Sunday, March 12, 2017

Is The Perpetual Virginity Of Mary Biblical?

  • Introduction:
          -Roman Catholics believe that Mary and Joseph never consummated their marriage after Jesus was born. It is therefore held that He had no blood brothers or sisters.
          -Many have upheld this teaching throughout history, both before and after the Protestant Reformation. Francis Turretin and Richard Hooker were Protestants who believed Mary to be a perpetual virgin.
          -Though an exegetical stretch, the idea of Mary's perpetual virginity in and of itself is hardly an objectionable teaching. The main problem is that Rome makes acceptance of it an issue of salvation.
  • Matthew 13:55-57 And Mark 6:3-4:
          -The context of these passages shows that the meaning of the "brothers and sisters" to be natural family.
          -In Matthew 13:55-57 and Mark 6:3-4, the Greek word for sisters is "adelphe" and is also used in 1 Timothy 5:1-2 to mean natural sister born as to the same mother.
          -If this was a reference to more distinct relatives, then why did the writer not use the Greek word "suggenes" (Luke 1:36; Luke 1:58)?
  • Matthew 1:24-25:
          -Verses that use the word until to mean a change in condition would be Matthew 24:34, Acts 20:11, Acts 23:12, and Revelation 7:3. Sometimes the word in Greek does not carry this meaning. Context determines the meaning behind words. If we interpret the words in this passage at face value, it would certainly seem that Mary had children after the birth of Christ. 
          -Jesus distinguished between blood brothers and brothers of faith (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21; John 2:12).
  • Matthew 1:18:
          -The meaning of this passage is that Joseph kept Mary a virgin until they got married. Jesus Christ had literal brothers and sisters from the womb of Mary. There is no reason to challenge this interpretation unless one has an underlying theological agenda.
  • John's gospel records a fulfilled prophecy (John 2:15-17) from the Book of Psalms (Psalm 69:8-9). It strongly implies that Christ had literal brothers and sisters.
  • Jesus was Mary's firstborn, not only born (Luke 2:7):
          -The New Testament makes a distinction between firstborn and only born (Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38).
  • Should "Brother" Be Translated Or Understood As Cousin?:
          -Koine Greek is an extremely precise language. This argument is refuted because the New Testament occupies a separate Greek word for cousin, which is "anepsios" (Colossians 4:10). The New Testament never denotes the term "brother" to mean anything other than a literal brother in the context of family relations.

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