The Assumption of Mary

August 15, 2014 | 45 comments

There are two texts of Scripture most commonly used to “disprove” the Assumption of Mary.

1. John 3:13:

No one has ascended up to heaven, but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 

If “no man” has ascended into heaven, wouldn’t that include the Blessed Virgin Mary?

2. I Cor. 15:22-23:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

If no one except Christ will be resurrected bodily before the Second Coming of Christ, would that not eliminate the possibility of Mary having been bodily assumed into heaven?

The Catholic response

John 3:13 does not eliminate the possibility of the Assumption of Mary for four reasons.

1. St. John was quoting the actual words our Lord spoke when he wrote, “No one has ascended into heaven, but . . . the Son of man.” Jesus was merely saying that no one had ascended into heaven by the time he made that statement. That was long before the Assumption of Mary.
2. Jesus cannot be saying that no one else will ever be taken to heaven. If that is the case, then what is all this Christianity stuff about? You know, heaven and all.
3. If one interprets John 3:13 as speaking about Christ uniquely ascending to heaven, that would be acceptable. We would then have to ask the question: what is it about Jesus’ ascension that is unique? Well, the fact that he ascended is unique. Mary did not ascend to heaven. She was assumed. There is a big difference. Jesus ascended by his own divine power as he prophesied he would in John 2:19-21: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up . . . he spoke of the temple of his body.” Mary was powerless to raise herself to heaven; she had to be assumed. The same could be said of all Christians. Jesus raised himself from the dead. Christians will be entirely passive when it comes to their collective “resurrection.”
4. St. John is demonstrating the divinity of Christ in John 3:13. Historically, we know St. John was writing against his archenemy, the heretic Cerinthus, who denied the divinity of Christ. St. John quotes these words from Jesus to demonstrate that the Savior “descended” from heaven and was both in heaven and on Earth as the “only begotten Son” (cf. 3:16) sharing his Father’s nature (cf. 5:17-18). Thus, he was truly God. St. John also emphasizes that even while "the Son of Man" walked the Earth with his disciples in Galilee, he possessed the beatific vision in his human nature. In that sense, his human nature (Son of Man) had already "ascended" into heaven inasmuch as it possessed the beatific vision, which is at the core of what heaven is. That is John’s theme in the text, not whether someone years after Christ could be assumed into heaven or not.

I Cor. 15:22-23:

1. We must remember that there are sometimes exceptions to general theological norms in Scripture. For example, consider Matt. 3:5-6: “Then went out to [St. John the Baptist] Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him.” We know that "all" here does not mean "all" in a strict sense because we know, at least, Herod, Herodias, and her daughter, were exceptions to this verse (See Matt. 14:1-11). They conspired to put St. John to death. Not the best candidates for baptism! The bottom line: There are exceptions to Matt. 3:5-6. St. John the Baptist did not baptize everyone in “Jerusalem, Judea and the region around Jordan.” So Mary could be (and is, as we will see below) an exception to I Cor. 15:22-23.
2. There are exceptions to other general norms specifically laid out as true for “all” in Scripture. Hebrews 9:27 declares, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Yet we see exceptions to this norm many places in Scripture by way of resurrections from the dead. Not only do we have Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, St. Peter and St. Paul raising the dead in Scripture, but after Jesus’ Resurrection, “the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and [came] out of the tombs” (Matt. 27:52-53). These folks obviously did not “die once.” They died at least twice!     
3. We have examples of other “assumptions” in Scripture. Both Enoch (cf. Gen. 5:24) and Elijah were taken up “into heaven” (II Kings 2:11) in a manner quite out of the ordinary. And so are the "two witnesses" of Revelation 11:3-13. Why couldn’t God do this with Mary?
4. We know that Mary is an exception to the “norm” of I Cor. 15:22-23 because she is depicted as having been assumed into heaven in Rev. 12. “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun . . . she was with child . . . and . . . brought forth a male child [Jesus], one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (12:1-5). Who was the woman who gave birth to Jesus? Mary! And there she is in heaven!

Is the woman of Revelation 12 Mary?

Many will object at this point and deny “the woman” of Revelation 12 is Mary. They will claim it is either the Church, or, as do dispensationalists, they will claim it is the Israel of old.

The Church acknowledges Scripture to have a polyvalent nature. In other words, there can be many levels of meaning to the various texts of Scripture. So, are there many levels of meaning to Rev. 12? Absolutely! Israel is often depicted as the Lord’s bride in the Old Testament (cf. Song of Solomon, Jer. 3:1, etc.). So there is precedent to refer to Israel as “the woman.” And Jesus was born out of Israel. 

Moreover, the Book of Revelation depicts the New Covenant Church as “the bride of Christ” and “the New Jerusalem” (cf. Rev. 21:2). “The woman” of Revelation 12 is also depicted as continuing to beget children to this day and these children are revealed to be all “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (vs. 17). The Church certainly fits this description.

In fact, we argue as Catholics “the woman” to represent the people of God down through the centuries, whether Old Covenant Israel or the New Covenant Church, “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).

The first and literal sense

All we have said about “the woman” of Revelation 12 representing the people of God down through the millennia of time does not diminish in any way the first and literal sense of the text as representing Mary. In fact, there are at least four reasons why one cannot escape including Mary when exegeting Revelation 12 and specifically the identity of “the woman.”

1. “The woman” in Rev. 12 “brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.” This child is obviously Jesus. If we begin on the literal level, there is no doubt that Mary is the one who “brought forth” Jesus.
2. Though we could discover many spiritual levels of meaning for the flight of “the woman” in 12:6, 14, Mary and the Holy Family literally fled into Egypt in Matt. 2:13-15 with divine assistance.
3. Mary is referred to prophetically as “woman” in Gen. 3:15, Jer. 31:22, and by Jesus as the same in John 2:4 and 19:26. Especially considering the same apostle, John, wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation, it is no stretch to say St. John would have had Mary in mind when he used the familiar term “the woman” as the descriptor of the Lady of the Apocalypse.
4. There are four main characters in the chapter: “the woman,” the devil, Jesus, and the Archangel Michael. No one denies that the other three mentioned are real persons. It fits the context exegetically to interpret “the woman” as a person (Mary) as well.

How do we know Mary is bodily in heaven?

Some may concede Mary to be the woman of Revelation 12, but the next logical question is: “How does this mean she is in heaven bodily? There are lots of souls in heaven, but they don’t have their bodies."

It seems clear that “the woman” is depicted as having “the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown” (vs. 1). Elsewhere in Rev. and in other parts of Scripture, saints in heaven are referred to as the “souls of those who had been slain” (Rev. 6:9) or “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:23). Why? Because they do not have bodies! They are disembodied “souls” or “spirits.” But the "woman" of Rev. 12 is portrayed as having a body with a head and feet.

But perhaps even more important than this is the fact that “the Ark of the Covenant” is revealed as being in heaven in Rev. 11:19. This is just one verse prior to the unveiling of “the woman” of Rev. 12:1.

Some may respond at this point: “Who cares if the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ is said to be in heaven?"

This is crucial, because Hebrews 9:4 tells us what was contained within the ark: a portion of manna, the miraculous “bread from heaven” of Old Testament fame, Aaron’s staff, and the Ten Commandments. In fact, it was precisely because of these sacred contents that the ark was so holy, and that is precisely why it is here depicted as having been taken up to heaven.

The question is: Is the Ark of the Covenant depicted as being in heaven a “what” (an Old Testament box made of acacia wood overlain with gold in Exodus 25), or a “who?” I argue it not only to be a “who” but to be the Blessed Virgin Mary for these reasons:

Let’s first take a look at the text of Rev. 11:19:

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within in his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

In order to appreciate the identity of “the ark,” let’s first take a look at the identity of “the temple” that St. John sees as housing the ark. John 2:19-21 and Rev. 21:22 tell us quite plainly that the temple St. John speaks of is not a temple made of brick and mortar.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”. . .  But he spoke of the temple of his body (Jn. 2:21).

I saw no temple [in heaven], for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the lamb (Rev. 21:22).

When St. John views the temple in heaven, he is not viewing the Old Testament temple. He is viewing the true temple, which is Christ’s body. In the same way, St. John is not seeing the Old Covenant ark. He sees the new and true Ark of the Covenant. And remember: this would not just be talking about Mary but Mary’s body! It was Mary’s body that housed the Son of God, the fulfillment of the various types of Christ that were contained in the Old Covenant ark.

The conclusion is inescapable. Where is Mary’s body? In heaven, according to the Book of Revelation!

A final objection

Some may argue at this point our energy was wasted in asserting Mary to be identified with “the woman” of Revelation 12 because this “woman” is depicted as “travailing” with the pangs of labor in verse 2. Thus, this cannot be the “Catholic” Mary.

Two points in response:

1. No matter which interpretation you choose—Israel, the Church, Mary, or all of the above—all interpretations agree: the labor pains of Rev. 12:2 are not literal pains from a child passing through the birth canal. This really should not be a problem at all.
2. From the very beginning of Mary's calling to be the Mother of the Messiah, she would have most likely known her Son was called to be the "suffering servant" of Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and Wisdom 2.

Mary’s “labor pains” began at the Annunciation and would continue from the cradle to the cross, where she suffered with her Son as prophesied in Luke 2:34-35 and as painfully fulfilled in John 19. Mary’s deep love for and knowledge of her divine Son brought with it pains far deeper than any physical hurt could ever cause. A body can go numb and cease to feel pain. But you can’t deaden a heart that loves, as long as that heart continues to love. Mary clearly chose to love. She was uniquely present for our Lord, from the Incarnation of Luke 1:37-38, to the birthing of his ministry in John 2, to the cross in John 19, and into eternity in Revelation 12.

If you enjoyed this, there is much more in my new book available by clicking here.


Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian...

The Gospel Truth About Mary - Volume 2: Mary's Perpetual Virginity And Assumption
"For most Protestants—and even some Catholics—the Church's teachings about Mary are a mix of superstitious nonsense, idolatry, and blasphemy. However, Catholic apologist Tim Staples—a former ""bible-believing fundamentalist"" himself—begs to differ. Staples too once questioned Catholic teaching about Mary—and bashed those teachings at every opportunity. Staples' intensive study uncovered a mountain of evidence to support Catholic teachings about Mary. And in his typical thorough fashion, he shows that both the perpetual virginity of Mary and her assumption into heaven can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt biblically, historically, in the life of the Church, and in the writings of the Church fathers."

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  Lee Harris - Milwaukie, Oregon

Hi Tim,

I very much appreciate your work as an apologist. From your protestant background you are able to dismantle the objections from your extensive knowledge of scripture. You are very thorough and rigorous.

I have a question which is semi-related to the Assumption of Mary, because it has to do with us corresponding with the grace of God and, like Mary, being raised with Christ to the glory of heaven. Only it has to do with after the fact. As I understand it, as we correspond to the grace of God on earth, we increase our capacity to enjoy Him/be filled with His glory in the next. How we live in this life determines the size of the container which will be filled by God hereafter. A friend just asked me this question: Can we still increase the size of the container once we're in heaven?

August 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm PST
#2  Daniel Marcum - Mansfield, Ohio

Hi Tim,

Great article! I think there is a significant typo though: under the section "Two points in response," point #2 appears to be an incomplete sentence. Did you leave something out?

August 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm PST
#3  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Lee,
Great question!
The answer is no. The Church teaches we can only merit in this life. And that is how we are rewarded with an increase in grace, or, as you said, "we increase the size of the container." Thus, once we enter into eternity, there is no way to grow in grace any longer.

August 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm PST
#4  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Daniel,

Somehow, when I inserted my post from Notepad into our actual blog, a whole section was eliminated. I'll never understand computers! I am going back to correct the problem.

Thanks!

August 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm PST
#5  Bradley Kisia - Nairobi, Nairobi Area

Remember Elijah, Enoch and Moses were taken up ... they didn't die. So, not just Jesus as said in John. Literal interpretation won't do

August 16, 2014 at 2:17 am PST
#6  Hugh O'Donnell - Port Glasgow, Inverclyde

Hi, Tim.

In Luke 1:47 when Mary refers to God as her "saviour" it has been suggested to me that this proves that Mary is not free of sin, and therefore does not merit our devotion to her.

Surely God would be even more exacting upon consideration of the chaste 'vessel' chosen to bear his Son as he was to Old Testament figures building his Ark and tabernacles?
Hugh

August 16, 2014 at 2:24 am PST
#7  Hunter Moon - Chandler, Arizona

Hugh,

Think of this analogy. A person falls into a well and he needs to be saved by someone. That same person who saved the person who fell into the well saved another person from falling into the well in the first place. Jesus saved us from sin on Calvary. He pulls us sinners out of the well of sin and he saved Mary from falling into sin in the first place.

August 16, 2014 at 6:28 am PST
#8  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Bradley,

I agree. I make that point in my book (among many others!).

August 16, 2014 at 10:57 am PST
#9  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hugh,

In response to your #6:

Mary was indeed "saved," but she was "saved" from sin by God granting her the graced to be preserved (saved) from all sin. Pope St. Pius IX declared it this was when he defined the Immaculate Conception:

"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

That is being "saved" much as St. Jude describes the saving power of God in all of our lives via preserving us from sin. God simply preserved Mary (uniquely) from all sin:

"Not to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing..."

August 16, 2014 at 11:34 am PST
#10  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hugh,

Let me re-write that one, minus the typos:

In response to your #6:

Mary was indeed "saved," but she was "saved" from sin by God granting her the graced to be preserved (saved) from all sin. Pope St. Pius IX declared this when he defined the Immaculate Conception in Ineffabilis Deus:

"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

That is being "saved" much as St. Jude describes the saving power of God in all of our lives via preserving us from sin. God simply preserved Mary (uniquely) from all sin:

"Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing..."

August 16, 2014 at 11:38 am PST
#11  Lee Harris - Milwaukie, Oregon

Tim,

Thank you for your response (#3). I will let my friend know. Is there any short reading material that I could give him in addition to your response?

Lee

August 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm PST
#12  Alonso Sanchez - Tres Cantos, Madrid

Thanks for the article Tim. A very good biblical defense for the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. However, my question is there evidence from the Church Fathers (especially the Ante-Nicene Fathers) that they interpreted these passages from Scripture as biblical proof that Mary was assumed into Heaven? And is there any evidence that the early Christians believed this? Even the ones living in the 1st century?

August 17, 2014 at 4:21 am PST
#13  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Lee,

In response to your #11, I would recommend three things:

1. Our tract on the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption found here: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/immaculate-conception-and-assumption

2. Fr. Mateo's book "Refuting the Attack on Mary," found here:
http://shop.catholic.com/refuting-the-attack-on-mary.html

3. My book, "Behold, Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines," found here: http://shop.catholic.com/featured/coming-soon/behold-your-mother-a-biblical-and-historical-defense-of-the-marian-doctrines.html

August 17, 2014 at 4:46 am PST
#14  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Alonso,

I recommend you get a hold of my book, "Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines," found here:
http://shop.catholic.com/featured/coming-soon/behold-your-mother-a-biblical-and-historical-defense-of-the-marian-doctrines.html

In Part 4, Chapter 11, "Answering Objections," a large portion of that chapter is dedicated to the historical evidence where I present new historical evidence for the Assumption. I would highly recommend you get the book and check out the info there. I would love to get your take on it.

August 17, 2014 at 4:56 am PST
#15  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

Bradley,

Remember that although the Sacred Scripture talks of Henoch and Elias being taken to heaven it does not mean that they entered into Beautific Vision. It was the Death and Resurrection of our sweet Saviour, Jesus Christ, that unlocked the Beautific Vision for all. What I mean is that Henoch and Elias did not enter into the divine abode untill the Death and Resurrection of Christ. They were lodged in prison (i.e limbo of the fathers), 1Peter 3:19. The truth of this is made manifest by our Lord when He said: And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. St. John 3:13.
Again Moses really died and was buried although his grave remains a mystery. Deut. 34:5-6.

Anyone who wishes to know more about our Lady devotionally and even theologically should googledownload or purchase and read the masterpiece of St Alphonsus de Ligouri: The Glories of Mary.

August 17, 2014 at 9:54 am PST
#16  Tanner Brooker - Keswick, Virginia

Mr. Staples, I want to thank you for all the work you do for the Catholic faith and personally thank you for the impact you had on me. I was raised by a Southern Baptist father and Irish Methodist mother, so my upbringing was not exactly Catholic. I met and started dating my girlfriend two and a half years ago and her priest turned out to be your brother! I listened your work and was instantly hooked, falling in love with Catholicism and I intend to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil 2015. My question is this: You explain the Assumption in one way by describing Mary's physical attributes given to her in the Book of Revelation. However, the 24 Elders who I understand to represent the 12 apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel, or the saints in Heaven, are depicted as sitting on thrones with crowns on their heads. It sounds to me that they are being described in a physical manner as well and not simply as spirits. If this is the case, then how is it that Mary being described in a physical manner points toward her Assumption when the other elders are depicted in that way as well and were not assumed? Feedback would be great as I am trying hard to be a witness and evangelize a friend of mine, thank you!

August 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm PST
#17  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hello Tanner,

That is an excellent point. Our Protestant friends use this, so it is good that you bring it up.

This question is precisely why I said, "But perhaps even more important than this is the fact that 'the Ark of the Covenant' is revealed as being in heaven in Rev. 11:19. This is just one verse prior to the unveiling of 'the woman' of Rev. 12:1."

Context is everything, as you know, in Scripture. There is a specific emphasis on Mary's body in Revelation 12 that is not there with the 24 elders in Revelation 4. The 24 elders in Revelation 4 are surrounded by other images for God (seated on a "throne" looking like "Jasper and carnelian," "surrounded by a "rainbow that looked like an emerald." In verse five we find "flashes of lightning... peals of thunder... seven torches which are the seven spirits of God... a sea of glass..."

I have no problem with seeing this image of the crowns being symbolic. But with Mary, "the temple and the ark," of 11:19 gives us a context that establishes we are talking about Jesus and Mary being bodily present in heaven. There are lots of symbols surrounding this revelation as well, but the ark and temple point to Jesus and Mary being present bodily in heaven.

August 18, 2014 at 8:56 am PST
#18  Bradley Kisia - Nairobi, Nairobi Area

Hi Usulor

The topic or point being discussed was that although scripture 'implies' that no one but Jesus has gone up to heaven - the bible is also clear that others did not die. It had nothing to do with the beatific vision - it was not even discussed at that point.

Talking about the beatific vision, are you aware that Jesus and Mary had it while on earth living and breathing like us - that is impressive!!!!

August 18, 2014 at 8:58 am PST
#19  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Bradley,

Correction:

Jesus had the beatific vision while on earth. But Mary did not. There are many reasons why we believe this. First, Mary is commended in both Scripture and Tradition for her "faith"(see Luke 1:45; CCC 148; 149; 511; 2674, etc.). Faith and the beatific vision are incompatible. Once someone possesses God in the beatific vision they no longer "walk by faith" because they then have "sight," and the knowledge that comes from that vision of God (II Cor. 5:7; cf. I Cor. 13:12; Matt. 5:8).

Jesus did not have faith. He had "knowledge," as is indicated by his prayer for Lazarus where he contrasts his "knowledge" compared to those around him who had to believe (John 11:41-42; cf. John 5:19; CCC 473).

August 18, 2014 at 11:34 am PST
#20  Tanner Brooker - Keswick, Virginia

Thank you Mr. Staples, I appreciate that, God bless

August 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm PST
#21  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Dr. Staples, how are you? Hope everything goes well.

My christian friend asked me why she made a vow before the annunciation. And I was thinking about it and made this observation. And the simple answer for my friend's question would be "so that everything can be done according to God's will."

Because imagine the case that the marriage between Joseph and Mary was an ordinary and normal. And Gabriel came to Mary and said, "Hail, Full of grace. The Lord is with you....Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus....and of his kingdom there will be no end." Then, Mary would have assumed or known this is gonna be happend by the consummation between Joseph and Mary and could have replied without any question, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." If she immediately replied with Luke 1. 38, she would have had a sexual intercouse with Joseph since it was a normal marriage. If she responded like that, Gabriel would have said, "Wait, wait, wait. Mary, how come you didn't ask me "How can this be since I know not man." Oh, you already knew that the baby is gonna be conceived by not the intercouse, but the Holy Spirit?" I mean the whole story would have looked so ulgy, funny, and like a comedy if this was an ordinary marriage. Her question was crucial because without it, she would have had a sexual intercouse with Joseph right away if we assumed this was a normal marriage. So, her vow was necessary and sufficient so that she could fill her logical gap for having a child as a virgin and everything can be done according to God's will from the enternity.

Does this make sense? I'd like to respond to my Christian friend like this. English is my second language, so please bear with me.

Thanks for your works.

August 19, 2014 at 11:56 pm PST
#22  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Seokwan,

Yours is another way of saying what the Fathers of the Church said long ago: "The question betrays the vow."

I think you present another angle to seeing this to be so.

August 20, 2014 at 5:32 am PST
#23  Chaunce Shrewsbury - West Valley City, Utah

Tim Staples, thanks for another amazingly written article. They assist me so strongly in my conversion process through RCIA and I'm sure they will continue to do so after the Easter Vigil in 2015.

I did take your previous recommendation and purchased your cd set "Friends in High Places" it was really great and brought some great clarity for me. Did you ever finish the next set that you mention wanting to do on Purgatory?

The one question I was left with after listening to the set was "what about blessing items? The significance of doing so or holy water?"

Ill be purchasing a copy of the Protestants Dillemma this week and after that I plan on picking up your new book on Mary!

Thanks again and God bless!

August 20, 2014 at 11:56 am PST
#24  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Tim yeah I know, go buy your book. But the Great Assumption of the Possibility of the Assumption of Mary cannot be proved by your statement "John 3:13 does not eliminate the possibility of the Assumption of Mary..." This is logically unsupportable as it also does not eliminate the possibility that Mary weighed 400 pounds and rode a giant camel and ran a souvenir shop selling pieces of the True Cross. Because some people do weigh 400 pounds and there could be a giant camel out there somewhere and people might have....no wait....people have found pieces of the "true cross" and made souvenirs out of it.

The fact is that God could do whatever He wanted to with her. He took Enoch without death and feels obliged to mention it. He does not mention the assumption of Mary because: 1. it isn't important, 2. People might make assumptions and start worshiping her, (sound familiar?) 3. it didn't happen.

It is only necessary to believe the Assumption of Mary if you are going to create out of zero biblical evidence a doctrine (somewhere between the 5th and 13th centuries) that God's "mother" was sinlessly born, forever virgin, assumed into heaven, and helps Jesus redeem us.
I could ask you to give me just one verse from the Bible which specifically mentions any of this but I suppose I would need your book for that.

But hey, maybe Jesus really couldn't do the job himself and needs his mother to help out. Maybe there is a bunch of stuff about Mary that is true even though the Bible mentions none of it. Maybe you are teaching a false doctrine and though, I am sure, a very nice guy, you are blind to the truth..... which is what I am assuming.

August 22, 2014 at 8:36 am PST
#25  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dear Tanner,

Have you ever heard anyone say I fell in love with Methodism? or with Southern Baptist-ism? It is very sad to hear you fell in love with Catholicism. Seriously, you should think about going to the Southern Baptists and falling in love with Jesus. You would be eternally much better off, my friend.

Furthermore, the woman giving birth is more likely representative of Israel, not Mary. But even if you doubt that, it is dangerous to make a doctrine from prophetic symbols. If God needed Mary to be physically in heaven interceding for us...HE WOULD HAVE TOLD US SO. Since He has not, we must assume she is not.

Sincerely,

Perry

August 22, 2014 at 8:49 am PST
#26  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,

In response to your #24, and for brevity's sake, I will point out nine things I think you are mistaken about, among other we could talk about:

1. I never claimed the Assumption of Mary can be "proved" by showing John 3:13 doesn't disprove it. I simply showed how John 3:13 doesn't disprove it as some claim.

2. I did not argue that the Assumption of Mary is "proved" by the fact that it is "possible." I demonstrated how Mary is revealed to be bodily in heaven in Revelation 11:19 and Rev. 12:1. And though I have much more in my book, perhaps you could start by refuting what I actually said in this brief post. There is nothing in your comment that even comes close to refuting anything I actually said.

3. You seem to indicate that the Catholic Church teaches the adoration of Mary. That is wrong. The Catholic Church condemns the adoration (worship) of anything or anyone other than God. To adore Mary is grave sin in Catholic teaching.

4. You claim "[God] does not mention the assumption..." He doesn't "mention" the Trinity either. Belief in the Trinity is necessary for eternal life. He doesn't "mention" the canon of Scripture in Scripture either. He doesn't mention how someone gets married either. Is it when the preacher says they are now man and wife? Is it when they make the commitment at the altar? Is it when they consummate? Is the actual wedding essential? Or can two people just decide and consummate in the back seat of a car? What do you do with I Cor. 6:15-16? He doesn't "mention" why Luke and Mark (non-apostles) are qualified to write Scripture. He doesn't "mention" who has authority to write Scripture. He doesn't "mention" when the period of revelation ceases in the New Covenant. He doesn't "mention" who wrote Hebrews. He doesn't "mention" why we should include III John in the Bible - a book that never mentions the name Jesus Christ. He doesn't "mention" Sola Scriptura, or Sola Fide. In fact, he expressly contradicts both of these in I Thess. 2:13 and II Thess. 2:15, and James 2:24 and Matt. 12:37. I could go on.

Mary's Assumption may not be "mentioned" verbatim, but like the Trinity, it is described for us as I showed above from Revelation 11:19; 12:1. I don't feel the need to give you any more biblical proof because you haven't refuted a word of what I said above about these texts.

And BTW, because you said the woman may represent Israel does not exclude Mary as being its first meaning. The Catholic Church agrees that "the woman" represents by allusion the people of God through the centuries, both Israel of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant Church, the "Israel of God" as St. Paul describes her in Galatians 6:16. But on the literal level, there can be no doubt that "the woman" who literally gave birth to Jesus is Mary (Rev. 12:4-5). And if you add to this the fact that Jesus said to John, "Behold Your Mother" in John 19:26-27, when we know his mother was nearby, St. John is in Revelation 12:17 informing us that this motherhood extends beyond John to the entire body of Christ.

5. You say the Assumption of Mary "isn't important," and "didn't happen," but God does not agree with you. He revealed it to us in Revelation 11:19 and Revelation 12:1. As Catholics, we go with God over you.

6. You say there is "zero biblical evidence." But why should I believe you? I would have to reject the biblical texts I provided above and that you did not refute. I can't reject the Bible to accept your tradition.

7. You say the Assumption was created "somewhere between the 5th and 13th centuries." Well then, how is it that St. Epiphanius taught it in the fourth century as did Timothy of Jerusalem? How is it that we now have fragments (Syriac) from the Transitus narratives that have been dated as early as the third century if the story wasn't created until the 6th century? I document all of this and more in my book. The truth is, the Assumption is an historical fact that is revealed in the New Testament and was taught by Christians for 2,000 years.

I could give you lots of verses from the Bible that demonstrate the sinlessness of Mary, her Perpetual Virginity, and her role in God's plan of salvation. But you haven't demonstrated a serious interest in engaging in anything that I've said, so why should I? Would you?

And yes, I do recommend my book if you are serious about studying these matters. You can do a lot more in a 350-page book than you can in a blog comment box. But are you really interested in serious study? Only you can answer that one definitively.

8. It is not that "Jesus really couldn't do the job himself," but "needs his mother to help out." He could come down here right now and write this comment much better than I can. But he chooses not to. He freely chooses to use members of his body to cooperate with him in the salvation of souls as Scripture teaches in texts like I Cor. 9:22, I Cor. 3:5-9, I Tim. 4:16, James 5:19-20, Col. 1:24, Romans 11:14, I Cor. 7:16, etc.

Unlike the rest of Christians who are called to bring Christ to those in their limited sphere of interest, Mary was uniquely called to bring the whole Christ to the whole world (see Luke 1:26-38). Without Mary, there is no Jesus.

9. You say (or "assume") I am "blind to the truth." If that is so, I'm sure you would believe God can open my eyes through his word. So isn't it incumbent upon you to show me where I am wrong in the Bible? You haven't done that yet. I will wait patiently.

August 22, 2014 at 10:32 am PST
#27  Hugh O'Donnell - Port Glasgow, Inverclyde

Tim,
Many thanks for your response.

+ God Bless +

Hugh

PS I am undertaking a 100K sponsor cycle and envisage that Catholic Answers Podcasts (as they currently do) will help my 8hr mountain bike event for Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and 'Mary's Meals'. http://wp.me/s1K8Zx-sponsor

August 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm PST
#28  Chaunce Shrewsbury - West Valley City, Utah

Tim, I sometimes think that the comments and your responses on your blog posts are more valuable than the post itself. Thanks again for your work and great response to Perry. It was quite enjoyable reading it.

God Bless!
-Chaunce

August 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm PST
#29  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Chaunce, that's what I'm talking about. Sometimes negative comments are necessary to bring out the greater insights. Non-Catholics' teasing comments with Staple's incredible answers make my life complete. So good. And he still sounds like a marine in his writings with great dignity for other human beings. Let us keep praying for him.

August 24, 2014 at 2:26 am PST
#30  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Tim
Sorry for the lengthy wait.

First, Semper Fi and thanks for serving! I truly mean that. Thank you for doing the hard work in defense of this nation.

Regarding your points:

1. & 2. OK this verse doesn't disprove that Mary could be assumed. It doesn't prove it either. Who gets assumed or ascended isn't even the subject He is discussing. Regardless, I guess this is why you are discussing it, so you can attempt to build an argument for the Assumption. You are trying to build a case from a negative which puts you on very weak ground. You are saying it doesn't eliminate the possibility so you can say it is possible. I am saying her assumption isn't recorded so it either doesn't matter or it didn't happen. You are constructing an event for which there is no proof, a crime scene with no body.

3. The Catholic Church says it forbids worship of Mary and attempts to get around this by nuancing with latria, dulia, hyperdulia, but in practice Mary outranks Jesus. Look at the votive candles in any cathedral. How about the ten prayers to Mary for every one to Jesus in the Rosary? How about the roadside shrines to Mary? How many churches named for her vs. Jesus? How about the fact that JohnPaul II has a big "M", not a "J" carved in his casket? Or that he thanked Mary for saving his life during the assassination attempt? What is the cult of Mary in the first place? There is a very fine line you attempt to draw but it doesn't work out in actual practice. I don't think you really know what you are worshiping to be quite honest. Where does anyone in Scripture give her the title "Blessed Mother"?

4.& 5. I can't believe you picked "Trinity" for this. No, the English word "trinity" is not in the Bible I will grant you that, but in the second verse of the Bible (Gen 1:2) we have "spirit of God", Gen 1:26 "Let us make man in our image", Ps 2:6 "You are my Son", IS 6:8 "Who shall go for us", Mt 3:16-17 Spirit of God descended on Jesus, Jn 1:1 He (christ) was with God, Phil 2: 5-8 Jesus and God, II Cor 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. I would say the Trinity gets quite a lot of "mention".
In I Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is given for doctrine...." Here is where the Canon gets mentioned.

Marriage is mentioned (both the word and the concept) in who is to be married, how a marriage is to function, a wedding Jesus attends, who is the head of the household etc. We can even research and learn of the Jewish marriage customs. Why would it matter if it's in front of an altar or in front of a preacher unless you want a legalistic argument? A minister in a hot air balloon is silly but it's a marriage. I suppose the back seat of a car is OK if a minister is present and vows are exchanged (I see you like sarcasm too LOL!)
Regarding I Cor 6:15 I would say stay away from prostitutes. But looks like an answer to your question. Sexual union is a union of some sort in Gods eyes as two become united. There is little guidance (hence a lot of freedom) in the Bible about where a couple is supposed to be standing when they exchange vows.

You keep using Rev 11 as a proof of Mary's Assumption, but in light of all the Trinitarian references I provided, I was wondering if you might supply one other verse that actually mentions Mary being assumed, instead of you know, just assuming it? You say you don't feel the need to because I haven't refuted your words. I say it's because you can't find one. You know, one with the words "Mary", "went up to" and "heaven" in it.

I Cor 15:22-23
1. More argument from the negative. We could concoct all sorts of things with this logic. What about Joseph? Maybe he was assumed. Doesn't say he wasn't! He certainly deserves an award for living with a young woman he never touched all those years. Maybe he got to skip death because surely Jesus loved his stepfather, right? I mean, while we're at it, let's toss old Joe a bone too.
2. Yep, all those exceptions....Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, which are specifically mentioned in Scripture...unlike the one you are attempting to prove which is never mentioned at all.
4. Too many possible meanings for anyone to hang their doctrinal hat on. You apparently agree as you recognize what dispensationalists and others believer about this passage. It may represent Mary as well as Israel, and it is obviously a metaphorical passage so for you to start naming names is presumptuous. The dragon is given a name, but not the woman. Plus, it is a portrayal of her giving birth in pain (a byproduct of sin) and she obviously didn't give birth in heaven, so the one thing we can logically say about it, is that it isn't literally Mary in heaven. When the literal Mary you see has pain in childbirth you switch to allegorical mode and say it doesn't mean actual pain in actual childbirth. Your point about the other characters mentioned works both ways. Just maybe Mary is not delineated because it wasn't her, or suddenly John is sloppy with his details?

5. You cannot use a disputed passage such as Rev 11 to prove what it does not say. It is apparent that what John is seeing is a picture of what happened at the birth of Christ and not a current scene in heaven.

6. You shouldn't believe me. You should read the Bible and see if it says "Mary was assumed into heaven." Lacking something so obvious you should see if any apostles or writers of any other books refer to this event. Lacking that (which you do) you should not believe something that isn't there. Logic demands that you not make a doctrine out of no evidence.

I am not the one with a "tradition" to uphold, rather it is you who appeals to tradition. I believe in tradition which is based on the Bible and agrees with it. The Jews had a lot of tradition too. And what was the name of that guy that criticized them for elevating the tradition of Moses above the Scriptures? He constantly attacked the professional clergy of the day because they had Moses and Abraham but not God.

7. For every reference from the Apochrypha you give me I will give you one from Peter Pan. You cannot give one verse which plainly teaches Mary's sinlessness, not one. She had no role in the redemption plan. Every time you attempt to add Mary to the equation you subtract Jesus and that puts you on some dangerous ground. To say that Christ is not sufficient is to deny the Scriptures. This is no laughing matter and for you to attempt to wiggle Mary in where she is not included is sacrilege. You have no basis to say Mary is our co redeemer just because she was pregnant with Jesus. The Bible does not teach this at all. Now if John 3:16 said "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, with the assistance of His Mother who carried Him to term, that whosoever believes in them has eternal life," you could have a point. But you teach heresy instead and toss up high sounding argument, and parse verses for meanings they do not have to support outright fabrications.

Regarding the doctrine of the assumption start date, so I was off a century. I did a quick search and Epiphanius was the first to mention this so important event of the Assumption in 377 AD. And here is his quote: "The Roman Catholic scholar Michael O'Carroll explains that Epiphanius (4th Century), a Church Father, gives the earliest mention of anything concerning the end of Mary's Life when he says regarding Epiphanius' mention of Mary in A.D. 377,
"In a later passage, he [Epiphanius] says that she [Mary] may have died and been buried, or been killed--as a martyr. 'Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and he can do whatever he desires; for her end no one knows.'" Hardly a ringing endorsement. Furthermore, Jerome lived in Palestine and he says nothing about it which is odd. Seems like something so unique as Mary's Assumption would get at least a mention. By the way, who else was there? Any eyewitnesses? Imagine a court scene: "Uh no your honor, no one saw it happen, and no one has written saying they saw it happened, but it could have happened, so we are going with that."

The first to confirm this false doctrine was Gregory of Tours in 590 AD and it was based on the sacred writings of J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan. Oops, I'm sorry, it was based on the Transitus, my bad.

8. Yes, more appeal to ignorance. We don't know He didn't do it and He could have done it, so he did. I believe that has been the church's story for quite some time. He also could have taken the Holy Donkey which bore the Mother of God who bore the Son of God. But Scripture doesn't say He did so rational people don't make a doctrine out of it.

Regarding using others to cooperate in the saving of souls:
All of your examples involve the living, did you notice that? Romans 11:14 does not teach that Paul will save them but they will become saved as a result of his ministry to the Gentiles. I Cor 7:16 a living spouse helps to bring the other to faith by their witness and life. James 5:19-20. Who is doing the saving? To say I helped someone repent and get saved is not the same as claiming credit for doing the saving.

Regarding your statement "without Mary there is no Jesus" you are incorrect. Jesus predates Mary. He could have just as easily picked some girl named Hadassah. He could have appeared without going through a human vessel at all. But He chose to do so through a humble woman, who despite her sin was chosen for this task. I rather think Mary, if she knew what you have turned her into, would be appalled that you worship the creature instead of the Creator.

9. I conclude that you and all who teach such doctrine are either blind, or willfully deceiving others for position or power. You are certainly sincere, but what if you are wrong? While I am not the apologist that you are and have not studied as in depth as you have, I have lived since childhood as a believer in Jesus and have read and studied and sought to know what is true. What is true is God and His Word. If you are going to use philosophy, and what ifs, and arguments from ignorance, and the tradition of man to deny what is plainly revealed in Scripture then we are not even fighting on the same battlefield. And yes, I believe God can open your eyes through His Word. And I hope and pray He does. So, I bear you no personal ill will, but hope that you will repent and receive Christ as your Saviour and that you will cease believing in that which is plainly not true. Blessings on you.

Perry

August 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm PST
#31  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Perry,

3. Where does anyone in Scripture give her the title "Blessed Mother"?

And you are asking why do Catholics call her blessed? Because the Bible says so. Take a look at Gospel of Luke. And Tim Staples will answer the rest of your questions patiently, and I highly recommend you to buy his latest book on Mary.

Luke 1. 41-49
41- Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42- and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43- And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
45- And blessed is she who belived that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
46- And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord
47- and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48- for he has regarded the low estate ofhis handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49- for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

: The word 'Blessed' is just covered up the first chapter of Luke: 3 times on Mary and one on Jesus. It was the Holy Spirit that wanted all generations call her "Blessed." But, nowadays how many Christian churches are fulfilling the New Testament prophecy? Far from calling her blessed, most generation of Prostetants including non-denominational christians live their lives without calling her at all. I want you to look at her with new eyes. And you are gonna find that she's the greatest masterpiece of God.

August 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm PST
#32  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,

In response to your "1. & 2:"

Once again, you are not getting it. You are "guessing" wrong. I did not discuss John 3:13 for any other reason than to demonstrate that it can't be used to disprove the Assumption of Mary. Protestants misuse this text and I demonstrated why. I am not "trying to build a case from a negative." What part of this don't you understand?

In response to your "3."

The Catholic Church is not attempting "to get around anything." The Church condemns as mortal sin the adoration (worship) of anything or anyone other than God. Period. "Latria" means adoration (worship), in Scripture. "Idolatria" is the Greek word for "idolatry." And though "Dulia" (Greek, "douleia," Latin "dulia") can be used for either adoration or honor in Greek, the Church explicitly defined it for use in relation to the honor given to the saints in order to make the clear distinction between "adoration" and "honor." The Church is very clear.
You say "in practice Mary outranks Jesus." You are wrong. The votive candles or various devotional practices honoring Mary always have as their end prayer to God. "Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death" means we are asking Mary to pray for us. Mary is not the ultimate focus in that anymore than you would be if I asked you to pray for me. I would be talking to you, but no one would be confused as to who outranks whom (no one who doesn't want to be, that is).
Moreover, not only does each Hail Mary have God as its ultimate intended end of all prayer, but we meditate on the mysteries of our salvation as we pray the Rosary. Once again, the focus to "to Jesus (God) through Mary."
As far as churches goes, every Church in the Catholic world is dedicated to God first and foremost. Some of them are dedicated to God in the honor of a saint. Some are not. Some are dedicated to God in the honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Holy Trinity, the Holy Name of Jesus, etc. Each reflects a particular (and very biblical) belief we have, but every Church in the Catholic world is dedicated to God.
St. John Paul the Great had a particular loving relationship with our Blessed Mother. He thanked Mary for saving his life because he believed it was Mary's prayers that saved him. If you have a problem with that, why don't you go after St. Paul (I Tim. 4:16; I Cor. 9:22; I Cor. 7:16; Romans 11:14; Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6), or St. James (James 5:19-20), because Pope St. John Paul the Great, like all Catholics, was simply molding his (our) theology after what we find in the Bible, and from the pens of these inspired men.
"The cult of Mary" refers to the proper usage of "cultus" as either the devotion we give to saints or the adoration we give to God.
You say there is a "fine line that doesn't work out in actual practice" between the adoration we give God and the honor we give to the saints. Once again, you are wrong. I invite you to attend any Mass in the world and experience the highest form of prayer, petition, sacrifice, and adoration in the Catholic Church. The entire Mass is ordered toward God and saints are only invoked on the periphery in order to ask for their intercession. That is what the Catholic Church has practiced for 2,000 years.
You say, you "don't think you really know what you are worshiping." Once again, you are wrong. We adore God the Father through the mediation of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
You say "Where does anyone in Scripture give her the title "Blessed Mother"? Luke 1:48, "All generations will call be Blessed for the almighty has done great things for me." What things? She is the "mother" of Jesus and the "mother" of all Christians (Luke 1:37-38; John 19:26-27; Revelation 12:4-5; 17)
In response to your "4.& 5."
You gave me verses of Scripture that can be used to construct a theology of the Trinity, but try that with a knowledgeable Jehovah's Witness and see how far you get. Or try it with members of the Way International, Iglesia ni Cristo, etc. They will use some of the same verses you did in order to "prove" Jesus isn't God. The Trinity is there, but you have to do some serious theology to bring it out. And as a matter of history, it took over 600 years to work out the theology of the Trinity and Hypostatic Union in responding to a whole lot of folks who didn't see it that way. Tradition was needed in order to get there just as St. Paul said we need Tradition in II Thess. 2:15.
In the same way, the Marian doctrines are in Scripture and Tradition as well.
You then say "the Canon gets mentioned" in II Tim. 3:16? How does II Tim. 3:16 answer the authorship questions of Hebrews, III John, or any other book? How does II Tim. 3:16 answer whether or not the Letter of Barnabas should be in the New Testament or not? How does it answer when the period of Revelation ceased? II Tim. 3:16 does not say a word about the canon of Scripture.
You said, "Marriage is mentioned (both the word and the concept) in who is to be married, how a marriage is to function, a wedding Jesus attends, who is the head of the household etc. We can even research and learn of the Jewish marriage customs. Why would it matter if it's in front of an altar or in front of a preacher unless you want a legalistic argument? A minister in a hot air balloon is silly but it's a marriage. I suppose the back seat of a car is OK if a minister is present and vows are exchanged."

But you did not give me a single verse of Scripture to back up anything you said. "Jewish marriage customs?" Really? Where does the Bible say we follow "Jewish marriage customs."

You dodged my question because you can't answer it. Where does the Bible say a "minister" is necessary for their to be a wedding?

You then say, "Regarding I Cor 6:15 I would say stay away from prostitutes. But looks like an answer to your question. Sexual union is a union of some sort in Gods eyes as two become united. There is little guidance (hence a lot of freedom) in the Bible about where a couple is supposed to be standing when they exchange vows."

So if St. Paul says that sex with someone with whom you are not married results in "the two becoming one flesh," (see I Cor. 6:16) the same text Jesus used to describe marriage in Matt. 19:5, why aren't they then married? And give me Bible verses. You claim a couple in a back seat of a car would be married "if a minister is present." But you did not give me a Bible verse for that? Why is it you require Bible verses of Catholics, but you don't use any for your own theology?

You want more Bible verses (other than Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1) for the Assumption, while you gave me verses like II Cor. 13:14 for the Trinity: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." JW's love to use this to prove Jesus is not God because he is separated from the mention of "God."

I believe in the Trinity and I could show you the Trinity in Scripture, but you use weak verses like the above, while you cannot refute the verses I used to demonstrate Mary to be assumed into heaven.

As far as needing a verse of Scripture that says Mary "went up to heaven," I don't need any. She's depicted as being in heaven bodily. She had to get there somehow and she did not have the power to ascend on her own. Let's see... hmmmm...

You argue that "maybe St. Joseph" was assumed. Let's see you evidence. I don't see any. But I could be wrong. Present your biblical case like I have done for Mary.

You claim Revelation 12 has "too many possible meanings for anyone to hang their doctrinal hat on." Where does the Bible say that? Now you are just making stuff up at will.

You say Revelation 12 is a "metaphorical passage" so to "name names is presumptuous." Who says? I look at the text of Revelation and I see "the dragon" who is a real person, the Devil (Rev. 12:9). Yes, I can "name a name." "Lucifer." I see "the Archangel Michael" who is a real person (Rev. 12:7). Yes, I can "name a name." "Michael." I see "the man/child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron" Rev. 12:5. Yes, I can "name a name." "Jesus." I also see the "woman" who gives birth to Jesus. This is not rocket science. "Mary" gave birth to Jesus. Yes, I can "name a name." "Mary." Why is that "presumptuous?"

You claim "the woman" can't be Mary because she is in pain and in heaven. Neither could it be Israel or the Church "in heaven" and "in pain." You make no sense. There is obviously a polyvalent sense to the text. The "pains" can't be from the head passing through the birth canal for many reasons. There is not a single Protestant or Catholic scholar who believes those pains are caused by a human head. Mary's (and the Church's) pains are first and foremost spiritual and much more intense than physical pains could ever be.

In answer to you #5:

You say, "You cannot use a disputed passage such as Rev 11 to prove what it does not say."

Really? I cannot use a disputed passage? Where does the Bible say that? And I am using it to say what it does say. It speaks of the Ark of the Covenant, which Scripture reveals to be Mary. It speaks of the Temple which Scripture reveals to be Jesus. I can't deny Scripture because it may say something you don't like because of your Protestant bias.

You then say, "It is apparent that what John is seeing is a picture of what happened at the birth of Christ and not a current scene in heaven."

Really? My Bible says, "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Covenant was seen within his temple." You say it's not heaven. The Bible does. I think I will go with the Bible. St. John was seeing a "current scene in heaven" as he wrote this in ca. AD 95. Again, I have to go with the Bible.

In response to your #6.

You say "You should read the Bible and see if says "Mary was assumed into heaven." But it doesn't need to say that anymore than it has to say "God is a Trinity." I would have to reject the Bible to reject God as "Trinity" even though the word is not there. I would have to reject the Bible to deny the Assumption of Mary. I'm not going to do that for you or for anyone.

You claim you don't appeal to tradition, but you constantly ask me to affirm things that are not in the Bible. You ask me to believe you when you do not have a shred of evidence to back up what you say. I should qualify my terms. You are not just presenting "tradition," you are presenting "traditions of men." I will never deny Scripture to uphold your traditions.
You claim Jesus "criticized them for elevating the tradition of Moses above the Scriptures?" Once again, you are wrong. He did not condemn them for following "the tradition of Moses." Mark 7:7-8 says he condemned them for following "the traditions of men" which is precisely what you are presenting to me and expecting me to follow. There is no way, my friend. With all due respect, I will follow the word of God, not you.

In response to your "7."

You say I quote from "the Apocrypha." Where? And how do we know what is apocryphal and what is not? Show me in the Bible.

You claim "Mary had no role in the redemption." That's your word, not God's word. Luke 1:37-38 tells us it was only when Mary said yes that Jesus came into the world. That is a fact. The apostles "came to faith" in John 2:1-11 through Mary's intercession just as the Corinthians did through the instruments of Apollos and Paul (I Cor. 3:5-9). She suffered with Christ so that "the thoughts of many hearts would be made manifest" in fulfillment of the prophecy of Simeon in Luke 2:34-35, in John 19:26-27. And Revelation 12:17 confirms that St. John was standing in the place of all of us. I did not "add Mary to the redemption plan." God did. In fact, he added the entire body of Christ to his redemption plan (I gave you a litany of verses to demonstrate that above).
But this is not to "subtract Jesus" because it is Jesus who empowers Mary and the entire body of Christ to be able to do what he did and greater things than even he did (John 14:12).
You say "To say that Christ is not sufficient is to deny the Scriptures." Sufficient for what? He is our sufficiency when it comes to his propitiatory sacrifice (I John 2:1-2). But he is not sufficient to say our "yes" for us. And he has chosen to empower us to freely respond to his grace and then to minister the grace of salvation to one another as well.

You claim I am committing "sacrilege" and you give me one verse of Scripture, John 3:16 to "prove" it. Just so you know, the Catholic Church is aware of that verse. We believe Jesus is the savior. But we also believe that Jesus empowers his body to carry out his "ministry of reconciliation" in this world as members of his Body. Now I know that II Cor. 5:17-20 (I cited verse 18 above) is referring to the ordained, but by allusion it is not only the ordained, but all of us who are called, in accordance with our particular gifts and graces, to carry out Christ's ministry in this world, and in so doing, "save souls" (see again, James 5:19-20; I Tim. 4:16, Col. 1:24, I Cor. 9:22, Ez. 3:18-19, etc.).

You then claim Epiphanius rejects the Assumption. You are again wrong. But at least you are heading in the right direction. I noticed you quoted Epiphanius (actually writing in ca. A.D. 360), who said, Mary may have been buried, martyred, or she may have remained alive. And that is true. But what you failed to point out was the context. He was talking about the only argument going on the Church about Mary's assumption in the early centuries. The argument was about whether Mary first died, like Christ was did, and was buried in a tomb, and then was assumed. Or whether she never died at all and was taken up like Enoch and Elijah. That is found in his "Panarion 78:23,8." But why didn't you quote the next section, in "Panarion 79:5,1," where he says:

"Like the bodies of the saints, however, she has been held in honor for her character and understanding. And if I should say anything more in her praise, she is like Elijah, who was virgin from his mother’s womb, always remained so, and was taken up, but has not seen death."

As far as St. Jerome not mentioning the Assumption, he didn't have to. The only reason why St. Epiphanius did is because he was dealing with the "Collyridian" heresy, which was known for its inordinate exultation of Mary. They really did adore Mary as a God and St. Epiphanius condemned them for it. But he also emphasized true devotion to Mary verses the adoration they were giving Mary by offering sacrifices to her. St. Epiphanius lays out the truth about Mary and condemns the extremes that is why in the process he presents the truth about Mary's assumption.

And just so you'll know, St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome were friends, colleagues, and kindred spirits. Jerome praised Epiphanius for his learning. He called him a "pentaglot" because of Epiphanius's knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Syriac, and Coptic. St. Jerome's silence is telling indeed. When Helvidius attempted to say Mary had other children, Jerome, Augustine, Epiphanius, Athanasius, Ambrose and others condemned Helvidius in the strongest of terms. If Epiphanius was teaching something erroneous he would have gotten the same treatment. He did not.

The truth is, there is not much spoken about the Assumption because everyone agreed about it in the early centuries. The Gnostics as well as the Christians agreed on this point. Most of what we have from the Fathers are documents hammering heresies. For example, you don't find defenses of Jesus being celibate because everyone agreed about it.

You claim "no one saw it happen." But in fact, most of the apostles did. St. John certainly did, because he wrote about it in the Book of Revelation (and by the way, it is not surprising it would not be written about until Revelation because it probably did not happen until after most of the New Testament was written. Revelation may well have been the last book written in the New Testament).

And BTW, you quoted Fr. Michael O'Carroll, but you failed to quote in that same book (the Encyclopedia of Blessed Mary) where he points out that the "Transitus Narratives" that speak of the Assumption have now been dated as early as the mid-third century. That means we have a written example of the Assumption dated back to before we even had agreement in the Church on the canon of Scripture! Eusebius of Caesarea writes in ca. AD 350 about how Revelation, II Peter, II and III John, Hebrews and other books were disputed as to whether they should be in the canon. Pope Damasus would not settle the question until AD 382. We have evidence of the Assumption in written form over a hundred years prior to this, at least, a Syriac fragment has been dated to the third century.

You claim "all of [my] examples" of members of the body of Christ cooperating in salvation involve the living. Well, add to that Hebrews 12:22-24, Revelation 5:8, and Revelation 6:9, and you have the "spirits of just men made perfect," "the 24 elders in heaven," a and the "souls of the martyrs" involved in the intercession for souls on earth.

Moreover, nowhere does Scripture say members of the body of Christ cease being members of the body of Christ when they die. Romans 8:35-39 says just the opposite. Death does not separate us from Christ or from one another. We need the members of the body of Christ in heaven just as much as we need the members of the Body of Christ on earth. I Cor. 12:12-27 does not have an expiration date. "You are only members of Christ's body until you die..."

Your attempt to dismiss the plain words of Scripture that speak again and again of the members of Christ's body cooperating in the salvation of souls is ridiculous. Now I think you know you are rejecting the Scriptures for your tradition. Romans 11:13-14: "I magnify my ministry in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them." Of course it is Jesus saving them through St. Paul. The point is that Paul's cooperation is so essential that he can say, in I Cor. 9:22, "I have become all things to all men that by all means, I might save some." Read the other texts as well and let God's word convict you of the truth. Stop running to your tradition that nullifies the word of God.

No one is claiming that Mary, the saints, or you and I save souls apart from Christ. It is only in Christ and by his power, but according to Scripture, we save souls. Stop denying the word of God.

I do have to give you credit for trying. I love it when you say, "James 5:19-20. Who is doing the saving? To say I helped someone repent and get saved is not the same as claiming credit for doing the saving." I notice you don't quote the verses so I will:

"My brethren, if anyone of among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."

I will let the word of God speak for itself.

You then reject my statement "without Mary there is no Jesus" because you say, "Jesus predates Mary."

While it is true the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity predates Mary, "the man Jesus Christ" (I Tim. 2:5) does not, because there would be no "man Jesus Christ" without Mary. Mary gave him his human nature. Without Mary, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity would have looked different, he would have had different human chromosomes. To say he would have been the same is to deny the truth of in Incarnation. Would you say whether your mother was your mother or another woman you would be the same? Of course not! Thus, you are gravely mistaken when you say he would have been the same whether Mary was used or not. That is simply not true.

I agree he could have come any way he wanted to. But that's not the point. The point is he chose Mary and she is blessed as a result (Luke 1:42; 48, etc.).

In answer to your "9." I will simply quote you back at you:

"I conclude that you and all who teach such doctrine are either blind, or willfully deceiving others for position or power. You are certainly sincere, but what if you are wrong? ... What is true is God and His Word. If you are going to use philosophy, and what ifs, and arguments from ignorance, and the tradition of man to deny what is plainly revealed in Scripture then we are not even fighting on the same battlefield. And yes, I believe God can open your eyes through His Word. And I hope and pray He does. So, I bear you no personal ill will, but hope that you will repent and receive Christ as your Saviour and that you will cease believing in that which is plainly not true. Blessings on you."

August 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm PST
#33  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

Tim,

A million thanks both for your work in Catholic Anwsers and your overwhelming rebutals/answers to Perry White. More graces to you!
It always baffles me how all aspects of Christian (Catholic) faith have been challenged depending on where the antagonist(s) is/are coming from. The common denominatoral question of christian antagonists is "where is it in the Bible?" Another suprise comes when the "where it is in the Holy Bible" is shown. For then the antagonists either reject the "where it is in the Holy Bible" outright or foist meaning into it. This shows that they are not asking to know but to force or present their rejection of the truth.

Now, you Perry White,

You are demanding for a scriptural verse(s) in proof of the Assumption and Tim had given one. Why are you still wrangling? I wonder why you agreed that the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible, which, going by your arguement for scriptural verse(s) means that the dogma of the Most Holy Trinity is false. What a heresy! But since the dogma of the Most Holy Trinity is true even though the word "Trinity" is no where to be found in the Bible, the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is equally true though the words "Mary was assumed into heaven" or "Mary is in heaven" is no where in the Bible.
Remember the word "Bible" is not in the Sacred Scriptures. What do you say about that? Again you talked about the big M of St. John Paul II, ten prayers to Mary for every one to Jesus in the rosary, votive candles for Mary in Cathedrals, many churches named after her versus Jesus, roadside shrines of Mary. Oh What a childish and weak argument! If you were God and we your intelligent creatures offer you only such-like worship as it is offered to Mary (as you insinuate) would you be pleased with us. Yes, we offer them to her because to us such "worships" are trifling and are not befitting the Most High. We offer God the most worthy, excellent and befitting worship, that is, the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A single Mass offered to God is infinitely greater than all the adorations of all "men of good will" from the creation of the world to this present time together with all those offered by all the angels and saints in heaven, all because Christ is the Altar, the Victim, and the Priest of the Mass. But we give such triffling honour to our sweet mother Mary or to the saints as an accessory worship to the Most High. For it is written "God is wonderfull in his saints." Psalm 67:36. If you would like to have a glimpse of what the Holy Mass is, read the book called "The Incridible Catholic Mass" by Fr. Martin von Cochem. You can download it through google.

Pertaining to your #24 comment, you have done the job by differentiating between Methodism (and Baptist-ism) and Christ and seperating one from the other. Methodism, Baptist-ism or simply Protestantism is different and separable from Christ because it is a man-made and not divinely instituted religion and is contrary to the Sacred Scriptures. It is the brainchild of your forefathers - Luther and his cohorts. But coming to Catholicism, the reverse is the case. If you do not know, Catholicism is the only system of worship instituted by Christ. The scripture calls it together with the people who practise it "the body of Christ". Col. 1:18 etc. Christ cannot be separated from his body. Falling in love with Catholicism is falling in love with Christ and his Word. Therefore Tanner is right. Or do you deny that Catholic Church is intituted by Christ Himself? You cannot do that without lying.

August 26, 2014 at 6:46 am PST
#34  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Seokwan

To call her blessed is no different than me saying "blessed Seokwan, how are you today?" But that doesn't mean you have been given a title and can redeem us from our sins.

And yes, many in Protestant Land shy away from Mary in an overreaction to the abuse the catholic church commits in deifying her.

She is blessed. She has a special place. There is nothing wrong with saying so. But she is not our redeemer as the CC teaches.

Perry

August 27, 2014 at 7:36 am PST
#35  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dear Tim,

I have to apologize for my slow response time. I do not have a published work I can cut and paste passages from. I guess in about two more blog posts there will be no need for me to buy your book as I should have the complete work!
I will try to respond as best I am able.
You know I do appreciate the good work you have done in trying to bring catholics back to faith. You certainly are a knowledgable person and an able communicator. I don't imagine that I will ever be able to convince you of anything since so many others have debated you. But I will at least make a response.

TS
Once again, you are not getting it. You are "guessing" wrong. I did not discuss John 3:13 for any other reason than to demonstrate that it can't be used to disprove the Assumption of Mary. Protestants misuse this text and I demonstrated why. I am not "trying to build a case from a negative." What part of this don't you understand
PW
You say I am not getting it and guessing wrong. I do get it. You think Jn 3 has been misused to show Mary could not have been assumed. But you are using it to build a case for her assumption. The verse says "all die" except for of course the few who are mentioned in Scripture who have not died, none of which involve a woman, or mention Mary specifically. So, for you to say she has been assumed requires you to build a case from the negative. Nowhere, including Rev 12 is Mary mentioned or even hinted at having been assumed. I pointed out that Rev 12 does name the dragon, but it doesn't name the woman. I said you can't build a case from a disputed passage. What I mean is that there is stronger evidence that the woman represents Israel.
"The woman in Rev 12 should not be identified primarily with Mary also because the chapter never explicitly identifies the woman, whereas there is a clear secondary identification of the dragon as the ancient serpent...the devil and Satan" and because the mariological identification did not arise until about the sixth century. (Brown is the author of that statement, and a catholic scholar I believe).

TS
You say "in practice Mary outranks Jesus." You are wrong. The votive candles or various devotional practices honoring Mary always have as their end prayer to God. "Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death" means we are asking Mary to pray for us. Mary is not the ultimate focus in that anymore than you would be if I asked you to pray for me. I would be talking to you, but no one would be confused as to who outranks whom (no one who doesn't want to be, that is).

PW
As you know the Bible says Christ is our only mediator. You also know that we are never told to pray to a departed saint. To ask a living person to pray for me is completely different from asking George Washington, or Mary to pray for me. It does not matter who the ultimate "focus" is. You are praying to someone who does not hear you. You are doing so outside of any biblical support, so I think you are arguing from the negative again.

TS: St. John Paul the Great had a particular loving relationship with our Blessed Mother. He thanked Mary for saving his life because he believed it was Mary's prayers that saved him. If you have a problem with that, why don't you go after St. Paul (I Tim. 4:16; I Cor. 9:22; I Cor. 7:16; Romans 11:14; Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6), or St. James (James 5:19-20), because Pope St. John Paul the Great, like all Catholics, was simply molding his (our) theology after what we find in the Bible, and from the pens of these inspired men.

PW
"St JP the Great (who was quickly made a "saint" because he was so popular and it was politically expedient in satisfying the faithful) may have believed Mary saved him but that doesn't make it so. I Tim 4 does not reference Mary. Perhaps you meant something else? I Cor 9:22 Paul discusses how he attempts to attract all men to salvation, but you think he means he personally saved them I guess. When someone is "saved" from drowning they have been rescued. When Paul "saves some" he has rescued them, not personally extended salvation to them. Good grief why don't you twist it to mean whatever you wish? I Cor 7:16 is understood to mean that a spouse might lead the other to saving faith by their example, or do you believe I mean personally extend eternal salvation to my unbelieving wife? How warped can you get? Rom 11:14 Same thing. Paul is doing what Billy Graham did. Bringing the message of salvation to many in order to "save them," to make Christ attractive to them so that they wish to receive Him. I guess you think I could ask Billy Graham to save me then?
Really, Tim, I know I am not that smart, but do you really think these verses teach something other than what they obviously do?

TS
You gave me verses of Scripture that can be used to construct a theology of the Trinity, but try that with a knowledgeable Jehovah's Witness and see how far you get. Or try it with members of the Way International, Iglesia ni Cristo, etc. They will use some of the same verses you did in order to "prove" Jesus isn't God. The Trinity is there, but you have to do some serious theology to bring it out. And as a matter of history, it took over 600 years to work out the theology of the Trinity and Hypostatic Union in responding to a whole lot of folks who didn't see it that way. Tradition was needed in order to get there just as St. Paul said we need Tradition in II Thess. 2:15.
In the same way, the Marian doctrines are in Scripture and Tradition as well.
You want more Bible verses (other than Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1) for the Assumption, while you gave me verses like II Cor. 13:14 for the Trinity: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." JW's love to use this to prove Jesus is not God because he is separated from the mention of "God."

PW
I am talking to catholics at the moment. But if I were talking to a JW my first question before we sort out where the commas go, would be "Tell me why I should believe a faith whose founder was a defrocked Baptist minister, whose specialty was repeatedly predicting the end of the world inaccurately, (thus qualifying as a false prophet subject to stoning). I think that if the JWs can't understand simple grammar that's their problem. If I say "the wife of Perry and the son of Perry and the daughter of Perry shall come to visit this weekend" that is a way of saying all three, which are my family, will be there. JWs aren't exactly known as the most rigorous scholars you know. And yes, I am still waiting for you to give me another verse other than the ones in Revelation that don't mention Mary, that mention Mary so you will have something to prove Mary is the woman who is not called Mary.
And yes, I gave you verses that do in fact construct the theology of the Trinity. BUT there are no Marian doctrines in Scripture. They are all in Tradition, and not in the first -fifth century. Sorry, but a reference to Mary as "Blessed" and saying she is the woman in Rev does qualify for a doctrine of Mary which makes her sinless, assumed, or our redemptrix. For that, you would need SPECIFIC Scriptures saying so, unless of course, your view of Scripture is a low one, requiring the opinions of men to fill in all the imagined details.

TS
ut you did not give me a single verse of Scripture to back up anything you said. "Jewish marriage customs?" Really? Where does the Bible say we follow "Jewish marriage customs."
You dodged my question because you can't answer it. Where does the Bible say a "minister" is necessary for their to be a wedding?
You then say, "Regarding I Cor 6:15 I would say stay away from prostitutes. But looks like an answer to your question. Sexual union is a union of some sort in Gods eyes as two become united. There is little guidance (hence a lot of freedom) in the Bible about where a couple is supposed to be standing when they exchange vows."
So if St. Paul says that sex with someone with whom you are not married results in "the two becoming one flesh," (see I Cor. 6:16) the same text Jesus used to describe marriage in Matt. 19:5, why aren't they then married? And give me Bible verses. You claim a couple in a back seat of a car would be married "if a minister is present." But you did not give me a Bible verse for that? Why is it you require Bible verses of Catholics, but you don't use any for your own theology?
PW
I never said the Bible says we should follow Jewish marriage customs. I said we can research them to get an idea of what constitutes a marriage. A minister is not necessary, but I am pretty sure Catholics say one is because you have created the "sacrament" of matrimony which would require one of your priests to celebrate, correct? I am pretty sure Adam & Eve didn't have a ceremony, so I am also confident that a christian man & woman could decide to live together in a small "ceremony" administered in their front parlor with a few friends over to witness. There is a requirement by the state to have a piece of paper but I don't see that requirement by God. I was responding to your scenarios to show that I basically agree that two are one flesh. This is why fornication is a sin. This is why God ordains marriage. So I am not dodging anything. I just said a minister is not required in Scripture. What part of that don't you understand?

TS

I believe in the Trinity and I could show you the Trinity in Scripture, but you use weak verses like the above, while you cannot refute the verses I used to demonstrate Mary to be assumed into heaven.
As far as needing a verse of Scripture that says Mary "went up to heaven," I don't need any. She's depicted as being in heaven bodily. She had to get there somehow and she did not have the power to ascend on her own. Let's see... hmmmm...
PW
You don't need to show me, I just showed you! Weak verses? That doesn't even merit a response. Tell ya what. Why don't you give me a half dozen verses (like I gave you that mention, God, Spirit, Jesus etc) with the words "Mary" in it. Then you will win Tim. I will forever be silenced. But you will not because you cannot. Oh, and she got there by dying Tim. Her spirit is in heaven and her body is wherever God allowed it to be buried without a trace so catholics wouldn't go build a cathedral over the spot and worship her. I mean I saw where a woman cooked a tortilla that had what she thought was the face of Jesus on it and she turned it into a roadside shrine. Imagine what you guys would do if you knew where Mary was buried? I am not trying to poke fun, I am seriously wondering what you would do. Here's what you have done with the supposed bones of Peter.

"Bones believed to belong to Saint Peter, one of the founding fathers of the Catholic Church, went on display for the first time Sunday, as Pope Francis held a ceremony to end the "Year of Faith".
Tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered to catch a glimpse of the remains, eight fragments of bone between two and three centimetres (around one inch) long displayed on an ivory bed within a bronze chest on a pedestal in St. Peter's Square.

The bones have long been the object of controversy (I BET!!!) between historians and archaeologists: they were first discovered in a 1940 dig next to an ancient monument honouring Saint Peter, but ended up gathering dust in a storage box.
It was not until archaeologist Margherita Guarducci discovered graffiti near the excavated tomb reading "Petros eni", which could mean "Peter is here", that she requested tests on the fragments.
She found they belonged to a robust man who died aged between 60 and 70 and had been buried in a purple, gold-threaded cloth -- enough to convince Paul VI to say in 1968 that Peter's bones had been identified "in a convincing manner."
With no DNA evidence to support the find, the debate over whether they really do belong to one of Jesus Christ's apostles is likely to continue, but the Vatican has said it "has no intention of opening up any argument."
"Faith, the people of God, have always believed these to be the relics of the apostle Peter, and we continue to venerate them in this way," Rino Fisichella, head of the pontifical council for evangelisation, said in the Vatican's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
(Why venerate something you can't prove? Peter's bones, Mary's assumption, pieces of the true cross..... Sort of quacks like idolatry to me. )
TS
You argue that "maybe St. Joseph" was assumed. Let's see you evidence. I don't see any. But I could be wrong. Present your biblical case like I have done for Mary.

PW
Thats satire. I have as much evidence that Joe was assumed as you do that Mary was. Oh darn, I am wrong. You have a woman not named Mary in heaven which half of Christendom thinks is Israel. Oh well, God "could have" assumed Joseph so I say He did.

TS
You claim "the woman" can't be Mary because she is in pain and in heaven. Neither could it be Israel or the Church "in heaven" and "in pain." You make no sense. There is obviously a polyvalent sense to the text. The "pains" can't be from the head passing through the birth canal for many reasons. There is not a single Protestant or Catholic scholar who believes those pains are caused by a human head. Mary's (and the Church's) pains are first and foremost spiritual and much more intense than physical pains could ever be.
PW
I never said it was Israel "in heaven". You are not reading closely. It is a picture of what happened. You want the woman to be really Mary, but her pains to not be really real. And for her children to not be real.You are seeking for literal and allegorical in the same passage. Surely that is not what polyvalent means?
"Catholic commentators have written an immense amount of literature arguing that the heavenly woman symbolizes mary, the mother of Jesus. Though the mother of Jesus may be secondarily in mind the primary focus here is not on an individual but on the community of faith within which the messianic line ultimately yielded a kingly offspring..This is evident... from what happens in the remainder of the chapter; the woman is persecuted, flees into the desert and has other children who are described as faithful Christians. Furthermore her time in the wilderness is the time of Israel's tribulation prophesied by Daniel. All this goes beyond anything that could have been said about Mary and her children." (Quoted form people smarter than me.)
So really, once again, you need to come up with something more definitive if you are going to keep claiming this is Mary.
TS
I would have to reject the Bible to deny the Assumption of Mary. I'm not going to do that for you or for anyone.
You claim you don't appeal to tradition, but you constantly ask me to affirm things that are not in the Bible. You ask me to believe you when you do not have a shred of evidence to back up what you say. I should qualify my terms. You are not just presenting "tradition," you are presenting "traditions of men." I will never deny Scripture to uphold your traditions.
You claim Jesus "criticized them for elevating the tradition of Moses above the Scriptures?" Once again, you are wrong. He did not condemn them for following "the tradition of Moses." Mark 7:7-8 says he condemned them for following "the traditions of men" which is precisely what you are presenting to me and expecting me to follow. There is no way, my friend. With all due respect, I will follow the word of God, not you.
PW
We covered that ground plenty already. You would actually have to accept the Bible.
Like what? What traditions of men am I upholding?
You are correct, he didn't say traditions of Moses. I was going from memory. He said traditions of men. Moses was a man. Jews upheld the traditions of the fathers. Put them above the Bible, even when The Word was standing in front of them. Healing the sick on the sabbath was more offensive than rescuing a man from affliction. They therefore valued their traditions more than scripture.
Nice try though. I have not espoused one thing which is not in the Bible as a doctrine to be followed. But your entire faith is filled with such things. I respect the stand the catholic church has taken on life, on caring for the poor, on calling people to faith. I regret that the faith they are calling them too is so filled with tradition and error so as to make the plain truth so hard to discover, as these conversations display.
Come on Tim, why does it take so much parsing of verses, looking for hidden meanings, digging up church fathers when the Bible is right there? You can read it for yourself. Sure, it helps to know original languages, and to study deeply, but the message of God is simple regarding how to approach Him and gain salvation. I have given these verses in this blog and the answer always comes back "we believe in the catholic church". When this earth is through there will be no catholicism, presbyterianism, mormonism etc. in heaven. There will be God asking what you thought of His Son. The answer will determine ones ultimate destination.

Keep praying to Mary all you wish. I would just want to know that's what the Bible told me to do before I cast my eternal destiny on it.
That's all for now. Blog posts should not be too long you know.

Perry

August 27, 2014 at 9:31 am PST
#36  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dear Usolor

I am still wrangling because he hasn't given me a verse that plainly states where Mary is. (see above post).
I agreed that the English word Trinity is not in the Bible Usolor, because it's NOT IN THE BIBLE. Can you read? I didn't say trinity has to be in the Bible to make it true because there are so many verses that refer to it. Did you read them?
However, my friend, to claim Mary was assumed into heaven and to proceed to worship her, would require AT LEAST ONE VERSE saying so. But there are no such verses.
Using your circular logic, there is no word "missal" or "cathedral" or "nun" or "mass" in the Bible so where does that put you??

"Remember the word "Bible" is not in the Sacred Scriptures. What do you say about that?" I say what in the world are you talking about? The word computer is not in the Bible so maybe you should get off it.

"It is the brainchild of your forefathers - Luther and his cohorts. But coming to Catholicism, the reverse is the case. If you do not know, Catholicism is the only system of worship instituted by Christ. The scripture calls it together with the people who practise it "the body of Christ". Col. 1:18 etc. Christ cannot be separated from his body. Falling in love with Catholicism is falling in love with Christ and his Word. Therefore Tanner is right. Or do you deny that Catholic Church is intituted by Christ Himself? You cannot do that without lying."

Like I said, if the catholic church had not been so corrupt we wouldn't even have Protestants now would we?
I did not know catholicism is the only system instituted by Christ. That's fascinating. Where did Christ do this exactly. You cannot show where the "catholic church" was instituted by Christ without lying. Give me a break. What is known as the catholic church began when Constantine corrupted the church with political power.
I got news for you. Christ did not come to earth to establish an
-ism. He built HIS church and he did not name it Roman Catholic.

So what do you worship? Christ or Catholicism?

August 27, 2014 at 9:47 am PST
#37  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Perry

In response to your #34

I'm really glad you called Mary is blessed because that's exactly what bible says in Lk 1. 48-49, "For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."

Are you by any chance James White's brother? You really sound like him. As you might know he is the founder of Alpha-Omega ministry and did a debate once about the thing you just said above: "To call her blessed is no different than me saying "blessed Seokwan, how are you today?" But that doesn't mean you have been given a title and can redeem us from our sins." If that was just a simple greeting as you said, why would the Bible say in Lk 1.29 - "But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeeting this might be." If you said that to me, I would have responded like, "Wow! that's really sweet. I appreciate it bro. Are you Catholic by any chance?" But that wasn't Mary's reaction. You know why? Here's Tim Staples' video on youtube regarding the point you're trying to make(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxiWeYOqPxM). You're gonna love it. I did.

August 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm PST
#38  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Seokwon

Just out of interest what is the origin of your name? And how is it pronounced?

And no, I am not James' brother. Believe it or not I just found out about AlphaOmega from my pastor. I will have to look that up. I would imagine (not having seen the video) that a simple peasant girl would indeed be troubled if an angel suddenly popped up and said anything at all. I know I would be.
I know some of the things I say can seem blunt (poor Usulor) but I am not here to win points. I really believe that the catholic church has deceived many people.
Its interesting that someone who was doing some work in my home just this week told me she was raised catholic. I don't know when she left catholicism but she told me she knew nothing about the Bible and was never encouraged to read it.
This is not the first time I have heard that. I think a lot of catholics know the ceremony and some of what the church teaches but honestly I don't think they understand what simple faith is supposed to be. I don't mean to be insulting. All this arguing about stuff (like Tim and I are doing) is fine. At the end of the day, what does the Bible say? From what I have read the earliest church fathers were "sola Scriptura" and only over time has all the tradition come in. But why is the Bible alone not good enough for catholics? But imagine it's just Seokwon or Perry on a deserted island reading a Bible that floated ashore. Would we go and build a church and pick one of us to be pope? Would we see that we should make a graven image to Mary and say prayers to her? Which reminds me. Why are there graven images in catholic churches in clear violation of the second Commandment? I am sure Tim will have a perfectly good reason why this perfectly understandable commandment is violated in every catholic church. But does it work on the deserted island?

I will attempt to watch the video. I have found many that I need to watch. You might like to visit thebereancall.org and research what former catholic T.A. McMahon has to say about catholicism.

Have a nice weekend.
Perry

August 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm PST
#39  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Perry

I'm Korean, so my Korean name is procounced "Suk-Won, Chung." Thanks for the website you recommend. I'll definitely look it up. And you said, "From what I have read the earliest church fathers were "sola Scriptura" and only over time has all the tradition come in. But why is the Bible alone not good enough for catholics?" During this summer I had a chance to look over a lot of conversion stories of several renowned Protestant Bible scholars at EWTN channel. Here's the videos that I think will shine some light on your understanding of bible. All of them used to think the way you do, I found. You're gonna enjoy it. I did. Thanks. Btw I'm gonna buy Tim Staples book on Mary, so please join us. You have a nice weekend too~

Conversion Stories from Journey Home

1. The Journey Home David Currie Former Baptist Bible Only
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9DgHJzGNHU

2. Former Protestant Minister Dr Scott Hahn converted to the Roman Catholic Church Authority
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AzroXz8XBw

3. Protestant Theology - Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. with David Anders
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5NT32Y-Mrk

4. Former Presbyterian - Marcus Grodi with Dr. David Anders
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5NT32Y-Mrk

5. Dr. Scott Hahn: Former Presbyterian Minister - The Journey Home Program
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP5rGSwZJtc

6. Marcus Grodi with David Anders - 12-06-2010
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whhQZldd1Gc

August 27, 2014 at 8:43 pm PST
#40  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,

In response to your #35:

This will be my final response to you, Perry. Not that it hasn't been fun, because it has. But I do have to move on. I appreciate the back-and-forth.

Now to my responses:

Once again, you are persistent in your errors. I never tried to use John 3:13 to "build a case for Mary's assumption" as I told you twice before. I simply debunked the idea that John 3:13 DISPROVES the assumption. That's part of what you have to do in apologetics. You have to show the other side's arguments against your points do not actually disprove your points. A little lesson in argumentation. Free of charge!

You then jump to my point about Heb. 9:27 that says 'all die.' You point out this is true "except of course the few who are mentioned in Scripture who have not died." I was not using that to prove Mary "never died." There are some Church Fathers who believed she did not die, but that was not my point. The general understanding of the Church is that she did die and then she was raised by God and assumed into heaven. My point here was to show that there are exceptions in Scripture to some general theological norms like the ones found in Heb. 9:27 (I could give you more examples). I Cor. 15:22-23 lays out such a general norm, but there are exceptions as I mentioned in my post. That was the point. Mary is clearly an exception as she is depicted in Rev. 11:19-12:1 as being in heaven bodily.
And btw, this is also not "building a case from a negative." It is showing how I Cor. 15:22-23 have exceptions. Rev. 11:19-12:1 are positive examples (among others I could show you) that prove the case positively.
You then claim Rev. 12 "does not even hint at [Mary] having been assumed." Really? The woman who gives birth to Jesus being bodily in heaven is not even a "hint?" Even Dr. Alan Johnson, the Evangelical scripture scholar in the Expositor's Bible commentary, and William Barclay, in his commentary, acknowledge that the text lends itself to being understood as Mary. "Not even a hint?"

At least this time you attempt to give some evidence to back up your claim. You claim that "the woman" could not be Mary because she is not "named" Mary. And you add, "Revelation does name the dragon, but it doesn't name the woman."

I can't believe you can be happy with that answer. Revelation doesn't name "the man-child" either, but nobody can deny its meaning is the Lord. The reference (Rev. 12:5) refers back to Psalm 2:8-9, so we know it refers to the Lord, just as "the woman" refers back to Gen. 3:15, Jeremiah 31:22, John 2:5, 19:26-27, and Gal. 4:4. The literal sense is clear. It's Mary.

I agree with you that "Israel" can be an allusion here, more properly it is the "Israel of God" down through the centuries. It does not refer to Israel that rejected Jesus because this "woman" continues to beget all "those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus Christ" (verse 17). But again, the literal sense is Mary. Mary is a archetype of the Church in that she is the one who is the bride of God "without spot or wrinkle," like the Church (Eph. 5:27). She is the virginal bride who gives birth to many children, while remaining a virgin (Rev. 12:17; 21:1-2, etc.).

Your quotation from Raymond Brown does not help your case. His argument is not that Revelation 12 does not represent Mary. It does, according to Brown. His argument is against saying it is "primarily" with Mary. He argues, as does the "Jerome Biblical Commentary," that Mary is a secondary meaning. I disagree with them, but they are entirely Catholic and biblical in their understanding. Catholics are free to quibble over whether Mary is the primary or secondary meaning.

I also disagree that this understanding did not arise until the sixth century. In my book, I present a quote from St. Cyril of Alexandria, who preached at the Council of Ephesus in 431 a homily on the Blessed Virgin that includes descriptions of the Church in which he was standing there in Ephesus that had an enormous Mosaic or image of Mary as a glorified Queen. That means the church was already built before the Council began in AD 431.

In fact, the overt references back to Genesis 3 in Revelation 12 comparing Jesus (the man) to Adam and Mary (the woman) to Eve are believed to be the main reason why we have references to Mary as "the New Eve" from the earliest Christian documents we have (like the Letter of Matheiteis to Diognetus in AD 120, Justin Martyr's First Apology in AD 150, Irenaeus's Against Heresies in AD 180, etc.). There is simply no doubt that the earliest Christians understood "the woman" of the Apocalypse to refer to Mary (as well as the people of God through the ages).

You then say, "As you know the Bible says Christ is our only mediator."

Actually, I Tim. 2:5 says, "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." And we Catholics believe that. Heb. 7:24-25 tells us he "ever liveth to make intercession for us at the right hand of the Father" as well. "Intercessor" and "mediator" are synonyms in the Scripture. But this does not mean Christians cannot intercede/mediate grace IN CHRIST. I Tim. 2:1-2 makes clear we are all called to do so. So, of course, Mary and the saints are Christians.
Remember, Matt. 23:9 says, "Call you man Father... for you have one Father..." and yet St. Paul calls himself "father" in relation to the Corinthians in I Cor. 4:15, St. Stephen calls men "fathers" in Acts 7:1-2, as does St. John in I John 2:13 (see also Eph. 3:14-15; Luke 16:24, Romans 4:1-18, James 2:21, etc.). Jesus is called our "one teacher" in Matt. 23:8, and yet James 3:1, Eph. 4:11, etc. refer to members of the body of Christ as "teachers." I Peter 2:20 says Christ is our one "shepherd" and "bishop," and yet we have many "shepherds" and "bishops" in the body of Christ (see Eph. 4:11, I Tim. 3:1, Acts 20:28, etc.). Christ is called our one "leader" in Matt. 23:10, yet we have many "leaders" in Heb. 13:17). God will not "give his glory" to any others, and yet he shares his glory with us in Christ (Is. 42:8, John 17:22). The key is to understand the difference between the usurpation of that which God alone possesses in fullness, and the proper participation in God through grace.
You also said, "we are never told to pray to a departed saint." You are wrong. We are commanded to pray for one another in Scripture and no where does the New Testament say that excludes the saints in heaven. In fact, Rev. 5:8, Heb. 12:22-24, and I Cor. 12 includes them because they are members of the body of Christ.

When you say "I Tim. 4 doesn't mention Mary," you missed the point. In I Tim. 4:16, St. Paul tells Timothy to "take heed to yourself and to the doctrine, for in so doing you will both save yourself and those that hear thee." I did not claim it references Mary. It shows how all Christians are called to "save" souls in cooperation with God's grace. Mary is a Christian.

Then you say, "I Cor 9:22 Paul discusses how he attempts to attract all men to salvation, but you think he means he personally saved them I guess." No, I simply speak the word of God. St. Paul says, "I have become all things to all men so that by all means I might save some." It says what it says. We believe it as Catholics. This doesn't mean Jesus does not save. John 3:16 says he does.

We Catholics simply believe the Bible. Let me use an analogy here for you. I Tim. 2:5 says "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." So we Catholics believe he is a man. ***** 2:13 tells us Jesus is "the great God and our Savior." So we also believe he is God. Both are true.

When Scripture says Jesus saves, we believe it. When Scripture says Christians save souls, we believe it. How do they do this? Just as St. Paul describes it in I Cor. 3:5-9. "What is Apollos and what is Paul? Instruments through which you have believed... co-laborers with Christ."

You say, "When someone is "saved" from drowning they have been rescued. When Paul "saves some" he has rescued them, not personally extended salvation to them. Good grief why don't you twist it to mean whatever you wish? I Cor 7:16 is understood to mean that a spouse might lead the other to saving faith by their example, or do you believe I mean personally extend eternal salvation to my unbelieving wife? How warped can you get? Rom 11:14 Same thing. Paul is doing what Billy Graham did. Bringing the message of salvation to many in order to "save them," to make Christ attractive to them so that they wish to receive Him. I guess you think I could ask Billy Graham to save me then?
Really, Tim, I know I am not that smart, but do you really think these verses teach something other than what they obviously do?"

It is truly amazing to me how you can read these verses that cannot be any plainer and then flat deny them for your tradition. Your tradition says man cannot cooperate with God and save souls, so there is nothing the Bible can say to get you to believe the truth. You've already accepted your tradition. Just re-read what you said above, and then read the Scriptures I gave you. But understand that when Apollos plants seeds, and Paul waters, that is essential to the process whereby God then "brings the increase." Any farmer knows this is true. This is why we say Christians are called to "save souls" just as James 5:19-20 says it. I challenge you to re-read those verses and then re-read your response that denies each one of them.

You then say you would first talk to a JW by saying, "Tell me why I should believe a faith whose founder was a defrocked Baptist minister, whose specialty was repeatedly predicting the end of the world inaccurately..."

I would say to you, "Why should I follow a de-frocked Catholic priest and a bunch of others who rejected the Church Jesus established, and now follow one of tens of thousands of 'denomiantions' that have split off from them? None of them had the qualifications to start a Church. Jesus did that 2,000 years ago. He founded on One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

And BTW, I am waiting for you to refute the Catholic understanding of Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1 as being Mary. You haven't even come close yet.

I give seven biblical reasons for Mary's sinlessness (and one historical reason, making eight in all), but I am not going to re-write my book here for someone who is not even interested in answering the points I made in my post or comments. That would be a waste of time. I am answering the points you actually make in your comment here.

Then you say, "A minister is not necessary" for a wedding. Really? You then say "Adam and Eve never had a ceremony" so one is not necessary. You then say you are "confident that a Christian man and woman could decide to live together in a small 'ceremony' administered in their front parlor with a few friends over to witness" and that would be a "marriage." Where are your Scripture verses for that? Are you serious? And you want the Bible to explicitly say, "Mary was assumed into heaven." And do you want the date to be laid out as well.

If you can't see the comedy in this, there is nothing I can do for you, my friend.

Then it gets better. You say, "I never said the Bible says we should follow Jewish marriage customs. I said we can research them to get an idea of what constitutes a marriage."

Huh?

Just so you'll know. Yes, an official minister representing God and the Church are necessary for there to be a valid marriage. And no, this is not spelled out in Scripture in the way you seem to think it must be, even though you have never given me a single Bible verse that tells me that all doctrines must be spelled out in Scripture verbatim because Scripture never says that. It says we must follow both the oral and written traditions (II Thess. 2:15, 3:6, etc.). These things are all rooted in Scripture, but why should I bother to lay them out for you because if it doesn't match your tradition you don't care anyway. I will leave it at that.

Forgive me, but I have to move down here a little bit farther where you then say, "There is a requirement by the state to have a piece of paper but I don't see that requirement by God. I was responding to your scenarios to show that I basically agree that two are one flesh. This is why fornication is a sin. This is why God ordains marriage. So I am not dodging anything. I just said a minister is not required in Scripture. What part of that don't you understand?"

Huh?

So if a "ceremony" is not required, then why is it "fornication" and not a marriage, especially in light of I Cor. 6:15-16? What constitutes "marriage" and what constitutes "fornication" in Scripture? When is a couple married?

You then admit Mary is in heaven! That's a good start! Yes, she is. But according to Rev. 11:19, and Rev. 12:1, here body is there with her. Period. You tell me I need to have the word "Mary" there or you won't believe it, even though you believe Jesus is revealed to Revelation 12:5, but his name is not mentioned. You believe in marriage though you don't know what constitutes it. You believe in the canon of Scripture even though it is not in the Bible. You believe revelation ceases with the death of the last apostle (or apostolic person), even though the Bible does not say that. You believe in the Trinity even though the word is not there. Can you say "double-standard" here?

You say "God allowed [Mary's body] to be buried without a trace so catholics wouldn't go build a cathedral over the spot and worship her." Really? And where is that in the Bible?

If you are really interested in the relics of the Apostle Peter, I would suggest you read the book "The Bones of Peter" by John Evangelist Walsh.

You then say, referring to Revelation 12: "I never said [the woman] was Israel "in heaven". You are not reading closely. It is a picture of what happened"

Huh?

The woman is not "in heaven" even though Revelation 12 says "And a great sign appeared IN HEAVEN, a woman clothed with the sun..."

You then say, "You want the woman to be really Mary, but her pains to not be really real."

I never said that. Her pains are "really real." They are the pains of a woman who suffers for her children, both Jesus and all of us as Revelation 12:4-5, and 17 say.

You then attack me for saying that "you are seeking for the literal and allegorical in the same passage." But then you say the devil, the Archangel Michael and Jesus are real in the midst of allegory. Have mercy!

You need to learn what "polyvalent means."

August 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm PST
#41  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,

Before you respond to my last post, I want to say that I really do appreciate your passion. I only pray that you would be half as critical of your own responses as you are of the Catholic Church's positions. Your arguments are so filled with holes at times that it really does become comical. But that is what happens when you don't have the teaching authority of the Church Jesus established. All you can do is throw out your own opinions (which are, by definition "traditions of a man"), or the opinions of guys, to quote you "who are smarter than you" (which are traditions of men," unless they have apostolic authority to back them up).

I am finished with comments on this post, but feel free to come back any time to other posts and comment. Also, I do hope you will actually read my book. I have 368 pages there. You might be surprised by what you find.

August 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm PST
#42  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Tim
As a Marine you will agree that you have vacated the field, therefore I have won!! LOL. Thanks for the compliment though.
Since you wont be responding I will make this my last post.

My opinions are clearly delineated from my beliefs. I do not follow the traditions of men because I do not hold any doctrine not backed by the Bible. So let's not kid ourselves, it is Rome that not only follows but relies on mans traditions as your many non Scriptural doctrines plainly show.

Since you won't be responding I wont take the time to refute all your points, but I will correct what you seem to not understand. You wish to say I demand scripture from you to prove the Assumption, for instance, but then turn around and make up what matrimony is without using verses for myself. The problem, Tim, is you are claiming huge doctrines with zero Biblical evidence (the flimsy woman in Rev 12 who represents Israel) and I am not claiming there is a doctrine of matrimony. I am saying there are no verses in the Bible that tell us a minister must be present, so apparently one is not required. In the tradition I was raised in, the "ministers" are "lay clergy" who have never been to seminary and never been "ordained". So apparently these Bible loving friends of mine dont need a "minister" to get married.

Regarding Luther, what makes you think I follow him? Or Calvin? When God says "when two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them" I would conclude that's about what it takes to start a church.And please, dont act like the catholic church is a huge undivided church. You have too many factions of your own plus all the cafeteria catholics and priests who don't accept your popes pronouncements. Funny how those "ten thousand" denominations agree on more than they differ on, including the fact the catholicism is an apostate church.

You continually create doctrines on flimsy or nonexistent evidence, and nonsense "reasoning". For instance you say I dont give a verse in the Bible that says all doctrines must come from the BIble. How about " all Scripture is given for doctrine etc..."? Does that work for you? No, it doesn't because you must make up stuff to support the things you don't see plainly revealed in Scripture. I really love the logic you defeat me with when you say we are told to pray for one another and nowhere are those in heaven excluded. You don't see the comedy in that one I bet. It's more tragic than comedic. Again, you build on the negative. "We haven't been told not to pray to the dead, so we do. And especially to the dead woman Mary cause she"might" be allegorically represented by an ark in heaven so naturally we should make a graven image to her, burn some candles, and pray to her. You know before I start praying to Mary and the other dead, I am going to need at least a hint that I should.

Regarding you asking "where in the BIble is my claim that catholics would build a chuurch" over Mary's bones. It isnt in the BIble. It's all over the world. I have seen your cathedrals in every spot where "something" happened in Israel. What about the fraudulent Shroud of Turin, or the Holy Tortilla I mentioned? All the "crying" Madonnas, or the woman claiming to have seen Mary in Alabama? There is your faith. Real faith in Christ doesn't require fondling beads, lighting candles, praying in front of graven images.

You know it is obvious you are in love with the "catholic" church. I presume from listening to your "testimony" that you had a young and weak faith if you could be drawn away to a "church" that teaches things you admit were such stumbling blocks to you. And saddest of all your "testimony" doesn't even involve accepting Christ but instead being converted to the catholic church.

Maybe I am wrong, and am certainly not a professional apologist, but I dont see anything but an attempt to build a case for Roman Catholicism.

Thanks for the debate. Maybe we will spar again sometime.

Perry

August 31, 2014 at 3:42 pm PST
#43  Jimmy Roane - Allen, Texas

Tim, laying all the verbiage aside, the Ark analogy is the best argument.

September 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm PST
#44  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Fairly recent science has proven that women carry the DNA of their babies inside their own body the rest of their life. Immune cells of pre-born babes are passed through the placenta to the mother, and again....this DNA persists in the mothers bloodstream the rest of her life.

That means Our Blessed Mother had Our Lord's complete DNA coursing through her veins...pretty substantial argument for Mary's assumption (no decay for Jesus, even His DNA) and her being sinless (I don't believe God the Father would allow His Son's DNA to be inside a sinful body).

"Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant." www.barnhaddt.biz

October 23, 2014 at 8:17 am PST
#45  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

*
www.barnhardt.biz

October 23, 2014 at 8:18 am PST

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