There is no doubt in God’s word that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived and born (Luke 1:26-35). However, because of the miracle that God had done in Mary’s life, many have elevated and conceptualized her life outside of what God’s word has recorded. So what does the bible really say regarding Mary’s family?
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25 ESV)
The phrase “knew her” is a term used in the bible regarding sexual intercourse (Genesis 4:1; Genesis 4:17; Genesis 4:25; 1 Samuel 1:19; etc.). Paired with “until” in the above verse which indicates that sexual intercourse was only delayed for a period of time.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 ESV)
Jesus is indicated as the firstborn child of Mary. The mention of this numerical count only makes sense in context to the fact that Mary would have more than one child.
Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” (Matthew 13:55-56 ESV)
Along with other verses such as Mark 3:31; John 7:3-4; Galatians 1:19, we have references of actual mention to Jesus’ half siblings (since Jesus himself was not conceived through Joseph and Mary).
Logically, we can see the harmonization of the facts in these verses which strengthen the context of each as a whole. However, some argue that the word “until” in Matthew 1:24-25 does not prove Joseph and Mary ever had intercourse and some argue the term “brothers and sisters” mentioned in these verses have a different meaning outside of family relations. In all these instances, outside references are elevated over God’s word to not only try to disprove these accounts but also add things outside of God’s word which, is strongly warned against. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19)
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6 ESV)
True believers are to use God’s word as the base to disprove external false doctrines and teachings, not the other way around. When the reverse is done, it not only undermines the authority of the bible that shows the ultimate truth by inspiration of the perfect God of all (2 Timothy 3:16-17), but it opens up a floodgate of scriptural misinterpretations and elevation of humans above Christ. Are you elevating teachings taught by other sources above the true word of God? I pray that those who are truly seeking to worship the Lord have an earnest desire to learn the truth from His word, being mindful and ready to reproof and correct anything that tries to undermine His truth.