- But your syllogism is not logical. There is nothing in the premise (Jesus was an only child) that is in your conclusion (Mary remained a virgin). This is reasoning...but not logical reasoning.
Now, to respond to the above, I already explained how the premise leads to the conclusion. Good Jews didn't use birth control, and they didn't "spill their seed" like Onan did. Thus, if Mary and Joseph were having sex, then Jesus would have had brothers. But, he doesn't have brothers, so we can conclude that they were not having sex.
- But haven't you yourself said that her womb was like a "tabernacle" or "holy of holies". Could it be also (assuming that he was an oly child, or his "singularity") that Mary was kept barren afterwards? Is this not also a "reasonable" conclusion?
- Weren't "good Jews" told to be fruitful and multiply? Didn't Paul say that couples shouldn't stay away from each other too long? It stimulates my "faculties" to assume that Joseph would atleast "know" his wife, as a good wife she should also, "know" her husband.
For example, married rabbis would often abstain from marital relations in order to devote themselves entirely to the study of the Torah. Moses commanded the people to do this in order to prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord on Mt. Sinai (cf. Exo 19:14-15). God commanded Jeremiah to refrain from marriage (cf. Jer 16:1-2), and Peter and the apostles forsook their wives in order to follow Jesus (cf. Mt 19:27-29, KJV). Jesus himself was celibate and said that some men choose that life for the sake of the kingdom (cf. Mt 19:12). Paul was celibate and considered it to be the more preferable state for serving the Lord (cf. 1 Cor 7:1,7,38). History tells us that the Essenes, the Zenu'im, and the Therapeutae were all groups of Jewish men and women around the time of Christ who chose celibacy in order to cleave more tightly to God, to His Word, to His Wisdom.
The point is that there were lawful exceptions to the rule to "be fruitful and multiply." It is true that Paul says, "Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control" (1 Cor 7:5). But, he also says, in the very next verse, "I say this by way of concession, not of command." What if there is no lack of self-control? What if there is no "temptation to immorality" (vs. 2). Joseph was "a just man" (Mt 1:19), and I've already shown that Mary's intent was to remain a virgin.
- Assuming that your exegesis is correct in that "brothers" means cousins or "brothers in the Lord", it does not necessarily follow that because his brothers or sisters are not mentioned in scripture, that he therefore didn't have any. Mine is an argument from silence, but so is yours, therefore invalid.
- Can you provide any authority from scripture that says that Yeshua MUST give his mother to his brothers?
- But it's not used, and they appeal to His brothers and sisters in the same verse, Since the crowd is speaking of His humble beginnings, as if they know his beginings, obviously appealing to His mother...why not assume that they are also appealing to his actual brothers and sisters?
In fact, it can be proven, by tracing the lineage of the James and Joseph who are called the "brothers" of Jesus in Mk 6:3, and by identifying the four Mary's in the NT, that these "brothers" are not his actual siblings. This is all very involved, so I'd like to direct you to an article instead of trying to get into here. See "The Four Mary's in the Gospels".
- Why would they consider those who are not his actual brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters? It seems to my faculities that they are mary's children as well, as they are mentioned with them.
- And you still haven't accounted for the definitive "the" as used in the genealogy. You argued that since he is an only child, "the" is the only appropriate use...but as I've clearly shown "the" does not necessarily mean "only". You have not addressed this crucial fact.
- How do you know that the first people that they ask is the sibling?
- You realize that it's an argument from silence and then when questioned you continue to build your argument from silence as if it's just going to be logically consistent by your re-asserting it? How can a silence be awkward? It's either silent or it's not silent...there's no such thing as an awkward silence. If so...can you silently show me?
Now, I realize that arguments of silence, by themselves, don't definitively prove anything. But, I think you can still learn from the silence of Scripture. It forces us to ask, "Well why is Scripture silent on this point?" Then, we use what we do know to come up with an answer. My answer, that the siblings of Jesus are not mentioned because they do not exist, is much more plausible then your answer, that Jesus' had siblings but the author just chose not to mention them. Why would the gospel writer not mention the siblings of Jesus at the very points in which one would most expect him to mention them? Only Jesus, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt (Mt 2:13-14); only these three return a while later (2:20-21); only these three go up to Jerusalem when Jesus is twelve (Luke 2:41-43); and these three alone are mentioned after that event (Luke 2:51-52). At the wedding feast at Cana, John tells us that Jesus, his mother Mary, and even his disciples were invited. If Jesus had siblings, why wouldn't John say that they were invited too? Were they not invited? That seems doubly odd! Your answer forces us to accept a proposition that is improbable and nonsensical.
- Now you're arguing that Mary "intended" to remain a virgin! Where in scripture are you shown her "intentions" to remain a virgin? Where do she say in her heart that she will remain a virgin? The intensions are in the heart...now show me her heart.
- How does her remaining a virgin make it christocentric? How in the end does her not consummating her relationship with HER HUSBAND (something which glorifies YHWH) glorify Mashiach? Why would it not be Christocentric if they did have sex?
- He's already unique by reason of His Virgin Birth...by reason of His being...you know...GOD! There is nothing in Mary remaining a virgin that somehow makes Yeshua more unique. Are you saying that if she didn't remain a virgin that He would somehow no longer be unique, no longer be "unparralled" in glory?
- Yet the Holy of Holies and the ark of the covenant was done away with and is no longer needed. Are you saying...as a good Catholic...one that venerates Mary...that she has been done away with and is no longer needed?
- I'd like to question you about the connection between the two which I'm sure you're prepared to do (you can make another thread to argue that point. For now I will disagree. There is no connection made in scripture.)
- There is nothing that is the glory of the God-man that requires she be the ark and the holy of holies.
To anticipate your objection, this is not the same as when a person receives the Holy Spirit or when, through love of Christ, the Father and the Son come to make their home in him (cf. Jn 14:23), or even when Jesus comes to abide in us in the Eucharist (cf. Jn 6:56). What we are speaking of is an entirely different presence. It happened only once, in all of human history, and it's hard to believe that it would not have a life-changing impact on the woman it happened to.
- Nor would this use be for "ordinary" use...but for the glory of the Lord in being fruitful and multiplying and submitting to her husband, even in sex.
- Yep! I'd hope they'd mate...I don't care about what you feel a first century Jew would feel. It doesn't make something true...or false. Piety is something subjective...felt is something subjective....sentiments are something subjective. I can make the same case but it doesn't make my conclusions true.
- I understand that that's what Catholics believe. How am I to know your sensiblities?
- Scripture declares that all have sinned...that "the death" passed on to all because of Adam. This is what scripture teaches...have respect for God's Word...I care nothing for how you feel about it.
- By sense you mean it feels right to your faculties? You trust your senses rather than logically deducing the information to form your conclusions. Your irrationalism does not honor the Logos! How do you know that it gives more glory to Mashiach?