Mary (mother of Jesus)

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Mary and Jesus, icon dated to around 600 C.E.
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In Christianity, Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ. She is often referred to as the Virgin Mary because she never had sex before giving birth to Jesus. Due to her position as the mother of the Christ, it is an element of Roman Catholic doctrine that Mary was born without original sin, a doctrine known as immaculate conception. She features in both the Bible and the Qur'an.

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Intercession of Mary

In the Catholic Church, Mary is held in reverence. Among some Catholics, prayers are offered directly to Mary, which seems to attribute demigod like powers to her.

"O sinner, be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all you necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity."

— St. Basil [1]

This is considered idolatrous by many Protestant apologists.[2]

Virgin birth

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Mary is considered by many Christians and Muslims to have been a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. This may be based on a mistranslation of an Old Testament prophecy Isaiah 7:14 Bible-icon.png which actually refers to a "young woman". The desire of the New Testament authors to have Jesus to fulfill prophecy was stronger than their scholarship.[3] Mark and John strangely don't mention the virginity of Mary.

The doctrine of perpetual virginity was first stated by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 C.E.[4] This is consistent with the early church's negative attitude towards sex.

Some Christians believe that either Mary was not a virgin at the time of Jesus's birth, or had sex after the birth. [5] Many historians consider James the Just to be Jesus's full or half brother. The Bible mentions other brothers and sisters but these may or may not have been referring to their status in the religious community.

A virgin or miraculous birth is a very common claim that occurs in many other religions.

In Islam

Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur'an. She is thought to have been purified and chosen above all other women. Surah 3:42 Bible-icon.png

References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Sam Harris, The End of Faith
  4. [3]
  5. Nun receives death threats for suggesting Mary was not a virgin

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