What the Early Church Believed: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary. However, their reaction often rests upon a misapprehension not only of what this particular title of Mary signifies but also of who Jesus was—and of what their own theological forebears, the Protestant Reformers, had to say regarding this doctrine. Propositions about a preposition. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to answer apologetics questions with “Scripture doesn’t say.” Two New Testament figures that garner this kind of interest are St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. But for those inclined to argue the point, the Catechism of the Catholic Church uses another line of reasoning: [T]he Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. Rom. Tthis is not a contradiction. You may have heard of the acronym LGBT, but did you know the full acronym (LGBTQQIP2SAA) includes things like pan-sexuality, gender fluidity, and intersex? When St. Paul wrote about going “up to Jerusalem” to see St. Peter, he was writing about an event that occurred many years earlier, shortly after he had converted. Matt. But the number one Person of Interest is the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially at Christmastime. Though they were actually uncle and nephew, they called one another “brother.” Moreover, in the New Testament, Jesus told us to call one another “brothers” (see Matthew 23:8). This is certainly possible, although we do not know for certain. Abraham and Sarah’s miraculous baby Isaac should have been the sign for him that God could and would provide him and Elizabeth with their own son. Heos hou, it is argued, would indicate the action of the first clause does not continue. Normally, after the espousal the husband would prepare a home for his new bride and then come and receive her into his home where the union would be consummated. The song is kitsch! In 20 Answers: Mary you’ll find biblical evidence for Marian doctrine and devotion, answers to common objections to Catholic teachings about Mary, and guidance on how to imitate Christ—which we should do in all things—by loving and honoring his mot Notice, the James of whom St. Paul speaks was both a “brother of the Lord” and an “apostle.” There are only two apostles named James among the twelve. Setting of contemporary song "Mary, Did You Know", offered at a 2013 Choirs concert, Holy Family Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon. By her question, “How shall this be?” she implies that she was not expecting to have marital relations with Joseph. By no means! However, some will argue that the James spoken of in Galatians 1 was not an apostle—or, at least, he was not one of the Twelve. If Mary’s labor to bring Christ into the world was painful, just as is ordinary childbirth, it may have been so in order to allow her to be in greater conformity to the life of her Son, who also would suffer. . In fact, the evidence proves the contrary. 3. After Gabriel explains that the Holy Spirit would accomplish the task, she accepts without further question. They are using a passage in Matthew that says “house.” How should I answer this? That is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. When Catholics call Mary their mother, it may seem like they are taking away some of the respect due to Jesus and giving it to Mary. 1:19) when he discovered she was pregnant. The Catechism here refers to the fact that, fourteen chapters after we find the “brothers” of the Lord listed as “James, Joses, Simon and Judas,” we find “James and Joses” mentioned again, but this time their mother is revealed as being named Mary—but not Mary the mother of Jesus. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Gen. 48:3–6). Mary probably caught up with all that was prophesied in the book of Isaiah and the other prophets after being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. I may say to you, “Until we meet again, God bless you.” Does that mean after we meet again, God curse you? I have always heard that because Mary was sinless she was free from labor pain. Each step from the Annunciation to the cross, and beyond, was one of sorrow. That is, in itself, a Christmas miracle. Did you know That your baby boy is heavens perfect lamb? Anti-Catholics have told me that Catholics are wrong when the Church says that the Magi found Jesus in the manger. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. In John 19:26, Jesus gave his mother to the care of St. John even though by law the next eldest sibling would have the responsibility to care for her. With a shrug. Emmanuel, “God is with us,” also calls to mind the last verse in Matthew, in which Christ says, “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matt. The song “Mary, Did You Know?” can be understood in an orthodox manner. Until is often used in Scripture as part of an idiomatic expression similar to our own usage in English. 28:20). We’ll begin with Matthew 13:55-56. The passage in question is as follows: When they [the Magi] saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Absent a ruling from the Church, we just don’t know for certain. Matthew 1:24-25: “And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. “Until I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching.” Does this mean Timothy should stop teaching after St. Paul comes? Mary is regarded as the Mother of the Church (963). The dumb will speak The praises of The Lamb. 1:23)? This is … Also, in a culture that did not take kindly to espoused women becoming pregnant by someone other than their spouse, Mary would have been in mortal danger. St. Joseph’s geneaology is listed because, by Joseph’s marriage to Mary and by his acceptance of Jesus as his own child (cf. I have been baptized and not a current member of any church so I am not taking anyone's side - the Catholic and Protestant argument is old and dry. Luke 1:33 says, “[H]e will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”. The Catholic Church commemorates Mary’s Immaculate Conception on December 8 th of each year. They had left him. 2:10-11). The gift of his Mother was one of his last wishes and gifts to us. Heos hou and heos are used interchangeably and have the same meaning. But I also get why “Mary Did You Know?” is okay though theologically imprecise in the same way that singing “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” at the Nativity instead of the Annunciation is okay though theologically imprecise. What’s more, Mary herself said, ‘My soul rejoices in God my savior’ in Luke 1:47. Thus in Psalm 103, we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Not according to the biblical record. In Luke 1:34, when Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, she asked the question, literally translated from the Greek, “How shall this be, since I know not man?” This question makes no … The dead will live again. These things that we find in the Gospels that the song, "Mary Did you know" point to for our benefit. Though this is a possibility—there are others in the New Testament, such as St. Barnabas in Acts 14:14, who are referred to as “apostles” in a looser sense—the argument from Scripture is weak. She was delivered from ever having any stain of sin on her soul from the very moment of her conception. Catholics who do not understand the theological implications may be left confused on the matter of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. As the only son of St. Joseph, even though adopted, he would have been in line for the throne. Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo The blind will see. When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God? Hello. He would most likely not be the James St. Paul speaks of in Galatians, because this James, the brother of John, was martyred early on, according to Acts 12:1-2. Zechariah was punished for not believing the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement that Elizabeth would bear a child. “For he [Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” Does this mean Christ’s reign will end? In my book Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines, I give eight positive reasons, but for brevity’s sake, we will briefly consider three: 1. Luke 2:22-35 for December 29, the Fifth Day in the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord. Jacob claims these sons of Joseph as his own and states that they are equal in standing as his sons to his blood sons Reuben and Simeon (his firstborn and secondborn sons). Honest Answers to Questions About Catholic Faith & Beliefs. Thus, Mary and Joseph “not having come together” would have then ended after Jesus was born. Here are some biblical examples that may help clarify things: In recent years, some have argued that because Matthew 1:25 uses the Greek words heos hou for “until,” whereas the texts I mention above from the New Testament use heos alone, there is a difference in meaning. Some of the lyrics suggest that Mary needed to be delivered from sin. That would mean St. Joseph would have had the right to the marriage bed at that point. So it is technically correct from a historical perspective for the lyrics to say “soon deliver you.”. Until is often used in Scripture as part of an idiomatic expression similar to our own usage in English. The question why Catholics pray to Mary still astounds me today. Some songs, like “Mary Did You Know,” even if very affecting in a sentimental way, actually preclude Christmas. Such crèches are not a strictly factual depiction of historical events but artistic representations of the major figures in the Christmas story gathered around the Infant Jesus. For example, St. Paul tells us: Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. The word Emmanuel translates to “God is with us.” Matthew recalls the messianic prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 and states that its ultimate fulfillment is found in Mary’s Son: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Once her real need for information is satisfied, Mary does not ask for any further assurances. The deaf will hear. The fact is, Jesus had no brothers and sisters, so he had the responsibility, on a human level, to take care of his mother. Some will claim Jesus did this because his brothers and sisters were not there. The Church is, after all, “the bride of Christ.” But in the case of Mary and Joseph, Joseph was essential in the life of Mary, his spouse, for at least two obvious reasons. "Mary, Did You Know?" Biblically speaking, Mary is said to have pondered these things in her heart. The blind will see The deaf will hear And the dead will live again The lame will leap The dumb will speak The praises of the lamb. Mary is the object of devotion in Roman Catholicism as the Queen of Heaven. If Jesus was Mary’s firstborn, doesn’t this imply there was at least a second-born? IMO, Mary is being asked a series of questions. Does this text mean that St. Paul would not be held in custody after he was “sent” to Caesar? Christ too was sinless and went through hideous suffering on the cross. 1:16). For an example of the Old Testament precedent for this, see the story of Jacob’s adoption of Joseph’s sons Manasseh and Ephraim (cf. Catholic Answers. The less someone speaks in Scripture, it seems the more people want to know about that person. As we read the gospels, we see unmistakably that Mary is the Mother of Jesus. Her intercession can bring “eternal salvation,” and she is … Blessed Mother Mary Did You Know Jesus gave us his Mother while he was consummating the sacrifice of Himself. Abraham and Lot are classic examples of “brother” being used for an extended relation (see Genesis 13:8 and 14:12). However, by the laws of the time, the legal relationship would have sufficed to count Jesus as the Son of David. As St. John tells us, Jesus “knew all men” (John 2:25). Does St. Matthew here teach Mary to have had other children? Along with the other mentions of women in Jesus’ geneaology, this was unusual as Jewish mothers were generally not counted among ancestors at that time. By no means! Note his reasoning to the angel that “I [Zechariah] am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” Zechariah, a religiously-educated Jew and indeed a priest of the Temple, should have known that this exact same miracle of late-in-life fertility had been granted to Abraham and Sarah, the founding patriarch and matriarch of the Jewish people. Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God. This — and not the virginal conception of Jesus — is the Immaculate Conception. is a popular song at Christmas Mass. Thus, St. Joseph became Mary’s earthly spouse and protector as well as the protector of the child Jesus. From the very beginning of her Son’s life, the cross was always in view for Mary—from the scandal surrounding her pregnancy to the arduous journey to Bethlehem; from the birth in the stable to the flight into Egypt; from Simeon’s prophesy to the loss of her Son for three days in his youth. Did Mary suffer pain in childbirth? The preservation of … Scripture’s statement that Joseph “knew [Mary] not until she brought forth her firstborn” would not necessarily mean they did “know” each other after she brought forth Jesus. This indicates she was not planning on the normal course of events for her future with St. Joseph. Second, if we examine more closely the example of James, one of these four “brothers” of the Lord mentioned in Matthew 13:55, we discover him to actually be a cousin or some other variety of relative of Jesus rather than a blood brother. And why is St. Joseph’s genealogy given by St. Matthew instead of the Virgin Mary’s? With respect to the second set of questions, did she know what her son would do, the answer is a bit more speculative: “Well, maybe not exactly, but she could have guessed much of it.” Mary certainly had at least a basic understanding of her Hebrew faith and would have known the coming of the Messiah would be occasioned by a variety of miracles such as the … What is the Immaculate Conception? But the Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. The Church is officially silent on the issue of whether or not Mary suffered pain in childbirth, although some Fathers, Doctors, and theologians assume that her immaculate state rendered her free from it. Did you know That your baby boy will one day rules the nations? Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. That said, the lyrics are ambiguous and their authors probably did not have this theological explanation in mind. That is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. From what I can tell, there are two basic concerns coming from Catholics. Because she knew He would be crucified." Obviously, this doesn’t infer that all Christians have the same physical mother. 1:18-19). Though she became the most famous woman in the history of the world, Mary was born a simple Jewish girl from a poor family in the house of David,i some 2,000 years ago. Mary, did you know That your baby boy is lord of all creation? Easy enough. When Mary then came up pregnant, St. Joseph would have been required to divorce her, because she would then belong to another (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Jeremiah 3:1). Scripture stating Joseph “knew [Mary] not until she brought forth her firstborn” would not necessarily mean they “knew” each other after she brought forth Jesus. Christian scholars have long thought, however, that because the prophesied relationship between David and Jesus appeared to be much more than a legal relationship (cf. 1:21, Luke 1:31); “name,” in this case, is used in the sense of “to call” (i.e., “they shall call him Emmanuel”). He was basically going up to the apostles to receive approval lest he “should be running or had run in vain.” It would be more likely he would have here been speaking about apostles proper, or the Twelve. Even so, it is also true that she could have been free from childbirth pain. Instead he asks for another sign. The fact that Joseph and Mary did not realize Jesus was not among them can seem surprising. Catholics believe that Mary did indeed need to be delivered from sin. Perhaps the two most commonly employed texts by those who deny Mary’s perpetual virginity are: Matthew 13:55-56: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? It is not intended to say anything about the future beyond that point. 1:3), that the Virgin Mary must also have been of the house of David. In Luke 1:34, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, she asked the question, literally translated from the Greek, “How shall this be, since I know not man?” This question makes no sense unless Mary had a vow of virginity. First, we must understand that the term brother has a wide semantic range in Scripture. The question Mary did you know? Thus, James the apostle and Jesus were not blood brothers. The second James who was an apostle, according to Luke 6:15-16, is most likely to whom St. Paul refers, and his father was Alphaeus, not Joseph. When Mary asked the angel how she was going to conceive a child in Luke 1:34, the angel responded: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. So what about Matthew 1:24-25 and the claim Jesus was Mary’s “firstborn son” and that Joseph “knew her not until” Christ was born? The Church has no position on whether the Magi found the Infant Jesus in a manger or in a house. Mary believed the message but wanted to know how this was going to be accomplished. Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation? This Christmas season, … All Christians have a nuptial relationship with our Lord. Thus, Jesus committed his mother to St. John, who was faithful and present at the foot of the cross. The first James is revealed to have been a son of Zebedee. 1:18–25), Joseph became Jesus’ legal father. Matt. But is it heretical? The Holy Spirit is Mary’s spouse, but St. Joseph was her spouse and protector on Earth. Is the Christmas song titled Mary, Did You Know? I suspect that your inquirers are hoping to score points because nativity scenes often include the Magi at the manger of Christ. Mary's knowing is what makes her so very special. When Mary asked the angel how she was going to conceive a child in Luke 1:34, the angel responded: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. Tim Staples tackles common objections to the Catholic teaching on the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When she was fourteen or fifteen years old, God chose her to be the mother of Jesus Christ, God incarnate; this simple teenage girl, then became the Mother of God.ii She was, as a matter of … It is very possible that by the time the Magi found the Holy Family, they had indeed been able to find accommodations in town. If he were the blood brother of the Lord, his father would have been Joseph. Mary is depicted as the spouse of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. This background is significant, because a newly married woman would not ask the question, “How shall this be?” She would know! However, it is interesting that Mary is specifically named in the Matthean geneaology alongside Joseph (cf. The action of the main clause did not cease with heos hou. For that reason, although it is certainly fine for Catholics to listen to the song on the radio or on a CD at home, the ambiguity of the song’s lyrics makes it imprudent for the song to be presented during a Mass or any other public liturgy. We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Rom. She clearly understood herself to be a sinner if she admits to needing a savior.”The Catholic AnswerNot a few Protestants are surprised to discover the Catholic Church actually agrees that Mary was “saved.” Indeed, Mary needed a savior! It was the sacrificial death that would fully accomplish her deliverance and the deliverance of all mankind. Thus, if Jesus was to be the true “son of David” and king of Israel (see II Samuel 7:14; Hebrews 1:5; Revelation 19:16, 22:16), he needed to be the son of St. Joseph. It is unthinkable to believe that Jesus would take his mother away from his family in disobedience to the law. Hence, Jesus being referred to as firstborn in Matthew 1 does not require there to be more siblings after him. What is needed is the second part of the song where Mary answers....."Yes, I did Know." He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible Study with some of his Catholic friends. It can mean not only a blood brother but an extended relative or even a spiritual brother. It’s a reflection of the heart of the person writting the song. This is nuptial language hearkening back to Ruth 3:8, where Ruth said to Boaz “spread your skirt over me” when she revealed to him his duty to marry her according to the law of Deuteronomy 25. Analogously, one could say of baseball legend, Babe Ruth, “They called him the Sultan of Swat,” without intending to mean that “the Sultan of Swat” was George Herman Ruth Jr.’s given name. When we consider Mary and Joseph were already “espoused,” according to verse 27 of this same chapter, we understand Mary and Joseph to then have had what would be akin to a ratified marriage in the New Covenant. ” I replied, “Mary did not ascend into heaven; the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven. He would be held in custody while in transit (see Acts 27:1) and after he arrived in Rome for a time (see Acts 29:16). Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh (Matt. Catholics believe that Mary did indeed need to be delivered from sin. Jesus ascended by His own power. Catholic Answers. So she needs information about how it is possible for a woman to have a baby without the participation of her husband. That deliverance was done in anticipation of her Son’s sacrificial death on Calvary. If Jesus had brethren (brothers) and sisters, doesn’t this mean that Mary had other children? Another argument against the song is that it’s just a bad song. “Name,” in this sense, does not refer to the actual name Joseph and Mary were to give to their Son (cf. The song “Mary, Did You Know?” can be understood in an orthodox manner. A natural question is why Joseph and Mary weren't monitoring Jesus more closely. When St. Joseph found out that “the other” was the Holy Spirit, the idea of St. Joseph having conjugal relations with Mary would not have been a consideration for a “just man” like St. Joseph. Unless, of course, that woman had a vow of virginity! A Catholic Answers Tract. Thus, Joseph’s ancestors became Jesus’ ancestors. And doesn’t “he knew her not till” imply that he “knew her” at some point thereafter? And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Douay-Rheims). Composed in the 1990s, the modern Christmas song “Mary, Did You Know?” has swept both churches and radio airwaves, quickly becoming part of the annual Christmas music canon. How could Jesus be the Son of David if he was not the biological son of St. Joseph? Acts 25:21 should suffice to clear up the matter: But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be held until (Greek, heos hou) I could send him to Caesar. Why wasn’t Mary also punished for doubting? Mary, there were some things you did not know. Imagine Mary's suffering while walking the path of the Crucifixion after her son was crucified. Exodus 13:1-2 reveals something important about the firstborn in Israel: The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn; whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and beast, is mine.”, The firstborn were not given the title because there was a second-born. Michelle Arnold answers whether it should be, along with other apologetics questions about Mary, at the Catholic Answers Blog. They were called firstborn at birth. Mary Did You Know performed on Christmas Eve 2013 by members of Our Redeemer Church in Cohasset, MN. Fundamentalists challenge the Catholic practice of asking saints and angels to pray for us. appropriate for Catholics? Here's what you need to know. Matt. Having dispatched some of the objections to Mary’s perpetual virginity, perhaps some positive reasons for faith would be in order. (Had she expected to do so, she would have assumed that the pregnancy would take place within her upcoming marriage.) Zechariah was chastised because he had no reason not to understand the angel’s promise. is not meant to belittle Mary. The Case for Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. If both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David, then Jesus would have been the Son of David both by his legal relationship to Joseph and by the blood relationship he received through his Mother. Sung by Pastor Chris Gorshe. And are not his brethren James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? If St. James were his blood brother, Jesus would have known he would be faithful along with his “brother” Jude. And even if it were him, his father was Zebedee. 3. So, let’s look at a few of the questions the apologetics department ordinarily receives. This claim reveals a low and unbiblical Christology. Why wasn’t Jesus named “Emmanuel,” since that is what the angel said he should be named (Matt. I may say to you, “Until we meet again, God bless you.” Catholics clarify that Mary isn’t worshiped and adored as God is (latria), but she is venerated (doulia), and that veneration sets her apart from other mediators (hyperdoulia, 971). A phrase like this is used to emphasize what is being described before the “until” is fulfilled. Mary is depicted as the spouse of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. . An obvious question remains: Why did St. Joseph then “take [Mary] his wife,” according to Matthew 1:24, if she belonged to the Holy Spirit? She was delivered from ever having any stain of sin on her soul from the very moment of her conception. That demonstrated a lack of faith. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ. The lame will leap. The problems with this theory begin with the fact that there is no scholarship available that confirms it. 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