Misunderstanding about Matthew 1:25 (Joseph knew her “not until”)

Matt. 1:25 – this verse says Joseph knew her “not until (“heos”, in Greek)” she bore a son. Some Protestants argue that this proves Joseph had relations with Mary after she bore a son. This is an erroneous reading of the text because “not until” does not mean “did not…until after.” “Heos” references the past, never the future. Instead, “not until” she bore a son means “not up to the point that” she bore a son. This confirms that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus. Here are other texts that prove “not until” means “not up to the point that”:

 

Matt. 28:29 – I am with you “until the end of the world.” This does not mean Jesus is not with us after the end of the world.

 

Luke 1:80 – John was in the desert “up to the point of his manifestation to Israel.” Not John “was in the desert until after” his manifestation.

 

Luke 2:37 – Anna was a widow “up to the point that” she was eighty-four years old. She was not a widow after eighty-four years old.

 

Luke 20:43 – Jesus says, “take your seat at my hand until I have made your enemies your footstool.” Jesus is not going to require the apostles to sit at His left hand after their enemies are their footstool.

 

1 Tim. 4:13 – “up to the point that I come,” attend to teaching and preaching. It does not mean do nothing “until after” I come.

 

Gen. 8:7 – the raven flew back and forth “up to the point that” [until] the waters dried from the earth. The raven did not start flying after the waters dried.

 

Gen. 28:15 – the Lord won’t leave Jacob “up to the point that” he does His promise. This does not mean the Lord will leave Jacob afterward.

 

Deut. 34:6 – but “up to the point of today” no one knows Moses’ burial place. This does not mean that “they did not know place until today.”

 

2 Sam. 6:23 – Saul’s daughter Micah was childless “up to the point” [until] her death. She was not with child after her death.

 

1 Macc. 5:54 – not one was slain “up to the point that” they returned in peace. They were not slain after they returned in peace.