The Virgin Mary (Catholic VS Protestant View)
Debate Rounds (3)
Yes, this topic is sensitive and one of the most difficult to explain because Mary has such a mysterious and incomprehensible character in all of the Gospels as well as the Salvation History.
Bad grammar and sloppy sentences do not matter so feel free to write anything that relates to this topic. Thank you once again for accepting my debate.
First, I want to defend the position of Mary as the MOTHER OF GOD. Mary, a lowly Jewish woman, was chosen to have the highest honor to carry the Person of our Lord and be His mother. She is definitely blessed among women and definitely filled with grace for being the Mother of God.
In Isaiah 7:14, it is prophesied that Mary, the identified virgin, is to give birth to the Messiah because in the Gospel of Luke, who else was chosen to carry the Lord in one's womb but Mary alone? Who did the Angel Gabriel visited to announce to a virgin that she will give birth to the Messiah but Mary alone? So Mary was already prophesied to be the Mother.
We know that the definition of a mother. She is someone who has an affectionate and close relationship with a child that may or may not be hers biologically. Mary definitely fits the definition of a mother. It may not be written in the Gospel but in the Jewish custom like in Proverbs 31:26-27, mothers have such a powerful task. In return, the child must revere his father and mother, Leviticus 19:3.
Luke 1:43 says "And why is this granted me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" The blameless spirit-filled Elizabeth exclaimed when the Mother of God visited her. Elizabeth knew that God existed long before Mary but she said that Mary is the Mother of God. As opposed to Fundamentalists, they say that Mary cannot be the Mother since God existed in the beginning.
One might use Matthew 12:48 to refute Mary's role as the Mother of God but Jesus claimed that whoever DOES the will of my Father is my mother and brothers (spiritually). Mary did the will of God in Luke 1:38 so she is also a spiritual and physical Mother of God. How is she physical, you might ask? Well, Mary is indeed as the Mother of Jesus, like in John 2:1 and she also fit the definition of a mother.. We believe that Jesus is the Lord, the Risen God like in Luke 1:38. If Jesus is Lord and the God of Israel, then Mary is the Mother of God. How? Because Jesus is fully Man and fully God. To deny Jesus as Man means Jesus never existed in the New Testament and it is blasphemy. The man that the Apostles and Jews were talking to is an illusion. To deny that Jesus is God is another blasphemy. It means that Jesus is just a mere Jew. Consider this analogy:
JESUS = FRUIT SMOOTHIE
MARY = BLENDER
HOLY SPIRIT = FRUITS & CREAM
Mary alone cannot make Jesus, much like a blender cannot make a smoothie by itself. The fruits and cream has to find a perfect blender to make a perfect smoothie. Once the fruit smoothie is made, it is not fruits and cream alone, it is also a liquid that is made by the blender. Together, the fruits and cream and the liquid make the fruit smoothie. It is impossible to separate them because if fruits and cream are removed, then fruit smoothie is no longer called fruit. If liquid is removed, then what is the point of calling it a smoothie since smoothie is liquid?
Therefore Jesus is fully Man and fully God. Those natures cannot be separated. If it follows then Mary is the Mother of God.
Let me, Lord willing, start off with one of my personal thoughts as to why Roman Catholics should not call Mary the Mother of God. The simple answer to this is that the Early Christians, besides a few heretical groups, never considered her as such. It wasn't until the time of Constantine when people incorporated it into Christianity in order to convert many pagans who held high esteemes for a Mother godess and a god child. If these traditions started in paganism than why should we disgrace both The Lord Jesus and his Mother by doing this?
My second reason why I don't agree with the Catholic stance regarding Mary is that it only confuses non Christians. Many Muslims, Atheists, and pagans know that Christians believe in one Almighty God in 3 distinct persons that we call the Trinity. They hear the title Mother of God and they put 2 and 2 together that Mary is Mother of Father, Son, and Spirit!!! Even in the Quran Muhammed said he thought Mary was a Christian godess considering how much they bowed and prayed to her. This led even more precious Muslims from Christianity.
My third reason is that we have no idea if "Full of Grace" means Sinless. Those words themselves are not in the majority of manuscripts and they instead say "Highly Favored." But lets assume for a second that it should mean Full of Grace. Well Stephen is said to have been Full of Grace when he was about to be stoned and saw Jesus Christ at the right hand of Almighty God. Did Stephen experience the same sinless conception?
Now for the big question of was Mary a sinner. The Bible says All have sinned and most certainly Mary is in that all. She also offered 2 doves for a sin offering after Jesus was born and said "My Soul rejoiceth in God my Savior." Mary knew she needed her Blessed Son Jesus Christ to save her!
Was Mary forever a Virgin? Well Scritpure says Joseph didn't have sex with her UNTIL Jesus was born. It's right there to read in Mathew 1:25. Did she have Children? Yes the Bible also says Jesus had brothers and sisters. Many Catholics say the Greek word could mean cousins, but this is highly unlikely considering cousins has it's own special word. And we also have the story where Mary and Joseph lost Jesus at the Temple. I believe they were traveling for 2 whole days before they realized! So did Mary sin by not caring for Jesus, or were there other Children, Jesus was 2 at this time I believe, who she was caring for. Let me tell you kids get lost in those big families.
Thanks for listening to me and I'll turn it over to you.
The Early Church Fathers had always regarded Mary as the Mother of God and had always venerated her. Here are some examples:
GREGORY the WONDERWORKER "For Luke, in the inspired Gospel narratives, delivers a testimony not to Joseph only, but also to Mary, the Mother of God, and gives this account with reference to the very family and house of David" (Four Homilies 1 [A.D. 262]) GREGORY the WONDERWORKER
"It is our duty to present to God, like sacrifices, all the festivals and hymnal celebrations; and first of all, [the feast of] the Annunciation to the holy Mother of God, to wit, the salutation made to her by the angel, "Hail, full of grace!'". (ibid., 2.
PETER of ALEXADRIA: "They came to the church of the most blessed Mother of God, and ever-virgin Mary, which, as we began to say, he had constructed in the western quarter, in a suburb, for a cemetery of the martyrs" (The Genuine Acts of Peter of Alexandria [A.D. 305]).
"We acknowledge the resurrection of the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstling; he bore a body not in appearance but in truth derived from Mary the Mother of God" (Letter to All Non-Egyptian Bishops 12 [A.D. 324]).
Constantine could not have made up this term because he never started Catholicism but converted to Catholicism in his deathbed. The term Mother of God is not a pagan origin because such person like Gregory the Wonderworker already described Mary as the Mother of God in the year 262 while Constantine was born after that year.
We agree that Islam is a false religion for rejecting Jesus so I do not take their Quran into heart because if I do then one day, I might soon be brainwashed that Jesus is not God.
The term Mother of God comes from the Greek word, Theotokos, which means God-bearer. The word Trinity is not in the Bible so why do people believe that term? Mary is the Mother of my Lord (Luke 1:43) as what Elizabeth said. It would have been confusing but who is the main key in the word 'Lord'? It is Jesus Christ. Mary is the Mother of the Person of Jesus who is God so if follows, she should be called the Mother of God as what Elizabeth said and how the Early Church Fathers describe her.
The New Testament is originally written in Greek. The term 'full of grace' in Luke 1:28 translates in Greek as KECHARITOMENE which means "having been graced" which means the Blessed Mother had been fully graced before and continued to receive graces. The word KECHARITOMENE cannot be found elsewhere but Luke 1:28. Mary also wondered what sort of greeting the Angel Gabriel exclaimed to her (Luke 1:29). Stephen from Acts 6:8 is full of grace but it translates to PLERES CHARITOS (temporary filling of grace in some point of life) which does not have the same translation as KECHARITOMENE. Besides, Stephen received the graces prior to his martyrdom.
Romans 3:23 does not refute Immaculate Conception. It only refers to personal sins, not original sin. The word 'all' translates to PANTES which derives from PAS which means we cannot force to mean exactly 100% all. Why is that? Because in some verses like Luke 2:10, not all people were happy with the Birth of Jesus (Herod was not). If all is literal, then Jesus should be included. It only translates as "a number".
Luke 2:24 which talks about the Presentation also does not refute Mary's Immaculate Conception. In Luke 2:21, Jesus was to be circumcised after eight days. If Jesus is sinless, then it is a question of why he needed circumcision. Circumcision is freeing of sin (Isaiah 51:2). He also wanted to be baptized (Matthew 3:13-17). It is then an answer that they are Jews who follow the Mosaic law.
Not only sinners needed a savior but everybody does. Consider this analogy: If you are walking near a mud pit that you have not noticed and you almost fall into it but somebody grasp your hand and pulled you before you go in, isn't that saving? So Mary was saved in a special way by God. She has to be sinless to carry Jesus.
Mary was a type of the Ark of the Covenant which was highly revered. It is because the Ark contained the Word of God, Manna and Staff of Aaron which symbolize Jesus as the Word, the Bread of Life and the High Priest. The Ark was designed by God to be pure because God would dwell there much like how Jesus (God) dwelt in Mary.
"Why is granted to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" - Elizabeth
"How can the Ark of the Lord should come to me?" - David
David danced for joy in front of the Ark while John the Baptist leaped when he recognized Mary's voice.
The Ark stayed in the house of Obed-edom for three months while Mary stayed in Elizabeth's house for three months.
The Ark was returned to Jerusalem and placed in the temple where God's presence and glory were revealed.
Mary presented Jesus in the Temple eight days after the Nativity.
The word 'until' does not mean Mary lost her virginity after the birth of Jesus. It puts an emphasis that Joseph was never the 'real' father of Jesus. It means that Jesus was born out of virgin birth through the Virgin Mary. 1 Corinthians 15:25 says that Jesus "must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet." It does not suggest that Jesus would stop reigning after His enemies are under His feet. The 'brothers' and 'sisters' were never referred as the sons and daughters of Mary. It could mean that the 'brothers' and 'sisters' might be Jesus' half-siblings from Joseph's previous marriage.
Jesus was 12 when He was missing and found in the Temple. The Holy Family could have had traveled to the festival with relatives, friends and acquaintances. Since they thought that Jesus would stay in the group , they did not need to check on Him every time because they went to the festival every year. Then they must have realized Jesus was indeed missing so they asked their relatives and friends if they had seen Jesus. They searched for him around for three days and finally founded Him in the Temple. Mary said that they "searched for Him in great anxiety".
The story of Boy Jesus in the Temple is vague because it does not say much about the situation and does not disprove Mary's immaculate conception and being free from sins.
I know this is a very long post but I hope you will response to it. Looking forward for your answer.
I'm going to have to also point out that the Conversion of Constantine, as far as I know, was not a deathbed conversion. He was in a battle where he supposedly saw a vison of the Cross where he was able to win the battle. After that he spent quite a bit of time as emperor building a new "Christian" Church. Strange thing is that the Christians of the time saw Constantine as a greater threat than the Roman persecutions.
Now I'd like to, Lord Willing, bring up my arguments on the Perpetual Virginity.
Why does the Catholic Church defend this doctrine so much? Well actually this doctrine goes hand in hand with the Immacualte Conception. The Catholic Church used to believe that Sex was actually a sin, but a necessary one to commit. That may be primarily why the defend the Blessed Mothers' Virginity. But then we started to realize that Sex isn't a sin at all in the boundaries of a lawful marriage. Therefore in my opinion her Virginity doesn't affect her Sinlessness( If it's True).
Catholic teaching states that Virginity is the intact conservation of the hymen in which it would have naturally been lost at Jesus birth. To say otherwise would be a forced interpretation of the text. Now let's look at the word till in Mathew 1:25. The Greek Heos hou doesn't guarantee that it means afterward, but on the other hand it always seems to mean after in the majority of places in the rest of the New Testament. We also need to remember that Mathews Book was written between 40-70 AD in which he could of, if he wanted to, taken out te word till and made it clear that she was ever Virgin, but he didn't which leaves quite a bit of room for doubt. It also says that Jesus was Mary's First Born Son. Firstborn comes from protos and tikito which means to beget. Also, a chapter before it says John was Elizabeth's son while Jesus was firstborn, not meaning most important or preeminent like in other verses, but begotten.
I'll turn it back over to you
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SeekinTruth 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I must be honest, this debate was extremely confusing and not very deciding at all. Mostly, that is because neither of you knew quite exactly what you were setting out to prove. It seems Pro was arguing that Mary was in fact the Mother of Jesus, whereas it seems Con agrees. Con was severely lacking in sources, and Pro didn't add footnotes dictating which links supported which points. Con doesn't really seem to know much about Catholicism. I was honestly not convinced much either way, but in the end I give it to Pro.
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