The Final Proof: Mary had several children.....

freddief

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Eastern Mind said:
Yes, I understand this, but what about the genealogy in Luke?  To say she is not descended from David, surely you need to refer to a genealogy
What is in his genealogy that is different?
I think everything, from David on
 

genesisone

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Armchair Theologian said:
Yeah, sometimes it's hard for me to see how your veneration isn't worship, I admit, but I haven't come to a conclusion on it yet, so hopefully you won't take my words to suggest that I'm intrenched in an anti-Orthodox point of view. I just wanted to make the point, think about how it must look from a Protestant's viewpoint.
Just as a bit of an aside, I'll point out that many of us here spent most of our lifetime as Protestants (for me it was over 50 years). We have a pretty good idea of a Protestant's viewpoint. And quite frankly, you are correct in that understanding the role of the Theotokos - which leads to how we venerate her - is very frequently the most difficult hurdle. It does take time. The unlearning of beliefs is often a much more difficult process that the learning of new concepts. Be patient. Pay special attention to our understanding of the Incarnation as expressed in our hymns. Keep praying.
 

PeterTheAleut

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LBK said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I think the OP asks a legitimate question. This is an Orthodox forum after all, and we should be able to defend our doctrines and answer sincere questions when asked. I think many good answers have already been given. I hope freddief will forgive the mocking responses and focus on the sound answers that have been provided thus far.



Selam
Ahem. The OP has not asked a question, but made an open proclamation in the thread title and opening post. People here have indeed defended Orthodox doctrine, but the OP is having none of it.
I wonder why, when people like you come here to roast him. The call to always be ready to give a defense of our faith does not always require such belligerence.
 

jah777

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PeterTheAleut said:
biro said:
PeterTheAleut said:
biro said:
PeterTheAleut said:
biro said:
freddief said:
Eastern Mind said:
freddief said:
biro said:
freddief said:
biro said:
Oh boy, here we go.

Someone please explain to him about St. Joseph's previous marriage, and what half-siblings are?
but any children Joseph had by a previous marriage would not have been the Lord's half-siblings, unless Joseph himself sired the Lord.  the Lord Jesus had no half-siblings
The Orthodox believe that He did.

Obviously you have no idea what you're talking about. This is probably the first time you even heard about that, and I'll bet you didn't even do any research on what the Orthodox think about it, before coming to an Orthodox board. You just came to spam people.
look, if they did not have the same father (they didn't) and if they did not have the same mother (they didn't), then how could they be half-siblings?
Jesus is called the Son of David, even though Joseph was not his father. So is Jesus really the Son of David?
The Lord Jesus was indeed a son of David in that he was a descendant of David.  He was not a descendant of Joseph
Are you aware that proselytizing isn't allowed here? Why did you come to an Orthodox board to 'prove' to Orthodox people that what they believe is wrong?
Freddie isn't proselytizing, so please stop playing Miss Moderator.
All right, but I thought the thread title made it clear enough.
I notice that you aren't Orthodox, either, so why are you fighting so hard to defend the Orthodox Faith on this thread?
I didn't think I was. I just thought Freddie may post stuff like Alfred P. used to do, and get himself in more confusion than he has to, simply because Freddie didn't post very much before, and maybe he hasn't seen some of our earlier discussions on the subject. I mean, it just sounded like he didn't know what he was getting into.
To be honest, biro, I don't think your tactics on this thread are helping any.
Biro's just getting a bit too Inquisitional for an Orthodox forum.  This is the kind of help that Catholics offer when they join our forums.  ;)
 

TheTrisagion

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primuspilus said:
I venerate her, but I dont heap title after title on her. I recognize her for who she is, and why she is deserving of veneration.

I think just like everyone else, sometimes we can get carried away.
I so wish this was facebook where I could just hit a like button because I think this is very true.
 

jah777

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freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
As others have pointed out, your interpretation of this prophecy would imply that this prophecy was not fulfilled.  If "mother's sons" implied that she gave birth to other children, you would have to believe that she had given birth to St. James (who is referred to as "the Lord's brother" in Galatians 1:19) and St. Jude (who refers to himself as "brother of James" in Jude 1:1).  If you read the Book of Acts and the epistles of Sts. James & Jude, you would know that they were faithful followers of the Lord and did not consider him a stranger and alien. 

Yet, John 19:26-27 states:
[size=10pt]When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
The Lord entrusted His mother to His disciple because He was her only Son and she had given birth to no other.  Sts. James and Jude were children of St. Joseph from his former marriage.  That St. Jude refers to himself as "a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James", rather than "brother of the Lord", is on account of the fact that he was the son of St. Joseph and not of the mother of the Lord, and on account of his humility.  St. James also does not refer to himself as "brother of the Lord", but is referred to as such by St. Paul.

That the Psalm you quote refers to Israel is shown in many places in the New Testament, for instance John 1:11-13:
[size=10pt] He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
"His own", meaning Israel, on the whole rejected the Lord as the Messiah.  However, "as many as received him" refers to those who did believe in Him unto salvation, both of Israel and among the Gentiles.  The children of Israel were "His people", "his brothers", and "his mother's sons", and they as a people did not recognize the Lord when he came.  This is demonstrated by the persecutions that the Christians endured as described in the Book of Acts.  However, the Book of Acts also confirms that some of Israel (a minority for sure) did accept Christ, including St. Paul and the Apostles.   

St. Augustine comments on this verse from the Psalms as follows:
[size=10pt] “An alien I have become to My brethren, and a stranger to the sons of My mother” (ver. 8 ). To the sons of the Synagogue He became a stranger…Why so? Why did they not acknowledge? Why did they call Him an alien? Why did they dare to say, we know not whence He is? “Because the zeal of Thine House hath eaten Me up:” that is, because I have persecuted in them their own iniquities, because I have not patiently borne those whom I have rebuked, because I have sought Thy glory in Thy House, because I have scourged them that in the Temple dealt unseemly:2942 in which place also there is quoted, “the zeal of Thine House hath eaten Me up.” Hence an alien, hence a Stranger; hence, we know not whence He is. They would have acknowledged whence I am, if they had acknowledged that which Thou hast commanded. For if I had found them keeping Thy commandments, the zeal of Thine House would not have eaten Me up. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf108.ii.LXIX.html
 

JamesR

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Armchair Theologian said:
You mean like when we act like we don't think she's a goddess? Gasp! How horrible!!
I don't think that's treating her like a goddess; I think the problem lies in culture. America is very, eh, what's the word? Lazy and casual. The most respect we show to someone is a handshake. So when you see others showing respect to someone in a different way, you immediately assume worship.

Did you ever think about how it sounds to us when you call her all-holy, most blessed and glorious virgin pure, immaculate lady, queen of all, more radiant than the rays of sun and higher than the heavens, superior to angels, brighter than the firmament and purer than the sun's light, and so on and so forth?
It sounds pretty nice, thank you very much. Much better than when Protestants just disrespect her by casually saying "mary" or going to great lengths to minimalize her role in the Incarnation because of rabid anti-Catholicism.
 

Punch

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As Orthodox Christians, we did not miss your point, we reject it.  So, you can stop now.


freddief said:
choy said:
freddief said:
choy said:
freddief said:
choy said:
An alien to my mother's sons talks about alienation from all Jewish people, not a literal "sons of Mary".  Besides, if Jesus was rejected by his brothers, why was James the bishop of Jerusalem?  Why did he have an Epistle in the Bible?
well if its a question of alienation from all Jewish people, as you suggest, how come James was bishop in Jerusalem?  how come there was a church in Jerusalem for that matter?
Read Acts thoroughly and then come back to me.  It is all there.
I know whats in Acts.  please read carefully what i wrote, and the point i was answering
I read it carefully.  Clearly you do not know Acts, otherwise you woulnd't ask questions like how there was a Church in Jerusalem or why James was the bishop there.
oh dear - you were the one who first asked why James was bishop of Jerusalem  ::)  you seem to have missd my point completely :(
 

JamesR

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Also, just felt like pointing out, Jesus didn't have any half-siblings because that would imply St. Joseph was his biological father; rather, he had step-siblings.
 

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Armchair Theologian said:
You mean like when we act like we don't think she's a goddess? Gasp! How horrible!!

Did you ever think about how it sounds to us when you call her all-holy, most blessed and glorious virgin pure, immaculate lady, queen of all, more radiant than the rays of sun and higher than the heavens, superior to angels, brighter than the firmament and purer than the sun's light, and so on and so forth?

And no, I won't capitalize any of that.

So lets see, sifting through the garbage, I see like 3 intelligible responses to the OP's argument. Good job people!
Calm down, dude.
 

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Much better than when Protestants just disrespect her by casually saying "mary" or going to great lengths to minimalize her role in the Incarnation because of rabid anti-Catholicism.
I've seen some Protestants go to great lengths, praising St. Peter, St. Paul, and other "heroes" of the faith, but when it comes to the Theotokos, she doesn't seem to get much of a mention at all. Not that all Protestants do this, but many do.
 

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JamesR said:
Also, just felt like pointing out, Jesus didn't have any half-siblings because that would imply St. Joseph was his biological father; rather, he had step-siblings.
Hallelujah!  someone agrees with something I said
 

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choy said:
I was listening just this morning to Fr. Tom Hopko's podcast on the Annunciation.  He wonderfully put it this way, "Mary is not holy because she is the Mother of God, she is the Mother of God because she is holy."
I'm not sure that I'm entirely comfortable with that interpretation. Nor do I think it does much, in itself, to explain the phenomenon.  But it does illustrate that not any old decent person receives the honor she did.

 

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JamesR said:
Also, just felt like pointing out, Jesus didn't have any half-siblings because that would imply St. Joseph was his biological father; rather, he had step-siblings.
All theiris neighbours believed He was.
 
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Eastern Mind said:
Much better than when Protestants just disrespect her by casually saying "mary" or going to great lengths to minimalize her role in the Incarnation because of rabid anti-Catholicism.
I've seen some Protestants go to great lengths, praising St. Peter, St. Paul, and other "heroes" of the faith, but when it comes to the Theotokos, she doesn't seem to get much of a mention at all. Not that all Protestants do this, but many do.
True, but I've never heard a protestant refer to Peter or Paul as more honorable than Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than immaterial Seraphim. Neither of them are called king of creation or king of heaven, nigher of them are called the protection of Christians or are addressed as our only hope. But yeah, Protestants do think they were great. Not greater than Mary (<<<I call all to witness, I did capitalize). :)



   
 

mike

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I would be surprised if most Protestant knew who Seraphim or Cherubim are or that they are at all.
 

Aristocles

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I guess we can change the thread title from "Final Proof" to Final Spoof.

Enough already.
 

Eastern Mind

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True, but I've never heard a protestant refer to Peter or Paul as more honorable than Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than immaterial Seraphim.
Sts. Peter and Paul did not give birth to God the Word.
 
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Eastern Mind said:
True, but I've never heard a protestant refer to Peter or Paul as more honorable than Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than immaterial Seraphim.
Sts. Peter and Paul did not give birth to God the Word.
They also never said that Mary was the most powerful and awesome being in all creation for having done so. I guess they were just way too concerned with her son Jesus Christ to explain all of that.
 

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Armchair Theologian said:
Eastern Mind said:
True, but I've never heard a protestant refer to Peter or Paul as more honorable than Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than immaterial Seraphim.
Sts. Peter and Paul did not give birth to God the Word.
They also never said that Mary was the most powerful and awesome being in all creation for having done so. I guess they were just way too concerned with her son Jesus Christ to explain all of that.
St. Elisabeth and Archangel Gabriel did that.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Armchair Theologian said:
Eastern Mind said:
True, but I've never heard a protestant refer to Peter or Paul as more honorable than Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than immaterial Seraphim.
Sts. Peter and Paul did not give birth to God the Word.
They also never said that Mary was the most powerful and awesome being in all creation for having done so. I guess they were just way too concerned with her son Jesus Christ to explain all of that.
This thread is about the belief in the ever-virginity of Mary. The problems you are sharing on this thread are problems you are already addressing on another thread. It might be good, then, that you take your concerns there so we can keep this thread focused on the topic freddief wants to discuss. Thanks.
 

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St. Athanasius: "Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary" (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).

Pope Siricius I: You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the Flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord's body, chat court of the eternal King (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).
 

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freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
I think your questions are fair enough. But you have a very bad fact that you must tackle from the 5th Ecumenical Council:

The Capitula of the Council.

I.If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons:  let him be anathema.  For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things.

II.If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious and born of her:  let him be anathema.
 

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freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
I think your questions are fair enough. But you have a very bad fact that you must tackle from the 5th Ecumenical Council:

The Capitula of the Council.

I.If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons:  let him be anathema.  For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things.

II.If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her:  let him be anathema.
If you are right that Scripture does not allow for the ever-virginity of the Theotokos, than the Church universal fell into significant error and material heresy rather quickly, manifesting itself in its declaration of an anathema at the 5th Ecumenical Council.

However, that would suggest that the Church was not the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). Christ promised He would be with the Church always: "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matt 28:20). So, if you are right, that would suggest that either Christ was not truthful, or that He was trying to be truthful but that He was ineffectual and impotent. Either way, I cannot imagine following that sort of Jesus.

Moreover, given that the Church universal disagreed with your interpretation (as expressed in this Council and at the 4th Ecumenical Council), you are effectively putting yourself above the Church in your understanding of Scripture. Scripture is our most reliable, "infallible" authority for Christian faith and praxis, but it is a material authority. Scripture does not interpret itself any more than the American Constitution interpretes itself. Both need a formal authority to do so. You have made yourself a formal authority above the Church, which begs the question: On what basis is your understanding of Scripture more normative than that which was believed "everywhere, always by everyone" in the Church.

St. Vincent of Lerins warns us that the worst heresies of the Early Church arose when individuals tried to interpret Scripture apart from the Church:
"But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters .For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another.Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation".A Commonitory by St. Vincent of Lérins
The Holy Spirit never left the Church and we have no reason to believe she fell into universal error. The Church is the Bride of Christ and she is trustworthy. We should therefore interpret Scripture as she does.
 

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I do not think that the OP has denied anything in the below canons.  In fact, I have not seen him say that he believed that Mary was anything other than Theotokos.  What I understand to be his point is that she had more children after Jesus - a point believed by most Protestants that I have known.  In fact, it was one of the last of my Lutheran beliefs that I gave up, and I am still not sure that I truly believe what I now confess.

edit - I see you added some more stuff to your post, so what I wrote above may not be accurate.

Clemente said:
freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
I think your questions are fair enough. But you have a very bad fact that you must tackle from the 5th Ecumenical Council:

The Capitula of the Council.

I.If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons:  let him be anathema.  For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things.

II.If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious and born of her:  let him be anathema.
 

freddief

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PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
Whereas a Psalm can be considered prophetic of Christ, prophecy was not the primary purpose of the Psalms. For instance, this passage from Psalm 68 was not written to speak directly of the future Messiah; rather, it was written primarily to speak of issues the psalmist faced while he was writing the Psalm. We see in this Psalm imagery that we also see to some degree in Jesus Christ, but that can't be seen as proof of any position for or against Mary's ever-virginity.
I understand what you're saying, but would have thought that prophesy in relation to the Lord was as primary as any other purpose of the psalms.
By definition, there can only be one primary purpose. There can be a number of secondary purposes, but only one primary purpose.

freddief said:
The quotation I have given is all related to Christ.  We know the zeal of God's house consumed him - John 2:17.  This is absolutely a direct prophesy.
So you think then that the first purpose of this Psalm was to prophesy that the zeal of God's house would consume Him? Could not the same thing be said for Zerubabbel or Ezra or someone else who helped reconstruct the Temple after the exile?

freddief said:
We know also about the disgrace, humiliation and insults he endured.  They called him a glutton, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a Samaritan (a dreadful insult, apparently), claimed he operated by the power of Satan, and was in fact possessed of a demon.  Finally they had him nailed to the cross, a death of shame and total humiliation.  I can give you scripture for all of this, but know you probably believe it.  

We also know he became a "stranger to his brothers", in that they did not believe him - John 7:5.  In view of this, I can't see why the thought of becoming "an alien to his mother's sons" should not relate to him as well.  It's a big ask if that's what you're asking me to believe.

Anyway I was just reading the psalm the other day, and wondered what the perpetual virginity people thought of it
I think we need to understand the Psalms first within their historical context and only secondarily as prophecies of Christ. Even then, we need to be very careful not to draw from the Psalms proof texts for Christological dogmas that contradict the faith given us by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church.
I should have said "as important as", not "as primary as".  No, it was not the primary purpose of the psalm to prophesy that the zeal of God's house would consume Christ, but it did directly prophesy it.
No, it didn't.

freddief said:
And that is as important as anything else in the psalm.
No, it isn't.

We see Christ in the Psalms, but that does not mean that the Psalms directly prophesied Christ.

freddief said:
Was this said of Ezra or Zerubabbel?  Nowhere, as far as I know, is it related to anyone else but Christ in John 2.
The fact that an apostle related the Psalms to Christ does not mean that the Psalms directly prophesied the Christ. Rather, it means that, knowing Christ, the apostle was able to see Christ as the fulfillment of the Psalms.

freddief said:
I do not see how the perpetual virginity of Mary can be a "Christological dogma".
Personally, I don't, either. The ever-virginity is certainly part of our Tradition, but it's never really been proclaimed in a way that can clearly be recognized as dogmatic, unlike the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation and the fact that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and when she gave birth to Christ. You could say that the ever-virginity of the Theotokos just isn't a part of our public message to the world.

freddief said:
Which of the apostles gave it?  I'm not going to argue with you about the importance of historical context, but would say prophecies of Christ are secondary to nothing
But seeing Christ in the Psalms does not mean the Psalms are necessarily prophecies of Christ.
I think we are just going to have to disagree.  The person who speaks in the quotation bore disgrace, humiliation and insults.  He was consumed by the zeal of God's house, had brothers who did not believe him, and a mother who had sons who did not believe him (that they, or some of them, later came to faith does not alter the initial fact).  I believe that person is the Lord Jesus Christ, that the psalmist is speaking prophetically of Him.  

I do not believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, principally because I am not asked to in the Holy Scriptures.  It is amazing that I am being called a heretic for not believing something not mentioned by the only inspired writers of God's word.  I do not see how the teaching in any way enhances the glory of Christ's Person.  I do not see how it would enhance my walk of faith in Christ if I adhered to it.  I cannot see either how it enhances the dignity and stature of Mary.  I believe everything God says about Mary in His written word, and leave nothing out.  I strive to follow her holy example and her holy teaching, so clearly shown in the scriptures.  That is my position.  There is no question of my downplaying or even denigrating Mary, as some seem to be suggesting

 

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Clemente said:
freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
I think your questions are fair enough. But you have a very bad fact that you must tackle from the 5th Ecumenical Council:

The Capitula of the Council.

I.If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons:  let him be anathema.  For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things.

II.If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her:  let him be anathema.
If you are right that Scripture does not allow for the ever-virginity of the Theotokos, than the Church universal fell into significant error and material heresy rather quickly, manifesting itself in its declaration of an anathema at the 5th Ecumenical Council.

However, that would suggest that the Church was not the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). Christ promised He would be with the Church always: "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matt 28:20). So, if you are right, that would suggest that either Christ was not truthful, or that He was trying to be truthful but that He was ineffectual and impotent. Either way, I cannot imagine following that sort of Jesus.

Moreover, given that the Church universal disagreed with your interpretation (as expressed in this Council and at the 4th Ecumenical Council), you are effectively putting yourself above the Church in your understanding of Scripture. Scripture is our most reliable, "infallible" authority for Christian faith and praxis, but it is a material authority. Scripture does not interpret itself any more than the American Constitution interpretes itself. Both need a formal authority to do so. You have made yourself a formal authority above the Church, which begs the question: On what basis is your understanding of Scripture more normative than that which was believed "everywhere, always by everyone" in the Church.

St. Vincent of Lerins warns us that the worst heresies of the Early Church arose when individuals tried to interpret Scripture apart from the Church:
"But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters .For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another.Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation".A Commonitory by St. Vincent of Lérins
The Holy Spirit never left the Church and we have no reason to believe she fell into universal error. The Church is the Bride of Christ and she is trustworthy. We should therefore interpret Scripture as she does.
If this is about interpreting the Holy Scriptures, exactly which scripture are you interpreting when you proclaim the perpetual virginity of Mary?
 

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freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
Whereas a Psalm can be considered prophetic of Christ, prophecy was not the primary purpose of the Psalms. For instance, this passage from Psalm 68 was not written to speak directly of the future Messiah; rather, it was written primarily to speak of issues the psalmist faced while he was writing the Psalm. We see in this Psalm imagery that we also see to some degree in Jesus Christ, but that can't be seen as proof of any position for or against Mary's ever-virginity.
I understand what you're saying, but would have thought that prophesy in relation to the Lord was as primary as any other purpose of the psalms.
By definition, there can only be one primary purpose. There can be a number of secondary purposes, but only one primary purpose.

freddief said:
The quotation I have given is all related to Christ.  We know the zeal of God's house consumed him - John 2:17.  This is absolutely a direct prophesy.
So you think then that the first purpose of this Psalm was to prophesy that the zeal of God's house would consume Him? Could not the same thing be said for Zerubabbel or Ezra or someone else who helped reconstruct the Temple after the exile?

freddief said:
We know also about the disgrace, humiliation and insults he endured.  They called him a glutton, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a Samaritan (a dreadful insult, apparently), claimed he operated by the power of Satan, and was in fact possessed of a demon.  Finally they had him nailed to the cross, a death of shame and total humiliation.  I can give you scripture for all of this, but know you probably believe it.  

We also know he became a "stranger to his brothers", in that they did not believe him - John 7:5.  In view of this, I can't see why the thought of becoming "an alien to his mother's sons" should not relate to him as well.  It's a big ask if that's what you're asking me to believe.

Anyway I was just reading the psalm the other day, and wondered what the perpetual virginity people thought of it
I think we need to understand the Psalms first within their historical context and only secondarily as prophecies of Christ. Even then, we need to be very careful not to draw from the Psalms proof texts for Christological dogmas that contradict the faith given us by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church.
I should have said "as important as", not "as primary as".  No, it was not the primary purpose of the psalm to prophesy that the zeal of God's house would consume Christ, but it did directly prophesy it.
No, it didn't.

freddief said:
And that is as important as anything else in the psalm.
No, it isn't.

We see Christ in the Psalms, but that does not mean that the Psalms directly prophesied Christ.

freddief said:
Was this said of Ezra or Zerubabbel?  Nowhere, as far as I know, is it related to anyone else but Christ in John 2.
The fact that an apostle related the Psalms to Christ does not mean that the Psalms directly prophesied the Christ. Rather, it means that, knowing Christ, the apostle was able to see Christ as the fulfillment of the Psalms.

freddief said:
I do not see how the perpetual virginity of Mary can be a "Christological dogma".
Personally, I don't, either. The ever-virginity is certainly part of our Tradition, but it's never really been proclaimed in a way that can clearly be recognized as dogmatic, unlike the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation and the fact that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and when she gave birth to Christ. You could say that the ever-virginity of the Theotokos just isn't a part of our public message to the world.

freddief said:
Which of the apostles gave it?  I'm not going to argue with you about the importance of historical context, but would say prophecies of Christ are secondary to nothing
But seeing Christ in the Psalms does not mean the Psalms are necessarily prophecies of Christ.
I think we are just going to have to disagree.  The person who speaks in the quotation bore disgrace, humiliation and insults.  He was consumed by the zeal of God's house, had brothers who did not believe him, and a mother who had sons who did not believe him (that they, or some of them, later came to faith does not alter the initial fact).  I believe that person is the Lord Jesus Christ, that the psalmist is speaking prophetically of Him.  

I do not believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, principally because I am not asked to in the Holy Scriptures.  It is amazing that I am being called a heretic for not believing something not mentioned by the only inspired writers of God's word.  I do not see how the teaching in any way enhances the glory of Christ's Person.  I do not see how it would enhance my walk of faith in Christ if I adhered to it.  I cannot see either how it enhances the dignity and stature of Mary.  I believe everything God says about Mary in His written word, and leave nothing out.  I strive to follow her holy example and her holy teaching, so clearly shown in the scriptures.  That is my position.  There is no question of my downplaying or even denigrating Mary, as some seem to be suggesting
Why do you think that which is normative in Christianity is only found in Scripture? Scripture says that we should believe more than just written Scripture: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle". 2 Thes 2:15. For the first four centuries of Christianity, there was no fixed canon of the New Testament, yet Christians still managed to transmit the faith from one generation to the next.

Who called you a heretic?

The doctrine of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos is not taught for the sake of upholding the sanctity of the Virgin Mary, but because of the uniqueness of her Son Jesus Christ. By being ever virgin, the Theotokos fulfils prophecy from the Old Testament, thereby elevating Christ. 

"Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." (Ezekiel 44:2). This has always been interpreted by the Fathers of the Church to be a reference to the Virgin Mary and the Incarnation. When we consider that God took flesh from the Virgin's womb, it is not difficult to imagine that this womb would remain virgin.

But even if you don't understand how it would help your faith, why wouldn't you believe it if it is true? Christian Othodoxy is not about you or about doctrinal pluralism. “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:6).

Christianity is not about just believing a bare minimum to get "saved"; it is about truth and becoming Christlike.

The Church believed the ever-virginity was part of the faith transmitted faithfully from the Apostles. Why would you limit your belief to that which you, as the final, private judge, determine from Scripture?

Where in Scripture or in the Fathers do you see such an epistemology where we should each act like, what amounts to, little popes?


 

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I do not believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, principally because I am not asked to in the Holy Scriptures.
Why does it have to be in the Bible? Do you think the early Christians were Sola Scriptura?
 

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Well, the Scriptures feel the verse concerning "Rachel weeping for her children" as connected to the slaughter of the innocents, yet even she was not the mother of all Israel's children.  Soooooo....why particularly do you find reason to take this verse literally as the Theotokos?  That makes no sense in the context of how the prophecies were used by the gospels and Acts.
 
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Clemente said:
Why do you think that which is normative in Christianity is only found in Scripture? Scripture says that we should believe more than just written Scripture: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle". 2 Thes 2:15. For the first four centuries of Christianity, there was no fixed canon of the New Testament, yet Christians still managed to transmit the faith from one generation to the next.
You're assuming the faith of the apostles, transmitted in this way, was not gradually corrupted over time. What if it was? The only way to be sure of what the apostles transmitted to the early Christians through word and deed is to look at their epistles, which fortunately seem to have been preserved with minimal alterations in most texts. That's the only thing we can be sure of, I think. At least it's the only thing I'm sure of.  

Clemente said:
The doctrine of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos is not taught for the sake of upholding the sanctity of the Virgin Mary, but because of the uniqueness of her Son Jesus Christ. By being ever virgin, the Theotokos fulfils prophecy from the Old Testament, thereby elevating Christ.  

"Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." (Ezekiel 44:2). This has always been interpreted by the Fathers of the Church to be a reference to the Virgin Mary and the Incarnation. When we consider that God took flesh from the Virgin's womb, it is not difficult to imagine that this womb would remain virgin.
What if the Fathers were wrong? What if they had a hand in corrupting apostolic teaching? Look at any protestant study Bible, and you'll see there are other possible interpretations of the passage. It may be a literal vision of a future temple, it may be symbolic of the Church (whatever that truly is). The East gate may remain shut signifying that once God had interfered, he would never leave. It may be shut to prevent or signify the end of the solar worship in the temple described earlier in the book of Ezekiel.  

Clemente said:
The Church believed the ever-virginity was part of the faith transmitted faithfully from the Apostles.
What if it wasn't transmitted faithfully? What if things were added, like the perpetual virginity, the dormition, the intersession of the saints in heaven, monastic traditions, and so forth, all clearly built up over time? If the Church is that which faithfully preserves the teaching of the Apostles, and if Orthodox tradition contains later corruptions and merely human teachings, then the Orthodox Church is not the Church, and has no authority, any more than the Baptists or the Pentecostals. In the end, only the Lord knows who is His.  
 
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Eastern Mind said:
Pope Siricius I: You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the Flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord's body, chat court of the eternal King (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).
I'm curious, in what way would the 'seed' of natural sexual intercourse with one's spouse be considered a 'contamination'?

Do not the scriptures teach that the marriage bed is undefiled? (Hebrews 13:4)
 

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Armchair Theologian said:
Eastern Mind said:
Pope Siricius I: You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the Flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord's body, chat court of the eternal King (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).
I'm curious, in what way would the 'seed' of natural sexual intercourse with one's spouse be considered a 'contamination'?

Do not the scriptures teach that the marriage bed is undefiled? (Hebrews 13:4)
Also, why do they believe that anything can contaminate God?
 

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Armchair Theologian said:
You're assuming the faith of the apostles, transmitted in this way, was not gradually corrupted over time. What if it was? The only way to be sure of what the apostles transmitted to the early Christians through word and deed is to look at their epistles, which fortunately seem to have been preserved with minimal alterations in most texts. That's the only thing we can be sure of, I think. At least it's the only thing I'm sure of.  
Is it possible to be sure of the completeness and sole sufficiency of Scripture outside assumption or conviction?
 

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freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
PeterTheAleut said:
freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
Whereas a Psalm can be considered prophetic of Christ, prophecy was not the primary purpose of the Psalms. For instance, this passage from Psalm 68 was not written to speak directly of the future Messiah; rather, it was written primarily to speak of issues the psalmist faced while he was writing the Psalm. We see in this Psalm imagery that we also see to some degree in Jesus Christ, but that can't be seen as proof of any position for or against Mary's ever-virginity.
I understand what you're saying, but would have thought that prophesy in relation to the Lord was as primary as any other purpose of the psalms.
By definition, there can only be one primary purpose. There can be a number of secondary purposes, but only one primary purpose.

freddief said:
The quotation I have given is all related to Christ.  We know the zeal of God's house consumed him - John 2:17.  This is absolutely a direct prophesy.
So you think then that the first purpose of this Psalm was to prophesy that the zeal of God's house would consume Him? Could not the same thing be said for Zerubabbel or Ezra or someone else who helped reconstruct the Temple after the exile?

freddief said:
We know also about the disgrace, humiliation and insults he endured.  They called him a glutton, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a Samaritan (a dreadful insult, apparently), claimed he operated by the power of Satan, and was in fact possessed of a demon.  Finally they had him nailed to the cross, a death of shame and total humiliation.  I can give you scripture for all of this, but know you probably believe it.  

We also know he became a "stranger to his brothers", in that they did not believe him - John 7:5.  In view of this, I can't see why the thought of becoming "an alien to his mother's sons" should not relate to him as well.  It's a big ask if that's what you're asking me to believe.

Anyway I was just reading the psalm the other day, and wondered what the perpetual virginity people thought of it
I think we need to understand the Psalms first within their historical context and only secondarily as prophecies of Christ. Even then, we need to be very careful not to draw from the Psalms proof texts for Christological dogmas that contradict the faith given us by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church.
I should have said "as important as", not "as primary as".  No, it was not the primary purpose of the psalm to prophesy that the zeal of God's house would consume Christ, but it did directly prophesy it.
No, it didn't.

freddief said:
And that is as important as anything else in the psalm.
No, it isn't.

We see Christ in the Psalms, but that does not mean that the Psalms directly prophesied Christ.

freddief said:
Was this said of Ezra or Zerubabbel?  Nowhere, as far as I know, is it related to anyone else but Christ in John 2.
The fact that an apostle related the Psalms to Christ does not mean that the Psalms directly prophesied the Christ. Rather, it means that, knowing Christ, the apostle was able to see Christ as the fulfillment of the Psalms.

freddief said:
I do not see how the perpetual virginity of Mary can be a "Christological dogma".
Personally, I don't, either. The ever-virginity is certainly part of our Tradition, but it's never really been proclaimed in a way that can clearly be recognized as dogmatic, unlike the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation and the fact that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and when she gave birth to Christ. You could say that the ever-virginity of the Theotokos just isn't a part of our public message to the world.

freddief said:
Which of the apostles gave it?  I'm not going to argue with you about the importance of historical context, but would say prophecies of Christ are secondary to nothing
But seeing Christ in the Psalms does not mean the Psalms are necessarily prophecies of Christ.
I think we are just going to have to disagree.  The person who speaks in the quotation bore disgrace, humiliation and insults.  He was consumed by the zeal of God's house, had brothers who did not believe him, and a mother who had sons who did not believe him (that they, or some of them, later came to faith does not alter the initial fact).  I believe that person is the Lord Jesus Christ, that the psalmist is speaking prophetically of Him.
Well, then, how is your belief the final proof of anything?
 

PeterTheAleut

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freddief said:
Clemente said:
freddief said:
"For Your sake I bore disgrace; humiliation covered my face.  I am become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of Your house consumed me, and the insults of those who disgraced You fell on me"

Psalm 68:8-10, Orthodox Study Bible page 726
I think your questions are fair enough. But you have a very bad fact that you must tackle from the 5th Ecumenical Council:

The Capitula of the Council.

I.If anyone shall not confess that the nature or essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, as also the force and the power; [if anyone does not confess] a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three subsistences or Persons:  let him be anathema.  For there is but one God even the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things.

II.If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her:  let him be anathema.
If you are right that Scripture does not allow for the ever-virginity of the Theotokos, than the Church universal fell into significant error and material heresy rather quickly, manifesting itself in its declaration of an anathema at the 5th Ecumenical Council.

However, that would suggest that the Church was not the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). Christ promised He would be with the Church always: "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matt 28:20). So, if you are right, that would suggest that either Christ was not truthful, or that He was trying to be truthful but that He was ineffectual and impotent. Either way, I cannot imagine following that sort of Jesus.

Moreover, given that the Church universal disagreed with your interpretation (as expressed in this Council and at the 4th Ecumenical Council), you are effectively putting yourself above the Church in your understanding of Scripture. Scripture is our most reliable, "infallible" authority for Christian faith and praxis, but it is a material authority. Scripture does not interpret itself any more than the American Constitution interpretes itself. Both need a formal authority to do so. You have made yourself a formal authority above the Church, which begs the question: On what basis is your understanding of Scripture more normative than that which was believed "everywhere, always by everyone" in the Church.

St. Vincent of Lerins warns us that the worst heresies of the Early Church arose when individuals tried to interpret Scripture apart from the Church:
"But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters .For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another.Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation".A Commonitory by St. Vincent of Lérins
The Holy Spirit never left the Church and we have no reason to believe she fell into universal error. The Church is the Bride of Christ and she is trustworthy. We should therefore interpret Scripture as she does.
If this is about interpreting the Holy Scriptures, exactly which scripture are you interpreting when you proclaim the perpetual virginity of Mary?
If you see Psalm 68 as prophetic of the Christ, then why do you not see Ezekiel 44:1-3 as prophetic of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos?
 

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LBK said:
Personally, I don't, either. The ever-virginity is certainly part of our Tradition, but it's never really been proclaimed in a way that can clearly be recognized as dogmatic, unlike the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation and the fact that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and when she gave birth to Christ. You could say that the ever-virginity of the Theotokos just isn't a part of our public message to the world.
There is a post of mine waiting to be approved which shows that the matter of the ever-virginity of the Mother of God was, indeed, proclaimed as a proper and necessary teaching of the Church in the Quinisext Council in trullo.
Okay, I must have confused the ever-virginity of the Theotokos with the stories about her entry into the Temple as a child.
 

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Armchair Theologian said:
Eastern Mind said:
Pope Siricius I: You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the Flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord's body, chat court of the eternal King (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).
I'm curious, in what way would the 'seed' of natural sexual intercourse with one's spouse be considered a 'contamination'?

Do not the scriptures teach that the marriage bed is undefiled? (Hebrews 13:4)
The marriage bed is indeed undefiled, but, like the OT Ark which contained the tablets of the Law, so sacred that touching it meant instant death, how much holier is the true Ark, the woman whose womb bore God Himself? Some food for thought:

Now, St Joseph was a good Jew, he would have been brought up with a strong sense of the sacred. He would have been raised knowing the stories in scripture of people touching the Ark of the Covenant and suffering instant death. He would have also known that only the high priest dared enter the Holy of Holies of the Temple to offer the yearly sacrifice to the presence of God who "dwelt there". Undoubtedly at some stage St Joseph would have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to realise the true meaning behind these images and stories from scripture, as well as the temple rituals.

Once the meaning of these became clear to him, how, then, could Joseph possibly consider marital relations with this woman, the living Tabernacle, the new Ark, the Holy of Holies, knowing that she has given birth to the Son of God? Not that sex is bad, evil or wrong between married couples, just as eating and cooking meat are not bad, evil, or wrong in themselves, but when put into service to God in the Temple, be it sacrificial animals, or, in the case of Mary who was dedicated to the Temple as a child, they became holy, and only the high priests could participate in the sacrifice. Christ Himself is the great and eternal High Priest, the "prince who eats bread before the Lord" (Ezekiel 44). Good man that he was, St Joseph would most likely have regarded himself as utterly unworthy to even be in the presence of such a treasure blessed and wholly sanctified by God, let alone consider sleeping with her.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
LBK said:
Personally, I don't, either. The ever-virginity is certainly part of our Tradition, but it's never really been proclaimed in a way that can clearly be recognized as dogmatic, unlike the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation and the fact that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and when she gave birth to Christ. You could say that the ever-virginity of the Theotokos just isn't a part of our public message to the world.
There is a post of mine waiting to be approved which shows that the matter of the ever-virginity of the Mother of God was, indeed, proclaimed as a proper and necessary teaching of the Church in the Quinisext Council in trullo.
Okay, I must have confused the ever-virginity of the Theotokos with the stories about her entry into the Temple as a child.
The entry into the Temple of the Mother of God is a feast, indeed one of the twelve highest feasts of the Church, and an ancient one at that. The Church celebrates realities, not allegories, in her feasts, despite what certain contemporary writers might claim.
 

Romaios

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If the brothers of Our Lord had been younger than himself (that is born of his Mother and fathered by Joseph), they could not have claimed any authority over him. When in Mark 3:21 we read that they came to "pick him up", because they/people were saying he was out of his mind, they were acting like older siblings. 

It is also evident in the Gospels that his half-brothers (whom the Church honours as Theadelphoi - "brothers of God") were not among his followers during the years of his ministry (John 7:5). They believed in him only after the Resurrection. Their attitude makes more sense if they weren't that close (perhaps not/no longer living in the same household) and he was the youngest.   
 
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