1The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers. 3Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram. 4Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon. 5Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse. 6Jesse became the father of King David. David the king became the father of Solomon by her who had been Uriah’s wife. 7Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa. 8Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah. 9Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah. 11Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor. 14Azor became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud. 15Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob. 16Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: After his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. 20But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21She shall give birth to a son. You shall name him Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”

22Now all this has happened that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,

23“Behold, the virgin shall be with child,

and shall give birth to a son.

They shall call his name Immanuel,”

which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”

24Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself; 25and didn’t know her sexually until she had given birth to her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.

Was Mary Perpetually a Virgin?

Topical Study | Matt 1:25 | Hershel Wayne House

The biblical text makes it clear that Jesus was born of a virgin. First, there is the visitation of the angel to Joseph announcing that his betrothed would give birth to a boy by the work of the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:20-25). Second, the text indirectly teaches that Jesus was not born of Joseph, saying Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph (Luke 3:23). Third, Luke records an interchange between the angel Gabriel and Mary, in which the angel tells her that she would give birth to the Son of God through the Son of God (Luke 1:26-35). None of these verses, however, speaks to the question of whether Joseph and Mary had sexual relations after the virginal birth of Jesus.

It has been in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches that Mary was a virgin during her entire life and that the brother and sisters of Jesus (Matt 13:55-56) were either cousins of Jesus or they were from a former marriage of Joseph, making them half-brothers and half-sisters. If, in fact, the text does not intimate in any way that the siblings were cousins and if they were male children of Joseph, a problem arises in that Jesus would not have been the heir to the throne of David.

Fortunately, the author Matthew provides a very important statement that solves this problem for us. The apostle Matthew makes it plain that Mary was not a perpetual virgin after the birth of Jesus. The text reads very clearly that Joseph and Mary had sexual relations after the birth of Jesus since it says he did not know her sexually until Mary had given birth (Matt 1:25). An additional argument is rarely mentioned, namely, that is, Jesus was the firstborn son of Mary. Had there been no subsequent brothers, this would be an unlikely comment to make.