I have a question concerning those who support the perpetual virginity doctrine. The Protoevangelium of James is the earliest source used to demonstrate how Joseph had children from a previous marriage. How would one go about using this document when it contains conflicting information with the Gospel of Matthew?
1) Mary’s response to the angel is different than what is recorded in Scripture. “What! Shall I conceive by the living God, and bring forth as all other women do?” (Chapter 9:12).
2) Elizabeth fled the Bethlehem region with her son John (the Baptist) to the mountains because of Herod’s wrath when he decided to kill all the baby boys around and in Bethlehem (Chapter 16:3).
3) Jesus was born in a cave outside the city of Bethlehem (Chapters 12:11–14:31).
4) Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling cloths and hid him in a manger at the inn to keep him from the massacre by Herod’s men (Chapter 16:2).
5) Wise men came to Bethlehem and inquired of Herod where the Child was born (Chapter 21:1–2).