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Helvidius (sometimes Helvetius) was the author of a work written prior to 383 against the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Helvidius maintained that the biblical mention of "sisters" and "brothers" of the Lord constitutes solid evidence that Mary had normal marital relations with Joseph and additional children after the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus. He supported his opinion by the writings of Tertullian and Victorinus.[1]

Jerome, in reply, wrote a treatise known under the title The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary,[2] where he vigorously takes the other side, and argues that the "sisters" and "brothers" spoken of were either step-brothers, children of Joseph by a former marriage (cf. Protoevangelium of James), or first cousins, children of Mary's relative/relation/kinswoman[3] Elizabeth and siblings of John the Baptist. When Jerome wrote this treatise both he and Helvidius were in Rome, and Damasus was Bishop of Rome.

All the works of Helvidius are lost; we know some things about his tract against the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary only through Jerome's treatise written in response to it.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Brothers of Jesus". Biblical Training. Spokane, WA. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  2. ^ Jerome, "The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary - Against Helvidius", in Schaff, Philip; Wace, Henry; Knight, Kevin (eds.), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, 6, Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley, Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co. โ€“ via New Advent
  3. ^ "Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages". Bible Hub. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  4. ^ "Brothers of Jesus". BiblicalTraining. Spokane, WA. Retrieved 2016-08-31. The works of Helvidius have not survived. In his reply to Helvidius, however, Jerome makes many references to Helvidius' ideas.

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