All Conversations in My Heart
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
  Part2 of Defense of the Theotokos.

ON THE MEANING OF THE EXPRESSION, “HER FIRSTBORN SON”

If Mary thereafter remained a virgin, and bore no more children, why is Jesus called “her firstborn son” (Matthew 1-25)? Certainly, pseudo-christians, those sectarians trying to apply the ignorance and opinions of their own rationalism have made a point of foolishness in this expression, which therefore demands an answer to this question. The expression “firstborn son” is, however, not merely an indication of the first in a sequence of births, but a specific title under the Old Law. It applies and is carried by the son whether he has younger brothers or not, and special provisions appear in the Law making specific requirements of the “firstborn.” The fact that the title "firstborn" bore a special significance and was not intended to reflect simply "the first child of a series," is clear from the fifth chapter of Chronicles. Jacob invested Joseph (a younger son) with the rights of "firstborn," and Reuben, the eldest son, "was not reckoned as firstborn" (1st. Chronicles: 5).
Under the Levirate law, a woman whose husband died, leaving her childless, married the next younger brother of her late husband. If she bore a son by this second marriage, the son was legally the “firstborn son” of the dead former husband, and he obviously was not considered the father of the child or (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). If we look once more at the “Law and Prophets,” we will understand how the Scripture uses the term "firstborn," and we will understand how this special title applies to Mary and her Child.
God does not distinguish the “first-born” child by whether it is the first child born of a series of children, but by the special spiritual position of that child. In His testimony to Israel, “Sanctify (Consecrate) to Me every firstborn which first opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of people and of animals, for it is Mine” (Genesis 13:2). Thus we see that “firstborn son” is not just a random expression, nor does it signify the first of a series of sons. It is a title, which refers to a special child who has a special significance in Israel's relationship with God. Pharaoh had only one child, his son. This son was slain among the "firstborn" of Egypt. As the firstborn of Egypt were destroyed, even so, the firstborn of Israel were sanctified. This law is prophetic, revealing the coming of the Messiah, the Savior.
Christ, as the “firstborn son” was sanctified to God, and this was the fulfillment prophecy, which the Old Testament law contained. There is more to this matter, however, for not just Christ, but every child who was the first to “open the mother's womb” was sanctified. Let us turn again to the prophetic law and see how we must understand this title of "firstborn son" in relation to Christ, particularly to the verse at Matthew 1:25. Notice that, in this verse, Jesus is not called Joseph's firstborn, but only Mary's firstborn. Evidently, we should look again to the Law and see how the position of the "firstborn son" relates to Mary's special betrothal as "bearer of the inheritance."
We find, again, in the Laws of redemption, evidence of our answer. For, property, which has been sold or “alienated”, must be redeemed to the family of its original owner. This was to be done at any time but, in the Year of Jubilee, it was absolutely required. The obligation of redeeming alienated or sold property fell to the legal “firstborn son”, to the one who bore the position, whether he was the first one born of a sequence or not (Leviticus 25:23-24).
Are we not, in fact, the “inheritance” of the Father, in need of redemption? “Save, O Lord, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance,” the Psalmist sings in the spirit of prophecy. Moreover, are we not all “sold under sin” (Romans 7.14) and "who shall redeem me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24) Thus, Christ is the "firstborn son", and as such bears both the right and the responsibility of redeeming for the Father that which had been alienated from the Father, to redeem from the bondage of death and the power of "him who had the power of death, namely Satan" that which was "sold under sin."
We see, therefore, both the nature of Mary’s betrothal, its lawful role in the preservation of the “inheritance of Israel,” and the necessity for the Christ to bear the office and title of “firstborn son.”
Can we see in this the buying back of the children of God from bondage of satan by the Firstborn Son?

ON THE TRADITION THAT MARY WAS RAISED AND EDUCATED IN THE TEMPLE
The Jewish tradition was that all the virgins of the House of David were taken into the Temple to be taught. The Jews believed or at least the Temple did, the Mother of the Messiah was to be from the House of David and therefore must be adequately instructed to be the Mother of the Messiah. Again this was Jewish Custom and we have to accept it as Catholics for it was a law we inherited. In the Catholic Apostolic Church, it has always been held, on the basis of Sacred Tradition, that Mary was raised and educated in the Temple, as a consecrated virgin. The story of her entry into the temple was recounted every year on the feast day of commemorating the event. It seems worthwhile noting here, certain circumstances that make the idea of her being educated and serving in the temple not only plausible but likely. In fact I heard growing up how when Mary was of age for marriage that is. The temple chose a suitor for her. Those eligible bachelors of the House of David were assembled and told to bring an almond branch. The season was before the trees of Jerusalem had budded. Joseph turned up and his branch was flowering. The Temple accepted the sign. Some stories claim it was his staff. But that could not be true because all these men would not have had staffs of this wood.
According to the traditional story, Mary was the daughter of the priest Joachim and his wife Anna. In the Gospel of Luke we learn that Elizabeth, Mary's kinswoman was married to Zacharias, a serving Temple Priest, a member of the house of Aaron (Lk. 1: 5-36), and therefore she was of the priestly class, and related by marriage to the priests who served in temple. This means that Mary was not only the daughter of a priest, Joachim, but related to other branches of the priestly families. Her uncle, her father’s brother Zachary was a priest (Lk. 1: 5). Aunt Elizabeth was, therefore, doubly related to the priestly house: both through birth and through marriage. Mary must have been just as closely related, and if her mother was also marriage related to the house of Aaron and the priesthood, then Mary was well connected to the temple and it certainly would not have been unusual for her to have both served in the temple in some capacity and been educated in the temple. We have, established that there is no reason to doubt that she could have been educated and served in some womanly capacity in the temple.

ON THE MEANING OF THE WORDS “HE KNEW HER NOT UNTIL AFTER” HER SON WAS BORN
Understanding all this, we hardly need to entertain the question. Why then does Matthew say of Joseph, `and he knew her not up to her having brought forth her firstborn son' (Matthew 1:25;)." Opinion among those who are followers of a gnostic faith, often translate this verse as “he knew her not until after...” This is not, however, a required connotation, because the Greek original, Eos, indicates the meaning, "he had no sexual relations with her prior to her giving birth."
GRK: ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν
NAS: her a virgin until she gave birth
KJV: her not till she had brought forth her
INT: knew her until that she brought forth

St Matthew the Evangelist makes this statement in order to assure us that Joseph had no part in the conception of Jesus. The term (Eos ou) does not require the understanding that he certainly had relations with her after Christ was born. It merely indicates that, as regards the birth of Jesus, Joseph had not had relations with Mary prior to the birth; thus, he was not the father of Jesus. This is merely a usual turn of phrase, the use of a standard and familiar form of expression. This same term is used elsewhere in the Bible as a standard expression, and it clearly does not indicate what sectarians claim it does. At 2 Samuel 6:23, for instance, we read, "And Milchal, the daughter of Saul, had no child until [eos] her death. Did she, then, have children after her death? No, and neither did Joseph "know" Mary after the birth of Jesus.
The Orthodox Archbishop from whom I have permission to change this into a Latin Catholic Document had written confirming what all Catholics know, nothing is accidental in the Scriptures and we must acclaim Its accuracy when translated by the Early Christian Church. Scriptures for us is inspired, written, by the Holy Spirit, therefore we can consider it God's autobiography and God does not lie. We, as or if, we are truly His People should not translate this, His autobiography, in manner that makes Scriptures lie. A Church having nothing to hide does not need to misappropriate, or change her founder's life to suit the Church's opinions or change the Autobiography of God to meet its needs. I mean does not need to to quantify its own beliefs, as do so many sectarians today. We can also look elsewhere in the Holy Scriptures to see how strong a meaning was put upon the word ‘wife’.
The first mention of wife is where one would expect it, in the beginning, Genesis2:24 “Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh”. Up to this verse Eve was Adam’s companion. All through scriptures the word wife is qualified
1 Kings1:19: And they rose in the morning, and worshiped before the Lord: and they returned, and came into their house at Ramatha. And Elcana knew Anna his wife: And the Lord remembered her.
Tobias 1:20; “Then all my property was confiscated; nothing was left to me, that was not taken into the royal treasury, except my wife Anna and my son Tobias”.
I remind you of Bathesba the wife of Uriah the Hittite, Sarah the wife of Abraham, Lot, take your wife and two daughters. The Apostles would well know the difference between wife and companion
We must admit, Mary and Joseph were married according to Jewish Law. First in Matthew1: 20, we read. “But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary as thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 1:24; “And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife”. As in all marriages Mary and Joseph’s souls were united. Catholics should understand this from Genesis as, What God has joined together as the souls of man and wife made in the Image of God becomes one. We also know the Child was not Joseph’s in Matthew1: 18; “Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost”. Also in another place it is written in Matthew 2: 14; “Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod”
Matthew was no fool. He was by our standards an excise man, a tax collector, who would not be easily taken in by strange stories. He was liable for execution if he did not hand over enough revenue to the Romans, and what we know from scriptures of his whole background and training must tell us he was a record keeper. Not only that, he must have had confirmation from both Mary and Christ’s cousins. They could not have allowed it to be a lie for the honor of their family name demanded the truth.
At Genesis 8:7, we read that Noah "sent forth a raven; and it went forth and did not return 'till [eos] after the water had gone from off the face of the earth." We know from Scripture that in fact, the raven never returned to the ark. It says that it did not return "until after," but in fact, it never returned at all. The Scripture says that "Joseph knew her not till after...” but in fact, he never "knew" her at all. The Bible says, "The Lord said to my Lord, `Sit at my right hand until [eos] I make thine enemies Thy footstool" (Mark 12:36). Does this mean that Christ will cease to sit at the right hand of the glory of the Father once His enemies have been overcome? The answer is of course not. Another word could have been used had the Evangelist specifically meant to say that Joseph did not have relations with Mary until after Christ was born. The Bible does not say "Joseph knew her not until after she brought forth her first born, but then he did." The Bible says, "He did not know her before (up until) she had brought forth her firstborn," meaning simply and clearly, "Joseph was not the father. He had not come together to know her so aptly put by scriptures, her before her pregnancy, thus he was not involved in the conception of Jesus." This is a proper understanding of the Greek original of this Scripture, for it is in full accord with the Scriptural prophecy and with the nature of Jesus Christ, in whom "the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily" (Colossians 2:9).
The Sacred Tradition concerning these matters is certainly derived from Mary’s own testimony and, like all things in the Church, it is guided and guarded by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Mary was, in fulfillment of the Law, betrothed to her own family relative (as the Holy Spirit guided Sacred Tradition tells us), a marriage which, according to the Law did not allow for sexual intercourse between them, because she was the bearer of the inheritance, the Messiah. Christ is called the “firstborn son” because it is the title given to the one responsible for the redemption of that which has become alienated or fallen into bondage, namely, mankind which was alienated from the Father, having been of its own deeds “sold under sin.”

Labels: , , , , ,

 
Memories of the habits and the teachings of the Catholic Church

Archives
11 June 2006 / 18 June 2006 / 25 June 2006 / 02 July 2006 / 09 July 2006 / 16 July 2006 / 17 December 2006 / 31 December 2006 / 07 January 2007 / 14 January 2007 / 21 January 2007 / 04 February 2007 / 18 February 2007 / 04 March 2007 / 18 March 2007 / 25 March 2007 / 01 April 2007 / 08 April 2007 / 15 April 2007 / 22 April 2007 / 29 April 2007 / 13 May 2007 / 03 June 2007 / 08 July 2007 / 29 July 2007 / 05 August 2007 / 12 August 2007 / 19 August 2007 / 26 August 2007 / 16 September 2007 / 07 October 2007 / 13 January 2008 / 27 January 2008 / 03 February 2008 / 10 February 2008 / 24 February 2008 / 02 March 2008 / 09 March 2008 / 16 March 2008 / 23 March 2008 / 30 March 2008 / 06 April 2008 / 13 April 2008 / 27 April 2008 / 04 May 2008 / 11 May 2008 / 18 May 2008 / 25 May 2008 / 01 June 2008 / 08 June 2008 / 15 June 2008 / 29 June 2008 / 06 July 2008 / 13 July 2008 / 27 July 2008 / 03 August 2008 / 10 August 2008 / 17 August 2008 / 24 August 2008 / 31 August 2008 / 07 September 2008 / 14 September 2008 / 28 September 2008 / 05 October 2008 / 12 October 2008 / 19 October 2008 / 26 October 2008 / 02 November 2008 / 23 November 2008 / 30 November 2008 / 07 December 2008 / 14 December 2008 / 28 December 2008 / 04 January 2009 / 11 January 2009 / 25 January 2009 / 01 February 2009 / 08 February 2009 / 15 February 2009 / 22 February 2009 / 01 March 2009 / 08 March 2009 / 22 March 2009 / 29 March 2009 / 05 April 2009 / 12 April 2009 / 19 April 2009 / 26 April 2009 / 10 May 2009 / 17 May 2009 / 24 May 2009 / 31 May 2009 / 07 June 2009 / 14 June 2009 / 21 June 2009 / 28 June 2009 / 05 July 2009 / 12 July 2009 / 19 July 2009 / 26 July 2009 / 02 August 2009 / 09 August 2009 / 16 August 2009 / 30 August 2009 / 06 September 2009 / 13 September 2009 / 20 September 2009 / 04 October 2009 / 11 October 2009 / 15 November 2009 / 29 November 2009 / 06 December 2009 / 13 December 2009 / 20 December 2009 / 27 December 2009 / 10 January 2010 / 24 January 2010 / 31 January 2010 / 07 February 2010 / 28 February 2010 / 07 March 2010 / 21 March 2010 / 28 March 2010 / 02 May 2010 / 09 May 2010 / 30 May 2010 / 13 June 2010 / 27 June 2010 / 11 July 2010 / 18 July 2010 / 25 July 2010 / 01 August 2010 / 08 August 2010 / 15 August 2010 / 22 August 2010 / 29 August 2010 / 05 September 2010 / 12 September 2010 / 19 September 2010 / 26 September 2010 / 10 October 2010 / 24 October 2010 / 31 October 2010 / 07 November 2010 / 14 November 2010 / 21 November 2010 / 28 November 2010 / 05 December 2010 / 12 December 2010 / 19 December 2010 / 26 December 2010 / 09 January 2011 / 16 January 2011 / 23 January 2011 / 30 January 2011 / 06 February 2011 / 13 February 2011 / 06 March 2011 / 24 April 2011 / 08 May 2011 / 15 May 2011 / 22 May 2011 / 03 July 2011 / 17 July 2011 / 24 July 2011 / 31 July 2011 / 07 August 2011 / 14 August 2011 / 21 August 2011 / 25 September 2011 / 09 October 2011 / 16 October 2011 / 04 December 2011 / 25 December 2011 / 08 January 2012 / 15 January 2012 / 22 January 2012 / 29 January 2012 / 17 June 2012 / 08 July 2012 / 05 August 2012 / 21 October 2012 / 28 October 2012 / 04 November 2012 / 11 November 2012 / 18 November 2012 / 02 December 2012 / 30 December 2012 / 06 January 2013 / 13 January 2013 / 20 January 2013 / 03 February 2013 / 10 February 2013 / 17 February 2013 / 10 March 2013 / 17 March 2013 / 24 March 2013 / 31 March 2013 / 05 May 2013 / 26 May 2013 / 02 June 2013 / 09 June 2013 / 16 June 2013 / 23 June 2013 / 30 June 2013 / 07 July 2013 / 14 July 2013 / 28 July 2013 / 11 August 2013 / 18 August 2013 / 25 August 2013 / 29 September 2013 / 08 December 2013 / 15 December 2013 / 22 December 2013 / 29 December 2013 / 19 January 2014 / 26 January 2014 / 02 February 2014 / 09 March 2014 / 18 May 2014 / 25 May 2014 / 29 June 2014 / 06 July 2014 / 10 August 2014 / 24 August 2014 / 21 September 2014 / 12 October 2014 / 26 October 2014 / 23 November 2014 / 01 February 2015 / 08 March 2015 / 22 March 2015 / 12 July 2015 / 19 July 2015 / 26 July 2015 / 09 August 2015 / 16 August 2015 / 20 September 2015 / 27 September 2015 / 01 November 2015 / 06 December 2015 / 06 March 2016 / 20 March 2016 / 24 April 2016 / 01 May 2016 / 04 September 2016 / 25 September 2016 / 02 October 2016 / 13 November 2016 / 20 November 2016 / 01 January 2017 / 22 January 2017 / 23 July 2017 / 19 November 2017 /


Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]