What About Catholicism’s Ideas About Mary?
“Why do some religions place such great attention upon Mary, the mother of Jesus? Is this justified?”
Mary was a Hebrew maiden who was chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Her miraculous conception of the Savior was prophesied in the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:14; cf. Matthew 1:22-23).
Mary certainly was worthy of honor as a godly Jewish woman (see Matthew 1:16ff; Luke 1:27ff; John 19:25ff), but the cult-like superstition that has evolved regarding her across the centuries, promoted principally by the Roman Catholic Church, is entirely foreign to the Scriptures. Several false doctrines related to Mary are a part of Catholic dogma.
- Catholicism alleges that Mary remained a virgin perpetually. She did not (Matthew 1:25; 12:46; 13:55-56; John 2:12). The notion that “virginity” is somehow a holier state than a godly marriage reflects a misguided perception that is contrary to the explicit testimony of the New Testament (1 Timothy 4:1ff; Hebrews 13:4).
- Catholics maintain that Mary was conceived “immaculately,” i.e., free from “original sin,” and that she remained sinless forever. The dogma is not true. First, no one is born with “original sin” (Ezekiel 18:20). Second, Mary confessed her need of a Savior (Luke 1:47), thus acknowledging her sinfulness.
- Catholicism alleges that when Mary died, her body experienced no corruption; rather, three days following her demise, she was taken bodily into heaven, there to be crowned “Queen of Heaven.” Though Catholic writers concede that this teaching “cannot be proved from the Bible,” it became official dogma (that Catholics must believe) on November 1, 1950 — far too late to be apostolic in origin.
- Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary is a “Mediatrix,” between
Christians and Christ, and that she is the “dispenser of graces” by the power of the Holy Spirit — based upon the merits of her crucified Son. No such position is sanctioned in the New Testament. Christ is the “one mediator” between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
- The Roman Church also advocates the notion that Mary is a “co-redeemer” with Christ. Such an assertion is blasphemous. Jesus is the exclusive way to the Father (John 14:6; cf. Acts 4:11-12).
It is a tragedy of no small magnitude that the clergy of the Catholic religion has so corrupted the original teaching of the New Testament. Alas, such apostasy was foretold vividly in scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:1ff; 1 Timothy 4:1ff; 2 Timothy 4:1ff).
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.