DID MARY HAVE BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN?
In their zeal against and hatred of Mary’s perpetual virginity, rabid anti-Catholic calvinists such as Anthony Rogers will cite Psalm 69:8 to prove that the blessed Mother of our Lord (Cf. Luke 1:43) had biological children after giving birth to Christ. This is because there are elements of this Psalm which are applied to Jesus. I.e. Psalm 69:9 is quoted in John 2:17 (cf. 12-16) and Romans 15:3, with Psalm 69:22-23, and 25 being referenced in Acts 1:20 and Romans 11:9-10.
PSALM 69 NOT ABOUT JESUS
The context shows that this Psalm is about David, even though there are some aspects of it that typify Christ:
For the music director; according to Shoshannim. A Psalm of David.
69 Save me, God,
For the waters have threatened my life.
2 I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.
3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;
Those who would destroy me are powerful, those who oppose me with lies;
What I did not steal, I then have to restore.
5 God, You know my foolishness,
And my guilt is not hidden from You.
6 May those who wait for You not be ashamed because of me, Lord God of armies;
May those who seek You not be dishonored because of me, God of Israel,
7 Because for Your sake I have endured disgrace;
Dishonor has covered my face.
8 I have become estranged from my brothers,
And a stranger to my mother’s sons.
Does anyone think for a moment that the Psalmist’s confession of being foolish and guilty before God is actually Christ speaking about himself?
This Psalm is similar to what David wrote elsewhere in regards to his sinful folly and estrangement:
Prayer of a Suffering Penitent.
A Psalm of David, for a memorial.
38 LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
And do not punish me in Your burning anger.
2 For Your arrows have sunk deep into me,
And Your hand has pressed down on me.
3 There is no healthy part in my flesh because of Your indignation;
There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
4 For my guilty deeds have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.
5 My wounds grow foul and fester
Because of my foolishness…
11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague;
And my kinsmen stand far away…
18 For I admit my guilt;
I am full of anxiety because of my sin.
In light of the foregoing, it is typical of the NT writings to quote texts that, in their immediate contexts, are not about Christ but do point to him in some particular way. Compare, for instance, the following passage:
“The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. When your days are finished and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind, but My favor shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:11b-16
It is clear that when this is read in light of the rest of the historical narrative, the son spoken of is Solomon (Cf. 1 Chronicles 17:10-14; 22:7-10; 28:4-7), and hence the warning that God would discipline him for any wrongdoing he commits.
And yet the statement about Solomon being God’s son is applied to the post-resurrected and exalted Christ:
“For to which of the angels did He ever say,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have fathered You”?
‘I will be a Father to Him
And He will be a Son to Me’?” Hebrews 1:5
It is obvious that the part about the son doing wrong does not and cannot refer to Jesus whom the NT documents portray as being absolutely pure and sinless:
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
“The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing; Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens; who has no daily need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because He did this once for all time when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:23-28
“how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14 – Cf. Mark 1:24; 9:7; John 7:18; 8:29, 46; 14:30; Acts 3:14-15; 7:53; 22:14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:22-24; 3:18; 1 John 2:1-2; 3:3, 5, 7-8
Here’s another example:
“When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. The more they called them, The more they went away from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols. Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I pulled them along with cords of a man, with ropes of love, And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; And I bent down and fed them. They will not return to the land of Egypt; But Assyria—he will be their king Because they refused to return to Me. And the sword will whirl against their cities, And will destroy their oracle priests And consume them, because of their counsels. So My people are determined to turn from Me. Though they call them to the One on high, None at all exalts Him. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled. I will not carry out My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath. They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar, And His sons will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, And like doves from the land of Assyria; And I will settle them in their houses, declares the LORD. Ephraim surrounds Me with lies And the house of Israel with deceit; Judah is still unruly against God, Even against the Holy One who is faithful.” Hosea 11:1-12
Matthew takes this text about Israel being brought up out of Egypt and applies it to Jesus being taken into Egypt to escape the persecution of Herod:
“Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.’So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.He stayed there until the death of Herod; this happened so that what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’” Matthew 2:13-15
It is obvious that not everything stated in the foregoing references apply to Christ, unless one wants to accuse Jesus of being a sinful rebel who has always been determined to turn away from God his Father!
Therefore, it is the NT that determines which specific aspects of a particular OT text apply to Christ, and which elements do not.
PSALM 22 IS ALL ABOUT JESUS
In contrast to Psalm 69, the 22nd Psalm is entirely about Jesus as I shall now demonstrate.
A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.
For the music director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.
22 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my help are the words of my groaning.
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabaktanei?” that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Matthew 27:46
6 But I am a worm and not a person,
A disgrace of mankind and despised by the people.
7 All who see me deride me;
They sneer, they shake their heads, saying,
8 “Turn him over to the LORD; let Him save him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
“At that time two rebels were being crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those passing by were speaking abusively to Him, shaking their heads, and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He has trusted in God; let God rescue Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”’ And the rebels who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him in the same way.” Matthew 27:38-44
14 I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a piece of pottery,
And my tongue clings to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18 They divide my garments among them,
And they cast lots for my clothing.
“And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull,they gave Him wine mixed with bile to drink; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink it.And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among themselves by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, ‘THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.’” Matthew 27:33-37
“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts: a part to each soldier, and the tunic also; but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.So they said to one another, ‘Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be.’ This happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: ‘They divided My garments among themselves, and they cast lots for My clothing.’
“Therefore the soldiers did these things. Now beside the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.So when Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture would be fulfilled, said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
“Now then, since it was the day of preparation, to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews requested of Pilate that their legs be broken, and the bodies be taken away.So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other who was crucified with Him;but after they came to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Yet one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.For these things took place so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not a bone of Him shall be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look at Him whom they pierced.’” John 19:23-37
Here is where it gets rather astonishing!
When Psalm 22 refers to Jesus’ brothers, the NT explains this in reference to the physical seed of Abraham whom Christ came to redeem!
Note the verse in question:
22 I will proclaim Your name to my brothers;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
Now contrast this with the way the book of Hebrews interprets the aforementioned passage:
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of His suffering death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the originator of their salvation through sufferings.For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers… saying,
‘I will proclaim Your name to My brothers, In the midst of the assembly I will sing Your praise.’
‘I will put My trust in Him.”
‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.’
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.For clearly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:9-18
Thus, the NT interprets the expression “my brothers” here not as Mary’s biological children, but to all the physical Israelites who place their trust in their Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus!
Biblical references taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
FRANCIS TURRETIN ON THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF MARY
THE REFORMERS ON MARY’S PERPETUAL VIRGINITY
REFORMERS ON THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
What the Early Church Believed: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary