Skip to comments.Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Posted on 04/08/2008 3:40:51 PM PDT by annalex
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Yes, it is. Applying modern language usages, such as using the brothers and sisters reference as proof that Mary had other children, to Scripture is just false rationalization.
The Bible we can point to as divinely inspired text from known apostles of Christ. For all these Marian doctrines, is their a person whom Catholics point to that this was divinely revealed too? From my limited knowledge, it just appears to be an evolving doctrine over the centuries that has just fairly recently (1800's) been accepted as official doctrine. Catholics point these as being accepted by the 'early church', whatever that means. To me the 'early church' was that of the apostles, not some 2nd to 4th century Church where much of this seem to have its roots from. It is nice that it is old, but there was a lot of bad doctrine created in the early centuries.
I find it hard to believe that old languages did not have words for brothers and sisters. The terms for brothers and sisters may be loosely used for other things, like is quite common in the black community today, but it is a leap to assume that was their usage. Basing entirely man made doctrines that rely on questionable interpretations of text to avoid conflict is not something I would be comfortable with. It appears that Joseph and Mary were married and had children. If Catholics want to believe otherwise, that’s fine. Just don’t let it get to the point where Mary is a divine figure, which I dare say there are some who do.
We did not make anything up. Some of these things are not in recorded scripture, but our Church produced the scripture from the Holy Tradition, which always maintained these things -- they are the knowledge that the Apostles had.
My question was whether 1-4, or anything else in Catholic mariology contradicts scripture. I did not ask if anything is bypassed by scripture. Some is, and some isn't. From that perspective, let me explain 1-4.
1. Mary was conceived of a virgin. The Bible indicates only Jesus was born perfect and sinless.
You probably mean, Mary was conceived free from original sin. We do not teach that she was born of a virgin. She was conceived and born naturally from Joachim and Anna. The Bible does not say that only Jesus was born perfect and sinless, -- you made it up.
2. Mary remained a perpetual virgin.
The Bible allows one to conclude that Joseph and Mary had spousal relations, and it allows one to conclude that they did not. You are familiar, it seems, with the fact that the brothers of the Lord are just as likely to be His cousins, second cousins, and half brothers. It is not my problem that you consider it far fetched. Joseph is, of course, Jesus's adoptive father and to the outside world during His ministry Joseph wa sknown as His natural father also.
assumption of Mary or Mary being the co-redeemer
Both are biblical: Mary is described in heaven waging a battle in Apoc. 12. Mary is of course, a necessary, recorded in the Gospels, instrument of the Incarnation and therefore of salvation.
4. Mother of God/Heaven vs. Mother of Jesus. In my view,...
We are not discussing your views.
Mary isn’t from Nazareth. She’s from Judea, probably near Bethany.
Yes, good point. The author, of course, meant “known to us as she was living in Nazareth”.
>> We can debate the meaning of the woman in Revelation 12 endlessly without coming to agreement on the point. Those who believe the woman is Covenant Israel have strong support from OT prophesy (Genesis 37). <<
Why is it that so many people interpret prophecies in such a way as to say, “No, it can’t mean A because it means B!”? The woman in Revelations is plainly the mother of Christ. That she is described in ways one might describe all of Israel is only a further glorification of her role as mother of Christ. And all of covenant Israel shares in the glory of her role. She is the ends to which the entirety of Old Testament history was directed: the bearing of Christ into the world.
As for a command, how’s this one:
“From age to age, all generations SHALL call me blessed.” Not, “will,” but “shall.” Ask a lawyer what “shall” means.
Which is an assumption on Catholics part. There is nothing that shows the Apostles had any knowledge of today's Marian doctrines. To protestants there are enough apparent conflicts with the Bible not to accept Holy Traditions. You can choose to hold Holy Traditions equivalent to the Holy Bible and adjust your interpretations of the Bible to fit. Protestants choose to put the Holy Bible above Holy Traditions and discount traditions that don't seem to match up. We are never going to resolve these differences, and personally I believe time is better spent on other things. It is an interesting topic, but I don't see it as God's will that we get consumed over these differences. I appreciate your concern that you believe you must change Protestants, but I think your effort is misguided.
No one says that Mary herself was conceived of a virgin. Her parents are Joachim and Anne. I think you are getting the doctirne of the Immaculate Conception (Christ’s redemptive salvation applied outside of time) confused with basic biology.
Jesus was conceived by a virgin. Because the Bible says so. That’s the only one I’m aware of.
It wasn’t biology that confused me, it was what was meant by Mary’s immaculate conception, which I wrongly thought meant was a virgin birth.
Why, there is sufficient scriptural evidence that St. Luke and St. John at least were firsthand familiar with the life of Our Lady; we know from scripture that she was with the other apostles as well at Pentecost. St. Justin Martyr (early 2c) offers the cornerstone of all orthodox mariology -- the symmetry between Mary and Eve -- which only works if Mary is completely free from sin. If the Holy Tradition did not supply that knowledge to St. Justin, he had no reason to invent it and risk someone proving him wrong.
We are never going to resolve these differences
Thousands of converts from Protestantism each Easter prove otherwise.
The Catholic population as a percent of the total is declining, so what does that tell us? Popularity is not a proof one way or the other.
Immaculate conception means that Mary was conceived free from original sin. Before I am accused of overstating the case, the Immaculate Conception doctrine was formulated with such precision late, in 19c. to be precise.
The historical belief of the Catholic and Orthodox Church of the seven ecumentical councils, held unchanged today by the Orthodox is that Mary was a virgin when Christ was conceived and remained virgin following His birth and was free from all sin all her life. However, the historical Church did not specify with precision at what moment exactly Mary was free from all sin, because the concept of Original sin was not universally held with such precision as it is held now in the West, at that time. Once the concept of original sin — a sinful predisposition inherited from Adam and present from conception in all men — has been developed in the West, Immaculate Conception became a logically necessary refinement of the historical belief in sinlessless of Mary.
The practice of the Church — since the Pentecost till today — is that doctrines are formulated when a controversy about them arises but not sooner. The fact that a doctrine was proclaimed at a given time, say in 19c does not mean that the doctrine was something made up or innovated at that time. In fact, churches were dedicated to the immaculate conception in the West way before the 1st Vatican council, — it had been a belief of the Church all along in some inchoate form.
Existence of well-informed converts prove that individual Protestants can change and come home to the Catholic Church for reasons of conscience.
As if there are not well informed Catholics who leave the church and find they have a better relationship with Christ elsewhere.
I never read a convincing Protestant conversion story. The template is always
— The Catholic Church does not teach from scripture
— I was told that rituals and rules save me
— Now I have a personal relationship with Jesus and read the Bible.
A well-informed Catholic will never say such dreck. Sure people leave: the Church is an early-medieval countercultural, terribly demanding institution, while Protestantism caters to the modern middle class with utter servility.
But my point was much simpler than that — you said that the Church cannot change people’s minds and the presence of informed converts demonstrates otherwise.
The terms for brother, step-brother, and cousin did not have the distinct meanings that they have in modern English, hence the misinterpretations that result from using modern English as the definitive basis for one's interpretations.
Because it is not a big issue to Protestants. As far as who is 'well informed' and what is 'dreck', that is nothing but your biased opinion and only serves to be inflammatory. As far as me saying 'the Church cannot change people's minds', I never said that. I just don't see fights between denominations or Catholics vs. Protestants as being God's will. I view us all as brothers and sisters in Christ, and most of the differences we bicker over mean little to God.
Is the person Jesus God incarnate, or is he something less?
The people who originally rejected "Mother of God" (or its Greek equivalent, Theotokos), thought Jesus was something less than God incarnate. Do you agree with them?
Why certain people may have rejected term “Mother of God” hundreds of years ago is of no concern to me nor does it have any relevance to me. Jesus was the manifestation of God in the flesh, and that is who specifically the Bible calls Mary the mother of. The Bible does not refer to Mary as the Mother of God or the Queen of Heaven or any of the other Godlike titles Catholics like to give to Mary. God and the Son existed long before Mary, and to call Mary Mother of God needless confuses things.
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