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What is Mariology & Why Worship the Virgin Mary?

Updated: Oct 3, 2023


What is Mariology & Why Worship the Virgin Mary?

For a very long time (500 years?) Catholics and Protestants have disagreed over the import of Mary the Mother of Jesus.

This brief article is an attempt to take a cursory examination of the debate.

I personally was raised as a Protestant going to Baptist, Methodist churches etc.

My personal understanding is inadequate.

Hopefully we all can have a better grasp of the concerns through the videos and articles below.

What is Mariology & Why Worship the Virgin Mary?
What is Mariology & Why Worship the Virgin Mary?


What is Mariology?

"Mariology is the theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Within the Roman Catholic Church, Mary is venerated over all other saints. Anglicans share some of the beliefs of Roman Catholic Mariology, but not all. The Eastern Orthodox Church calls Mary the “God-bearer,” emphasizing Mary’s status as the mother of God Incarnate, gives her the title “Ever Virgin,” and emphasizes her sublime holiness, her share in redemption, and her role as a mediator of grace.


Most Protestants endorse the Apostles’ Creed, which acknowledges the virgin birth of Christ, but they do not believe in most of the other tenets of Mariology. Protestants denounce the veneration of Mary as practiced by Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.


The four dogmas of Roman Catholic Mariology are: 1) the title “Mother of God”; 2) the Immaculate Conception; 3) the Perpetual Virginity of Mary; and 4) the Assumption of Mary.


Mother of God: In AD 431, the Council of Ephesus countered the Nestorian heresy by declaring that Mary was truly the Mother of God: “Not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from Mary, but the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself, was born from Mary.” One problem with this wording is that it awakened the old Arian heresy that the Logos (Jesus) was a created being. In AD 451, at the Council of Chalcedon, Leo, Bishop of Rome, ratified the decision that Mary was theotokos (“God-bearer”) only as to the humanity of Jesus. The title had nothing to do with Jesus’ divinity as the eternal Word of God. The Chalcedonian definition added the words “as to the manhood” immediately after theotokos, which should have ended erroneous thinking. But the populace took this word theotokos as an uplifting of Mary’s status and started to venerate her. The term theotokos was not incorporated into the Nicene Creed of 321 or the Constantinopolitan Creed of 381. Neither is that expression used in the Anglican Articles or in the Westminster Confession of Faith.


Immaculate Conception: This tenet of Mariology holds that Mary, at her conception, was sinless (immaculate), preserved from original sin. According to the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia of Theology, no statement of Mary’s being free from original sin is found in the West before AD 1000. It was not until 1854 that faith in Mary’s Immaculate Conception was taught as an official church dogma.


Perpetual Virginity: According to Roman Catholic Mariology, Mary was always a virgin before, during, and after giving birth to Jesus. The Roman Catholic Encyclopedia of Theology admits that the formula of “virginity before, in and after giving birth” did not come into use till after the 7th century.


Assumption: The Assumption of Mary teaches that Mary, when she died, was taken up (assumed) body and soul into heavenly glory. It was not until 1950 that Pope Pius XII defined the doctrine of “Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven.”.. from the article: What is Mariology?

The Virgin Mary as You've Never Seen Her

Video from St. Paul Center


"The Bible and the Virgin Mary, part of the St. Paul Center’s Journey Through Scripture series, unveils the mystery of Our Lady that is woven into the fabric of Sacred Scripture. This video is the first of twelve visually stunning lessons convey the beauty of the doctrine and devotions surrounding Mary, bringing them to life in a powerful, new way. Based on Scott Hahn’s "Hail, Holy Queen" and presented by dynamic speaker Matthew Leonard, this study has something for everyone from the newly confirmed to the fully engaged cradle Catholic. Learn more about The Bible and the Virgin Mary at http://bit.ly/2Eg7aLi" from video introduction


The Greatest Woman Ever - Bishop Robert Barron


"William Wordsworth called Mary, the mother of Jesus, "our tainted nature's solitary boast." Who was this extraordinary woman, and how should we understand the key dogmas about her life and nature? In today's episode, I offer a crash course on Mary. A listener asks why God created us as humans instead of as angels." from video introduction


Why Do Catholics "Worship Mary"?

Video from uCatholic


"Father Nixon explains the relationship Catholics have with Mary, the Mother of God" from video introduction


Counterpoint

Video from Bible Flock Box


"Did the Virgin Mary remain a virgin her entire life? Did she have a sinless nature so she could give birth to the sinless Son of God? Was she assumed to Heaven after her earthly life to become the Queen of Heaven? Is Salvation dependent on Mary? And have apparitions of Mary been appearing to people around the world? That's what the Catholic Church claims, but is this what the Bible says? Find out by watching this video!"


Catholic Apologists Abuse Scripture to Teach Mariology: How to find Jesus in the OT pt 15

Video from Mike Winger


"I'll demonstrate how NOT to do typology by using examples of Catholic apologists twisting the Bible out of shape to squeeze the dogmas about Mary into the scripture. The types of Mary are supposedly the New Eve, the Ark of the New Covenant and the Queen Mother. But when we examine them we see that they not only aren't types, they don't give the dogmas that Catholic apologists pretend they do. From the "New Eve" they want to say that Mary was immaculately conceived (that she was born without sin and never sinned through her life). From the "Ark of the New Covenant" they want to say she was perpetually a virgin (even after Jesus' birth) and that she was taken bodily up into heaven at the end of her life. From the "Queen Mother" they want to say she is exalted to the right hand of Jesus and can intercede for us today. Here are the links to the Catholic sources I mentioned in this teaching. "Dr. Scott Hahn The Virgin Mary Revealed Through Scripture" • Dr Scott Hahn T... Article on The National Catholic Register titled "Amazing Parallels Between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant" http://www.ncregister.com/blog/darmst... Article on the Catholic Answers web site called "Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant" https://www.catholic.com/magazine/pri... Article from Catholic Answers called "Is Mary's Queenship Biblical?" https://www.catholic.com/magazine/pri... " from video introduction


What is typology? How can we use it responsibly in Bible study?


"What is typology? How can we use this method of interpretation responsibly as we study the Bible? From one of our live Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson provides principles to help us see how Christ is revealed in all of Scripture." from video introduction


Typology: How God Targets Your Desires

"Here is a woodenly literal translation of 1 Corinthians 10:6: “These things became types of us, so that we might not be desirers of evil things, as they desired.” Clumsy English, but incredibly illuminating.

Paul says it again in verse 11 a little differently: “These things happened as types to them, and were written down for our admonition” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

The implications here for how God changes our desires are astonishing. But first we need to clarify some details in the text.

Looking Closely at the Text

What do “these things” refer to? (Verse 6: “These things became types.” Verse 11: “These things happened as types.”) In verse 6, the phrase refers to four things in the history of Israel: 1) the pillar of cloud that guided them (verse 1), 2) the Red Sea that they went through (verse 1), 3) the water they drank from the rock (verse 4), and 4) the manna from heaven that they ate (verse 3).

Paul compares the first two to baptism (“all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,” verse 2) and he compares the second two to the Lord’s Supper (“all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink,” verses 3–4).

The emphasis falls on “all.” They all experienced this kind of “baptism,” and all of them ate this same spiritual food. Then comes the point in verse 5: “Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” So take heed! “These things became types of us, so that we might not be desirers of evil things, as they desired” (verse 6).

In other words, Paul is saying this: If you embrace evil desires (verse 6), your baptism and your participation in the Lord’s Supper will not save you any more than Israelites were saved by their participation in the miracle cloud and sea, or by their participation in the miracle food and drink.." from the article: Typology: How God Targets Your Desires

John MacArthur: MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD??


Mary, Did You Know?

WHAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHES ABOUT THE MOTHER OF JESUS


"What should we make of Mary, the mother of Jesus the Messiah?

Protestants and Catholics have strenuously disagreed for five hundred years. We need to understand the Catholic teaching about Mary before we consider why Protestants stand in opposition.

The first thing to be said is that the view of Mary, which is accepted in the Roman Catholic Church today, developed slowly. Doctrinal development does not pose a problem for Catholics since they believe Scripture and tradition constitute authority.

What should we make of Mary, the mother of Jesus the Messiah?

Protestants and Catholics have strenuously disagreed for five hundred years. We need to understand the Catholic teaching about Mary before we consider why Protestants stand in opposition.

The first thing to be said is that the view of Mary, which is accepted in the Roman Catholic Church today, developed slowly. Doctrinal development does not pose a problem for Catholics since they believe Scripture and tradition constitute authority.

Points of Agreement

The focus in this article is where Roman Catholics and evangelicals differ regarding Mary, but a brief word should be said about some areas where we agree. First, we agree that Mary was a godly person and in many ways a model disciple. God chose her to be the mother of his son, and her humble response to the angel, where she was willing to do what the Lord called her to do, functions as an example to us all (Luke 1:38).

“By placing Mary on the same plane as Jesus, the matchless glory of Christ is diminished.”

Second, we agree that Jesus was born of a virgin — that Jesus was miraculously conceived in Mary’s womb through the work of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18–23; Luke 1:34–35).

Third, we agree with the theological conclusion of the Council of Ephesus (AD 431) that Mary is the “mother of God” (theotokos). This affirmation was intended to ward off a Nestorian understanding of Jesus Christ (which emphasized his two natures to the detriment of his one Person), and thus the focus wasn’t on Mary, but Jesus. Still, Mary was “blessed” (Luke 1:42, 48) and “favored” (Luke 1:28, 30) in having the privilege of giving birth to the God-man, the second person of the Trinity. We could overreact to Catholic teaching and fail to see Mary’s godliness and her role in the story of salvation..." from the article: Mary, Did You Know?




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