Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bzultho Yoldas Aloho. St. Mary the Perpetual Virgin

by Fr. George Varghese Vayaliparambil


Oh.. Mother of our Lord Please Pray For Us.

St. Mary the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ is a virgin of all times. Anti- Christians disagree with the perpetual virginity of St. Mary, something that has always been believed by Christians. In this article I'll be looking at some of the common arguments used and here is an attempt to find out the truth behind the word always put forth by the anti-Christians to challenge the virginity of St. Mary.

Mark 6:1-6: He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

The anti-Christians always used to quote this word to substantiate their claim that St. Mary is not a virgin (Sorry). When we go though the word of God we can see that there are 7 different women bear the name, Mary in the New Testament. 1, St. Mary, Mother of Jesus. 2, Mary, Mother of James and Joses, Mat 27:5, Mk 15:40, Lk 24:10. 3, Mary Magdalene from whom Jesus cast out 7 demons, Mk 16:9, Lk 8:2. 4, Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha Lk 10: 39-42, John 12:3-4. 5, Mary, Wife of Cleophas, Jn 19:25. 6, Mary, Mother of John Mark, AA12: 12. 7, Mary who greeted Paul at Rome, Rom 16:6.

Multiplicity of names, absence of clear identification to discern relationship between each of them and translation errors have contributed lot of confusion and gave room for many erroneous interpretations concerning blessed Mary, the mother of God. Here we need to make a deep study about the persons who bare the name of James, Jude, Simon and Joses in bible.

Simon

We can find out five persons who bear the same name Simon.

A. Simon the Apostle: The name of Simon occurs in all the passages of the Gospel and Acts, in which a list of the Apostles is given. To distinguish him from St. Peter he is called (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18) Kananaios, or Canaanites, and Zealots (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). Both surnames have the same significance and are a translation of the Hebrew qana (the Zealous). The name does not signify that he belonged to the party of Zealots, but that he had zeal for the Jewish law, which he practiced before his call. Jerome and others wrongly assumed that Kana was his native place; where he should have been called Kanaios. The Greeks, Copts, and Ethiopians identify him with Nathanael of Cana; the first-mentioned also identify him with the bridegroom of the marriage of Cana, while in the "Chronicon paschale" and elsewhere he is identified with Simon Clopas.

B. Simon the Magician: He is person happen to meet St. Peter on his missionary journey to Samaria. We can see this event in Acts Chapter 8:9-24

C. Simon a Tanner: Who accommodated St. Peter in his house. We can trace out this man in Act. 9: 43 “And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.”

D. St Peter Simon: Saint Peter (Greek: Πετρος, Rock) (c.1–64 AD) was one of the Twelve Apostles, chosen by Jesus as one of his first disciples. He is prominently featured in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Peter was a Galilean fisherman assigned a leadership role by Jesus. (Matthew 16:18) He was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration.[2] Early Christian writers provided more details about his life. St.John, chapter 1 Jesus addressed him as “son of John You shall be called Cephas"

E. Simon Iscariot: Simon Iscariot is the father of Jude Iscariot (John, chapter 6: 71, John, chapter 13: 26)

F. Simon from Cyrene: “As they led Jesus away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was coming into the city from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.” Luke 23: 26 It is clear that none of them were the son of St. Mary. It is clear that Simon the apostle was a Canaanite. St. Peter was elder to St. Mary and others were not close to Jesus.

Jude

A. Thaddeus (Judas, Brother/son of James) the Apostle

Thaddeus was one of the 12 Apostles. It is believed that he was also known as Judas, son of James (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus). In some New Testament passages, the name Thaddeus appears among the list of 12 Apostles. But in other New Testament passages, the name Judas, son of James, appears instead. In ancient times, a person could have two or three different names, such as a Greek-language name and a Hebrew name. And, sometimes people were known primarily by their occupational title.

The name Thaddeus appears in the list of Apostles given in Matthew 10:3, between James, son of Alpheus, and Simon the Zealot. In Mark 3:18, the name Thaddeus appears, again, in the same placement. In Acts 1:13, however, a man named Judas, son of James, is listed below Simon. And in Luke 6:16, Judas (son of James), is listed again among the 12 Apostles, between Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. In John 14:22, there is a reference to Judas (not Iscariot) who spoke to Jesus. The two names, however, never appear in the same book, lending credence to the belief that they both refer to the same person. In Acts 1:13, Judas is referred to as the brother of James in the KJV Bible, yet in all of the newer versions, he is called the son of James. In Jude 1:1, it is witnessed by Jude himself as the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James

Why the difference in the translation, as either brother or son of James? The Greek phrase which used in the original text can honestly translated either way. The Greek phrase that is translated either "Judas the brother of James" or "Judas the son of James" comes from only two words in the Greek. The first is Judas and second is James. The declension of the nouns clearly shows the phrase to mean, "Judas of James." That means that the relationship is a close one and that Judas is related to James in a close family kinship. Therefore, Judas is almost certainly either a brother of James or a son of James. However, the phrase in and of itself does not make that distinction. In fact, the King James Bible indicates this uncertainty by putting "brother of" in italics both in Luke 6:16 and in Acts 1:13. This means that there is no corresponding word in Greek to match the words "the brother."

B. Judas Iscariot

"Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over" (Mark 14:10-11).

C. Judas Barsabbas

Contrary to popular belief, the Bible mentions the existence of more than one Judas. Each of these men could not possibly have been the same person. For example, when Jesus selects 12 apostles from his disciples, he chooses two Judases: "Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor (Luke 6:16)." Another Judas appears in the book of Acts, years after the death of Judas Iscariot: Then the apostles, the elders, and the whole church decided to choose some of their men to send with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch. These were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas. Bar-sab-'as (Ioudas Barsabbas): Judas was, with Silas, a delegate from the church in Jerusalem to the Gentile Christians of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. They were appointed to convey the letter containing the decision of "the apostles and the elders, with the whole church" regarding the attitude to be taken by Gentile Christians toward the Mosaic Law, and also to explain "the same things by word of mouth." They accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Antioch, and, "being themselves also prophets," i.e. preachers, they not only handed over the epistle but stayed some time in the city preaching and teaching. They seem to have gone no further than Antioch, for "they were dismissed in peace from the brethren unto those that had sent them forth," and it was Paul and Silas who some time afterward strengthened the churches in Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:40, 41). According to Acts 15:34 the King James Version, Judas returned to Jerusalem without Silas, who remained at Antioch and afterward became Paul's companion (Acts 15:40). The oldest manuscripts, however, omit Acts 15:34 and it is therefore omitted from the Revised Version (British and American). It was probably a marginal note to explain Acts 15:40, and in time it crept into the text. Judas and Silas are called "chief men among the brethren" (15:22), probably elders, and "prophets" (15:32). Barsabbas being a patronymic, Judas was probably the brother of Joseph Barsabbas. He cannot be identified with any other Judas, e.g. "Judas not Iscariot" (Jn 14:22). We hear no more of Judas after his return to Jerusalem (Acts 15:22 ff). In fact, both Jude and James are brothers and they (of the book of James) were half-brothers of Jesus. But People want to give too much emphasis to the flesh here and desire to elevate the physical kinship of the men to Jesus. It is clear that Apostle Jude is the brother of St. James and both of them are the son of Alfai (Acts 1:13) and there mother is another Mary, who followed Jesus with St. Mary in his Crucifixion time Mark (16: 40). Judas Iscariot is not attributed to the kinship of Jesus and Judas Barsabbas came to the picture only at time of St Paul.

Jacob/ James: Among the 12 apostle of Jesus Christ, two apostles bare the same name Jacob.

A. Jacob Son of Ze’badi: Jacob the son of Ze‟badi who is the brother of St. John who was loved by Jesus.

B. Jacob Son of Alfai: Another one is the brother of Joses and son of Alfai (Acts 1: 13) and Mary (Mark 16:40)

Joses

Joses (or Joseph) is the second of the brothers of Jesus appearing in the New Testament. Joses is first mentioned in Mark 6:3, which related people talking about Jesus: "Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him."

A Joses also appears in Mark 15:40, which mentions among the women present at Jesus' crucifixion a "Mary, the mother of James the Less and Joses".

The Gospel of Matthew closely mirrors these two passages in Matthew 13:55-57 and Matthew 27:56 and, depending on the Greek textual tradition, reads Joseph (Alexandrian, Western) or Joses (Byzantine). Since Joses is an uncommon variant of Joseph and appears in no other place in the book or the entire New Testament, it is likely that both verses refer to the same person.

In the medieval Legenda Aurea, Joses is also identified with Joseph Barsabbas, also called Justus, who in the Acts of the Apostles 1:23 is mentioned as a candidate to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judas Iscariot. Justus is listed third in the hereditary line of succession of the Desposyni after James the Just and Simeon of Jerusalem as Bishops of Jerusalem.

I would like to put forward two historical arguments.

If Mary had had children other than Jesus, it would have been impossible for the Church to teach that Mary was always a virgin. After all, if you were descended from Jesus' mother, you'd know it and be proud of that fact - if anyone thought that Mary were a virgin, you'd set them straight. And yet, the Church did teach early on that Mary was ever-virgin; despite this, no Christians denied the truth of this teaching. So it would seem that Mary didn't have any descendants besides Jesus. If Mary had had children other than Jesus, then how would Jesus appear to the people of that time? He would just be the first of many children, nothing special. His conception by the action of the Holy Spirit would be disbelieved, and people would naturally assume that, for instance, Joseph was the father - note that Joseph took her into his home at the same time that Jesus was conceived. So the prophecy of the Messiah's mother being a virgin (Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1:22-23) would appear to have been unfulfilled in Mary; and so Jesus would not appear to be the Messiah. On the other hand, though, if Jesus were an only child, something rather unusual at that time, his supernatural conception would be more likely to be believed. His birth would plausibly appear miraculous, Jesus being the only child of an otherwise infertile couple. Here's a solid proof that Jesus was an only child: John 19:26-27 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" Then saith he to the disciple, "Behold thy mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. If Jesus had brothers and sisters, there would be no need to put His mother under the care of John. In fact, it would probably be an insult to His siblings. On the other hand, if we assume Jesus had no siblings, the way He provided for the care of His mother makes perfect sense. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee... The language used here to describe how Jesus would be conceived ("the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee") indicated that there was a union of marriage between Mary and Holy Spirit (Shawthophooso W‟magnonoozo D,rooho Qadeesho). Since that's the case, it would be adulterous for Joseph to have sexual intercourse with Mary. Mary couldn't have had any children besides Jesus, since she had taken a vow of perpetual virginity; she had gotten engaged to Joseph with the understanding that they'd never have sex. We can see this from the first chapter of Luke.

Luke 1:30-33 And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." If Mary intended to have a normal marriage, including sexual intercourse, one would have expected her to react in the following manner: "How wonderful! Joseph and I will be the parents of the Messiah!" But instead, what she said is: Luke 1:34 "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" If Mary had intended to have sexual intercourse with Joseph, what she says here makes no sense at all. Thus, she intended to remain a virgin even in marriage. Some people claim that the following verse shows that Jesus had brothers: Mark 6:3 "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. First, note that James, Joses, Juda, and Simon are called the brothers of Jesus, not the sons of Mary. No one in the Bible, besides Jesus, is ever called a natural son of Mary. So this verse doesn't show, at all, that Mary didn't remain a virgin - the "brothers" of Jesus could have been his cousins (as I'll be arguing below), or they could have been His brothers by adoption (that is, they could have been adopted by Joseph and Mary), or they could have been Jesus' half-brothers (for instance, if Joseph were a widower and had fathered those children with his previous wife). All of these cases are possible and are in complete harmony with the above Biblical verse.

An explanation of how the word "brother" is used in the Bible

In the Bible, the term "brother" is used in a more general sense than is common today; it would be better translated as "kinsman" or "relative". There are several Biblical examples of this. The reason for this is that Hebrew didn't have a word for "cousin", so the word "brother" was used to include cousins. The people who wrote the Bible were of Jewish culture and were accustomed to this usage, and so they applied it when writing in other languages as well, such as Greek. The Greek Old Testament used by the Evangelists, called the "Septuagint", was translated into Greek by Jewish scholars about a century before Jesus' time, and it refers to cousins and other close relatives as "brothers" in exactly the way I've described. In the following examples, I'll provide the verses in English, and also a transliteration of the Greek Old Testament used in Jesus' time. The first example concerns Abram and Lot.

Genesis 11:26 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. This verse tells us that Abram is the uncle of Lot: Abram is the brother of Lot's father. But in another verse, Abram is called Lot's "brother": Genesis 14:12, 14 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, with all his goods, and departed. And when Abram heard that his brother [Lot] was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, who were three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. Here's the Greek version from the Septuagint: Genesis 14:14 akousas de abram hoti Echmalwteutai lwt ho adelphos autou ErithmEsen tous idious oikogeneis autou triakosious deka kai oktw kai katediwxen opisw autwn hews dan Similarly, the Bible tells us here that Laban is Jacob's uncle: Genesis 29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. However, two verses later, Laban calls Jacob his brother: Genesis 29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, "Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?" Genesis 29:15 eipen de laban tw iakwb oti gar adelphos mou ei ou douleuseis moi dwrean apaggeilon moi tis o misthos sou estin In the following, the cousins of the daughters of Eleazar are called their "brethren": 1 Chronicles 23:21-22 The sons of Merari are Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli are Eleazar, and Kish. And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their brethren the sons of Kish took them. 1 Chronicles 23:21-22 uioi merari mooli kai mousi. uioi mooli eleazar kai kis. kai apethanen eleazar kai ouk Esan autw uioi all' E thugateres kai elabon autas uioi kis adelphoi autwn.

In the following, the "brethren" of Ahaziah include at least 42 men, who were not his brothers - his brothers were all killed before he became the king (2 Chronicles 22:1) - but rather his cousins or other similar relatives: 2 Kings 10:13-14 Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house. There were 42 men and not one of them was left alive. 2 Kings 10:13-14 kai iou euren tous adelphous ochoziou basilews iouda kai eipen tines umeis kai eipon oi adelphoi ochoziou hmeis kai katebEmen eis eirEnEn twn uiwn tou basilews kai twn uiwn tEs dunasteuousEs. kai eipen sullabete autous zwntas kai sunelabon autous zwntas kai esfaxan autous eis baithakad tessarakonta kai duo andras ou katelipen andra ex autwn. So we see that the term "brother" in the Bible can refer to family relationships other than the one to which we usually apply it. Now that we know that the word "brother" in the Bible doesn't necessarily mean a sibling, It is claimed that the following verse says that Mary and Joseph had sex after Jesus' birth: Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus. However, what the Bible is actually doing here is underlining the fact that Joseph is definitely not Jesus' father, since he didn't have sexual intercourse with Mary before Jesus was born. But the word "till" in this verse does not imply that Joseph "knew" Mary after the birth of Jesus (that is, that they eventually had sexual intercourse). Here's a Biblical example to demonstrate this: 1 Timothy 6:14 "I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." Does this imply that we are allowed to sin after Jesus appears? Of course not. In addition, note that if Joseph intended to ever have sex with Mary, why did he wait until after Jesus' birth? There was nothing to stop him. So this actually indicates that Joseph did not intend to have sex with Mary.

All the Christians are the brothers of Jesus Christ

Revelation 12:17 (King James Version): And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (rest of her offspring - NKJV), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Here St John says long after the ascensions of St. Mary, that those who are keeping the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ is the offspring of St. Mary. John 19:26-27 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" Then said he to the disciple, "Behold thy mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. By obeying the word of God St John got the brotherhood with Jesus Christ. It is the offer of our Lord to every one who follows His Word. St. Mark 3: 31-35 “There came then his brethren and his mother, and stood outside the house and send in a messages asking for Jesus. And the multitude sat surrounding Him, and they said unto him “Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are seeking for thee.” And he answered them, saying, “Who is my mother, or my brethren?” And he looked around and said “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” The boundaries of “family” are expanded beyond blood relatives, spouses, and even disciples to include those who hunger for a relationship with God and are willing to do God’s will. It does not, however, include those blood relatives who don’t have the “correct” relationship with God. Anti-Christians in the world It is true that from the very beginning the dragon the serpent of old, called the devil, and Satan who deceives the whole world (Rev. 12: 9) was enraged with the woman (St. Mary) (Rev. 12:17) and still it continues its fight against the true Christians. The offspring of St. Mary, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, it is very clear that „Christ‟ who is witnessed as not the son of perpetual Virgin Mary is antichrist. Those who are witnessing Christ who is not born out of a Perpetual Virgin Mary and those who are not accepting St. Mary as his mother, and her perpetual virginity are antichristian.

We can come to the conclusion that:

1. St. Mary is mother of Jesus and she is the perpetual Virgin.
2. St James (Jacob) Jude (Thaddeus) and Joses (Joseph) are brothers (Mark 16: 40; Jude 1:1) and they are the sons of Alfai (Acts 1:13) and their mother is another Mary, who followed Jesus with St. Mary in the context of Jesus‟ crucifixion (Mark 16: 40).
3. Simon the Apostle is a Kananaios, or Canaanites (Mark 3:18), and Zealots (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13)
4. St. Mary is the mother of whole people who live according to the Word of God.
source: http://www.socdigest.org/articles/02feb09.html

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