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Roman Catholicism – Mary

This is a response to teachings about Mary found at Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Old Testament

Statement: The first prophecy referring to Mary is found in the very opening chapters of the Book of Genesis (3:15): I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Response: As the ensuing discussion admits, the Hebrew says he (the woman’s seed), notshe (the woman herself). This subtle substitution comes from the Latin Vulgate. They also assume that the woman is Mary, but it’s at least as reasonable to assume that the woman is Eve. They attribute the ultimate victory over Satan to Mary rather than to Jesus.

Statement: The second prophecy referring to Mary is found in Isaias 7:1-17… We may infer from all this that Mary is mentioned in the prophecy of Isaias as mother of Jesus Christ.

Response: The specific verse is 14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. This is undisputed, and thus not a point of contention with Roman Catholic theology.

Statement: A third prophecy referring to Our Blessed Lady is contained in Micheas 5:2-3: And thou, Bethlehem, Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall be come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel, and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Therefore will he give them up till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth, and the remnant of his brethren shall be converted to the children of Israel. But how does the prophecy refer to the Virgin Mary? Our Blessed Lady is denoted by the phrase, till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth. It is true that she that travaileth has been referred to the Church (St. Jerome ,Theodoret), or to the collection of the Gentiles united with Christ (Ribera ,Mariana ), or again to Babylon (Calmet)??

Response: A much better interpretation of the woman in travail is that the prophecy concerns three stages of Israel’s history: the Age of Grace (Israel in rejection of her Messiah), the Tribulation (travail), and the Millennium (believing remnant). Israel is again described as a woman in travail in Revelation 12, so there is little doubt that this passage refers to the nation of Israel, not Mary.

Statement: A fourth prophecy referring to Mary is found in Jeremias 31:22; The Lord has created a new thing upon the earth: A woman shall compass a man. The text of the prophet Jeremias offers no small difficulties for the scientific interpreter; we shall follow the Vulgate version of the Hebrew original.

Response: They admit the cryptic nature of this verse, yet apply it uncritically to Mary. The normal sense of the verse in context is that whereas a man normally protects a woman, this new situation would be a reversal of the norm; Judah would return to the Lord. To claim this as a prophecy about Mary begs the question. The remainder of their Old Testament commentary is an outlandish list of alleged types of Mary.

Statement: The Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady has been treated in a SPECIAL ARTICLE.

Response: This special article offers not one shred of Biblical support for this invention, simply because there is none. They even admit: No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. Nonetheless, they make a vain attempt to wedge Mary into the text any way they can.

The New Testament

Statement: As to Mary, St. Luke (1:34) tells us that she answered the angel announcing the birth of Jesus Christ: how shall this be done, because I know not man. These words can hardly be understood, unless we assume that Mary had made a vow of virginity; for, when she spoke them, she was betrothed to St. Joseph.

Response: This alleged vow of virginity is pulled out of thin air, since no one who took such a vow would be betrothed. And there is absolutely no Scriptural support for Mary having taken such a vow. She was simply stating her situation at that time, since the wedding had not yet taken place.

Statement: After bringing forth her Son, Mary wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger (Luke 2:7), a sign that she did not suffer from the pain and weakness of childbirth. This inference agrees with the teaching of some of the principal Fathers and theologians :St. Ambrose [56], St. Gregory of Nyssa [57], St. John Damascene [58], the author of Christus patiens [59], St. Thomas [60], etc. It was not becoming that the mother of God should be subject to the punishment pronounced in Genesis 3:16, against Eve and her sinful daughters.

Response: Wrapping Him up after birth has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Mary had pain in childbirth. Remember Micah 5:2-3 above? What does travail mean, if not pain? So first they say she had travail in childbirth, but now they say she didn’t; they are contradicting themselves.

Statement: After the Presentation, the Holy Family either returned to Bethlehem directly, or went first to Nazareth, and then moved into the city of David. At any rate, after the wise men from the east had followed the Divine guidance to Bethlehem, entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him.

Response: The article makes no comment on the fact that though Jesus was adored, Mary was not. Strange that the Mother of God would be ignored when it came to adoration.

Statement: As to Mary’s virginity after her childbirth, it’s not denied by St. Matthew’s expressions before they came together (1:18), her firstborn son (1:25), nor by the fact that the New Testament books repeatedly refer to the brothers of Jesus. [66] The words before they came together mean probably, before they lived in the same house, referring to the time when they were merely betrothed; but even if the words be understood of marital intercourse, they only state that the Incarnation took place before any such intercourse had intervened, without implying that it did occur after the Incarnation of the Son of God. [67]

The same must be said of the expression, and he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son (Matthew 1:25); the Evangelist tells us what did not happen before the birth of Jesus, without suggesting that it happened after his birth. [68] The name firstborn applies to Jesus whether his mother remained a virgin or gave birth to other children after Jesus; among the Jews it was a legal name [69], so that its occurrence in the Gospel cannot astonish us.

Finally, the brothers of Jesus are neither the sons of Mary, nor the brothers of Our Lord in the proper sense of the word, but they are His cousins or the more or less near relatives. [70] The Church insists that in His birth the Son of God did not lessen but consecrate the virginal integrity of His mother (Secret in Mass of Purification). The Fathers express themselves in similar language concerning this privilege of Mary. [71]

Response: Here the meanings of words are twisted beyond recognition. They would never accept such an impossibly weak argument by anyone else. They have painted themselves into a corner with the perpetual virginity teaching.

Statement: Mary’s Divine motherhood is based on the teaching of the Gospels, on the writings of the Fathers, and on the express definition of the Church. St. Matthew (1:25) testifies that Mary brought forth her first-born son and that He was called Jesus. According to St. John (1:15) Jesus is the Word made flesh, the Word Who assumed human nature in the womb of Mary. As Mary was truly the mother of Jesus, and as Jesus was truly God from the first moment of His conception, Mary is truly the mother of God. Even the earliest Fathers did not hesitate to draw this conclusion as may be seen in the writings of St. Ignatius [72], St. Irenaeus [73], and Tertullian [74]. The contention of Nestorius denying to Mary the title Mother of God [75] was followed by the teaching of the Council of Ephesus proclaiming Mary to be Theotokos in the true sense of the word. [76]

Response: So since Jesus is God in the flesh, and Mary gave birth to Him, then that makes her God’s Mother, and she is therefore divine? This is nothing short of blasphemy. No matter how many people draw the conclusion, it’s still the wrong one. How can Roman Catholicism then claim that they don’t worship Mary as God? Wouldn’t it be better to deny this false teaching than to please their church and call Mary a goddess? Divine = God, there’s no way around it.

Statement: (from the section, Mary during the apostolic life of our Lord): In reality, Jesus in both these passages places the bond that unites the soul with God above the natural bond of parentage which unites the Mother of God with her Divine Son. The latter dignity is not belittled; as men naturally appreciate it more easily, it’s employed by Our Lord as a means to make known the real value of holiness. Jesus, therefore, really, praises His mother in a most emphatic way; for she excelled the rest of men in holiness not less than in dignity.

Response: The logic here is flawed; Jesus praises his mother’s holiness by ignoring it? That’s like saying, I’m going to show you how much I love you by treating you like everyone else.

Statement: The doctrine of Mary’s spiritual motherhood of men is contained in the fact that she is the antitype of Eve.

Response: One error is piled on top of another. She is now not only the mother of God, but of all humanity. This is almost identical to the concept of Mother Earth in Gaia worship.

Statement: According to the Book of Acts (1:14), after Christ’s Ascension into Heaven the apostles went up into an upper room, and: all these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Response: In spite of her exalted dignity, it was not Mary but Peter who acted as head of the assembly (1:15).

Statement: Mary behaved in the upper room in Jerusalem as she had behaved in the grotto at Bethlehem; in Bethlehem she had carried for the Infant Jesus, in Jerusalem she nurtured the infant Church. The friends of Jesus remained in the upper room till the days of the Pentecost, when with a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming?? there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4). Though the Holy Ghost had descended upon Mary in a special way at the time of the Incarnation, He now communicated to her a new degree of grace. Perhaps, this Pentecostal grace gave to Mary the strength of properly fulfilling her duties to the nascent Church and to her spiritual children.

Response: The reason Peter was head of the assembly was not in spite of her exalted dignity, but because she had no such thing. The phrase in spite of shows that the plain meaning of the passage is that Mary was not exalted in any way. And where is the evidence that she nurtured the infant Church? What new degree of grace was conferred upon Mary at Pentecost that was not also conferred upon all the others? Veneration of Mary in this way is pure fabrication.

Statement: As to the Epistles, the only direct reference to Mary is found in Galatians 4:4: But when the fullness of time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. Some Greek and Latin manuscripts, followed by several Fathers, read gennomenon ek gynaikos instead of genomenon ek gynaikos , born of a woman instead of made of a woman. But this variant reading cannot be accepted.

Response: It cannot be accepted only by the Catholic Church. Almost all English translations render it born, so it can hardly be considered a variant reading. Here again Mary is given the ability to create life in a divine way, above all other women. The fact that this is the only direct reference to Mary in the Epistles should tell them that she is not divine. If she were, she would be given much more prominence in the Bible.

Statement: In the Apocalypse (12:1-6) occurs a passage singularly applicable to Our Blessed Mother: And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun.

Response: This passage is unmistakably symbolic of the nation of Israel (see Joseph’s dream imagery in Gen. 37:9), yet Catholic theology is compelled to read Mary into every verse it possibly can. Some Catholics concede it could possibly symbolize the church, but this is only because of their erroneous assumption that the church replaced Israel. And the article is completely silent about the one passage that truly symbolizes the Catholic Church and its goddess Mary: Revelation 17-18. How can they ignore the most visible symbolic woman in the Bible? Is the imagery too realistic, the testimony too damaging? They even admit, But it must be kept in mind that Mary is both a figure of the Church, and its most prominent member. What is said of the Church, is in its own way true of Mary. Now if they’d only apply that to the woman on the beast.


The rest of the article is speculation about Mary’s life beyond the Biblical writings. What Roman Catholic theology does is scripture twisting, appeals to tradition over scripture, reliance on inferior or spurious translations, self-contradictions, and logical fallacies. It appropriates Israel’s blessings but not its curses, turns an ordinary human into a goddess, and aggressively promotes the Body above the Head.

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