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Mary, Mother of God
Catholic.com ^ | 2005 | Catholic Answers

Posted on 04/05/2007 11:10:10 AM PDT by MarkBsnr

Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God. However, their reaction often rests upon a misapprehension of what this particular title of Mary signifies, and what the Protestant Reformers had to say regarding this doctrine.

A woman is a man’s mother either if she carried him in her womb or if she was the woman contributing half of his genetic matter or both. Mary was the mother of Jesus in both of these senses; because she not only carried Jesus in her womb but also supplied all of the genetic matter for his human body, since it was through her—not Joseph—that Jesus "was descended from David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3).

Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ.

Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature. This assertion reinvents a heresy from the fifth century known as Nestorianism,

(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Other Christian
KEYWORDS: blessedvirgin; catholic; motherofgod; virginmary
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In order to make it easier to keep some other threads on topic, let's start one on Mary.

We believe that Mary is special to us, not divine, but very special. Please read the article before commenting. Thanks.

1 posted on 04/05/2007 11:10:12 AM PDT by MarkBsnr
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To: MarkBsnr
Honestly, from my end (Anglican/Protestant background), I've never heard anyone complain about the statement that "Mary is the Mother of God", it is always theological differences regarding Mary being an intercessory to God (like the Saints) and the rightness in praying directly to Mary or the Saints.
I'm going to have to keep my ears open more to hear the comments about the "Mother of God" complaint.. I may have just missed it....
2 posted on 04/05/2007 11:19:41 AM PDT by mnehring (McCain '08 -------------------------------------- just kidding...)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: MarkBsnr
Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God. However, their reaction often rests upon a misapprehension of what this particular title of Mary signifies, and what the Protestant Reformers had to say regarding this doctrine.

So is the author trying to make a distinction between two groups - Fundamentalists, and Protestant Reformers - or does the author intend to use the phrases interchangeably?

To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature.

One has to assume that the author, in using the moniker "Fundamentalists" is also referring to Protestant Reformers. And to say that "Protestant Reformers often assert that Mary...only carried Christ’s human nature" is both laughable and libel.

I assume you were sincere in attempting to engage Protestants in a dialog about Mary being the "Mother of God". Still, you couldn't have picked a worse article to start things off. Good luck keeping your thread civil - you're going to need it.

4 posted on 04/05/2007 11:24:16 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: MarkBsnr

Whether Mary is the mother of God is a pointless discussion. The Bible makes no reference to this concept perhaps because we are incapable of really understanding the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Having a thorough understanding of the Bible is difficult enough without adding man created concepts to confuse things.


5 posted on 04/05/2007 11:25:41 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Angry Write Mail

oh for cryin’ out loud, not this ____ again!!

I gave birth 7 times.
Each time a little person came out with a physical nature and an immortal nature (the “soul”)

I am the mother of both natures. Why? because as a mother I bore both natures in my womb and gave birth to both natures.

No one has ever claimed Mary created Christ’s divine nature - or even that his divine nature “began” in her womb.
The gospel of John takes care of that notion. (”In the beginning was the Word...”)

Mary is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is God. His divine nature and physical nature were united in the womb of Mary.
Mary bore both natures and gave birth to both natures.
She is the mother of Jesus - who is God. She is the mother of God.

To deny this is to fall into the heresy of nestorianism.


6 posted on 04/05/2007 11:25:58 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Angry Write Mail
The Divine Jesus entered the human body Mary gave birth to.

I can see you getting lots of reactions to this, from all sides. You might consider rewording it.

7 posted on 04/05/2007 11:26:03 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
And to say that "Protestant Reformers often assert that Mary...only carried Christ’s human nature" is both laughable and libel.

You're offended by your rewrite of the author's words?

Okie dokie.

8 posted on 04/05/2007 11:26:44 AM PDT by Petronski (Ruditude is poisonous.)
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To: MarkBsnr
Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God.

Not this one.

9 posted on 04/05/2007 11:27:44 AM PDT by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: MarkBsnr
Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature

Your source must be talking to those other fundamentalists. None I've ever read has said anything quite so silly. Christ was fully man and fully God at all times and was born of a virgin. To believe otherwise is to not be a Christian.

We also think Mary is very special. All generations will, after all, call her Blessed.

10 posted on 04/05/2007 11:29:59 AM PDT by jboot (If I can't get a Josiah, I'll settle for a Jehu)
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To: Scotswife

Good explanation of the phrase!


11 posted on 04/05/2007 11:30:04 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: MarkBsnr; Angry Write Mail
LOL in the time it took me to craft my reply someone came along to make a liar of me! I stand corrected.

Scampers hurredly away....

13 posted on 04/05/2007 11:32:53 AM PDT by jboot (If I can't get a Josiah, I'll settle for a Jehu)
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To: MarkBsnr
I have heard the argument about "Mother of God" but I think it was more heated in centuries past.

The idea of "immaculate conception" gets dicey -- especially when theologians begin introducing terms such as DNA in their writings -- such as the one you posted. If Mary supplied all the genetic material for a fetus -- then she gave birth to a clone of herself.

I personally believe that she gave birth to an unusual child who had a direct connection to God. That makes her the mother of god's child -- or mother of god here on earth.

14 posted on 04/05/2007 11:33:53 AM PDT by Sleeping Beauty
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To: Scotswife

..I’ll take you one more.. Mother is far more than just someone who carries a child.. A mother is the heart that raises the child, a mother is the nurturer, a mother gives more than physical life, a mother gives a part of her own soul to her child...


15 posted on 04/05/2007 11:35:50 AM PDT by mnehring (McCain '08 -------------------------------------- just kidding...)
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To: Gamecock
Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God.

Not this one.

Or this one. BTW, we need to root out that link to the "Are you a Heretic" quiz. (I can't get to it from work, drat it all.) I think we might get some interesting results from some of the posters here.

16 posted on 04/05/2007 11:38:01 AM PDT by jboot (If I can't get a Josiah, I'll settle for a Jehu)
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To: mnehrling
...a mother gives a part of her own soul to her child...

Figuratively speaking in this case (I hope)

17 posted on 04/05/2007 11:38:18 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy; Angry Write Mail
One has to assume that the author, in using the moniker "Fundamentalists" is also referring to Protestant Reformers

The text posted is an excerpt. The original, available at the link, makes the distinction between what the "fundamentalists" say and "what their own theological forebears, the Protestant Reformers, had to say".

The article elaborates:

The Nestorian claim that Mary did not give birth to the unified person of Jesus Christ attempts to separate Christ’s human nature from his divine nature, creating two separate and distinct persons—one divine and one human—united in a loose affiliation. It is therefore a Christological heresy, which even the Protestant Reformers recognized. Both Martin Luther and John Calvin insisted on Mary’s divine maternity.

As you can see, no confusion exists: the author distinguishes between "fundamentalists" and "their own theological forebears" Luther and Calvin.

to say that "Protestant Reformers often assert that Mary...only carried Christ’s human nature" is both laughable and libel

For example, at post 3 Angry Write Mail says "Mary was the mother of the MAN Jesus"; how is that different from what you quote and call libel?

18 posted on 04/05/2007 11:38:35 AM PDT by annalex
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: jboot
BTW, we need to root out that link to the "Are you a Heretic" quiz. (I can't get to it from work, drat it all.) I think we might get some interesting results from some of the posters here.

You mean this thread?

20 posted on 04/05/2007 11:40:19 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Scotswife
Mary is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is God. His divine nature and physical nature were united in the womb of Mary. Mary bore both natures and gave birth to both natures. She is the mother of Jesus - who is God. She is the mother of God.

I suppose you could make a similar arguement that since the Holy Spirit resides in us we are God.

To deny this is to fall into the heresy of nestorianism.

I wouldn't want to confirm or deny such arguement. It is speculation either way.

21 posted on 04/05/2007 11:43:49 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Angry Write Mail

“My goodness, what part of loving your Christian brother are you exhibiting in your response to what was a very lighthearted post on my behalf. Sister, you really might want to check your attitude. Please???”

Did you perhaps miss the first gazillion threads on this exact same topic where the exact same thing has been explained over and over again?


22 posted on 04/05/2007 11:43:57 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Alex Murphy

Oh yes, thanks! I need to post mine up there, too.


23 posted on 04/05/2007 11:44:09 AM PDT by jboot (If I can't get a Josiah, I'll settle for a Jehu)
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To: mnehrling

“..I’ll take you one more.. Mother is far more than just someone who carries a child.. A mother is the heart that raises the child, a mother is the nurturer, a mother gives more than physical life, a mother gives a part of her own soul to her child...”

excellent!

I also cannot find examples of Jesus referring to Mary as “mother of my human nature”.

nor do I recall Elizabeth referring to Mary as “mother of the human nature of my Lord”

If Elizabeth can say “mother of my Lord” - then durnit - so can I!


24 posted on 04/05/2007 11:46:16 AM PDT by Scotswife
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Always Right

“I suppose you could make a similar arguement that since the Holy Spirit resides in us we are God.”

nice try but no dice.
We are made in the image of God - he welcomes into His family, and thus the Holy Spirit is invited to reside in us.

There has been only one person who was “overshadowed” by the Holy Spirit to such a degree that the Word became man and united his Divine nature with his physical nature in his womb.
This is a singular event in history. She carried him, she bore him - she is His mother.

Elizabeth called her “mother of my Lord”, and so do I.


27 posted on 04/05/2007 11:50:01 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: annalex; Angry Write Mail; jboot; Gamecock
For example, at post 3 Angry Write Mail says "Mary was the mother of the MAN Jesus"; how is that different from what you quote and call libel?

Sure, there are the occasional fringe groups - there are always exceptions. And I'm not even sure AWM's usage should be read in the way many are reading it. My primary objection was to the article's use of the adverb "often" in regard to Fundamentalists, i.e.

To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature.

28 posted on 04/05/2007 11:51:31 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Angry Write Mail

“As a matter of fact this is the first non-political related thread I have ever read at Free Republic. I’m sorry if taking an opportunity to share my understanding of scripture came as such an offense to you.”

in that case I do apologize.
Stick around long enough and you will see threads like this are beating a dead horse.

and yes...I am bit cranky and not very patient after dealing with stomach flu for 3 days...:)


29 posted on 04/05/2007 11:52:25 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: jboot

Evidentially Gerstner asked the question to his seminary students: “raise your hand if you disagree with the following; Mary is the mother of God.”

He then announced to the entire class that those with their hands raised were all heretics.


30 posted on 04/05/2007 11:53:41 AM PDT by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: Scotswife

whoops!

not “his” womb of course...make that “her womb”


31 posted on 04/05/2007 11:53:52 AM PDT by Scotswife
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Angry Write Mail

it’s awwwfulll isn’t it?


33 posted on 04/05/2007 11:55:22 AM PDT by Scotswife
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

:->
Yes..


35 posted on 04/05/2007 11:57:55 AM PDT by mnehring (McCain '08 -------------------------------------- just kidding...)
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To: Scotswife; All

I’m just glad God looks at our hearts and not all this dogma stuff.. No matter what you believe in this case, God knows the intentions behind your belief.


36 posted on 04/05/2007 11:59:32 AM PDT by mnehring (McCain '08 -------------------------------------- just kidding...)
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To: Angry Write Mail

If Jesus was God from the moment of his conception, and Mary gave birth to God then yes, she is the mother of God. But she didn’t contribute his God nature, only his man nature. As long as she is the birth mother to a person who was fully God and fully Man at the same time, she is his mother, no matter what part she contributed.

Saying she’s the mother of only the man side of Jesus is saying that only the man part of Jesus was there at his birth. Did you mean that?


37 posted on 04/05/2007 12:00:05 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Gamecock

Blunt but effective. I like it.


38 posted on 04/05/2007 12:00:55 PM PDT by jboot (If I can't get a Josiah, I'll settle for a Jehu)
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To: Angry Write Mail

ok - got it.

I could be wrong, but I doubt we will be given a test on doctrine when we die - but we certainly will be tested on how well we loved.


39 posted on 04/05/2007 12:00:57 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Angry Write Mail; MarkBsnr
Jesus is both fully man and fully God. Mary was the mother of the MAN Jesus. The GOD nature of Jesus is eternal without beginning or end. Mary gave birth to a manchild, she did not give birth to God.

"Since the holy Virgin brought forth corporally God made one with flesh according to nature, for this reason we also call her Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh" (Council of Ephesus, 431 AD)


Biblical Basis

The Bible says that Mary is the Mother of Jesus (Acts 1:14) and that Jesus is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; John 20:28). Therefore, Mary is truly the Mother of God the Son according to the flesh. In Luke 1:43, the Holy Spirit inspires St. Elizabeth, Mary's relative, to say of her "and whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord (meter tou kuriou mou) should come to me?" Since the New Testament uses the title Lord (Kurios) to ascribe deity to Jesus, the biblical Marian title "Mother of my Lord" is equivalent to "Mother of God". Jesus is not a mere human lord, but the LORD God; and Mary is His human Mother in the Incarnation.

40 posted on 04/05/2007 12:01:28 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Scotswife
I am the mother of both natures.

Soul are spiritual; bodies are material. You can touch a body with with a material part of you, but not a soul. The most you can do with a soul is influence it. The soul must have a body to be in the Earth. You created bodies, dear. God created the souls that reside in those bodies.

How is this not self evident?

41 posted on 04/05/2007 12:03:02 PM PDT by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: MarkBsnr

If one believes that Jesus is God, then Mary is the mother of God. Those that believe Jesus is not God, then Mary is the mother of Jesus. It is what it is.


42 posted on 04/05/2007 12:04:49 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: Scotswife
If Elizabeth can say “mother of my Lord” - then durnit - so can I!

Certainly, but extending it to 'mother of God' may or may not be stretching the truth. It is just semantics, but I see no reason to have to stretch what is said in the Bible.

43 posted on 04/05/2007 12:06:07 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: William Terrell

You are arguing against a fact that is not in dispute.
The problem is not the definition of of bodies or souls - the definition in question is “mother”. What it means to be a mother.

this also falls into the realm of the long ago condemned heresy of nestorianism....

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10755a.htm

I’ll say it yet again...Elizabeth called Mary “mother of my Lord” - and so do I.


44 posted on 04/05/2007 12:06:21 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Always Right

trying to diminish the salutation of Elizabeth is, in my opinion, stretching it quite a bit.

Jesus called Mary “mother.” Elizabeth called her “mother”.

There is no example in scripture of anyone nitpicking about her being Mother of physical vs. divine nature.

Again...trying to separate Christ’s divine/human nature like that slides into nestorianism.


45 posted on 04/05/2007 12:08:44 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Alex Murphy; Angry Write Mail
Typically, those who object to the title at all, prefer "Mother of Christ" and the conversation then draws distinctions between Christ the Man and Christ the God. The author correctly implies that in order to draw such distinction, one has to make Mary the mother of Christ's human nature only. I agree that it is not the language a Fundamentalist would use, at least not often, and the author leaps through a logical step or two here without explaining them.

The author also does not address the implication of authority that many fraw from "Mother of God". He does, however, say:

Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

46 posted on 04/05/2007 12:12:18 PM PDT by annalex
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To: ex-snook
If one believes that Jesus is God, then Mary is the mother of God. Those that believe Jesus is not God, then Mary is the mother of Jesus. It is what it is.

Jesus is God, but Jesus also sits at the right hand of God. They are the same, but yet they are separate. Can man really comprehend this relationship? Saying Jesus is God is Biblical, but does Jesus encompass all that God is? Who knows. My point is stick what is in the Bible and don't try to extrapolate based on human knowledge.

47 posted on 04/05/2007 12:12:34 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: MarkBsnr
There is no way out of this logical syllogism,

God does not submit to Mary. The term mother must imply pre existion offspring, that is not the case here either. Titles mean things yet God has never given Mary this title, nor any of the other hundreds of titles ascribed to her by the RCC.

48 posted on 04/05/2007 12:23:22 PM PDT by DungeonMaster (Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.)
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To: Always Right
God is three persons, an extrapolation? Mary is the Mother of the Word made flesh, i.e. Jesus, not an extrapolation.
49 posted on 04/05/2007 12:23:42 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: Scotswife
trying to diminish the salutation of Elizabeth is, in my opinion, stretching it quite a bit. Jesus called Mary “mother.” Elizabeth called her “mother”.

Where did I do that. I thought I was clear, calling Mary the Mother of the Lord was Biblical. Just because the Bible says Jesus is God, does not mean that is all God is. Jesus is referred to as both God and as separate from the Father. So saying Mary is the Mother of God, you would be saying Mary is both the Mother of the Son and the Mother of the Father. I can not say that.

50 posted on 04/05/2007 12:24:47 PM PDT by Always Right
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