The Blessed Virgin Mary Had Sexual Relations with Saint Joseph After the Birth of the Lord Jesus

“The false asceticism which has come to expression in the demand for a celibate clergy springs from a bias that has no affinity with the Christian ethic and is antithetical to the whole spirit of the biblical revelation.  Perhaps the most blatant attempt to throw the halo of a false sanctity around this anti-biblical direction of thought is the dogma of the perpetual virginity of the virgin Mary. The whole interest of this tenet is the thought that it would be inconsistent with the holiness of the virgin to suppose that she had sexual relations with her husband Joseph after the birth of Jesus. The fact is that biblical holiness would have dictated marital relations with her husband, and to suppose that she did not have such would be a grave reflection upon her character.  Our high esteem for the character of the virgin as a woman saved by grace and sanctified by the Spirit demands that we deny her perpetual virginity.  Perpetual virginity would put her in the category of a wretch, and our respect for her nobility and piety will have none of it.  To be a good woman she must have had these normal marital relations, and the most natural and reasonable supposition is that the brothers and sisters of our Lord were the offspring of Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus the Christ.  We thus see how baneful is the deflection of thought and attitude which casts any reflection upon the honour and purity of the marital act.  It was just that pernicious ethic with bag and baggage of demonic propaganda that the apostle Paul resisted.  He did so with vehemence, and it comes to eloquent expression in that concluding clause of I Corinthians 7:5, ‘lest Satan tempt you on account of your incontinence’.  Paul is propounding the doctrine that marriage and the marital act are safeguards against the deceit and seduction of Satan.  Both the asceticism and the sensuality of Corinth underlined and advertised for the apostle the dignity and nobility of the divine institution.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, Aspects of Biblical Ethics, Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1957, p. 66.)