Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Defensores Fidei Foundation stumbles on the Perpetual Virginity Rebuttal


Not too long ago I posted a blog titled Defensores Fidei Foundation (DFF) versus Catholic Answers (CA). In that blog I mentioned a glaring contradiction between camps on the relationship of the people mentioned in Matthew 13:55. According to Atty Llasos of DFF, these are all Christ’s cousins while CA’s Jason Evert says that it is not a Catholic teaching that these were Christ’s cousins.

Atty. Llasos posted his response in the comments section and in his blog last February 14, 2009. Before he responded to the issue of the article, Atty. Llasos wrote his disappointment with me stating that I had betrayed him because I had posted that article without even waiting for his response to my question which I previously sent by email. Before we deal with the real issue, which is about the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, let me enumerate some facts concerning my email exchanges with Atty. Llasos which led up to his accusations that I allegedly betrayed him:

A. There were questions which I emailed to Atty. Llasos before I wrote the article:

1. I often quote Matthew 13:55 and other similar verses to prove that Mary had other children. I know about the Roman Catholic defense about the Jews having the same Hebrew terminology for brother and relatives, ach. We know very well that the New Testament was written in Greek and adelphos is the term they use to refer to a brother while anepsios for relatives.

Despite the Greek word used and the context, you still contend that it is not referring to uterine brothers. You argued:

It should be borne in mind that it is part of the culture in Palestine even to this day that people who are related by blood live in a given community. They practice communal living (“kibbutz” system).

The Evangelists and other New Testament writers simply wrote down the common expression of the Jews. They had the Jewish mindset although they wrote in Greek. In other words, the Evangelists were using the common parlance among the Jews at that time. Jesus, James, Joses, Judas and Simon simply called each other “ah.” They knew that Jesus was an only child and assumed every body else knew.

Now, if your argument is based on the kibbutz system, then Matthew left something out in 13:55 and 56. It mentions Christ's parents and proceeds to detail his supposedly cousins. If neighbor’s account of Christ’s family was indeed based on communal living like you theorized, how come the parents of James, Joses, Judas, Simon and the sisters are not mentioned? Did the neighbor who questioned Jesus forget about Cleophas and his wife Mary whom you said are the parents of James and Joses? It's a bit illogical to mention Christ's parents and then proceed immediately to cousins by overlooking the parents of those cousins who are supposed to be in the kibbutz system.

2. Moving on, one of my tendencies to quote Paul for using anepsios in Colossians 4:10 to say that the NT writers in fact made a distinction between siblings and relatives despite of their audience, but you had this argument:

It should be borne in mind that it is only in Colossians 4:10 that the word anepsios is used. Remember that the Epistle to the Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul, a Jew from Tarsus (Acts 21:39 , 22:3) who was in fact a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25 -29). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians (who were certainly not Jews but Gentiles) in their own Greek language.


The Jews, unlike the Greeks, use circumlocution to express their idea or concept of cousin for the simple reason that they have no word for cousin.

As I understood it, you argue that if the NT writers are speaking to Jews they use circumlocution, while not so if speaking to Gentiles. For me, your argument has gone too far to the point of being biased. I don't think you will be consistent when your theory is compared with other verses. If I were to quote Galatians 1:19 which says: But I did not see any other of the apostles, only James the brother (adelphos) of the Lord, how come Paul made use of adelphos instead of anepsios to the Greek-speaking Galatians? Why only to the Colossians did Paul make use of anepsios? Furthermore, why was James called as “the brother of the Lord”? You never mentioned the reason.

How about Luke? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia he is both Greek and Gentile. His books were written to Theophilus, who may be another Greek. If we read Acts 1:14 it appears that he didn't use anepsios like Paul did in Colossians. Since Luke is both Greek and Gentile, don’t you think he would use anepsios more often than the Jewish NT writers?

3. You also made an account of the supposedly cousins of Jesus. About Jude, you mentioned that he was a brother of James and a son of Mary the wife of Cleophas. But how come he wasn't mentioned in Mark 15:40 but only James and Joses? Let's also not forget about Simon. Your sources tell you that he was also a son of Mary the wife Cleophas. Again, how come Mark left him out in 15:40? Can you explain that?


These questions were sent last December 1, 2008. I did promise him that he could take his time to answer those questions which are up to now have not yet been answered.

B. I posted the said article which only points out a contradiction between DFF and CA. Minutes after posting the blog, I emailed him these new questions last February 5, 2009:

If I read it correctly, the author states that it is not the Catholic's position that the brothers mentioned in Matthew 13:55 are cousins of Jesus. However, in your blog you explained that these were his cousins.

I am wondering if the position written in article of Catholic Answers is the official one or recognized by the Vatican. If not, then can it be implied that both of your explanations are private interpretations that your church criticizes against Evangelicals. If they are private interpretations and contrary to one another, how do you resolve this conflict?

I promised again that he could take his time answering that question. However, when I posted the blog before emailing the new questions I had no intention of putting an end to our email exchanges. The article I posted is not sufficient to report the outcome of our email exchanges since the questions have not been answered. The article is only exposing a contradiction, period. It does not give any comments to the earlier set of questions emailed to Atty. Llasos.

I will leave it to the readers to decide. Now, let me respond to his rebuttal.

He begins by stating:

I noticed that RODIMUS was only interested in my conclusion. He did not even bother to contest, much less refute, the premises on which I predicated my conclusion. It seems to me that my friend’s desire is merely to involve me in contradiction.

Guess again, Atty. Llasos. If you would recall the questions I emailed you last December 1, 2008, those questions are not only for asking but also for refuting; and I think you know that. Atty. Llasos proceeded with how the Aramaic terminology for brother works, but that was already addressed to my questions above.

Atty. Llasos asserted that I misread the statement of Mr. Evert, author of the CA article:

RODIMUS made a serious misreading of Mr. Evert’s statement. RODIMUS claims that Mr. Evert “made it clear that in Matthew 13:55, these men were not Christ's cousins; it's a misconception RODIMUS.” RODIMUS’ conclusion is not accurate. He clearly misrepresents Mr. Evert’s view. Mr. Evert did not categorically say, as RODIMUS would have us believe, that Jesus brothers are not His cousins. In fact, all that Mr. Evert is saying is that “we can’t tell if any of the ‘brothers’ were cousins.”

This analysis is myopic because Atty. Llasos response is concentrated on the statement, He made it clear that in Matthew 13:55, these men were not Christ's cousins, which is not the only thing I am trying to convey in the article. If you will read on in the blog article I further wrote:

Oh no! I thought it is not the Catholic's position that these men were cousins.

Also from the question I sent to him by email which was sent AFTER the article was posted:

If I read it correctly, the author states that it is not the Catholic's position that the brothers mentioned in Matthew 13:55 are cousins of Jesus.

Therefore, I understood Mr. Evert’s position.

Atty. Llasos tries to get out of his predicament by saying his and Mr. Evert’s position are offering alternative approaches on defending the Perpetual Virginity of Mary:

Simply, there is no contradiction between Mr. Evert’s statement and my conclusion. Both are actually correct. So, Mr. Everet is correct in saying that that it is not the official Catholic position that the “brothers” of Jesus are not actually his cousins because as we can see, the official position of the Catholic Church mentioned in the Catechism is that these “brothers” are “close relations of Jesus” and did not use the word “cousins” to refer to them. However, my position is also correct because “cousins” are also “close relations.”

That is what Mr. Evert and I precisely did! We presented alternative arguments. These alternative arguments in no way compromise the thesis that the “brothers” of the Lord were not children of Mary.

Not so fast, Atty. Llasos. Mr. Evert said, we can’t tell if any of the ‘brothers’ were cousins. Why were you able to tell that these were his cousins? That is why I am asking if what you and Mr. Evert has written are PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS, which we Evangelicals are being criticized of. Moreover, if it is not the official position of your church that the brothers are cousins, then why are you teaching that they are cousins? Of course you will try to escape to a loophole by saying:

Mr. Evert and I are in full agreement that the so-called “brothers” of Jesus are not the children of Mary.

The way I understand it no matter what the explanation is, it is acceptable as long as the bottom line remains the same which is the brothers of Jesus are not Mary’s children.

This reminded me of a funny story about a defense lawyer who is trying to win an acquittal for his client on the charges of murder. The said defense lawyer brought in two witnesses who will testify that his client, the accused, was not in the murder scene which is in Makati. The first witness testified that the accused was in Quezon City. The second witness testified that the accused was in Pasig. Of course the Prosecution questioned the testimonies of the two witnesses due to inconsistency. The defense lawyer reasoned out, “Who cares? The important thing is that my client wasn’t in Makati where the murder was committed.” This is exactly what Atty. Llasos is trying to do.

Atty. Llasos further stated that there are many ways to skin a cat. Unfortunately, his way of skinning the cat is also skinning the other person who is skinning the same cat. By concluding that these brothers were cousins whereas it is not the Catholic position, anyone can say the theories concocted are not only contradictory but are also self-serving.

Now, Atty. Llasos presented historical evidences that the Perpetual Virginity of Mary was believed even by the Reformers Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin. While it may be true that these Reformers believed Mary’s perpetual virginity, one has to consider their circumstances during their time. These men were reforming a 1,200 year old church from which they came (I say 1,200 year old church because I believe that the Church of Rome was founded only after 300AD and the reformation occurred after 1500AD). The focus of the Reformers was on the Lord Jesus Christ. They made sure that Christ was the one deified and not Mary. The process of changing wasn’t overnight and the task of reforming may have been extended to their successors.

Likewise, before the year 1600AD people believed that all planets revolve around the Earth until Galileo discovered it was not so. The New Catholic Encyclopedia even stated:

In these circumstances, Galileo, hearing that some had denounced his doctrine as anti-Scriptural, presented himself at Rome in December, 1615, and was courteously received. He was presently interrogated before the Inquisition, which after consultation declared the system he upheld to be scientifically false, and anti-Scriptural or heretical, and that he must renounce it.

However, the people today know through science that the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun. Some Roman Catholics would respond by saying that the conflict with Galileo’s discovery was more of science and not a dogma or the popes at that time were speaking as private theologians (thus, not official). But they can’t deny that the Roman Catholic Church was involved in denouncing Galileo’s discovery which gives plenty of room to say that it was a doctrinal issue. (I will be writing later on articles about Papal Infallibility bloopers). It took a while for people to adapt to Galileo’s discovery.

Atty. Llasos further attempted to refute my consideration of Matthew 13:55 as comprehensive by saying:

In fact, a parallel verse in Mark 6:3 refers to Jesus as “THE son of Mary.” The article “the” is significant in Greek because it signifies “the one and only.” Jesus, being the Son of Mary, means that He is Mary’s only Son in the same manner that Jesus, being the Son of God, means that he is the only-begotten Son of the Father.

While the article “the” can signify the one and only, it doesn’t always mean that way in other sentences. In John 4:5, Joseph is mentioned to be THE SON of Jacob, are we to conclude that Jacob had no other children? Moreover, Jesus was referred as “a son” in Luke 1:31 and not “your only child”, so why not conclude Mary has other children subsequent to Christ?

Finally, Atty. Llasos is confident that the perpetual virginity of Mary is irrefutable that he challenged me to answer these questions:

1) Where in the Bible does it say that “Mary had other children aside from Jesus?”
2) Where in the Bible does it say that “Mary is the mother of the brothers of Jesus?”


If I understand it correctly, in order for Atty. Llasos to be convinced that Mary had other children, he wants Bible verses that say these people are Mary’s children. He is still not convinced of the Greek word adelphos and the context of Matthew 13:55. He wants it clear that these people were born from Mary. I’m sorry to say that the above questions of Atty. Llasos are born from prejudice.

Let me prove that. The Bible mentions of Lazarus, Martha and Mary Magdalene in Luke 10, John 11-12. We all know that these people have a sibling relationship. The Greek words used are adelphos for Lazarus while adelphi for Martha and Mary Magdalene. The Catholic Encyclopedia confirms the following:

Lazarus - This personage was the brother of Martha and Mary of Bethania
Martha - ... by St. John when he tells us that "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus"
Mary Magdalene - the sister of Martha and Lazarus

Unless the Catholic Encyclopedia itself was originally written in Aramaic, it’s safe to say that they verify the sibling relationship with the use of the English words brother and sister and not cousins or relatives.

How does this concern Atty. Llasos? The Bible does not mention that the three are children of the same parents. Neither were their parents are mentioned in the Bible. Since the parents are unidentified, would Atty. Llasos say that they are cousins just like what he theorize to the brothers of Christ? Would he even follow the theory of Mr. Evert that it not the Catholic position that the three are cousins? If he ever accepts that the three have a sibling relationship, then why is he being rough on the brothers of Christ by implying that it is not enough that they are called brothers and that we should show they are Mary’s children? Prejudice at its best.

Now Atty. Llasos may say he knows that Lazarus, Martha, and Mary Magdalene are siblings because of historical evidence. But that would put Mr. Evert’s position in jeopardy because the Roman Catholic scholars have exerted effort to identify the relationship of the three but failed to do so in the brothers of Christ. Wouldn’t that be ironic? A supposedly 2,000 year old infallible Roman Catholic Church cannot identify the actual relationship of the brothers of Christ in Matthew 13:55 but was able to verify that Lazarus, Martha, and Mary Magdalene are siblings despite the lack of biblical information concerning their parents.

Conclusion:

Theories concocted by men often lead to inconsistencies when it tested. Mary had other children after the virgin birth of Christ. Matthew 13:55-56 has stated this to be so. Sadly, Roman Catholics offer different perspectives on the verse which lead to complications. The Bible was not meant to adjust to the desires of men, but men should adjust themselves to the Bible. If we only let the Bible speak for itself, Roman Catholics would renounce the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.

Author’s note: Atty. Llasos has still to answer the questions I emailed him months ago. Although I have speculations on his delayed response, I shall not put my comments in writing.

20 comments:

  1. Excuse me, Rodimus. Is there anything wrong with your blog site?

    I tried to see if new comments were added to your insistence that Atty. Marwil Llasos and Mr. Evert contradicted one another but I couldn't find all the comments.

    I am particularly worried about the complete and unedited response of Atty Llasos to your accusation. You only cited excerpts above. I think Atty Llasos--and all others who commented on your claims--deserve to have our reactions read. Don't you?

    What happened, Rodimus?

    I hope everything is all right.

    I am worried that the missing comments would lead people to believe that you deliberately removed the comments to hide the truth from readers of your blog. We wouldn't want that would we?

    In my reactions, I asked that you be transparent. I hope the seeming loss of the comments would not lead people to think that you are deliberately hiding something.

    Your credebility and that of your supposed ministry may be at stake if the comments are not restored soon.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now, please allow me to share some thoughts on this issue.

    First of all, is it my understanding that you are insisting that the word "brothers" (greek adelphoi)in Mt 13:55 means ONLY ONE THING? And that is BLOOD BROTHERS?

    If that is your case then may I suggest you consult a Greek dictionary.

    Strong's Number 80 gives this meaning for ADELPHOS:

    1. a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother

    2. having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman

    3. any fellow or man

    4. a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection

    5. an associate in employment or office

    6. brethren in Christ
    a. his brothers by blood
    b. all men
    c. apostles
    d. Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place

    A simple reading of these definitions (take note MORE THAN ONE) of ADELPHOS (plural ADELPHOI) will tell you that BLOOD BROTHER is NOT the ONLY MEANING of the word.

    Now, unless you can prove that the use of ADELPHOI in Mt 13:55 means ONE AND ONLY THING, which is BLOOD BROTHER, then your insistence on that meaning is FLIMSY.

    If you can show any other verse to support your claim, then please do so. Otherwise, you are relying only on your gravely limited knowledge and understanding of ADELPHOI (ADELPHOS).

    On the other hand, the Catholic positions provided by Atty Llasos and Mr. Evert only explain the wide range of meanings of the word.

    Now, Biblical evidence strongly supports the Catholic position.

    Why?

    As Atty Llasos already pointed out, other verses identify some of the "brothers" mentioned in Mt 13:55 as NOT the CHILDREN of MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS but that of ANOTHER MARY.

    The KJV (the favorite translation of many non-Catholics) states of Mt 13:55, "Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, JAMES, and JOSES, and Simon, and Judas?" (emphasis mine)

    In Mt 27:56 of the KJV again, it again mentions JAMES and JOSES.

    The KJV says, "Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of JAMES and JOSES, and the mother of Zebedees children."

    Who are they?

    They are the SONS of another MARY.

    What Mary? Is she the "wife" of Joseph?

    Here is what John 19:25 says: "Mary the WIFE of CLOPAS."

    You claim to be a CPA. Maybe you can add 1 and 1 together to get 2. Right?

    Meaning, the James and Joses mentioned as "brothers" (ADELPHOI) of Jesus in Mt 13:55 are NOT the SONS of MARY the mother of Jesus but SONS of ANOTHER MARY. Thus, they are NOT BLOOD BROTHERS of JESUS as you insist.

    I think that is quite simple enough and one need not be a CPA to understand that.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good afternoon Mr. Bibe,

    You said:

    "I am worried that the missing comments would lead people to believe that you deliberately removed the comments to hide the truth from readers of your blog. We wouldn't want that would we?"

    As far as I know that before this new comment there were already 12 comments posted. Two here and 10 in the other article. I don't know what other comments you are talking about. But if you're going to imply that I deleted them then the burden of proof belongs to my accusers.

    They are free to comment anytime.

    In your next comment you said:

    "First of all, is it my understanding that you are insisting that the word "brothers" (greek adelphoi)in Mt 13:55 means ONLY ONE THING? And that is BLOOD BROTHERS?"

    My answer is please read the article agains specially the ones colored green where I mentioned the word CONTEXT.

    As to James and Joses, you know it does not necessarily follow that similar names refer to the same person. If you were to say the name Gloria to an American, what are the odds that he will point you to our President Arroyo and not Gloria Estefan or Gloria Gaynor?

    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jub Alabastro CFD DavaoFebruary 19, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    Good day Sir.

    I am just a curious inquirer and the answer to my question seems to depend more on your response rather than Bro. Marwil. If in case you are challenge to a formal oral debate against Bro. Marwil, will you take that challenge?

    Hope for your immediate response.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm glad that the comments that went missing from your other post are already back. I hope they don't go missing again or that they happen in you other blogs where we respond to your claims.

    As to your response to my other comment, you did mention the word "context" in your post but did not SHOW the context.

    There is a vast difference between saying one thing and actually showing it.

    And now that you've mentioned it, could you please show the context which would support your assumption that the use of the word "adelphoi" in Mt13:55 is limited to ONE AND ONLY THING: BLOOD BROTHERS.

    Maybe you would appeal to your response to Atty Marwil.

    In your rebuttal, you asked why the neighbor of Jesus did not mention the parents of "James, Joses, Simon and Judas" if they indeed were sons of another woman other than the Virgin Mary.

    I guess you made a valid question, but one that shows your lack of knowledge or understanding of the BIGGER CONTEXT of Mt13:55.

    In case you or some of your readers do not know, Mt13:55 is only a PART of a bigger body of writing--the entire Gospel written by Matthew. And in another part of his account, Matthew identified the MOTHER of James and Joses.

    And according to Matthew, in chapter 27:56, they are the sons of ANOTHER MARY and NOT the VIRGIN MARY.

    Then again, your defense is that "it does not necessarily follow that similar names refer to the same person."

    Your assumption may be valid if you are referring to people in general and to a vast and wide context, like in your analogy where someone were to mention a "Gloria" to an American.

    Of course, the American--not knowing the CONTEXT of your mentioning "Gloria"--could easily think of any Gloria that she knows.

    But your assumption simply can not apply to the Gospel of Matthew, where the CONTEXT is CLEAR and RESTRICTED.

    What is the CONTEXT of the mentioning of "James, Joses, Simon and Judas?

    It is the NARRATION or STORY about JESUS, who Matthew is introducing to the readers of his Gospel.

    Now, why did Matthew mention the "brothers" (adelphoi) of Jesus? Was it to describe his family tree?

    No. What Matthew only wanted to show was that people or his neighbors knew his relatives. And for that purpose, Matthew did not need to mention all the members of his relative's family. He only needed to state a few or them, like "James, Joses, Simon and Judas."

    So, to mention the relatives of Jesus without naming their parents is totally logical.

    Why? Do you always mention the names of your aunts and uncles whenever you tell people about your cousins who are their children?

    Of course not! Not unless the parents are really that important to what you are saying.

    But as I have already pointed out, Matthew was not really interested in giving the entire family trees of the relatives of Jesus.

    When Matthew pointed out that Jesus was the carpenter's son and that His mother was Mary, that completely established the family of Jesus. Matthew no longer needed to mention his siblings if indeed He had any but which He did not have.

    The mention of is relatives "James, Joses, Simon and Judas" was aimed at establishing the place from where He came from, or as how Atty Marwil put it, His kibbutz.

    Now, another reason why Matthew mentioned the names of his relatives, James and Joses in particular, was because he was going to use them later on in his narrative to introduce another character in the story--the OTHER MARY.

    In Mt13:55, Matthew introduced James and Joses as the relatives of Jesus.

    Later, in Mt27:56, Matthew used them to introduce another relative of Jesus, the OTHER MARY, James and Joses's mother, who was also near the cross.

    In other words, Matthew used James and Joses as a link to the OTHER MARY.

    That is a technique used by writers which other people, even CPA's, would most likely understand. I am just not sure if you could.

    Now, what would be illogical is if you are right in saying that the James and Joses in Mt27:56 are not the same ones in Mt13:55.

    Why would Matthew mention another set of James and Joses from out of the blue? What would be the point if he did that?

    If you are right, then the James and Joses in Mt27:56 would be totally irrelevant. In fact, even the OTHER MARY mentioned in the verse would also be totally irrelevant.

    They would not have any value to the narrative and would only be a waste of ink and space. And Matthew's mention of them, Rodimus, would be totally illogical.

    But since the Gospel, which is guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, is logical, it is clear that the James and Joses in Mt13:55 are the same ones in Mt27:56 who are the sons of ANOTHER MARY and NOT of the VIRGIN MARY.

    By that, your assumption against the Perpetual Virginity of Mary based on your reading of Mt13:55 falls flat on its face.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jub Alabastro: If in case you are challenge to a formal oral debate against Bro. Marwil, will you take that challenge?

    Rodimus:

    Given the right time and circumstances I very much will debate anyone LIVE.

    ReplyDelete
  7. CB: What is the CONTEXT of the mentioning of "James, Joses, Simon and Judas?

    Rodimus: I'm very sure that in the context of Matthew 13:55 Jesus was in his HOMETOWN. So when you are in your hometown what is the probability that you are living with someone you do not know?

    CB: What Matthew only wanted to show was that people or his neighbors knew his relatives. And for that purpose, Matthew did not need to mention all the members of his relative's family. He only needed to state a few or them, like "James, Joses, Simon and Judas."

    Rodimus: What theory is going to support you on that? At least, mine came from experience and common sense. You can limit your narration in your closest family (parents and sibling). But if you extend it to your relatives, don't you think that the uncle and aunt are more senior than your cousins?

    CB: Now, another reason why Matthew mentioned the names of his relatives, James and Joses in particular, was because he was going to use them later on in his narrative to introduce another character in the story--the OTHER MARY.

    Rodimus: Is that so? Then tell me, how was it possible that the Catholic Encyclopedia was able to provide a sibling relationship for Lazarus, Martha, and Mary Magdalene whereas the Bible does not mention who their parents are?

    Furthermore, if James was a son of another Mary, why was he still addressed by Paul in Galatians as the brother of the Lord if Paul knew that he wasn't Virgin Mary's son? Aren't the apostles also brothers of Christ, so why was James singled out? Of all the relationship he could use such as suggenis of the Lord, son of the Virgin's sister, son of Mary's sister just like Matthew said, Paul opted a more undefined relationship: adelphos of the Lord.

    You know, when theories are inconsistent like the ones you're giving it is an indicator of fraud. And we know very well that God cannot author fraud.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're rebuttal is full of contradictions and inconsistencies.

    1. You said, "I'm very sure that in the context of Matthew 13:55 Jesus was in his HOMETOWN. So when you are in your hometown WHAT IS THE PROBABILITY THAT YOU ARE LIVING WITH SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW? (emphasis mine)

    With that, Rodimus, you are saying that the NEIGHBOR who made the statement ALREADY KNEW EVERYONE ELSE: the PARENTS and the COUSINS or RELATIVES.

    You are then CONTRADICTING YOURSELF when you said that the NAMES of the PARENTS of James, Joses, Simon and Judas should have been mentioned.

    If you are correct that EVERYONE KNEW EVERYONE ELSE in the HOMETOWN of JESUS, that REMOVES the NEED for the neighbor to mention the PARENTS of "James, Joses, Simon and Judas."

    Why state the obvious? Right?

    And thus, YOU SUPPORT my stand that the neighbor NO LONGER NEEDED to MENTION the NAMES of the PARENTS of the RELATIVES.

    THAT is COMMON SENSE. Your assertion that the PARENTS should have also been mentioned GOES AGAINST COMMON SENSE and is even CONTRARY to COMMON PRACTICE.

    Why? Do you usually do a ROLL CALL of your RELATIVES' ENTIRE FAMILY when you introduce one of their members?

    People always tend to SIMPLIFY things. They will NOT MENTION the ENTIRE FAMILY when it is enough to mention one or a few known members of that family.

    Where is it COMMON PRACTICE (your EXPERIENCE) that PARENTS should ALWAYS be NAMED FIRST before the CHILDREN are mentioned in a conversation? That is simply NOT COMMON SENSE as you claim.

    You mention the parents if they are RELEVANT in the conversation. But if you are introducing the relatives of a person, the mention of ANY KNOWN RELATIVE or RELATIVES is sufficient.

    And that is what the "neighbor" did when he was quoted in Mt13:55.

    Lastly, on this point, your statement of the context of Mt13:55 DOES NOT SUPPORT your claim that "adelphoi" only meant BLOOD BROTHERS in the verse.

    Your statement even betrays your assumption that adelphoi only meant BLOOD BROTHERS.

    If the neighbor already knew the entire family of Jesus, it would have been IMPRACTICAL and ILLOGICAL for him to state the names of all his supposed brothers and sisters. The mention of His parents was enough to establish his FAMILY.

    Instead, it was more logical to name the RELATIVES of JESUS in order to place Him in the BIGGER COMMUNITY.

    So, you said it: "When theories are INCONSISTENT ... it is an indicator of FRAUD. And we know very well that God cannot author fraud."

    Now, everybody knows where your getting your theories.

    2. You asked, "How was it possible that the Catholic Encyclopedia was able to provide a sibling relationship for Lazarus, Martha, and Mary Magdalene whereas the Bible does not mention who their parents are?"

    How did the Catholic Encyclopedia determine that Lazarus, Martha and Mary are siblings? Because the BIBLE SAID SO in John 11:1-2.

    Jn 11:1 says Mary and Martha are SISTERS. Verse 2 says Lazarus is the BROTHER of Mary.

    You claim to be a CPA. Maybe you can add these things up.

    If Mary and Martha are sisters, and Lazarus is the brother of Mary, then Lazarus is also the brother of Martha.

    John did not need to mention their parents because the narration is already very clear as to their relationship.

    The CONTEXT is clear that they are CHILDREN of the SAME PARENTS. There is no circumstance that will confuse them as cousins or merely relatives.

    In fact, there is no other reference in the Bible that would show that they are not siblings. Unlike the case of James and Joses who were identified as the sons of ANOTHER MARY.

    3. Why was James still addressed by Paul as "the brother of the Lord"?

    Why? Did James cease to become a relative of Jesus to disqualify him to be called "brother" of the Lord? I don't think so.

    May I remind you of the meaning of "adelphoi." It does not only refer to BLOOD BROTHER but to RELATIVES and even TOWNSMATES, among others.

    So, there is little weight in your question. I would even think that you are only trying to confuse yourself as to something already very clear and established.

    And now that you mentioned it, is James really another son of the Virgin Mary?

    No. Should you not know, Mt13:55 has a parallel in Mark, Mk6:3.

    In Mk6:3, Jesus is referred to as "THE SON of Mary."

    Take note of the DEFINITE ARTICLE "THE."

    DEFINITE ARTICLES refer to a particular noun.

    So, when the DEFINITE ARTICLE was used to refer to Jesus as THE SON of Mary, that means that JESUS is THE ONLY SON of Mary.

    That fact is make clearer when “James, Joses, Simon and Judas” are then mentioned.

    Had James, Joses, Simon and Judas been sons of the Virgin Mary as well, then the DEFINITE ARTICLE on Jesus would be WRONG. Mark should have just said that Jesus was “A SON of Mary” and His (blood) brothers are …

    Now, unless you want to accuse Mark and the Holy Spirit of "misleading" people, there is no way for you to understand mk6:3 except to agree that Jesus is THE ONLY SON of Mary.

    So, you see, Rodimus, your objections to the PERPETUAL VIRGINITY of MARY do not have any legs to stand on.

    That is why many non-Catholics are resorting to inventions in their vain attempt to disprove a well-established truth.

    Thanks

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  10. CB: If you are correct that EVERYONE KNEW EVERYONE ELSE in the HOMETOWN of JESUS, that REMOVES the NEED for the neighbor to mention the PARENTS of "James, Joses, Simon and Judas."

    Rodimus: What contradiction? All I am saying here is that when you are in your hometown you're living someone you know very well. And with that attempted rebuttal of yours it sounds childish. If there is no need to mention the parents of James, Joses, etc. then neither should we mention Joseph and Mary. The neighbor should a have said, "Hey, this is Jesus, period."

    CB: If the neighbor already knew the entire family of Jesus, it would have been IMPRACTICAL and ILLOGICAL for him to state the names of all his supposed brothers and sisters. The mention of His parents was enough to establish his FAMILY.

    Rodimus: Okay so why did the neighbor mentioned other people?

    CB: If Mary and Martha are sisters, and Lazarus is the brother of Mary, then Lazarus is also the brother of Martha.

    John did not need to mention their parents because the narration is already very clear as to their relationship.

    Rodimus: Thank you for telling me that the Roman Catholic apologists like you are using double standards. The only words that made you conclude that Lazarus, Martha, and Mary are siblings are the words adelphos and adelphi - nothing more. You did not do the same with James, Joses, etc. who are in the same hometown. Thanks for admitting your double standard.

    CB: May I remind you of the meaning of "adelphoi." It does not only refer to BLOOD BROTHER but to RELATIVES and even TOWNSMATES, among others.

    Rodimus: Shall I apply that against Lazarus, Martha, Mary Magdalene? Ooops! You exposed your biases.

    CB: So, when the DEFINITE ARTICLE was used to refer to Jesus as THE SON of Mary, that means that JESUS is THE ONLY SON of Mary.

    Rodimus: Read my article again:

    While the article “the” can signify the one and only, it doesn’t always mean that way in other sentences. In John 4:5, Joseph is mentioned to be THE SON of Jacob, are we to conclude that Jacob had no other children? Moreover, Jesus was referred as “a son” in Luke 1:31 and not “your only child”, so why not conclude Mary has other children subsequent to Christ?

    If I were you Mr. Bibe, stop making up spurious theories. You're only making it obvious that Roman Catholic arguments are self-serving and inconsistent.

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  11. Childish, Rodimus?

    Your attempt at a rebuttal is what's childish.

    You said, "If there is no need to mention the parents of James, Joses, etc. then NEITHER SHOULD WE MENTION JOSEPH AND MARY. The neighbor should have said, "Hey, this is Jesus, period." (emphasis mine)

    In your vain attempt to respond you turned a blind eye or pretended not to read my explanation on why the neighbor mentioned the parents of Jesus.

    I said, "You mention the parents if they are RELEVANT in the conversation."

    In the case of introducing the FAMILY of Jesus, the names of the parents of Jesus was not only relevant but necessary.

    Thus I also said, "The mention of His parents was enough to establish his FAMILY."

    And, "it would have been IMPRACTICAL and ILLOGICAL for him to state the names of all his supposed brothers and sisters."

    Why did the neighbor not say "Hey, this is Jesus, period"?

    In Hebrew, the name Yashua o Yeshua (Jesus) was quite common and thus it had to be made clear "which" Yashua was being referred to.

    And how did people do that?

    By mentioning their parents. Again, that explains why it was necessary to mention the parents of Jesus.

    Anyone familiar with the Bible most probably knows that. For children were more often intoduced by stating who their parents were. For example, Mt1:1, "Jesus Chritst the son of David, the son of Abraham;" or Mt4:21, "James the son of Zebedee;" or Mt 16:18, "Simon son of Jonah."

    Now, why was it not necessary to mention in Mt13:55 the parents of James, Joses, Simon and Judas?

    I already answered that.

    I said, "It was more logical to name the RELATIVES of JESUS in order to place Him in the BIGGER COMMUNITY."

    And as I have already pointed out, the MOTHER of James and Joses was indeed identified: She was the OTHER MARY and NOT the VIRGIN MARY.

    So, the concerns that you have raised have so far been addressed already.

    It is apparent that your defense and rebuttal rest on pretending not to read what I already stated and on repeating claims that have already been belied.

    Why is that, Rodimus? I hope you are not a disciple of Dr. Joseph Goebels--Hitler's propagandist--who believed that repeating a lie often enough will make people believe it to be the truth.

    2. Double standard, Rodimus?

    Again, you simply ignored my explanation on how we Catholics established that Mary, Martha and Lazarus are BLOOD BROTHERS and SISTERS.

    And again, you are imputing malice where there is none.

    But I am glad, Rodimus, because people who reading our exchange are seeing more clearly how desperate and futile your claims are.

    The point on the use of "adelphoi" and "adelphai" has already been well explained in my rebuttal.

    It referred to RELATIVES on Jesus in Mt13:55 because the CONTEXT points to that meaning. It referred to BLOOD SISTERS and BROTHER in the case of Mary, Martha and Lazarus because the CONTEXT point that out.

    So, contrary to what you're imagining, there are no double standards there and no biases. You simply just cannot accept simple facts.

    3. Now, here is one clear indication of deception on your part.

    You pointed to Lk1:31 where you said that Jesus was referred to "a son."

    Does the verse actually claim that Jesus was "a son" AMONG MANY?

    NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    Here is what the verse says in the KJV: "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth A SON, and shalt call his name JESUS."

    Where does it say there that Jesus will be "a son" AMONG MANY?

    NOWHERE, but ONLY IN YOUR IMAGINATION and in your FALSE CLAIMS.

    I say you attempt to deceive because you are using Lk1:31 OUT OF CONTEXT.

    The verse does not point to Jesus as "as son" AMONG MANY, but it is only stating a FACT that MARY will be bearing ONLY ONE SON--JESUS CHRIST.

    And taken in the proper context, Lk1:31 even supports our stand that JESUS was an ONLY SON. The verse did not make any reference to any other sons that Mary would be having.

    So, the truth about the PERPETUAL VIRGINITY of MARY remains unshaken.

    I hope that you would read your advice: STOP MAKING SPURIOUS THEORIES.

    You cannot and will not be able to debunk the CATHOLIC CHURCH'S belief in the PERPETUAL VIRGINITY of MARY, not even if you resort to LIES, INVENTIONS and CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS.

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  12. CB: And, "it would have been IMPRACTICAL and ILLOGICAL for him to state the names of all his supposed brothers and sisters."

    I said, "It was more logical to name the RELATIVES of JESUS in order to place Him in the BIGGER COMMUNITY."

    Rodimus: I think with those statements you are showing your bigotry. Isn't mentioning your brothers and sisters before your relatives already places you in a BIGGER community? And why it isn't practical? If I tell about Kris Aquino, I'd mention Noynoy first before her cousins Mikee and Jackie. This is not only practical, it is also called COMMON SENSE.

    CB: It referred to RELATIVES on Jesus in Mt13:55 because the CONTEXT points to that meaning. It referred to BLOOD SISTERS and BROTHER in the case of Mary, Martha and Lazarus because the CONTEXT point that out.

    Rodimus: They used the same Greek words: Adelphos and Adelphi. The word hometown is mentioned in both scenarios. The only difference is the parents of Lazarus, Martha, and Magdalene aren't mentioned. And you still think they are different? You're not being honest here.

    CB: The verse does not point to Jesus as "as son" AMONG MANY, but it is only stating a FACT that MARY will be bearing ONLY ONE SON--JESUS CHRIST.

    Rodimus: Try a different lie, Mr. Bibe cause that's not working. If angel Gabriel knew that Mary is perpetually a virgin he would have said "Your only child." The mere fact he said "a son" it raises the probablity that he is one among many.

    CB: You cannot and will not be able to debunk the CATHOLIC CHURCH'S belief in the PERPETUAL VIRGINITY of MARY, not even if you resort to LIES, INVENTIONS and CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS.

    Rodimus: You won't be able to debunk the Bible, Mr. Bibe. So I suggest you follow God's written word instead of your Magisterium.

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  13. Bigotry, Rodimus?

    How does mentioning the cousins or relatives of a person being introduced constitute bigotry?

    It is becoming more and more obvious why you Bereans keep on cowering away from a formal debate with Catholic Defenders. You know very well that your assertions are shallow.

    Now, to your rebuttal. How does naming one's brothers and sisters put one in the BIGGER COMMUNITY? How does that place someone OUTSIDE of his IMMEDIATE FAMILY?

    Excuse me but I find your reasoning quite nonsensical and desperate.

    If I say that Kris Aquino is the daughter of Cory and Benigno Aquino, does that not explicitly identify Kris as to her family?

    After stating that Kris is the daughter of Cory and Ninoy, do I still need to name all of her brothers and sisters?

    Again, that would be stating the obvious and stating the obvious does not make for common sense. By stating the obvious, you even insult the intelligence of your audience.

    And mentioning all the members of Kris's immediate family does not place her in the BIGGER COMMUNITY.

    To put Kris in the BIGGER COMMUNITY, I could mention that she is the cousin of Mikee Cojuangco who is the husband of Dodot Jaworski.

    THAT would put Kris in the BIGGER COMMUNITY.

    So, I'm really sorry for finding your reasoning hilarious.

    2. You again repeat your FALSE ASSERTION that just because the words "adelphoi" and "adelpai" were used to refer to Mary, Martha and Lazarus, that necessarily makes James, Joses, Simon and Judas as the BLOOD BROTHERS of Jesus.

    So, I will have to remind you again that "adelphoi" and "adelphai" have a WIDE RANGE of MEANINGS that may include BLOOD BROTHERS, RELATIVES, and even TOWNMATES.

    And as I have already shown, the MEANING of the words "adelphoi" and "adelphai" can be gleaned from the CONTEXT in which it is used.

    I am sorry to say that you have been strenuously trying to avoid the context of Mt13:55 and John 11:1-2 just to insist on your FALSE ASSUMPTION, which you again repeated.

    As I already said, REPEATING a LIE or a FALSE STATEMENT DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE.

    Goebels, the Nazi propagandist, was one other person who insisted on repeating a FALSE STATEMENT in the hope that some half-awake reader would believe that it is true.

    And what is this assertion of yours that "adelphoi" and "adelphai" are necessarily BLOOD BROTHERS just because their hometown is mentioned? Where did you get that?

    Could you cite one authority in the Greek language that says that "The mention of the hometown means adelphoi and adelphai are BLOOD BROTHERS."

    You better re-read your advice about making making SPURIOUS THEORIES and FRAUDULENT CLAIMS, because you are right in the center of it.

    3. You said, "The mere fact he said "a son" it raises the probablity that he is one among many.

    What? And where did you get that one?

    I'm sure there are hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands, of mothers who have been told the they would be "having A SON" but NEVER had ANY OTHER CHILDREN except for that one.

    Your INVENTIONS are really incredible, Rodimus. Your have a very fertile imagination.

    And yet you have the guts to say that I am lying?

    I am only very happy that our discussion is documented. People are getting to know you--and the Bereans--better and better with every exchange.

    4. Are you the Bible, Rodimus? Are your FALSE CLAIMS, FALSE ASSERTIONS, and FALSE ASSUMPTIONS even worth being mentioned together with scripture?

    I'm sorry to say that your LIES, INVENTIONS and CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS are on opposite sides with the Bible.

    If there is one who is NOT FOLLOWING and who is even contradicting the BIBLE, that is YOU, RODIMUS.

    You and your Berean friends have no fear nor shame in TWISTING and DISTORTING the WORD OF GOD just to make it suit your preposterous and ridiculous objections to the PERPETUAL VIRGINITY of MARY.

    No wonder you and your Berean hoard are so ashamed to put your names and faces on your claims.

    I repeat, Rodimus. You and your Berean bunch cannot and will not be able to debunk the CATHOLIC CHURCH'S belief in the PERPETUAL VIRGINITY of MARY, not even if you resort to LIES, INVENTIONS and CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS.

    Thank you.

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  14. Bro. Jub AlabastroMarch 2, 2009 at 1:40 AM

    I am very much unsure of your reply. There seems to be a conditional CLAUSE attached to your answer: "Given the right time and circumstances"

    Is it a YES OR NO? Are you ready to talk business at the table, if you are challenge to a formal debate?

    When is the right time and circumstances? What are the conditions?

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  15. G-one:

    YES na brother Rodimus...

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  16. catholic philosopherMarch 3, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Rodimus and Atty Llasos should meet personally and discuss the terms and conditions of the debate. That is what we call pre-debate conference/dialogue. Even just the two of them initially.

    I'm sure Rodimus will not back down from a debate. He has James White as his idol. White isn't afraid to face anyone. If Rodimus has the Holy Spirit in his side, he won' be afraid to defend his beliefs. Right, Rodimus?

    :)

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  17. catholic_philosopherMarch 6, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    Rodimus, see Atty Llasos's rebuttal on his blogspot

    http://marwil-n-llasos.blogspot.com/

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  18. There's no use beating a dead horse.

    Cowards will never show their faces, especially when they know that all they have are lies and inventions.

    One such coward--a friend of Rodimus it appears--has been trying to pester me on my cellphone, spreading their brand of lies.

    We should just search for Bereans spreading lies on the Internet and put them to shame in whatever forum they try to spread their lies in.

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  19. Rodimus, since it seems that you want to argue with me as shown by the articles in your blog, I want to settle our differences in a FORMAL and PUBLIC debate. Let's start on Perpetual Virginity. Let us know your terms. You said
    that "Given the right time and circumstances I very much will debate anyone LIVE." Your answer is neither here nor there. Tell us plainly when is the RIGHT TIME and RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES. I look forward to debate you LIVE!

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  20. The debate will be very exciting for sure.
    On the other hand, the INC has the tenacity to make the RCC the primary object of their whipping. I also observed the ADD does the same. I realized now that the RCC defenders love to settle the score in a public debate. To RCC defenders, is it possible for you to send a whole-year round debate proposals to INC or ADD. Let's say two topics every month. it will be a raucus debate since both groups like to bring cheering squads. It reminded me of the JV-Keating debate.

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