Mary A Perpetual Virgin?

One of the many false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church is that Mary remained a virgin even after the birth or Christ. Where does this teaching come from and is there any merit to it at all?

The doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity first shows up in the early fourth century. It is curious that such a distinction would not be made prior to this. This is especially perplexing because the New Testament clearly refers to Jesus having siblings.

Now I want to make a distinction, we are not denying the virgin birth of Christ. That is clearly Scriptural (Luke 1:34). The birth of Christ was a miraculous event. What is in question here is the idea that Mary continued to be a virgin the rest of her life. So let’s look at the evidence.

The first piece of evidence is the telling of Joseph’s perspective in Matthew chapter one. It tells us in verse 25 that Joseph did not know Mary, meaning sexual intimacy, until after the birth of Christ. There would be no reason to make this statement if Mary were a perpetual virgin.

The second piece of evidence is, as stated earlier, the Bible states that Jesus had siblings (Matt. 13:55; Mark3:31, 33; John 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Cor. 9:5; Gal. 1:19). The Catholic Church would state that these would not be blood brothers, they would be cousins or close friends, but there is nothing within the context of the text to actually suggest this explanation.

In short, there is no evidence to suggest, and no reason to believe, that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ. The evidence is to the contrary. This is another way in which the Roman Catholic Church turns Mary into a sort of god and an idol as they do with declaring that she was sinless her entire life.

15 thoughts on “Mary A Perpetual Virgin?

  1. tasdgs April 26, 2022 / 4:22 pm

    Before we look at the “evidence” that Mary had children in the New Testament let’s take a look at an Old Testament prophecy that she could not have had other children. This is to be found in Ezekiel 44:2
    Here is Ezekiel 44:2,
    2 “And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut.”

    Now, since Jesus is the Lord, the God of Israel, and He entered the world through Mary and if Scripture is correct then we have to say that Mary did not have any other children since only the Lord, the God of Israel, shall enter through that gate(Mary). If you believe that Mary had other children then we have to conclude the following,
    1. Jesus is not God or
    2. Ezekiel 44:2 in incorrect.

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    • David Taylor April 26, 2022 / 4:27 pm

      There is a third option, that is not talking about Jesus entering the world and not talking about Mary at all. It is talking about the Temple.

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      • tasdgs April 27, 2022 / 6:27 am

        Even if it were talking about the Temple it does not mean that it cannot be applied to Mary. Furthermore, if this verse is true and Mary had other children then we have to conclude that God changed His mind and we know that God does not change.

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        • David Taylor April 27, 2022 / 7:35 am

          My point was that verse in no way was talking about Mary and no reasonable exegete would come to that conclusion. So no, it cannot be applied to Mary. That would be a Catholic trying to grasp at straws to prop up a false doctrine.

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          • tasdgs April 28, 2022 / 6:28 am

            But how do you know, for sure, that you do not have a false teaching? Christians have always believed that Mary remined a virgin throughout her life. I stand behind what I wrote concerning Ezekiel 44. If it is true that, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut” then we have to conclude that Mary remained a virgin since the God of Israel passed through her. There is no other way around it.

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            • David Taylor April 28, 2022 / 7:20 am

              If the church has always believed it, why is it not documented until the 4th century? And where, from the text, does it say anything about her being a perpetual virgin. The Bible does not say that.

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  2. vivator April 27, 2022 / 4:35 pm

    The brothers and sisters could be children of Joseph from previous marriage. NT does not explicitly say so but it is possible. Twelve sons of Jacob and one daughter came from four different women (2 wives and 2 slaves) but they were brothers and sister.

    Suppose Mary had another children after giving birth to Jesus then they would be younger than Him. When Jesus was twelve years old Joseph and Mary lost Him in Jerusalem. If He had younger siblings then they would be mentioned. But if they were older then they were already independent and might have family of their own. Greek words for brothers, sisters and fathers do not limit to biological brothers, sisters and fathers. Greek has word for cousin but Hebrew and Aramaic do not have.

    According to Genesis 3:15 there will be enmity between the woman and the serpent (devil) and between the woman’s seed and the serpent’s seed. If this verse is proto-evangelicum then the woman is Mary and her seed is Jesus – both are in enmity with the devil. Suppose Mary committed even just one sin, then she could not be in enmity with the devil because Scripture says in 1 John 3:8 that he who sins is of the devil. Mary’s sinlessness and her Immaculate Conception is by grace of God, neither by her own power nor her will. That is why she still referred God as her saviour. The angel referred her in Greek as “kecharitomene”, which is verb participle in passive perfect tense of verb “charitou”, that means “to give grace”. Unlike that of English, Greek perfect tense indicates the action described by the verb (to be given grace) is completed in the past with continuing effect to the present. She was given grace and remained in grace. In contrast Christ’ sinlessness is by His own nature as the second Person of the Holy Trinity.

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    • David Taylor April 27, 2022 / 5:12 pm

      There is no indication from the text that Joseph had a previous marriage. That is grasping for straws. It also ignores that the text said Joseph knew his wife after Jesus was born.

      As far as the Jacob example there is a difference. All of those siblings had at least one biological parent in common.

      No Genesis 3:15 is not talking about Mary. It’s talking about Eve and Jesus. Mary was not sinless, Mary was blessed. She was a sinner, saved by grace, just like anyone else.

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      • vivator April 27, 2022 / 7:19 pm

        I already stated that if you care to read but it is possible. You do not apply English grammar to Greek. What is written in Matthew implies that Joseph has nothing to do with Mary’s pregnancy but what after she gave birth is inconclusive – they may or may not have sexual relation. Even John Calvin agreed with that. Jesus was legally son of Joseph otherwise He cannot be Davidic king. As about your interpretation of Gen 3:15, was Eve sinless then and did she give birth to Jesus?

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        • David Taylor April 28, 2022 / 7:13 am

          In Genesis if you read the context it is specifically talking about Eve. God is laying out the curse for those that were involved. It is not talking about Mary. It also mentions nothing about being sinless. And yes, Jesus was of the seed of Eve, meaning man.

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          • vivator April 28, 2022 / 10:08 am

            You may interpret it that way. According to 1 John 3:8 he who sins is of the devil. If the woman in Gen. 3:15 is Eve, then she cannot be in enmity with the devil. The word “sinless” is not there, just like the word “Trinity” or “Triune” is nowhere to be found in Scripture.

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            • David Taylor April 28, 2022 / 11:30 am

              You are grasping at straws at this point by taking things out of their context. I will not respond further. Mary was not sinless, the Bible does not teach that whatsoever.

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              • vivator April 28, 2022 / 5:45 pm

                That is your opinion, which is you entitled to. Nobody has any obligation to agree with you. It is just a clever excuse

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      • tasdgs April 28, 2022 / 6:30 am

        Where does the text say that, “Joseph knew his wife after Jesus was born”?

        Like

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