It is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that Jesus’ mother  Mary remained a virgin for her entire life. Is this concept biblical? Before we  look at specific Scriptures, it is important to understand why the Roman  Catholic Church believes in the perpetual virginity of Mary. The Roman Catholic  Church views Mary as “the Mother of God” and “Queen of Heaven.” Catholics  believe Mary to have an exalted place in Heaven, with the closest access to  Jesus and God the Father. Such a concept is nowhere taught in Scripture.  Further, even if Mary did occupy such an exalted position, her having sexual  intercourse would not have prevented her from gaining such a position. Sex in  marriage is not sinful. Mary would have in no way defiled herself by having  sexual relations with Joseph her husband. The entire concept of the perpetual  virginity of Mary is based on an unbiblical teaching, Mary as Queen of Heaven,  and on an unbiblical understanding of sex.

So, what does the Bible say  about the perpetual virginity of Mary? Using the New American Bible, which is a  Catholic translation, we can see that the perpetual virginity of Mary is not  taught in the Bible. Matthew  1:25 NAB tells us, “He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and  he named him Jesus.” He, Joseph, did not have sexual relations with her, Mary,  UNTIL after she bore a son, Jesus.” The meaning of this Scripture is abundantly  clear. Joseph and Mary did not have sexual relations until after Jesus was born.  Matthew  13:55-56 NAB declares, “Is He not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother  named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not His sisters  all with us?” Catholics claim, correctly, that the Greek terms for “brothers”  and “sisters” in these verses could also refer to male and female relatives, not  necessarily literal brothers and sisters. However, the intended meaning is  clear, they thought Jesus to be Joseph’s son, the son of Mary, and the brother  of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and the brother of the unnamed and  unnumbered sisters. Father, mother, brother, sister. It is straining the meaning  of the text to interpret “brothers” and “sisters” as “cousins” or “relatives”  with the mentioning of Jesus’ mother and father.

Matthew 12:46 NAB tells  us, “While He was still speaking to the crowds, His mother and His brothers  appeared outside, wishing to speak with Him.” See also Mark 3:31-34; Luke 8:19-21; John 2:12; and Acts 1:14. All  mention Jesus’ mother with His brothers. If they were His cousins, or the sons  of Joseph from a previous marriage, why were they mentioned with Mary so often?  The idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary cannot be drawn from Scripture. It  must be forced on Scripture, in contradiction to what the Scriptures clearly  state.

Advertisements