Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Did Mary have other Children (A discussion from CARM)

Originally Posted by Bonnie

And again, there is a perfectly good word for "cousin" in Greek--anepsios, I think it is--used once in the Bible but frequently in Greek literature, that the gospel writer could have used, had these men really been Jesus' actual cousins.

And, there are greek words he could have used to leave no doubt they were his brothers by blood (such as kasignĂȘtos). The fact is, in the bible itself, the word "adelphos" is used to describe any number of relationships. So focusing on one meaning and excluding the others is trying to force meaning that may not be correct.

If someone were to say about me, "Isn't that Bonnie, the late Naval commander's daughter? Don't we know her sister Judy?" Would that wording--the same as in the bible--mean that Judy MUST be my cousine or a stepsister, by a previous marriage of my father's? Or would the most natural way to take this mean that Judy is my very own, physical, flesh and blood sister?

But is the "natural" assumption always the correct one? My wife will tell you she has 2 sisters. Now, the "natural" assumption is that they have the same parents, correct? But now I tell you, one is a half-sister and the other is a step-sister. See? The "natural" assumption was incorrect.You are reading this passage in English with a modern notion of family. That is poor Bible interpretation. You must take into account the language used (Greek) and the time period (2nd Temple) involved. The fact is when you do this you realize that this one passage is quite ambiguous, and does not clarify one direction or the other.

Besides, Mary's PV is NOT a salvific issue and it is nonsense that the RCC makes it one, and that one can be "anathema" for not believing it. And excommunicated, if I am not mistaken.

Belief in the PV of Mary, is often used as ammo against us by those who claim we are not Christians. And I have no doubts that if a Baptist or Pentacostal professed belief in the PV of Mary they would be anathematized by their congregation. So, apparantly the RCC is wrong to say that Christians should believe this, but protestants are not wrong in saying that if you do believe this, you are going to hell?

And no RCCer on here has EVER given us a good reason why Mary HAD to stay a PV her entire life. I've heard, "so she could concentrate on raising Jesus." "So, she could dedicate her life to God." She couldn't do either of those things unless she stayed a virgin???

Mary was chosen for a special purpose, her womb was the gate by which our savior was to enter the world. The prophet Ezekiel stated that no one else would enter the world by that gate.

The idea that Mary was a PV I think comes from the Protoevangelicon of James, a second century writing, in which she dedicates herself to God, vowing to remain a virgin for her entire life. However, the writing isn't inspired, since it has the wise men seeing Jesus in a cave--which were often used as stables in Palestine in those days--whereas Matthew's account clearly says they found Jesus and His mother in a HOUSE. A gross error.

Yes, and that is one of the reasons it is not canon. But, that does not make it untrue completely.


Gojira said...

"The idea that Mary was a PV I think comes from the Protoevangelicon of James..."

I would tell Bonnie that both the Protoevangelicon and the idea of PV came from the mind of gnostics.

kmerian said...

Really, and what is your proof of that contention?

pilgrim said...

Perhaps yopu could clarify something for me, but in reading this post I get the feeling you are being vague in spots and setting up loopholes so as to refute whatever interpretations of your words you deem unfriendly.

I'm getting that Mary's perpetual virginity is not important--I am also getting that you are saying it is important. I can understand you may be saying they are of certain importance, but not of supreme importance--but it seems like you are trying to leave that vague so you can change it later to suit your purposes.

This is not an attack, but a request for clarity.


kmerian said...

There is no alternate motives. I am not trying to "trap" anyone. Merely my interpretations. If am being vague about Mary's PV, it is because it is not the focus of the post. The focus of the post is whether or not Mary had other children. While clearly part of the PV debate, it is not all of it.

Also, could you be a little more specific on where you feel I am being unclear?

pilgrim said...

Overall there seems to be a lack of clarity on why it matters or doesn't.

And your comment helps--but still it seems like you're splitting hairs that are not there.