Until she gave birth by John Chrysostom

Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Theotokos, litany blessed, assumption, nativity, how old died, apparitions, baby Jesus, joseph, annunciation, catholic church, apparitions, prayer, about, Church, tomb, dormition, orthodox church, death, ephesus, early life, facts, family tree, genealogy, bible

22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emman′u-el”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife 25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

(Matthew 1:22-25)*

St. John oppposes the old notion that Virgin Mary did not remain a virgin after giving birth to Jesus Christ.

“ The expression “until” need not lead you to believe that Joseph knew her subsequently; rather, it is used to inform you that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth of Jesus. Scripture is accustomed to using the expression “until” without intending thereby to establish a limited period of time. . .. The evangelist uses this expression to establish what happened before the birth of Jesus, leaving it up to you to infer what happened afterward.” **

John Chrysostom, Homily on Matthew 5, 3; PG 57, 58.

If you are interested in more quotes on Virgin Mary, you can find them in Mary and the Fathers of the Church on Amazon in both in Kindle and paperback formats.


* Revised Standard Version

** Gambero, L., 1999. Mary and the Fathers of the Church 1st ed. Translated by Buffer, T., San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

3 Comments on “Until she gave birth by John Chrysostom”

  1. The verb used for “know” (eginosken) is in the imperfect tense, not in the aorist (egno) which means that the emphasis is placed on the duration of time in which Mary and Joseph had no marital relations. In other words, the couple had no intercourse during the time that preceded the birth of Jesus. This fits well with the context of the verse, that being the virginal conception of Jesus and its consequences of natural paternity. If Matthew had wished to imply (which wasn’t necessary) that Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage like most other married couples had, he would have used the aorist.

    The aorist is an unqualified past tense of a verb without reference to the duration or completion of the main action. Thus, the future isn’t left aside. The possibility of the couple having marital relations after the birth of Jesus isn’t excluded and can be implied. So, Matthew’s intention isn’t to tell us that Mary and Joseph had no conjugal relations until after the birth of Jesus. Rather, his intention is that the couple had no conjugal relations before Jesus was born to reiterate what he writes in the preceding verses (1:22-23): ‘Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”’

    1. Thank you, Marian Catholic, I appreciate this clear explanation of using the verb “know”. I am ignorant of the Greek Grammer rules, so I deeply appreciate your comment. Actually, your comment made me think to include in the post the biblical verse so whoever reads it follows the discussion.
      It seems that St. Matthew’s point is to emphasize the fulfilment of the prophecy that God promised to give Ahaz a sign. God always keeps his promises.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New year

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *