Saturday 2nd August 2014

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:

CATHOLIC BISHOPS SAY AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IS ‘PRO-LIFE’

Some Catholic bishops have recently suggested that granting amnesty to illegal immigrant children from Central America is consistent with “pro-life” Catholic teachings. As reported in National Catholic Register, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh said that providing for the needs of the…Continue Reading

Virginia’s Ban On Same-sex Marriage Struck Down

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the…Continue Reading

FEARING OBAMA UNILATERAL AMNESTY THREATS, TEA PARTY JAMS CONGRESS’S PHONE LINES

The phone lines are jammed. The American people have risen up in response to a rallying cry from Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), overloading the phone lines on Capitol Hill to pressure their members of Congress to…Continue Reading

Pope acknowledges Catholic complicity in persecution of Italian Pentecostals

Pope Francis has fulfilled a request of the Italian evangelical community by recognising the complicity of some Catholics in the fascist-era persecution of Italian Pentecostals and evangelicals. “Among those who persecuted and denounced the Pentecostals, almost as if they were…Continue Reading

The Church Needs To Stop Taking Government Money

by ELISE HILTON on FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014 Phil Lawler at CatholicCulture.org voices what should be obvious: that by taking federal money and grants, the Catholic Church has put herself in a very awkward place. Money from the government always comes with strings attached,…Continue Reading

U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans

By FRANCES ROBLES and MICHAEL D. SHEARJULY 24, 2014 Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making…Continue Reading

Marco Rubio To Take On Abortion and Gay Marriage in Catholic U Speech

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) plans to take on social and cultural issues in the latest installment of his policy speeches outlining a new conservative agenda. “Senator Rubio will discuss the values needed for economic success in the 21st century: values like…Continue Reading

USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order

The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be…Continue Reading

Dallas-Fort Worth Catholic leaders appeal for legal help in border crisis

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell (center) and Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson on Monday asked for volunteers to assist with a “humanitarian crisis.” By DIANNE SOLÍS Staff Writer dsolís@dallasnews.com Published: 21 July 2014 10:32 PM Updated: 22 July 2014 12:21 AM Dallas Catholic…Continue Reading

Iraq Catholic leader says Islamic State worse than Genghis Khan

By Dominic Evans and Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Iraq’s largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who…Continue Reading

CHRISTIAN HOLOCAUST UNDERWAY IN IRAQ, USA AND WORLD LOOK ON

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000. In a…Continue Reading

Vancouver Catholic Schools Adopt Transgender Policy

James Keller, The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:20PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:24AM EDT VANCOUVER — Catholic schools in Vancouver have adopted a policy that could allow transgender students to use the pronouns, uniforms…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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

UK’s Supreme Court Makes Unprecedented Advances to Legalize Assisted Suicide

Concerns Raised: Laws Should Be Based on Common Sense, Not Misguided Feelings London, July 31, 2014 (Zenit.org) By Robert Clarke of Alliance Defending Freedom The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision at the end of June concerning assisted suicide. In R (Nicklinson & Anor) v. Ministry of Justice; R (AM) v. DPP, the court ruled that Britain’s law, which criminalizes assisted…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . St. Thérèse Of Lisieux: A Best-Loved Saint

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 2 This is the second article about St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and deals with her later life, death, and subsequent influence throughout the Catholic world. (See The Wanderer, July 10, 2014, p. 3B for part one.) After a delay of eight months because of her youth, Thérèse was able to…Continue Reading

Catholicism And Hypocrisy On “Gay Pride”

By DONALD DeMARCO Should Catholic teachers march in Toronto’s annual Gay Pride parade? This is the question that has caused considerable controversy and division with the ranks of Ontario Catholics. The Catholic teachers union voted to send as many as 100 teachers to the parade. On the other hand, Fr. Fred Scinto, CR, an adviser…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: YWCA”

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 this article with footnotes, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + If you live in a larger town or city, you probably have at least one YWCA chapter sponsoring a…Continue Reading

What If Democracy Is A Fraud?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if you were allowed to vote only because it didn’t make a difference? What if no matter how you voted the elites always got their way? What if the concept of one person/one vote was just a fiction created by the government to induce your compliance? What if democracy as…Continue Reading

The Day Of The Hawk

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie was premeditated mass murder. Qadhafi was taking revenge for Reagan’s raid on Tripoli in 1986. The downing of KAL 007, flying from Anchorage to Seoul, was mass murder in the second degree. Seeing an aircraft intrude into Russian air space, Soviet officers brutally…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding our July 24 column, the following comments were sent by J.P.N. of Massachusetts, a former scoutmaster: “The admission of ‘gay’ boys in Scouting goes deeper than most understand. Part of it concerned donations — the United Way stopped funding Scouting because Scouting didn’t want to accept ‘gays.’ Public land used by Scouting for years in San Diego…Continue Reading

Keep Your Eyes On The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a Romans 9:1-5 Matt. 14:22-33 We live today in a world of assumptions. We assume that people are a certain way just because they came from a certain place, because of the color of their skin, because of their cultural background, or whatever other factors…Continue Reading

Statement At The Human Rights Council . . . Consciences Are Paralyzed By A Climate Of Violence

By MOST REV. SILVANO TOMASI GENEVA (ZENIT) — Below is a statement by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. He gave the statement in Geneva on July 23 at the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the occupied…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Iraqi Christian Witness In Face Of Genocide Inspires

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “O Lord, my God, in thee have I put my trust; save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. Lest at any time he seize upon my soul like a lion, while there is no one to redeem me, nor to save” (Psalm 7). The words of the psalm express the perennial…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND de SOUZA, KM Part 4 The Pharisee and the publican — improvised prayer and repetitive prayer: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and began to pray thus within himself: ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men,…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 After establishing the house at Villa degli Schiavi, Alphonsus stayed there, conducting many of his missions from this site. For the previous five years he had become widely known for his missions and sermons, bringing many Catholics back to the Catholic faith. While Alphonsus is well known as a moral theologian and for his writings,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, having read the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori, took him as a mentor. It is not surprising, then, that Fr. Hardon taught his students, “If you are not encountering the cross, you are not doing God’s work.” Such were the lives of saints such as St. Teresa of Avila, St.…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading