Friday 6th March 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . Did Joseph Know Her As A Husband Knows His Wife?

April 20, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 3

“And he [Joseph] did not know her till she brought forth her firstborn son. And he called his name Jesus” — Matt. 1:25.
It seems pretty evident for those non-Catholic Christians who disagree with Luther and Zwingli on the issue of Mary’s perpetual virginity that, after the birth of Jesus, Mary would have had other children in due course. Again, the argument is fallacious and inconclusive. And it is very simple to demonstrate it.
The great Bible scholar St. Jerome (fourth century), who translated the whole Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, was the first to answer it. The words till, and until, reflect a manner of speaking, usual among the Hebrews, which refers to a state or condition which may or may not continue after a given point in time: They say nothing about what happens after: in Latin donec, in Greek heos, in Hebrew aths. The words convey the same meaning, that is, they speak only about what happens up to a particular point but say nothing about what happens after.
“And he [Joseph] did not know her till she brought forth her firstborn son” simply means that up to the birth of the Divine Child, they did not have marital relations, without implying anything after the birth, one way or the other.
St. Jerome himself quotes a few examples:
Gen. 8:6-9: “At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window which he had made in the ark [and released a raven. It flew to and fro until the waters had dried off the earth.]” But the raven did not return anymore.
Gen. 28:15 [Jacob’s dream]: “Behold I am with you and will keep you in all places you may go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you of.”
Did God leave Jacob after He had done what he had spoken to him of? Of course not. God remained with Jacob all the time.
Numb. 14:19: (Moses is praying for the people): “Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”
Did God cease to forgive His people from then on? Of course not.
Esdras 2:59-63: Regarding men claiming to be sons of an Israelite priest, but could not prove their genealogy, and so were cast out of the priesthood. “And Athersatha said to them, that they should not eat of the Holy of Holies, till there arose a priest learned and perfect.”
Were those cast-out men allowed to eat of the Holy of Holies after a priest learned and perfect arose? No, they did not. As they could not prove their genealogy, their condition remained the same.
Psalm 110:1: God says to His Divine Son: “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool” — Will the Son of God cease to sit at His right hand after the enemies are subdued? Of course not.
Job 27:5: “Till I die I will not renounce my innocence.” Did Job renounce his innocence after his death? Of course not.
Isaiah 22:12-14: The prophet Isaias is calling Israel to penance, but all they want to do is to enjoy themselves. So the prophet says: “You feast and celebrate, you slaughter oxen and butcher sheep, you eat meat and drink wine: ‘eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ This reaches the ears of the Lord of hosts — you shall not be pardoned this wickedness till you die, says the Lord, the God of hosts.”
Were those merry eaters and drinkers pardoned after they die? Of course not.
Isaiah 46:4: God says, “Till you grow old, I am.” Did God cease to be after the prophet grew old? Of course not.
Osee 10:12: “It is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Should the people cease to seek the Lord after He come and rain righteousness upon them? Of course not.
Phil. 1:9-10: “And this I pray that . . . you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”
Is St. Paul telling the people that they should cease to be sincere and without offense after the day of Christ? Of course not.
St. Paul to Timothy: “Until I come, be diligent in reading [the Scriptures] in exhortation and in teaching” — 1 Tim. 4:12-13. Is St. Paul telling his brother/son Timothy that he should stop reading the Scriptures after he comes? Of course not.
In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 9, we read the story of the man born blind, whom Jesus healed, and who was interrogated by the Jews. And “the Jews did not believe him until they called his parents” — John 9:18. Did the Jews believe the ex-blind man after his parents came? No, they did not.
St. Matthew (12:15-21) quotes Isaiah (42:1-4): “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoking wick he will not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory; and in his name will the gentiles hope” — v. 20. Will the Gentiles cease to hope in Him after He sends forth judgment unto victory? Of course not.
I saved the best quote for the end. We remember good King David, who married the beautiful Michol, the daughter of Saul the first king. They had a big fight, as it happens sometimes even among the best. But as Michol did not fight well, God punished her with childlessness: She did not bear children until she died — 2 Kings 6:23.
Did Michol start bearing children after her death? If she did, she was a very remarkable lady indeed!

+    +    +

“And he [Joseph] did not know her till she brought forth her firstborn son. And he called his name Jesus” — Matt. 1:25.
All that St. Matthew is saying is that the child was not fathered by Joseph. The Jerusalem Bible gives the right translation:
“Although he had no intercourse with her, she gave birth to her firstborn son.”
Conclusion: In biblical terms, the words, till, or until, do not necessarily bear the strict meaning given by those who wish to oppose the faith of the Early Christians about our Lady’s perpetual virginity. Their argument is inconclusive. Those words refer only to what happened before a given point in time, and say nothing about what happens after. In some cases yes, in other cases no. Those who oppose the teaching of our Lady’s perpetual virginity must go somewhere else to find their argument.
I finish with a conclusive quote: “There have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage [Matt. 1:25] that the Virgin Mary had other children than the son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later. But what folly this is! For the Gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph’s obedience and to show that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His Angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company [as husband and wife].”
Who wrote that? An Early Church Father? A medieval Pope? A contemporary lay apologist? No. it was John Calvin, the founding father of the Presbyterian religion (Calvini Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Braunschweig-Berlin, 1863-1900, Sermon on Matthew, 1:22-25, published in 1562).
Let Protestants of all orientations, especially Presbyterians, stop the folly and listen attentively to their founding father, who, at least in this aspect, retained the faith of the apostles of Jesus Christ.
Next article: Was the firstborn son followed by a second-born?

+    +    +

(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

Comment on this Article:

‘Quit Catholic schools if you can’t stand our principles’

The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu has dared students who cannot comply with the religious rules and practices in Catholic schools to quit and move to other schools, if they so desire. According to him,…Continue Reading

Robert McElroy Named New Leader of Roman Catholic Church

The new leader of the Roman Catholic Church Diocese in San Diego has been named. Robert W. McElroy, 61, an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco, has been named the new bishop for San Diego, which has about one million Catholics…Continue Reading

Catholic Schools Should Be Catholic, Even in San Francisco

Archbishop Cordileone is predictably blasted for a commonsense policy. If you care to learn how thin our conception of religious liberty has become, look to the Bay Area. In early February, San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone released a statement “regarding…Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: CARDINAL BURKE INTERVIEW WITH RORATE CAELI

burk10

Last week, Rorate Caeli interviewed Raymond Cardinal Burke via telephone on numerous topics. Nothing was off the table for this interview and His Eminence was incredibly generous with his time. He showed himself to be brilliant and yet filled with…Continue Reading

Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the…Continue Reading

Oil company hit man has Archbishop Cordileone in his sights

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 27, 2015 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Sam Singer’s public relations firm spun a Chevron oil refinery disaster in California and fought back a legal ruling in Ecuador that could have awarded billions of dollars to…Continue Reading

What about Henry VIII?

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35). It is true that Jesus did…Continue Reading

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical…Continue Reading

Imagine: A Catholic Archbishop!

If it weren’t so predictable, it would be infuriating, but because of that, it is infuriating to thinking people. It’s happening again as San Francisco drops the hammer – again – on the Catholic Church and especially Archbishop Cordileone. He’s…Continue Reading

As storm brews, San Fran archbishop strikes back at school guideline critics

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 20, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Politicians have targeted San Francisco Catholic schools’ teacher standards, but Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says they are a matter of Catholic mission and common sense. “Would you hire a campaign…Continue Reading

University of Scranton to end all abortion coverage

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – The University of Scranton plans to end employee health care coverage for abortions in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life of the mother. The Times-Tribune of Scranton (http://bit.ly/1JstU9i ) reports Thursday that the…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Worldliness Blinds Us To The Needs Of The Poor

(Vatican Radio) Worldliness darkens the soul, making it unable to see the poor who live next to us with all their wounds: this was the message, in brief, that Pope Francis had for the faithful gathered for Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Thursday morning. Commenting on the parable of the rich man, a man dressed “in purple and fine linen,” who “every day gave lavish banquets,” the…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: An Invitation To Do Good

pope731

(Vatican Radio)  God “generously forgives” those who “learn to do good”, but what he doesn’t forgive is “hypocrisy and fake saints”, said Pope Francis at Mass Tuesday morning in Casa Santa Marta chapel. Pope Francis said that there has never been any doubts that God prefers “sanctified sinners” – people who, despite their past sins, learn how to do a greater good — to “fake saints” – people who are more concerned with appearing saintly…Continue Reading

Pope: Jesus reveals himself, as the perfect icon of the Father

(Vatican Radio) Before the Angelus the Pope recalled Sunday’s Gospel on the Transfiguration in which Jesus “is at the peak of his public ministry. The Holy Father explained that Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, where the prophecies of the ‘Servant of God’ will be fulfilled. The crowds, he added, facing the prospect of a Messiah that does not fit their earthly expectations, abandoned him. They thought that the Messiah would be a liberator…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Judge Not

pope730

(Vatican Radio) It is easy to judge others, but we can only progress on our Christian journey in life if we are capable of judging ourselves first, said Pope Francis at Monday morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta. The readings of the day focused on the subject of mercy. The Pope, recalling that “we are all sinners” – not “in theory” but in reality – said that the ability to judge oneself is “a Christian…Continue Reading

Best Of Times Or Worst Of Times?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Last week, John Kerry seemed to be auditioning for the role of Dr. Pangloss. Despite jihadi violence across the Middle East and ISIS terror in Iraq and Syria, Kerry told Congress, we live in “a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally —…Continue Reading

The Good Pagan’s Failure

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY As Europe faces what seems to be a cultural crisis, a book written in 1939 comes to mind for its present relevance. It is Rosalind Murray’s The Good Pagan’s Failure. (1) Murray was the daughter of the Australian-born, British classical scholar Gilbert Murray, and the wife for 30 years of Arnold…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “Birth Control For Teens Who Are ‘Doing It Anyway’?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + If pressed, many “family planners” admit that, in an ideal world, all young people would…Continue Reading

Virginia Parish Calls On Catholics . . . Join In An “Affirmation Of Faith” To Pope Francis

By LISA BOURNE FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — A Virginia Catholic parish is publicly affirming Church teaching on marriage and its fidelity to the Church, while at the same time calling on Pope Francis to proclaim and defend the same. In the wake of the October Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome, St. John…Continue Reading

Egalitarian Chess

By DONALD DeMARCO A high school principal, let us imagine, who is thoroughly devoted to political correctness, summoned the school’s chess coach into his office. In that venue the following conversation took place. P: I think it is time to bring the game of chess into the 21st century. C: But chess is a timeless…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Practice Mercy And Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: 2 Chron. 36:14-16, 19-23 Eph. 2:4-10 John 3:14-21 In the second reading today St. Paul reminds us that God is rich in mercy. For this we are all most grateful because without that mercy we would all be headed to a very hot eternity. Sometimes, however, we get impatient…Continue Reading

It Looks Like Someone Is Trying To Shout Us Down

By JOSEPH CARDINAL ZEN ZE-KIUN (Editor’s Note: The widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless, according to Cardinal Zen, the archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong. He says that the key issues remain unresolved, namely, episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Root Of Faith Crisis In Rupture Between Life And Love

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Quite a few years ago, I went hiking in the Alps on the border between Italy and France with a group of reformed drug addicts and their family members. One father brought his two sons who observed my delight as I ran up to the snow line ahead of the group and collected fresh snow…Continue Reading

Are Statues Idols? The Meaning Of “False Idols”

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Seville

By CAROLE BRESLIN Spain is one of two countries located on the Iberian Peninsula. During the time of the Roman Empire, it was the Romans who first called this land “Hispania.” To this land the Romans brought the Latin language, civil organization, and law, as well as the Christian religion. However, as the Roman Empire began to crumble during the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

By CAROLE BRESLIN Christianity has never been warmly welcomed by the authorities in China, but that did not stop the missionaries over the centuries who have gone there to save souls. Christianity has existed in various forms since the Tang Dynasty (eighth century). The first reports of Catholic priests going to China go back to the 13th century. John of…Continue Reading