Did Jesus have brothers and sisters, or is Mary the Ever-Virgin?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Anna Scott, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Did Jesus have brothers and sisters, or is Mary the Ever-Virgin?

    What do you believe and why?

    Thanks to all,
     
  2. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    According to scripture he did and there was not other reference to our Mother Mary falling pregnant via immaculate conception, so my belief would err on side of caution and I would suggest it was wishful thinking on the part of some of the early Church Fathers.
     
  3. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    You already know my position. :D

    If we were sola sciptura, one might conclude that Mary had other children (though it is never explicitly stated). We're not, however. I trust the Early Church Fathers and the Tradition on this. Also, departing from the belief that Mary is Ever Virgin puts us at odds with both the other Apostolic Churches and the Reformers. If we did that with most issues, we'd be putting ourselves in pretty dangerous company. No offense to anyone who disagrees. After all, my entire family disagrees with me on this! :) I don't think that it's an issue of salvation (as Rome might), but I also don't see why we would abandon this tradition. I believe that the "brothers and sisters" are probably Joseph's previous children. They could even be cousins. There is nothing in Scripture's use of those terms that restricts them to our own definitions. Also, there's always the difficult issue of Jesus' entrusting of Mary to the care of St. John. Where is the supposed family? Why wouldn't they care for her?
     
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  4. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,
    I agree with you. All points valid and well taken.

    Recently, I found myself in a discussion with some fellow Anglicans, at my Parish (which was a complete surprise) who insisted Jesus had brothers and sisters, because of Bible translations that speak of brothers and sisters of Jesus. For some reason, these few people are completely disregarding Tradition.

    Peace and blessings----
     
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  5. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest that in Church history the concept of the perpetual virginity of Mother Mary was not taught or believed by the early Church Fathers and the fact that is wasn't until the 4th century that the belief became popular, that maybe it was all just wishful thinking. As I wasn't there that I know of anyway I don't know and I don't really put too much energy into the concept, I believe scripture leans toward the negative on the doctrine so bit it in my opinion.
     
  6. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    I would just like to point out something refreshing: the wonderful people on this forum express their positions with respect and charity, even in disagreement. :) This may be the last place on the internet where that is true, and it is really appreciated!
     
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  7. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,
    I agree. The members here are polite and respectful, even in disagreement.
     
  8. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    There is an interesting essay by Anglican Rev. Samuel Seabury D.D. published in the CHURCH JOURNAL of February 2d, 1859.

    Best to read the complete essay (it's not very long,) but here is a quote:

    Project Canterbury
    MARY THE VIRGIN;
    AS COMMEMORATED IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
    BY THE REV. SAMUEL SEABURY, D. D.,
    Rector of the Church of the Annunciation, New-York, and Professor of Biblical Learning, &c., in the General Theological Seminary.

    ". . . . .Thus every fact, every probability, and even every presumption, that we were able to glean from St. Luke, St. Paul and St. Jude, the three by whom alone our James is certainly mentioned, has been fully confirmed by the other authorities, excepting only one doubtful interpretation, which we qualified with a "perhaps," and which, indeed, was so involved in contradictions, that it may be said to have died before it was born. If James be the same as the son of Alphaeus, then, as we have shown, he had a brother named Jude, one of the original Twelve, and a mother named Mary, the same who accompanied Magdalene to the sepulchre; he was himself an Apostle, one of the Twelve—"a pillar" in the same sense as Cephas and John; he was, also, according to the Scriptural sense, a "brother" of our Lord. To attain this result, no text has been handled otherwise than is warranted by the ordinary common sense rules of sound interpretation; no hypothesis has been framed, that is not natural and easy; nothing has been assumed that has not an equal, and, so far as we can honestly judge, a superior, reason in its favor. . . . ."

    Also, the essay shows that the mother of James was named Mary, but not Mary the mother of Jesus.

    Any comments?

    Peace,
    Anna
     
  9. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Revelation & Scripture interpreted by the Holy Fathers in Council! That is the defining authority on theology for Anglicans, or should be!
    When we come to the subject of Our Blessed Lord, and His mother, the Early Fathers of the Seven Councils are quite clear
    1. First Ephesus, (431 AD.) Defined the Lady Mary as the ,Theotokos, i.e. The Mother of God.
    2. The Second Council of Constantinople, (381 AD.) referred to Mary as, “Ever Virgin “.
    3. Second Ephesus (The Seventh Council ) , Defined the Lady as, “ Spotless and Immaculate”.
    This isn't to say that either they or we supported the idea of The Immaculate Conception!

    As Anglican traditionalists we are obliged to accept the above input from the Councils. Some other things might be optional, but I can't see how we can claim to be Catholics and reject the Seven Councils.? Interestingly, the Anglican Fathers of the later reformation, Field, Laud and such called the Seventh Council a matter of manners, in that it dealt with the subject of Mary's ,'Children,' which question, presumably, they felt it unseemly to be dealt with in public.
     
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  10. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I don't agree with that all...

    It is through doubt and questioning views such as those that aid in our spiritual growth both as a community and as individuals. The interpretation of scripture is a living thing were dogma is stagnant and unable to grow. The actions of St. Thomas teach us that it is ok to have doubts and the questions that others won't ask, that is how we grow to a deeper understanding of God and his word.
     
  11. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Gordon, it is your privilege to disagree with the Body of Christ,or at least its Anglican Expression! Obviously,I do believe as did the Anglican Bishops at the time of the 16th, 17th, Century!
    1. Bishop Andrews in his Private Devotions which in many cases are taken from the Greek.. has these following words.
    “Making mention of the all holy, undefiled and most blessed Mary the Mother of God and Ever virgin, with all saints, let us commend ourselves and each other and our whole life unto Christ our God.”

    2. In a like manner John Bramhall, Archbishop of Armargh …...
    “We admit genuine, universal ,Apostolical traditions; as the Apostles Creed, the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God.
    (Works, ed , 1842 vol1. Pg 53.)

    3. Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor.:
    “She received the honour of being Mother to the Son of God and ever a virgin; and all generations shall call her blessed.”
    4.
    4. We believe the mother of Our Lord to have been not only before, but after
    His Nativity and also for ever, the most Immaculate and Blessed Virgin .....and although it may be thought sufficient, as to the mystery of the
    Incarnation, that when our Saviour was conceived and born His Mother was a Virgin.....yet the peculiar eminency and unparalleled privilege of that Mother, the especial honour ad reverence due un to that Son and ever paid by her and the power of the Highest, who over shadowed her and the singular goodness and piety of Joseph......have persuaded the Church of God, in all ages to believe that she still continued that same virginity and therefore is to be acknowledged the EVER VIRGIN MARY!
    There are many more instances. This is what we have built our Faith on over two thousand years , Scripture and its interpretation by the Holy fathers in Council! As for S.Thomas? It will not be the first error he has made.
     
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Dear Highchurchman,

    I think you are going just a tad overboard by suggesting I have the privilege to disagree with the Body of Christ, or at least its Anglican Expression. In all my years as an Anglican I have never heard any teaching within the Anglican Church supporting the doctrine of perpetual virginity of our Mother Mary. Nor does the Apostle Creed or the Nicene Creed suggest the doctrine of perpetual virginity of our Mother Mary. I believe that some people within the Anglican Church may hold to those beliefs but that does not mean it is the general belief of the Anglican Community.

    When I recite the Apostles Creed as I do often and as I recite the Nicene Creed as I do often I believe what it written in those creeds and no where in those creeds does it refer to the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of our Mother Mary.

    Blessings, Gordon
     
  13. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Gordon,

    First let me say that I have no wish to be offensive. But, you surprise me when you say," I have never heard any teaching within the Anglican Church supporting the doctrine of perpetual virginity of our Mother Mary"! Bishop Pearsons writings were the Anglican Standard. In the years of the later reformation it was ,'the ,'doctrine of the Anglican Bishops', it might have faded somewhat during the Hannoverian Wilderness. But by the years just before the last war it was back at the top, as they do say! , It is one of my opinions that after 1968, Anglicanism abandoned its beliefs and adopted either modern protestantism, or Romanism. Whatever the Apostles Creed taught, the Anglican Church,( which ,'interprets and explains,') according to the Archbishop of Canterbury about 1952, held no doctrines of its own, only the doctrines of the catholic Church at large. This is a bowdlerised version,, because I can't find the correct quote!
    Your last point is most interesting! I was made a Catholic at baptism, at the tender age of two weeks. I am in fact a ,'cradle catholic'. How-and-ever, I was taught and fully believe the prayer Book catechism where we are taught that after baptism we become, Members of Christ and Children of God.' Our beliefs and the way they evolve, are to my understanding,a result of our acceptance of the Apostolic Succession, which is not just about Catholic Orders, but about the orthodox Faith also.
     
  14. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    I'm really glad to find more activity on this thread. Interesting posts.

    Anna
     
  15. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Dear Highchurhman,

    You must remember though that we colonials and ex convicts were simple people. Maybe my Priests and confessors did not hold with the doctrine of perpetual virginity, but I do know for sure they did believe our Blessed Mother Mary conceived of the Holy Ghost. But no matter what I say or no matter what you say it won't change our views on this matter of dogma, I am a lot like our Blessed Father Francis I don't get locked down with dogma and theology I follow the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

    I read a quote on new age spiritualist site once that said:

    The TRUTH is the TRUTH no matter what you, I or anyone else believes...

    Blessings, Gordon
     
  16. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Gordon,

    The point is the the Bishops act through their priests and what the Bishops teach should be the original apostolic message received from Christ. As far back as Niceae, it was understood that the bishops simply put into words the received understanding of the early fathers. Just after Niceae, Vincent of Lerins in his Canon suggested that to find the truth one had to go back in time to the fathers, presumably acting collectively and not to individuals. This has ever been the understanding of the Anglican Church, as I understand it!
    You are quite right, the truth is the truth, but I would suggest that making every individual in to a modern day pope is not ,perhaps, the best way to achieve it!
     
  17. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Dear Highchurchman,

    I thought that is what would say, and yes I believe that everyone has the potential to be a modern day pope. It would probably breath some truth and beauty back into the Christian community.

    I love the rich liturgy of the Anglican Church and that is why I decided to start going back to an Anglican Church. As I have said in the past I enjoy liturgy of the High Church Anglican Mass and the I also enjoy the more modern liturgy of the Prayer Book for Australia. When it comes to questioning existing beliefs I go back to scripture and I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance I don't blindly believe the theology of any Church council has laid down be it ancient or modern.

    This discussion is now just going around in circles so I will make this my last post on the subject, in doing so I hold firmly to the Principles of the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis. This one talks about living in harmony with all belief systems:

    Blessings, Gordon
     
  18. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    I'd be interested in finding out the earliest sources we have mentioning Mary's perpetual viginity and the trustworthiness of those sources.
     
  19. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    In Anglicanism, there is a spectrum of beliefs. Some Anglicans are more Reformed and embrace more Protestant elements. Other Anglicans embrace more Catholic elements. As I have said before: Historically, we find an Anglican pendulum that swings back and forth between Catholic and Protestant beliefs. The swing of this pendulum seems to remain somewhat in flux. This will, of course, bring about disagreements within Anglicanism.

    I appreciate the comments. Hoping for continued discussion. :)

    Peace and blessings,
    Anna
     
  20. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    HI SK,

    I am sure if you were to do a Google search you would find references, I would again but I just don't have the time at the moment.