Adrian Teo wrote:
> Hello George,
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: george murphy [mailto:email@example.com]
> > Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 4:30 AM
> > To: Jonathan Clarke
> > Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Subject: Re: Virgin Birth
> > First, to be precise, one ought to speak of what is
> > proclaimed in
> > Mt.1 & Lk.1 as virginal _conception_. One can then speak of
> > virgin _birth_
> > in the sense that Mary had not had intercourse when she gave
> > birth to Jesus,
> > but the term has often been taken to include the idea that
> > Mary "retained
> > her virginity" in giving birth in the sense that the hymen
> > was not broken
> > &c. In spite of the fact that the latter is a very
> > traditional idea, there
> > is no biblical justification for it.
> I would not exactly say that there is no biblical justification for it.
> Consider why, if Mary had other children, did Jesus entrust the care fo Mary
> to John, instead of one of his brothers, which would have been expected in
> that culture? While you may find some way to explain that away, it is an
> issue of interpretation or differing attempts at justification, not the lack
> of biblical justification.
1) This isn't quite the same thing. To be technical one has to
2) Virginal conception: Mary conceived Jesus without sexual
3) Virgin birth: Mary gave birth as a virgin. This is often taken (as
I noted) to include _virginitas in partu_, that Mary retained her virginity in
giving birth to Jesus.
4) Perpetual virginity: Mary remained a Virgin after giving birth to
You are referring to 4), while I was speaking of 3). I think there is
more justification for 4 than for 3. One does, however, have to take into
account the "brothers" & "sisters" of Jesus - who may have been cousins or
half-brothers &c, but maybe not.
It's interesting to note that Luther seems to have accepted both
_virginitas in partu_ and perpetual virginity, & Mary is called "ever virgin" in
one place in the Lutheran Confessions.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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