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#61 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 12:44 AM
 
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Why would G-d give a sign that cannot be verified except by the woman herself? Wouldn't he give a sign that would be obvious to all? Makes no sense to me.

Also makes me think that there would be any number of pregnancies out of wedlock with the woman claiming 'Don't blame me - I'm carrying the messiah!'
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#62 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Janelovesmax View Post
2.Betulah
Which is commonly means virgin and the argument is if Isaiah really want to make a "virgin" point, he would have used that word. However, it's not always used as that meaning.

Joel 1:8 uses it to refer to a widow.
The verse is 'The virgin laments for the husband of her youth' - part of her lament is that her husband was killed and her marriage remains unconsumated. That is understood from the Hebrew and not a contradiction.
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#63 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 01:12 AM
 
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Plus, let's not forget that "virgin" can mean "woman who has never had vaginal intercourse." It's possible to become pregnant from "outercourse" if the man ejaculates anywhere near the woman's vulva.

I find it interesting that "Alma" was used in reference to marital purity- after the wedding night, most brides are no longer virgins- so if that word is used to describe a married woman, it must have other connotations besides lack of sexual experience.

I don't know how much it really matters anyway. Catholic theology isn't likely to change anytime soon no matter how we dissect the story! I don't personally beleive that Mary was impregnated by Hashem, but I do beleive it's possible for Hashem to impregnate a woman who hasn't had sex. I mean, He created the world, brought the Flood, split the Red Sea- I think He could handle impregnating a virgin! I just don't think He would do it because He gave us sex as a gift to be enjoyed.

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#64 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 07:12 AM
 
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Isn't "alma" used to refer to Dinah after she was raped? I seem to remember someone posting that here...

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#65 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 08:29 AM
 
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To the best of my knowledge Dina is reffered to in the torah as Naarah and this is also translated in the Septuagint as parthenos. Maybe I will look it up later.... Either way Almah means a girl/ woman of marriagable age. In might imply virginity in "olden times" but in no way does it translate as virgin. Apparently neither does partheneos, if it was used for Dina, after she was raped.

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#66 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 10:53 AM
 
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This is very interesting! But I think to many Catholics (who believe in Mary's perpetual virginity), it's strictly academic. Forgive me for speaking in generalities here, but lay Catholics aren't usually as familiar with the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament as other religions and do not base their beliefs about Mary only on the Scriptures.
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#67 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChasingPeace View Post
This is very interesting! But I think to many Catholics (who believe in Mary's perpetual virginity), it's strictly academic. Forgive me for speaking in generalities here, but lay Catholics aren't usually as familiar with the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament as other religions and do not base their beliefs about Mary only on the Scriptures.
I don't know if this is only 'lay Catholics'. It brings us back to the statement from another thread issued by the Vatican that basically says 'you can't prove the NT from the Hebrew bible, but the NT stands on it's own. However, we can't abandon the Hebrew 'scriptures' b/c without them the NT has no context.' That's my paraphrasing, but I thought that was revolutionary for the church to admit such.
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#68 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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It's not only Catholics who "do not base their beliefs about Mary only on the Scriptures." There are other sources. In fact, the first generation or two of Christians believed strongly in the virgin birth and in the perpetual virginity of Mary, and consistently said so in their writings, even though there was not yet any written New Testament scripture, only the Hebrew scriptures and what they had been taught verbally. As I mentioned before, the fact that all the earliest Christians believed in Mary's virginity doesn't prove it to be a fact, but it does prove that it was considered a fact by the followers of Christ from the very beginning of Christianity.
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#69 of 93 Old 10-25-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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Well, Paul never refers to the virgin birth, which suggests that he was unfamiliar with the tradition. One presumes he also didn't teach the tradition in any of the churches he founded. So I don't think the claim that "all" early Christians believed in the virgin birth can be true.

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#70 of 93 Old 10-26-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
Well, Paul never refers to the virgin birth, which suggests that he was unfamiliar with the tradition. One presumes he also didn't teach the tradition in any of the churches he founded. So I don't think the claim that "all" early Christians believed in the virgin birth can be true.
I can't see that those are fair assumptions. In the handful of Paul's letters found in the NT, he never mentions the trial of Jesus before Pilate, for example, or any number of other things that he must certainly have known of. His epistles were mainly giving instructions to individuals or churches, not trying to make an exhaustive list of everything he knew or believed about Christ.

Also, while Paul doesn't mention the virgin birth directly, in 1 Timothy 5:18 he refers to and quotes from the Gospel of St. Luke, describing it as "Scripture." This Gospel contains the most detailed description of Christ's conception and birth. This means that Paul knew of the book, had read it, and gave no indication that he disagreed with the virgin birth presented in it.

In fact, Paul's silence shows assent, if anything, since references to the virgin birth were common at this time. They are in two of the books of Gospel, for one thing.

Other examples:

Polycarp, a bishop of Smyrna who died in 155 A.D., wrote homilies referring to the virgin birth as doctrine. In his letter to Diognetus, which was circulated among the Christian churches, he notes that the church "places its trust in a Virgin."

A man named Ignatius, who was given his religious instruction by John, the apostle, and was in contact with some of the other apostles at the church in Antioch, wrote of the virginity of Mary as an essential part of Christian doctrine. In his letter to the church at Smyrna, he wrote of Christ as human, "yet Son of God by the divine will and power, truly born of a virgin."

Irenaeus, who lived in the 100's A.D., wrote an essay called "Against Heresies" which not only states that Mary's virginity was the belief of Christians, but suggests that those who reject Christ's divine form of conception to a virgin have not really accepted Christ or his teachings. He emphasizes the significance of the virgin birth again in his "First Apology".

Lactantius wrote "On the Birth of Jesus From the Virgin" around the same time.

An anti-Christian pagan writer from the 100's A.D., Celsus, wrote a great deal of satire, ridiculing Christian beliefs. These included, according to him, the belief that Jesus was born of a virgin.

By the year 250, not only was the virgin birth acknowledged as a matter of course, but the earliest surviving written church service (from Alexandria, 250 A.D.) expresses devotion to Mary as "Theotokos (Birth-giver of God) and most blessed virgin."
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#71 of 93 Old 10-26-2006, 07:38 AM
 
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The fact remains, that "there are Christians who believe in the divinity of Christ without positing or accepting a miraculous origin of the physical man. . . ."(Arwyn), and I'm always happy when that point is reiterated here because I think those Christians and their churches are often overlooked in the assumptions about what is Christian, or what Christians believe.
Raising hand here here as one of those overlooked, metaphorical, allegorical Christians. "What they said!" Can't say it any better myself.

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#72 of 93 Old 10-26-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
I can't see that those are fair assumptions. In the handful of Paul's letters found in the NT, he never mentions the trial of Jesus before Pilate, for example, or any number of other things that he must certainly have known of. His epistles were mainly giving instructions to individuals or churches, not trying to make an exhaustive list of everything he knew or believed about Christ.

Also, while Paul doesn't mention the virgin birth directly, in 1 Timothy 5:18 he refers to and quotes from the Gospel of St. Luke, describing it as "Scripture." This Gospel contains the most detailed description of Christ's conception and birth. This means that Paul knew of the book, had read it, and gave no indication that he disagreed with the virgin birth presented in it.

In fact, Paul's silence shows assent, if anything, since references to the virgin birth were common at this time. They are in two of the books of Gospel, for one thing.

I Timothy is not an authentic Pauline letter. In the Perrin/Duling book "The New Testament," the authors write, "The large majority of critical interpreters think that Pauline authorship is impossible." (and they go on at length to explain why.) It's considered part of the Pauline school, and was written in about 100-125 CE.

Given that Paul never mentions the virgin birth, it simply isn't accurate to argue that he "must have known" about it. It's called arguing from silence, and it's not pursuasive.

There's no good evidence for arguing that Paul knew the other books of the NT as we have them today, since Paul wrote in about 50-60 CE and the gospels were composed in about 90-100 CE. Given that Paul was an adult in 50 CE (that is, after his conversion, during his Christian missionary work) it's difficult to picture him living until 90 CE. There's a rich oral tradition during the period when Paul was alive, of course, but there's no evidence that Paul had access to every bit of oral tradition surrounding the teachings and activities of Jesus.

I'm not arguing that the virgin birth wasn't a part of early Christian doctrine. I'm saying it's inaccurate to claim, as you did, that "all" early Christians believed in the virgin birth. There's just no evidence to back that up.

And of course, the presence in some early Christian teaching of the virgin birth tradition doesn't make it fact.

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#73 of 93 Old 10-26-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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Paul was pretty up front about tackeling false doctrines and false teachings in the early church. I should think if the virgin birth was one of them we would have heard about it loudly. it is no small part of the faith.

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#74 of 93 Old 10-26-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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Paul was pretty up front about tackeling false doctrines and false teachings in the early church. I should think if the virgin birth was one of them we would have heard about it loudly. it is no small part of the faith.
It's no small part of your faith NOW but it wasn't necessarily an important part of the faith THEN.

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#75 of 93 Old 10-26-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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Lilyka, there is no evidence to suggest that Paul had ever heard the tradition of the virgin birth. So the fact that he didn't argue against it doesn't mean that it's more legitimate or less legitimate.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#76 of 93 Old 10-28-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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I would like to address the question posed by the original poster:

"explain the virgin birth to me."

As is obvious by my signature, I am a Catholic. I will present to you the Catholic Church's teaching on this matter. All Catholics must believe this doctrine of our Church if they want to remain Catholic. It is intrinsic to our beliefs.

Let us first examin virginity. Sex is a wonderful thing and a gift from God. People who dedicate their lives to God like to give up wonderful and pleasurable things in order to deny themselves and give more fully to the service of God. Since sex is one of the most wonderful things in the world, it is a huge thing to give up. People who choose to live a celibate life give up, for God, one of the biggest things that they can. In the New Testament St. Paul gives many examples and testamonies that voluntary celibacy is a good thing and a high calling. (My Bible quotes are taken from the King James Version unless specified.)

"For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matt. 19:11-12)

Here our Lord gives a challenge to them who can "receive" it - those to whom it is "given" by God. The challenge is to be a eunuch - one who does not enter into marital relations - for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. This is a "counsel," not a commandment, meaning that it is not mandatory for Christians, but it is a higher calling. This challenge was taken by millions of Christians as an invitation to live a celibate life. People of all cultures and beliefs have always held young virgins as symbols of innocent beauty.

St. Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians (seventh chapter) says: "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman." He recommends that they imitate his own celibacy: "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." (1 Cor. 7:7-9)

Here are some reasons given by St. Paul why virginity is better: "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband." (1 Cor. 7:32-34)

In verse 28 of the same chapter he makes it clear that marriage is not a sin, but that virginity is better. He continues on the role of fathers: "So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better." (v.38) The Catholic belief on this matter is that while celibacy is better, the married state is a good thing.

In the Old Testament God commanded that there be times of abstinence in lawful matrimony. this was done to sanctify the people. In Exodus, just before God's revelation on Mt. Sinai, Moses is told by God, "Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day." (Exodus 19:10-11) Fulfilling God's command to "sanctify" the people, Moses commands, "Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives." (v. 15) If putting off marital relations for a time had the power to sanctify, then it stands to reason that someone who practiced abstinence all her life would have more opportunities to sanctify herself.

[While in the Old Testament, a life dedicated to virginity was not typical (because of the command to "fill the earth"), there were certain precursors of the common New Testament practice of consecrated virginity. It is believed, by Catholics and Rabbinical Jews alike, that Elijah and Elisha were celibate. Josephus and other ancient writers also testify to celibacy being practiced by the pious Essene sect of Jews, which flourished around the time of Jesus. For some interesting facts of B.C. and A.D. Jewish thoughts on celibacy, see the article "Perpetual Virginity of Mary" online at http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/talmud.htm ).]

God is all powerful and capable of all things. He created Mary with no stain of original sin which all men after Adam have been created with. It is unthinkable that the Mother of God would be defiled by even the slightest sin.

As we have established previously, virginity for the love of God is the highest calling. It is unthinkable that if God were to Father a Child with a woman that she would have "known" a mere mortal and sinful man. If He is capable of creating a sinless woman, and Fathering Her Child, He is most surely capable of giving her both of the greatest gifts a woman can have - virginity and motherhood.

So Mary dedicated her life to God in the Temple and vowed perpetual virginity. God had even greater plans for her than to spend her life praying in the Temple, so He arranged for her to be married to Joseph (who had also vowed virginity and was a holy and pious man.) While they were still betrothed (not yet married) we see in the Gospel of St. Luke that the Archangel Gabriel made an appearance to Mary while she was praying.

(These quotes are from the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible.)

"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt bring for a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me accordiing to the word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:26-38)

So Joseph is not the father of Jesus - the Holy Ghost is. So why did Mary need to marry him then? First of all, The Savior of the world needed to have a natural mother to take flesh. Since fornication was (and is) a horrible crime before God (and was then punishable by death), there had to be an arrangement by which the Incarnation would happen without causing the least suspicion of such a crime. God would not have had it even appear that His Incarnate Son was illegitimate. Therefore, the marriage was necessary for the reputation of our Lord and His Mother.
Second, because the Son was a a "sign of contradicition," and had powerful enemies, there was appointed a manly guardian who would protect him from Herod, take him into Egypt, care for the young virgin when there was no room in the inn, etc. When God "emptied himself, taking the form of a servant," (Philippians 2:7) He entered into our sphere, took upon Himself our misery, and came as a weak little baby who needed Mother's milk and a father's protection from bad men. So, the marriage was necessary for the protection of Jesus and Mary. Given what was said above, that virginity is better, we may conclude that Jesus didn't want His parents to give up their virginity. Thus we have a virginal marriage.
The third reason is that it gave an example of purity in matrimony. The last argument is based on the dignity of the physical body of the Blessed Virgin: It was the Ark of the New Covenant. The old one killed a man who inadvertently touched it: Uzzah whose story is told in 2 Samuel 6:7 (King James Version). That body was the new Temple of God, which, like the old one, could not be used for profane purposes. It was where the power of the Holy Ghost rested and worked His greatest work - the Incarnation. What just man would dare to touch the Tabernacle of the Most High?

Which brings us to the common objection that Mary and Joseph had other children and that they did not continue with their vowed virginity. The most common quote is this: "And [Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus." The hinge of the argument is the word "till". The argument assumes that when we say, "till A I never did Y" must mean that "after A I did do Y." This of course, is not true. Here is Merriam Webster's definition of the word, until (an exact synonym of till): "used as a function word to indicate continuance (as of an action or condition) to a specified time (stayed until morning)." Now, while it is usually assumed that the action or condition ends after the time indicated by the till, this is not necessarily the case. The words till, until (as well as to and unto when used in reference to time) only bracket off a certain time frame. They strictly convey literally nothing about what happens afterwards. Here's an illustration: "Till this very day, I have not seen an alligator fly." If the assumption that Joseph and Mary assumed marital relations after the birth of Jesus is true, then, I have to see an alligator fly today. Not likely.

There are similar uses of the word till in Holy Scripture: "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may sincere and without offence till he hath put all enemies under his feet." (1 Cor. 15:25) Does Christ stop reigning after His enemies are under his feet. It would be odd of St. Paul to say this, wouldn't it? There are other passages which prove this point: Psalms 71:18 and 123:2 (KJV numbering) and Matt. 22:43-44.

Another verse that people use to "prove" that Joseph and Mary didn't remain virgins is this: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with the Child of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. 1:18.) Does the phrase "before the came together" (which can also mean living under the same roof) mean that afterwards they did come together? No. St. Jerome argues this very point with Helvidius, who first promoted this idea that Joseph and Mary weren't virgins. He makes this gramatical point: "Helvidius, before he repented, was cut off by death." Then he points out the fact that one cannot repent after death. Ordinary speech provides copious examples, like "Before he broke through the guard rail, he managed to stop the car."

Another argument is that, since Jesus is called the "Firstborn son" of the Blessed Mother, she must have had other sons. It is based on the argument above. The assumption is that, if there is a firstborn, there must be others. It is a silly assumption and belies an ignorance of (or resistance to) Scripture. In the Old Testament, there were certain laws applied to firstborn sons. One of them concerned the redemption tax (see Numbers 3:47 and 18:15-16). The parents of the child were obliged to pay five shekels as redemtpion tax after the child was a month old. If firstborn means that other children necessarily followed, then there is a problem here. How did they know that the child was to have brothers and sisters when he was only a month old? They were in a catch-22: To obey the law of redeeming the firstborn, they had to break the law and wait until their second child was born before paying the offering. What hapended if a couple had their first son, offered the redemption, and then one of both of them was rendered sterile? Did they go back to the priests for a refund of their five shekels? The priests would have had to set up an ESCROW account for all the "maybe" first born sons. The simple fact is that all the laws that applied to the "firstborn son" applied to an "only-begotten" son, too. This is what Jesus was.

So were Simon, James and Jude Jesus' brothers? I would hope that, based on what I have said above, you would say no. Let me tell this: Simon, James, Jude, Joses, and Mary Solome were the children of Cleophas and Mary of Cleophas. Cleophas was Joseph's brother. Their father's name is Jacob. Simon, James and Jude were Jesus' cousins, not biological brothers. Mary Solome married Zebedee and they had James the Greater and John - also apostles of Jesus. Scripture, common usage, and dictionaries show that there are multiple meanings to the word "brother" (of which "brethren" is the plural in the King James Ver. and the Douay-Rheims Ver.). There are at least three meanings of the word: (1) male child of the same parent(s), (2) male kinsman not of the same parent(s), (3) someone realted by other common ties or interests. The idea that such near relatives (Jesus' cousins) are called "brothers" or "brethren" is common in the Bible. In Genesis 14:12-16, the story is told of Abraham's enemies capturing Lot. In verse 12, Lot is clearly called "Abram's brother's son," but in verse 16 he is called his "brother." Thus a nephew is called a brother. (There are at least two other instances of this "non-sibling" usage of the word in the Old Testament: Gen 29:15 and 1 Chron. 23:21-22.)

In the New Testament such non-literal usages of the word "brother" occur all over the place. "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matt. 12:50.) Obviously, this is not a strict biological usage of the words. In the New Testament, the word "brother" frequently refers to those to whom he writes as "brethren." (See 1 Cor. 1:10, for example.)

From all that we have seen, it is clear that the virgin birth in no way contradicts Scripture. It has been taught by the Church from the very beginning. It has such early champions as Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Ignatius of Antioch, John Chrysostom, Epiphanius, Ambrose, Augustine, and most especially Jerome who battled with Helvidius. (Adversus Helvidius is available on the internet at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3007.htm ).

So this is the Church's explaination of the doctrine of the virgin birth. Feel free to pm me with any questions you might have. I would like to end with this quote from Augustine, who sums it up so eloquently:

"Behold the miracle of the Mother of our Lord: She conceived as a virgin, she gave birth as a virgin, she remained a virgin after childbirth." (Serm. De Temp. 23 before A.D. 430.)
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#77 of 93 Old 12-28-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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Apparently no one knew what to say to that

Well written. I have no real opinions on the matter and am just here lurking

I did want to bump it though, because it seemed to be a hot topic and I'm having a good time reading about it
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#78 of 93 Old 12-30-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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however there is a verse somewhere that talks about a person who is married is concerned about leasing their spouse .. . .
Funniest typo today.
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#79 of 93 Old 12-31-2006, 05:56 PM
 
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Funniest typo today.
I thought leasing your spouse didn't sound quite right...
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#80 of 93 Old 12-31-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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Honestly... a lease arrangement might have been simpler than getting married and divorced in retrospect. Or I suppose if I was stuck with the pink slip I could have tried to find someone to lease him from me... but there was a lot of depreciation. I'm not sure it would have been worth the hassle.
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#81 of 93 Old 01-01-2007, 05:58 AM
 
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In the Old Testament God commanded that there be times of abstinence in lawful matrimony. this was done to sanctify the people. In Exodus, just before God's revelation on Mt. Sinai, Moses is told by God, "Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day." (Exodus 19:10-11) Fulfilling God's command to "sanctify" the people, Moses commands, "Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives." (v. 15) If putting off marital relations for a time had the power to sanctify, then it stands to reason that someone who practiced abstinence all her life would have more opportunities to sanctify herself.


No.

Just so that it's clear, this is entirely a Catholic/Christian interpretation of the verse. It is not not not the Jewish view and is in fact contrary to the Jewish view.




It is not that putting off marital relations or staying away from your partner sanctified anything.

It's exactly the opposite: It's that putting it off and staying away would ensure that ritual "impurity" did not happen, that everyone would be ritually "fit" and would be sure *not* to be ritually impure.





In Jewish mysticism and in standard Jewish thought, celibacy does *not* sanctify kh'v'sh. It ensures that you do not become "impure," but there is nothing sanctified about it.







Just so that's clear.
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#82 of 93 Old 01-01-2007, 10:13 AM
 
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Just curious--was there any spiritual value to virginity as a state of life in Judaism in pre-Christian times?
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#83 of 93 Old 01-01-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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The thing is, pre-Christian Jews had a tradition of informal monasticism which has since been set aside. There were no organized monasteries, but individuals would separate themselves from society, remaining celibate and devoting themselves to prayer. This was the case for several of the prophets and St. John the Baptist, for example.
Mary was a kind of server in the Temple (not sure what this was called) as a young girl, and wanted to remain one for life. With no means of support and elderly parents, this would have been difficult for a girl, so her parents made an arrangement that would allow her to continue as she was. She was betrothed to an elderly widower, Joseph, who accepted a celibate marriage in order to support Mary's situation. Then, as we know, something significant came up. This is contrary to current popular art, which shows Joseph as a young husband. He was actually very old at the time of the betrothal.
I found this story very interesting and recently found this article about a similar account (with no mention of Joseph) in the Quran:

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In the Quran, Mary's story begins while she is still in her mother's womb. The mother of Mary, said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate into Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me: For Thou hearest and knowest all things." (Quran 3:35).

She wanted the baby in her womb to serve only the Creator. When Mary was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!" (Quran 3:36). She had expected her baby to be a male child who would grow up to be a scholar or religious leader. However, God had a better plan. God is the best of planners. Quran 3:36 continues "…and God knew best what she brought forth- 'And no wise is the male like the female. I have named her Mariam, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from Satan, the Rejected.'" Mariam literally means "maidservant of God."

In Quran 3:37, God states that He accepted Mary as her mother had asked. He made Mary grow in purity and beauty. She was assigned to the care of a priest named Zacharias. This is interesting considering few women were given this opportunity.
http://www.islamfortoday.com/galvan03.htm
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#84 of 93 Old 01-01-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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The only "value" ascribed to virginity (AFAIK) in Jewish tradition is that a virgin gets a higher ketuba (marriage contract), ie., she's entitled to more in the case, for example, of a marriage that ends in divorce.





A celibate marriage would not actually be considered a Jewish marriage, halakhically. And a man is obligated to procreate (a woman is *not* so obligated) so Josef agreeing to a "celibate marriage" would hardly have been considered a sacred ideal.




Also, the "informal monasticism" to which mamabadger refers would be the Nazir, and celibacy was *not* part of the Nazir's vow.
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#85 of 93 Old 01-02-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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#86 of 93 Old 01-03-2007, 12:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kama'aina mama View Post
Honestly... a lease arrangement might have been simpler than getting married and divorced in retrospect. Or I suppose if I was stuck with the pink slip I could have tried to find someone to lease him from me... but there was a lot of depreciation. I'm not sure it would have been worth the hassle.



I wondered how this thread came back!

Anyway, the last week there have been some super duper cool shows on, I think national geographic chanel about this. Wait, maybe it was discovery times. But lots in a serias of the whole Jesus thing, from Mary-birth-his whole life-death-burial-resurection....

I've even watched them in reruns


carry on...
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#87 of 93 Old 01-03-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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cfiddlinmama ~ Thank you for the Catholic perspective!! : Going to study and compare against my own info at home!

Ange. Mama to boys. Yup. All Boys. All Intact. A bunch of other NFL, crunchy credentials too.
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#88 of 93 Old 01-03-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Once again, AM, the Hebrew Scriptures, of which Samuel is one, were written in Hebrew, not in Greek, Latin or English.
And a Double Thank you!
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#89 of 93 Old 01-03-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedBird View Post
In which language does Jesus really means Emanuel?

Please do not tell us more about *our* books and *our* scholars.

Almah never means virgin and There are no prophesies in TaNaCh about Jesus.
And an earlier quote:
Quote:
Yep, lots of correct meanings of lashon hakodesh torah words make many things in christianity hard to explain. That doesn'y change the original language, it changes the validity of the claims of christian theology.

You and daryLLL have said some amazing things on this thread. You have Dh and I nodding in agreement. (DH- history teacher and theology whiz)
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#90 of 93 Old 01-08-2007, 08:03 PM
 
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Just curious--was there any spiritual value to virginity as a state of life in Judaism in pre-Christian times?
Absolutely not.

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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