Q: The international press recently reported that Catholics, Orthodox, and many Protestants believe that Mary was a virgin throughout her life. It is claimed that those called "Jesus' brothers" in the Bible were in fact His cousins (Zenit, May 15, 2003). Is this also your understanding?
A: It is not. The Biblical record clearly reveals that Mary, although a virgin when “she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:27-35), had additional children after the birth of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:24-25 tells us that Joseph “did not know” Mary [a Biblical expression for sexual intimacy, including intercourse, compare Luke 1:34] “TILL she had brought forth her FIRSTBORN Son.” The word “till” or “until” signifies that Joseph DID know Mary sexually after Christ’s birth. The same Greek word for “till” or “until” is used in Matthew 2:15 and Matthew 5:26, showing a change in circumstances after a certain event.
Further, Mary gave birth to her “firstborn” son (compare, too, Luke 2:6-7). The Greek word for “firstborn” is “prototokon.” It means “FIRST-born,” indicating that others would be born subsequently. It does distinctively NOT mean, “only-born.” The Greek word for “only-born” is “monogenes.” It is used in Luke 7:12, referring to a dead man who was “the only son of his mother.” Christ, however, was NOT the only Son of His mother.
The Jews knew that Christ had brothers and sisters, and that He was not Mary’s only child. Notice Matthew 13:54-56:
“When He had come to…