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Re: Matthew 1:25

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  • Dr. Thomas Joseph
    St. John Chrysostom in his homily on The Gospel of Matthew (5.3) provides us guidance in understanding these verses. He writes: Matthew has here used the word
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2002
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      St. John Chrysostom in his homily on The Gospel of Matthew (5.3)
      provides us guidance in understanding these verses. He writes:

      "Matthew has here used the word until not that you should suspect
      that afterword Joseph did know her but to inform you that before the
      birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may
      said, has he used the word until? Because it is common in Scripture
      that this expression is used without reference to specific, limited
      times. Here are three examples. First, in the narrative of the ark it
      was said that "the raven did not return until the earth was dried
      up." (Gen 8:7), yet the raven did not return even after that limited
      time. Second, when discussing God the scripture says, "You are
      everlasting to everlasting" (Psalms 90:2), but there is no
      implication here that something is being fixed-rather the opposite.
      Third, when preaching the gospel beforehand and saying, "In his days
      may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, until the moon be no
      more!" (Psalms 72:7). It is not thereby setting a temporal limit to
      this beautiful part of creation. So then here likewise, it uses the
      word until to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what
      follows, it leaves some further inference to be made. So it is
      necessary to learn what Matthew teaches: that the Virgin was
      untouched by man until the birth. But the rest is left for you to
      perceive, both as a consequence of the previous narrative and what
      was later acknowledged: that not even after having become a mother
      and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail and a
      childbearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have permitted
      himself to have sexual relations with her."

      Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
      Web Master, Syrian Orthodox Resources [ sor.cua.edu ]
      Web Master, Syriac Computing Institute [ syrcom.cua.edu ]
      Tech. Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies [
      syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye ]

      --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., Johnny Messo wrote:
      > Dear Daniel,
      >
      > Thank you for your endeavors in sharing with us kind words in your
      > short mails concerning the Gospel. I love to read them.
      >
      > I was wondering, do you also have something of our fathers with
      > respect to the sentence in Matthew 1:25? We read:
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