Proof of Mary's virginity

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by SolaScriptura in 2003, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
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    Poll about how you think God proved Mary to be a virgin at the time of Christ's conception and birth.
     
  2. CatholicConvert

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    I said I would explain in a post, yet I find myself explaining that which, at best, is speculative, since I was not there.

    There are several testimonials which could be used, but of most importance to me would be the testimonies of those who were with Her, i.e., Joseph, and that of the writers of the Scriptures.

    Deut. 22 does not apply:

    De 22:13 ΒΆ If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,

    14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:


    The reason this does not apply is that Joseph, according to Scripture, was minded to put her away QUIETLY. In other words, he was not going to make a STINK about it!!

    Next we have the testimony of Matthew:

    Mt 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

    23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.


    Now how did Matthew find this out? He did not become part of the band of apostles until our Lord was grown into full maturity and Joseph was most likely passed away. Either someone told him this, or he read the OT passages regarding the virgin birth and put 2 and 2 together from everything else he had heard.

    In the same manner, WHO told Luke? How did he find out? I think these are interesting questions that the "sola scriptura" crowd SHOULD answer, since the only thing the apostles had to deal with must have been the OT prophecies and word of mouth.

    One wonders also if the validation of Jesus as the Messiah also validated the virginity of the Blessed Virgin? In other words, could there have been a considerable amount of doubt regarding this in the minds of the apostles UNTIL they saw the miracles which validated Christ's Messiahship?

    Just some thoughts on an interesting subject, but one that really doesn't have a very clear answer to me.

    Brother Ed
     
  3. SolaScriptura in 2003

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    Your idea that Christ's miracles proved Mary to be a virgin is interesting....but seems a bit backwards to me...didn't the prophet say that the sign would be the virgin conceiving? In otherwords, the virginity of the mother at the time of conception was meant to prove that the son is the Messiah, the son being the Messiah was NOT meant to prove that the mother was a virgin at the time of the conception.

    To clarify what I meant by the option about Deut 22:17 since it may need some explanation: --If Joseph "knew" Mary after Jesus' birth, as Matthew 1:25 states, then she would have the opportunity to prove her previous virginity in the same manner as the despised woman in Deu 22:17 and spread the "cloth of virginity" before the elders proving that she was a virgin at the time of Jesus' conception. Now, she would not be proving it for the same reason as the despised woman, as you seem to have indicated, but nevertheless in the same manner.

    Now, I am not saying that she necessarily did this, but it seems that if she were an ever-virgin, then her virginity would be unproveable! Otherwise, it could actually be proven by physical evidence. If Mary were an ever-virgin, how could her virginity be proven without her being debased? But if she was not an ever-virgin, then her virginity could be proved in the afforementioned way without her being debased. I'm not saying that it was, but that's not the point anyway.
     
  4. raymond

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    SS>>>>
    Now, I am not saying that she necessarily did this, but it seems that if she were an ever-virgin, then her virginity would be unproveable! Otherwise, it could actually be proven by physical evidence. If Mary were an ever-virgin, how could her virginity be proven without her being debased? But if she was not an ever-virgin, then her virginity could be proved in the afforementioned way without her being debased<<<<

    Dear SS,

    If Scriptures and the early Church state that Mary was a virgin, would that not be enough proof?

    Since I am not having any luck with "Frank" on the other string, I would like your opinion regarding this related question:

    When Joseph, Mary's husband, refrained from having sexual relations with Mary before Christ's birth, we believe it was out of respect for the Holy Spirit who had over-shadowed Mary, and for Christ who took 100% of His Humanity from her and made her His home for 9 months.
    Is it fair to say that you do not see that, i.e. respect for the Holy Spirit and Christ, as Joseph's reason for abstinence? Why do you believe he abstained?

    your brother
     
  5. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
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    Well, there is an obvious reason why Joseph could not know Mary until after Jesus was born - Jesus was prophecied to be born of a virgin. How could you say he was born of a virgin if Joseph knew her prior to Jesus' birth?

    I think you need to better explain what you mean by respect for the Holy Spirit. You don't ascribe to the heretical view that Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit, do you?
     
  6. raymond

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    SS>>>Well, there is an obvious reason why Joseph could not know Mary until after Jesus was born - Jesus was prophecied to be born of a virgin. How could you say he was born of a virgin if Joseph knew her prior to Jesus' birth?>>>>

    Sola,

    There are reasons a prophecy is fulfilled other than the prophecy itself. Jesus' dying fulfilled all kinds of prophecy. Is that, in your mind, the only reason He died? Because it was prophesied? What about redeeming mankind? In the same way we believe that there was more going on with Joseph's abstinence than some kind of mechanical fulfillment of a prophecy.

    We believe the Holy Spirit's 'overshadowing', I am told that is the same Greek word used for the Hebrew 'Shekinah'-God's presence in the Tabernacle, caused Mary to become a sacred object much in the same way the Ark of the Covenant was sacred. She could not live a normal life after that any more than the Ark of the Covenant could be used as a steamer trunk.

    To get an idea of how we view the sacred, please allow me an analogy:

    What if Walmart were to offer to buy the Gettysburg battlefield? To be sure, Walmart would put it to a legitimate use, i.e. supplying us all with the goods we need. Nothing evil or illegal there. Do you think that would be an ok thing to do with 'consecrated' ground? We believe people can be consecrated just like ground can.

    your brother

    raymond
     
  7. LisaMC

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    SS,

    Excellent point and question!!! :eek: I'm one who has refrained stating unequivocally that Mary ever had sexual relations with Joseph, because Scripture is just too vague to state for certain. However, based upon the evidence that is given in Scripture, if a "she was ever virgin" or "she was not ever virgin" opinion was demanded, I would have to say she was not.

    This question sure gives us much more to contemplate. Thanks!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. LisaMC

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    Ed,

    You said:
    Really? Sola Scripturists tend to take the Bible at it's word, why should they have to answer this question?

    I wonder how Catholics tend to answer this since they consider Scripture to be lacking. If Scripture does not sufficiently answer this for you, upon what does the Catholic Church base it's doctrine? Catholics will have to go on and answer the question: "If Scripture isn't clear enough on this subject, how then did the CC go two steps further and pronounce Mary "ever virgin" and "Immaculately Conceived?" It appears you have more questions to ponder than we. ;)

    Then you said:
    This is a baffling statement coming from a Catholic. Hmmmmmm? :confused:
     
  9. LisaMC

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    raymond,

    I know you think this is a simple yes or no question, but it's not. I think Frank exhibited how, perhaps, a simple "yes" or "no" would not suffice when he asked you if you still beat your wife. A question you not-so-subtly ignored. ;)

    Anyway, your question is determinant on a few details to which we actually may not have the answers. Some things we may never have the answers to in our life on earth. As Iraneaus said:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=reply;f=28;t=001621

    So, first I would ask: 1) Would it have been common for a Godly man like Joseph to demand his privileges from his expecting wife? 2) Was sex among Jewish couples in this time period mostly for reproduction?

    Besides those two issues, I have absolutely no problem acknowledging that Joseph, knowing that Mary bore the Christ, would have respectfully abstained from exercising his husbandly rights until the Christ was born. Why should he have refrained after Mary was no longer with child? She was not a God or Holy object. Do you deny that Joseph was aware of the prophesy that the Messiah would be "born of a virgin?" Would this not have given him a reason to abstain? He would have had to know that Mary must remain a virgin at least until Jesus was born.

    The point and truth is we just do not know and may never know. [​IMG]
     
  10. raymond

    raymond
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    lisamc>>>> I have absolutely no problem acknowledging that Joseph, knowing that Mary bore the Christ, would have respectfully abstained from exercising his husbandly rights until the Christ was born. Why should he have refrained after Mary was no longer with child? She was not a God or Holy object. Do you deny that Joseph was aware of the prophesy that the Messiah would be "born of a virgin?" Would this not have given him a reason to abstain? <<<<

    Lisa, I am afraid I have to disagree when you say Mary was not a Holy object. I don't see how you could possibly maintain that Mary's womb, being in constant contact with the Most Holy for a period of 9 months, would not be sacred. If Mary's womb was not a holy object, then neither was the Tabernacle, nor the Ark of the Covenant,
    nor the Temple.

    Unless you are with the crowd that says there are no holy objects, that all objects should be treated with the same regard or disregard, that it is ok to build a bowling alley over Bull Run
    or a grocery store over Gettysburg, then I don't see how that 'respect' which kept Joseph from consumating his marriage would suddenly cease after Christ was born.

    Lisamc>>>I'm one who has refrained stating unequivocally that Mary ever had sexual relations with Joseph, because Scripture is just too vague to state for certain<<<<

    Lisa, since the Scriptures are 'too vague' why do you suppose people like Frank and Sola insist that they know for a fact that Mary did not remain a virgin? Is it too much television or what?

    raymond
     
  11. LisaMC

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    :mad: raymond,

    Twice I've typed out long responses to you and lost it. So, I'm taking a break before I pull out my hair. I'll get back to you afterwhile.

    Lisa
     
  12. trying2understand

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    Just a random thought after reading this and the related thread.

    Since God instructed man to "go forth and multiply", why is it assumed that the admonishment not to deny your partner is primarily about sexual pleasure and not procreation?

    In biblical times, and in many parts of the world today for that matter, the quality of the end of your life may rely very heavily upon whether you had children or not. To deny your partner children could be a very serious thing.

    Is it an American cultural thing to automatically think it is about pleasure?
     
  13. CatholicConvert

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    Lisa --

    Okay. Pretend you are a first century believer. Jesus is preaching to the crowds.

    Explain to me now HOW you prove to your family that He was born of a virgin.

    Do it from Scripture alone as a "sola scripturalist".

    HINT: There is no NT yet. Therefore, there is no Lukian narrative, there is no other narrative to use as "proof text" of the virgin birth. There is, in fact, only one very obscure verse. Now prove that this young maiden, among all the others in Jerusalem at the time, was the one, from that verse alone and without any other corroborating evidence.

    This should be rich. [​IMG]

    Brother Ed
     
  14. CatholicConvert

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    Uhhhhh, sola.....The Holy Spirit did to the Blessed Virgin the same thing a husband does to a wife....He placed the seed of life within Her. The Child She bore was the result of the union of Her flesh to His life giving seed, and was part of both of them, fully man and fully God.

    That makes Her His spouse in every sense of the word I can think of.

    What, I ask you, is so heretical about that idea?

    Brother Ed
     
  15. Johnv

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    FYI -

    Don't forget that being a unmarried and giving birth to a child was punishable by death, and also brought disgrace to the family. It makes no sense that such an account would have been fabricated, as admitting that Jesus' mother was unmarried would have certainly brought shame unto the house of Mary. Had the account been fabricated, they would have written the account to have mary become pregnant after her marriage to Joseph, not before. But the Gospelwriters did not write it that way, because that's not what happenned. They chose to write the truth at the risk of shaming Mary, rather than write a lie.
     
  16. LisaMC

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    Ed,

    Okay.

    I can't as far as convincing others that she was. But, Joseph can possibly vouch for her purity.

    Being a sola scripturist, I may not have access to the NT, but am aware of the prophesies of the OT. So, once I accepted that Jesus was the Messiah, based upon more evidence that Mary's supposed virginity, I would accept that Mary was a virgin simply because Scripture said that Jesus would be born of a virgin. I do not need evidence. I have faith in God's promises and word.

    Ed--do you recall me ever stating that Mary's virginity could or could not be proven, by anyone other than Joseph?

    Well, Ed, I don't think that anyone was convinced of Jesus' identity based upon Mary's virginity. I think it was the miracles He performed, as well as the other "clues" prophesied in the Old Testament. We know that Mary claimed to be a virgin and Joseph apparently believed that she was. Then there's always the question, did the events in the NT occur as prophesied, or did they occur because of prophesy?" Get my point? ;)

    Basically, Chistian belief simply boils down to faith. Many things may be doubted, questioned, etc . . . but once one attains a certain amount of faith, things fall into place.

    I'm sure you were disappointed. However, I await your method of proving Mary's virginity. Since, you believe there is infallible external evidence in addition to scripture, could you tell us what it is.

    God Bless!!

    Lisa
     
  17. LisaMC

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    raymond, do you consider every object touched, piece of bread touched, cup drank from, person healed, touched, or embraced, place stepped on, places walked on; sat on, slept on, by Jesus to be holy or sacred? If so, then how were these things allowed to be touched by anyone after Christ touched them? Mary was a person, not a piece of land. Your analogies and arguments in regards to Bull Run or the Gettysburg battlefield do her no justice. Don't you realize that to refuse that Mary was a common sinner just as you, I and every other sinner Jesus personally touched is to belittle the intent of God by being born of a "woman?" You take away from Jesus' humanity and the whole purpose of Him becoming human.

    If Mary was a thing like the Ark of the Covenant or the Tabernacle, then nobody would have been able to touch her, not even a hug. How would she have been allowed to perform menial tasks? Not to mention the unmentionable, eating and digesting food. That means she urinated and defecated. Would a holy object have been able to do that? If so, then why would performing marital relations with her husband have been wrong or not allowed?

    Scripture established the Ark and the Tabernacle as "holy." Scripture forbade the Ark being touched or the Tabernacle being entered by anyone other than those specified. Did Scripture ever say that Mary could not be touched by her husband?

    This is why Jesus made it a point to downplay Mary in Scripture.

    Luk 11:27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

    Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

    Mat 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

    Mat 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

    Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.


    He knew that as a result of our love and devotion to Him, it would only be human nature to seek to exalt His mother.

    I guess I am.

    You know, the only reason we would not build a bowling alley on Bull Run is out of desire to preserve history. Not because we consider the land holy or sacred. Joseph may have considered himself unworthy of exercising his husbandly rights upon Mary. We just have no way of knowing that for certain.

    First, from what I read on this thread by Sola, I didn't see him (or her) stating factually that Joseph and Mary had sex. I can see where people do infer from Scripture that they in fact did. Personally, I recognize there is room for question.

    God Bless!

    Lisa
     
  18. LisaMC

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    T2U,

    Ahhh!! Exactly my point!! Only you said it much better than I. If denying your partner sex is denying him/her the ability to procreate, then there is no reason to assume that Joseph would have demanded or expected his husbandly rights from Mary if she was already with child.

    God Bless!!

    Lisa
     
  19. Armando

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    A different prespective:

    Many texts in the OT pre-figure things that are fulfilled in the NT. Considering this, we see that an angel appears and announces the birth of a child only three times prior to the anunciation of Our Lord.

    The first time is to Abraham, Sara will conceive a child (Isaac). Sara only had one child. (Gen 18,10)

    Next is the annunciaton of Samson (Judges 13,3). It seems that Samson was an only child

    The third one, is John the Baptist (Lk 1,31)and Elizabeth only had one child too.

    All these three are prefigures of Our Lord. All were announced by an angel. So, everytime an angel announces the birth of a child, it is always ONE, except for Our Lord. Does it make sense?

    Thanks

    Armando

    [ April 29, 2003, 10:20 PM: Message edited by: Armando ]
     
  20. Dualhunter

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    Sarah only had one child but Abraham had other children. Jesus is the unique Son of the Father, his mother Mary had other children.
     

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