Mary, Mary, quite contrary
January 3, 2024, 12:00 AM


Mary, Mary, quite contrary

While growing up I belonged to a religion which held Mary, the mother of Jesus, in high regard.  In fact, they had prayers to her and many other beliefs about her.  To this day, I still remember the “Hail Mary” prayer.  However, does the Bible support what they say about Mary? 

First, here is what I have found to be the 5 main teachings of Mary:

1. Mary is the Mother of God

The very first scripture of the bible declares “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. Nowhere is it mentioned in the Bible that God was created.  Rather, God has been from “everlasting to everlasting” Psalm 90:2.

 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8

In the “Hail Mary” prayer, it is stated “Holy Mary, mother of God”, yet, this is scripturally incorrect as God has no beginning nor ending.

2. Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus.

Matthew 1:23 (Isaiah 7:14)

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 1:27

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

We find in Matthew, quoting Isaiah 7:14, along with Luke who states Mary was a virgin prior to her marriage to Joseph.  However, did she stay a virgin after the birth of Jesus?

Matthew 12:46-49

While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

But he answered and unto him that told him, Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?

And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

Matthew 13:55-56

Is 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?

Galatians 1:19

But other of the apostles saw I none save James the Lord’s brother.

Jude 1:1

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ and called:

The scriptures reveal Mary and Joseph had children after the birth of Jesus Christ.  In Matthew 13, it reveals five names of His brothers and that he had sisters.  Not only this, but other verses confirm that James and Jude were the brothers of Jesus.  Obviously, if he had siblings after His birth, then Mary was not a virgin after the birth of Jesus.

3. Mary was conceived without original sin.

Unfortunately, there is no scriptural support for this belief.  We do find mentioned in Acts 1:14, that Mary was in the upper room with the 120.  This is important as those who were in the upper room were waiting to receive God’s Spirit.  This goes back to Jesus talking to Nicodemus in John 3, where it is stated, a person must be “born again” to see/enter the Kingdom of God.  This born again experienced consists of repentance, water baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).  If Mary had never sinned, there would be no need for repentance, water baptism nor the infilling of God’s Spirit.  Finding her listed in the upper room shows she was filled with God’s Spirit and was born again just like the others.

4. Mary was taken body and soul into heaven and now referred to as the Queen of Heaven.

There is no scriptural support for this belief.  Nothing is recorded of her death, burial nor of her body and soul going to heaven. 

Regarding the term for her as “Queen of Heaven” this was given by Pope Pius XII in 1954 and states Mary is called Queen of Heaven, because her son is the king of Israel and the heavenly king of the universe.  The Bible does talk about the term Queen of Heaven, however it is not a good title. 

In Jeremiah 44, we find the prophet speaking to the Jews of their idolatry.  Within this chapter he rebukes the Jews for giving offerings to the queen of heaven.  This queen of heaven in many cultures was a goddess Ishtar or Astarte and worshipped  by ancient pagans.  This title has a pagan connotation associated with it, yet many today still use the title in regards to Mary and bring offerings to her, much like the Jews (and the pagen worshippers) did in this chapter and were rebuked for doing so.

5. Mary plays a role in our redemption.

I Peter 1:18-19

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Revelation 5:9

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

What we find in the Bible about redemption is we were redeemed by the blood of Jesus.  Scripture does not show any evidence of Mary playing a role in our redemption to God.

What do we find about Mary?

As we want to ensure we are Biblical correct, we should look at the scripture for what it reveals about Mary.

Mary was a virgin prior to the birth of Jesus and her marriage to Joseph.  (Matthew 1:18; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:27; Luke 1:34) However, she did not remain a virgin and actually had a large family (Matthew 12:46-49; Matthew 13:55-56; Galatians 1:19; Jude 1:1)

We do see the faith that Mary had when she received the news that she would be the mother of the Saviour (Luke 1:26-38).  The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is “highly favoured” and “blessed” among the women.  Meaning, God has grace towards her and she should be the most happy of all women as she is going to give birth to the Savior of the world.  When the angel tells her she will become pregnant, she asks how that would happen as she is a virgin.  The angel responds that God’s Spirit will overshadow her and impregnate her.  Upon hearing this, Mary showed her faith and obedience to God in saying “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

Now, does the Bible say anything about giving veneration to Mary?  Actually, it does. 

Luke 11:27-28

And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

What we just saw was a woman in a crowd stand up and give praise to Mary, yet Jesus stated rather the blessed are those that hear the word of God and are obedient to it.  

In looking at these popular beliefs about Mary, we found they are not in line with the Word of God.  In following Jesus’ advice to the woman in this last scripture, let us always endeavor to hear the Word and be obedient to what is written.


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