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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mary-Ever Virgin

From Archbishop Averky: On The Birth Of Christ

"And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son." "Till", "until,"-this does not mean that after the birth of Jesus he "knew" her and began to live with her as a wife. St. John Chrysostom rightly observes that it is incorrect to assume that such a righteous man as Joseph would decide to "know'' the holy Virgin after she had so miraculously become a mother, In this case the word "till." can in no way be understood in the same way as it is interpreted by Protestants and other sectarians-who have no veneration for the Mother of God. These latter choose to believe that until the birth of Christ, Joseph did not know the Holy Virgin, but afterwards he did know her. St. John Chrysostom states on the contrary, that Joseph never knew her. In the Holy Scripture this word is used for example, in the verse concerning the end of the Flood: a raven "went forth to and fro, till the waters were dried up from off t h e earth" (Gen. 8:6), but ever afterwards it did not return. Or, for example, the words of the Lord: "Lo, I am with you always, even till the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20); this, of course, does not mean, as the Blessed Theophilactus rightly observes, that after the end of the world Christ will no longer be with us.     No! then all the more will He be with us.

Here Christ is called the "firstborn" likewise not because after Him the Holy Virgin had more children, but only because He was the first to be born and also the only one.
In the Old Testament God commands that every first-born male child is to be dedicated to Him, regardless of whether or not there shall be other children. If in the Gospel there is made mention of "the brothers of Jesus Christ" (Matt. 12:46; John 2:12; and others), this in no way means that He had brothers after the flesh. Tradition testifies that most likely these were the children of Joseph-the-Betrothed, from his first marriage.

1 comment:

  1. I wish to address several erroneous remarks in this posting about 'Mary Ever virgin'. I set aside the remarks about 'protestants' since it is deflecting from God's Word. Being Orthodox, you are no doubt well acquainted with the history surrounding the position & honour the church would aportion 'Mary'? After much debate it was decided to give Mary - Mirijam' the title of 'God-Bearer' 'Theotokos',since she did in truth bear Him within herself until His birth. Isus, Jesus,Yeshua (meaning God saves) has a Father - our Father who is in Heaven. However the title 'Mother of God' was not given to her precisely because it would imply a relationship and postion she does not have with His Father -God. Over the early centuries, the church quickly absorbed many traditions (pagan) one of these was to convert the pagan 'queen of heaven'idolatry into 'Mary'. Through this adoption - the church has 'added to' & 'taken away' from the Word of God - this is no light matter & the consequences and punishments are severe. The premise for Mary being ever-virgin are 'John Chrysostom' and 'tradition' that has it that they were Joseph's children from a previous marriage. Since God's Words cannot be altered nor added to nor detracted from - i ask how tradition and a man who was not entrusted to write the Gospel but offered his understanding of it - how do these sources supercede God's Word? You wrote about certain sects not fully honouring Mary? May i suggest that affording Mary/ Mirijam a status not given to her by Almighty God -is equally if not more wrong? It is precisely this elevation that has resulted in Mary worship (please do not challenge this by saying you venerate - this is semantics nothing more). To be precise - The Gospel of Matthew states clearly that Joseph did not know his wife until after the child was born. The Greek word used here means to have experiential knowledge - it is first used when referring to Adam knowing his wife Havah and a son being born to them. Later again, the same word is used when Adam knew his wife and Seth was born. To claim that this word suddenly means something different is frankly disingenuous at the very least. There is NO superfluous word in God's Word and if Matthew wrote this fact - it is there for a reason - it is truth. Or should we blindly follow your reasoning and assume that Joseph never knew his wife until after Jesus was born means something else? what would you have us believe? that he forgot who she was? never met her? - This sounds facetious i know but that is what you are telling people to believe through your biased understanding. One important fact that is always overlooked is that Isus/Jesus/Yeshua was born a Jew, lived as a Jew & will come back as King of the Jews. His 'family' on earth were law abiding Jews. According to God's Word, His command given to the very first man & woman on earth - Adam & Havah were to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Apart from the spiritual aspects of these commands is also the physical - since we are in a physical realm also. Please understand that NO marriage is lawful unless it has been consummated - to suggest that Mary & Joseph failed to obey God's Word in this matter is frankly troubling & brings with it the implication that Jesus was not born into an obedient family. This is heresy at the very least. It is as Yeshua said 'Your traditions have made the Word of God of none effect'. Mary/Mirijam has been favoured by God - she was the vessel chosen to carry His Son - but anything more, to suggest that she is sinless, ever virgin mother of God - is to give her attributes that God did not give her and NO TRADITION can alter this truth.

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