Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxy have the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Protestants generally don't have that belief.

What are the main arguments Protestants use against the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary?

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1 Answer 1


They tend to be those of the heretic Helvidus, who held that:

  • St. Mary had other children besides Jesus
  • St. Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son" (Matt. 1:25) means that he did know her after His birth

and thus she was not a perpetual virgin.

St. Jerome refutes these views in Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (383 A.D.) and In Matth., I, 18.

  • Too bad Jerome didn't address Tertullian's points, but merely did what he condemned at point 24. Oddly Jerome uses one argument of Tertullian's proof of a normal birth as a normal birth (no virginity remaining), but simply asserts a continued miracle as was the conception at point 20. Perhaps so, but perhaps not. Ah well,
    – SLM
    May 25, 2022 at 4:57

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