The current top answer to this question (the answer given by SLM) asserts as a matter of fact that

  1. Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage

  2. Mary never took a vow of chastity

  3. Jesus was born in the normal, "human" way (meaning that the birth destroyed Mary's physical virginity)

This question is about points 1 and 2. If these statements are true, why is Mary surprised when the angel tells her she will conceive and bear a son? "How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?" Luke 1:34 NIV.

Mary was already betrothed when the angel came to her. I imagine that if my wife had been visited by an angel a few weeks before our wedding and told she would conceive and bear a son, she would not be surprised (she may have been surprised by the visit itself, but not by the idea that she would become a mother). Indeed, we both expected pregnancy to result sometime after consummating our marriage and living together as husband and wife. So why did she respond this way?

The question submitted by Geremia as a possible duplicate is worth reading through, as is its top answer, but this is asking the opposite. The older question is asking Catholics how this phrase could mean that Mary is a perpetual virgin, whereas my question is asking Protestants why Mary would be surprised that she would bear a son, given that, according to them, she was already betrothed and planning on becoming a mother to Joseph's natural children.

  • @Geremia no, that is asking the opposite question.
    – jaredad7
    Feb 9, 2022 at 18:49
  • @Geremia I have edited. Your suggested question is definitely worth a read for anyone who wants to answer this question.
    – jaredad7
    Feb 9, 2022 at 18:57
  • The answer to this question is the same as the answer to this question. And that answer is here.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 9, 2022 at 19:50
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    @MikeBorden I suppose we will have to disagree as to how reasonable it is to think that an immediacy may have been apparent to Mary. This would rely on assuming something not recorded in Scripture happened during their exchange, which I would imagine you yourself would be loath to assume.
    – jaredad7
    Feb 10, 2022 at 18:19
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    From Mtt 1:18 - 25 it is clear that Joseph, had planned for a conjugal life befitting a couple. Was it possible that Mary planned to stay a virgin without telling her would- be- husband ? That would amount to breach of trust . Unfortunately, Luke is the only Evangelist who elaborately describes the Annunciation, on account of which we may not have a record of the conversation verbatim, and in a perfectly sequential order . Suppose the Angel had said in the fist instance :"You are about to conceive ...", the rest would have made perfect alignment. – Feb 11, 2022 at 11:21