Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Yeshua1, Apr 16, 2015.
What do they mean by all of their various titles given to her?
There are four church dogmas pertaining to Mary:
1. Mother of God (Theotokos). There is no suggestion that Mary preexisted God, indeed all Catholics agree she is a creature, not a god. However, she is the mother of the Son of God. Since the Son of God is God incarnate, Mary is the mother of God.
2. Immaculate conception. Mary was born without original sin and lived a sinless life. This was not necessary for Jesus to be born without original sin because the sin nature is inherited through the father. Rather, it was a singular favor given to Mary at the time of her conception in the womb of her mother.
3. Perpetual virgin.
4. The Assumption, meaning at her death (maybe just before, maybe after) Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven where she is queen of angels and saints.
There are many other things about Mary that are generally understood to be true but they are not official church dogma.
Let's carefully examine each one:
This was already addressed previously here, of which I will re-cite and link - http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=2211423&postcount=7
We see that it is not found in Scripture, and there are "no authentic documents" revealing it either, and even all this according also to the [so-called according to Rome] 'Angelic' Doctor Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, bearing some of the highest praises along with the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. All Roman Catholicism has to go on, is Greek reasoning of Augustine (a known heretic), and a fiat Papal declaration hundreds of years later.
We could also consider the Scripture itself, in the matter death, and what happens therein, and thus relates to this subject, for it touches upon the resurrections (and I have some interesting quotations and sources in regards the Jesuits thought on resurrection, even also from Benedict XVI).
Let's carefully examine each one:
Did Mary ever-remain a virgin?
Let us see: she also had to be purified after the birth of Jesus ('...when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished..." - Luke 2:22), and the marriage to Joseph eventually had to be consumated, which is the blessed right of the married. See Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7 and Joseph was to eventually 'perform the duty of the husband' (see Matthew 1:25).
The marriage bed is not defiled by such, for it is in the will of God ('Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:...' - Hebrews 13:4).
Let us take a look at “Mary” [Matthew 1:16,18,20, 2:11, 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 1:27,30,34,38,39,41,46,56, 2:5,16,19,34; Acts 1:14], “the mother of Jesus” [John 2:1,3; Acts 1:14; see also “his mother” - Matthew 1:18, 2:11; Luke 2:34,43; John 19:25; and “mother” - also John 6:42] who was “espoused to Joseph”.
Mary was "betrothed" to Joseph before she had ever heard any message from the Angel. For what purpose was she betrothed? Was it not to be married to Joseph? What purpose in the marriage then if not to have it consumated as is given to them by God from Creation? Was their marriage never to be consumated?
What had Paul, inspired of the Holy Spirit to say?
Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. - 1 Corinthians 7:5
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. - 1 Corinthians 7:28
There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband. - 1 Corinthians 7:34
They had both consented that Joseph would not lie with her while she was with child. Yet what does the above texts reveal? It is not a sin for Joseph and Mary (whom was betrothed to Joseph), being married to consumate their marriage.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. - Ephesians 5:31
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. - Proverbs 5:18
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. - Genesis 2:24
[Whoso] findeth a wife findeth a good [thing], and obtaineth favour of the LORD. - Proverbs 18:22
If he take him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. - Exodus 21:10 (though speaking of the rules of those who had already had multiple wives in those days, the same can still apply to those who have been widowed and marry another.)
It is not degrading for Mary to have been with Joseph after the birth of Jesus, for this is the gift of God in marriage. It is for their pleasure and comfort, joy and delight in each other, to reveal their love to one another in the closest way possible that two people can know. It is also for their safe-keeping from wandering to another. It is also the picture of family and of relationships that we are given as an example.
A question we could ask, “Should she be deprived of the joy of her husband Joseph whom she had been espoused to before she had ever known of that which was to come about?”
Additionally we may see further by the same Scriptures, given by the Holy Spirit [2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, etc], and by the mouth of the messenger Angel Gabriel, that Mary was indeed the "wife" of Joseph, and as such given to him of God for marriage [for every good gift, comes from God; James 1:17]:
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:20
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: Matthew 1:24
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Matthew 1:25
When God, by the Angel, says "thy wife" [even as "his espoused wife", Luke 2:5; see also Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:27], God has indeed given her in marriage to Joseph to actually be his wife, in all that this entails, and yet they both abstained from 'knowing' one another "till" [context, "knew her not till she had" and "thy wife"] she had brought forth Jesus.*
The word "knew" is the Greek "ginōskō", and just as the Hebrew word for to "know" [Genesis 4:1,17,25, etc "yada`", see the LXX for comparison in the same texts, "egnw"] used in the context of marriage, means the closest intimacy in the bonds of love within the marriage covenant, and includes the sexual relationship [see Luke 1:34; Matthew 1:25].
Therfore, in Roman Catholicism, is the theology of her "holiness" [her untouchableness] so important (to Roman Catholicism) as to rob her, and also that of Joseph of the joy of each other in marraige? Are they not to be an example of family to those that are married and have children? How then can they be if they never "knew" each other?
God created sex within marriage to be a delight and joy, not something to be shunned, or avoided or inherently 'sinful' (though the abuse of the gift would be) and what is more, it is but a faint shadow of the relationship between the Father and the Son (John 10:15,38).
Would it have been fair to Joseph who had agreed to remain with her and marry her to not be able to spend such time with his wife, Mary (she who had been betrothed to him)? Is God cruel in this way? No, God is love.
Did Mary have other children other than Jesus? No, and for that, I will share that in the next post, as as subpoint to this.
Subpoint: Mary had no other children, other than Jesus, who was born unto her, by the Holy Spirit. The reasons for this are manifestly found in the Scripture:
Before we begin, please pray, and open your Bible.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1:18
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
“And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” Matthew 1:25
“To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.” Luke 1:27
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7
This means that Mary had no children before Jesus, since He is called her “firstborn son” and she was a “virgin”, thus we can immediately eliminate any others before that time for her.
What then of afterwards, since it is written that Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth” Jesus?, which would help indicate that their marriage was eventually consumated after her purification [Luke 2:22], as is the rightful God-gifted/given position of the married, Husband and Wife, before God [Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 5:18, 18:22; Matthew 1:25, 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31; Hebrews 13:4, etc], Joseph fulfilling and “perform[ing] the duty of an husband” [see and compare Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 25:5,7, but in the case of an original husband to a new wife, etc], which includes intimacy of marital relations, and not remaining away from her forever, since that would lead to greater temptation for them both [1 Corinthians 7:5]. Though such marital relations are indeed indicated in the Scripture between Joseph and Mary [let us tread carefully in such areas, for they are personal, and generally private], this does not necessarily lead to further children, as is found the case with many a couple in Scripture, and as it is written, that those things are written about Jesus [John 5:39], being types in their lives pointing to Him and His life, etc.
What of the word "firstborn"? The word simply means, “firstborn”, whether that child was the only one, or whether the first in a line/series of others/many, yet it is always the context which would indicate any further application or definition. Therefore, we need to consider some context.
Contextually, we do see that the Bible mentions that Jesus had “brothers” [named] and “sisters” [unnamed]:
“Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.” Matthew 12:47
“Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” Matthew 13:55
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” Mark 6:3
Questions we can then ask of the Scripture, are:
[A] Who then are these “brothers” and “sisters” [at least two, plural]?
Are they of Mary after Jesus was born?
[II] Are are they of Joseph to another previous wife, before Mary was married to Joseph and before Jesus was born?
[III] Or could these be “cousins”, but simply called “brothers” and “sisters”?
They could not be “cousins”, since the Bible does not designate in such a way, but when a “cousin” or another family relative [like “mother in law”, etc] is made mention of, it is plainly stated:
“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.” Luke 1:36
“And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.” Luke 1:58
“For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Matthew 10:35
“The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Luke 12:53
“And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.” John 18:13
Elizabeth, Mary's “cousin”, was never called Mary's “sister” in Scripture. The same applies to these “brothers” and “sisters” of Jesus, of their father Joseph. Not once in Scripture are they called “cousins” of Jesus. Thus, we can eliminate that option.
The Scripture do not make any mention of Mary siring any other children after Jesus, or other than Jesus.
When we come to the event of the Cross itself in the Gospel accounts, we see that Jesus entrusts Mary into the hands of John the Apostle, and not to any previous family members who were born of Joseph previously, which would have been their duty to do, in taking care of a widower like Mary, if they were her actual blood children.
“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!” John 19:26
“Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:27
Another, is when Jesus previously had stated, that he had no inheritance on this earth to speak of, and therefore was not the eldest, by any means, but like King David before Him, was the youngest, even though Mary's “firstborn”, and would have received only from His father a portion which remained after being divided among the “sons” of Joseph, and since his earthly 'father' [not by blood/flesh, but by care/commission from Heaven] was deceased, His inheritance could only come from His Heavenly Father.
“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20
“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
The “brothers” of Jesus, being older, from Joseph, at a point in the Gospel record, convince Mary that Jesus was possessed of devils, for they did not follow Jesus, not believe on Him, but rather they had listened to and believed the Pharisees, which were accusing Him of being used of Satan to cast out Satan, and since they were older, they were using their authority to convince Mary to get Jesus to cease what He had been sent to do:
“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” Matthew 12:24
“While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.” Matthew 12:46
“Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. “ Matthew 12:47
“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.” Mark 3:20
“And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” Mark 3:21
“And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.” Mark 3:22
“Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” Mark 3:30
“There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.” Mark 3:31
“And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.” Mark 3:32
“Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.” Luke 8:19
“And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.” Luke 8:20
At another time, the “brothers” spoke to Jesus in tones of authority, something only which elders would do to their youngers, declaring His path before Him, apart from The Father's instruction:
“His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.” John 7:3
All of this, would point to God, lovingly, preserving from Mary and us, from the utter and total confusion it would have been, for the people of that day and of now, in considering any further children of Mary, as being also God, or Messiah, or Saviour, or etc, or thinking that some flesh/blood line was more pure or holy than another, or of entrusting the future of the religion of Christianity to a blood line of Mary, instead of the spiritual line of Christ. Think, briefly, for a moment, of how that would have been, if Mary had other children, or that were around, or still existed, once Christ ascended. Would they have looked Heavenward, or to flesh and blood, knowing the heart of men? The Wisdom of God is indeed Wise.
Let us be followers of Christ, as James, a brother of Christ, came to be [James 1:1]. Satan will always attempt to cause unnecessary and harmful division amongst the people of God, to get them to sin, to lose their focus of mission from Christ Jesus, etc.
The powerful lesson is, that Christ is no respecter of persons [Acts 10:34], neither of blood/flesh [Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11], but if we accept Him, then we are truly His real “brothers” and “sisters” [Matthew 12:49-50; Mark 3:34-35; Luke 8:21]. He can bring us from Enmity to Him, into Enmity with Sin! Amen!
Let's examine each point carefully:
Let us begin with:
“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.” - Luke 11:27
What did Jesus say in reply to this? He says, “yea rather...” and drew everyone's attention to the “word of God” instead and that they should “keep it”:
"But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it." (Luke 11:28)
Jesus also later directly asks so that there was no confusion regarding His mission, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" (Matthew 12:48; Mark 3:33)
Jesus tells us the answer to the question, "And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!" (Matthew 12:49; Mark 3:34)
What does even the Angel Gabriel say in the Gospel of Luke?
Gabriel says of Mary, "...Mary: for thou hast found favour with God." (Luke 1:30) [many have found favour with God, for He is gracious, merciful, loving]
We can even see this Scripture:
Judges 5:24 - Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
Gabriel says of Jesus, "...holy thing..." (Luke 1:35) (Compare Acts 4:27,30, "Holy Child Jesus")
What does Mary herself say?
Mary says of herself: "...Behold the handmaid of the Lord..." (Luke 1:38)
""handmaid", "doulē", "δούλη", female slave, servant, bondmaid, handmaid" (SC),
"...My soul doth magnify the Lord..." (Luke 1:46) and "For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden..." (Luke 1:48)
("low estate", "tapeinōsis", "ταπείνωσις", lowness, low estate, spiritual abasement, lamenting of moral littleness and guilt (SC))
Notice, of “moral littleness and guilt”.
Romans 3:10 (citing Psalms 14:3) - As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Romans 3:12 (citing Psalm 53:3) - They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 5:12 - Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
What does Mary say of God, "...he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy (is) his name." (Luke 1:48).
1. We see that it is God who is great (Luke 1:32), not Mary.
2. We see that it is He that has accomplished (Luke 1:35, 'power of the Highest'), not Mary.
3. We see that it is God/Jesus that is Holy (Luke 1:35,48, 'that holy thing'; 'holy (is) his name'), not Mary [and never called].
4. We see that it is God that is magnified (Luke 1:46; 'My soul doth magnify the Lord'), not Mary.
5. We see that it is God who is exalted (Luke 1:32-33; 'of his kingdom there shall be no end'), and not Mary.
Mary specifically says that Jesus Christ is her 'saviour', which means she was a sinner in need of salvation like everyone else:
"...my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." (Luke 1:47) and we see that this is in the very context of her “moral littleness and guilt” [vs 48].
We know by fullness of scripture that out of all humankind - Jesus alone among humanity was/is sinless:
"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" [Hebrews 7:26]
that "holy thing" [Luke 1:35]
and "holy child" [Acts 4:27,30]
born of the "Holy Ghost" [Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35],
where even though He came in the likeness [Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7; etc] of sinful flesh, yet He was without sin:
"...lamb shall be without blemish..." [Exodus 12:5]
"… But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none." [Matthew 26:60]
"...the innocent blood..." [Matthew 27:4]
"...For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. ..." [Matthew 27:18]
"… Have thou nothing to do with that just man …" [Matthew 27:19]
"… Why, what evil hath he done? …" [Matthew 27:23]
"… I am innocent of the blood of this just person …" [Matthew 27:24]
"The said Pilate … I find no fault in this man.” [Luke 23:4]
"… Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:" [Luke 23:14]
"… what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him ..." [Luke 23:22]
"...lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him." [Luke 23:15]
"...this man hath done nothing amiss." [Luke 23:41]
"… Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man." [Luke 23:47]
"...I have kept my Father's commandments..." [John 15:10]
"...I find in him no fault [at all]." [John 18:38]
"...I find no fault in him." [John 19:4]
"...I find no fault in him." [John 19:6]
"...the obedience of one..." [Romans 5:19]
"...who knew no sin..." [2 Corinthians 5:21]
"...without sin." [Hebrews 4:15]
"...[who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners..." [Hebrews 7:26]
"Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:" [1 Peter 2:22]
"...in him is no sin." [1 John 3:5]
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God..." [Hebrews 9:4;p]
None of these things are said of anyone else, least of all, Scriptural Mary, and she herself acknowledged her low estate [vs 47-48] before God, in need of a "Saviour".
Mary, herself along with the 'brothers of Jesus' (elder sons/daughters of Joseph, who did not yet believe in him, 'For neither did his brethren believe in him.' - John 7:5) came to HIM because they heard from others that JESUS was not in HIS right mind and was possessed of devils:
And when his friends heard [of it], they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. - Mark 3:21
Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. - Mark 3:30
There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. - Mark 3:31
While Mary was blessed of God and found favour (grace) in His eyes, yet she was not sinless, and she also made mistakes such as leaving the child Jesus behind in Jerusalem, she had lost sight of Him and assumed Him to be where He was not (Luke 2:41-52).
And she, herself did not understand all that Jesus had said ('And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.' Luke 2:50) and she wonders at the shepherd's news (Luke 2:18-19) and also marvelled at the news of Simeon and Anna; 'his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him' - Luke 2:33).
Anna the prophetess, "...spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." - Luke 2:38 and this would include Mary who went up to Jerusalem to present the child Jesus, who was the Saviour that was looked for since the fall and in Genesis 3:15 to come from the promise of God (Matthew 1:21).
If anything, Luke's Gospel reveals that Mary, though a follower of God, was not faultless nor sinless and most definitely needed a Saviour from her sins.
Look unto Christ Jesus, not unto Mary. Whom was it that ye cried unto for salvation? Whose Law and Commandments have been broken?
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:13
Calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus:
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. - Acts 22:16
"...call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord..." - 1 Corinthians 1:2
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. - Acts 4:12
That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. John 5:23
Mary is absent from these texts.
Mary herself was born as every human is born, the lineage of Luke 3:22-38 and Matthew 1:1-16 reveals this. Jesus was also born fully human, with our very nature, our flesh ('son of David'; 'seed of Abraham', Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 1:7, 'who was in all points tempted like as we' - Hebrews 4:15), which reveals that Roman Catholicism's 'Original Sin" dogma is unscriptural and anti-gospel. I will present also the flesh nature of Christ Jesus in a Subpoint after this. For again, we see that Roman Catholicism's dogma's are actually "antichristian" by Scriptural definition, for it denies in this aspect the very "flesh" that Scripture says Jesus had.
1 John 4:3 - And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2 John 1:7 - For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Let us look at that "flesh" now and see how it would affect the Gospel itself.
The "Flesh" of Christ Jesus Subpoint:
Hebrews 2:16 - For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
The question then is, what kind of nature do unfallen [ooops, I gave it away] Heavenly Angels have, as opposed to every child of fallen Adam, and since Jesus did not take on that nature of Heavenly angels, that only leaves the other.
Romans 1:3 - Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
If it were not so, Jesus could never have "condemned sin in the flesh", being His flesh that He took upon Himself.
Romans 8:3 - For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [for "likeness" see Philippians 2:7; Romans 6:5]
It really is simple, eh?
1 Peter 4:1 - Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Hebrews 2:17 - Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Galatians 4:4 - But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Romans 5:19 - For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Because Christ Jesus was victorious in the same "flesh", so too can we, by the Holy Spirit, and "overcome" "even as" He "overcame" (Revelation 3:21)
The lineage of Jesus given in both Matthew 1:1-18; "son of David, the son of Abraham" and Luke 3:23-38; "[son of] Adam", etc, see his ancestors. Jesus temptations were far greater than we will ever have to know because of who He is.
How many sons of Adam were born from Adam after His sin? All of them. Jesus, being born of Mary [Matthew 1:16], who was of the line, the seed according to the flesh, of David, sinful, though His spirit was Holy - Divinity and Humanity.
David acknowledges his heritage in the Psalms 51, and Jesus is called the "son of David", the "son of Abraham".
To be born with sinful flesh is not to be born a transgressor/sinner. The scripture teaches that to [commit] sin [of commission or omission] is to be a transgressor [of the Law], not simply being born with sinful flesh.
The "flesh" [sarx]:
"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us..." [John 1:14]
"GOD manifest in the flesh" [1 Timothy 3:16],
"the LORD from Heaven" [1 Corinthians 15:47],
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" [Galatians 4:4],
"made of the seed of David according to the flesh" [Romans 1:3],
"...to every seed his own body..." [1 Corinthians 15:38],
"...of the fruit of his [David's] loins, according to the flesh..." [Acts 2:30]
of the "seed of Abraham" [Hebrews 2:16],
even "as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same" [Hebrews 2:14] [what flesh are we born with, that He partook of then, what blood?]
and "in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren" [Hebrews 2:17],
that we might have "...known Christ after the flesh..." [2 Corinthians 5:16],
and scripture giving us the family line and genealogy of that very flesh [sarx] and blood nature He took upon Himself [Matthew 1:1-25; Luke 3:23-38]
the "[the son] of Adam" [Luke 3:38]
as it is said, "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" [Philippians 2:7], [word "servant" is actually "slave", this makes a difference in the matter of the fleshly nature]
and "...in the days of His flesh..." [Hebrews 5:7],
"was in all points tempted like as [we are yet] without sin" [Hebrews 4:15],
and in His death it is written, "...my flesh shall rest in hope..." [Acts 2:26], and
"...his [being/person] was not left in the grave, neither his flesh did see corruption..." [Acts 2:31] because He was/is...
...and thereby, in the same likeness of sinful flesh as we, yet living without sin, never having sinned, never once transgressed the Holy Law of God; Jesus showed that with God there is no excuse for sin and thus "...condemned sin in the flesh." [Romans 8:3];
"...having crucified the flesh..." [Galatians 5:24],
and "...nailing it to His cross." [Colossians 2:4],
"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh..." [1 Peter 4:1];
even "...being put to death in the flesh..." [1 Peter 3:18],
and we are to be "...crucified with Christ..." [Galatians 5:24],
"In the body of His flesh through death..." [Colossians 1:22],
become dead to the penalty of the Law, the 2nd Death, "...by the body of Christ..." [Romans 7:4],
that we might be "...members of His body, and of His flesh, and of His bones." [Ephesians 5:30],
by a "...new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;" [Hebrews 10:20]
so that we may know this, "...Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." [Romans 6:6]
"Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:" [Hebrews 10:5]
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." [1 Peter 2:24]
"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]." [Hebrews 10:10]
Therefore, we have this hope, "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." [Philippians 3:21]
Therefore, it is very important to understand with what flesh Jesus came, not only to the Everlasting Gospel [Genesis 3:15; Revelation 14:6-7, etc], and how Christ Jesus is to save us from sin [Matthew 1:21; not in it] and to redeem us unto God, it is written,
"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:" [1 John 4:2]
What flesh is John speaking about? The very likeness of sinful flesh we have, of the race of Adam, for he says, "...our hands have handled, of the Word of life." [1 John 1:1]
And it is written of those which refuse this, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." [1 John 4:3]
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." [2 John 1:7]
And who teaches that Jesus did not come in that sinful flesh?
Roman Catholicism, that Mother of Harlots (as she identifies herself in her own writing "Mother of all the churches" and "Mistress", even "Casta Meretrix)), through its Immaculate Conception of Mary Dogma...
...and also her daughters [Apostate Protestantism], which removes from Jesus that flesh nonetheless, even as do the Jehovah's Witnesses [etc] do...
...there are many "...not discerning the Lord's body." [1 Corinthians 11:29]
Please read Romans 5 carefully and prayerfully, and especially see Romans 5:19, for we must overcome even as He overcame in the flesh.
Let's carefully examine each one.
Let us take a look at “Mary” [Matt. 1:16,18,20, 2:11, 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 1:27,30,34,38,39,41,46,56, 2:5,16,19,34; Acts 1:14], “the mother of Jesus” [John 2:1,3; Acts 1:14; see also “his mother” - Matt. 1:18, 2:11; Luke 2:34,43; John 19:25; and “mother” - also John 6:42] who was “espoused to Joseph”.
Is there a “theotokos” [literally “GOD-Bearer”, or “one who gives birth to GOD”; loosely as “Mother of GOD”; being a “title”]?
1st question is, “Is the “title” “theotokos” ever itself given anywhere at all in any of the Scriptures by anyone?” Search as we will, the answer comes back as a plain, “No.” Though not convincing in and of itself, let us remember this “silence”.
2nd question is, “Is Mary ever called by the appellation or designated with the title of “Mother of GOD” [“GOD” being the English for the Greek [Tr.] word “Theos”] anywhere at all in any of the Scriptures by anyone?” Search as we will, the answer comes back as before. “No.” Again “silence”.
Roman Catholic theological “theotokos”:
"… Elizabeth is the first to call Mary by her most honourable title "Mother of God …" [Roman Catholic Online Encyclopedia; “V”; "The Blessed Virgin Mary"; subsection “The Visitation”] - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm
Taught outwardly by Roman Catholic theology that she is not the 'mother of divinity' (well and good), yet there is more said inwardly, and can and "some" (very briefly, as there is multitudinous more citations and worse) already has been documented -
"… 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. … Theotokos …" [Roman Catholic Online Encyclopedia; “V”; "The Blessed Virgin Mary"; subsection “Mary's divine motherhood”] - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm
Looking again, “Did Elizabeth [the cousin of Mary] ever call Mary by the “title” “Mother of God” in any part of the Scriptures?” Search as we will yet again, and the answer yet comes back to us as a plain, “No.” Where does the Roman Catholic theological position obtain the grounds to say that Elizabeth says such? Luke 1:43 is quoted:
And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43
kai poqen moi touto ina elqh h mhthr tou kuriou mou proV me Luke 1:43 [Stephen's 1550 Textus Receptus; Tr. Greek] [Byzantine Majority; Tr. Greek; Alexandrian; Tr. Greek]
And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43 [Douay Rheims (Jesuit) Online Bible] - http://drbo.org/x/d?b=drb&bk=49&ch=1&l=43#x
Et unde hoc mihi ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me? Luke 1:43 [Clementine Latin Vulgate Online] - http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=1&b=3&c=1 or http://vulgate.org/nt/gospel/luke_1.htm
Does the text read from the English or Tr. Greek that Mary was designated with the “title” “Mother of God” by Elizabeth?
[Remember, we are looking for the words “mhthr tou theou mou” [Theos/God].]
Obviously it does not read the way it is claimed [intimated] that it does, for it plainly reads, “...mhthr tou kuriou mou...” [“...mother of my Lord...”].
This passage is supposed to be the strongest support pillar upholding the “theotokos” theological position, yet the pillar is non-existent, as is the word “theou”. Since “The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” [Psalms 12:6] and “All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” [2 Timothy 3:16] and “...the scripture cannot be broken...” [John 10:35;p] and we are admonished to “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” [Proverbs 30:6], it then is serious business to add anything not present.
By the Scriptures, Mary is called the “mother of Jesus” [John 2:1,3; Acts 1:14] but never once designated with the “title” “mother of God”.
Titles carry much weight. Ie. JESUS is called “the Son of Man” and “the Son of GOD”, among many others, and in scripture these “titles” relate something extremely important. Jesus had two natures, first, that of “God” being unborrowed, underived and having eternal life with Himself, as the Scripture says of His Divinity, “...Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life...” [Hebrews 7:3;p]; “...from everlasting...” [Micah 5:2;p etc] even “...to everlasting...” [Psalms 90:2;p etc] and also eternally existing with the “Father” [ref: John 1:1, 17:5] and “Holy Spriit” before all things. Secondly, at the moment of His incarnation and from then on, eternally, that of “man”; speaking of His humanity.
Giving the title “mother of God” to Mary is extremely dangerous [for others will try [and have clamored] to elevate her position even moreso with it]. Would she have desired it, being the humble handmaiden and servant of God? Though Mary is blessed [as many were fom Genesis 1:22 -->]
“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.” - Luke 11:27
What did Jesus say in reply to this? He says, “yea rather...” and drew everyone's attention to the “word of God” instead and that they should “keep it”:
"But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it." (Luke 11:28)
For many pagan cults originate with the "Mother" of "God" teaching. Semiramis, Isis, Ishtar, Astarte, etc. Having the very same titles, "Queen of the Sea", "Mother of God", "Queen of Heaven", having both forms "black" and "white" [these were not to signify mere skin-color, but (so-called) light and dark forms, male/female forms, etc] - "Madonnas", etc.
A few interesting sources:
Wine of Babylon
Mary Seminar (1) - Biblical Portrait Of Mary
Mary Seminar (2) - The Cult Of The Virgin Mother
Mary Seminar (3) - Mary The Rival Of Jesus
Mary Seminar (4) - The Immaculate Deception
Mary Seminar (5) - The Myth Of Apostolic Succession
Mary Seminar (6) - Peter And The Rock
Mary Seminar (7) - The Final Dogma
Mary Seminar (8) - The Ecumenical Mary
I would like to come back and touch more upon Roman Catholicism's "Original Sin" (Augustine, etc) in that it is counter to Scripture, and the very Gospel itself.
We do not inherit guilt from Adam's transgression (Ezekiel 18, etc), but we do inherit his nature from the fall into sin. In short, in brief, to be born with fallen flesh, is not to be born with guilt of sin, and is not to be guilty in sin, for sin is not "nature" (simply existing with fallen flesh, etc), but rather sin is choice, for it is written, "sin is the transgression of the Law" (1 John 3:4), etc. Paul says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God...", not that "All were born and so come short of the glory of God..."
Keep in mind also, when thinking of the Scriptures in regards Jesus Flesh and birth:
John 3:6 - That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Psalms 51, is simple, and also does not support the doctrines of Roman Catholicism either, but quite the opposite, and yet I shall save this, for the more detailed post.
Mary is the Mother of God
"After this, we receive the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the first-fruits; Who bore a Body, in truth, not in semblance, derived from Mary the mother of God in the fullness of time sojourning among the race, for the remission of sins: who was crucified and died, yet for all this suffered no diminution of His Godhead." Alexander of Alexandria, Epistle to Alexander, 12 (A.D. 324).
"Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven of His Son: the Holy Ghost bears witness, descending bodily in likeness of a dove: the Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary: the Virgin Mother of God bears witness: the blessed place of the manger bears witness." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, X:19 (c. A.D. 350).
"And the Angel on his appearance, himself confesses that he has been sent by his Lord; as Gabriel confessed in the case of Zacharias, and also in the case of Mary, bearer of God." Athanasius, Orations III, 14(A.D. 362).
"Just as, in the age of Mary the mother of God, he who had reigned from Adam to her time found, when he came to her and dashed his forces against the fruit of her virginity as against a rock, that he was shattered to pieces upon her, so in every soul which passes through this life in the flesh under the protection of virginity, the strength of death is in a manner broken and annulled, for he does not find the places upon which he may fix his sting." Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 14 (A.D. 370).
"He reshaped man to perfection in Himself, from Mary the Mother of God through the Holy Spirit." Epiphanius, The man well-anchored, 75 (A.D. 374).
"Let, then, the life of Mary be as it were virginity itself, set forth in a likeness, from which, as from a mirror, the appearance of chastity and the form of virtue is reflected. From this you may take your pattern of life, showing, as an example, the clear rules of virtue: what you have to correct, to effect, and to hold fast. The first thing which kindles ardour in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God?" Ambrose, Virginity, II:6 (c. A.D. 378).
"If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, he is severed from the Godhead." Gregory of Nazianzus, To Cledonius, 101 (A.D. 382).
"To the question: 'Is Mary the bearer of Man, or the bearer of God?' we must answer: 'Of Both.'" Theodore of Mopsuestia, The Incarnation, 15 (ante A.D. 428).
"And so you say, O heretic, whoever you may be, who deny that God was born of the Virgin, that Mary the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ ought not to be called Theotocos, i.e., Mother of God, but Christotocos, i.e., only the Mother of Christ, not of God. For no one, you say, brings forth what is anterior in time. And of this utterly foolish argument whereby you think that the birth of God can be understood by carnal minds, and fancy that the mystery of His Majesty can be accounted for by human reasoning, we will, if God permits, say something later on. In the meanwhile we will now prove by Divine testimonies that Christ is God, and that Mary is the Mother of God." John Cassian, The Incarnation of Christ, II:2 (A.D. 430).
"But since the Holy Virgin brought forth after the flesh God personally united to the flesh, for this reason we say of her that she is Theotokos, not as though the nature of the Word had its beginning of being from the flesh, for he was in the beginning, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God...but, as we said before, because having personally united man's nature to himself..." Cyril of Alexandria, To Nestorius, Epistle 17:11 (A.D. 430).
"If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (Theotokos), inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [as it is written, 'The Word was made flesh': let him be anathema." Council of Ephesus, Anathemas Against Nestorius, I (A.D. 430).
"For by the singular gift of Him who is our Lord and God, and withal, her own son, she is to be confessed most truly and most blessedly--The mother of God 'Theotocos,' but not in the sense in which it is imagined by a certain impious heresy which maintains, that she is to be called the Mother of God for no other reason than because she gave birth to that man who afterwards became God, just as we speak of a woman as the mother of a priest, or the mother of a bishop, meaning that she was such, not by giving birth to one already a priest or a bishop, but by giving birth to one who afterwards became a priest or a bishop. Not thus, I say, was the holy Mary 'Theotocos,' the mother of God, but rather, as was said before, because in her sacred womb was wrought that most sacred mystery whereby, on account of the singular and unique unity of Person, as the Word in flesh is flesh, so Man in God is God." Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 15 (A.D. 434).
"So then He was both in all things and above all things and also dwelt in the womb of the holy Mother of God, but in it by the energy of the incarnation." John Damascene, Source of Knowledge, III:7 (A.D. 743).
II. Mary’s Immaculate Conception
"He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption." Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).
"This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one." Origen, Homily 1(A.D. 244).
"Let woman praise Her, the pure Mary." Ephraim, Hymns on the Nativity, 15:23 (A.D. 370).
"Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother." Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370).
"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides." Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373).
"Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin." Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388).
"We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2 (A.D.415).
"As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).
"A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns." Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily VI:11(ante A.D. 446).
"The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made." Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (A.D. 449).
"[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary." Jacob of Sarug (ante A.D. 521).
"She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay." Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption, 5:6 (ante A.D. 650).
"Today humanity, in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendour and attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born, this nature regains in her person its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God.... The reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation." Andrew of Crete, Sermon I, On the Birth of Mary (A.D. 733).
"[T]ruly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever." Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali (ante A.D. 733).
"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew." John of Damascus, Homily I (ante A.D. 749).
III. Mary is Ever-virgin
“And indeed it was a virgin, about to marry once for all after her delivery, who gave birth to Christ, in order that each title of sanctity might be fulfilled in Christ's parentage, by means of a mother who was both virgin, and wife of one husband. Again, when He is presented as an infant in the temple, who is it who receives Him into his hands? Who is the first to recognize Him in spirit? A man just and circumspect,' and of course no digamist, (which is plain) even (from this consideration), lest (otherwise) Christ should presently be more worthily preached by a woman, an aged widow, and the wife of one man;' who, living devoted to the temple, was (already) giving in her own person a sufficient token what sort of persons ought to be the adherents to the spiritual temple,--that is, the Church. Such eye-witnesses the Lord in infancy found; no different ones had He in adult age." Tertullian, On Monogamy, 8 (A.D. 213).
"For if Mary, as those declare who with sound mind extol her, had no other son but Jesus, and yet Jesus says to His mother, Woman, behold thy son,' and not Behold you have this son also,' then He virtually said to her, Lo, this is Jesus, whom thou didst bear.' Is it not the case that every one who is perfect lives himself no longer, but Christ lives in him; and if Christ lives in him, then it is said of him to Mary, Behold thy son Christ.' What a mind, then, must we have to enable us to interpret in a worthy manner this work, though it be committed to the earthly treasure-house of common speech, of writing which any passer-by can read, and which can be heard when read aloud by any one who lends to it his bodily ears?" Origen, Commentary on John, I:6 (A.D. 232).
"Therefore let those who deny that the Son is from the Father by nature and proper to His Essence, deny also that He took true human flesh of Mary Ever-Virgin; for in neither case had it been of profit to us men, whether the Word were not true and naturally Son of God, or the flesh not true which He assumed." Athanasius, Orations against the Arians, II:70 (A.D. 362).
"And when he had taken her, he knew her not, till she had brought forth her first-born Son.' He hath here used the word till,' not that thou shouldest suspect that afterwards he did know her, but to inform thee that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may be said, hath he used the word, till'? Because it is usual in Scripture often to do this, and to use this expression without reference to limited times. For so with respect to the ark likewise, it is said, The raven returned not till the earth was dried up.' And yet it did not return even after that time. And when discoursing also of God, the Scripture saith, From age until age Thou art,' not as fixing limits in this case. And again when it is preaching the Gospel beforehand, and saying, In his days shall righteousness flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken away,' it doth not set a limit to this fair part of creation. So then here likewise, it uses the word "till," to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what follows, it leaves thee to make the inference.” John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).
“Thus, what it was necessary for thee to learn of Him, this He Himself hath said; that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth; but that which both was seen to be a consequence of the former statement, and was acknowledged, this in its turn he leaves for thee to perceive; namely, that not even after this, she having so become a mother, and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail, and a child-bearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have endured to know her. For if he had known her, and had kept her in the place of a wife, how is it that our Lord commits her, as unprotected, and having no one, to His disciple, and commands him to take her to his own home? How then, one may say, are James and the others called His brethren? In the same kind of way as Joseph himself was supposed to be husband of Mary. For many were the veils provided, that the birth, being such as it was, might be for a time screened. Wherefore even John so called them, saying, For neither did His brethren believe in Him.' John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).
"But those who by virginity have desisted from this process have drawn within themselves the boundary line of death, and by their own deed have checked his advance; they have made themselves, in fact, a frontier between life and death, and a barrier too, which thwarts him. If, then, death cannot pass beyond virginity, but finds his power checked and shattered there, it is demonstrated that virginity is a stronger thing than death; and that body is rightly named undying which does not lend its service to a dying world, nor brook to become the instrument of a succession of dying creatures. In such a body the long unbroken career of decay and death, which has intervened between the first man and the lives of virginity which have been led, is interrupted. It could not be indeed that death should cease working as long as the human race by marriage was working too; he walked the path of life with all preceding generations; he started with every new-born child and accompanied it to the end: but he found in virginity a barrier, to pass which was an impossible feat." Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 13 (A.D. 371).
"[T]he Son of God...was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit..." Epiphanius, Well Anchored Man, 120 (A.D. 374).
"The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that the Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin" Basil, Homily In Sanctum Christi generationem, 5 (ante A.D. 379).
"But as we do not deny what is written, so we do reject what is not written. We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. That Mary was married after she brought forth, we do not believe, because we do not read it. Nor do we say this to condemn marriage, for virginity itself is the fruit of marriage; but because when we are dealing with saints we must not judge rashly. If we adopt possibility as the standard of judgment, we might maintain that Joseph had several wives because Abraham had, and so had Jacob, and that the Lord's brethren were the issue of those wives, an invention which some hold with a rashness which springs from audacity not from piety. You say that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim still more, that Joseph himself on account of Mary was a virgin, so that from a virgin wedlock a virgin son was born. For if as a holy man he does not come under the imputation of fornication, and it is nowhere written that he had another wife, but was the guardian of Mary whom he was supposed to have to wife rather than her husband, the conclusion is that he who was thought worthy to be called father of the Lord, remained a virgin." Jerome, The Perpetual Virginity of Mary Against Helvedius, 21 (A.D. 383).
"Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of maternal virtue; for neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son." Ambrose, To the Christian at Vercellae, Letter 63:111 (A.D. 396).
"Her virginity also itself was on this account more pleasing and accepted, in that it was not that Christ being conceived in her, rescued it beforehand from a husband who would violate it, Himself to preserve it; but, before He was conceived, chose it, already dedicated to God, as that from which to be born. This is shown by the words which Mary spake in answer to the Angel announcing to her conception; How,' saith she, shall this be, seeing I know not a man?' Which assuredly she would not say, unless she had before vowed herself unto God as a virgin. But, because the habits of the Israelites as yet refused this, she was espoused to a just man, who would not take from her by violence, but rather guard against violent persons, what she had already vowed. Although, even if she had said this only, How shall this take place ?' and had not added, seeing I know not a man,' certainly she would not have asked, how, being a female, she should give birth to her promised Son, if she had married with purpose of sexual intercourse. She might have been bidden also to continue a virgin, that in her by fitting miracle the Son of God should receive the form of a servant, but, being to be a pattern to holy virgins, lest it should be thought that she alone needed to be a virgin, who had obtained to conceive a child even without sexual intercourse, she dedicated her virginity to God, when as yet she knew not what she should conceive, in order that the imitation of a heavenly life in an earthly and mortal body should take place of vow, not of command; through love of choosing, not through necessity of doing service. Thus Christ by being born of a virgin, who, before she knew Who was to be born of her, had determined to continue a virgin, chose rather to approve, than to command, holy virginity. And thus, even in the female herself, in whom He took the form of a servant, He willed that virginity should be free." Augustine, Of Holy Virginity, 4 (A.D. 401).
"Where are they who think that the Virgin's conception and giving birth to her child are to be likened to those of other woman? For, this latter case is one of the earth, and the Virgin's is one from heaven. The one case is a case of divine power; the other of human weakness. The one case occurs in a body subject to passion; the other in the tranquility of the divine Spirit and peace of the human body. The blood was still, and the flesh astonished; her members were put at rest, and her entire womb was quiescent during the visit of the Holy One, until the Author of flesh could take on His garment of flesh, and until He, who was not merely to restore the earth to man but also to give him heaven, could become a heavenly Man. The virgin conceives, the Virgin brings forth her child, and she remains a virgin." Peter Chrysoslogus, Sermon 117, (A.D. 432).
"And by a new nativity He was begotten, conceived by a Virgin, born of a Virgin, without paternal desire, without injury to the mother's chastity: because such a birth as knew no taint of human flesh, became One who was to be the Saviour of men, while it possessed in itself the nature of human substance. For when God was born in the flesh, God Himself was the Father, as the archangel witnessed to the Blessed Virgin Mary: because the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee: and therefore, that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy, the Son of God.' The origin is different but the nature like: not by intercourse with man but by the power of God was it brought about: for a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bare, and a Virgin she remained." Pope Leo the Great (regn. A.D. 440-461), On the Feast of the Nativity, Sermon 22:2 (ante A.D. 461).
"The ever-virgin One thus remains even after the birth still virgin, having never at any time up till death consorted with a man. For although it is written, And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son, yet note that he who is first-begotten is first-born even if he is only-begotten. For the word first-born' means that he was born first but does not at all suggest the birth of others. And the word till' signifies the limit of the appointed time but does not exclude the time thereafter. For the Lord says, And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, not meaning thereby that He will be separated from us after the completion of the age. The divine apostle, indeed, says, And so shall we ever be with the Lord, meaning after the general resurrection." John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith, 4:14 (A.D. 743).
Mary’s Assumption into Heaven
“If the Holy Virgin had died and was buried, her falling asleep would have been surrounded with honour, death would have found her pure, and her crown would have been a virginal one...Had she been martyred according to what is written: 'Thine own soul a sword shall pierce', then she would shine gloriously among the martyrs, and her holy body would have been declared blessed; for by her, did light come to the world."
Epiphanius, Panarion, 78:23 (A.D. 377).
"[T]he Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, [Mary] rejoices with the Lord's chosen ones..." Gregory of Tours, Eight Books of Miracles, 1:4 (inter A.D. 575-593).
"As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him." Modestus of Jerusalem, Encomium in dormitionnem Sanctissimae Dominae nostrae Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae (PG 86-II,3306),(ante A.D. 634).
"It was fitting ...that the most holy-body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinised, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full glory ...should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God." Theoteknos of Livias, Homily on the Assumption (ante A.D. 650).
"You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life." Germanus of Constantinople, Sermon I (PG 98,346), (ante A.D. 733).
"St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven." John of Damascene, PG (96:1) (A.D. 747-751).
"It was fitting that the she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father, It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God." John of Damascene, Dormition of Mary (PG 96,741), (ante A.D. 749).
"Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten Thy Son our Lord incarnate from herself." Gregorian Sacramentary, Veneranda (ante A.D. 795).
"[A]n effable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." Gallican Sacramentary, from Munificentis simus Deus (8th Century).
"God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you virgin in childbirth, thus he kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb." Byzantine Liturgy, from Munificentis simus Deus (8th Century).
"[T]he virgin is up to now immortal, as He who lived, translated her into the place of reception." Timotheus of Jerusalem (8th Century).
Mary is the New Eve and Most Blessed Among Women
“There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord." Ignatius, To the Ephesians, 7 (c. A.D. 110).
"[T]hey blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever." Protoevangelium of John, 6:2 (A.D. 150).
"He became man by the Virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin. For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, 'Be it unto me according to thy word.' And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him." Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 100 (A.D. 155).
"[H]e was born of Mary the fair ewe." Melito de Sardo, Easter Homily (c. A.D. 177).
"In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.' But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise 'they were both naked, and were not ashamed,' inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age, and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race. And on this account does the law term a woman betrothed to a man, the wife of him who had betrothed her, although she was as yet a virgin; thus indicating the back-reference from Mary to Eve, because what is joined together could not otherwise be put asunder than by inversion of the process by which these bonds of union had arisen; s so that the former ties be cancelled by the latter, that the latter may set the former again at liberty… Wherefore also Luke, commencing the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was He who regenerated them into the Gospel of life, and not they Him. And thus also it was that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:22 (A.D. 180).
"For whereas the Word of God was without flesh, He took upon Himself the holy flesh by the holy Virgin, and prepared a robe which He wove for Himself, like a bridegroom, in the sufferings of the cross, in order that by uniting His own power with our moral body, and by mixing the incorruptible with the corruptible, and the strong with the weak, He might save perishing man." Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and antiChrist, 4 (A.D. 200).
"But the Lord Christ, the fruit of the Virgin, did not pronounce the breasts of women blessed, nor selected them to give nourishment; but when the kind and loving Father had rained down the Word, Himself became spiritual nourishment to the good. O mystic marvel! The universal Father is one, and one the universal Word; and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere, and one is the only virgin mother. I love to call her the Church. This mother, when alone, had not milk, because alone she was not a woman. But she is once virgin and mother--pure as a virgin, loving as a mother. And calling her children to her, she nurses them with holy milk, viz., with the Word for childhood. Therefore she had not milk; for the milk was this child fair and comely, the body of Christ, which nourishes by the Word the young brood, which the Lord Himself brought forth in throes of the flesh, which the Lord Himself swathed in His precious blood." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, I:6 (A.D.202).
"Accordingly, a virgin did conceive and bear 'Emmanuel, God with us.' This is the new nativity; a man is born in God. And in this man God was born, taking the flesh of an ancient race, without the help, however, of the ancient seed, in order that He might reform it with a new seed, that is, in a spiritual manner, and cleanse it by the re-moral of all its ancient stains. But the whole of this new birth was prefigured, as was the case in all other instances, in ancient type, the Lord being born as man by a dispensation in which a virgin was the medium. The earth was still in a virgin state, reduced as yet by no human labour, with no seed as yet cast into its furrows, when, as we are told, God made man out of it into a living soul…For it was while Eve was yet a virgin, that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin's soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced. But (it will be said) Eve did not at the devil's word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil's word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel, His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself. God therefore sent down into the virgin's womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man, in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation." Tertullian, Flesh of Christ, 17 (A.D. 212).
"And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the first-fruit among men of the purity which consists in chastity, and Mary among women; for it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the first-fruit of virginity." Origen, Commentary on Matthew, 10:17 (A.D. 244).
"Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven of His Son: the Holy Ghost bears witness, descending bodily in likeness of a dove: the Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary: the Virgin Mother of God [Theotokos] bears witness: the blessed place of the manger bears witness" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 10:19 (A.D. 350).
"In what remains we have the appointment of the Father's will. The Virgin, the birth, the Body, then the Cross, the death, the visit to the lower world; these things are our salvation. For the sake of mankind the Son of God was born of tile Virgin and of the Holy Ghost. In this process He ministered to Himself; by His own power--the power of God--which overshadowed her He sowed the beginning of His Body, and entered on the first stage of His life in the flesh. He did it that by His Incarnation He might take to Himself from the Virgin the fleshly nature, and that through this commingling there might come into being a hallowed Body of all humanity; that so through that Body which He was pleased to assume all mankind might be hid in Him, and He in return, through His unseen existence, be reproduced in all. Thus the invisible Image of God scorned not the shame which marks the beginnings of human life. He passed through every stage; through conception, birth, wailing, cradle and each successive humiliation. What worthy return can we make for so great a condescension? The One Only-begotten God, ineffably born of God, entered the Virgin's womb and grew and took the frame of poor humanity. He Who upholds the universe, within Whom and through Whom are all things, was brought forth by common childbirth; He at Whose voice Archangels and Angels tremble, and heaven and earth and all the elements of this world are melted, was heard in childish wailing. The Invisible and Incomprehensible, Whom sight and feeling and touch cannot gauge, was wrapped in a cradle.” Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 2:24-25 (A.D. 355).
Mary is our Powerful Intercessor
"For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through [the act of] a virgin, so it was saved by a virgin." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:19,1 (A.D. 180).
"Under your mercy we take refuge, O Mother of God. Do not reject our supplications in necessity, but deliver us from danger,[O you] alone pure and alone blessed." Sub Tuum Praesidium, From Rylands Papyrus, Egypt (3rd century).
"Let, then, the life of Mary be as it were virginity itself, set forth in a likeness, from which, as from a mirror, the appearance of chastity and the form of virtue is reflected.... Nor would I hesitate to admit you to the altars of God, whose souls I would without hesitation call altars, on which Christ is daily offered for the redemption of the body. For if the virgin's body be a temple of God, what is her soul, which, the ashes, as it were, of the body being shaken off, once more uncovered by the hand of the Eternal Priest, exhales the vapor of the divine fire. Blessed virgins, who emit a fragrance through divine grace as gardens do through flowers, temples through religion, altars through the priest." Ambrose, On Virginity II:6,18 (A.D. 378).
"Recalling these and other circumstances and imploring the Virgin Mary to bring assistance, since she, too, was a virgin and had been in danger, she entrusted herself to the remedy of fasting and sleeping on the ground." Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 24:11 (A.D. 379).
"For it is said that he [Gregory the Wonderworker] heard the one who had appeared in womanly form exhorting John the Evangelist to explain to the young man the mystery of the true faith. John, in his turn, declared that he was completely willing to please the Mother of the Lord even in this matter and this was the one thing closest to his heart. And so the discussion coming to a close, and after they had made it quite clear and precise for him, the two disappeared from his sight." Gregory of Nyssa, On Gregory the WonderWorker (A.D. 380).
"Mary, the holy Virgin, is truly great before God and men. For how shall we not proclaim her great, who held within her the uncontainable One, whom neither heaven nor earth can contain?" Epiphanius, Panarion, 30:31 (ante A.D. 403).
"Give milk, Mother to him who is our food, give milk to the bread coming down from heaven ...give milk to him who made you such that he could be made fruitfulness in conception and in birth, did not take from you the ornament of virginity." Augustine, Sermon 369:1 (A.D. 430).
"Hail to thee Mary, Mother of God, to whom in towns and villages and in island were founded churches of true believers." Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 11 (ante A.D. 444).
"Hail, our desirable gladness; Hail, O rejoicing of the Churches; Hail, O name that breathes out sweetness; Hail, face that radiates divinity and grace; Hail, most venerable memory…" Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily 4:3 (ante A.D. 446).
"The Virgin's festival (parthenike panegyris) incites our tongue today to herald her praise ...handmaid and Mother, Virgin and heaven, the only bridge of God to men, the awful loom of the Incarnation, in which by some unspeakable way the garment of that union was woven, whereof the weaver is the Holy Ghost; and the spinner the overshadowing from on high; the wool the ancient fleece of Adam; the woof the undefiled flesh from the virgin, the weaver's shuttle the immense grace of Him who brought it about; the artificer the Word gliding through the hearing." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).
"The Virgin received Salvation so that she may give it back to the centuries." Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (ante A.D. 450).
"O Virgin all holy, he who has said of you all that is honorable and glorious has not sinned against the truth, but remains unequal to your merit. Look down upon us from above and be propitious to us. Lead us in peace and having brought us without shame to the throne of judgment, grant us a place at the right hand of your Son, that we may borne off to heaven and sing with angels to the uncreated, consubstantial Trinity. " Basil of Seleucia, PG 85:452 (ante A.D. 459).
"Cease your laments; I will make myself your advocate in my Son's presence. Meanwhile, no more sadness, because I have brought joy to the world. For it is to destroy the kingdom of sorrow that I have come into the world: I full of grace ... Then curb your tears; accept me as your mediatrix in the presence of him who was born from me, because the author of joy is the God generated before all ages. Remain calm; be troubled no longer: I come from him, full of grace." Romanos the Singer, On Christmas 2,10-11 (ante A.D. 560).
"Raised to heaven, she remains for the human race an unconquerable rampart, interceding for us before her Son and God." Theoteknos of Livias, Assumption 291(ante A.D. 560).
"Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, because thou didst conceive Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of our souls." Coptic Ostraca (A.D. 600).
"Mary the Ever-Virgin -- radiant with divine light and full of grace, mediatrix first through her supernatural birth and now because of the intercession of her maternal assistance -- be crowned with never ending blessings ...seeking balance and fittingness in all things, we should make our way honestly, as sons of light." Germanus of Constantinople, Homily on the Liberation of Constantinople, 23 (ante A.D. 733).
"O, how marvelous it is! She acts as a mediatrix between the loftiness of God and the lowliness of the flesh, and becomes Mother of the Creator." Andrew of Crete, Homily 1 on Mary's Nativity (ante A.D. 740).
"She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she, surpassing the cherubim. Exalted beyond the seraphim, is placed near to God." John of Damascene, Homily on the Nativity, 9 (ante A.D. 749).
"We today also remain near you, O Lady. Yes, I repeat, O Lady, Mother of God and Virgin. We bind our souls to your hope, as to a most firm and totally unbreakable anchor, consecrating to you mind, soul, body, and all our being and honoring you, as much as we can, with psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles." John of Damascene, Homily 1 on the Dormition, 14 (ante A.D. 749).
"Let us entrust ourselves with all our soul's affection to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin: let us all, with all our strength, beg her patronage, that, at the moment when on earth we surround her with our suppliant homage, she herself may deign in heaven to commend us with fervent prayer. For without any doubt she who merited to bring ransom for those who needed deliverance, can more than all the saints benefit by her favor those who have received deliverance." Ambrose Autpert, Assumption of the Virgin, (ante A.D. 778).
"Let us approach with confident spirit the throne of the high Priest, where he is our victim, priest, advocate and judge." Radbert Paschasius, On the Assumption (ante A.D. 786).
"For she who brought forth the source of mercy, Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, receiving from him all things, will and through him, grant the wishes of all." Paul the Deacon, (ante A.D. 799).
"You scatter your favors with still greater abundance since you possess more fully him who is their source and who is entirely willing to give them to us, rather you possess almost everything by yourself and you show largesse to whom you will and to him who begs it of you." John the Geometer, Life of Mary (A.D. 989).
"May we deserve to have the help of your intercession in heaven, because as the Son of God has deigned to descend to us through you, so we also must come to him with you." Peter Damian, (ante A.D. 1072).
"The Mother of God is our mother. May the good mother ask and beg for us, may she request and obtain what is good for us." Anselm, Oration 7(ante A.D. 1109).
"O whoever you may be who feel yourself on the tide of this world drifting in storms and tempests rather than treading firm ground, turn not your eyes from the effulgence of this star, unless you wish to be submerged ... if she holds you, you do not fall, if she protects you, you have no fear; with her to lead you, you tire not; with her favour, you will reach your goal, conscious thus within yourself how rightly the word was spoken: 'And the Virgin's name was Mary.'" Bernard, Homily 2:17, Respice stellam (ante A.D. 1153).
What we see that I find very sad is that we need extra biblical sources for each of these beliefs.
Lakeside has made it abundantly clear that non-Catholics have missed the mark in thinking the Bible is the only source of spiritual information.
As long as you believe the Bible is the only source of spiritual information you will neither appreciate nor understand Catholicism. And before going off in a tirade, remember the Great Commission. Jesus told His disciples to make disciples, to baptize and to teach. He said nothing about writing books and assembling them into a New Testament. The books were written and thank God they were. The Bible is the greatest teaching tool available for spiritual instruction. But it is not the teacher. The Church, of which the disciples were the original elders, is the teacher. A teacher who knows only what is contained in the text book isn't much of a teacher.