Perpetual virginity of Mary

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The Vladimir Eleusa icon of the Ever Virgin Mary. The Aeiparthenos (Ever Virgin) title is widely used in Orthodox liturgy, and icons show her with three stars, on shoulders and forehead, symbolising her threefold virginity. Vladimirskaya.jpg
The Vladimir Eleusa icon of the Ever Virgin Mary. The Aeiparthenos (Ever Virgin) title is widely used in Orthodox liturgy, and icons show her with three stars, on shoulders and forehead, symbolising her threefold virginity.

The perpetual virginity of Mary is a Christian doctrine that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. [2] In Western Christianity, the Catholic Church adheres to the doctrine, as do some Lutherans, Anglicans, Reformed, and other Protestants. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, affirmed the teaching, [8] and Eastern Orthodox churches recognize Mary as Aeiparthenos, meaning "ever-virgin". [9] It is one of the four Marian dogmas of the Catholic Church. [10] Most modern Protestants reject the doctrine. [11]


The tradition of the perpetual virginity of Mary first clearly appears in a late 2nd century text called the Gospel of James. [12] It was established as orthodoxy at the Council of Ephesus in 431, [13] the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 gave her the title "Aeiparthenos", meaning Perpetual Virgin, and at the Lateran Synod of 649 Pope Martin I emphasized the threefold character of the perpetual virginity, before, during, and after the birth of Christ. [14] The Lutheran Smalcald Articles (1537) and the Reformed Second Helvetic Confession (1562) codified the doctrine of perpetual virginity of Mary as well. [15] [3]

The doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity has been challenged on the basis that the New Testament explicitly affirms her virginity only prior to the conception of Jesus and mentions the brothers (adelphoi) of Jesus. [16] [17] This word only very rarely means other than a physical or spiritual sibling, and they may have been: (1) the sons of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph; (2) sons of the Mary named in Mark 15:40 as "mother of James and Joses", whom Jerome identified as a sister of Mary the mother of Christ; or (3) sons of Joseph by a former marriage. [18]

Origin and history

Virginitas in partu: 1st century?

The Odes of Solomon seems to imply that Mary was a virgin even after childbirth, because it states that Mary did not have pain during childbirth. [19] However some have theorized that the Odist was actually referring to the story of the Exodus, where Jewish women had very quick childbirth, having been said to even have happened almost instantly, which is why the Egyptian midwives could not come fast enough. Similar statements exist in the Ascension of Isaiah. [20]

Some have argued that Josephus in the first century believed James to be a proper brother of Jesus. [21]

First appearance: 2nd century

Mary's pre-birth virginity is attested in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Luke, but there is no biblical basis for the idea of her perpetual virginity. [22] This appears in a late 2nd century text called the Protoevangelium of James, [12] in which Mary remains a life-long virgin, Joseph is an old man who marries her without physical desire, and the brothers of Jesus are explained as Joseph's sons by an earlier marriage. [23] The Protoevangelium seems to have been used to create the stories of Mary which are found in the Quran, [24] but while Muslims agree with Christians that Mary was a virgin at the moment of the conception of Jesus, the idea of her perpetual virginity thereafter is contrary to the Islamic ideal of women as wives and mothers. [25]

Origen also mentioned that the gospel of Peter affirmed the perpetual virginity of Mary, saying that the "brothers" of Jesus were from a previous marriage of Joseph. [26] [27]

A quote attributed to Papias (70-163 AD) seems to support the view that the "brothers" of Jesus were cousins, however this quote was likely falsely attributed to Papias, and comes from another Papias who lived later in the 11th century. [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, though mentioning the virgin birth nowhere clearly affirmed the view that Mary was a perpetual virgin. [33]

The Ebionites denied Mary's perpetual virginity. [34] [35]

Clement of Alexandria (150 -  215ad) was an early defender of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Clement alexandrin.jpg
Clement of Alexandria (150 –  215ad) was an early defender of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

Early uncertainty: 3rd century

In the 3rd century, Hippolytus of Rome held that Mary was "ever-virgin", [37] while Clement of Alexandria, writing soon after the Protoevangelium appeared, appealed to its incident of a midwife who examined Mary immediately after the birth ("after giving birth, she was examined by a midwife, who found her to be a virgin") and asserted that this was to be found in the Gospels ("These things are attested to by the Scriptures of the Lord"), though he was referring to an apocryphal Gospel as a fact. The 3rd century scholar Origen used the Protoevangelium's explanation of the brothers to uphold the perpetual virginity of Mary ("There is no child of Mary except Jesus, according to those who think correctly about her"). [36] Tertullian, who came between Clement and Origen, denied Mary's perpetual virginity in order to refute the docetist idea that the Son of God could not have assumed a human body ("although she was a virgin when she conceived, she was a wife when she brought forth her son"). [38]

Helvidius also argued that Victorinus believed that Mary had other children. [39] However Jerome claimed that he was misinterpreting Victorinus. [40] Epiphanus invented a name "Antidicomarians" for a group of people who denied the perpetual virginity of Mary, which Epiphanus attacked. [41] They were active from the 3rd to the 5th century. [42]

According to Epiphanius the Antidicomarians claimed that Apollinaris of Laodicea denied the perpetual virginity of Mary, though Epiphanus doubted the claim. [43]

Establishment of orthodoxy: 4th century

By the early 4th century the spread of monasticism had promoted celibacy as the ideal state, [44] and a moral hierarchy was established with marriage occupying the third rank below life-long virginity and widowhood [45] Eastern theologians generally accepted Mary as Aeiparthenos, but many in the Western church were less convinced. [46] The theologian Helvidius objected to the devaluation of marriage inherent in this view and argued that the two states, of virginity and marriage, were equal. [47] His contemporary Jerome, realising that this would lead to the Mother of God occupying a lower place in heaven than virgins and widows, defended her perpetual virginity in his immensely influential Against Helvidius, issued c.383. [48]

Helvidius soon faded from the scene, but in the 380s and 390s the monk Jovinian followed him in denying Mary's perpetual virginity, writing that if Jesus did not undergo a normal human birth then he himself was not human, which was the teaching of the heresy known as Manicheism. [49] Jovinian also found two monks in Milan, Sarmatio and Barbatian, who held similar views as Jovinian. [50] Jerome wrote against Jovinian but failed to mention this aspect of his teaching, and most commentators believe that he did not find it offensive. [49] The only important Christian intellectual to defend Mary's virginity in partu was Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, who was the chief target of the charge of Manicheism. [51] For Ambrose, both the physical birth of Jesus by Mary and the baptismal birthing of Christians by the church had to be totally virginal, even in partu, in order to cancel the stain of original sin, of which the pains of labor are the physical sign. [52] It was due to Ambrose that virginitas in partu came to be included consistently in the thinking of subsequent theologians. [53] Bonosus of Sardica also denied the perpetual virginity of Mary, for which he was declared a heretic. [54] [55]

Jovinian was condemned as a heretic at a Synod of Milan under Ambrose's presidency in 390 and Mary's perpetual virginity was established as the only orthodox view, [14] although it was not until the Council of Ephesus in 431 that a fully general consensus was established. [13] Further developments were to follow when the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 formally gave her the title "Aeiparthenos", and at the Lateran Synod of 649 Pope Martin I emphasised the threefold character of the perpetual virginity, before, during, and after the birth of Christ. [14]

Athanasius of Alexandria (d.393) declared Mary Aeiparthenos, "ever-virgin", and the liturgy of James the brother of Jesus likewise required a declaration of Mary as ever-virgin. [56] The view was also defended by Augustine, Hilary of Potiers, Didymus the Blind, Cyril of Alexandria among others. [57] [58] [59]

The Apostles' Creed taught the doctrine of virginitas in partu. [60]

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages the perpetual virginity of Mary was commonly accepted, [61] however the Paulicians denied her perpetual virginity, even saying that Christ denied her to be blessed. [62] [63]

Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation saw a rejection of the special moral status of lifelong celibacy. As a result, marriage and parenthood were extolled, and Mary and Joseph were seen as a normal married couple. [64] It also affirmed the Bible alone as the fundamental source of authority regarding God's word (sola scriptura). [65] The reformers noted that while scripture records the virgin birth, it makes no mention of Mary's perpetual virginity following the birth of Christ. [66] Mary's perpetual virginity was upheld by Martin Luther (who names her ever-virgin in the Smalcald Articles, a Lutheran confession of faith written in 1537), [15] Huldrych Zwingli, Thomas Cranmer, Wollebius, Bullinger, John Wycliffe and later Protestant leaders including John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism. [67] [11] [68] [69] Osiander denied the perpetual virginity of Mary, for which Melanchthon was scornful. [70]

John Calvin's view was more ambiguous, believing that knowing happened to Mary after the birth of Jesus is impossible. [68] Other Calvinists affirmed Mary's perpetual virginity, including within the Second Helvetic Confession—stating that Mary was the "ever virgin Mary"—and in the notes of the Geneva Bible. [71] [3] Theodore Beza, a prominent early Calvinist, included the perpetual virginity of Mary in a list of agreements between Calvinism and the Catholic Church. [72] Some reformers upheld the doctrine to counter more radical reformers who questioned the divinity of Christ; Mary's perpetual virginity guaranteed the Incarnation of Christ despite the challenges to its scriptural foundations. [73] Modern Protestants have largely rejected the perpetual virginity of Mary on the basis of sola scriptura, and it has rarely appeared explicitly in confessions or doctrinal statements, [74] though the perpetual virginity of Mary is still a common belief in Anglicanism and Lutheranism. [75]


Image of Mary depicting her nursing the Infant Jesus. 3rd century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome. Madonna catacomb.jpg
Image of Mary depicting her nursing the Infant Jesus. 3rd century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome.

The Second Council of Constantinople recognized Mary as Aeiparthenos, meaning "ever-virgin". [9] It remains axiomatic for the Eastern Orthodox Church that she remained virginal throughout her Earthly life, and Orthodoxy therefore understands the New Testament references to the brothers and sisters of Jesus as signifying his kin, but not the biological children of his mother. [76]

The Latin Church, known more commonly today as the Catholic Church, shared the Council of Constantinople with the theologians of the Greek or Orthodox communion, and therefore shares with them the title Aeiparthenos as accorded to Mary. The Catholic Church has gone further than the Orthodox in making the Perpetual Virginity one of the four Marian dogmas, meaning that it is held to be a truth divinely revealed, the denial of which is heresy. [10] It declares her virginity before, during and after the birth of Jesus, [77] or in the definition formulated by Pope Martin I at the Lateran Council of 649: [78]

The blessed ever-virginal and immaculate Mary conceived, without seed, by the Holy Spirit, and without loss of integrity brought him forth, and after his birth preserved her virginity inviolate.

Thomas Aquinas admitted that reason could not prove this, but argued that it must be accepted because it was "fitting", [79] for as Jesus was the only-begotten son of God, so he should also be the only-begotten son of Mary, as a second and purely human conception would disrespect the sacred state of her holy womb. [80] Symbolically, the perpetual virginity of Mary signifies a new creation and a fresh start in salvation history. [81] It has been stated and argued repeatedly, most recently by the Second Vatican Council: [82]

This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception … then also at the birth of Our Lord, who did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it... ( Lumen Gentium , No.57)

Arguments and evidence

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

A problem facing theologians wishing to maintain Mary's life-long virginity is that the Pauline epistles, the four gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles, all mention the brothers ( adelphoi ) of Jesus, with Mark and Matthew recording their names and Mark adding unnamed sisters. [16] [83] [Notes 1] The Gospel of James , followed a century later by Epiphanius, explained that the adelphoi are Joseph's children by an earlier marriage, [84] which is still the view of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. [85] Jerome, believing that Joseph, like Mary, must be a life-long virgin, [86] argued that these adelphoi were the sons of "Mary, the mother of James and Joses" (Mark 15:40), who he identified with the wife of Clopas and sister of the virgin Mary (John 19:25), [85] which remains popular in the Western church. A modern proposal considers these adelphoi sons of "Mary, the mother of James and Joses" (not here identified with the Virgin Mary's sister), and Clopas, who according to Hegesippus was Joseph's brother. [85]

Further scriptural difficulties were added by Luke 2:7 , which calls Jesus the "first-born" son of Mary, [87] and Matthew 1:25, which adds that Joseph "did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son." [88] [Notes 2] Helvidius argued that first-born implies later births, and that the word "until" left open the way to sexual relations after the birth; Jerome, replying that even an only son will be a first-born and that "until" did not have the meaning Helvidius construed for it, painted a repulsive word-portrait of Joseph having intercourse with a blood-stained and exhausted Mary immediately after she has given birth - the implication, in his view, of Helvidius's arguments. [48] Opinions on the quality of Jerome's rebuttal range from the view that it was masterful and well-argued to thin, rhetorical and sometimes tasteless. [14]

Two other 4th century Fathers, Gregory of Nyssa, following "a certain apocryphal account," and Augustine, advanced a further argument by reading Luke 1:34 as a vow of perpetual virginity on Mary's part; this idea, first introduced in the Protoevangelium of James, has little scholarly support today, [89] but it and the arguments advanced by Jerome and Ambrose were put forward by Pope John Paul II in his catechesis of August 28, 1996, as the four facts supporting the Catholic Church's ongoing faith in Mary's perpetual virginity. [90]

It has been argued from John 19, where Jesus entrusts Mary to the disciple John instead of his brothers, to support the view that Jesus had no brothers, however Protestants have generally argued in two ways against this passage, one by claiming that the brothers of Jesus were unbelievers or that they weren't present during the crucifixion. [91]

Some have argued that Mary and Joseph couldn't have had a normal marriage if Mary remained a perpetual virgin, however it has been argued by Catholics, that the marriage was an exception due to raising the Son of God. [92]

See also


  1. Mark 6:3 names James, Joses, Judas, Simon; Matthew 13:55 has Joseph for Joses, the latter being an abbreviated form of the former, and reverses the order of the last two; Mark 6:3 and Matthew 12:46 refer to unnamed sisters; Luke, John and Acts all mention brothers also. See Bauckham (2015) in bibliography, pages 6-9.
  2. The phrase "did not know her" is a biblical euphemism for sexual relations (see Genesis 4:1). The text neither confirms nor denies the perpetual virginity of Mary, and there is no implication about what happened after Jesus' conception and birth. See Harrington (1991) in bibliography, page 36 footnote 25

Related Research Articles

Gospel of James Apocryphal gospel

The Gospel of James is a 2nd-century infancy gospel telling of the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary, her upbringing and marriage to Joseph, the journey of the couple to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, and events immediately following. It is the earliest surviving assertion of the perpetual virginity of Mary, meaning her virginity not just prior to the birth of Jesus, but during and afterwards, and, despite being condemned by Pope Innocent I in 405 and rejected by the Gelasian Decree around 500, became a widely influential source for Mariology.

Mary, mother of Jesus Mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament

According to the gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament, Mary was a first-century Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph, and the mother of Jesus. Both the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin. According to Christian theology, Mary conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit while still a virgin, and accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

Virgin birth of Jesus Belief that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit

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Brothers of Jesus The New Testament describes brothers of Jesus

The brothers of Jesus or the adelphoi are named in the New Testament as James, Joses, Simon, and Jude, and unnamed sisters are mentioned in Mark and Matthew. They may have been: (1) the sons of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph ; (2) sons of the Mary named in Mark 15:40 as "mother of James and Joses", whom Jerome identified with the wife of Clopas and sister of Mary the mother of Jesus; or (3) sons of Joseph by a former marriage. Those who uphold the perpetual virginity of Mary reject the idea of biological brethren and maintain that the brothers and sisters were either cousins of Jesus or children of Joseph from a previous marriage.

Jovinian 4th century opponent of Christian asceticism

Jovinian was an opponent of Christian asceticism in the 4th century and was condemned as a heretic at synods convened in Rome under Pope Siricius and in Milan by Ambrose in 393, because of his anti-ascetic views. Our information about him is derived principally from the work of Jerome in two books, Adversus Jovinianum. Jerome referred to him as the "Epicurus of Christianity". He was a native of Corduene. John Henry Newman called Aerius of Sebaste, Jovinian and Vigilantius the forerunners of Protestantism, likening them to the "Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli of the fourth century". Other Protestants also praise Jovinian as an early reformer or even credit him as the "first Protestant". Jovinian's teachings received much popular support in Rome and Milan and his followers, Sarmatio and Barbatianus kept preaching his ideas after Jovinian was expelled.

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Matthew 1:25

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Evangelical Catholic Variant of Lutheran

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The Antidicomarians or Antidicomarianites, also called Dimoerites, were a Christian sect active from the 3rd to the 5th century. Their name was invented by an opponent, Epiphanius of Salamis, who described them as heretical in his Panarion. The existence of the Antidicomarians as an organized sect may be doubted, as it is attested only in Epiphanius, but the doctrines he attributes to them were certainly matters of live debate in the late 4th century.

Jude, brother of Jesus One of the brothers of Jesus according to the New Testament

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Anglican Marian theology Summation of the doctrines and beliefs of Anglicanism concerning Mary, mother of Jesus

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James, son of Alphaeus One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ

James, son of Alphaeus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less and commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labelled "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation. He is distinct from James, son of Zebedee and in some interpretations also from James, brother of Jesus. He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles.

Helvidius was the author of a work written prior to 383 against the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Helvidius maintained that the biblical mention of "sisters" and "brothers" of the Lord constitutes solid evidence that Mary had normal marital relations with Joseph and additional children after the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus. He supported his opinion by the writings of Tertullian and Victorinus. Helvidius is sometimes seen as an early proto-protestant, along with Vigiliantius, Jovinian and Aerius of Sebaste.

Mariology Christian theological study of Mary, mother of Jesus

Mariology is the theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mariology seeks to relate doctrine or dogma about Mary to other doctrines of the faith, such as those concerning Jesus and notions about redemption, intercession and grace. Christian Mariology aims to place the role of the historic Mary in the context of scripture, tradition and the teachings of the Church on Mary. In terms of social history, Mariology may be broadly defined as the study of devotion to and thinking about Mary throughout the history of Christianity.

Protestant views on Mary

Protestant views on Mary include the theological positions of major Protestant representatives such as Martin Luther and John Calvin as well as some modern representatives. While it is difficult to generalize about the place of Mary, mother of Jesus in Protestantism given the great diversity of Protestant beliefs, some summary statements are attempted.

Lutheran Mariology

Lutheran Mariology or Lutheran Marian theology is derived from Martin Luther's views of Mary, the mother of Jesus and these positions have influenced those taught by the Lutheran Churches. Lutheran Mariology developed out of the deep Christian Marian devotion on which Luther was reared, and it was subsequently clarified as part of his mature Christocentric theology and piety. Lutherans hold Mary in high esteem, universally teaching the dogmas of the Theotokos and the Virgin Birth. Luther dogmatically asserted what he considered firmly established biblical doctrines such as the divine motherhood of Mary while adhering to pious opinions of the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary, along with the caveat that all doctrine and piety should exalt and not diminish the person and work of Jesus Christ. By the end of Luther's theological development, his emphasis was always placed on Mary as merely a receiver of God's love and favour. His opposition to regarding Mary as a mediatrix of intercession or redemption was part of his greater and more extensive opposition to the belief that the merits of the saints could be added to those of Jesus Christ to save humanity. Lutheran denominations may differ in their teaching with respect to various Marian doctrines and have contributed to producing ecumenical meetings and documents on Mary.

Marian art in the Catholic Church Iconographic depiction of Virgin Mary in Catholic Churches

Mary has been one of the major subjects of Western Art for centuries. Numerous pieces of Marian art in the Catholic Church covering a range of topics have been produced, from masters such as Michelangelo and Botticelli to works by unknown artists.

Latter Day Saint views on Mary

The Latter Day Saint movement teaches that Mary was the mother of Jesus. Latter Day Saints affirm the virgin birth of Jesus but reject the Roman Catholic traditions of the Immaculate Conception, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and her assumption. They also believe that the brothers of Jesus were her and Joseph's biological children. Mary is not seen as an intercessor between humankind and Jesus, and Latter Day Saints do not pray to Mary. The Book of Mormon, part of the Latter Day Saint canon of scripture, refers to Mary by name in prophecies of her mission, and describes her as "most beautiful and fair above all other virgins" and as a "precious and chosen vessel."


"Against Heresies 3.21.4". New Advent. c. 180. Retrieved 2021-12-30. To this effect they testify, [saying,] that before Joseph had come together with Mary, while she therefore remained in virginity, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost; Matthew 1:18 and that the angel Gabriel said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God; Luke 1:35 and that the angel said to Joseph in a dream, Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, Behold, a virgin shall be with child. Matthew 1:23

"Against Heresies 3.21.10". New Advent. c. 180. Retrieved 2021-12-30. And as the protoplast himself Adam, had his substance from untilled and as yet virgin soil (for God had not yet sent rain, and man had not tilled the ground Genesis 2:5), and was formed by the hand of God, that is, by the Word of God, for all things were made by Him, John 1:3 and the Lord took dust from the earth and formed man; so did He who is the Word, recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly receive a birth, enabling Him to gather up Adam [into Himself], from Mary, who was as yet a virgin.


  1. Hesemann 2016, p. unpaginated.
  2. Bromiley 1995, p. 269.
  3. 1 2 3 "THE SECOND HELVETIC CONFESSION". Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  4. Alexander, Joseph Addison (1863). The Gospel According to Mark. C. Scribner.
  5. The American Lutheran, Volume 49. American Lutheran Publicity Bureau. 1966. p. 16. While the perpetual virginity of Mary is held as a pious opinion by many Lutheran confessors, it is not regarded as a binding teaching of the Scriptures.
  6. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 11. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1983. p. 562. ISBN   978-0-85229-400-0. Partly because of these biblical problems, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary has not been supported as unanimously as has the doctrine of the virginal conception or title mother of God. It achieved dogmatic status, however, at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and is therefore binding upon Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic believers; in addition, it is maintained by many Anglican, some Lutheran, and a few other Protestant theologians.
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  10. 1 2 Collinge 2012, p. 133.
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  12. 1 2 Lohse 1966, p. 200.
  13. 1 2 Rahner 1975, p. 896.
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  27. "Philip Schaff: ANF09. The Gospel of Peter, The Diatessaron of Tatian, The Apocalypse of Peter, the Vision of Paul, The Apocalypse of the Virgin and Sedrach, The Testament of Abraham, The Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena, The Narrative of Zosimus, The Apology of Aristid - Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  28. Papias of Hierapolis. Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord. Fragment X. Peter Kirby. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  29. "Fragments of Papias. Fragment X." Retrieved 2019-05-04. (1.) Mary the mother of the Lord; (2.) Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphæus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph; (3.) Mary Salome, wife of Zebedee, mother of John the evangelist and James; (4.) Mary Magdalene. These four are found in the Gospel. James and Judas and Joseph were sons of an aunt (2) of the Lord's. James also and John were sons of another aunt (3) of the Lord's. Mary (2), mother of James the Less and Joseph, wife of Alphæus was the sister of Mary the mother of the Lord, whom John names of Cleophas, either from her father or from the family of the clan, or for some other reason. Mary Salome (3) is called Salome either from her husband or her village. Some affirm that she is the same as Mary of Cleophas, because she had two husbands.
  30. "Fragments of Papias. Fragment X." Retrieved 2019-05-04. This fragment was found by Grabe in a ms. of the Bodleian Library, with the inscription on the margin, "Papia." Westcott states that it forms part of a dictionary written by "a mediæval Papias. [He seems to have added the words, "Maria is called Illuminatrix, or Star of the Sea," etc, a middle-age device.] The dictionary exists in ms. both at Oxford and Cambridge."
  31. Lightfoot, J.B. (1865). "The Brethren of the Lord". Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2016-05-31. The testimony of Papias is frequently quoted at the head of the patristic authorities, as favouring the view of Jerome. [...]. It is strange that able and intelligent critics should not have seen through a fabrication which is so manifestly spurious. [...] [T]he passage was written by a mediaeval namesake of the Bishop of Hierapolis, Papias [...] who lived in the 11th century.
  32. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2015-10-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. Hunter, David G. (2007-01-26). Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient Christianity: The Jovinianist Controversy. OUP Oxford. ISBN   978-0-19-153553-6.
  34. Miravalle 2006, p. 61.
  35. The London Review. Alexander Heylin. 1860.
  36. 1 2 Wirth 2016, p. 167-168.
  37. Марчев, Радостин. Belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary in the first four centuries and its implications for Orthodox-Protestant dialogue .
  38. Wirth 2016, p. 167.
  39. "Philip Schaff: History of the Christian Church, Volume III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 311-600 - Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  40. Tenney, Merrill C. (2010-08-10). The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 1: Revised Full-Color Edition. Zondervan Academic. ISBN   978-0-310-87696-0.
  41. Stephen J. Shoemaker, "Epiphanius of Salamis, the Kollyridians, and the Early Dormition Narratives: The Cult of the Virgin in the Fourth Century", Journal of Early Christian Studies, Vol. 16, No. 3 (2008), pp. 371–401. doi : 10.1353/earl.0.0185
  42. William H. Brackney, Historical Dictionary of Radical Christianity (Scarecrow Press, 2012 [ ISBN   978-0-8108-7179-3]), p. 31.
  43. Williams, Frank. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Books II and III. p. 616. As though they had a grudge against the Virgin and desired to cheapen her reputation, certain Antidicomarians, inspired by some envy or error and intending to sully men’s minds, have dared to say that St. Mary had relations with a man after Christ’s birth, I mean with Joseph himself. And as I have already mentioned, it is said that the claim has been made by the venerable Apollinarius himself, or some of his disciples. Indeed I doubt it but I have to speak about those who are saying this.
  44. Hunter 2008, p. 412.
  45. Hunter 2008, p. 412-413.
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  50. "Philip Schaff: History of the Christian Church, Volume III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 311-600 - Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Retrieved 2022-06-18. . He then betook himself to Milan, where the two monks Sarmatio and Barbatian held forth views like his own; but he was treated there after the same fashion by the bishop, Ambrose, who held a council against him. From this time he and his party disappear from history, and before the year 406 he died in exile.394
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  63. Conybeare, F.C. The key of truth, a manual of the Paulician church of Armenia. Oxford : Clarendon Press. They denied her perpetual virginity, and taught that Christ expressly denied her to be blessed
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  74. Campbell 1996, p. 47,150.
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  89. Brown 1978, p. 278-279.
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  91. "Proof of Mary's Perpetual Virginity in John 19". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  92. "Was Mary a Perpetual Virgin?". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 2022-06-18. OBJECTOR: But how could Mary and Joseph have had a loving marriage if she always remained a virgin?
    CATHOLIC: Granted, a life of complete abstinence is not the recommended way for ordinary married couples to interact. But Mary and Joseph were not an ordinary married couple. They were entrusted with raising the Son of God. This circumstance was so unusual that their marriage could not have been an ordinary one, because the child they nurtured was no ordinary child.