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Biblical Mary: The Ark of the New Covenant

July 14

The other day I wrote about the trials of trying to be an “Ecumenical Apologist“, so today I would like to write a post about something rather controversial, or rather someone rather controversial – Jesus’ mother, Mary.

Mary is something of a source of contention between Catholics and non-Catholics.  At best, Catholics are told that the attention they give to Mary draws glory away from God.  At worst, Catholics are charged with unbiblical doctrine, necromancy and idolatry.

In this post I will not attempt to try and convince any non-Catholics of the veracity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, her Assumption or any of the other particularly Catholic Marian doctrines. I would simply like to show you a scriptural perspective on Mary of which you may be unaware. My aim is that after reading this post you would be awed at the cohesiveness of God’s master plan and declare that Mary truly is “blessed” (Lk 1:48-49)

Ungrateful Son

I came across this particular biblical perspective of Mary at a time in my life when I wasn’t at all a fan of the Catholic Church.  At that time I denied all the particularly Catholic doctrines about Mary (Immaculate Conception, Ever Virgin etc).  I flattered myself that I knew my Bible pretty well and knew all the passages which referred to her – it wasn’t hard as there weren’t many of them, or so I thought.

However, when I heard the explanation of Scripture which I am about to present, I was stunned!  I was excited, definitely, because it was an amazing insight, but I was also stunned.  Here was an understanding of Mary I could never recall having heard before and yet it had been under my nose the entire time, in the pages of my Bible.  Maeve, the missionary who brought my faith to life in my early twenties often spoke of “the hidden treasures of the Church” and I was never completely sure of what she meant, until I tripped over one of them…

I was humbled when I realized my arrogance in thinking that a 2,000 year-old Church wouldn’t have anything to teach me.  All those saints in its history had a few insights I might have missed?  Shocking!

The Catholic Church declares that Mary is the “Ark of the New Covenant” and it is this title that I would like to examine in this post.  But before we can look at how Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, we must first look at the Ark of the Old Covenant…

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Ark of the Covenant is an item referred to in the Old Testament.  Whilst on Mount Sinai God tells Moses how to build the Ark:

“Have them make a chest of acacia wood…overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out…Cast four gold rings for it…Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it…

…And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover…The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them”Exodus 25:10-20

So from this description we see that the Ark is a container covered from head-to-toe in gold, with golden statues of two angels placed on top:


The fact that the entire Ark was covered in gold demonstrated that this was something extremely holy, set apart for a sacred purpose.  The Ark would travel with the Israelites throughout the desert, be the focus of the Israelite worship to God, was a spiritual weapon in battle (Joshua 6) and eventually find its resting place in the Temple of Jerusalem built by Solomon, in the Holy of Holies.

Vessel of Blessing

But what did the Ark actually contain?  We are told in the letter to the Hebrews:

“Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover.”Hebrews 9:3-5

So we see that the Ark contained three things:

1. The Word Of God: The tablets of stone containing the commandments given by God to Moses which Moses smashed following the Israelite idolatry of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:1-19)

2. The High Priest’s Staff: This was the staff which belonged to Aaron that symbolized his priestly office (Numbers 17:1-18:7)

3. The Bread of Heaven: Some of the manna which God used to feed the Israelites (Exodus 16)

We now leave the Old Testament and ask: “What was contained within Mary’s womb?” The short answer, of course is simply “Jesus”, she is, after all, the Theotokos, the “God Bearer”.  But who exactly is Jesus?

1. The Word Of God: Jesus himself is the incarnate Word of God, the “logos” described in the beginning of John’s Gospel (John 1:1)

2. High Priest: As the author of the letter to the Hebrews says, Jesus is our “great High Priest” who has offered that one, perfect sacrifice – Himself on the cross (Hebrews 4:14)

3. The Bread of Heaven: In John’s Gospel Jesus says again and again that He is the bread that “comes down from heaven” (John 6:51)

I remember being dumbstruck when I first had these parallels pointed out to me.  Mary is the new Ark!  This started to shed some light for me on the place Catholics give Mary – Mary is holy in the same way the Ark was holy and Mary should be given similar honour for the sacred purpose for which she was set apart.

 

Priest offering incense before the Ark

As I started to dig a bit more I started to find yet more parallels…

The Very Presence of God

At the Annunciation, Gabriel tells Mary that God will “overshadow” (episkiazo) her and she will bear a child:

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” – Luke 1:35

The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the Old Testament made two centuries earlier, and with which Luke would have been very familiar. This same word for “overshadow” is used in the Septuagint to refer to another event involving the Ark:

Then the cloud [overshadowed] the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle – Exodus 40:34-35

In the Old Testament the Ark was the very place where God would dwell (Ex. 25:8) and in the fullest sense Jesus came to dwell in the New Ark, His mother (Lk 1:31).  Could anyone be more blessed?

Luke’s Plagiarism

Luke’s Gospel is certainly one of the Gospel accounts which mentions Mary more often.  However, I was shocked when I saw that Luke had cheated!  If you place side-by-side the story of “The Visitation” in Luke 1:26-56 and the story of the Ark in 2 Samuel 5-6 you will notice some rather striking similarities:

  • Both David and Mary “arose and went” (2 Samuel 6:2 and Luke 1:39)
  • Mary (Luke 1:39) and the Ark (2 Samuel 6:1) were both to be found in the same hill country of Judea
  • When David saw the Ark he said, How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9) and Elizabeth says Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)
  • David approached the Ark with shouts, dancing and leaping, wearing a priestly ephod (2 Samuel 6:12-15). When Elizabeth met Mary, her son John the Baptist, who would have been from the priestly line of Aaron, leaped for joy in her womb (Luke 1:41-44)
  • The Ark remained in the house of “Obed-edom for three months (2 Samuel 6:11).  Mary remained in the house of Elizabeth for the same duration (Luke 1:56)
  • The Ark returned to Jerusalem where God’s presence and glory was revealed in the temple (2 Chronicles 7:1). Mary returns home and then ends up in Jerusalem, where she presents God incarnate in the temple (Luke 2:22-24)

Mary & Elizabeth with the children in their wombs

 

Indy got it wrong!

If you have ever seen the film “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” you will know the story of everyone’s favourite wise-cracking archeologist in his attempts to find the Ark of the Covenant, whilst at the same time winning back the heart of an ex-girlfriend and punching Nazis in the face…

Indiana Jones, Searching for the Ark

In the film Indiana Jones is looking for the lost Ark of the Covenant.  But who lost it?!  In 2nd Maccabees we are told that in c. 587 BC Jeremiah hides the Ark to save it from the invading Babylonian army:

One finds in the records that the prophet Jeremiah…instructed those who were being deported not to forget the commandments of the Lord…

It was also in the same document that the prophet, having received an oracle, ordered that the tent and the ark should follow with him, and that he went out to the mountain where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God. Jeremiah came and found a cave-dwelling, and he brought there the tent and the ark and the altar of incense; then he sealed up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the way, but could not find it. When Jeremiah learned of it, he rebuked them and declared: ‘The place shall remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy. Then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord and the [shekinah] cloud will appear, as they were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked that the place should be specially consecrated.’2 Maccabees 2:1-8

Where is the Ark?

Jeremiah’s hiding place was never found and when the temple was rebuilt years later, the Holy of Holies remained empty – barren.

A great treasure always attracts a great number of treasure hunters and the Ark of the Covenant is no exception.  But I have a secret – I  know where the Ark is…

The Ark Unveiled

To discover the final resting place of the Ark, don your Indiana Jones hat and bull-whip and follow me to the final book of the Bible, The Book of Revelation, sometimes called the Apocalypse (apokalypsis, literally “unveiling”):

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet…Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.”Revelation 11:15, 19-12:2

This is where the Ark is – she is in heaven!  She is announced in spectacular style and to the sound of the 7th trumpet just like at Jericho (Joshua 6:13).

But is this woman Mary?

John’s vision is an oftentimes confusing piece of literature with multiple layers and meanings, but it is clear from the description which follows that this woman is Mary:

“She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.” – Revelation 12:5

Who is this male child who will rule the nations with an iron scepter and who is in heaven?  This is clearly Jesus – He is referred to explicitly using the same description in Revelation 19:11-16.  Also, Psalm 2:9 said that the Messiah would “rule all the nations with a rod of iron”.  So, although she may also represent other things (such as the Church or Israel), it’s fairly safe to assume that the women giving birth to Him is the one who actually gave birth to Him – His mother, Mary.

If you looked in a physical Bible today, you could be forgiven for not realizing that that the woman is the Ark.  This is because the passage I quoted above is actually split across two chapters:

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant…

[Chapter break]

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun…”

However, it must be remembered that chapter divisions are somewhat arbitrary and were only introduced in the Middle Ages (12th Century) – the original Greek texts contain no such divisions.

I’ll look at this passage in Revelation in more detail in another post when I discuss another of Mary’s titles: “The New Eve”.

Closing Thoughts

Although my original study of this Marian dimension of the Ark didn’t bring me all the way to the Catholic understanding of Mary, it did show me an understanding of Mary to which I had hitherto been completely ignorant.  Apparently this 2,000 year old Church did have something to teach me!

“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 Ark of the 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 of Alexandria (c. 296–373 AD) , Homily of the Papyrus of Turin

I hope that in this post you have been amazed at the way Mary is pre-figured in the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant and how truly blessed she was to hold within her flesh the Word of God, our High Priest and the very Bread of  Heaven.  Today we have an opportunity to give glory to God by declaring the work of His grace and the blessedness of His chosen Ark:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is His name!” – Luke 1:46-49

“Theotokos: The God-Bearer”

 

Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Apologetics

53 Comments

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53 responses to “Biblical Mary: The Ark of the New Covenant

  1. Kelley

    September 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

    “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” If Mary were sinless, why did she need a Savior? Wouldn’t she be lying? Did she realize Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God? When she compared herself to the law of a holy God, had she realized she had formerly, lied, coveted, dishonored her parents by not always obeying them, etc. and like every single person needs a Savior? There are none good, no not one (Romans 3), except Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Also see Romans 11:6. Thank you Jesus, my Savior.

     
    • pilgrim

      September 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Hey Kelley,

      Thanks for your comment.

      This post was not trying to prove Mary’s sinlessness, but rather simply offer a perspective on Mary that many non-Catholic Christians may have never previously considered.

      You bring up a lot of questions. The Catholic Church is well aware of these passages of Scripture. What I’ll do is move this comment over to my current blog (http://restlesspilgrim.net) and I’ll tackle them there

      God bless,

      David.

       
  2. Monica

    April 11, 2014 at 11:11 am

    People praying the rosary, singing Mary songs, etc is a form a worship no matter how much catholics want to deny it. These things only belong to God. I have seen pictures of Mary sitting next to God in His throne as she was was co-equal with God when she was only a human like any of us. Of course she was blessed by God and deserves to be honored but it does not imply a godly position. God chose her by His grace, grace is God giving us something we dont deserve.

    Why do we need Mary as mediator when Jesus Christ already paid the price for our sins so that we could approach God directly? Saying that we need Mary as mediator is like saying that what Christ did in the cross is worthless or meaningless. Read Luke 23:45 which says that the curtain in the temple was broken apart in two, this symbolizing that the use of mediators (like in the old testament where only the priests could enter the most holy of the holy places and approach God to intercede for people) was terminated.

    People call her our hope, our salvation, etc. Acts 4:12 says that salvation is found in Christ alone.

    Yes people are taking focus away from Christ by giving her attributes that only belong to Christ, such as being sinless, holy, mediator, being taken to heaven alive, doing miracles and being the queen of heaven etc.

    If you notice most catholic churches today are named after Mary. Everything in the catholic church is about Mary. Most times when I see Catholics praying, it is all to Mary. When the Pope died, he entrusted his soul and the church to Mary. So where is Christ?

    I would suggest you doing more research about the origins of the roman catholic church which comes from pagan origins when it was founded in Rome by Constantine about 300AD. This is well known in history. Constantine was the first pope, and he mixed paganism with Christianity and that is how the Roman catholic church was born. You will find many parallels between the Roman catholic church and paganism. One of them is that the pagans used to worship a goddess called the “Mother of God”, and “queen of heaven”. Read Jeremiah 7:18 and Jeremiah 44:17-25 where the Jews were worshipping this false goddess named “queen of heaven” provoking the Lord to anger. This is exactly what the Catholics are doing today.

    contact me at [email redacted] to further discuss this.

     
    • pilgrim

      April 11, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Hey Monica,

      Further as I said in my comment on my the old version of my blog, thanks for posting your comment. Welcome to my current blog!

      I’d love to continue the conversation. You raise some interesting points and I said some similar things myself during my own theological wanderings.

      You cover quite a bit of ground in this comment so I’d like to take some time to address each point in turn. I hope to have a little bit of time this weekend so I’ll get started then.

      Thanks and God bless,

      David.

       
    • Alexandra

      April 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Monica,

      “Of course she was blessed by God and deserves to be honored.”
      In what ways do you honor her?
      Thanks.

       
    • pilgrim

      April 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Hey Monica,

      Just in case you didn’t see it, the first part of my response is now online.

      Thanks,

      David.

       
      • Monica

        April 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm

        I have been trying to reply to your three questions but there is no link to it, the link you gave me is not taking me anywhere.

         
        • pilgrim

          April 28, 2014 at 9:07 am

          Please try again or click here. It’s just the three questions asked in the final post. I’ve also tweaked the final post to make the questions more obvious.

           
  3. Sola Fide

    June 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Revelations 12 is not talking about Mary but about Israel. Read Revelations 21:2 which says the woman coming down from heaven is the New Jerusalem.

    Read Genesis 37:9 where Joseph had a dream of the moon, the sun and the 11 stars bowing down to him (his 11 eleven brothers who would be bowing to him in Genesis 42, wih Josepth there were a total of 12 stars, the 12 tribes of Israel. The sun was jacob and the moon rachel.

    The woman persecuted by the dragon and fleeing to the mountains is Israle read Mark 13:14 and Daniel 9:27.

    Revelations 12 is not talking literally but symbolically. It is talking about future events. Mary gave birth to Jesus 2000 years ago. If you say it is literal then Mary is giving birth to Jesus in the future and that can not be possible.

    The symbol of the woman giving birth to the child is Jesus coming from Israel.

    The bible never directly says Mary is the ark of the covenant, or that she was taken to heaven alive, queen of heaven, mediator, our salvation, virgin and sinless. On the opposite the bible contradicts these teachings. 1 Corinthians 4:6 says not to go beyond what is written. Mary deserves respect and honor but not to be exalted to a godly position by giving her all the titles and attributes that belong to Jesus. It is God the one who is worthy of exaltation, veneration, glofication, and devotion. Sharing the glory of Christ with a human is idolatry. Mary was only a humble servant of God just like you and me. Jesus saves and not Mary. Focus your eyes on Jesus and not on Mary, Mary can not even hear your prayers because she does not know what is happening on earth Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 and she is not omnipotent to hear millions of prayers at the same time.

    God Bless

     
    • pilgrim

      June 27, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Hey Sola Fide, welcome to Restless Pilgrim!

      > Revelations 12 is not talking about Mary but about Israel. Read Revelations 21:2 which says the woman coming down from heaven is the New Jerusalem.

      Firstly, you’re assuming that the woman in Revelation 12 and Revelation 21 are the same woman, but don’t really explain why you think this. After all, an awful lot has gone on in the intervening nine chapters…

      Secondly, it’s not an either/or situation. The “Woman” of Revelation 12 doesn’t have to be either Israel or Mary, she can be both, and that is my position. I find the demand that the woman be ONLY Israel rather odd. It’s not a choice we’re forced to make, and to make it to the exclusion of Mary is to bring something foreign to the text.

      If you accept from Revelation 12 that the “male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” is a specific person (Jesus), and the “great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns” is a specific person (Satan), then why would it be so strange to assert that one woman giving birth to this specific, concrete, historical figure also be a specific, concrete, historical figure (Mary). After all, who was it who actually gave birth to Jesus?

      This has been the ancient understanding of the text: that “the woman” is Mary, Israel and ultimately the Church. It has also been the teaching of Pope Benedict:

      This Woman represents Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, but at the same time she also represents the whole Church, the People of God of all times, the Church which in all ages, with great suffering, brings forth Christ ever anew
      – Pope Benedict, General Audience, Aug. 23, 2006

      > Read Genesis 37:9 where Joseph had a dream of the moon, the sun and the 11 stars bowing down to him (his 11 eleven brothers who would be bowing to him in Genesis 42, wih Josepth there were a total of 12 stars, the 12 tribes of Israel. The sun was jacob and the moon rachel

      Funnily enough, I was leading Bible Study last night on this very passage, in preparation for a group trip to go and see “Joseph and His Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoast”! However, I’m not really sure what making this connection proves with regards to establishing the identity of “the woman” as only a symbolic Israel.

      Mary was a daughter of Israel, the one through whom the Messiah entered the world – it’s therefore unsurprising to find Hebrew symbolism around her in this book. Also, as I’ve said above, I would not exclude Israel from this interpretation.

      > The woman persecuted by the dragon and fleeing to the mountains is Israle read Mark 13:14 and Daniel 9:27

      If you’re drawing upon Jesus’ prophecy in Mark’s Gospel, then you’re going to have to add “The Church” as an additional meaning to “the woman” (something I don’t deny, but something you didn’t mention in your explanation).

      > Revelations 12 is not talking literally but symbolically

      Maybe we’re disagreeing of semantics here, but I would say we do have to take it literally i.e. read it with the mind of the author. However, we’re not meant to read it literalistically, devoid of textual context, ignoring the literary genre or apart from the overarching narrative of Salvation History.

      > It is talking about future events. Mary gave birth to Jesus 2000 years ago. If you say it is literal then Mary is giving birth to Jesus in the future and that can not be possible.

      Would you mind backing up this assertion? How do you explain that Jesus is born in the future? Or do you deny that the child in this vision is Jesus?

       
      • Sola Fide

        June 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

        The book of Revelations is all about the end times. It is about future events (Jesus coming in power and glory, the 7 trumpets, the 4 horsemen, the 7 seals etc). Mary is not giving birth to Jesus in the future, she did 2000 years ago. If you read Revelations 12, the woman is giving birth to the child. If you say that when Revelations mentions a woman, it is talking about Mary then you are assuming Revelations 17 which talks about the Great Whore is also referring to Mary.

         
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

          > The book of Revelations…

          I assumed it was a typo before, but just so you know, it’s “Revelation” (singular), not “Revelations” (plural).

          > …is all about the end times

          Well, the “end times” began with Jesus, so everything since the Annunciation has been the “end times”.

          > It is about future events (Jesus coming in power and glory, the 7 trumpets, the 4 horsemen, the 7 seals etc)

          That’s a rather blunt interpretation. Also, the future events are of varying distances into the future. Again and again we’re told that these things are going to happen “soon”…

          I’m guessing from what you’re saying that you don’t believe that the primary fulfillment is found in the First Century with the Jewish and Roman persecutions and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70? Again, that’s been the primary lens through which Christians have historically understood this book…

          > Mary is not giving birth to Jesus in the future, she did 2000 years ago. If you read Revelations 12, the woman is giving birth to the child. If you say that when Revelations mentions a woman, it is talking about Mary then you are assuming Revelations 17 which talks about the Great Whore is also referring to Mary

          Why on earth would I think that? I don’t just assume that any mention of any woman anywhere in Scripture is Mary.

          I’d appreciate it if you’d clarify my earlier questions: do you believe the “child” in Revelation 12 is Jesus? If so, and assuming that what you say about the Book of Revelation speaking exclusively about distant future events, how is Jesus born again in the future? :-/

           
          • Sola Fide

            June 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

            Where are you getting that the end times began with Jesus? If you read Mark 13 and Acts 1 Jesus told His apostles that no one knows about the end times, that if we heard of rumors of earthquakes and wars that we should not believe them because no one knows the time when the end times are coming. We know the end times are future events but no one knows when they are going to be happening. You can not declare that now we are living in the end times because Jesus said we dont know when they will happen. Jesus always referred to the end times as future events but never to events that were happening now.

            Read other chapters in Revelations, Israel is going to be persecuted in the end times and Jesus will come to fight in the battle of Armagedon to defend them. Dont focus on a single chapter. Zechariah 12:10, and John 19:37 said they (the Jews) will mourn for the One (Jesus) they have pierced

            Revelations 12 has nothing to do with making Mary a queen but to what is going to happen to the Jews in the future.

            How funny on how the book of revelations is talking about Mary only on the passages that are more convenient to you.

            To answer your question, the child in Revelations 12 is not Jesus literally but it is representing Jesus. The woman is representing Israel and the dragon Satan.

             
          • pilgrim

            June 27, 2014 at 4:11 pm

            > Where are you getting that the end times began with Jesus? If you read Mark 13 and Acts 1 Jesus told His apostles that no one knows about the end times

            No, that’s the end of time, the Second Coming. The “End Times” begin with the coming of the Messiah (Hebrews 1:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 10:11)

            > How funny on how the book of revelations is talking about Mary only on the passages that are more convenient to you

            When it talks about a woman giving birth to Jesus, I’m going to assume it’s Mary.

            > To answer your question, the child in Revelations 12 is not Jesus literally but it is representing Jesus. The woman is representing Israel and the dragon Satan

            To what end? In what way is Jesus born again?

             
      • Roscoe

        June 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        Sola Fide is right about Mary not being the woman of Rev 12.
        Here is what Raymond Brown and J.A. Fitzmyer (Roman Catholic scholars), editors of the Jerome Biblical Commentary (2:482):
        “a woman: Most of the ancient commentators identified her with the Church; in the Middle Ages it was widely held that she represented Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Modern exegetes have generally adopted the older interpretation, with certain modifications.
        In recent years several Catholics have championed the Marian interpretation. Numerous contextual details, however, are ill-suited to such an explanation. For example, we are scarcely to think that Mary endured the worst of the pains of childbirth (v. 2), that she was pursued into the desert after the birth of her child (6, 13ff.), or, finally, that she was persecuted through her other children (v. 17). The emphasis on the persecution of the woman is really appropriate only if she represents the Church, which is presented throughout the book as oppressed by the forces of evil, yet protected by God. Furthermore, the image of a woman is common in ancient Oriental secular literature as well as in the Bible (e.g., Is 50:1; Jer 50:12) as a symbol for a people, a nation, or a city. It is fitting, then, to see in this woman the People of God, the true Israel of the OT and NT.”

         
        • pilgrim

          June 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm

          > Here is what Raymond Brown and J.A. Fitzmyer (Roman Catholic scholars)

          Roscoe, we’ve had this conversation about liberal scholarship before…

          Most modern scholars don’t believe in the supernatural or that the Bible is actually inerrant and inspired…should I therefore do the same?

          > “a woman: Most of the ancient commentators identified her with the Church; in the Middle Ages it was widely held that she represented Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Modern exegetes have generally adopted the older interpretation, with certain modifications.

          This is the problem when you quote secondary sources – you’re trusting they’re giving an accurate representation…which they’re not. Patristic support is far stronger than they’re suggesting.

          Also, as we’ve previously established, it doesn’t matter to you the volume of testimony or its antiquity. If it isn’t in accord with your interpretation of Scripture you have no problem with just dismissing it out of hand (cf. baptism by pouring). Therefore that line of argumentation has little value.

          > Numerous contextual details, however, are ill-suited to such an explanation

          Each of which have an answer… However, since you rely exclusively on secondary sources I doubt you’ve come across them.

          > ….

          The challenge I’ve given before has yet to be answered. Why interpret the “child” and “dragon” to be actual people, yet baulk at the idea of interpreting the “woman” to be an actual person?

           
          • Roscoe

            June 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm

            We should believe in modern scholarship when they have the facts. Brown does make an excellent case that makes the best sense of the passage.

            The reason this is not Mary is that she is never mentioned by name in this book. As Brown says” we are scarcely to think that Mary endured the worst of the pains of childbirth (v. 2), that she was pursued into the desert after the birth of her child (6, 13ff.), or, finally, that she was persecuted through her other children (v. 17).” Of course not. This is why it does not fit her.

             
          • pilgrim

            June 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

            > Brown does make an excellent case that makes the best sense of the passage

            No, you’re assuming he is. However, because you restrict your reading you never hear the counter arguments and don’t actually check the data yourself.

            > The reason this is not Mary is that she is never mentioned by name in this book

            The book never names the “child” as Jesus. We can infer it from the context and the description.

            > we are scarcely to think that Mary endured the worst of the pains of childbirth (v. 2)

            Wait, you think Mary gave birth without pain? If not, why would you take stock in this argument?

            > that she was pursued into the desert after the birth of her child (6, 13ff.), or, finally, that she was persecuted through her other children (v. 17).”

            …as I said, there are responses to all these objections…but if you restrict yourself to Protestant sources and anti-catholic sources you’ll never hear them. It’s selective reading.

             
    • pilgrim

      June 27, 2014 at 9:22 am

      > The bible never directly says…

      The Bible never directly says a lot of things. For example, the Bible never directly says that God is a triune being, one substance with three persons…yet that is what orthodox Christianity has always held to be true.

      > …[never says] Mary is the ark of the covenant…

      I think I’ve made a solid case in this article to show that the Biblical authors saw this connection. The Early Church certainly did.

      > … or that she was taken to heaven alive, queen of heaven, …

      It does, but it necessitates that we interpret Revelation 12 in the manner you suggest. The way of interpreting which I’m suggesting we follow has an historic pedigree.

      > …mediator, our salvation…

      Well, we see her involved in God’s plan of salvation throughout the Gospels (“…let it be done unto me according to your word…”, “…do whatever He tells you…” etc), which is a form of mediation. It is in this sense that we would ever use words like “salvation” with reference to Mary. Your parents, an evangelist, your pastor…these were all mediators of God’s grace to you….they were each a co-redemtrix. That’s all we mean by the term.

      > …virgin…

      Well, that’s right there in Luke’s Gospel, but I assume you’re referring to the belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity. Again, this has solid roots in Biblical typology, Old Testament prophecy and, rather significantly, the witness of the Early Church.

      If you ever get a chance, I’d invite you to read Jerome’s rebuttal of those who would try and deny this historic belief of the Church. He basically says “I can’t believe I’m actually having to defend this…but since this odd idea is really popular at the moment, I’m going to have take a few minutes to deal with this crazy idea that Mary wasn’t a perpetual virgin…” #paraphrase

      > ….and sinless

      Again, this has a solid foundation in Old Testament, New Testament and the witness of the Early Church.

       
      • Sola Fide

        June 27, 2014 at 11:15 am

        The bible does teach about the triune God. We can find several verses that declare Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father as God so we conclude there are 3 persons in the Godhead.

        However, no verse in the bible directly mention or give any suggestion Mary is all the titles you have given her. On the opposite, the bible contradicts those titles. Let me give you an example:

        Matthew 1:25 says “Joseph did not know Mary until Jesus was born” and I am taking this verse from a catholic bible version. The word “until” means that at some point Joseph and Mary consumated their marriage. Please tell me, what is wrong with Joseph and Mary having marital sex? in what way was Mary defiling herself by having marital sex?

        Luke 2:24 states Mary was offering a sacrifice for the forgivenes of her sins. Catholics claim Mary did it out of tradition just as Jesus was baptized out of tradition but the bible states that Jesus did it out of tradition, however, it does not state Mary did it for the same reasons.

        Mary has not been the only one God has used to bring salvation to the world, God also used the apostles, and currently today, He is using many people to preach the gospel. That does not mean those people will call themselves, mediators, the dispensers of all graces, our salvation.

        Even when you say Mary is our source of salvation indirectly by bearing the Messiah you are taking the focus away from Jesus. I see catholics praying to Mary and relying on her for their salvation. That is taking away the focus away from Jesus. The bible teaches Jesus is the dispenser of graces in John 1 and “salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven for which we must be saved ” Acts 4:12

        Mary is not the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was the throne of God. God is sitting in the mercy seat which was between the two cherubim. I have seen catholic pictures where Mary is sitting in this mercy seat, that is sitting Mary in the throne of God and blasphemy against God.

        You say you are not exalting Mary to a godly position but when Catholics declare Mary is the queen of heaven, that she is reigning in heaven, that she has power and authority in heaven you are then giving her a godly status. You can see how catholics view Mary in catholic art where Mary is portrayed as a queen sitting in the throne of God and giving light to the entire world. Catholics attribute miracles to Mary and Mary being able to hear millions of prayers at the same time which means she is omnipotent and omnipresent.

        There is nothing suggesting that people in heaven have omnipresent powers. God is the God of the living but there is nothing suggesting people in heaven are able to know what is happening on earth. The verses in Ecclesiastes I gave you talk about people who have died on earth.

        You are sharing the glory of Christ with Mary because every but every every single title that belongs to Jesus now belongs to Mary. What makes Jesus different from Mary if you have shared all his attributes with Mary?

        You say Jesus will share his glory with humans (and quoted to me many verses). It is true Jesus will share many things with us but not in the way you are sharing the glory of Christ with Mary. You are exalting Mary far beyond the way we all humans are going to be exalted in heaven.
        We will not be sitting in the throne of God, but Catholics sit Mary in God’s throne.
        The bible teaches in heaven every knee will bow to Jesus. However, the catholic church is bowing down to Mary.
        Although people in the old testament bowed to people, the bible never condones such practice, on the opposite Peter refused a man to bow down to him Acts 10:25-26. All the apostles and even angels refused any form of exaltation Acts 14:11-15 Revelations 19:10. God condemned bowing down to graven images Exodus 20:4 because viewed it as an act of worship.
        The popes bow down to graven images of Mary and build her shrines. I dont think God is ever sharing His glory with a human in this way. This is idolatry.

        You are trying to change the words from worship to respect when you bow down to graven images but I can also declare I am trimming and not cutting my hair. I am changing the words but the actions are still the same:(

        Mary being the bearer of the Messiah is not an excuse for idolatry sorry. When Jesus came to earth He gave up His godly status temporarily and became a man. There is no reason why Mary had to be sinless, super special, holy and blah blah. Jesus lived a regular life here on earth (except when he began his ministry) and there is no reason why Mary has to be exalted to a godly position.

         
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

          > The bible does teach about the triune God. We can find several verses that declare Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father as God so we conclude there are 3 persons in the Godhead.

          What did I say? I said “the Bible never directly says that God is a triune being, one substance with three persons”. You’ve had to apply some interpretation to the text.

          Oneness Pentecostals and Unitarians, for example, claim that Trinitarians have been reading into the texts to which you refer.

          The point I was making was that you’re demanding an explicit declaration from Scripture that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, but you’re content to do some interpretation and application of Greek philosophical principals when it comes to the Trinity.

          > However, no verse in the bible directly mention or give any suggestion Mary is all the titles you have given her

          Firstly this assumes Sola Scriptura which is a position which I reject as being unhistorical, illogical and even unscriptural. Secondly, I’d invite you to look again at the above article where I give the Scriptural evidence for this title.

          However, as an example which fulfills your demands, how about the title “Mother of God”? Here it is a syllogism:

          1. Scripture explicitly teaches that Mary was the mother of Jesus
          2. Scripture explicitly teaches that Jesus is God
          3. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God

          Are you happy with that?

           
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

          > On the opposite, the bible contradicts those titles. Let me give you an example: Matthew 1:25 says “Joseph did not know Mary until Jesus was born” and I am taking this verse from a catholic bible version

          That is correct. Matthew is making it absolutely clear that Joseph had nothing to do with the biological origin of Jesus.

          For example, there was an idea around this time that if a man had relations with a woman who was pregnant, the child became partially his. Matthew is safeguarding against this.

          The word “until” means that at some point Joseph and Mary consumated their marriage

          That is incorrect. If I was leaving a restaurant and said to my friends “Until we meet again, God bless you”, would I mean that once we met again that I wouldn’t want God to bless them? Of course not. I was just emphasizing what I wanted to happen in the meantime. We see the word “until” used in this sense in the following passages:

          * 2 Samuel 6:23
          Or are you suggesting that Michal gave birth to children after her death?

          * 1 Timothy 4:13
          Or are you suggesting that Timothy should stop teaching the Word once Paul comes?

          * 1 Corinthians 15:25
          Or are you suggesting that Christ’s reign will come to an end?

          The belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity was around from the earliest times in the Church and it was the Catholic Church which canonized the New Testament in the later centures. Do you think they were ignorant of the verse you mention in Matthew’s Gospel?

          “I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the first fruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the first fruit of virginity”
          – Origen, Commentary on Matthew 2:17 (c. AD 248)

          > Please tell me, what is wrong with Joseph and Mary having marital sex? in what way was Mary defiling herself by having marital sex?

          Would you use the Ark of the Covenant as an ash tray? It might have been “just a box”, but it was a special box set apart for God. Likewise, Mary was a special vessel set apart for the Lord.

          > Luke 2:24 states Mary was offering a sacrifice for the forgivenes of her sins. Catholics claim Mary did it out of tradition just as Jesus was baptized out of tradition but the bible states that Jesus did it out of tradition, however, it does not state Mary did it for the same reasons.

          As you yourself have pointed out, we have a precedent for the Mosaic Law being fulfilled even if it wasn’t explicitly necessary. This begs the question: why do you demand an explicit explanation in this particular case? (Also, it’s worth pointing out that you’re making an interpretation concerning Jesus’ baptism that isn’t explicitly really in the text – all that is said is that the purpose of the baptism was “to fulfill all righteousness”…)

          However, it’s worth noting that three verses before, in verse 21, we’re told that Christ was circumcised (thus providing entry into covenant with God). Was that necessary? Nowhere in the text does it explain that it wasn’t. Should we therefore conclude that Jesus wasn’t in communion with the Father? There are many other examples like this which we could give…

          Ultimately, I think we’re back to the example of the Trinity again – for some doctrines you’re happy to do a little bit of interpretation, but for others (i.e. Catholic doctrines) you’re demanding that it’s spelt out chapter and verse. That doesn’t seem to me to be an balanced standard.

           
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 12:02 pm

          > Mary has not been the only one God has used to bring salvation to the world

          True, but she’s got kinda an important role. It seems strange to me to be so intent on diminishing her role, particularly given that the Early Church were comfortable in recognizing the great work done in her by the Lord.

          > God also used the apostles, and currently today, He is using many people to preach the gospel. That does not mean those people will call themselves, mediators, the dispensers of all graces, our salvation.

          But that’s exactly what they are – they are mediators. You and I are both mediators of God’s grace in the world. As St. Paul wrote…

          “So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” – 2 Corinthians 5:20

          > Even when you say Mary is our source of salvation indirectly by bearing the Messiah you are taking the focus away from Jesus

          Says who? I don’t think it takes any focus away from Jesus. It seems to me to be just basic biology and a following of the Scriptural narrative.

          Would learning about the martyrs of the early centuries “take…the focus away from Jesus”? Not at all! It makes us love Him more because we see His grace at work in the Church. Speaking personally, when I discovered Ignatius of Antioch it did nothing but increase my love for the Lord!

          > I see catholics praying to Mary…

          Sure, that’s because it is a good thing to ask those before the throne of God for their prayers.

          > …and relying on her for their salvation

          How could you possibly know this?

          > The bible teaches Jesus is the dispenser of graces in John 1 and “salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven for which we must be saved ” Acts 4:12

          …and? The Catholic Church teaches exactly the same thing.

           
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

          > Mary is not the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was the throne of God.

          …containing the bread of heaven, the high priestly authority and the word of God…. sounds rather similar to what Mary carried in her womb…

          > God is sitting in the mercy seat which was between the two cherubim. I have seen catholic pictures where Mary is sitting in this mercy seat, that is sitting Mary in the throne of God and blasphemy against God

          If you want to reject Catholic doctrine, I’d invite you to quote the Catechism. It’s rather hard for me to defend some unidentified painting which may or may not be in accord with Catholic teaching. Having said that, this is what I’ve said in the past when confronted with similar argumentation…

           
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

          > You say you are not exalting Mary to a godly position but when Catholics declare Mary is the queen of heaven, that she is reigning in heaven, that she has power and authority in heaven you are then giving her a godly status

          I’ve written a response to this before, but off the top of my head here are a couple of problems with your assertion:

          1. In the Apocalypse the elders around the thrones have crowns (Revelation 4:4). Was this a challenge to God? Not at all.

          2. In the Davidic Kingdom, the prototype of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom had a Queen (“gebirah”), the mother of the King (1 Kings 2:19). She was no challenge to the King’s authority at all. In fact, her authority flowed from the King.

          > You can see how catholics view Mary in catholic art where Mary is portrayed as a queen sitting in the throne of God and giving light to the entire world.

          As I said above, if you want to talk doctrine, we can. I can’t defend unidentified paintings I’ve never seen.

          > Catholics attribute miracles to Mary and Mary being able to hear millions of prayers at the same time which means she is omnipotent and omnipresent

          Neither of those statements are correct. All “their power” comes through their intercession of the Lord.

          > There is nothing suggesting that people in heaven have omnipresent powers

          We don’t suggest they do.

          > God is the God of the living but there is nothing suggesting people in heaven are able to know what is happening on earth.

          In Revelation 5:8, what are the Saints in Heaven doing?

          > The verses in Ecclesiastes I gave you talk about people who have died on earth.

          Did you know that Jehovah Witnesses try and use that verse to prove that there is a complete destruction of a person upon death? Careful exegesis is needed here…context, literary genre, the rest of the Scriptural testimony…

           
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

          > You are sharing the glory of Christ with Mary because every but every every single title that belongs to Jesus now belongs to Mary.

          Son of God? Messiah? Alpha and Omega? We attribute none of these to Mary.

          Did you know that we attribute to you, yes you some things which we say of Jesus?

          1. You are a son of God
          2. You are made in the image of God
          3. You have died with Him
          4. You will be raised with Him
          5. You bear His name
          6. You are destined to participate in the life of God for all eternity

          Just because we say the same thing of Jesus and someone else doesn’t mean that we’re equating the two.

          > What makes Jesus different from Mary if you have shared all his attributes with Mary?

          We haven’t. Mary didn’t offer the perfect sacrifice on the cross, Mary isn’t preexistent deity…

          > You say Jesus will share his glory with humans (and quoted to me many verses). It is true Jesus will share many things with us but not in the way you are sharing the glory of Christ with Mary.

          Okay, so you’re qualifying what you originally said. God has and does share His glory with mere creatures. I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up. In that case, what is it about Mary that you think is out of order?

          > You are exalting Mary far beyond the way we all humans are going to be exalted in heaven

          Really? How? Can you be specific?

          > We will not be sitting in the throne of God, but Catholics sit Mary in God’s throne.

          Can you quote the Catechism on this point?

          > The bible teaches in heaven every knee will bow to Jesus. However, the catholic church is bowing down to Mary. Although people in the old testament bowed to people, the bible never condones such practice

          Wait, are you saying that Solomon was wrong when he honoured his mother? (1 Kings 2:19). Are you saying that bowing down to anyone anywhere is sinful?

          If so, then we’re back to the Trinity again, ad hoc picking and choosing at what needs to get qualified and what does not. As an aside for example, the Bible doesn’t explicitly condemn contraception (although it does indirectly via Onan), Christian tradition was unanimous up until the Twentieth Century, but after the 1930 Anglican Lambeth Conference, non-Catholic Christians quickly went back on this historic teaching, arguing that since the Bible didn’t explicit condemn it, it must be okay…

          > on the opposite Peter refused a man to bow down to him Acts 10:25-26

          …because it was the intent behind it. The text says that he tried to “worship” him.

          > All the apostles and even angels refused any form of exaltation Acts 14:11-15. Revelations 19:10

          They refused sacrifice and worship, respectively. We neither sacrifice to Mary nor worship her.

          > God condemned bowing down to graven images Exodus 20:4 because viewed it as an act of worship.

          Bowing down to what? Graven images. That’s not the same as saying any religious imagery, artifacts or statues. We find the Old Testament replete with all these, particularly in the Temple. If you want explicit Bible references, then we see that God commands statues of angels in Exodus 25:18 and in Numbers 21:8-9 a bronze serpent. If you would like to understand this more, I’d invite you to read this article

          > The popes bow down to graven images of Mary and build her shrines. I dont think God is ever sharing His glory with a human in this way. This is idolatry.

          You’re assuming they’re “graven images”. Hopefully in my comment above I have shown that the term doesn’t mean what all religious items.

           
          • Sola Fide

            June 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm

            You are again trying to water down the word from “worship” to “respect”. I will repeat this again, changing the words does not make the difference when the actions are still the same

            If there was nothing wrong with the act of bowing down to a graven image God would”ve never condemned it in the old testament.

            God ordered the Jews to build statues like the bronze snake and Solomon put images in his temple but never to use them for worship or to bow down in front of them or pray in front of them

            Deuteronomy 4:15 states that you shall not make a graven image with the form of a male or female. You are making graven images of Mary and Jesus how do you know they looked like this?

            I will not keep discussing with you about the other points of Mary being virgin, sinless, of the way the Catholic church is exalting Mary, Sola Scriptura, the Pope being our authority, that by the way, yes there are different denominations in Christiniaty but this is not an excuse for the Pope taking the place of God. Even when people differ in opinions God is able to work in our lives. This does not void what Jesus said in John 16.

            At least these denominations are not teaching a false gospel like the catholic church, if there are any preaching a false gospel, we are not to follow them, I dont need the Pope’s authority to distinguish which is a real or false teaching. I dont need the Pope’s authority to know that gay Marriage, murder, theft etc are wrong.

            Based on what I have read from the bible and comparing what I read in the bible to the catholic teachings I have come to the conclusion the Catholic Church is an apostate church. You obviuosly try to find an excuse but this will not change the reality.

            I will not keep discussing this with you. Sorry

             
          • pilgrim

            June 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm

            > You are again trying to water down the word from “worship” to “respect”

            It’s not watering down – it’s about making distinctions between the meaning of words.

            I’ve asked you several times to explain to me how you give honour to Mary (here and here), but you have yet to attempt to answer that question.

            > I will repeat this again, changing the words does not make the difference when the actions are still the same

            What actions? Singing? Do you think singing someone a song is worship? The problem within Protestant theology is that “worship” is a rather hard thing to define since the ancient understanding of worship necessitates a sacrifice. However, since Protestants typically reject the ancient understanding that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, there isn’t really anything to clearly distinguish “honour” from “worship”. This means that when Catholics/Orthodox/Coptic Christians honour Saints it looks to Protestant eyes to be worship because there isn’t a conception of anything higher than singing songs and prayer.

            > God ordered the Jews to build statues like the bronze snake and Solomon put images in his temple…

            Right, so your earlier blanket assertion about images and statuary need some qualification…

            > …but never to use them for worship or to bow down in front of them or pray in front of them

            That is incorrect.

            To begin with, let’s look at the Temple imagery. As a syllogism:

            1. The Temple was filled in images
            2. Prayer took place in the Temple
            3. Therefore people prayed before images

            Next, consider where the angel statues were located. They covered the Ark in the Holy of Holies, the supreme place of worship and encounter with God. In Exodus 25:22 God says that He will speak to Moses “from between the two cherubim” where Moses would have been on his knees or even on his face before God, and therefore, before these two carved cherubim.

            > Deuteronomy 4:15 states that you shall not make a graven image with the form of a male or female. You are making graven images of Mary and Jesus

            It’s the same problem as before, you’re assuming that “graven image” and “statue” are the same thing. Yet we’ve seen from previous example that God commanded statues to be made.

            Graven images and statues are not one and the same thing. If it were, the you should probably complain about Reformation Wall.

            > how do you know they looked like this?

            We don’t. Why is that important?

             
          • pilgrim

            June 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

            > yes there are different denominations in Christiniaty

            Yes, THOUSANDS of the them, each teaching something different and mutually exclusive about the Faith.

            > but this is not an excuse for the Pope taking the place of God

            He’s not (at least in the sense that I think you’re suggesting)

            > Even when people differ in opinions God is able to work in our lives

            Nobody said that God’s grace was absent, even within the doctrinal chaos of Protestantism. The Catholic Church does not assert that.

            > This does not void what Jesus said in John 16

            Again I think you’re misinterpreting and misapplying this passage.

            Firstly, Jesus is speaking to the Apostles, those who would lead the Church after His ascension.

            Secondly, this passage doesn’t mean “everyone can interpret the Bible as she sees fit”, which is basically what you’re trying to make it say. However, this notion can be empirically disproved. If “the Spirit” tells two people two contradictory “truths” then clearly someone is wrong. They each can’t just claim John 17 as their justification.

            Thirdly, this passage cannot be used to null the other passages of Scripture which speak about legitimate Church authority.

            > At least these denominations are not teaching a false gospel like the catholic church

            Really? There are two problems here:

            1. You are defining for yourself what the “true” Gospel is. Why should I accept your definition?

            2. I’m sure there are many, many denominations which you’d hold to be teaching grievous error. Lutherans believing that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, Anglicans baptising babies, Rob Bell saying that everyone is going to go to Heaven…

            Out of interest, what denomination are you?

            > if there are any preaching a false gospel, we are not to follow them

            Ah, so there are some who preach a false gospel? Which is it?

            For those that do teach the “true” Gospel, why do you have a separate congregation from them. Why not join together and demonstrate your unity?

            > I dont need the Pope’s authority to distinguish which is a real or false teaching

            Well, apparently somebody does. Again, look around and see the chaos in the Protestant world when it comes to doctrine. Division, division and division again. It has ever been thus since Luther and Zwingli couldn’t agree on the interpretation of “This is my body”.

            > I dont need the Pope’s authority to know that gay Marriage, murder, theft etc are wrong.

            I hope you’re not Presbyterian…
            Recent news Exhibit A
            Recent news Exhibit B

             
          • pilgrim

            June 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm

            > I will not keep discussing with you about the other points of Mary being virgin, sinless, of the way the Catholic church is exalting Mary, Sola Scriptura, the Pope being our authority…

            Well that’s a shame, but I’d invite you to consider for a moment quite how many topics you’ve raised over this brief exchange. I’d suggest that if you expect fruitful dialogue, you should pick just one subject and focus upon that.

            Also, if you look over our exchange you’ll see lots of questions which I asked which never got answered. For example, you said that it’s a lie that the Catholic Church put together the canon and I asked you to substantiate that claim, but it was not…

            > Based on what I have read from the bible and comparing what I read in the bible to the catholic teachings I have come to the conclusion the Catholic Church is an apostate church

            I’m afraid I’m rather unconvinced concerning your knowledge of Catholicism. I’ve pointed out many of your misconceptions and it’s pretty clear that you’ve never read the sources that you quote.

            To be honest, I was once the same. I rejected what I didn’t know. I believed the Catholic faith was false although I had not read single book by Catholics explaining what it was they believed and why. It was only when I began asking questions and listening to the answers that I started to recognize the truth with the Church possessed.

            > I will not keep discussing this with you. Sorry

            That’s fine, but as a parting suggestion, I’d invite you to do two things:

            1. I’ve suggested that you attempt to answer my canon questions several times now. I really think you should give this a go. It was these questions which ultimately brought me back to the Catholic Church for the very simple answer that these questions cannot be answered satisfactorily within the Protestant framework.

            2. Dive into history. If you look at the early centuries of the Church you will find a Faith which looks distinctly Catholic. You must then ask yourself how it could be that the Church of Jesus Christ, whom He promised never to abandon, could fall into such complete and utter apostasy, with the Gospel hidden for sixteen centuries until the Reformation. Did Jesus fail? Or was this Catholic Faith the one He gave to the Apostles? Which is more likely?

            God bless,

            David.

             
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

          > You are trying to share the words from worship to respect when you bow down to graven images but I can also declare I am trimming and not cutting my hair. I am changing the words but the actions are still the same:(

          I find this line of argumentation rather dubious since it basically says that all words mean the same thing! Of course, that’s not true. There are distinctions. You yourself have said that “Mary deserves respect and honor” so you clearly think there is some difference between worship and honour. Perhaps it would help if you clarified? After you made that comment I asked you how you give respect and honour to Mary. If you answered this question I think it would really help us get to the heart of the issue.

          > Mary being the bearer of the Messiah is not an excuse for idolatry sorry

          Agreed, but, as I said, what we do isn’t idolatry because we don’t worship her. I was simply expressing that you seem overly keen to diminish her role in salvation.

          > When Jesus came to earth He gave up His godly status temporarily and became a man

          Woah, woah… are you saying that Jesus was no longer God? He gave up some of the prerogatives of Godhood, sure (Philippians 2:5-11), but what it sounds like you’re saying isn’t in accord with historic Christian profession.

          > There is no reason why Mary had to be sinless, super special, holy and blah blah.

          Have I said that it was necessary? There is nothing in Catholic Theology that says it was necessary. Instead we say “Potuit. Decuit. Ergo, fecit.”, which means “It was fitting; God could do it; therefore He did it”.

          > Jesus lived a regular life here on earth (except when he began his ministry)

          His mother was visited by an angel, His foster father received multiple dreams, He was born of a virgin, preceded by a star, announced by angels, visited by wise men, saved from a murderer… I think it’s safe to say that things got a little crazy, even early on ;-)

          > and there is no reason why Mary has to be exalted to a godly position

          I don’t really understand the logic that you present here. It seems like your logic is this:

          1. Jesus had many ordinary years
          2. Therefore Mary must be nothing special

          I don’t see how (1) implies (2) at all.

          I’ll leave you with words of a rather important non-Catholic:

          “The true honour of Mary is the honour of God, the praise of God’s grace. Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God” – Martin Luther.

           
      • Sola Fide

        June 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

        sorry I made some mispelling mistakes in these sentences

        “You are trying to change the words from worship to respect when you bow down to graven images”

        “When Jesus came to earth He gave up His godly status temporarily and became a man”

         
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm

          No worries, I went back into your post and edited them with these corrections.

           
      • Sola Fide

        June 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm

        The bible explicitly talks about three different persons in the Godhead it is obvious they are referring to a triune God dont you think so? There is a direct suggestion for the trinity but nothing directly suggesting Mary is the ark of the covenant. I will repeat 1 Corinthians 4:6 “do not go beyond what is written” (something I already explained to you in another post)

        Let us read Matthew 1:25 in context, yes it was safe guarding Mary did not have sex with Joseph UNTIL Jesus was born meaning that after Jesus’ birth the marriage was consumated. Learn the definition of “until” you will find that it is referring to some events happening at some point.
        Example “I did not have a job until I finished school”. What I am telling you is that I was without a job before finishing school but after I finished school then I obtained a job.
        Read Matthew 1:25 in context. You have to read the verse in context, other verses in the bible that mention the word until can not be applicable to this verse because the context is different. Dont just focus on the word “until” alone but if you read the context you will realize it is talking about Joseph and Mary not consumating their Marriage until Mary gave birth to Jesus.

        So you dont think we can have marital sex if we are set apart for God’s purposes? Moses was set apart for God’s purposes so how come he had two wives and children? I know Mary carried Jesus in her womb but it was only for 9 months right? Mary did not have Jesus in her womb for all the eternity, so there is nothing wrong with Mary having sex with Joseph after Jesus was born because Jesus was not inside her any longer.

        We know Jesus was sinless and he was baptized to fulfill righteousness, what makes you think Mary (who was only a human) was also sinless and offered the sacrifice only to fulfill righteouness? Romans 3:10 declares no one is righteous. In Luke 1:47 Mary declared she needed a savior. Jesus said in Mark 10:18 only God is good. ALL humans had the original sin with them, ALL humans have sinned, ALL humans need a savior the bible repeats this over and over again. It never makes any exclusions. Mary was a human like you and me.

         
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

          > The bible explicitly talks about three different persons in the Godhead it is obvious they are referring to a triune God dont you think so?

          It wasn’t obvious to the Arians, the Sebellians, Unitarians, Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses…

          The point is not whether or not you can argue the Trinity from Scripture (you can and I do), the point is that it is not EXPLICIT. We have to do some work interpreting the passage and then introduce non-Scriptural language (“person”, “substance” etc).

          > There is a direct suggestion for the trinity

          Where?

          > …but nothing directly suggesting Mary is the ark of the covenant

          Yes there is – this entire article, the only portion of which you’ve critiqued has been the reference to the Book of Revelation.

          > I will repeat 1 Corinthians 4:6 “do not go beyond what is written” (something I already explained to you in another post)

          …and which I’ve rebutted. If none of the Reformers thought that this passage taught Sola Scriptura, it’s probably a bad example to use. Also, if you want to continue pushing Sola Scriptura, I’d invite you to do that on my series concerning that subject and also to attempt my canon questions.

          > Let us read Matthew 1:25 in context, yes it was safe guarding Mary did not have sex with Joseph UNTIL Jesus was born meaning that after Jesus’ birth the marriage was consumated. Learn the definition of “until” you will find that it is referring to some events happening at some point.

          You have completely ignored all the argumentation I gave. You can’t just pick one definition for a word and assume it means the same thing in all circumstances (c.f. my references to “worship” in the marriage rite).

          > So you dont think we can have marital sex if we are set apart for God’s purposes? Moses was set apart for God’s purposes so how come he had two wives and children?

          That’s not what I said. Did Moses carry the God-Man?

          > Romans 3:10 declares no one is righteous

          You’re quoting this out of context. I deal with that passage here

          > In Luke 1:47 Mary declared she needed a savior…

          I reeeeeeeeeally would strongly invite you to read some Catholic teaching on Mary (and not just snippets from anti-Catholic websites). Catholics believe that Mary needed a saviour. You keep attacking straw men…

           
    • pilgrim

      June 27, 2014 at 9:31 am

      > On the opposite the bible contradicts these teachings. 1 Corinthians 4:6 says not to go beyond what is written

      If your interpretation of this passage is to assert Sola Scriptura then I think you’re going to run into some serious problems.

      To begin with, it is worth noting that none of the Reformers even attempted to use this passage to justify the new Sixteenth Century doctrine of Sola Scripture. Calvin said that Paul was referring either to the Old Testament or to the epistle itself.

      But let’s assume that Paul is asserting Sola Scriptura. To which writings is Paul referring?

      1. The whole Bible
      2. The whole Old Testament
      3. The whole New Testament
      4. The whole OT plus and partially completed NT
      5. All of Paul’s Epistles
      6. All of Paul’s Epistles to date
      7. Paul’s lesson on humility given in 1 Corinthians 1-3
      8. The Old Testament passages Paul quotes regarding humility
      9. Something else, such as the Book of Life (given the context of judgement).

      In order to say that this passage affirms Sola Scriptura then it must affirm (1), which is unlikely, if not impossible. The other options would make more sense. After all, would we really suggest that when Paul wrote this he had in mind the twenty-seven books of the New Testament canonized centuries later by Catholic bishops and councils? It seems rather unlikely.

      Most people ascribe the dating of Corinthians to roughly AD 56, so if we were to interpret Paul here as a proto-Protestant asserting Sola Scriptura, then that would be we would have to discard any books of the Bible written after the date of the epistle’s authorship…which results in a significantly smaller New Testament…

      There are many other problems with trying to interpret this passage to support Sola Scriptura which I won’t go into, such as Paul’s assertions concerning the equality between his written and oral teaching (1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:15), but I’ll leave those for the time being.

       
      • Sola Fide

        June 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

        Regarding 1 Corinthians 4:6

        Does it really matter what books Paul was referring to? Paul said not to go beyond what is written and even if at that time he was talking only about the old testament, Paul was declaring that we are never to go beyond what is given to us as scripture. At that time, Paul could’ve been referring only to the old testament because that is all they had but now we have the new testament as well and that verse now becomes applicable to the new testament as well because the new testament books are also written scripture given to us for guidance.

        The catholic church denies sola scriptura to justify their unbiblical practices and even declare it a false teaching. Wanting to rely on the word of God alone is not a false teaching. If you read the scripture you will realize that everyone and at all times relied on scripture alone. Jesus relied on scripture to prove He was the messiah and to defeat Satan. The apostles relied in scripture to preach the gospel. The Jews always relied in scripture. When they were about to enter the promised land, Moses and Joshua gave them strong warnings to follow everything written in the book of instructures and not to depart from it to the right or to the left. King David said “you word is a lamp onto my feet”. Jesus said in John 17 that we would be sanctified by the Word of God.

        When you start relying on teachings outside of the bible you are then opening the door to false teachings because there is no guarantee that what you are being taught outside of the bible is a true teaching.

         
        • pilgrim

          June 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm

          > Does it really matter what books Paul was referring to?

          Absolutely! If I tell you to go no further than “Point A”, but then I don’t define what “Point A”, it’s rather an unhelpful restriction!

          > Paul said not to go beyond what is written and even if at that time he was talking only about the old testament, Paul was declaring that we are never to go beyond what is given to us as scripture.

          So we must still get circumcised, keep kosher etc? The entire point of Paul’s ministry was that he was giving people new revelation beyond that of the Old Testament.

          Your suggestion also begs the question as to which Scripture? The Palestinian Canon? The Greek Septuagint used throughout the rest of the world, which Paul quotes in his writings? It’s worth bearing in mind that the latter contained the deuterocanonical books…

          > At that time, Paul could’ve been referring only to the old testament because that is all they had

          But they were Christians so that had apostolic preaching! You’re expressing a Twentieth/Twenty-First Century mindset which is document-focussed. It wasn’t like they waited until something got written down before they believed it.

          > … but now we have the new testament as well

          (…chosen and assembled by the Catholic Church…)

          > and that verse now becomes applicable to the new testament as well

          So you’re applying something to this text which Paul did not intend? If so, that’s not exegesis. Given my above example, you are defining “Point A” yourself.

          > The catholic church denies sola scriptura to justify their unbiblical practices and even declare it a false teaching

          No, the Catholic Church denies Sola Scriptura because (a) it is self-contradictory since it requires an authority outside of itself to identify Scripture (b) Scripture makes no such claim for itself (c) It wasn’t believed by anyone until 17th Century (d) It has resulted in the doctrinal chaos which we find in the Protestant world since it makes every Christian his own Pope.

          I’d invite you to read the series I wrote on this subject to understand my reasoning for each of these points.

          > Wanting to rely on the word of God alone is not a false teaching

          That’s not really Sola Scriptura though. Sola Scriptura refers to God’s written word alone…

          To understand the distinction better, I’d invite you to read Dei Verbum, a fairly short document from the Second Vatican Council which explains the Catholic understanding of Scripture. I have it on audio here

          > If you read the scripture you will realize that everyone and at all times relied on scripture alone

          I would like to see you justify that statement.

          > Jesus relied on scripture to prove He was the messiah and to defeat Satan

          These statements seem to stretch things somewhat, but is probably worth commenting upon.

          Jesus spent most of His ministry trying to keep His Messiahship on the down-low. This is one of the reasons He keeps telling people to be quiet. When John asks Him if “he’s the One”, he quotes Scripture but then demonstrates its fulfillment through His mighty deeds.

          Jesus defeated Satan by doing what Adam/Israel did not do – he was perfectly obedient to the Father.

          > The apostles relied in scripture to preach the gospel

          …when speaking to Jews to show them that Jesus was the Messiah, sure. You see this in Paul’s preaching. To those who knew the Old Testament, he used the Old Testament. However, when he dealt with Gentiles, he used a very different strategy (c.f. Mars Hill).

          > The Jews always relied in scripture

          I think you’re setting up a false dichotomy here. Catholics rely on Scripture…just not Scripture alone.

          Did Jesus tell His listeners to follow Scripture Alone with regards to the Pharisees? (Matthew 23:2-3)

          > When they were about to enter the promised land, Moses and Joshua gave them strong warnings to follow everything written in the book of instructures and not to depart from it to the right or to the left.

          …which, if taken literally, would have kept the canon to only five books (Sadducees)…

          > King David said “you word is a lamp onto my feet”

          This doesn’t add anything to your case. Remember, you’ve got to prove Scripture alone. You don’t have to prove that Scripture is important – Catholics believe that already.

          > Jesus said in John 17 that we would be sanctified by the Word of God

          If you’re talking about John 17:17, the “word” He’s referring to is the Logos, rather than the graphe

          > When you start relying on teachings outside of the bible you are then opening the door to false teachings because there is no guarantee that what you are being taught outside of the bible is a true teaching

          We have different mechanism to detect false teaching, such as novelty (c.f. earlier comments about contraception).

          However, for the non-Catholic there is a real problem if you try to disgard everything outside Scripture – how do you even identify what counts as Scripture? If you feel up to the task, you might like to try and tackle my canon questions.

           
          • Sola Fide

            June 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

            About the exaltation of Mary. I have read your points about us also participating in God’s work etc etc and your points make a lot of sense to me.

            Yes we all are saints, holy, we all will reign with Christ in heaven, we all will be sinless in heaven, we all are participating in God’s redemptive work. The bible teaches us this.

            The problem is that the catholic church is giving Mary an over-exalted position far beyond that of what the bible is giving to all Christians in general. I will be posting many teachings from the catholic church which will prove my point. Please bear with me and keep reading

            when she [Mary] is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to come to her Son (Vatican Council II, p. 420)

            “Holy Virgin, Mother of God, succor those who implore thy assistance. Turn to us. But, having been DEIFIED, as it were, hast thou forgotten men?” [Liguori, Glories of Mary, page 331]

            Mary is also viewed as sovereign and supernatural

            “Mary whom He has made sovereign of heaven and earth, general of His armies, treasurer of His treasures, dispenser of His graces, worker of His greatest marvels, restorer of the human race, mediatrix of men, exterminator of the enemies of God, and the faithful companion of His grandeurs and His triumphs” [DeMontfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, page 15]

            “In practice, the Catholic church looks upon the Mother of God as being an unbounded power in the realm of grace … Mary is simply … the most universal supernatural power in heaven and on earth, outside the three divine persons” [Legio Mariae (The Legion of Mary), page 317]

            Please note that these are godly attributes. Do you see how the catholic church is exalting Mary to a godly status? There are only very few titles of Jesus that have not been passed to Mary like the one you mentioned about being alpha and omega but I am pretty sure in the future the Catholic church will start saying Mary is also the alpha and the omega. The catholic church will say Mary helped God to create the universe etc etc.

            The catholic church is not teaching ALL Christ’s followers in general are participating in God’s redemptive work, but the catholic church is saying that Mary ALONE.

            “None, O Mother of God, obtains salvation EXCEPT through thee, none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Pope Leo XIII)
            This teaches declares that salvation is found ONLY in Mary.

            “[I]f we have some chance of salvation, we have it ALL from Mary.” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church). Do you see how this quotation is excluding everyone (except Mary) for salvation?

            The way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary, and since our salvation is in the hands of Mary…he who is protected by Mary will be saved, he who is not will be lost” (The Glories of Mary by Bishop Alphonse de Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, 1931 p. 169-170).

            Tell me, is salvation found in Jesus Christ or Mary? This quotation says that if we are not protected by Mary we will not be saved. This is not salvation through Jesus but through Mary. A false gospel!

            Isaiah 44:17, says that asking for deliverance to other than God is idolatry.

            Please note, when the catholic church says that Mary is our salvation they are not only referring to Mary carrying the Messiah but also to praying the Rosary to Mary. Catholics believe that Mary can change God’s mind in sending someone to hell by praying the Rosary.

            The devils have presented my sins before the tribunal of the Lord, and already they were dragging me to hell, but the holy Virgin came and said to them: ‘Where are you taking this youth? What have you to do with one of my servants who has so long served me in the congregation?’ The devils fled, and thus I have been saved from their hands” [Liguori, Glories of Mary, page 667]

            “Thou, then oh Mary, being Mother of God, canst save all men by thy prayers, which are enforced by a mother’s authority” [Liguori, Glories of Mary, page 211]

            If you believe that Mary can change God’s mind in sending people to hell then why trust Jesus for salvation if you have Mary as another option for salvation?Do you see how you are preaching a different gospel? Do you see how you are relying on Mary for salvation?

            Humans are participating in God’s redemptive work but it does not mean we will be praying to those humans, giving our devotion to them. It does not mean we will entrust our souls, the church, all christianity, our cares and needs into their hands , and it does not mean those humans will be the subject of worship, or that they will be deified to a deity. These are the things happening with Mary, let me quote to you teachings from the catholic chruch which prove my point

            “All power is given to thee in Heaven and on earth, so that at the command of Mary all obey-even God…and thus…God has placed the whole Church…under the dominion of Mary” (Cathecism of the catholic church pp. 180-181).

            The Catholic church teaches that one should entrust themselves to Mary, surrendering “‘the hour of our death’ wholly to her care.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, (2677)

            When Pope John Paul II died, he entrusted his soul into the hands of Mary. He also advised other catholics to also entrust their souls into the hands of Mary.

             
          • pilgrim

            June 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

            > About the exaltation of Mary. I have read your points about us also participating in God’s work etc etc and your points make a lot of sense to me. Yes we all are saints, holy, we all will reign with Christ in heaven, we all will be sinless in heaven, we all are participating in God’s redemptive work. The bible teaches us this.

            Great stuff.

            > The problem is that the catholic church is giving Mary an over-exalted position far beyond that of what the bible is giving to all Christians in general. I will be posting many teachings from the catholic church which will prove my point. Please bear with me and keep reading

            Okay, but I would lay good money that you haven’t read any of these in context and you’ve just copied and pasted these from some website (the way the references are provided are a bit of a give-away)… Does that seem like a good way to proceed? If you want to understand Catholic teaching wouldn’t it be better to read it in context?

            I looked through the quotations and I could work through each one but that’ll take me forever (and you keep raising more and more yet new topics). However, just a few highlights:

            * I assume you objecting to the word “worship”. It doesn’t mean what you think it means. In the old marriage rite, the groom would say “With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow”. He’s not talking about the worship due to God.

            * There’s no point quoting from non-Magesterial documents. I only care about the official teaching of the Church. Alphonsus Liguori, Louis DeMontfort, … they don’t speak infallibly from the Church. Also, they must each be read in context, understanding the (typically flowery) language that they’re using (such as the Divinization which is mentioned is based on 2 Peter 1:4)

            > Please note that these are godly attributes. Do you see how the catholic church is exalting Mary to a godly status? There are only very few titles of Jesus that have not been passed to Mary like the one you mentioned about being alpha and omega

            You keep saying that, but let’s flip it around. Please list the titles which you think should only be given to Jesus which we give to Mary.

            > but I am pretty sure in the future the Catholic church will start saying Mary is also the alpha and the omega. The catholic church will say Mary helped God to create the universe etc etc.

            One could not possibly have read the Church’s teaching on Mary and make a statement like that.

            > The catholic church is not teaching ALL Christ’s followers in general are participating in God’s redemptive work, but the catholic church is saying that Mary ALONE.

            Also incorrect. Please substantiate that statement with some official Church document.

             
          • Sola Fide

            June 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm

            Now with the concept of Sola Scriptura we are getting into a different new topic, I hope that is ok with you.

            You say sola scriptura is not valid, that we also are to rely on traditions and oral teachigns of the Popes but how about if the Popes start teaching us a false doctrine?

            Paul told us that even in the church there would be many false teachings Acts 20:30. We believe everything the apostles wrote in scripture is true however I do not believe that future generations would also be preaching the truth that is why I adhere to the concept of Sola Scriptura because men are NOT to be trusted.
            Jeremiah 17:5 says that cursed is the man who listens to other men and relies on the flesh for his strength.

            Catholics claim the church is the pillar of truth but based on the word of God and not based on contradictions to the bible.

            You say Popes do not contradict the bible but they are (I will post them to you) but first let me challenge your interpretation of Matthew 16:16-19 where suppodsely Jesus mentioned infallibility apostolic succession etc

            In these verses Jesus never whatsoever directly stated Peter would be the pope, infallibility, apostolic succession. There can also be many other things applicable to these verses (besides the things you are applying)
            For example, the keys of the kingdom of heaven can also be referring to preaching the gospel. Peter would be preaching the gospel (the gospel is the key to the kingdom of heaven). Jesus did not only give the authority to bind and loose in earth and heaven to Peter but in Matthew 1:15-18 he was talking to ALL his disciples. There is no indication that Jesus was talking to Peter alone.
            What can be applicable to loosing and binding in earth and heaven can also be referring to the apostles saving souls in earth and binding this in heaven.

            You might be asking me, how come my interpretation is not correct but only yours? If you read other books of the bible your interpretation is not supported.

            Colossians 1:18 and Ephesians 5:23 say Jesus is the head of the church.

            John 16 says the Substittute would be the Holy Spirit to lead us in our lives.

            1 Peter 5:1 Peter declared himself as a fellow elder

            Nowhere in the book of Acts states that Peter had authority over the other disciples. Peter was a leader in the church but he never was portrayed as having supreme authority over the others

            Galatians 2:9 mentions James, Cephas(Peter) and John being pillars. Ephesians 2:19-20 teaches all apostles, and prophets were the foundation with Jesus being the cornerstone. Do you see how being the foundation and pillar is not only applicable to Peter?

            1 Peter 2:25, Peter said that Jesus is our Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.

            Now do I think the Popes are contradicting scripture? certainly they are. I have pointed to you on how the popes are engaging in idolatry, they are contradicting the bible by declaring Mary a virgin and sinless. The 7 sacraments contradict the bible.

            In the book of Acts baptism was always on adults after a profession of faith in Christ. Catholics claim baptism washes away your original sin but 1 John 1:7 states it is Jesus’ blood what washes away our sins.

            The priesthood is viewed as mediators between men and God example, people confess their sins to a priest and the priests offer the sacrifice (eucharist) in the same way the old testament priests offered the sacrificed lamb. The laws of the old testament were voided in the new testament.

            These are only few examples there are more, I know you will try to come out with an excuse to justify them because you will never accept that your church is an apostate church but I would never engage myself in these practices just because the popes declare authority. No pope has the authority to damn me to hell.

            You say I have to submit myself to the catholic church because they put the canon together, (them putting the cannon together is a lie) but even if this was true, you asking me to do this is like asking Jesus to submit himself to the pharisees just because they put the books of the old testament together.
            The Pharisees were the keepers of the books of the old testament and the Law but at the same time they were disobeying the Word of God.

             
          • Sola Fide

            June 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

            Sorry about my error again “Jesus did not only give the authority to bind and loose in earth and heaven to Peter but in Matthew 18:15-18 he was talking to ALL his disciples. There is no indication that Jesus was talking to Peter alone”

             
          • pilgrim

            June 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

            > Now with the concept of Sola Scriptura we are getting into a different new topic, I hope that is ok with you.

            Not here please. If you want to talk about Sola Scriptura, do it on my series concerning that topic (and please read it before commenting). I’ve responded to the rest of your comment here.

             
          • pilgrim

            June 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm

            I’ve responded to your Sola Scriptura questions (although they weren’t really about Sola Scriptura) here

             
    • pilgrim

      June 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

      > Mary deserves respect and honor…

      Out of interest, how do you do this? In what way do you give her respect and honour? Mary prophesied that all nations would call her blessed. It’s easy to see how this is fulfilled within the Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic Churches. In what way is this fulfilled in your congregation?

      > … but not to be exalted to a godly position by giving her all the titles and attributes that belong to Jesus.

      And we would strenuously deny this. We are not exalting her to a godly position.

      > It is God the one who is worthy of exaltation, veneration, glofication, and devotion

      Well, it depends on what you mean by those words. After all, people bow and kneel before kings. A husband is called to be devoted to his bride. A child is called to honour her parents…

      > Sharing the glory of Christ with a human is idolatry

      Again, it kinda depends what you mean by “sharing the glory”. There are dozens of examples in the Bible of where glory is given to man. Just to pick a few: Psalm 8:5, Proverbs 16:31, Isaiah 60:1-2, Isaiah 60:4, Ezekiel 11:22, Daniel 2:37, John 5:44, Romans 5:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:14… There are many, many others I could give, but here’s my personal favourite:

      “… The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them…” – John 17:22

      We were made for glory and that will be the end of the blessed, to participate for all eternity in the life of the Holy Trinity.

      > Mary was only a humble servant of God just like you and me

      Well, not just like you and me. She was the Theotokos, the God-bearer, the one selected by the Almighty to conceive the God-Man, share His body and blood, carry Him for nine months, give birth to him, kiss His baby face, … That’s an honour neither of us have received.

      > Jesus saves and not Mary

      Agreed.

      > Focus your eyes on Jesus and not on Mary

      Well, my exhortation to you would be to not ignore Mary. It would be like going to Michelangelo’s workshop and ignoring all his masterpieces. If you honour the artwork, you honour the Artist.

      Wise men still seek him and find Him with His mother…

      > Mary can not even hear your prayers because she does not know what is happening on earth Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

      I’d say that’s a misunderstanding and misapplication of that passage. Do you believe God is the God of the living or the dead?

      > … and she is not omnipotent to hear millions of prayers at the same time

      This is a common misunderstanding as to what would be necessary for the Saints to hear our prayers. There are many ways I could answer this question, such as pointing out that the Saints are now living “out of time”, or that they are now united to the Lamb in a most profound way, the omnipotence of God… However I think the simplest point to make is omnipotence is unnecessary since we do not have an infinite amount of prayers!

       
  4. Roscoe

    June 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    It is Christ Who represents the Ark and what it contains and not Mary. Only Christ is the bread of life, the Word of God and the Great High Priest. These things are never attributed to Mary but they are to Christ.

     
    • Sola Fide

      July 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Roscoe

      The reasons why catholics are obsessed with Mary is because the pagans used to worship, Semiramis who also had the titles of queen of heaven and mother of God. The statues of the pagan goddess holding the baby are the same as the statues of Mary holding the baby Jesus. The catholic church adopted the practices of the cult of babylonia. Once you start to look at the bottom of why the catholic church is so obsessed with Mary you will understand everything.

       
      • pilgrim

        July 3, 2014 at 9:17 am

        > The reasons why catholics are obsessed with Mary is because the pagans used to worship, Semiramis who also had the titles of queen of heaven and mother of God

        Do you think it’s really likely that, after enduring persecution at the hands of Pagans for centuries, that Christians suddenly decided to roll over and let Pagans take over the religion, for which they had been willing to give their blood? It certainly doesn’t speak very highly to the quality of Christian who endured persecution…

        If I had to guess, I’d suggest that you’re getting your information (albeit indirectly) from either Ralph Woodrow’s “Babylon Mystery Religion” which, in turn, was based off Alexander Hislop’s book “The Two Babylons”. These are not reliable sources. Woodrow later recanted after finally recognizing the poor data and logic found in Hislop’s book.

        > The statues of the pagan goddess holding the baby are the same as the statues of Mary holding the baby Jesus

        You’re saying that statues where the subject is “mother and child” look rather similar to each other? Is that meant to prove something? Early Christian representations of Jesus and his parables often look rather similar to Pagan artwork and Pagan representations of Pagan deities. What does that prove?

        > The catholic church adopted the practices of the cult of babylonia.

        You can’t just make bald statements like that – you have to give proof.
        (Jack Chick tracts don’t count as evidence)

         
  5. Sola Fide

    July 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    So you believe God wanted the Jews to pray in front of a bronze snake or bulls and lions (which were located in Solomon’s temple)? Your arguments dont make sense to me.

    The ark of the covenant was always in the holiest of holiest place where the priest could enter only once a year. The Jews could not even look at it or they would die 1 Samuel 6:19 When being carried outside it was to be covered Numbers 4:5-6. Even if the Jews lay prostate before the ark, at least it was something representing God and not a false idol like Mary.

    Sorry but you will never convince me catholics dont worship Mary. I grew up in the catholic church my entire life seeing all catholic practices. If you read the definition of worship, having an ardent and extravagant devotion, respect and admiration falls under the definition of worship. Catholics DO have an ardent and extravagant devotion and admiration for Mary. I have seen it all.
    As much respect as I feel for someone, I would never bow down in front of that person. God used my pastor to preach me the gospel and through him I got saved, I dont think I would ever bow down in front of him or exalt him the way catholics are exalting Mary, and even if I tried to do that, my pastor would refuse such thing. I am sure that if Mary knew the way Catholics are exalting, she would not be happy about it. Mary was a humble servant of God. It is God alone who deserves all credit, glory and exaltation.

    You say I have misconceptions about the catholic church, by reading the bible, it is clear the catholic church is contradicting scripture. Just by reading the bible. You say we are to follow the authority of the Pope and that sola scriptura is a false teaching but how about if the Popes start contradicting the bible? Just read what the bible has to say about the 7 sacraments.

    1. Baptism
    The catholic church claims baptism washes away our sin but the bible claims it is Jesus’ blood what washes away our sins 1 John 1:7

    If you read the bible, you will learn that baptism was always performed on adults after they repented from their sins and made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
    Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12-13, Acts 8:14-16, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 10:47-48. In Acts 9:18 Paul was baptized after He believed in Jesus Christ. In Mark chapter 1, John the Baptist was baptizing people after they repented from all their sins

    2. The practice of the priesthood (Holy Orders) in the catholic church

    It also contradicts the bible because you are adhering to the old testament priesthood where you are using the priests as mediators between men and God (ex: catholics confess their sins to priests). Hebrews 2:17 and Hebrews 4:14 claims Jesus is our High Priest who intercedes before us. We all belong to the priesthood by offering spiritual sacrifices 1 Peter 2:5-9

    Also, when priests offer the Eucharist (the sacrifice) you are engaging in the old testament practice where the priests offered the sacrificed lamb to God. The priests use the altar and burning incense etc which are old testament practices

    When Catholics eat the Eucharist (the sacrifice) you are engaging in old testament practice where the Jews ate the sacrificed lamb.

    Do you see how you are engaging in old testament practices which were voided?

    3. Confessing sins to a priest (so that our sins will be forgiven)

    Acts 10:43 claims our sins are forgiven when we believe in Jesus Christ.

    1 John 1:9 claims we must confess our sins to God

    1 John 2:1-2 states Jesus is our advocate

    Mark 2:7 claims “who can forgive sins but God alone

    4. Confirmation
    According to the Catholic Church you receive the Holy Spirit when you receive confirmation, however the bible states we receive the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:13-16, Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:2-3, Acts 8:15

    5. Communion
    Jesus is not a biscuit who is sacrificing during the Eucharist but Jesus is a rise savior who is sitting next to the right hand of God. When Jesus comes in power and glory to Earth He will come riding in a cloud as a man and not as a biscuit.

    When you declare the Eucharist is a “true” sacrifice you are declaring Jesus is sacrificing again. The Eucharist can not be only a representation of the sacrifice when you say it is a “true” sacrifice. Hebrews 10:10 and Hebrews 9:28 say Jesus sacrificed only once. You can not be eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood literally unless he is sacrificing for real.

    When Jesus instituted communion He said “do this in remembrance” of me. Jesus was still with His disciples so there is no way His disciples could have been eating him literally.

    Read John 6:53 in context. Jesus was equating Himself to Manna. He said that to come to Him was to eat and to eat and to believe in Him was to drink. John 6:35.
    When Jesus said eat my flesh and drink my blood he was not talking literally but symbolically.

    Please tell me, who are you going to believe? are you going to believe the Popes, early church fathers? Who is the final authority a man or God? Are you going to follow false teachings just because a church claims to be “rooted” to early Christianity and because it claims authority? Tell me, what do you think God is going to care the most about? Being member of a church that is obeying His word or being a member of a church that is “rooted” to early Christianity?
    God gave authority to kings and established kingdoms but removed those kingdoms when they disobeyed His word.

    1 Samuel 15:22
    But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

     
    • pilgrim

      July 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

      > So you believe God wanted the Jews to pray in front of a bronze snake or bulls and lions (which were located in Solomon’s temple)? Your arguments dont make sense to me.

      You made absolute statements about praying before statuary and images. I just demonstrated that such things happened at God’s behest in the Old Testament. Therefore, your position doesn’t stand well against the Old Testament data, indicating that not every image or statue is not, in fact, automatically a “graven image”.

      > The ark of the covenant was always in the holiest of holiest place where the priest could enter only once a year. The Jews could not even look at it or they would die 1 Samuel 6:19 When being carried outside it was to be covered Numbers 4:5-6. Even if the Jews lay prostate before the ark, at least it was something representing God and not a false idol like Mary

      The point here is that the Ark was used in worship, thus disproving your assertion that “God ordered the Jews to build statues like the bronze snake and Solomon put images in his temple but never to use them for worship or to bow down in front of them or pray in front of them”.

      > Sorry but you will never convince me catholics dont worship Mary

      Well, if you won’t accept the testimony of millions of Catholics then there’s not much I can say to convince you otherwise.

      Who is more likely to know what’s going on in my soul? You or me? Am I not in a far better position to tell you whether or not I worship Mary?

      > I grew up in the catholic church my entire life seeing all catholic practices

      I’d invite you to check out today’s posted article (which I actually wrote several weeks ago before you wrote this comment).

      > If you read the definition of worship, having an ardent and extravagant devotion, respect and admiration falls under the definition of worship

      You’re making the same mistake…again. You’re looking in some (unspecified) dictionary, and then cherry-picking one particular definition of a word and then disregarding all other meanings! Not only is this approach silly (since it would mean that everybody worships everybody else somehow), but you even condemn yourself! If “respect and admiration falls under the definition of worship” then how exactly can you affirm that you can affirm that “Mary deserves respect and honor”? Doesn’t this mean that you worship Mary?

      > As much respect as I feel for someone, I would never bow down in front of that person

      So you would never bow to a king or president? One of the questions you never answered was my earlier question about whether or not bowing before someone is sinful.

      > God used my pastor to preach me the gospel and through him I got saved, I dont think I would ever bow down in front of him

      Would you ever kneel before him and wash his feet? (John 13:14). Wouldn’t that count as worship?

      > I am sure that if Mary knew the way Catholics are exalting, she would not be happy about it

      She does…and she does what she did in life, magnify the Lord and give Him praise.

      > Mary was a humble servant of God. It is God alone who deserves all credit, glory and exaltation.

      That looks like a rather absolute statement, rather like your statement about God never sharing glory

      > You say I have misconceptions about the catholic church, by reading the bible, it is clear the catholic church is contradicting scripture. Just by reading the bible.

      …yet many, many Protestant Pastors have read the Bible and, as a result of it, converted to the Catholic Church. Clearly not all interpretations are equal.

      > You say we are to follow the authority of the Pope and that sola scriptura is a false teaching but how about if the Popes start contradicting the bible?

      You’ve made statements like this before and it’s just like asking”But what about where the New Testament starts contradicting itself”? For example, Paul says that we’re saved by faith but James says that we’re not (alone). Even though you and I would reach different conclusions, interpretation is necessary done to resolve what at least appears on the surface to be a conflict. However, you’re not even allowing for this possibility when it comes to the Catholic Church and Scripture.

      > Just read what the bible has to say about the 7 sacraments

      Okay, you’re wandering into another topic again. If you recall, I’ve asked you several times to try and restrict the number of topics you raise…

      > 1. Baptism. The catholic church claims baptism washes away our sin but the bible claims it is Jesus’ blood what washes away our sins 1 John 1:7. If you read the bible, you will learn that baptism was always performed on adults after they repented from their sins and made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12-13, Acts 8:14-16, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 10:47-48. In Acts 9:18 Paul was baptized after He believed in Jesus Christ. In Mark chapter 1, John the Baptist was baptizing people after they repented from all their sins

      Scripture says that baptism washes away sin and we see entire households getting baptised with no indication that children were exempt, as is the witness of history. If you want a further refutation, please read my Baptism series. Also, the baptism of John the Baptist is not the same as Christian Baptism.

      > 2. The practice of the priesthood (Holy Orders) in the catholic church. It also contradicts the bible because you are adhering to the old testament priesthood where you are using the priests as mediators between men and God (ex: catholics confess their sins to priests). Hebrews 2:17 and Hebrews 4:14 claims Jesus is our High Priest who intercedes before us. We all belong to the priesthood by offering spiritual sacrifices 1 Peter 2:5-9. Also, when priests offer the Eucharist (the sacrifice) you are engaging in the old testament practice where the priests offered the sacrificed lamb to God. The priests use the altar and burning incense etc which are old testament practices

      It’s sections like this which show your misunderstanding concerning Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church also teaches that all baptized Christians are priests. The Catholic ministerial priesthood is not the Old Testament priesthood. And the sacrifice of the Mass is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi 1:11

      > When Catholics eat the Eucharist (the sacrifice) you are engaging in old testament practice where the Jews ate the sacrificed lamb

      How do you partake of the New Covenant sacrifice of the Lamb of God?

      > Do you see how you are engaging in old testament practices which were voided?

      The New Testament priesthood is not the same as the rites of the Old Covenant.

      > 3. Confessing sins to a priest (so that our sins will be forgiven). Acts 10:43 claims our sins are forgiven when we believe in Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:9 claims we must confess our sins to God. 1 John 2:1-2 states Jesus is our advocate. Mark 2:7 claims “who can forgive sins but God alone

      Jesus gave authority to men to forgive sins – it would seem strange for him to give that authority when He never meant anyone to use it. Forgiveness is only possible through the sacrifice of Christ (see the prayers of Confession). The fact that God would give man this authority doesn’t mean that one also shouldn’t personally pray to God for forgiveness. Catholics do that too.

      > 4. Confirmation. According to the Catholic Church you receive the Holy Spirit when you receive confirmation, however the bible states we receive the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:13-16, Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:2-3, Acts 8:15

      Again, this is more evidence that you don’t understand what the Catholic Church teaches about the Sacrament of Confirmation. I’d suggest you read the Catechism on this subject.

      > 5. Communion.

      You make a lot of incorrect statements in this section, so I’m going to break up the response…

      > Jesus is not a biscuit who is sacrificing during the Eucharist…

      Not only is this a poor representation of Catholic teaching, your understanding of Holy Communion is in stark contrast with historic Christianity. Do you think Christians misunderstood Holy Communion for 1,600 years until Zwingli came along? That doesn’t speak much for God’s providence, does it?

      > … but Jesus is a rise savior who is sitting next to the right hand of God. When Jesus comes in power and glory to Earth He will come riding in a cloud as a man and not as a biscuit.

      Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist and Jesus’ coming in Final Judgement are not mutually exclusive.

      > When you declare the Eucharist is a “true” sacrifice you are declaring Jesus is sacrificing again.

      False. This is not Catholic teaching. As Hebrews says, Jesus was sacrificed one and for all.

      > The Eucharist can not be only a representation of the sacrifice when you say it is a “true” sacrifice.

      Absolutely it can. It is that one and same true sacrifice.

      > Hebrews 10:10 and Hebrews 9:28 say Jesus sacrificed only once. You can not be eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood literally unless he is sacrificing for real

      How can you be “washed in the blood of Christ” without re-sacrificing Jesus for real?

      > When Jesus instituted communion He said “do this in remembrance” of me

      Yup, and “anamnesis” means far more than just “remember”. If you read the Talmud, the Jews considered participating in the yearly Passover liturgy as being far more than simply remembering something that happened thousands of years before. It was a real, mystical participation in that act of salvation…sounds rather Catholic.

      > Jesus was still with His disciples so there is no way His disciples could have been eating him literally

      Bread also doesn’t usually multiply itself and bodies don’t typically walk on water. I wouldn’t put limits on Jesus’ ability.

      > Read John 6:53 in context. Jesus was equating Himself to Manna.

      Agreed, He was equating Himself with the food which sustained the People of God during their long journey.

      > He said that to come to Him was to eat and to eat and to believe in Him was to drink. John 6:35

      Not quite. He says that those who believe in Him will not be without food or drink. But what is this food and drink? He spells it out: “my flesh is real food…my blood is real drink”. How much more explicit did He need to be? I’d invite you to read this post I wrote on the subject of John 6.

      > When Jesus said eat my flesh and drink my blood he was not talking literally but symbolically.

      That is your assertion. However, his listeners didn’t understand him that way and neither did Christians of the first 1,600 years. Why did everybody get it so wrong?

      Also, you missed two Sacraments/Mysteries: Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick.

      > Please tell me, who are you going to believe? are you going to believe the Popes, early church fathers?

      I believe the pillar and foundation of the truth, the Church. Why? Because she has been invested with the authority of Christ.

      > Who is the final authority a man or God?

      A similar question/assertion was asked in ancient Israel…

      > Are you going to follow false teachings just because a church claims to be “rooted” to early Christianity and because it claims authority?

      No, I follow the Church because it teaches the truth because it is, in fact, in union with the Early Church which was, in fact, given authority by Christ.

      > Tell me, what do you think God is going to care the most about? Being member of a church that is obeying His word or being a member of a church that is “rooted” to early Christianity?

      Again, you’re implying that those things are mutually exclusive. My version of that question would be: What do you think God is going to care the most about? Being a member of a church that was founded a few years ago, interpreting Scripture according to whatever standard they see fit and discarding books of the Bible…or being a member of the original Church that Christ founded?

      > God gave authority to kings and established kingdoms but removed those kingdoms when they disobeyed His word

      Sure, but the kings were a temporary measure and no king ever received the promises which Christ gave to the Church.

       
      • Sola Fide

        July 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

        The bible nowhere indicates that those statues or images were to be used for worship. Nowhere does it indicate that people could bow down in front of them and pray in front of them. If God said not to bow down before a graven image in Exodus 20:4, he can not be contradicting himself. Read 2 king 18:4 where the Jews were burning incense to the bronze snake and the new king destroyed it because burning incense to a graven image was viewed as worship and idolatry. You putting a candle in front of the graven image of Mary is like burning incense and idolatry because you are serving that graven image. Isaiah 66:3. Building shrines and altars to graven images was also viewed in the bible as serving that image and idolatry.

        The ark of the covenant could not have been used for worship for the reasons I stated to you. It was always in the holiest of the holies place (where no one except the priest once a year) could enter. The Jews could not look at it or they would die and when being carried outside it was always covered. 1 Samuel 6:19 and Numbers 4:5-6. Even if the Jews had bowed down in front of the ark of the covenant, at least it was representing the throne of God and not an idol like Mary.

        I do not know about you but I grew up in the catholic church my entire life around catholics, and your actions say everything about you. Your heart is revealed through your actions. I know the hearts of catholics toward Mary because of the things I would see them doing. Building shrines to graven images of Mary, kneeling in front of them, singing her worship songs, and praying to her are forms of worship. When the Vatican states that the entire church has been entrusted in the hands of Mary, that our souls, needs and cares should be entrusted into the hands of Mary, and that Mary is sitting next to the right hand of Jesus Christ (basically his throne) and that she has power and authority you are putting Mary in a position equal to Christ. I have been reading the book of cathechism and Mary is being placed in a position far above all Christians in general

        All power is given to thee in Heaven and on earth, so that at the command of Mary all obey-even God (Cathecism of the catholic church pp. 180-181)

        [the catholic church is saying that even God obeys her–basically submits to her will!!!]…

        “Mary is Queen over all things” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 966).

        Jesus “sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high” (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son . . . “(Pope Pius X, 1835-1914, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14).

        Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son as the most holy Mother of God (Vatican Council II pages
        420-421)

        “Holy Mary, Mother of God . . . we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2677).

        “and thus…God has placed the whole Church under the dominion of Mary” (Cathecism of the catholic church pp. 180-181).

        The Catholic church teaches that one should entrust themselves to Mary, surrendering “‘the hour of our death’ wholly to her care.” Catechism of the
        Catholic Church, (2677)

        When the catholic church makes these statements in the cathechism(official teachings of the catholic church), they are putting Mary in an equal position to Christ.

        I also quoted to you from the book Glories of Mary and other books that claim Mary is a deity, supernatural and sovereign. You stated that those are not official teachings of the catholic church however, the catholic church never declared them as being heretic and these books are widely available for all catholics to purchase and read them. You can find these books in Amazon or e-bay. These books prove the way Catholics view Mary and the hearts of people toward Mary are revealed.
        Most catholics will deny that they worship Mary by just changing the words from worship to devotion and veneration but when Catholics engage in these practices they are already exalting Mary to a position equal to Christ and engaging in idolatry.

        I would never bow down if front of the president neither of a queen or king. To declare Elizabeth II queen of England is different from declaring Mary queen of heaven. When you start declaring a human the queen or king of heaven then now you are giving a human a position equal to God. Catholics are not declaring Mary will reign in heaven in the same way the bible states all Christians will be reigning in heaven but catholics are exalting Mary to a position far above all humans.

        In Luke 7:28 Jesus said “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John (the Baptist)”. Jesus never referred to Mary as being the greatest.
        The trinity is not the trinity anymore but now it is a quartet (the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Mary) where every single thing about God is through Mary. I have been reading catholic sites and teachings.

        God never contradicts himself. James was only talking about justification before men, showing your faith in Christ through your good actions (example feeding the hungry and clothing the clothless) but he was not talking about good works being the means of salvation. Titus 3:5 says we will not be saved by works done in righteousness. Romans 3:10 says there is no righteous, not even one, so if you believe you will enter heaven by being good then you will never enter it because no one is good enough to enter heaven.

        You are declaring that the bible teaches that baptism washes away sins but that is not true. The bible states that Jesus’ blood washes away our sins. To declare that baptism is required to wash away our sins is to be declaring that Jesus’ blood was not enough.
        There are only 2 verses in the bible that state entire households were baptized but nowhere is it indicated there were children and even if there had been any, this is not an official teaching for infant baptism. Acts 16:31 says “believe in Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved”. Do think your entire family will be saved just because you believed in Jesus Christ? You shall not take it as literal when the bible states “your household”.

        The catholic church does not only view the system of the priesthood as including everyone who is baptized but they also have the distinction between the clergy and lay people. The priests in the catholic church are acting as mediators between God and men like when people confess their sins to a priest. This is engaging in an old testament priesthood.

        Malachi 1:11 indicates that the sacrificial system would one day be over. When catholics declare that God is appeasing his wrath during the Eucharist, catholics are declaring Jesus is again sacrificing.

        When Jesus told his disciples in John 20 to forgive people’s sins, he was not referring to the practice of the priesthood and using priests as mediators (Jesus can not be teaching his disciples old testament practices). The apostles would be forgiving people’s sins based on how they would respond to the message of the gospel. In Acts 10:43 Peter said “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and your sins will be forgiven”. This verse is showing how Peter is declaring someone’s sins forgiven based on them believing in Jesus Christ (and not on confession to a priest).

        The catholic church views the 7 sacraments as sanctifying grace but the bible says

        1 Corinthians 1:30 “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption”

        Hebrews 10:10 “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”

        A teaching being taught for 1600s years does not make it a true teaching specially when it is contradicting scripture. You are making the doctrine of the Eucharist out of John 6:53 without reading the entire passage of the bible to read it in context. Read the book of Acts and nowhere were the disciples engaging in the mass. If you read Acts, when they were taking communion, it does not seem to indicate they were engaging in the mass but only on eating bread and drinking wine as a remembrance of Jesus Christ.

        You are not following the a church based on true teachings (the catholic church is not teaching the truth) but you are following a church based on the false premise it is rooted in early Christianity. The early Christian church is recorded in the book of Acts and nowhere does this book state the disciples were praying to Mary and heavenly beings, purgatory, confession to a priest, infant baptism, Mary queen of heaven, sinless, ever virgin etc. You will realize that the roman catholic church is completely foreign to the book of Acts.

        The early church fathers made mistakes. You should not take the writing of an early church father for granted just because it was written 100AD, 200AD or 300AD. To let you know, people at that time did not have the bible with them, and it was easy to deviate from the truth.
        God is not going to be looking at “the original church” or at the “age of the church”, but God is looking at which church is “obeying His word”.

        Protestantism anyways is not recently founded but before the reformation there were already people opposing the catholic church the Donatists, Novatians, Waldenses, the Lollards and the Hussites all who were persecuted by the roman catholic church.

        Protestants were not bringing new teachings but they were only protesting against the catholic church because it had been deviating from the bible.

         
  6. Sola Fide

    July 1, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    typos

    ***Acts 8:14-16

    ***Hebrews 10:10 and Hebrews 9:28 say Jesus sacrificed only once

    ***who is the final authority a man or God?

     

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