MORE ABOUT THE VIRGIN (A Discussion on the Woman in the Bible)

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Jesus may have acted like an only child at times in the gospels, but all of the four evangelists make some mention of his brothers and sisters. The first recorded argument was between St. Jerome and another fourth-century theologian, Helvidius, who had written that after the virgin birth of Jesus, Mary had other children with her husband, Joseph. Jerome disagreed, indicating that by the fourth century at least some of the church community believed that Mary had stayed a virgin for the rest of her life.


He claimed that the Greek word adelphios could refer to cousins, not just biological siblings. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis and a contemporary of Jerome and Helvidius, threw another possibility into the hat. These three general arguments continue to be defended and disputed by scholars today, whose positions depend mostly on their particular traditions and how they interpret early church theology. Have a question you'd like to get answered? Ask us at editors uscatholic. Meghan Murphy-Gill is a writer living in Chicago. Read more from her at meghanmurphygill.

View the discussion thread. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. Skip to main content. Did Jesus have brothers and sisters? For centuries theologians have debated whether or not Jesus had any siblings. But what does scripture say about his complicated family tree? Article Your Faith. Glad you Asked. He finds himself drawn into the discussion.

Top 7 Bible Verses About Virginity

He is so absorbed in debate he does not notice his parents have left… Reconstruction: the lost boy in the Temple. His absence was not noticed for some time. See The Lost Boy. Men and women spent the major part of their lives in groups of their own sex.

51 Bible verses about Virgin

Mary and her family eventually found Jesus, and they all returned to Galilee. Reconstruction of a middle-sized house in 1st century AD Nazareth. The story is preceded by a genealogy, in which Joseph is named as the legal father of Jesus. In the Jewish world, a genealogy established social position and religious identity.

Her pregnancy could bring dishonor to her whole family. At first, Joseph was reluctant to marry , knowing that he was not the father. But in a dream he realized that what was happening was remarkable and amazing, and could not be treated as ordinary. He took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son. In her maturity, Mary may have been widowed , or Joseph may have travelled to surrounding villages and towns to look for work.

"The Virgin Mary Through Scripture" - Part 1 of 3, Dr. Scott Hahn (Audio)

Builders, stonemasons and carpenters from Nazareth would have been hard-pressed to support themselves if they worked only in their own village. There was plenty of work at Sepphoris, four miles north of Nazareth. The gospel of John developed complex ideas about Jesus: who he was, and how this was evident in his life. The emphasis was on the divinity of Jesus, with not many stories about Mary.

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But the stories we have show a woman who was sure of herself, and confident about her place in the community. One story tells about a wedding that she and Jesus attended in a town in central Galilee, called Cana. My hour has not yet come. Read John Mary has often been represented as quiet and submissive in iconography and tradition. As a Jewish peasant woman, it is unlikely that she was either of these things.

See Bible Heroines: Mary for the text of this story, with comments.

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Mary watched her son during the three years he spent teaching and traveling around the country. She saw that the authorities viewed his actions and words with mounting hostility. The Jewish authorities were in a difficult situation. They were trying to maintain a delicate balance of political stability between the Romans and the Jewish population. They saw Jesus as a threat to this stability. Mary saw the danger coming, but was unable to protect her son. Eventually, during an incident in the crowded city of Jerusalem, Jesus was arrested, given a swift trial, and executed in the hideous manner reserved for 1st century AD terrorists.

Mary of Nazareth, mother of Jesus, holds her dead son after the crucifixion; from the film The Passion of the Christ. Mary saw her son tortured and killed. Jesus had been her baby, the boy she educated, the young man she was so proud of.

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She now saw him tormented and executed by brutal soldiers. It is impossible to imagine how Mary felt as she watched the full horror of the crucifixion. Keep in mind as your read this passage from Acts that it was written before the gospels were written. Mary is shown as a mature woman who devoted herself to prayer within the early Christian community.

She thus lived out the Jewish ideal of holiness. Jews believe that holiness is found in active participation in the life of the community. Holy people do not avoid the company of others. They share the happiness and sadness of the people around them, because they believe that God is found in humanity, not in isolation. Life of Jesus Christ. The real Mary of Nazareth. Nazareth at the time of Jesus. What is an angel?