Luther on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Q. What did Luther and the other reformers think about the perpetual virginity of Mary?

A. All three of the first reformers, Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, accepted and defended this doctrine completely. So, if the Catholic Church believes in this doctrine and the reformers believed in this doctrine–by whose authority and when was this doctrine rejected by all the Protestant Churches?

Martin Luther: “It is an artcle of faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin…Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact.” (Works of Luther, V. 11, pp319-320; V. 6, p 510)

John Calvin: “there have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage (Mt 1:25) that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what folly this is! For the gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph’s obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company…And besides this our Lord Jesus Christ is called the firstborn. This is not because there was a second or third, but because the gospel writer is paying regard to the precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the first-born whether or no there was any question of the second.” (Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, published 1562)

Ulrich Zwingli: “I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.”.” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., V6,1 P. 639

2 Responses

  1. The reformers all came out of the Catholic church. Of course they would have this bias

  2. The Catholic Church can trace its history all the way back to the time of Christ. Mary’s perpetual virginity is an extremely ancient article of Faith derived from eyewitnesses who knew and spoke to Mary and her family. From whence did Protestants, after Luther, a mere 654 years ago obtain irrefutable information that would debunk a teaching that had been believed continuously for 2200 years? Even the reformers believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. So by what authority were the Catholic Church and the Reformers debunked?

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