The Catholic Church Just has to be Wrong!



Jackie: Surkiko states “The reading of scripture W/O the church is an occupational hazard.” Really? All the “rules” and canons that RC mandates can and do change on a whim.

BFHU:Interesting assertion. Can you back it up with an example of the Catholic Church changing things on a whim?

Jackie: God’s word is unchanging.

BFHU: True.

Jackie: You do not need a mere man (pope) to interpret the Bible for you…God equips YOU to do that.

BFHU: Jackie, the Bible must be interpreted by mere men. God has not equipped every person to infallibly interpret scripture. This was Martin Luther’s theory 500 years ago but it has been categorically disproven since each person does not interpret scripture the same as every other person. Therefore, either the Holy Spirit is falling down on the job or else the promised infallible interpretation was NOT meant for every believer. Yes we can read the Bible and understand it but when it comes to doctrine, since God is not a God of confusion, we know there must be ONLY ONE INFALLIBLE INTERPRETATION. Not the many that have given birth to hundreds of different and conflicting Protestant denominations. Jesus tells us clearly that He desires unity and that we all be one. But private interpretation has confounded His desire.(John 17)

Jackie: You can’t add human tradition to the cross.

BFHU: We agree. We do not add human tradition. What the Catholic Church refers to as TRADITION, is NOT human tradition. It is the very teachings of Jesus Christ to His apostles. It is teaching that the Catholic Church has believed for 2000 years but it all did not get included in the canon of scripture. It is part of the oral Tradition that St. Paul exhorts the faithful to cling to.

Jackie:You can’t make up “feel good” things, like Mary was a perpetual virgin…

BFHU: Mary’s perpetual virginity is not a feel good thing. It is historical fact. There is no historical evidence that Mary had any more children. All there is is Protestant private interpretation, unhinged from all Church history and ancient teaching. Even Martin Luther and John Calvin believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. But someone, on his own authority using his own fallible private interpretation decided that Mary had other children. This person had no information about the language and culture of early Christianity and the semitic languages and usages of words like brother and sister. Which, by the way, we still use these words today to sometimes mean sibling and sometimes to denote a close relationship but not a sibling. And yet Protestants somehow KNOW that the brothers and sisters of Jesus were siblings and there was absolutely not way they could have been anything but siblings because….because…Mary just could not have been a perpetual virgin because that is a Catholic belief and it just has to be wrong.

Jackie:…like praying repetitiously (rosary)

BFHU: Are you aware that Scripture does not condemn repetitious prayer? Even Jesus prayed the same prayer three times.

Matthew 26:44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.

Only vain repetition is discouraged.

Jackie:..like eating the REAL body of Christ day after day

BFHU: We are just doing exactly what Jesus told us to do in Scripture.

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.

52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.

Jackie: …like confession with priests

BFHU: Jesus clearly instituted the sacrament of confession to a priest in John 20:22

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Sins cannot be remitted or retained unless they are heard. But of course, Protestants will interpret this privately, in opposition to the historical Christian interpretation.

Jackie:…like baby baptism

BFHU: Baptism is the Christian initiation sacrament for the people of God. It corresponds to the Jewish initiation of infants into the family of God…circumcision. Infant baptism is nowhere condemned in Scripture. Many Protestants take the beginnings of the Christian faithful, which needed adult converts and therefore adult baptism, to be the ONLY way to enter the family of God, despite the fact that infants are NOT outlawed from baptism. Even whole households were baptised in scripture and it could very well be there were infants among the newly baptized. Certainly scripture nowhere excludes infants from baptism. So once again it only Protestant interpretation of scripture that conflicts with the Catholic Church.

Jackie: …oh, and God ordained marriage–no where in the Bible does it say priests/bishops/popes should not marry; in fact their first “pope” Peter was married (MAT8:14).

BFHU: It is true that Peter had once been married. However, Jesus clearly says that some become eunuchs for the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 19:12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

Jackie: Where in the Bible does it say that people are either catholic, non-catholic, or anti-catholic? I must have missed that somewhere…

BFHU: I don’t think anyone said it was in the Bible….

Jackie:.. all the catholic talking points that are regurgitated over and over from you catholics. Read the Bible…don’t point me to a RC canon or council or pope statement

BFHU: I hope I have pointed you to Scripture that supports our Catholic doctrine. I would never point you to a RC canon or council since you reject them. But you should consider that the Early Christian Church believed Catholic doctrine. They were not Protestant in their beliefs at all. That is why I was convinced I had to be Catholic. I had to join the Church Jesus founded. I had to enter the Historical Church; the one that has been around for 2000 years not a mere 40-500 years.

Jackie: Read REV 22:18-19.
And catholic belief in purgatory comes from Maccabees – catholic-added, uninspired book – apocrypha, & not God-inspired.

BFHU: No it does not come from Maccabees. It comes from Scripture and the Jews. You might find these two posts interesting if you wish to be informed about actual Catholic teaching and not just what Protestants say Catholics believe. There is a big difference. I dare you to investigate….

Where is Purgatory in Scripture?

Where Did the Catholic Church Get the Idea of Purgatory?

Early Fathers on Purgatory

The Roots of Purgatory

Jackie: Rev 22:17-18 is a good start.
And where is that in the Bible that Jesus saved Mary b4 she sinned???? wow.

BFHU: I will answer you when you tell me:

Where in the Bible does it say all religious truth must be found in Scripture alone?

Jackie: You are sinners saved by grace when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
God’s Blessings to You.

BFHU: We do. But Protestants, based on their private interpretation of scripture, condemn Catholics.

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144 Responses

  1. “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27

  2. Dear Charles,

    Of course, Protestants believe this verse tells them that they have no need for anyone to teach them anything b/c of Jesus’ promise here. So they are encouraged to believe that it is them and Jesus and their Bible. But they are taking this verse out of context. Jesus spoke these words to His apostles, the first bishops of the infant Church. And to this day it is only the bishops who have been promised this not the laity. Jesus did not speak this promise to the crowds who followed Him.

    Besides, the theory of sola scriptura and private interpretation has proven to be false because it has not promoted unity of faith and communion but disunity and factions. Therefore, it makes more sense that Jesus’ promise was ONLY made to the leaders of His new Church.

    • The Apostles and disciples knew the OT by heart and the NT from Jesus. All the letters in the NT were to be heard or read at the time they were written certainly not 400 yrs later.

      Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God- The Bible.

      Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word of God.

      • Dear Charles,

        The letters of the New Testament were written in the second half of the first century and in the beginning of the second century. There were many other writings (e.g. the gospel of Thomas, the Diache etc.). But which scripture was an insprired writing. That is why the Catholic Church canonized the books of the New Testament at the end of the fourth century and at the beginnig of the fifth century, that is, the Church appointed the books which were inspired.

        • The letters in the NT were written at the time they were written which is when Paul Peter and Timothy etc were still alive. They were circulated at that time not hundreds of years later – eg the Christians knew that
          Paul had written letters to the Corinthians and read them as Paul intended.

          Paul did not say hide these letters and open them 200 hundred yrs later – this is absurd.
          The Bereans knew that they should test even what paul was saying to scripture and paul commended them for this.

        • The Catholic church merely canonised those books which were already known to be true by spirit filled Christians. They did not bring out 4oo yr old letters of peter and paul and say – look what we have found. The CC often ratified practices hundreds of yrs after these practices were in common use just to clarify matters.

          • Dear Charles,
            No one is contending that the documents of the New Testament were not known of or read until the time of their canonization 400 years later. Of course they were read at the time they were written.

      • This is my view from what I had seen from some other apologists.
        By reading Matthew 4:4 & Luke 4:4, they do not support the theology of ‘Sola Scriptura’.

        First of all, you added ‘Bible’ in the verse of Matthew yourself.
        Next, EVERY word from God needs to adhered to. Amen! But did it say only written words from God are to be adhered to? Words from or of God passed down through God-inspired oral traditions are to be neglected or refuted?

        According to Gospel of John (If I’m not wrong), the written Scripture itself doesn’t contain EVERY single thing Jesus did. If every single detail was to be recorded, not even the world can hold all the God-inspired Books. Next, Paul explicitly asked us to follow the Truth be it written or oral, especially in the epistle to the Thessolonians (Hold on to oral traditions).

  3. The books that are being called “uninspired and apocrypha” if this is true, then why did Jesus quote from these books? For anyone wanting these Scriptures I will be more than happy to give them to you.

    Jesus would have never quoted from a “book in the Bible” that was not inspired by God. That would have gone against everything He was. God! Good post and answers. God Bless, SR

    • Yes, please do provide the biblical scriptures supporting the apocrypha. Thank you.

      • Hey Jackie,

        I have a lot of them, but will provide you with ten. If you want more, will be happy to give you as time allows.

        1. Matthew 2:16 “slaying of the innocent was prophesied in Wisdom 11:7

        2. Matthew 6:19-20 Laying up treasures in heaven, comes for Sirach 29:11 “lay up your treasure.”

        3. Matthew 7:12 Jesus’ Golden rule, “Do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 “what you hate, do not do to others.”

        4. Matthew 7:16,20 “You will know them by their fruits, follows Sirach 27:6 “the fruit discloses the cultivation.”

        5. Matthew 9:36 “like sheep without a shepherd” was stated in Judith 11:19 “sheep without a shepherd.”

        6. Matthew 11:25 “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 “Lord of heaven and earth.”

        7. Matthew 16:18 Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13

        8. Matthew 22:25; Mark 12:20 Luke 20:29 The Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11, regarding the seven brothers.

        9. Matthew 24:15 The “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is taken from 1 Maccabees 1:54 and 2 Maccabees 8:17

        10. Matthew 24:16 “Let those who flee to the mountains, is taken from 1 Maccabees 2:28

        I am not meaning to be rude here Jackie, but I have read all of this and I must ask. If it is wrong for us to follow the teachings of the Pope, as he is mere man, then why do you say it is okay for Martin Luther to rip out books of the Bible and follow his “teachings on this?” Was not Martin Luther a mere man? Jesus did quote from these “uninspired books.” He would have never of done so, had they not been “inspired.” God Bless, SR

      • I have read some of the apocrypha and I believe they are inspired – I think the Jews must have used them.

      • Just want to clarify that Catholic apocrpha is not the same as Protestant apocrpha. Catholics make distinction of the deuterocanonical books and apocrpha whereas Protestants just lump everything as apocrpha. There was no established canon of the bible for Christians (or for the Jews for that matter — but it’s irrelevant anyway because Christianity supplanted Judaism) until around AD 400. What was accepted is the Catholic “version” of the bible, and it was the bible used by all Christians for 1600 years until a rogue priest Martin Luther came along who made himself the judge and jury of all Christian matters including the inspired books. Go figure …

  4. bfhu:
    Let me ask you, Are you assured of your eternal life in heaven? However you answer that, yes or no, on what do you base your hope? If you died tonight, why would/should God let you into heaven?
    What is the gospel to you? Works? Doing? Going?

    Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    I pray always for discernment and humility in my walk with God.
    I pray for you in Jesus’ name.
    God bless you.

    • Jackie,

      There are works under the “law” which Paul spoke of, then there are works under “grace” which Jesus and James spoke of. Jesus said to do the “Father’s works”. James said, “Faith without works is dead”
      We are going to be judged by what? “Our works.” This is where Jesus will separate the “sheep” and the “goats” according to our “works.” So our “works” very much must count for something. God Bless, SR

    • Hi Jackie 🙂

      First, Roman 3:23 is an hyperbolic statement because that Paul’s epistle to the Romans seemingly did not exclude MAN Jesus Christ. So if we were to take it literally, God made in flesh (as MAN) was also a sinner, who fell short of glory and needed a savior. Are you trying to imply that? I know you’re not and that already defied the divinity of Christ even as MAN. In other words, there is an absolute possibility that people (jesus & mary) can be excluded although it didn’t mention.

      Next, there’s a difference between works of LAW and good works. Good works, like what SR had kindly mentioned, are works merited under the grace of God. On the other hand, works of law are none other than works that make God’s Will void.

      Lastly, having ‘Faith in God’ is a foundation. However, faith is not the greatest according to Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians (Corinthians 13:13). Again, James 2 speaks quite a lot on Faith that is without good works. This inspired writer compared ‘faith without good works’ with ‘body without spirit’ (Especially James 2:22). Also, according to the Gospel of Matthew 19 (Matthew 19:16 -21), someone asked Jesus on what should one do to gain eternal life.

      16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

      17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

      18 “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,

      19 honor your father and mother, and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

      20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

      21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

      If you have noticed, Jesus did not merely say: Believing in me is enough to gain eternal life.

      This can also be seen in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2:8-10) where Paul mentioned that we are saved by grace through faith and we are created in Christ to do good works, which God had prepared for us in advance. Book of Revelations also do show that Christ separates believers, who had done his will in serving others, from others who did not. There are definitely numerous other verses and parables that support the Catholic doctrine that ‘Good works complement Faith & vice versa.

      I hope you understand 🙂

      • The whole point of this passage is believing in Jesus is the ONLY thing
        thing we can do to gain eternal life

        hope you understand!

      • Hi Mark. Based on what you have interpreted as Jesus speaking of ‘solely on faith’, am I right to say that one should only be believing His commandments but not carrying them out?
        There’s a significant difference between ‘merely having faith’ and ‘carrying out your faith’.

        • Most people miss the whole point of this passage. keep in mind that the rich young ruler perceived eternal life as a reward he can earn not as a gift “what good thing must i do to get eternal life” he also sees himself as being righteous “all these i’ve done since my youth”

          also keep in mind the true purpose of the law!

          i”ll clarify with scripture but i gotta go to store for now!

        • This rich young ruler believed in Christ and accepted him as his Teacher. (He titled Jesus a Teacher). That shows Faith in Christ.

          But undeniably, he also asked what should be done to gain eternal life. Christ himself said, ‘If you wish to enter life, obey my commandments.’ He neither rebuke him that no works is justifiable nor answer him with ‘solely on faith’ (because Christ already knew that the young ruler believed and accepted him and his teachings).

          So, the point is that we should trust Christ as a Teacher (like how the ruler did) and to obey His commandments to enter life (which he had asked the ruler to do). But obeying his commandments can be very difficult for us (like how the ruler was utterly disappointed in what Christ had told him to do about his wealth).

          The main purpose of his Law is to have all Christians continuously do his Father’s Will so that we may be justified to enter his kingdom.

          Thank you, you engaged a fruitful discussion (at least to me) 🙂

          • Thanks Spencer, i think you’re right about the commandments being difficult to obey!
            here’s my view on this passage
            the rich young ruler earnestly seeking eternal life i believe to be a Jew has the typical mindset of the time seeking a righteousness of his own by his works ROM 10:3
            the true purpose of the law is to make one aware of sin ROM 3:20 the schoolmaster to point us to Christ GAL 3:24 the young ruler saw himself as being righteous but clearly he was not but actually very self righteous
            which Jesus revealed with his skill full use of the law which can be summed in two commandments: love God with all your heart soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself. if he truly loved God and loved his neighbor he would’ve had no problem selling all he owned and gave to the poor but he was a sinner and like all sinners he was selfish. I agree he saw Jesus as a good teacher at this point but he still lacked one thing and i believe that was faith so the point i think is i think it’s hard for the rich and anyone who’s so self reliant to trust in God – vs 26″ with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible” Ultimately, i believe the young ruler did come to repentance and found what he was looking for. in Mark ch10 “Jesus looked upon him and loved him” I love that part!

    • Dear Jackie,
      I am not omniecient. Therefore, I cannot KNOW without a doubt that I will be in Heaven. As long as I am alive it is possible for me to reject God and commit a deadly sin without remorse or repentance which would earn me Hell. At the moment I feel very sure of eternal life in Heaven. God would let me in b/c of the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ. You have been taught many lies about the Catholic Church. I am glad you are here so you can learn what we actually believe.

    • On Judgment Day, God will ask every Christians, “Why should I let you into heaven?” The correct answer is “Because Jesus Christ died for my sins.” But then, God will also ask the pointed question, “Prove it.” We will then have to show God how we have had lived our lives in total surrender to the glory and honor for our Lord, Jesus Christ. It will include the death to the sin of individual pride and disobedience to the commandments of Christ. Did Christ say to be a lone ranger Christian and disputing “words” at every turn with the Church established by Christ as the teaching authority on earth? Did Christ say to persecute the Church with lies, false propaganda and untruths? On that Day, many will say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” We must all wonder why our Lord then declares, “I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers” (Matt 7:21-23). The way to Hell is filled with people with good intentions.

      • But isn’t the point of this passage is they thought they could get into heaven by their good works?

        • Mark – I think the letter of james is quite clear on necessary works – this is why martin luther did not like it.

          • Thanks for the response! I understand Martin Luther did try to discredit James based on faulty understanding of it. there’s no question that good works are important and any true believer will manifest them in their life but i believe the issue here is eternal life which i believe they perceived as a reward can only be received as a gift. the bible’s very clear on that issue. i believe these false prophets missed it altogether they missed the narrow gate in Matt 7:13 John 10:9 clarifies exactly what that is

        • If I’m not wrong, the passage is about Christ not accepting believers, who did many wondrous things in His name but not His Father’s Will, into his Kingdom.

        • Their works were not the problem – I think the answer is in the last part
          of Jesus’s sayings ” ….you workers of iniquity . I think they were still
          sinning in some way and they thought proudly that their good works would cover for this. David Wilkerson of NYTSC defined iniquity as unconfessed and unrepented sin.

          • The path to hell is filled with people with good intentions, all making God in their image, peddling their own versions of the gospel message, and doing their own wills instead of the will of the Father. Enter through the narrow gate “for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” How many believers only pay lip service to the Lordship of Christ? Calling Christ the Lord does not stop at confessing that he is your “personal” Savior. We’ve to follow Christ, carry his cross and obey his commandments to us. Those who rejects the Church and her precepts for holy living is living precariously on the “wide gate and easy road.” The work of “David Wilkerson of NYTSC” is not necessarily a stamp of divine approval (as said in Matt 7:21-23) but that God’s mercy is boundless and He does “mightly works” in spite of the sinfulness of man.

            • I said david wilkerson does a good sermon on the workers of iniquity – however looking at david’s fruits they certainly look good and continue to this day.

  5. Hi Jackie,
    The tradatition that Our Lady was saved before she sinned is on equal par to the tradition of the Trinity. Nowhere in scripture does it mention anything about the trinity but it is a Catholic tradition which a lot of protestants adhere to and it is binding. We believe that Mary needed a saviour to PREVENT Her from falling into sin NOT to bring Her out of sin because She still had freedom of choice. Such as a GOOD parent tries to raise there children to be law abiding people. The Bible also states to read the scriptures with wisdom and reason so by that do you really think that Jesus would allow the woman who He created to be His Mother to fall into sin or for that matter for her to be born of sin. If we were God, which we are not then we would create our mothers to be perfect and so did Our Lord, it only makes the most beautiful sence and the one law that binds Our Lord to doing this is His Own Commandment to Honor thy Father and Mother. And He did it in the most beautiful way. I hope that helps clear that up for you. God Bless, Anno D

    • Anno,

      I love the way you explained this. In Jackie’s defense (as I am a convert also) I understand where she is coming from. It is very hard for Protestants to wrap their minds around our Blessed Mother, as they believe they are “sola scriptura.” However, they do not realize they do and believe many things in the Bible which are not there, and have “Traditions” as well.

      1. “Accepting Jesus as my personal Savior” No where is that found in the Bible. In fact the word “Jesus” “Personal” and “Savior” are never used in the same sentence. Jesus is the Savior of the world, not just for one. I hunted up the word “personal” in the Bible in reference to Jesus, and I never found it. (If I missed it sorry!)

      2. As you pointed out the word “Trinity” is not there, yet they believe in it. Those in the Catholic Church gave this belief and word, and they accept it as truth. (So they do follow some teachings of the Catholic Church, they just do not know they do)

      3. The word “Rapture” is not there but they believe in that also.

      Just these three teachings alone, (and there are others) were given to “Protestants” by “mere man.” Many accept the words of Martin Luther, as the absolute truth. Most all of the teachings in any Church came from “mere man” somewhere. Making “sola scriptura” not an actual truth. Peter and Paul were “mere men.”

      Like I said, you really did a good job explaining this. God Bless, SR

  6. well i have read all the relpies and the most important thing that i can add is this THERE IS NOOOOO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND OUR LADY TRULY IS THE THE MOTHER OF GOD , AND ONLY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PRESENCE BODY . SOUL, AND DIVINTY. THE PROSTANT CHURCH HAVE NEVER HAD IT CORRECT IN REGARDS TO THE TRUE FAITH
    AND NEVER WILL THEY .JUST LOOK HOW THEY HAVE DESTORY EVERTHING EVEN THEIR CHURCHES ARE NOTHING BUT A COMPLETE MESSTHIS WHY THERE ARE MANY .

    • What do you see in Protestant churches then?

      • Would it not be presumptuous to think that 500 million protestants are unsaved – think of spurgeon – the prince of preachers – or the Wesley brothers who revived Britain by their preaching. There are divisions in the Catholic church but they are more hidden under one umbrella.
        The NYTS church is a good example founded by David Wilkerson who did wonderful work among the drug addicts and lost in New York.

    • Dear Wayne,
      The Catholic Church teaches that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic church. However, it does not mean by this that only Catholics can be saved. That is heresy and Fr. Leonard Feeney was excommunicated for teaching this less than a hundred years ago. What this means is that Jesus founded the Catholic Church and through her mission in time salvation is mediated to the world. Jesus, through His own sacrifice has won redemption and salvation for mankind. The Catholic Church is His chosen instrument to bring the salvation He won for us to the world. Therefore, all who are saved have been saved through Jesus and the Catholic Church whether they are Catholic or not.

  7. I thank God for His written word.
    Word.

    • Dear Jackie,

      Remember, Jesus gave us the Church, and the Chuch gave us the New Testament, not the other way round.

    • Dear Jackie,

      In other words: All of the writings of the NT are by men who were already a part of the Church. Further, it is not possible to know what constitutes the canon of “apostolic tradition” apart from the testimony of the Church.

  8. so, you hold that the perpetual virginity of Mary is a ” historical fact”? Isn´t this to promise too much? How, could this be proved historically? Mary must of necessity have given birth to Jesus, and in doing so the hymenal ring must have been torn ,and therefore the only ” historical proof ” of her virginity, must have been lost very early, and any historical proof to the contrary is lacking. But of course, anyone who wishes can believe that God, during her birth preserved the sign of her virginity, or restored it afterwards. But this has nothing to with “historical proof “. What people later on wished to think on this , is not a historical proof, but a ” historical wishful conjecture”. On the contrary: Mary a virgin , could easily been held as a certain proof that she hadn´t given birth to anyone, not even Jesus.
    Then in the second place: after she had given birth to Jesus, she was still the married wife of Josef. Is it reasonable to assume that they went on in their marriage without normal marital intercourse? Should we assume that Josef was doomed to perpetual virginity also, just to satisfy the catholics in this nonsubstansiated and unsupported doctrine of Mary´s virginity? This is contrary to the word of Paul, where he clearly teaches the spouses responsibility to fulfill their marital duty toward each other.
    Then thirdly. The reason for the proclamation of Mary´s virginity and immaculate conception is that Jesus should be born without sin. But this doesn´t solve this problem at all, it only displaces it one step backwards. For how can the parents of Mary conceive immaculately? Only through the supernatural intervention of God of course – which could have happened if need be. But what is it really he couldn´t do directly through Mary, which he had to do first through her parents? The thing is: if God is able to conceive Mary immaculately through her parents, he is of course able to conceive Jesus immaculately through Mary even though she was born a normal girl of normal, sinful parents. Is this any more difficult for God than to create Adam and Eve in the first place ?
    There is no hint of any teaching of Marys immaculate conception, her perpetual virginity or her reception into heaven in the scriptures. All of this is born out of a wish to support the cult of Mary.

    • First of all, Catholics believe that Mary is the new ark of the covenant. This is because Jesus is the new covenant, establishing it with his blood. Jesus The Lord is the covenant himself because without him, the covenant will not be established and then exist.

      Besides, in the OT, the ark of the covenant contains manna (bread from heaven), staff of the High Priest Aaron & the inscribed Word of God. By comparing this with the NT, Jesus fulfills the 3 of them. He is the living bread of life (Gospel according to John), he is the High Priest (Gospel according to Luke) & he is the living Word of God (Gospel according to John). That already shows that he is the new convenant.

      The question is, who or what is the new ark of the convenant then? Still Jesus himself or Mary? Catholics believe that if Jesus is still the new ark of the covenant, it means that his Flesh is a mere ‘container’. However, his flesh is vital and holy in establishing the covenant and salvation of mankind (his death and eating him to gain eternal life). But first, you have to believe in the literal eating of his flesh ( you can read it from one of the posts by Bfhu on that).

      That leads to us believing that Mary is the new ark of the covenant since she was the only person, who literally bore the Son of God in her womb. According to the OT, the ark of the covenant was handcrafted with the finest materials by men (sinful men) yet, only sinless people are permitted by God to touch it. From there we can learn that Mary can be immaculately born from sinful parents but kept from sin by God (not necessarily from sinless parents) – since both the ark of the convent in OT & Mary in the NT are creations.

      So, if God only allows sinless people touch the ark in OT, will He do the same in the NT? Besides, the new ark will be holding God himself literally. A sinful womb will be offensive to his greatest glory for him to dwell in it, just like how offensive it will be if God allows sinful people to dwell with and in him in Heaven.

      In addition, Gabriel (messenger of God) delivered a message to Mary, to pronounce the Annunciation. He undeniably spoke ‘Hail, full of grace, The Lord is with you!’ If he is a messenger, that exhaltation was from God himself. ‘Highly favored daughter’ is an inaccurate Protestant version because the Koine Greek phrase used (I can’t remember) is the literal ‘Full of Grace’, nowhere near the phrase ‘Highly favored daughter’. It is the same as that used in Genesis to describe The Word – which is Full of Grace & Truth. Therefore, it makes sense if Mary’s womb is immaculate or pure.

      Regarding Mary’s assumption, she rose up by the power, mercy and grace of Christ. Assumption is not totally heretic or unscriptural because in the Scriptures, Elijah and Enoch were assumed into heaven by God. In the Psalms, the ark of the covenant was mentioned to be raised by The Lord. Since Mary is believed to be the new ark of the covenant, it’s possible for Mary to be assumed or raised into Heaven by Jesus Christ The Lord. Besides, Jesus honors and loves his mortal mother, why wouldn’t he in his loving kindness raise his mother into his dwelling?

      However, people argue that in the Epistle to Romans from Paul mentioned that all have sinned and fall short of glory. If we were to take that literally throughout the ages, does the mean that Man Jesus Christ (God made in flesh) is sinful and needs another savior? That quote did not exclude Him so it has to be hyperbolic. Next, people also argue that Mary is not immaculate because she rejoiced in her Saviour. Catholics believe that God prevented her from falling into the ‘pit of sin’ instead of the usual interpretation as saving her ‘ out from the pit of sin’. That’s why she is more than willing to rejoice in God who saved her from sinning.

      This is what I’m able to explain with my limited knowledge.

  9. Dear Arne,

    Historical fact is different than scientific fact. How do you know who the first president of the US was? Were you there? Did you see who it was? We know who it was based on the testimony of many writers at the time. And this is why we believe that Mary was a perpetual virgin, based on the teaching of many different ancient authors. Even Martin Luther believed this.

    Jesus must have told His disciples this information. It was not a necessity that Mary be ever virgin or never have other children. This was not necessary for the salvation of mankind. So what would be the point of making it up? Because it was not a necessity it was not urgent to be written in the gospels. After all, John clearly tells us that everything Jesus did could not be written down. So we know there is information that was not included in the written gospels etc.

    But the fact of Mary’s perpetual virginity appeals to reason as being very fitting. Joseph was not doomed to virginity but rather accepted it for the sake of the kingdom of God, as do our priests. As did Jesus Himself.

    Matthew 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    Jesus could of course have been sinless without his mother being sinless. After all He is God. Again, Mary’s sinlessness was not absolutely a necessity for the incarnation and salvation. However, it also appeals to reason as being more fitting than the alternative and it also fulfills the Old Testament in a beautiful way.

    Protestants believe that God dwelt in the body of a sinful woman for nine months and then was raised by a sinful woman as well. But we believe that God, chose to purify His dwelling place and the mother of His childhood from all sin. In addition to this, just as the fall of man was brought about by the rebellion of a man and a woman so the salvation of man included the perfect obedience of a man and a woman.

    St. Paul’s instruction came after the marriage of Mary and Joseph and certainly applies in a general way but not absolutely. For something as great as the INCARNATION general rules for marriage could be suspended by God. If you were Joseph, would you have taken the virgin mother of God into a carnal marital embrace?

    • This alleged “historical fact “that Mary was a virgin even after giving birth to Jesus – where does it come from? Has there sometime been done a gynecological examination that proves this so called fact? This may sound profane and vulgar, but the weight of proof lies on those who maintain such highly unscientific and unreasonable assertion. Especially when it is totally unknown to the scriptures, and in addition is absolutely unnecessary for what is the point here, namely the fact that Jesus Christ was ” born of a woman”- nowhere is it said that it must be a sinless or even a Holy woman.. And shall this amount to anything of proof, this woman must no longer, after her birth , remain a virgin, no one can deny that.
      I do believe that G Washington was the first president of the US because this is a historical fact that there is no reason not to believe., and there is lots of historical documentation on that matter. But if someone came up with the suggestion that a lady so and so was was the first president, I would ask for poof and documentation, because it would be highly unlikely. In such matters I would be satisfied with some copies from some protocols and the like. Perpetual virginity after giving birth is so absolutely unlikely and foreign to common sense as to practically be ruled out, unless there could be given solid proofs. And this would require proofs of the kind described above. Rumours and viewpoints given by unauthoritative sources cannot be reckoned as trustworthy.
      Besides: I don´t regard the “marital embrace ” as something carnal or sinful as the author seems to imply. The biblical instruction from the very beginning is that man and woman shall be one flesh, and this is a sanctified union. If Joseph and Mary was so perfect as the author implies, I am sure thy would be able to keep their marital union clean and holy.
      Our salvation is not dependent upon a” perfect obedience of a man and a woman” ( Joseph and Mary ). They did obey the direct instruction from God in these matters, but one cannot make a teaching on their ” perfect obedience” on an ongoing basis out of that fact. They were certainly God fearing righteous people, but perfect – no! Our salvation relies on Christ and him alone, he is the only one good enough to be our perfect ransom.

      • Mary’s perpetual virginity was a miracle. Do you disbelieve in miracles b/c they “are so unlikely and foreign to common sense”? Is God not allowed to do anything unless it appeals to your reason or is written down in Scripture?

        George Washington being president and Mary being a perpetual virginity are both based on historical evidence. One is a miracle and if you do not accept miracles then of course you will never accept the perpetual virginity of Mary. But the evidence for both is of the same type-historical. What makes Mary’s perpetual virginity harder for you to believe, if you do believe God is able to perform miracles, is the fact that you have been raised or taught for some time that Mary was NOT a perpetual virgin. This is merely a bias. It is not evidence of anything.

  10. I have been trying hard not to get involved further on this site b/c with 2 strong opposing views it quickly becomes only a boxing match, and whoever can state their view longest and loudest, seemingly, would be the victor (though that’s not the reality), but this post, bfhu, is once again all based on “feeling” and what you all think is the glorious happy ending (and beginning) to the Mary story. Your belief in her perpetual virginity is not biblical.

    • Dear Jackie,
      Your belief that all must be “biblical” or explicitly mentioned in scripture is not scriptural. It is a tradition of men begun by Martin Luther.

    • Hey Jackie. With all due respect, if you believe that the Catholic Church is ‘wrong’, why fear that people may ‘outfight’ you; since you believe that you know the Truth. Besides, if you only believe in biblical doctrines that are explicitly mentioned in the Bible, do not believe in the traditional doctrine of the ‘Holy Trinity’ then. Do not use the traditional feastday titles ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ then. This is because they’re not mentioned in the Scriptures at all.

      But the question is, do you?

  11. I did not say I fear people who may “outfight” me.
    I pray for God to bring all people to Himself through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
    I pray for wisdom & discernment & humility to see circumstances and people from God’s viewpoint and, as a follower of Jesus, I respond according to scriptural principles.
    It is not important to me that “catholics” coined the word “trinity”, (just as they’ve hijacked the “universal” church of Christ) — I choose not to get caught up in the little things but rather focus on very nature of God, which is His written word.

  12. Thanks for your answer Spencer. I do not know too much about catholic doctrine, and certainly have my shear of prejudice. I try the best I can to leave it aside.
    The interpretation that the ark of covenant symbolizes Mary is new to me, and is a very special one, in my view. I will not comment on that, only say that I see many problems right away in such an interpretation. Be as it may, at least there is no teaching on this in the scriptures, so it is at best a tradition without scriptural support, as I see it.
    I feel rather disturbed at the notion of ” a sinful womb”? Can a womb be actually sinful? sinful anymore than my stomach or my kidney? Isn´t a womb a womb, be it in a holy or an unholy woman? It is an organ designed to nurture a baby till it be born, and cannot be sinful or sinless at all. It is in our spirit, or heart that sin dwells, and Jesus was not contaminated of sin from this womb any more than he was contaminated on physical contact with people in general. So why make such big problems in the process of having the saviour born? The scripture gives a clear and decisive answer to this : ” the Holy spirit shall come over you and the power of the highest shall dwell upon you: therefore shall also the holy that be born , be called the son of God ” Luke 1:35 ( tansl. not too well from Norwegian as I haven´t my English Bible at hand ). So that is the sole and only prerequisite for the holy one to be born holy and sinless, not the sinless womb in Mary, but the fact that the power of the highest dwelt upon her.

    The assumption is a subject on its own, perhaps I will comment on that later on occasion.

    • Yes. What I have learnt from Apologists and getting involved in apologetics is that one should never be too biased and absolute in remarks. This is because when you do that, the other party is most likely to find it offensive and unacceptable (which defeats the purpose of convincing him or her).

      The notion of an ‘immaculate womb’ or ‘sinful womb’ derives from the old Ark of the Covenant itself i have aforementioned. Like what you have remarked about the notion, isn’t the womb just a mere human organ? Yes it is, but to bear the son of god – No. (I’ve already answered above).

      Yes we totally agree that Christ is sinless and most holy because he is our Lord & the new covenant. But in regards to Mary, where are the scriptural back-ups? Well, the doctrine on the Immaculate Conception is declared because many scholars, clergymen and believers had seen the close similarities and likeness that Mary had had bore with the Old ark of the covenant. In other words, the doctrine was declared by the Pope with the support of ‘cross-referencing’ or scriptural comparison between the 2 testaments. (Doctrines declared are meant to clear misunderstandings, not to make people believe in something the church feels like making them to believe) ‘Cross-referencing’ between the OT & NT is explicitly seen in NT where the apostles often make references with the OT (because they were well-versed in OT).

      But if are there any explicit scriptural evidences that may support this doctrine? Yes and it is from what I had above mentioned – ‘Hail, full of grace, The Lord is with you!’ from God through Gabriel. That exhalation was made before Mary even accepted the Will of God. The main key words to look here is the phrase ‘Full of Grace’. What does it mean and why did God call her Full of Grace?
      From the Catholic apologists, the traditional translation, “full of grace,” is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of “highly favored daughter.” Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for “daughter”). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind.Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.

      It may not continuously be shown in the Scriptures but such a short phrase used by God through Gabriel means so much. It is like how powerful the sentence ‘I love you.’ Is. Such a short and crisp yet meaningful sentence. Marvels of language!

      Besides, Catholics believe that the ‘immaculate conception’ is an oral tradition which Paul explicitly asked us to hold on to in the epistle to the Thessolonians. Hence, it is passed down throughout the ages with the support from what the early church fathers had taught.

  13. Thanks again. I do not find the “ark theory” convincing at all. Not that I am ready to expound its certainly rich and important symbolism to the full. What seems to me , however, is that it has something to do with the government and throne of God. It was placed in the holiest of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was made by Moses and is in fact a replica of the temple of God in heaven. Only the high priest was allowed into the holiest place once a year on the day of atonement. We know from Hebrews and other scriptures that Jesus is our high priest, and he is the one fulfilling the symbolism about the high priest, and he in fact after his death rose to the very throne of God which is symbolized by the ark.
    How the pope or anyone can make even this have anything at all to do with Mary, is beyond my comprehension. And you also seem to make the very most out of the greeting to Mary from the angel. The greeting is not in itself anymore special than one could expect at such an occasion, and does not invite at all to such florid imagination as the “ark theory .”But one can do this if one wants to.The problem all the way is that it is not supported the very least from the scriptures, the symbology you find exposed in the Hebrews makes such an interpretation impossible.
    Then to the oral tradition, which is such a big part of the catholic way of thinking, as I have understood. To support this you cite 2. Thess 2:15 and 3:6. if this shall have any effect as a support for your doctrines, which seems unsupported by scripture, then you must presuppose that what Paul delivered to them by speech, is in fact different from what he has written, or at least contain much information that he has more or less left out from his epistles. Does this seem very consistent, probable or logical?
    The answer is no. Of course, there were details and practical instructions perhaps, that Paul did not have the time or capacity to include in all his letters. But from there to conclude that there is an oral tradition containing many important teachings not included in his letters, is ” wishful thinking ” from the person who whishes to introduce certain teachings serving ones purposes.
    I have a lot more to say on this important question, but I will leave this for now.

    • To be honest, I’m still learning about the Immaculate Conception from the theology of the ‘Ark of the New Covenant’. But there are more than this one theology Catholics believe that support the doctrine on IC. So there are certain areas that I may still lack understanding but will try to get back to you.

      Yes, the Old ark was placed in the tabernacle (Replica of the Temple of God) where ‘shekinah glory’ of the Lord overshadowed it. This is again similarly seen in the NT where the Annunciation was overshadowed by the High Priest (Christ). Since the Old Ark is compulsorily placed within the tabernacle, the New Ark is then placed within the Church. In the OT, faithfuls worship God by revering to the Old Ark. So honoring it doesn’t subtract from worship but irreverence does. Catholics do not and never will see Mary as divine like God, but as someone who is worthy to be honored (for she cooperated in the salvation of mankind by accepting the Word of God incarnate to be brought into the world).

      Next, when the old ark arrived at David’s kingdom, he exclaimed why should the ark one to him. Then, the ark stayed with him for 3 days (if I’m not wrong). With scriptural referencing, this is again seen in NT where Mary visited Elizabeth. Eliz exclaimed with the Holy Spirit, similarly to what David had spoken in the past. Mary stayed with her for 3 months. ‘Mary’s footsteps’ presented a striking resemblance to the journey of the Old Ark in the OT.

      With regards to the exhaltation from God through Gabriel, yes I agree it is a greeting. But it is more than just a greeting because the message was from God himself. No creature throughout the ages has been described with ‘Full of Grace’ by God himself – except himself and his masterpiece Mary. Catholics believe that every one is a sinner (excluding man Jesus Christ & Mary) who fall short of glory and hence, fall out of the perfect state of God’s sanctifying grace. So, being described or praised by God himself to be ‘full of grace’ means a lot to the sinless characteristics of the person Mary. In addition, Mary is also being titled, by her divine son Jesus, as ‘Woman’ which used to be a title for a honourable lady of high status in the past. This title of ‘Woman’ is seen in Genesis in which Adam calls Eve ‘Woman’.

      The doctrine of Immaculate Conception was only declared in year 1532 by the Pope, whereas the teaching of this theology has stretched out beyond that year – to as early as 155 AD – by the early church fathers. Therefore, Catholics believe it is an oral tradition that has passed down throughout the ages with the teachings getting more defined. Besides, early Protestants like Martin Luther and Calvin do believe in the Immaculate conception. Not only that, they believe in her perpetual virginity & assumption and even praised her.

      Some historical examples can be found here: http://www.staycatholic.com/ecf_immaculate_conception.htm

      For that matter on Christ’s death symbolism to the old ark, may I know where is it found in the Scriptures? I’m still new at this which is why I mentioned that I can only explain with my limited knowledge. Additionally, I’m a learning Catholic and your questions maybe better answered here: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/immaculate-conception-and-assumption
      Or here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm

    • Yes, the old ark was placed in the tabernacle where the Lord’s ‘shekinah glory’ overshadowed it. This bears a resemblance again in the NT where the high priest overshadows the annunciation of Mary. Next, when the Old Ark arrived at David’s kingdom, David exclaimed ‘why should the Ark come to me?’ and the ark stayed with him for 3 days. Again, this bears another resemblance to the visitation by Mary (bearer of the Son of David) to Elizabeth. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, exclaimed what has granted her that the Mother of her Lord should come to her? Then, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months.
      It seems that Mary’s trail bears a striking resemblance to that of the Old Ark. That affirms Catholic’s viewpoint of Mary to a certain degree.

      Next, with regards to the exhaltation from God through Gabriel. Yes it is a greeting from God to Mary, but not just a mere greeting. The phrase God through Gabriel used to describe Mary was ‘Full of grace’, which was used to describe himself (The Word) in Genesis. As the Catholic apologists have explained, the root Koine Greek word was used as a present participle. As Catholics believe that every one is a sinner (excluding man Jesus Christ and Mary, who falls shot of glory and thus, falls out of the perfect state of God’s sanctifying grace. To be praised or described by God himself as ‘Full of grace’ is indicative of Mary’s sinlessness before she accepted and bore the Son of God. Even when the angel appeared in Joseph’s dream, Joseph wasn’t even greeted with the same description.

      As for the ‘oral tradition’ question you have raised, the doctrine on the immaculate conception was declared by the Pope on year 1532. However, teachings of this theology has stretched to as far as 155AD by Justin martyr. That’s why Catholics believe that immaculate conception is an old traditional oral teachings that has been passed down throughout the ages, with its teachings getting more defined and clear. A small fraction of the list of Historical examples can be found here: http://www.staycatholic.com/ecf_immaculate_conception.htm

      As for the Ark resembling Christ’s ascension and the part you tapped on the Hebrews, would you mind telling me where are they found? I’m still learning which is why I mentioned that I could only explain with my limited knowledge. Better answers to your kind questions maybe found here: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/immaculate-conception-and-assumption
      Or here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm

      • Oops I repeated post because the previous one was ‘awaiting moderation’ and it didn’t show up. So yeah, I wrote another one. Sorry

  14. Paul said do not go beyond what is written – I would presume this means that any tradition or oral teaching should not go beyond scripture.

    • Dear Charles,

      2 Thessalonians 2, 15:
      Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

      • Yes – but don’t add to them .

      • I believe the way to determine whether the alleged ‘oral tradition’ is true or not, will depend on the archives of the historical documented ‘oral teachings’ by the early church fathers. As early as a century A.D.

        • Even better (for the believers) is to take it to the Church and “if (one) refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matt 18:17). No Christian is his or her own judge and jury of the bible, period.

          • But any judgements the church comes up with must agree with the Word of God.

            • Absolutely! But this does not necessarily mean that it will agree with everyone’s interpretation of the word of God.

            • Actually, that’s not what the bible says. Bring it to the “Church”, not to the bible or any Larry and Tom’s private interpretation or personal preference and lifestyle. Man must start to fear God first, and maybe there’s the beginning of wisdom. How many times do we have to say … don’t go beyond the written words so don’t add to the plain meaning of the bible. Be a true bible Christian!

  15. Dear Jackie,
    Are you aware that Maccabees is not apochrypha. It is part of the OT that the Jewish people who spoke Greek were using at the time of Christ. Jesus quoted it most of the time. Therefore, the infant Christian Church simply adopted the Greek Jewish OT scriptures. About a hundred years later the Jews generally removed these books b/c the Christians were able to use them to good effect to make Jewish converts. Then 1500 years later Martin Luther removed them from the Christian OT because passages in them were used to refute his new theology of Sola Fide and Sola Scriptural. This is all historical fact.

    • I liked Maccabees – it speaks against body worship such as in the Olympics and other sports which the Jews had adopted – even the priests neglected their duties in the temple to attend. Antiochus Epiphanes was a type of antichrist pointing to the future.
      If you look on the abominable statues at the recent olympics you
      will see what I mean with the illuminati idolatry.

  16. Your teaching on the perpetual virginity is rather perplexing. And it is contradictory to the Bible´s teaching. Take just from the first chapter in Matthew: “v18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage ( KJV :” he knew her not ” ) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
    Could anything be plainer than this? The Bible language in matters related to married life is not very explicit, but this is so explicit as to absolutely prove that Joseph and Mary had intercourse as a normal husband and wife after the birth of Jesus. Can anyone without twisting the plain meaning of these words come up with a hard conviction that in fact ” joseph did not consummate their marriage ” , or that ” they contrary to what is written ” did not come together “as husband and wife after the birth ofJesus? These facts are so plain and explicit that no further arguing should be unnecessary.

    • @ Anne Roaldsnes: Not if you read and understand the bible in its linguistic and cultural context. The common mistake is trying to think like a 21st century modern English reader in the backdrop of a very ancient civilization. “Until” does not have the clarity in English as in other languages. I need not repeat the exegesis here (which you can easily find by yourself). What make you think that you are “smarter” than the earliest Christians, the historic Christian Faith of both Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and then even your own Martin Luther and John Calvin? As I always say, reading the bible outside the guidance of the church is an occupational hazard for believers. You can’t eat solid food if you’re fed with milk and never grow in the knowledge of the Lord (1 Cor 3:2). You’ll be like the “ignorant” and “unstable” young believers, twisting to their own “destruction as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet 3:15). To get out of ignorance, you have to take the necessary baby steps and learn from Mother Church before you can start to jump and hop on your own.

      • Once again, surkiko, I would say ground yourself in God’s word, the Holy Bible. You ask, what makes one ‘smarter’ (I would ask, what makes one holy, faithful and righteous)…. all your answers are contained within His book. Take a leap of faith, read it for yourself.

        1 John 4:1-6 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prohets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we, the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

        REV 2:2 I know thy works, and they labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

        PROV 15:14 The heart of him that hath understanding keepeth knowledge; but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

        • @ Jackie: So take a lesson yourself from the bible. Make it like you truly believe in it. A little knowledge of the bible is always so dangerous. We both use the bible so whose’s right and whose’s wrong? Answer this: What is the pillar and foundation of truth? The bible for you?

          • 🙂 Yes, surkiko, it is the Bible for me. God’s word is true & flawless & does not contradict itself. The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and teaches us what is true and how to live our lives for God. It is God, preparing us, equipping us fully, to do good and to love.

            • I read the Bible under the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

            • Dear Jackie,
              Of course the Bible is all of the wonderful things you describe.It is infallible. However, it must be correctly interpreted and understood. We humans are not infallible. However, the Holy Spirit is infallible. But people, all claiming to be reading the Bible with the power of the Holy Spirit, come to different and contradicting interpretations and some even split off from their church of origin and start their own churches based on what they are sure is the leading of the Holy Spirit. This how we have ended up with thousands of Protestant denominations in direct disobedience to the will of Christ who wants us all to be one.

              So, the theory that each believer is able to read and understand the scriptures infallibly with the power of the Holy Spirit has been proven not to be true. It does not work. Apparently it was not God’s will for every believer to be able to read scripture infallibly. It sounded good when Martin Luther proposed it 500 years ago but if his theory of individual-Holy-Spirit-reader-infallibility was true then we would just have One Protestant church in opposition to the Catholic Church. If this had been the outcome, it would be very convincing that the One Protestant Church was the true Church and not the Catholic Church. But the outcome of Luther’s theory proves that each believer cannot read the Bible infallibly at all times.

              • Dear bfhu,
                bfhu wrote “in direct disobedience to the will of Christ who wants us all to be one” – yes, bfhu, Christ’s church, fellowship of believers, not the CATHOLIC church.
                bfhu wrote “So, the theory that each believer is able to read and understand the scriptures infallible with the power of the Holy Spirit has been proven not to be true. It does not work”.
                When you get past the sign over the door (catholic, baptist, lutheran), though not insignificant, because we are called to witness to the unsaved, to people in false religions, etc., you might then see the relevance of Christ’s church, from the viewpoint of God, through His Word.
                Psalm100:5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasing; and His truth endureth to all generations.
                I remain faithful to the teachings of God through His Holy Bible. Beautiful, isn’t it? Praise God.

                • Dear Jackie,
                  I agree with you that all Christians are a part of the Body of Christ. So one could in that sense say we are all one. However, Jesus built a Church and He wanted it to be ONE to be united. There is no doubt that the Protestant “reformation” began the wholesale destruction of that unity.

                  Let me ask you a direct question:

                  Are you able to infallibly read and interpret scripture by yourself?

                  • I would think that if a person has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit then
                    he will be able to understand the scriptures.

                    If the believer is quenching the Holy Spirit’s guidance then he may not be understanding – but this would apply even if a priest was to preach to him.
                    The problem is how do you get understanding with a few paragraphs
                    on Sundays in the RC church. Bible reading for the catholic layman
                    is not encouraged.

                    The word of God has power in itself that no commentary could have so
                    we should read them in conjunction.

                  • Dear bfhu:

                    Jesus said He would send the Spirit to us to be our helper, comforter, and guide. John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
                    The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word. Jesus told His disciples – John 16:13-14 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

                    Because I am in Christ (born again), God, through the Holy Spirit, convicts, comforts, humbles me. Once we are saved and belong to God, the Spirit takes up residence in our hearts forever, sealing us with the assurance of our eternal state as His children. I hunger for His word and it’s necessary application to my circumstances.

                    And though I may not know the immediate blessing of a particular trial, I do know based on God’s own words, His promise, that it is for good. When one has the Holy Spirit indwelling them, the application of His truth is opened to us.

                    Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

                    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

                    And 2 direct questions for you, Do you trust your pope to infallibly read and interpret scripture for you? Can your pope infallibly read and interpret scripture for you, and WHY would you want him to when, as a Child of God you are perfectly equipped to do so yourself through the Holy Spirit?

            • Wrong answer. You don’t know the bible as well as you want to think.

              “If (I) am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the CHURCH of the living God, the PILLAR AND FOUNDATION OF THE TRUTH” (1 Tim 3:15).

              So I quote also very biblically, CONDUCT yourself in God’s household. I think that you have severed your relationship with the Church which is a very vital element in your discipleship of Christ. The bible itself is not claiming to be “pillar and foundation of the truth”, so why should you?

              • The Bible does claim to be the absolute truth – all the way through – it is the word of God.

                This is that we must “study” the Word of God, not just read it.

                II Timothy 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. Only through in-depth study of the word of truth can we rightly divide (hold a straight course and teach the truth about) God’s word. It is not sufficient to just listen to someone else teach. Acts 17:11-12 “..they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed;..”

                • @ Charles Allan: You just don’t get it. The “pillar and foundation of the truth” is the CHURCH. Not the same as talking about the inerrancy of the bible. Don’t twist and bend beyond what’s exactly and plainly written … as you are always eager to point out. Maybe you should take your own advice on it too.

                  • surkiko, remind me again what the CHURCH is?

                    • @ Jackie: You’re asking the right followup question (and pray that you’re sincere in searching for the truth). The church is the entire people of God including its hierarchical structure. It’s the royal priesthood of all believers including its ministerial functions. It’s the place where believers can “take it to” as the final arbiter of disputes on earth (Matt 18:17). It is to which Christ demands, “He who listens to you, listens to me; he who rejects you, rejects me; and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me” (Lk 10:16). To identity this church, we ask its founder, Jesus Christ:

                      “You are Peter (“Kepha/Rock”) and upon this rock (“kepha”) I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt 16:18-19).

                    • Perhaps reading Mat16:13-17 before Mat6:18 might help you understand.
                      16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
                      Jesus is the rock.

                    • Dear Jackie,

                      God and Jesus are certainly “Rocks” as various verses attest. However in this verse in Mt 16 Peter is Rock. His name means Rock b/c Jesus renamed him Kepha or Cephas which means rock in Aramaic. When Jesus first meets Peter He changes his name to Cephas long before this event in Mt. 16.Jesus is the rock of our salvation but Peter is the Rock He built His Church upon. Not LUTHER, CALVIN, etc. You might find my post interesting.
                      –>Petros/Petra vs. Rocky/Rockelle

                    • @ Jackie:

                      You said: “Perhaps reading Mat16:13-17 before Mat6:18 might help you understand16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus is the rock”

                      Which part do you not understand? Is English is your 4th language or what? Jesus said to Peter, “You’re Peter (Rock/Kepha) and upon this rock I will build my Church, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” If you don’t understand plain English, it’s no wonder that you’re having such a problem with the rest of the bible.

                      (And don’t forget that it’s was Jesus who changed the name Simon to Peter in the first place.)

                    • By your tone, I gather you’ve been offended by my strong faith – evidenced by your insults on me. This obviously is not a forum for open dialogue, but rather, IMHO, another opportunity for catholics to attempt to shove conversion down the throats of born-again Christians.
                      I pray that God will bring all people following false religions and false teachers to Himself.
                      Humility.
                      God bless you.

                    • Some people just don’t get it. Call yourself a disciple of Christ and yet don’t even believe the plain words from Christ himself:

                      Jesus said, “(Peter) You’re Rock and upon this rock I’ll build my Church.” Is it any wonder that there are Christians who will twist and contort every word of the bible to suit his or her agenda. Shame.

                    • @ Jackie: If you want a proper dialogue, then at least make an effort to show that you’re prepared to examine a bible verse presented to you without bias. Jesus said, “You’re Rock and upon this rock I’ll build my Church.” I think the statement is plain and simple enough. At least try to examine it first. Why dismiss it without discussion? Why go behind it, twist and contort to make it fit a peculiar sectarian way of interpretation? It’s intellectual dishonesty.

                    • @surkiko Touche.

                  • But the church would be blind without the WORD of God – It is the Bible
                    which tells the church how to behave and what to do.

                    • @ Charles Allan: According to who? Prophet C. Allan? It’s not in the bible, my friend.

                    • I am not a prophet – but the church hierarchy which you proclaim came from the instructions in the Bible. It can be seen from history that the church did go astray – for example – Savanarola tried to correct itfrom the inside but was martyred by his church.

                    • @ Charles Allan: Then you disbelieve the promises of Christ about his Church (“The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”). Man of such little faith. My advice: Learn some good theologies and read some good history books. You lack clarity and solid knowledge (esp. scripture). It’s really quite astonishing how the father of Lies can so easily shift the quick sand under the foundation of undisciplined and ignorant people. It’s getting old, don’t you think? If you’re so happy with Scottish Presbyterianism, then you should keep company there surely. If you still want to be a Catholic, then have the integrity and honesty to be a genuine and faithful Catholic.

                    • But within the CC there is disagreement – eg over Vatican 2 – do you think people of pagan faiths can be saved without accepting Christ – but on the other hand a protestant christian cannot ??

                    • @ Charles Allan: You’ve to go to right source and there’s no disagreement in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Yes, good people will be saved by the mercy of God, and bad Christians will not be saved if they die with mortal sins and are unrepentant.

                    • RE:””charles allan, on October 27, 2012 at 9:13 am said:
                      But within the CC there is disagreement – eg over Vatican 2 – do you think people of pagan faiths can be saved without accepting Christ – but on the other hand a protestant christian cannot ??
                      surkiko, on October 27, 2012 at 9:24 am said:
                      @ Charles Allan: You’ve to go to right source and there’s no disagreement in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Yes, good people will be saved by the mercy of God, and bad Christians will not be saved if they die with mortal sins and are unrepentant.””

                      surkiko: Sinners (that’s all of us) who are in Christ (born again) will be saved; our salvation is secure. Saved by God’s mercy, and covered by His grace. Amen.

                      What is “good people”? Who are “bad Christians”?

                    • Only God can judge who will be saved. He will judge us based on what we did with what we knew. He will send no one to Hell based on what they did not know. We can trust in His love and mercy to judge with absolute justice and mercy.

  17. Surkiko, would you please just highlight the main points to prove that ” until ” has another meaning than I have assumed? I am not able to read these verses in the catholic way you suggests. The plain meaning of these words is that: after Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary began living like man and woman, having normal marital intercourse.

    An this is of course what they should do.

    To me it is of course , not important wether Mary went on as a virgin or not. She clearly could have. But then I think it would be perhaps more rational that she remained also unmarried. There is no rationality in marrying to live asexually. Some may perhaps choose it, at least for periods to live in prayer and fasting, but to go for marriage with an intention of staying a virgin, is both unbiblical, unsound and being the opposite of virtue.
    But the importance for me , is what the scripture actually says about this question. And that it should be possible to read it yourself, without having to believe it only some self proclaimed experts requires you to to submit your intellect to them .Of course, I would like to listen to anyone having more knowledge and insight than myself, but no one should accept anything, even from the pope, if it is not in line withe the scriptures, and in line with common sense.

    And I really, really don´t understand what importance the catholics find this one question to have. What on earth is so important about Mary staying a virgin? What purpose does it really serve? Can anyone answer that?
    I can see no point at all. Unless you have, as it seems , a feeling that marital intercourse is something carnal and somewhat sinful. Is that the reason? One cannot figure out the Holy Mary being defiled with such carnal and sinful activity?
    Jesus was born without sin, not because he spent his 9 months in what catholics considers ” a sinless and holy womb ” ( wombs are not sinful or holy ), but because she was ” overshadowed of the power of the highest” ..”.THEREFORE shall also the Holy beeing born, be called the Son of God.”( Luke 1:35 )Any other reason than that you will not be abe to find.

    • I would agree with Arne – but does it affect our salvation ? The problem was if you did not believe this you were anathema in the catholic church – am I not right this continues today?
      What about John’s 2nd letter – is the elect lady Mary the mother of Jesus

      This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her CHILDREN , whom I love in the truth–as does everyone else who knows the truth-

      • Thank you Charles. I cannot find it reasonable to suppose that the letter of John is written to Mary? Taken in a literal sense like this ,then you also will have to accept that this verse gives strong support to the opinion that ” Mary has physical children ” which is not what catholics would like to believe. If so, this verse then gives support to my conclusions above. Isn´t this lady a metaphorical representation for a church? Support for this could be found in Rev. 12:1 : a woman clothed with the sun. In OT the OT church of God which is Israel , is also seen as a woman.
        So in my mind John is writing to a church and the members of that church which he calls children of that church. Is this not plausible?

        • Could be that John is writing to a church – I also thought since he used the term ELECT lady – that this points to Mary.

        • If I’m not wrong, the Catholic Church believes that the term ‘woman’ refers to either the Church or Mary. However, the Church believes its more towards Mary as ‘elect lady’ is mentioned and the Church is not capable of producing God the Son (Christ Jesus) who will be caught up into heaven to rule nation with an iron rod. Only God is able to create and produce his own church. I believe this is one of the several brief reasons.

          • Well, if we were to accept that John really wrote his letter to Mary, we must also accept the following consequences:
            1) she has children other than Jesus( v. 1 and v 4 your children)
            2)John is not consequent in addressing, he clearly do not write to just one person, but to several: v8,9,10
            3)John concludes with a greeting from the ” elect children ” of Mary´s sister.! So not only is Mary elect, also the children of Marys sister is! Does that sound very reasonable to you?

            Isn´t it a more likely interpretation that John writes to a congregation of the elect ( believers commonly called so) ,and greets from another congregation of elects? For what reason should John be together with the physical children of Mary´s sister?

            • The fact that John was to take care of Jesus’s mother might have something to do with this passage.

          • *correction: The Church (group of believers) cannot bring forth a son while only Mary, who is the only documented person in the bible, to bring forth a son – Christ the son of God. Christ Jesus who will rule all nations.

    • Dear Arne,
      There is nothing necessary about Mary being a perpetual virgin. The Church does not proclaim this simply to honor Mary. The Church proclaims it because it happens to be the Truth. And we will not stop proclaiming just because some people don’t understand it or don’t believe it or cannot find it in the Bible. I am sure you agree that the truth is a very good reason.

      Marriage is a holy vocation. Sexual intercourse within marriage is not a sin but a beautiful expression of unity and procreation. As I said above, the Catholic Church is simply teaching the truth about Mary. There is no agenda other than truth.

      For an explanation of why “until” does not HAVE to mean Mary and Joseph had sex after Jesus’ birth please take a look at how the we explain it. It is very interesting. Also, included are early church writings proving that the belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity was not made up later.

      Mary Was Only a Virgin UNTIL Jesus was Born.

      And here is proof that the Reformers all believed in the Perpetual virginity of Mary:

      –>Luther on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

      So, at what late date and by who was it infallibly determined that Mary had other children?

    • @ Arne Roaldsnes: You raised some very appropriate and reasonable objections. I’m a bit busy right now so maybe Pam (bfhu) can answer them for you for now.

  18. That´s reassuring: there is eventually, as I have long suspected, no real reason or important purpose for the perpetual virginity. That´s good to know.
    So the only reason to proclaim it is that is is true!
    Hm.. on what authority, then…? The problem is that the Bible , which even to catholics must be an important authority, clearly contradicts this teaching. The “cousin theory ” is admitted in the video by Jimmy Akins on this site to be speculative, and the “stepfather theory ” does not be rather self evident, to say the least.
    And if you also cling to the theory ( as nobody so far on the site have abandoned or corrected- it is what I understand the teaching of the RCC) that the Apostle John wrote his second letter to Mary, then we actually have an apostolic statement that Mary had children, which mean more than one child!

    It is very unusual , I suspect, for married persons not to live together, at least for some time ( problems and sexual dysfunction can make it difficult in the long run ) in a relationship. I do think there is every reason to believe taht people in general considered Joseph and Mary to be a ordinary couple living together ( who also had other children ) and actually, people ” considered Jesus to be the son of Joseph” ( Luke 3:23) . They saw in him the simple carpenter which family they knew with brothers and sisters ( Mrk 6:3 ). This means that there was no opinion at the time that ” this was the unusual Holy Family where a normal marital practice was out of the question”. If this notion had been widespread at the time , where could the rumour of that have come from, then? From the Jewish Bible? Was it proclaimed in the synagogue ( which could been inferred from the assumed necessity of this dogma from the RCC )? This is silly.

    If this doctrine has to be upheld ,I cannot see any other possibility than that Mary herself ( or Joseph ) must be the one to inform the public, one way or another, about this fact since it could not easily be inferred from their normal married state, and there could be noone else to really know this as a very reliable truth as the author of the blog infers…..So what do you suggest to be the source of information? : teaparty gossip? death bed confession ? or just plain speaking to the community: “we are married, but we don´t live together”?????

    Or was there a really holy person somewhere who had found it to be his holy duty to interview Mary and Joseph on such private and obviously sensitive details from their marriage?

    You must choose what seems most likely. I want a reasonable answer to this.

    • Dear Arne,
      I have never heard that the Catholic Church has proclaimed that John 2 was written to the Virgin Mary. But even if he did write it to Mary we have Scriptural evidence that this would not have to refer to actual physical children of Mary.

      Rev. 11-12 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

      12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
      …. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

      The Male Child, Christ

      5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days….13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. … 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

    • What you propose is not what we believe. Jesus must have told his disciples this sensitive truth and enjoined their acceptance and belief. You are free to reject it. But you will never convince Catholics that these historical and ancient historical beliefs must not be true.

      • “Jesus MUST HAVE TOLD his disciples this sensitive truth and ENJOINED their acceptance and belief”. ‘nuf said.
        I sense a reoccuring theme here among catholics that their ‘facts’ are generally a “doctrine” of “feeling”, only. The Bible warns about false teachings—that is why we are to stay in His Word.
        The serpent is subtle.

        • Dear Jackie,
          You are free to reject Catholic teaching. Our facts have been a part of Christian doctrine for 2000 years. It has nothing to do with feelings. I don’t get why you think so unless it just makes Christian history easier to dismiss. I don’t get how Protestants can come along 1500-2012 years after the birth of Christ, totally disregard the first 1500 years of Christianity, take a book that was written and vetted by Catholic Christians and base their religion on private interpretation of passages of this book and then use use this same book to try to say that the very people who wrote it and approved it don’t know a thing about what it means or anything else that happened at the time and neither did the Christians who lived a short 100-400 years after Jesus. But they….THEY without any understanding of the culture in which it was written and being themselves children only of their own culture and language are able to KNOW INFALLIBLY what is true. And not just this but every one of the thousands of Protestant denominations claim that their infallible knowledge of the correct interpretation of scripture it the real one and all the other Protestant denominations are wrong to a greater or lesser extent. But the Catholics are more wrong than any Protestant denomination, even though the Catholic Church has been around for 2000 years proven by the fact that the earliest Christians believed in uniquely Catholic doctrines and did not believe in any way shape or form uniquely Protestant doctrines. I am not trying to be rude but how is this anything but arrogant?

          • This is not truthful. No one that I know of from any serious denomination purports in any way to ” know infallibly ” what is true, or claims any exclusive authority to understand the scriptures except the pope. How can you even suggest that ! What people is trying to, is to understand the scriptures. And I think any serious person will never suggest that he or his denomination holds the whole truth exclusively to all others.

            Your opinion on how the compilation of the canon came about seems rather simple to me, as if it is the merit of the RCC in itself. But even if this be true, what gives them the, even slightest, right to claim that their understanding of this writings is the only correct one! It is downright false that the Catholic church( at least in the meaning RCC) wrote this books( you say: ” the very people who wrote it and approved it ” ) They were written early/mid 1.st century before the RCC even existed! So to claim that the RCC for that reason has any exclusive right to their understanding, is not acceptable.

            • Dear Arne,

              Jesus promised to be with His Church to the end of time. He gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and told him that whatever he bound on earth is would be bound in Heaven and whatever he loosed on Earth it would be loosed in Heaven. This does not mean that God was bound or loosed by Peter’s decision but that Peter’s decisions were already bound or loosed in Heaven. We know that Peter made astounding decisions at the dawn of Christianity by doing away with circumcision, the dietary laws, and choosing a successor to Judas. How did Peter know a successor to Judas was to be found? Jesus must have told him and the rest of the apostles about succession. How did Peter know that the ancient practice of circumcision and the dietary laws, which sound like permanent ordinances in the OT, could be abolished? Jesus must have instructed him before His death. The Pope is the final authority but when he acts or teaches in union with the bishops he is also infallible. In fact, when you or I teach the truths of the Catholic Church, we are teaching infallibly. But we do not have the gift of infallibility. And this does not mean that the Pope is therefore able to just pronounce oracles. No. This is not what infallibility means. I merely means that God will prevent the pope and/or the pope and the bishops, from ever teaching error about faith and morals to the whole Church. You might find this post of interest in order to properly understand infallibility.–> If the Pope Is Infallible…

              Look Arne, I know that Protestants would never openly claim to be able to infallibly interpret scripture. But, this is exactly what they do when they act on what they think scripture means and leave a denomination because it doesn’t agree with their interpretation. Or, they start a new Church based on their interpretation of Scripture. Or they condemn other Christians for believing something that does not agree with their interpretation of scripture. They are convinced that their interpretation of Scripture is the TRUE one and that everyone else is wrong. If this is not thinking that their interpretation is infallible I don’t know what that would be then. They don’t claim infallibility because they KNOW Jesus did not promise every believer infallibility.

              Therefore, they reason, the Holy Spirit is infallible and they just know that the Holy Spirit is leading them and therefore it is safe to act on what they are sure is the Holy Spirit’s infallible interpretation. Now, many stop there and never second guess or wonder more deeply the implication of this belief regarding other seemingly sincere Christians. And these people manifest a pride and arrogance that does not comport with a Christian character. And it is pretty obvious that they deem themselves pretty darn infallible.

              But, most Protestants are troubled by the fact that many of the people in the church they left because it didn’t agree with their interpretation, or other Christians who disagree with their interpretation of scripture, or Christians who believe things that they disagree with are very loving and seemingly very sincere Christians. This gives them a lot of cognitive dissonance. Therefore, they will then in humility realize they could be wrong. Some will just try not to think about it and go on as if they were correct anyway. Some, and this is what I did as a Protestant, will conclude thus:

              When I read the Scripture I understand it to mean such and such. When Joe reads the very same scripture he read it to mean something quite different. Joe really seems to love the Lord. I don’t know of any great sin in his life. Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit cause him to understand this scripture to mean such and such, the same as me? I KNOW I love the Lord. I know I am seeking the Truth in sincerity. Yes, I sin but nothing terrible and I am always asking for forgiveness. What is causing Joe to think that the Scripture means something different than what I think it means? Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit lead us to both understand this scripture to mean such and such? I know my heart and it is as it should be. I don’t know Joe’s heart though. It must NOT be as it should be and therefore the Holy Spirit is not REALLY leading Joe’s interpretation of Scripture even though he thinks He is leading him. Therefore Joe’s interpretation is not correct, but mine must be. So, I will trust my interpretation and reject Joe’s interpretation.

              This was the only way to understand this problem that made any sense. But it made me uncomfortable so I tried not to think about it. But, when my interpretation caused such a surprising uproar in the church I was in I found it very hard to ignore or find a reasonable explanation. I begged God to show me the Truth, even if I was wrong. I just wanted to KNOW THE TRUTH. And next thing I knew I found the Catholic Church. Do you want to know the Truth no matter where it leads? Do you want to know the Truth, even if it means you are wrong?

              • God’s word is infallible; God’s people are not. We should not give to ANY human being, the robe of infallibility.

                • Dear Jackie,
                  Do you believe that the Scriptures are infallible? They were written by human beings made infallible by the power of God.

                  • Dear bfhu: I’m not sure what you are asking here. My statements, IMHO, are clear.

                    • @ Jackie: You’re stating a common fallacy which is that “the bible is a fallible collection of infallible books.” Your statement is too over-simplication of a complex question.

                    • @surkiko, as with many of your posts, you are either looking for an argument or are argumentative. I also deal with a dad who is catholic and I see the same arrogance in him in that is displayed from some of you on this site, of “knowing it all”. Getting angry b/c we won’t just “follow suit”, & that somehow we should just believe, by magically walking thru the doors of any catholic church that I can be enlightened b/c the pope told me RCC has the whole truth, and if I try hard enough, do enough good things, give enough to the RCC, that finally, after purification in some purgatory, that God will eventually let me into heaven, as he will ALL people.

                      Thank you very much, but as I said before, I remain faithful to God through His Word, the Holy Bible, and fellowship with Bible-believing, born-again Christians, such as myself.

                      God bless you, and may all unsaved people see the truth of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. And may we all be gracious and fruitful on our walk of Faith. Amen.

                    • @ Jackie: You over-simplified a complex question. Instead of being judgmental against the Church, your dad and the rest of us, why don’t you enlighten and clarify it for us? How did fallible men produce an infallible bible?

  19. In my view it is totally inconsistent to chose to interpret “Lady ” in a physical sense as meaning Mary, and then at second breath interpret children in a spiritual sense. This is twisting of a text.

    The revelation is hardly the place you go to find the hard facts. This is a book of vision that has to be interpreted. Not so the Gospels. It is clearly stated there that Mary had other children than Jesus. It is simply no option to try to explain that away.

    The woman in Rev .12 is not a physical woman, any more than the woman ( the whore ) in Rev 17., or that she actually rides on a physical beast. Both of them is visionary pictures of churches, the one in ch 12 is the a picture of the old and new testament church of God bringing forth the male child which is Jesus. The woman i ch 17 is likewise the false church having its beginning and inspiration from Babylon.
    Whatever you think about this it is very dangerous or difficult to use texts from Rev. as proof texts of anything

    By the way, I asked for a comment on the last part specifically of my last posting. How could anyone come to know with certainty that Mary stayed a virgin during a whole marriage when it is not given in the scriptures as a revelation? Who then has revealed this very private thing? In my opinion it belongs so much to the privacy of anyone as to not be allowable to talk about freely.

    • Dear Arne,
      St. John in his Revelation depicts the woman who gives birth to a son that infuriates Satan. Without a doubt he speaks of “her children” as being those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Nothing obscure, metaphorical, or mythological there. Whether you interpret the woman as Mary, the Church, or both, her children are all Christians not literal physical offspring. There is nothing twisted in seeing the lady of 2 john as being someone prominent in the Church and her “children” being those she is teaching or bringing the gospel to. Or it could simply be a letter to a literal mother and her literal physical children. Or, as my beloved Protestant Bible explains, it could be a letter to a specific church meant to be circulated to other churches. In this case, the “Lady”, would be referring to the Church and the “children” would refer to the faithful. Any of these interpretations are possible and none of them have been ruled out by anyone either Protestant or Catholic.

      John 2:1 To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth—

      At the end of the letter John says:

      13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.

      This could be a literal sister or a sister church and the children/believers there. Remember that these letters were written with veiled terminology b/c of the persecution of Christians at the time.

      I do not see the text and the letter supporting the idea that the Lady is Mary, however. The Catholic Church does NOT TEACH THAT THE LADY OF JOHN 2:1 IS MARY!I do not know where you got that. The apostle John would not have any need to warn Mary not to be deceived. She KNEW her son and was not likely to be deceived by false teachers. I also find it unlikely that she needed to be reminded to love one another, or warned against stopping the following of the teaching of Christ.

  20. OK, the notion that the RCC teaches that this may be Mary, I have learnt from other catholic writers here in this blog. But it´s fine if this is not the case.
    I think we agree on the revelation. Only I can se no “Mary” in the woman of ch 12.
    Be that as it may. We must rejoice that there is at least something we do agree about!

    • Apparently, I’ve unintentionally mixed up the Church teachings. Forgive me, for I’m still learning.

      • There are different levels of meaning in scripture. The “first” and “literal” meaning of the woman in Rev 12 is Mary. Who brought forth a male child (Christ)? = Mary. Flight of the woman = Mary and the Holy Family into Egypt. Typologically, Mary is the Church and the “offsprings” are Christians. It’s not an accident when Christ gave the “woman” to the beloved John to behold as “your mother.” The “woman” is the same person whom Christ calls “woman”, the reprise of the person Adam called “woman” and the “woman” prophesied in Genesis 3:15 whose “seed” (Christ) will crush the serpent’s head.

        • If this woman in Rev. 12 is a physical woman, then the woman in Rev 18 who rides on the beast also must be a physical woman. Who do you figure this one to be?

          If Mary is a type of the church, and the christians are her children ( it is never said or even hinted at in the scriptures ) then Christ is making children with his own mother, and will in the future marry his mother since the church is the bride?

          • Dear Arne,
            In Catholic theology we believe in interpretive “both/and” where as Protestants are generally “either/or”The Woman of Rev 12. Therefore, the Woman is both Mary (assumed into Heaven) and the Church. The woman of Rev 18 could be a real woman or man who was an enemy of Go and Satan/Babylon (those who oppose Christ).But I don’t really know. Christ is our brother. Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. But none of this is in a carnal way. It is all spiritual.

  21. @ Arne: The four main characters in Rev 12: “the woman”, the devil, Jesus, and Archangel Michael are all real persons so it fits context exegetically to interpret the “woman” at this first sense as Mary.

    In addressing the words “Woman, behold your son” to Mary, Jesus proclaims her motherhood not only to John but also to every disciple.

  22. I must comment on the reply from bfhu on my questions about where the so called historical truth about the perpetual virginity of Mary comes from .
    First of all, I am not having any prejudice on this question. If it can be reasonably shown that this is in fact a truth ,then I have no problem embracing it at all. But the problem is that the author , or anyone else writing here , is not able to come up with any proof of this contention. I have shown that it is not taught in the Bible since Jesus obviously had siblings , and the explanation on ” until ” is absolutely unsatisfactory ,and both the ” cousin theory ” and the “stepfather theory ” is highly speculative and downright false.
    What I am asking for is either proof or at least something that coherently makes this so called truth at least highly probable. But even that you are not able to give me. And when I show you that, then the only answer is that this is a truth anyway, ” but you are free not to believe in it “…..?
    Is this the way you want to convince anyone on the truth? Is this the way to take any question really seriously?

    So the last proposal as to where the truth about the perpetual virginity comes from, is an assertion cut out of thin air: ” Jesus must have told his disciples this sensitive truth and enjoined their acceptance and belief”……?
    so at last the only authority behind the historical truth of the virginity, is in fact a mere human conjecture??? And it is not even a good one at that. You want me to believe that Mary confided such private, intimate details to his son…? Give me a break… Would anyone even suggest that a mother would even think of revealing such sensitive and private truth to a son? And I don´t think he ever wanted to know ,even if it was revealed to him from his father ( which one – the physical or the heavenly ? )

    And the disciples accepted and believed this?Well, why should´t they if Jesus had told them? Only, the problem is that this is never even mentioned in any written material in the whole new testament , which is rather mysterious. Because , if they were good catholics,as you suppose them to be, what could be more important to write about and teach to the world than this???? So, actually, either they didn´t know anything at all about the virginity of Mary , or they were bad catholics? Which option will you chose?
    What anyone later in the church history have imagined about this matter, has no weight of proof. Rather than calling it a ” historical proof ” it should be called at best a ” historical conjecture .”
    I do not reject this doctrine because I don´t want to believe anything from the RCC , but of the simple reason that there is no evidence whatsoever.

    • Dear Arne,

      Can you prove that Homer wrote the Iliad? I am sure there are certain ways to document who authored it with a reasonable amount of certainty. But I cannot lay my hands on the documents nor do I have the knowledge to even know how to look for them. Neither can I prove to you that Mary was a perpetual virgin. We have explained why the Catholic Church teaches it. It is not scientifically provable. It is only “provable” by historical evidence. If you reject this for all of your various reasons you are certainly free to reject it.We will just have to agree to disagree but I will say that none of your objections have created even the slightest doubt in my mind that I can trust the Catholic Church to teach me truth. I am afraid I do not trust you nor your logic.

  23. No, I can´t prove that Homer wrote the Iliad. But the point is, if I was teaching that this is a ” historical fact ” then I had to have some good evidence and documentation for it to be worth listening to. Your problem is that you hold the perpetual virginity to be a ” historical fact ” but you are not able to point to the slightest evidence at all. It doesn´t even stand up to a logical, commonsensical scrutiny.Therefore your belief, and this doctrine of the RCC boils down to a private opinion and as such do not qualify to what is required of a “historical fact.”

    You do not trust my logic, that´s ok. But you better see to it that you stop calling something a historical fact that you or anyone are not able to defend or document.

  24. I want to comment on bfhu further up ,but does it here to avoid it being a slim field of text.
    I do have much sympathy, as I also earlier have expressed ,with the problem of diverging meanings and denominations, and it is somewhat tempting to enter a denomination where you have the ultimate arbiter through the pope or whoever. Only, at the same time you put your trust in the hands of mere humans.

    To not have all the answers, may be difficult, but to take such a leap in blind faith ( as I see it ) as you are doing ,won´t make you any good in the end. This is far more dangerous than a situation of diverging views.
    I do agree though, that in certain denominations there may be strong leaders ” leading believers after themselves ” and as such claim infallibility if not explicitly. This might not be any better.

    Then to what must be some misconceptions about Peter. I can´t see him quite as powerful or authoritative as the author claims. At the apostles meeting in Acts 15 he played a key role in stopping the requirement from the pharisaic fraction that the gentiles should be circumcised. But later he became insecure and lost his clear conviction so that Paul had to rebuke him sternly ( Gal. 2 ) So this understanding in the early church about the circumcision, was also as much a work of Paul who was after all the apostle to the gentile, and he is the one writing on this theme extensively. But what is evident is that the circumcision on the flesh was now changed to what it depicted: the circumcision of the heart.

    Then to the election of ” a stand in” after Judas in Acts 1. It is right that Peter initiated this, but he did n´t select any one on his own authority as is evident when you read the passage:” and THEY put forward two..” and then afterwards THEY prayed and THEY gave lots.

    Lastly about unclean food. This is very interesting, and there is no proof at all that Peter changed this practice. His vision about the sheet coming down from heaven with all the unclean animals happened quite some time after Jesus had left them – perhaps about 10 years after? And he is very upset when he was ordered to” kill and eat” and he exclaims that he has never eaten anything unclean in his life.

    What this tell me is that during his years together with Jesus , he had learnt to respect Gods law on clean and unclean, and Jesus had never ever deviated from that practice .And from his reaction it is absolutely improbable that Jesus had taught him and primed him that he later would have to change his practice. This happened 3 times , and Peter had to really think hard on what the meaning of this was.

    That´s interesting: If he was primed on it , then why was it so difficult to understand and accept? And why not just accept the seemingly straightforward solution: start eating unclean foods, that´s no problem anymore. But this is not what he understands from this vision. But after the messengers from Cornelius came, then Peter understood what the meaning of the vision was: namely that he should not anymore call any human ( included the heathen ) for unclean. That is the sole message from this vision. There is not one minor sign that Peter from then on started eating pigs and lobsters. Why should he? The lord had learnt him the law of God, and that to do according to them was to be called great in Gods kingdom.(Matt 5:19 ) Peter knew his Bible and what would happen at the coming of the lord and the judgement then as related in Es 66:17. Clearly God expects that his laws on clean and unclean food be respected also till the end of the ages
    Never in the NT is there any teaching that clearly abolishes these laws, not from Peter , or from Paul.

  25. @ Arne: I know a lot of Protestants glorified Paul even over Christ but please stop the politicking. Peter never erred in doctrines but only lapsed briefly by his personal failing. Paul also lapsed in being wilfully prideful and uncharitable toward Peter by boasting to have corrected Peter in public (What about fraternal correction in private first according to Matt 18:15?). And don’t forget poor Timothy, he was unnecessarily circumcised by Paul due to another lapse of judgment (” … because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek”) (Acts 16:3).

    As usual, Arne, you seems content to set yourself up as final judge and jury in all matters of faith and moral. It’s disobedience and the familiar first old sin of misguided pride of our First Parents.

    • Since paul was acting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who could criticise paul or peter. You would be criticising the Bible !!!
      Paul would not be boasting but demonstrating how important correct doctrine is. I have never heard of mainstream protestants putting paul above Christ.

      • Dear Charles,
        Criticizing Peter and Paul’s very human behavior is not criticizing the Bible. It confirms the truthfulness of the Bible that it is an honest accounting of what happened. Noting their humanity and failings gives up hope in our own failures. We just have to get up and go on towards sanctity. When push comes to shove many Protestants will seem to take St. Paul’s writings over the Gospels. It is kind of weird and I don’t think they mean to do this but it does happen. They don’t actually put Paul above Christ. Can’t think of an example at the moment.

    • I will try to follow your advice. Perhaps humility isn´t my strongest asset. But I thought we had a discussion going. Is it not ok to state your opinion without having to be accused of trying to be the final judge? I´ll try to be a little softer.
      But I never asked anyone to submit his intellect or faith under myself. Only the pope has a right to that, remember!

      By the way. Have you finished the answer on ” until ” ?

      • @ Arne: Same here. I can be quite harsh and direct at times but most of the time, I’m gentle as a lamb really ;)) I’m constantly being reminded of the personal pride that can come between my relationship with God. I ask for humility so “I must decrease so Christ can increase.”

        About the Matt 1:25 “until” question, let’s do a bible study together. What about you start by telling me the reasons for your view? I can then answer you more pointedly, and you can also then do the same with your followup objections, etc. The “until” question is related to the perpetual virginity of Mary as well as the siblings of Christ so let’s tie them together. All I ask is to keep the exchange concise, and if you can move the discussion more appropriately under the existing post, “Perpetual Virginity of Mary.” And Pam, hope this is ok with you.

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