Mary in Scripture

by Cheryl Schupbach

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. " (Acts 17:10-11)

An examination of Catholic doctrine regarding Mary

All quotations in boldface are from Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1962), a textbook used in Catholic seminaries.

"The woman who bore the Son of God is the Progenitress of God, or the Mother of God." (p. 197)

The seed from which this doctrine is rooted is the idolatrous practices of the Babylonian and Egyptian religions before the birth of Christ. Instead of goddess being cast out, her name was merely changed. She was called the Virgin Mary, and with her child, was worshipped with the same idolatrous feeling by professing Christian, who had formerly been avowed Pagans.

At the Council of Nice, the representatives of the so-called Christianity of Egypt "held that there were three persons in the Trinity - the Father, the Virgin Mary, and Messiah their Son." (Nimrod, III, p. 329) In reference to this astounding fact, elicited by the Nicene Council, Father Newman speaks exultingly of these discussions as tending to the glorification of Mary. "Thus, the controversy opened a question which it did not settle. It discovered a new sphere, if we may so speak, in the realms of light, to which the Church had not yet assigned its inhabitant. Thus, there was a wonder in Heaven; a throne was seen far above all created powers, mediatorial, intercessory, a title achetypal, a crown bright as the morning star, a glory issuing from the eternal throne, robes pure as the heavens, and a sceptre over all. And who was the predestined heir of that majesty? Who was that wisdom, and what was her name, the mother of fair love, and fear, and holy hope, exalted like a palm-tree in Engaddi, and a rose-plant in Jericho, created from the beginning before the world, in God's counsels, and in Jerusalem was her power? The vision is found in the Apocalypse 'a Women clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars' ' The votaries of Mary do not exceed the true faith, unless the blasphemers of her Son came up to it. The Church of Rome is not idolatrous, unless Arianism is orthodoxy' (Newman's Development, pp. 405-406.)

It is absurd to apply the vision of the "woman" in the Apostles John's Revelation, to the Virgin Mary. John expressly declares that what he saw was a "sign" or "symbol" (semeion). If the woman here is a literal woman, the woman that sits on the seven hills must be the same. "The woman" in both cases is a "symbol." "The woman" on the seven hills is the symbol of the FALSE CHURCH; the woman clothed with the sun, of the true church - the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

"To [Mary] flowed over, at once and immediately, the river of Divinity and its attributes with all its impetuosity, in as far as a mere creature is capable and as is due to the dignity of the Mother of God." (p. 32)

Throughout the Old Testament there was an expressed promised that at some point in time the Son of God would appear in this world as the Son of Man. But there is no promise, nor the slightest shadow of a promise, that would lead to an anticipation of a woman should ever be invested with attributes that should raise her to a level with Divinity.

Semiramis of Babylon, Aphrodite of Greece, Venus of Rome - Cyprus, not to mention Astarte were raised to divinity. So great was the devotion to Semiramis, not merely by the Babylonians, but throughout the ancient world in general, that the fame of the exploits of Semiramis has cast even Nimrod into the shadow. She was called "The hope of the world."

"If anyone does not recognize the Holy Mary as the Mother of God, he is separated from Divinity." (p. 197)

The teachings of Semiramis, Venus, Aphrodite, and Astarte have, no doubt, become obscure over time. However, not beyond research for those interested in Religious History. Nevertheless, their son's births were boldly declared to be miraculous; and therefore she was called "Alma Mater" "the Virgin Mother." Even the Buddhist priests had a tradition that a Virgin was to bring forth a child to bless the world. (Asiatic Researches, vol. X. p. 27) Jesuit missionaries were surprise when they entered Thibet and China. They found a mother and a child worshipped as at home. They reported that of their own Madonna, "Virgo Deipara," "the Virgin mother of God," (Sir J. F. Davis's China, Vol. II. p. 56 - saying accounts sent home of the sacred books of the Chinese spoke not merely of a Holy Mother, but of a Virgin Mother, p. 235), Likewise, this was in regions where they could not find the least trace of either the name or history of the Lord Jesus Christ having ever been known. (Parson's Japhet, pp. 205).

Nowhere in Scripture is the pagan doctrine of a Mother of God taught. Neither does Scripture make a proclamation regarding Christians relationship with the Father or the Son being through a recognition of Mary.

The Babylonian goddess, Semiramis, was the first to be called Virgin Mother,. The highest titles were bestowed to her long before the birth of the awaited Jewish Messiah. It was Semiramis that Jeremiah referred to as the pagan "queen of heaven."

In Egypt she was called Athor which means "the Habitation of God." This title was bestowed to signify that in her dwelt all the "fulness of the Godhead." To point out the great goddess-mother as at once the Infinite and Almighty one, and the Virgin mother, it was engraved upon her temples: "I am all that has been, or that is, or that shall be. No mortal has removed my veil. The fruit which I have brought forth is the Sun."

In Greece she had the name of Hestia, and to the Romans, Vesta, which is a modiffication of the same name. It means "The Dwelling-place" - 'The Dwelling Place of Deity." The Orphic Hymn, Hymn to Vesta, "Daughter of Saturn, venerable dame, Who dwell'st amid great fire's eternal flame, In thee the gods have fix'd their dwelling-place, Strong stable basis of the mortal race." (Taylor's Orphic Hymns, p. 175). Philolaus, speaking of the fire in the middle of the center of the world, calls it "The Vesta of the universe, The House of Jupiter, The mother of the gods." (Taylor's note's, p. 156).

In the pope's speech in Lithuania, September 1993, he spoke of Mary as "Mother of the Church, Queen of the Apostles [and] dwelling place of the Trinity." He told priest and aspirants to the priestly life, men and women, to "look to Mary . . . who is venerated here . . . in the shrines of Aussros Vertai and Siluva, to which I will go on pilgrimage! . . . To Mary I entrust all of you . . .!"

"The Church honors her on account of her position as Mother of God, . . . as daughter of the Heavenly Father and Spouse of the Holy Ghost. In a certain sense, Mary's dignity is infinite, since she is the mother of an Infinite Divine Person." (p. 197)

Catholicism honors 'her' on account of assimilating paganism with Christianity over the years. Sacca, another mother-goddess, was taught to be all power, with all grace and goodness dwelling in her. Every quality of gentleness and mercy was regarded as centered in her. When death had came to her, she was fabled to have been deified and changed into a pigeon, This was to express the celestial benignity of her nature, She was called by the same of "D'Iune" or "The Dove."

Nevertheless, nowhere in Scripture is there even slight support for this blasphemous teaching. Scripture teachings: ". . . But a body You have prepared for Me" (Hebrew 10:5). Mary is the mother of a physical body. The Messiah is eternal, without beginning or end, and existed long before the creation of Mary. The Everlasting God took on flesh. This does not qualify Mary, a created being, as God's creator.

"Mary [is] the 'Bride of the Holy Ghost." (p. 197)

Again, there is no Scriptural support for this teaching. It can, however, be found throughout pagan religious teachings.

"Verily she is in the proper and true sense the Mother of God and The Lady; she rules over all Creation as she is both maid and the Mother of the Creator," Fund., p. 198.

Catholics are deceitful when they claim they don't worship Mary as god. To say that "she rules over all Creation" is placing her on God's very throne. This teaching falls in line with the pagan teachings of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Cyprus, and numerous others. The "Queen of Heaven" in one system is the same in the other systems. Likewise these goddess worshipped are identical with Catholicism's teachings on Mary.

There is a definite multitude of Mary's within Catholicism. Our Lady of Medjugorje, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, just to name a few. The newest seems to be The Lady of the New Advent, contrived for World Youth Day. The pope, celebrating mass, addressed Mary in heaven saying: "With my heart full of praise for the Queen of Heaven, the sign of hope and source of comfort on our pilgrimage of faith to the heavenly Jerusalem, I greet all of you who are present at this solemn liturgy. . . This liturgy presents you, Mary, as the woman clothed with the sun. . . O woman clothed with the sun . . . the youth of the world greet you with so much love . . . In Mary the final victory of life over death is already a reality . . . O Mary . . . as Mother of the Church, you guide us still from your place in heaven and . . . help us to increase in holiness by conquering sin."

"It is consonant with the dignity of the Mother of God that to her are attributed a high decree of supernatural knowledge of Faith, and, after her conception of Christ, a special grace of mystical contemplation," Fund., p. 198.

There is no biblical substantiation for this assertion. She was given no more supernatural knowledge that Elizabeth herself did not received also. Traditions that would say otherwise find their origins in the ancient pagan religions of Gentile nations - detailed above. There is no "seed" of this doctrine found in Scripture.

"Mary's freedom from original sin was an unmerited gift of God, and an exception from the law which vouchsafed to her only, " Fund., p. 199.

This teaching contradicts Scripture, thereby making God out to be a liar. The Word of God states: "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Mary rejoiced in God as her Savior (Luke 1:47). "There is none good but one, that is God" (Matthew 19:17 & Mark 10:18). There is NO biblical exception for Mary. Therefore, either Catholicism lies or Scripture does.

"The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is not explicitly revealed in Scripture." Fund., p. 200.

Of course it isn't. Neither is the Immaculate Conception of Mary presented as a sight expectation in Scripture. For Mary to be Immaculate she MUST be sinless. The Bible unequivocally teaches that ALL have sinned. The blasphemous names given by Catholicism to Mary have not one shadow of foundation in the Bible, but are ALL found in pagan idolatry.

The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is based on the axiom of Eadmer which says: "God could do it, He ought to do it, therefore He did it . . . This, it is true, gives no certainty, but still, it rationally establishes for the dogma a high degree of probability," Fund., p. 202.

Actually, it is based on a long history of mother-goddess worship. This blasphemous doctrine is taught without any biblical basis whatsoever. None the less, it is taught to Catholics that aspire to be priest, and attend Catholic Seminaries.

"Mary stands with Christ in a perfect and victorious enmity towards Satan and his following. ... Mary's victory over Satan would not have been perfect, if she had ever been under his dominion. Consequently she must have entered this world without the stain of original sin," Fund., p. 202.

The Bible does not support the teaching that Mary entered the world without original sin. To the contrary, the Bible teaches the opposite. The word "ALL" is inclusive, not exclusive. "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Thus, either Catholicism lies or God's Word lies. It cannot be both.

"Mary, just like Christ, was from the beginning of her existence, free from all sin." (p. 201)

I am convinced thoroughly that Catholicism, like the ancient religions of Babylon, Egypt, etc., worship a false Christ and his mother - the Queen of Heaven.

Nowhere in Scripture are we told that Mary is the cause of our Salvation. She herself rejoiced in God as her Savior. (Luke 1:47)

Regarding Eve, she was deceived. Through Eve childbirth is LABOR.

Scripture teaches Adam is the CAUSE of our death, and Jesus is the CAUSE of our life.

"Mary was cleansed from original sin, it is logical to assume that she was, from the very beginning, entirely free from concupiscence [strong sexual desire]." (p. 203)

Mary was NOT cleansed from original sin apart from salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah - as with ALL believers.

It is presumptuous of Catholicism to imply a lack of sexual desire in Mary as if there were something sinful or ungodly about this desire. Mary was literally the loving wife of Joseph, and had many children according to Scripture. The Bible declares the marriage bed to be God's will (Genesis 1:28; 2:21-24; I Corinthians 7:3-5). These fantasies about Mary are not true any more than others promoted by Catholicism.

"No justified person can for his whole life avoid all sins, ... except on the ground of a special privilege from God such as the Church holds was given to the Blessed Virgin," Fund., p. 203.

"ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23.

"She was immune from all sin, personal or inherited," Fund., p. 203.

"ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23.

"The Lateran Synod of the year 649, under Pope Martin I, stressed . . . [Mary] conceived without seed, of the Holy Ghost, generated without injury (to her virginity), and her virginity continued unimpaired after the birth." (pp. 203-204)

"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; Mark 6:3

"In general the Fathers ... conceived [Christ's birth] as non injury to the hymen, and accordingly taught that Mary gave birth in miraculous fashion without opening of the womb and injury to the hymen, and consequently also without pains." Fund. p. 205

Neither the New Testament nor the Patristic writings tell us anything about the destiny of Mary after the death of Christ.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says that during the first centuries of the church there was no emphasis of Mary whatsoever. The Catholic Encyclopedia concurs: "…there is no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries"

"Mary, the immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of Heaven." Fund. p. 208

Two apocryphal works of the 4th and 5th century - one ascribed to John, and the other to Melito, Bishop of Sardis - are the earliest that make suggestions about a bodily assumption. There was NO emphasis upon Mary, least of all the fantasies contrived by Catholicism, taught or practiced by first century Christians.

Matthew 13:55-56 proves beyond any doubt that Mary was not a perpetual virgin. That she was the loving wife of Joseph, participating in the marriage bed, is obvious with the births of James, Joses, Simon, Judas, and their sisters (PLURAL).

There is no Biblical foundation for the assertion of her body and soul being assumed into Heaven. Like ALL believers who have experienced death, her body will not assume into heaven until the fulfillment of First Thessalonians 4:16.

"It is argued that as Mary had an intimate share in Christ's battle against Satan and His victory over Satan and sin, she must also have participated intimately in His victory over death." Fund. p. 209

There is no Biblical support that Mary's victory over Satan and death is any different than ALL believers. Her victory, like all believers, is through Messiah. Through Messiah's death, burial, and resurrection, He alone was victorious and seal the same victory for all believers, including Mary.

"Mary ... [is] the 'Go-between' (mediatrix). ... 'After the Mediator (Christ) thou [Mary] art the mediatrix of the whole world." p. 211

NO! There is no Scriptural foundation for this assertion. To the contrary, Scripture testifies to there being only ONE Mediator between God and mankind according to Scripture (First Timothy 2:5). Moreover, the Bible is very clear that we come to the Father through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; 15:16; 16:23). There is not the slightest suggestion in Scripture that believers must come to Christ through Mary.

"Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her intercession in Heaven. Since her assumption into Heaven, Mary co-operates in the application of the grace of Redemption to man. She participates in the distribution of grace by her maternal intercession ..." Fund. p. 213

These lies were the inventions of Pagan religions. All the ancient goddesses were powerful, full of grace and goodness. Each had every quality of gentleness and mercy centered on her. Likewise each participated in the distribution of their grace. Catholicism's Mediatrix is identical.

"Mary's intercessory co-operation extends to all graces, which are conferred on mankind, so that no grace accrues to men, without the intercession of Mary, ... according to God's positive ordinance, the redemptive grace of Christ is conferred on nobody without the actual intercessory co-operation of Mary." Fund, p. 213

Again, Scripture contradicts Catholic teaching. The Bible clearly teaches we come to the Father through Christ. Nowhere in Scripture it is suggested that anyone become a "child of Mary."

"Nobody can approach Christ except through the Mother." p. 214

Scripture does not even hint at such a thing. Christ died for our sins and offers eternal life as a free gift of HIS grace.

"Mary was given as a mother to all the redeemed. ... by her powerful intercession, should procure for her children in need of help all graces by which they can attain eternal salvation. ... Nobody can achieve salvation except through thee ... O Most Holy One [Mary]. ... God wished that we had nothing, except by the hands of Mary. ... [Mary], the universal dispenser of all riches." Fund. p. 214

The Bible does not suggest or imply that Mary is powerful, mother of the redeemed, believer's are never referred to as "children of Mary," nor is there a suggestion that a believer is to become a "child of Mary." Mary achieves salvation for no one, even her own. Luke 1:47 clearly has Mary praising God as her Savior.

These assertions are outright idolatrous, blasphemous, and an abomination to God.

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Words From Luke and a Catholic Prayer

"Hail, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee...Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!...All generations shall call me blessed...he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden...for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name...And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" From Luke 1:39-56

"Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah" (Hebron being the chief city of this part of Judea), "and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; " (eskirtesen - translated "leaped" is a common incident with unborn children) "and Elizabeth was filled with the HOLY SPIRIT" (Emphasis is on the filling of the Holy Spirit, not Elizabeth's pregnancy). "And she cried out with a loud voice and said, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord" (he meter tow Kuriou mou - Ps. 110:1 - an understanding resulting only through the Holy Spirit - Emphasis again on the Holy Spirit) "would come to me? For" (hoti - means "that" or "because") "behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.' And Mary said: 'My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state (ten tapeinosin - as in verse 52, literal sense) of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed" (makariousin me - far from the worship of Mariolatry practiced by Catholics). "For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear" (phoboumenois - present middle participle - reverential fear) "Him. He has done mighty" (epoiesen kratos - a Hebrew concept) "deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts" (dianoiai - intellectual insights and moral understanding) "of their heart. He has brought down rulers" (dunastas - to be able, we draw our English word Dynasty from this word) "from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. He has" (antelabeto - second aorist middle indicative, comment verb - to lay hold of with a view to help or succour) "filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant" (paidos - intimate servant), "In remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever." And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home."

Luke 1:42-45 (Elizabeth), Luke 1:47-55 (Mary) and 1:68-70 (Zacharias) - all three spoke under the power of the Holy Spirit. Every idea occurs in the Old Testament, showing that all were full of the spiritual message of God's Word.

After learning of the sign, Mary . . . hurried to see Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Zechariah lived in a town in the hill country, which probably referred to the hilly region surrounding Jerusalem. As Mary arrived, Elizabeth's baby leaped in her womb for joy, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Zechariah also was later filled with the Holy Spirit (v. 67). Prior to the day of Pentecost, believers were filled with the Holy Spirit for specific tasks.

Elizabeth's loudly spoken words, Blessed (eulogemene, literally meaning "well spoken of") are you among women, carry the idea that Mary is the most honored of all women. Elizabeth called her the mother of my Lord. In Luke the term "Lord" (kyrios) often describes Jesus. It has a double meaning. "Lord" would be more important for a Greek reader than would the term "Christ" (meaning "Messiah"), for the Gentiles had not been anxiously awaiting the Messiah. On the other hand the Septuagint often used the world "Lord" (kyrois) to translate Yahweh. Again (v. 45) Elizabeth said Mary was blessed (makaria, "happy") because she believed what God had told her. This suggests that Mary visited Elizabeth not with a skeptical attitude but rather joyously, to confirm what had been announced to her.

In response to the situation at hand Mary recited a song which praised God's favor on her and her people. "The Magnificat," as the song is called, consists almost entirely of Old Testament allusions and quotations. The same is true of the songs of Zechariah and Simeon (vv. 1:68-79 & 2:29-32). Mary's song has similarities to Hannah's song (1 Sam. 2:1-10). First, Mary praised God for His special favor on her (vv. 46-50). Mary saw herself as part of the godly remnant that had served Yahweh. She called God my Savior (soteri mou) showing an intimate acquaintance with Him. She spoke of His faithfulness (v. 48), power (v. 49), and mercy (v. 50). Second, Mary praised God for His special favor on Israel (vv. 51-55). Through the child that she was to bear, God was being merciful to Abraham and his descendants. Mary was aware that the birth of her child was a fulfillment of the covenant promised to Abraham and his people (Genesis 12:1-3).

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, apparently until John was born (v. 36). Mary then returned home. The Greek has the words "her home," indicating that she was still a virgin and was not yet married to Joseph.

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