A little something for the Feast for our Protestant friends…
- A new lie about me is being circulated. I am supposed to have preached and written that Mary, the mother of God, was not a virgin either before or after the birth of Christ, but that she conceived Christ through Joseph and had more children after that. – Martin Luther, “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” in Luther’s Works, vol. 45, ed. Walther I. Brand, 1962, Muhlenberg Press, p. 199.
- The form of expression used by Matthew is the common idiom, as if I were to say, ‘Pharaoh believed not Moses, until he was drowned in the Red Sea.’ Here it does not follow that Pharaoh believed later, after he had drowned; on the contrary, it means that he never did believe. Similarly when Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her. Again, the Red Sea overwhelmed Pharaoh before he got across. Here too, it does not follow that Pharaoh got across later, after the Red Sea had overwhelmed him, but rather that he did not get across at all. In like manner, when Matthew says, ‘She was found to be with child before they came together,’ it does not follow that Mary subsequently lay with Joseph, but rather that she did not lie with him. – Martin Luther, “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” in Luther’s Works,Huldrych Zwingli:
- I give an example: taught by the light of faith the Christ was born of a virgin, we know that it is so, that we have no doubt that those who have been unambiguously in error have tried to make a figure of speech of a real virgin, and we pronounce absurd the things that Helvidius and others have invented about perpetual virginity. – Huldrych Zwingli. “Friendly Exegesis, that is, Exposition of the Matter of the Eucharist to Martin Luther, February 1527,” in Selected Writings of Huldrych Zwingli, Volume Two, trans. and ed. by H. Wayne Pipkin, Pickwick Publications, 1984 p.275.
- Then the pious mind finds wonderful delights in searching for the reasons why the lamb chose to be born of a perpetual virgin, but in this other case it finds nothing but a hopeless horror. [The other case that Zwingli here refers to is the Real Presence] – Huldrych Zwingli. “Subsidiary Essay on the Eucharist, August 1525,” in Selected Writings of Huldrych Zwingli, Volume Two, trans. and ed. by H. Wayne Pipkin, Pickwick Publications, 1984 p.217.