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Daily Reading: 10th May 2016

Matthew 1.25 cont.

25 And he had no sexual relationship with her until she gave birth to a son, and he gave Him the name Jesus.

It is important to understand that Matthew strongly infers that Joseph and Mary commenced normal marital relations some time after the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus.

However, there are some sections of the church who firmly believe that Mary remained a virgin throughout her whole life. This is a teaching that arose in the early centuries of the Catholic, Eastern and Oriental orthodox churches. It is also a teaching of some Anglo-catholic and Lutheran churches.

However, this teaching cannot be established by the word of God. Presumably it is a teaching that arose to either establish or maintain the high status that those sections of the church gave to Mary. We must ask the question: is this status to be found within the Bible?

What we discover from the Bible is that Matthew states that Joseph and Mary refrained from the normal matrimonial activity of a married couple until after the birth of Jesus, as we see from verse 25.

There are other Scriptures that refer to the brothers and sisters of Jesus, the offspring of both Joseph and Mary:

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon; and are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended by Him” – Mark 6.3.

Those who adhere to the false teaching of the perpetual virginity of Mary, state that these were the cousins of Jesus, or that they were the children of Joseph from a previous marriage.

Paul wrote that he had met with James, describing him as the Lord’s brother:

The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother – Galatians 1.19 (NLT).

Those who defend the perpetual virginity of Jesus suggest that the term ‘brother’ often refers to close relatives, allies, and friends. However, Paul seems to have been very specific in calling James the Lord’s brother, which he did not do when speaking of Peter, the first apostle he met in Jerusalem.

The Scriptures are quite clear that Jesus did have brothers and sisters. Therefore, it is clear that the teaching of the perpetual virginity of Mary was thought up to bolster a teaching of men, but which is not found in the Bible.

As we have seen, the opposite is found in the Scriptures.

We must beware of those who bring false teaching that is not rooted and founded in what God has shown to us in His word.

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