Why believe in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary?


From the National Catholic Register

In talking about the meaning of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary and the whole nuptial side of Catholic Marian devotion, I wrote with the assumption that I was writing for a Catholic readership who took it for granted that Mary is, in fact, perpetually a virgin.  However, as I survey the comboxes following that discussion, it is evident that a number of readers think that the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is not true and is, indeed, contrary to Scripture.  So as a followup, permit me to review, over the next few blog entries, the evidence for the case that Mary was, as a matter of historical and biblical fact, perpetually a virgin.  The case for this is, in fact, very strong.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 499) is straightforward concerning Mary’s Perpetual Virginity:

The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and Perpetual Virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.”

In other words, the Church teaches that Mary remained a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. It’s as straightforward a teaching as it is a controversial one.

Cultural Difficulties

Why it’s controversial is actually a multifaceted matter. To be sure, it was not always so. For most of Christian history, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity was a commonplace belief, even well into the Protestant Reformation. But in our hyper-sexualized culture— and, like it or not, this is the culture in which Christians and non-Christians are now submerged like fish in the sea—people find it extremely difficult to contemplate the possibility of a life of virginity as anything but one of unbearable deprivation. So before we ever get to discussing what Scripture says, we’ve got a gigantic cultural hostility to virginity to overcome.

Moreover, of course, our cultural biases aren’t confined to sex. Many card-carrying members of our consumer culture will wonder why anyone would choose to believe in something like Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. Behind such thinking is the notion of the Catholic faith as a mere smorgasbord of “belief options” that are there to accessorize our fashion choices. And so, conventional wisdom says: If you’re one of those strange souls who “like” virginity, then you can choose to believe in Mary’s Perpetual Virginity because it “suits your lifestyle.” But if you’re not one of these odd ducks, then why bother believing it?

The answer is that the Catholic faith is not a product of consumer culture. It proposes certain truths to us, not because they suit our lifestyle, but because they’re true. Nobody prefers a universe in which it’s necessary to “take up your cross” (versus, say, a universe in which you just have to take up your TV remote) in order to find life eternal. It’s just that the universe Jesus describes happens to be the universe we live in, like it or not. In the same way, the Church tells us Mary is a perpetual virgin, not because it suits somebody’s lifestyle, but because she is a perpetual virgin and that has real implications for us.

Of course, we’re always free to deny the truth. But the problem with that approach is that the faith is not a cafeteria. It is a whole weave—an “ecological system,” if you will. The supernatural Catholic faith, like the natural world, is a complex web of truth, love, and power that is just as perfectly balanced as any wetland on the shore of Puget Sound. When one tries to remove some “pointless doctrine” from this supernatural ecosystem, one gets results similar to removing some “pointless” ozone layer from the atmosphere: a catastrophic upheaval and a whole series of unforeseen side effects. So when the Church proposes the dogma of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, the questions we ought to start with are, “Is this teaching true and, if so, what is the point of it?”

Evangelical Difficulties

Of course, serious Christians recognize that sex belongs in the context of marriage. But that, for Evangelicals, is the problem. For Joseph and Mary were married. So what on earth would have kept them from marital relations? And given that Scripture says Joseph “knew her not until she had borne a son” (Matt. 1:25); repeatedly refers to Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” in passages like Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55–56; and records Paul speaking of James as “the Lord’s brother” (Gal. 1:19), the natural conclusion for the Evangelical reader is that Mary’s Perpetual Virginity is a case in which the Church isn’t just filling in some scriptural silence with a flight of fancy, but is deliberately and directly contradicting Scripture—probably because of some pathological fascination with celibacy.

The Difficulty with the Evangelical Reading of Scripture

Educated Christians know that it’s not enough to show that some Church doctrine seems to be “contradicted” by Scripture. Apparent contradictions don’t cut the mustard: they must be real ones. The difficulty for the Evangelical critique here is that the supposed Scriptural evidence for “Mary’s other children” is another such apparent contradiction. For there is, in fact, no such evidence.

Every text adduced to “prove” Mary had other natural-born children encounters some fatal difficulty when we look closely. So, for instance, the attempt to find absolute, ironclad proof of sexual relations between Joseph and Mary in Matthew’s remark that Joseph “knew her not until she had borne a son” suffers from the fatal ambiguity of the word “until.” The whole value of the passage as an argument against Mary’s virginity depends on some supposed “rule” that “until” means “the same before, but different afterward.” But if we try to apply this “rule,” we wind up with strange results. Thus, Deuteronomy 1:31 tells Israel, “the Lord your God bore you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.” Does the author really mean to say that God would henceforth not be carrying Israel? Likewise, Deuteronomy 9:7 says, “from the day you came out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.” Does the sacred author mean to imply that Israel magically stopped being rebellious after that? Or again, John the Baptist “was in the wilderness until the day of his manifestation to Israel” (Luke 1:80). Does Luke therefore mean to imply that once John appeared to Israel he never lived in the desert again? No. Similarly, neither is Matthew saying anything beyond “Mary conceived Jesus in virginity.” He is making no implications whatever about any sexual relations between Mary and Joseph.

In the same way, the texts concerning Jesus’ brothers and sisters were consistently read by the early Church with the understanding that the apostles had taught that Jesus was the only son of the Blessed Virgin. And once we get past our modern prejudice that “they simply can’t mean that,” we find to our surprise that they easily can.

Take James. Paul describes him as the “brother of the Lord,” but James himself does not. Why not? And even more oddly, Jude describes himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James” (Jude 1). If Jude is a sibling of Jesus, why does he talk in this weird way?

The answer comes from a close reading of the Gospels. Matthew and Mark name the following as “brothers” of Jesus: James, Joseph (or “Joses” depending on the manuscript), Simon, and Judas (i.e., “Jude”). But Matthew 27:56 says that at the cross were Mary Magdalene and “Mary the mother of James and Joseph,” whom he significantly calls “the other Mary” (Matt. 27:61) (i.e., the Mary who was not Mary the Mother of Jesus). John concurs with this, telling us that “standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25, emphasis added). In short, James, Jude and their brothers are the children of “the other Mary,” the wife of Clopas, not Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This is further supported in an almost accidental way by the early Church historian Eusebius, who routinely records the succession of bishops in the major Churches of antiquity. After recording his account of the martyrdom of James, the first bishop of Jerusalem (commonly referred to as “the brother of the Lord”), he tells us that James’ successor was none other than “Symeon, son of Clopas.” Why choose Symeon / Simon for the next bishop? Because James, the “brother of the Lord,” and Symeon /Simon were the sibling children of Clopas and the “other Mary,” and we are in all likelihood looking at a kind of dynastic succession.

Interestingly, this “other Mary” is described as the Blessed Virgin’s “sister.” Is it really possible that two siblings were both named Mary? Probably not. Rather it’s far more likely they were “sisters” in the same sense Jesus and the other Mary’s son, James, were “brothers.” That is, they were cousins or some other extended relation. And, indeed, we find Jewish culture could play fast and loose with the terms “brother” and “sister.” For instance, Lot, who was the nephew of Abraham (cf. Gen. 11:27–31) is called Abraham’s ’âch (“brother”) in Genesis 14:14–16 (which is exactly how the translators of both the New International Version and the King James Version render it). And these English-speaking translators are simply following the example of the ancient Jewish translators of the Septuagint version of Genesis, who also rendered the Hebrew word as adelphos: the same Greek word that is also used to describe Jesus’ relatives.

So the biblical evidence for siblings of Jesus slips steadily away until all that is left is the school of criticism that argues that, since Jesus is called the “firstborn” (Luke 2:7), this implied other children for Mary. But in fact the term “firstborn” was used mainly to express the privileged position of the firstborn whether or not other children were born. That is why a Greek tomb at Tel el Yaoudieh bears this inscription for a mother who died in childbirth: “In the pain of delivering my firstborn child, destiny brought me to the end of life.”

Beyond that, all the critic of Perpetual Virginity has left is just the gut sensation that “It’s weird for a normal married couple to practice celibacy.” And that might be an argument—if Joseph and Mary were a normal married couple and not the parents of the God of Israel.  Of which more we will discuss over the next three weeks..

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/why-believe-in-the-perpetual-virginity-of-mary#ixzz27WKOb4OI

 

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8 thoughts on “Why believe in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary?

  1. Since it appears that Jesus had
    brothers and sisters, did Mary have
    other children? If not, how many
    wives did Joseph have?

    Matthew 12:46-47 NIV
    46 While Jesus was still
    talking to the crowd, his
    mother and brothers stood
    outside, wanting to speak
    to him. 47 Someone told
    him, “Your mother and
    brothers are standing
    outside, wanting to speak
    to you.”
    Matthew 13:56 NIV
    56 And his sisters, are they
    not all with us? Whence
    then hath this man all
    these things??

  2. Who, did Jesus say, were his brothers and sisters? And tell me what gospel passage tells us that Mary had children? Sacred Tradition tells us that Joseph was a widower, whom the temple appointed to marry a consecrated virgin, Mary. Because she was a consecrated virgin, the passage where she asks Archangel Gabriel how his words would happen. She says “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” The angel tells Mary that you “will” conceive (using the future tense). Mary responds by saying, “How shall this be?” Mary’s response demonstrates that she had taken a vow of lifelong virginity by having no intention to have relations with a man. If Mary did not take such a vow of lifelong virginity, her question would make no sense at all (for we can assume she knew how a child is conceived). She was a consecrated Temple virgin as was an acceptable custom of the times.

  3. You Contradict the holy word of God, You Church traditions said that Mary remain virgin all her life and she didn’t have other Children But bible differ with your traditions because are made by men who claim to be Christians while they’re not, I got your answer here,

    Jesus’ brothers are
    mentioned in several Bible verses.
    Matthew 12:46 , Luke 8:19 , and
    Mark 3:31 say that Jesus’ mother
    and brothers came to see Him. The
    Bible tells us that Jesus had four
    brothers: James, Joseph, Simon,
    and Judas (Matthew 13:55 ). The
    Bible also tells us that Jesus had
    sisters, but they are not named or
    numbered ( Matthew 13:56 ). In
    John 7:1-10 , His brothers go on to
    the festival while Jesus stays
    behind. In Acts 1:14 , His brothers
    and mother are described as
    praying with the disciples.
    Galatians 1:19 mentions that James
    was Jesus’ brother. The most
    natural conclusion of these
    passages is to interpret that Jesus
    had actual blood half-siblings.
    Some Roman Catholics claim that
    these “brothers” were actually
    Jesus’ cousins. However, in each
    instance, the specific Greek word
    for “brother” is used. While the
    word can refer to other relatives,
    its normal and literal meaning is a
    physical brother. There was a Greek
    word for “cousin,” and it was not
    used. Further, if they were Jesus’
    cousins, why would they so often
    be described as being with Mary,
    Jesus’ mother? There is nothing in
    the context of His mother and
    brothers coming to see Him that
    even hints that they were anyone
    other than His literal, blood-
    related, half-brothers.
    A second Roman Catholic argument
    is that Jesus’ brothers and sisters
    were the children of Joseph from a
    previous marriage. An entire theory
    of Joseph’s being significantly older
    than Mary, having been previously
    married, having multiple children,
    and then being widowed before
    marrying Mary is invented without
    any biblical basis. The problem
    with this is that the Bible does not
    even hint that Joseph was married
    or had children before he married
    Mary. If Joseph had at least six
    children before he married Mary,
    why are they not mentioned in
    Joseph and Mary’s trip to
    Bethlehem ( Luke 2:4-7 ) or their
    trip to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15 ) or
    their trip back to Nazareth
    (Matthew 2:20-23 )?
    There is no biblical reason to
    believe that these siblings are
    anything other than the actual
    children of Joseph and Mary. Those
    who oppose the idea that Jesus had
    half-brothers and half-sisters do
    so, not from a reading of
    Scripture, but from a preconceived
    concept of the perpetual virginity
    of Mary, which is itself clearly
    unbiblical: “But he (Joseph) had no
    union with her (Mary) until she
    gave birth to a son. And he gave
    Him the name Jesus” ( Matthew
    1:25 ). Jesus had half-siblings, half-
    brothers and half-sisters, who were
    the children of Joseph and Mary.
    That is the clear and unambiguous
    teaching of God’s Word.

  4. But NEVER does it say Mary’s children…It’s not a contradiction at all.

    Tell me, name some of Mary’s other children?

    Also, if Mary had other children, why did Jesus give Mary to John to take care of? Why not Jesus’ brothers?

  5. Had already mentioned some Our Lord’s brothers, just Look this
    John 7 says even His brothers
    didn’t believe in Him. James was
    the only one in his family his faith
    was weak until he saw Jesus after
    Jesus resurrection. Matthew 13:57
    says A prophet is not without
    honor except in his own country
    and in his own house. With this
    scripture why would Jesus leave
    Mary in their care. John was Jesus
    beloved and He knew that he would
    be the best to care for Mary. And
    John was the only one at the cross,
    the others ran away. Jesus showed
    Himself to them
    after He was resurrected

  6. There are about ten instances in the New Testament where “brothers” and “sisters” of the Lord are mentioned (Matt. 12:46; Matt. 13:55; Mark 3:31–34; Mark 6:3; Luke 8:19–20; John 2:12, 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Cor. 9:5).

    When trying to understand these verses, note that the term “brother” (Greek: adelphos) has a wide meaning in the Bible. It is not restricted to the literal meaning of a full brother or half-brother. The same goes for “sister” (adelphe) and the plural form “brothers” (adelphoi). The Old Testament shows that “brother” had a wide semantic range of meaning and could refer to any male relative from whom you are not descended (male relatives from whom you are descended are known as “fathers”) and who are not descended from you (your male descendants, regardless of the number of generations removed, are your “sons”), as well as kinsmen such as cousins, those who are members of the family by marriage or by law rather than by blood, and even friends or mere political allies (2 Sam. 1:26; Amos 1:9).

    When Jesus was found in the Temple at age twelve, the context suggests that he was the only son of Mary and Joseph. There is no hint in this episode of any other children in the family (Luke 2:41–51). Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and the people of Nazareth referred to him as “the son of Mary” (Mark 6:3), not as “a son of Mary.” In fact, others in the Gospels are never referred to as Mary’s sons, not even when they are called Jesus’ “brethren.” If they were in fact her sons, this would be strange usage.

    James and Joseph,“brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”. They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.

  7. Mary had many other children
    in addition to Jesus
    Because these verses so clearly
    contradict your Church doctrine,
    Catholic interpreters will insist
    these are cousins, kinsmen, or
    from a supposed earlier marriage
    of Joseph. Of course, the Bible
    proves all these things wrong.
    The Catechism gives this
    ridiculous and incorrect
    explanation:
    “The Church has always
    understood these passages as
    not referring to other
    children of the Virgin Mary.
    In fact James and Joseph,
    ‘brothers of Jesus,’ are the
    sons of another Mary, a
    disciple of Christ…” Pg. 126 #
    500).
    Matthew 13:55-56 & Mark 6:3
    Cannot simply be cousins because
    Colossians 4:10 uses a separate
    Greek word. John 1:41 uses the
    same term of Peter and his
    brother.
    The Catholic Catechism says of
    these verses: “The Church has
    always understood these passages
    as not referring to other children
    of the Virgin Mary. In fact James
    and Joseph, ‘brothers of Jesus,’
    are the sons of another Mary, a
    disciple of Christ…” Pg. 126 #
    500).
    The Catholic church teaches that
    the Mary in these passages is the
    mother of Jesus, but Jesus
    brothers and sisters are children
    of another woman also named
    Mary. The children are so clearly
    the offspring of the “Mary” of
    this passage, that the Pope has
    come to the conclusion is must
    be a different Mary! Incredible!
    Now read it for yourself from
    the scripture and see if you agree
    with the Catholic church that the
    Mary of these passages is both
    the mother of Jesus and the
    mo ther of James and Joseph and
    Simon and Judas.
    Matthew 13:55-56
    ” Is not this the carpenter’s
    son? Is not His mother
    called Mary, and His
    brothers, James and Joseph
    and Simon and Judas? 56
    “And His sisters, are they
    not all with us ? Where then
    did this man get all these
    things?” 57 And they took
    offense at Him. But Jesus said
    to them, “A prophet is not
    without honor except in his
    home town, and in his own
    household.”
    Mark 6:3 ” Is not this the
    carpenter, the son of Mary,
    and brother of James, and
    Joses, and Judas, and Simon?
    Are not His sisters here with
    us ?” And they took offense at
    Him. 4 And Jesus said to
    them, “A prophet is not
    without honor except in his
    home town and among his
    own relatives and in his own
    household. ”
    Are you still Roman Catholic after
    reading that?
    Matthew 12:46 & Mk 3:31 & Lk
    8:19
    Jesus is distinguishing between
    blood brothers versus brothers of
    faith. Remember it was someone
    else who called them “mother
    and brothers” not Jesus. If the
    brothers are not literal, then
    neither is the mother. Cannot
    simply be cousins because
    Colossians 4:10 uses a separate
    Greek word. John 1:41 uses the
    same term of Peter and his
    brother.
    Mt 12:46 While He was still
    speaking to the multitudes,
    behold, His mother and
    brothers were standing
    outside, seeking to speak to
    Him. 47 And someone said to
    Him, “Behold, Your mother
    and Your brothers are
    standing outside seeking to
    speak to You.” 48 But He
    answered the one who was
    telling Him and said, “Who is
    My mother and who are My
    brothers?” 49 And stretching
    out His hand toward His
    disciples, He said, “Behold,
    My mother and My brothers!
    50 “For whoever does the will
    of My Father who is in
    heaven, he is My brother and
    sister and mother.”
    Mk 3:31 And His mother
    and His brothers *arrived,
    and standing outside they sent
    word to Him, and called Him.
    32 And a multitude was
    sitting around Him, and they
    *said to Him, “Behold, Your
    mother and Your brothers are
    outside looking for You.” 33
    And answering them, He
    *said, “Who are My mother
    and My brothers?” 34 And
    looking about on those who
    were sitting around Him, He
    *said, “Behold, My mother
    and My brothers! 35 “For
    whoever does the will of God,
    he is My brother and sister
    and mother.”
    Lk 8:19 And His mother and
    brothers came to Him, and
    they were unable to get to
    Him because of the crowd. 20
    And it was reported to Him,
    “Your mother and Your
    brothers are standing outside,
    wishing to see You.” 21 But
    He answered and said to
    them, “My mother and My
    brothers are these who hear
    the word of God and do it. ”
    Matthew 1:23-25
    As clear as if it said, “kept a
    virgin until wedding day.”
    24 And Joseph arose from his
    sleep, and did as the angel of
    the Lord commanded him,
    and took her as his wife, 25
    and kept her a virgin until
    she gave birth to a Son; and
    he called His name Jesus.
    Mt 1:18
    Can only refer to sex because
    “before they had sex she became
    pregnant” reinforces the virgin
    birth. But “before they began
    living together does not support
    the virgin birth”. It was not
    normal to live together or have
    sex when betrothed, giving
    powerful evidence that the
    reference is to sex, not co-
    habitation. What value is there
    in mentioning that it was merely
    before they started living
    together when the real point is
    that they were not only living
    separately, but had not had sex
    yet!
    Now the birth of Jesus Christ
    was as follows. When His
    mother Mary had been
    betrothed to Joseph, before
    they came together she was
    found to be with child by the
    Holy Spirit.
    John 2:12 & John 7:1 & Acts 1:14
    & Galatians 1:19 & 1
    Corinthians 9:5
    These verses prove beyond any
    question that Jesus had literal
    blood brothers through Mary.
    Notice that brother cannot refer
    to “brethren in the church” kind
    of usage because other “brethren
    in the church” are listed beside
    “Jesus brothers”. Of the 20+ times
    “Jesus brothers” are referred to.
    NEVER are they called cousins or
    relatives. How could the Holy
    Spirit say it to make the fact any
    clearer?
    John 2:12 After this He went
    down to Capernaum, He and
    His mother, and His
    brothers, and His disciples ;
    and there they stayed a few
    days.
    John 7:1
    A
    nd after these things Jesus
    was walking in Galilee; for
    He was unwilling to walk in
    Judea, because the Jews were
    seeking to kill Him. 2 Now
    the feast of the Jews, the Feast
    of Booths, was at hand. 3 His
    brothers therefore said to
    Him, “Depart from here, and
    go into Judea, that Your
    disciples also may behold
    Your works which You are
    doing. 4 “For no one does
    anything in secret, when he
    himself seeks to be known
    publicly. If You do these
    things, show Yourself to the
    world.” 5 For not even His
    brothers were believing in
    Him. 6 Jesus therefore *said
    to them, “My time is not yet
    at hand, but your time is
    always opportune. 7 “The
    world cannot hate you; but it
    hates Me because I testify of
    it, that its deeds are evil. 8
    “Go up to the feast
    yourselves; I do not go up to
    this feast because My time
    has not yet fully come.” 9
    And having said these things
    to them, He stayed in Galilee.
    10 But when His brothers
    had gone up to the feast, then
    He Himself also went up, not
    publicly, but as it were, in
    secret.
    Acts 1:14 And when they had
    entered, they went up to the
    upper room, where they were
    staying; that is, Peter and John
    and James and Andrew, Philip
    and Thomas, Bartholomew and
    Matthew, James the son of
    Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot,
    and Judas the son of James. 14
    These all with one mind were
    continually devoting themselves
    to prayer, along with the
    women, and Mary the mother
    of Jesus, and with His
    brothers .
    Galatians 1: 18 Then three years
    later I went up to Jerusalem to
    become acquainted with
    Cephas, and stayed with him
    fifteen days. 19 But I did not
    see any other of the apostles
    except James, the Lord’s
    brother .
    1 Corinthians 9:4 Do we not
    have a right to eat and drink? 5
    Do we not have a right to take
    along a believing wife, even as
    the rest of the apostles, and the
    brothers of the Lord , and
    Cephas?
    Colossians 4:10
    Cannot simply be cousins because
    Colossians 4:10 uses a separate
    Greek word.
    Aristarchus, my fellow
    prisoner, sends you his
    greetings; and also Barnabas’
    cousin Mark (about whom
    you received instructions: if
    he comes to you, welcome
    him);
    The bible never uses these two
    Greek words anepsios or sungenis
    in reference to Jesus brothers.
    For Catholic doctrine to be true,
    Greek Dictionary: cousin/
    Relative:
    1. anepsios (ajneyiov” ,
    (431)), in Col. 4:10
    denotes a cousin rather
    than a nephew (A.V.,
    “sister’s son”). “Cousin” is
    its meaning in various
    periods of Greek writers.¶
    In this sense it is used in
    the Sept., in Numb.
    36:11.¶ In later writings
    it denotes a nephew;
    hence the A.V. rendering.
    As Lightfoot says, there is
    no reason to suppose that
    the Apostle would have
    used it in any other than
    its proper sense. We are
    to understand, therefore,
    that Mark was the cousin
    of Barnabas.
    2. sungenis (suggeniv” ,
    (4773)) in Luke 1:36 (so in
    the most authentic mss.)
    and sungeneµs in ver. 58
    (plural), A.V., “cousin” and
    “cousins,” respectively
    signify “kinswoman” and
    “kinsfolk,” (R.V.); so the
    R.V. and A.V. in 2:44 and
    21:16. The word lit.
    signifies ‘born with,’ i.e., of
    the same stock, or descent;
    hence kinsman, kindred.
    See Kin, Kinsfolk,
    Kinswoman.
    3. Note: In Col. 4:10, A.V.,
    anepsios (cp. Lat., nepos,
    whence Eng., nephew), a
    cousin (so, R.V.), is
    translated “sister’s son.” See
    Cousin.¶
    John 1:41
    the term brother is never used in
    the New Testament to denote a
    cousin or relative or anything
    other than a literal BROTHER.
    John 1:41 He *found first his
    own brother Simon, and
    *said to him, “We have found
    the Messiah”

  8. Name one of Mary’s other children, specifically from scripture, where it says “Mary’s son”, “Mary’s daughter” or “Mary’s child”. One. Please.

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