Who is Mary: Mediatrix, Surrogate or the Mother of God (Jesus)?

Who is this woman according to the Bible? Are all the Marys in the Synoptic Gospel refers to the same person? What is her role in the birth of Jesus? Is she surrogate or just an ordinary mother gave birth whose son was exalted? Was Mary immaculately conceived and lived in a state of perpetual virginity after Christ was born? What's the truth about this biblical woman and her influence in today's Christendom? Is Mary, the virgin, predicted for the birth of Christ in Isaiah 7:14? What additional light can you share on this topic? CM

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,416

    @C_M_ said:
    Who is this woman according to the Bible?

    About which Mary are you asking?

    Are all the Marys in the Synoptic Gospel refers to the same person?

    No

    What is her role in the birth of Jesus?

    She is Jesus' mother ...

    Is she surrogate or just an ordinary mother gave birth whose son was exalted?

    The birth was a birth as is the case when a woman gives birth to a baby

    Was Mary immaculately conceived

    No

    and lived in a state of perpetual virginity after Christ was born?

    No

    What's the truth about this biblical woman and her influence in today's Christendom?

    Answer depends on which Mary is in view ... The biblical truth about Mary, the mother of Jesus, is that she was a woman, was married to a man named Joseph, her firstborn son was Jesus, later on she had several other children from her husband.

    Is Mary, the virgin, predicted for the birth of Christ in Isaiah 7:14?

    No ... the record refers to a woman living at the time of Isaiah. What happened in fulfillment of this prophecy concerning a child being born in Isaiah's time was later at the time of Jesus applied to Jesus.

    What additional light can you share on this topic? CM

    Depends on the question ...

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Wolfgang said:

    @C_M_ said:
    What additional light can you share on this topic? CM

    Depends on the question ...

    Wolfgang,
    Is there salvation in Mary, the mother of Jesus? If not, why not? Should one pray to her in any way for anything? Is Jesus, Joseph's biological son? If not, how was he conceived, according to Scripture? Can it be explained scientifically, does it takes faith and/or both? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,416

    @C_M_ said:
    Wolfgang,
    Is there salvation in Mary, the mother of Jesus?

    No

    If not, why not?

    She was not without sin and she could not give her life a ransom and sin-sacrifice

    Should one pray to her in any way for anything?

    No

    Is Jesus, Joseph's biological son? If not, how was he conceived, according to Scripture?

    Cp. the record in Mat 1:18-25 ... according to the record, he was conceived by God's miraculous working via His holy spirit power.

    Can it be explained scientifically, does it takes faith and/or both? CM

    An explanation of the conception in harmony with scientific knowledge could be as follows:
    (1) For a conception of a child in a woman to take place, both an ovum and a sperm are needed. The ovum is contributed by the female side, that is by the woman involved; the sperm is provided by the male side, in regular sexual intercourse provided by the man.
    (2) According to Mt 1:18ff, the woman Mary conceived, however without having sexual relations with her espoused husband or another man. Now, in order for a conception to take place, there must have been a male seed provided in a way other than intercourse. God, by means of His holy spirit - since He is said to have been the only other party involved in the conception - would have provided miraculously a seed which then together with Mary's ovum made possible the conception that took place.
    (3) The record is clear that a CONCEPTION took place (the woman conceived), thus the record excludes the possibility of an already existing embryo or whatever else simply being "planted" into Mary's womb, etc ...
    (4) In accordance with God's original set up for the procreation of mankind, the principle of "seed after its kind" applies, because we all know that a woman can only conceive with a male seed of the kind "human" (homo sapiens), not by a seed of any other kind of living being (not a "monkey kind", not a "donkey kind", etc. and also not a "God kind".
    (5) Mary conceived a human baby by God providing miraculously a seed of the "human kind".
    (6) Thus the conception was miraculous, the ensuing pregnancy and birth were in accordance with how God has set up the manner of human procreation, in other words, the pregnancy was not miraculous and took 9 months (40 weeks) as any pregnancy normally takes, and the birth was not miraculous either and took place after full term in the manner a birth normally takes place.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,190
    edited December 2018

    @C_M_ said:
    Who is this woman according to the Bible?

    There is more than one Mary in the NT, but the Mary whom you seem to ask about, CM, is the mother of Jesus.

    Are all the Marys in the Synoptic Gospel refers to the same person?

    No. Mary Magdelene, for example, is clearly NOT the same as Mary, the mother of Jesus.

    What is her role in the birth of Jesus? Is she surrogate or just an ordinary mother gave birth whose son was exalted?

    Mary (the mother of Jesus) is the biological mother of Jesus. Because I don't believe in a virgin birth of Jesus, I guess that means I see her as an "ordinary mother," but there is nothing "ordinary" about motherhood.

    Was Mary immaculately conceived and lived in a state of perpetual virginity after Christ was born?

    No. I have seen no evidence to support these positions.

    What's the truth about this biblical woman and her influence in today's Christendom?

    Among Catholic Christians, Mary has had, and continues to have, great influence. Among Orthodox and Protestant Christians, her influence has been limited to the small number of texts in which she appears, texts in which she is a character, but not a defining one.

    Is Mary, the virgin, predicted for the birth of Christ in Isaiah 7:14? What additional light can you share on this topic?
    To my reading, Isaiah 7.14 clearly refers to a child who had recently been born at the time Isaiah wrote the verse, so, no, Mary is NOT predicted by Isaiah 7.14. However, Christians have employed Isaiah 7.14 to help them understand the birth of Jesus. In my view such a use of the verse is inaccurate but understandable given the power of the image.


    EDIT: As for praying to Mary, in my view, an objective review of Catholic thought on the subject concludes that Catholics do NOT pray to Mary as if she is the final target of the prayers, the one who will answer and fulfill their requests. Rather, Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly.

    When we ask members of our churches to pray for someone we care about, we aren't asking them to meet our prayer requests. We are asking them to join in the prayers to God on behalf of the person for whom we want them to pray. Similarly, Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    Post edited by Bill_Coley on
  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Bill_Coley said:

    EDIT: As for praying to Mary, in my view, an objective review of Catholic thought on the subject concludes that Catholics do NOT pray to Mary as if she is the final target of the prayers, the one who will answer and fulfill their requests. Rather, Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly.

    When we ask members of our churches to pray for someone we care about, we aren't asking them to meet our prayer requests. We are asking them to join in the prayers to God on behalf of the person for whom we want them to pray. Similarly, Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This is troubling. Do you want to rethink this?

    1. Where is Mary?
    2. Is Mary Alive?
    3. If you can prove such, this will make Mary a co-mediator. The Bible says,

    5 "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

    6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (NKJV 1 Ti 2:5–9).

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly".

    • After Christ's ascension to heaven, Jesus serves as our mediator, interceding on our behalf in the presence of God (Rom. 8:34). This important role of Jesus is amplified in the epistle to the Hebrews (see esp. Heb. 4:14–16; 6:19–20; 7:23–25; 9:11–15, 24).

    The last time I checked, Jesus taught his disciples to pray:

    "...when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray... "(Mt 6:6–9 NKJV).

    God is both near us and approachable and at the same time majestically beyond us.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This makes Mary the gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers? Was Mary translated (not experiencing death) to heaven? Are you, also, trying to say she died and the dead are not really dead"? Do you believe the body dies and buried and then the spirit (breath) lives on elsewhere? Why pray to Mary, if one is not seeking a relationship or answers to his or her requests?

    My final questions would be, where and when in Scripture Mary was given this mediatorial role? I afraid this practice is on the same level as the immaculate conception...

    @ CM said: "Was Mary immaculately conceived and lived in a state of perpetual virginity after Christ was born"?
    @ Wolfgang said: "No. I have seen no evidence to support these positions".

    ...Unbiblical. Let's keep studying. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,416

    @C_M_ said:

    @Bill_Coley said:
    EDIT: As for praying to Mary, in my view, an objective review of Catholic thought on the subject concludes that Catholics do NOT pray to Mary as if she is the final target of the prayers, the one who will answer and fulfill their requests. Rather, Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly.

    When we ask members of our churches to pray for someone we care about, we aren't asking them to meet our prayer requests. We are asking them to join in the prayers to God on behalf of the person for whom we want them to pray. Similarly, Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This is troubling. Do you want to rethink this?

    What is troubling about the above? Bill is describing Roman Catholic thinking concerning Mary, the mother of Jesus and their practice of praying to her ... what should Bill be rethinking there? or do you mean the RCC should be re-thinking something?

    1. Where is Mary?
    2. Is Mary Alive?
    3. If you can prove such, this will make Mary a co-mediator.

    The above comment by Bill provides info on the RCC answers to your questions.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly".

    • After Christ's ascension to heaven, Jesus serves as our mediator, interceding on our behalf in the presence of God (Rom. 8:34). This important role of Jesus is amplified in the epistle to the Hebrews (see esp. Heb. 4:14–16; 6:19–20; 7:23–25; 9:11–15, 24).

    In other words, you are showing the RCC ideas about Mary to be non-biblical.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This makes Mary the gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers? Was Mary translated (not experiencing death) to heaven? Are you, also, trying to say she died and the dead are not really dead"? Do you believe the body dies and buried and then the spirit (breath) lives on elsewhere? Why pray to Mary, if one is not seeking a relationship or answers to his or her requests?

    See above ... seems to me you are talking to the wrong person, since Bill was only relating the RCC position.

    @ CM said: "Was Mary immaculately conceived and lived in a state of perpetual virginity after Christ was born"?
    @ Wolfgang said: "No. I have seen no evidence to support these positions".

    ...Unbiblical. Let's keep studying. CM

    What is unbiblical about what I said concerning Mary ???

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Wolfgang said:

    @C_M_ said:
    This is troubling. Do you want to rethink this?

    What is troubling about the above? Bill is describing Roman Catholic thinking concerning Mary, the mother of Jesus and their practice of praying to her ... what should Bill be rethinking there? or do you mean the RCC should be re-thinking something?

    Yes, the latter point is what I speak. If he speaks as one giving information about. He would have to say for himself.

    1. Where is Mary?
    2. Is Mary Alive?
    3. If you can prove such, this will make Mary a co-mediator.

    The above comment by Bill provides info on the RCC answers to your questions.

    Bill can speak for himself on the matter if he chooses to do so.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly".

    • After Christ's ascension to heaven, Jesus serves as our mediator, interceding on our behalf in the presence of God (Rom. 8:34). This important role of Jesus is amplified in the epistle to the Hebrews (see esp. Heb. 4:14–16; 6:19–20; 7:23–25; 9:11–15, 24).

    In other words, you are showing the RCC ideas about Mary to be non-biblical.

    Are you a spokesperson for Bill? I cited what the Bible teaches (full stop).

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This makes Mary the gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers? Was Mary translated (not experiencing death) to heaven? Are you, also, trying to say she died and the dead are not really dead"? Do you believe the body dies and buried and then the spirit (breath) lives on elsewhere? Why pray to Mary, if one is not seeking a relationship or answers to his or her requests?

    See above ... seems to me you are talking to the wrong person, since Bill was only relating the RCC position.

    1. Again, it should be Bill, more so than you, with the concerns. Regardless, my biblical points and concerns on the matter Bill raised in our exchanges, remain. The question is what concerns, of my responding to Bill, has to do with you, other than your ability to read this on the public forum?
    2. See above. I responded to the statement raised by Bill. I think it should be Bill raising the questions and making the statements you are making.

    @ CM said: "Was Mary immaculately conceived and lived in a state of perpetual virginity after Christ was born"?
    @ Wolfgang said: "No. I have seen no evidence to support these positions".

    ...Unbiblical. Let's keep studying. CM

    What is unbiblical about what I said concerning Mary ???

    1. It's a question to be raised by one who believed what Bill, you assumed, was just giving information.
    2. @ Wolfgang said: "No. I have seen no evidence to support these positions". I concur with you. Do you stand behind your statement above? If you don't, so speak. I, personally, don't see any biblical support or endorsement of "Immaculate Conception of Mary".
    3. Considering what the Bible teaches as I stated above: "After Christ's ascension to heaven, Jesus serves as our mediator..." The text cited speaks for themselves.
    4. Notwithstanding, whether to Bill, you or anyone else, is not the Bible teaches what I cited? For one who was just giving information (so say, by you) my response remains. For one who believes and practice (what Bill supposedly, gave information and is not an adherent); that person and I could possibly have a conversation. Let's keep studying. CM
  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,190

    @C_M_ said:

    When we ask members of our churches to pray for someone we care about, we aren't asking them to meet our prayer requests. We are asking them to join in the prayers to God on behalf of the person for whom we want them to pray. Similarly, Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This is troubling. Do you want to rethink this?

    I see no reason to rethink my response.

    1. Where is Mary?

    In my view, Mary is in heaven.

    1. Is Mary Alive?

    Yes, in the company of the angels.

    1. If you can prove such, this will make Mary a co-mediator. The Bible says,

    No. As I understand Catholic thought, Mary is NOT a mediator or co-mediator. She is an additional voice of support Catholics seek out for their prayers. Recall also that in the 1 Timothy text, as "mediator," Jesus negotiates/ratifies/implements a new relationship between God and humanity through his surrender of self on the cross (see also Hebrews 9.15). In Catholic thought, Mary plays NO SUCH ROLE.

    Notice also that 1 Timothy 2 opens with a call that "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people." (1 Timothy 2.1, ESV) So the author of the epistle is clearly not opposed to people praying for - interceding on behalf of - each other. To my understanding, Catholics pray to Mary as a heavenly intercessor, much the way 1 Timothy 2.1 calls us to intercede for each other on earth.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly".

    • After Christ's ascension to heaven, Jesus serves as our mediator, interceding on our behalf in the presence of God (Rom. 8:34). This important role of Jesus is amplified in the epistle to the Hebrews (see esp. Heb. 4:14–16; 6:19–20; 7:23–25; 9:11–15, 24).

    See my comment in the previous paragraph.

    The last time I checked, Jesus taught his disciples to pray....
    God is both near us and approachable and at the same time majestically beyond us.

    I agree. But the nature of God's presence does not rule out or countermand the call of 1 Timothy 2.1 for intercession on each other's behalf.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This makes Mary the gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers? Was Mary translated (not experiencing death) to heaven? Are you, also, trying to say she died and the dead are not really dead"? Do you believe the body dies and buried and then the spirit (breath) lives on elsewhere? Why pray to Mary, if one is not seeking a relationship or answers to his or her requests?

    I don't understand the origins of your extrapolation of my views, CM. I said nothing of this sort:

    • I'm not sure what you mean by a "gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers," but my reading of the phrase leads me to answer no - For Catholics, Mary is not a gatekeeper.
    • Did Mary not experience death? I know of nothing in Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox theology that suggests she did not experience death. Certainly Mary's role as an intercessor on humanity's behalf does not require that she did not experience death.
    • Did she die? Yes. Yet is she "not really dead"? She's not dead in the eternal sense of life - the same sense in which I believe my parents are still alive though though they both died physically.
    • Body dies, spirit lives? Essentially, yes.
    • Why pray to Mary? To my readings of Catholic thought, to request her intercession.

    My final questions would be, where and when in Scripture Mary was given this mediatorial role? I afraid this practice is on the same level as the immaculate conception...

    Catholics look to the references to "the prayers of the saints" in Revelation 5.8 and Revelation 8.3-4 as supportive of the idea of heavenly intercession. I know of no specific verse(s) that refer specifically to Mary.

    How do you get from Mary the intercessor to Mary, the one immaculately conceived? That path is not at all obvious to me.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Bill_Coley said:

    @C_M_ said:

    When we ask members of our churches to pray for someone we care about, we aren't asking them to meet our prayer requests. We are asking them to join in the prayers to God on behalf of the person for whom we want them to pray. Similarly, Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This is troubling. Do you want to rethink this?

    I see no reason to rethink my response.

    Maybe you would consider rethinking, not as a practitioner or a spokesperson of Catholicism, but as one who speaks about matters with a reasonable amount of understanding and accuracy.

    1. Where is Mary?

    In my view, Mary is in heaven.

    1. Is Mary Alive?

    Yes, in the company of the angels.

    These two points required a new thread and biblical understanding (not personal) of the "state of the dead." There are some discussions on this topic around the forums. You may want to acquaint yourself in the event of a renew or in-depth discussion of this topic.

    1. If you can prove such, this will make Mary a co-mediator. The Bible says,

    No. As I understand Catholic thought, Mary is NOT a mediator or co-mediator. She is an additional voice of support Catholics seek out for their prayers. Recall also that in the 1 Timothy text, as "mediator," Jesus negotiates/ratifies/implements a new relationship between God and humanity through his surrender of self on the cross (see also Hebrews 9.15). In Catholic thought, Mary plays NO SUCH ROLE.

    Let me be clear. I didn't say you say, "...this will make Mary a co-mediator." This is my preliminary of conclusion.

    1. Given that you speak as one giving information, you may want to check your understanding of future sharing. Consider the following:
    2. Are you aware that the RCC reveres Mary, the Mother of Jesus?
    3. Believers are to pray to "saints" or through their priests instead of directly to Christ?
    4. Do you know that many members see the church (RCC) as a mediator for Christ the Mediator along with masses of priestly confessors, saints, and especially the Virgin Mary?
    5. Did you know Mary was singled out as being "born without original sin" and affirmed by Vatican II?
    • "She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. she presented Him to the Father in the temple and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way, she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace".
    • "...in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin.
    • "...the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all guilt of original sin, on the completion of her earthly sojourn, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and the conqueror of sin and death".
      SOURCE: Documents of Vatican II, pp 91-93, 121, 252-254

    One wonders, can others have the gift of Mary? If so, who needs Jesus?

    Notice also that 1 Timothy 2 opens with a call that "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people." (1 Timothy 2.1, ESV) So the author of the epistle is clearly not opposed to people praying for - interceding on behalf of - each other. To my understanding, Catholics pray to Mary as a heavenly intercessor, much the way 1 Timothy 2.1 calls us to intercede for each other on earth.

    1. Intercessory prayers are biblical. I have no problem with it. We're in agreement.
    2. When you say "Catholics pray to Mary as a heavenly intercessor", this is where I have a problem. Is this so? If so, when was this done and by whose authority? The bottom line, is it biblical?
    3. The last time I check my Bible it said:
    • Therefore I 1 exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in 2authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and 3reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus..." 1 Ti 2:1–5 (NKJV).
    1. The One True God supplies all our needs:
    • "26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Ro 8:26–27 (NKJV).

    The Spirit transforms our prayers and makes them acceptable to God.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics pray to Mary as one who is in the company of Christ, as one who is closer to Christ than we, and hence can communicate our requests more directly".

    1. Again, see above. This is why I use the phrase "gatekeeper".
    2. Not to be flippant, but you make Mary sounds like a Heavenly Chief of Staff. Does Christ need help with humanity's prayers from earth?
    3. Then correctly, you cited Rom. 8:36, below.
    • "It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Ro 8:34 NKJV).

    It sounds like your understanding "wants to have its cake and eat it too".

    • After Christ's ascension to heaven, Jesus serves as our mediator, interceding on our behalf in the presence of God (Rom. 8:34). This important role of Jesus is amplified in the epistle to the Hebrews (see esp. Heb. 4:14–16; 6:19–20; 7:23–25; 9:11–15, 24).

    See my comment in the previous paragraph.

    The last time I checked, Jesus taught his disciples to pray....
    God is both near us and approachable and at the same time majestically beyond us.

    I agree. But the nature of God's presence does not rule out or countermand the call of 1 Timothy 2.1 for intercession on each other's behalf.

    @Bill_Coley said: "Catholics don't pray to Mary as if SHE will answer them. They pray to her so that she will join her voice with theirs in prayers to God.

    This makes Mary the gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers? Was Mary translated (not experiencing death) to heaven? Are you, also, trying to say she died and the dead are not really dead"? Do you believe the body dies and buried and then the spirit (breath) lives on elsewhere? Why pray to Mary, if one is not seeking a relationship or answers to his or her requests?

    I don't understand the origins of your extrapolation of my views, CM. I said nothing of this sort:

    You didn't. I asked a few questions.

    • I'm not sure what you mean by a "gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers," but my reading of the phrase leads me to answer no - For Catholics, Mary is not a gatekeeper.

    I would readily agree.

    • Did Mary not experience death? I know of nothing in Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox theology that suggests she did not experience death. Certainly Mary's role as an intercessor on humanity's behalf does not require that she did not experience death.

    ?? Wow! This will take a new thread as mentioned above-- the state of one at death.
    By way of passing you seem to be saying the dead can still pray and one can pray for the dead? I would love to share exchanges on this in another thread for fuller understanding if such is possible. I believe there is a thread somewhere that mentioned praying for the dead. Maybe we can do it there. I am hyperlinked challenged. :'(

    • Did she die? Yes. Yet is she "not really dead"? ...
    • Body dies, spirit lives? Essentially, yes.

    Something more to learn...

    • Why pray to Mary? To my readings of Catholic thought, to request her intercession.

    See my points above -- the purpose of Jesus.

    My final questions would be, where and when in Scripture Mary was given this mediatorial role? I afraid this practice is on the same level as the immaculate conception...

    Catholics look to the references to "the prayers of the saints" in Revelation 5.8 and Revelation 8.3-4 as supportive of the idea of heavenly intercession. I know of no specific verse(s) that refer specifically to Mary.

    Given you "know of no specific verse(s) that refer specifically to Mary" others may find problems with "the prayers of the saints" in Revelation 5.8 and Revelation 8.3-4", contextually in the purpose you believe the RCC uses it.

    How do you get from Mary the intercessor to Mary, the one immaculately conceived? That path is not at all obvious to me.

    Mainly, because of who Jesus is. Is not, He's the salvation of man? I think Jesus is enough. Then, again, we don't share the Divinity of Jesus. CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,190

    @C_M_ said:
    Maybe you would consider rethinking, not as a practitioner or a spokesperson of Catholicism, but as one who speaks about matters with a reasonable amount of understanding and accuracy.

    Whether or not I speak "with a reasonable amount of understanding and accuracy," I think I build careful consideration and reconsideration into my analysis of issues and circumstances.

    These two points required a new thread and biblical understanding (not personal) of the "state of the dead." There are some discussions on this topic around the forums. You may want to acquaint yourself in the event of a renew or in-depth discussion of this topic.

    The issue you appear to raise here is not Mary-specific, which in my view would direct its conversations to other threads, as you suggest.

    Let me be clear. I didn't say you say, "...this will make Mary a co-mediator." This is my preliminary of conclusion.

    Understood. On the question of Mary's mediation role, you and I likely disagree.

    1. Given that you speak as one giving information, you may want to check your understanding of future sharing. Consider the following:
    2. Are you aware that the RCC reveres Mary, the Mother of Jesus?

    Catholicism reveres/venerates Mary as a person who was and remains full of God's grace. Catholicism does NOT worship Mary, for to do so would be idolatry.

    1. Believers are to pray to "saints" or through their priests instead of directly to Christ?

    Again, prayers to the saints are prayers asking for their intercession, much as we ask others to pray for us or others. Such prayers are NOT made in the belief that the saints are the final targets, or are the entities who can or will answer them.

    1. Do you know that many members see the church (RCC) as a mediator for Christ the Mediator along with masses of priestly confessors, saints, and especially the Virgin Mary?

    Catholicism teaches that Mary is not a mediator in the way Christ is a mediator, that NO ONE is a mediator in the way that Christ is a mediator. HOWEVER, all persons mediate - pass along or share - God's love and grace. To that extent, then, perhaps the Church is indeed a mediator (but NOT in the way Christ is!)

    1. Did you know Mary was singled out as being "born without original sin" and affirmed by Vatican II?

    Yes, I'm aware of the Catholic Church's teaching in this regard.

    One wonders, can others have the gift of Mary? If so, who needs Jesus?

    Mary does NOT serve the function that Jesus serves. (see my previous thoughts on the special character of Jesus as mediator)

    1. Intercessory prayers are biblical. I have no problem with it. We're in agreement.

    I value common ground!

    1. When you say "Catholics pray to Mary as a heavenly intercessor", this is where I have a problem. Is this so? If so, when was this done and by whose authority? The bottom line, is it biblical?

    As I noted in a previous post, Catholics find support for their views in a couple of Revelation texts: Revelation 5.8 and Revelation 8.3-4.

    1. The last time I check my Bible it said:
    • Therefore I 1 exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in 2authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and 3reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus..." 1 Ti 2:1–5 (NKJV).

    To my understanding, in Catholic thought, there is NO mediator in heaven or on earth like Jesus.

    1. The One True God supplies all our needs:
      • "26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Ro 8:26–27 (NKJV).

    To my understanding, in Catholic thought, Mary does NOT "(supply) our needs." She takes our needs to God as an intercessor, much like we intercede for each other when we pray for each other.

    1. Not to be flippant, but you make Mary sounds like a Heavenly Chief of Staff. Does Christ need help with humanity's prayers from earth?

    I don't understand your "chief of staff" reference. Christ no more needs Mary's help with humanity's prayers than Christ needs your help with the prayers you offer on behalf of others.

    1. Then correctly, you cited Rom. 8:36, below.
      • "It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Ro 8:34 NKJV).

    It sounds like your understanding "wants to have its cake and eat it too".

    I don't understand your cake reference. To my understanding, in Catholic thought Mary does NOT and CANNOT intercede for us the way Christ does.

    • I'm not sure what you mean by a "gatekeeper of humanity's earthly prayers," but my reading of the phrase leads me to answer no - For Catholics, Mary is not a gatekeeper.

    I would readily agree.

    More common ground!

    Given you "know of no specific verse(s) that refer specifically to Mary" others may find problems with "the prayers of the saints" in Revelation 5.8 and Revelation 8.3-4", contextually in the purpose you believe the RCC uses it.

    "Others" are entitled to their views, just as you and I are.

    How do you get from Mary the intercessor to Mary, the one immaculately conceived? That path is not at all obvious to me.

    Mainly, because of who Jesus is. Is not, He's the salvation of man? I think Jesus is enough. Then, again, we don't share the Divinity of Jesus. CM

    To my understanding of Catholic thought, Jesus IS enough. Mary serves NO salvific or mediation function that belongs to him. She is a heavenly intercessor much in the way we are earthly intercessors for each other.

    It seems a major issue in our discussion is the capacity of those who have died a physical death to intercede on behalf of those who have not died a physical death. My personal practice is to pray to God in the name of Jesus. I do not pray for anyone else's intercession. Hence, I do not share the Catholic view on this matter. HOWEVER, I DO respect the Catholic view on this matter, much as I genuinely respect your Christological views, even though I do not share them.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,416

    to perhaps simplify a few matters in this topic ...
    When people pray to the dead, they obviously must believe that those to whom they pray are not really dead? sounds a little like talking to a pregnant woman who is not really pregnant ? Would folks who do such not fall in a category of having a mental problem? or is the problem a different one?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Bill_Coley said:

    @C_M_ said:
    Mainly, because of who Jesus is. Is not, He's the salvation of man? I think Jesus is enough. Then, again, we don't share the Divinity of Jesus. CM

    To my understanding of Catholic thought, Jesus IS enough. Mary serves NO salvific or mediation function that belongs to him. She is a heavenly intercessor much in the way we are earthly intercessors for each other.

    It seems a major issue in our discussion is the capacity of those who have died a physical death to intercede on behalf of those who have not died a physical death.

    Whether here or elsewhere:

    1. Are the dead really dead?
    2. Is the dead person's body is one place (ground, etc) and another part, soul (or spirit), is elsewhere?
    3. Is this what you are saying about Mary, in light of # 2? If so, this is why I have a hard time accepting Mary helping prayers and people praying to her.
    4. Do you personally believe this, even if you have answered it before? I just want to be sure I am understanding you correctly.
    5. If the number #2 is your personal understanding, what biblical texts can you share to support this?
    6. Does the Bible support the consciousness of the dead?

    If you choose not to share your personal view on this matter, I understand and respect it. However, if you prefer to share your personal views to my questions in a PM that's acceptable to me. I want you to be comfortable in any manner.

    @ Bill_Coley said: My personal practice is to pray to God in the name of Jesus. I do not pray for anyone else's intercession.

    You don't pray for other people: Family, members, the sick, etc.? Have we established a working definition of "intercessory prayer"?

    Hence, I do not share the Catholic view on this matter. HOWEVER, I DO respect the Catholic view on this matter, much as I genuinely respect your Christological views, even though I do not share them.

    If Jesus is not God, why pray to God in the name of Jesus? Isn't something wrong with this picture? Those who subscribe to Mary they have a choice of Jesus or Mary. This doesn't sound right to me. With the understanding above, I wouldn't trouble you with RCC dogma, given that you are not a practitioner or an authorized spokesperson. CM

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