Cracking the Da Vinci Code

Mary Mary, Quite Contrary
by Jonathan Wilson

Roman Christians were themselves divided on the Perpetual Virginity of the Mother of Jesus

I thought I was finished with these articles. 25 seemed like a nice number, and there is little enough leg that the esoteric Grail Quest can stand on in its assertions about Christ and history.

Then in the course of my usual reading in preparation for Sunday's lesson, I was struck by more historical attestation. In scholar F.F. Bruce's commentary on ACTS (NICNT by Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI, 1988) I discovered the work of one Helvidius, a "Roman Christian," who in the year 380 articulated all the reasons why we should believe that, after the conception and birth of Jesus, his mother Mary had normal marital relations with Joseph and became the mother of other children. Page 41, footnote 53, gives a brief description of the emergence of the doctrine of "perpetual virginity," defended by St. Jerome of "Vulgate" fame (we met him in our articles about "too many Bibles).

This is over 50 years following the Council of Nicea when, the esotericists assert, all of this was supposedly hashed through by conspirators of "the Vatican."

The perpetual virginity of Mary gives proof to the medieval church's sensibility regarding the "sacred feminine." This was the agenda of Jerome and those who followed - they were not at all attempting to "suppress" the sacred feminine. At the same time, those who know the Bible text are hard-pressed to defend any such position as Mary's "perpetual virginity" or the other spurious doctrines of Mary that Protestants have left behind.

The reason is simple: The brothers of Jesus are named as such in the gospels, in Acts chapter 1, and in other attested ancient writings. No effort was ever made by "the Vatican" to suppress these references. Instead, they have embarrassed themselves over the centuries by trying to explain these references away. You would have expected that Vatican conspirators, with the kind of power Dan Brown believes they had, could have cleaned all that up and presented the Bible the way they wanted.
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