Perpetual virginity of Mary

Perpetual virginity of Mary
The Vladimir Eleusa icon of the Ever Virgin Mary. The Aeiparthenos (Ever Virgin) title is widely used in Eastern Orthodox liturgy.[1]

The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, expresses the Virgin Mary's "real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to Jesus the Son of God made Man". According to the doctrine, Mary was ever-virgin (Greek ἀειπάρθενος, aeiparthenos) for the whole of her life, making Jesus her only biological son, whose conception and birth are held to be miraculous.

By the fourth century, the doctrine had been widely supported by the Church Fathers, and by the seventh century had been affirmed in a number of ecumenical councils.[2][3][4] The doctrine is part of the teaching of Catholicism and Anglo-Catholics, as well as Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, as expressed in their liturgies, in which they repeatedly refer to Mary as "ever virgin".[5][6][7]

Some early Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther supported the doctrine however later reformed teaching largely abandoned it.[8][9] The doctrine of perpetual virginity is however currently maintained by some Anglican and Lutheran theologians.[5][10][11][12]


Doctrine and representations

Annunciation, Hours of Boucicaut, c. 1405

The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, which is believed de fide (i.e. held by Catholics as being an essential part of faith), states that Mary was a virgin before, during and after giving birth for all her life.[13][14] The threefold nature this doctrine (referring to before, during and after) thus subsumes the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus.[13][14]

The doctrine of perpetual virginity is also distinct from the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which relates to the conception of the Virgin Mary herself without any stain (macula in Latin) of original sin.[15]

The Greek term Aeiparthenos ( ἀειπάρθενος, i.e. "Ever Virgin") is attested to by Epiphanius of Salamis from the early 4th century.[16] It is widely used in the liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church.[17] The Catechism of the Catholic Church (item 499) also includes to the term Aeiparthenos and referring to the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium (item 57) states: "Christ's birth did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it."[18][19][20] The doctrine of perpetual virginity is also held by some Anglican and some Lutheran churches, but not all of those churches endorse the doctrine.[5] Eastern Orthodox liturgical prayers typically end with "Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary".[21]

The virginity of Mary at the time of her conception of Jesus is a key topic in Marian art in the Catholic Church, usually represented as the annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel that she would virginally conceive a child to be born the Son of God. Frescos depicting this scene have appeared in Roman Catholic Marian churches for centuries.[22] The oldest fresco of the annunciation is a 4th century depiction in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome.[23]

Mary's virginity even after her conception of Jesus is regularly represented in the Christian art of both the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox (as well as in early Western religious art) by including in Nativity scenes the figure of Salome, whom the Gospel of James presents as finding that Mary had preserved her virginity even in giving birth to her son.[24][25] In many icons, Mary's perpetual virginity is signified by three stars that appear on her left, her right, and above her or on her head, which represent her virginity before, during and after giving birth.[26][27]

Development of the doctrine

Early Church

Artistic representation of Mary's virginity even after giving birth to Jesus, as recounted in the Protoevangelium of James

As of the second century, a good deal of interest developed within the early Church regarding the conception of Jesus and the virginity of Mary.[28] The majority of early Christian writers accepted the virginal conception of Jesus via reliance on the accounts in the gospels of Luke and Matthew. Yet, the focus of these early discussions was of virginity before birth, not during or afterwards.[28][29]

A second century document that paid special attention to Mary’s virginity was originally known as the Nativity of Mary, but later became known as the Protoevangelium of James.[14][30] The document discusses Mary’s virginity before birth, the absence of labor pains, and how a midwife’s examination demonstrated Mary’s virginity during birth, thus asserting the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the birth of Jesus.[31][32]

The work also claims that Jesus' "brothers" and "sisters"[33] are Joseph’s children from a marriage previous to his union with Mary.[34] This text does not explicitly assert Mary's perpetual virginity after the birth of Jesus. But another book, "The History of Joseph the Carpenter", presents Jesus as speaking, at the death of Joseph, of Mary as "my mother, virgin undefiled".[35]

The "brothers" and "sisters" of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels, and the "James, the Lord's brother", mentioned in Galatians 1:19, "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James", mentioned by Josephus[36] were thus interpreted as not being children of Mary. Origen was emphatic on the issue of the brothers of Jesus, and stated that he believed them to have been the children of Joseph from a previous marriage.[37]

There was no full consensus on the doctrine of perpetual virginity within the early Church by the end of the second century, e.g. Tertullian did not teach the doctrine (although he taught virgin birth), but Irenaeus taught perpetual virginity, along with other Marian themes.[29] However, wider support for the doctrine began to appear within the next century.[29]

Church Fathers and the Middle Ages

By the 4th century, the doctrine of perpetual virginity had been well attested.[38] For example, references can be found in the 3rd century writings of Hippolytus of Rome, who called Mary "the tabernacle exempt from defilement and corruption," [39] and the 4th century works of Athanasius,[40] Epiphanius,[41] Hilary,[42] Didymus,[43] Ambrose,[44] Jerome,[45] and Siricius[46] continued the attestations to perpetual virginity - a trend that gathered pace in the next century.[2][3]

The Church Fathers in an 11th-century depiction from Kiev

John Chrysostom defended perpetual virginity on a number of grounds, one of which was Jesus' commands to his mother in Calvary: "Woman, behold your son!" and to his disciple "Behold, thy mother!" in John 19:26-27.[47][48] Since the second century these two statements of Jesus from the cross had been the basis of reasonings that Mary had no other children and "from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home" because after the deaths of Joseph and Jesus there was no one else to look after Mary, and she had to be entrusted to the disciple.[49][50]

By the time of Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine of Hippo, with the increased emphasis on Marian piety, a wider role for Mary began to appear in the context of the history of salvation.[4] Augustine himself presented a number of arguments in favor of the doctrine of perpetual virginity.[51][52] By the end of the 4th century, Luke 1:34 (How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?) had started to be read as a passage that indicated a "vow of perpetual virginity" on the part of Mary.[4]

The concept of Mary's vow of virginity had already appeared in the Protovangelium (4:1) which asserted that Mary's mother, Anne, gave Mary as a "virgin of the Lord" in service in the Temple, and that Joseph, a widower, was to serve as her guardian (legal protections for women depended on their having a male protector: father, brother, or, failing that, a husband).[53] Early in the 7th century, in the Short Book on the Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary Isidore of Seville connected the Mariological and Christological themes by linking the virginity of Mary to the divinity of Christ in a single line of argument.[54] The Lateran Council of 649, attended by Maximus the Confessor, explicitly affirmed the teaching of Mary's virginity before, during and after birth.[29] This was further affirmed at the sixth ecumenical council in 680.[2]

Over the centuries the interpretation of Mary as an ever virgin bride of the Lord who had taken a vow of perpetual chastity spread and was in full vogue by the time of Rupert of Deutz in the 12th century.[4] By the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas had fashioned long and detailed theological arguments in defense of the doctrine and stated that a denial of the perpetual virginity of Mary would be derogatory to the perfection of Christ, an insult to the Holy Spirit, and an affront to the dignity of the Mother of God.[55][56]

Mary, the Second Eve

13th century Byzantine mosaic, of Madonna and Child, Athens

As of the fourth century, in discussing God's plan of salvation, a parallel theme began to appear in which Mary's obedience (be it unto me according to thy word in Luke 1:38) and the doctrine of perpetual virginity were counter-positioned against Adam and Eve, just as Jesus' obedience was counter positioned against that of Adam in Romans 5:12-21.[4][29]

The concept of Mary as the Second Eve was first introduced by Justin Martyr around 155 AD.[57] In this perspective, which was discussed in detail by Irenaeus, supported by Jerome, and then grew further, the vow of obedience and virginity of Mary positioned her as the "Second Eve" as part of the plan of salvation, just as Jesus was positioned as the Second Adam.[4][29]

The theme developed by the Church Fathers ran parallel to the theme developed by Apostle Paul in Romans 5:18-21 when he compared Adam's sin with the obedience of Jesus to the will of the Father, all the way to Calvary: "For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous."[58] In the same manner, Mary's obedience to the statements of the angel, and her adherence to her vow of perpetual virginity was seen as a remedy for the damage caused by Eve.[59]

The Second Eve teaching continued to grew among Catholics, and in discussing perpetual virginity, the 1566 Catechism of the Council of Trent explicitly taught that while Eve by believing the serpent brought malediction on the human race, Mary by believing the angel brought benediction to mankind.[60][39]

The concept of the Second Eve has continued to remain part of Catholic teachings, e.g. Pope Pius XII referred to it in the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi and Pope John Paul II referred to it in a General Audience at the Vatican in 1980.[61][62]

Protestant Reformation

The start of the Protestant Reformation at the beginning of the 16th century did not immediately bring about a rejection of the doctrine of perpetual virginity and several leaders of the Reformation provided varying degrees of support for it, at times without directly endorsing it.[63][64]

The early Protestant reformers felt that Scripture required the acceptance of the virgin birth of Jesus, but only permitted the acceptance of perpetual virginity.[65] Over time, many Protestant churches stopped teaching the doctrine and other Protestant churches denied it.[8][9]

Support by early reformers

Key articles on
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Prayers & devotions

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Ecumenical views

This box: view · Martin Luther believed that Mary did not have other children and did not have any marital relations with Joseph. The Latin text of the 1537 Smalcald Articles, written by Martin Luther, used the term "Ever Virgin" to refer to Mary.[63] The perpetual virginity of Mary was Luther's lifelong belief, even after he rejected other Marian doctrines.[63][66][67]

Huldrych Zwingli directly supported perpetual virginity and wrote: "I firmly believe that [Mary], ... forever remained a pure, intact Virgin."[68] Like Zwingli, the English reformers also supported the concept of perpetual virginity, but often varied on their reasons for the support.[64] Luther and Zwingli's support of perpetual virginity was endorsed by Heinrich Bullinger and was included in the 1566 Second Helvetic Confession.[69]

John Calvin was less emphatic in his open support of the idea, and neither flatly accepted or rejected it.[64] He cautioned against the idea of "impious speculation" on the topic of perpetual virginity.[69] However, Calvin rejected arguments against Mary's perpetual virginity based on the mention in Scripture of brothers of Jesus that were interpreted to imply that Mary had other children.[70]

The Anglican reformers of the 16th and 17th century supported perpetual virginity "on the basis of ancient Christian authority".[63] In the 18th century, John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, also supported the doctrine and wrote that: "... born of the blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as before she brought Him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin."[63][71][72]

Later Protestant teachings

Many current Protestant churches teach the virgin birth of Jesus, without teaching that Mary remained a virgin for the rest of her life.[8][9]

Diarmaid MacCulloch, a historian of the Reformation, wrote that the reason why the early reformers upheld Mary’s perpetual virginity was that she was "the guarantee of the Incarnation of Christ", a teaching that was being denied by the same radicals that were denying Mary’s perpetual virginity.[73] However, the absence of clear Biblical statements expressing the doctrine, in combination with the principle of sola scriptura, kept references to the doctrine out of the Reformation creeds and, together with the tendency to associate veneration of Mary with idolatry[74] and the rejection of clerical celibacy[75] led to the eventual denial of this doctrine among Protestants, who, thus uncommitted to a doctrine the perpetual virginity, take the "brothers" (ἀδελφοί) οf Jesus mentioned in the New Testament most naturally (but not certainly) to be children of Mary and thus Jesus' half brothers, rather than his cousins or stepbrothers from a postulated previous marriage of Joseph.[76]

However, some conservative Lutheran scholar such as Franz Pieper (1852–1931) refused to follow the tendency among Protestants to insist that Mary and Joseph had marital relations and children after the birth of Jesus. It is implicit in his Christian Dogmatics that belief in Mary's perpetual virginity is the older and traditional view among Lutherans.[77] He stated, that "we should simply hold that (Mary) remained a virgin after the birth of Christ because Scripture does not state or indicate that she later lost her virginity".[78] He taught that "Christ, our Saviour, was the real and natural fruit of Mary's virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that"; and that " Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that 'brothers' really mean 'cousins' here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers".[79]


The Annunciation, by Francesco Albani. "How can this be, for I know not man?", Luke 1:34

Some passages in the New Testament have been used to voice objections to the doctrine of perpetual virginity, while other passages have been used to support it.

One objection concerns the mention of brothers and sisters of Jesus,[80] who include James, Joses (the form in Mark 6:3, but "Joseph" in Matthew 13:55), Simon, and Jude. They have been interpreted as children of Joseph and Mary, a view put forward by Tertullian and perhaps by Hegesippus, but that, when proposed by Helvidius, met with opposition from Jerome, who was apparently voicing the general Christian opinion at the time.[81] Jerome held that the "brethren" in question were children of Mary, the mother of James and Joses, named in Mark 15:40 and 15:47, a sister of Jesus' mother (John 19:25),[81][82] making them cousins of Jesus.

Another view, expressed by Eusebius and Epiphanius, is that they were children of Joseph by an earlier marriage.[81] A modern view is that they were children of Cleopas, a brother of Joseph according to Hegesippus, and of "Mary, the mother of James and Joses" seen as sister-in-law, not blood sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.[81] The 1978 book Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars[83] concluded that "it cannot be said that the New Testament identifies them (the "brothers and sisters" of Jesus) without doubt as blood brothers and sisters and hence as children of Mary".[84]

Matthew 1:25 states that Joseph had no marital relations with Mary "until" (ἕως οὗ ) she had borne Jesus. Writers such as R.V. Tasker[85] and D. Hill[86] argue that this implies that Mary and Joseph had customary marital relations after the birth of Jesus. Others, such as K. Beyer, point out that Greek ἕως οὗ after a negative "often has no implication at all about what happened after the limit of the 'until' was reached",[87] and Raymond E. Brown observes that "the immediate context favors a lack of future implication here, for Matthew is concerned only with stressing Mary's virginity before the child's birth".[87]

Woman behold your son!. A Stabat Mater depiction by Gentile da Fabriano, c. 1400

On the other hand, Mary's response to the angel, when told that she will conceive, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?", has been interpreted, at least since the time of Gregory of Nyssa, as indicating that Mary had taken a lifelong vow of virginity, even in marriage:

For if Joseph had taken her to be his wife, for the purpose of having children, why would she have wondered at the announcement of maternity, since she herself would have accepted becoming a mother according to the law of nature?[88]

This interpretation, although upheld by many, is rejected by writers such as Howard Marshall.[89] and is considered implausible by Raymond E. Brown.[90]

A passage used to support the doctrine of perpetual virginity is of the sayings of Jesus on the cross, i.e. the pair of commands first to his mother "Woman, behold your son!" and then to his disciple "Behold, thy mother!" in John 19:26-27.[49][50][91] The Gospel of John then states that "from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home". Since the time of the Church Fathers this statement has been used to reason that after the death of Jesus there was no one else in the immediate family to look after Mary, and she had to be entrusted to the disciple given that she had no other children.[49][50][91] This passage was one of the arguments Pope John Paul II presented in support of perpetual virginity.[50][92][93] John Paul II also reasoned that the command "Behold your son!" was not simply the entrustment of Mary to the disciple, but also the entrustment of the disciple to Mary in order to fill the maternal gap left by the death of her only son on the cross.[94][95]

Islamic perspective

In Sura 19,[96] the Qur'an declares that Jesus was the result of a virgin conception (verses 20-22), and some extend this to mean perpetual virginity of Mary.[97][98] There is no clear doctrinal belief one way or another as to whether she retained her virginity after Jesus' birth.[99][100]

In Islam Jesus and Mary were the only two children not be touched by Satan at the moment of their birth, for God placed a veil between them and Satan.[101] The Qur'an says that Jesus was the result of a virgin birth. The account of the annunciation and birth of Jesus is provided in Sura 3 and 19 of The Qur'an, where an angel is sent to announce that Mary should expect to bear a son, despite being a virgin.[102]

See also


  1. ^ What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary by Terrence J. McNally 2009 ISBN 1441510516 page 168 [1]
  2. ^ a b c The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism by James Buckley, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, Trent Pomplun 2010 ISBN 1444337327 page 315
  3. ^ a b The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1995 ISBN 0802837859 page 271
  4. ^ a b c d e f Mary in the New Testament edited by Raymond Edward Brown 1978 ISBN 0809121689 pages 278-281
  5. ^ a b c Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of world religions by Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1999 ISBN 0877790442 page 1134
  6. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church §499
  7. ^ Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Coptic Liturgy of St Basil, Liturgy of St Cyril, Liturgy of St James, Understanding the Orthodox Liturgy etc.
  8. ^ a b c What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary by Terrence J. McNally 2009 ISBN 1441510516 page 170
  9. ^ a b c Christian confessions: a historical introduction by Ted Campbell, 1996 ISBN 0664256503 page 47
  10. ^ Jackson, Gregory Lee, Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant: a doctrinal comparison. 1993 ISBN 9780615166353 page 254
  11. ^ Bäumer, Remigius. Marienlexikon. Gesamtausgabe. Leo Scheffczyk, ed. Regensburg: Institutum Marianum, 1994. ISBN 3-88096-891-8, p. 190. In particular, it was the lifelong belief of Luther himself (Luther's Works. The American Edition. Jaroslav J. Pelikan & Helmut Lehmann, eds. 55 vols. St. Louis & Philadelphia: CPH & Fortress Press, 1955-1986. Vol. 22, pp. 214-215).
  12. ^ B. Townsend Waddill III, "The Perpetual Virginity of Mary". Founding figures of Anglicanism such as Hugh Latimer and Thomas Cranmer "followed the tradition that they had inherited by accepting Mary as 'ever virgin'" ( Timothy Bradshaw, "Commentary and Study Guide on the Seattle Statement Mary: Hope and Grace in Christ of the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission").]
  13. ^ a b Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pages 56-64
  14. ^ a b c Mary in the New Testament edited by Raymond Edward Brown 1978 ISBN 0-8091-2168-9 page 273
  15. ^ A history of the church in the Middle Ages by F. Donald Logan, 2002, ISBN 0415132894, p150
  16. ^ Joseph, Mary, Jesus by Lucien Deiss, Madeleine Beaumont 1996 ISBN 0814622550 page 30
  17. ^ The image of the Virgin Mary in the Akathistos hymn by Leena Mari Peltomaa 2001 ISBN 9004120882 page 127
  18. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church by the Vatican, 2002 ISBN 0860123243 page 112
  19. ^ Vatican website: Catechism item 499
  20. ^ Vatican website: Lumen Gentium item 57
  21. ^ Eastern Orthodoxy through Western eyes by Donald Fairbairn 2002 ISBN 0664224970 page 100
  22. ^ Annunciation Art, Phaidon Press, 2004, ISBN 0-7148-4447-0
  23. ^ The Annunciation to Mary by Eugene Laverdiere 2007 ISBN 1568545576 page 29
  24. ^ Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography by Helene E. Roberts 1998 ISBN 1579580092 page 904
  25. ^ Treasures from the Ark: 1700 Years of Armenian Christian Art by Vrej Nersessian 2001 ISBN 0712346996 page 167
  26. ^ Heroes of the icon: people, places, events by Steven Bigham 1998 ISBN 1879038919 page 47
  27. ^ The icon handbook by David Coomler 1995 ISBN 0872432106 page 203
  28. ^ a b "The Theme of Mary's Virginity", in Mary in the New Testament edited by Raymond Edward Brown 1978 ISBN 0809121689 pages 267-277
  29. ^ a b c d e f Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0860120066 pages 896-897
  30. ^ L. Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church trans. T. Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1991), p. 35.
  31. ^ L. Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church trans. T. Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1991), p. 40.
  32. ^ Quasten, Patrology 1:120-1.
  33. ^ Matthew 13:56 and Mark 6:3
  34. ^ Protoevangelium chapters 7–8.
  35. ^ Saint Joseph: His Life and His Role in the Church Today by Louise Bourassa Perrotta 2000 ISBN 0879735732 page 86
  36. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, book 20, chapter 9
  37. ^ The Westminster handbook to Origen by John Anthony McGuckin 2004 ISBN 0664224725 page 150
  38. ^ L. Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church trans. T. Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1991) pp. 97-98; and also for an overview of each source.
  39. ^ a b This Is the Faith by Francis J. Ripley 1973 ISBN 0852446780 page 264
  40. ^ Athanasius, Orations against the Arians 2.70
  41. ^ Epiphanius of Salamis, The Man Well-Anchored 120, c.f. Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6
  42. ^ Hilary of Poitiers, Commentary on Matthew §1:4
  43. ^ Didymus the Blind, The Trinity 3:4
  44. ^ Ambrose of Milan, Letters 63:111
  45. ^ Jerome, Against Helvetius, 21
  46. ^ Denziger §91
  47. ^ Mary for evangelicals: toward an understanding of the mother of our Lord by Tim S. Perry, William J. Abraham 2006 ISBN 083082569Xpages 153-154
  48. ^ John 11-21 by Joel C. Elowsky 2007 ISBN 0830810994 page 318
  49. ^ a b c Burke, Raymond L.; et al. (2008). Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 9781579183554 pages 308-309
  50. ^ a b c d Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pages 62-63
  51. ^ Augustine through the ages: an encyclopedia by John C. Cavadini 1999 ISBN 080283843X page 544
  52. ^ St. Augustine, Faith, Hope & Charity By J. Kuasten, Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.) 1978 ISBN 0809100452 page 126
  53. ^ Protoevangelium of James 4, 7, 8-9, 15
  54. ^ The History of Theology: Middle Ages by Giulio D'Onofrio, Basil Studer 2008 ISBN 0814659160 page 38
  55. ^ Aquinas on doctrine: a critical introduction by Thomas Gerard Weinandy, John Yocum 2004 ISBN 0567084116 page 95
  56. ^ The Westminster handbook to Thomas Aquinas by Joseph Peter Wawrykow 2005 ISBN 0664224695 page 91
  57. ^ What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary by Terrence J. McNally 2009 ISBN 1441510516 page 185
  58. ^ An exposition of the epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians by Jean Daille 1995 ISBN 0802825117 pages 194-195
  59. ^ Blessed one: Protestant perspectives on Mary Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Cynthia L. Rigby 2002 ISBN 0664224385 page 64
  60. ^ The Catechism of the Council of Trent Translated Into English by Theodore Alois Buckley, ISBN: 1112537716 pages 45-46 (Article III, Chapter VI, Question IX) [2]
  61. ^ Varican website: Mystici Corporis Christi
  62. ^ Vatican website: Pope John Paul II General Audience March 12, 1980
  63. ^ a b c d e Christian confessions: a historical introduction by Ted Campbell 1996 ISBN 0664256503 page 150
  64. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of the Reformed faith by Donald K. McKim, David F. Wright 1992 ISBN 0664218822 page 237
  65. ^ Reformation of church and dogma (1300-1700) by Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, 1985, ISBN 0226653773, p339
  66. ^ Luther's Works, 22:214-215
  67. ^ "Sermon on the Presentation of Christ in the Temple", Luthers Werke 52:688- 99,quoted in Jaroslav Pelikan, Mary through the Ages, 158, and Martin Luther's Theology of Mary
  68. ^ Zwingli, Ulrich; Egli, Emil; Finsler, Georg; Zwingli-Verein, Georg; Zürich (1905). "Eini Predigt von der ewig reinen Magd Maria." (in German). Huldreich Zwinglis sämtliche Werke. 1. C. A. Schwetschke und Sohn. pp. 385. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  69. ^ a b Blessed one: Protestant perspectives on Mary by Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Cynthia L. Rigby 2002 ISBN 0664224385 page 119
  70. ^ Harmony of Matthew, Mark & Luke, sec. 39 (Geneva, 1562), / From Calvin's Commentaries, tr. William Pringle, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1949: “Helvidius displayed excessive ignorance in concluding that Mary must have had many sons, because Christ's 'brothers' are sometimes mentioned” (vol. 2, p. 215); “[On Matt 1:25:] The inference he [Helvidius] drew from it was, that Mary remained a virgin no longer than till her first birth, and that afterwards she had other children by her husband . . . No just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words . . . as to what took place after the birth of Christ. He is called 'first-born'; but it is for the sole purpose of informing us that he was born of a virgin . . . What took place afterwards the historian does not inform us . . . No man will obstinately keep up the argument, except from an extreme fondness for disputation.“ (vol. I, p. 107)
  71. ^ The works of the Rev. John Wesley, Volume 15 by John Wesley, Joseph Benson, Published by Thomas Cordeux, London, 1812, "A Letter to a Roman Catholic" page 110 [3]
  72. ^ Letter to a Roman Catholic, July 18, 1749
  73. ^ D. MacCulloch, The Reformation: a History (Penguin Books, 2003) pp. 613-614; cf. Robert Schihl, The Perpetual Virginity of Mary for an extended list and quotations.
  74. ^ D. MacCulloch, The Reformation: a History (Penguin Books, 2003) pp. 558-63
  75. ^ see John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion IV,12,27-28
  76. ^ See, e.g., David Brown. "Commentary on Matthew 13:56". Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Whole Bible. Retrieved 2009-01-07. "An exceedingly difficult question here arises—What were these 'brethren' and 'sisters' to Jesus? Were they, First, His full brothers and sisters? or, Secondly, Were they His step-brothers and step-sisters, children of Joseph by a former marriage? or, Thirdly, Were they cousins, according to a common way of speaking among the Jews respecting persons of collateral descent? On this subject an immense deal has been written, nor are opinions yet by any means agreed. For the second opinion there is no ground but a vague tradition, arising probably from the wish for some such explanation. The first opinion undoubtedly suits the text best in all the places where the parties are certainly referred to (Mt 12:46; and its parallels, Mr 3:31; Lu 8:19; our present passage, and its parallels, Mr 6:3; Joh 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Ac 1:14). But, in addition to other objections, many of the best interpreters, thinking it in the last degree improbable that our Lord, when hanging on the cross, would have committed His mother to John if He had had full brothers of His own then alive, prefer the third opinion; although, on the other hand, it is not to be doubted that our Lord might have good reasons for entrusting the guardianship of His doubly widowed mother to the beloved disciple in preference even to full brothers of His own. Thus dubiously we prefer to leave this vexed question, encompassed as it is with difficulties." 
  77. ^ Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 4 vols., (St. Louis: CPH, 1950-53), 2:308-09.
  78. ^ "Scripture does not quibble or speak about the virginity of Mary after the birth of Christ, a matter about which the hypocrites are greatly concerned, as if it were something of the utmost importance on which our whole salvation depended. Actually, we should be satisfied simply to hold that she remained a virgin after the birth of Christ because Scripture does not state or indicate that she later lost her virginity... But the Scripture stops with this, that she was a virgin before and at the birth of Christ; for up to this point God had need of her virginity in order to give us the promised blessed seed without sin" (That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew (1523), in Luther’s Works, American Edition, Walther I. Brandt, ed., Philadelphia, Augsburg Fortress; St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1962, ISBN 0-8006-0345-1 pp. 205-206; cf. James Swam (Martin Luther's Theology of Mary).
  79. ^ Luther's Works, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan (vols. 1-30) & Helmut T. Lehmann (vols. 31-55), St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House (vols. 1-30); Philadelphia: Fortress Press (vols. 31-55), 1955, v.22:23 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539), quoted in Martin Luther on Mary's Perpetual Virginity
  80. ^ In its article on "brethren of the Lord", the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3) cites Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55, John 7:3, Acts 1:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5 as New Testament verses that mention them.
  81. ^ a b c d Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article "brethren of the Lord"
  82. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, article "Marys in the NT"
  83. ^ Raymond E. Brown, Karl P. Donfried, Joseph Fitzmyer and John Reumann ed., Philadelphia: Fortress Press, and Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978
  84. ^ François Rossier: The "Brothers and Sisters" of Jesus: Anything New?
  85. ^ Tasker, R.V., The Gospel according to Saint Matthew (InterVarsity Press 1961), p. 36
  86. ^ Hill D., The Gospel of Matthew, p80 (1972) Marshall, Morgan and Scott:London
  87. ^ a b Raymond E. Brown, The Birth of the Messiah (Doubleday 1999 ISBN 9780385494472), p. 132
  88. ^ Gregory of Nyssa, On the Holy Generation of Christ, 5.
  89. ^ "It is impossible to see how the text can yield this meaning" (Howard Marshall, I., The Gospel of Luke (Paternoster Press 1978), p. 68).
  90. ^ Brown, The Birth of the Messiah, p. 304
  91. ^ a b Fundamentals of Catholicism by Kenneth Baker 1983 ISBN 0898700191 pages 334-335
  92. ^ Pope John Paul II's General Audience of 28 August 1996, printed in L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 4 September 1996 The article at EWTN
  93. ^ Vatican website: Pope John Paul II's General Audience of 28 August 1996 (in Italian)
  94. ^ L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 30 April 1997, page 11 Article at EWTN
  95. ^ Vatican website: Pope John Paul II's General Audience of 28 April 1997 reprinted in L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 30 April 1997, page 11
  96. ^ The Holy Qur'an: Maryam (Mary), Sura 19 (Translation by A. Yusuf Ali)
  97. ^ The Truth about Islam & Jesus by John Ankerberg, Emir Caner 2009 ISBN 0736925023 page 65 [4]
  98. ^ What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary by Terrence J. McNally 2009 ISBN 1441510516 page 161 [5]
  99. ^ Women in the Qur'ān, traditions, and interpretation by Barbara Freyer Stowasser. Oxford University Press: 1994, pp. 78-70, 163.
  100. ^ "The Virgin Mary in Islamic tradition and commentary" by J. I. Smith et. al., published in the Muslim World (Hartford, Conn.) v. 79 (July/October 1989) p. 161-87
  101. ^ Rodwell, J. M. The Koran. 2009 ISBN 0559131275 page 505
  102. ^ Sarker, Abraham.Understand My Muslim People. 2004 ISBN 1594980020 page 260

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