Was Mary a perpetual virgin?

In an earlier article I answered a question regarding the importance of Mary’s virginity when Jesus was conceived. The answer needs a brief addendum. Some teach that Mary is forever a virgin. According to their doctrine, she never had any other children and, most importantly, she remained celibate the rest of her life. This teaching finds no corroboration in the Bible. In fact, it is directly contradicted by the Bible.

Matthew 1 tells of when the angel came to Joseph and told him of Mary’s pregnancy. Joseph heeded the instructions of the angel and took Mary to be his wife. Matthew 1:25 provides this detail, “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn Son: and he called His name Jesus.” The phrase “knew her” is a euphemism for having sex. Joseph married Mary, and Matthew tells us he did not have sex with her until after Jesus’ birth. The implication of the ,until” is that after Jesus’ birth Joseph and Mary enjoyed normal marital relations.

Decades later Jesus preached in and around His hometown of Nazareth. He declared Himself to be God the Son and the promised Messiah. Many of the people did not believe Him. In their skepticism they used their familiarity with Him and His family as proof against His claims. Matthew 13:35-36 quotes the people of Nazareth as saying, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” The folks of Nazareth knew Jesus’ earthly father, they knew Jesus’ mother. They knew Jesus’ brothers and sisters. These brothers and sisters are not Jesus’ distant relatives, cousins or next door neighbors. These are His siblings born of the same mother. The conclusion is obvious, Mary was not a perpetual virgin. Jesus was born of a virgin, but after His birth she entered into normal married life and had several children by her husband Joseph.

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