Matthew 1:25

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New Testament Matthew 1

(Textus Receptus, Novum Testamentum, Theodore Beza, 4th folio edition. Geneva. 1598)

(King James Version, Pure Cambridge Edition 1900)

(King James Version 2016 Edition, 2016)



Matthew 1:25 is the twenty-fifth and last verse of the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Joseph has awakened from a dream in which an angel gave him instructions about the birth of Jesus. He has taken Mary into his home, completing their marriage, and this verse explains what occurs once the couples are united.

This passage is the center of much controversy in the debate over the perpetual virginity of Mary. To many Protestants this verse is one of the central reasons for rejecting the Perpetual Virginity. The author of Matthew only states that sexual relations did not occur prior to the birth of Jesus, implying that they occurred afterwards. Those who support the perpetual virginity argue that the passage is far vaguer in the original Greek than it is in English. In English a negation until implies that the event in question did happen afterwards.

Modern Versions

Modern versions bring confusion about Mary being a Virgin:

If it is only 'a son' rather than a 'firstborn son' Mary may have had other children before Jesus to someone else. So the Textus Receptus solves two errors by stating the fact that Jesus was Mary's firstborn:

1) a firstborn implys that there was a secondborn later on (otherwise it would say 'only begotten')
2) A firstborn implys that Mary had previously had no other children.

The inclusion of firstborn here makes it impossible for these to heretical doctrines to survive.

See Also Psalm 69:8, Matthew 12:46; 13:55; Mark 3:31, 6:3; John 2:12; 7:3,5; 1 Corinthians 9:5, Galatians 1:19.

The Greek - πρωτότοκον (firstborn) appears in the vast majority of Manuscripts except for 2 Papyrus (B and Aleph) and 3 minuscule mss. It is the reading found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts and many uncial copies (capital letters) including C, D, E, K, L, M, S, U, V, W, Gamma, Delta, Pi, Sigma and Omega. It is also the reading found in numerous early church Lectionaries, the Old Latin copies of aur, d, f, ff1, g2, q, the Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Armenian, Slavonic and Ethiopic ancient versions. It is also so quoted by many early church witnesses including the Diatessaron, Cyril of Jerusalem, Didymus, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Proclus, Jerome and Augustine.

The modern versions that omit the word “firstborn” and merely say something like: “But but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.” are the NIV, ESV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NET, Holman and the Common English Bible.

Scripture mentions that Mary had up to at least at least 6 other children. Matthew 13:55-56 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are then not ALL (not ‘both’) with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” The Roman Catholic church teaches "Immaculate Conception" which is the belief that the virgin Mary was perpetually a virgin and had not other children.

The Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, which also omits the word “firstborn” from Matthew 1:25, has a footnote in reference to the brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus. They tell us:

“The question about the brothers of Jesus and his sisters cannot easily be decided on linguistic grounds. Greek-speaking Semites used the terms adelphos and adelphe, not only in the ordinary sense of blood brother or sister, but also for nephew, niece, half-brother, half-sister, and cousin. The question of meaning here would not have arisen but for the faith of the church in Mary’s perpetual virginity.” page 48 St. Joseph NAB.

The Catholic bibles have continued to change their underlying texts from one edition to the next. The previous Douay-Rheims of 1582 as well as the Douay version of 1950 both included the phrase “firstborn,” however the Douay-Rheims gives a footnote to try to explain away the clear meaning of the verse.

“Till she brought forth her firstborn son: From these words Helvidius and other heretics most impiously inferred that the blessed Virgin Mary had other children besides Christ; but St. Jerome shews, by divers examples, that this expression of the Evangelist was a manner of speaking usual among the Hebrews, to denote by the word until, only what is done, without any regard to the future...St. Jerome also proves by Scripture examples, that an only begotten son, was also called firstborn, or first begotten: because according to the law, the firstborn males were to be consecrated to God; Sanctify unto me, saith the Lord, every firstborn that openeth the womb among the children of Israel, etc. Ex. 13. 2.”

The Jerusalem bible of 1968, the St. Joseph NAB of 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 simply omit the word “firstborn” altogether as also do the other versions like the NIV, ESV, NASB, ISV, NET, Holman, etc. They now read: “he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son.” (New Jerusalem bible 1985)

The 2009 The Sacred Bible Catholic Public Domain Version has now put the word back into their text! It now reads: “And he knew her not, yet she bore her son, the firstborn. And he called his name JESUS.”

Versions that include have firstborn are: Latin Vulgate of 382 A.D. - “et non cognoscebat eam donec peperit filium suum primogenitum et vocavit nomen eius Iesum.”, the Anglo-Saxon gospels by Aelfric Manuscript 140 dated to about 1000 A.D. - "hyre frum-cennedan sunu", Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "And he did not know her until she gave birth to her first-born son; and she called his name Jesus.", Wycliffe 1395 - "til she hadde borun her firste bigete sone", Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Cranmer's bible 1540, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "til she had broght forth her first borne sonne, & he called his name Iesus.", Mace's N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Webster's translation 1833, Darby, Youngs, the NKJV 1982, the Amplified Bible 1997, Hebrew Names Bible, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.

Among foreign language bibles that read like the King James Bible with "her FIRSTBORN son" are the following: the Chinese Union Traditional bible, the French Martin 1744 and the French Ostervald 1996 - "ce qu'elle eût enfanté son fils premier-né", Luther's German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter of 2000 - "erstgeborenen Sohn", the Italian Diodati 1649 and Nuovo Diodati of 1991 - "il suo figliuol primogenito" the the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, 1960, 1995 and the 2010 Reina Valera Gómez - "hasta que parió á su hijo primogénito", the Portuguese Almeida Corregida E Fiel and the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada deu à luz seu filho, o primogénito", the Russian Synodal Version and the Modern Greek N.T. as well as the Greek texts used by the Orthodox Churches all over the world today - "εγεννησε τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον".

τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον (her firstborn son) is supported exactly by 1,446 MSS, and inexactly by 13 MSS; υιον (a son) is supported exactly by 7 MSS, and inexactly by 1 MS.

ουκ εγινωσκεν αυτην εως ου (was not knowing her until which [time]) — omitted by itk syrs
υιον (a son) — א B Zvid 071vid ƒ1 ƒ13pt 33 1192 itb,c,g1,k syrc,palmss mae-1 geo Ambrose Chromatius
αυτω υιον (to him a son) — syrs
τον υιον (the son) — copbo
υιον αυτης (her son) — 1182 copsa
τον υιον τον πρωτοτοκον (the firstborn son) — D* L itd,q
τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον (her firstborn son) — rell


Textus Receptus

Complutensian Polyglot

Matthew 1:25 in Greek in the 1514 Complutensian Polyglot
Matthew 1:25 in Greek in the 1514 Complutensian Polyglot

See Also Matthew 1:25 Complutensian Polyglot 1514

Desiderius Erasmus


Stephanus (Robert Estienne)

  • 1546 (Robert Estienne (Stephanus) 1st)
  • 1549 (Robert Estienne (Stephanus) 2nd)
  • 1550 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν (Robert Estienne (Stephanus) 3rd - Editio Regia)
  • 1551 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν (Robert Estienne (Stephanus) 4th)

Theodore Beza

See Also Matthew 1:25 Beza 1598 (Beza)

  • 1604 (Beza Octavo 5th)


  • 1624 Καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν, ἕως οὗ ἔτεκε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον· καὶ ἐκάλεσε τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ι’ΗΣΟΥ~Ν (Elzevir)
  • 1633 (Elzevir) edited by Jeremias Hoelzlin, Professor of Greek at Leiden.
  • 1641 (Elzevir)
  • 1679 (Elzevir)



Other Greek

  • 360 Kαι ουκ εγινωσκεν αυτην εως ὁυ ετεκεν ὑϊον και εκαλεσεν το ονομα αυτου IN (Codex Sinaiticus) (א or 01) (von Soden δ2) - British Library Leipzig University Saint Catherine's Monastery (See Also Nomina sacra)
  • 1857 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν, καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. (Tregelles' Greek New Testament)
  • 1869 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. (Tischendorf)
  • 1881 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. (Westcott & Hort)
  • 1904 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. (Nestle)
  • 1904 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκε τὸν υἱόν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐκάλεσε τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. (Greek Orthodox (B. Antoniades))
  • 1905 (Weiss)
  • 1913 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν, ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱὸν, καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. (von Soden)

Anglo Saxon Translations

English Translations

Foreign Language Versions

See also Bible translations into Afrikaans


  • 1933 (Ta Biblia Ta Logia - J. D. du Toit, E. E. van Rooyen, J. D. Kestell, H. C. M. Fourie, and BB Keet
  • 1953
  • 1982 Paraphrase - Die Lewende Bybel, Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy (CUM)
  • 1982 South African Bible Society - E. P. Groenewald, A. H. van Zyl, P. A. Verhoef, J. L. Helberg, and W. Kempen
  • 1983 © Bybelgenootskap van Suid Afrika
  • 2001 The Nuwe Wêreld-vertaling van die Heilige Skrif is an Afrikaans translation of the 1984 English translation of the Bible by the Watchtower Society.
  • 2002 Die Boodskap
  • 2002 - Gert Prinsloo, Phil Botha, Willem Boshoff, Hennie Stander, Dirk Human, Stephan Joubert, and Jan van der Watt.
  • 2006 The Nuwe Lewende Vertaling (literally "New Living Translation")
  • 2008 Bybel vir Almal - South African Bible Society, Bart Oberholzer, Bernard Combrink, Hermie van Zyl, Francois Tolmie, Christo van der Merwe, Rocco Hough en Elmine Roux.
  • 2014 Direct Translation, South African Bible Society
  • 2014 Afrikaans Standard Version, CUM Books



Amuzgo de Guerrero

  • 1973 Amuzgo de Guerrero (AMU) Copyright © 1973, 1999 by La Liga Biblica
  • 1999



  • 1516
  • 1591
  • 1616
  • 1622
  • 1671 Biblia Arabica. de propaganda fide. Arabic and Latin Bible printed in Rome by Abraham Ecchellensis and Louis Maracci
  • ولم يعرفها حتى ولدت ابنها البكر. ودعا اسمه يسوع (Arabic Smith & Van Dyke)
  • 1988 Arabic Life Application Bible (ALAB) Copyright © 1988 by Biblica
  • 2009 Arabic Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-AR) Copyright © 2009 by World Bible Translation Center


  • (Aramaic Peshitta)


  • 1571 Eta etzeçan hura eçagut, bere lehen semeaz erdi cedino: eta deiceçan haren icena Iesus.


  • 1940 (1940 Bulgarian Bible)
  • (Матей 1:25) (Bulgarian Bible)


  • 1860 Cherokee New Testament (CHR)









  • et il ne la connut point jusqu'à ce qu'elle eut enfante son fils premier-ne; et il appela son nom Jesus. (French Darby)
  • 1744 Mais il ne la connut point jusqu'à ce qu'elle eût enfanté son fils premier-né; et il appela son nom Jésus. (Martin 1744)
  • 1744 (Ostervald 1744)
  • 1864 (Augustin Crampon)
  • 1910
  • 2006 (King James Française)


  • 1545 (Luther 1545)
  • 1871 (Elberfelder 1871)
  • 1912 Und er erkannte sie nicht, bis sie ihren ersten Sohn gebar; und hieß seinen Namen Jesus. (Luther 1912)


  • 1904 (Greek Orthodox (B. Antoniades))
  • Modern Greek (Trinitarian Bible Society)




  • 1649 Ma egli non la conobbe, finchè ebbe partorito il suo figliuol primogenito. Ed ella gli pose nome Gesù. (Giovanni Diodati Bible 1649)
  • 1927 e non la conobbe finch’ella non ebbe partorito un figlio; e gli pose nome Gesù. (Riveduta Bible 1927)





  • et non cognoscebat eam donec peperit filium suum primogenitum et vocavit nomen eius Iesum Latin Vulgate
  • 1527 (Erasmus 1527)
  • 1527 (Erasmus Vulgate 1527)
  • 1565 (Beza)
  • 1598 (Beza)





  • 1996 (Pidgin King Jems)



  • 1833 (Potawatomi Matthew and Acts)



  • 1876 и не знал Ее. Как наконец Она родила Сына Своего первенца, и он нарек Ему имя: Иисус. Russian Synodal Version
  • Phonetically: Rodoslovie Iisusa Hrista, Syna Davidova, Syna Avraamova.




See Also Bible translations (Spanish)

  • 1543 (Francisco de Enzinas New Testament)
  • 1556 (Juan Perez de Pineda New Testament and book of Psalms)
  • 1569 (Sagradas Escrituras)
  • 1814 Valera Revision
  • 1817 Valera Revision
  • 1831 Valera Revision
  • 1858 Reina Valera
  • 1862 Valera Revision
  • 1865 Valera Revision (American Bible Society Revisión)
  • 1869 Valera Revision
  • 1909 (Reina-Valera) Antigua Spanish Bible
  • 1960 Versión Reina-Valera (Eugene Nida )
  • 1987 Translation from English. Publisher: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
  • 1994 Nuevo Testamento versión Recobro
  • 1997 (La Biblia de las Américas) (©1997)
  • 1999 Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI)
  • 2002 (1602 Purificada)
  • 2009 Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera
  • 1 (Reina Valera Gómez)


  • Lakini hakumjua kamwe kimwili hata Maria alipojifungua mtoto wa kiume. Naye Yosefu akampa jina Yesu.


  • 1917 Och han kände henne icke, förrän hon hade fött en son; och honom gav han namnet Jesus. (Swedish - Svenska 1917)


  • 1905 At hindi nakilala siya hanggang sa maipanganak ang isang lalake: at tinawag niya ang kaniyang pangalang JESUS. (Ang Dating Biblia 1905)


(Thai KJV)





  • 1934 song không hề ăn ở với cho đến khi người sanh một trai, thì đặt tên là Jêsus. (Ma-thi-ô 1:25 Vietnamese Bible) (VIET)


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