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Mary's Perpetual Virginity--Scripture & Significance

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Unofficial Reverand Alex, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Unofficial Reverand Alex

    Unofficial Reverand Alex Look up Jason Evert on YouTube; he changed my life Supporter

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    This article is a thorough explanation of the significance of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, written by a writer who used to be an Evangelical Protestant. At the bottom of the page, you will see that it is actually a 4-part series; Part 1 is focused on the Scripture even more than the rest, if that is what you would prefer to read. I just thought it to be a bit of a change of pace of J focused on the significance of Mary's Perpetual Virginity, as opposed to apologetics, but you'll see how it is so intimately tied in with Scripture at every step.

    Library : Mary’s Perpetual Virginity: Why Does It Matter?

    Peace out, God bless, pray for God to make us open-minded to wherever He is leading us, and may He make us grateful for all the help and guidance from all of His children!:pray:
     
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  2. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    I read part 1 as well as the part 3 you linked. They're problematic.

    First of all, none of the Scripture he cited teaches that Mary did in fact remain a virgin after giving birth to Jesus. All the author is doing is interpreting them through the lens of the teaching that she did remain a virgin afterward. In other words, he's making them fit the narrative rather than letting them describe the narrative. The strongest case he makes is Jesus entrusting Mary to John at the cross, but that is far from proof that she was still a virgin. Perhaps there were other children, daughters perhaps (since Jesus was said to have sisters), who were unable to provide well for her. Or even if she had no other children, she still could have slept with Joseph at some point after Jesus had been born.

    As for part 3, none of the lessons Mary's virginity teach us depend on her remaining a virgin after Jesus had been born. Beforehand? Certainly, and I affirm the Virgin Birth. Afterwards? Unneeded. The author talks about her virginity as being a sign from God rather than a stunt. For the Incarnation, granted - but who is going to know about the state of her private parts after she gave birth except Joseph? He had an angel visit him twice, those were life-changing events for him. He didn't really need a further sign, and I can't think of anyone else who would have seen the sign had it been there.

    There are some more troublesome quotes here.

    "The great exemplar of this pattern is, of course, Jesus Himself, who is both God and High Priest – and a virgin totally consecrated to God. The power of such virginity is indisputable."

    Jesus is in fact both God and High Priest, all Biblical evidence points to him being a virgin as well. But there is no power in that virginity. Jesus' power comes from his divine nature, not his virginity. The virginity of Jesus is mainly a testament to his character and his knowledge of who he was and what he came to do. He wasn't going to have children because he was going to the cross.

    "Virginity is a higher estate than marriage. "

    We only need one lonely virgin who has no hope of getting married and thus becomes ensnared by pornography to disprove that. Sadly, there are probably millions of them.

    At the end of all this, I noticed the author was Mark Shea. I've read his material before, and he has earned as much respect from me as he gives to Protestants.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  3. SoldierOfTheKing

    SoldierOfTheKing Christian Spenglerian

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    Extra-biblical dogma driving interpretation - the root of bad hermeneutics.
     
  4. straykat

    straykat Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to be Catholic or Orthodox to believe this. Calvin and Luther also believed in perpetual virginity. Or at least considered it.

    It's not necessarily extra-biblical. The scriptures teach us that the Temple of God is holy and that meticulous care was put into not profaning it. If such attention was given to mere bricks, how much more the temple who housed the Son of God? We are even given warning ourselves about our own bodies, as temples housing the Holy Spirit. But Mary is a unique case, not just in sharing the Spirit like every other Christian after Pentecost, but she housed the Incarnate Word himself for 9 months in the most concrete manner, in a way no one before or after will ever experience. Truly "God With Us" is most realized in Mary. The very idea of "the human body being the Temple of God" is most fully realized in her life. She is the firstfruits of what we all aspire to.

    So if you put it in that light, it's natural to assume she wanted to keep her body sanctified after such a momentous act. That she couldn't simply go on living as a normal human being, acting like nothing happened, treating literally GOD IN HER WOMB like some forgettable conversation or casual walk down the street. The only kind of person who quickly dismisses this hasn't thought it through, in my humble opinion. Perhaps they might still come to the same conclusion after much thoughtfulness that perhaps she wasn't a perpetual virgin, but I'm a little wary of stances that are so decisive about it. They remind me more of how atheists behave, who don't believe in anything in the first place, and just revolt at all things God or spiritual related and like tearing things down for fun. This is why precisely why Reformers like Luther and Calvin were so grieved by the Radical Reformers of their day. Some didn't merely want to reform, but wanted to destroy everything wholesale if it even had a hint of being related to tradition. Sadly, it got so bad that Lutherans and Anabaptists even went to war and started killing each other eventually. That's how different Reformed thought is to Radical Reformed thought. The former were actually closer to Catholic, despite insisting on the Scriptures and good hermeneutics.

    Secondly, if it is mere tradition, it should be said that it's a very, very, very old one. Perhaps you may still want to destroy old traditions all the same, but you should ask yourself why they even arose in the first place. This teaching was already spreading in the Protoevangelium of James, which is purported to be written circa 2nd century/145 BC (before Origen, who later commented on it). It had some strange teachings, but the fact that it was even circulating less than 100 years after the Apostles is remarkable. That's the same amount of time as WW1 is to us. Which isn't much. Some Church Fathers even balked at some of the contents (and even medieval ones, like Aquinas), but they didn't balk at the parts about Mary, funnily. It seemed that that part was an uncontroversial teaching already by the time. They balked at the other outlandish elements of the story.
     
  5. Daniel C

    Daniel C Well-Known Member

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    Jesus had Brothers through Mary,so she couldn't have been a perpetual virgin. This scripture makes the distinction between a spiritual brother and the real biological brothers he had:

    Matthew 12
    46 While he (Jesus) yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
    47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
    48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
    49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
     
  6. robycop3

    robycop3 Newbie

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    Mary had at least 6 other kids besides Jesus. His bros. are named in Scripture, & His sisters are mentioned. They were undoubtedly conceived in the usual fashion.
     
  7. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    This is the point where I most strongly object, and I know I'm disagreeing with a number of early theologians here. I do not agree that sex defiles a person, that one's body is less sanctified if one is sexually active with one's spouse.
     
  8. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    At best, the "brothers" referred to in Sacred Scripture have an ambiguous familial relationship with Our Lord.

    There's also a sort of logical problem with Our Lady having other children in the customary fashion. She was betrothed but she asked the angel how she could have any child. If she was expecting a normal marriage, that's a hopelessly stupid question to ask. I think we can assume she knew about the birds and the bees.

    But her question to the angel makes a lot more sense if we consider the possibility that Our Lady wasn't expecting, ahem, a normal marriage. Or at least, a marriage similar to what the average modern Protestant considers "normal" anyway. So the logical question to ask is why wasn't she expecting sex in her marriage?
     
  9. straykat

    straykat Well-Known Member

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    It's not sex in itself that defiles. It's that her womb was made holy beyond compare. How do you even proceed and live a normal life after that? Just a thought. Just hearing God's voice will turn one's life upside down. But this is on a whole new level. Like I said, it's momentous. And I'm just mentioning Mary so far. Joseph was also a cautious and thoughtful man.
     
  10. Daniel C

    Daniel C Well-Known Member

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    Hello friend. Help me understanding something. :)

    Why do Catholics want Mary to be a perpetual virgin? I see it differently just because what's black and white but Catholics seem to be doing that for an end goal. What is that goal?
     
  11. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    Mary: Ever Virgin does a pretty good job of explaining how far back the beliefs about her perpetual virginity go.

    Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant – Shameless Popery explains a fair bit of the Catholic view of the matter and why this is not incidental doctrine.
     
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  12. SoldierOfTheKing

    SoldierOfTheKing Christian Spenglerian

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    For them it was a personal belief, not a dogma.

    Why not? Our Lord did during His first thirty years on earth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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