PAPER ON THE REAL MARY
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
By Thomas L. Faulkner
Mr. Faulkner was good enough to send this paper along and allow us to introduce
his work to our readers. We thank him for this, and I am sure you will appreciate
his work which is well done indeed.
and her Parents
Early History about Mary and her parents
so much reverence of Mary by the Roman Catholic Church, we need to examine the
life of Mary and who her parents were. Deciding what is being presented is true
and factual, or superstition based on tradition and fantasy. Looking at all possible
sources that can be examine and comparing it to what the Bible says.
The source of who Mary's parents were, which is used by the Catholic Church, comes
from an apocryphal gospel which is said to have been composed by James the less,
who was the son of Alphaeus. A gospel which is not accepted by any church as being
authoritative or canonical and is not listed with in any Bible. This gospel is
dated from the mid 2nd century and is considered as being one of the oldest apocryphal
books written. It is also known by its modern title of the Protoevangelium, also
as the gospel of the Infancy. The content of this gospel tells us of Mary's parent,
events during her early childhood, early devotion to her, and her betrothal to
The gospel of James is most likely to be a Docetist origin, which was an early
Christian heretical sect that believed that Jesus Christ only had a spiritual
body and could not suffer physical pain. Having a belief that things appear to
happen and not in reality, for Docetism comes from a Greek word "dokien" meaning
to seem or appear.
James the less, an apostle of Jesus and son of Alphaeus ( Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15
), had two brothers and a sister. His brothers were Lebbaeus whose surname was
Thaddaeus ( Matthew 10:3 ), Joses ( Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40 ), and his sister
was Salome ( Mark 15:40 ). His mothers name was Mary, and was at the crucifixion
of Jesus ( Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40 ).
According to the Protoevangelium Anne was the daughter of Matthan the priest,
who lived in Bethlehem. Her husband was a Galilean, named Joachim, and they lived
in Nazareth. Anne and her husband Joachim, being childless in an advance age prayed
for divine aid. In answer an angel appeared to Anne, saying, "The Lord has looked
upon thy tears; thou shalt conceived and give birth, and the fruit of thy womb
shall be blessed by all the world." Her conception was fulfilled, as with Abraham
and Sarah, in which the Lord made it possible for them to have children by natural
was rejected from the Temple and he returned to his shepherds which during this
time an angel appeared to Joachim. He came to Jerusalem and met Anne at the golden
gate, in which sometime later Anne bore a daughter, whom she called Miriam ( Mary
). It is believed that she was born in Jerusalem. Mary was later presented at
the Temple where she was educated in the law.
When Mary was six months old she was able to walk, but her first tottering footsteps
were forbidden by Anna ( Anne ), her mother, who made a vow that the child should
not again put her feet to the earth until she has been led into the Temple. When
the first year of Mary's life was ended Joachim, her father, gave a grand banquet,
to which he invited not only his friends but many distinguished priests and scribes
also, who, after feasting, gave their blessings to the child and consecrated her
for such holy purposes as would make her name famous for all time.
She was then consigned to a sanctuary where she remained until her forth year,
when she was taken to the Temple and there placed with the virgins. Here her deportment
and demeanor were angelic, devoting her hours to praying and spinning until her
twelfth year, when her piety was so great that angels came each day to feed her,
and to assist in her instructions, by which aid she became more learned in the
law and the prophecies than any rabbi who ministered in the Temple. Not only did
she thus show a marvelous accomplishment, but her beauty, graces and melodious
voice were no less remarkable, so that birds came flocking about her, while beasts
of every kind accepted her mistress ship and gamboled in an ecstasy of rejoicement
at her presence.
When she was of age suitors came to the Temple to present their wands to the high
priest, who also prayed before the alter on which the wands are deposited. Joseph
being one of the suitors held the wand that flowered, giving a sign that he was
to be the one who would be betrothed to Mary.
In the gospels of the Bible it speaks of Joseph being betrothed to Mary and tells
us of the birth of
Jesus. There are
no feast days or holy days for Mary's father, but her mother has been recognized
and holy days have been given in her name.
Anne became a saint in 1584 and the Fathers of the Church frequently extolled
her virtues, sanctity and privileges. The feast of St. Anne was extended through
out the whole church in 1584, by Pope Gregory XIII, and fixed for July 26 as a
double. Leo XIII in 1879 raised it to the rank of double 2nd class. St. Anne is
the Patroness of Christian mothers, and in Hebrew Anne is Hannah which means grace.
are classified in a ranking order of importance which are listed in descending
order, 1st double, 2nd double, major double, and double. The feast day of Anne
would then be the second highest of all feast days. The Greek church commemorates
St. Anna on September 4 as her festival, December 9 as the day of her conception,
and July 25 as the day of her death. The Roman Catholic Church and Church of England
only celebrate a feast day on July 26.
In sacred art St. Anna is usually represented as teaching the Virgin Mary to read
the Old Testament scriptures.
The Douay Version of the Bible, which a Catholic version, does not include the
gospel of James, and says that Heli is the father of Mary. Mary's genealogy is
mentioned in Luke 3:23 - 38, but mentions Joseph as being the son of Heli. Which
Joseph was in reality the son in law of Heli, and is being recognized as such
in this passage. In the Douay Version it tries to show who Heli was and also tries
to explain Joseph relation to Heli as follows.
St. Joseph, who by nature was the son of Jacob ( St. Matt. 1:16 ), in the account
of the law, was son of Heli. For Heli and Jacob were brothers, by the same mother;
and Heli, who was the elder, dying without issue, Jacob, as the law directed,
married his widow; in consequence of such marriage, his son Joseph was reputed
in the law the son of Heli.
Examining the genealogy of their statement this would make Joseph and Mary first
cousins, and you would have to presume that Jacobs wife would have passed away
as well for him to be able to marry his brothers wife. None of this, of course,
is mentioned with in scripture at all and is sheer speculation. The source of
information about Mary's parents from the gospel of James contradicts the gospel
of Luke as far as who her parents were. The gospel of James is obviously unreliable
and should not be accepted for the fact of it's false information and the fantasies
that it contains.
This would mean that Joachim and Anne cannot be Mary's parents and that the Mary
that the Catholic Church, and others who believe this, are believing and worshipping
in is the wrong Mary and that Anne is a false saint.
The only information that we have on Mary comes from the Bible which is totally
reliable. That the Bible tells us that Mary's father was Heli and not Joachim
( Luke 3:23 ), and makes no mention of who her mother was, and tells us that she
had a sister. Her sister's name was Mary and was the wife of Cleophas ( John 19:25
). We also know that when Mary was with child, that she went and visited her cousin
Elisabeth ( Luke 1:36 ) who, as well, was with child at that time.
belief of Mary's Immaculate Conception became entirely explicit by St. Ephraem
( d ?373 ), and St. Ambrose in 377 described her as the model of all virtues.
Also St. Augustine in 415 said that out of honor to Christ, he wished no question
to be raised about Mary when treating of sin.
During the Council of Trent ( 1545 - 1563 ) it had defined Mary's complete freedom
from personal sin.
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception affirms that the Blessed Virgin Mary
was preserved, in the instant of her conception, that she is free from all stain
of original sin. That she was also perfectly sinless through out her life as well.
This was proclaimed and to be believed in, by Pope Pious IX in 1854, as it is
also stated in the Catechism in 411, 491, and 493. This belief is based on two
scripture as follows.
I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;
it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." ( Genesis 3:15 )
"And the angel
came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with
thee: blessed art thou among women." ( Luke 1:28 )
In Genesis 3:15 the Roman Catholic Church interprets the verse as saying that
the woman is Mary and the enmity is that she is preserved from sin as well as
her seed, Jesus. In fact the Catholic belief in Mary's complete freedom from personal
sin rests chiefly on Genesis 3:15.
Enmity in the Hebrew is eybah and it means hostility or hatred. Not a preservation
of anyone from sin. Also that the woman spoken of here is Eve and not Mary. God
said that He would put enmity ( hatred ) between thee, who is the serpent and
the women, Eve, and between both of their seeds. Nothing here suggest that anyone
is preserved to be sinless.
One should realize that Mary was conceived by natural mean and was capable of
sinning, for this comes from the father side ( Romans 5:12, 19; 1 Corinthians
15:22 ). Jesus is the only one who was not conceived by natural means, but by
the Holy Spirit ( Matthew 1:20, 21; Luke 1:35 ). He is the only one mentioned
in the Bible as being sinless ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 ), because of His nature which
comes from God.
The second verse, Luke 1:28, speaks of Mary as being highly favoured and blessed
among woman. Which she should be, for she was chosen to be the vessel in which
the Saviour shall come into the world. It does not state here, nor any where in
the Bible, that she in any way was preserved from sin or was a sinless person
through out her life.
Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my
Saviour." ( Luke 1:46, 47 )
Mary, as a humble servant, magnifies the Lord and not herself, and recognizes
that she is in need of a saviour, being a sinner. She does not in any way make
herself co-equal with the Lord, and takes no mention as having to do with anyone's
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." ( Romans 3:23 )
Here we are told that everyone who has lived has sinned. It does not exclude anyone
by giving an exception. The Bible does however speaks of one who has no sin as
he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him." ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 )
we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." ( Hebrews 4:15
is Jesus Christ who was made perfect, so He could die for us on the cross. That
by the shedding of His blood we are made clean from sin. No one else in the Bible
is mentioned to have any power to remove our sin, or was made perfect on our behalf.
Mary has no
part in our salvation, nor was she without sin, for this would be against scripture.
Such a belief is taking away that which Christ has done for us.
The Roman Catholic Church, and others, obviously exalts Mary to the utmost as
much as God Himself. She is known as the Mother of God ( Theo - tokos ), Mother
of the Church, Seat ( Throne ) of Wisdom, and Queen of Heaven. She has no less
than seven holy days and feasts after her name. The title of Mother of God can
only be traced back to the third century and was first sanctioned at the Council
of Ephesus 431 AD.
In fact we find with in scripture no support of any exaltation of Mary, but just
the opposite. Not that she was not honored but that there was no special treatment
of her in scripture. She was indeed blessed, and should be recognized as someone
special but not to the point that where one would bow to her, pray to her or pay
the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus
was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And
when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet
come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."
( John 2:1 - 5 )
We see in the this passage of scripture that Jesus treated Mary in no special
way, but in a way that she was no one special by the words that He uses. He calls
her "woman", like she was just another person there. He says the same to her when
He was on the cross in John 19:26. Notice also that she says to the servants that
they are to do what HE says and not what SHE says. In other words follow Him and
do His will. She knew her place and what was proper in following His words.
"And it came
to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in
her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with
a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come
to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the
babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall
be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." ( Luke 1:41
- 45 )
these verses we see Elisabeth greeting Mary and recognizing that she is blessed
for being the mother of the Lord. But she did not bow before her or give any other
recognition of worship towards her. She only knew what was occurring and that
it was the Lord who should be worshipped and no other.
when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter,
and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew,
James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood
up in the midst of the disciples, and said, ( the number of names together were
about an hundred and twenty, )" ( Acts 1:13 - 15 )
Mary is distinguished
here from the other "women," but so as to exclude the idea of her having any pre-eminence
over the disciples. We are also told in the passage following this in Acts 1:16
- 22, where Peter stood and spoke to those there made no special recognition to
Mary, nor did he exalt her in any way. It is remarkable how, with prescient caution,
she never is put forward during Christ's ministry, or after His departure. We
find no where in scripture any exaltation of Mary, rather we find the opposite.
The Church has consistently taught of the perpetual virginity of Mary. That she
was a virgin before, through and after the conception of Christ ( ante partum,
on partu, et post partum, according to an ancient formula ).
Clement of Alexandria ( d ?220 ) defends the perpetual virginity, while admitting
that some had denied it. The most notable denial was by Tertullian ( d ?230 ).
Aeiparthenos, meaning ever - virgin, was first used in a much disputed text of
St. Peter of Alexandria ( d 311 ), and about 400 AD from the book Symbol of Epiphanius
also used the word aeiparthenos. The term can be found in the Catechism of the
Catholic Church in paragraph 499.
The perpetual virginity was officially taught by the Lateran Synod ( 649 ) under
St. Martin I and by the Council of Constantinople ( 681 ).
What does the Bible have to say about the idea of Mary always being a virgin,
and did Jesus have any brothers and sisters, and do we know their names? First
in Matthew 1:25 we read as follows.
Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and
took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn
son: and he called his name JESUS."
The word knew in passage is the Greek word "Ginosko" which means to have sexual
relations. Erasing any belief or idea that Mary was a virgin all her life. Also
the word firstborn in the Greek is "Prototokos", meaning firstborn before others
and head of the family. Showing that Jesus was not the only child in their family.
That He had brothers and sisters that were younger than Him, for He was the firstborn.
There is no mention of Joseph being married before and having children. This is
against what the Bible says about Jesus.
not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren,
James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with
us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" ( Matthew 13:55, 56 )
"Is not this the carpenter,
the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and
are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him." ( Mark 6:3 )
two passages we are told of the brother and sisters of Jesus, and His brothers
are named here. Knowing that Jesus was Mary's firstborn, from the previous passage
, it is quite obvious that His brothers and sisters were younger. We are told
of His family had come to see Him in Luke 8:19 -21, and in Matthew 12:46 - 50.
tells us of His mother and brethren being in the upper room after Jesus went into
heaven, and they were told by an angel to go into the world sharing the gospel.
In this passage the Greek word for brethren is in reference Mary's children. Who
were also specifically mentioned with the Apostle's and disciples totaling in
a number of one hundred and twenty.
Believing that Mary
was a perpetual virgin is not in any way be supported by the Bible. This is a
false belief and is solely an idea that was created to idolize Mary and try to
bring worship upon her.
Assumption of Mary
The Assumption of Mary is the belief that she was taken up into heaven and did
not have a physical death. That as she lied on her death bed Christ appeared and
because of her virtue that He did not want to see her have a physical death and
took her into His kingdom.
The tradition of her ascent was first recorded by St. Gregory of Tours ( 538 -
Assumption, is a festival observed on the 15th of August, both by the Roman and
Greek churches, in honor of the miraculous ascent of the Virgin Mary into heaven.
The date of the festival was fixed early in the eighth century.
Assumption of Mary became dogma on Nov. 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII, who declares
that "Mary, the immaculate perpetual Virgin Mother of God, after the completion
of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven." This
was the only act the Pope made in ex cathedra after having consultation with all
the bishops of the church.
The Second Vatican Council, Oct. 11, 1962 - 1965, confirmed this belief and also
that she shares in the glory of her son's resurrection. According to paragraph
974 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The fable of the Assumption of the Virgin has no foundation in tradition, and
there is No direct evidence of the assumption in the Bible.
Enoch and Elijah are the only one mentioned in the Bible as being taken into heaven
and not having a physical death. Now if Mary was assumed into heaven like Enoch
and Elijah, then there would be some mentioned of this with in scripture, and
yet there is none.
We see that there is no mention of Joseph, Mary's husband, Mary Magdalene, or
Joseph of Arimathaea dying in scripture. Are we just to suppose that they were
taken into heaven with out a physical death, as some do about Mary?
"And as it is appointed
unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" ( Hebrews 9:27 )
The Bible tells us here that everyone will see a physical death and that no one
shall escape it. Jesus who was born into this world saw death on the cross. The
only two that the Bible tells us that have not died are Enoch and Elijah. But
in Revelation 11:3 - 9 there will be two witness's for God who will appear and
die, and their bodies will lie in the street for three days for all the world
to see. It is obvious that the two witness's are Enoch and Elijah, who will see
death at this time, proving scripture to be true.
After the birth of Jesus we read in the Bible only four times that Mary, His mother,
is mentioned. At the marriage in Cana, in Capernaum, at the Crucifixion, and in
the Upper room. No where do we see any thing remotely special in the mentioning
of Mary. No exaltation, no assumption, no special birth of Mary, and no mention
that she was a sinless person.
What we do see is a person who was normal and had faults and sin in her life as
we have sin in our life. We see a person who was special in one way that she was
chosen to be the instrument in the birth of our Lord, and is blessed because of
Mary, and the parents of Mary, that the Catholic Church believes in is not the
Mary of the Bible, nor her parents. It is a false Mary who is being idolize and
worshipped. One who take away from Him who suffered for our sakes.
Everything that is shown here comes from two main sources, Catholic writings and
If we are to believe
in the Bible and is our main source, and is infallible, then we are to follow
God's Word and not what others would wish for us to believe in. Anything that
is added to the Bible will always take away from God's Word and distort it.
We need to pray
to God and with His guidance and His Word be not deceived by false teachings from
other religions. We also need to pray for them that are trapped in such religions
and for God to show them the truth of His Word and set them free from false doctrines.
We need to show love towards those who are in false religions and with God's help
open their eyes to the truth.
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." ( John 8:32 )
A Concise Cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Edited by Elias Benjamin Sanford,
A Commentary Critical and Explanatory of the Old and New Testament,
by Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown
Authorized King James Version of the Bible
Bible Cyclopedia, by A. R. Fausset, M.A., 1904
Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Catholic Encyclopedia, 1991
Cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1890
Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 2, pg. 4, Vol. 18, pg. 109, 345
From God to Us
- How we got our Bible, by Norman L. Geisler & William E. Nix, 1974
Manger to Throne", by Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage D.D. Pgs. 146, 147, 1893
Pocket Catholic Dictionary, 1985
Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D.
The Complete Word
Study New Testament, King James Version, Compiled and edited by Spiros Zodhiates
The Holy Bible, Douay Version, Catholic, 1914
The New American
Encyclopedia, One Volume, 1939
The New Grolier Webster International Dictionary
of the English Language, 1975
Thomas L. Faulkner ( 1998 )
If this article is copied, it may not be edited
other than for spelling errors.
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