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Author Topic: The more I seek, the more confused I get...  (Read 307 times) Average Rating: 0
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Urban_Monk
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« on: May 14, 2014, 09:33:53 PM »

So, during my search I have decided to read Eusebius'  'History of the Church'.  In so doing I come upon this statement in the introduction to chapter 9, the beginning of book 2: " James, who was known to be the brother of the Lord because he was the son of Joseph " Citing Galatians 1:19.

It's troubling to me to see that it seems ( according to Eusubius ) that the early church did not hold the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity. ( and no it isnt possible that Joseph had a son before his marriage to Mary, as Eusubius goes into detail about how Joseph did not lay with Mary until after the birth of our Lord. )  This is not some nobody... it is the Bishop of Caesarea writing about the church around the year 300.

Is there any other early writting that contradict this ?

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 09:36:36 PM »

Have you yet gone and talked to the Priest at a local parish? 

Lots of writings have what is not 100% the same info in them......this is why Orthodoxy is not a read about it yourself Church...its a go and participate and talk to the Priest and attend class Church.

You could spend the rest of your life reading various Church Fathers and early writers....and each time get more and more confused, especially if you are looking for them to all sync up into some 'Sola Early Writings' perfection that is infallible in and of itself.

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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 09:38:14 PM »

Son of Joseph=/= son of Mary
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Urban_Monk
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 09:39:47 PM »

Yes but as a catholic I always hear... well the church only makes dogma of what the church has ALWAYS held to be true. Well, not according to Eusubius
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 09:41:02 PM »

erm....ever consider the notion that Joseph could have laid with somebody else?


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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 09:47:04 PM »

The standard Orthodox position is that Joseph had children from a previous marriage, as recorded for example in the (fairly early) Protoevangelium of James, and that Mary and Joseph did not have relations. I looked at the passage you mentioned and do not see anything conflicting with this...

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250102.htm
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 09:53:54 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2014, 09:50:05 PM »

So, during my search I have decided to read Eusebius'  'History of the Church'.  In so doing I come upon this statement in the introduction to chapter 9, the beginning of book 2: " James, who was known to be the brother of the Lord because he was the son of Joseph " Citing Galatians 1:19.

It's troubling to me to see that it seems ( according to Eusubius ) that the early church did not hold the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity. ( and no it isnt possible that Joseph had a son before his marriage to Mary, as Eusubius goes into detail about how Joseph did not lay with Mary until after the birth of our Lord. )  This is not some nobody... it is the Bishop of Caesarea writing about the church around the year 300.

Is there any other early writting that contradict this ?

Thanks

Of course it did, it always did and still does.
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Urban_Monk
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 10:05:42 PM »

The standard Orthodox position is that Joseph had children from a previous marriage, as recorded for example in the (fairly early) Protoevangelium of James, and that Mary and Joseph did not have relations. I looked at the passage you mentioned and do not see anything conflicting with this...

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250102.htm

Thanks for this... the Protoevangelium of James is very interesting, and does profess the virginity of Mary after the birth of Christ. Written about 145AD.
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 11:07:14 PM »

In the Gospel of John, during the Crucifixion, Jesus entrusts his mother to "the beloved disciple" (John).  I bring this up because it would have been illegal (and unnecessary) under Jewish law for Jesus to do this in the event that Mary had living biological children.  St. James "the brother of the Lord" would have been alive at the time, seeing as he would later become the first bishop of Jerusalem and preside over the apostolic council.  Read contemporaries of Eusebius on the Theotokos and you'll see that even if Eusebius is taking the view that you think he is (which I doubt, considering James is referred to as "son of Joseph" not "son of Mary"), he's the only one.
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 09:17:52 AM »

In the Gospel of John, during the Crucifixion, Jesus entrusts his mother to "the beloved disciple" (John).  I bring this up because it would have been illegal (and unnecessary) under Jewish law for Jesus to do this in the event that Mary had living biological children.  St. James "the brother of the Lord" would have been alive at the time, seeing as he would later become the first bishop of Jerusalem and preside over the apostolic council.  Read contemporaries of Eusebius on the Theotokos and you'll see that even if Eusebius is taking the view that you think he is (which I doubt, considering James is referred to as "son of Joseph" not "son of Mary"), he's the only one.

Jesus' brothers and sisters was a bit of a stumbling block, but when I found out about what you posted during my early inquiries (I didn't know it was law, I thought it was a cultural thing to do), it gave a lot of context to Mary.  She's not just some tool that God randomly picked and that it could have been any Jewish virgin woman hanging around with nothing to do. 
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 09:48:56 AM »

Suffice to remember, without sexual relations, their marriage was never consumated, and that is why we call the Theotokos "unwedded bride". For all purposes, she was engaged but never married to Joseph. There were not nuns at the time, but that was the kind of life Mary lived all her life, despite current attempts to show "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" as an example to a normal family which they were not. So, in order to live a consacrated life, she had to "marry" a man who would agree in having her but only in order to fulfill social and legal requirements, since it would not be acceptable for a woman to live without "belonging" to a man. As said, the Orthodox position is that St. Joseph was already in old age and widowed when he was requested to "marry" Mary so she could live a life consacrated to God. A man well over his 60s, with children and grandchildren, getting married to a girl between 13 to 15 would *never* be an example if that was an actual normal marriage. Only in the context of an old man accepting the social marginalization to protect both the vocation and honor of a young saint-nun and God Himself that makes sense: Joseph is a priest before the altar, not a dad.

Mary is a reference for all, but specially for monastics who are born with the natural inclinations toward the vocation, and St. Joseph, who had a wife and children, a model for those who are later in life called to a sacerdotal life in his dedication to Jesus and the Theotokos. If we want to look up to a "Holy Family" reference we can use the traditional one, even commemorated in our feasts St. Joachim, St. Anne and the young Virgin Mary and to a certain extent her relatives Elizabeth and Zacariah. There you have not only the traditional but the adequate reference for holiness in family. They have a normal family life, with daily duties, they have sexual relations, they despair, they hope, they argue, they reconcile. St. Joachim is considered to be the traditional reference of fatherhood, not St. Joseph, for the simple reason that St. Joseph's relation to Christ and the Theotokos was more a type of the role of the Christian priest than that of a husband and father.

See the icons below, depicting the flight to Egypt. St. James was already born, and either a pre-adolescent or adolescent, when Jesus was born. He, like the other "brothers and sisters" of Jesus were "half-brothers", and even in that, not legally and in the heart only, since Joseph and Mary's marriage was never consumated, hence why Jesus had to put His mother under the responsibility of a really blood-related cousin.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 10:00:48 AM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 09:51:08 AM »

Confusion is good because it forces one to seek on their own, to make their own decisions, etc., rather than have it all ready made. In the end, it may not be what we want, but it is what we need. At least, I speak from my experience in which I am pretty sure that no two people think exactly alike regarding the church or any other matter; to me this good in the end because we are all unique, but it can also be reason for difficulty.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 09:56:40 AM »

Eusebius writing is valuable but he became an arian also. Perhaps this is an example of his tainted theology?
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 10:07:15 AM »

This is the "real" Holy Family:



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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 10:14:10 AM »

Eusebius writing is valuable but he became an arian also. Perhaps this is an example of his tainted theology?

Here it is, why not read it and post your thoughts? Smiley

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