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Question 298

Morning Father my question to you is Jesus had brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary is in contradiction to the plain meaning of the bible? What are your thoughts on this ? 


Answer to Question 298


According to Orthodox and Roman Catholic tradition Joseph, the husband of Mary and Anna her mother were brother and sister, which means that Joseph was Maryís uncle. Joseph was an old man and a widower. His previous marriage to a woman named Salome produced six children, four boys and two girls. By law these were Jesusí step brothers and sisters and Maryís step children. The names of the step brothers are mentioned in the Gospels as James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. (Matth. 13: 54-55) One of Josephís daughters whose name was also Salome was married to Zebedee and was the mother of the brothers James and John the Theologian, thus again by law Jesus was their uncle. Of the step brothers James is known as James the Lordís brother. Jude or Judus who was also an Apostle (not Iscariot the traitor), in his general Epistle of Jude, calls himself Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. He could have called himself Jude the Lordís brother just as James did, but he chose not to out of humility and shame, believing that he was unworthy of such a honourable title, because he did not believe in Christ the Lord at the very beginning.   Joseph did not know Mary in the marital sense. Mary was a virgin before during and after giving birth. How she remained a virgin after giving birth is beyond our understanding and that is why it is called a mystery. With our human logic some things do not make sense, but if God can create the whole universe with just a simple divine thought, then it was no great feat for him to keep intact the seal of Maryís virginity.


Another member

Ok I'm going a bit controversial here, but how could anybody know in those days that Mary did in fact keep her seal after giving birth? It's an impossible assumption as she must have been examined to confirm that fact? Surely? No?



You're using human logic. For me it all makes sense because my logic tells me there are questions that my mind cannot understand but at the same time I believe that all things are possible with God.


Same member

Yes I agree with you but....... The Faith is backed up by some kind of miracle that people see or hear that they can not put logic to but their faith kicks in, but in this scenario it is only an assumption as there is no physical miracle. I don't think I'm explaining myself very well. It's my inquisitive mind working overtime



In Mary's case it is more than assumption, the Bible doesn't tell us much about Mary, but the Holy Spirit has enlightened and supplemented the written Word with the Oral tradition which in the Orthodox Church is of equal authority


Same member

Ahhhh now that makes sense. I thought you meant that it was just "folklore" hence my insistence!


First member

The question I asked is an impossible question to answer, as a natural human emotion it is very difficult for me to swallow that she was never ever ever intimate with her husband



That is because you picture Joseph as he is portrayed in western films as a young man. Joseph was Mary's uncle and her mother had Mary when she was fairly old which means Joseph was also very old. He was chosen for her as a protector and not for his virility. Need I say more...


Another member

So how did they allow Mary to marry her uncle



Mary was given by her parents to the protection of the temple from the age of three. When she reached the age of puberty (12) it was not possible for her to stay within the temple and the highpriests decided that to protect her as a virgin she should be given in marriage to an elderly widower. They asked for all the widowers to bring their rods to the temple. The priests took the rods to the temple and prayed over them and then gave them back to the widowers. As they gave Joseph his rod, a dove came and sat on it and it was taken as a sign from God that Joseph was selected to be Mary's protector. These are details written in the apocryphal Gospel of St. James, but which are in agreement with the stories handed down by Holy Tradition