Wednesday 24th August 2016

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?

April 13, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 2

Just as Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17), the New Testament is consistent with the Old, and in Jesus’ time brother had also a variety of meanings.
For instance: In Matt. 5:22 (Sermon on the Mount), brother means a fellow man, purely and simply, because of our common origin in father Adam. Our Lord says, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the Sanhedrin.”
Surely He is not saying that the only person you cannot get angry with is your blood-brother, but the rest, cousins, uncles, nephews, neighbors, foreigners, Gentiles, lawyers, politicians, you can hate as much as you please. Of course not.
In Matt. 18:21 brother can mean a blood brother, a relative and a fellow Jew: “Then Peter came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
We know His answer. But if we take it literally, Peter would be talking about Andrew, his blood brother. But we know it was not the case.
In Matt. 19:35: “So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if you do not each forgive your brothers from your hearts.” If you take it too literally, then you must only forgive your brothers but not your sisters and cousins….
In Mark 3:31-35 “brother” and “sister” and even “mother” mean anyone who does the will of God: “And His mother and His brethren came, and standing outside, they sent to Him, calling Him. Now a crowd was sitting about, and they said to Him, ‘Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are outside, seeking thee.’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Who are my mother and my brethren?’ And looking round on those who were sitting about Him, He said, ‘Behold my mother and my brethren. For whoever does the will of God, He is my brother and sister and mother’.”
It should be noted that here Jesus made a great public praise of His Mother. She’s His Mother in two different ways, both physically and spiritually, because she did the will of God to perfection. Let it be done unto me according to thy word. She was the first to give an unconditional “Yes” to God. You and I, and everybody else who wants to be faithful to God, follow her example.
On the cross, Jesus calls John His son and gives Mary to him as his mother: “Son, Behold thy Mother” and “From that hour he took her into his own home” (John 19:26-27).
Every decent non-Catholic Christian knows that Jesus had no sons.
In Acts 9:17 brother means a fellow-Jew: “So Ananias departed and entered the house, and laying his hands upon him, said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me — Jesus, who appeared to you on your journey — that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
In Acts 22:13 St. Paul accepts being called brother by Ananias: “Now, one Ananias, an observer of the Law, respected by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and standing beside me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And instantly I looked at him.”
But we know that Ananias and Saul were not blood-brothers, but only fellow Jews.
In 2 Cor. 2:13 St. Paul calls Titus his brother: “I had no peace of mind, because I did not find Titus my brother.” Yet in his epistle to the same Titus (1:4), he calls him son: “To Titus, my beloved son in the common faith, grace and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Savior.”
Either we ask St. Paul to stop confusing us and make up his mind about his family relationship with Titus, or we must admit that the Jewish language in Jesus’ time was not exactly like American English today.
To confuse you even more, it is worth remembering that in Amos 1:9 brother means “an ally”; in Canticle of Canticles 4:9 “sister” means bride: “How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride.” In Gen. 29 (King James Version) we read about Jacob, Rebecca, Laban, and Rachel. It is not easy to understand who is who with just one quick reading:
“Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother. . . . And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, that he was Rebecca’s son. . . . And Laban kissed his sister’s son.”
Sometimes it is difficult to understand who should be kissing whom in those days. . . .
Conclusion: In Hebrew and Aramaic, the words “brother” and “sister” do not necessarily mean children of the same parents, or even of one parent. It may mean cousin, friend, bride, fellow Jew, member of same tribe, ally, son, nephew, etc.
The usage of words like brother, sister, son, etc., in the Bible have much too much of a general meaning for anyone to conclude that they mean what they do in English as it is spoken today. Therefore, the argument against our Lady’s perpetual virginity that is based upon the word “brother” in the New Testament proves nothing. It is inconclusive, purely and simply. The words brethren of Jesus neither prove nor disprove anything.
It is only anti-Catholic bigotry that leads certain people to insist in imposing their private interpretation as an infallible guide to oppose Roman Catholicism.
So we can state the faith of the early Christians again, not citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, by quoting from two of the main founders of Protestantism, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli:
“It is an article of Faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin. . . . Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact” (The Works of Luther, Weimar, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, vol. 11, pp. 319-320; vol. 6, p. 510).
“I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the Gospel, as a pure virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remaining a pure, intact Virgin” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., vol. 1, p. 424).
We must ask our Protestant brothers and sisters (who are not necessarily our blood-brothers and sisters, of course, because as we all know in biblical language “brother” and “sister” have a variety of meanings) whether Luther and Zwingli were wrong in standing side by side with us R.C. folks in defending the perpetual virginity of Mary. If they were wrong, we must ask in which other areas they were also wrong. If they were right, why don’t they, today’s Protestants, defend the faith of the early Christians on Mary’s perpetual virginity with us Roman Catholics?
Next article: Did Joseph know her as a husband knows his wife after the birth of Jesus?

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI], president of the Sacred Heart Institute and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is: www.RaymondeSouza.com.)

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

BREAKING: Leaked e-mails show George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

August 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros – one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors – paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing]…Continue Reading

Catholic school faculty member sues school after she’s fired for being gay

A lesbian teacher was fired from Paramus Catholic High School after administrators learned that she was married to a woman, according to her lawsuit. Kate Drumgoole, 33, was the school’s head basketball coach and dean of guidance when the school…Continue Reading

Scottish Catholic Church denies supporting ‘mandatory’ LGBT activist school program

GLASGOW, Scotland, August 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Church in Scotland is flatly denying that it is lending its support to advancing a pro-homosexual curriculum in Catholic schools, despite secular as well as gay news sources claiming the opposite.…Continue Reading

Amid falling sales, Target responds to backlash with $20 million plan for single-stall bathrooms

target

NewsGenderThu Aug 18, 2016 – 2:57 pm EST Amid falling sales, Target responds to backlash with $20 million plan for single-stall bathrooms  #flushtarget , bathroom bills , target , transgender , transgenderism MINNEAPOLIS, August 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Facing…Continue Reading

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Signs New Book Deal with Bloomsbury

Indeed, it’s official. Bloomsbury is announcing that Pope Benedict has a new book coming in November 2016, entitled, The Last Testament. It appears to be 224 pages. Ever since Bloomsbury merged (“bought out?”) T & T Clark, they have been…Continue Reading

Transgender Bathroom Access Extended to All Federal Buildings–Including Prisons

The Obama administration is set to unveil a new regulation this week that will expand transgender people’s access to restrooms consistent with their “gender identity” to thousands of federal buildings and facilities across the country — including prisons. Buzzfeed News…Continue Reading

Satanic ‘Black Mass’ held in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — A small group attended an event held by a satanic church in Oklahoma City Monday night. The ‘black mass’ was met with Christian masses and prayer rallies. Leaders of Oklahoma City’s Church of Ahriman set the…Continue Reading

Uplifting Story . . . Gymnast Simone Biles soars to Olympic gold while grounded in Catholic faith

olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, August 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When three-time world champion gymnast Simone Biles flew to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games, the 19-year-old carried a rosary her mother gave her and a St. Sebastian medal from…Continue Reading

Satanic Black Mass Still Scheduled at Public Venue Despite Protest

Amid growing protest Satanists plan to stage a second Black Mass at the public Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City on August 15, 2016. The public sacrilege against God and the Catholic Mass will include the desecration of a…Continue Reading

Margaret Sanger Award Recipient Nancy Pelosi on Zika: ‘This is About Babies’

nancyp

(CNSNews.com) – At a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Zika virus threat is “all about babies.” “The Zika in the Southern part of our country is in our country, and because…Continue Reading

Thousands of Colombians join nationwide protest of gender ideology in public schools

August 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Thousands marched yesterday in protests held throughout Colombia to protest a new initiative of the country’s homosexual Minister of Education to implement homosexualist and transsexualist gender ideology programs in Colombian schools. “No to gender ideology!…Continue Reading

98% Of CRS Employee Political Donations Go To Pro-Abortion Candidates

Contributions for political campaigns are recorded and monitored, and made available as public information in order to ensure transparency in the political process.  The information found in these recorded contributions are closely monitored and analyzed by political parties and research…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Baton Rouge Establishes Special Flood Victims Fund

By KATHLEEN NAAB The Diocese of Baton Rouge, La., is welcoming assistance as so many thousands of people have lost homes or property and many have been killed in the massive flooding affecting the state. “The historic flooding that has taken place has impacted nearly every corner of our diocese, and our parishes and schools are struggling to recover in an effort to provide for the spiritual and educational needs of their parishioners and students,”…Continue Reading

Catholic Politician Defends Abortion, Says Catholic Church Doesn’t Think Unborn Babies are People

Minnesota state Rep. John Lesch is a Catholic and a politician in the conservative mid-west. He also supports abortions. Lesch, a board member of the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice, wrote a column for The Hill this week explaining why he supports abortion and why other Catholic politicians should, too. “I came of age in a time when we learned to respect a woman’s conscience-based decisions, and we were more cautious of the institutional church’s…Continue Reading

New interview: Cardinal Burke says ‘I will never be part of a schism’

cburk12

August 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that he and other “serious-minded” Church leaders are calling on Pope Francis to release a document correcting the confusion emanating from his recent apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. He also decried characterizations that he is an “enemy” of Pope Francis. The cardinal says clarification of Amoris Laetitia is essential “for the sake of souls” because of the rampant confusion…Continue Reading

Life Issue Is Not Front and Center with Pennsylvania Catholics . . . Catholic voters split, perplexed by presidential choices

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The conversation flowed freely at the school cafeteria tables as families sat Thursday over a dinner of chicken and ratatouille at Our Lady of Grace Church’s annual parish festival in Scott. But when a reporter brought up the presidential election, there was more head-shaking dismay than enthusiasm for any candidate. “I can’t see myself voting for Clinton,” said Bob Bauer. But as for Donald Trump, he’s still going “back…Continue Reading

Lifesite editorial . . .The first step needed to get the Church out of the current crisis

August 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In his book Magisterial Authority, Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD, says “the Church will not climb out of this tumultuous period” without reversing the “practice since the Second Vatican Council onward not to police the doctrinal integrity” among bishops, priests and theologians. The crucial observation comes at the end of nearly fifty years of destructive leniency, which has in the Francis pontificate taken on new dimensions. While under the pontificates of…Continue Reading

Summer 1916 . . . The Second Apparition Of Angel Of Portugal

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The previous article on this topic (April 28, 2016, p. 8A) looked at the first of the three apparitions of the Angel of Portugal, or the Angel of Peace, to the three Fatima seers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos, in the spring, summer, and autumn of 1916. This…Continue Reading

ISIS And Other Useful Fictions

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) and al-Qaeda are useful fictions. “Islamicist” is another ill-used word. Has anyone ever identified the borders of the so-called Islamic State, identified the site of its central government, attributed to it a president, prime minister, cabinet, parliament, or congress, or anything resembling such? Even the most…Continue Reading

The Real Existential Threats Of 2016

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On September 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, the national debt is projected to reach $19.3 trillion. With spending on the four biggest budget items — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense — rising, and GDP growing at 1 percent, future deficits will exceed this year’s projected $600 billion. National bankruptcy,…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A Frontal Challenge To The Left: Taking On The Homosexual Movement

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Truths And Trends

By DONALD DeMARCO Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, declares that “it is right also that philosophy should be called knowledge of the truth.” This statement contrasts sharply with Pontius Pilate’s famous assertion, “What is Truth?” If we cannot know truths, there is nothing to build on and philosophy is a vanity. Pilate, on the other hand,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Divine Mercy And Justice

By Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke Part 2 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the Consecration Weekend, The Marian Catechist Apostolate, Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wis., July 23, 2016. Because of its length, we are publishing it in two parts; part 1 appeared in last week’s issue. And also because…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Moral Outrages Mount While Bishops Snooze

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The U.S. bishops’ conference is a leadership disaster. Joe Biden presiding over the marital simulation ceremony of two men who work in the Obama administration was the latest unanswered provocation to assail the American portion of the Body of Christ. Vice President Biden has completely sold-out on Church teaching. He enthusiastically promoted the rainbow revolution…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . The Historicity Of The Old And New Testaments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 14 Is the Book of Genesis historical or simply allegorical? Many have spent hours and days and years trying to prove one view or the other, as if God our Lord left to individuals the ability to decide about it. The truth is that some things are historical and some things are allegorical and some…Continue Reading

The Baptism Of Jesus

By DON FIER Much that regards Christianity and the Catholic faith we profess to believe is prefigured in the Old Covenant; signs and shadows which prepared the way for the New Testament abound throughout the pages of the Old. And as we saw last week, this is especially true for the Sacrament of Baptism: “[In] water, seen as source of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. At the time when Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, was the original intent of the Fifth Commandment to be a proscription against murder? — P.C., California. A. We would say yes. Beginning with the murder of Abel by his brother Cain long before Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, God had told His Chosen People…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1605 Fr. Robert De Nobili, a Jesuit priest, arrived in India to evangelize the people. He found them to have a noble bearing and a deeply spiritual life filled with fasting, prayer, and meditation. Difficulties presented themselves to him as he struggled to convert them: “If these people did not see me do such penance, they…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading