Mt. 1: 25 -- "...no relations until she bore a son..."
This is the problematic
verse that is often cited as refutation of Mary's virginity. However, "until"
does not imply that anything changes after she bore a son, as is clear in these
1 Cor. 15: 25 -- "...must reign until he puts his enemies under his feet."
Clearly, Jesus reigns after that as well.
2 Sam 6: 23 -- Micah said to be childless "until"
the day of her death;
obviously she remained childless after her death as well.
Dt. 34: 6 -- "...but to this day no one knows the place of his burial..."
They still don't, of course.
1 Mac. 5: 53 -- "Judas kept... encouraging the people the whole way, until he
reached the land of Judah."
Presumably his encouragement continued in his
homeland as well.
John 5: 9-18 -- "...Jesus answered them, 'My Father is at work until now, so I
am at work.'"
The Father certainly didn't stop working.
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF VERSES WHICH DEAL WITH JESUS' 'BROTHERS.' NOTE THAT
THE WORD IS USED TO REFER TO INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT BORN OF THE SAME MOTHER.
IN FACT, SOMETIMES PERSONS SAID TO BE 'BROTHERS' ARE NOT EVEN BLOOD RELATIVES.
Mk. 6: 3 -- Most of the dispute regarding Mary's virginity stems from
liberties taken with this verse: "Is he not the carpenter, the son of
Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?" The
misunderstanding is exacerbated by the fact that the mother of James and
Joses is also named Mary:
Mt. 27: 56 -- "There were many women there, looking on from a distance,
who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Among them
were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses..." Clearly,
however, this Mary is not Jesus' mother, since the evangelist would not
have failed to identify her as such on Calvary. As is evident as well
in the following passage:
Mk. 15: 40 -- "There were also women looking on from a distance. Among
them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of
Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee
and ministered to him." Again, the fact that this Mary is not Jesus'
mother is quite clear.
Lk. 6: 15-16 -- This verse clarifies the matter further, since the
'younger James' spoken of in the passage above is said to be "the son of
Alphaeus" -- not Joseph.
Mt. 10: 3 -- Again, James is listed as "the son of Alphaeus."
Jn. 19: 25 -- John identifies this additional Mary at the cross as,
"...his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas..." So apparently both
Mary's -- Jesus' mother and the mother of James and Joses -- were close
blood relatives. This is an important clue about the Mk. 6: 3 verse,
above, which lists James and Joses as Jesus' "brothers." Close blood
relatives -- including cousins and nephews -- were frequently called
"brothers." (See the elaboration on the Biblical usage of the word,
"brother," in the passages below.)
A remaining objection to this scenario is, of course, the question of
why James and Joses are identified as sons of Alphaeus, while their
mother is said to be the wife of Clopas. Two possibilities exist:
Either the mother of James and Joses re-married Clopas after the father
of her sons died, or Alphaeus and Clopas were the same individual --
since men in Hebrew society were at times known by more than one name
(e.g., Jacob and Israel; Paul and Saul, etc.)
2 Sam. 1: 26 -- "I grieve for you Jonathan, my brother!"
Jonathan was not
David's 'brother' in the sense of having the same parents.
1 Kings 9: 13 -- Hiram refers to Solomon as brother. As in the previous example, they are not 'brothers' as
we mean the word.
1 Kings 20: 13 -- Ahab calls Ben-hadad brother.
Amos 1: 9 -- "...pact of brotherhood..."
Even allies of no blood relation were
referred to as brothers.
Moreover, in ancient Israel, it was disrespectful to the point of scandal for
younger brothers to advise older brothers in even the most respectful terms.
But Jesus' "brothers" do advise him -- most irreverently in fact:
John 7: 3-4 -- "So His brothers said to Him, "Leave here..."
Mk. 3: 21 -- "...they said, 'He is out of His mind...'"
It's clear that, if these were Jesus' birth brothers, they must have been older.
But Scripture is absolutely explicit that Jesus was firstborn.
To give credit where credit is exceedingly due, most or all of these verses
were taken from Tim Staples' excellent 12- tape apologetics course.