Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mary as the ark of the covenant

The following post is taken from a comment I made on Elena's blog, Visits to Candyland, several months ago. I thought it was an interesting subject, so I am posting it here. The subject was the Catholic teaching that Mary is foreshadowed by the Ark of the Covenant, because she carried the presence of God within her as the Ark did. She is called 'the Ark of the Covenant' as one of her Catholic titles. The idea comes partly from comparing the passages of 2 Samuel 6 about David and the Ark of the Covenant and Luke 1:39-56 in which Mary visits Elizabeth. I had read an article about the subject that someone on Elena's blog had suggested. Here is the article I read. Below is my comment, slightly edited for clarity:
The most interesting thing I found was the comparison of Mary to the Ark of the Covenant, which article also equates her with the woman in Revelation 12 that gives birth to the Man Child.
I'm very interested in types and foreshadowing in the Bible, but have never heard this comparison before. I see there is a correlation between the passage in 2 Samuel 6 and the one in Luke about Mary.
The woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12 I have been used to thinking of as Israel(which includes spiritual Israel, who is the Church, as well as physical Israel) and I believe that is what she represents.
The comparison of Mary with the Ark of the covenant has clarified something, put in a missing piece of a puzzle. Mary can represent both Israel (Israel is called the bride of Jehovah in the O.T.) and the church (The church is called the bride of Christ). Mary is not THE bride, but she as a believer is part of the church which is the bride. Mary is not Israel but she represents Israel because she is the member of the race that produced the Messiah. She is a connection to both, the very point where Christ entered the world and began to unite the two parts of his bride: Israel and the Church.
Here is a passage in Ephesians 2 which explains this:
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Abraham was the father of Israel, and he and Isaac were a foreshadowing of the Father offering up His Son. We honor him as a spiritual father as well as a fellow believer.
Joseph and Joshua are types of Christ and their stories foreshadow Him also. So do others.
Mary is to be honored as Christ's mother and as a fellow believer. She represents us all: Israel bringing forth her own savior (God With Us), and the Church becoming the part of the Body of Christ by faith. But Mary is not herself the Woman clothed with the sun or the Shining Bride coming down from heaven. All of those in Christ are that bride.
If we lift Mary up too high we are in essence lifting ourselves up too high, as she is one of us and represents us (represents us not in the sense of mediating for us, but as a symbol, picture, or type).
This may be why Mary is not mentioned again in scripture after the beginning of Acts. She has fulfilled her purpose and must 'become less that Christ may become more' as John the baptist also said.
To summarize and clarify, Mary is the Ark in the sense that she bore the Christ, but also she is representing something greater than herself: the united Church consisting of Israel and the Gentile church finally brought together at the end of time to be the united Bride of Christ.
The Iraelites did not worship the Ark itself, but God's presence in it. The Ark was made by human hands and so was able to be touched until God's presence came to it. God's presence departed from Israel when they were judged for rejecting the Messiah, and, comparatively God was not present in Mary's womb after Jesus was born, therefore I think Joseph had no qualms about taking her as his wife after the birth: Matt 1:24-25 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.

Another thought about Mary and Joseph is that it may have been a mercy and a blessing to Mary to be an ordinary wife and mother after being so honored to carry her God and Savior, to help her remain the humble and faithful person she was as a girl.
In a wider sense, I believe the Ark can represent all believers, who are filled with God's presence after being covered by the mercy of Christ (the Mercy Seat that covered the Ark).
Another thought is that, while Mary is the vessel where Israel and the Gentile church begin to become one, Christ is the one who is given the honor of uniting them by His blood, as the passage in Ephesians I quoted above states.

211 comments:

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Anna said...

Jennie,

I liked much of your writing here, about Mary symbolizing both Israel and the Church, but I have some thoughts to add.

You write that if we lift Mary up too high, then we are lifting ourselves up too high, and compared her diminishing with John's making way for Jesus. But this diminishes all of us. If the Shining Bride that comes down from heaven is the Church, then the story is that the church will be glorified. And Jesus says of us in John 17:22, "I have given them the glory that you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one[.]" Considering how much glory the Father gave Jesus, I think saying that we will be given that much glory is really saying something.

I'm not trying to argue against the need for being humble. Humility is an important virtue, and we all need to be able, as John does, to let go of our own importance for the sake of Jesus. But look for a moment at one of the best Scripture quotes on the topic of humility:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Phil 2:5-11)Jesus begins by humbling himself, and then God glorifies him. Our story is the same; we must be willing to humbly offer up all of ourselves to God's will, and God's response is to glorify us. We ought not be afraid of this.

As for the comparison between Mary and the Ark, I think you are missing out on the difference between what is divine and what is sacred. The Israelites did not worship the Ark, even when God was in it; but it was holy. The idea of something earthly becoming sacred or holy or consecrated through contact with the Most High runs throughout Scripture. In Exodus 3, God tells Moses to take his sandals off, "for the place where you are standing is holy ground." The ground is not God, nor is it to be worshiped; but because God has been there, it is holy. The inner sanctum of the Temple was not holy because it was God, but because God was there.

This is why it makes sense for Paul to say, in 1 Cor 3:16-17, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? ... for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." We aren't God; but we are sacred.

Nor does something stop being sacred when God's presence leaves. In Genesis 35, God tells Jacob to build an altar where God had appeared to him some time before. After the curtain in the Holy of Holies had split and the new covenant in Jesus had begun, Christians still went to the Temple to worship. David repeatedly refuses to kill Saul because Saul is God's anointed (1 Samuel 24, 26, and 2 Sam 1), even though the Lord had left Saul (1 Sam 18:12).

So, yes, God's presence was no longer in Mary's womb after Jesus' birth, the way it had been during her pregnancy. But she was still consecrated. Her womb was still a holy place, because it had held the Son of God. Perhaps think of this from Joseph's point of view. His fiancé shows up already pregnant before he has a chance to sleep with her. When he moves to quietly divorce her, the MOST HIGH intervenes to tell him that He, and not any man, is responsible for Mary's child. After the holy child is born, would Joseph not feel some trepidation at treading on ground where has gone the One whose name the Jews would not even pronounce out loud? Would you urge him to disregard these feelings? For the sake of what? Is the rightness of married sex and childbearing more right than the rightness of respecting God by keeping sacred the places where he has been?

Jennie said...

Hello Anna,
Sorry it took so long to answer your comment; I was out of town this weekend.
I agree with you partially, here. You said:

"If the Shining Bride that comes down from heaven is the Church, then the story is that the church will be glorified. And Jesus says of us in John 17:22, "I have given them the glory that you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one[.]" Considering how much glory the Father gave Jesus, I think saying that we will be given that much glory is really saying something."
You are right that God will glorify the Bride; and you yourself said that we must humble ourselves and then God will exalt us. But I don't agree when you imply that this means it's good to exalt Mary. Mary humbled herself and submitted herself to God, and God lifted her up by allowing her to give birth to the Savior and raise Him as her son; He didn't exalt her to the semi-goddess status that she is given in the catholic church; nor are we to exalt her or each other in this way. It was the error of humans that lifted her up and gave her many titles and implied powers that belong to God alone.

I understand that there is a difference between what is divine and what is sacred. I stated that the Israelites did not worship the Ark, but God's presence in it. But we have to go by the scriptures when we are trying to understand these things. The bible does not encourage us to exalt Mary as a Vessel of God, but to exalt God Himself. The bible doesn't teach us that Mary was a perpetual virgin; this was a later teaching that came in to exalt her. On the contrary, the bible says in Matthew 1:
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
There has been alot written about this passage to explain away the simple meaning that Joseph didn't know her 'till' some time after she had given birth. It says 'her firstborn son' also which implies other later births. Also many passages in the gospels refer to brothers and sisters, which in the Greek, literally means 'brothers' and 'sisters'.

She was certainly 'set apart' and 'sacred' as Jesus mother, but so are believers when we are indwelt by the Spirit upon being born again. Christians believe that marriage is sacred and holy and that each child is a gift from God. I believe as the bible teaches, that Mary had other children and was allowed to be blessed in this way with her earthly husband.

Jennie said...

I also meant to add that the bible gives no hint that Joseph had any trepidation about 'knowing' Mary as his wife after Jesus was born. The things I mentioned above contradict this. People get into trouble when they speculate instead of going by scripture.
These teachings about Mary grew up over time and were not taught at the beginning. It seems that people wanted to exalt her, just like the woman in scripture who said "blessed is the womb that gave you birth, and the breasts that gave you suck!" Jesus corrected her on that. Mary WAS blessed by God, but we are not to exalt her, but to exalt God.

I really like your blog, especially your post on 'Walking with God 2.' Your children sound very sweet and funny; I love the poetry!

Anna said...

Jennie,

I am not always a prompt reply-er, for more trivial reasons than yours, so that is not a problem. :) Blogger won't let me post my whole reply in one post, so I am going to split this up into however many it takes. Let me know if that bothers you, and I can try a different mode of responding in the future.

You write:
"But I don't agree when you imply that this means it's good to exalt Mary."
I wasn't thinking that much about exalting Mary, in that first paragraph, as of your reasons for not doing it. I am more bothered by an objection to lifting each other up than by an objection to Mary's status in the Catholic Church. I think it may be actually somewhat difficult to lift each other up higher than God himself has lifted us up. There is a sense in which we can put others before God - that is a real danger - but I think the danger of putting others down is a much greater danger. That thinking can be applied to Mary, too, but she, at least, is not in a vulnerable position, whereas other members of the Body of Christ are, if that makes sense.

"He didn't exalt her to the semi-goddess status that she is given in the catholic church;"

How far you can exalt someone before they reach "semi-goddess" status - how far is "too far" in general - is something of a judgment call. I've known a number of Catholics who think that other Catholics go too far in their Marian devotions. I know at least one book that was written about Mary that I couldn't stomach because the language seemed excessive to me. In general, I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt; as Gamaliel argues in Acts 5, if it is not of God, it will destroy itself. I do not want to find myself fighting against God by discouraging people from some practice that brings them closer to Him, even if I have some doubts about it.

Anna said...

...
That said, I think that the official doctrines of the Church about Mary - Ever Virgin, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Mary as the Mother of God - are not in themselves something which elevates Mary too high, but rather grow out of a reflection on what Mary's role as the mother of Jesus means.

If you want, you could list off which doctrines or titles you have a problem with, and which powers you think are attributed to Mary that should be attributed to God alone, and I will see what kind of defense I can offer them.


"The bible doesn't teach us ..."

To me, this sounds like the people who say that the Bible doesn't teach the Trinity. In a way, they are right. There is no point in the Bible at which it lays out: The Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God; these are three Persons in one God. In fact, there really are places in the Bible which seem to clearly say the opposite, like in John 14:28, where Jesus says the Father is greater than him. And yet, the teaching of the Trinity is the Christian tradition. And when you take the fullness of the Scriptures into account, reading it with an openness to the spiritual meaning of the words, no other explanation makes as much sense. Passages like John 14:28 can be understood in such a way that it doesn't contradict the Trinity. To those that don't see what we see, this will seem like we are explaining away a difficult passage; but we will know that, really, we are simply putting the passage in the context of the whole picture.

This is the way I see the passages about Jesus' brothers, or the 'till she gave birth to her firstborn Son'. They *could* be taken as evidence against Mary's perpetual virginity, but they don't actually have to be. If I say my grandma never smoked a cigarette till the day she died, that doesn't mean she smoked one on that day or after. The emphasis, the point the author was trying to make, was obviously about Jesus not having been conceived with a human father; Mary's sex life after Jesus' birth was not being discussed. It wasn't uncommon for younger girls to be married to older men; Joseph could very well have been a widower with prior children who would be Jesus' brothers and sisters.

In Colossians 1:15, Jesus is called "the firstborn of all creation". Jehovah's Witnesses use this to argue that this proves that Jesus was the first one created. But it doesn't, because to the Jews, "firstborn" was more than just a factual statement of birth order; it was a title, with deep roots in their culture. It goes back to God declaring that all firstborn males must be consecrated to Him in Exodus 13; arguably, it goes even back to Abel, whom God was pleased with because he offered the firstborn of his flock to Him. If you follow the story of Reuben, Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim through Genesis 48, 1 Chronicles 5:1-2, and Jeremiah 31:9, you can see God himself recognizing the title of firstborn transferred to one who wasn't the eldest. Jesus would be considered Mary's firstborn, regardless of whether Mary had later children or not.

...

Anna said...

At the very least, I would say that the idea that Mary was perpetually a virgin is a not unreasonable interpretation. Being able to see pre-figuring and types at all opens up the Mary-Ark comparison, which supports the Ever-Virgin conclusion. Deeper than that, though, is the theme of the contrast of the consecrated with the ordinary. For example, read Deuteronomy 12:17 and then Deut 14:23; God commands the Israelites to take what they dedicate to him and eat it, not in their own towns, but in a special place he will set aside for that purpose, "so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always". Again, in Deut 15:19, God commands that the animals which are set apart for him not be used in the ordinary way, for labor or wool. This command is so strong that it is one of the ten commandments: Honor the Sabbath. One day, set apart from ordinary days, consecrated for God, with strict commands not to use that day for ordinary purposes. Again, God's command to Moses not to wear his ordinary footwear on holy ground, in Exodus 3, is the same theme. God even kills Uzzah for treating the Ark in an ordinary way.

The purpose of these consecrations is not to put down what is ordinary. Animals to plow the field, grain to eat, days to live, work to do, sandals, etc. are good. They are gifts from God. And Jesus makes it clear that this command to treat the sacred as sacred is not always the most important concern in human affairs. But neither does he let us off the hook in obeying it. Consecrating something for God does not exalt the consecrated thing too high; it exalts God through those things. Eating the consecrated animals in a special town instead of your ordinary town doesn't give too high of a status to those animals; it is a practice that teaches people to revere the Lord. Same for taking off sandals on holy ground; it doesn't exalt the ground too high, it exalts God through the ground. And so on, with all the other examples, including Mary. Consecrating Mary (and, in particular, her womb) to God, setting her apart from ordinary uses of the womb - even though those ordinary uses are good, true gifts from God - does not exalt her too high. It exalts God through her.

Perhaps it will help if I explain the metaphor that first made me see the rightness of the Ever-Virgin teaching. I don't know if it will speak to you, because it involves the real Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, which I know you don't believe. But imagine for a moment that you did believe that you could hold Jesus' real blood in a cup. What would you do with that cup? Would you use it to drink milk out of, when you weren't using it for Jesus' blood? Milk is good for you; entirely wholesome. But to use the cup for such ordinary, though good, purposes, is to disrespect the magnitude of what happens when Jesus' blood is there. Mary is like that. She held, not just Jesus' blood, but his whole body in her womb. To use that womb for ordinary childbearing, even though ordinary childbearing is itself a special gift of God, is to show a lack of reverence for the incredible wonder that God wreaked by becoming human there.

Anna said...

There is something else in what you wrote that I want to address further, and that is the relation of Mary to other Christians. You are right that, as believers filled with the Holy Spirit, we are all set apart for God. Something to realize about the teaching of the Immaculate Conception, for example, is that, from a Catholic point of view, what Mary received at her conception is what all of us receive at our baptism. I would not say that Mary is honored over and above Christians so much as that she is honored as the best of us. (Which is what I believe the title Queen of Heaven is supposed to mean; not that she rules like the Lord does, but that she is the best of us.) Let's not forget that the Church honors other Christians as well; Mary is simply the most saintly of the saints.

"It seems that people wanted to exalt her, just like the woman in scripture who said "blessed is the womb that gave you birth, and the breasts that gave you suck!" Jesus corrected her on that. Mary WAS blessed by God, but we are not to exalt her, but to exalt God."

I think I would have a slightly different interpretation of that passage. For the Jews of that time, family was everything. To quote iMonk: "Nothing in this world is more honored and more sacred in Judaism- or in scripture- than a person’s family. Family honor, family respect and family obedience DEFINED a person in ancient Israel. To be disowned by your family was the ultimate curse. To not have a family was to become a non-person." The woman in Scripture is calling Mary blessed because of a family relation alone. Jesus does not disagree with her, but redirects the woman to what is more important: "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." We could have had a Church which traced lineages back to Jesus' times and put in authority those who had some relation to Jesus. We don't, because Jesus clearly told us that what we choose to do is what is most important in our lives, not who we are related to. That was Jesus' point. If he had meant that we should not seek to honor his mother, I think that would contradict Luke 1:28's "all generations will call me blessed".

On more personal things: I'm glad you liked my blog. :) I came across yours when I was reading something on iMonk's blog (which I do only very rarely) and he mentioned SolaMom being disturbed; so I glanced at SolaMom's blog, and she mentioned a discussion about whether Catholics are Christian over at Squirrel in Babylon, so I glanced over there. I saw your comments about wishing for more charitableness than Elena. I've encountered Elena on the blogosphere before, and wished she came across more charitably in her defense of Catholicism, so I liked your comment. If you liked my Walking with God 2 post, you might like Walking with God 1. :) If you are interested in other things I have written defending Catholic teachings, you might try clicking on the "apologetics" link on the sidebar.

The end. Finally. :)

Jennie said...

Hi Anna,
It doesn't bother me to divide the post; whatever it takes is fine.
I wonder if reading the comment thread on the post above this one called 'A not-so-funny thing about Mary' would let you know more of what I think about Mary if you haven't already read it.
I'll have to come back and comment some more later on your last comment, since I can't get to it yet.

Jennie said...

Anna,
One reason I suggested you read the other thread is Elena and I went through a list of the titles of Mary already, and some other things you mentioned might be in there as well. Then we can go on from there; I don't want to repeat everything:)

Jennie said...

"That said, I think that the official doctrines of the Church about Mary - Ever Virgin, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Mary as the Mother of God - are not in themselves something which elevates Mary too high, but rather grow out of a reflection on what Mary's role as the mother of Jesus means."
Anna, as a non-catholic my problem with the doctrines of Mary is first of all, that they are not spoken of in scripture, which means they had to come from somewhere else.
Secondly these doctrines came in at a much later date, at least a hundred years for the earliest, I believe, and several hundred or more for the rest, so they were not taught by the Apostles, and certainly not by Jesus.
So then why were these ideas brought in if they were not Apostolic doctrines?
The bible shows Mary as a chaste girl who submitted to God, but also a sinner who needed a savior; who didn't seem to understand her Son's mission; who for a while seemed to go along with His unbelieving brothers in thinking He might be crazy; who along with the other disciples was clueless as to the necessity of His death and the surety of His resurrection. Far from understanding why He had to die and participating in our redemption by 'giving up her son for us' as catholics teach, scripture gives no clue that she understood this. God alone has all the credit for our salvation: the Father gave His Son and the Son gave up His life.
To me and other protestants, it seems that these doctrines were invented as Mary began to be lifted up more and more over time.
The titles given her in many of the litanies or other places, some of which are listed in the other thread I mentioned, are names that are given to God alone, and this places her between us and Christ, when He died to remove the barriers between us and the Father. HE doesn't need a bridge to Him. He IS the bridge to the Father for us.
This is why I object to the doctrines and titles of Mary in the Catholic church.

Anna said...

Jennie,

I had skimmed the other thread, but not read it in detail. Having read it more, now, let me offer some thoughts.

The first thought is that I really don't think you *get* what Catholics are doing when we venerate Mary. For example, you state repeatedly that calling Mary the Mother of God implies divinity on her part; you even write this in all caps at one point. Yet, that is not at all what Catholics mean when we use the title. In fact, the idea that Mary is divine is a heresy, firmly rejected by the Catholic Church. We Catholics all *know* that Jesus existed first; that he is one of the Divine Trinity and Mary is not; that she is a creature and He is the Creator. We all *know* that Jesus in no way got his divinity from his mother; that would be ludicrous. Yet all this does not change the fact that Mary's son is God. And if you can say that Mary's son is God, then you must be able to say that Mary is the mother of God, or else you turn language into nonsense. It's true that if we meant what you think you hear in the term, that Mary gave Jesus his divinity, then we would be heretics. But we simply, honestly, don't mean that.

Another thought occurred to me as I sat outside on my porch today with my kids, watching a rare flash thunderstorm roll through. The storm was so beautiful, it stirred my soul so, that I wanted to write a poem, a sort of ode to the storm. My poetry is not much better than the poems of my daughter that you saw on my blog, though, so I didn't come up with much. (And as I was trying to think up lines, I kept thinking of what lines might make the point of the thought that occurred to me about this discussion, which quite frankly is a terrible way to write a poem, at least from the point of view of poetry.) So having said those disclaimers, let me write what I came up with:

O glorious storm,
O cloudy skies,
bringer of rain,
you make me smile.

Now, this kind of poetry, this kind of stirring of the soul, this is the attitude that Catholics have when we venerate Mary. Or anything else. That litany of titles of Mary, that was poetry. It wasn't a theological statement about Mary's role in our salvation (or lack thereof). It was written when someone or someones was moved by love to express the beauty they saw in Mary, as I was moved to express the beauty I saw in the storm.

So when you pick apart the titles from a theological perspective, it strikes the Catholic as rather missing the point. I could pick apart my poem the same way, to show you what I mean.

O glorious storm (storms aren't glorious - only God is glorious)
O cloudy skies,
bringer of rain (rain comes from God, the storm is just the vehicle)
you make me smile. (storms can't give us true happiness, only God can.)

If I had really meant by my poem to put a storm in the place of God, then that would be idolatry. But I didn't. My poetry, if taken correctly (that is, taken as I meant it) should serve to glorify God through the storm, which is His work. (Since I was, in fact, thanking God for his beautiful storm, as I wrote it). This does not take away from Him in the slightest; it only adds to his worship.

If you see things this way, I think it may help address your various issues with the Catholic take on Mary. Let me bring up two of the biggest ones you mentioned, to make this point: the Queen of Heaven title being pagan and praise/veneration of Mary not being found in the Bible.

Anna said...

Going back to my poem again to make the point, what would you think if someone were to argue that because Zeus, or Macchendra, or the Hyades were called the Bringer of Rain by pagan peoples [gotta love Google for finding info like that], that therefore my poem was pagan? That is pretty much the way we see an accusation that a Catholic using the title of Queen of Heaven is somehow being pagan. The two are just so obviously not the same thing to us, that it is hard to find words to make the point. Of *course*, when I call the storm a bringer of rain, I am not trying to make some sort of pagan allusion, nor am I trying to turn the storm into a pagan god of rain. Well, in the same way, of *course* when Catholics call Mary the Queen of Heaven, we are not trying to make any sort of reference to the pagan goddess in Jeremiah, nor are we trying to worship or appease Mary the way the people in Jeremiah offered sacrifices to their goddess. We mean something completely different.

[Now, mind you, what we DO mean seems to vary somewhat from individual to individual, but I think the strongest understanding of the title Queen of Heaven that I remember hearing is that Mary is the most perfect of all God's creatures. You might disagree with that, but it isn't idolatry. Something or someone has to be the most perfect of all God's creatures, and there's hardly anything idolatrous or pagan about saying that Mary is that one. And most other interpretations, like Elena's Queen Mother, are milder than that.]

Seeing veneration of Mary as a poetical stirring of the heart might also help explain why there isn't more of it in the Bible. Scripture contains within it all that is universally essential to us, all the most important things which we must know to follow God to our fullest. But it doesn't tell us to write poems about storms. Why not? Well, because, of course, writing poems about storms isn't what our faith is about. Our faith is about Jesus. But that doesn't mean that I ought not to write poems about storms. Poems should be written when writing them glorifies God. Scripture cannot tell us every single movement of the heart and mind that all of us are meant to make throughout our lives. If it did, the Bible would be as big as the universe, because it would BE the universe. That's why God wrote his Law on our hearts; that's why he gave us each a conscience and the Holy Spirit, to guide us in these matters. In the same way that poems should be written when writing them glorifies God, so should Mary be venerated when venerating her glorifies God. And listen to me when I say this Jennie - many people, real people, have experienced their hearts soar towards their Creator and Savior through their appreciation and veneration of Mary. They know the difference between God and Mary as well as I know the difference between God and today's storm. And if you try to imply otherwise, if you tell them that their veneration of Mary is twisted and evil, then you run the risk of crushing their spirits, just as a child's spirit would be crushed if you told him that he must not enjoy the storm too much lest it take the place of God in his heart. I mean this in all kindness, but I would have you see this, if you can.

Anna said...

There is one last thing I would like to say now. [Hmm. Only took three this time, instead of four. Does that mean I'm improving? ;)] You mentioned that your heart was troubled over the difference between the ecumenical movement stressing what we have in common, and both sides (Protestant and Catholic) saying that we each have a different gospel. I want to stand on record as saying that I do not believe we have different gospels. Groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons that do not accept the Trinity might possibly be classified as not Christian - that is somewhat debatable. But all the major Protestant groupings - Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Anglican, etc. - these all share the one gospel with Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox. The Nicean Creed is one of the best places to find a simple summary of the heart of the truths that we believe, and these are ones we (as far as I know) all agree with (although our interpretations are not always exactly the same). If our faith were an octopus, we'd all share the same head, but be arguing over the tentacles. (And those arguments over the tentacles happen within Protestantism too, not just between Catholics and Protestants; Lutherans accept the Real Presence, Baptists don't; Pentecostals believe in speaking in tongues; most others don't, etc. etc.) Many of these issues we disagree on are very important, as important as a tentacle is to an octopus. But they aren't essential. Just as an octopus can live without some of its tentacles, so no one of these issues is a criteria by which we can say: "he is/is not a true follower of Christ because he believes/does not believe in .... X... ". It is possible to love Mary and follow Jesus; it is possible to follow Jesus without ever thinking about Mary. I know both Catholics and non-Catholics who have learned to walk with God, to hear his voice directing their lives. (In fact, both Catholics and one non-Catholic in particular have made a huge difference in me learning this myself.) So from my own experiences, I would like to reassure you that we are all part of Christ's Church, that denomination alone does not decide how well one follows Jesus, that Catholics are Christians too.

Jennie said...

Anna,
You've said alot here, so it will take a while to respond to it all properly, but what quickly occurs to me is that if a person's heart is lifted up in praise to Mary, and in making poetry to her uses titles of God, such as refuge of sinners and morning star, they are not innocent of idolatry, but are puuting her in the place where only God belongs, no matter how much the person may think they love God more. And since she is only human, and there is no way she can hear or answer prayers, or have power to grant anything, and Jesus teaches us to pray to and worship (look up
worship in the dictionary, and do a study of how it's used in the bible) God alone, there is only the imagination of man to account for this practice.
If someone calls Mary by the names of God, for whatever reason, then anyone else hearing it or reading it is in danger of thinking of Mary
as being those things, or at least of thinking the author is worshipping her. 'Avoid every appearance of evil' and then you won't be taken as an idolater.
'Don't do things if they will make your brother stumble.' What if someone else IS led into idolatry because of the 'poetry' to Mary.

"They know the difference between God and Mary as well as I know the difference between God and today's storm. And if you try to imply otherwise, if you tell them that their veneration of Mary is twisted and evil, then you run the risk of crushing their spirits, just as a child's spirit would be crushed if you told him that he must not enjoy the storm too much lest it take the place of God in his heart. I mean this in all kindness, but I would have you see this, if you can."
Everyone doesn't know the difference; but I don't go around telling people these things, I only
mention them here, and no one has to read it.

Jennie said...

Anna,
I really appreciate your sincerity, and I know my answer is short and seems curt, but I'll come back and answer more fully asap. I may not be able to answer this weekend, but I'll try.

Anna said...

Jennie,

"[if a person] in making poetry to her uses titles of God, such as refuge of sinners and morning star, they are not innocent of idolatry"

But of course they are. You cannot be idolatrous without meaning to, without choosing to put something besides God in God's place. See Isaiah 14:12, Gen 18:13, 1 Sam 24:8, Daniel 2:37, and John 10:34-36 for examples of people using titles that traditionally refer to God to mean something else. God himself does it in Ezekiel 26:7. In 1 Tim 6:15, God is called the only Ruler, but this doesn't mean that Peter is being idolatrous when, in Acts 4:8, he calls the Jewish authorities rulers; indeed, Scripture says he is filled with the Holy Spirit at the time.

There is something to be said for not making your brother stumble. I think this might be fairly taken to mean that there will be certain circumstances in people's individual lives in which they might be cautious about Marian devotion, when they are around someone who will be bothered by it. But it simply cannot be taken to mean that all Catholics, en masse, must stop their veneration of Mary, lest someone somewhere be led into sin. Consider even the approach of the early church. Paul's exhortation in 1 Cor 10 to be considerate of the conscience of others takes place in the context of his explanation to those people that their conscience does not need to be bothered in the first place. (The sentence right before "Do not cause anyone to stumble" is "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.") Likewise in Romans 14, Paul directs those who act on their freedom in Christ not to look down on those whose conscience are bothered; but he clearly emphasizes more that those whose consciences are bothered should not be. Another example of this was circumcision. Some people truly believed that circumcision was necessary for the faith (as you believe not calling Mary the Queen of Heaven is necessary for the faith). The Church's response to this (see Acts 15) was not to say, "Let's all agree to abide by this and be circumcised lest those people sin (by not being circumcized when they thought it was necessary, or by thinking others were sinning)". No, instead their response was to hold a council to decide the right answer and then *educate* Christians about that answer. [I believe this fight between those who wanted Christians to become Jews and those who didn't went on for some time, and that Irenaeus had some strong words to say against the Judaizing side.] So, too, I think that, while there may be individual cases where Catholics should take care not to offend non-Catholics, we should follow the Scriptural models and have as our first focus educating non-Catholics that there is nothing idolatrous involved.

"And since she is only human, and there is no way she can hear or answer prayers, or have power to grant anything,"

Funny, I would say that she can hear and answer prayers *because* she is human, or at least because she is Christian. Why would you think that the bonds that draw us members of the Body of Christ together would weaken when we die, instead of growing stronger and being perfected? If God gives the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of power - to us while we are still imperfect on earth, why would he refuse it to us when we have been perfected in heaven? Does John 15:16 "The Father will give you anything you ask in my name." stop applying to us after we die? God will give what we ask here on earth, but not after we die?

"Everyone doesn't know the difference"

You say everyone doesn't know the difference; why? Who do you know that doesn't know the difference between God and Mary?

Jennie said...

"You say everyone doesn't know the difference; why? Who do you know that doesn't know the difference between God and Mary?"
What I mean is that since Mary is given such prominence and such titles, there are people who give greater prominence to her than to God in their lives. There are people who give all their devotion to her, and pin all their hopes upon her, instead of their Savior, and as far a I can see, they are not corrected for this, but encouraged. This is wrong, to say the least.

Anna said...

Jennie,

Why do you think there are people who are putting all their hopes in her instead of in their Savior?

If I decide that I am a poet and I spend more time writing poetry than I do in prayer to God, is that wrong? Am I a workaholic if I spend 8 hours a day working and only 20 minutes praying? Should I be corrected if I spend more time talking with my husband, or with a good friend, than I do talking with God? If not, then why would it be any different with time spent with Mary? What matters is that I know in my heart the difference between Mary and God.

Also, for most of the Catholics I know who do things like praying the Rosary every day, devotions to Mary ARE also devotions to God, much the same way that my rejoicing in the storm was also a rejoicing in God. (And I dare point out, that a properly done rosary involves meditating on various events, most of them events in the life of Christ from the Bible.) The point being that devotion to Mary and worship of God need not be exclusive, any more than writing poems about storms excludes worship of God. (Even though neither Mary nor storms are God.)

Jennie said...

"It is possible to love Mary and follow Jesus; it is possible to follow Jesus without ever thinking about Mary."
Of course it's possible to love Mary and follow Jesus, if one is loving her as a fellow christian and honoring her as Christ's mother, in similar way as we would honor any saint of the old or new testament. It's when people ascribe to her the works of God and the titles of God that it becomes blasphemous. As much as you would like to believe that it's just poetry, and that if it IS just poetry then it's OK, I don't accept
that. If you're writing poetry that describes Mary as all the titles God is given as our Savior, then either you don't mean it and so it shouldn't be said at all, or you do mean it and it is blasphemously putting her in God's place. I don't see the point of writing meaningless poetry that will give people the wrong idea about you and her. I especially abhor seeing Mary called the names of my Savior.

Jennie said...

"Why do you think there are people who are putting all their hopes in her instead of in their Savior?"

Because I've seen examples of people who do this. I can't go back and find all of the things I've seen over the years, but a few are:
The Marian Friars, influenced by Bonaventure
Many people flocking to Marian Apparition sites
Pope John Paul 2 was well known for his devotion to Mary, having "all yours" referring to Mary, embroidered in Latin on his clothing; praying to her constantly, asking her to save him when he was shot and thanking her for this when he survived.
people following statues of Mary through the streets singing praises to her on festival days.
people using the brown scapular which supposedly came from Mary as their hope of escaping hell, instead of trusting in the finished sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

The impression is that Mary is given more time, praise, prayers, and attention than the Savior Himself.

Jennie said...

Also, doing this praise and honor of Mary at all is idolatry, even if it is less than what is given to Christ.
ANY idolatry is forbidden.
All believers have to watch out for this in many ways in our lives.

Anna said...

Jennie,

I think you see only one possible meaning in the titles given to Mary; they carry only one idea, one mood, one frame of reference, one movement of the heart and mind for you, and for you that one concept is a concept that is tied to worship of God. So when I compare Marian devotion to poetry, you respond that poetry is no excuse for blasphemy. And you are right that poetry does not make it ok to put a creature in God's place. But you missed what I was trying to do in making the comparison to poetry in the first place.

Poetry allows for subtleties, for nuances of thought and feeling, that are difficult to express in prose. My point in making the comparison to the storm poem was to try to give you a feel for the different meanings that the same set of words can have. It is true that God is the Bringer of Rain; the Bible really does point out that God sends his rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike. God as the provider of rain is not an inconsequential or unimportant matter; it touches on his loving provision for us. If this was all you could see, then calling a storm the bringer of rain would strike you as blasphemy. And it WOULD be blasphemy IF we meant it in the same sense that we call God the bringer of rain. If I wrote a poem to express the thought that it was the storm and not God that brought rain, it being poetry would not justify the blasphemy of that statement.

But it is as obvious to me that the titles Mary is called by (in general) are meant to praise God for his works, not ascribe them to Mary, as it is obvious to you that my storm poem is meant to praise him for the storm, not ascribe to the storm the works that are his.

"The impression is that Mary is given more time, praise, prayers, and attention than the Savior Himself. "

Do you give your husband more time and attention than God? Seriously, do you? Are you careful to make sure that you praise God more often than you praise your kids for good behavior?

Again, I think you are looking at the whole scene from the wrong angle. You see Mary as a human being who is gone. Dead, in heaven, however you would put it, she is unapproachable as a person; out of sight, out of touch, no interaction possible between the dead and us. Because of this basic outlook, all that we Catholics do in relation to Mary seems to you to be an attempt to relate to Mary the way we relate to the spirit God: by naming ourselves after her, proclaiming our devotion to her, singing praises and making statues, etc. It's no wonder, really, that you think us blasphemous for devoting our time and efforts towards an unreachable human soul instead of the Almighty God.

But to us she simply isn't gone. None of those who have died in Christ are gone. They're right here with us; they celebrate Mass with us, they are our friends and helpmates. If I am a muscle cell in the arm of the Body of Christ, Mary is a muscle cell in the heart, and St. Francis (to pick an example) is skin cell on the foot. If they are part of the same body as me, just as *you* are part of the same Body of Christ as me, then why in the world would I think of them as cut off from me? Why would I not feel free to spend as much time talking with them as I do with my other friends? Why would I not feel as free to sing her praises as I feel free to sing a love song to my husband? If I don't worry about spending too much time singing love songs to my husband, why would I worry about spending too much time loving Mary?

Don't you see how this idea of yours that she is gone changes everything? If Mary is not gone, then we can relate to her the same way that we relate to the rest of the Body of Christ, and there is no *conflict* between devotion to Mary and devotion to God, any more than there is a conflict between loving your neighbor and loving God.

Jennie said...

"But it is as obvious to me that the titles Mary is called by (in general) are meant to praise God for his works, not ascribe them to Mary,"

Anna, I'm sorry, but I think you are deceiving yourself (or repeating a deceptive statement made by RC apologists)if you think you are praising God for His works by calling Mary by His titles. If I want to praise God I praise Him directly. If I want to pray, I pray directly to God the Father, as Jesus taught us. He, and the Apostles, never taught us to praise anyone but God for our salvation, and never taught us to pray to anyone else but God. The scriptures are our rule. They are the only Word of God we have had since the apostles died. (And there are no other Apostles; in Revelation 21:14 it says "Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.")
In praising Mary using God's titles you ARE putting her in God's place, and putting her between you and God, when Jesus died to remove all barriers and make peace between us and God. You don't have to go through anyone else but Christ, and if you do you deny His finished work on the cross and nullify it in your life. You are making excuses for something that is wrong, and is against God's word, and He doesn't take it lightly when people do this. He also doesn't keep correcting those who are deceived, if they keep refusing to listen, but gives them up to their own devices until judgement comes. That is why we must fear God and listen to His word now when there is time.
See 2 Thessalonians 2:
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

See also Psalm 138:2
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

God takes His word very seriously. The scriptures are His word. Anything else has to be compared to it to see if it is right.

Jennie said...

"Do you give your husband more time and attention than God?"
I don't call my husband 'refuge of sinners' or 'gate of heaven.'
I don't measure my time with either one, but God is with me all day long, and I pray to Him constantly, some times more than others, of course.


"If Mary is not gone, then we can relate to her the same way that we relate to the rest of the Body of Christ,"
Non-catholics also believe that 'God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.' But we don't pray to those who have gone on. We pray to God alone. We don't pray to any other saint and praise them by calling them God's names, either. We praise God alone, as the bible commands. It gives me joy to do this, and I don't desire to praise anyone else for my salvation, or for God's attributes.

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–373) was the main defender of the deity of Christ against the second-century heretics. He wrote: “O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O [Ark of the] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides” (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin)."
---------------

From Turretinfan:
"This page is designed to serve as an index for the discussion of the quotation of the so-called "Homily of the Papyrus of Turin" by various Romanist apologists. At first it will be a bit skeletal, but I hope to fill it out over time, depending on the level of response generated. I would be pleasantly surprised if it turned out to be a chronicle of those from the Roman side of the Tiber pleasantly acknowledging their error - but so far the experience has been just the opposite."

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2009/03/athanasius-misquotation-index-page.html

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"Gregory the Wonder Worker (c. 213–c. 270) wrote: “Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary” (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary)."

-----------------
More from TurretinFan:
"In a previous series (link to series index), we documented Steve Ray (and others) misquoting Athanasius (i.e. citing a spurious, or (at best) dubious, work as though it were authentic). Mr. Ray's inaccurate citations, though, are not limited to Athanasius. Mr. Ray also misquotes Gregory Thaumaturgus (Thaumaturgus means Wonderworker)."

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3178

Paul said...

More from TurretinFan:
A brief video addressing much of what is in Leo's Scriptural Parallels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQFcHHnOwMg

Jennie said...

Paul,
Thanks so much for the links. It puzzled me when I saw the Athanasius quote about Mary the first time, because it seemed out of character for him. I'm in the middle of listening to Turretinfan's video. My 2 year old turned off my computer in the middle of it, so I have to go back and finish it later.

Paul said...

Jennie,
You are welcome. TurretinFan has done some wonderful work that I have learned much from. If you click on his name at Youtube you will see the other topics he has addressed.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Please see the following passages that show that the foreshadowing of the Ark and the Temple are not Mary alone, but of the whole Church, or all Israel (which includes the church and saved Israel; they will be one bride). Mary was the place where Jesus first came into the world as savior, but she represents Israel and the Church who become the temple and dwelling place of God because of Christ's sacrifice. She is not being exalted and worshipped, but is a vessel, just as all born again believers are, indwelt by His Spirit.

1 Corinthian 6:
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Corinthians 6:
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:


“ I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people."


17 Therefore



“ Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “ I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty.”

1 Peter 2
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,


“ Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,


“ The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”

8 and


“ A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I just want to give a little teaching on the Ark of the covenant, that is frequently overlooked by many. The key to understanding the earthly Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting, Sanctuary, Temple) and the ark of the covenant lies in Hebrews 9:24.

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

The earthly Tabernacle with its holy places, which contained the ark of the covenant, was a pre-figurement or a representation of the True Tabernacle in heaven, which is God's heavenly Temple. It was in this heavenly Temple that John saw the true and real ark of the covenant.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail (Revelation 11:19).

Although much of the book of Revelation is written in symbolic language, the temple depicted here is real/literal.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple (Isaiah 6:1).

Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the LORD from his holy temple. For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth (Micah 1:2-3).

But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him (Habakkuk 2:20).

God's temple in heaven is real, and the ark of the covenant in heaven is real. What we had on earth were just representations of something true and eternal. It should be noted that God did not live or reside within the earthly ark. His Shekinah glory would either rest in the most holy place of the earthly temple, or fill the whole earthly temple itself. I totally agree with the concept of Mary being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit being symbolic of God's Spirit covering us. I agree with the concept that Mary carrying the presence of the Holy child represents Christ living within us. I agree with the concept that God's Shekinah glory indwelling the earthly temple represents God's Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

If you all suscribe to Messianic prophecies you can read detailed descriptions of a coming Messianic temple in the book of Ezekiel. The Messianic temple will be the centerpiece during the time of the coming Messianic/millenial kingdom on earth. God's Ten Commandments as was housed in the original earthly temple, will play a prominent role in the Messianic kingdom, and Christ will rule the earth from the New Messianic Temple.

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD (Isaiah 66:22-23).

For mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7c).

Symbolically then, the ark represents God's sovereignty, justice, mercy, and judgment.

Peace and blessings :-)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie,

Many people are offended at the idea that Jesus had blood relatives. I have no time now, because I have to go, but I can show Biblically that this was so (if you think this is appropriate here).

Leo said...

Jennie said...
Leo,
Please see the following passages that show that the foreshadowing of the Ark and the Temple are not Mary alone, but of the whole Church, or all Israel (which includes the church and saved Israel; they will be one bride). Mary was the place where Jesus first came into the world as savior, but she represents Israel and the Church who become the temple and dwelling place of God because of Christ's sacrifice. She is not being exalted and worshipped, but is a vessel, just as all born again believers are, indwelt by His Spirit."

Jennie, I knew I should not have posted quotes from the early Church fathers because you all miss the point. The focus is on accuracy of the quotes which, by the way, I need to do a lot more research to prove because there are many forgeries out there. I assure you that Turretinfan has not been in the Vatican library researching.

Can you honestly not see the role of Mary through Scripture? You cannot dismiss the queen mother and you cannot say that the ark in Revelation is not Mary. Is it not clear that her child who rules is Jesus? How then can the Church be the mother of Jesus? I agree that it is a type for the Church but you cannot deny that this refers to Mary. The crown represents her queenship at the side of God.

What you are all missing is that Christ is the one who chose to work through Mary. Her role is to lead us to Jesus. The ONLY true devotion to Mary is Christocentric...always was, always will be. Remember that the Holy Spirit said that she is Blessed amongst women. Remember that Elizabeth, also filled with the Spirit, said that she was blessed because "the mother of my Lord has come to me". Stop and think about that for a second. Jesus was inside Mary, yet the Holy Spirit recognized and honored Mary! She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit! The references to the painstaking perfection of the ark would be all the more so with the ark of the new covenant!

Leo said...

Also from Scott Hahn,

"It talks about the Feast of the Assumption where Mary is often greeted with the title Ark of the Covenant, a very clear illusion to the Ark of the Covenant in the ancient temple. It goes on, "Ark of imperishable wood containing the manna, is a phrase that is taken from an ancient liturgy for the feast of the Assumption. This application of the Ark of the Covenant to the Blessed Virgin is very ancient. We find that already at the beginning of the 3rd Century in the writings of Hippolitus of Rome."

"The Lord was all sinless, for as man being the work of the Holy Spirit and of the Blessed Virgin, he was made of incorruptible wood, both within and without."

"The Marian interpretation of the Ark of the Covenant was, as one can see, well thought out. It will continue to be used from then on. We find it in Antioch by the 5th Century in the writings of the Patriarch Severus who fits it into its entire context. He sees the Blessed Virgin signified by the Holy of Holies precisely because she contains the Ark of the Covenant made of incorruptible wood, etc."

"The image will take on new vitality in Christian literature by reason of its correspondence with the Psalm verse from Psalm 132, 'Arise, O Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.'" Then it goes on citing some other references, "During the same era Chrysofus of Jerusalem likewise commented on the versicle according to the same sense, 'Mary is the Ark, not of Noah nor yet the one that contained the tables of stone, but that which bore him whom nothing can contain. In her womb he found the repose of which the psalm verse speaks, 'And when he shall rise, the ark of his majesty will rise with him.'"

Leo said...

Daughter of Wisdom said...
"Jennie,

Many people are offended at the idea that Jesus had blood relatives. I have no time now, because I have to go, but I can show Biblically that this was so (if you think this is appropriate here)."


Hillary, go ahead and try, but you will not be able to prove something which is not so.

Leo;)

Jennie said...

Leo,
Paul commented earlier and left a link for a video by Turretinfan, who has commented here before on another thread. There is also another video series on youtube by Turretinfan of a debate between a catholic and Turretinfan about veneration of Mary. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=TurretinFan&view=videos#play/user/D865CBCDF669817D/1/-Rjjx8iddAo

In this debate Turretinfan brings out a passage in Hebrews that I had never thought about in reference to this subject; The passage is Hebrews 7:
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

This passage is talking about Christ as our high priest, and says He is without father, without mother, etc., of course referring to human parentage. As God, He has no parents. Mary is only His mother in His Humanity.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
go ahead and share what you have about Jesus having blood relatives, please.

Paul said...

Jennie wrote:
"Hillary,
go ahead and share what you have about Jesus having blood relatives, please."
-------------------
Jennie,
In 1999 Dr. Eric Svendsen debated R.C Apologist Gerry Matatics on Mary's Perpetual Video. As far as I know that debate is no longer available. However James White played some clips of that debate on his program on Aug 05-2003 and Aug 07-2003. You can listen to both programs with RealPlayer here:

http://vintage.aomin.org/03.html

Paul said...

Also:

475 - Did Mary Have Other Children?

by James White vs Gerry Matatics

James White and Gerry Matatics debate the question *Did Mary Have Other Children?* on October 4, 2003 at the University of Utah. The fireworks start right off as James pre-emptorily refutes arguments often used by Mr. Matatics, leaving him with little to do other than challenging James to take angelic oaths of honesty. (2 Hours 20 Minutes)

http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=39_45&products_id=260

James White has had a standing offer to debate the folks at Catholic Answers as well as Patrick Madrid on The Marian Dogmas.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hillary,
go ahead and share what you have about Jesus having blood relatives, please.


Thanks Jennie. I was wondering if anyone out there was interested in this. Sometimes I have Biblical information that I think is interesting, but is not to others.

Let me first give a disclaimer that my purpose here is not to discredit anyone. I am just relating facts that I have found in scripture, using scripture only as my guide. Let the Bible speak for itself, and if anyone has any problem with what the Bible says, then pray to God about it.

Jesus Christ, the eternal God,who lives forevermore, who was and is and is to come, has NO EARTHLY BLOOD RELATIVES. He is God, and came not from man and is not descended from man. Jesus is compared to Mechsidec, king of Salem in the book of Hebrews.

Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually(Hebrews 7:3, NASB).

Jesus existed long ago, from eternity, before man even existed. He is our Creator.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:1-3, NASB).

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel, His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity"(Micah 5:2).


Many are the scriptures that show that God/Jesus is our Creator and made us. Therefore He came not from man, but man came forth from Him.

On the next post I will speak about Jesus the man, when He entered into the time as a human being, and how He did acquire some blood relatives, and became our Elder brother.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

JESUS'S BLOOD RELATIVES WHILE HE WALKED THE EARTH AS A MAN

Mary His earthly mother

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law"(Galatians 4:4).

The ancestors of Joseph

Jesus's bloodline is traced through the lineage of Joseph in both gospels of Matthew and Luke. Apparently Jesus got some genetic material from this bloodline (Matthew 1: 1-16; Luke 3:23-38).

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).


His brothers and sisters

"While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him "(Matthew 12:46).

"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 they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" (Matthew 13:55-56).

"But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother" (Galatians 1:19).

"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him" (Mark 6:3).

This is the word of the Lord. Whosoever reads this let them understand.

Peace and blessings :-)

Jennie said...

Leo,
You cannot dismiss the queen mother and you cannot say that the ark in Revelation is not Mary. Is it not clear that her child who rules is Jesus? How then can the Church be the mother of Jesus? I agree that it is a type for the Church but you cannot deny that this refers to Mary. The crown represents her queenship at the side of God.

The woman clothed with the sun and crowned with 12 stars is usually seen as Israel, or perhaps the church. One interpretation is that she is Israel who gives birth to the Messiah. He came forth from her because Israel is God's chosen people through whom all the world will be blessed. He will return and rule the nations with a rod of iron.Mary is not singled out in this prophecy, but is included in Israel. Mary is never seen as a queen in scripture.

Jennie said...

Leo,
The Ark in revelation is not Mary. She is not singled out from among the rest of the believers. If anything the Ark is a picture of Christ and His bride together in the Holy of Holies. A queen mother is redundant when the King and his bride are there. Mary is one of the believers, and is part of the Bride of Christ with the other believers.
Devotion should all be to God our savior. Mary has no role anymore except as a part of the body of Christ. The scriptures make this clear by not mentioning her after the beginning of Acts. And before this her role is always humble, and Jesus continually reinforced that she is not to be lifted up above other believers. He contradicted it whenever someone tried to.

Anna said...

Jennie,

You wrote:
"And before this her role is always humble"

Matthew 18:4
"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Food for thought. :)

Leo said...

Anna,

That was beautifully said!

Leo

You can always tell the whisper of the Holy Spirit...

Leo said...

Jennie, you said "The woman clothed with the sun and crowned with 12 stars is usually seen as Israel, or perhaps the church. One interpretation is that she is Israel who gives birth to the Messiah. He came forth from her because Israel is God's chosen people through whom all the world will be blessed. He will return and rule the nations with a rod of iron.Mary is not singled out in this prophecy, but is included in Israel. Mary is never seen as a queen in scripture."

Jennie, if it is fair for you to say that "One interpretation is that she is Israel who gives birth to the Messiah.", why is it unfair for me to say that another interpretation is that this refers to Mary? Is she not the woman referred to in Genesis? Remember that God said that he would put enmity between the serpent and the woman. That was clearly not Eve and not the Church. You may say that it was Israel, but that is a stretch too. Did not the woman flee with her child to Egypt?

Can you at least see why it is so difficult to have a fair discourse when you dismiss other interpretations? I am just trying to show that Church teaching CAN be gleaned from scripture and that scripture does not necessarily contradict it.

Jennie said...

Hi Anna,
It's good to see you here again.

Matthew 18:4
"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Food for thought. :)


Yes, and who was it who humbled Himself more than any other?

This doesn't single Mary out either. It says whoever, and Jesus is giving us this as an example of what we all should do, to humble ourselves as He did, and be like the child who knows he is only a child and doesn't exalt himself.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Jennie, if it is fair for you to say that "One interpretation is that she is Israel who gives birth to the Messiah.", why is it unfair for me to say that another interpretation is that this refers to Mary? Is she not the woman referred to in Genesis? Remember that God said that he would put enmity between the serpent and the woman. That was clearly not Eve and not the Church. You may say that it was Israel, but that is a stretch too. Did not the woman flee with her child to Egypt?

It's up to you to prove your assertion, and I'll do my best to prove mine. I don't have to agree with yours, nor do you have to agree with mine.
It is my assertion that Mary is not the woman in Revelation, nor is she the woman in Genesis by herself but only as part of a whole, Israel. Mary was the one in Israel who was chosen to give birth to the Messiah, but she is part of the whole that is greater than herself. In the same way believers are each part of the Bride, but none of us is the Bride. The Bride is greater than each of us.
The woman in Revelation fits all Israel better than she fits Mary. First of all, in prophecy the woman always represents all Israel, or sometimes a divided Israel. Later this can include the church, because we are all children of Abraham spiritually in Christ.
In Revelation 12 we see the woman clothed with the sun, and crowned with 12 stars. This sign appears in heaven. Being clothed with the sun may mean clothed with God's righteousness. The crown of 12 stars may show that from Israel comes the King. Twelve refers to the 12 tribes of Israel.
The first time we see the 'sun, moon, and stars' in scripture, besides creation, is in Deuteronomy 4: 15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. 19 And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. 20 But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day.

Moses is speaking to Israel here and telling them not to lift their hearts up to any but God their savior; that there is a danger that they would see the sun, moon, and stars and lift their hearts up to them as the pagans do, and to make images of creatures and worship them instead of the creator who made them. We see the sun, moon, and stars in Revelation; there is a danger in saying this is an image of one person and lifting our hearts up to this person. She is not a person, but a nation. God alone is worthy of worship.

(continued)

Jennie said...

I missed a reference in Genesis to the sun, moon, and stars. It was in Joseph's dream, when the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowed down to him, in Genesis 37. This was fulfilled when Joseph became a ruler in Egypt and his family bowed to him. Joseph is also a type of Christ and all Jacob's family (Israel) will bow to him. So again the sun, moon, and stars are all Israel, as the woman in Revelation is shown with sun, moon, and stars.
The other references to sun, moon, and stars are in reference to God creating them for light and for signs in the heavens, and then that at the time of tribulation they will be darkened and not give their light.

You said that Mary fled into Egypt with the child. Revelation 12 says
5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Jesus was not caught up to God when He was born; Mary didn't flee to the wilderness, but to Egypt. She didn't flee without the child, but with Him and Joseph. This is clearly the people of God fleeing to the wilderness to be fed for 3.5 years (Hebrew years are 360 days).

In Rev. 12:13 it says
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Mary was not persecuted and then flown away to the wilderness to be protected for 3.5 years. This is a future event that happens to God's people. None of this has been fulfilled yet. If I am wrong, please correct me.

Jennie said...

Leo, you quoted from Scott Hahn:
"The image will take on new vitality in Christian literature by reason of its correspondence with the Psalm verse from Psalm 132, 'Arise, O Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.'" Then it goes on citing some other references, "During the same era Chrysofus of Jerusalem likewise commented on the versicle according to the same sense, 'Mary is the Ark, not of Noah nor yet the one that contained the tables of stone, but that which bore him whom nothing can contain. In her womb he found the repose of which the psalm verse speaks, 'And when he shall rise, the ark of his majesty will rise with him.'"

In the quote Mr. Hahn referred to Chrysofus of Jerusalem in the same era as Patriarch Severus of Antioch in the 5th century who also referred to Mary as the Ark, apparently. It was also during this time, I believe, that some writings about Mary's assumption appeared. It was also during this same century that the Council of Ephesus occurred that charged Nestorius with heresy for saying that Mary was not the mother of God, but the mother of Christ in His humanity. All these things are occurring at the same time, and are evidence of Mary being lifted up as an idol and those who object are called heretics. (Nestorius had an unfortunate way of trying to explain himself, but there is evidence that he was not a heretic, but was trying to combat the heresy of mariolotry.)

By the way that reference to the Ark in Psalm 132 also refers to Christ and His Bride. Mary is not the Ark of His strength. Neither is she the one referred to in Song of Solomon 6:"Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?" This is clearly the Bride as well. It is rather a revolting idea to put Mary in place of the Bride, or to have her standing at Christ's side where the Bride belongs. No one wants a Queen Mother usurping Christ's place or the Bride's place. I say 'Christ's place' because the catholic church calls Mary all the names of Christ in their litanies.

Jennie said...

Wonder of wonders, Turretinfan wrote recently about the woman of Revelation 12 here: http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2009/08/mary-crowned-in-revelation.html

He shares some teachings of the early fathers on the subject which show that they did not think of the woman as Mary.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"In Revelation 12 we see the woman clothed with the sun, and crowned with 12 stars. This sign appears in heaven. Being clothed with the sun may mean clothed with God's righteousness. The crown of 12 stars may show that from Israel comes the King. Twelve refers to the 12 tribes of Israel."

Well, how about looking at it this way? This is simply a continuation of the description of the ark of the covenant. Remember that there were no chapters or verses when scripture was scribed. If you were Jewish, and you just heard about the ark after it being missing all those years, your ears would perk up. You would likely sit up at that point and eagerly wait for the next words about the ark. It would make no sense to simply bring up such a hot button topic and then ignore it.

Thus, this could in fact be showing the Blessed Mother's role as head of the 12 tribes of the Israel. And, she is indeed clothed with God's righteousness.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said, " And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

If you agree everything in scripture is there for a reason, please understand that we view Jesus giving His mother to the beloved disciple, while on the cross, as giving her to us as OUR mother. First of all, if she had other children, it would have been unconscionable to entrust her to John. All you have to do is to talk to serious Jews to know that this was unlawful in their eyes.

It is not coincidence that He gave her to His "beloved disciple". As you can see in Revelation, all Christians are her spiritual offspring. Anyone who is a beloved disciple has been put under her care by Jesus Himself.

You need to realize something far greater at work here. She ALWAYS leads people closer to her Son. It is IMPOSSIBLE to grow closer to Mary without deepening one's relationship with Jesus.

Let me ask you a question, as this may help you to understand this. Do you know how the Faith came to Mexico when the Aztecs ruled?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

We know that the "woman" in Revelation 12 is a symbolic woman because of her description - clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars. This is highly symbolic language and as such the woman is symbolic. But what is she symbolic of? Is she symbolic of Mary? Or is she symbolic of something else?

Although on the surface Mary appears to be the fulfillment of this prophecy, on closer examination and study, we see that the fulfillment of this prophecy goes far deeper than just Mary. Below I will present how Mary fulfills this prophecy and how she does not.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars (verse 1).

Like this woman in Revelation 12, Mary was highly favored and honored by God and she was a woman of great moral purity. The difference is that Mary was just a simple handmaid when God bestowed that honor upon her. No mention is ever made in scripture of Mary being glorified in heaven. From all accounts, the names of the saints in heaven have been kept confidential except for a few that we know about such as Enoch, Elijah, and Moses.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born (verse 4).

Like the woman in Revelation 12, Mary's child (Jesus) was in danger of being killed by Satan through king Herod. The difference is that king Herod KNEW NOTHING of Jesus's birth until the wise men showed up. Satan was not standing there to devour the Christ child while Mary was in labour. Christ was well-protected by the angelic hosts in heaven.

Here are the facts surrounding Jesus's birth. He was born during the time of the tax decree of Augustus Caesar (Luke 2:1). On the night of His birth angelic hosts welcomed Him into the world, and also some humble shepherds, in a lowly manager (Luke 2;7-16). On the eighth day after His birth, His parents presented Him at the Temple in Jerusalem for circumcision (Luke 2:21). Joseph moved his young family into a house in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:11). Some wise men came from the east to visit the Christ child in the house,bearing gifts (Matthew 2:1-11). Herod had no idea that Christ had been born (Matthew 2:1-4). Herod asked the wise men how long ago did they first see Christ's star, and they told him a time that was under 2 years (Matthew 2:16). The plan was for the wise men to report back to Herod as to the whereabouts of this Child, but the wise men were warned of God not to return back to Herod (Matthew 2:12). Joseph too was warned in a dream to flee Bethlehem to Egypt for safety (Matthew 2:13). When Herod found out that the wise men had left the country without reporting back to him, he ordered the slaughter of all children in Bethlehem two years old and under(Matthew 2:16).

So you see the Christ child was living peaceably in Bethlehem for a time, before He was attacked by Satan. Some scholars say Christ was probably somewhere between 1-2 years when the wise men appeared because Herod estimated Christ's age to be 2 years or under for the slaughter (Matthew 2:16). So although there are some similarities to Mary in this prophecy, she is definitely not the subject of this prophecy.

Peace.

Anna said...

Jennie,

"It's good to see you here again."

I had first posted on your blog because I felt led by the Spirit to make a point. I stopped feeling led by the Spirit, and I rather thought I ought not to engage in the kind of detailed debate that I see on your blog (although I do normally like to do that kind of thing). So I stopped writing... but then I started getting all these email notifications from this thread, which I read, but didn't respond to, until that one phrase of yours about Mary being humble really struck me, in the context of that day's gospel. I felt led to point that out, so I did. :) I think I will stick with not getting into a detailed debate about it, though, as tempting as that is. :)

God bless!

Anna said...

Leo,

Wasn't it the Spaniards that were ruling, and the Aztecs were more like oppressed and poor at that point?

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"It was also during this same century that the Council of Ephesus occurred that charged Nestorius with heresy for saying that Mary was not the mother of God, but the mother of Christ in His humanity."

Nestorius was charged with heresy because he declared that Jesus was two distinct persons, one human and one divine. As usual, the councils only ruled when a long-standing belief of the Church was challenged. At Ephesus and Chalcedon, it was clarified that Jesus' two natures are "inseperably joined in one person and partake of the one divine substance".

Monophysitism is a heresy that then developed as a reaction to Nestorianism. This claimed that Jesus had only the divine nature. Interestingly enough, these were both some time after Arianism, which claimed Jesus only had a human nature and denied the existence of the Trinity. The Jehovah's Witnesses are an offshoot of this.

Jesus is true God and true man and Mary is the Mother of the entire person. Calling her the Mother of God strengthens belief in the divinity of Jesus and was used to combat Arianism, Nestorianism and Monophysitism. No one in their right mind would ever even dream that the Word originated from Mary. Have you honestly ever met a single person that believed that the Word did not exist until Mary gave birth to Him?

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"All these things are occurring at the same time, and are evidence of Mary being lifted up as an idol and those who object are called heretics. (Nestorius had an unfortunate way of trying to explain himself, but there is evidence that he was not a heretic, but was trying to combat the heresy of mariolotry.)"

Jennie, let me make a request of you. Please read for yourself what was actually said at these councils from the Vatican website and you will see how misguided that observation is. All of these doctrines that we take for granted today, such as Jesus being fully human and fully divine, took years for the Church to explain clearly in writing to dispel all of the heresies that Satan keeps throwing out.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

In scriptural exegesis, the drawing of Biblical parallels is something that is done quite often to gain understanding and to compare experiences. Mary, as a holy vessel of God, going through some of the same experiences as the ark of the covenant does not make her the ark of the covenant. It just shows that she was a chosen vessel of the Lord.

Peace and blessings :-)

Jennie said...

Leo,
Well, how about looking at it this way? This is simply a continuation of the description of the ark of the covenant. Remember that there were no chapters or verses when scripture was scribed. If you were Jewish, and you just heard about the ark after it being missing all those years, your ears would perk up. You would likely sit up at that point and eagerly wait for the next words about the ark. It would make no sense to simply bring up such a hot button topic and then ignore it.

I agree that it could be a continuation of describing the Ark of the Covenant, but I have already shown you, as has Hillary, the inconsistencies in the comparison of the woman with Mary. They don't match up. A woman in prophecy is never a single woman, but represents the people of God, either as the harlot or as the faithful Bride. This woman is the faithful bride and the one in Rev. 17 is the harlot church. They both are described as being in the wilderness. Also in Song of Solomon, the last chapter I believe, the shulamite is described as coming out of the wilderness by the side of the Beloved.

Jennie said...

Leo,
If you agree everything in scripture is there for a reason, please understand that we view Jesus giving His mother to the beloved disciple, while on the cross, as giving her to us as OUR mother. First of all, if she had other children, it would have been unconscionable to entrust her to John. All you have to do is to talk to serious Jews to know that this was unlawful in their eyes.

It is not coincidence that He gave her to His "beloved disciple". As you can see in Revelation, all Christians are her spiritual offspring. Anyone who is a beloved disciple has been put under her care by Jesus Himself.


First of all, there is no sign in the New Testament in the gospels or the epistles that they taught that Mary is considered our mother. Secondly, she was given to John's care, not he to her care.
Jesus did have brothers and sisters as described in scripture, but they were not believers at the time of His death and were not stated as being there at the crucifixion. When Jesus gave His mother to John, it may have been because He was ending His time on earth in His humanness, and would next be seen, after He arose, in His glorified divine form. I believe He was showing that she would no longer be His mother, and He would no longer be her son. Now He is only her God and savior, as He is to all of us.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Let me ask you a question, as this may help you to understand this. Do you know how the Faith came to Mexico when the Aztecs ruled?

I may have read it, but I don't know what you are referring to, unless it's the famous cloak that has an image of Mary on it.

Jennie said...

Leo,
You need to realize something far greater at work here. She ALWAYS leads people closer to her Son. It is IMPOSSIBLE to grow closer to Mary without deepening one's relationship with Jesus.

You have been deceived by the teachings of your church here. Mary has nothing to do with our relationship with Christ, and there is nothing in scripture to support this. Christ alone is responsible for our salvation, and the Holy Spirit leads us to Him by the word of God. Mary is not the Holy Spirit, or our Savior, or the Bride either. You are depending upon something that has no foundation.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I believe He was showing that she would no longer be His mother, and He would no longer be her son. Now He is only her God and savior, as He is to all of us.

Jennie, you know what you have said here is significant. It does seem like all our family ties here on earth are changed at death or when Christ comes back. Marriages between husbands and wives end at death. We become like the angels in that we do not marry. We enter a new family relationship where we are called sons and daughters of God.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:14-15).

Peace and blessings.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"I agree that it could be a continuation of describing the Ark of the Covenant, but I have already shown you, as has Hillary, the inconsistencies in the comparison of the woman with Mary. They don't match up."

Think about what you just said. You agreed that this could well describe the ark, so please work with me on this. The ark was where the presence of God came. Inside were the Commandments and the manna and the staff...all representing Jesus.

You neglected Luke when he used the same language to describe the reaction around Mary that David had around the ark with the presence of God in it. Well, Mary had the presence of God in her too, but in a physical way. Forget what you have read from so called "theologians". I am just asking you to see how this is also a type for Mary. I think it matches up quite nicely. Those were not coincidences that Luke drew the parallels between the ark and Mary...those were Godincidences. Now I want some Protestant "theologian" to say that Luke went and changed the original Faith and began mariolatry.

Jenny, you cannot simply blow away the parallels when you see how it really does flow from Luke to Revelation, when taken together. Just read it objectively without outside influence. After all, that's what you always accuse us Catholics of not doing.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"A woman in prophecy is never a single woman, but represents the people of God, either as the harlot or as the faithful Bride".

Really? Did not Mary herself say "all generations shall call me blessed?" She obviously meant the Church because we are the only ones who call her the Blessed Virgin Mary. Did she not say that her soul magnifies the Lord? Do you think that perhaps this means that we will see Jesus more clearly looking through her obedient humble soul? Anyway, that is prophesy. By the way, how many people in Scripture prophesy about themselves? Gee, it's only Mary, but...is she being egocentric? But, it is the Holy Spirit speaking through her...how can that be? How dare a simple peasant woman say such great things about herself? Oh, wait, it's the Holy Spirit...who is He to honor her...oh, wait, He is God and He also honored her through Elizabeth...oh heck, I guess He can do whatever He wills. He is God, afterall...Perhaps I will reconsider trying to slam her by bringing her down to my level...

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"Secondly, she was given to John's care, not he to her care."

She was given to the beloved disciple as mother. Don't change the words of Scripture. It is not a coincidence that it is written that way.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"I believe He was showing that she would no longer be His mother, and He would no longer be her son."

Boy, you sure have a cold and distorted view of God if you really believe that even for a minute. Do you not understand what it means that He was fully human? His love for His mother as a human was greater than any child's love for their earthly mother ever was. That did not end at the Resurrection. He shared our humanity with us so we could share His divinity with Him someday.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"Now He is only her God and savior, as He is to all of us."

Oh Jennie, He is so much more than that! We are the adopted sons and daughters of God the Father. We have friends who have adopted children as well as their own. They treat them and love them the same. You are missing the family relationship and what it really means to be a child of God. If you see the relationship a toddler has with their loving parents, this is but a dim intimation of our relationship with our Father.

Leo said...

Jennie said...

"You have been deceived by the teachings of your church here."

Sorry, but I know her through the Holy Spirit's revelation.

" Mary has nothing to do with our relationship with Christ..."

This may well be true for you and your husband.

"Christ alone is responsible for our salvation, and the Holy Spirit leads us to Him by the word of God. Mary is not the Holy Spirit, or our Savior, or the Bride either. "

All true, yet you are simply missing the point. She is another tool Jesus uses to lead us to Himself.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"I may have read it, but I don't know what you are referring to, unless it's the famous cloak that has an image of Mary on it."

How much do you know about the cloak? In the early 1500's, the Aztecs were sacrificing tens of thousands of innocent peasants to their gods annually. They would cut out their hearts while alive and cast their bodies into pits.

Did you know that they worshipped a snake and gave it names such as god of evil, god of spite, god of malevolence? Funny how Satan made himself known outside of the bible zone...

Well, the Spaniards came and conquered and the bishop was worried about a bloody uprising because the natives were treated so poorly. He turned to the Blessed Mother and asked for her intercession on their behalf. He asked for a sign of roses.

It turns out that there was a peasant named Juan Diego whom she chose to appear to. She asked that a church be built on a hill. Juan DIego told this to the bishop, who promptly laughed at him. Juan was a poor peasant who lived 4 hours from the Catholic church and he religiously went to Mass every Sunday, which took the whole day. The bishop then told him that he would not believe him unless he got a sign.

Continued...

Paul said...

This just posted moments ago:

Mark Shea and the Revelation 12 Woman

08/12/2009 - Tur8infan


http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3442

Leo said...

The Blessed Mother caused roses to bloom in mid-winter and he wrapped them up in his tilma to bring to the bishop. This was only a small part of the miracle, however.

When he came back to the bishop, he opened the tilma and the roses fell to the ground. What amazed the bishop, however, was the picture of our Lady which appeared on the tilma. He built the church and 9 million natives gave their lives to Jesus Christ as a result over the next 9 years. This was far more than any ordinary altar call.

Interestingly enough, the tilma is made of burlaplike material which decomposes in a short time. The image has been investigated over the years and science is at a loss to explain it. There are no pigments or dyes of any kind and the image is somehow miraculously on the surface.

What is even neater, is that a scientist recently came to the thought that he could prove whether it was a forgery. He reasoned that the eyes of a person always reflect what they are looking at, so he did a computer imaging of her eyes.

What he found, absolutely blew him away. The images reflected the bishop and two other people in the room. Even more amazing, was the fact that the angle of the images were slightly different from each eye, just as the computer predicted would be the case because of the distance between the eyes.

The point is that our Lady ALWAYS leads us to Jesus and away from herself. All of her authority comes from God alone. A number of saints have had visions that just as Jesus sent John the Baptist before His first coming, He was sending His mother before His return.

Her appearance brought 9 million into a saving knowledge of Jesus in just a few short years.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Sorry, but I know her through the Holy Spirit's revelation.


John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The Holy Spirit does not testify of Mary, but of Jesus. He always points to Jesus and leads people to Jesus. Also Jesus' disciples always bear witness of Him by the Spirit, not of Mary.

Leo said...

Paul, in answer to your comment, I have quoted Turretinfan...
"1) On the one hand, Rome teaches that Mary did not suffer birth pangs with Jesus; and
2) On the other hand, Rome teaches that Mary was the woman of Revelation 12, but
3) The woman of Revelation 12 did suffer birth pangs, and consequently
4) Rome's theology is self-contradictory.

It is impossible for Truth to contradict itself. This is why we need to understand the Faith fully. Non-believers, for example, point to the apparent contradictions in scripture...not so.

Mary did not have pain during birth. She is ever-virgin, meaning that she was a virgin before, during and after giving birth to Jesus. Jesus came out of her as miraculously as He came into her...like light passing through a glass.

She may have indeed wailed as she witnessed the suffering of her Son. This is not a far-fetched thought. The other thought is that since Christians are "the rest of her offspring", then we know that it is not easy to bring us all to the Faith. Many will be lost and this is painful to bear.

Revelation was not time-specific there because you can see that Satan and a third of the angels were cast out later, when in fact they were cast down to earth from the beginning.

By the way, Jennie, Egypt is almost all desert, and 99% of the people live on ~5.5% of the land. It very well could be where she and Jesus fled.

Also, although we know they were there for some time, no one knows for sure how long it was. The historical records are simply not accurate enough.

Jennie said...

Paul,
This just posted moments ago:

Mark Shea and the Revelation 12 Woman

08/12/2009 - Tur8infan

http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3442


Thanks for giving the link for that, Paul; I think I just read the same thing on his blog.

Jennie said...

Leo,
What he found, absolutely blew him away. The images reflected the bishop and two other people in the room. Even more amazing, was the fact that the angle of the images were slightly different from each eye, just as the computer predicted would be the case because of the distance between the eyes.

If this is even true, haven't we talked about 'miracles' like this before? Why do you think this would convince me when I already shared scripture with you about 'lying signs and wonders'? 2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
God has allowed Satan to be able to do these things because people have chosen to believe the lie instead of the truth, and so God allows 'wonders' to be done that confirm them in their false belief. This is a terrible judgment, and should make us fear Him and seek the truth of His word in repentance.

Her appearance brought 9 million into a saving knowledge of Jesus in just a few short years.
Her 'appearance' brought 9 million people into the Roman Catholic Church, and to this day 'Mary' is glorified by their ancestors and others all over the world who carry and honor this image, against the command of God.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo said:

Mary did not have pain during birth. She is ever-virgin, meaning that she was a virgin before, during and after giving birth to Jesus. Jesus came out of her as miraculously as He came into her...like light passing through a glass.

If the woman in Revelation 12 is Mary then, the above statement contradicts Revelation 12:2:

"And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."

Another statement of Leo:

Revelation was not time-specific there because you can see that Satan and a third of the angels were cast out later, when in fact they were cast down to earth from the beginning.

As a matter of fact, Jesus did give the time of Satan being cast out of heaven.

"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31).

Jesus made this statement within the same week of His crucifixion. Prior to this, Satan was allowed to go back and forth between heaven and earth.

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it" (Job 1:6-7).


Because of Jesus's statement, we now have the time of the casting out of Satan, which was long after Jesus's birth, i.e near His death. According to Revelation 12:5, when the Devil saw that he was cast out into the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. There is no evidence that Mary was persecuted by Satan at Jesus's birth, life, death, or afterwards. She did not go through any special persecution over and above that of her fellow Jewish and Christian believers. Even during the time when Herod massacred the children 2 years old and under in Bethlehem, and other parents were wailing the loss of their children, Mary escaped before any of that ever took place. She did not have to face or battle the armies of Herod. Christ took good care of His earthly mother. He was a good Son to her.


Peace and blessings.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Boy, you sure have a cold and distorted view of God if you really believe that even for a minute. Do you not understand what it means that He was fully human? His love for His mother as a human was greater than any child's love for their earthly mother ever was. That did not end at the Resurrection. He shared our humanity with us so we could share His divinity with Him someday.

I said that Jesus gave Mary to John at the cross to show that He would no longer be her son and she would no longer be His mother. This was for her sake and for ours to know her place, as the vessel that carried Him before He entered the world and to raise Him as a child with the help of Joseph, and to let her know that He as her Savior loves her infinitely more than any earthly son can.

Leo said...

Hillary, you said,"Because of Jesus's statement, we now have the time of the casting out of Satan, which was long after Jesus's birth, i.e near His death."

This is what happens when some scripture verses are taken out of context...

When Lucifer rebelled, he was defeated and cast down from the heavens back to the earth: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground" (Isaiah 14:12 KJV).

Jesus Christ also described the fall, as He witnessed it in His pre-human form : "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18 RSV).

Leo said...

Jennie said,"If this is even true, haven't we talked about 'miracles' like this before? Why do you think this would convince me when I already shared scripture with you about 'lying signs and wonders'? 2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
God has allowed Satan to be able to do these things because people have chosen to believe the lie instead of the truth, and so God allows 'wonders' to be done that confirm them in their false belief."

Jennie, be careful not to condemn yourself by your own words, in attributing the work of God to Satan. The Pharisees made the same mistake. Do not accuse Mary of performing miracles by the power of the devil. I can assure you that Jesus will not stand for you attacking His mother.

It is Jesus who performed miracles and told us to at least believe because of His miracles even if we did not believe Him.

It is Jesus who said that believers would do the same things that He did, and even greater things would they do. This is because Jesus shows Himself by working through believers.

I can point to many of these miracles in our Church and they happen with regularity. Jesus Himself is behind them.

So tell me then, how many miracles has Jesus performed in your church?

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"to let her know that He as her Savior loves her infinitely more than any earthly son can."

Sorry, but that smacks of the heresy of Nestorianism, where Jesus is seen as two distinct persons.

Again, Jesus' two natures are inseperably joined in one person and partake of the one divine substance. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He always loves Mary in a human and divine way.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"the 5th century who also referred to Mary as the Ark, apparently. It was also during this time, I believe, that some writings about Mary's assumption appeared. "

I do believe that the Feast of the Assumption was instituted around that time. There is an important point to be aware of here. The Church was extremely conservative from a liturgical standpoint at that time and the faithful would never have accepted any new doctrine about Mary's Assumption unless it was believed all along. There would have been a huge uproar of protest.

Another point is that people from that area have always known where all of the holy places are and can easily point you to the locations of every important event from the time of the Apostles. This has been faithfully handed down through the ages.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo,

There is a big difference between falling and being cast out. When Satan first sinned, he lost his place in heaven, but he was still allowed to go back and forth, as evidenced in the book of Job. Around the time of Jesus death, he was permanently cast out of heaven and restricted to the earth.

One must use the whole Bible to interpret the Bible, not just a part.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Revelation 12
1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.




Revelation 12 gives a great historical overview of the rebellion and fall of Satan from heaven. The rebellion starts in verse 4, where Satan cast out 1/3 of the angels into the earth. Note it did not say God cast these angels into the earth. Please also notice that the war in heaven between Michael and Satan occured after Satan had cast out his fellow rebel angels in the earth, not before. Based on Job 1, it seems as if these fallen angels could have gone back and forth between heaven and earth for a time. They were however defeated by Michael and "prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven" (vs. 8). When Satan saw that he was restricted to the earth, he started to persecute the woman who brought forth the male Child (vs.13).

So just based on this passage alone, although other passages confirm this, we see that it was Satan who initially caused the fall of 1/3 of the angels, and cast them to the earth. Later on, there was a war in heaven, and they were permanently shut out of heaven. It should also be noted that it was Michael, not Christ, that was leading this war in heaven. Where was Christ? Is not Christ known as the Lord God of hosts? Christ was not in this war in heaven because He was here on earth, working for our salvation.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Revelation 12 represents the struggle of the nation of Israel and eventually the Church against oppression from Satan. Christ came into the world through the nation of Israel. Satan did everything he could to destroy Christ (devour Him), but not even death could hold Christ in the grave. Christ was eventually 'caught up to God and His throne' in heaven. Satan was also cast out of heaven into the earth, after suffering a terrible defeat at the hands of Michael the archangel with his army of angels. When Satan saw that he was cast into the earth, never again to see heaven, he was enraged, and persecuted the nation of Israel, and the offspring of Israel - the Christians.

History bears this out well.

Peace and blessing to all.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I can point to many of these miracles in our Church and they happen with regularity. Jesus Himself is behind them.

So tell me then, how many miracles has Jesus performed in your church?


Are these the same kind of miracles you mentioned once before, such as incorruptible bodies, statues shedding tears, apparitions, and the like?

In my church and churches like it all over the world Jesus performs the miracle of raising those who were dead in sins to new life, opening the eyes of those who were blind to see the light of truth, and so forth. He set free someone close to me from a terrible addiction instantly when the person submitted and gave up control to Christ. I call those things real miracles.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Jennie, you said,"to let her know that He as her Savior loves her infinitely more than any earthly son can."

Sorry, but that smacks of the heresy of Nestorianism, where Jesus is seen as two distinct persons.

Again, Jesus' two natures are inseperably joined in one person and partake of the one divine substance. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He always loves Mary in a human and divine way.


It has nothing to do with Nestorianism. Jesus is eternal God and also became fully human when He came to earth. Jesus existed before Mary existed and was her creator. When her role as His mother was fulfilled she had to continue to humble herself to be one of His followers, part of the body of Christ, but not exalted above it. He will exalt the Bride when the time comes. Certainly He loves Mary, but it doesn't follow that He wants her to be treated as a goddess and prayed to as help for salvation when He has taught no such thing.

Leo said...

Jennie said,"Are these the same kind of miracles you mentioned once before, such as incorruptible bodies, statues shedding tears, apparitions, and the like?

In my church and churches like it all over the world Jesus performs the miracle of raising those who were dead in sins to new life, opening the eyes of those who were blind to see the light of truth, and so forth. He set free someone close to me from a terrible addiction instantly when the person submitted and gave up control to Christ. I call those things real miracles."

I am referring not only to those things, but to the same types of physical miracles that Jesus performed. He proved that He could act outside of the natural world and laws of nature. Remember that He said that believers would do the same things and even greater things than He did because He would be doing it through them.

There have been thousands upon thousands of miracles just like Jesus did and even greater, because Jesus is showing Himself through them to point to Truth. Places like Lourdes, for example, have had hundreds of incredible miracles of which more than 50 were fully examined and proclaimed to be impossible from a scientific basis. These were such as limbs growing back, several pound tumors disappearing instantly, etc.

There have also been hundreds of Eucharistic miracles, one of which I was blessed to visit in person. It happened in the year 700, when the host turned into human heart tissue and the wine turned into human blood as the priest said the words of Consecration. He had been praying for the Lord to strengthen his faith. Both elements, by the way, were the same blood type as was found on the Shroud of Turin by other scientists.

The thing about all of these miracles is that they serve to lead people to a deep, living, personal surrender to Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We must always judge a tree by the fruit it bears.

The examples you gave were miracles indeed, but did not display Christ's power over the natural laws of nature. He specifically did both when He performed His miracles, to prove His point. Heck, every birth is a miracle, as is every breath we take. It's just that Jesus wants to destroy our preconceived notions so He can get us to live the charismatic Christian life.

Leo said...

Jennie said,"Certainly He loves Mary, but it doesn't follow that He wants her to be treated as a goddess."

You say those words in an empty way, because you are not seeing the special relationship that He formed with His Mother on earth, which never goes away.

Of course she is not a goddess, so please stop trying to imply that the Church has ever taught this. She is, however, the greatest created being and has been given a place in heaven above all of the angels and saints. Incidentally, according to tradition, this was one of Satan's issues with God. He felt that he was the greatest. She was the humblest of all God's creatures, and it is said that she prayed to be the servant of the one who was to bear the Messiah. It is God who elevated her.

I need to separate the concept of tradition and Tradition here.

The Church has always taught that there whereever one of the persons of the Blessed Trinity is, so must the other two be.

This is also true of the Word. There is Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium. Where one exists, so do the other two.

Tradition is that 99% of what Jesus and the Apostles taught and did that was not written down. tradition is simply a practice or discipline which can change, unlike Tradition.

The Word of God is living and theology cannot be reduced simply to an empirical science based on the book alone. God continues to speak to teach through His Church in light of Tradition and Scripture.

Leo said...

One more thing...Jesus is the shepherd and we are called to be one flock.

Remember when Jesus prayed for Simon? He said that Satan has asked to sift all of you (the word is unmistakably you plural) like wheat. But Jesus prayed for Simon alone (the word is unmistakably you singular) so that he would then, in turn, pray the other disciples back into the kingdom.

Peter was appointed shepherd and we are to remain one flock. Even though you are part of the flock that has been scattered, Peter's successor continues to pray for you daily, as he does for all of the world.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Of course she is not a goddess, so please stop trying to imply that the Church has ever taught this.

I'm not implying anything. Just because they don't use the word 'goddess' doesn't mean they don't treat Mary in the same way that pagans worship their objects of worship or give praise to her that ought to belong to God alone.
Here is an example:
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/name-mary.htm

Is nature made only to remind us of Mary? Is heaven where we go to bow before Mary and praise her forever?
I've seen many examples of this.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Here is why the flock is scattered and who will gather them again:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=33&chapter=34&version=50

Leo said...

Jennie,

Again, the word "goddess" has as its primary definition 'female god'. How can you tell me how I esteem Mary? Show me one Catholic who actually thinks she is a goddess?

Here is a direct verse from the link you provided as evidence that we 'worship' her...

"She, that modest, fragrant lily,
Crystal chalice e'er unstained,
To receive the Blood of Jesus,
From eternity ordained."

Gee, if she is the ark of the new covenant, this sure sounds like she is without sin and is a holy receptacle for Jesus. It sure sounds like she depends on God too...

Heaven is a kingdom and there are numerous levels of authority there appointed by God to serve Him. She is the pinnacle of God's creation.

Mary is the only one in heaven both body and soul, where the rest will receive their bodies at the final coming. She has a glorified body and lives outside of time, which does not exist in heaven.

By the way, one comment about her perpetual virginity...

When the angel Gabriel approached her, she asked,"How could this be since I know not man".

Celibate marriages were not unheard of in those days and she had consecrated herself to remain undefiled in service to God. This is why she responded the way that she did. Notice that she "believed what the angel had told her" unlike Zechariah.

So what exactly did she question? She knew about the birds and the bees, and she knew what it took to get pregnant. Since scripture says that she believed, there can only be one logical explanation. She was asking whether she was to keep her vow of celibacy or not.

Think of it this way. She was betrothed to Joseph, which is a higher degree of commitment than a simple engagement. The logical thought process in her head after Gabriel spoke would not result in surprise or questioning. "Okay, Joseph and I are going to have a son and we will name him Jesus." Plain and simple...

Leo said...

Jennie said...
"Leo,
Here is why the flock is scattered and who will gather them again:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=33&chapter=34&version=50"

Sorry, but we are all faithful Catholics are one flock operating under the shepherd appointed by Jesus. We are not scattered. It is you who have wandered off.

Why do you think that all devout Catholics believe the same exact things?

Leo said...

Jennie said...
"Leo,
Here is why the flock is scattered..."

I'm not so sure that I would call the one billion in one flock as the 'scattered' ones...

Leo said...

Jennie, you had bristled some time back about my using '33,000 denominations'.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia (yeah, I know, the source of all truth...)

"There are "over 33,000 denominations in 238 countries" and every year there is a net increase of around 270 to 300 denominations"

I would say that this is fairly scattered...

Paul said...

The 33,000 Denominations Myth

08/22/2007 - James White

A Call to Roman Catholic Apologists to Repent of the Use of Simple Dishonesty in Their Presentations


source:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2218

Jennie said...

Thanks again Paul,
The article you linked to seems to me to show that most divisions, including of course Roman Catholicism itself, come from a lack of dependence upon scripture rather than a dependence upon sola scriptura.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Sorry, but we are all faithful Catholics are one flock operating under the shepherd appointed by Jesus. We are not scattered. It is you who have wandered off.

No, Leo, I quoted the Ezekiel 34 passage after you said the following:
Peter was appointed shepherd and we are to remain one flock. Even though you are part of the flock that has been scattered, Peter's successor continues to pray for you daily, as he does for all of the world.
Didn't the Ezekiel passage remind you of any events in church history?
If you read the passage in Ezekiel, you will see that the flock is scattered because the shepherds stopped feeding the flocks (teaching the truth of God's word)and fed themselves instead of the flock (kept God's word for themselves instead of giving it to the flock) and began to prey upon the sheep (to use them for their own gain) and to rule them with force and cruelty (to force people to convert or be tortured or killed). This happened in Israel, but history often repeats itself, and prophecy sometimes represents more than one event; this also happened beginning in the early centuries of the church and increasing more and more as the Roman state church vied for power. The great majority of the church fell into error and many from the minority who stood on God's word were martyred by the 'church'. The rest were scattered across the world, spreading the Word as they went. In Ezekiel, the LORD said He would search for His sheep Himself and heal their wounds, since the shepherds had failed. He has been doing this all over the world, wherever the Word is preached.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Celibate marriages were not unheard of in those days and she had consecrated herself to remain undefiled in service to God.

There is nothing in God's word, which is the only direct historical source for what we know for certain about Mary, that says she had consecrated herself to remain celibate. I don't think there is any historical support for celibate marriages. Mary would not have been betrothed if she was going to remain celibate. I think that is a fabrication by the Roman Catholic church to support their excessive devotion to Mary.

Leo said...

Paul said...
"The 33,000 Denominations Myth

08/22/2007 - James White

A Call to Roman Catholic Apologists to Repent of the Use of Simple Dishonesty in Their Presentations"

Sorry, Paul, but here is another source...Christianity Today...

"Number of Christian Denominations

There are approximately 38,000 Christian denominations in the world.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2006)"

These are random Christian sources which I used and which are readily available to everyone. They are not provided by Catholics, in case you were wondering, so there is no axe to grind.

James White simply shows his lack of understanding of the Catholic Faith as well. It's not that he's ignorant; it's just that he knows so much that simply isn't so.

Look, there are NO denominations in the Roman Catholic Church. Our Faith is the SAME in all Catholic churches...the same Mass, the same Sacraments and the same authority. There is only ONE Faith. It is silly for him to say otherwise. Just because some Catholics choose not to believe what the Church teaches, does not change the Faith. James White quotes non-Catholic sources for his information about the Church. We quote non-Catholic Christian sources out of fairness and we are the bad guys. Don't you love it?

Look, even if the number is a MERE ~9,000 like he says, that is still a scattered flock. Can you not see how self-defeating his argument is? It is like a mass murderer who says, "I did not kill 33,000 people. I only killed 9,000, therefore you are liars and I am not a mass murderer. And, by the way, those numbers continually increase and will keep doing so because God founded a Church; He did not found scripture. Scripture is a book of the Church.

Getting back to the Church, even the Orthodox churches have kept the same Faith. Their only disagreement is that do not submit themselves to the pope. However, because all of their priests and bishops can trace their ordinations to the Apostles, they also have the transmitted authority to administer valid Sacraments.

It may surprise you to learn that the same valid formula is used for consecrating the Eucharist in Orthodox as well as Catholic churches, so it becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ at each and every Mass. You see, the Faith never changes and even though the Orthodox separated themselves from the pope's authority, they kept the Faith in the rest of its fullness. Thus, they are not a denomination.

Even the original Protestants used the correct formulas and had the authority to administer all 7 Sacraments early on. You may not be aware that Luther was still a priest and even though illicit, his Masses were still valid as long as he did not change the words of the Apostles.

I believe that the Anglican Church was the last to have valid Sacraments, but I am going off of memory.

A valid ordination of a priest is permanent and he is actually changed in substance just like the Eucharist during Consecration. Even if a priest leaves the priesthood and the Church and is not allowed to practice, or is kicked out, he is still required under pain of mortal sin to administer Sacraments to anyone who needs them in a life or death situation.

But, I digress. James White is wrong.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"The great majority of the church fell into error and many from the minority who stood on God's word were martyred by the 'church'."

Jennie, that is simply not true. Of course there have always been priests and bishops who fell, since the time of Judas Iscariot. But, it is just as impossible for the Church to be in error on Faith and Morals, as it is for Scripture to be in error. This is the point that you keep on missing. It is patently groundless to say that the Church is in error. Individuals, yes...the Church, impossible. The Holy Father is the ONLY person on earth who is protected from teaching error on Faith and Morals.

Even the early Fathers of the Church were not exempt from error...even the saints. Thomas Aquinas is arguably the most brilliant theologian in the history of the Church, yet he held that women were inferior to men. He was in error and the Church corrected him.

Ezekiel was referring to Israel and the old covenant. Now, I agree that there are people who have left the Church because of how they were treated by individuals in the Church.

Here is a simple example. There were two altar boys who served Mass for two bishops in different parts of the world. What both had in common, was an unfortunate incident that took place while serving. They both dropped the crystal cruets, which shattered on the marble floors of the churches.

The difference was in how the bishops responded. In the first case, the bishop chewed out the frightened server and told him to never set foot near the altar again. The other bishop took the young lad aside after Mass and told him that he would probably make a good bishop himself someday and not to worry about the unfortunate accident.

The first altar boy? Josef Stalin
The second? Archbishop Fulton Sheen

There may well be those who did not follow Jesus because of Judas as well. I am sure that the Pharisees had a field day accusing Jesus for His poor choice of an Apostle.

It is believed that the turning point was the Eucharist when Judas refused to believe that we would actually feed on the Flesh and Blood of Jesus.

The bottom line is that the primary role of the Church is to perserve the deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"I don't think there is any historical support for celibate marriages. Mary would not have been betrothed if she was going to remain celibate."

Actually, there were those who lived the consecrated life even in marriage. People did get married by necessity because the spouses complemented each other by their skill sets. It was not like today when anyone can easily support themselves and be self-sufficient.

" I think that is a fabrication by the Roman Catholic church to support their excessive devotion to Mary."

I believe that it was St. Augustine who did a great treatise on this. He explained, as I tried to share here, that Mary would not have asked "How can this be..." if she was plannig on normal relations.

Think of it this way. If you were engaged and the angel came to you, you would not think anything of it if you believed. You would think, of course, we will get married and have a child...no big deal. You would not ask, "how can this be?" unless you were not planning on having relations. That is the ONLY logical way that her question makes sense.

Jennie said...

Leo,
No this is not the only logical way Mary's question to Gabriel makes sense.
First of all, Mary along with all Jews was waiting for the Messiah and knew the prophecies including that He would be born of a virgin.
Secondly, Gabriel had already told Mary before she asked 'how can this be?' that the child would be called 'Yahshua' which means God saves, and that He would be the son of the Highest and rule on the throne of His father David; so she knew she was being singled out to bear the Messiah and that it would be God's son, but she didn't understand how a virgin could have a child without a man, so she asked how it would come about. Gabriel answered her question, showing that he understood why she asked. He said:`The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also the holy-begotten thing shall be called Son of God;
36and lo, Elisabeth, thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her who was called barren;
37because nothing shall be impossible with God.'

His answer gave her the specifics of how God would accomplish this, and assured her that nothing is impossible with God, even a virgin birth.

Jennie said...

To be clear, Mary had already been told by the angel that the child would be God's, so she wouldn't be asking the question because she knew she wouldn't have relations with a man, but because she didn't know how God would put the child inside her. Since she believed the angel when he said it would be God's son, she would not have asked for the reason you said; that would show unbelief.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo said:
"Celibate marriages were not unheard of in those days and she had consecrated herself to remain undefiled in service to God."

Hey Leo. Here you go again demeaning the institution of marriage. There is nothing defiling in marriage. Marriage is a holy institution, ordained by God.

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge Hebrews 13:4).

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo said:

"Look, there are NO denominations in the Roman Catholic Church."

Leo, I have nothing against your church and no axe to grind, but do you know how ridiculous that statement sounds? It is like a Jehovah Witness saying, 'there are no denominations within the Jehovah Witness movement.' What many mainline churches have done is to maintain a diversity of views under a general denominational cover. We are not into disfellowshipping people out of church just because of diversity of views. People are disfellowshipped not because they disagree with church teachings, but because of immoral lifestyles which run counter to scripture. Even if people are teaching something contrary to scripture, we try to correct them, and not disfellowship. I know within the Roman Catholic Church there have been MANY, MANY disagreements, and the traditional approach was for people to be excommunicated. These excommunicated people had no choice but to start their own churches.

I see lately dissenters are kept in the Roman church. Many political leaders in high places, of whom I will not name, hold non Catholic views on LIFE, and yet the Pope has not excommunicated them.

Leo, we are all human. All churches go through the same difficulties, but it is how you deal with these difficulties that make the difference.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

People get confused when they hear the term 'virgin birth' in connection with Mary. What the term means is that Mary got pregnant without engaging in sexual relations. The unitive was dissociated from the procreative (sounds familiar?). Not only did she get pregnant that way, but also during her pregnancy, she had no sexual relations with any man.

This is what the Bible teaches. See Biblical references below.

Luke 1:30-35:

"30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

Matthew 1:24-25:

"24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.


Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Let me also add too that Mary was a virgin before her marriage. She was of pure morals and was untouched by man prior to her marriage. There is no reason to believe that her marriage to Joseph was not consummated after the birth of Jesus. If Mary wanted to live celibate, why marry? The betrothal could have been called off. That was exactly what Joseph was going to do when the angel stopped him from doing that (Matthew 1:19). There is nothing unholy in the marriage act.

1 Corinthians 7:2-3:

"2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. "

Peace.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Jennie, you said,"The great majority of the church fell into error and many from the minority who stood on God's word were martyred by the 'church'."

Jennie, that is simply not true. Of course there have always been priests and bishops who fell, since the time of Judas Iscariot. But, it is just as impossible for the Church to be in error on Faith and Morals, as it is for Scripture to be in error. This is the point that you keep on missing. It is patently groundless to say that the Church is in error. Individuals, yes...the Church, impossible. The Holy Father is the ONLY person on earth who is protected from teaching error on Faith and Morals.


Jesus and the Apostles never taught that it is impossible for the church to be in error. They did teach that it is impossible for scripture to be in error. On the contrary they warned constantly for the believers to be on guard against false teachers who would come in to destroy, who would seem to be sheep but were really wolves in disguise. Also they warned that the way to life is narrow and few would find it. Jesus described Himself as the gate to that way, NOT the church. We enter the body by coming to Christ; we don't enter Christ by coming to the church.
See the following passages:
Matthew 7:
3 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Paul in Acts 20 said:
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Notice in the last passage Paul warned the elders to shepherd the flock over which the Lord has made them overseers to protect them from the wolves. Paul was warning them without referring to a pope, and also said the Lord had made them overseers; he didn't say Peter had made them overseers, or even that he himself had done so. Also, he saw that error brought in by false teachers was going to come in and destroy the pure faith. This does not sound like it is impossible for the church to err.

If Israel, God's chosen people, who were called the Bride of Jehovah, could err, and be called a harlot over and over in scripture, what makes you think the New Testament church is any different? The church is called the Bride of Christ, but there is a harlot church described in prophecy as well, who was drunk with the blood of the saints. The church has erred and is erring and will err until the end, but the remnant will be saved and purified by trials of faith.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"His answer gave her the specifics of how God would accomplish this, and assured her that nothing is impossible with God, even a virgin birth."

Your argument sounds good on the surface, but it does not flow logically when delved into more deeply. If Mary really anticipated a virgin birth, then she would have needed no assurance. It would be pretty clear that okay, if a virgin is going to give birth to the Messiah, then it must simply be supernatural and accepted on Faith that God will figure out how to do it.

If she truly was meditating that a virgin would give birth, then she would have also meditated on the supernatural premise of it.

Why else would she say, "How can this be since I know not man?"
This pretty clearly indicates that she did not know that a it would be a virgin birth. Where does it say in scripture that she knew? At the very least, she would not have qualified it by "since I know not man". This precisely shows that she was NOT aware. She was simply thinking that she needed to have relations with Joseph.

Leo said...

Hillary said,"Hey Leo. Here you go again demeaning the institution of marriage. There is nothing defiling in marriage. Marriage is a holy institution, ordained by God."

Okay, fine, you are right. That was not the best choice of words. It does mean pure, lily white,etc., which denotes virginity, but those are secondary meanings.

My point, obviously not well made, was that she was offering her virginal self to God.

Jennie said...

Leo,
the point is the angel had just TOLD her that the child would be 'the son of the highest' so she knew it would not be by a man. She was asking how it would be accomplished since it wouldn't be by a man. I can easily relate to her question, wondering HOW God would cause the child to be conceived without a man. Why would she totally disregard what the angel had just told her seconds before, that God would be the Child's father, to ask 'well I'm never having relations with Joseph, so how will I get pregnant?'? That's ridiculous and would show a total lack of faith and understanding on her part.

Leo said...

Hillary, you said,"Leo, I have nothing against your church and no axe to grind, but do you know how ridiculous that statement sounds? It is like a Jehovah Witness saying, 'there are no denominations within the Jehovah Witness movement.' What many mainline churches have done is to maintain a diversity of views under a general denominational cover."

Hillary, it sounds ridiculous to you because you have no concept of an infallible teaching authority. The JW example is laughable, since they originated in just over a century ago and they have consistently changed their teachings. They are a revival of the Arian heresy that denied the Trinity or divinity of Christ. The Church does NOT maintain a diversity of views, since her role is to preserve and teach Truth.

"We are not into disfellowshipping people out of church just because of diversity of views. People are disfellowshipped not because they disagree with church teachings, but because of immoral lifestyles which run counter to scripture."

The Church does not get into personal lives nor judge the state of their souls.

"Even if people are teaching something contrary to scripture, we try to correct them, and not disfellowship. I know within the Roman Catholic Church there have been MANY, MANY disagreements, and the traditional approach was for people to be excommunicated. These excommunicated people had no choice but to start their own churches."

The role of the Church is to teach the Faith of the Apostles and it is understood that all people grow in Faith and understanding at different paces. The issue is public teaching with the authority of the Church. Heresy is forbidden.

"I see lately dissenters are kept in the Roman church. Many political leaders in high places, of whom I will not name, hold non Catholic views on LIFE, and yet the Pope has not excommunicated them."

No, but he has personally corrected Pelosi and made it clear to her that she was risking eternal life if she persisted in her public support of abortion. The Church does not wantonly excommunicate anyone. By the way, do you know what the penalty for excommunication is? You are not allowed to participate in the Sacraments, i.e.,receive Communion. This is to protect you since Paul wrote about those who died because they received the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily. You are NOT expelled from the congregation and are free to attend Mass. You are actually still required to go every week.

Leo said...

Hillary, you said,"The unitive was dissociated from the procreative (sounds familiar?)."

Again, God never contradicts Himself. There was a complete unity between the Holy Spirit and Mary, for she is His spouse spiritually. As you know, nothing imperfect can enter heaven. God also cannot share His divinity perfectly where there is any sin or impurity.

The Holy Spirit was able to unite Himself with Mary perfectly due to her complete purity and sinlessness. You need to think of unity beyond the purely physical sense. After all, the procreation was outside of the laws of nature. Mary was also a virgin during childbirth and after. Nothing ever passed through her birth canal.

Paul said...

Leo wrote:

"Sorry, Paul, but here is another source...Christianity Today...

"Number of Christian Denominations

There are approximately 38,000 Christian denominations in the world.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2006)"

These are random Christian sources which I used and which are readily available to everyone. They are not provided by Catholics, in case you were wondering, so there is no axe to grind.

James White simply shows his lack of understanding of the Catholic Faith as well. It's not that he's ignorant; it's just that he knows so much that simply isn't so.

Look, there are NO denominations in the Roman Catholic Church. Our Faith is the SAME in all Catholic churches...the same Mass, the same Sacraments and the same authority. There is only ONE Faith. It is silly for him to say otherwise. Just because some Catholics choose not to believe what the Church teaches, does not change the Faith. James White quotes non-Catholic sources for his information about the Church. We quote non-Catholic Christian sources out of fairness and we are the bad guys. Don't you love it?"

Leo,
The point of James White's article was that blaming "Sola Scriptura" for the disunity of Christianity is spurious. Just compare the great similarity in doctrine in the confessions of two "denominations" that came from the reformation.

http://www.proginosko.com/docs/wcf_lbcf.html

Your claim that White "lacks understanding of the Catholic faith" is false. Have you listened/watched any of his debates with R.C's? When he debates he always uses "official" descriptions from "official" sources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_ZXbrbfXrY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Faomin%2Eorg%2Faoblog%2Findex%2Ephp%3Fblogid%3D1%26archive%3D2009%2D01&feature=player_embedded

Your claim that the R.C Faith is unified on doctrine as well as Biblical Interpretation is very easily disproven. How many Biblical passages have actually been Infallibly Interpreted? Jimmy Akin claims less than a dozen.

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2009/08/akin-this-isnt-exegetical-rocket.html

Leo said...

Hillary, you said,"There is nothing unholy in the marriage act."

I agree with you. Understand however, that the Holy Spirit personally overshadowed Mary and she in essence became holy ground just as where Moses was asked to take his shoes off.

Mary carried GOD for 9 months and gave birth to the second person of the Blessed Trinity! Their blood mixed and we know from science that part of the child actually becomes part of the mother in terms of actual cells. The divine so perfectly united with Mary that no man should ever dream to come near her after that.

This actually happens to us too, when we consume the Body and Blood of our Lord at each and every Mass. I cannot begin to explain to you in human terms how profound that is! It often brings me to tears as I receive our Lord in Communion. We are just not as perfected yet, but we will be before we enter heaven and complete unity with the Blessed Trinity!

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!

Leo

Paul said...

Leo wrote:

"Look, there are NO denominations in the Roman Catholic Church. Our Faith is the SAME in all Catholic churches...the same Mass, the same Sacraments and the same authority. There is only ONE Faith. It is silly for him to say otherwise. Just because some Catholics choose not to believe what the Church teaches, does not change the Faith. "

Leo
the problem is that the resource used to come up with the "33,000" number "does" acknowledge denominations within the R.C Church. Even differant languages spoken within a denomination are considered as seperate/distinct denominations in that resource.

Paul said...

On Roman Catholic Unity

01/06/2008 - James Swan

If you ever engage those who advocate Catholic apologetics, you're probably familiar with the argument that Catholics are unified in their beliefs, while Protestants are not. A Roman Catholic apologist recently stated this common caricature in a blog entry against me:

"The same thing happens with Protestants, in their internal squabbles. This is one of the ongoing tragedies of Protestantism. Protestants can scream "sola Scriptura" and perspicuity (clearness) of Scripture till kingdom come, but they can't agree on its teaching, and so they need authoritative interpretation and a guide: the Church, tradition, councils, popes, and apostolic succession."

The claim presented states that Protestants adhere to Scripture as the final infallible authority, yet their disagreements nullify the sufficiency of that authority. Keeping this argument in mind, I'd like to contrast this with an interesting entry on the Jesuits recently posted on Steve Ray's blog. Ray quoted Catholic World News stating,

continue:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2438

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo said:

After all, the procreation was outside of the laws of nature. Mary was also a virgin during childbirth and after. Nothing ever passed through her birth canal.

Leo, you sound so sure of all you are saying. How do you know what your conscience has been educated to believe by your church is true? Here is what the Bible says about Mary giving birth to Jesus.


Luke 2:4-7:

"4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Let me translate:
"Great with child" = pregnant

"The days were accomplished that she should be delivered" = full term pregnancy now in labor. How does a woman know it is time? Labor contractions!

"Brought forth" = gave birth


According to the Mosaic law,when a woman gives birth to a male child, she should separate herself for 7 days, and on the eighth day present the male child to be circumcised.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised (Leviticus 12:2-3).


This was exactly what Mary did in Luke 2:21-22, when she presented the baby Jesus in the Temple.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord (Luke 2:21-22).

So you see, the Bible does teach that Mary gave birth, and that she completed the seven-day purification rite associated with giving birth to a male child - not that there was anything unclean about the birth. The law was designed for mothers to make a healthy recovery from childbirth.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
So you see, the Bible does teach that Mary gave birth, and that she completed the seven-day purification rite associated with giving birth to a male child - not that there was anything unclean about the birth.

That is a good point, Hillary. Mary did complete all the rites according to the law for the birth of a child.

Also, there is absolutely nothing in scripture to indicate that Mary did not give birth in the normal way. The point of the virgin birth is to show that the birth of the Messiah was miraculous and that He was the son of God. It had nothing to do with Mary herself having to remain a virgin after the birth.

Leo said...

Jennie said, "Notice in the last passage Paul warned the elders to shepherd the flock over which the Lord has made them overseers to protect them from the wolves. Paul was warning them without referring to a pope, and also said the Lord had made them overseers; he didn't say Peter had made them overseers, or even that he himself had done so. Also, he saw that error brought in by false teachers was going to come in and destroy the pure faith. This does not sound like it is impossible for the church to err."

First of all, 'elders' is translated 'presbyteroi', from which the word priest originates. The pope, like all bishops, is a priest and so is one of the ones appointed to oversee and protect the flock from the wolves. Does that mean that there are not some Judases amongst them? No...

"If Israel, God's chosen people, who were called the Bride of Jehovah, could err, and be called a harlot over and over in scripture, what makes you think the New Testament church is any different? The church is called the Bride of Christ, but there is a harlot church described in prophecy as well, who was drunk with the blood of the saints. The church has erred and is erring and will err until the end, but the remnant will be saved and purified by trials of faith."

Not true...Jesus is the head of the Church and protects His Bride. Paul says to Timothy in 3:15 that the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth. Interesting that He did not say that Scripture was...

Jennie said...

Leo,
Not true...Jesus is the head of the Church and protects His Bride. Paul says to Timothy in 3:15 that the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth. Interesting that He did not say that Scripture was...

The church is only the pillar and ground of the truth if she continues to uphold the truth and to stand upon it. When she departs from this, she is in danger of becoming apostate, and becomes the harlot enemy of the saints of God. Scripture is called by Irenaeus the pillar and ground of our faith. We stand upon it and we uphold it by living it and preaching it.

Leo said...

Paul said,"Leo
the problem is that the resource used to come up with the "33,000" number "does" acknowledge denominations within the R.C Church. Even differant languages spoken within a denomination are considered as seperate/distinct denominations in that resource."

I agree that it was a poor choice but read my last post. Just go on line and you will see a number of Christian sources that list similar numbers. This was not some purposely deceptive number because I have seen it in many non-Catholic places.

Leo said...

Jennie said,"That is a good point, Hillary. Mary did complete all the rites according to the law for the birth of a child."

Irrelevant... Jesus was baptized too. Everything was done according to the rites whether necessary or not.

Leo said...

Jennie said,"The church is only the pillar and ground of the truth if she continues to uphold the truth and to stand upon it. When she departs from this, she is in danger of becoming apostate, and becomes the harlot enemy of the saints of God. Scripture is called by Irenaeus the pillar and ground of our faith. We stand upon it and we uphold it by living it and preaching it"


Okay, a couple of points here...I quote scripture and you quote a Church Father...I find humor in that...

You find it easy to accept that scripture is without error but not easy to accept that the Church is also. I find that in Protestantism everything is too much an 'either or' situation.

You say faith alone; we say faith and works by grace.

You say scripture without error alone; we say Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium working together without error

You say Jesus and me relationship; we say the family of God relationship--Father, Son, Holy Spirit, angels and saints in heaven and all of us

You say faith alone; we say faith and reason working together

You say only 2 Sacraments maximum(some don't accept baptism); we say 7 Sacraments and plenty of sacramentals and other aids that the Father gives us out of love for us.

You say salvation is permanent; we say that God loves us so much that He will not interfere with our free will until death. After that, our decision stands.

There is a story I will share about that last point. A Jewish woman testified how she was expelled from her synagogue school. When she was asked, "Can God make a stone so immovable that He will be unable to move it?"

She answered "Yes, the human heart...God loves us so much that we are able to completely and permanently resist Him to our own demise"

She is now Catholic. Food for thought...

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"The church has erred and is erring and will err until the end"

Not so, Jennie...Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. You yourself once acknowledged that she at least has never changed any teaching on Morals. That understanding alone should give evidence of divine protection. Now you need to keep searching and you will discover that she is also protected on Faith, fulfilling Jesus' promise.

Leo said...

Jennie said, "Also, there is absolutely nothing in scripture to indicate that Mary did not give birth in the normal way"

Well, she sure didn't get pregnant in the normal way. If she were made pregnant without violating the birth canal, why is it such a stretch to believe that she also delivered without violating the birth canal?

Just because something is not EXPLICITLY in scripture, does not mean it did not happen. Don't forget that if all of the things Jesus said and did were written down, there would not be enough room in all the world to contain the books. Doesn't it make sense that at least some of the 99%+ things not written down in scripture would be handed down by the Apostles through the Church?

My dear Protestant brothers and sisters...open up your hearts and minds and you will see that I have come without duplicity or guile to present Truth...

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie said,"That is a good point, Hillary. Mary did complete all the rites according to the law for the birth of a child."

Leo said, "Irrelevant... Jesus was baptized too. Everything was done according to the rites whether necessary or not."

Leo, why must you always try to negate the word of God? The passage in Luke 2:4-7 did in fact describe the birthing of Jesus by Mary. Do we women now have to teach you how childbirth is done? The same terminology is employed to describe the birthing of John the Baptist by Elizabeth.

"Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son" (Luke 1:57).

As for the baptism of Jesus, it was not irrevelant nor unnecessary. While it is true that He did not need baptism for the remission of sins, He said He was doing it "to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15).

Baptism is NOT an Old Testament rite, but was a New Testament rite instituted by John the Baptist. By entering into baptism, Jesus ENDORSED the new rite as a necessity for righteousness. In addition, He used baptism to publicly initiate Himself into His prophetic ministry as Messiah, in much the same way we His followers use baptism as a public demonstration of faith.

Mark 1:9-15, NIV:

9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"


Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo said:

"Well, she sure didn't get pregnant in the normal way. If she were made pregnant without violating the birth canal, why is it such a stretch to believe that she also delivered without violating the birth canal?"

Leo, the Bible does tell us that Mary did not get pregnant the normal way, and it also tells us how she gave birth. It says, "she brought forth", which is an euphemism for the birthing process (Luke 2:7). In addition, the Bible does say that the baby Jesus did open her birth canal.

The Mosaic Law:
"Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine" (Exodus 13:2).

Mary:
"And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons" (Luke 2:22-24).


Let me translate: "Opening the womb"

The womb has an opening called a cervix, that leads into the birth canal. Any biology book or woman who has given birth can tell you this. If you have children, then when your wife was pregnant, the doctor took measurements of this. Anyway, this is a subject for another discussion.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

BTW, another way of opening the womb is through a C-Section, but that was not the method used by Mary. The Bible says "SHE brought forth." Notice the emphasis I placed on the word SHE, to highlight what the Bible is saying. I have no doubt God helped her in the process, so that she had an uncomplicated, and smooth delivery.

Peace and blessings.

Peace.

Leo said...

Paul,

One other point which came to me as I lay in bed last night in prayer...

In James White's 25 minute video where he called the Catholic apologist's defense 'infantile' because he said that even if well below 33,000 denominations it was still way too many, he himself is guilty of the same infantilism.

Allow me to explain to show how disingenuous his approach is. He spewed out the 'fact' that 53% of Catholics voted for Obama in the last election.

Let's delve into this and you will see whose approach has more integrity and who is really on the side of Truth.

These numbers came from polls of people who self-identified as Catholic. Well more than half are not practicing, since we know from multiple studies that fewer than a third of Catholics attend Mass every Sunday. Of those who attend, it is fair to say that not all try to be obedient to the Faith.

It is pretty easy to get the 53% down to less than 10%, which is a much smaller number of true Catholics, and to show that these did mostly did not vote for Obama. Do you see how he misrepresented information in the same way?

Now, I shared with you that the 33,000 number is on a number of non-Catholic Christian websites. I found it easily and trusted them because they had no agendas.

Well, the same thing is true of the 53% number. It appears on a number of Catholic websites as well. So, it is possible that it could be found by a non-Catholic and used as fact, even though the simplest research would reveal that the real number is MUCH lower.

However, if even TWO Catholics voted for Obama, that is TWO TOO MANY. Even though almost 100 US bishops made it abundantly clear that the right to life is THE preeminent issue, a number of Catholics refused to obey and this is a real problem.

It is an indication of consciences which are malformed and in disobedient error. We as Catholics also quote the 53% number, by the way, because we are asking our bishops to step up even more to give better catechesis.

Of course, even Augustine noted that it was the believers who were leading others away from Truth because of their lifestyles. This is true today as well.

Now I will make my point. You will not find us attacking the 53% number even though it is way overstated. We cannot rest until that number is zero. I could easily fire back that White's approach is just as infantile as the one he was condemning. I would not, because it IS an issue and must be addressed and corrected. White, on the other hand, was more worried about winning a debate than addressing the real issue of a 'sola scriptura' approach without an infallible Christ appointed authority to guide us.

Leo said...

Hillary, you said,"Leo, why must you always try to negate the word of God?"

I am simply pointing out where you are adding to the Word or misinterpreting it. I am trying to negate your interpretation, which I believe to be incorrect.

"The passage in Luke 2:4-7 did in fact describe the birthing of Jesus by Mary. Do we women now have to teach you how childbirth is done?"

Let's not get carried away. We husbands actually get to see it take place so we are better witnesses.

Scripture simply says she gave birth to Jesus. It does not say how. You are reading into scripture something which simply is not there. If you were talking about a normal impregnation, that would be reasonable. In this case, all bets are off. You cannot assume.

"As for the baptism of Jesus, it was not irrevelant nor unnecessary. While it is true that He did not need baptism for the remission of sins, He said He was doing it "to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). "

This is the same reason Mary went to the Temple.

"... in much the same way we His followers use baptism as a public demonstration of faith. "

Here, you are mistaken...there is true power in the Sacrament and Baptism, by itself, rejoins us to the kingdom of God. An infant who is baptized is reunited to the family of God by that action alone, without a public demonstration of faith. Of course, that will need to be made as the child comes of age, or the family bond will be severed once again. One must accept Jesus Christ at some point to enter the kingdom for eternity.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hillary said: "Leo, why must you always try to negate the word of God?"

Leo said:

"I am simply pointing out where you are adding to the Word or misinterpreting it. I am trying to negate your interpretation, which I believe to be incorrect."


Leo, I interpreted nothing. I just simply quoted scripture that showed that your theories do not line up with the written Word of God. Now who should I believe? Should I take your word as Truth? Or should I take the Bible as Truth?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hillary said:

"As for the baptism of Jesus, it was not irrevelant nor unnecessary. While it is true that He did not need baptism for the remission of sins, He said He was doing it "to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). "


Leo said:

"This is the same reason Mary went to the Temple."

Leo, you are absolutely correct! Mary went into the Temple to fulfil the righteousness which was of the law, i.e to circumcise her male child, and to make the required offering for the firstborn who opened up her womb - Jesus!

Peace and blessings.

Paul said...

Leo, thank you for watching the youtube video.

"White, on the other hand, was more worried about winning a debate than addressing the real issue of a 'sola scriptura' approach without an infallible Christ appointed authority to guide us."

James White has debated Sola Scriptura with the leading R.C Apologists. I.E Tim Staples, Patrick Madrid, Fr. Pacwa and Gerry Matatics. He has written one book (Scripture Alone) as well as contributed to another (Sola Scriptura). One thing that is quite obvious is that no R.C Apologist has been willing to defend the opposing view to Sola Scriptura. That is defending the R.C claim to the "Three Legged Stool" argument. Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium. He has debated Papal Infallibilty with Robert Sungenis, Robert Fastigi and Tim Staples. He has challenged Steve Ray many times as well but turned down.

Leo said...

Paul, the problem is that neither James White nor any other person is willing to see that 'sola scriptura' is unscriptural.

Look, why is it so hard to understand that "if you only believe what is in the bible, then it MUST be IN the bible?"

There is no proof from scripture that we are to use ONLY sripture as the ultimate authority. Don't show me a convoluted argument. Prove from scripture alone that we are to use scripture alone as our ultimate authority. You can't.

Paul, the problem with discussing with a James White is that it is like arguing with a Jehovah's Witness. Hopefully, you at least saw from my detailed comments that he is guilty of EXACTLY the same poor scholarship that he took 25 minutes to accuse Tim Staples of. An honest person will do as we did, by using the same approach internally as externally. Remember that we quote the 53% number just to make a point. I hopefully showed you how this was just addressing a true issue in the 'sola scriptura' approach.

Your comment that he wrote books on 'sola scriptura' actually proves my point; he is like a squid spewing out ink to confuse pursuers. It should be very quickly and simply provable from scripture that this is taught in scripture. Those on the side of Truth will always simplify. Those not on the side of Truth will always complexify.

Why? Because when you know that Truth is on your side and you understand it, you try for the easiest way to just get to the heart of the matter and get it over with.

Remember that I am not asking for an exposition on justification. I am just asking for you to show me SIMPLY from scripture alone, where it teaches 'scripture alone'.

This is your core premise, yet you cannot do it...because it is simply not true

Leo said...

Hillary, you said,

"Leo, I interpreted nothing. I just simply quoted scripture that showed that your theories do not line up with the written Word of God. Now who should I believe? Should I take your word as Truth? Or should I take the Bible as Truth?"

Hillary, I am sorry, but you added your conclusions to scripture. It does not say that Jesus opened Mary's womb. It simply says she gave birth. Nowhere in scripture is there precedence for a supernatural pregnancy. From the moment of conception, all the natural laws concerning pregnancy went out the window. To insist otherwise is disingenuous at best. As such, you cannot simply draw your own conclusions.

You are not believing scripture as it is written. You are believing your conveniently embellished interpretation, which happens to be wrong in this case. You are taking a relativistic approach because it suits your fancy.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Okay, a couple of points here...I quote scripture and you quote a Church Father...I find humor in that...

I thought you would appreciate that :)

The point is though that the church fathers all wrote of the sufficiency of scripture and how everything must be compared to God's written word.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
I appreciate you digging in and sharing the passages about Mary and the birth of Jesus; the passage from Luke that quotes the mosaic law about'every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the LORD' is very helpful. It is very important to understand why the virgin birth was planned by God. It was not done to exalt Mary as a perpetual virgin; she was not a virgin after the birth. God had clearly given her to Joseph by the word that Gabriel told him, to take her as his wife. If she was not to be a wife, the Lord would not have had her be married. In my opinion it was for her own sake that she should live a normal life and continue to be humble; having plenty to do as a wife and mother of several children. She was a normal, faithful but still sinful human being, and could easily have been lifted up in pride because of the great blessing God had shown her. Unfortunately, others did not learn the lesson God taught her, to not exalt human beings.

Jennie said...

To finish what I started saying in my last comment, the virgin birth was prophesied as one of the signs of the birth of the Messiah.

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

It was not done to create a person who would forever be a virgin, with power to save and help us. She is not the point of the passage. Jesus is always the center of the Word and of our devotion and is always the one that the scripture reveals and exalts. He is the one we should always lift up and look to for help and love more than anyone or anything.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie said, "Hillary,
I appreciate you digging in and sharing the passages about Mary and the birth of Jesus; the passage from Luke that quotes the mosaic law about'every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the LORD' is very helpful."

No problem Jennie. Anytime. I think we both believe that the Word of God is worth defending.:-)

Leo said, "Hillary, I am sorry, but you added your conclusions to scripture."

Well Leo, at least my conclusions were based upon actual scripture. What were you conclusions based upon? I have yet to see you prove from scripture that Mary did not go through a natural labor and delivery process. Ample evidence exists in scripture shows that she did. Anyway, your digging into this matter has helped me to look at this traditional Christmas story in a new and fresh light.:-)

Peace and blessings to all.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hey Leo, I know you Catholics take pride in how old your churches are and I think you are right; but at least the Baptists got to baptizing Jesus ahead of you guys!:-)

Have a blessed week!

Jennie said...

Leo,
You are not believing scripture as it is written. You are believing your conveniently embellished interpretation, which happens to be wrong in this case. You are taking a relativistic approach because it suits your fancy.

I find it very ironic that you are saying those words to Hillary, who used scripture to show that Mary brought forth her child in the same way that all children are naturally born, and that He opened her womb as He was born. Your church is embellishing the story by adding things to scripture that are not there and are not even hinted at, and that are directly opposed in scripture. Scripture directly says, Joseph took Mary as his wife an did not know her until the child was born, and that Jesus had brothers and sisters, which words in Greek really DO mean 'brothers and sisters'. Your church is the one who has taught you to add to and explain away the clear meaning of the word in order to defend your unscriptural practices. Why are you always defending devotion to Mary and we are always defending devotion to Christ alone as revealed in His word alone?

Jennie said...

Leo,
Here's one verse that speaks of the sufficiency of scripture, which is the point of sola scriptura:
John 17:17
Sanctify them by Thy truth. Thy word is truth.

Jesus is praying to the Father for the disciples asking the Father to sanctify them or make them holy and complete and perfect BY the truth, which is His word. If His disciples are made perfect by His word, then what else do we need? His word is sufficient to sanctify us.

Jennie said...

Leo,
here is a sermon by John MacArthur on the sufficiency of scripture. He uses scripture to show that scripture teaches the sufficiency of God's word :) As if the fact that it is 'God's word' doesn't give us a clue that it is supreme.
http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/80-18.HTM

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"The point is though that the church fathers all wrote of the sufficiency of scripture and how everything must be compared to God's written word."

Of course everything must line up with Scripture. The Word of God is a living three pronged revelation...Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium, all working together without contradiction. That is how it has been for 2000+ years and how it will continue until our Lord returns.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Of course everything must line up with Scripture. The Word of God is a living three pronged revelation...Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium, all working together without contradiction.

The word of God is only scripture. We no longer have new inspired revelation. Tradition as defined by the RCC is not the same tradition spoken of by Paul, who meant the doctrines of scripture. The tradition of the RCC is added to scripture and IS in contradiction to it. The magisterium claims to interpret scripture, but they use their tradition to misinterpret scripture.

One example of this is what we have been talking about here; the RCC teaches that Mary is a perpetual virgin and has no sin and continues to participate in our salvation and has power to help us. These things contradict scripture and add to scripture. There is no hint of these things, and they take away from the role of Christ and give it to Mary. This is another religion than the gospel that God's word teaches.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"Your church is embellishing the story by adding things to scripture that are not there and are not even hinted at, and that are directly opposed in scripture."

Jennie, you have eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear and you are tickled by novel interpretations of Scripture that did not exist until 500 years ago. You know, this is getting beyond silly because I have become convinced that you are not really interested in Truth, who is Jesus Christ. Any belief that you have contrary to the Church is not grounded in history.

" Scripture directly says, Joseph took Mary as his wife an did not know her until the child was born, and that Jesus had brothers and sisters, which words in Greek really DO mean 'brothers and sisters'. Your church is the one who has taught you to add to and explain away the clear meaning of the word in order to defend your unscriptural practices. Why are you always defending devotion to Mary and we are always defending devotion to Christ alone as revealed in His word alone?"


The Catholic answer to this apparent contradiction is long and detailed, but decisive. There existed no special word in Hebrew or Aramaic for "cousin." The word "brother" is used in these languages generically, and does not necessarily imply children of the same parent. There are many examples in the Old Testament when the word brother was applied to any kind of relations: nephew (Gen. 12, 5), uncle (Gen. 29, 15); husband (Songs. 4, 9); a member of the same tribe (2 Kgs. 9, 13); of the same people (Exod. 2, 21); an ally (Amos 1, 9); a friend (2 Kgs. 1, 26); one of the same office (1 Sam. 9, 13).10

A number of distinguished Catholic commentators, including St. Thomas Aquinas11, actually hold that the Virgin Mary had made a formal vow of perpetual virginity together with St. Joseph. A vow of virginity would help explain why the Virgin Mary was so perplexed after the Angel Gabriel announced to Her that She was about to bear the Messiah. According to contemporary Jewish custom, marriage was in two stages. The first stage, or betrothal, was when the marriage was effectively made. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph had concluded this stage. Sexual relationships after this point were not considered as fornication. However, we know that nothing of this kind had yet taken place between the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph ("How can this be, since I am a virgin?" [St. Luke 1, 34]). The second stage of marriage was the social formality of the public celebration. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph in all probability had to forego this second stage due to their flight to Egypt, nevertheless, this fact did not impugn the validity of their marriage.12

A further Protestant objection is founded on St. Matthew 1, 25 which states that St. Joseph "had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus." It is argued that this passage implies that the Virgin Mary had other children by St. Joseph after giving birth to Jesus. It would be well here to reproduce the footnote commentary on St. Matthew 1, 25 from the Douai-Rheims version of the New Testament:

"St. Jerome shows, 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. Thus it is said, Genesis 8, 6 and 7, that Noe sent forth a raven, which went forth, and did not return till the waters were dried up on the earth. That is, did not return anymore. Also Isaias 46, 4, God says: I am till you grow old. Who dare infer that God should then cease to be?...God saith to his divine Son: Sit on my right till I make thy enemies thy footstool. Shall he sit no longer after his enemies are subdued?"

continued...

Leo said...

Further, according to the Jewish Law a child was designated as "first-born" irrespective of whether there were yet, or ever to be, subsequent children born to the same mother. This is gathered from Exodus 13, 2, which required that "every first-born that openeth the womb among the children of Israel" be consecrated to God forty days after their birth.

Who, then, exactly were the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ?

It is best to start by looking at St. John 19, 25. There it is evident that the Virgin Mary had an older sister whose name was also Mary: "Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."

Turning next to the Gospel of St. Mark 15, 40, speaking on the same point: "There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger (Less) and of Joses (Joseph), and Salome." Who is this "Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses?" Of the Marys mentioned in St. John 19, 25 it must be Mary the wife of Clopas, not Mary the "mother of Jesus," as the Virgin Mary is never mentioned by any other title except as "mother of Jesus." Further, we know that the father of James the younger was Clopas, the husband of Mary of Clopas (St. Mark 3, 18), making Mary of Clopas James’ mother. As for Jude, he was also a son of Clopas and the Virgin Mary’s sister as Scripture speaks of him as a brother of James the younger: "James son of Alphaeus (Clopas), and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James" (Acts 1, 13 [Douai]). Consequently, Our Lord had cousins by the names of James, Joseph and Jude.13

One can safely state then that the "brothers" of Our Lord as mentioned in St. Matt. 13, 54 -57 being James, Joseph, Jude etc. are in fact the same James, Joseph and Jude just determined to be His cousins. This was St. Jerome's assertion in the early fourth century:

"Suppose that the Brethren of the Lord were Joseph’s sons by another wife. But we understand the Brethren of the Lord to be not the sons of Joseph, but cousins of the Saviour, the sons of Mary, his mother’s sister."14

St. Augustine was no less strident in his defence of the Virgin Mary's perpetual virginity:

"It is written (Ezekiel 44, 2): ‘This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it. Because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it...’ What means this closed gate in the house of the Lord, except that Mary is to be ever inviolate? What does it mean that ‘no man shall pass through it,’ save that Joseph shall not know her? And what is this -‘The Lord alone enters in and goeth out by it,’ except that the Holy Ghost shall impregnate her, and that the Lord of Angels shall be born of her? And what means this - ‘It shall be shut for evermore,’ but that Mary is a Virgin before His birth, a Virgin in His birth, and a Virgin after His birth."15

It would be forcing credibility to believe that the Virgin Mary and Her older "sister" both had the same names and also had children with the same names. One can expect, also, that after St. Joseph died the Virgin Mary would have gone with Our Lord to live with or nearby Her older "sister," explaining why She was travelling with those mentioned in St. Matt. 12, 46. It is a clear example of the word "brother" being used to refer to a first or second cousin.

It is also important to examine closely three major events in Our Lord’s life referred to in the Gospels: (i) the return of the Holy Family from Egypt to Nazareth after the death of Herod; (ii) the finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem after being lost for three days; (iii) Our Lord giving His Mother to the care of St. John at His crucifixion. Our Lord, according to tradition, was 10, 12 and 33 years of age respectively when these events occurred. Yet, never is there any mention of brothers or sisters of His being present, which one would naturally expect if they had actually existed.16 (courtesy Robert Haddad)

Paul said...

Leo wrote:

"Your comment that he wrote books on 'sola scriptura' actually proves my point; he is like a squid spewing out ink to confuse pursuers. It should be very quickly and simply provable from scripture that this is taught in scripture. Those on the side of Truth will always simplify. Those not on the side of Truth will always complexify.
--------------
Leo,
Please take a look at the intro. of this brief video from the White vs. Pacwa Sola Scriptura debate.
Then tell me who it is that "simplifies" and who it is that "complexifies".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Sl5uGQSIk&feature=PlayList&p=A344ABA14541A479&index=9

Paul said...

Jennie,
Thank you for letting me post on your board. Let me know if I get too far off the original post.

Leo said...

Jennie, your posts are really beginning to show your blindness to truth now.

You claim "There is no hint of these things" and that is so patently false, that it is laughable. You can do better than that.

Let me ask you this.

If there are numerous examples where the word until does not mean that something happen after that, are you okay in stating that the only meaning is that it did happen later?

If some of who are called the brothers of Jesus can be proven that they are not in fact His brothers but other relatives, are you okay in stating that it must be believed that the other uses undeniably mean brothers?

Can you place your hand on scripture and say that you are being unbiased and are willing to follow Truth whereever it leads?

Paul said...

Leo said:
"Look, why is it so hard to understand that "if you only believe what is in the bible, then it MUST be IN the bible?"
--------

Leo,
is that what you think the definition of Sola Scriptura is?
Protestants have always believed that there is "truth" found outside the Bible. We have also believed that there is "Authority" outside the Bible. As a Presbyterian I acknowledge the "authority" of The Westminster Confession of Faith and the fact that it is subordinate and not equal to the "God-Breathed" authority of Pasa Graphi (All Scripture). I also recognize the "authority" of my Pastor and Elders, authority that is subordiate to Scripture as well.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said"Why are you always defending devotion to Mary and we are always defending devotion to Christ alone as revealed in His word alone?"

Jennie, how many times must I tell you that it is Jesus who chose to create Mary and to use her in His plan of salvation? I am only in defending the FULLNESS of Truth in its entirety, as revealed by the Apostles and preserved supernaturally by Christ through the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Did you ever wonder why the pastor is in the center of a Protestant church? You will note that the altar is at the center of every Catholic church...not the priest. It is because Jesus Christ is at the center of our worship and the priest is just a servant. We are there to partake of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and to thus receive His life within us.

This is why Catholics come back to Mass no matter how bad the priest's homilies are or the music is. We are not held by any of those things but by Jesus Christ Himself, made present in the Flesh.

Your church relies on the pastor and, how well he is liked, makes or breaks the church. If we get a bad priest, contributions may go down, but we are drawn by something far greater.

I need to remind myself here that you do not have the Body and Blood of Jesus within you and so you cannot understand these deeper truths.

Anyway, please answer those last two questions about the words 'until' and 'brothers' and don't be like a Jehovah's Witness by excoriating reason.

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"There is no proof from scripture that we are to use ONLY sripture as the ultimate authority. Don't show me a convoluted argument. Prove from scripture alone that we are to use scripture alone as our ultimate authority. You can't."
------------
2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)2Ti 3:14 (ESV) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
There it is Leo. The "Only" God-Breathed resource that is described in Scripture. It is "sufficient" for the "man of God" to be fully equipped for every good work. By it's nature it is infallible and inerrant. The same cannot be said for "Sacred Tradition" nor "The Church".

Leo said...

Paul, you said, "Leo,
Please take a look at the intro. of this brief video from the White vs. Pacwa Sola Scriptura debate.
Then tell me who it is that "simplifies" and who it is that "complexifies".

Paul, all I can say is that I am disappointed in you. After I shared the lack of objectivity of James White, here we go again. Stop trying to proselytize and start seeking the Truth, who is Jesus Christ...not your version of Truth, but His.

You know, folks, it is impossible to have intelligent discourse when your agenda supersedes Truth seeking.

Does it not bother you that James White ONLY had HIS closing statement? Do you not think that a person who was on the side of Truth would show both sides so the viewer could decide what Truth is?

It sure bothers me that you would show a put on presentation like that. I personally know Fr. Mitch, as he is here from Chicago. He is light years ahead of James White intellectually from what I have seen. He always represents both sides, incidentally, something which none of you on this blog seem to care much about. This seems to be a lot more about who can win an argument as opposed to finding out jointly what Truth really is.

Paul, you actually proved my point about James White whether you know it or not.

Leo said...

Paul said, "Leo,
is that what you think the definition of Sola Scriptura is?
Protestants have always believed that there is "truth" found outside the Bible. We have also believed that there is "Authority" outside the Bible. As a Presbyterian I acknowledge the "authority" of The Westminster Confession of Faith and the fact that it is subordinate and not equal to the "God-Breathed" authority of Pasa Graphi (All Scripture). I also recognize the "authority" of my Pastor and Elders, authority that is subordiate to Scripture as well."

Paul, I do not think that others would agree with you on that definition. To study the Fathers is to cease to be Protestant.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Leo said:

"The first stage, or betrothal, was when the marriage was effectively made. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph had concluded this stage. Sexual relationships after this point were not considered as fornication."

In betrothal stage of the Jewish marriage, sexual relations were deferred until after the actual wedding. If a couple engaged in sex before the wedding, then the marriage was consummated then at that point. The proper thing was to wait for the wedding to complete the marriage. The woman was to remain a virgin until her wedding night. We see this in the story of Jacob and Leah/Rachel.

Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me." So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her." (Genesis 29:19-21, NIV).

Mary asked the angel how she was going to conceive, because she was not having sexual relations with Joseph - the marriage was not completed yet. The scriptural record attests to Mary's virginity before and during the conception/pregnancy.

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"Paul, all I can say is that I am disappointed in you. After I shared the lack of objectivity of James White, here we go again. Stop trying to proselytize and start seeking the Truth, who is Jesus Christ...not your version of Truth, but His."
----------
Leo your example of White's "lack of objectivity" is not accurate. Time and time again White points out the distinction between the so-called "non-practicing" R.C's and the faithful R.C's. And then he points out the fact that a Biblical Church practices "Biblical Discipline" applied by "Biblicaly Qualified Elders". The church in which White is an Elder would not put up with so-called "Non-Practicing Members". The loving thing that elders are commanded to do is "shepherd the flock".

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"Does it not bother you that James White ONLY had HIS closing statement? Do you not think that a person who was on the side of Truth would show both sides so the viewer could decide what Truth is?"
-------------
Leo, It does not bother me in the least. The entire debate is available in audio or DVD. I have listened or watched all of the White v. Pacwa debates numerous times.
Fr. Mitch is a great guy. He and James White get along very well and in fact Fr. Mitch endorsed White's book: "The Forgotten Trinity".
Here is a link to the full debate. They had it in VHS and will convert it to DVD in the future.

Are the Scriptures the Sole Infallible Rule of Faith? (MP3)
[436MP3] $3.75
Are the Scriptures the Sole Infallible Rule of Faith? (MP3)
Click to enlarge

436 - Are the Scriptures the Sole Infallible Rule of Faith for the Church?

by James White vs. Mitch Pacwa

(2 Hours 25 Minutes)

http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=39_45&products_id=220&osCsid=84995f35e453acd50238b98941d5073a

My point in posting that clip was to show that R.C doctrine is not simple. When White stacked up all of those books it became obvious that your claim above is not accurate.
"Those on the side of Truth will always simplify. Those not on the side of Truth will always complexify."

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"Paul, I do not think that others would agree with you on that definition. To study the Fathers is to cease to be Protestant."
--------
Leo, I did not give my definition of Sola Scriptura.
But I will now.

"The doctrine of sola scriptura, simply stated, is that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the "rule of faith" for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition:

The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Their authority comes from their nature as God-breathed revelation. Their authority is not dependent upon man, Church or council. The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting, and self-authenticating. The Christian Church looks at the Scriptures as the only and sufficient rule of faith and the Church is always subject to the Word, and is constantly reformed thereby."


source:
http://vintage.aomin.org/SANTRAN.html

Daughter of Wisdom said...

"The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph in all probability had to forego this second stage due to their flight to Egypt, nevertheless, this fact did not impugn the validity of their marriage.12"

Mary and Joseph had plenty of time in which to get married. Their flight to Egypt did not take place until Christ was nearly two years old.

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi (Matthew 2:16).

The use of the word 'until'

Genesis 8:6-7:

"6And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

7And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth."



After the waters were dried up, the raven went back and forth no more. The word 'until' denotes a point in which behavior changed. The raven was going back and forth at first, then changed his behavior when the waters dried up off the face of the earth.

Isaiah 46:4
"And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."

The word 'until' is missing, however the word 'to' is used. God is saying that He never leave us or forsake us, even in old age. God is not saying that He will cease to be after our old age, He is just saying that He will still be our God even when WE cease to be young.

Hebrews 10:12-13

12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.


Christ now sits on the right hand of God in heaven. The day is coming when He will no longer 'sit' but 'stand.'

Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall STAND in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:3-4).

Leo said...

Paul, the reason for the books is to address all of the heresies and questions that have come up through the centuries. The Church typically ruled or clarified doctrines only when they were challenged.

What is simpler? Provide a Church to infallibly interpret infallible scripture, or to let millions of Christians to continually disagree and to waste their time trying to understand what can be simply revealed?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

More scriptures that show Jesus had brothers separate from his disciples or cousins.


Acts 1:13-14:

13And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.


Please note that the disciples were named first. Compare this with Luke 6:16. All the disciples were present as in Luke 6:16 except for Judas Iscariot who had betrayed Christ. In the upper room were the 11 disciples, plus Mary, plus the women, plus Jesus's brothers.

That James the son of Alphaeus was Jesus cousin and disciple I agree with that, as well as Judas, James brother.

Names such as James, Simon, Judas, Jesus, Joseph, Mary, etc. were very common back then. It was not uncommon for people within the same family to have the same names. Remember at the birth of John the Baptist, they wanted to name him Zecharias, just like his dad, but Elizabeth refused because the angel told her to name him John (Luke 1:59-60).

John 2:12
After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.


John 7:3
His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.



Jesus lived in a family situation with his mother, brothers, and sisters. He also had cousins, and at least one aunt we knew of. He truly understands what family is all about. He created family and He became a part of one.

Peace and blessings.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Here is a passage I found quoted in this article on the virginity of Mary (http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/virgin.htm)
Psalm 69:
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother’s children;
9 Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

Psalm 69 is a prophetic Messianic psalm that is quoted from in the New Testament as referring to Jesus.
This passage above shows that even Jesus' own brothers did not believe in Him. It uses the phrase 'an alien (stranger) to my mother's children.
This refers prophetically to Mary's other children.

Leo said...

Early Christian writings from the first centuries
Athanasius: "Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary" (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).

Epiphanius of Salamis:"... the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit" (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]). ..."And to holy Mary, [the title] ‘Virgin’ is invariably added, for that holy woman remains undefiled" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6 [A.D. 375]).

Hilary of Poitiers: "If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Mary’s sons and not those taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ and to John, ‘Behold your mother’ [John 19:26–27), as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate" (Commentary on Matthew 1:4

Didymus the Blind: "It helps us to understand the terms ‘first-born’ and ‘only-begotten’ when the Evangelist tells that Mary remained a virgin ‘until she brought forth her first-born son’ [Matt. 1:25]; for neither did Mary, who is to be honored and praised above all others, marry anyone else, nor did she ever become the Mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin" (The Trinity 3:4 [A.D. 386]).

Ambrose of Milan: "Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of material virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son" (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388]).

Pope Siricius I: "You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord’s body, that court of the eternal king" (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).

Origen: ...And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity" (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]). [A.D. 248], Hilary of Poitiers [A.D. 354],

Leo said...

Augustine: "In being born of a Virgin who chose to remain a Virgin even before she knew who was to be born of her, Christ wanted to approve virginity rather than to impose it. And he wanted virginity to be of free choice even in that woman in whom he took upon himself the form of a slave" (Holy Virginity 4:4 [A.D. 401]). ..."It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?" (Sermons 186:1 [A.D. 411]). ..."Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband" (Heresies 56 [A.D. 428]).

"That same power which brought the body of the young man through closed doors, brought the body of the infant forth from the inviolate womb of the mother."

Leporius: "We confess, therefore, that our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, born of the Father before the ages, and in times most recent, made man of the Holy Spirit and the ever-virgin Mary" (Document of Amendment 3 [A.D. 426]).

Cyril of Alexandria: "[T]he Word himself, coming into the Blessed Virgin herself, assumed for himself his own temple from the substance of the Virgin and came forth from her a man in all that could be externally discerned, while interiorly he was true God. Therefore he kept his Mother a virgin even after her childbearing" (Against Those Who Do Not Wish to Confess That the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God 4 [A.D. 430]).

Pope Leo I: "His [Christ’s] origin is different, but his [human] nature is the same. Human usage and custom were lacking, but by divine power a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore, and Virgin she remained" (Sermons 22:2 [A.D. 450]).

Council of Constantinople II: "... the Word of God ... came down from the heavens and was made flesh of holy and glorious Mary, mother of God and ever-virgin, and was born from her,..." (Anathemas Against the "Three Chapters" 2 [A.D. 553]).

Leo said...

The Reformers' Views on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary
The following is research by Dave Armstrong www.BiblicalCatholic.org It has quotes from early reformers and influential Evangelicals:

Whatever may be the position theologically that one may take today on the subject of Mariology, one is not able to call to one's aid 'reformed tradition' unless one does it with the greatest care . . . the Marian doctrine of the Reformers is consonant with the great tradition of the Church in all the essentials and with that of the Fathers of the first centuries in particular . . . . .

In regard to the Marian doctrine of the Reformers, we have already seen how unanimous they are in all that concerns Mary's holiness and perpetual virginity . . .

{Max Thurian (Protestant), Mary: Mother of all Christians, tr. Neville B. Cryer, NY: Herder & Herder, 1963 (orig. 1962), pp. 77, 197}

The title 'Ever Virgin' (aeiparthenos, semper virgo) arose early in Christianity . . . It was a stock phrase in the Middle Ages and continued to be used in Protestant confessional writings (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Andrewes; Book of Concord [1580], Schmalkaldic Articles [1537]).

{Raymond E. Brown et al, ed., Mary in the New Testament, Phil.: Fortress Press / NY: Paulist Press, 1978, p.65 (a joint Catholic-Protestant effort) }

Mary was formally separated from Protestant worship and prayer in the 16th century; in the 20th century the divorce is complete. Even the singing of the 'Magnificat' caused the Puritans to have scruples, and if they gave up the Apostles' Creed, it was not only because of the offensive adjective 'Catholic', but also because of the mention of the Virgin . . .

[But] Calvin, like Luther and Zwingli, taught the perpetual virginity of Mary. The early Reformers even applied, though with some reticence, the title Theotokos to Mary . . . Calvin called on his followers to venerate and praise her as the teacher who instructs them in her Son's commands.

{J.A. Ross MacKenzie (Protestant), in Stacpoole, Alberic, ed., Mary's Place in Christian Dialogue, Wilton, Conn.: Morehouse-Barlow, 1982, pp.35-6}

Leo said...

Martin Luther on Mary's Perpetual Virginity
Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary's virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that.

{Luther's Works, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan (vols. 1-30) & Helmut T. Lehmann (vols. 31-55), St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House (vols. 1-30); Philadelphia: Fortress Press (vols. 31-55), 1955, v.22:23 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539) }

Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that 'brothers' really mean 'cousins' here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers.

{Pelikan, ibid., v.22:214-15 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539) }

A new lie about me is being circulated. I am supposed to have preached and written that Mary, the mother of God, was not a virgin either before or after the birth of Christ . . .

{Pelikan, ibid.,v.45:199 / That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew (1523) }

Scripture does not say or indicate that she later lost her virginity . . .

When Matthew [1:25] says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her . . . This babble . . . is without justification . . . he has neither noticed nor paid any attention to either Scripture or the common idiom.

{Pelikan, ibid.,v.45:206,212-3 / That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew (1523) }

Editor Jaroslav Pelikan (Lutheran) adds:

Luther . . . does not even consider the possibility that Mary might have had other children than Jesus. This is consistent with his lifelong acceptance of the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

{Pelikan, ibid.,v.22:214-5}

Leo said...

John Calvin on Mary's Perpetual Virginity
Helvidius displayed excessive ignorance in concluding that Mary must have had many sons, because Christ's 'brothers' are sometimes mentioned.

{Harmony of Matthew, Mark & Luke, sec. 39 (Geneva, 1562), vol. 2 / From Calvin's Commentaries, tr. William Pringle, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1949, p.215; on Matthew 13:55}

[On Matt 1:25:] The inference he [Helvidius] drew from it was, that Mary remained a virgin no longer than till her first birth, and that afterwards she had other children by her husband . . . No just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words . . . as to what took place after the birth of Christ. He is called 'first-born'; but it is for the sole purpose of informing us that he was born of a virgin . . . What took place afterwards the historian does not inform us . . . No man will obstinately keep up the argument, except from an extreme fondness for disputation.

{Pringle, ibid., vol. I, p. 107}

Under the word 'brethren' the Hebrews include all cousins and other relations, whatever may be the degree of affinity.

{Pringle, ibid., vol. I, p. 283 / Commentary on John, (7:3) }



Huldreich Zwingli
He turns, in September 1522, to a lyrical defense of the perpetual virginity of the mother of Christ . . . To deny that Mary remained 'inviolata' before, during and after the birth of her Son, was to doubt the omnipotence of God . . . and it was right and profitable to repeat the angelic greeting - not prayer - 'Hail Mary' . . . God esteemed Mary above all creatures, including the saints and angels - it was her purity, innocence and invincible faith that mankind must follow. Prayer, however, must be . . . to God alone . . .

'Fidei expositio,' the last pamphlet from his pen . . . There is a special insistence upon the perpetual virginity of Mary.

{G. R. Potter, Zwingli, London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976, pp.88-9,395 / The Perpetual Virginity of Mary . . ., Sep. 17, 1522}

Zwingli had printed in 1524 a sermon on 'Mary, ever virgin, mother of God.'

{Thurian, ibid., p.76}

I have never thought, still less taught, or declared publicly, anything concerning the subject of the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our salvation, which could be considered dishonourable, impious, unworthy or evil . . . I believe with all my heart according to the word of holy gospel that this pure virgin bore for us the Son of God and that she remained, in the birth and after it, a pure and unsullied virgin, for eternity.

{Thurian, ibid., p.76 / same sermon}



Heinrich Bullinger
Bullinger (d. 1575) . . . defends Mary's perpetual virginity . . . and inveighs against the false Christians who defraud her of her rightful praise: 'In Mary everything is extraordinary and all the more glorious as it has sprung from pure faith and burning love of God.' She is 'the most unique and the noblest member' of the Christian community . . .

'The Virgin Mary . . . completely sanctified by the grace and blood of her only Son and abundantly endowed by the gift of the Holy Spirit and preferred to all . . . now lives happily with Christ in heaven and is called and remains ever-Virgin and Mother of God.'

{In Hilda Graef, Mary: A history of Doctrine and Devotion, combined ed. of vols. 1 & 2, London: Sheed & Ward, 1965, vol.2, pp.14-5}



John Wesley (Founder of Methodism)
The Blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as when she brought him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.

{"Letter to a Roman Catholic" / In This Rock, Nov. 1990, p.25}

Leo said...

Check this link out. It shows some good scriptural references as well.

http://www.davidmacd.com/downloads/reconciling_marys_virginity_with_revelation_12.pdf

Leo said...

Matt 28.20: "..and surely I am with you always, until the end of the age."

John 21.22: Jesus answered. "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

2 Sam 6.23: "no son was born to Michol, the daughter of Saul until her dying day."

Jennie said...

Leo,
In all these 'until' passages you have been quoting, the meaning of the statement is clear. We know exactly what the passage is communicating. The word until isn't used to confuse people so they don't know whether something is going to happen afterward or not. It is the same in the passage about Joseph not knowing Mary until Jesus was born. The only clear meaning is that Joseph abstained from relations with Mary until after Jesus was born in order to fulfill prophecy and the command of the Angel. If the purpose of the passage was to say that Joseph never had relations with Mary, the Holy Spirit certainly would have made it clear, just as the other passages had clear meanings. Your church is trying to say that God doesn't really mean what He says, and they have to explain it better. Sorry, God does better than that.

Jennie said...

Leo,
about all these church fathers and reformers who supposedly believed Mary was ever-virgin: If these quotes are accurate we still have to return to scripture to see if what they have taught is true. Scripture is our rule, even if everybody says the opposite. The error came in gradually and grew over time. Even the reformers did not come out completely from the catholic beliefs. It has taken time to root out some things, and some things still have not been rooted out that should be. History is not the ground of Truth. Scripture is the revelation of Christ, enlightened by the Holy Spirit as we submit to Him. If the church doesn't stand on the Rock as revealed by His word, it will fall.

Jennie said...

by the way Paul,
You are doing great; I don't have any problem with what you're posting.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I need to remind myself here that you do not have the Body and Blood of Jesus within you and so you cannot understand these deeper truths.

Scripture teaches that it is the Holy Spirit within the believer that gives us understanding of His word. We receive the Holy Spirit when we come to Christ by faith in His finished sacrifice. Scripture never equates the Lord's supper with receiving the Holy Spirit. The supper is for those who have already received Him by faith. We receive the benefits of His sacrifice immediately by faith when we hear the gospel of salvation and receive it, with the help of the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to the truth.
John 14:
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 16:
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

John 17:
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Matt 28.20: "..and surely I am with you always, until the end of the age."

John 21.22: Jesus answered. "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

2 Sam 6.23: "no son was born to Michol, the daughter of Saul until her dying day."


Matthew 28:20- The actual verse says, "..Lo, I am with you alway, even TO the end of the age.' In this verse, the word 'to' means 'during.' Jesus will not forsake us even during the time of the end. Jesus will continue to be with us by means of the Holy Spirit and His work in heaven as our high Priest and mediator up until and through the end of the age. After which Jesus no longer will be our High Priest, but will come back as Judge and King of kings.

John 21:22 - The actual verse says, "...If I will that he tarry TILL I come, what is that to thee?" Here the word 'till' means 'until after.' The tarrying is stop when Christ returns. The 'until after' changes the situation from tarrying to actually seeing the return of Christ.

2 Samuel 6:23 - The actual verse says, "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child UNTO the day of her death." The word 'unto' means 'up until'and denotes a state of finality, because after death no possibilty exists to have children.
Michal had five sons for David prior to this (2 Samuel 21:8). When Michal saw David dancing before the Lord, she was ashamed and denied David marital privileges. She kept this up until she died, after which it was impossible for her change her attitude, because she was dead. Death had sealed her decision for all eternity. No more opportunity after death exists because all marriages are dissolved after death, and we do not marry in heaven. The change in circumstance was death, which consequently resulted in her being not able to have anymore children for David, forever.

Matthew 1:25 - [Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS

The word used is 'till' which means 'until after' just like in John 21:22. Let's translate: Joseph had no sexual relations with Mary until after she gave birth to her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus. The giving of birth changed the situation from no sex to having sex. The no sex situation stopped at the point after Mary gave birth.
Peace and blessings.

Jennie said...

Leo,
To add to what I said in the last comment about the Holy Spirit being given to us when we first come to Christ by faith: Jesus said He would go to the Father and we would see Him no more, but that He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who would indwell believers and teach us His truth. See the following passages:

Ephesians 5:
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

This passage says we ARE members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. We become members by faith in His finished sacrifice: in John 6 He said we eat His flesh and drink His blood by believing in Him. "35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
After we come to Him by faith, we always have Him with us by the indwelling of the Spirit. We then abide in Him by sitting at His feet and ingesting His word, which the Spirit helps us understand.

1 Corinthians 6:
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are regenerated and become part of the body of Christ when we come to Him by faith. Then we are His body, His temple. We are not just 'going to be' His temple someday. We are His temple because we are fully justified by His blood and made new creatures one time by faith in His once for all sacrifice.

Jennie said...

Leo,
"It is written (Ezekiel 44, 2): ‘This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it. Because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it...’ What means this closed gate in the house of the Lord, except that Mary is to be ever inviolate? What does it mean that ‘no man shall pass through it,’ save that Joseph shall not know her? And what is this -‘The Lord alone enters in and goeth out by it,’ except that the Holy Ghost shall impregnate her, and that the Lord of Angels shall be born of her? And what means this - ‘It shall be shut for evermore,’ but that Mary is a Virgin before His birth, a Virgin in His birth, and a Virgin after His birth."15

Here is the passage:
Ezekiel 44
The East Gate and the Prince
1 Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. 2 And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. 3 As for the prince, because he is the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way.”


First of all, don't forget that the temple is a foreshadowing of the body of Christ, the Bride, who will be the wife of the Lamb. Mary alone is not the temple. Mary alone is not the mother of Christ in His humanity. (Remember the 'woman' is all Israel who gives birth to her own Savior). Mary is not the Bride, but is one member of the Body, who served her purpose in God's plan.
Secondly, if this passage does in any way show Mary herself (though the bigger picture is always the Bride who is the faithful remnant) notice that the prince is the only man who can enter in to eat bread before the LORD. He can go in and out by a special door. Joseph was her husband, which means the same as lord or prince. The LORD went in to the Temple (which symbolizes His people) once, and didn't leave until the destruction of the Temple in 70AD, which Jesus prophesied because the Jews rejected Him in unbelief.

The most important meaning of this passage is that the Temple (His people) belongs to the LORD. His people are commanded not to turn from Him and allow another to enter their hearts (spiritual adultery). It is ironic that the RCC is using this passage to justify the exaltation of Mary in opposition of the true meaning which is to command His people NOT to lift their hearts to another besides Himself.

Moonshadow said...

Fr. Imbelli, who teaches theology at Boston College and contributes to Commonweal online, posted this snippet by John Donne on the occasion of the Assumption of the BVM.

Donne's words have had me pondering the Incarnation every day since I read it:


For that faire blessed Mother-maid,

Whose flesh redeem’d us; that she-Cherubin

Which unlocked Paradise, and made

One claime for innocence, and disseiz’d sinne,

Whose wombe was a strange heav’n, for there

God cloath’d himselfe, and grew,

Our zealous thankes wee poure. As her deeds were

Our helpes, so are her prayers; nor can she sue

In vaine, who hath such titles unto You.

Turretinfan said...

Sorry, but Mary:

- is not a she-cherub (she's just a human being);

- did not unlock Paradise (the keys of the kingdom were given to the apostles); and

- she can sue in vain and did (see Matthew 12, for example).

Jesus was not under his mother's thumb and still is not.

-TurretinFan

Moonshadow said...

Your videos at youtube impressed upon me that you haven't a generous spirit with literature or art.

Therefore, I accept your apology at being unable to appreciate Donne's sonnet.

Peace of Christ.

Turretinfan said...

Poetry ought not to be license for bad theology.

Paul said...

Where Have All the Critics Gone? Reflections on the Roman Catholic Response to the Phrase Heos Hou in Matthew 1:25

"It has been a couple of years since my book Who Is My Mother? was released by Calvary Press—a book which, at least for the first few chapters, demonstrates why the Roman Catholic view of Mary’s perpetual virginity is biblically untenable; not least of which is the proper understanding of the Greek phrase heos hou in Matt 1:25. Even before the book was released, there were grandiose promises of refutations (the word “destroy” was a common buzz word at the time) coming from the usual suspects, including Robert Sungenis and two or three of his spin-off sidekicks. Once the book was released, the “destroy” rhetoric increased, culminating in several Internet articles, at least one magazine article, and a book project that set out to refute my work. I thought it might be instructive, therefore, to review just how my thesis (not to mention my book as a whole) has been received and rejoined by the Roman Catholic apologetic crowd."
source:
http://www.ntrmin.org/where_have_all_the_critics_gone.htm

Jennie,
This book by Eric Svendsen is really well done. It addresses just about every one of Leo's claims.

http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=39_44&products_id=61

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"It is best to start by looking at St. John 19, 25. There it is evident that the Virgin Mary had an older sister whose name was also Mary: "Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."
-----------
There are 4 women described in this passage:
1.) His mother = BVM
2.) His mother's sister (unamed) in this passage
3.)Mary the wife of Clopas
4.) Mary Magdalene

Turning next to the Gospel of St. Mark 15, 40, speaking on the same point: "There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger (Less) and of Joses (Joseph), and Salome."
-------------
There are 3 women mentioned:
1.) Mary Magdalene
2.) Mary the mother of James and Joses. (Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
3.)Salome (Matt 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.

It is much more probable that Salome was the sister of Mary (The Mother of Jesus). The fact that she approached Jesus with the request tat her son's be seated beside him in heaven would be lesss incredible if asked by His aunt. More likely than Mary's sister also being named Mary.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie,

You're right in saying that Mary alone is not the temple. The passage in Ezekiel 44 is also a Messianic prophecy as well, about the coming Messianic Temple and the Christ the Prince. This passage definitely has nothing to do with Mary.

Jennie, I also notice the use of the words 'violate' and 'inviolate' frequently when referring to the idea of Mary having or not having sex respectively. Why do you think there is such a deep-seated antagonism to the idea of the holy couple, Joseph and Mary, enjoying marital privileges?

Jennie said...

Thanks for the links, Paul.
I need to read them carefully, but here for Leo's sake is a quote from the article by Eric Svendsen in which he is discussing a Catholic apologist (Tacelli) who used Chrysostom as an example of someone who knew Greek intimately, not realizing that Chrysostom had views that are not held by modern Catholics.
Here is the quote by Svendsen:
Yet another example of Chrysostom’s Greek prowess is his view of Matt 12:46-50, which reads as follows:

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

Chrysostom comments on this passage:

'And therefore He answered thus in this place, and again elsewhere, “Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?” (Matt. xii. 48), because they did not yet think rightly of Him; and [Mary], because she had borne Him, claimed, according to the custom of other mothers, to direct Him in all things, when she ought to have reverenced and worshiped Him. This then was the reason why He answered as He did on that occasion. For consider what a thing it was, that when all the people high and low were standing round Him, when the multitude was intent on hearing Him, and His doctrine had begun to be set forth, she should come into the midst and take Him away from the work of exhortation, and converse with Him apart, and not even endure to come within, but draw Him outside merely to herself. This is why He said, “Who is My mother and My brethren?” (Homily on John 21, 2). . . . But today we learn in addition another thing, that even to have borne Christ in the womb, and to have brought forth that marvelous birth, has no profit, if there be not virtue. . . . But He said, ‘who is my mother, and who are my brethren?’ And this He said, not as being ashamed of His mother, nor denying her that bare Him, . . . but as declaring that she has no advantage from this, unless she do all that is required to be done. For in fact that which she had attempted to do was of superfluous vanity; in that she wanted to show the people that she has power and authority over her Son, imagining not as yet anything great concerning Him; whence also her unseasonable approach (Homily on Matthew, 44).'

No Roman Catholic apologist today (Tacelli included) would dare make such statements about the mother of Jesus—yet, this is the exegesis of “the greatest master of the Greek language in all Christendom”! Can we now expect Tacelli to subordinate his views to “One of the greatest early Church Fathers [who] surely knew the Greek language immensely well ([since] he wrote and spoke it fluently), and [who] was sensitive to its every nuance”? Not likely. That, in itself, should be sufficient evidence for anyone wholly to reject Tacelli’s emotional appeal to Chrysostom.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
Jennie, I also notice the use of the words 'violate' and 'inviolate' frequently when referring to the idea of Mary having or not having sex respectively. Why do you think there is such a deep-seated antagonism to the idea of the holy couple, Joseph and Mary, enjoying marital privileges?

I believe it comes from the Roman Catholic error of exaltation of the creature (Mary) in the place of the Creator. The error gradually crept in, possibly in comparing her to pagan goddesses, at a time when many unregenerate pagans began to be baptized into the church; this happened, as you know, when the church began to be supported by the Roman state, and it became 'the thing to do' to be a christian. Many errors of idolatry and corruption by the world came in at this time, and increased over the years. I believe their desire to exalt her as a perpetual virgin causes them to abhor the idea of her being a normal wife and mother, and a sinner in need of a savior.
Now the error is so deep-seated that they even give everything to Mary. She is their salvation, their helper, the one who gives her Son for us, all replacing the offices of the Trinity. She is the Woman, the Bride, the Temple, the Ark, etc., displacing the church from it's rightful place as well. She becomes all in all. This idea is utterly unknown to scripture.

Paul said...

Leo:

Here is the full context of Calvin's comments regarding Matt.13:55:
"55. Is not this the carpenter's son? It was, we are aware, by the wonderful purpose of God, that Christ remained in private life till he was thirty years of age. Most improperly and unjustly, therefore, were the inhabitants of Nazareth offended on this account; for they ought rather to have received him with reverence, as one who had suddenly come down from heaven. They see God working in Christ, and intentionally turn away their eyes from this sight, to behold Joseph, and Mary, and all his relatives; thus interposing a veil to shut out the clearest light. The word brothers, we have formerly mentioned, is employed, agreeably to the Hebrew idiom, to denote any relatives whatever; and, accordingly, Helvidius displayed excessive ignorance in concluding that Mary must have had many sons, because Christ's brothers are sometimes mentioned. 6"
http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol32/htm/xl.htm


His commentary on this specific passage cannot be taken as a summary of his position on "perpetual virginity" if you consider his commentary elsewhere. Luke 1:34:
"The conjecture which some have drawn from these words, that she had formed a vow of perpetual virginity, is unfounded and altogether absurd. She would, in that case, have committed treachery by allowing herself to be united to a husband, and would have poured contempt on the holy covenant of marriage; which could not have been done without mockery of God. Although the Papists have exercised barbarous tyranny on this subject, yet they have never proceeded so far as to allow the wife to form a vow of continence at her own pleasure. Besides, it is an idle and unfounded supposition that a monastic life existed among the Jews.

We must reply, however, to another objection, that the virgin refers to the future, and so declares that she will have no intercourse with a man. The probable and simple explanation is, that the greatness or rather majesty of the subject made so powerful an impression on the virgin, that all her senses were bound and locked up in astonishment. When she is informed that the Son of God will be born, she imagines something unusual, and for that reason leaves conjugal intercourse out of view. Hence she breaks out in amazement, How shall this be? And so God graciously forgives her, and replies kindly and gently by the angel, because, in a devout and serious manner, and with admiration of a divine work, she had inquired how that would be, which, she was convinced, went beyond the common and ordinary course of nature. In a word, this question was not so contrary to faith, because it arose rather from admiration than from distrust."
http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol31/htm/ix.vii.htm

I thought this assertion sounded familiar since I recalled Gerry Matatics bringing it up in The Great Debate I as well as his debate with Eric Svendsen.

Paul said...

Leo:
Calvin's point in Matt. 1:25 was regarding the greek phrase (heos hou) translated until or till in English. His opinion was that you could not conclude what happened after the point of fulfillment.
quote:
"that no just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words of the Evangelist, as to what took place after the birth of Christ".

Gerry Matatics debated Eric Svendsen on this topic as did James White. To my knowledge nobody has been willing to debate Dr. Svendsen in person before a public audience (on this topic)since then. Dr. Sungenis did interact with Dr. Svendsen on this several years ago and I read their entire correspondence at that time. I highly recommend "Who Is My Mother" by Eric Svendsen regarding this topic. Dr. Svendsen has much more to work with than John Calvin did regarding better manuscripts as well as extrabiblical documents. With all the work that Tim Staples has done on Mariology as well as his study in the original languages it would be great to see him debate Dr. Svendsen on this topic.

Paul said...

Daughter of Wisdom:
I'm glad you found Dr. Svendsen's work helpful.
Here is a two day interview from ISI on his book "Who Is My Mother"

http://sharpens.blogspot.com/search/label/ERIC%20SVENDSEN

And a very civil debate he had with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Sola Scriptura:

http://www.sermon.net/sermons-New_Covenant_Bible_Church-11794.html

Just set up a user name, log-in and scroll down to Authority Debate. It's a full length video.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Paul, I think you are right about the identity of the women at the cross. John 19:25 identifies four women:
1) Mary mother of Jesus
2) His mother's sister
3)Mary the wife of Cleophas (Alphaeus), and
4) Mary Magdalene.

Mark 15:40 identifies the names of three of the four women.
1) Mary Magdalene
2) Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and
3) Salome

The names of the female disciples of Jesus, who followed him around, is found in Matthew 27:56.

1) Mary Magdalene
2) Mary the mother of James and Joses, and
3) The mother of Zebedee's children

By matching up the names we must then conclude that Mary the wife of Cleophas is the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome must be Mary's sister and the mother of Zebedee's children.

Here now is the startling revelation. Jesus' disciples James and John were sons of Zebedee and their mother Salome, who was Mary' sister. That would make James and John cousins of Jesus! No wonder Jesus gave his mother into the care of John, because John was a close relative! It's all beginning to make sense.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

So now we know that at least two of Jesus' disciples were his cousins (James and John). Now what I find interesting is that the Bible names the children of Mary the wife of Cleophas, as if we should know who they are. Mary the wife of Cleophas had two sons - James the less and Joses. James the less is no doubt the same person known as James the son of Alphaeus, who was a disciple of Jesus (Acts 1:13, Luke 6:15). Joses or Joseph was also a son of Mary the wife of Cleophas. Was this Joseph Jesus' earthly father? The gospel writers record his name as if we should know who he was. If this Joseph was Jesus' earthly father, then James the son of Alphaeus was Jesus' uncle.

Just a little speculating on my part. If anyone has references on this subject, I would be glad to see them.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Okay now, so let's look at the line up in the upper room in Acts 1:13-14, and see what we have so far.

1) Peter
2) James (Jesus' cousin)
3) John (Jesus' cousin)
4) Andrew
5) Phillip
6) Thomas
7) Bartholomew
8) Matthew
9) James the son of Alphaeus (Jesus' uncle?)
10) Simon
11) Judas or Jude
12) The women
13) Mary the mother of Jesus
15) Jesus' brothers


Peace and blessings.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
Here now is the startling revelation. Jesus' disciples James and John were sons of Zebedee and their mother Salome, who was Mary' sister. That would make James and John cousins of Jesus! No wonder Jesus gave his mother into the care of John, because John was a close relative! It's all beginning to make sense.
Very interesting. It seems to match up.
I don't know about the other James being Jesus' uncle, making that James's mother (whose name is Mary) Mary's mother-in-law. Those names were very common then, as you said before. Does anyone have any other references to clarify this, or to show more about Jesus having brothers and sisters?

Paul said...

Leo wrote:
"There are many examples in the Old Testament when the word brother was applied to any kind of relations: nephew (Gen. 12, 5), uncle (Gen. 29, 15); husband (Songs. 4, 9); a member of the same tribe (2 Kgs. 9, 13); of the same people (Exod. 2, 21); an ally (Amos 1, 9); a friend (2 Kgs. 1, 26); one of the same office (1 Sam. 9, 13).10 "
--------
Leo, it's true that The Hebrew language was very concrete. But the N.T was written in Greek. The words cousin and relative are translated throughout the N.T as sungenis and anepsios.

Jennie said...

I don't think the geneology of Joseph matches him being the son of Cleophas or Alpheus, unless his father was called by several different names. I don't remember how the geneologies work, though, as it's been a while since I learned about them. Isn't one of Jesus' geneologies actually through Mary's family even though it says Joseph?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie, I do have some historical sources about Jesus' brothers, but first, let us look at what scripture says again.

"Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" (Matthew 13:55).

The following are historical testimonies:

"The Jews, after Paul had appealed to Caesar and had been sent by Festus to Rome, frustrated in their hope of entrapping him by snares they had laid, turned themselves against JAMES, the brother of the Lord, to whom the episcopal seat at Jerusalem was committed by the apostles" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 2.23.1, caps supplied).

"There were yet living of the family of our Lord, the grandchildren of JUDAS, called the brother of our Lord, according to the flesh. These were reported as being of the family of David, and were brought to Domitian by the Evocatus. For this emperor was as much alarmed at the appearance of Christ as Herod" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 3.20.1, caps supplied).

"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was JAMES, and some others, [or ,some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned" (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.9.200, caps supplied).

The Bible mentions these same men, and history bears record of them.

Peace and blessings.

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