Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rebutting Anti-Catholic objections to Marian Doctrine

Humble Virgin

Anti-Catholic said:
There are serious problems with Mary being an ever-virgin. Here is why:1) No mention of it in the Scripture. None of the authors of Scripture claim she was a perpetual virgin. 

True. But that causes problems for you, not for us.

1. Your claim proves too much since none of the authors of Scripture claim that Jesus was a perpetual virgin either. Since it is not denied in Scripture, does that mean it is affirmed that Jesus is not a perpetual virgin?

2. I assume that you believe in Scripture alone. And since Scripture does not say that Mary was not a perpetual virgin, you must be relying upon a non-biblcial source to claim that she was not.

2) The passage in Luke 1:48 in which Mary says she is a virgin does not mean she took a vow of perpetual virginity. It is only that she is a virgin up to this point in time.

If it is read without the benefit of the Traditions and Doctrines of Jesus Christ which underly the whole of the New Testament. If, however, you understand the Traditions and Doctrines of Jesus Christ which are the basis of the New Testament, then you will realize that it is impossible that Mary not be a perpetual virgin.

Anti-Catholic said:3) The idea that a person who is about to be married is taking or has taken a vow of perpetual virginity is unheard of Biblically. There is no indication from the OT or NT that it would be acceptable to be married and yet chose to be a perpetual virgin. Married Jewish couples were to be fruitful and multiply. This is OT teaching. 

And yet St. Paul teaches:
1 Corinthians 7:29
King James Version (KJV)
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

Could it be that St. Joseph was aware of this teaching?

4) When brothers and sisters are used in connection with father or mother then it does not mean cousins but actual blood brothers and sisters. See Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 3:31-32; Mark 6:3; John 2:12; Galatians 1:19

a. Not so. The Bible was not written for teachers of grammar but for the common people. And common usage is evident throughout.

b. Even today, in certain societies, cousins are referred to as brothers.

c. In the New Testament, the brethren of Jesus Christ are identified multiple times as His Apostles.

d. If we study the Scriptures, we find that 3 of the 4 brethren identified in Matt 13:55-56 are indeed, Apostles. Let me show you:

Matthew 13:55-56
King James Version (KJV)
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

So, who are these brethren? First let us correlate the lists of the Apostles in the various Gospels:
Matthew 10:1-4
King James Version (KJV)
1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Mark 3:
16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

Luke 6:13-16
King James Version (KJV)
13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

St. John does not provide a list. Here we go:

They all begin with Simon Peter, showing his primacy.
They all mention Andrew, his brother, although not in the same order.
They all mention James, the son of Zebedee.
They all mention John, the brother of James.
They all mention Philip.
They all mention Bartholomew.
They all mention Thomas.
They all mention Matthew.

Now, pay close attention to the next three:

ONE: They all mention James the son of Alphaeus. Some call him James the less.

TWO: Matthew's Labbaeus Thaddeus is Mark's Thaddeus which corresponds to Luke's Judas the brother of James. Did you catch that? Judas the brother of James. Keep that in mind.

THREE: Next, Matt's and Mark's Simon the Canaanite corresponds to Luke's Simon Zelotes.

We can disregard the final Apostle, the traitor Iscariot.

What were the names of those brethren again? James, Joses, Simon and Judas. Is it a coincidence then that James, Judas the brother of James and Simon are always listed together in the lists of Apostles?

There is no question in my mind, that these three Apostles are the brethren mentioned in Matt 13:55-56. But lets go to the next point.

e. If we study further, we will also see that these same 3 brethren are identified as the children of the other Mary. There is another Mary who is the "sister" of the Virgin Mary. Let us correlate some Scriptures:

John 19:25
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

This Mary is always mentioned along with Mary Magdalene.

Matthew 28:1
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Note that she is the mother of James:
Luke 24:10
It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

I'm assuming that Joanna is Salome, who is also frequently mentioned with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary:
Mark 15:40
There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

Now, this Mary is the mother of James the less and of Joses. Therefore she is also the mother of Judas the brother of James and of Simon:

Matthew 13:55
King James Version (KJV)
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

We know from Tradition that the Virgin Mary is an only child. Therefore her "sister", the OTHER Mary, is her "cousin."

The children of this other Mary, James, Joses, Simon, Judas and Salome are kindred of Jesus. But not brothers of the womb.

Perhaps of further interest is this. One of the early Church Fathers reveals that Alphaeus (aka Cleophas) is St. Joseph's brother. Now, the Jews were expected to marry their cousins. Remember how Abraham sent his servant to his brother to find a wife for Isaac?

This leads to another interesting situation. James the greater and John, the sons of Zebedee are related to Jesus Christ from both sides of His earthly family. Salome, the other Mary's daughter is the wife of Alphaeus, St. Joseph's brother. She is the mother of Zebedee's children, James and John.

5) In the previous passages noted the best way to understand these relationships “brothers-sisters” is that these are siblings of Jesus by blood. 

They are kin, but not siblings.

6) There is no hint in Scripture that Joseph was previously married and had children. 

There is no hint in Scripture that Mary ever committed sin nor that she had other children. Yet, you believe these things.

7) Paul refers to James as the “brother of the Lord” in Galatians 1:19. 

Meaning "cousin" or "kin". But not "brother of womb."

This same James is the brother of Jude. But Jude introduces himself as:
Jude 1:1
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

NOT the "brother of Jesus Christ and James.

8) There are Greek words for cousin—anepsios as in Colossians 4:10 or kinsman = sungenis which is used in Luke 1:36. The bible never uses these two Greek words anepsiosor sungenisin reference to Jesus brothers.

But we can prove from the Scriptures that those whom you claim are His blood brothers are actually His cousins.

9) Psalm 69 which is a messianic Psalm clearly shows that Jesus has brothers. Verse 8—“ I have become estranged from my brothersAnd an alien to my mother’s sons.”

Ahhhh, how you twist the Scriptures to your convenience. That is a reference to the Nation of Israel. My mother's sons are my fellow Israelites. The mother being Israel:
Deuteronomy 17:15
Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

10) Other references to Jesus’ brothers by Mary included: John 2:12, 

That is a reference to the Apostles.

John 7:3; 

You didn't read John 6?

The disciples had just abandoned Jesus:
John 6:66

The only ones left were the Twelve, His brethren. And they were concerned both for His safety and for the fact that the Church had literally been disbanded before it began. Therefore they suggested.

John 7:3
King James Version (KJV)
3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

Acts 1:14

That is a reference to His Apostles or to His Kin or to both. But again, it is proven from Scripture that those whom you claim are Mary's children are the children of another woman also named Mary.

11) Protestant scholar D. A. Carson points out, if "brothers" refers to Joseph's sons by an earlier marriage, not Jesus but Joseph's firstborn would have been legal heir to David's throne. The second theory — that "brothers" refers to sons of a sister of Mary also name "Mary" — faces the unlikelihood of two sisters having the same name.

A. That's funny. Because it is not uncommon in many households, even today, for EVERY woman to be named Mary.

B. The word "sister" is also a reference to "cousins". We know by Tradition that Mary was an only child.

All things considered, the attempts to extend the meaning of "brothers" in this pericope, despite McHugh's best efforts, are nothing less that farfetched exegesis in support of a dogma that originated much later than the NT... — D. A. Carson, Matthew in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, volume 8 (Zondervan, 1984).

Its a shame that the best Bible Scholars that Protestantism can produce have not bothered to do some actual research in the Bible. If they had, they would have found that the other Mary is the mother of the four individuals whom they claim are the "brothers" of Christ.

It is, indeed, pitiful.


De Maria

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