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ANTIDICOMARIANITES, an´´ti-dic´´o-mê´ri-ɑn-ɑits: A name applied by Epiphanius (Hær., lxxviii.) to opponents of the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary, the mother of Christ. The New Testament speaks of the “brethren” of Jesus; and in Tertullian’s time the opinion was still prevalent that Mary’s marriage with Joseph was a true marriage. Thus he writes (De monogamia, viii.): “Truly it was a virgin who bore Christ, but after doing so she married, in order that the last title of sanctity might be checked off in the inventory of Christ; a mother who was both a virgin and a once married woman.” But by the fourth century it was considered as established that there had not been a real marriage. The older belief had not, however, altogether disappeared. Epiphanius found the opinion current in Arabia that Mary, after the birth of Christ, had lived with Joseph as his wife and had children by him. He classed the adherents of this view as a sect, bestowed upon them a name of his own composition, meaning “opponents of Mary,” and controverted their belief in a lengthy treatise, which he gives in the passage cited above.

(A. Hauck).

« Antichrist Antidicomarianites Antilegomena »
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