Skip to comments.How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Posted on 01/02/2010 3:32:55 PM PST by NYer
The title "Mother of God" is offensive to some Protestant Christians because they believe that this title raises Mary to an inappropriate, even idolatrous, level -- the level of God Himself. There is also genuine confusion on the part of others -- including Catholics -- about how a finite creature (Mary) could be the "mother" of an eternal being. "Wouldn't Mary have had to exist before God in order to be His mother?", they reason.
Referring to Mary as "Mother of God," however, does not imply that she existed from all eternity (like God) or that she is the source of Jesus' divine nature. Mary was and is a human being. She is the Mother of God because she gave birth to the God-Man, Jesus, "the Word made flesh" (John 1).
The reality of Mary's divine maternity was proclaimed a dogma of the faith by the Council of Ephesus in 431, and this teaching contains two important affirmations:
1) Mary is truly a mother. Since Jesus had no human father, Mary contributed all genetic material to the formation of His human nature. As Pope John Paul II states in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater, "[Jesus] is the flesh and blood of Mary!" (see Catechism 485)
2) Mary conceived and bore the Second Person of the Trinity. Echoing the Nestorian heresy (which denied the inseparable unity of two natures of Christ in one Person), some Protestant Christians hold that Mary was the mother of Jesus' human nature only. But a mother does not give birth to a nature; she gives birth to a person. Since Jesus is a divine Person, it is logical that Mary be called the "Mother of God" (in Greek, Theotokos), even if this mystery has aspects that exceed our human understanding.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) teaches
Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos). [CCC 495]
The word Theotokos also helps us to understand this teaching a little better. The word literally means "God bearer," not "God generator." To "generate" God would imply that one is His origin, but this cannot be true because God exists from all eternity. To "bear" God means to hold him in one's womb. Historic Christianity (i.e., the Catholic and Orthodox churches) believe that Mary actually bore God (in the person of Jesus Christ) in her womb. Jesus didn't "become God" when He left her womb.
To deny Mary's divine maternity is to cast doubt on the reality of Jesus' divinity. Mary's divine maternity is, then, essentially a "Christological" dogma in that it affirms the divine Personhood of Jesus. To emphasize the profound importance of this teaching, the Church has restored the ancient feast of Mary, Mother of God on January 1.
Since we have been reborn as children of God in baptism and now share in the divine life through grace, Mary has become our mother as well. By drawing near to her as our mother, we draw near to Jesus Himself, the source of our salvation. This is why devotion to Mary is so essential to the life of the Christian, and why the Church encourages us to foster a greater love for the Blessed Mother in our lives.
One final point. It is interesting to note that two of the early Protestant leaders, Martin Luther and John Calvin, taught Mary's divine maternity and even condemned those who denied this essential truth.
No, I am saying that the selection of new testament writings occured in the 4th century, after the first century witnesses were dead.
Here are some homework questions for you:
The councils were convened when?
The Emperor retained the position and authority of Pontifex Maximus until when?
The Bishop of Rome was given the authority of Pontifex Maximus by who, and in what year?
LOL. Scientism is excommunicates scientists who question the orthodoxy of faith-based macro evolution.
Then why argue this? Why not argue something basic, like Intellegent Design, or Jesus vs. world religions?
An interesting book is “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” by John Allegro. He asserts that Mark is a text that encodes and protects the secret of how to prepare and consume the aminita muscaria mushroom (fly agaric) to have religious experiences (see sounds and hear colors type).
John Allegro was one of the less productive members of the committee that produced the “Revised Standard Version” and was just in time to justify some of the drug cultures of the 1960s.
Scientism only excommunicates those who have not done their experments yet.
Would you be so kind to spell out your abbreviations?
I have read every post up to yours, and I have yet to see anyone claim Mary is divine.
And are there no connections to humanity through Mary? None whatsoever, however miraculous that seems? I would think that Jesus's life and birth are both a combination of miracle and natural, it seems to be the way God often worked in scriptures. Any theophany in the OT is an example.
I presume you mean “Intelligent Design”...
That is another interesting subject, but I rarely start these threads. I believe that the Catholic position on Evolution is that it is a correct statement of how G-d created the current diversity of species. I actually agree with Evolution, but coming up with valid experiments is quite challenging.
But we have it on good authority that she is free of original sin...
On the other hand when Pelagius promulgated his list of people who were free of sin (Mary, Elijah, Elisha, Enoch, who was translated, others) he was excommunicated.
Oh gosh, sorry for being so far off the mark! LOL!
And Tertullian was a heretic as well, yet much of his writing is used in the Church. This sounds like the nazi-phallacy. Not everything a heretic says is untrue, if I asked Pelagius who the emperor was at the time of his reign I'm sure he'd give an honest answer.
The other fun heresy is Arianism. According to Wikipedia, “Of all the various disagreements within the Christian Church, the Arian controversy has held the greatest force and power of theological and political conflict”.
We all have to believe Wikipedia, don’t we?
Well, not on this site.
Nice obfuscation. No experiments are necessary to doubt the unproven faith article of macro evolution.
Excuse me but my post was not directed to you.
In Science, you are supposed to doubt.
Descartes said “I think, therefore I am.” But that was his second syllogism. The first was “I doubt, therefore I think.”
All scientific truths are subject to doubt, and the really interesting part is when something you thought would be true ain’t so.
Other than the general principle of scriptural inerrancy, there is no defined Catholic position on Evolution. There is only private opinion of individuals.
Don’t use potty language on the Religion Forum
Well, they say even a blind pig finds a few acorns every now and then.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.