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Cyndi wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm 47 years old and sincerely looking into converting to Catholicism. I have a question of curiosity regarding whether Jesus had blood brothers or sisters by his mother, Mary.

Matthew 1:25 says that Joseph stayed away from her until she gave birth to a son named Jesus.

  • Does the word until mean that after he took her as a wife, they had normal conjugal relations with each other, like any married Jewish couple?

I would truly appreciate your help.

Blessings,

Cyndi

  { Does the word "until" mean after Joseph took Mary as his wife, they had normal conjugal relations? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Cyndi —

Thanks for the question.

Within the past few months we have added a new FAQ feature to the site. It contains the most frequently asked questions over the past fifteen years we have been answering questions.

Your question is one of those. Just click on the FAQ link above and you will see an array of postings that answer this question under Privileges of Mary . . . tab — the fourth paragraph down the page: Mary, Ever Virgin section. I suggestion you bookmark the FAQ feature page for future referencing.

That section includes these postings that address your question.

As a brother Christian I want to welcome your research and reviewing of what we believe as Catholic Christians. My colleague John also addresses this issue in this posting:

Well, let's talk about the word until and what it meant in the original Greek. It is the Greek word heoce.

Strong's Greek Dictionary defines it as follows:

heos (heh'-oce);

  • of uncertain affinity; a conjunction, preposition and adverb of continuance, until (of time and place):
  • even (until, unto), (as) far (as), how long, (un-) til (-l), (hither-, un-, up) to, while (-s).

This is precisely the same Greek word used elsewhere in Scripture. In the Greek Translation of the Old Testament, which was prevalent during Jesus' day, we see the following text in 2 Samuel 23

23 Therefore Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no child unto the day of her death.

2 Samuel 6:23

Notice the word unto — it is the same Greek word hoece, this time translated unto as opposed to .

  • Does this then mean to imply that Michal had children after she died?

No, clearly it does not. The point is: that while in English, the word until implies something happening afterward, in the original language, the word hoece does not necessarily imply the same.

Lets look at another verse.

24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26

This verse is talking about the reign of Jesus. Look at verse 25. If we insist that the until in Matthew implies that Joseph knew Mary after the birth of Jesus, then this must mean that the reign of Jesus must come to an end after He put all His enemies under His feet.

Now I don't think any Protestant wants to go there!!

I used to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

If you, or any visitor, has been helped by our work at AskACatholic.com, consider financially supporting us today. If you can't right now, check out our Click To Support program.

Mike

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