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Old 12-20-2001, 07:00 AM   #1
Xtopher
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Question An Xmas question

Can anyone tell me how it was that Mary was a virgin? Wasn't she married to Joseph and why hadn't they yet exercised their "marital relations"?

It's my theory that this Mary may have been the best liar in history to cover up an extramarital affair with the local shepherd boy and to save her own skin from Joseph when she got knocked up by someone other than him.

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-20-2001, 07:16 AM   #2
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Gnostic tradition (and a bit of reading between the lines) has it that she was a temple virgin who got knocked up by the priest (the same preist that knocked up John's mum), Joseph was just a willing old widower that would keep his mouth shut.

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Old 12-20-2001, 07:28 AM   #3
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The word they used for 'virgin' also means 'young woman'..

Another theory is based on the strictness of Jewish law with regards to the times when people can and cannot have relations with their spouse. It is possible they had relations at the wrong time. So it may have been a cover-up.

Personally, I think it was a buncha bunk made up by Q or whoever wrote the synoptic gospels to match it with the Mithras and Sol Invictus cults..
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Old 12-20-2001, 07:42 AM   #4
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Well, how about the view that Mary is just another ficticious character just as Jesus was? To me, the Bible is nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales written by people either for easy answers to the unknown, to get people to follow them, or really bored pranksters.
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Old 12-20-2001, 08:09 AM   #5
CX
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xtopher:
<strong>Can anyone tell me how it was that Mary was a virgin? Wasn't she married to Joseph and why hadn't they yet exercised their "marital relations"?

It's my theory that this Mary may have been the best liar in history to cover up an extramarital affair with the local shepherd boy and to save her own skin from Joseph when she got knocked up by someone other than him.

Merry Christmas!</strong>

Well, first off you are asking a question based on the implicit assumption that the infancy narratives are historical (which I'm sure you don't believe). So the question is kind of silly from a literal standpoint, however, if you want a literary explanation there are a couple things to consider. Here's what AMt says:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together,she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

So basically The Spook (from the trio Chief, JC and The Spook) knocked mary up before she had consummated her marriage. As soon as you take the infancy narrative literally and think about it too much all kinds of stuff seems out of place.

There are two possible real answers. First the oral tradition of the virgin birth was absorbed from other middle eastern myths of a virgin birth and AMt just ties it into OT prophecy with the reference to Isaiah (a reference ALk, who was gentile and writing for a gentile audience does not make). Or ther "Q" document contained an infancy narrative with the Is reference and ALk drops it because it isn't important to his audience and theological aims or because he realizes the Isaiah prophecy was fulfilled 700 years before Jesus was born. Finally Luke could have borrowed it from GMt, but then we have to wonder why his genealogy is different.

Another note: Elsewhere in this thread it is asserted that the word used in the infancy narrative means "young woman" rather than "virgin". This is not so. The Greek text uses the word PARQENOS which specifically means virgin. Some lexicons say it can mean a marrigable woman , but this is taken over from the Hebrew and isn't really accurate. The Greek word for young woman is PAIDISKE. It is clear from the text that virgin is intended. It is used, as I said, to connect Jesus to the prophecy in Isaiah.

Now the prophecy in Isaiah is a bit more difficult. The word used there IS the Hebrew word for young woman of marriageable age, but in Hebrew it is implicit that such a woman is also a virgin. Even so Hebrew has a word for virgin and it is not used so the distinction bears noting.

[additional editorial note] Since the only record we have of Jesus' birth comes from the infancy narratives in GMt and GLk (it is mentioned nowhere else in the NT) any additional speculation that maybe Mary got pregnant from a priest or any other suggestion is simply post hoc and therefore untenable. It's like saying if I have an invisible pink unicorn in my garage, how did it get there and why is it pink.

[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: CowboyX ]</p>
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Old 12-20-2001, 08:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together,she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
From Deuteronomy 22:23-24 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death - the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife.

So it is written, so let it be done.
The Holy Spirit and Mary shall be stoned at the town gate. Tickets available from Ticketron.
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Old 12-20-2001, 08:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyX:
[additional editorial note] Since the only record we have of Jesus' birth comes from the infancy narratives in GMt and GLk (it is mentioned nowhere else in the NT) any additional speculation that maybe Mary got pregnant from a priest or any other suggestion is simply post hoc and therefore untenable.
This assumes that the Gnostic traditions and/or the other non-canonical sources are wrong and that the only sources that can be reliably used are the canonical ones.

What makes the canonical sources more historically reliable?

Amen-Moses
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Old 12-20-2001, 09:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Amen-Moses:
<strong>

This assumes that the Gnostic traditions and/or the other non-canonical sources are wrong and that the only sources that can be reliably used are the canonical ones.

What makes the canonical sources more historically reliable?

Amen-Moses</strong>
All the extra-canonical references I've seen are late and derivative. I am perfectly willing to accept there were others, but please cite them for me so I can look at them. Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2001, 03:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyX:
All the extra-canonical references I've seen are late and derivative. I am perfectly willing to accept there were others, but please cite them for me so I can look at them. Thanks.
Well I doubt that I've seen anything that you haven't but I consider the canonical Gospels (at least in the form we have them now) as also being late and derivative but that doesn't explain where the traditions came from. For example why does Luke link JC with Egypt if their weren't already some traditions from there? If indeed Mary & Family spent some time there (probably in Alexandria) in JC's formative years then isn't it likely that the Gnostic traditions came from an early historical source that wasn't available to the authors of Mark and its derivatives?

Theorising for a moment couldn't Mark have been written in the late 60's and early 70's before the Alexandrian traditions became disseminated when the priests and scholars went to Alexandria to escape the revolt, then Luke could have been written several years after the revolt by someone who was only aware that the traditions existed but didn't know enough detail to include it (or found the detail to unpalatteable to include).

I would really love to have a solid dating for GThomas because I think that could definitely clear up a few mysteries, i.e if it could be dated to pre Mark or even the same date as Mark it would push back some of the Gnostic traditions to a far earlier date.

Amen-Moses
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Old 12-21-2001, 03:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ex-preacher:
<strong>From Deuteronomy 22:23-24 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death.
</strong>
Presumably, it's ok to knob whoever you like with total impunity if:-

1) You are a virgin, but are not yet pledged to be married.
2) You are not a virgin.
3) You do not fall asleep at any point.
4) You are both women.
5) You live in a town without gates.
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