The Perpetual Virginity: Facts To Consider

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The dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity says that she remained a virgin till the end of her life. The Catholic Catechism explains:

The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.’ And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever virgin” (1: 499).

Many Catholics ask why we do not hold to this dogma. The reason is simple: it lacks a justifiable evidence, so it would be irrational and irresponsible to believe it.

It’s just like someone asking me if I believe in the tooth fairies and I answer “No,” and I’m being told to “prove it.” Prove what? The burden of proof is not on me to disprove the existence of tooth fairies.

I don’t believe in them for the simple reason that there is no credible evidence to support their existence. I don’t have to produce an evidence against their existence.

The same applies to the perpetual virginity dogma. It’s the Catholics making the claim who need to prove it. Evangelicals are not under any obligation to disprove a dogma for which there’s no evidence in the first place.

However, we can point to several facts that invalidate this belief showing that it can only be believed by those deeply committed to Rome’s fiction.

1. God had predicted that Mary would have other children and the Messiah would have brothers:

I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children” (Psa. 69:8-9).

The perpetual virginity dogma can only be sustained by ignoring this Bible prophecy.

2. If the birth of Jesus didn’t “diminish his mother’s virginal integrity” as the above quote says, then what does this denote?

Does it mean that Jesus passed through the birth canal without rupturing the hymen? Did He temporarily dematerialize or was it the hymen that momentarily dematerialized for this to be possible?

Let’s suppose that Jesus was born without passing through the birth canal, how then was He born?  Was it through a miraculous C-section or teleportation?

To suggest that Jesus circumvented the normal birthing process is Biblically objectionable.

3. Jesus is called Mary’s “firstborn son” (Matt. 1:25) and the natural conclusion is that she had other children.

The Greek word for firstborn (prototokos) is used in that text. If Jesus had been the only son Mary had, the Greek word used would have been monogenes which means “only.” It occurs as “only son” (Lk. 7:12) “only daughter” (Lk. 8:42) or “only child” (Lk. 9:38) in the NT.

4. The Gospels plainly state that Jesus had four brothers (mentioned by name) and at least 3 sisters (Mt. 13:55,56; Mk. 6:3).

Catholic apologists usually quote Jerome, who claimed that these were actually Christ’s cousins.

It is argued that Matthew and Mark had to use the Greek word for brother/sister (adelphos/adelphai) because neither Hebrew nor Aramaic had a word for “cousin” and the Jews had the custom of referring to all relatives as brothers/sisters.

They cite examples from the Septuagint, but none from the New Testament, because there are none.

There are two Greek words used for cousins in the NT: anepsios and sungenis. Neither of them were used in Matthew 13:22-56.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the Greek words adelphos and adelphai “have the full meaning of full brother and sister in the Greek-speaking world of the Evangelist’s time and would naturally be taken by his Greek reader in this sense. Towards the end of the 4th century (c. 380), Helvidius in a work now lost, pressed this fact in order to attribute to Mary other children besides Jesus so as to make her a model for mothers of large families. St Jerome, motivated by the Church’s traditional faith in Mary’s perpetual virginity wrote a tract against Helvidius (A.D. 383)…” (Vol. IX, 337)

5. If the Bible writers used the words for relatives and brothers interchangeably, the Greek word syggenon would have been used in Luke 21:16, not adelphoi.

In Colossians 4:10, anepsios was rightly used for Barnabas’ cousin, so the Catholic argument doesn’t stand. The facts show that “cousins” and “brothers” were not used interchangeably.

If the word “mother” is taken literally in Matthew 13:55-56, why not the word “brethren?” Catholics can only resort to such semantic acrobatics because of their commitment to perpetual virginity in spite of contrary evidence.

6. Mary and her other children are introduced as “His mother and His brethren” (Mt. 12:46-50, Mk. 3:31, Jn. 2:12), indicating that they were her children in her care, or if grown, travelling with her as part of the immediate family.

There is no way that the children of some other woman would be following Mary as “His brethren.”

7. If Mary and Joseph never consummated their marriage, then it wasn’t really a marriage after all, but an extended betrothal.

Some Catholic scholars claim that Mary’s perpetual virginity is the hallmark of celibacy. How did this happen? If she took a vow of virginity and then married Joseph, this would have amounted to treachery and contempt on the marriage covenant.

Even Catholicism does not allow a wife to take a vow of continence at her own pleasure. This would also have contradicted the Bible that state that marital conjugal duties are God-ordained (1 Cor. 7:21-24, Heb. 13:4).

When Mary said to the angel “How can this be since I know not a man,” she was only referring to her condition at that time (Lk. 1:34).

8. Perhaps the most outstanding proof against Mary’s perpetual virginity is the “until” clause in Matthew 1:25. Joseph “knew her not until” Christ was born.

The Greek word here is eos ou and it’s used also in Matt. 17:3, Luke 24:4a. It refers to a point in time when the action of the main verb comes to an end.

For instance, the appearance of Moses and Elijah and the angels at the tomb was only for a limited situation. The event later reversed itself.

In the same vein, Joseph didn’t know Mary until after she had given birth to Jesus, then they had sexual relations. To suggest he kept her a virgin all through her life is illogical.

9. Some Catholic apologists quote the apocryphal Apocalypse of James to support this dogma. Of course James wasn’t the author of that legend, it’s just a desperate tool Rome is forced to utilize.

James is called “the Lord’s brother” (Gal. 1:19) and the Bible says “His brethren” didn’t believe in Him until after His resurrection (Jn. 7:3-10, Acts 1:14). Certainly, these “brethren” were the other children Mary had.

Even Josephus the historian, affirms that Jesus had at least one brother:

“He (Ananus) converted the council of judges and brought it before the brother of Jesus – the one called ‘Christ’ – whose name was James, and certain others. Accusing them of transgressing the Law, he delivered them up for stoning” (Antiquities 20.9-1, 200-201).

Quoting the opinions of some church fathers as support proves nothing. They didn’t conduct a pelvic examination for Mary. Some of them, like Origen, Tertullian and Victorinus even rejected the perpetual virginity belief.

Yes, some of the Reformers held to this heresy, but Protestants don’t base their beliefs “on the consent of the Reformers” neither do we hold them as infallible.

The perpetual virginity doctrine wasn’t taught until about 5 centuries after Christ and it was not until the Lateran Council (649 A.D.) that it became an official belief.

10. The legend that Joseph had other children from a previous marriage is self-refuting. If Jesus wasn’t the firstborn of Joseph, he would never had been the legal stepfather of Jesus, and Jesus’ human ancestry would not have been traced through Joseph (Mt. 1:16).

If Joseph had children before Jesus was born, then He couldn’t be the legal heir to David’s throne, which went by law to the firstborn.

The reason Rome persists in this doctrine is because it’s too deeply rooted to be weeded out.

It was a doctrine aimed at modelling the Catholic Mary after old pagan virgin goddesses like the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Artemis, the German Hertha, the Etruscan Nutria and the Druid Virgo Partitura (also called the “Mother of God“).

One common thread running through these goddess figures was their designation as the virgin queen of heaven who bore fruit although they never conceived. This pagan corruption was assimilated into the church of Rome gradually.

According to a writer, “the ancient portrait of Isis and child Horus was ultimately accepted not only in popular opinion, but by formal episcopal sanction, as the portrait of the Virgin and her child” (Homer Smith, Man and His Gods, Brown & Co, 1952, 216).

Neopagans and Wiccans today often signify the virgin phase of their goddess as the crescent moon.

The crescent moon symbol was also associated with Astarte, an ancient Phoenician fertility goddess.

The Egyptian Isis was also represented as standing on a crescent moon with stars surrounding her head. This very representation is seen today in Catholic art, showing “Mary” standing on a crescent moon.

Of course, that is not the Mary of the Bible, but the old pagan goddess in a new garb.

Unmasking the Queen of Heaven

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According to the Catholic catechism, “God has exalted Mary in heavenly glory as Queen of Heaven and earth” and she “is to be praised with special devotion” (pp. 966, 971). In essence, Mary is not on the same footing with humans.

Catholics believe Mary is the Queen of the Universe, Queen of Heaven and the Seat of Wisdom. I once asked a Catholic friend, “If Mary is the Queen of Heaven, who is the King of heaven?” He answered “God.” I then told him that the idea of God having a wife is totally blasphemous.

The Bible is clear that Mary, the mother of Jesus is not the queen of heaven. Jesus is the “King of kings” (Rev. 17:4) and there is no queen ruling with Him.

There is not a single Bible verse that speaks of Mary as queen of heaven. Yet modern Catholic apologists have sweated to maintain this delusion with “proof texts” like:

a) Revelation 12:1-6

They claim that Mary is the “sun-clothed woman” mentioned in this passage. But when you look at the whole of Scripture and not an isolated text you will see that the “sun-clothed woman” represents the nation of Israel and not Mary.

In Isaiah 26:17-18 Israel is described: “As a woman with child is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near to the time of her delivery, so have we [Israel] been in your sight O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain...”

The woman in Revelation 12 experienced childbirth pains which is one of the results of original sin (Gen. 3:16), thus if this is the Catholic Mary, then this disproves the “Immaculate Conception” dogma. Catholics can’t have it both ways.

The sun, moon and 12 stars around the woman also identify Israel.

Then he [Joseph] dreamed another dream … this time the sun, moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me” (Gen. 37:9, 10).

Jacob immediately knew what the dream meant, that the stars represents the 12 tribes of Israel. Remember that the book of Revelation is full of symbols which shouldn’t be taken literally.

Revelation 12:6 says the woman fled into the wilderness just as Scripture says that the nation of Israel would go through travail in the last days and they will “flee to the mountains” (Mt. 24:16, Mk. 13:8, Isa. 66:7-8). According to Bible scholars:

“The woman’s flight into the wilderness also reveals the end-time exodus or restoration when Israel would return in faith to the Lord and again be protected and nourished by him in the wilderness (Isa. 32:5, 35:1, 40:3, 41:18, 43:19-20, 51:3, Jer. 31:2, Ezek. 34:25, Hos. 2:14)” (G. K. Beale and Sean McDonough, Commentary on the New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament, 2007, 1124).

The dragon that stood before the woman represents Satan who is incensed against the nation of Israel and her seed (Dan. 7:21, 8:9, 11:40-45, Joel 3). Nothing here proves Mary is the Queen of heaven.

b). 1 Kings 2:19

“…And the king rose to meet her [Bathsheba], and bowed himself to her, and sat down on his throne and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat at his right hand

Catholics claim that heaven operates based on the ‘earthly Davidic kingdom’, so as Solomon had his mother at his right hand, Jesus now has Mary at His right hand. Why God would pattern Heaven according to an earthly political system is not explained.

The idea of Christ having a heavenly mother queen as a co-ruler is not once taught in Scripture.

The Bible says “And he [God] hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22).

The one-time action of Solomon having a queen mother on his side was not customary. It only occurred in 3 other instances e.g in the case of Maachah the mother of Asa who temporarily ruled with 16 year old king Asa (1Kings 15:12-13) and was later dethroned for idolatry; Hephzibah who ruled with her son Manasseh at 12 years of age (2Kings 21:1) who apparently joined him in his satanism, and Athaliah, a queen mother who killed her own grandsons (2Kings 11:1, 16).

From these examples, there was only a “queen mother ruler” because the kings were very young (and it wasn’t a good arrangement after all).

In Solomon’s case, he was married before he became king, so he already had his queen with him – not his mother. Do we expect Solomon to have his mother sit on the floor at her visit?

Solomon didn’t even honour his mother’s request in the passage, so I fail to see how this supports the Catholic imagery of a great mother and a wimpish son.

Others desperately appeal to Ephesians  2:6 and Revelation 1:6 which speak of Believers seated “together [with Christ] in heavenly places” and being made “kings and priests.” This refers to the spiritual authority of Believers.

If there is a queen who shares Christ’s throne it would be His bride (the church), yet the church is never referred to as the queen of heaven.

Until the day Catholics start praying to Christians with phrases like “Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!” they should discard this spoof text. It’s bad enough to worship a goddess under a “Christian” veneer, it’s evil to twist God’s word to try support it.

The only “queen of heaven” mentioned in Scripture is an ancient pagan goddess worshipped many centuries before Mary was born. Modern Catholic apologists may try to distance their “Mary” from the old pagan goddess, but they are just preaching to the choir.

Catholic priest Andrew Greenley admits:

“Mary is one of the most powerful religious symbols in the history of the Western world … The Mary symbol links Christianity [rather Roman Catholicism] directly to the ancient religions of mother goddesses” (The Making of Popes, New York, 1979, 227).

Some Catholics actually boast that Mary has taken the place of “Maia, the nymph of Greek mythology, who was the mother of Hermes by Zeus, the sky god.” The month of May was named after Maia, who was known as “the queen of May … [and] the Jesuit effort to turn the Queen of May into the Virgin Mary was successful…” (The Catholic Sun, May 26, 1993)

Valerie Abrahamson points out that:

“Even as Mary was called Queen of Heaven and sometimes depicted surrounded by the zodiac and other symbols, so too were the deities Isis, Magna Mater, and Artemis. Such parallels show that Mary’s cult had roots in the cults of the female deities of the Greco-Roman pantheon” (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, ed. Bruce Metzger, Michael Coogan, Oxford Univ. Press, 1993, 500).

The fact that no particular attention was paid to Mary the mother of Jesus for at least five centuries of church history and the archetype that later emerged, although using her name, radically differs from what the Bible says about her, doesn’t take much effort to deduce that as pagan concepts merged with Roman Catholicism, their “Mary” was gradually modelled after the old pagan goddesses.

Some of the titles, roles and emblems of the ancient Queen of Heaven were transferred to “Mary” over the centuries.

Reading Jeremiah 44:1-26, we can see that the ancient Jews “which dwell in the land of Egypt” (vs. 1) also succumbed into the worship of the Queen of Heaven (Isis or Hathor) and the Bible is clear that all pagan deities are demons (Dt. 32:16-17, Ps. 106:36-38, 1Cor. 10:19-21). we can note some facts about this Queen of heaven.

I. Her worship was a great evil and abomination before God (vs. 4, 7). God’s viewpoint has not changed.

Revelation 5:3-5 says, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ .But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it … Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and so he will open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Any entity – no matter how “heavenly” – that tries to replace this central position that Christ has in heaven and on earth, is straight from the pit of hell.

II. Her worship had much appeal to women. Prophet Jeremiah directly addressed “their wives … all the women that stood … and to the women” (vv. 15-20).

There is a strong link between feminism and her worship. It’s no coincidence that the Catholic Marian apparitions are more to female visionaries.

III. Her worship involves burning of incense, cakes (or wafers) and drink offerings (v. 19).

It’s no accident that some apparitions of the Catholic ‘Mary’ have links with the communion host. In modern Wiccan/Neo pagan cults, cakes and wine are offered to their great goddess.

IV. Her worshippers are stubborn and arrogant (v. 17). They told the prophet brazenly: “We will certainly do everything we said we would.”

This is one of the hallmarks of religions controlled by this demonic deity. It indicates the level of mind control that she wields over her servants. This is why her followers disregard the Bible to worship her.

V. She seems to be associated with wealth, peace/war and fertility (v. 18).

This can be seen by the backlash the Jews complained of when they forsook her. They lost their possessions, experienced wars and famine. It was God’s judgement on their rebellion.

Today, the key messages that the queen of heaven teaches Rome is that she will usher in world peace.

At her apparition at Medjugorje in the early 80s, she said: “Dear children, today I invite you to peace. I come here as the Queen of peace and I desire to enrich you with my Motherly peace.”

But this region has witnessed more massacres since this vision. There is only one Prince of Peace and until He returns to reign, there can be no peace in the world.

VI. She desperately seeks the worship of God’s people (vv. 22-23). This is why you will find that the so-called “Marian” apparitions (and dogmas) totally replace Jesus with Mary.

Her fifth promise to “St” Dominic reads: “The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.” This is pure goddess worship.

VII. The Queen of Heaven is the mistress of Witchcraft and the occult.

The Dictionary of Symbols described Isis (one of her names) for instance, as “a powerful sorceress, the Great Enchantress, the Mistress of Magic, the speaker of spells.”

Aleister Crowley, the 20th century famous Satanist “channelled” the Queen of Heaven saying:

I am the Queen of the heavenly ones, of the Gods, and of the Goddessesunited in one form. I am She who was, who is, and will be; my form is one … yet I am nameless in the deep … Some call me Mother of the Gods … others yet again Isis, veiled mother of Mystery.” (The Equinox, quoted in Fallen Angel, p. 222).

The “Queen of Heaven” is a high ranking demonic ruler in Satan’s kingdom. She specialises in imparting dreams and visions to her slaves. Occult mystic, Ab-dru-shin (Oskar Benhardt) wrote:

Certainly, there is a Queen of Heaven, Who according to earthly conceptions could also be called the Primordial Mother, and Who yet possesses the purest Virginity. She however has dwelt from all eternity in the Highest heights … Through her help, help often comes at such an accelerated speed that people [who pray to her] call it a miracle” (In the Light of Truth – The Grail Message, Vol 1, p. 50).

God calls everyone trapped in this false worship to come out and serve the Living Christ before it is too late. He alone is able to save and worthy of worship. All those who bow to this demonic queen are going into everlasting judgement which the queen herself is going into.