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Mary, the Mother of Jesus

by Chris Browne

Mary the Mother of Jesus

  • Was she really a virgin? According to Luke Mary conceived Jesus by the holy Spirit.

  • How do we know about her? We know about Mary through the historical writings of Luke, who along with being a doctor was also an historian. Luke may have had an exclusive interview with Mary. Others do mention Mary but not to the extent that Luke did.

  • Why is Mary so highly revered by Catholics? According to Catholics Mary is essential to understanding the life of Jesus. Luke knew this hence is writings about Mary.

  • Was Mary there when Jesus was crucified? According to John’s gospel she was and other gospels mention that the three women named Mary were present.

  • What do we know about her family? Joseph is not mentioned again after the visit to the temple when Jesus was 12 years old. It is assumed that he died before Jesus began his ministry. Other children are mentioned notably James.

  • The Qur'an also describes Mary as a virgin

  • Mary is mentioned 12 times by Luke in his Gospel and once by him in the Acts of the apostles. Matthew mentions Mary 5 times and Mark mentions her once.

  • Mary had a very low status in society as a women who was pregnant and unmarried.

  • When Mary and Joseph got married they were probably in their late to mid teens as this was the usual age for the Jews to get married in the first century AD. Mary and Joseph were probably teenagers when Jesus was born.

  • In Mark 3 we read that Jesus’s mother and his brothers were in Nazareth looking for him. This is the only mention of Mary by Mark.

  • Luke has accounts of the annunciation, Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth when was pregnant, the birth of her son Jesus, Mary taking Jesus to the temple when he was twelve, Mary searching for Jesus on the way back from Jerusalem, Jesus being rejected at Nazareth and the family visiting Jesus during his ministry. The last two occasions were also mentioned by Mark. Luke also has an account of an angel visiting Mary before Jesus was born.


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