke 2:41-51 describes Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple at the age of twelve, for the required observance of Passover. Everyone agrees that He was the first child of Mary, so if there were up to five or more siblings, as some maintain (or even one), why is there no hint of them at all in this account?

2. No Word for ‘Cousin’

Neither Hebrew nor Aramaic have words for “cousin.” The New Testament was written in Greek, which does have such a word (sungenis), but Jesus and His disciples spoke Aramaic (a late version of Hebrew), and the Hebrew word ach is literally translated as adelphos, the literal equivalent of the English “brother.” In the Bible, it has a very wide range of meanings beyond “sibling”: just as “brother” does in English. Thus it is routinely used in the New Testament to describe cousins or kinsmen, etc.

3. The Use of ‘Brethren’

Jesus Himself uses “brethren” (adelphos) in the non-sibling sense. In Matthew 23:8 (cf. 12:49-50), He calls, for example, the “crowds” and His “disciples” (23:1) “brethren.” In other words, they are each other’s “brothers”: the brotherhood of Christians.

4. Two Marys

In comparing Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40, and John 19:25, we find that James and Joseph (mentioned in Mt 13:55 with Simon and Jude as Jesus’ “brothers”) are the sons of Mary, wife of Clopas. This other Mary (Mt 27:61; 28:1) is called Our Lady’s adelphe in John 19:25. Assuming that there are not two women named “Mary” in one family, this usage apparently means “cousin” or more distant relative. Matthew 13:55-56 and Mark 6:3 mention Simon, Jude and “sisters” along with James and Joseph, calling all adelphoi. The most plausible interpretation of all this related data is a use of adelphos as “cousins” (or possibly, step-brothers) rather than “siblings.” We know for sure, from the above information, that James and Joseph were not Jesus’ siblings.

It’s not mere special pleading to argue in this fashion (as is charged), or an alleged “desperation” of Catholics who supposedly “read into” the texts their prior belief in the dogma of perpetual virginity. Plenty of Protestant exegesis and scholarship confirms these views: especially in older commentaries. For example, the prominent 19th century Commentary on the Whole Bible, by Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, states, regarding Matthew 13:55 (my italics added):

An exceedingly difficult question here arises – What were these “brethren” and “sisters” to Jesus? Were they, First, His full brothers and sisters? or, Secondly, Were they His step-brothers and step-sisters, children of Joseph by a former marriage? or, Thirdly, Were they His cousins, according to a common way of speaking among the Jews respecting persons of collateral descent? On this subject an immense deal has been written, nor are opinions yet by any means agreed . . . In addition to other objections, many of the best interpreters, . . . prefer the third opinion . . . Thus dubiously we prefer to leave this vexed question, encompassed as it is with difficulties.

5. Under John’s Protection

Advertisement

'Simplifying Your Domestic Church' Official Page - by Abby Sasscer

The Blessed Virgin Mary is committed to the care of the Apostle John by Jesus from the Cross (John 19:26-27). Jesus certainly wouldn’t have done this if He had brothers (all of whom would have been younger than He was).

6. A Virgin Until

Matthew 1:24-25 Joseph . . . knew her not until she had borne a son . . .

This passage has been used as an argument that Mary did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus, but the same Protestant commentary also states (my italics again):

The word “till” [until above] does not necessarily imply that they lived on a different footing afterwards (as will be evident from the use of the same word in 1 Samuel 15:35; 2 Samuel 6:23; Matthew 12:20); nor does the word “first-born” decide the much-disputed question, whether Mary had any children to Joseph after the birth of Christ; for, as Lightfoot says, “The law, in speaking of the first-born, regarded not whether any were born after or no, but only that none were born before.”

John Calvin used the same counter-argument in favor of Mary’s perpetual virginity. In fact, in his Harmony of the Gospels, commenting on Matthew 1:25, he thought the contention of further siblings based on this passage was so unfounded that he wrote, “No man will obstinately keep up the argument, except from an extreme fondness for disputation.”

Dave Armstrong Biblical Catholicism
Print Friendly

    Subscribe to My Articles

About Dave Armstrong

Dave Armstrong
A full-time Catholic apologist since 2001, Dave was received into the Church in 1991. Since February 1997, he has blogged over 2,500 times. Dave is happily married to Judy since 1984, and their four children have all been homeschooled. BiblicalCatholicism.com | Meet Dave
To maintain a family-friendly atmosphere, all comments are moderated. Thanks!
  • Natalie

    I don’t understand why the Mary worship? She was not sinless and she herself needed a savior to save her from sin. Why does the Catholic church make her sinless and call her the mother of God as if she is part of the trinity? It does not take away from her to make her a normal human. She is not a co savior, she is not the eternal queen of heaven, she is not the one interceding to the father for us. She is not more than Christ. I feel so sad that so many are blind by Mariology. She is not the mother of God because she cannot contribute to the deity of Christ. He was Lord before she was created. This article doesn’t prove anything except the depth of deception that so many are bound by in giving her worship and calling it “honor”

    • JFrancis

      To deny the title “Mother of God” (Theotokos) to Mary is to deny Christ’s incarnation. If Mary did not “contribute something” to Christ, then he was not fully human. Mary is extraordinarily important because whatever we say about her implies what we say about Jesus. What you are espousing is what the heretic Nestorius was saying in the 5th century. Take a look at the 3rd Ecumenical Council. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theotokos

      • Everett

        JFrancis,
        To deny the title “Mother of God” (Theotokos) to Mary is not to deny the incarnation of Christ. The apostles believed and taught the incarnation of Christ, but they never used the title “Mother of God”. In fact, the apostles never even mentioned Mary. It was several hundred years before Theotokus was used. Instead of looking at the 3rd Ecumenical Council, look at the New Testament.

        • Wesley Vincent

          Everett, maybe the apostles never called Mary the Mother of God but Elizabeth did. “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42-43 & a portion of the Hail Mary). It is in the New Testament.

        • Dave Armstrong

          Yes, please look at the New Testament and reply to all my arguments drawn from it. I’m glad you reminded yourself of the nature of my arguments.

    • Alfredo

      I cannot do much better than the Wikipedia link provided by JFrancis. But to address side issues: Mary is not worshiped, she is venerated like a Saint. She is not divine, but has a place next to the divine. She is considered a perfect example for humans because of at least two things: (1) being the anti-Eve, in that by accepting the will of God without reservations (fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum) enabled Salvation to enter directly into the world in the figure of Jesus; (2) and showing us the way–in the Wedding of Cana she intercedes on behalf of others, and then directs us to obey our Lord in whatever He decides relative to the request. The implication in the passage that she changed His mind leads us directly to intercessory requests. If you believe in the concept of the Communion of Saints, then the intercession Mary -> Jesus -> Father is perfectly reasonable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercession_of_saints; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_of_saints.

      • Natalie

        She is not the anti-eve. Eve was deceived, much like many today. Adam chose to sin. Sin comes thru Adam. Jesus is the “second” Adam. No where is scripture is Mary called the “second” Eve. There is one who intercedes for me and that is Jesus.

        • Dave Armstrong

          “No where is scripture is Mary called the “second” Eve.”

          So what? Nowhere does Scripture list its own books, or teach the Protestant mythical rule of faith whereby supposedly only Scripture is the infallible authority. The Bible never mentions the word “Trinity” or the phrase “original sin.”

          Why, then, do you unreasonably demand that every phrase that has been used by Catholics for many hundreds of years be spelled out in the Bible?

    • Chris

      Natalie,

      Worship requires sacrifice. We do not worship Mary because we do not offer sacrifice to her.

      God made her sinless the Catholic Church merely recognizes it. If God can unite Himself so easily to sin then why did He become man, suffer and die?

      Mary is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is God….

      No Catholic doctrine has ever proclaimed her to be greater than Christ–in fact her goodness comes from Christ.

      Again worship requires an altar, a priesthood and a sacrifice. None of which is offered to Mary.

      • Everett

        Chris,
        Mary is the mother of Jesus and so called in Scripture. God used her flesh to give flesh to His Son: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of God, full of grace and truth.” Mary is also called the mother of the Lord. She is never called the mother of God. That term took hundreds of years to evolve. Mary was the mother of the flesh of Jesus, not His Spirit.
        Christ addresses Mary three times in Scripture; twice He calls her woman; once nothing. He never called her Mother. She was in the upper room with the apostles on the day of Pentecost; after that she is never mentioned in Scripture. She had no role in the growth of the Church, and for the first few centuries, she is rarely mentioned in the writings of the fathers.

        • Maeg

          The problem with your theory is you are arguing that Mary is only the mother of Our Lord’s flesh. But she is not the mother of His flesh, she the mother of a Person, Jesus Christ. We do not say that Mrs. Smith is the mother of Anne’s body, we say she is the mother of Anne. Therefore, since Mary is the mother of Christ, who is a divine Person, with both human and divine natures, she may rightly be called the Mother of God.

          • Everett

            Maeg,
            Anne was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, and she was not the Word of God made flesh

        • Wesley Vincent

          1. Everett, “Lord” and “God” are a difference without distinction. The first known prayer (Sub Tuum Praesidium) referring to Mary as Mother of God is from approx 250 AD
          ( http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/MODEFEAT.HTM).
          2. Jesus called Mary “Woman” as, prophetically, does the author of Genesis (3:15) and as does John in Rev. 12:1 in order to clarify who she was.
          3. Are you suggesting Jesus, who referred to God the Father as Abba (Daddy to us) never referred to his mother as mother during his earthly sojourn? If something isn’t explicitly stated in scripture did it therefore never occur?
          4. Your last statement is patently false as you would know if you had actually read the early Church Fathers. E.g., St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. approx. 107 AD) referred to her has God’s Mother as do many others. It all came to a head when the Nestorian heresy was being corrected that the Church formally and definitively established the appropriateness and necessity of referring to Mary as Mother of God. See the above reference for a brief discussion of this topic.

          • Everett

            Wesley,
            Ignatius never referred to Mary as God’s Mother. The term was first used by Origen over a hundred years after Ignatius’ death. There is a real difference between lord and God. Even a man in a position of high authority could be addressed as lord. The use of woman in Genesis 3:15 is as generic as Paul’s use in Galatians 4;26: “God sent forth His son, born of a woman….” Nowhere in Scripture do we find a son addressing his mother as “woman.” Mary’s having relations with Joseph after the birth of Christ isn’t explicitly stated, but the Lord’s brothers and sisters are. Yet you claim Mary was a perpetual virgin, despite the fact that the source of that teaching is the shamelessly fraudulent “Protoevangelium of James.” The apostles never called Mary “Mother of God” , and not only showed her no devotion, they never even mentioned her. Aren’t you claiming a knowledge superior to the apostles?

          • Wesley Vincent

            You are right. St. Ignatius referred to her as such, “For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan…” That’s a pretty clear way to say Mary was the Mother of God just like saying “Everett was born of X” is no different than saying “X is the mother of Everett”.

            “Nowhere in Scripture do we find a son addressing his mother as “woman.”” So that means it should stand out as something really important.

            “Mary’s having relations with Joseph after the birth of Christ isn’t explicitly stated, but the Lord’s brothers and sisters are.”

            You are reading a two-thousand-year-old manuscript that is a translation of a translation of the copies of the original that were written in a different language than the language the principle actors spoke (that had no term for cousin). Dave Armstrong dealt with that claim adequately.

            “Yet you claim Mary was a perpetual virgin, despite the fact that the source of that teaching is the shamelessly fraudulent “Protoevangelium of James.”” And, let’s not forget, the belief of every single believer until the heretic Halvidius in the fourth or fifth century and then Protestants, but not universally until about the eighteenth century.

            “The apostles never called Mary “Mother of God” , and not only showed her no devotion, they never even mentioned her.” She was with them, she was in the upper room at Pentecost at the birth of the Church just like she was present for the birth of God as a human.

            “Aren’t you claiming a knowledge superior to the apostles?” Peter and Paul never knew that Jerusalem was destroyed or that John wrote Revelation. I never gave consideration to the idea that knowing that makes me superior to them.

          • Everett

            Wesley,
            If my mother had been conceived by the Holy Spirit,there, then, is no exact human analogy. Mary was not the mother of Christ’s Spirit;she gave flesh to His body.
            I am reading the same manuscript the Church has used since,the canon was established, and the Greek does have a word for cousin, and it’s used in Scripture. Dave Armstrong does not deal with this honestly.

          • Dave Armstrong

            That’s precisely the issue that I concentrated on in much more depth in my follow-up article, now posted on this site.

          • Dave Armstrong

            “Mary’s having relations with Joseph after the birth of Christ isn’t explicitly stated, but the Lord’s brothers and sisters are.”

            And you continue to absolutely ignore my article: which consists largely of exposition of this question of “who are these ‘brothers’ of the Lord?”

        • The Truth Will Set You Free

          “Mary was the mother of the flesh of Jesus, not His Spirit”: the heresy of Nestorianism. You’re suggesting that The Blessed Virgin gave birth to His body but not His soul, therefore denying that Our Lord Jesus was fully man, as being a man means to have both body and soul united into one. Body and soul are inseparable.

          The title “Mother of God” or “Theotokos” (God bearer) was proclaimed in the council of Ephesus to defend Lord Jesus’ divinity AND humanity. It wasn’t to make the Blessed Virgin Mary a “goddess”, but that she gave birth to a PERSON Jesus, both body and soul.

          Simply put: my own mother gave birth to me a girl, a human being, my body and my soul. Both my body and my soul were created by God and still, SHE gave birth to me.

          (note: capital letters for emphasis only).

          • Everett

            Truth Will Set You Free,
            Were you conceived by the Holy Spirit?

          • Dave Armstrong

            That’s irrelevant to the analogy. You need to better understand the Hypostatic Union and Mary’s relation to Jesus as Theotokos.

          • Dave Armstrong

            (Everett denies the Hypostatic Union, or Two Natures of Christ, as I noted above).

          • Dave Armstrong

            You made my argument before I did! I wrote the above before reading yours, and we both said essentially the same thing . . .

        • The Truth Will Set You Free

          “Mary is also called the mother of the Lord.” Who is the Lord? I see you wrote it in capital letter, which should mean something.

          In Luke 1:43 Elisabeth is inspired by the Holy Spirit and says: “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Our Lord Jesus wasn’t born yet and most likely the Blessed Virgin Mary didn’t even “show” yet that she was pregnant because she was in the very early stages of her pregnancy. Then who on earth is Elisabeth calling the mother of my Lord (written in capital letters in the Scriptures)?

        • Natalie

          I agree whole heartedly. My faith is in the saving grace of Jesus Christ who is not hanging on a cross nor still a helpless infant. Look at the cathedrals today. one sees a large statue of mary with people kneeling in prayer lighting candles. It is become more a church of mary that Christ.

          • Wesley Vincent

            1 Cor. 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles (St. Paul). What is wrong with focusing on What Christ did for us when doing so assists us with remaining faithful. Please don’t suggest that you hold to the lie that Catholics don’t worship a risen Christ. Such belief is absurd.

          • RoodAwakening

            “My faith is in the saving grace of Jesus Christ who is not hanging on a cross nor still a helpless infant.”

            Actually, He is, indeed, both still, and much more. Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the One Triune God, Who exists in ETERNITY. Past, present, and future are all NOW to Him. So, in that sense, Jesus is STILL the infant in the manger, as well as STILL continuously offering Himself to His Father on the cross–and rising from the dead–for us. This is why His one saving act on our behalf applies backwards in time, as well as forward from that point.

            Your insistence that Jesus is no longer a child nor hanging on the cross limits Him strictly to the human timeline, and thus, perhaps, even denies His Divinity.

        • Dave Armstrong

          “Mary is also called the mother of the Lord. She is never called the mother of God.”

          This misunderstands the fact that “Lord” (Gk., Kurios) and “God” (“Theos”) are both used in reference to Jesus and the Father (and the Holy Spirit). Thus, if One is “Lord” He is also “God.”

          “Mary was the mother of the flesh of Jesus, not His Spirit.”

          Like all mothers, Mary was the mother of the whole person. Mothers give birth to a child who has a soul that was supernaturally created by God. But they don’t give birth to a flesh-only creature, as if he or she had no spirit: some sort of soul-less automaton or robot.

          It’s absurd for you to suggest that Mary did this, and this is, in fact, a version of the Nestorian heresy.

          What is your denominational affiliation?

    • Matthew Kennel

      It’s simple – the Catholic Church doesn’t worship Mary or consider her a part of the Trinity. As the Catechism says, “No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer” (CCC 970). When we call Mary the Mother of God, we are absolutely not calling her God. Rather, we are saying that her human son, Jesus Christ, is no mere man, but very God. Mary is a mere creature. As Louis de Montfort, not a person known for shying away from Marian devotion, says – “With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since he alone can say, ‘I am he who is’. Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and the manifestation of his glory. To do all things he has only to will them.” Nonetheless, the more beautiful and majestic a creature, the greater the glory which redounds to the Creator. As the Psalmist says, “God is wonderful in his saints.” What kind of a person, trying to honor the artist, would fail to honor his art? The Scriptures teach us that the whole world was made to show forth the glory of God, for “the heavens declare the glory of God, the earth shows forth his handiwork” and “ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” Therefore, in honoring the art, we honor the artist, and in honoring the creature, we honor the creator. Now, there are two ways to dishonor the creator – one is to worship the creature, as the Apostle says, “claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal men, birds, and animals,” but the other way is to fail to honor the creature adequately, thus Paul in the same passage faults men not for honoring creatures, but for putting creatures in the place of God. Thus, the Apostle elsewhere to give “honor to whom honor is due.” Now if honor was due to a pagan emperor who oppressed and killed Christians, how much more is it due to the saints, whom the Scripture says that God himself will honor with crowns. Now, if God honors these men with crowns, should we fail to honor them?

    • Mole

      So you deny the holiness of the Virgin Mother and then use the word Trinity in the same breath? The irony. It’s funny how you accept some of the catholic teaching and not others and then claim to be ‘protestant’ Open your eyes. You should either completely reject Catholicism or completely accept it, nothing in between and by rejecting the faith completely then you should: not accept that Christ is divine, that He is indeed Saviour, not accept the Trinity (as the word was actually coined by the Catholic church), not accept the Resurrection and the saving power of God, the forgiveness of sins, etc. – basically, since the Church was founded by Christ and placed under the care of St Peter and the leaders after him, then rejecting Catholicism is rejecting Christianity! Catholicism is the religion of truth. The only real protestants are atheists.

      • Jackalope

        Your argument is not reasonable here. Not only is it not necessary to disagree 100% with someone just because you disagree with some of their position, it is rare that you have no points of agreement. Likewise, it is entirely possible for someone to agree with the Catholic church on some points while not in its entirety. For example, Jesus repeatedly claimed to be one with God, and stated that he was going to die and come back to life. All 4 gospels testify to his death and resurrection, and the NT repeatedly talks about how believing in Jesus is the key to eternal life. Etc. On the other hand, while it treats Mary with respect and honor, it does not specifically state whether she was sinless or sinful, perpetual virgin or a normal wife and mother after Jesus was born, etc. To many of us it makes sense to agree with the Catholic church on the teachings that are clearly derived from the Bible, while agreeing to disagree with others that are no so clear.

      • Natalie

        the church was not given to peter. I deny the holiness of Mary outside of the righteousness we all have thru Christ. I accept the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Mary is not in that group. I do not reject Christ. I don’t have to agree with all that is in Catholicism to know my salvation is secure in Jesus.

        • Dave Armstrong

          “I deny the holiness of Mary outside of the righteousness we all have thru Christ.”

          Exactly. Mary is saved by Christ, as is anyone who is saved. She received grace at the moment of her conception: 100% grace from God without even human cooperation. That’s where her holiness comes from. The Church has never taught differently, but anti-Catholics, have engaged in wholesale distortion of our Mariology for hundreds of years.

          Next question?

          • Natalie

            Its pointless to continue this, not because i am in anyway out of arguments. You are deceived by a lie. You are an Idolater , as is any one who bows down to this statue or any of the other hundred gods you call saints. You will never convince me that Mary is to be prayed to. Your focus is only on her and not on Christ. Who is your savior? Do you wake up and just thank him for his mercy or her? I am not angry at your doctrine only sad that so many are blinded. Jesus alone is worthy of all honor and praise and the only one i see you praise is Mary. I will pray to my Jesus who is alive and on the throne, that your eyes are opened to truth. You can pray to your gods that i see the error of my way and turn back to the queen of heaven seeking her mercy and grace. however, I have no doubt that those prayers will not be heard by the true Christ. The reason to challenge mariology is because it is not Theology and many make it so. As sincere as you are in your love and devotion to her, it is still deception that takes your eyes off of the truth. Also, I dont always get email notifications when you counter my comments so i go days without any idea that you think i have run away from this. but like i said we will never convince the other that our way of viewing Mary is the right way. So any further discussion on who or what Mary is or was will be pointless. You have a great day and I enjoyed disagreeing with you. Perhaps i will challenge your next article? lol

          • Dave Armstrong

            “Who is your savior?”

            Baal. Who’s yours?

          • Dave Armstrong

            [the above reply is a "reductio ad absurdum": the principle of giving an absurd answer to an absurd question].

      • Dave Armstrong

        Vatican II makes it very clear that Protestants are Christians, but ones who lack the fullness of faith found in the Catholic Church. Even the Council of Trent recognized Protestant baptism, and that is the entrance to salvation and the kingdom of God. Protestant trinitarian baptism is valid.

    • teamposi

      Thanks Natalie ..I needed you to solve the puzzle that the church knew since the beginning. God himself chose Her as His mom not you or me. Was God wrong? He honor Her .

      • Natalie

        You worship her, you think she hears your thoughts? do you pray to her? and all million others pray to her? is she omnipotent? You pray to your goddess and I pray to the Lord Jesus.

        • Wesley Vincent

          Natalie, someone above pointed out that Catholics do not worship Mary. “…all generations will call me blessed…” (Lk 1:48). When was the last time you heard any Protestant pastor or any other Protestant bless Mary? It is biblical to bless Mary.

          • Everett

            Wesley,
            Every Protestant I’ve ever known would say Mary was blessed. Gabriel didn’t say all generations or any generation would bless her; that’s not the same thing. It’s not biblical to bless Mary; it’s a tradition of men.

          • Wesley Vincent

            Sorry, I’m not trying to sound snarky, but your response makes no sense. Few if any Protestants bless Mary. I have attended many different congregations that represent several denominations and here is what I heard over the years: statements such as:
            “Mary wasn’t born sinless.”
            “Mary didn’t remain a virgin.”
            “Mary wasn’t assumed into heaven.”
            “Mary never became a Christian because there is no evidence in scripture that she ever accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.”
            “Mary was rejected by Christ at Cana, because she was a
            social-status-seeking mother trying to show off her son as a miracle worker.” With a snarling voice the pastor quoted John 2:4 (KJV), “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”, and almost spat out “woman” and “thee”, as if Jesus, righteous in all things, would have violated the fourth commandment and dishonor His mother.
            One Christmas a pastor, refusing to even use Mary’s name, only used the phrase, “the virgin.” As a child I was afraid to ask my parents who the virgin was since I knew the word had some questionable connotation. Not until the car ride home, when my mother complained to my father about her discomfort that our pastor “was referring to Mary ‘like that’” was I able to understand.
            One pastors said, “Mary was only a vessel and any teenage girl would have done.” He named two teens in the congregation “who just as easily could have been the mother of Jesus.” Since I knew the one girl had a lengthy history that precluded her from being a virgin (many times over) and the other girl was quite rebellious, even as a twelve-year-old, that suggestion seemed wrong. In more than fifty years of attending Protestant congregations, I never once heard Mary blessed. I heard sermons on most biblical characters, good or evil, not once did I hear a sermon on Mary. I even once heard a sermon on what Christ’s birth meant to the ass on which He rode into Jerusalem; not once a sermon on Mary the Mother of our Lord, Mother of God, gate for salvation, channel of all mercy and all grace to enter this world. Hail Mary full of Grace. A statement made to and about her by Gabriel before she said yes; before she was filled with God as a fetus.

    • johnnyc

      What is sad Natalie is that you are not in full communion with the Church that Jesus founded, the Catholic Church. Come home.

  • Scott Lanier Sprayberry

    My question is simple, we know prior to the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, that Mary was a virgin. Does it matter whether she remained a virgin after his birth? Maybe the Bible doesn’t say definitively because in all honesty it doesn’t matter. Even with her being the mother of Jesus, it would have been very odd for her to have remained a virgin in that day and age. But again how does what happened after Jesus’s birth have any affect on what he did or did not do?

    • Wesley Vincent

      Scott, I married the most wonderful woman. I can assure you and all mankind that if widowed, I will never replace my wife with any other woman… ever. The most significant mother-child event in the history of the universe occurred and you do not at least think that being the mother of the only God/Man would not leave its indelible mark on Mary that no other partner would be desired?

    • JARay

      The unbroken tradition of the Catholic Church which goes back to the time of Christ, has always held that Our Lady is a perpetual virgin. Her conception of Jesus was through the direct intervention of God Himself and not through normal conception of a man and a woman. Mary said to the Angel Gabriel “How can this be since I know not man?” and the angel replied that the Almighty would “come over her” and that therefore her child would be fathered by God Himself. She continued in her virginity even after giving birth to Jesus and she conceived no more children. This is why she is called “The Virgin Mary”. Because she conceived the second person of the Trinity i.e. The Word she therefore “conceived God” and gave Him his Human Person. She certainly did not give him his Divinity. He already had that! When she gave birth to Jesus she gave birth to the human being who also is divine! He got his humanity from Mary.

    • Chris

      Scott,

      Luther and Calvin held to this–this wasn’t questioned until recent times. Would any person be fit to share the womb that God inhabited? There were consecrated Temple virgins in that day and age–so less odd than you might think. The Bible doesn’t tell you to accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior in order to attain salvation, it doesn’t tell you how to structure a religious service, it doesn’t tell you that the Trinity is consubstantial, ‘t doesn’t tell to celebrate Christmas or the date of Easter–are these things unimportant?

      • Everett

        Chris,
        No one believed this until the early third century. Clement of Alexander and Origen were the first to teach it. There were no consecrated temple virgins. The perpetual virginity of Mary, consecrated virgins in the temple, and the names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, come from the shamelessly fraudulent “Protoevangelium of James”. Neither the apostles nor the apostolic fathers taught any of the Marian doctrines.

        • Dave Armstrong

          You have no replies to any of my biblical arguments, huh?

      • Everett

        Chris,
        The perpetual virginity of Mary was first taught in the early third century by Clement of Alexander and Origen; it was vigorously opposed by Tertullian. There were no consecrated temple virgins. Mary’s perpetual virginity and temple virgins both come from “The Protoevangelium of James”. The apostles and the apostolic fathers knew nothing of any of the Marian doctrines.

        • Dave Armstrong

          The apostolic fathers also “knew nothing” (by your reasoning)

          of the canon of Scripture, the deity of the Holy Spirit, the Two Natures of Christ, the fully developed doctrine of the Trinity, and original sin (all of which were finalized in the fourth-seventh centuries).

          • Dave Armstrong

            As it turns out, Everett actually denied the Two Natures of Christ, the Trinity, and original sin, in a comment that is awaiting moderation, but that I was able to see. This is, of course, extremely serious heresy. He appears to be either a Nestorian or a Sabellian (Jesus Only).

            He has lost all credibility to comment on theology or Church history. Be forewarned!

    • The Truth Will Set You Free

      The Blessed Virgin Mary had already a spouse, The Holy Spirit. If she would have a “relationship” with St. Joseph, she would commit adultery.

      • Nat

        She is not married to the Holy Spirit. Where in scriptures is that? The Church is the bride of Christ. Is this a doctrine? Do you think mary is deity?

        • The Truth Will Set You Free

          The Blessed Mother is not a deity. She is not.

          This tract will do a better a job explaining than I ever could. English is not my mother tongue.
          http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/talmud.htm

        • Dave Armstrong

          Calling Mary the “spouse of God” is, I contend, perfectly harmonious with Bible teaching:

          1) Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Who is God).

          2) Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit; “with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18).

          3) In normal marital relationships, we say that a woman is “with child by [name of a male].”

          4) By analogy, then, if Jesus’ parents were Mary and the Holy Spirit, then by simple analogy it follows that Mary (in this particular sense, and this alone) is the “spouse of God” just as she was the Mother of God.

          5) The objection to this arguably flows (at least in part) from a mere emotional, irrational reaction based on misunderstanding of Hebraic and Catholic terminology and categories of thought. “Mother of God” is objected to, based on a rather dim comprehension of what it means in
          the first place; thus many objectors think it is putting Mary above God, as if God originated from her; whereas it only means that Jesus was God, and she was His mother; therefore she was the Mother of God (the Son).

          6) Likewise, I submit that perhaps the objection to “spouse of God” often flows from similar miscomprehensions and irrational apprehensions. It is thought to imply an equality with God, when in fact it does no such thing. It is only a limited analogical description based on Mary’s relation to the Holy Spirit in the matter of the conception of Jesus. This description is no more “unbiblical” or non-harmonious with Scriptural thought than St. Paul saying “we are God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9), “working together with him” (2 Corinthians 6:1), or St. Peter talking about men becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), or St. John joyously proclaiming, “when he appears we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). These are understood as not
          entailing equality with God; therefore, the phrase “spouse of God” (like the related “Mother of God”) is no different. It is well within biblical parameters of thought and doctrine. Thus, the problem seems (too often) to come down to an incorrect understanding of how certain biblical, Hebraic, Catholic language functions, and what it means. In fact, the alternative to the “spouse of God” description arguably leads to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is an adulterer and that Jesus was an illegitimate child.

          7) For these reasons and others, St. Augustine (354-430) wrote: “Mary was that only one who merited to be called the Mother and Spouse of God.” (Sermon 208, on the Assumption)

    • Nat

      I agree. I doesn’t matter. What matters is the Lord Jesus. He is the only way to the Father. He is not dead on a cross, nor is he a helpless infant. He is Awesome! The only mediator that I come to in prayer.

      • Dave Armstrong

        Why, then, did James write the following, if we are to ask no one to pray for us, and only go “directly to Jesus”?:

        James 5:16-18 (RSV): Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. [17] Eli’jah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
        [18] Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

        If we asked Elijah to pray for us, or some other holy person, or saints who have died, who are far more alive than we are (just as you rightly note that Jesus is no longer “dead”), then all that is perfectly biblical.

    • Dave Armstrong
  • Jack

    \I don’t understand why the Mary worship? \

    No one worships Mary with the LATREIA belonging to God alone. If any such do (and I doubt you know them), it’s DESPITE the teaching of the church, not because of it.

    \Why does the Catholic church make her sinless and call her the mother of God as if she is part of the trinity? \

    Mother of God/Theotokos NEVER meant “progenetrix of the Divine Nature.” It was to do with who JESUS is, Who is fully God and fully Man in one and the same Person.

    “Mother of God” is quite Biblical. If you read Luke 1:43, you will see that Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called Mary “Mother of my Lord, ” in effect, “Mother of YHVH.”

    For who else IS the Lord, but God Himself?

  • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

    “whether Mary had any children to Joseph after the birth of Christ; for, as Lightfoot says, “The law, in speaking of the first-born, regarded not whether any were born after or no, but only that none were born before.”
    True, but she does have other children, brothers to her first-born cf. Rv 12:17 “Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus.” Also cf. Mt. 12:50.

    • Wesley Vincent

      FM, Is it not just a little, teensy bit possible that since Christ is our Brother by adoption, that the dragon is making war against all of us believers throughout history, who now, by adoption, are her children too?

      • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

        We are in agreement.
        I find this ‘adoption’ description not accurate even at it relates to St. Joseph and Jesus …
        Brothers and sisters share the same flesh and blood, which ordinarily is from their common Papa and Mama. While we are bound by God’s means, he himself is not bound by them. cf. Mt 3:9 ‘God can raise children for Abraham from these stones’.
        Getting back to my argument, from the Eucharist and referencing Paul, we have been made into the One Body of Christ. It gets even better, far beyond any aspirations of a creature, ‘Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are.’ [No adoption here] sons in the Son.
        His Mother, Our Mother, His Father, Our Father … and we continue to wallow in our sins …

        • Wesley Vincent

          FM, maybe I did not understand your comment.
          1. I thought you were implying that because Rev. 12 refers to “the rest of her children” that she physically birthed other children. In this comment it seems clear that you were saying that “the rest of her children” is a reference to all believers throughout history ? My response above is based on the impression that you meant the first, not the second.
          2. I was not referring to Jesus being adopted by St. Joseph. I was referring to all believers being adopted (Gal. 4:5) as children of God, thus brothers and sisters of Christ.(Jn 1:12; 11:52; Rom. 8:16 &21, and other references). So obviously I agree with your last comment – “His Mother our Mother, His Father our Father” and, yes, “we continue to wallow in our sins” – one of the worst being the rejection of the unity, for which Christ prayed (Jn 17:20-23), by refusing to be in communion with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church established by Christ.

    • Dave Armstrong

      That is “children” in a spiritual, not literal sense: “children” meaning “Christians” there: Mary’s children through Christ. In Revelation 12, many commentators see a double application to the Church and Mary (I agree).

      • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

        My comments are true children but not in the ordinary manner please see my reply to @Wesley Vincent below.

  • John Jensen

    Dave – there is something I have always thought was important for this but perhaps it just means my Greek is faulty.

    Luke has Our Lady say:

    ειπεν δε μαριαμ προς τον αγγελον πως εσται τουτο επει ανδρα ου γινωσκω

    The verb there (γινωσκω) – “I know” – is the Greek present. I did do Greek at University – admittedly only one year’s worth – but my understanding of the Greek present is that it doesn’t describe a situation simply as being true now – the aorist would be used for that. Many modern translations translate this as “since I am a virgin.” The King James seems to me to do it a lot better: “seeing I know not a man.” The Greek present should only describe either some action actually going on at present (which would be absurd; it would have her denying that she is at this moment engaged in the sexual act), or else a ‘present habitual’ state (with implication of its expectation as something permanent) – “since ‘knowing men’ is not something I do.” And that, it would seem to me, would be far more consistent with a statement of hers that she sees herself as not expecting ever to engage sexual intercourse.

    To be sure, Mary was (presumably) not speaking Greek, and no one, perhaps, thinks that quoted speech in the Bible is intended to be the ipsissima verba of the speakers. Still – it would be a brave man who would challenge Luke’s Greek – he is said to write the most polished Greek in the NT.

    Are you able to say if I am ‘way off the beam here? I would really like to know. It really seems to me that the tense used there should make us lift our heads. The translation ‘since I am a virgin’ seems to me to make no sense, if she just expected, once she and Joseph were to live together, to have normal marital relations – and the Greek tense seems to me to underscore this.

    Would love to know what you think!

    jj

    • Dave Armstrong

      I can have no very informed opinion of that since I don’t know Greek (nor have I studied Greek scholars and their views of this passage). I actually think the argument from what Mary said at the annunciation, though, is a relatively weak (biblical) argument, and I don’t use it much, myself.

      I don’t deny it, but I don’t think it has much force, especially with Protestants, who usually demand things as “spelled out” in Scripture as possible..

      • John Jensen

        OK – I would love it if some genuinely scholarly Greek expert would comment. I confess to seeing that present tense as being utterly impossible to mean “I am a virgin” – with the implication that this is simply my current state with no implication about the future.

        I have a vague memory of Scott Hahn’s having said something to this point on one of his tapes (when I was in the throes of what proved to be conversion). I had long been in the habit of reading the NT in Greek at that time – many years past – and it seemed obvious to me that he was right.

        If, that is, he did say it :-) As I said, it was on a tape and years ago. If anyone knows Scott, perhaps they could ask him.

        jj

  • Paige

    Surely Mary & Joseph consummated their marriage regardless of whether or not she had any other children this would make her not a perpetual virgin. Also, in those days very few women had just one child… they needed to have many children to support the family, to work. I believe in the virgin Birth of Jesus and that is enough for me. I want to believe that Mary & Joseph had a loving marriage and that involved sex / making love and having children of their own.

    • The Truth Will Set You Free

      Can you imaging St. Joseph “entering” the sacred womb, a womb who contain a God whom even the universe can contain, and defile it? If you’d be a man (I”m assuming you’re a woman), would you be able to claim for yourself, what the Holy Spirit claimed?

      • Jackalope

        “Can you imaging St. Joseph “entering” the sacred womb, a womb who
        contain a God whom even the universe can contain, and defile it?”

        It is not defilement for a husband and a wife to have sex. Whatever you believe about Mary’s perpetual virginity, the Bible never gives any indication that there is anything wrong or impure about a married couple consummating their marriage, and in Genesis 1 God requires it (to fulfill the command to “be fruitful and multiply”).

        • The Truth Will Set You Free

          Firstly, the Blessed Virgin had already a spouse, the Holy Spirit. Having a marital relationship with a women espoused to another is a sin of adultery for both, the woman and the man who would dare to take that woman. St. Joseph was quite aware of the unique status of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was mother of God! He took upon himself to take care of her and her Son. That’s why is a great saint, only second to the Blessed Mother.

          Besides, all Jews were versed in the Scriptures. St. Joseph would have known about what happened to Uzzah.

          Which points to:

          Secondly, the Blessed Virgin Mary contained in her immaculate womb the Word of God, the High Priest and the Bread of Heaven, that is Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Truine God. In 1 Chronicles 13:10 and Samuel 6:7, Uzzah, touched the Ark of the Covenant that contained Ten Commandments which is the Law (the Word of God), the stuff of Aaron (the High Priest), and the manna (the bread that came from heaven). After touching it, Uzzah died. He died even though the things there were placed in the Ark were although sacred but only symbols.

          Now, we have The Incarnate Living God in the womb, a womb sanctified by zillion times for having Him inside, and we have a mortal, St. Joseph, who would want to “demand” his martial duties? If I were St. Joseph, I would be scared…

          • Dave Armstrong

            You anticipate my article next week. :-)

        • Dave Armstrong

          It has nothing to do with being “anti-sex” and everything to do with consecrated virginity for the sake of a higher purpose, per 1 Corinthians 7 and Matthew 19.

          The “normal” everyday wife has not been impregnated by the Holy Spirit, nor borne the God of the Universe in her womb for nine months, nor had a miraculous birth, while still remaining a virgin.

          Thus, the analogy fails, since it disregards the obvious extraordinary nature of Mary’s mission or purpose.

    • Dave Armstrong

      Then why didn’t it involve that from the time of the Annunciation till the birth of Jesus, if it was so absolutely necessary, as you seem to think? You believe in the Virgin Birth; therefore, accepting that premise, Mary and Joseph abstained for many months until that time. Why?

    • CAROLINE KIBUUKA

      Paige you speak of Mary as ordinary woman saying “few women” she was not ordinary;she bore what was most high and sacred.A;WAYS SEEK THE WISDOM OF THE SPIRIT WHEN YOU SPEAK OF DIVINE ISSUES AND KEEP YOUR BELIEFS TO YOURSELF;SUCH ISSUES REQUIRE THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ENLIGHTENMENT NOT HUMAN INTELLECT, REASONING AND BELIEFS

  • Paige

    #5 – The Apostle John is his first cousin and close like a brother – and older than James or Joseph and a better choice to care for his mother / John’s aunt.

    • Wesley Vincent

      Paige it is always amazing how Protestants hold the the most recent, “not-Catholic” positions.

      • Paige

        Wesley – I am Catholic. I was baptized as an infant and raised Catholic. I left the church for a short time in my teens and mid 20’s – went to a reformed Presbyterian church – but went back to Catholicism in my later 20’s because of the Eucharist and the importance of this in my life. I am maybe older than you are assuming too (49) and I definitely know people that are chaste / not sexually active / virgins at all ages and I respect that completely. I know of some marriages that are devoted and loving and do not require an active sex life. I am not really referring to just ‘sex, sex, sex’ but to true physical love that Joseph had for Mary and vice versa. They were engaged prior to her being chose by God. I think that your comments about the gloriousness of Mary are beautiful and I appreciate you sharing this with me. I just wonder if Joseph had other wives and children with them then? There is no mention of this and yet there is so much speculation that Jesus had brothers. It wouldn’t take away from the Blessed-ness of Mary for me to learn she did consummate her marriage with Joseph, the man God allowed her to marry and to be His son’s earthly Father or that her womb bore more children – sons or daughters. Just my thoughts.

        • Wesley Vincent

          Paige, I suspect we all are so fully influenced by our culture that we project our life expectations, taboos and demands upon those of other eras and cultures. One of the extra-biblical accounts of Mary’s and Joseph’s marriage describes Joseph as an elderly man who took this young perpetual virgin as his wife because she must be married off according to custom when she reached teen years rather than remain in the Temple area for virgins. This account explains much of the biblical issues such as the presence of half brothers and sisters and the absence of Joseph when Jesus carried out his earthly ministry. Of course there is much debate based on speculation and little historical material regarding all of this but, it is still so very important to consider where the practice of vows of perpetual virginity originated and exploded upon the Greek and Roman world in the first and subsequent centuries. It seems wise to me, absent hard historical evidence, to accept, and bring our views into line, with the earliest reports/tradition in order to avoid scandal by entertaining and proffering novel ideas.

        • Dave Armstrong

          The Orthodox favor the belief that Joseph was a widower who had children by this previous marriage, and that they are the ones referred to as Jesus’ “brothers.”

          This may in fact be the case. I don’t believe that (far as I know) the Catholic Church requires the “cousins” theory; only perpetual virginity itself.

      • Everett

        Wesley,
        The closest witnesses, the apostles and the apostolic fathers, say nothing about the perpetual virginity of Mary. Your source is the fraudulent “Protoevangelium of James”. Perpetual virginity was unknown in ancient Israel; being childless was considered a curse.

        • Wesley Vincent

          Non-canonical is not the same as fraudulent.

          • Everett

            Wesley,
            The “Protoevangelium of James” is fraudulent, and I gather you’ve never read it; it is replete with error. In the last paragraph, James claims God gave him the wisdom to write this;that is, it was revealed to him by God. He states he wrote this before the death of Herod. Herod died in 4BC, yet James repeatedly quotes and alludes to Matthew’s and Luke’s account of the birth of Christ that were not written until sixty-eighty years after Herod’s death. I urge you to read “The Protoevangelical of James” with the prayer, “Lord, open my eyes.”

          • Wesley Vincent

            Everett, you want to call the “Protoevangelium of James” fraudulent. Have it your way. However, the fact is that it dates from approximately 120 AD which means that within the time period when there were still people alive who knew the apostle and the first generation of Christians, there was a writing that argues for the perpetual virginity of Mary. The teaching is an old one and is supported by the fact that the perpetual virginity of Mary was held by ever Christian group, including all Protestant groups until relatively recently (late eighteenth century).

          • Everett

            Wesley,
            The “Protoevangelium of James” is shamelessly fraudulent.  From beginning to end, the second-century document is fraught with the most egregious errors and ends with a lie.  James claims that God gave him the wisdom to write this, that is, it was a revelation.  He also claims he wrote it before the death of Herod; Herod died in 4BC, and the Lord Jesus would have been a toddler.  Yet James repeatedly quotes and alludes to the accounts of Christ’s birth in Matthew and Luke, which were written sixty to eighty years after the death of Herod.  A copy of the “Protoevangelium of James” can easily be obtained on the internet.  I urge you to read it with the prayer, “Lord, open my eyes.”

          • Wesley Vincent

            But, Everette, whether it is fraudulent or not, since it dates from the second century, it still provides proof that belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary dates to at least the second century or earlier.

  • John Jensen

    Dave – I put in a longish comment, posted it – later refreshed the page and it is gone. Is there some sort of approval system waiting? Or did it just get lost?

    Could retry it but if it’s waiting in some limbo, I would rather not :-)

    jj

    • http://setonhome.org/ Seton Home Study School

      Hi John, there’s an approval process. Thanks for your patience!

      • John Jensen

        Dave (if somehow this e-mail gets to him ☺) – thanks – but I am really curious. Is my argument about the tense of Mary’s “I know not a man” significant or not? I really would like to hear from someone with some expertise about this.
        jj

  • MBrell

    I wouldnt mine calling my mom co-savior or eternal queen of heaven.or have her intercede to the Father. I’m sure our Lord would do the same for his Mother. :-) peace be with us

    • The Truth Will Set You Free

      “eternal queen of heaven”: Perspective and context:

      Our Lord is the the son of David, therefore, the King of Israel and by extension the king of the new Israel (the Church) with the New Jerusalem as capital. As the kings of Israel have many wives, starting with Solomon making his mother Bathsheba the queen of Israel, all the Davidic kings followed the suit, because they could be assured of loyalty of their mothers, but not of their different wives.

      Why then Our Lord would treat His mother differently? If He is King, then His mother is His queen.

  • Chris

    Matthew 10:3 is a subtle but solid one.

  • kelso

    Paige, The Apostle John and James the Greater, as is clear from the gospels, is the son of Zebedee and Salome. Salome was sister to James the Less, Simon, Jude, and Joses. John was therefore a generation younger than James the Less. James the Less was the son of Mary and Clopas. He is specifically called James of Alpheus in the list of the twelve. Clopas was Alpheus’ Greek name, just as Bartholomew was Nathanael’s Greek name. This was common among Jews in the Galilee of the Gentiles. Matthew, the publican, is also called Levi. Mary was always held to be Ever-Virgin. The only heretic to assert otherwise, until a few centuries ago, was Helvidius in the fourth century. Saint Jerome demolished him in a treatise defending Our Lady’s perpetual virginity. You’ve heard of Jerome, Paige. He was the man who was commissioned by Pope Damasus to gather all the existent codices of the scriptures and translate them into Latin, the common language of his day in the West. You are on your own page, Paige. Real Christians obey Jesus and they “Hear the Church.”

    • Paige

      Kelso – Thanks for the details. I should have included ?? marks and ‘maybe’ in my statement b/c I meant it as a possible idea rather than a fact. Obviously I didn’t know / remember/ look up the details. I appreciate you providing this information for me but Isn’t the John that Jesus asks to care for his mother his cousin, John the Baptizer, son of Elizabeth? I thought they were contemporaries – around the same ages. And a little older than James & Joseph.

      • Dave Armstrong

        John the Baptist had been beheaded by then, as Scripture informs us. This is John the Apostle, who was at the cross.

        • Paige

          Thanks for the clarification Dave. I see that that they are different people now. However there are some theories that John the Baptist was beheaded later (the wedding of Herod took place later than the crucifixion). However, since John the Baptist was in prison when Christ was crucified (or already dead as you’ve said) it was not him at the cross as you’ve stated.

    • Natalie

      So any who deny the perpetual virginity is a heretic? Who says that Mary was always held to be ever-virgin? Where in scripture is it clear what the apostles and early church leaders thought?

      • Dave Armstrong

        I gave biblical arguments in the article (and more in the follow-up article, and yet more to come in my article next week). Isn’t that what Protestants seek? All of a sudden, many Protestants go silent or disappear if a Catholic actually provides solid answers to their usual stock questions and objections.

        When a person disappears or ignores answers, it;s clear that they have no interest in dialogue, and have a closed mind on the particular topic they start avoiding, upon any answer being given.

  • Pingback: This Week's Best in Catholic Apologetics | DavidLGray.INFO

  • Everett

    Truth will set you free,
    No, it wasn’t a joke, which is why you don’t have words. You,apparently, see no difference between your birth and that of Christ.

    • The Truth Will Set You Free

      Actually, I do see clearly the differnce. He is God, BODY AND SOUL, both Human, which humanity He received from His mother, and Divine, as He is the Word of God, the Logos. Because He is a Person that is both Human nature and Divine nature which are inseparable, His mother is called a Mother of God. If she would give birth only to his human nature, His death would mean nothing, because His Divine Nature wouldn’t suffer.

      In his birth, He is like us. I have a father. He did not give birth to me. My mother did. Therefore, she is my mother. In the same way, Blessed Virgin Mary is Christ’s mother. He is not a mother of His human nature. She is a mother of a Person.

      As I mentioned before, thinking otherwise, is following the heresy of Nestor. The title Mother of God was given to Blessed Virgin in defense of a Person Jesus, both human and God.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I’ve been on vacation and away from all computers for the last eight days (drove about 280 miles to get back home today), so in due course I will have some feedback on some of the questions. I’ve written a lot about the Blessed Virgin Mary in a book:

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2010/10/books-by-dave-armstrong-catholic-mary.html

    . . . also, portions of several other books of mine, and in many articles on my web page devoted to the topic:

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/mary-blessed-virgin-index-page.html

  • Dave Armstrong

    I’m not obliged to deal with every historical argument brought to bear. I don’t have unlimited time and make my living mostly by writing books. My participation in the comments here is voluntary.

    I see my responsibility as the author of the article, to defend what is actually IN it. The problem with the comments of most who reject the PVM is that they want to get into arguments that have nothing whatsoever to do with my article and the particular arguments IT made.

    I still made many comments just now, taking some two hours of my time, but my point is that my time is not unlimited and I can’t address anything and everything that is not directly related to my arguments in the article.

    Ostensibly, this combox (I think the Seton webmasters would agree) is supposed to be responses to the article and the arguments therein.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Dave,

    Asking a dead saint to pray, or intercede for us is not technically “prayer,” but rather, asking a holy person, “far more alive than we are” to pray for us, based on the model of James 5:16-18. It’s no different from asking a person on the earth to pray for us (and far more effective).

  • Dave Armstrong

    See my reply to Dave above.

  • Dave Armstrong

    1. Mary is not eternal. She is a creature.

    2. Calling her spouse of God doesn’t make her equal with God, anymore than calling her “Mother of God” does, or calling the Church the Bride of Christ makes the Church equal to God. It’s only uninformed interpretations that wold ever come up with these goofy conclusions.

  • Dave Armstrong

    You assume there is no love, because you seem to equate love with sex, as if one is impossible without the other.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Note the profound heresies that Everett believes in. He is no Christian. Don’t be led astray by his blasphemies.

  • Dave Armstrong

    You didn’t. You simply stated that I made no biblical arguments. Nice try.

  • Dave Armstrong

    “Your argument essentially denies the pre-existent Word.”

    I did no such thing, of course. Jesus is eternal. He is God. He became man at a certain point of time (the incarnation): see John 1. He has a Father (Who is God). The Holy Spirit is also God, as Scripture teaches.

    Nor did I say that He received soul and spirit from Mary. What I wrote was:

    “Like all mothers, Mary was the mother of the whole person. Mothers give birth to a child who has a soul that was supernaturally created by God. But they don’t give birth to a flesh-only creature, as if he or she had no spirit: some sort of soul-less automaton or robot.”

    The difference with Jesus is that He is eternal, and thus received no soul and spirit from God at His conception (He already had them, being God Himself). But in any event, they didn’t come from Mary: as you absurdly claim that I have stated or believe.

  • Dave Armstrong

    And this is dead-wrong and blasphemous heresy, of course, but I don’t have time to reinvent the wheel and refute all heresies in every discussion thread here.

    My responsibility ids to defend the arguments I made in the article I wrote, and no one has touched them thus far.

  • Dave Armstrong

    But you deny the Trinity . . .

  • Dave Armstrong

    I can see that now. No Protestant denomination would accept you, given the blasphemous heresies that you espouse (denial of the Trinity, Two Natures of Christ, and original sin).

  • CAROLINE KIBUUKA

    Paige there are no may be’s in such issues, or personal thoughts here………..stop relating your own humanity to that of that of Mary who bore Our Lord:if you dare speak like that then you are about to join those foolish enough to also insinuate that Christ had a woman.seek the Holy Spirit which the apostles had before they begun to teach not your hearings and thoughts…..