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Author Topic: The Final Proof: Mary had several children.....  (Read 6607 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthonorm
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« Reply #135 on: March 06, 2013, 12:07:48 PM »

However, the Fathers such as St. Irenaeus, St. Vincent of Lerins and others certainly claimed that the orthodoxy of the Church was due to her faithfully transmitting the Apostolic faith from generation to generation. St. Irenaeus said the following:
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The Church, which has spread everywhere, even to the ends of the earth, received the faith from the apostles and their disciples....The Church, spread throughout the whole world, received this preaching and this faith and now preserves it carefully, dwelling as it were in one house. Having one soul and one heart, the Church holds this faith, preaches and teaches it consistently as though by a single voice. For though there are different languages, there is but one tradition.The faith and the tradition of the churches founded in Germany are no different from those founded among the Spanish and the Celts, in the East, in Egypt, in Libya and elsewhere in the Mediterranean world. Just as God’s creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church’s preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to a knowledge of the truth. Against Heresies
So the Church certainly believed that changing the Deposit of the Faith meant corrupting it.

You aren't taking properly the notion of the Church, faith, etc, thus you are drawing the wrong conclusions.

There is but one Church. One Faith. And over time that faith in terms of how it is understood in time and place has changed. To argue otherwise is just to be blind.

Thing is the Church and the Faith is that which is held within the entirety of the Church which has not yet been expressed within time.

St. Paul knew this. Mirror darkly and all that.
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« Reply #136 on: March 06, 2013, 12:08:04 PM »

The "final proof" title of the thread is an attention seeking device to get folks to read what I put in it, to consider their beliefs in the light of the text I quote, and so I can find out what orthodox say about it.  My belief is not the final proof of anything, what God says is
And how do you know what God says?
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« Reply #137 on: March 06, 2013, 12:10:06 PM »

"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726

I think your questions are fair enough. But you have a very bad fact that you must tackle from the 5th Ecumenical Council:

Quote
The Capitula of the Council.

I.If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons:  let him be anathema.  For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things.

II.If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her:  let him be anathema.

If you are right that Scripture does not allow for the ever-virginity of the Theotokos, than the Church universal fell into significant error and material heresy rather quickly, manifesting itself in its declaration of an anathema at the 5th Ecumenical Council.

However, that would suggest that the Church was not the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). Christ promised He would be with the Church always: "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matt 28:20). So, if you are right, that would suggest that either Christ was not truthful, or that He was trying to be truthful but that He was ineffectual and impotent. Either way, I cannot imagine following that sort of Jesus.

Moreover, given that the Church universal disagreed with your interpretation (as expressed in this Council and at the 4th Ecumenical Council), you are effectively putting yourself above the Church in your understanding of Scripture. Scripture is our most reliable, "infallible" authority for Christian faith and praxis, but it is a material authority. Scripture does not interpret itself any more than the American Constitution interpretes itself. Both need a formal authority to do so. You have made yourself a formal authority above the Church, which begs the question: On what basis is your understanding of Scripture more normative than that which was believed "everywhere, always by everyone" in the Church.

St. Vincent of Lerins warns us that the worst heresies of the Early Church arose when individuals tried to interpret Scripture apart from the Church:
Quote
"But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters .For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another.Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation".A Commonitory by St. Vincent of Lérins

The Holy Spirit never left the Church and we have no reason to believe she fell into universal error. The Church is the Bride of Christ and she is trustworthy. We should therefore interpret Scripture as she does.
If this is about interpreting the Holy Scriptures, exactly which scripture are you interpreting when you proclaim the perpetual virginity of Mary?
If you see Psalm 68 as prophetic of the Christ, then why do you not see Ezekiel 44:1-3 as prophetic of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos?
Well we know from the New Testament that the psalm has to do with Christ, and I gave you the scripture for that.
That doesn't make it prophetic of Christ as you envision prophecy to be.

We do not know from the New Testament that Ezekiel 44 has anything whatsoever to do with Mary or her alleged perpetual virginity.  Are you saying that this gate is a type of Mary's womb?  It seems very far-fetched
We do know what the Church says about this verse, since this prophecy of Ezekiel is read in very great feast of the Theotokos.
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« Reply #138 on: March 06, 2013, 12:56:43 PM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Personally, I think it's important to recognize her as one of the great saints of Christian/Jewish history, but her sex life (after the birth of Christ) is utterly unimportant. Maybe I have this opinion because I'm missing something?

Honest Question:

What is the importance to the Lutherans that she was a virgin when Christ was born? It seems utterly unimportant.
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« Reply #139 on: March 06, 2013, 12:58:56 PM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Personally, I think it's important to recognize her as one of the great saints of Christian/Jewish history, but her sex life (after the birth of Christ) is utterly unimportant. Maybe I have this opinion because I'm missing something?

Honest Question:

What is the importance to the Lutherans that she was a virgin when Christ was born? It seems utterly unimportant.

Nowadays, you might not get the answer to that one that you're expecting, unfortunately. I've known staunch Lutherans who would say it's not all that important - and yes I was as shocked as you would be.

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« Reply #140 on: March 06, 2013, 01:11:59 PM »

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Dedication to being set apart to fulfill her role as the Mother of God.

Would you use a Communion chalice for anything other than Communion?
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« Reply #141 on: March 06, 2013, 01:13:07 PM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Personally, I think it's important to recognize her as one of the great saints of Christian/Jewish history, but her sex life (after the birth of Christ) is utterly unimportant. Maybe I have this opinion because I'm missing something?

Honest Question:

What is the importance to the Lutherans that she was a virgin when Christ was born? It seems utterly unimportant.

Isaiah 7:14
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« Reply #142 on: March 06, 2013, 01:17:29 PM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Personally, I think it's important to recognize her as one of the great saints of Christian/Jewish history, but her sex life (after the birth of Christ) is utterly unimportant. Maybe I have this opinion because I'm missing something?

In the same sense the chalice used for the Eucharist will never be used as a beer mug.
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« Reply #143 on: March 06, 2013, 02:04:09 PM »

Leaving aside scripture, Orthodox hymnography, Church dogmas and doctrines for a moment, do you really believe freddief that Joseph after the dream he had with the angel appearing and explaining to him, that the child, his pregnant young-bride-to-be, carried in her womb, was the Messiah conceived miracuously by the Holy Spirit, and after the second dream he had with the angel advising him (or rather instructing him) to take the young mother and her newborn child and flee to Egypt to avoid persecution and death, the same pious, first century God-fearing Jew, would erase all that, move on and sleep with the woman who gave birth to God?
You are thinking like a 21st century westerner with no sense of awe or fear, before the Sanctity and Holiness of God.
No pious first century Jew, with a basic knowledge of holy scripture, who knew what had happened to Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant-which was nothing more than a bier containing tablets made of stone-would have EVER touched that woman who was the living ark and contained GOD HIMSELF.
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« Reply #144 on: March 06, 2013, 02:10:51 PM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Personally, I think it's important to recognize her as one of the great saints of Christian/Jewish history, but her sex life (after the birth of Christ) is utterly unimportant. Maybe I have this opinion because I'm missing something?

Honest Question:

What is the importance to the Lutherans that she was a virgin when Christ was born? It seems utterly unimportant.

Isaiah 7:14

LOL.

That means maiden and not virgin, according to that Masoretic text that Luther so loved. A young lady. Next.

BTW, Luther seemed to think that her ever-virginity was utterly important, but whatever.

"When Matthew [1:25] says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her . . . This babble . . . is without justification . . . he has neither noticed nor paid any attention to either Scripture or the common idiom." Luther, Church Father of the Lutherans
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« Reply #145 on: March 06, 2013, 02:17:44 PM »

Yawn Roll Eyes

Feel free to read Isaiah 7:14 in Luther's own translation.

Can't ask an honest question around here. I also never said she wasn't. Just asked why it's so important to Orthodox. Thanks to the others who gave generous non condescending replies.
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« Reply #146 on: March 06, 2013, 02:19:40 PM »

Leaving aside scripture, Orthodox hymnography, Church dogmas and doctrines for a moment, do you really believe freddief that Joseph after the dream he had with the angel appearing and explaining to him, that the child, his pregnant young-bride-to-be, carried in her womb, was the Messiah conceived miracuously by the Holy Spirit, and after the second dream he had with the angel advising him (or rather instructing him) to take the young mother and her newborn child and flee to Egypt to avoid persecution and death, the same pious, first century God-fearing Jew, would erase all that, move on and sleep with the woman who gave birth to God?
You are thinking like a 21st century westerner with no sense of awe or fear, before the Sanctity and Holiness of God.
No pious first century Jew, with a basic knowledge of holy scripture, who knew what had happened to Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant-which was nothing more than a bier containing tablets made of stone-would have EVER touched that woman who was the living ark and contained GOD HIMSELF.

I wish I could like this (bold mine).
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« Reply #147 on: March 06, 2013, 02:54:48 PM »

Leaving aside scripture, Orthodox hymnography, Church dogmas and doctrines for a moment, do you really believe freddief that Joseph after the dream he had with the angel appearing and explaining to him, that the child, his pregnant young-bride-to-be, carried in her womb, was the Messiah conceived miracuously by the Holy Spirit, and after the second dream he had with the angel advising him (or rather instructing him) to take the young mother and her newborn child and flee to Egypt to avoid persecution and death, the same pious, first century God-fearing Jew, would erase all that, move on and sleep with the woman who gave birth to God?
You are thinking like a 21st century westerner with no sense of awe or fear, before the Sanctity and Holiness of God.
No pious first century Jew, with a basic knowledge of holy scripture, who knew what had happened to Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant-which was nothing more than a bier containing tablets made of stone-would have EVER touched that woman who was the living ark and contained GOD HIMSELF.

I wish I could like this (bold mine).

I don't. It is radically anti-Christian. We touch the Theotokos and Christ. GOD HIMSELF was touched by many during His life on earth as was His mother (do you really think Mary was never touched by anyone after giving birth to Jesus?). And GOD HIMSELF has been consumed, not to speak of touched, by untold numbers since.

I guess all those Apostles weren't pious Jews.
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« Reply #148 on: March 06, 2013, 03:10:18 PM »

Finally, your line of questioning begs the question of your own epistemology. Why should we trust your (or my) private interpretation?

Google alerts let me know someone tried using a big word here.

There are no private interpretations, not in the sense you mean. Really what is begged here is your own epistemological prejudices.

Such are always begged. We cannot be free from that which first allows us access to understanding. 

That is perspicuous and begs being nothing more and nothingness. 

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To think Being itself explicitly requires disregarding Being to the extent that it is only grounded and interpreted in terms of beings and for beings as their ground, as in all metaphysics.

Martin Heidegger
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« Reply #149 on: March 06, 2013, 03:18:52 PM »

Leaving aside scripture, Orthodox hymnography, Church dogmas and doctrines for a moment, do you really believe freddief that Joseph after the dream he had with the angel appearing and explaining to him, that the child, his pregnant young-bride-to-be, carried in her womb, was the Messiah conceived miracuously by the Holy Spirit, and after the second dream he had with the angel advising him (or rather instructing him) to take the young mother and her newborn child and flee to Egypt to avoid persecution and death, the same pious, first century God-fearing Jew, would erase all that, move on and sleep with the woman who gave birth to God?
You are thinking like a 21st century westerner with no sense of awe or fear, before the Sanctity and Holiness of God.
No pious first century Jew, with a basic knowledge of holy scripture, who knew what had happened to Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant-which was nothing more than a bier containing tablets made of stone-would have EVER touched that woman who was the living ark and contained GOD HIMSELF.

I wish I could like this (bold mine).

I don't. It is radically anti-Christian. We touch the Theotokos and Christ. GOD HIMSELF was touched by many during His life on earth as was His mother (do you really think Mary was never touched by anyone after giving birth to Jesus?). And GOD HIMSELF has been consumed, not to speak of touched, by untold numbers since.

I guess all those Apostles weren't pious Jews.
I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear, English is not my native language, I did not mean the simple touch, I meant, "touch"
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« Reply #150 on: March 06, 2013, 03:23:40 PM »

Leaving aside scripture, Orthodox hymnography, Church dogmas and doctrines for a moment, do you really believe freddief that Joseph after the dream he had with the angel appearing and explaining to him, that the child, his pregnant young-bride-to-be, carried in her womb, was the Messiah conceived miracuously by the Holy Spirit, and after the second dream he had with the angel advising him (or rather instructing him) to take the young mother and her newborn child and flee to Egypt to avoid persecution and death, the same pious, first century God-fearing Jew, would erase all that, move on and sleep with the woman who gave birth to God?
You are thinking like a 21st century westerner with no sense of awe or fear, before the Sanctity and Holiness of God.
No pious first century Jew, with a basic knowledge of holy scripture, who knew what had happened to Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant-which was nothing more than a bier containing tablets made of stone-would have EVER touched that woman who was the living ark and contained GOD HIMSELF.

I wish I could like this (bold mine).

I don't. It is radically anti-Christian. We touch the Theotokos and Christ. GOD HIMSELF was touched by many during His life on earth as was His mother (do you really think Mary was never touched by anyone after giving birth to Jesus?). And GOD HIMSELF has been consumed, not to speak of touched, by untold numbers since.

I guess all those Apostles weren't pious Jews.
I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear, English is not my native language, I did not mean the simple touch, I meant, "touch"

What does "touch" mean? I am native American speaker and I am only familiar with such use by those who are rather uptight about sex or by many more who are uptight talking about sex to their kids.

So let's be clear.

Do you mean touch sexually?

If so, what would the account of Uzzah add to differentiate how to touch Mary? Unless my Bible is more PG than I thought . . .
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« Reply #151 on: March 06, 2013, 03:32:40 PM »

Finally, your line of questioning begs the question of your own epistemology. Why should we trust your (or my) private interpretation?

Google alerts let me know someone tried using a big word here.

There are no private interpretations, not in the sense you mean. Really what is begged here is your own epistemological prejudices.

Such are always begged. We cannot be free from that which first allows us access to understanding.  

That is perspicuous and begs being nothing more and nothingness.  

Quote
To think Being itself explicitly requires disregarding Being to the extent that it is only grounded and interpreted in terms of beings and for beings as their ground, as in all metaphysics.

Martin Heidegger

I hope you were chuckling along with the Nazi as you read this when you googled it. In any case, it reminds me of a text I haven't thought about in a while. Thanks.
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« Reply #152 on: March 06, 2013, 03:48:24 PM »

Pope Siricius I: You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the Flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord's body, chat court of the eternal King (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).

I'm curious, in what way would the 'seed' of natural sexual intercourse with one's spouse be considered a 'contamination'?

Do not the scriptures teach that the marriage bed is undefiled? (Hebrews 13:4)

The marriage bed is indeed undefiled, but, like the OT Ark which contained the tablets of the Law, so sacred that touching it meant instant death, how much holier is the true Ark, the woman whose womb bore God Himself? Some food for thought:

Now, St Joseph was a good Jew, he would have been brought up with a strong sense of the sacred. He would have been raised knowing the stories in scripture of people touching the Ark of the Covenant and suffering instant death. He would have also known that only the high priest dared enter the Holy of Holies of the Temple to offer the yearly sacrifice to the presence of God who "dwelt there". Undoubtedly at some stage St Joseph would have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to realise the true meaning behind these images and stories from scripture, as well as the temple rituals.

Once the meaning of these became clear to him, how, then, could Joseph possibly consider marital relations with this woman, the living Tabernacle, the new Ark, the Holy of Holies, knowing that she has given birth to the Son of God? Not that sex is bad, evil or wrong between married couples, just as eating and cooking meat are not bad, evil, or wrong in themselves, but when put into service to God in the Temple, be it sacrificial animals, or, in the case of Mary who was dedicated to the Temple as a child, they became holy, and only the high priests could participate in the sacrifice. Christ Himself is the great and eternal High Priest, the "prince who eats bread before the Lord" (Ezekiel 44). Good man that he was, St Joseph would most likely have regarded himself as utterly unworthy to even be in the presence of such a treasure blessed and wholly sanctified by God, let alone consider sleeping with her.

You're making 3 assumptions.

1, That Mary and Joseph understood, from the beginning, the fullness of who and what Jesus Christ is, the incarnate God. It's possible all they understood is that the child to be born of Mary was the Messiah.

2, That after Christ had left the womb of His virgin Mother, it continued to be the 'ark of the covenant'. To the contrary, a thing can only be a temple of God so long as God continues to live in it. Once God has left, it ceases to be His temple.

3, That Mary was the antitype of the Ark of the Covenant, but the Ark does not represent such as 'contains' God, but represents His presence among men, Foreshadowing Christ and His own body which was formed for Him of the Virgin, not the Virgin herself. Perhaps the Ark foreshadowed His body, just as the Temple seems to have in some way (John 2 19-21).
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« Reply #153 on: March 06, 2013, 04:16:06 PM »

Finally, your line of questioning begs the question of your own epistemology. Why should we trust your (or my) private interpretation?

Google alerts let me know someone tried using a big word here.

There are no private interpretations, not in the sense you mean. Really what is begged here is your own epistemological prejudices.

Such are always begged. We cannot be free from that which first allows us access to understanding.  

That is perspicuous and begs being nothing more and nothingness.  

Quote
To think Being itself explicitly requires disregarding Being to the extent that it is only grounded and interpreted in terms of beings and for beings as their ground, as in all metaphysics.

Martin Heidegger

I hope you were chuckling along with the Nazi as you read this when you googled it. In any case, it reminds me of a text I haven't thought about in a while. Thanks.

Which text. Mein Kampf?

(Ok, now I am chuckling. Thanks).
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« Reply #154 on: March 06, 2013, 04:30:28 PM »

1, That Mary and Joseph understood, from the beginning, the fullness of who and what Jesus Christ is, the incarnate God. It's possible all they understood is that the child to be born of Mary was the Messiah.

Lk 1, 35
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« Reply #155 on: March 06, 2013, 09:27:54 PM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

Because its truth and truth is what we seek.  Not someone's personal ideas of what could have been.
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« Reply #156 on: March 06, 2013, 09:33:05 PM »

I hear the argument the early Church got this and that wrong, messed up here, became corrupt there, but what they don't realize is if this is true, everything which came after is even more so, especially over a thousand years later.
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« Reply #157 on: March 06, 2013, 09:39:50 PM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?
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« Reply #158 on: March 06, 2013, 11:23:36 PM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

It is what I have always believed, or at least believed possible.  I do not profess it because the Church does not profess it.  Likewise, I do not argue the point since it is one of the more stupid arguments.  Whether or not she had other Children has absolutely no bearing on my faith (although it could gain me an anathema if I say that she did).  I believe that she was a virgin at conception.  After that, I really do not care.  I guess if I was heavy into Mary worship such insignificant points would weigh heavy on me.  But I am not.  I revere her as Mother of God, and find no need to go farther than that.  In fact, isn't Mother of God about as high and far as one can go?  As to those that believe the other way, I really have not seen where their belief that she remained ever virgin did anything for their faith.  As I have written many times on this forum, I have seen more people live Christlike lives outside of the Church than I have inside.  Maybe it is because they spend more time trying to follow the commands of Christ instead of looking for unhewn mountains and locked gates and arguing if cousins are brothers and the like.

So, I think that your question is rather misguided, as is your assumption that those who believe this way are simply after polemics or any desire to prove the Church wrong.  I have no such desire because I really couldn't give a rodent's posterior about the issue.  There are many things that the Orthodox Church professes that I do not believe.  However, like the father of the demoniac in the Scripture,  my answer to these things is "I believe, Lord help my unbelief".  Perhaps one day He will give me the Grace to understand what I do not believe and the Faith to accept it.  If He does not, I do not worry since it must not really have been that big of a deal.  As to those that start stupid threads like this (as is any "final proof" idiocy), I cannot speak for them.  Perhaps you should have rephrased your question as ". . . to those that start stupid threads like this; why?" 
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« Reply #159 on: March 06, 2013, 11:29:01 PM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

It is what I have always believed, or at least believed possible.  I do not profess it because the Church does not profess it.  Likewise, I do not argue the point since it is one of the more stupid arguments.  Whether or not she had other Children has absolutely no bearing on my faith (although it could gain me an anathema if I say that she did).  I believe that she was a virgin at conception.  After that, I really do not care.  I guess if I was heavy into Mary worship such insignificant points would weigh heavy on me.  But I am not.  I revere her as Mother of God, and find no need to go farther than that.  In fact, isn't Mother of God about as high and far as one can go?  As to those that believe the other way, I really have not seen where their belief that she remained ever virgin did anything for their faith.  As I have written many times on this forum, I have seen more people live Christlike lives outside of the Church than I have inside.  Maybe it is because they spend more time trying to follow the commands of Christ instead of looking for unhewn mountains and locked gates and arguing if cousins are brothers and the like.

So, I think that your question is rather misguided, as is your assumption that those who believe this way are simply after polemics or any desire to prove the Church wrong.  I have no such desire because I really couldn't give a rodent's posterior about the issue.  There are many things that the Orthodox Church professes that I do not believe.  However, like the father of the demoniac in the Scripture,  my answer to these things is "I believe, Lord help my unbelief".  Perhaps one day He will give me the Grace to understand what I do not believe and the Faith to accept it.  If He does not, I do not worry since it must not really have been that big of a deal.  As to those that start stupid threads like this (as is any "final proof" idiocy), I cannot speak for them.  Perhaps you should have rephrased your question as ". . . to those that start stupid threads like this; why?" 

If it is not polemics, why go to an Orthodox board and insist on it?
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« Reply #160 on: March 07, 2013, 02:36:09 AM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Personally, the doctrine of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos has very little baring for me. It is attested to in some very early sources, and it doesn't effect my faith either way. My concerns about the teachings on the Theotokos lies elsewhere. Mainly, I'm just arguing possible objections to see how well thought out the Orthodox point of view is. Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny? I think most people who ask questions and posit objections are usually just trying to figure out where the truth, either consciously or subconsciously. And I'm one of the few people around who actually enjoys a good theological debate. For some of us, it helps keep us on our toes and thinking about the things we believe. But I'm certainly not hear to try to tear down Orthodoxy. I just want to understand what makes it tick.
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« Reply #161 on: March 07, 2013, 03:17:18 AM »

The ever-virginity of the Theotokos is like a seal of the true faith - no icon of hers is true and fit for veneration without those three stars. Now, if one has a different mental representation...


 
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« Reply #162 on: March 07, 2013, 03:32:39 AM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Indeed. Who were these children? What were their names? Where in scripture or Christan history does it mention them?  Wink
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« Reply #163 on: March 07, 2013, 03:32:54 AM »

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Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny?

The questioning of the ancient teaching ever-virginity of the Mother of God has only appeared in the last couple of centuries, with the emergence of protestant groups which sought to diminish, if not eliminate, anything which smacked of the veneration or regard of saints, including the Virgin. As with so many heresies and errors, the Church has held firm, and proclaimed the truth.
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« Reply #164 on: March 07, 2013, 04:05:31 AM »

Honest question:

What is the importance to the Orthodox that she stayed ever virgin?

It demonstrates that she lived a higher life for the Lord--which goes along with the years of Church tradition which describes her as being perfect in virtue and faithfulness, hence why she was chosen to bear God. Jesus mentioned "eunuchs for the kingdom of God" as in celibacy, and speaks of it as being a higher calling, so if the Theotokos is really that pure and virtuous, then it goes without saying that she probably would have taken this higher calling and stayed a virgin.
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« Reply #165 on: March 07, 2013, 04:09:33 AM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Indeed. Who were these children? What were their names? Where in scripture or Christan history does it mention them?  Wink

I mean, regardless of that even, why are they so insistent about this?  Is it important to their faith?  Do they have doctrines and dogmas around this?  Would it radically change their Christian belief if Mary did not have any other children other than Jesus?

There has to be a point in this, otherwise why are they wasting their (and our) time?
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« Reply #166 on: March 07, 2013, 04:15:09 AM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Two reasons. The more genuine, honest reason (as Punch stated) is simply that it is always what some folks grew up believing and thus it's simply just different to them. The second reason--and the one I find more common among the Evangelical crowd--is simply rooted in anti-Catholicism (which would also apply to the Orthodox if they knew who we were). They want to prove the Church wrong because they don't like it.
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« Reply #167 on: March 07, 2013, 04:19:12 AM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Two reasons. The more genuine, honest reason (as Punch stated) is simply that it is always what some folks grew up believing and thus it's simply just different to them. The second reason--and the one I find more common among the Evangelical crowd--is simply rooted in anti-Catholicism (which would also apply to the Orthodox if they knew who we were). They want to prove the Church wrong because they don't like it.

That is why I asked if it is anything more than polemics.  Because I think at least to them it makes no difference if the Theotokos was ever virgin or not.  I can't think of any Evangelical belief that relies on Mary having more children, other than proving that the Catholics (and the Orthodox by extension) are wrong and they are right.
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« Reply #168 on: March 07, 2013, 08:28:07 AM »

Leaving aside scripture, Orthodox hymnography, Church dogmas and doctrines for a moment, do you really believe freddief that Joseph after the dream he had with the angel appearing and explaining to him, that the child, his pregnant young-bride-to-be, carried in her womb, was the Messiah conceived miracuously by the Holy Spirit, and after the second dream he had with the angel advising him (or rather instructing him) to take the young mother and her newborn child and flee to Egypt to avoid persecution and death, the same pious, first century God-fearing Jew, would erase all that, move on and sleep with the woman who gave birth to God?
You are thinking like a 21st century westerner with no sense of awe or fear, before the Sanctity and Holiness of God.
No pious first century Jew, with a basic knowledge of holy scripture, who knew what had happened to Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant-which was nothing more than a bier containing tablets made of stone-would have EVER touched that woman who was the living ark and contained GOD HIMSELF.

I wish I could like this (bold mine).

I don't. It is radically anti-Christian. We touch the Theotokos and Christ. GOD HIMSELF was touched by many during His life on earth as was His mother (do you really think Mary was never touched by anyone after giving birth to Jesus?). And GOD HIMSELF has been consumed, not to speak of touched, by untold numbers since.

I guess all those Apostles weren't pious Jews.
I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear, English is not my native language, I did not mean the simple touch, I meant, "touch"

What does "touch" mean? I am native American speaker and I am only familiar with such use by those who are rather uptight about sex or by many more who are uptight talking about sex to their kids.

So let's be clear.

Do you mean touch sexually?

If so, what would the account of Uzzah add to differentiate how to touch Mary? Unless my Bible is more PG than I thought . . .
I'm a 43-year-old male and I'm uptight about sex?
I'm just an Orthodox Christian who cannot even fathom how a first century Jew could have ever had sexual intercourse with the woman who gave birth miraculously to God.
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« Reply #169 on: March 07, 2013, 09:02:03 AM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Personally, the doctrine of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos has very little baring for me. It is attested to in some very early sources, and it doesn't effect my faith either way. My concerns about the teachings on the Theotokos lies elsewhere. Mainly, I'm just arguing possible objections to see how well thought out the Orthodox point of view is. Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny? I think most people who ask questions and posit objections are usually just trying to figure out where the truth, either consciously or subconsciously. And I'm one of the few people around who actually enjoys a good theological debate. For some of us, it helps keep us on our toes and thinking about the things we believe. But I'm certainly not hear to try to tear down Orthodoxy. I just want to understand what makes it tick.

I think this is, again, fair enough. You have asked a lot of questions and hopefully got some answers, but have been less forthcoming with answers posed to you. That is fine--you are not on trial here. But be careful that you don't consider Orthodoxy in a vacuum. We shall never get "all the answers". How do your current presuppositions stand up to scrutiny? Your certainty that Scripture is the only certain thing is self-defeating. Are you so certain you have "good answers to the hard questions"?
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« Reply #170 on: March 07, 2013, 09:26:19 AM »

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Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny?

The questioning of the ancient teaching ever-virginity of the Mother of God has only appeared in the last couple of centuries, with the emergence of protestant groups which sought to diminish, if not eliminate, anything which smacked of the veneration or regard of saints, including the Virgin. As with so many heresies and errors, the Church has held firm, and proclaimed the truth.

That and a really bad understanding of Holy Scripture they so steadfastly revere using translations which confuse the intent of the original Greek. I hate to bring this up ("another "it says, no it doesn't" thread), but it is true.
Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition witnessed by ALL Christianity before these denials arose relatively recently.
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« Reply #171 on: March 07, 2013, 12:04:05 PM »

Feel free to read Isaiah 7:14 in Luther's own translation.

Sorry I was condescending. Forgive me.

I'm just saying that he was translating that passage through the apostolic Septuagint lens. The NRSV has finally moved things to their final extrapolation. I don't trust the Masoretic on this point, and I don't trust the type of people who created the NRSV. I've studied under them and many are not to be admired.
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« Reply #172 on: March 07, 2013, 01:41:52 PM »

Feel free to read Isaiah 7:14 in Luther's own translation.

Sorry I was condescending. Forgive me.

I'm just saying that he was translating that passage through the apostolic Septuagint lens. The NRSV has finally moved things to their final extrapolation. I don't trust the Masoretic on this point, and I don't trust the type of people who created the NRSV. I've studied under them and many are not to be admired.

A relatively strong argument could made that almah or whatever it is in Hebrew implicitly means virgin in the Masoretic texts as well.

I don't understand the point of pointing out Luther is translating a passage in light of Apostolic tradition. Unless woefully misunderstands his method of interpretation?

Heck the German Luther uses could contain the same possible ambiguity in theory those who would argue that Hebrew contains, unless you take a look at how the German is used elsewhere.
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« Reply #173 on: March 07, 2013, 02:17:45 PM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Personally, the doctrine of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos has very little baring for me. It is attested to in some very early sources, and it doesn't effect my faith either way. My concerns about the teachings on the Theotokos lies elsewhere. Mainly, I'm just arguing possible objections to see how well thought out the Orthodox point of view is. Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny? I think most people who ask questions and posit objections are usually just trying to figure out where the truth, either consciously or subconsciously. And I'm one of the few people around who actually enjoys a good theological debate. For some of us, it helps keep us on our toes and thinking about the things we believe. But I'm certainly not hear to try to tear down Orthodoxy. I just want to understand what makes it tick.

I think this is, again, fair enough. You have asked a lot of questions and hopefully got some answers, but have been less forthcoming with answers posed to you. That is fine--you are not on trial here. But be careful that you don't consider Orthodoxy in a vacuum. We shall never get "all the answers". How do your current presuppositions stand up to scrutiny? Your certainty that Scripture is the only certain thing is self-defeating. Are you so certain you have "good answers to the hard questions"?

Honestly, I'm not aware of any questions posted toward me that I have failed to answer as best I could. But if anyone wants to ask me questions, I'll try to give a good answer. I'm not trying to say my opinions are iron-clad and yours aren't. I don't think I ever suggested that.
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« Reply #174 on: March 07, 2013, 02:33:21 PM »

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Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny?

The questioning of the ancient teaching ever-virginity of the Mother of God has only appeared in the last couple of centuries, with the emergence of protestant groups which sought to diminish, if not eliminate, anything which smacked of the veneration or regard of saints, including the Virgin. As with so many heresies and errors, the Church has held firm, and proclaimed the truth.

That and a really bad understanding of Holy Scripture they so steadfastly revere using translations which confuse the intent of the original Greek. I hate to bring this up ("another "it says, no it doesn't" thread), but it is true.
Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition witnessed by ALL Christianity before these denials arose relatively recently.


There seems to be some huge misunderstanding here. The protestant rejection of the Ever-Virginity has nothing to do with attacking the veneration of Saints or a poor understanding of Scripture. The problem is, it's not in Scripture, or at least, not explicitly. Protestants are sola-scriptura.

Now, I know about the East Gate prophecy in Ezekiel. Assuming that's talking about the ever virginity, then it is in scripture. But that's a very specific typological interpretation. Since there is no mention in Scripture of the passage finding a fulfillment in the Virgin Mary's remaining a virgin, that particular interpretation of the passage came to be taken with a grain of salt by protestants.  
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« Reply #175 on: March 07, 2013, 02:36:44 PM »

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The problem is, it's not in Scripture, or at least, not explicitly
Neither is sola scriptura, nor the "sinner's prayer", nor that the eucharist is only symbolic.

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« Reply #176 on: March 07, 2013, 03:09:11 PM »

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The problem is, it's not in Scripture, or at least, not explicitly
Neither is sola scriptura, nor the "sinner's prayer", nor that the Eucharist is only symbolic.

I know! I personally think the sinner's prayer is silly (though if that's how a genuine Christian life begins, I won't criticize), I'm at least part way convinced of the real presence at the Eucharist (Jesus said "This is my body" and "This us my Blood", so in some sense it must be true), and I wouldn't argue that the whole of the divinely inspired truth is only found in the scripture. All I'm saying is, the ever-virginity is not in the scripture, and that's why protestants rejected it, right or wrong. I think many Protestants reject things that ARE debatably in the scripture, and sometimes believe things that aren't (like the per-tribulation rapture, which I also find ridiculous). I'm not totally protestant in all my beliefs, and pretty far from being evangelical.
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« Reply #177 on: March 07, 2013, 03:22:20 PM »

I'd like to ask the question to those who believe that Mary did have other children.  Why?  What does that mean to YOUR belief?  Other than polemics and the desire to prove the Orthodox Church is wrong, what does it mean to YOUR belief that Mary in fact had other children?

Personally, the doctrine of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos has very little baring for me. It is attested to in some very early sources, and it doesn't effect my faith either way. My concerns about the teachings on the Theotokos lies elsewhere. Mainly, I'm just arguing possible objections to see how well thought out the Orthodox point of view is. Are there good answers to the hard questions, or will it fall apart under scrutiny? I think most people who ask questions and posit objections are usually just trying to figure out where the truth, either consciously or subconsciously. And I'm one of the few people around who actually enjoys a good theological debate. For some of us, it helps keep us on our toes and thinking about the things we believe. But I'm certainly not hear to try to tear down Orthodoxy. I just want to understand what makes it tick.

I think this is, again, fair enough. You have asked a lot of questions and hopefully got some answers, but have been less forthcoming with answers posed to you. That is fine--you are not on trial here. But be careful that you don't consider Orthodoxy in a vacuum. We shall never get "all the answers". How do your current presuppositions stand up to scrutiny? Your certainty that Scripture is the only certain thing is self-defeating. Are you so certain you have "good answers to the hard questions"?

Honestly, I'm not aware of any questions posted toward me that I have failed to answer as best I could. But if anyone wants to ask me questions, I'll try to give a good answer. I'm not trying to say my opinions are iron-clad and yours aren't. I don't think I ever suggested that.

Well, a few I asked are the following (refer to my previous email for context):

  • Why is it historically plausible to think an entire Church would enter quickly into heresy by accepting an error regarding the Theotokos without leaving a paper trail of opposition?
  • If the universal Church fell into heresy regarding the ever-virginity, then you have one of two choices: either the the Holy Spirit did not lead the Church to truth, in which case, Jesus lied, or the Holy Spirit was impotent and therefore somehow less than divine (in which case you are rejecting the Trinity) or somehow ineffectual. Which do you believe?
  • Your line of questioning begs the question of your own epistemology. Why should we trust your (or my) private interpretation? Why are your interpretations of Scripture better than that which the Church universal believed "everywhere, always and by everyone"?
  • Do you believe the New Testament Canon is closed? If so, why do you accept the Scriptures that a "corrupted" Church selected from amongst many more possible documents? Do you think Hebrews is Scripture? Who wrote it? Why is its inclusion in the Bible trustworthy?
  • Here is a list of Christian documents floating around during the time of the Early Church: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ The existing NT Canon says nothing about these books, so according to that which you are "sure of", we have no means to select the NT Canon. How do you do it without the Church and why is your decision normative?

Please have a go at any or none, but I would be interested in your epistemology, how you know what you know, given that you reject the consensus of a "corrupted" Church.
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« Reply #178 on: March 07, 2013, 03:46:40 PM »

Feel free to read Isaiah 7:14 in Luther's own translation.

Sorry I was condescending. Forgive me.

No problem, thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #179 on: March 07, 2013, 03:54:34 PM »


Well, a few I asked are the following (refer to my previous email for context):

  • Why is it historically plausible to think an entire Church would enter quickly into heresy by accepting an error regarding the Theotokos without leaving a paper trail of opposition?
  • If the universal Church fell into heresy regarding the ever-virginity, then you have one of two choices: either the the Holy Spirit did not lead the Church to truth, in which case, Jesus lied, or the Holy Spirit was impotent and therefore somehow less than divine (in which case you are rejecting the Trinity) or somehow ineffectual. Which do you believe?
  • Your line of questioning begs the question of your own epistemology. Why should we trust your (or my) private interpretation? Why are your interpretations of Scripture better than that which the Church universal believed "everywhere, always and by everyone"?
  • Do you believe the New Testament Canon is closed? If so, why do you accept the Scriptures that a "corrupted" Church selected from amongst many more possible documents? Do you think Hebrews is Scripture? Who wrote it? Why is its inclusion in the Bible trustworthy?
  • Here is a list of Christian documents floating around during the time of the Early Church: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ The existing NT Canon says nothing about these books, so according to that which you are "sure of", we have no means to select the NT Canon. How do you do it without the Church and why is your decision normative?

Please have a go at any or none, but I would be interested in your epistemology, how you know what you know, given that you reject the consensus of a "corrupted" Church.


I'm sorry, if by e-mail you are referring to a private message, I don't seem to have gotten it. But I will try to answer your questions tonight. Unfortunately I have to go to work in a few minutes, and I don't want to give you any hasty, none-thought-out replies. But yes, I will be happy to answer them soon.
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