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Author Topic: Perpetual Virginity  (Read 28581 times) Average Rating: 0
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Athanasios
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« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2007, 07:36:37 PM »

Hello,

God bless !

Yes, this teaching was rejected.

In CHRST
I recall hearing about this teaching, but am drawing a blank right now. Who taught it and where and by whom was it rejected?
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« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2007, 07:38:53 PM »

I'm sorry, but I do not agree with that metaphorical interpretation of the text.

Well, that seems to be the essence of the difficulties here, doesn't it? For any text presented, you simply interpret in accordance with your preconceived notions and then decide to give these personal interpretations the force of dogma. Of course, this is the folly of any attempt to develop doctrine from scripture or fixed texts: they all require interpretation, so they're not particularly useful.

Perhaps you could give us a philosophical argument that negates te perpetual virginity of the Mother of God?
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« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2007, 07:41:52 PM »

Hello,
Other than an uber explicit scriptural verse that says "Mary was a virgin always, before, during, and after the birth of Jesus!", what other source of authority could we appeal to that you would listen to?

God bless !

I think the Scripture- with the explanation of the Fathers- is clear enough ! When you not accept Holy Scripture and the early Church Fathers, I also can't help you.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2007, 07:51:36 PM »

Cleopas, admittedly I haven't all of this but consider 2nd Samuel 6:23; would you suppose Michal had children after her death? It only indicates up to a certain point with no implications about afterwards.

Well, the historical event in that case is her death. Thus we know that upon her death her childless state was permanently sealed.

In the case of Mary I am not sure that the text is implying she remained a virgin all of her life. Rather that she remained a virgin after the conception, carrying, and birth of Jesus. She would have remained that way until Joseph and her physically joined.



Quote
The word "joined" just means they were then married rather than simply betrothed. It does not mean a physical joining. St. Demitrius the Vinedresser (12th Pope of Alexandria from memory if somebody can confirm please?) and his wife were joined in wedded union and yet both ever virgin.

As for the wedded state. I agree. They were married when they covenanted as man and wife (which in their culture was at the initiation of the espousal period).

Quote
Haven't time to reply more but have been discussing this one with an ex-SDA of your leaning who has stopped talking on this and went onto something else after I pointed out that it was up to him to show that St. Mary did not remain a virgin rather than for us to show that she did. We said nothing changed so if you want to say something changed then prove it please Wink

Point taken. Albeit that is what I have attempted to do. Admittedly I was not prepared for the position that she chose to remain sexually innocent. That was a curve I did not expect. I was looking more for the whole mystical physical virginity idea (the hymen remained through and after birth, etc.)

I can say my understanding of what you believe has been cleared up dramatically since starting this discussion.
I find it hard to believe that Mary remained a virgin though technically the wife of Joseph. It is possible, but not probable that a wife would do so. In fact, except the husband were unable to be sexually active it would be a wife's biblical duty to be available to her husband (and likewise for the husband to the wife).

Again, I will admit possibility. Though I seriously doubt probability.

Quote
The Church teaches St. Mary remained a virgin through birth! Have heard how the maids testified to this also.

To the best of my understanding the Scripture does not agree with the Church here. Christ was born a real, mortal man, just like everyone else. If he wasn't then it casts doubt and suspicion over the reality of his being fully human.

The Scripture says that in the fall woman would experience pain and sorrow in childbirth. Mary was mortal, like all of us. A daughter of Adam. There is no cause to believe she was shown respect of persons and given a free pass by a miraculous delivery.

In fact the Scripture says she brought forth -- that is she delivered her son the natural way all mothers typically do. So she labored and travailed, pushed and hurt, and delivered the Lord in birth.

Furthermore, I do not deny she remained a virgin through childbirth. I admit it. That is what I see eos confirming here. Thus her purity is confirmed from prior to conception up to and through out the birth of Jesus. However, that does not mean the hymen remained in place. The hymen is not undeniable proof of virginity or not. And anyone that has experienced natural child birth can tell you that the women dilates significantly prior to delivery, many times larger than the diameter of the hymen. Then the baby is larger than that often tearing the lower portion of skin between birth canal and the anus. When the baby came through, if dilation had not torn the hymen, the delivery of the baby (head and shoulders, and all) surely did.

That does not deny her virginity. But it does, at least for me, cause the Proto. of James to be highly unbelievable. Thus I cannot use it as an aid to better understand the teaching of Scripture.
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« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2007, 07:56:52 PM »

Hello,
Other than an uber explicit scriptural verse that says "Mary was a virgin always, before, during, and after the birth of Jesus!", what other source of authority could we appeal to that you would listen to?

Hi Athanasios,

I'm not sure. Of course, short of that, any source will not carry the same weight in my mind. But it could add perspective and insight.

Sorry to be a source of frustration for you guys. We really are world's apart on some things aren't we?
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« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2007, 08:15:00 PM »

As for the wedded state. I agree. They were married when they covenanted as man and wife (which in their culture was at the initiation of the espousal period).

I find it hard to believe that Mary remained a virgin though technically the wife of Joseph. It is possible, but not probable that a wife would do so. In fact, except the husband were unable to be sexually active it would be a wife's biblical duty to be available to her husband (and likewise for the husband to the wife).

Again, I will admit possibility. Though I seriously doubt probability.

To the best of my understanding the Scripture does not agree with the Church here. Christ was born a real, mortal man, just like everyone else. If he wasn't then it casts doubt and suspicion over the reality of his being fully human.

The Scripture says that in the fall woman would experience pain and sorrow in childbirth. Mary was mortal, like all of us. A daughter of Adam. There is no cause to believe she was shown respect of persons and given a free pass by a miraculous delivery.


God bless !

The Church and the Fathers teach that Her Birth- giving was painless and that the Most Holy Theotokos was a Virgin BEFORE and IN and AFTER the BIRTH GIVING.

" Before she that travailed brought forth, before the travail-pain came on, she escaped it and brought forth a male" (Is. 66:7)

I think one of first was St. Irenaeus who explained the painless birth-giving of the Theotokos.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2007, 08:27:56 PM »

" Before she that travailed brought forth, before the travail-pain came on, she escaped it and brought forth a male" (Is. 66:7)

Okay. Well then I am sure you will also agree with the implications of verse 9 of the same chapter.

Quote
9. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

Once the birth channel is opened (read hymen is torn, gone) does God put it back?

Fortunately for both of us, verse 8 tells us that Mary is not the subject of the prophet. Rather Zion (national Israel) is.

Quote
8. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.


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« Reply #52 on: December 06, 2007, 08:40:34 PM »

Okay. Well then I am sure you will also agree with the implications of verse 9 of the same chapter.

Once the birth channel is opened (read hymen is torn, gone) does God put it back?

Fortunately for both of us, verse 8 tells us that Mary is not the subject of the prophet. Rather Zion (national Israel) is.
 

God bless !

The Mother of God is often called Zion, Jerusalem ..... and this verse and of course others are interpreted in the mentioned way.

We should find a common fundament for discussion.

Scripture is a part of Tradition, without this Tradition you would not have the Scripture and this Tradition also tells us how to interprete it, otherwise we will interprete it wrong, according to our opinion.

In CHRIST

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« Reply #53 on: December 06, 2007, 09:35:19 PM »

Hello,

God bless !

I think the Scripture- with the explanation of the Fathers- is clear enough ! When you not accept Holy Scripture and the early Church Fathers, I also can't help you.

In CHRIST
That's just the point. Most Protestants I know will not hold anything to the same level as Scripture, which is usually coupled with their own (or their pastor's) interpretation. Even things that are quite explicit in Scriptures are done away with. Sad
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« Reply #54 on: December 06, 2007, 09:39:05 PM »

Hello,

Hi Athanasios,

I'm not sure. Of course, short of that, any source will not carry the same weight in my mind. But it could add perspective and insight.

Sorry to be a source of frustration for you guys. We really are world's apart on some things aren't we?

And we'd need a thread on whether Scripture is the only authoritative source of Divine Revelation.

I and others could quote hundreds of sources of the Church Fathers, Councils, exegesis - but if they are dismissed when they contradict your personal interpretation of Scriptures, where are we left?


Let me ask you - what is your problem with this doctrine? Is it that you think it contradicts Scriptures or that it doesn't seem logical to you?
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« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2007, 09:54:33 PM »

Hello,
That's just the point. Most Protestants I know will not hold anything to the same level as Scripture, which is usually coupled with their own (or their pastor's) interpretation. Even things that are quite explicit in Scriptures are done away with. Sad

God bless !

Many People interprete the Holy Scripture according to their understanding-but this is dangerous.
I think this is also the reason why there are so many different sects.

This is the reason why St. Peter 2 says:

1:20. Understanding this first: That no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

1:21. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost.

.........
3:16. As also in all his epistles (Paul), speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

So it is clear we should not follow our private interpretation.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2007, 09:56:32 PM »

Hello,

So it is clear we should not follow our private interpretation.
I agree.
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« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2007, 10:26:25 PM »

Hello,

And we'd need a thread on whether Scripture is the only authoritative source of Divine Revelation. 

We do have the thread on Sola Scriptura... we addressed other sources of Divine Revelation in that as well, but to no end, sadly.   Sad


I and others could quote hundreds of sources of the Church Fathers, Councils, exegesis - but if they are dismissed when they contradict your personal interpretation of Scriptures, where are we left?


You said this SO perfectly.  This is precisely the problem with Sola Scriptura, and precisely the reason that we embrace the tradition of the church.  I think I said in the Sola Scriptura thread (but I can't remember and don't feel like searching it out) that one of the biggest problems with Sola Scriptura is that it subjects the Scriptures to the reader's own will and worldview/opinion.  Of course, never mind that it also completely ignores the context in which the Scriptures were relayed and interpreted and just makes stuff up as it goes along...

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« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2007, 11:02:18 PM »

Once the birth channel is opened (read hymen is torn, gone) does God put it back?

Please, I don't mean this offensively or as a criticism...

I am very uncomfortable with discussing the hymen of the Theotokos and whether or not it was torn.  We Orthodox would never discuss her virginity in such a graphic way.  And personally, I hold to the belief that her ever-virginity means that she (and Joseph, since it obviously wasn't her own decision) chose celibacy.  Thus, the state of her hymen is none of my business.  Please, could we find another way to discuss this topic?  We Orthodox do not think of her virginity this literally, so discussing such graphic and intimate details of the Most Pure and Holy Theotokos is unnecessary.

I can say my understanding of what you believe has been cleared up dramatically since starting this discussion.
I find it hard to believe that Mary remained a virgin though technically the wife of Joseph. It is possible, but not probable that a wife would do so. In fact, except the husband were unable to be sexually active it would be a wife's biblical duty to be available to her husband (and likewise for the husband to the wife).

They would not have been concerned about this.  Joseph did not follow the laws of stoning Mary because he received the message from Gabriel.  Why would he have rejected such a publicly enforced law but kept such a privately enforced one?  And for what purpose? Sexual gratification?  I find that hard to believe.  They both understood the magnitude of what Mary's conception of Jesus implied.  They understood that it was not only life changing, but universe-changing.  I personally would find it hard to believe that they would have WANTED to defile the womb that bore Christ by giving into sexual desire.  Even today, there are many Orthodox couples that choose to live in "white" (celibate) marriages as a devotion to Christ.  Metropolitan Methodious of Boston commemorates them every time he commemorates at the Great Entrance in the Divine Liturgy.  If people today can do it... why couldn't the Holy Theotokos and Joseph, the Betrothed?

Again, I will admit possibility. Though I seriously doubt probability.

Isn't that what faith is about, though?  Believing, despite probabilities?  The need for proof is not faith.  Show me proof that the Theotokos was NOT a virgin...
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« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2007, 11:10:28 PM »

Please, I don't mean this offensively or as a criticism...

I am very uncomfortable with discussing the hymen of the Theotokos and whether or not it was torn.  We Orthodox would never discuss her virginity in such a graphic way.  And personally, I hold to the belief that her ever-virginity means that she (and Joseph, since it obviously wasn't her own decision) chose celibacy.  Thus, the state of her hymen is none of my business.  Please, could we find another way to discuss this topic?  We Orthodox do not think of her virginity this literally, so discussing such graphic and intimate details of the Most Pure and Holy Theotokos is unnecessary.



God bless !

I would request the same, please !

IN CHRIST
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« Reply #60 on: December 07, 2007, 12:17:38 AM »

Please, I don't mean this offensively or as a criticism...

I am very uncomfortable with discussing the hymen of the Theotokos and whether or not it was torn.  We Orthodox would never discuss her virginity in such a graphic way.  And personally, I hold to the belief that her ever-virginity means that she (and Joseph, since it obviously wasn't her own decision) chose celibacy.  Thus, the state of her hymen is none of my business.  Please, could we find another way to discuss this topic?  We Orthodox do not think of her virginity this literally, so discussing such graphic and intimate details of the Most Pure and Holy Theotokos is unnecessary.



Quote
I would request the same, please !

My apologies. I was actually trying to keep sensibilities to such in mind. That's why I have tried to use medical terminology where possible, without being overly technical. In my defense, it is your own sources that initiated biological discussion on this level. I assumed, because of that, such would be acceptable I used care.

I do apologies for any offense it may have caused you. That was not my intent. Please forgive me.
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« Reply #61 on: December 07, 2007, 12:29:52 AM »



My apologies. I was actually trying to keep sensibilities to such in mind. That's why I have tried to use medical terminology where possible, without being overly technical. In my defense, it is your own sources that initiated biological discussion on this level. I assumed, because of that, such would be acceptable I used care.

I do apologies for any offense it may have caused you. That was not my intent. Please forgive me.

No worries, brother!  And no need for defense.  Now we move on...  Smiley

In His Service...
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« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2007, 05:31:56 AM »

Let me ask you - what is your problem with this doctrine? Is it that you think it contradicts Scriptures or that it doesn't seem logical to you?

Both really. The two are interrelated for me. It does seem to be contradictory to the record of Scripture, a stretch at best (to me), and it seems to make exceptions and inferences of exceptions to other indirectly related scriptural subjects (i.e. the role of husband and wife, sexuality, etc. in marriage). I really have a problem with the idea of sexually void marriages, especially intentionally so and in the name of God. It just flies in the face of my understanding of the nature, purpose, and functions of marriage and sexuality biblically.

But most of all, for someone who holds to the primacy of Scripture as authoritative in all matter of Christian belief and practice, it just doesn't seem to square with the statement of scripture, at least at face value. You guys have given me some things to consider. But when I just go back to the text (which I know to be inspired and intended for doctrine, correction, reproof, etc.) and read it, it really seems such a stretch to make the concept work. Personally, I see the Orthodox views (and Catholic, for that matter) here as spinning the text in order to superimpose your tradition and perspective back onto the text -- as a source of authority and claim to continuity. To me, the idea is essentially contradictory to the plain reading of Scripture.

No offense meant. No offense taken. And I hope nope given. Wink
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« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2007, 05:55:18 AM »

Personally, I see the Orthodox views (and Catholic, for that matter) here as spinning the text in order to superimpose your tradition and perspective back onto the text -- as a source of authority and claim to continuity. To me, the idea is essentially contradictory to the plain reading of Scripture.

Perhaps you didn't see my question to you earlier in the thread. I'll repeat it here for you:

Cleopas,
I really mean no offence by this, but I'd like to know whether it ever strikes you as odd that in the early history of Christianity, things like the Ever-Virginity of the Mother of God were accepted as Christian doctrine, yet your "non-denominational" (if that's possible) approach to Christianity raises theological questions which were answered in the earliest years of the Church and throughout the history of Christianity? I mean, even the Protestant Reformation never questioned the Ever-Virginity of the Mother of God. Even John Calvin in his commentary on matthew 1:25 writes: "Those words of Scripture do not mean that after His birth they cohabitated as man and wife..." (John Calvin NT Commentaries Vol. 3, p. 71). and in answer to the question of Christs "brethren", Calvin writes: "In the Hebrew manner relatives of any sort are called 'brethren'...It is therefore very ignorant to imagine that Mary had many sons because there are several mentions of Christ's brethren" (John Calvin NT Commentaries Vol. 3, p. 71)
Do you think, therefore, that Christianity had it wrong for 1900 years, and suddenly, with the rise in American Evangelism the "truth" has somehow been discovered?
Do questions such as these ever come to your mind?
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« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2007, 06:47:18 AM »

Perhaps you didn't see my question to you earlier in the thread. I'll repeat it here for you:


Forgive me. I am rather "on my own" in these threads -- fending off questions from a plethora of on comers, singlehandedly!

*Cleopas ...slips into fantasies of super fora heroism.....*


OH! Uh, excuse me. Got lost in thought there.  Roll Eyes laugh


The short answer. Not really.  Undecided

Personally, since I find in the NT itself record of inroads being made into the life, belief, and practices of the primitive church. I don't place as much confidence in the writing of those after that generation, or hardly any in those after them, for sure. Scripture itself only lists one thing for me to know as absolutely authoritative in doctrine and practice -- Scripture itself. Other things aid me, and yet sometimes misdirect me (including my own perspectives and intellectual filters). But it, the Scripture, keeps on declaring the truth, and nothing but the truth, when nothing else does (even the church -- i.e. Rome differs with Constantinople). As for protestantism, evangelicanism, etc., I do not see them as discovers of truth. Rather as archaeologists (metaphorically) -- unearthers and restorers of truth covered over by centuries gone by. We see ourselves as rediscovering what was there all the time. Until that is perfectly uncovered and restored we will continue to err, and struggle.

We (all) see through a glass darkly. We (all) grow in knowledge and in grace.

So long as I can rest that my conscience is clear before God, that I am walking in the light of His word (as He is in the light) to the best of my knowledge and ability, then that is sufficient for me.
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« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2007, 07:23:25 AM »

Forgive me. I am rather "on my own" in these threads -- fending off questions from a plethora of on comers, singlehandedly!

And we love you for it.

Quote
*Cleopas ...slips into fantasies of super fora heroism.....*

Yeah, that happens to me too.  Especially on the fundamental forum
that I also post on.

I think I can relate to your thinking (being a former evangelical helps),
I'll post in a Sola Scriptura thread--since my comments have nothing
to do the prepetual virginity.

Ut oh,  I suddenly this desire to up put on that that cape on that is
hanging in the closet.   laugh
 
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« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2007, 08:16:07 AM »

Personally, since I find in the NT itself record of inroads being made into the life, belief, and practices of the primitive church.
Clearly, then, you accept that Scripture is the product of the Church, and not vice versa. What you need to find, therefore, is what the early Church believed about the Virgin Mary. The Protoevangelion of St. James (who is the Brother of Christ) mentioned by GreekChef gives you some insight into the belief of the "primitive Church", and it clearly holds a belief in the ever-Virginity of the Mother of God. To reject in on the basis that it is "not Scripture" would be ridiculous for two reasons: Firstly, the Canon of Scripture was determined by the Church (and not for some centuries after they were written), so again, the Church is clearly a greater authority than even the Scriptures, since the Scriptures depend on the Church for their existence. And secondly, we are looking at what the early Church believed, and the protoevangelion of St. James says that the early Church believed the Mother of God to be ever-Virgin.
Now, if you think that Scripture is a greater authority than the Church, we need to start a new thread on that. And if this is what you think, then I'd really be interested to hear what you have to say, because it might give me some insight into how you think.
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« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2007, 09:29:34 AM »

In Orthodoxy, Joseph is the betrothed of Mary not her husband. According to Matthew he awoke from the dream and took Mary as a wife but only to cover the law. In Luke's gospel she is still called the betrothed (Lk 2.5).

The word 'til' in greek leaves the future aside, Paul says to Timothy, " TILL I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine"(1Tim 4.13). Does that mean after Paul arrives he will no longer have to do these things?

The translation of Matt 1.25, "and did not know her" is incorrect. In the original koine greek this is written in the imperfect tense.  The imperfect tense represents continous action in past time, an accurate reading would be "and was not knowing her". The imperfect tense demonstrates an ongoing action in the past, that has never come to an end (ex: I was having), this  is the opposite of the aorist indicative (ex:I had). 

The correct understanding: "Then Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife and was not knowing her....."(Matt 1.24-25) Hence in Luke she is still being called the betrothed of Joseph.

When Christ was on the cross, He looked down, and committed the Apostle John to his Mother saying "behold thy mother" and "behold thy son". This act demonstrates that Christ was her only child, and that the disciple John who was the youngest was motherless.
The scripture says,  "And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home".(Jn19.27) If Mary had other children it would presuppose that she packed her bags immediately, moved out of James house without warning, and forsaken her other children for John. Likewise if it was an act of adopting John then John would have moved into Mary's and James house, not the other way around.  In fact such a thing was against the Mosaic law.

Many ancient writings attest to the ever-Virginity of Mary such as St Ignatius, "Now Mary's virginity and her giving birth, escaped the notice of this world, as did the Lord's death, these three secrets crying to be told, but wrought in God's silence".

Perhaps an even earlier text is the Odes of Solomon. Ode 19 mentions how Mary gave birth without pain.  Many date this writing to 90 a.d. In Orthodoxy , the Theotokos painless birth is part of many hymns of the services, she was a virgin before, DURING, and after Christ's birth.
 

 
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« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2007, 09:52:11 AM »

God bless !

I think the problem is, that you are speaking of marriage and sexuality when we are speaking of the Bride of God and the Mysteries of Christ's Incarnation - yes, it is important to believe in the Ever- virginity of the Theotokos because it depends on the Holiness of Christ/God who dwelt in Her and took his flesh from Her.

So the Doctrine of the Evervirginity of Theotokos is also a christological Doctrine !

Again:

+ the Theotokos was consecrated to God before She was borne -by her parents- it would be a great sin to break this vow.

+the Theotokos never thought of Marriage, we can see that in her answer to the Angel - How shell this be, since I know not man ........She is THE Virgin - not in a biological or moral sense NO- Virginity means to be free for God and to love him with the whole being.

+St. Joseph was her  Betroughed and not her Husband- he was her protector ( think how hard it would have been for the Virgin without Joseph- all the troubles and the persecution of the Christ Child, the filght to Egypt, and she would have been killed without him -for being pregnant

+it wouldn't be proper to have other children beside the God Child - Christ was not a "holy man" or a great Prophet, he was/is " TRUE GOD ", before him the universe is trembling and Cherubim and Seraphim are praying without ceasing HOLY HOLY HOLY, and the Theotokos was not like an unpersonal channel where Christ passed through without uniting with her and her flesh, She was one flesh with Christ and She loved only him with her whole being, all her life was only concerned about Christ - God, how could she be interested in a normal family life with husband and children after bearing Christ-the King of Glory. Do you think God wants to share his mother('s flesh) with other Children ? NO

She is also called the THRONE OF GLORY, do you think God would allow someone else to take place on HIS HOLY THRONE

She is the Tempel of the God, the City of God, the New Zion, the New Jerusalem, the Bride of God, the Queen standing beside God, ..........

You only have to read the OT and see the Holiness of the Vessels of the Tempel and that it was not allowed to profan them- it was not allowed to touch the Arc, or the Sinai when God spoke to Moses, it was not allowed to enter the Most Holy where God's glory appeared, it was not allowed to pass through the gate in the east because God passed through, do you also read how Moses was shining after speaking with God ? How much more shone the Theotokos - she did not speak with God - she conceived him in her womb and he took flesh from her - She was one with him -oh how must she shone, do you also read about God's horrible Glory  and seeing it was dangerous, Moses only saw the back of God's Glory and rejoiced to be still alive- the Theotokos did not only see the back of God's Glory, She was the Temple of his Gory, she was filled with His Glory do you see the great Difference ? And you think the Temple of HIS horrible Glory began to know man and a normal familiy life, this would be a great sin and a horrible profanation of God's Tempel?

But let's look to the Scripture:

Exodus:

3:2 And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire, and was not burnt. ( Symbol for the Theotokos )

3:3. And Moses said: I will go, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
 
3:4. And when the Lord saw that he went forward to see, he called to him out of the midst of the bush and said: Moses, Moses. And he answered: Here I am.
 
3:5. And he said: Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet; for the place, whereon thou standest, is holy ground.

3:6. And he said: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face: for he durst not look at God

Do you see how Holy even a Vision of God is ? And that Moses feared to look at God ?

Exodus 19:

19:11. And let them be ready against the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people, upon Mount Sinai.

19:12. And thou shalt appoint certain limits to the people round about, and thou shalt say to them: Take heed ye go not up into the mount, and that ye touch not the borders thereof: every one that toucheth the mount, dying he shall die.

19:13. No hands shall touch him, but he shall be stoned to death, or he shall be shot through with arrows: whether it be beast, or man, he shall not live. When the trumpet shall begin to sound, then let them go up into the mount.

19:14. And Moses came down from the mount to the people, and sanctified them. And when they had washed their garments,

19:15. He said to them: Be ready against the third day, and come not near your wives.
 
19:16. And now the third day was come, and the morning appeared: and behold thunders began to be heard, and lightning to flash, and a very thick cloud to cover the mount, and the noise of the trumpet sounded exceeding loud; and the people that was in the camp, feared.

19:17. And when Moses had brought them forth to meet God, from the place of the camp, they stood at the bottom of the mount.

19:18. And all Mount Sinai was on a smoke: because the Lord was come down upon it in fire, and the smoke arose from it as out of a furnace: and all the mount was terrible.
 
19:19. And the sound of the trumpet grew by degrees louder and louder, and was drawn out to a greater length: Moses spoke, and God answered him.

19:20. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, in the very top of the mount, and he called Moses unto the top thereof. And when he was gone up thither,

19:21. He said unto him: Go down, and charge the people; lest they should have a mind to pass the limits to see the Lord, and a very great multitude of them should perish.

19:22. The priests also that come to the Lord, let them be sanctified, lest he strike them.

19:23. And Moses said to the Lord: The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai: for thou didst charge, and command, saying: Set limits about the mount, and sanctify it.

19:24. And the Lord said to him: Go, get thee down; and thou shalt come up, thou and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people pass the limits, nor come up to the Lord, lest he kill them.

19:25. And Moses went down to the people and told them all.


Exodus 34:

34:29. And when Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was SHINING from the conversation of the Lord.

34:30. And Aaron and the children of Israel seeing the face of Moses horned, were afraid to come near

34:31. And being called by him, they returned, both Aaron and the rulers of the congregation. And after that he spoke to them,

34:32. And all the children of Israel came to him: and he gave them in commandment all that he had heard of the Lord on Mount Sinai.

34:33. And having done speaking, he put a veil upon his face.

34:34. But when he went in to the Lord, and spoke with him, he took it away until he came forth, and then he spoke to the children of Israel all things that had been commanded him.
 
34:35. And they saw that the face of Moses when he came out was SHINIG, but he covered his face again, if at any time he spoke to them.
Exodus 40:34

40:32. The cloud covered the tabernacle of the testimony, and the glory of the Lord filled it.

40:33. Neither could Moses go into the tabernacle of the covenant, the cloud covering all things, and the majesty of the Lord shining, for the cloud had covered all.


People even feared to come near Moses because his face was shining from the Vision of God-how much more did the face of the Theotokos shinig after bearing God ? And you think, when it is even fearful to look at the face of the Theotokos because of her God bearing, that she had known a man and had other Children and started a normal familiy life ?

Do you see that, to think SHE had a husband and other Children is to profan the HOLINESS óf GOD/ CHRIST !

Let me tell you again- it is very important to have a right understanding of the Glory and Holiness of the Theotokos because of Christ. To deny her Holiness is to deny Christ'S/God's holiness.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2007, 10:08:14 AM »

God bless !

And there are many ( sometimes hidden) verses, speaking of the Most Holy Theotokos- not directly of her Ever- Virginity but of her Holiness.

From the Canticle of Canticles

2:1. I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys.

2:2. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

2:10. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.

2:11. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.

2:13. The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:

3:6. Who is She that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer?

4:1. How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! thy eyes are doves' eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of goats, which come up from mount Galaad.

4:9. Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck.

4:12. My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up

4:15. The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus.

5:9. What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us

6:8. One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her.

6:9. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?

From the Psalms: 43

44:10. The daughters of kings have delighted thee in thy glory. The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.
 
44:11. Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and forget thy people and thy father's house.
 
44:12. And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty; for he is the Lord thy God, and him they shall adore.

44:13. And the daughters of Tyre with gifts, yea, all the rich among the people, shall entreat thy countenance.

44:14. All the glory of the king's daughter is within in golden borders,

44:15. Clothed round about with varieties. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee.
 
44:16. They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the king.

Psalm 45 :

45:5. The stream of the river maketh the City of God joyful: the most High hath sanctified his own tabernacle.

45:6. God is in the midst thereof, it shall not be moved: God will help it in the morning early.

Psalm 47 :

46:9. God shall reign over the nations: God sitteth on his Holy Throne.

47:2. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the City of our God, in his holy mountain.

47:3. With the joy of the whole earth is mount Sion founded, on the sides of the north, the City of the great King.

Ezechiel:

 44:1. And he brought me back to the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looked towards the east: and it was shut.
 
44:2. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut

44:3. For the prince. The prince himself shall sit in it, to eat bread before the Lord: he shall enter in by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.


In CHRIST
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« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2007, 02:55:09 PM »

Just a quick side-note question for GreekChef.  Do you cook really good gyros?  And what about pastries like baklava?  Grin

On a serious note though, you began to touch on the Protoevangelium of James claiming it was left to us by St. James himself.  What I understood about the Protoevangelium is that it was written probably by an anonymous Christian who wanted to share a third century view of the Virgin's story, and perhaps give some perspective on the Jewish Mishnah traditions being developed in the Syriac community.  But no one is sure of the authorship whether it be St. James the Brother of the Lord, some Christian who holds an oral tradition of St. James, or someone who happened to pen the book with James to add some importance or significance to it.

Has there been an scholarly study on the authorship of the book that may link the writings or ideas to St. James himself?

Thank you.

Mina
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« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2007, 04:34:56 PM »

Has there been an scholarly study on the authorship of the book that may link the writings or ideas to St. James himself?

I believe it dates to the mid second century, but if we're going to start judging books of scripture based on the time they were actually written and from that trying to surmise who the actual authors are, we may find more problems than we really want. Perhaps it's best to just accept the claims of authorship. Wink
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« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2007, 11:01:37 AM »

Hello,

Origen mentions it in his Commentaries on Matthew, so you know it is no newer than that!  Wink
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« Reply #73 on: December 09, 2007, 11:57:40 PM »

I believe it dates to the mid second century, but if we're going to start judging books of scripture based on the time they were actually written and from that trying to surmise who the actual authors are, we may find more problems than we really want. Perhaps it's best to just accept the claims of authorship. Wink

I hope I didn't come across as judgmental of books.  In any case, I know exactly what you mean, but I was just curious specifically about this one Wink
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« Reply #74 on: December 10, 2007, 04:09:45 AM »

The problem is a philosophical one.  Protestants view God as using something, not owning it.  I didn't get the difference until a couple weeks ago.  For example, in my old Protestant church the bread and grape juice would be thrown away or poured out.  They don't view it as belonging to God anymore.  An Orthodox would pass out at the equivalent sight.

Apply similar thinking to Mary.  God doesn't own her body, He's only used it to bring Christ into the world.  Once Jesus was born, Mary's body belongs to her and Joseph.  In an Orthodox mind, God does own things and His ownership is permanent.  Mary belonged to God and she continued to belong to Him even after she gave birth.  That's the reason why Mary's Ever-Virginity is obvious to Orthodox, but Protestants don't get it.

Doesn't tradition say that Joseph was elderly?  I would think Jospeh wouldn't have expected that sexual relations would be part of the marriage.
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« Reply #75 on: December 11, 2007, 08:18:23 AM »

I'm sorry, but I do not agree with that metaphorical interpretation of the text.

Peace and grace be with you Cleopas.

Why do you wilfully disobey 2nd Peter 1:20 and interpret the Holy Scripture privately without the wisdom of God's Church and historical facts?

Regarding some of your other comments, history tells us that St. Joseph was a widower in his 90s when the Lord Christ Jesus was born. He had no intent of having children with St. Mary. We have not changed this teaching throughout the centuries so it remains your responsibility to show otherwise though you are not able.

Women experience pain in birth because all men are conceived with the stain of sin as the Psalms and other passages affirm. Christ was conceived without sin and so there is no reason for His mother (the mother of God) to experience pain in birth.

You said that because Christ is fully human that He could not have past through St. Mary's womb. You neglect the fact that Christ is fully divine. Would you deny that Christ's other miracles are possible because He is fully human? After Christ arose he entered a locked room without any trouble. When Christ boarded the boat on the lake they were immediately at the shore. So we see that even in the human state Christ's divinity was not limited. At other times we see that Christ passed through a pressing crowd without any problems.

Perhaps you don't believe that Jesus Christ is God?
If this is so then all your other conversations here will be in vain.

Glad you have learned ought from being here though.

Pray for us please as we are sinners.

Helvidius' writings concering the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos appeared in around 383 AD, according to St. Jerome.  St. Jerome would then write his treaties De perpetua Virginitate B. Mariae; adversus Helvidium to refute Helvidius.

Could you please clarify in brief what Helvidius taught exactly? Thank you.

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« Reply #76 on: December 11, 2007, 12:43:53 PM »

Just a quick side-note question for GreekChef.  Do you cook really good gyros?  And what about pastries like baklava?  Grin

On a serious note though, you began to touch on the Protoevangelium of James claiming it was left to us by St. James himself.  What I understood about the Protoevangelium is that it was written probably by an anonymous Christian who wanted to share a third century view of the Virgin's story, and perhaps give some perspective on the Jewish Mishnah traditions being developed in the Syriac community.  But no one is sure of the authorship whether it be St. James the Brother of the Lord, some Christian who holds an oral tradition of St. James, or someone who happened to pen the book with James to add some importance or significance to it.

Has there been an scholarly study on the authorship of the book that may link the writings or ideas to St. James himself?

Thank you.

Mina

Mina,

I do like to cook gyros and baklava...  Smiley

As to your question, I'm actually not sure, I'll have to look it up and talk to my husband and see what he knows.  My understanding was always that it was left to us by St. James (or someone penned it for him, or was the oral tradition attributed to him...).  Cleveland might be able to answer this, though.  He's much more knowledgable in this area than I am.

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« Reply #77 on: December 11, 2007, 01:02:30 PM »


Doesn't tradition say that Joseph was elderly?  I would think Jospeh wouldn't have expected that sexual relations would be part of the marriage.


As I referenced before, the iconography of St. Joseph always depicts him as an elderly man, well past his prime.  And the iconography of the Church is also a means of revelation from the HOly Spirit to the Church.
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« Reply #78 on: December 11, 2007, 01:05:47 PM »

Hello,

I do like to cook gyros and baklava...  Smiley

How about Souvlaki?
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« Reply #79 on: December 11, 2007, 01:32:54 PM »

Hello,

How about Souvlaki?

And souvlaki...

You know, it's really not nice to remind me of the things I love to cook and eat in the middle of the fast!!!!!!!  Smiley

Just kidding.  Even though I don't eat them during the fast, I often still have to cook them for people who DO eat them... Sad
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« Reply #80 on: December 11, 2007, 07:19:31 PM »

Presbytera, please feel free to pass along some recipes!  Tongue
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« Reply #81 on: December 11, 2007, 07:21:03 PM »

Hello,

And souvlaki...

You know, it's really not nice to remind me of the things I love to cook and eat in the middle of the fast!!!!!!!  Smiley

Just kidding.  Even though I don't eat them during the fast, I often still have to cook them for people who DO eat them... Sad
That was thoughtless of me.  Embarrassed

You better pass me all the recipes and food so you're not so tempted.  Grin
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« Reply #82 on: December 11, 2007, 07:27:23 PM »

And souvlaki...

You know, it's really not nice to remind me of the things I love to cook and eat in the middle of the fast!!!!!!!  Smiley

Just kidding.  Even though I don't eat them during the fast, I often still have to cook them for people who DO eat them... Sad

Presbytera, please feel free to pass along some recipes!  Tongue

Pres Mari - go ahead and post some in the following threads:

Fasting Recipes
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11170.0.html

Feasting Recipes
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11177.0.html
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« Reply #83 on: December 12, 2007, 01:46:52 AM »

The Protoevangelium of James was authored around 150 a.d. Origen makes mention of it along with a lost Gospel of Peter which purportedly taught the same thing. The reason the author wrote in the name of James is because he would be the most likely candidate to know intimate details of Joseph and Mary.

The infancy narrative in the PJ is similar to a docetist account. One reason the early church had trouble with it and why we dont say Christ Passed thru her as 'light' or passed thru her like he passed thru the sealed tomb, although the latter would be quite Orthodox.

The avoidance of not tearing the hymen is saying she was a virgin "during" birth. In the near east, even to this day, virginity  is dependant on this, regardless if the female has been with a man. The preservation of Mary of the fruits inherited to all women thru  the fallen Eve for her disobedience was always an aspect of christology in the early church, Mary being the New Eve as Christ was the New Adam:

"He declared that the Word would become flesh. He declared that the Son of God would become the Son of Man. For the Pure One  opened purely the pure womb that regenerates men unto God. For He Himself makes it pure." -St Irenaeous 180 a.d.

The whole point is that Christ was without sin, thus the sinless One in the womb was not subject to the fruits of the fall. His incarnation overcame the ancestral curse of man and rendered the Theotokos womb incorrupt.

In the Orthodox Nativity Service we sing, "For God the All-Perfect is born a babe from her. and by his birth He sets the seal upon her virginity. Thru his swaddling clothes he looses the bands of sin and through becoming Child He heals Eve's pangs in travail.."

Perhaps the earliest written account of this comes from the Odes of Solomon possibly as early as 90-100 a.d.- "The womb of the Virgin took it, and she recieved conception and gave birth. So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.  And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, becausr it did not occur without purpose.. (ode 19.6-8)

All three examples demonstrates Christ in the womb incarnation preserved Mary's womb inviolate, not that she was born without ancestral sin. She was one with the rest of the  humanrace.

If the Virgin Mary ceased being a virgin later on, there would be no point to emphasis that she remained a virgin 'during" the birth. But because there was always this emphasis including the title "Virgin Mary" concludes she was ever-virgin.


« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 01:54:06 AM by buzuxi » Logged
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« Reply #84 on: December 12, 2007, 11:06:23 PM »

Thought this might interest people here. It's the Coptic Synaxarium reading for today (Thursday the 13th of December 2007 Gregorian calendar):
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Start of Reading
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      The Coptic Synaxarium Readings for: Kiahk 3

[1] The Entrance of Saint Mary into the Temple at Jerusalem

On this day we commemorate the entrance of our holy Lady, the Virgin, Saint Mary, the Theotokos, into the Temple when she was three years old, for she was dedicated to God.

Her mother, Anna (Hannah), was childless. The women who were in the Temple stayed away from her. She was exceedingly sad and so was her husband Joachim who was a blessed old man. She prayed to God fervently and with a contrite heart saying, "If You give me a fruit, I will devote the child to Your Holy Temple." God answered her prayers and she brought forth this pure saint and called her Mary.

She reared her for three years, after which she took her to live with the virgins in the Temple. Saint Mary dwelt in the sanctuary for 12 years. She received her food from the hands of the angels, until the time when our Lord Christ came into the world, and was incarnated through her, the elect of all women.

When she had completed 12 years in the sanctuary, the priests took counsel together concerning her, so that they might entrust her to someone who would protect her, for she was consecrated to God and they were not allowed to keep her in the temple after this age. They decided that she be engaged to a man who could take care of her and who would look after her.

They gathered 12 righteous men from the house of David of the Tribe of Juda so they might place her with one of them. They took their staffs inside the Sanctuary, and a dove flew up and stood on the staff belonging to Joseph the carpenter who was a righteous man. They knew that this was God's will.

Joseph took the holy Virgin St. Mary, and she dwelt with him until Gabriel, the Angel of the Lord, came to her and announced to her that the Son of God was to be incarnated from her, for the salvation of Adam and his posterity.

Her intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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End of Reading
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Pray for me please.
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« Reply #85 on: March 26, 2008, 06:14:10 PM »

Thanks. I had a feeling it was a translation issue.

Yes, I believe so, too. Even though I do not know Greek, I know that translating "eos" as "until" is not perfect. In the Ukrainian translation of the New Testament, done by Prof. Ivan Ohienko (directly from Greek - he never used English translations, and I am not sure he even knew any English!), Matthew 1:25 says:

І не знав він її, аж Сина свого первородженого вона породила, а він дав Йому ймення Ісус. http://bible.pp.ru/bible/ukr/40/01/

(Literally: and he did not know her, even when she gave birth to her firstborn son, and he gave him the name Jesus.)
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« Reply #86 on: March 26, 2008, 08:34:55 PM »

Hello,
Other than an uber explicit scriptural verse that says "Mary was a virgin always, before, during, and after the birth of Jesus!", what other source of authority could we appeal to that you would listen to?
I think the word study on eos showed that this is an explicit scriptural verse.
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« Reply #87 on: March 26, 2008, 09:04:20 PM »

Keep in mind that the verse in Matt 1.25, "And knew her not till.." in the original koine greek is written in the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense demonstrates continuous action in past time. A better translation would have been "And was knowing her not..."

Another words, Joseph was betrothed to her(Matt 1.18) and betrothal in the jewish custom forbade sexual relations. Later Joseph takes Mary as his wife to cover the law (Matt 1.24).

When put together Matt 1.24-25, "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did what the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him his wife, And was knowing her not......"

The word 'till' (eos) has already been discussed for the proper understanding. 
 
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« Reply #88 on: March 26, 2008, 09:26:25 PM »

I concur; past imperfect indicative refers to a continuous action in the past that has not necessarily ever been completed.  So to create a rather choppy but more acurate translation we could say " . . . and he was continuing not to come to know her even until and thereafter she was bearing the son her firstborn . . ." This makes for pretty tough reading especially if the whole bible were translated in this way.

Most translations opt for a literal word for word as much as possible.  This is a clear example where the meaning of the original Greek does not come through adequately in English.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 09:37:43 PM by Marc Hanna » Logged
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« Reply #89 on: March 26, 2008, 09:37:26 PM »

I think what we need to consider here is that if one is going to hang his or her theology on a single word that it should be backed up with a solid knowledge of the common Greek of the LXX and NT.
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