This is an important issue. It constitutes arguably the clearest evidence of
the general apostasy from the teachings of the first century church that took
place after the death of the apostles, yet until now LDS authors have said very
little about it. The authors are to be commended for their thoughtful,
well-researched treatment of the subject.
It demeans the title of Mother to attempt to confer to Mary a higher honor.
Actually Mary WAS born untainted by original sin--everybody is
Don't get excited folks. It's just a fairy tale.
The authors gave us a nice overview of the past, but missed the modern meaning
of Mary in feminist theology. For feminist mariologists, such as Leonardo Boff,
Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, or Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary represents the
female face of God and allows to represent God in female terms. Leonardo Boff
even considers Mary as hypostatically united to the Third Person of the Trinity.
The connection to the Mormon concept of Mother in Heaven, wife of God, is
obvious ("our heavenly parents").That approach stands in
contrast to (mainly male) theologians who reduce the Marial feminine to the
function of "mediatrix", a subservient intercessor or advocate. They use
that symbolism in favor of patriarchalization, where the male God represents
power. But even in popular Marian devotion, Mary has often been more, a symbol
of liberation and resistance to male dominion.
In Isaiah where he prophesies that a virgin shall give birth, the word it comes
from actually comes from a word meaning young woman, not someone who hasn't
had sexual relations. In the New Testament, the word virgin comes from could
mean either young woman or a woman who hasn't had sexual relations.Point is, it is impossible to show from the Bible that Mary didn't
have sexual relations to have Jesus, this is tradition, not Biblical.On the contrary, the Bible quite likely implies that Mary was not a virgin
when she had Jesus in the way we use the word. How can this be? We are the
children of God, created in God's image. It is reasonable to assume then
that the way we procreate would be the same way God would procreate, through
sexual relations. If not they we are not children of God created in God's
image, we would be something different.
@Cjb,“Isaiah a virgin shall give birth.”Mt 1:23 quotes
the Greek LXX Isaiah 7:14: “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a
son, and they will call him Immanuel”, which means “God with
us”(Jesus). The Greek word for "virgin" in both the
LXX and Mt is parthenos, which means a virgin female.The Hebrew word in
Isaiah 7:14 is almah not virginity. But the spiritual and moral ethos in Hebrew
culture assumed that young unmarried girls had no sexual experience. It was
assumed that an almah was a virgin. Alma 7:10.who shall be
overshadowed and conceive by the power of the ‘Holy
Ghost(*pneuma)’and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.Luke 1:34 I know not a man? Did Mary lie? … “The ‘Holy
*Spirit’ will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow
you.RE; “… in the(spiritual) image of God he created
them; male and female he created them(Gen 1:27), E.g..,the LORD God said,
Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: Gens 3:22
Re sharronaHere the angel is telling Mary she shall give birth. And
indeed she shall from that times perspective. Once the heavenly father comes
and has sexual relations with Mary she will then become pregnant.I
understand this is not the traditional view, but if we are to believe that we
are children of God, it is reasonable to suppose that we reproduce in the same
manner. Hey opinions about the Bible are diverse, but its not reasonable to
suppose that tradition got everything right. Here is a reasonable perspective
to consider given the text of the Bible.
RE: Cjb, Protoevangelium,the first messianic prophecy. Genesis
3:15,the "*Seed of the Woman” is a man, and yet in Romans 16:20 he is
called the God of peace, which identifies him as the Lord Jesus Christ. The
reference to the seed of the woman as Christ is to related to the Virgin birth
of the Messiah, as well as the Hypostatic union of the Divine nature with the
Human nature of Christ.“when the fullness of the time was
come,God sent forth his Son, ’Made=(ginomai)of a Woman…”(Gal
4:4). A *Unique miracleBecause He was the "*seed of the
woman" Jesus was God Incarnate. He was the God-Man(Theantropic). He was
human , but he was not fallen sinful. “.. great is the mystery of the
incarnation.” I Tim 3:16.“Our Father which art in Heaven
with, The supreme being transcends space and time. The first goes to pieces if
you begin to apply the literal meaning to it. How can a sexual animal really be
our father? How can it be in the sky? The second falls into no such traps. C.S.
It seems ironic that Mormons speculate over this basic fundamental issue while
they profess to have a prophet with direct contact and who talks with god so
why not just ask for the reason and answer.
"....Some modern historians claim that pagan beliefs and practices regarding
mother goddesses in late antiquity were slowly transferred to Mary, making her,
in a sense, a syncretized survival of ancient goddess worship...."______________________________Christianity wouldn’t have
happened the way it did were it not for beliefs of the ancient world that took
it in. Cultural assimilation transformed it from a radical localized Jewish
messianic movement into a universal faith that spread across the Mediterranean
world. It grew very rapidly and exists today due in no small measure to its
Leonard Wood,"....It constitutes arguably the clearest evidence
of the general apostasy from the teachings of the first century church that took
place after the death of the apostles, yet until now LDS authors have said very
little about it...."______________________________LDS
writers can be more than a little restrained by the tenets of their faith from
studying early Christianity as objectively as a secular scholar should. Any
scholar coming from a religious background he still adheres to is stymied to a
lesser or greater degree.Joseph Smith called it an apostasy. Martin
Luther called the Church of Rome a paganized corruption of the pure word. They
were both saying essentially the same thing. But I don’t think that terms
like apostasy or paganism are helpful to understanding the very complex cultural
assimilation that allowed the rising Gentile church to surpass and ultimately
eclipse the initial Judean following of Jesus.
@Craig Clark – “Joseph Smith called it an apostasy. Martin Luther
called the Church of Rome a paganized corruption of the pure word.”And yet both Protestants and Mormons use the book (i.e. Bible) that was
cobbled together (from hundreds of early Christian writings) at the Council of
Nicea by the Catholic Church. Given both the diversity of early
Christianity (which was wiped out by the Orthodox Church) and the antipathy
towards the Church in the post-protestant era, I’ve never been able to
wrap my head around this.
Tyler D,One thing that Mormons, Catholics, and Protestants have in
common is that all three think they know what the original Christian Church in
New Testament times was like. If they did, they would know that it was not even
Christianity as we today understand that term to mean.
As a Catholic, worship of or prayer to the Virgin Mary was one of the aspects of
my religion that I found most uncomfortable, unnecessary, and inappropriate. I
never even learned the Hail Mary prayer, and while I sometimes felt like a bad
Catholic for not doing so, at the same time I felt like a better Christian.
There is no Biblical basis for prayer to or veneration of anyone other than
Jesus Christ, who in turn directs all prayers and glory to the Father.
"Mariolatry", as this article refers to it, is "interesting",
sure. That doesn't make it any less pagan and blasphemous. I'm very
grateful that now, as a Latter-Day Saint, prayer to anyone besides the Savior is
no longer expected of me—and is, in fact, forbidden. This was one of the
main aspects of the religion that helped me to know that it was true and that it
was the path that God expected for me to follow.