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Was Mary a Perpetual Virgin?
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Catholics cannot condemn the Jesus Seminar when they are employing the same techniques. The translators translate it as brothers, and we should not have to go through unbelieving Catholics to determine whether we are to believe scripture.

The following link is from the Catholic Answers Website and attempts to explain away the fact that Jesus had brothers and sisters.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Brethren_of_the_Lord.asp

However, there are weakness in this article:

1) It says that the Greek word for brother can mean something other than brother but then gives no NT examples.

2) Its examples come from the Hebrew and the OT not the Greek or NT.

3) It argues that a word can have a wider meaning doesn't then prove that in a particular instance it has the wider meaning.

4) Arguing that there is no word for cousin does not then prove that Jesus' brothers were cousins anymore than no greek word for transvestite proves that they were transvestites.

5) Lastly, the article doesn't say why the translators still chose to translate the scripture in question as brothers, including the Catholic Translations.

6) This article also doesn't mention context which often can tell one if the meaning should be other than the obvious.

The context doesn't give us any indication of the need to translate brothers as cousins.

If this article's argument was right we might translate the following scripture this way.

'Who is my Mother and who are my nephews but those that do the will of God.' (Luke 12)

Unless Catholics want to be lumped with the Liberals of the Jesus Seminar who throw out scripture just because they don't want to believe it.

The Bible means what it says and says what it means unless one can show that it doesn't and Catholics or Liberals haven't.

Catholics cannot condemn the Jesus Seminar when they are employing the same techniques. The translators translate it as brothers, and we should not have to go through unbelieving Catholics to determine whether we are to believe scripture.

If this article's argument was right we might translate the
following scripture this way.

'Who is my Mother and my NEPHEWS? but those that do the will of God.'
(Mark 3)

And the multitude sat about him; and they say to him: Behold thy
MOTHER AND THY BRETHREN without seek for thee. 33 And answering
them, he said: Who is my mother and my brethren? 34 And looking
round about on them who sat about him, he saith: Behold my mother
and my brethren. 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, HE IS MY
BROTHER, and my sister, and mother.(Mark 3, Douay-Rheims)

55 Is not this the carpenters son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? (Matthew 13:55)

3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. (Mark 6)

Notice that these folks use the fact of Jesus having brothers and sisters as part of their reason for rejecting Jesus. The Catholics have solved this problem by just denying that Jesus had any brothers or sisters.

Notice, he had sisters as well, so one not only has to deal with the word 'brother' but the word 'sister as well.

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1)

47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

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

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

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

Notice that if we substituted 'cousins' here for brothers, this verse would sound silly.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2)

12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. (John 2)

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1)

BJ Maxwell 12/19/2005

Here are some links to a discussion I had with a Catholic on this subject:

The following is a summary of a discussion I have been having with a Catholic concerning the question of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

I quote:

"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us? And they were scandalized in regard of him. 4 And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred. (Douay-Rheims-Catholic Bible)

Notice, even in the Catholic Bible it says that Jesus had brothers and sisters, which dispels the Catholic myth that Mary was a perpetual virgin.

Maybe for Christmas we can get our Catholic friends a bible to read, instead of a Catholic Catechism.

3 Isn't he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters living here?" And so they rejected him. 4 Jesus said to them, "Prophets are respected everywhere except in their own hometown and by their relatives and their family." (Good News Translation, Mark 6 )

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17095

Joseph, not to be confused with the stepfather of Jesus likes my explanation that 'Mary in not a Perpetual Virgin at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_Under_Fire/message/286

Thanks for the encouragement Joseph.

A  Catholic questions all the translators

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17097

I ask among other things why the Catholic translators even translated these verses as brothers.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17099

Catholic tries to explain why the translators translated these verses as brothers rather than cousins.

He also has a question for me regarding James.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17110

I choose to believe all the translators and ask Catholic why his personal translation is superior.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17112

Catholic posts an article from the Catholic Answers website in an attempt to answer my questions.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17114

I list six things in rebuttal of the article he posted.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17121

Catholic quickly makes reference to James again.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17134

I post an article about the different James' mentioned in scripture, with scripture references.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17135

I compare Catholic methods of translation to the Jesus Seminar:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17136

I question Catholic's  use of articles rather than first thinking it through

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17136

Then Catholic compares me to a creepy animal

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17139

Then Catholic refers to James again:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17140

 

Catholic then tries to answer why scripture says Jesus had sisters as well:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17160

I point out that he has his James' mixed up and one shouldn't use the fallible to interpret the infallible.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17161

Then part of what I say:

"I looked up brother-adelphos in the Strongs

Concordance and saw no reference to cousin.

The only time the translators of at least the KJV and probably every
other translation translate anything into 'cousin' is in reference
to Elizabeth who bore John the Baptist.

She is referred to as Mary's cousin. (Luke 1:36,58)

In these two references, the greek word adelphos-brother or adelphas-
sister is NOT used.

The Greek word suggenes is used and it means...a relative (by
blood); by extension a fellow countryman:-cousin, kin (-sfolk, sman)

So when the translators translated a word cousin, it was not the
greek word you refer to which means brother but the greek word for
cousin.
...
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Christianity_On_Fire/message/17163

 

BJ Maxwell 12/26/2005