Pope Francis Claims: ‘The Christian Who Does Not Feel Mary Is His Mother Is an Orphan’

Pope Francis Credit Agencia BrasilROME — Pope Francis focused on the person of Mary in statements issued both Tuesday and Wednesday, making assertions that some opine are unbiblical and heretical.

“The Christian who does not feel that the Virgin Mary is his or her mother is an orphan,” he Tweeted on Tuesday, a post that generated much criticism from around the world.

“Sorry fella, you lost me on this one,” one follower wrote.

But over 5,600 followers favorited the Tweet and over 3,600 shared it.

Today, the pope gave his weekly address in Rome, speaking about the Roman Catholic Church serving as a “mother” to the world, and exhorting the Church to follow Mary as an example of how to be a mother.

Tweet“In our catecheses, we have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church,” he stated. “She is a true mother who gives us life in Christ, and in the communion of the Holy Spirit, brings us into a common life with our brothers and sisters.”

“The model of motherhood for the Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Son of God,” Pope Francis continued. “Her motherhood continues through the Church, who brings forth sons and daughters through baptism, whom she nourishes through the word of God.”

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According to the Catholic News Agency, he also urged the crowds to seek the intercession of Mary, and pray that they can “learn from her that tenderness which allows us to be witnesses of maternity of the Church.”

Gendron
Gendron

Christian News Network asked Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries in Plano, Texas to share his thoughts Wednesday regarding the pope’s latest Tweet asserting that those who reject Mary as mother are orphans. He expressed disagreement, stating that as per Romans 8:15, those who receive the adoption of sons through the blood of Jesus can never be orphans.

“The pope continues to display his biblical ignorance,” he said. “Pope Francis does not know that Christians cannot be orphans because they have been adopted into God’s eternal family. No one can be an orphan who has received the Spirit of adoption as sons joyfully cry out ‘Abba! Father!'”

Gendron also took issue with the Tweet referring to Christians, stating that Christians and Catholics are two separate entities.

“The pope should stick to Tweeting about Catholics since he does not know how Scripture defines a Christian,” he said. “The Roman Catholic Church not only fabricates heresies concerning Mary, but does the same with her son Jesus by denying that He is the all-sufficient Savior.”

“His religion teaches that a Catholic needs to be justified repeatedly by sacraments and works because he/she loses the grace of justification each time a mortal sin is committed,” Gendron stated. “A Christian is justified once by faith because justification is a permanent declaration of righteousness by God. A Catholic is purified by the fires of Purgatory. A Christian is purified by the blood of Jesus.”

Photo: Agencia Brasil


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  • Cliff C. Saunders, Jr.

    I don’t need Mary. I ask Jesus for me. I did not read about Mary being nailed to the cross and dying for my sins.

  • Noble

    To Alan Kelly Jeffry, Anyone who does not submit to the ultimate truth oF God’s WORD IS NOT HUMBLE!
    True humility is THE ABILITY TO RECEIVE THE TRUTH OF GOD’s WORD.

  • thrushjz

    As a former Catholic raised in that faith, once I was born again (1986), accepted Christ and started reading the bible for myself it was extremely clear to me that what I had been taught about Mary was erroneous,she did not ascend into heaven, she cannot hear our prayers, and it’s clear from 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,”

    I’ve had numerous discussions/debates with my Catholic friends the last 25 years or so and what it comes down to is this, many Catholics do not believe the Bible is the actual Word of God as we Born again Christians do, to most of them even though they may read it a lot it’s not the inspired Word of God, it’s more of a history book, or book of moral stories sort of like Aesops fables.

    This is why we see the type of error concerning Jesus’ mother as being
    nearly as divine, and ascending into heaven as Jesus Christ Himself made manifest in Catholic teachings. But the scriptures of God’s Word are clear there’s only one narrow way and it’s not Mary, it’s her God Man son Jesus Christ.

  • Truth Be Told

    Not feeling Mary is my mother makes me an orphan? The idea is incredibly naive. I will never be an orphan Pope Francis. God is my Father.

  • Kelly J. Murphy

    One has to wonder what the learned authors of this piece and the equally learned commentators would think of the statement of Jesus of Nazareth as quoted in John 19:26-27. “Read the Bible!” you shout in my face, for I am a Roman Catholic and therefore surely a heretic or at best an apostate now following a false god. Well, I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read the Gospel of John in three languages, in multiple translations. The ‘disciple Jesus loved’ in 19:26 is a stand-in for any of us who would claim to follow the God Incarnate. Thus, Jesus on the cross is addressing any of us willing to pick up the cross and follow him. “Behold your mother,” Jesus tells the beloved disciple, indicating Mary, Mother of God. Jesus is saying Mary is the beloved disciple’s mother, meaning she is mother of anyone truly in communion with the Living God.

    • http://Christiannews.net Maryann

      I agree. Mary is someone who we pray will intercede to her Son for us. Wouldn’t any Son, listen to His Mother. We also do not pray TO the saints. We offer our prayers to God through the saints who are in heaven because they suffered and or died because they would not give up their Faith that Jesus was and is Our Savior. Mary was Ascended into heaven because she was sinless. God would not allow any person in sin to bring forth his Only Begotten through the Holy Spirit. Mary did not have to die because she was not born into Sin. There is nowhere in the bible that says Mary died. God brought her into Heaven because She Was Without Sin.

    • Julie Sabuda

      Kelly…If you read the passage you are referring to very very carefully you will realize that this passage isn’t interpreted that way even though many RC like to understand it that way. This passage can be used to falsely justify Mary as being more than a fallen human being who sinned just like the rest of us. Mary herself said that she needed a Savior. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that she was born sinless or that she didn’t sin. If Mary really took the position of RC view that she is sinless than there was no need for Jesus to come. Mary would have been the perfect sacrifice to satisfy God’s perfect justice. No where in the Bible do you see mother of Jesus being discuss in detail or having the position RCC has on her. I don’t think she was as important as the RCC wants her to be. She is talked about very little in the four Gospels but is rarely mentioned in any of the letters by the apostles. If she was such a critical element to our faith and salvation than Mary should have been mentioned a lot in all the books of the New Testament. This passage if I am correct is saying that if you’re truly in Christ and is born again, you are in a family (church) where the mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers should love and care for one another like a real family. Jesus is saying to his followers that we as “saints” should consider his mother and all mothers who are true saints in Christ should be one. Jesus wasn’t giving his mother a special position but saying we are one in the body of Christ if we are truly born of the Spirit of God. Mary indeed played a critical role but not any more important than what Moses, Abraham, Noah, King David, Joseph and Jacob played by finding favor in the eye of God. Mary wasn’t chosen because God thought she was sinless but because she was humble and had a heart that beat for God just like King David. All of these people were sin loving, self seeking, self righteous people that God changed.

  • Nadine

    But beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are plundering wolves. From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? …

    Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven. ~Matthew 7

    [Jesus Is Lord to the glory of God the Father in heaven.] Amen.

  • Steve Housley

    Pope looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon.

  • Webb

    The man (Jorge Bergoglio) who calls himself “pope” is a heretic, not a Christian. Mary is dead. She did not ascend into heaven, as the papists believe. She was not born without original sin, as the papists allege. Jorge needs to buy a Bible and read all of it. Then he needs to pray that God would grant him salvation based on faith alone in Christ alone.

  • http://www.lionofjuda.net Lion of Juda

    Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

    Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

    Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

  • http://Christiannews.net Maryann

    Roman Catholics read two verses from the Old Testament and one Holy Gospel Reading from the New Testament at every Mass. We are always encouraged to read the Bible and have discussions, because the language used in the Bible has been translated so many times we have to decipher the real meaning of its wording which was written thousands of years ago.

  • Geertje Boonstra

    Funny that…I have God as my Father and yet I should be an orphan without Mary? Mary was the earthly mother of the man Jesus – not the mother of God!!! Go read your bible Mr Francis. (And no, I don’t call anyone Father or Pope or even Reverend unless it is my earthly father or my heavenly father.)

  • Michelle Bowen

    Mary is not my mother, I am not Catholic, I grew up in a Baptist church but I am a CHRISTIAN! Which means I follow Christ not some man named POPE or any of his followers. I certainly don’t worship Mary who was a human just like the rest of us! She’s not a GODDESS or a HOLY person! God gave her a great honor but he never told us to worship her! I don’t agree with Catholic views and many of them are blasphamy! https://www.facebook.com/191900549668/photos/a.220794709668.166465.191900549668/10152836277214669/?type=1 only God is supposed to be in the holy seat not this person you call POPE. Whoever came up with all of these set ups with the priests and popes and Nuns…I don’t understand how you can believe it. It even tells you not to worship images or statues. They do taht too!

    • ruth

      Mary also cannot forgive sins. But they pray to her for forgiveness of sins. They say they don’t, but they say “hail Mary” according to how many times the priest says to do it. When we (as Christians) sin, we know all we have to do is go to our Father, and ask for forgiveness. And He will do it. The hat the man is wearing, is fashioned after the “fish god”-dagon.–a pagan god.—-look it up.

      • George Bell

        I have been studying Catholicism for quite some time and find your comment surprising since I haven’t run across this idea that Catholics pray to Mary for the forgiveness of sins. Please provide the Catholic prayer or teaching which shows this.

        • Michael Bowes

          Hey George,

          There is no teaching of that nature… Catholics do not worship Mary, nor do we believe that she can forgive sins. Only God working through the ministry of his Priests can do such a thing.

          Keep up the studies and come home. =)

          God Bless,

          Michael

        • jennylynn

          Following is a list of the titles, attributes, and qualities of the Virgin Mary according to the Roman Catholic Church. Note how many of the statements elevate Mary to a place that is equal to God in many functions, i.e., intercession, atonement, prayer to, etc.

          Adoration of Mary
          Prayer to Mary
          CCC par. 2675, “Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries . . . ”
          Hears every prayer (in multiple languages)
          Pope John Paul II said, “I pray with each one of you in front of the Grotto as it were to offer to the Immaculate Virgin the gift of the whole spiritual journey completed in this Marian month: every resolution, every concern, every need of the Church and of the world. May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer.” (message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31 May 2003)
          Catholics Relation to Mary
          Prayer to Mary
          CCC 2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.
          Praises to Mary
          CCC 2682 Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her.
          Characteristics of Mary
          Mary Born without sin
          “Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.” (Munifentissimus deus, vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html, #5).
          CCC 722 The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of Zion”: “Rejoice.” It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.
          Titles
          From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
          Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, Mediatrix: CCC 969, “Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”
          The New Eve, Mother of the Church: CCC 975,”We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ.”
          Mother of God, Seat of Wisdom: CCC 721, “Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time . . . Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”
          Mother of the members of Christ: CCC 963, ” . . . The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.”
          Queen over all things: CCC 966, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”
          Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins, Mother of the Church, Mother of divine grace, Mother most pure, Mother most chaste, Mother inviolate, Mother undefiled, Mother most amiable, Mother admirable, Mother of good counsel, Mother of mercy, Virgin most prudent, Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful, Virgin most faithful, Mirror of justice, Seat of wisdom, Mystical rose, Tower of David, Tower if ivory, Ark of the covenant, Gate of heaven, Morning star, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comfort of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Confessors, Queen of Virgins, Queen of all Saints, Queen conceived without original sin, Queen assumed into heaven, Queen of the most holy Rosary, Queen of families, Queen of peace. (vatican.va/special/rosary/documents/litanie-lauretane_en.html)
          From the Vatican Website
          Spouse of the Holy Spirit: “Let us turn our gaze to Mary, Christs first disciple, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Mother of the Church, who was with the Apostles at the first Pentecost, so that she will help us to learn from her fiat docility to the voice of the Spirit.” (Holy Father’s speech for the world congress of ecclesial movements and new communities).
          Queen of the Apostles: We entrust to the intercession of these two holy Apostles the Church’s course at the beginning of the new millennium. We invoke Mary Queen of the Apostles so that everywhere the Christian people may grow in fraternal communion and in missionary zeal. (Homily of John Paul II, Friday, 29 June 2001)
          Woman of the Eucharist: “Therefore, in the footsteps of Mary, “woman of the Eucharist” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, chapter VI), the Christian community lives this mystery! Strengthened by the “bread of eternal life”, it becomes a presence of light and life, a leaven of evangelization and solidarity.” (Address of John Paul II, Altar of the Confessio of the Vatican Basilica, Sunday, 17 October 2004)
          Works of Mary
          Mary’s intercession brings us the gifts of eternal salvation
          “This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until The eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix (helper), Adjutrix (benefactress), and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, Solemnly Promulgated by Holiness Pope Paul VI, Nov. 21, 1964 , #62).
          Mary made atonement for the sins of men
          “in the power of the grace of redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.” (Fundamentals of Catholic dogma, page 213 as cited in “the facts on Roman Catholicism” by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, harvest House publishers, Eugene Oregon, 1993, page 51)
          Mary is preparing a home for Christians
          “This mother . . . is waiting and preparing your home for you” (Handbook for Todays Catholic, p.31).
          John 14:2, “In My Fathers house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
          Mary is the mediator between Christ and people.
          “Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.” (Vatican Website: Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914)
          1 Tim. 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
          Mary delivers the Christian’s souls from death.
          Par. 966, ” . . . You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”
          Other
          Looking to Mary
          CCC 972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own “pilgrimage of faith,” and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, “in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity,” “in the communion of all the saints,” the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.
          The best way to conclude is to look to Jesus, not Mary!
          We should contemplate what the church is in Jesus.
          We should look to Jesus as our Savior.
          Mary the example of holiness
          CCC, 2030, “It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation . . . From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary . . . ”
          Mary as the prototype of hope and grace for mankind
          “The holiness which is our end in Christ (cf. 1 John 3:2-3) was seen, by unmerited grace, in Mary, who is the prototype of the hope of grace for humankind as a whole.” (www.vatian.va, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity. Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), #59).

          • Anthony

            I am surprised by such shoddy exegesis. Just because Peter says Jesus is the cornerstone
            in 1 Peter 2:4,You conclude that Peter is not the rock of the Church in Matthew 16:18. Your faulty exegesis assumes that attributions used in Scripture can be applied to only one
            person. This is not so. For example:

            in Ephesians 2:20, the apostles are called the foundation of the Church;

            in 1 Corinthians 3:11, Jesus is called the foundation of the Church.

            In 1 Corinthians 3:12, the faithful build upon the foundation;

            in Matthew 16:18, Jesus builds upon the foundation.

            In 1 Peter 2:5, the faithful are called the stones of God’s spiritual house;

            in Acts 4:11, Jesus is called the stone of God’ house.

            In 1 Corinthians 3:16, the faithful are the temple of God;

            in Apocalypse 21:22, Jesus is the temple of God.

            In Acts 20:28, the apostles are called the bishops of the flock;

            in 1 Peter 2:25, Jesus is called the Bishop of the flock.

            If Scripture applies the words “foundation,” “builders,” “stones,” “temple,” and “bishop” to both Jesus and His faithful, nothing prevents Scripture from applying the word “rock” to both Jesus and Peter. Moreover, we don’t need Matthew 16:18 to prove Peter is the rock because Jesus called Peter the rock in John 1:42! That is the fatal blow to your thesis about who is the rock.

          • jennylynn

            Peter is petros which is a piece of stone or rock, Jesus is Petra which is the Rock in which the church is built. If you read carefullly you will see that Jesus was referring to himself, ” You are Peter, (petros) and upon this rock (petra) (Jesus) I will build My Church ( Christ’s church) etc. Yes, we are stones built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, not on the foundation of the RCC, the pope, or mariology.

          • Anthony

            We don’t even need Matthew 16:18 to prove Peter is the rock because Jesus called Peter the rock in John 1:42! That is the fatal blow to your thesis about who is the rock. That Paul calls Simon, “Cephas” all throughout his Epistles also crushes your argument.

            And if Petros means stone, why isn’t Jesus referred to as petros when the bible says,

            “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone? Why is the word “lithos” used in this passage instead of petros, if petros means stone?

            Or why doesn’t Jesus cal Simon “lithos” in Matthew 16:18? Stone is “lithos”, look it up. Petros means rock in Koine greek.

            Furthermore, the entire testimony of the early Church Fathers disproves your argument as well.

          • jennylynn

            John 1:42
            He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said ” You are Simon the son of Jonah ; you shall be called Cephas (which is translated Peter. (#4074 Petros apparently a primary word; ( a piece of rock, stone, larger than #3037) Cephas as a name, Petrus, an apostle; peter, rock. Which is in the same context as Matthew 16. I think you are trying to make Peter the cornerstone. He was not, he was a stone or rock and a shephard who would shephard God’s sheep along with the rest of the disciples.

          • Anthony

            I already stated the in Koine greek, there was no difference between petros and petra.

            Furthermore: Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Cephas.

            Of Chaldee origin (compare keph); the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter — Cephas.

            see HEBREW keph

            keph: a rock

            Original Word: כֵּפִים
            Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
            Transliteration: keph
            Phonetic Spelling: (kafe)
            Short Definition: rocks

            Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

            STRONGS NT 2786: Κεφας

            Κεφας, κεφα (Buttmann, 20 (18)), ὁ (Chaldean כֵּיפָא, a rock), Cephas (equivalent to Πέτρος) EQUIVALENT TO PETROS

            Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: PETROS
            Peter, rock.
            Apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than lithos); as a name, Petrus, an apostle — Peter, rock. Compare Kephas.

          • jennylynn

            First, while it is true that the name Peter (petros) means rock, the term is used in Koine Greek of a stone small enough to be thrown by hand or used as a boundary marker, whereas petra is used of a mass of rock (e.g., a cliff or boulder). See the Septuagint Bible ? II Maccabees 4:41, 45. The claim is sometimes made that Jesus spoke Aramaic which made no distinction between the two terms. First of all, who can prove that Jesus spoke this statement originally in Aramaic? R. H. Gundry says: ?A common but probably erroneous opinion is that Jesus spoke almost exclusively in Aramaic. But archaeological and literary evidence points to trilingualism? (Survey of the New Testament, p. 21). Secondly, R. C. Foster has shown that Jesus apparently Hellenized the Aramaic form Kepha to Kephas (John 1:42). ?So that the same difference in the Greek words petros and petra is seen in the kephas and kepha? (Studies in the Life of Christ, p. 715). At any rate, the inspired Matthew wrote in Greek and he made a clear distinction!

            Second, petros is a noun of masculine gender, while petra is a noun of feminine gender. While obviously making a play upon these words, the text nonetheless clearly indicates that the Lord was making a distinction between Peter and the rock. While some have ridiculed this argument, Dr. Boice Blackwelder states: ?The different genders (petros, masculine; and petra, feminine) emphasize a distinction in the references? (Light from the Greek New Testament, p. 39). R. C. H. Lenski observes: ?If by ?this rock? Jesus had Peter himself in mind, he could easily have said, epi sou, ?on thee? will I build my church; or, ?on thee, Peter,? adding his name? (Commentary on Matthew, p. 625). Additionally, the pronouns employed reveal a distinction between Peter and the rock. Jesus said: ?Thou (second person) art Peter, and upon this (third person) rock?? Plainly, Christ was not indicating that the rock was Peter.

            Third, within this context Jesus uses a graphic illustration containing the following elements: a builder, a building, a foundation, keys, and a doorman. Christ is the builder and the building is the church. Peter is viewed as the doorman (not the foundation) with the keys, which symbolized the privilege which the apostle would have of preaching the gospel first to both Jews (Acts 2) and Gentiles (Acts 10). By what kind of exegetical manipulation can Peter be made to be both the doorman and the foundation at the same time?

            The most reasonable view of the passage is that the rock was an allusion to Peter?s confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. This is the very foundation upon which the early church was erected. And this is borne out in the subsequent record. Observe: (a) The apostle Paul started the church of the Lord in the city of Corinth (Acts 18:8; I Corinthians 4:15). (b) But his message had consisted solely of preaching Christ crucified (I Corinthians 2:2).(c) Thus, through the preaching of Christ Paul had established the Corinthian congregation. (d) In referring to the organization of this church, the apostle declares: ?I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon.? And he emphatically adds: ?For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ? (I Corinthians 3:10-11). Thus, the gospel preached by the early apostles, which had as its basis the rock-like truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, was the foundation on which the church of Christ was built (Cf. Expositor?s Greek Testament, III, p. 299).

          • Anthony

            First you deny vehemently that peter means A Rock, now you admit it means Rock but small enough to throw with your hand?

            The words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant “small stone” and “large rock” in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew’s Gospel was rendered in Greek. The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—an entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros andpetra simply meant “rock.” If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used. The missionary’s argument didn’t work and showed a faulty knowledge of Greek. (For an Evangelical Protestant Greek scholar’s admission of this, see D. A. Carson, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984], Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., 8:368).

            Beyond the grammatical evidence, the structure of the narrative does not allow for a downplaying of Peter’s role in the Church. Look at the way Matthew 16:15-19 is structured. After Peter gives a confession about the identity of Jesus, the Lord does the same in return for Peter. Jesus does not say, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are an insignificant pebble and on this rock I will build my Church. . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

            Jesus is giving Peter a three-fold blessing, including the gift of the keys to the kingdom, not undermining his authority. To say that Jesus is downplaying Peter flies in the face of the context.

            What’s more, in Paul’s epistles—four times in Galatians and four times in 1 Corinthians—we have the Aramaic form of Simon’s new name preserved for us. In our English Bibles it comes out as Cephas. That isn’t Greek. That’s a transliteration of the Aramaic word Kepha (rendered as Kephas in its Hellenistic form).

            “And what does Kepha mean? It means a rock, the same as petra. (It doesn’t mean a little stone or a pebble. What Jesus said to Simon in Matthew 16:18 was this: ‘You are Kepha, and on thiskepha I will build my Church.

            Greek and Aramaic have different grammatical structures. In Aramaic you can use kepha in both places in Matthew 16:18. In Greek you encounter a problem arising from the fact that nouns take differing gender endings.

            You have masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns. The Greek word petra is feminine. You can use it in the second half of Matthew 16:18 without any trouble. But you can’t use it as Simon’s new name, because you can’t give a man a feminine name.

          • Anthony

            Do you know anything about foreign languages with masculine, feminine and neuter nouns?

            It is not grammatically possible to call a man with a feminine noun., in any language. The noun ‘petra’ in Greek is a feminine noun originally. So you cannot call a man “petra” as his name, you have to change the noun to suit the gender of the person you are addressing directly. (it’s the same in Italian, French, etc.). That is why Simon is not addressed as ‘Petra’- because you can’t give a man a girly name.

            Otherwise, it would be like calling a man Patricia.

            And the bible also says that the church was built on the foundation of the apostles as well, with Jesus being the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:20 & Revelation 21:14)

            So there is no contradiction with Jesus naming Simon Rock and building the Church upon Him. All the apostles war foundations as well, but Simon was given a primacy among them. That is why Jesus named him Rock, and said He would build His Church upon him.

          • Anthony

            Protestant Greek scholars like D.A. Carson and Joseph Thayer admit there is no distinction in meaning between petros and petra in the Koine Greek of the New Testament. [Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996), 507; D.A. Carson, “Matthew,” in Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), vol. 8, 368.] Petra does mean ‘rock’, usually a ‘large rock.’ That is exactly what petros means. The Greek word for ‘pebble’ or ‘small stone’ is lithos, not petros, used numerous times in the Bible (Mt. 4:6, 7:9, 21:42, by my quick count, 32 times in the New Testament).

            David Hill, a Presbyterian minister at the University of Sheffield wrote,
            It is on Peter himself, the confessor of his Messiahship, that Jesus will build the Church. Attempts to interpret the ‘rock’ as something other than Peter in person (e.g. his faith, Jesus, etc.) are due to Protestant bias, and introduce to the statement a degree of which is highly unlikely (David Hill, The Gospel of Matthew, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1972), 261)

            In fact, as of the time of the writing in Greek, petros was never used to mean small stone. Centuries before, it had that meaning, but at the time of the writing of the gospels, no Greek literature, even outside the Bible, used it to mean small stone. You can not even hold this argument in reserve. etros is simply the masculine form of the feminine Greek noun petra. Like Spanish and French, Greek nouns have gender. When the female noun petra, large rock, was used as Simon’s name, it was rendered in the masculine form as petros. Otherwise, calling him Petra would have been like calling him Michelle instead of Michael.

            Another very relevant fact is that Jesus spoke to the apostles in Aramaic. The language that he used when he actually spoke to Peter, is “You are Kepha, and upon this Kepha I will build my Church.” We know this because it is mentioned in Jn 1:42, and the name Cephas, which is derived from this is confirmed elsewhere as well (Gal. 1:16-19). Intervarsity Press confirms this: Craig Keener, “In Aramaic, ‘Peter’ and ‘rock’ are the same word.”(The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, Intervarsity Press, 1993, 90). If Jesus wanted to use the word stone in Aramaic, it would have been ‘Evna’. It is unreasonable to suspect that Christians wouldn’t be able to understand what Jesus meant in Aramaic, until it was written in Greek some 20 to 30 years later, by which time this lithos small stone meaning in petros, no longer now even existed.

            In all four gospel accounts Peter is clearly the leading apostle, and he remains so through Acts 10. He was most often the Twelve’s spokesman during Jesus’s earthly ministry (Matt. 15:15; 19:27; John 6:68) and he was the chief preacher, leader, and worker of miracles in the early years of the church (Acts1:15-22; 2:14-40; 3:4-6, 12-25; 5:3-10,15,29). For more relevant passages visit:

            http://scripturecatholic.com/primacy_of_peter.html

            [18] Thou art Peter: As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ; so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz., that he to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, St. John 1. 42, should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the church; in which building he should be, next to Christ himself, the chief foundation stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

            [18] Upon this rock: The words of Christ to Peter, spoken in the vulgar language of the Jews which our Lord made use of, were the same as if he had said in English, Thou art a Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. So that, by the plain course of the words, Peter is here declared to be the rock, upon which the church was to be built: Christ himself being both the principal foundation and founder of the same. Where also note, that Christ, by building his house, that is, his church, upon a rock, has thereby secured it against all storms and floods, like the wise builder, St. Matt. 7. 24, 25.

            Jesus says he is specifically talking to who in these verses? He is speaking directly to Peter. According to rules of grammar, the phrase ‘this rock’ must relate to the closest noun. That happens to be Peter, the you in the immediate four nouns before. Gramatically, it is impossible for your interpretation to be the main interpretation of this verse.

            Yes, the apostles were uniquely appointed and endowed and inspired teachers. Christians devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching; however there was leadership even among the apostles, as Jesus himself shows (Mt. 16:18-19, Lk 22:32, Jn 21:15-17), and is born out by the first part of Acts (Acts 1-15). Before and after this Acts 2 passage, Peter exercises authority, for example declaring, for people to get remission of sins, they needed repentance and baptism, for them and their children (Acts 2:38-39). The context of continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, is Peter’s teaching them revealed truth. Other apostles have authority to preach as well, but it is significant that from the foundation of the Church, Peter is the preeminent one teaching, even among the rest of the apostles.

            Focus on v. 19, which no one doubts is spoken only to Peter. No other apostle in the New Testament is given the keys, which show authority. In the context of authority, as the only key holder, whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven. Jesus gives him authority. Jesus establishes an office. Next, look at important text that gives us more light, and is in fact what Jesus draws from: Isaiah 22:15-22. Isaiah says, 22:15-22:

            15 Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, ‘Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16 What have you to do here and whom have you here, that you have hewn here a tomb for yourself, you who hew a tomb on the height, and carve a habitation for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you,… 18 and whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there shall be your splendid chariots, you shame of your master’s house. 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be cast down from your station. 20 I will call my servant Eli’akim the son of Hilki’ah, 21 and I WILL CLOTHE HIM WITH YOUR ROBE, AND WILL BIND YOUR GIRDLE ON HIM, AND WILL COMMIT YOUR AUTHORITY TO HIS HAND; AND HE SHALL BE A FATHER TO THE INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM AND TO THE HOUSE OF JUDAH. 22 AND I WILL PLACE ON HIS SHOULDER THE KEY OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID; HE SHALL OPEN AND NONE SHALL SHUT; AND HE SHALL SHUT, AND NONE SHALL OPEN.

            Notice God gives authority to Eliakim, over the household. He mentions that he is given the key, and whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven (He shall shut, and none shall open), etc. He is called a FATHER. This text actually shows succession of an office, and the leader is a Father (This is written hundreds of years after the succession of David). There is a king, with a prime minister in the text of Isaiah. Just like Jesus is the king with the prime minister of Peter and his successor. The successor is a Father.

            What Eliakim shall shut, none shall open is directly related to Jesus’ promise to Peter that whatever he binds on earth shall be bound in heaven, in context of this authority. For example, Oscar Cullmann, a Lutheran biblical scholar makes the connection between Isaiah 22:22 and Mt. 16:19.

            The terms in the two texts are the same. There are many words and terms used in many parts of scripture that are the same. The Pharasees tried to trap Jesus. He said “Show me a coin. Whose inscription and likeness is on it?”. In another verse Jesus points out a widow putting a coin in the collection box at the temple. The word “coin” is used both times, but they are different coins and used to point out different things that Jesus is trying to get across.

            It is much more than just one mere word being used in different ways. The combination of keys, head of household authority of Shebna, opening and shutting, in Isa. 22 as compared to keys, authority, giving Peter a name of Rock, and binding and loosing in Mt. 16, is too close to just say, ‘well, ignore the similarities’.

            ‘In Matthew 16:19 it is presupposed that Christ is the master of the house, who has the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, wit which to open to those who come in. Just as in Isaiah 22:22 the Lord lays the keys of the house of David on the shoulders of his servant Eliakim, so Jesus commits to Peter the keys of his house, the Kingdom of Heaven, and thereby installs him as administrator of the house.’ Oscar Cullman, Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr, trans. Floyd V. Filson, (Philadelphia : Westminster, p. 203.)

          • Anthony

            John 21:15-17

            15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

            Notice the context of Jesus’ commission to Peter. First, Peter’s three-fold affirmation of Jesus, is explicitly to undo his three-fold denial of Christ earlier. This confirms that after Peter’s fall (as predicted in Luke 22), he is in the position of confirming, strengthening the brethren, as we saw earlier. Notice, that in the midst of the apostles, Peter is given the responsibility of strengthening, confirming the rest of the apostles. Yes, in Acts 20:28, elders are given authority to feed the flock. However, that is in the context of elders having authority over the flock, lay people under them, as in a Minister over the laity in any type of Church, Protestant or Catholic. However, John 21, shows Peter is given this task in reference to the apostles. His authority is thus, to feed, strengthen, and rule, even the apostles.

            One Greek word that shows Peter’s authority over the apostles is the word used in John 21:16. Robert Sungenis notes the word used in John 21:16 (poimaine) in many cases translated as only ‘tend’, has a much further importance, and shows that it means ruling.

            Sungenis writes “There is a change from ‘feed’ (Greek: boske to ‘shepherd’ (Greek: poimaine. Peter is told to ‘feed’ the lambs, but both shepherd (or tend) the sheep. Of the two, poimaine is the more technical and comprehensive of the two. It is used of ‘ruiling’ in other texts. (e.g. Matthew 2:6, Revelation 2:27, 12:5; 19:15), whereas boske (feed) refers only to feeding. In each one of these three word exchanges there is a movement from weaker to stronger. The weaker words, arnia, phileo, and boske are replaced by the stronger words, probatia, agape, and poimaine The progression from weaker to stronger helps to show, in a preliminary way, the parameters and requirements for the ministry that Peter will soon undertake. Under the divine assistance that he will eventually receive from the Holy Spirit, Peter will inaugurate his role over the clergy and laity that, in turn, will be followed by his successors….in, Scott Butler, inJesus, Peter, and the Keys, pp. 124-125.

            Sungenis notes that this word that Jesus used in reference to Peter in John 21:16 in relation to his sheep is exactly the same word that is used of Jesus ruling the flock. For example, in Rev. 2:26-27 it says:

            26 He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, 27 and he shall rule them poimaine with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father;

            In this section Rev. 2:27 refers to Psalm 2:9 which denotes the rule of God and the context shows it is an austerere ruling. Jesus is the Son who rules in Psalm 2:9 (as cited in Heb. 1:5 and 5:5). This same word is applied to Peter, here in John 21:16.

            It is also used in Mt. 2:6:

            6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule poimaine my people Israel.

            Here it speaks of Jesus ruling his people Israel, the word poimaine, rule, the exact word which is used of Peter ruling the flock in John 21:16.

            Besides him are all the apostles that Peter is told to not only feed but poimaine (rule). Also, according to Sungenis, in the Septaguint, the word poimaine , denotes ruling, governing. The word specifically used in John 21 shows that Peter has the authority to rule over the other apostles. To deny that, is to say that in these other places that Jesus did not have authority to rule his people Israel, per Mt. 2:6 where the same word (as also reflected in Rev. 2:27). In fact, each time the word translated ‘tend’ in John 21:16 is used in other instances (9 times in the New Testament) it is used as an exclusive meaning of ‘ruling’ (Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15) or a combination of both nourishing and ruling (Mt. 2:6, Lk 17:7; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2; Rev. 7:17). Yes, in other instances elders are told to shepherd the flock, but never over other apostles, while in John 21, this language is used of Peter’s ruling,shepherding the other apostles.

          • Anthony

            John 1:42 “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said ” You are Simon the son of Jonah ; you shall be called Cephas (which is translated Peter)

            4074. Petros ►
            Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

            Peter, rock.

            Apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than lithos); as a name, Petrus, an apostle — Peter, rock. Compare Kephas.

            see GREEK Kephas

            2786. Képhas ►
            Strong’s Exhaustive ConcordanceCephas.

            Of Chaldee origin (compare keph); the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter — Cephas.

            see HEBREW keph

            3710. keph ►
            Strong’s Concordance

            keph: a rockOriginal Word: כֵּפִים
            Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
            Transliteration: keph
            Definition
            a rock

          • Anthony

            Really? Let’s see what the bible reveals about Mary shall we?

            Full of Grace before the incarnation

            Luke 1:26-28:in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

            St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, “kekaritomene”, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary?

            Why is all of this significant? Because some erroneous translations of Luke 1:28say “highly favored daughter,” which takes God’s grace out of the picture. “Charitoo” means “Grace,” not “favor.” But this erroneous translation was no accident; it was by design to downgrade the role of Mary in salvation.

            There is another example of scripture where the term “full of grace” is used, in Acts 6:8: And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” But the Greek term for “full of grace” here is not “kecharitomene,” but rather, “pleres charitos.” “Pleres charitos” is a different tense of being filled with grace, and means “a temporary filling with grace at that point in time,” and does not equate to kechariomene,” which means “has been filled with grace.”

            DO OTHER BIBLE VERSES SHOW THAT MARY WAS FULL OF GRACE AND WITHOUT SIN?

            Notice in Luke 1:42 that Jesus is called the FRUIT OF Mary’s womb.

            Luke 1:42 “and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

            THEN, the bible says in that a bad tree cannot bear good FRUIT,

            Luke 6:43-44 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUIT.”

            AND, the bible says that a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT,

            Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its FRUIT will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:17 “Likewise, every good tree bears good FRUIT, but a bad tree bears bad FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:20 “Thus, by their FRUIT you will RECOGNIZE THEM.”

            Then in Luke 1:46 it says Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord. The word here in the greek is “Μεγαλύνει” and is the only time it is used in the New Testament.
            It means to make clearer, to enlarge, to magnify, enlarge,to make conspicuous.

            Then the bible also says that all generations will call her blessed. When is the last time that you referred to her as blessed?

            Now for the Romans 3:23 argument, “for all (pas) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

            Consider this passage: Rom 11:26, “ALL Israel shall be saved.”

            Yet we know for certain that ‘ALL’ in Israel will not be saved.

            Does the word ‘ALL” refer to very single person who has ever lived? Are there any exceptions to the word ‘All’ in the bible?

            John 12:19, “The whole (pas) world has gone after him!” Did everyone in the entire world really go after Christ? Of course not.

            Matthew 3:5-6, “Then went out to Him Jerusalem, and ALL (pas)Judea, and ALL (pas) the region about the Jordan; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

            Was every single individual of Judea, and the region about the Jordan baptized? Every single person? of course not, we know that isn’t true from the rest of scripture.

            1 Corinthians 15:22: “As in Adam all die” Yet we know that Enoch and Elijah did not die.

            Rom 15:14, “…you yourselves are full of love, filled with ‘ALL’ (pas) knowledge…”

            Here we know for sure that the only person filled with ‘ALL’ knowledge is GOD Himself.

            Mark 14:53-64 states “all” the Sanhedrin assembled for Christ’s trial, that the “whole council” sought for testimony against Him and they “all condemned him to death.”

            But we know there were exceptions to the “whole” and the “all,” such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Again, this verbiage indicates a majority of the Sanhedrin or all of its members who were actually in attendance at the trial—but not literally every single person who composed this Jewish council.

            Then there’s Romans 3:10-11 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God.”

            We know this is a general statement about the wicked and atheists taken from Psalm 14, and is not talking of every single person but rather those who do to seek God in general. There were in fact those who certainly did obey the command to “seek for God.” They are even called “the righteous” in several places, including this exact same Psalm 14 in verse 5!

            Example,

            Luke 1:6, regarding Zachary and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, “Both were just before GOD, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord”.

            Luke 1:15, regarding John the Baptist, “For he shall be great before the Lord; he shall drink no wine or strong drink, and shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mothers womb”

            As you can see, the phrase ‘the whole world’, does not really mean everybody in the world. The words ‘whole world’ and ‘all’ are used in several different senses of Scripture, and seldom do they literally mean all persons. The Greek word ‘pas’ in many verses in Scripture simply means a ‘great number’, or ‘a lot’.

            As the bible shows there are always exceptions to the normative rule. Did Mary need a saviour? YES! As the Catholic Church has always taught. Yet Mary was “saved” by anticipation, that is, at the moment of her conception in a special way.

            Sacred Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to someone being protected from sinning before the fact:

            “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, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever.” (Jude 24-25)

            This is what Our Lord did for Mary. She was kept free from the stain of sin at the moment of her Immaculate Conception.

            Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant:

            St. Luke lays this out pretty clearly in the first chapter of his Gospel. He draws some incredibly obvious parallels between Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and David’s movement of the Ark through the hill-country of Judah. It’s easy to miss the parallel between the Holy Spirit overshadowing the ark and the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, between the Ark of the Old Covenant as the dwelling place of God and Mary as the new dwelling place of God.

            The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was a true icon of the sacred. The Old Testament tells us that one item was placed inside the Ark of the Old Covenant while in the Sinai wilderness: God told Moses to put the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inside the ark (Dt 10:3-5). Hebrews 9:4 informs us that two additional items were placed in the Ark: “a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.” Notice the amazing parallels between Mary and the ark?

            In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14 ). In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life (John 6:51). In the ark was the rod of Aaron, symbol of the priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest (Hebrews 4:14).

            The glory cloud (Hebrew Anan) was representative of the Holy Spirit, and it “overshadowed” the Ark when Moses consecrated it in Ex. 40:32-33. The Greek word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint is a form of episkiasei. Compare: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Greek word for “overshadow” is episkiasei.

            David “leapt and danced” before the Ark when it was being carried into Jerusalem in procession in 2 Sam. 6:14-16. Compare: As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s salutation, John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in her womb (cf. Luke 1:41-44).

            The Ark of the Lord “remained in the house of Obededom . . . three months” in 2 Sam. 6:11. Compare: “Mary remained with [Elizabeth] for about three months” (Luke 1:56).

            There are three reasons that it makes sense for Luke to choose this particular passage (2 Samuel 6), of all the Old Testament descriptions of the Ark, to show the parallel to Mary:

            It reminds us that even at this point, immediately after the Annunciation, Mary is carrying Jesus Christ. 2 Samuel 6:2 reminds us that it is “the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.” That’s an important reminder, in the middle of a chronological retelling of a series of events.

            It’s our first hint that Jesus Christ is Lord. Again, the Ark contained the enthroned LORD of hosts. If Mary is the new Ark, that means that Jesus is the enthroned LORD of hosts. We take this for granted today. At the time Luke is writing, it’s a shocking claim.

            It also shows how Mary is set aside by God. Remember Uzzah was struck dead for touching the Ark. This helps explain Mary’s consecrated Virginity — her strange response in Luke 1:34, for example, or the fact that the Isaiah 7:14prophesy required the Christ to be both conceived and born of a Virgin, when a Virgin conception would have been sufficient to establish the miracle. These odd details make perfect sense if Mary is the new Ark.

            Nor is St. Luke the only one New Testament writer to have this insight. In Revelation 11:19-12:2, here’s what John sees:

            “Then God’s Temple in Heaven was opened, and the Ark of His Covenant was seen within His Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with Child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.”

            Sure enough, this woman “brought forth a Male Child, One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5). It is quite apparent that it is referring to the Mother of Jesus here.

            Isaiah 7:14:Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

            It’s true that this passage also refers to the Church as well as Mary. But once you read Luke 2, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that there’s a reason St. John mentions the Ark immediately before being shown the woman who is to give birth to Jesus.

            Furthermore, Rev 12 identifies persons. The ‘woman’ is Mary (the New Testament identifies her as ‘woman’ three times); the child is Jesus, Michael is St. Michael the Archangel, and the dragon is the devil. All of this was foretold in Genesis 3:15,

            “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”

            This is a great bookend to the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3, Eve, an immaculately created virgin, says yes to Lucifer and allows Adam to bring sin into the world. Eve came forth from Adam.
            In the New Testament, Mary, an immaculately created virgin, says yes to Gabriel, which allows Jesus to bring salvation to the world (Luke 1). Jesus came forth from Mary.

            Revelation 12:17 says that we are her children if we obey the commandments and bear testimony to her son, Jesus. Not surprising considering this is the same author to whom Christ said, “behold thy mother” (John 19:27).

            Eve became the mother of the living at the foot of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:20).
            Mary became our mother at the foot of the cross (John 19:26-27)…….
            NOTE** The cross was called a tree in Acts 5:30.

            These are some of the things found in scripture about the Blessed Virgin Mother.

          • Anthony

            But wait, what did the early church believe about Mary? Did they believe as you do?

            [Jesus] became man by the Virgin so that the course that was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied, “Be it done unto me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) (Dialogue with Trypho 100 [A.D. 155]).

            Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, “Behold, 0 Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.” Eve . . . who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband — for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children . . . having become disobedient [sin], was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient [no sin], was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

            The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God (Against Heresies, 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).

            The Word will become flesh, and the Son of God the son of man—the Pure One opening purely that pure womb, which generates men unto God. (Against Heresies, 4, 33, 12 [A.D.180-190]).

            Just as Eve, wife of Adam, yet still a virgin, became by her disobedience the cause of death for herself and the whole human race, so Mary, too, espoused yet a Virgin, became by her obedience the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race…. And so it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by Mary’s obedience. For what the virgin Eve bound fast by her refusal to believe, this the Virgin Mary unbound by her belief. (Against Heresies 3, 32, 1 [A.D. 180-190]).

            Hippolytus

            [T]o all generations they [the prophets] have pictured forth the grandest subjects for contemplation and for action. Thus, too, they preached of the advent of God in the flesh to the world, his advent by the spotless and God-bearing (theotokos) Mary in the way of birth and growth, and the manner of his life and conversation with men, and his manifestation by baptism, and the new birth that was to be to all men, and the regeneration by the laver [of baptism] (Discourse on the End of the World 1 [A.D. 217])

            He [Jesus] was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle [Mary] was exempt from defilement and corruption (Orat. In Illud, Dominus pascit me, in Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, II, 496 ante [A.D. 235]).

            Origen

            This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

            Rylands Papyri

            Under your mercy we take refuge, O Mother of God. Do not reject our supplications in necessity, but deliver us from danger (Sub Tuum Praesidium, Egypt [A.D. 250]).

            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]).

            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 Alexandria

            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]).

            Methodius

            Hail to you forever, you virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for unto you do I again return. . . . Hail, you fount of the Son’s love for man. . . . Wherefore, we pray you, the most excellent among women, who boast in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate your memory, which will ever live, and never fade away (Oration on Simeon and Anna 7 [A.D. 305]).

            Cyril of Jerusalem

            The Father bears witness from heaven to his Son. The Holy Spirit bears witness, coming down bodily in the form of a dove. The archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing the good tidings to Mary. The Virgin Mother of God bears witness (Catechetical Lectures 10:19 [A.D. 350]).

            Ephraim the Syrian

            Though still a virgin she carried a child in her womb, and the handmaid and work of his wisdom became the Mother of God (Songs of Praise 1:20 [A.D. 351]).

            Ephrem of Syria

            O Lady, cease not to watch over us; preserve and guard us under the wings of your compassion and mercy, for, after God, we have no hope but in you!” ([Circa A.D. 361]).).

            Athanasius

            The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God (The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 [A.D. 365])

            Epiphanius

            True it is . . . the whole race of man upon earth was born of Eve; but in reality it is from Mary that Life was truly born to the world, so that by giving birth to the Living One, Mary might also become the Mother of all the living. (Against Eighty Heresies, 78, 9 [Circa A.D. 374]).

            Gregory of Nazianzen

            Recalling these and other circumstances and imploring the Virgin Mary to bring assistance, since she, too, was a virgin and had been in danger, she entrusted herself to the remedy of fasting and sleeping on the ground (Oration 24:11[A.D. 379]).

            Ambrose of Milan

            It was through a man and woman that flesh was cast from Paradise; it was through a virgin that flesh was linked to God….Eve is called mother of the human race, but Mary Mother of salvation ( Epistle. 63, No. 33 [A.D. 397]).

            Augustine

            The Mother of the Head, in bearing Him corporally became spiritually the Mother of all members of this Divine Head.” (Of Holy Virginity 6, [A.D.401])

            Basil the Great

            God has ordained that she should assist us in everything! ([A.D. 379])

            You contradict both the Bible and the history of the Church.

          • jennylynn

            Mary was a favored woman but did not remain a perpetual virgin. Furthermore these early church fathers are NOT INSPIRED teachings nor should they be read as such. It is fine to read their teaching but with caution because these men were not without error. They were sinners and in need of The Savior like Mary. You need to be real carefull with idolarty, because that is what you are doing with Mary.

          • Anthony

            I’ve already defeated you on this point; not only with scripture but with the testimony of the early church. Their testimony reveals HOW the early Church interpreted the scriptures, what the early church believed, and how the early church worshipped. These did not interpret them at all as you do. That’s because you do not follow the teachings of the apostles.

          • Anthony

            Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant:

            St. Luke lays this out pretty clearly in the first chapter of his Gospel. He draws some incredibly obvious parallels between Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and David’s movement of the Ark through the hill-country of Judah. It’s easy to miss the parallel between the Holy Spirit overshadowing the ark and the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, between the Ark of the Old Covenant as the dwelling place of God and Mary as the new dwelling place of God.

            The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was a true icon of the sacred. The Old Testament tells us that one item was placed inside the Ark of the Old Covenant while in the Sinai wilderness: God told Moses to put the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inside the ark (Dt 10:3-5). Hebrews 9:4 informs us that two additional items were placed in the Ark: “a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.” Notice the amazing parallels between Mary and the ark?

            In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14 ). In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life (John 6:51). In the ark was the rod of Aaron, symbol of the priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest (Hebrews 4:14).

            The glory cloud (Hebrew Anan) was representative of the Holy Spirit, and it “overshadowed” the Ark when Moses consecrated it in Ex. 40:32-33. The Greek word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint is a form of episkiasei. Compare: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Greek word for “overshadow” is episkiasei.

            David “leapt and danced” before the Ark when it was being carried into Jerusalem in procession in 2 Sam. 6:14-16. Compare: As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s salutation, John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in her womb (Luke 1:41-44).

            The Ark of the Lord “remained in the house of Obededom . . . three months” in 2 Sam. 6:11. Compare: “Mary remained with Elizabeth for about three months” (Luke 1:56).

            There are three reasons that it makes sense for Luke to choose this particular passage (2 Samuel 6), of all the Old Testament descriptions of the Ark, to show the parallel to Mary:

            It reminds us that even at this point, immediately after the Annunciation, Mary is carrying Jesus Christ. 2 Samuel 6:2 reminds us that it is “the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.” That’s an important reminder, in the middle of a chronological retelling of a series of events.

            It’s our first hint that Jesus Christ is Lord. Again, the Ark contained the enthroned LORD of hosts. If Mary is the new Ark, that means that Jesus is the enthroned LORD of hosts. We take this for granted today. At the time Luke is writing, it’s a shocking claim.

            So although Mary is not the source of grace (Christ is the source), all grace flows through her, for she is the Ark of God, the living tabernacle of the Lord.

            God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled the Ark. The Ark became the dwelling place of the presence of God (Ex 40:34-35).
            God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and the indwelled Mary. At that time Mary’s womb became the dwelling place of the presence of God (Lk 1:35)

            The Ark contained the 10 Commandments [the word of God in stone], a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that came back to life (Ex 25:16; Dt 10:2, 5; Heb 9:4 . The womb of the Virgin contained Jesus: the living Word of God enfleshed(John 1:14), the living bread from heaven (John 6:51), “the Branch” (Messianic title) who would die but come back to life (Luke 1:35).

            The Ark traveled to the hill country of Judah to rest in the house of Obed-edom (2 Sam 6:1-11). Mary traveled to the hill country of Judah (Judea) to the home of Elizabeth (Lk 1:39)

            Dressed in a priestly ephod, King David approached the Ark and danced and leapt for joy (2 Sam 6:14). John the Baptist, son of a priest who would himself become a priest, leapt for joy in his mother’s womb [Elizabeth] at the approach of Mary (Lk 1:43).

            David shouted for joy in the presence of God and the holy Ark [2 Samuel6:15]. Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry of joy in the presence God within Mary [Luke 1:42]

            David asked, “How is it that the Ark of the Lord comes to me?” (2 Sam 6:9). Elizabeth asks, “Why is this granted unto me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43)

            The Ark remained in the house of Obed- edom for 3 months [2 Samuel 6:11]. Mary remained in the house of her cousin Elizabeth for 3 months [Luke1:56].

            The house of Obed-edom was blessed by the presence of the Ark (2 Sam6:11). The word “blessed” is used 3 times in Luke 1:39-45 concerning Mary at Elizabeth’s house.

            The Ark returned to its sanctuary and eventually ends up in Jerusalem where the presence and glory of God is revealed in the newly built Temple (2 Sam6:12; 1 Kings 8:9-11). Mary returned home from visiting Elizabeth and eventually comes to Jerusalem, where she presents God the Son in the Temple (Lk 1:56; 2:21-22)

            God made Aaron’s rod (which would be kept in the Ark) return to life and budded to prove he was the legitimate High Priest (Num 17:8)
            God would resurrect His Son, who had become enfleshed in Mary’s womb and born to bring salvation to all mankind, to prove He is the eternal High Priest (Heb 4:14).

            Consider what the ark of the Old Testament was made of:

            Exodus 25:10-11: “Have them make an ark of acacia wood–two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.”

            Now if the ark of the Old Covenant was made of pure gold within and without; how much more pure would the Blessed Mother be who is the Ark of the New Covenant?

            St. Hippolytus (c. 170-c. 236)
            “At that time, the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world from that Ark, which was gilded with pure gold within by the Word, and without by the Holy Ghost; so that the truth was shown forth, and the Ark was manifested….And the Savior came into the world bearing the incorruptible Ark, that is to say His own body” (S. Hippolytus, In Dan.vi., Patr. Gr., Tom. 10, p. 648) (Blessed Virgin, p. 77).

            St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (c. 213-c. 270)
            “The ark is verily the holy Virgin, gilded within and without, who received the treasure of universal sanctification. Arise, O Lord, from the Father’s bosom, to raise up again the ruined race of our first parent” (Orat. in Deip. Annunciat. Int. Opp. S. Greg. Thaumaturg) (Blessed Virgin, p. 89).

            St. Dionysius (died 264)
            “As Christ our priest was not chosen by hand of man, so neither was His tabernacle framed by men, but was established by the Holy Ghost; and by the power of God is that tabernacle protected, to be had in everlasting remembrance, Mary, God’s Virgin Mother” (S. Dionysius of Alexandria, Respons. ad Quoest. v. Pauli Samos) (Blessed Virgin, p. 81).

            “Not in a servant did He dwell, but in His holy tabernacle not made with hands, which is Mary the Mother of God” (Ib. ad Quoest. vii. In calling Mary σκηνλχειροποιη ο, the Saint implies that she was of an election and origin altogether singular and exceptional. The word occurs three times in the New Testament (Mark xiv. 58, 2 Cor. v. 1, Col. Ii. 11), and in each case denotes what is of singular and divine origin. See also Heb. ix. 11, 24) (Blessed Virgin, p. 81)

            St. Cyril (315-387)
            “The Ark would be the type and image of Christ : for if we look back to the way of the Incarnation of the Only-begotten, we shall see that it is in the temple of the Virgin, as in an ark that the Word of God took up His abode. For in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, as the Scripture saith. But the testimonies in the ark were the word of God, and the wood of it was imperishable, and with pure and choicest gold was it beautified within and without” (St. Cyril, De ador. In Spir. Et Verit, p. 293, St. Maximus of Turin and other Fathers apply the Ark of the Covenant to the Blessed Virgin Mary) (Blessed Virgin, p. 76).

            St. Athanasius of Alexandria (296–373) was the main defender of the deity of Christ against the second-century heretics. He wrote: “O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Ark of the Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides” (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin).

            “Be mindful of us, most holy virgin, who after childbirth didst remain virgin; and grant to us for these small words great gifts from the riches of they graces, O thou full of grace. Accept them as though they were true and adequate praises in they honor; and if there is in them any virtue and any praise, we offer them as a hymn from ourselves and from all creatures to thee, full of grace, Lady, Queen, Mistress, Mother of God, and Ark of sanctification” (Orat. In Deip. Annuntiat, nn. 13, 14. Int. Opp. S. Athanasii) (Blessed Virgin, p. 80).

            Gregory the Wonder Worker ( 213–c. 270) wrote: “Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary” (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary).

          • jennylynn

            Mary was simply used for birthing Christ, nothing more, nothing less. The arc was a mere shadow of Christ. Hebrews 8-10.
            quoting uninspired fallible men has no merrit nor does it pass the test of God’s word. Jesus is the bread of life. John 6:42

          • Anthony

            To say that Mary was used for birthing Christ, as if she was merely an incubator, is not only blasphemous but extremely ignorant.

            You believe that putting down Mary is somehow honoring Jesus, instead of calling Mary Blessed and realizing that her soul MAGNIFIES the Lord, not diminishes it (Luke 1:46). Think about that for a moment, her very soul MAGNIFIES the Lord.

            Is the Mother of Jesus considered to be the most blessed Woman, and do you call her blessed (Luke 1:42-48)?

            Luke 1:42: and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the FRUIT of YOUR womb!” The word “blessed” is used 3 times in Luke 1:39-45 concerning Mary at Elizabeth’s house.

            Luke 6:43-44: For no good tree bears bad FRUIT, nor again does a bad tree bear good FRUIT; FOR EACH TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT. Jesus is called the FRUIT of Mary’s womb.What does that say about Mary?

            Matthew 12:33: Either make the TREE GOOD, AND its FRUIT GOOD; or else make the TREE CORRUPT, AND its FRUIT CORRUPT: for THE TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT. Again, Jesus is called the FRUIT of Mary’s womb. What does that say about Mary?

            Romans 6:14: For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Luke 1:28: And he came to her and said, “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!”

            Mary is also the Mother of God: Luke 1:43: And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Jesus is addressed as “my Lord and my God” in John 20:28.

            Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant: The Old Testament tells us that one item was placed inside the Ark of the Old Covenant while in the Sinai wilderness: God told Moses to put the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inside the ark (Dt 10:3-5). Hebrews 9:4 informs us that two additional items were placed in the Ark: “a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.” Notice the amazing parallels between Mary and the ark?: In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God made flesh. In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life. In the ark was the rod of Aaron, symbol of the priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest.

            Eve was approached by the serpent (the Devil), a fallen angel. Eve believed his lying words and disobeyed God. Eve sinned and caused her husband to sin, plunging the world into death.

            Mary was approached by Gabriel, a good angel. Mary believed his message of salvation: that she was blessed among women, full of grace, and would bring forth the Savior. Mary obeyed God. By her obedience, she consented to the conception of Jesus Christ in her womb, and enabled Him to come and redeem the world from Adam’s sin. If Mary gave birth to Jesus, and if the faithful (the Church) are His Body, then did not Mary also “give birth” to the Church as well? Would not that make her our Mother? (John 19:25-29). Since she gave birth to the One who gives life to the world (John 6:33).

            The bible calls Mary the mother of the Lord. The same word is used for God in the New Testament several times. That her soul brings you closer to God.

            Funny how you quote Jon 6 yet deny what Christ taught. You belong to the crowd who walked away from Him that day because of your unbelief.

          • jennylynn

            You are taking verses out of context. Fruit is not referring to Mary but to Jesus’ disciples who abide in Him will bear much fruit. John 15. You are elevating Mary to where Jesus never did. He never worshiped her or treeted her more honorable then others. God is not partial.

            His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him. A multitude was sitting around him, and they told him, “Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside looking for you.”
            He answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Looking around at those who sat around him, he said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Mark 3:31-35

          • Anthony

            Notice in Luke 1:42 that Jesus is called the FRUIT OF Mary’s womb.

            Luke 1:42 “and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

            THEN, the bible says in that a bad tree cannot bear good FRUIT,

            Luke 6:43-44 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUIT.”

            AND, the bible says that a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT,

            Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its FRUIT will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:17 “Likewise, every good tree bears good FRUIT, but a bad tree bears bad FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:20 “Thus, by their FRUIT you will RECOGNIZE THEM.”

            Then in Luke 1:46 it says Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord. The word here in the greek is “Μεγαλύνει” and is the only time it is used in the New Testament.

            It means to make clearer, to enlarge, to magnify, enlarge,to make conspicuous.

          • jennylynn

            What did the LORD say?
            ” and it came about while He (Jesus) said these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice, and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.” But He (Jesus) said, “on the contrary blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.
            Observe #5442 to keep and not violate.
            Jesus knew the future and satan would try to receive worship through a woman and plainly put this in to counter the worship of Mary. Any time you give your worship to anyone or thing other than God you are really worshiping satan.

          • Anthony

            Luke 11:28 ” But He (Jesus) said, “on the contrary blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

            This is EXACTLY what the bible shows Mary did in

            Luke 1:38: “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.”

            So in Luke 11:28 when Jesus said, “blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it”, He IS speaking about His Mother.

          • jennylynn

            Nice try! Jesus is making a comparison. “On the contrary”
            Referenced in luke 8:21
            But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it. “These is plural and referring to disciples of Christ”
            Still trying to twist scripture to fit “mariology”.

          • Anthony

            Twist scripture? Nice try.

            Did not Mary hear the word of God and obey it as it says in Luke 1:38?

            I never said this only apples to Mary; what Jesus is teaching here apples to all of us. But no matter how much you hate the fact, it is what Mary did in Luke 1:38.

          • Anthony

            Jesus wasn’t denying the fact that His Mother was blessed in Luke 11:27-28.

            If there’s one thing we agree on, it’s that Scripture doesn’t contradict itself, Well, Luke 1:48 says, ‘Henceforth all generations will call me blessed.’ Jesus would never contradict His own Word and say we are not to call His mother blessed.

            Far from saying Mary is not blessed and to be honoured as such, Jesus was heaping a double blessing upon His Mother while teaching us a very important lesson. What’s most important about the life of the Mother of God was not her calling per se; rather, it was her cooperation with the grace of God she was given to fulfill her calling. She’s the ultimate example of one who ‘hears the word of God and keeps it.

            In Luke 1:38, it was Mary who declared to the angel, ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the result was the incarnation of our Lord. Because of Mary’s yes, we have the possibility of salvation if we will but follow her example and say yes to the calling of God in our lives.

          • Anthony

            I didn’t say fruit is referring to Mary, the fruit is referring to Jesus, as being the fruit of Mary’ womb. And the bible says that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. And a tree is recognized by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good, make a tree baad and its fruit will be bad. So if Jesus is the fruit of Mary, what does that tell you about her?

            Did Jesus obey the Commandments when he walked the earth? “Honour your father and your mother” – . You think that Jesus didn’t honour His own Mother? You’re deluded beyond measure.

            And we do not worship Mary. That is the most ridiculous claim that anti-Catholics make. It’s not our fault that you have no true form of worship, so you can’t tell the difference between intercessory prayer and actual worship.

            But let’s ask, would Jesus mind if we were to go on our knees out of veneration for Mary, or the Saints?

            Rev 3:9 “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

            The word for worship is 4352. proskuneó, and it means:

            worship.

            From pros and a probable derivative of kuon (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore) — worship.

            So we can clearly see from the bible itself, that Jesus shares His reign with the Saints in heaven.

          • jennylynn

            “Hail Mary full of Grace” is a form of worship. Esteeming her and calling her sinless is worshiping her plus all the “Mary prayers” in your doctrine.

          • Anthony

            A form of worship? Do you even know what worship means? Do you know how the early Christians worshipped? What have you been smoking? The verses of the ‘Hail Mary’ come right out of scripture. And the rest of it is completely biblical; asking her to pray for us.

            But as i already pointed out. The bible shows that Jesus shares His reign in heaven with all the Saints.

            Rev 3:9 “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

            The bible says the Saints in heaven reign with Christ and are co-heirs with him, albeit subordinate to Him of course.

            And if you’re too blind to see that Mary was sinless, and that God saved her in a special way by anticipation, in order to prepare for the the Incarnation of Christ, then you’re blind as a bat. Every single Church Father believed this because it was handed down from the apostles.

          • Dennis_Moore

            You disgrace Our Blessed Lord, who, when ever breath was torment, had seven last words, one of which was giving His mother to us all. Pray for grace.

      • Dennis_Moore

        Uh, I looked it up – and it said that Apostles received the power to forgive sins. I suppose however you know more than Christ, and think you don’t need priest.

        • jennylynn

          Does John 20:23 mean that Catholic priests can forgive sins? No, it does not.

          “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20:23).

          Context is king when interpreting scripture, and this is no exception. Let’s take a look.

          “When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20:19-23).

          The context of John 20:23 is that Jesus was speaking to the disciples (v. 19). He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit (v. 22). There is nothing in here about priests having the authority to forgive sins. There is nothing here (or anywhere else in the New Testament) about apostolic succession that says priests have the authority to forgive sins and that it is passed down. The Bible does mention appointing elders (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5), and that the disciples of Jesus had special authority (Matt. 16:18). It speaks of the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:19) as well as ordaining men to the ministry (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6; Titus 1:5). At best, the laying on of hands deals with ordination–not apostolic authority being passed down. After all, they were ordaining elders and not apostles; and it was the apostles who were given the authority by Christ to do miracles and write scripture. Nothing is said here about apostolic authority being passed down.

          Have been forgiven

          In John 20:23 the words “have been forgiven” is the single Greek word aphiami. It is the perfect passive. The perfect tense is “I have been.” The pluperfect is “I had been.” The perfect tense designates an action that occurs in the past and continues into the present, i.e., “I have been eating.” The disciples were not doing the forgiving but pronouncing the sins that “have been” forgiven by God. We find that the Psalmist says, “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and forgive our sins, for Your name’s sake.” (Psalm 79:9). Also, consider the following:

          “Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? 9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your pallet and walk’? 10 “But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” (Mark 2:5-12).

          Jesus forgave sins; and the Scribes, students of the Law, rightly stated that only God forgives sins. If they were wrong about that, then why didn’t Jesus correct them? Instead, he affirms their claim, states he has the authority to forgive sins, and then heals the paralytic. It should be clear that only God forgives sins; and Christians, as representatives of Christ, pronounce to people what has already been forgiven them by God.

          So, John 20:23 is not saying that Catholic priests have the authority to forgive sins. It is saying that Christian disciples have the authority to pronounce what sins “have been forgiven.”

          • Anthony

            Once again, let’s ask the question, how did the early Church interpret (John 20:23)? Did the early church interpret the scriptures as you do?

            It is written in the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist [Matt. 3:6], but in [Acts 19:18] they confessed to the apostles. The bible says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). One of the quotes below, from St Augustine, mentions “light sins”, what we call today veinal sins. Minor or venial sins can be confessed directly to God, but for grave or mortal sins, which kills the life of grace in the soul, God has instituted a different means for obtaining forgiveness—the sacrament known popularly as confession, penance, or reconciliation. As 1 John 5:16-18 says:

            “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that is not a deadly sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not deadly (veinal sin). There is sin which is deadly (mortal sin); I do not say one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not deadly. We know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

            When it comes to mortal sin in Scripture, there are actually multiple lists of deadly or “mortal” sins in various verses. Our Lord himself provides us with several of them in Matthew 15:18-20, Revelation 21:8 and 22:15. St. Paul gives us the rest in Ephesians 5:3-7, Colossians 3:5-6, Galatians 5:19-21, and I Corinthians 6:9-11.

            The Early Church Fathers on Confession/Reconciliation:

            Jesus gave his apostles the authority to forgive or retain sins in his name (John 20:20-23). The passage in John 20 refers to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession as we once called it.

            The Didache

            Confess your sins in church, and do not go up to your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. . . , On the Lord’s Day gather together, break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure (Didache 4:14,14:1 [A.D.70]).

            The Letter of Barnabas

            You shall judge righteously. You shall not make a schism, but you shall pacify those that contend by bringing them together. You shall confess your sins. You shall not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).

            Ignatius of Antioch

            For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of penance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ (Letter to the Philadelphians 3 [A.D. 110]).

            For where there is division and wrath, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop (ibid. 8).

            Irenaeus

            [The Gnostic disciples of Marcus] have deluded many women. . . Their consciences have been branded as with a hot iron. Some of these women make a public confession, but others are ashamed to do this, and in silence, as if withdrawing from themselves the hope of life of God, they either apostatize entirely or hesitate between two courses (Against Heresies 1:22 [A.D. 189]).

            Tertullian

            [Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness (Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).

            The Church has the power of forgiving sins. This I acknowledge and adjudge (ibid. 21).

            Hippolytus

            [The bishop conducting the ordination of the new bishop shall pray:] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . pour forth now that power which comes from you, from your Royal Spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and which he bestowed upon his holy apostles. . . and grant this your servant, whom you have chosen for the episcopate, [the power] to feed your holy flock and to serve without blame as your high priest, ministering night and day to propitiate unceasingly before your face and to offer to you the gifts of your holy Church, and by the Spirit of the high priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command (Apostolic Tradition 3 [A.D. 215]).

            Origen

            [A filial method of forgiveness], albeit hard and laborious [is] the remission of sins through penance, when the sinner . . . does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord and from seeking medicine, after the manner of him who say, “I said, to the Lord, I will accuse myself of my iniquity” (Homilies in Leviticus 2:4 [A.D. 248]).

            Cyprian

            The Apostle [Paul] likewise bears witness and says: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord “[I Cor. 11:27]. But [the impenitent] spurn and despise all these warnings; before their sins are expiated, before they have made a confession of their crime, before their conscience has been purged in the ceremony and at: the hand of the priest . . . they do violence to his body and blood, and with their hands and mouth they sin against the Lord more than when they denied him (The Lapsed 15:1-3 (A.D. 251]).

            Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who . . . confess their sins to the priests of God in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience. . . I beseech you, brethren; let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, while the satisfaction and remission made through the priests are still pleasing before the Lord (ibid. 28).

            Sinners may do penance For a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of Communion. [But now some] with their time [of penance] still unfulfilled . . . they are admitted to Communion, and their name is presented and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the Eucharist is given to them; although it is written, “Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” [I Cor. 11:27] (Letters 9:2 [A.D. 253])

            Aphraahat the Persian Sage

            “You [priests], then, who are disciples of our illustrious physician [Christ], you ought not deny a curative to those in need of healing. And if anyone uncovers his wound before you, give him the remedy of repentance. And he that is ashamed to make known his weakness, encourage him so that he will not hide it from you. And when he has revealed it to you, do not make it public, lest because of it the innocent might be reckoned as guilty by our enemies and by those who hate us” (Treatises 7:3 [A.D. 340]).

            Basil the Great

            “It is necessary to confess our sins to those to whom the dispensation of God’s mysteries is entrusted. Those doing penance of old are found to have done it before the saints. It is written in the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist [Matt. 3:6], but in Acts [19:18] they confessed to the apostles” (Rules Briefly Treated 288 [A.D. 374]).

            John Chrysostom

            Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.” Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding: but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? “Whose sins you shall forgive,” he says, “they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men [Matt. 10:40; John 20:21-23]. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven (The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).

            Ambrose of Milan

            “For those to whom [the right of binding and loosing] has been given, it is plain that either both are allowed, or it is clear that neither is allowed. Both are allowed to the Church, neither is allowed to heresy. For this right has been granted to priests only” (Penance 1:1 [A.D. 388]).

            Jerome

            “If the serpent, the devil, bites someone secretly, he infects that person with the venom of sin. And if the one who has been bitten keeps silence and does not do penance, and does not want to confess his wound . . . then his brother and his master, who have the word [of absolution] that will cure him, cannot very well assist him” (Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:11 [A.D. 388]).

            Augustine

            “When you shall have been baptized, keep to a good life in the commandments of God so that you may preserve your baptism to the very end. I do not tell you that you will live here without sin, but they are venial sins which this life is never without. Baptism was instituted for all sins. For light sins, without which we cannot live, prayer was instituted. . . . But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the body of Christ. Perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities. That is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice to blot them out. . . . In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptisms, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance” (Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 7:15, 8:16 [A.D. 395]).

          • Dennis_Moore

            I don’t think there is really much doubt that the Jesus passed on his authority to forgive sins through the holy Spirit manifested trough the Church. First, to clear up, Jesus forgives sins through the priest – of course the priest can’t forgive sins. He is acting for God. It is a sacrament, not a “service” or nice thing to do. I would stay on this path, as the more you look into this you will realize Our Lord built his Church to forgive sins via the priest.

            Now, the context you cite does nothing to support your argument – in fact, it is clear Our Blessed Lord is passing his ministry on – and we get a highlight of the instructions given to them..Clearly, the power to forgive sins is not impacted by this “past tense” argument. In fact, the argument that Jesus was sparking in the past tense would make this a rather superficial statement. Even the Jews at the time new God could forgive sins (via the lamb being sacrificed, then replaced by Our Blessed Law). Moreover, saying “sins have been forgiven” simply makes no sense. It is clear Our Lord is telling his followers to act in a similar fashion. Finally, it would make absolutely make no sense to discuss “the power to retain” sins if they had no power to forgive – obviously. Moreover, the pamphlets and other arguments against priests forgiving sins fail to address Our Blessed Lord’s instructions to go forth and do the same concerning the forgiveness of sins – this is NOT go forth and only proclaim the good news, but go forth and DO something about sins.

            Next, consider that we know the Church worked through her priests to forgive sins in 180 A.D. via Ireneaus Of course, we all know he was taught by those who were taught by St John, and his education was from those who were taught by those who walked with Our Blessed Lord. And obviously by 250 A.D. the sacrament of confession was very well established, but most likely much earlier.

            Finally, let’s think about the sacrament of confession – 1) you are being forgiven the way Our Blessed Lord intended, as clearly seen from the earliest Church; 2) you are then made humble, not retain pride in a private conversation; and 3) you actually receive God’s grace via the sacrament.

            Thanks!

          • jennylynn

            7 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

            4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment [a]in the Law to collect [b]a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these [c]are descended from Abraham. 6 But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected [d]a tenth from Abraham and [e]blessed the one who had the promises. 7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

            11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord [f]was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of [g]physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him,

            “You are a priest forever
            According to the order of Melchizedek.”
            18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him,

            “The Lord has sworn
            And will not change His mind,
            ‘You are a priest forever’”);
            22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

            23 [h]The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save [i]forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

            26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

          • Anthony

            No non-Catholic who’s been baptized could say “There’s no such thing as ‘priests’” for the simple reason that the Bible itself says there is.

            Proof? 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart.” With these words, St. Peter describes all Christians as a “priesthood.”

            You are free to reject this claim of course, but you’d be doing it in rejection of Scripture.

            And that is precisely what every Catholic is: a priest. At Baptism, in his entry into the Catholic Church, a Catholic is also “christened” with oil, and also anointed as a Priest, a Prophet, and a King.

            Why? Because, in Baptism, we become adopted sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:14-17), co-heirs of Christ, and, in this, we share in the very same Sonship which Christ Himself enjoys with the Father.

            So as Christians we are priests; and, as priests, we are intercessors between Christ and the world (Christ being the one Mediator between us and the Father — 1 Tim 2:5). And this is what the Catholic Church refers to as the “COMMON PRIESTHOOD OF THE LAITY.”

            The Ministerial Priesthood

            Aside from this common priesthood which ministers directly to the world, there is, however, ANOTHER priesthood which ministers to the Church itself.

            Romans 15:15-16 –“But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the PRIESTLY service of the Gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

            Notice that nice little cognate verb “”hierourgeo,” in Rom 15:16 which translates in English “to act as a priest”

            There Paul speaks of himself in these words: “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

            St. Paul WAS a priest every bit every Catholic priest today IS a priest.

            Examine closely Rom 15:15-16, and tell me what you see there that does not fit with the Catholic Church’s understanding of a priest as one who intercedes for the people of God as an intermediary. Then tell me, please, that the priest of today, like Paul, does not offer the people back to God in union with the perfect sacrifice of Christ, the great high priest.

            I agree with what you will very likely insist that all of God’s faithful people share in the priesthood of Christ by virtue of their baptism: “Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church ‘a kingdom, priests for his God and Father’” ( Rev. 1:6, 5:9–10).

            BUT there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of holy orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the head in the midst of the community.

            In other words, the existence of a common priesthood for all God’s people does not exclude a special calling for the pastors of the Church to be priests.

            If you’re looking for Biblical proof to support the negative side’s contention about the ministerial priesthood being Biblical, here’s Rom 15:16 “hierourgeo” staring at you in the face.

            This is the ministerial priesthood of the Catholic Church – a priesthood which does not minister directly to the world, but which ministers to those within the Church herself, which builds up the Church and aids the “little ones” through a ministry of unity, leadership, teaching authority, and the Sacraments, a ministry which succeeds to that of the Apostles themselves.

            You will notice that (1 Peter 2:9) is quoting from a number of Old Testament texts.

            One of them is Exodus 19:6, where the people of Israel are called “a kingdom of priests.”

            Isaiah 61:6 says that in the New Covenant times, the restored people of God will be called “priests of the Lord.”

            But surely you must agree that, just because the people as a whole in the Old Covenant played a priestly role, it did not exclude a special calling for the Levites as priests. As I am sure you know, there is abundant evidence in the Old Testament for a special priesthood for the one tribe of Levi. Deuteronomy 18:1–8 is just one among many such passages.

            This special priesthood could not be held by just anyone. It was restricted to those who were called.

            The author of Hebrews speaks of this Old Covenant priesthood in these terms in Hebrews 5:1–4. Now, if there were two kinds of priesthood in the Old Covenant—we might call them “the priesthood of the faithful” and “the ministerial priesthood”—then why can there not be this same distinction in the New Covenant?

            What you probably do not know, however, is that the Greek ““presbuteros” already has an equivalent word for the Christian usage in English — an English word which draws its root from the Christian usage of “presbyter” in the Greek language; and that English word is, surprise, surprise: “priest.”

            Etymology of the word “priest”priest (n.) Old English preost probably shortened from the older Germanic form represented by Old Saxon and Old High German prestar, Old Frisian prestere, all from Vulgar Latin*prester “priest,” from Late Latin presbyter “presbyter, elder,” from Greek presbyteros.

            For the first 500 to 1,000 years of Christianity, one word was used to describe what today we’d call a Catholic priest. And what is this word?: “presbuteros” if the language used is Greek; “presbyterus” if the language used was Latin.

            Here’s how it works:

            “Presbuteros” (Greek) –> “Presbyterus” (Latin) –> “Prete” (Italian) –> “Pretre” (French) –> “Proest” (Old / Middle English) –> “Priest” (Modern English).

            In other words,the “presbyters” we see in Scripture are the “priests” of the Catholic Church.

            This becomes most clear when one stops reading Scripture from the English (i.e. culturally-Protestant) perspective, and one realizes that the words “presbuteros” (in Greek) and “presbyterus” (in Latin) were used to designate the role of a Catholic (or Orthodox) priest for the first five to ten hundred years of Christianity. Indeed, if one travels to Greece today, one will notice that the Greek word for “priest” is still “presbuteros.”

          • jennylynn

            By continuing going to a priest for confession means you are still under the law and you are in bondage to the Catholic Church when you can go directly to our great high priest who is sinless. And the only one who can forgive our sins. That is not saying if someone treats you bad we should not forgive his sins commited agains us, this is not the same thing as sins against God, which not forgiving others is sin because then God won’t forgive us. Mathew 6:14-15. Furthermore only Jesus is qualified, by His redeeming blood which no man can do.
            Jesus doesn’t need a priest to do His work, we can go directly to Him, for Ne alone is sufficient. He did it once and for all!

          • Anthony

            Actually Matthew 9:8 says that the power to forgive sin was give to men (plural).

            If you’re looking for Biblical proof to support the the contention about the ministerial priesthood being Biblical, here’s Rom 15:16 “hierourgeo” staring at you in the face.

            The New Testament makes very clear that Christ sent the apostles and their successors to carry on this same mission. To proclaim the gospel with the authority of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), to govern the Church in His stead (cf. Luke 22:29-30), and to sanctify her through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist (John 6:54, I Cor. 11:24-29) and for our purpose here, Confession.

            James 5:14-15 puts it quite plainly:

            “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders (presbyteroi) of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

            (Notice that Scripture does not say we should go to just anyone because we are all priests as Christians. It singles out the presbyters and clearly depicts them as having the power and authority to act as mediators in the forgiveness of sins and healing). The existence of a common priesthood for all God’s people did not exclude a special calling for the pastors of the Church to be priests.

            “Presbuteros” (Greek) –> “Presbyterus” (Latin) –> “Prete” (Italian) –> “Pretre” (French) –> “Proest” (Old / Middle English) –> “Priest” (Modern English).

            John 20:22-23 is nothing more than Jesus emphasizing one essential aspect of the priestly ministry of the apostles: To Forgive men’s sins in the person of Christ— “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain are retained.” Moreover, auricular confession is strongly implied here. The only way the apostles could either forgive or retain sins is by first hearing those sins confessed, and then making a judgment whether or not the penitent should be absolved.

          • Dennis_Moore

            Going to God alone sounds like it works – but Our Lord didn’t allow for that. It proves to much and doesn’t allow for the actual forgiveness of sins. Remember – sins that are bound by you are bound forever. That isn’t my words, but Our Blessed Lord’s. Please refer to St Paul. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (confession)” (2 Cor. 5:18). So we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). But more importantly, you can’t believe that Our Lord was not present on the Earth until the Great Awakening, in the 1820s – 1850s, and only then we have the ability to understand Him. No, please address the idea that since Christ’s ascension, the forgiveness of sins is via His priests alone. It is a heresy, that is all that is. Thanks

          • jennylynn

            Question: “Is the priesthood of all believers biblical?”

            Answer: There is one main passage that deals with the priesthood of all believers. It is as follows: “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ … But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:5-9).

            Old Testament priests were chosen by God, not self-appointed; and they were chosen for a purpose: to serve God with their lives by offering up sacrifices. The priesthood served as a picture or “type” of the coming ministry of Jesus Christ–a picture that was then no longer needed once His sacrifice on the cross was completed. When the thick temple veil that covered the doorway to the Holy of Holies was torn in two by God at the time of Christ’s death (Matthew 27:51), God was indicating that the Old Testament priesthood was no longer necessary. Now people could come directly to God through the great High Priest, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). There are now no earthly mediators between God and man as existed in the Old Testament priesthood (1 Timothy 2:5).

            Christ our High Priest has made one sacrifice for sin for all time (Hebrews 10:12), and there is no more sacrifice for sin that can be made (Hebrews 10:26). But as priests once offered other kinds of sacrifices in the temple, so it is clear from 1 Peter 2:5,9 that God has chosen Christians “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5-9 speaks of two aspects of the priesthood of the believer. The first is that believers are privileged. To be chosen by God to be a priest was a privilege. All believers have been chosen by God: a “chosen generation…His own special people” (verse 9). In the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, there were places where only the priests could go. Into the Holy of Holies, behind a thick veil, only the High Priest could go, and that only once a year on the Day of Atonement when he made a sin offering on behalf of all of the people. But as mentioned above, because of Jesus’ death upon the cross of Calvary, all believers now have direct access to the throne of God through Jesus Christ our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). What a privilege to be able to access the very throne of God directly, not through any earthly priest. When Christ returns and the New Jerusalem comes to earth (Revelation 21), believers will see God face-to-face and will serve Him there (Revelation 22:3-4) Again, what a privilege especially for us who were once “not a people” … “without hope” … destined for destruction because of our sin.

            The second aspect of the believer’s priesthood is that we are chosen for a purpose: to offer up spiritual sacrifices (see Hebrews 13:15-16 for example), and to proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Thus, by both life (1 Peter 2:5; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:10) and by word (1 Peter 2:9; 3:15), our purpose is to serve God. As the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), so God has called us to serve Him from our hearts by first of all offering our lives as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2). One day we will be serving God in eternity (Revelation 22:3-4), but not in any temple, for “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). As the Old Testament priesthood was to be free of defilement, as symbolized by being ceremonially clean, so has Christ made us holy positionally before the Father. He calls on us to live holy lives that we might also be a “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5).

            In summary, believers are called “kings and priests” and a “royal priesthood” as a reflection of their privileged status as heirs to the kingdom of the Almighty God and of the Lamb. Because of this privileged closeness with God, no other earthly mediator is necessary. Second, believers are called priests because salvation is not merely “fire insurance,” escape from hell. Rather, believers are called by God to serve Him by offering up spiritual sacrifices, i.e., being a people zealous for good works. As priests of the living God, we are all to give praise to the One who has given us the great gift of His Son’s sacrifice on our behalf, and in response, to share this wonderful grace with others.

            Recommended Resources: Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics by Ron Rhodes and Logos Bible Software.

            Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/priesthood-believers.html#ixzz3NivCL6ae

          • Anthony

            Is There A New Covenant Ministerial Priesthood?

            Stating the Obvious

            It is almost painful to point out the obvious contradiction here that often comes from the same person and in the same conversation. How can someone claim there can only be “one priest” in the New Covenant based on Heb. 7:22-25 and I Tim. 2:5, Jesus Christ, but then turn right around and claim “all Christians are priests?”

            I can’t recount how many times I have been told by various brands of non-Catholics, “The Bible clearly teaches that we only have one priest and that is Jesus Christ, so how can Catholics claim a New Testament priesthood?”

            The biblical texts usually begin with Heb. 7:22-25:

            This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them (emphasis added).

            The argument goes like this:

            1. Jesus is our one intercessor. A synonym for intercessor is mediator.

            2. The definition of a priest is a mediator between God and men.

            3. Most importantly, I Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

            This text is often followed by I Peter 2:5-9, which tells us:

            … like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people…

            “We are all priests in the New Testament,” is quite often the refrain.

            It is almost painful to point out the obvious contradiction here that often comes from the same person and in the same conversation. How can someone claim there can only be “one priest” in the New Covenant based on Heb. 7:22-25 and I Tim. 2:5, Jesus Christ, but then turn right around and claim “all Christians are priests?”

            Houston, we have a problem.

            The answer is simple. Often, these folks have never been challenged to think about what it is they are actually saying. The fact is, it is not a contradiction to say Christ is our one, unique priest/mediator/intercessor, and yet see Christians playing the role of priest/mediator/intercessor in the New Testament because: 1. That is what the Bible says. 2. Each Christian acts as members of Christ’s body; thus, each is Jesus Christ extended into this world by the power and direction of Christ.

            Understanding the Obvious

            The key to understanding what is obviously and clearly stated in Scripture is to understand the nature of the body of Christ. Christians do not usurp or diminish the priesthood of Christ when they are referred to as priests; they participate in that unique priesthood. So intimate is the union of the baptized with Christ that St. Paul describes this mystical union as a body (cf. I Cor. 12:12-27, Rom. 12:5) with Christ as its head (cf. Eph. 1:22-23). What can be attributed to a hand in the body does not somehow take away from the head or the body as a whole.

            It is obvious Heb. 7:22-25 and I Tim. 2:5 are not saying Christians cannot act as mediators or intercessors in any sense. In I Tim. 2:1-4, St. Paul says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions… This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior, who desires all men to be saved…”

            Then, in I Tim. 5:7, St. Paul goes on to say, “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle.” What is an apostle but “one sent” with the authority of the one who sent him. That is a mediator, folks!

            The text urges Christians to act as mediators or intercessors for the salvation of souls because Christ is the one mediator of salvation to the world. And for this reason, St. Paul was sent to act as a mediator of Christ’s love to the world (in particular, to the gentiles).

            The bottom line here: We must understand that Christians—and St. Paul—can only accomplish this because they are in the one true mediator and act as members of his body.

            But What About Ministerial Priests?

            After admitting the truth of the above, the next question is normally worded something like this:

            Even if we were to accept the notion of Christians being priests as you say, and accept your interpretation of I Tim. 2:5 and Heb. 7:22-25, this in no way shows that there is a distinct ordained priesthood. I Pet. 2 teaches all Christians are priests. And, in fact, the ordained ministers of the New Covenant are called apostles (cf. Eph. 4:11), presbyters (cf. Js. 5:14), and bishops (cf. Acts 1:20, I Tim. 3:1). They are not called priests, which is hiereus in Greek.

            Well, one thing is clear. We’ve made progress. We now know it is possible to have priests within the one priesthood of Jesus Christ. And this is not a contradiction when the priests are understood as participating in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ. Now we must prove the existence of a specially called out and ordained priesthood—a ministerial priesthood—within the universal priesthood.

            We can do so in three points:

            1. I Peter 2:5-9, which speak of a universal priesthood, refers back to Ex. 19:6: “… and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The Scripture here indicates a universal priesthood in the Old Covenant. And yet, in that same Ex. 19, and verse 22, we read, “And also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves….” There was already a universal priesthood in existence in the Old Covenant, but this did not mean there could not be a distinct ministerial priesthood as well. So it is in the New Covenant.

            2. As far as the term “priest” is concerned: it is not surprising that the Christians of the first century would not use the term “priest” (Gr. hiereus) in describing their ministers. This was the same term being used by the more numerous Jewish (cf. Lk. 1:8-9) and even pagan (cf. Acts 14:13) priests. Christians most likely used language to distinguish their priests from the Jewish and pagan priests of their day.

            3. One of the largest obstacles for many to accepting a New Testament priesthood is the idea of needing any mediation whatsoever in the New Covenant. “Isn’t this the whole point of the New Covenant?” they will ask. “We don’t have to go to a mediator on earth anymore. We can go directly to God through Christ.”

            In one sense, this is true. We can go directly to God through Jesus Christ in offering our prayers and sacrifices in union with Him. But this is not an either/or proposition. We do not either go to God orgo to his representatives on this earth when we have needs. The Catholic Church, and the Bible I might add, says we do both. For example, Phil. 4:6-7 says:

            Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

            Here we see St. Paul encouraging all Christians to exercise their universal, “royal priesthood” before God. However, analogous to what we saw in the Old Testament, we also have a special group of men called by Christ to a specific priestly ministry within the body of Christ in the New Testament. In fact, each of the three ministers I mentioned above—apostles, presbyters (or “elders”), and bishops—is clearly presented as priestly in nature in the New Testament.

            Apostles

            In Scripture, we see our Lord definitively choosing and sending apostles to act as mediators between God and men (in Christ, of course). This, again, is the definition of a priest. For example, after the resurrection, our Lord appears to the apostles in the upper room and says to them:

            “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn. 20:21-23).

            Here, Jesus communicates the power to forgive and retain sins to the apostles. This is clearly a priestly ministry (see also Lev. 19:21-22). In II Cor. 2:10, St. Paul says to the Corinthians:

            …if I have pardoned anything for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ (Douay Rheims).

            St. Paul evidently heard confessions in Corinth carrying out this priestly commission of the apostle.

            Jesus not only gives the authority to forgive sins to the apostles, but he gives them divine, infallible authority to proclaim the gospel as well. “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me” (Matt. 10:40). In II Cor. 2:17 we see St. Paul carrying out this priestly ministry. “For we are not as many, adulterating the word of God; but with sincerity, as from God, before God, in Christ we speak” (Douay Rheims).

            Or, in II Cor. 5:18:

            Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

            Bishops (Gr. episkopoi)

            According to Scripture and Tradition, bishops are successors of the apostles. In Acts 1:20, for example, when the apostles were choosing a replacement for Judas, the text reads, “… And his bishopric (Gr. episkopee) let another man take.” Thus, the “bishopric,” by nature, carries on the apostolic ministry in their same priestly function.

            Presbyters, or “Elders” (Gr. presbyteroi)

            These too are most definitely seen as priests.James 5:14 puts it quite plainly:

            Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders (Gr. presbyteroi) of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

            Notice, the Scripture does not say we should just go to anyone if we’re sick because we are all priests. It singles out the presbyters and once again they are seen acting as mediators in the forgiveness of sins and healing.

            St. Paul tells us the presbyter has been given the ministry of reconciliation just as the apostles and bishops, in II Cor. 5:20:

            So we are ambassadors (Gr. presbeuomen) for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

            A Priestly Bias

            I know from my own experience as a former Protestant that the word “priest” brought with it all sorts of anti-Catholic bias in my mind. What I came to discover, however, is New Testament ministers are, in fact, priests, even though the noun is not found referring to them. Whether you call these New Covenant ministers apostles, bishops, or presbyters, their function is clearly priestly. A great example of this can be found in how St. Paul refers to his own apostolic ministry as a “priestly service.”

            … because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God… (Romans 15:15b-16a)

            I think people can easily fall into the same trap of those who would reject the Trinity because the word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. The reality of the Trinity is there. The Church uses this word to define the mystery of three divine persons existing in one essence. So it is with the priesthood. The noun,hiereus, is not there. But the fact that apostles, bishops, and elders function as priests is very clear.

            http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/is-there-a-new-covenant-ministerial-priesthood

          • jennylynn

            I am sorry you are confused and think there are contradictions. When men feel there are contradictions in the Bible, it is not the Bible that has the problem, it is man who has the problem understanding. They fail to rightly divide the word of truth.2 timothy 2:15 We as believers are a royal priesthood in Christ and Christ is our high priest. That being said the pope is no higher than believers is Christ who tries to Lord it over people. We the royal priesthood have free access to the Father without help from any man!
            “Jesus said to them, you know those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. “But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; Mark 10:42-43

            Rulers #757 archo; political rank or power, to be first

            Furthermore you are hypocritical about copy and pasting as you have pasted catholic theologians who are uninspired. I only have pasted for lack of time and importance of content. I have no problem writing myself but feel it is unproductive because Catholics will explain away every scripture that proves their doctrinal error. They misinterpret scripture to justify the heresies taught by your papacy. We don’t need any if that! I will have to end with this. I have prayed for my catholic friends that you will one day see where this church will lead you, a one world antichrist under the popes ecumenical leadership. He has done nothing but add to God’s word and take away from it. He has made himself on equal par with scripture and God. He has made Marry into a sinless, perpetual Virgin idol. He has turned symbols into perpetual death if Christ and the list goes in. I will disagree with your dogma and your interpretation lovingly.
            God bless!

          • Anthony

            If you notice, it wasn’t me who mentioned your “copying and pasting”, that was another individual. I’m sorry you have such a poor grasp of English syntax and grammar at your stage in life. I never said the bible has contradictions, I said you contradict yourself with your erroneous, private interpretation of scripture. Something you do repeatedly I’m afraid.

            ” We as believers are a royal priesthood in Christ and Christ is our high priest” AGREED!

            1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart.” With these words, St. Peter describes all Christians as a “priesthood.”

            But where is 1 Peter 2:9 quoting from?
            One of them is Exodus 19:6, where the people of Israel are called “a kingdom of priests.” Surely you must agree that, just because the people as a whole in the Old Covenant played a priestly role, it did not exclude a special calling for the Levites as priests. As I am sure you know, there is abundant evidence in the Old Testament for a special priesthood for the one tribe of Levi. Deuteronomy 18:1–8 is just one among many such passages.

            Now, if there were two kinds of priesthood in the Old Covenant—we might call them “the priesthood of the faithful” and “the ministerial priesthood”—then why can there not be this same distinction in the New Covenant?

            Now you might object by saying, “Because there is no mention of ‘priest’ in the New Testament.

            Not true. Romans 15:15-16 –“But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the PRIESTLY service (hierourgounta) of the Gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

            Notice that nice little cognate verb “”hierourgeo,” in Rom 15:16 which translates in English “to act as a priest”

            There Paul speaks of himself in these words: “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service(hierourgounta) of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

            Secondly, the Greek word “presbuteros”, found all throughout the New Testament, holds a special connotation in the English language. And please note the bible does not say that we are all “presbyters’, it singles them out as distinct from all believers, just as it does with Bishops and deacons.

            “Presbyter” already has an equivalent word for the Christian usage in English — an English word which draws its root from the Christian usage of “presbyter” in the Greek language; and that English word is, surprise, surprise: “priest.”

            TO THIS DAY, the Greek word for “priest” is, again surprise, surprise: “presbuteros.”

            Here’s how it works:

            “Presbuteros” (Greek) –> “Presbyterus” (Latin) –> “Prete” (Italian) –> “Pretre” (French) –> “Proest” (Old / Middle English) –> “Priest” (Modern English).

            Presbyters/Priests in the Bible

            If, by now, you would still be insisting that NOWHERE in Scripture is the word “priest” founds, I’d like to give you Rev 4:4, and hope he doesn’t have a sleepless night tonight.

            Rev 4:4 : “Surrounding the Throne I saw twenty-four other thrones on which twenty-four ELDERS (PRESBYTERS) sat, dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.”

            Who are these 24 “presbyters”? They are the 12 sons of Jacob (the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel) PLUS Christ’s 12 Apostles, bringing their number to 24.

            Notice here that the Apostles themselves are referred to as “presbyters.” Indeed, St. Peter calls himself a “presbyter” 1 Peter 5:1 : “So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and a witness to the sufferings of Christ…”

            Hebrews 13:17 — “Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

            Hebrews 13:7 – “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

            Hebrews 13:24 — “Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings”

            1 Thess 5:12 — “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and show esteem for them with special love on account of their work.”

            Acts 15:6 — “The Apostles and presbyters met together to see about this matter.”

            Acts 15:23 — “This is the letter delivered by them: ‘The Apostles and presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin…”

            As for the anti-Christ, the bible is quite clear about who the anti-Christ is, St John says,

            1 John 2:22
            “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son”

            1 John 4:3
            but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

            2 John 1:7
            I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

            Not surprised that you missed that, you’d have to actually be familiar with the bible to know what it actually says.

          • Anthony

            As for the anti-Christ, the bible is quite clear about who the anti-Christ is, St John says,

            1 John 2:22
            “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son”

            1 John 4:3
            but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

            2 John 1:7
            I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

            So if the Pope (Bishop of Rome), confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh, and is the Messiah, the Christ; how can the Pope be the ant-Christ?

          • Dennis_Moore

            Cutting and pasting info is not a good way to understand Our Blessed Lord. In fact, if “priesthood of the people” were biblically accurate, then everyone from the time of our Blessed Lord were mistaken, and only until 19th century in America were they actually saved. Fine, if you believe that, but you really can’t of course. Without the Church, we are left of the Jesus of our desires, not the Trinity that actually is alive and is. Finally, please remember that Our Blessed Lord asked for the priesthood, it is undeniable, even if it wrecks the hubris of man made so-called Christian religions (all 35,000 by current count).

          • Cheryl Spooner

            There is the common priesthood of the people, who are called to offer their lives and their prayers along with the priest with the holy sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

            Then there is the ministerial priesthood, carrying out Acts 20:28 :

            Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit
            has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he
            bought with his own blood.

            God has appointed men to be shepherds over His Church through all generations. Those shepherds are the Popes and Bishops and priests.

          • Dennis_Moore

            Yes, properly ordained by the Church. Obviously.

          • Cheryl Spooner

            Yes. Are you Catholic?

          • Dennis_Moore

            Yes

          • Cheryl Spooner

            If we not longer need priests, then why do you have pastors who often give their lives studying for hours and hours in order to lead the people in the way of Christ? How can you even have teachers of Scripture if all you need is the Bible? Something is definitely beautiful in studying Scripture, but wrong in expecting it to stand alone. Remember, Christians lived Christianity long before they began to write it. The Bible is tradition as it was lived — Holy Scripture — and as it was spoken — the oral traditions that were passed down. Seldom does Scripture give a full speech that was spoken by Paul, any of the other writers, or by the apostles.

            There is the common priesthood of the people, who offer themselves and their prayers for others together and in union with the ministerial priest. We are equal in dignity but not in function.

            Why the priesthood? The priest stands in the person of God to constantly remind the people of the Kingship, the glory, and the reality of Christ. Jesus gave His apostles the ability to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. They were given the ability to forgive sins. They had the ability in the laying on of hands to pass those powers on to others, as Paul did with Timothy and Titus. Their garments remind both themselves and the people in their congregations that Christ is the one who works the healings, not the human man himself.

          • jennylynn

            Hi Sheryl,
            Pastors and popes are not the same thing. Pastors are teachers who teach out of the Bible. They do not or should not lord it over them. Pastors oversee the flock but they are our brothers in the Lord, not Fathers! 1 Peter 5:1-5 ” therefore, I exhort the elders and witness of the suffering of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gang, but with eagerness; not yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the CHIEF SHEPHARD appears you will receive the unfading glory”.
            Furthermore we are called to test every word our pastor teaches us, we have our Bibles opened in front of us not just listening to rote verbiage out of a popes mouth. We are to be like Bereans. Acts 17:11 ” now these were more nobleminded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things are so.” moreover, there is only one mediator between man and God and that is Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5. Furthermore we are not to call anyone Father.
            Matthew 23:9 “and do. It call anyone on earth Father, for one is your Father, He who is in heaven.” The pope on the other hand places himself as “victor”which means ” instead of” In the Catholic Church, the vicor is the representative of a higher- ranking official. Calling the pope the “vicor of Christ” implies that he has the same power and authority that Christ has.
            Hebrews 7:14-17
            For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a Law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of Him, THOU ART A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” This make Jesus superior to the priests, and importantly, the high priest.
            In Matthew 16:18 Jesus Christ is the one who says He will build His church; he never delegates His power, though the Catholic Church twists it to think so. Jesus does however predict a “vicor” in the sense of replacement for His physical presence here on earth, however this vicor is not a priest, pope, high priest, or bishop, He is the Holy Spirit. We do not need a man or a church to teach us. The body of believers are his true church, not a building run by a man. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, teacher John 14:26 and guides us into all truth through His word john 16:13. We don’t do church alone because we are around brothers and sister who love Jesus and serve Him out of love.
            What does the true church look like? Revelation 7:9-10 ” after these things I looked, and behold a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and the Lamb, clothed in white robes and Palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Vs. 13-14 And one of the elders answered saying to me, .” These who are clothed in white robes, who are they and where have they come?” And I said to him, my lord, you know these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. revelation 12:17 the church are those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus, not the pope.
            One last thing, the apostles had a special ministry of establishing the church of Christ and writing the New Testament. There was not an apostolic succession as the Catholic Church teaches. This is how they lead the blind. If you know history the Catholic Church never even allowed people to read their Bibles by themselves so their errors wouldn’t be exposed. Peter is not presented as supreme. In fact James was the first one to have a church, not Peter. Furthermore, Paul rebukes Peter when Peter was leading other astray. Galatians 2:11-14. Yes Peter had a prominent role and was a radical preacher and a great leader, but he was not the commander, Christ was and is, the head over all churches, not popes! Peter even writes about this very thing which the Catholic Church ignores. 2 peter 2. Most of the doctrine Catholics quote is not in the Bible it is in the CCC! Which is man made doctrine and not inspired. You should read some of it, it is quite shocking. Most Catholics don’t even know half of it. I hope I answered your questions.
            Blessings!

          • Cheryl Spooner

            I haven’t read all of your note yet, but I will finish reading it. In the meantime, I wanted to respond to your misunderstanding of the Pope’s role. Remember first that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

            Remember Joseph, the son of Jacob, who was kidnapped by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt? He eventually became second in command to Pharoah. The people were to see and hear him as though he were Pharoah himself. That was a precursor to the way God would set up His Church through one man — Peter.

            Remember Moses? He was assigned to be second in command to God, only it was over the Israelites in the Old Testament. He was to be heard and obeyed as though God were speaking directly to the people. He also had an hierarchy of leaders — men over some small numbers of people and men over larger numbers of people — that would judge the people. Again, that was another precursor to the way God would set up His Church through one man — Peter.

            Our Lord’s words to the Apostles (paraphrased) were that the greatest in the Kingdom should be the servant of all. He called them not to lord it over everyone, but to serve them. The Pope (Papa in Italian) means that he is to serve us as Our Lord served us; to love and serve us as a true father loves and serves his bride and his children in the family. He is to give his life to caring for Christ’s flock as Christ would have cared for them. His primary duty is to assure that Christ’s teachings are passed down without error from generation to generation. Notice that Pope Francis is very much chastising those Bishops that believe they can sit as though they are kings in ivory castles. He has told them they better be smelling like their sheep. They better get moving among their people, especially those that are outcasts in the communities. They are to talk to them, listen to them, and help them in any way possible to bear their crosses. In return, the Bishops are to call us, those who are followers of Christ, to do the same. We cannot sit behind our doors either, just believing we are saved and not bringing Christ out to a hurting world. No follower of Christ can walk by the man that is beaten up and left for dead; we must instead be like the Good Samaritan.

            Rejected are those teachings that the Gnostics (you can Google that term for an explanation) have tried to insert. Rejected are those teachings from any group of heretics down through the ages, and there have been plenty. However, the Pope does not sit as a King sits. He has at least 180 advisers from around the world. He meets regularly with his cardinals. His bishops give him input about their areas of the country. He seeks to listen to the needs of his people through all of these representatives of the people.

            When a decision is made, it is made by first assuring that nothing goes against the actual Christ-made laws that Jesus left with us. For instance, marriage between one man and one woman; the dignity of each and every life from conception to death; and overall, to call Christians to conform our lives to that of Christ Himself. Those laws are not open for discussion. New situations that come up in each age are open for discussion, comparing them to what Christ set down and helping the sheep to know which direction to take.

            Christ’s Church is not made up of soul alone, but soul and body. They are joined together as one. What happens to the body affects the soul. Therefore, Christ continually called us to repent and believe in the Gospel. Paul calls us to repentance. Ephesians tells us in Ch. 4 to put on the new man. Scripture calls us to be holy as your Father in heaven is holy.

            The Pope is not God and is not seen as so except to people looking in from the outside. Why, imagine if each of us had to try and figure out what God wanted? Because of our sinful nature, each person would insert some selfishness into the mix. Our decisions would be far from what God would want; our decisions would see to benefiting what we most think would bring us happiness. Some of us would believe that living with someone would be preferable to marriage. Some of us would decide that having children would be a curse. Some of us would be drawn to this or that way of worshiping. We would wind up worshiping false gods all over the place.

            Where would be the unity in all of that for His Church? Yet Christ prayed that we would be united in Him as He and the Father are united. He gave us then a great sign that Christ was with His Church: the Pope, who stands as the reminder of Christ, and the Cardinals, and Bishops. He gave us a body of people through whom the Holy Spirit would work to guide His flock.

            The Pope is a blessing indeed and a sign that God is still guiding His people. All Christians, not only those who are Catholic. He is calling all people of the world to hear Christ’s message. I am grateful to God that we have such a gift. I would not want the burden of trying to make all of those decisions myself, constantly worrying about whether I had it right.

            Cheryl

          • jennylynn

            Hi Sheryl,
            I can see that you have elevated the pope as “vicor” and clearly you have a misrepresentation of the Old Testament. For example you speak of Joseph who is really a picture of Christ. This is called typology in Scripture. Let me show you what I mean. There are forty-two different aspects of Christ which may be seen in the life of Joseph. Genesis 37:9-10 Joseph is a type of Christ in that he is honored by his father and mother. They and all of his brothers must bow down in obedience to him, as every knee shall bow to Christ.
            genesis 43:3 in this passage just it is a true type of God, the judge, and Benjamin is a type of the Lord Jesus. It is almost a repetition of that beautiful truth in John 14:6. No man can see the father’s face unless he comes with the Lord Jesus. genesis 49:22 again this is the type of the fruitful Christian who the persecuted and hindered by others nevertheless continues to bear fruit in the regions around about as well as in the home parish. Israel was to be a blessing to Gentiles. Like Joseph, Moses is also sometimes considered a type of Christ in that he was the mediator between God and Israel. He was rejected and repudiated by Israel The same number of times that Jesus was rejected while on earth. He was somewhat clothed with glory on Mount Sinai, as Jesus was clothed with glory on the mount of Transfiguration. See also Deuteronomy 18:15 which indicates this truth. Furthermore he also went without food and water 40 days Exodus 34:28. These are just a few examples of pictures that God used through his prophets. This by any means does not represent the pope. When the Lord referred to his apostles that they should be a servant to all He was not referring to the pope but to all followers of Christ who are to serve one another in love.
            You should be looking to Jesus Christ not to a man who puts on his pants like you and me, a sinner who needs a savior. Furthermore the Pope has not been a good example to any of the Catholics. He has compromised with the truth of the Bible by compromising with Islam and praying with Muslims, The acceptance of homosexuality and bowing down to cultural popularity. Yes God does not change Malachi 3:6, yet the Pope has disobeyed God’s word, and teaches doctrines of man and are not in the Bible while leading many people into apostasy. The pope changes with the culture and is more political and cares about pleasing people than God. Who am I to say that? How can we be so sure? Jesus said you will know them by their fruit and the popes fruit is rotten. In first John 3:10 ” Buy this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God,Who does not love his brother. Compromising with the world and telling people that it’s okay to be homosexual is not very loving it is damning many souls, but the pope cares more about pleasing masses then serving God and obeying his word. He has prayed with Muslims who deny the very fact that God has a Son, while the Bible says not to have fellowship with unfruitful deeds of darkness. Ephesian 5:11, yet he is uniting with them. He is leading many people into a one world ecumenical order. This will lead to the world that will bow down to the antichrist. I would suggest you do further research on what Jesuit priest were about. They were militant priests. I hope the best for you and pray you do further study. God bless! I will try to send you a video that I hope you watch.

          • Dennis_Moore

            This description of Joseph bears NOTHING on the question of why Our Blessed Lord gave the keys to his kingdom to St Peter. Billy Graham prayed with Moslems. So, I take it, Jennylynn, that you equally condemn Billy Graham as leading people to hell?

          • jennylynn

            The enemy is satan who uses sources.

            Know Your Enemy (Part 23 – Roman Catholicism) – YouTube
            Video for know your enemy fuel project catholic church▶ 16:24

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=221sYyagu2I
            Jan 29, 2011 – Uploaded by TheFuelProject
            Know Your Enemy (Part 23 – Roman Catholicism) …. just watch the videos on ” The Catholic …

          • Anthony
          • Dennis_Moore

            Don’t worry about Jennylynn, she really is out of ammo on a very losing battle for her, resorting now to misinformation and amateur videos. Since jenny & co have to face that the Church is found in Biblical text, they have to manufacture that reflections by anyone from 100 – 300 A.D. are somehow not legitimate, but instead rely somehow that people reading translations in the last few years, making up their own Jesus of their desires. Not only is that just silly – it is dangerous. Try this on Satan, and seriously Jenny, see you in the Church soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpGm9pVHkc0

          • jennylynn

            Dennis,
            If you do not want to look at scripture and search out the truth that is between you and God. I have only tried to exposed the false doctrines many are blinded to. History speaks for itself, it is not hidden.
            Blessings!

          • Anthony

            You’re so right jennylynn, History DOES speak for itself. So why not read what history actually says

            http://www.staycatholic.com/early_church_fathers.htm

          • Dennis_Moore

            Uh, I did already. You have no response. Again let’s just try the priesthood: The ministry of Catholic priests is that of the presbyters mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 15:6, 23).

            They were ordained by the laying on of hands (1 Tm 4:14, 5:22), they preached and taught the flock (1 Tm 5:17), and they administered sacraments (Jas 5:13-15). These are the essential functions of the priestly office, so wherever the various forms of presbuteros appear–except, of course, in instances which pertain to the Jewish elders (Mt 21:23, Acts 4:23)–the word may rightly be translated as “priest” instead of “elder” or “presbyter.”

          • jennylynn

            The true Church keeps the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, not the pope or his papacy, they follow the moral law of Christ not a man.

            revelation 12:17
            So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

          • Anthony

            “The true Church keeps the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus”……….correct, which is why you do not belong t the true Church that Christ Himself established. For you reject the very authority which He placed on this earth . Therefore it is you who follow the false teachings of men while rejecting the Commandments of God.

            There Church is Hierarchical:

            Bishops (episkopos): Phil. 1:11, Tm. 3:1, Acts 20:28
            Priests (presbuteros) ( Acts 14:23, 1 Tm. 5:17, Acts 15:1-4, James. 5:14-15) TO THIS DAY, the Greek word for “priest” is, surprise, surprise: “presbuteros.”
            Deacons (diakonos): 1 Tm. 3:8, 1 Timothy 3:12,

            1 Thessalonians 5:12 — “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are labouring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and show esteem for them with special love on account of their work.”

            Hebrews 13:17 — “Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

            1 Timothy 5:17 “The presbyters who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”

            Acts 11:30 “This they did, sending their gift to the presbyters by Barnabas and Saul”

            Hebrews 13:7 – “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

            Hebrews 13:24 — “Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings”

            This becomes most clear when one stops reading Scripture from the English (i.e. culturally-Protestant) perspective

          • Dennis_Moore

            This is circular. You are not making arguments, just statements. Clearly you could have watched Bishop Sheen in the time you replied, so now you don’t even try to reason, just rant. I gave you chapter and verse supporting the true Church. You cut and paste things from the web, that do not rebut anything but perpetuate ignorance. Even the piece of scripture you cite betrays you – nothing is more Catholic than Revelations, the rubrics of the mass are all found there. Didn’t know that, did ya? Figured.

          • Anthony

            Long before Constantine, the earliest writings of the Church testify to the fact that the Bishop of Rome held the Primacy over all the churches:

            St. Dionysius of Corinth (170 AD), who writes to Pope Soter of Rome, and says:

            “Today we kept the Holy Day, the Lord’s Day (Sunday), and on it we read your letter (Pope Soter’s epistle). And we shall ever have it with us to give us instruction, even as the former one written through Clement.” (Dionysius Epistle to Pope Soter)

            Here we not only see the church of Corinth taking instruction from the church of Rome, but we see that the Corinthians had a long-standing tradition of taking such instruction — still retaining the epistle of St. Clement, which was sent to them some 80 years before. And Dionysius continues to address the Roman bishop, saying:

            “You have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time.”

            And, he continues:

            “For from the beginning, it has been your custom to do good to all the brethren in various ways and to send contributions to all the churches in every city….This custom your blessed bishop, Soter, has not only preserved, but is out-doing, by furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints, and by urging with consoling words, as a loving father to his children, the brethren who are journeying.”

            So Dionysius refers to the bishop of Rome as a “father” ( i.e. the root of the word “Pope” cf. 1 Cor 4:15; Phil 2:22; 1 Thess 2:11; 1 Tim 5:1; etc), speaking of the Christians in every city as his “children,” whom he “urges,” “consoles,” and provides for — Dionysius says that this has been the custom of the Roman church “from the beginning.” (http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/a87.htm)

            Did the early Eastern Church recognize the primacy of the Pope?

            http://www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/orthodox/pope_orthodox_church_fathers.php

          • Dennis_Moore

            Jennylynn, could you please enlighten us as to what Ignatious of Antioch meant when he wrote a detailed description of Bishops and priests in 100 A.D., shortly after the death of Our Blessed Lord? You can’t possibly think your interpretation now is greater than Ignatious, correct? You realize he studied with those who walked with Our Blessed Lord while He walked this earth, correct?

      • Roger Noether

        Oh, really now, Mary cannot forgive sins? Have you ever prayed the Our Father (Matthew 6:24) “Forgive us our debts (sins) as w also have forgiven our debtors (those who sin against us).” Then Jesus goes on to say: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you…” Your saying that Mary cannot even forgive when all other Christians must forgive sins is really off the mark. Please recheck your bible!

        • Michael Bowes

          That’s not helping Roger. Mary, while she is the Mother of God.. and was called to forgive anyone that had done something to her in her life on earth… she doesn’t have the power to forgive sins in the same method that Ruth is talking about. Only God can forgive sins and it is through the ministry of the Priesthood that he does forgive sins.

          • Roger Noether

            Are you familiar with the human mother and son relationship? What good son does not do what his mother asks him? I seem to remember the story of the wedding feast at Cana to illustrate this point. So what if Mary asks Jesus to forgive someone their sins? In your mind will Jesus tell her no?

          • Michael Bowes

            Roger,

            What if Mary were to ask Jesus to fly her up to the top of a roof, would he do it? It’s not the what if’s, it’s the what are’s. In other words.. what would be the purpose of the blessed Mother in doing that? Does she really need to tell her son to forgive someone? Wouldn’t Jesus already know that? That wasn’t the blessed Mothers duty.. so we can say what if this or that all day, but at the end of the day.. we have to relegate the forgiveness of sins back to Jesus, for it is he who decides who will receive forgiveness.

          • Roger Noether

            What if Mary were to ask Jesus to fly her up to the roof? You ask me this question? Why are you wasting your time with me when you can ask this question of Jesus yourself through prayer. Surely you don’t need a priest to pray this prayer for you. And what if Jesus decides to fly Mary up to a roof top, then he is no longer Jesus for you? Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So now you want to limit Jesus’ ability or his proclivity to fly his mother up to the roof top for what purpose? So why do you have to limit Jesus ability to allow his mother to ask Him to forgive people’s sins? What purpose is being served here? The preservation of male dominance in a corrupt and sick world. Just tell your wife or daughter how you wish to limit a woman, good luck with that theological discussion at home!

          • Michael Bowes

            LOL… The Mother of God wouldn’t ask Jesus that in the first place.. that was my point Roger.

          • Lyn

            In a kind way, I will have to side with Michael. Even thought Jesus never says no to his Mother, she does not personally forgive sin. BUT there was a Priest in a car accident that was a sinner and Jesus condemned him. Mary interceded and asked her son to give him a second chance. He granted it but said he is yours and if he fails, he will go to hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uZ38qeO7LQ

          • Lyn

            I feel sorry for those that want to wing it alone without calling on their Mother to help..Read Saint Louis DeMontfort to understand her role..

          • jennylynn

            Why would we need to call on our mother for help when we can go directly to the Father?

            For there is only ONE MEDIATOR between God and man and that is Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5

          • Anthony

            The bible also shows the Saints and Angels in heaven offering our prayers to God (Rev 5:8 & Rev 8:3-4).
            Jesus is the one mediator between God and man but Jesus shares his unique roles in lesser ways with Christians Because of the Incarnation, Jesus has a unique role as mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).

            He is the only one who is God and man, the only contact point between us and the Father, and only he is capable of bridging the chasm of sin that separates us from God.

            No man can take Christ’s place as mediator. The Church teaches instead that all Christians are intercessors (1 Timothy 2:1-3) who, because of Christ’s mediatorship, are able to become coheirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and also some His official ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20).

            If (1 Timothy 2:5) eliminates intercession by other Christians in this would be a serious misreading. Far from excluding Christians from a share in Christ’s mediatorship, Paul is actually emphasizing that we share in it through intercessory prayers. Our intercessions are effectual precisely and only because Christ is the one mediator. When he commanded that “supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone . . . for this is good and pleasing to God our Savior” (1 Tm 2:1-3), Paul was calling all Christians to exercise a “mini-mediatorship” through and in Christ. After all, someone who prays, supplicates, and petitions is a go-between—a mediator who goes to God on behalf of someone else and who asks the Lord to grant blessings, healing, strength, forgiveness, or salvation. Christian mediatorship is qualitatively different from the mediatorship of Jesus, and it is only possible because Jesus is the mediator between us and the Father. By his death on the cross we can go boldly into the presence of the Father and pray, intercede, petition, and supplicate on behalf of others (Eph 2:18, 1 Tm 2:1-4, Heb 4:16).

          • jennylynn

            living Christians are intercessors not dead unresererected saints. You again are twisting text as usual.

          • Anthony

            The Saints are not dead, they are more alive than we are:

            2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”

            2 Corinthians 5:6 “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

            Philippians 1:23-24 “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body

            St Peter in 2 Peter 1:13 & St Paul in 2Corinthians 5:4 both refer to the body as a “tent”:

            2 Peter 1:13 “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.” (here St Peter speaks of his death as was foretold to him by Christ; and he says he will soon put this tent aside)

            2 Corinthians 5:4 “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened”

            God’s family is both in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 3:15)

            Acts 7:59 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.

            Ecclesiastes 12:7 “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

            He is the God of the living, not of the dead, you are greatly misled. Mark 12:27

            Job:: yet Job 26:5 says “”The dead are in deep anguish,” -how can this be if they are “asleep” or unconscious?

            Isaiah 14:9-17 seems to describe a conscious torment of those who are judged in Sheol, with other conscious beings there mocking them. It refers to maggots and worms (14:11). Jesus referred to worms in His teaching on hell (Mk 9:47-48). The common Old Testament idea of being delivered from Sheol or the “pit” (e.g., 1 Sam 2:6, Ps16:10, 71:20, Hos 13:14) implies that the righteous were conscious there, and so by extension, one might assume the wicked were also conscious, but not delivered. This teaching is merely elaborated upon and assumed by Jesus in His teaching on Lazarus and the Rich Man (Lk 16:23-28). No big change there.

            The bible often uses phenomenological language (to describe the way something appears rather than the actual reality – like when we refer to a dead body as being ‘asleep’). For example, in John 11:11 it says,

            “After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

            Now we know what happened to Lazarus at his death in Luke 16:19-31:

            “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
            27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

            So we can see that when Jesus said in John 11:11 that Lazarus was ‘asleep’, Luke 16 shows that it is not a literal sleep or unconscious state after death. People attempt to deny Luke 16 with the teaching that Jesus is speaking a fictitious “parable,” not an actual event. But Jesus never names the people in parables. And in Luke 16, Jesus says, “there was a certain beggar named Lazarus. . .” Jesus Christ begins Luke 16 with the definitive statement, “There WAS a certain rich man. . .” Luke 16 is no parable.

            When Jesus spoke in “parables,” He always later explained the parable. In Luke 16, Jesus gives no “parable” explanation. That’s because Luke 16:19-31 was no parable but rather a real event.

          • jennylynn

            Yes, they are alive in Christ, but they are still not resurrected. Only Jesus was resurrected and stayed resurrected. He did not die again. Furthermore Catholics aren’t even sure they’re saved so how do you know if the ones your praying to are? Since your not omnicient only Christ is, so you could be praying to people in hell not knowing since your not a righteous judge. Do you see my point?

          • Anthony

            No kidding they are still not resurrected, or not all at least. We know people rose from the tombs after all.

            Catholics work out their salvation with fear and trembling, just as St Paul says. but we also have the hope of winning the race as St Paul also says.

            And the very fact that someone is a Saint shows they are already in heaven. I’m quite sure Mary is there, and so are the apostles.

          • Anthony

            The Saints are not dead, they are more alive than we are:

            2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”

            2 Corinthians 5:6 “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

            Philippians 1:23-24 “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body

            St Peter in 2 Peter 1:13 & St Paul in 2Corinthians 5:4 both refer to the body as a “tent”:

            2 Peter 1:13 “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.” (here St Peter speaks of his death as was foretold to him by Christ; and he says he will soon put this tent aside)

            2 Corinthians 5:4 “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened”

            God’s family is both in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 3:15)

            Acts 7:59 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.

            Ecclesiastes 12:7 “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

            He is the God of the living, not of the dead, you are greatly misled. Mark 12:27

            Job:: yet Job 26:5 says “”The dead are in deep anguish,” -how can this be if they are “asleep” or unconscious?

            Isaiah 14:9-17 seems to describe a conscious torment of those who are judged in Sheol, with other conscious beings there mocking them. It refers to maggots and worms (14:11). Jesus referred to worms in His teaching on hell (Mk 9:47-48). The common Old Testament idea of being delivered from Sheol or the “pit” (e.g., 1 Sam 2:6, Ps16:10, 71:20, Hos 13:14) implies that the righteous were conscious there, and so by extension, one might assume the wicked were also conscious, but not delivered. This teaching is merely elaborated upon and assumed by Jesus in His teaching on Lazarus and the Rich Man (Lk 16:23-28). No big change there.

            The bible often uses phenomenological language (to describe the way something appears rather than the actual reality – like when we refer to a dead body as being ‘asleep’). For example, in John 11:11 it says,

            “After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

            Now we know what happened to Lazarus at his death in Luke 16:19-31:

            “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
            27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

            So we can see that when Jesus said in John 11:11 that Lazarus was ‘asleep’, Luke 16 shows that it is not a literal sleep or unconscious state after death. People attempt to deny Luke 16 with the teaching that Jesus is speaking a fictitious “parable,” not an actual event. But Jesus never names the people in parables. And in Luke 16, Jesus says, “there was a certain beggar named Lazarus. . .” Jesus Christ begins Luke 16 with the definitive statement, “There WAS a certain rich man. . .” Luke 16 is no parable.

            When Jesus spoke in “parables,” He always later explained the parable. In Luke 16, Jesus gives no “parable” explanation. That’s because Luke 16:19-31 was no parable but rather a real event.

          • Anthony

            Living Christians are intercessors?

            I thought you said there was only One Mediator between God and man? 1 Timothy 2:5

            Changed your fallible mind?

          • jennylynn

            No, we are praying to Jesus ( the only mediator) FOR others, not to others. Interceding is not able to get to God without Jesus. We don’t pray to Mary because we don’t need to.
            “No one comes to the Father but by Me” (Jesus ) John 14:6
            It does not say, but my Me and Mary!

          • Anthony

            Your still asking others to pray for you instead of praying directly to the Father yourself. Why not just pray directly to the Father? What’s the point of having others pray for you if you have access to the Father directly through Christ?

            And what do you think the word ‘pray’ means?
            To pray means to ask, to entreat. there are different kinds of prayer. Adoration is for God alone.

            You have no true form of worship so you mistake all prayer as worship, which is erroneous.

          • Anthony

            The bible says that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective; that is why we ask the Saints and Angels to pray for us. We ask then to pray for us because they have won the crown of victory and are co-heirs with Christ; so going through the Saints is still going through Christ, since they pray to the Lord for us.

            And we do pray to the Lord as well of course. Praying to the Saints isn’t instead of worshipping Jesus, it’s in addition to it.

            You think that just because we get on our knees and hold our brothers and sisters in Christ in high esteem that this means we worship them, but you forget that:

            Jacob “bowed himself to the ground seven times” before his elder brother Esau as a sign of respect

            When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.

            Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence to the Angel of the lord.

            and many other example in scripture.

            If there is nothing wrong with showing respect and admiration for those who are on the earth, as the bible shows; how much more appropriate is it for us to show respect and venerate our brothers and sisters in Christ who reign with Him in heaven?

          • Anthony

            Your uninspired fallible mind has no merrit nor does it pass the test of God’s word.

            Before you said there is only One Mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5

            Now you say that living Christians are intercessors?

            How can this be if there is only One Mediator between God and man?

          • jennylynn

            One of the erroneous teachings of the Roman Catholic Church is the doctrine of praying to the saints. Catholicism teaches that it is okay to offer prayers not only to God but also to creatures such as Mary, Joseph, and others who have entered heaven. Is it biblical to pray to anyone other than God? We firmly hold that it is not biblical and that to pray to anyone other than God is idolatrous. Nevertheless, Roman Catholics will try to find whatever they can in Scripture to demonstrate that praying to the saints is permitted. One of the major sections of Scripture used to support this is found in Rev. 5:8-14

            “And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 “And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” 11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Rev. 5:8-14)
            Let’s look at this section of scripture from the Roman Catholic perspective and then analyze their position.

            Verse 8 says speaks of the “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Verses 9-10 speak of a new song sung in heaven. Verse 11 speaks of those around the throne of God, and verse 12 says that they were saying “Worthy is the Lamb . . . ” Verse 13 mentions every created thing in heaven and earth saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

            We have no problem with those in heaven hearing what is said on earth. Many Christians deny that this is possible, but it seems to be clearly taught here. Does this justify the Roman Catholic teaching of praying to those who are in heaven? Not at all. Let’s take a look at the verses.

            First, regarding verse 8, can the prayers be authored by those who are already in heaven? It doesn’t say. There are different interpretations on exactly who the saints are because their identity can’t be precisely demonstrated; after all, Revelation is a highly symbolic book. Therefore, if it cannot be demonstrated conclusively who they are, then it cannot be demonstrated conclusively whose prayers they are either. Nevertheless, verse 9 says “they sang a new song.” Who is the “they”? It would have to be either the the four living creatures and/or the 24 elders since “prayers of the saints” don’t sing; “creatures” and “elders” do the singing.

            In verse 11-12 the angels, the creatures, and the elders who were all around the throne (which means they are in heaven) were praising God directly. In verse 13 it says every created thing in heaven and earth was praising God, then the elders fell down and worshiped, v. 14.

            Second, just because those in heaven can hear the prayers of those on Earth does not mean that is okay to pray to saints. If they can hear the prayers of people, it is because God grants that to them. Think about it. Can those in heaven hear the prayers uttered without speech? Can they read minds? It is only God who knows all things, and only God can grant anyone to hear or know what the prayers are of those who pray in silence. Let’s not give the saints superhuman powers similar to omniscience. Nevertheless, all the text is saying is that they can hear the praise and worship of God. It does not say that they are to receive prayers, nor does it imply praying to them is permitted. All it says is that they can hear the prayers and praise. There is nothing suggesting that those on Earth are requesting the prayers or intercession of those in heaven. Nothing like this is in the text, nor is there even a hint of it.

            Third, even if the case can be made that prayers are authored in heaven and that those prayers are mingled with the prayers of those from Earth, it still does not justify those on Earth praying to those in heaven. At best, all that we can say is that the prayers of those in heaven and the prayers of those on Earth are mingled. To say any more than that is to read into the Scripture what is not there.

            Fourth, can the saints in heaven hear every prayer of every creature all the time? The Roman Catholic Church prefers to say that it’s possible; otherwise, it would not be possible to pray to Mary legitimately. The standard Protestant objection is that praying to the saints implies a type of omniscience on the hearers’ part. The Roman Catholic Church replies that we do not know what the state is of those in heaven, and that we should not therefore conclude that they cannot hear all of our prayers. But this is an argument from silence. In other words, we don’t know what it is like, so we conclude it’s possible. It is an argument based on what we do not know–not what we do know. This is a very, very weak way of trying to present a position. Ultimately, it is an admission by the Roman Catholic Church that the Scriptures do not teach in any direct way their dogma of praying to the saints. The Roman Catholic Church must infer this from scripture and read it into the text in order to support its error.

            To Whom should we pray?

            There is no biblical teaching at all that states we are to pray to those who once were alive on earth and are now in heaven. Revelation, the same book used by them to justify their position says the following:

            “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10).
            John wants to bow the knee and worship the angel. But the angel tells him not to do that because he is a fellow creature. If the angel says that he is a fellow creature like John and that John is not to bow to him, then neither should anyone else bow to an angel or any creature so as to offer worship. Worship includes prayer. Therefore, no one should pray to any created thing.

            Biblically, prayer is always offered to God and is a form of worship. All religions view prayer as an act of worship to their god(s) since they contain petitions, confession of sin, requests of intercession, etc.,–things which are received and answered by God and not by created things. Also, prayer is not the same thing as talking to someone face-to-face. Prayer is a humble petition to the Lord and not to a friend who’s in the same room with you or on the other end of the phone–or in heaven. Prayer is offered to God–never to any created thing. To do so is to offer worship that should only be directed to God, which is idolatry. Prayer should be offered only to God, and the Roman Catholic Church needs to repent of its false and idolatrous practice of praying to the saints.

          • Anthony

            We know that there are certain saints in heaven right now because like the twelve apostles. We know that they are in heaven. Revelation 21:14, for example, gives us a hint when it describes the great city that is heaven itself, and you have the twelve nations there being the twelve apostles. And we also look at verses of scripture like Revelation chapter 5, verse 8 that depicts, , John the apostle, who is seeing heaven. And what does he see? But twenty-four elders, each of them having golden harps, and bearing golden bowls having incense which are the prayers of the saints. So they’re taking the prayers which are symbolized by this incense and they are taking them to God. In Revelation 8:2 through 5, you have the angels doing the same thing. So there we have depicted exactly what Catholics do .

          • jennylynn

            I find it sad how the catholic commentaries try to justify their sin by explaining the scriptures away. Necromancy is necromancy! You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig and it’s still a pig. God’s word is clear. The dead are dead and you can’t be sure where they are. God’s word is clear, praying to the dead is an abomination. If you follow doctrines of man instead of God’s clear teaching in scripture you will answers to Him. He says not to go beyond what is written. ( that’s God’s word) .

          • Anthony

            Do you even know the definition of Necromancy? It’s evident that you do not.

            We do not contact the dead. Contact implies a two way communication; and necromancy is the conjuring of the dead for the purpose of obtaining information. whereas we simply pray and ask The Saints in heaven for their intercession.

            The bible nowhere forbids asking the Saints or Angels in heaven to pray for us.

            Do not go beyond what is written? You take that out of context because Paul, in several place, says to hold fast to the traditions handed down EITHER by word of mouth OR by letter.

          • Anthony

            The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earth—it still comes under heavy attack from many within the Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century.

            Can They Hear Us?

            One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not true. As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

            Some might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God. Yet this argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when they are not directed to them!

            In any event, it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding.

            One Mediator

            Another charge commonly levelled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

            But asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is a mediator. First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only bridge between the two, the only God-man. But that role as mediator is not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us. Furthermore, Christ is a unique mediator between God and man because he is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24), just as Moses was the mediator (Greek mesitas) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20).

            The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should interceed: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something “good and pleasing to God,” not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator.

            “No Contact with the dead”

            Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. “There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed” (Deut. 18:10–15).

            God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, “Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now.” The difference between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf.

            Overlooking the Obvious

            Some objections to the concept of prayer to the saints betray restricted notions of heaven. One comes from anti-Catholic Loraine Boettner:

            “How, then, can a human being such as Mary hear the prayers of millions of Roman Catholics, in many different countries, praying in many different languages, all at the same time?

            “Let any priest or layman try to converse with only three people at the same time and see how impossible that is for a human being. . . . The objections against prayers to Mary apply equally against prayers to the saints. For they too are only creatures, infinitely less than God, able to be at only one place at a time and to do only one thing at a time.

            “How, then, can they listen to and answer thousands upon thousands of petitions made simultaneously in many different lands and in many different languages? Many such petitions are expressed, not orally, but only mentally, silently. How can Mary and the saints, without being like God, be present everywhere and know the secrets of all hearts?” (Roman Catholicism, 142-143).

            If being in heaven were like being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the time/space limitations of this life.

            This does not imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is, for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with others in heaven or with us. And Boettner’s argument about petitions arriving in different languages is even further off the mark. Does anyone really think that in heaven the saints are restricted to the King’s English? After all, it is God himself who gives the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Surely those saints in Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God.

            The problem here is one of what might be called a primitive or even childish view of heaven. It is certainly not one on which enough intellectual rigor has been exercised. A good introduction to the real implications of the afterlife may be found in Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity, which argues that sanity depends on an accurate appreciation of reality, and that includes an accurate appreciation of what heaven is really like. And once that is known, the place of prayer to the saints follows.

            “Directly to Jesus”

            Some may grant that the previous objections to asking the saints for their intercession do not work and may even grant that the practice is permissible in theory, yet they may question it on other grounds, asking why one would want to ask the saints to pray for one. “Why not pray directly to Jesus?” they ask.

            The answer is: “Of course one should pray directly to Jesus!” But that does not mean it is not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one as well. Ultimately, the “go-directly-to-Jesus” objection boomerangs back on the one who makes it: Why should we ask any Christian, in heaven or on earth, to pray for us when we can ask Jesus directly? If the mere fact that we can go straight to Jesus proved that we should ask no Christian in heaven to pray for us then it would also prove that we should ask no Christian on earth to pray for us.

            Praying for each other is simply part of what Christians do. As we saw, in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things, and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Elsewhere Paul directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44).

            Since the practice of asking others to pray for us is so highly recommended in Scripture, it cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go directly to Jesus. The New Testament would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And it goes without saying that those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on earth.

            Also, God answers in particular the prayers of the righteous. James declares: “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit” (Jas. 5:16–18). Yet those Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than anyone on earth, meaning their prayers would be even more efficacious.

            Having others praying for us thus is a good thing, not something to be despised or set aside. Of course, we should pray directly to Christ with every pressing need we have (cf. John 14:13–14). That’s something the Catholic Church strongly encourages. In fact, the prayers of the Mass, the central act of Catholic worship, are directed to God and Jesus, not the saints. But this does not mean that we should not also ask our fellow Christians, including those in heaven, to pray with us.

            In addition to our prayers directly to God and Jesus (which are absolutely essential to the Christian life), there are abundant reasons to ask our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us. The Bible indicates that they are aware of our prayers, that they intercede for us, and that their prayers are effective (else they would not be offered). It is only narrow-mindedness that suggests we should refrain from asking our fellow Christians in heaven to do what we already know them to be anxious and capable of doing.

            In Heaven and On Earth

            The Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. Thus in Psalms 103, we pray, “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!” (Ps. 103:20-21). And in Psalms 148 we pray, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!” (Ps. 148:1-2).

            Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, we read: “[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Rev. 8:3-4).

            And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that “the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8). The simple fact is, as this passage shows: The saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.

            http://www.catholic.com/tracts/praying-to-the-saints

          • Anthony

            For the same reason that St Paul asked others to pray for him repeatedly throughout his Epistles.

            Why did St Paul asked others to pray for him? Why didn’t he just pray directly to the Father? What was even the point of asking others to pray for him when he could just pray directly to the Father?

          • jennylynn

            Um, because he was in prison. He wasn’t dead when he was writing that was he? No, he was living. He wasn’t saying pray for the dead. What a stretch of scripture! The living are called to intercede for one another, not the dead. That is scriptural.

          • Anthony

            Because he was in prison?

            But why ask others to pray for you when there is only One Mediator between God and man?

        • jennylynn

          That verse is not giving Mary authority to forgive sins. It is telling us to forgive others who sin against us alive on earth, not dead people who have not been resurected yet. Twisting scripture is dangerous.

          • Anthony

            Mary does not forgive our sins, she prays for us, as do all the saints. Just as Rev 5:8 and Rev 8:3-4 shows that the angels and saints in heaven not only pray for us, it says they offer our prayers to God.

          • Roger Noether

            You mean to tell me after 9 months of gestation, carrying God’s own son, she is not one of us? And again: John 2:4

            When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.

            I take it for granted you know the rest of the passage.

            You read the above verses and then you want to tell me Mary does not have a “special in” with Jesus?

            Sorry, I have a lot of sales resistance today (and probably tomorrow, too). I am just not buying what your selling!

          • jennylynn

            What a twisted understanding of verbiage! Mary was loved and respected by Jesus. She was a woman who found favor with God. That being said, SHE WAS NOT SINLESS OR A PERPETUAL VIRGIN! Why can’t you separate the two. Being loved and respected by Jesus does not put Mary on Par with Him, neither does He with the other disciples whom Jesus loved.
            I find it amazing how you can put so much eisegesis in your verses what simply is never there. I have seen many Catholics even twist the words of God through their catholic commentaries who have to explain the scripture away so they can maintain their doctrine. Oh I know you will also quote your uninspired catholic theologians but they strictly were heretics for preaching anything that contradict the word of God. I will leave it at that. I will simply disagree with your dogma lovingly.
            God bless!

          • Anthony

            “She was a woman who found favor with God.”

            The word used in Luke 1:28 that denotes Mary’s title/name that the angel Gabreil addressed her as is “kecharitōmenē” as you well know. It’s found only once in the New Testament. When the angel Gabriel address her it was with this name/title.

            The second like it in scripture is found in Ephesians 1:6, the greek word “echaritōsen”.

            The word ‘charitos’ means grace as you know.

            The word echaritōsen means “freely given, but it also means an object of grace, favoured, accepted, to make graceful, also charming, lovely, agreeable.

            Englishman’s Concordance

            ἐχαρίτωσεν (echaritōsen) — 1 Occurrence

            Ephesians 1:6 V-AIA-3S
            GRK: αὐτοῦ ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶς ἐν
            NAS: which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
            KJV: us accepted in
            INT: of him which he made objects of grace us in

            And since “kecharitōmenē” is a perfect passive participle, it is an action that already occurred in the past, and was still a reality at the time the angel Gabriel addressed Mary.

            So to say that Luke 1:28 simply means that Mary was “highly favoured” is an incomplete translation of the passage.

          • jennylynn

            This is to show you that there are differences to either your teaching or your catholic translation.

            According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (TCE) under the topic of Hail Mary it says, “Hail (Mary) full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women” embodies the words used by the Angel Gabriel in saluting the Blessed Virgin (Luke, I, 28).” The Roman Catholic Church derives all sorts of teachings concerning Mary from the phrase “full of grace.” Two of them are . . .

            She was conceived without sin.
            ” . . . It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin . . . ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 722).
            That she was redeemed from conception and was without sin.
            “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin, (CCC, 491)
            “From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace”, Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemption” (SC, 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life,” (CCC, 508).
            Catholic.com says under “Full of Grace” that “These blessings included her role as the New Eve (corresponding to Christ’s role as the New Adam), her Immaculate Conception, her spiritual motherhood of all Christians, and her Assumption into heaven.” As you can see, Mary is greatly exalted even to the point of having “spiritual motherhood of all Christians”–whatever that means.

            Also, since she has been so highly exalted, prayer is also offered to Mary. Catholics recite “The Hail Mary” which says, “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.” Prayer should be offered to God alone–not to any creature no matter how blessed, including Mary.

            As you can see, a great deal is derived from the phrase “full of grace.” But, does the phrase justify such adoration and doctrinal proclamation? Can the Roman Catholic church rightfully derive so much from so little? In fact, is the phrase “full of grace” used of Mary in the Bible at all? The answers to these questions is “No.”

            The Bible and “full of grace”

            The phrase “full of grace” in Greek is “plaras karitos,” and it occurs in only two places in the New Testament; neither one is in reference to Mary.

            “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
            “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8).
            The first citation refers to Jesus who is obviously full of grace. Jesus is God in flesh, the crucified and risen Lord, who cleanses us from our sins. In the second citation it is Stephen who is full of grace. We can certainly affirm that Jesus was conceived without sin and remained sinless, but can we conclude this about Stephen as well? Certainly not. The phrase “full of grace” does not necessitate sinlessness by virtue of its use. In Stephen’s case it signifies that he was “full of the Spirit and of wisdom,” along with faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3, 5). But Stephen was a sinner. Nevertheless, where does the phrase “full of grace” come from regarding Mary?

            The Latin Vulgate and other translations

            The Latin Vulgate is the Latin translation of the Bible done by St. Jerome in the fourth century. It is here in Luke 1:28 that is found the unfortunate Latin translation which says “ave gratia plena “Hail full of grace.'” Remember, the New Testament was written in Greek–not Latin–but the Roman Church has derived its doctrine from the Latin translation–not the Greek original. Therefore, it constructed its doctrine on a false translation. Of course, it cannot correct itself since so much is invested in the worship, adoration, and prayer to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church; and to recant of this false teaching would greatly lessen its credibility. Unfortunately, this means that millions of Catholics will continue to look to Mary for help–not Christ who is truly full of grace.

            So what do the other translations say about Luke 1:28? Let’s find out.

            The Nestle Aland 26th edition, Greek New Testament Interlinear–“having gone into her he said rejoice one having been favored, the master is with you.”
            The NRSV English Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
            American Standard Version–“And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee.”
            English Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!
            Today’s English Version–‘”The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”
            King James Version–“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.”
            New American Standard Bible–“And coming in, he said to her, Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.
            New International Version–“The angel went to her and said, Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
            New King James Version–“And having come in, the angel said to her, Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
            Revised Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’
            New Revised Standard Version–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
            The New Century Version–The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”
            New Living Translation–Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’”
            The Cambridge Paragraph Bible–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.’
            The Holman Christian Standard Bible–“And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
            International Standard Version–‘”The angel” came to her and said, “’Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”
            What does the Greek say here for “highly favored one? It is the single Greek word kexaritomena and means highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc. It does not mean “full of grace” which is “plaras karitos” (plaras = full and karitos = Grace) in the Greek.

            5923 χαριτόω (charitoō): vb.; Str 5487; TDNT 9.372—LN 88.66 show kindness graciously give, freely give (Eph 1:6); as a passive participle, subst., “one highly favored.”1
            5487 χαριτόω [charitoo /khar·ee·to·o/] v. From 5485; TDNT 9:372; TDNTA 1298; GK 5923; Two occurrences; AV translates as “be highly favoured” once, and “make accepted” once. 1 to make graceful. 1a charming, lovely, agreeable. 2 to peruse with grace, compass with favour. 3 to honour with blessings.2
            Therefore, we conclude that the Roman Catholic Church has manufactured far too much doctrine concerning Mary out of the erroneous translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible, and that the RCC needs to recant its false teaching concerning Mary.

            Conclusion

            Mary was a very blessed woman. She was graced with the privilege of being able to bear the Son of God. We should never forget her high privilege in this respect. However, we must not elevate her to a level beyond that which is prescribed in Scripture. To do so is to be in error–the very error that is taught in the Roman Catholic Church.

            We urge Roman Catholics not look to Mary. Instead, they should look to Jesus alone. He alone is the sinless one, the perfect one, the Lord, the mediator, the forgiver of our sins. It is he alone to whom we should appeal and trust for the forgiveness of our sins. We should not look to any creature no matter how blessed that creature may be.

            Carm.org

          • Anthony

            The Name Says it All

            Many Protestants will insist this text to be little more than a common greeting of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary. “What does this have to do with Mary being without sin?” Yet, the truth is, according to Mary herself, this was no common greeting. The text reveals Mary to have been “greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:29, emphasis added). What was it about this greeting that was so uncommon for Mary to react this way? We can consider at least two key.aspects.

            First, according to biblical scholars he angel did more than simply greet Mary. The angel actually communicated a new name or title to her.

            In Greek, the greeting was kaire, kekaritomene, or “Hail, full of grace.” Generally speaking, when one greeted another with kaire, a name or title would be found in the immediate context. “Hail, king of the Jews” in John 19:3 and “Claudias Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting” (Acts 23:26) are two biblical examples of this. The fact that the angel replaces Mary’s name in the greeting with “full of grace” was anything but common. This would be analogous to me speaking to one of our tech guys at Catholic Answers and saying, “Hello, he who fixes computers.” In Hebrew culture, names and name changes tell us something permanent about the character and calling of the one named. Just recall the name changes of Abram to Abraham (from “father” to “father of the multitudes”) in Genesis 17:5, Saray to Sarah (“my princess” to “princess”), in Genesis 17:15 and Jacob to Israel (“supplanter” to “he who prevails with God”) in Genesis 32:28.

            In each case, the names reveal something permanent about the one named. Abraham and Sarah transition from being a “father” and “princess” of one family to being “father” and “princess” or “mother” of the entire people of God (see Rom. 4:1-18; Is. 51:1-2). They become patriarch and matriarch of God’s people forever. Jacob/Israel becomes the patriarch whose name, “he who prevails with God,” continues forever in the Church, which is called “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16). The People of God will forever “prevail with God” in the image of the patriarch Jacob.

            What’s in a name? According to Scripture, quite a lot.

            St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, kekaritomene, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary? Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives. This greeting of the angel is one clue into the unique character and calling of the Mother of God. Only Mary is given the name “full of grace” and in the perfect tense, indicating that this permanent state of Mary was completed.

            Furthermore, to insist that Catholics regard the Blessed Virgin as sinless, only because of Luke 1:28 is erroneous, and demonstrates your lack of scriptural knowledge regarding this topic.

          • jennylynn

            This is to show you the difference between the catholic view vs. Christian. Using the Latin vulgate as your translation is not accurate since the Bible was written in Greek.
            According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (TCE) under the topic of Hail Mary it says, “Hail (Mary) full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women” embodies the words used by the Angel Gabriel in saluting the Blessed Virgin (Luke, I, 28).” The Roman Catholic Church derives all sorts of teachings concerning Mary from the phrase “full of grace.” Two of them are . . .

            She was conceived without sin.
            ” . . . It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin . . . ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 722).
            That she was redeemed from conception and was without sin.
            “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin, (CCC, 491)
            “From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace”, Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemption” (SC, 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life,” (CCC, 508).
            Catholic.com says under “Full of Grace” that “These blessings included her role as the New Eve (corresponding to Christ’s role as the New Adam), her Immaculate Conception, her spiritual motherhood of all Christians, and her Assumption into heaven.” As you can see, Mary is greatly exalted even to the point of having “spiritual motherhood of all Christians”–whatever that means.

            Also, since she has been so highly exalted, prayer is also offered to Mary. Catholics recite “The Hail Mary” which says, “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.” Prayer should be offered to God alone–not to any creature no matter how blessed, including Mary.

            As you can see, a great deal is derived from the phrase “full of grace.” But, does the phrase justify such adoration and doctrinal proclamation? Can the Roman Catholic church rightfully derive so much from so little? In fact, is the phrase “full of grace” used of Mary in the Bible at all? The answers to these questions is “No.”

            The Bible and “full of grace”

            The phrase “full of grace” in Greek is “plaras karitos,” and it occurs in only two places in the New Testament; neither one is in reference to Mary.

            “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
            “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8).
            The first citation refers to Jesus who is obviously full of grace. Jesus is God in flesh, the crucified and risen Lord, who cleanses us from our sins. In the second citation it is Stephen who is full of grace. We can certainly affirm that Jesus was conceived without sin and remained sinless, but can we conclude this about Stephen as well? Certainly not. The phrase “full of grace” does not necessitate sinlessness by virtue of its use. In Stephen’s case it signifies that he was “full of the Spirit and of wisdom,” along with faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3, 5). But Stephen was a sinner. Nevertheless, where does the phrase “full of grace” come from regarding Mary?

            The Latin Vulgate and other translations

            The Latin Vulgate is the Latin translation of the Bible done by St. Jerome in the fourth century. It is here in Luke 1:28 that is found the unfortunate Latin translation which says “ave gratia plena “Hail full of grace.'” Remember, the New Testament was written in Greek–not Latin–but the Roman Church has derived its doctrine from the Latin translation–not the Greek original. Therefore, it constructed its doctrine on a false translation. Of course, it cannot correct itself since so much is invested in the worship, adoration, and prayer to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church; and to recant of this false teaching would greatly lessen its credibility. Unfortunately, this means that millions of Catholics will continue to look to Mary for help–not Christ who is truly full of grace.

            So what do the other translations say about Luke 1:28? Let’s find out.

            The Nestle Aland 26th edition, Greek New Testament Interlinear–“having gone into her he said rejoice one having been favored, the master is with you.”
            The NRSV English Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
            American Standard Version–“And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee.”
            English Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!
            Today’s English Version–‘”The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”
            King James Version–“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.”
            New American Standard Bible–“And coming in, he said to her, Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.
            New International Version–“The angel went to her and said, Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
            New King James Version–“And having come in, the angel said to her, Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
            Revised Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’
            New Revised Standard Version–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
            The New Century Version–The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”
            New Living Translation–Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’”
            The Cambridge Paragraph Bible–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.’
            The Holman Christian Standard Bible–“And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
            International Standard Version–‘”The angel” came to her and said, “’Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”
            What does the Greek say here for “highly favored one? It is the single Greek word kexaritomena and means highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc. It does not mean “full of grace” which is “plaras karitos” (plaras = full and karitos = Grace) in the Greek.

            5923 χαριτόω (charitoō): vb.; Str 5487; TDNT 9.372—LN 88.66 show kindness graciously give, freely give (Eph 1:6); as a passive participle, subst., “one highly favored.”1
            5487 χαριτόω [charitoo /khar·ee·to·o/] v. From 5485; TDNT 9:372; TDNTA 1298; GK 5923; Two occurrences; AV translates as “be highly favoured” once, and “make accepted” once. 1 to make graceful. 1a charming, lovely, agreeable. 2 to peruse with grace, compass with favour. 3 to honour with blessings.2
            Therefore, we conclude that the Roman Catholic Church has manufactured far too much doctrine concerning Mary out of the erroneous translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible, and that the RCC needs to recant its false teaching concerning Mary.

            Conclusion

            Mary was a very blessed woman. She was graced with the privilege of being able to bear the Son of God. We should never forget her high privilege in this respect. However, we must not elevate her to a level beyond that which is prescribed in Scripture. To do so is to be in error–the very error that is taught in the Roman Catholic Church.

            We urge Roman Catholics not look to Mary. Instead, they should look to Jesus alone. He alone is the sinless one, the perfect one, the Lord, the mediator, the forgiver of our sins. It is he alone to whom we should appeal and trust for the forgiveness of our sins. We should not look to any creature no matter how blessed that creature may
            Carm.org

          • Anthony

            You sated, ” Using the Latin vulgate as your “translation is not accurate since the Bible was written in Greek.”

            The Greek is where we originally translated it from into the Latin. Although the Greek literally reads, “perfectly graced”, or “completely graced” – hence in the Latin translation, “Full of Grace” (more on this further below).

            You said, “The Roman Catholic Church derives all sorts of teachings concerning Mary from the phrase “full of grace.”

            That’s not entirely correct. Luke 1:28 is one verse concerning Mary. Yes it is important of course, yet it is not the only scripture verse regarding Mary. To conclude that all of the teachings about Mary are based solely on Luke 1:28 demonstrates your fundamental lack of knowledge regarding Catholic doctrine; and demonstrates your lack of biblical knowledge as well.

            You said,”since she has been so highly exalted, prayer is also offered to Mary.”

            We pray to all the Saints, we ask them to intercede for us. And it is Christ Himself who exalts His mother, for even in His Word (Bible) she is given the title, “mother of the Lord”. Luke 1:43. In case it has escaped you, the bible shows the Mary is the mother of “Kyriou”, (the Lord), the same word refers to God throughout the New Testament.

            You said, “Prayer should be offered to God alone”

            Actually the bible NOWHERE forbids praying to a Saint for intercession, it says that we should worship the Lord alone. The word ‘pray’ means to entreat, to ask’, There is a difference between intercessory prayer and worship. You would know that if you were a Christian.

            First of all, Acts 6:8 does not describe St. Stephen as “full of grace” (past-perfect tense). Rather, in the greek, Stephen is described as “.filled with grace – “pleres charitos” –present tense, and literally translated as “filled with grace” (at that moment).

            The Greek of Acts 6:8 is dramatically different from the Greek of Luke 1:28, which describes Mary as “full of grace.” In Luke 1:28. Mary is called “Kecharitomenae” –past-perfect tense, and literally translated as “perfectly graced.” or “completed in grace, literally – hence “full of grace”. And so, from the point of view of the original Greek, there is simply no comparison between Luke 1:28 and Acts 6:3.

            “Kecharitomenae” is a term exclusive to Luke 1:28, and so exclusive to Mary. No one else in the Bible is described in this way in regard to grace. And this becomes especially striking when we compare it to verses like Ephesians 1:6 and Ephesians 2:8, where Scripture speaks of Baptized Christians as being “graced” -(“a charie toson” –past tense), but never “perfectly graced” or “completed in grace” (“kecharitomenae” –past perfect tense).

            And lastly, the most strinking difference between Acts 6:* and Luke 1:28 is that, in Luke 1:28, Mary is being called “Kecharitomenae” (that is “Full of grace” or “Perfectly graced”) as a proper name!

            It is amazing how people always overlook that.

            Unlike Stephen in Acts 6:8, who is merely being described as “filled with grace and power” (and merely at a given moment -i n other words, it is a simple present tense.), Mary is being called – and not only called – but hailed by an angel as “Full of grace” / “Perfectly graced.” And we all know the importance of names in Scripture, right? So, “Kecharitomenae” describes Mary’s very nature because it is presented as her name: “Chaire, Kecharitomenae” —literally: “Hail, Full of grace.”

            Matthew 26:49 “to Jesus, and said, Hail, master;”

            Matthew 27:29 “him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!”

            “Mark 15:18″ to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!”

            John 19:3 ” And said, Hail, King of the Jews!”

            All of these verses show that a title is given following the word Hail (kai). Just as it is when the angel greeted Mary. Hail, Full of grace!

            Acts 6:8 does not describe St. Stephen as “full of grace” (past-perfect tense). And so, from the point of view of the original Greek, there is simply no comparison between Luke 1:28 and Acts 6:3 at all.

          • Anthony

            So what do the other translators of new testament Greek say about Luke 1:28? Let’s find out.

            There are seven tenses of the Greek verb. They are: the Aorist, Present, Imperfect, Future, Pluperfect, and Future Perfect. Let us exemplify the Perfect and Present tenses. In the words of the Greek grammarian J. Gresham Machen, ‘The Greek perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action’ (New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 187). The perfect is used in Matthew 4:4,7,10 (‘it is written’). Literally translated, ‘It has been written in the past and is still in force.’ Hence, Jesus expresses the continuing authority of God’s written law by using the perfect tense.” (“How About the Greek Language?” from BibleQuestions.org)

            “…Ephesians 2:8, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith…’ The word ‘saved’ is translated from the Greek word sesosmenoi, which is a perfect passive participle. It means that this salvation took place at some point in the past and is continuing on in the present….

            In other words, the perfect tense in Greek is a past tense with a special meaning: it is used to refer to a past action which has effects felt in the present. So, here’s what some modern, English-speaking scholars tell us “Kecharitomene” denotes, based purely on the definition of the word and its grammatical usage:

            ” ‘Highly favoured’ (kecharitomene). Perfect passive participle of charitoo and means endowed with grace (charis), enriched with grace as in Ephesians 1:6 . . . The Vulgate gratiae plena [full of grace] “is right, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast received’; wrong, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast to bestow’ ” (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, p. 14) – Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

            “It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace.” (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament).

            Luke 1:28 uses a special conjugated form of “charitoo.” It uses “kecharitomene,” while Ephesians 1:6 uses “echaritosen,” which is a different form of the verb “charitoo.” Echaritosen means “he graced” (or bestowed grace). Echaritosensignifies a momentary action, an action brought to pass (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p. 166). Whereas, Kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle, shows a completeness with a permanent result.Kecharitomene denotes continuance of a completed action (H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar [Harvard Univ Press, 1968], p. 108-109, sec 1852:b; also Blass and DeBrunner, p. 175).

            And our friend’s citation of what the term denotes:

            “…to bestow grace, to show favor to someone…the divine favor for a special vocation….” (Fritz Rienecker/Cleon Rogers in their Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament)

            Ironically, that final definition is essentially coextensive with the Catholic understanding of the why of Mary’s sinlessness.

          • Anthony

            Conclusion

            “Mary was a very blessed woman”

            Well we’re glad you agree on this point because a few days ago you said Mary was nothing more than a human incubator. That’s some progress at least. And if I amy point out, the bible says that all generations will call her blessed. WHen is the last time that you referred to her in this manner?

            “She was graced with the privilege of being able to bear the Son of God”

            Actually, she was chosen to be the Mother of God; from all the women who have ever lived, and all the women that have still yet to be born & will ever live.

            “However, we must not elevate her to a level beyond that which is prescribed in Scripture.”

            How ironic it is that you say “we should not elevate her to a level beyond that which is prescribed in scripture”, yet you ignore and turn a blind eye to what IS revealed in scripture regarding the Blessed Mother, in order to justify your heresy.

            “We urge Roman Catholics not look to Mary”

            Why not? She says to do whatever Christ tells you (John 2:5). Her soul magnifies the Lord (Luke 1:46), brings us closer to Him, make Him clearer, enlarges Him, magnifies Him.).

            “Instead, they should look to Jesus alone”

            The words “Jesus alone” are found no where in the bible; just like “faith alone” isn’t found in the bible.

            “He alone is the sinless one, the perfect one, the Lord, the mediator, the forgiver of our sins.”

            Well, the bible says in Matthew 9:8 that the power to forgive sin was given to men (plural). Albeit through Christ. Also John 20:21, 2 Cor. 2:10, 2 Cor, 5:20.

            The Mediator, YES! But He also lets us mediate for one another in a subordinate capacity to His unique mediation.

            “He alone is the sinless one”

            Not according to what the bible teaches. If, as you claim, Mary wasn’t sinless, how could she bear a child without sin? Since Jesus is called the fruit of Mary’s womb, and the bible teaches repeatedly that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

            “We should not look to any creature no matter how blessed that creature may be”

            So we cannot look to Mary or any Saint as an example to follow?

            1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

            1 Corinthians 4:16
            Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

            1 Thessalonians 1:6
            You became imitators of us and of the Lord.

            Philippians 3:17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

            Philippians 4:9
            Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

            I leave with Psalm 45 which is a Messianic Psalm. As you may or not be ware, in the Davidic Kingom, it is the Mother of the King who reigns as Queen. She sits at the right hand of the King.

            Psalm 45, the first 9 verses are well-known as Messianic in nature, prophesying in some detail concerning Christ the King. immediately following the ,there is another prophecy that speaks of Mary:

            “At your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house; and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him; the people of Tyre will sue your favor with gifts, the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth. The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes; in many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions, her escort, in her train. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king. Instead of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.”

            Set in the context of a royal wedding, on the literal level, this Psalm referred to the King of Israel, probably Solomon, receiving a new bride. But on the spiritual level it refers to Christ the King in relation to the Church and Mary as spouse of the Holy Spirit. Verses 16-17 in particular speak in terms that can quite easily be seen as fulfilled in the life of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ the King, and spouse of the Holy Spirit:

            Instead of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

            Not one of Solomon’s wives fits the description of being remembered in every generation. And while his mother, Bathsheba, may be remembered by many, she is hardly praised in every generation nor would she be able to fulfill a prophecy that appears to go beyond being a Queen of a small state in the Middle East. This Queen and Mother is depicted as “making… princes in all the earth.” Old Covenant Israel never covered the globe. The New Israel, the Church, certainly does. Who better fits the fulfillment of this prophecy than Mary? Every Christian—indeed most of the world beyond Christendom—knows the name of the Mother of God, Mary.

            We should also consider that Psalm 45:17 may well be the text of Scripture we hear echoed in the words of Mary herself in Luke 1:48-49. The parallel is worth noting:

            Psalm 45:17: “I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.”

            Luke 1:48: “For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

            At any rate, this great prophecy of our Lady says that all generations would “praise her?” When was the last time you heard of a Baptist singing praises to Mary and celebrating the fact that she, as Queen Mother, should be honored for giving birth to all of the brothers of Jesus (that’s us Christians) who truly are “princes throughout the earth?”

            Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.

            That is both Catholic and biblical stuff!

            http://timstaples.com/wordpress/does-praying-to-saints-equal-worshipping-the-saints/

          • Anthony

            I find it ironic how you now state that Mary was loved and respected by Jesus”, whereas a day or two ago you said Mary was nothing more than a human incubator.

          • Roger Noether

            Oh,oh,oh, Now you that God cannot make a sinless human being if He so chooses and a sinless human in my mind is not the equivalent of Jesus. So God the Almighty creator of the universe cannot create what pleases him? As to Mary’s virginity did you inherit her gynecological medical report? Please show me the gynecological evidence for her non-Virginity status before you make such a statement.

            As to my theology. I am in my mid-60s I have never read a catholic theologians work. My chief theological instructor was my dad, baptized in the Lutheran church in Germany, and then having to live a significant part of his life experiencing the Holocaust, a catastrophe perpetrated by “Christians” (in name, but not in deed) during which my Christian grandmother’s family(not my grandmother) murdered my Jewish grandfather’s family (don’t fret yourself about my grandfather’s soul, he converted to Christianity, before perishing in a concentration camp!). Because of these theological lessons I have had to learn, I have to stress that unless you live your life as Christ did (within your circumstances to the best of your ability) and adhere to what James says:
            James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

            18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22

            In China, where I have spent a good part of my life, people understand a simple truth: People walk on two legs (faith and works) if they want to go some place. Is that really such a hard lesson? If it cannot be mastered here I am ready to invite you to a house church in Shandong (North China) where although few people speak English, I will guarantee you a successful learning outcome. By the way no one in that Church cares much about the differences between Catholicism or Protestantism. People only care about being able to worship God in accordance with their understanding of what is in the bible, free of the guidance of the Chinese Communist Party.
            Peace and Best Wishes for the New Year

          • Roger Noether

            Sorry one last item, for your kin consideration regarding Mary. I train US special Forces for living. They have an interesting theology: We take all the help we can get! I would advise you to do the same!

      • Michael Bowes

        Ruth,

        As a life long Catholic, I can tell you just how far you are off base… which is really really far.. I’ve never in my entire life worshiped the Mother of God, nor has any other Catholic that I have met. The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that either. If you had an iota (Which you don’t), you would know where the Hail Mary comes from and what it truly means. If you think that the word ‘Hail Mary’ is a sign of worship, then you must accuse the holy archangel Gabriel of worshiping Mary.. for it was he that first said “Hail, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee” (Luke 1:28), While he doesn’t say her name, it is implied. He states that she is full of grace, not filled with grace.. but FULL of grace. The next part is “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:41-42)

        To truly think that Catholics worship Mary is beyond ridiculous and sad that my Christian brethren continue to promote such lies to debase Catholics as cultists.

        The papal Tiara is not fashioned after a fish god… LOL. Seriously.. have you been reading Jack Chick or something to come up with such ridiculous things?

        The father of the protestant reformation ‘Fr. Martin Luther’ (yes.. he was a bad Catholic Priest.. as were most of the reformers that went off to found protestant Churches).. but he had a great love for Mary.. he loved her as Christ loved her and he’d be sick to see where his protestant followers are today in regards to their limited understanding of Mary..

        • Lyn

          Oh yes Ruth, Luther said she was so Humble she would think of nothing to wash the clothes of John the Baptist. He also said before his death she should be pulled in a golden carriage with 4000 horses. For someone Sola Scriptura that would read him and not your ancestors..Disciple of Apostles (Early Church Father is beyond me. Then again he was an excommunicated Monk that believe he was in a battle with Satan tossing excrement…LOL. Again so glad to be Catholic!

          • Michael Bowes

            @Lyn,

            So true.. I remember when I first found out that Luther came up with the 95 theses while sitting on the toilet and in his own words.. having a conversation with Satan.. it blows my mind that people actually followed him. If modern day protestants were to go back and read his works.. they would shake their heads at what they would read. The man was a dissident nut case who was frequently heard sitting on the toilet and yelling obscenities at Satan. There is one of two things that were wrong with him..

            1. He was insane
            2. He was possessed

            Either of those two would disqualify him for the reformation. His back history was one of a troubled life.. his father and mother beat him severely and abused him. He was hated as a child and entered the monastery online to escape their wrath. I don’t think he truly ever had a vocation to that life and all that hate, anger, and pain caught up to him and pushed him over the brink.

        • jennylynn

          Well it is in there, you have just been blinded to it or you are ignorantly unawhere. Either way you can look these up yourself.

          Following is a list of the titles, attributes, and qualities of the Virgin Mary according to the Roman Catholic Church.
          Adoration of Mary
          Prayer to Mary
          CCC par. 2675, “Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries . . . ”
          Hears every prayer (in multiple languages)
          Pope John Paul II said, “I pray with each one of you in front of the Grotto as it were to offer to the Immaculate Virgin the gift of the whole spiritual journey completed in this Marian month: every resolution, every concern, every need of the Church and of the world. May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer.” (message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31 May 2003)
          Catholics Relation to Mary
          Prayer to Mary
          CCC 2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.
          Praises to Mary
          CCC 2682 Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her.
          Characteristics of Mary
          Mary Born without sin
          “Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.” (Munifentissimus deus, vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html, #5).
          CCC 722 The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of Zion”: “Rejoice.” It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.
          Titles
          From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
          Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, Mediatrix: CCC 969, “Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”
          The New Eve, Mother of the Church: CCC 975,”We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ.”
          Mother of God, Seat of Wisdom: CCC 721, “Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time . . . Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”
          Mother of the members of Christ: CCC 963, ” . . . The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.”
          Queen over all things: CCC 966, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”
          Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins, Mother of the Church, Mother of divine grace, Mother most pure, Mother most chaste, Mother inviolate, Mother undefiled, Mother most amiable, Mother admirable, Mother of good counsel, Mother of mercy, Virgin most prudent, Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful, Virgin most faithful, Mirror of justice, Seat of wisdom, Mystical rose, Tower of David, Tower if ivory, Ark of the covenant, Gate of heaven, Morning star, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comfort of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Confessors, Queen of Virgins, Queen of all Saints, Queen conceived without original sin, Queen assumed into heaven, Queen of the most holy Rosary, Queen of families, Queen of peace. (vatican.va/special/rosary/documents/litanie-lauretane_en.html)
          From the Vatican Website
          Spouse of the Holy Spirit: “Let us turn our gaze to Mary, Christs first disciple, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Mother of the Church, who was with the Apostles at the first Pentecost, so that she will help us to learn from her fiat docility to the voice of the Spirit.” (Holy Father’s speech for the world congress of ecclesial movements and new communities).
          Queen of the Apostles: We entrust to the intercession of these two holy Apostles the Church’s course at the beginning of the new millennium. We invoke Mary Queen of the Apostles so that everywhere the Christian people may grow in fraternal communion and in missionary zeal. (Homily of John Paul II, Friday, 29 June 2001)
          Woman of the Eucharist: “Therefore, in the footsteps of Mary, “woman of the Eucharist” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, chapter VI), the Christian community lives this mystery! Strengthened by the “bread of eternal life”, it becomes a presence of light and life, a leaven of evangelization and solidarity.” (Address of John Paul II, Altar of the Confessio of the Vatican Basilica, Sunday, 17 October 2004)
          Works of Mary
          Mary’s intercession brings us the gifts of eternal salvation
          “This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until The eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix (helper), Adjutrix (benefactress), and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, Solemnly Promulgated by Holiness Pope Paul VI, Nov. 21, 1964 , #62).
          Mary made atonement for the sins of men
          “in the power of the grace of redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.” (Fundamentals of Catholic dogma, page 213 as cited in “the facts on Roman Catholicism” by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, harvest House publishers, Eugene Oregon, 1993, page 51)
          Mary is preparing a home for Christians
          “This mother . . . is waiting and preparing your home for you” (Handbook for Todays Catholic, p.31).
          John 14:2, “In My Fathers house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
          Mary is the mediator between Christ and people.
          “Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.” (Vatican Website: Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914)
          1 Tim. 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
          Mary delivers the Christian’s souls from death.
          Par. 966, ” . . . You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”
          Other
          Looking to Mary
          CCC 972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own “pilgrimage of faith,” and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, “in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity,” “in the communion of all the saints,” the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.
          The best way to conclude is to look to Jesus, not Mary!
          We should contemplate what the church is in Jesus.
          We should look to Jesus as our Savior.
          Mary the example of holiness
          CCC, 2030, “It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation . . . From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary . . . ”
          Mary as the prototype of hope and grace for mankind
          “The holiness which is our end in Christ (cf. 1 John 3:2-3) was seen, by unmerited grace, in Mary, who is the prototype of the hope of grace for humankind as a whole.” (www.vatian.va, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity. Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), #59).

          • Michael Bowes

            You’ve gotta knock off the copy and paste from carm. … lol

        • jennylynn

          The phrase “full of grace” in Greek is “plaras karitos,” and it occurs in only two places in the New Testament; neither one is in reference to Mary.

          “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
          “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8).
          The first citation refers to Jesus who is obviously full of grace. Jesus is God in flesh, the crucified and risen Lord, who cleanses us from our sins. In the second citation it is Stephen who is full of grace. We can certainly affirm that Jesus was conceived without sin and remained sinless, but can we conclude this about Stephen as well? Certainly not. The phrase “full of grace” does not necessitate sinlessness by virtue of its use. In Stephen’s case it signifies that he was “full of the Spirit and of wisdom,” along with faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3, 5). But Stephen was a sinner. Nevertheless, where does the phrase “full of grace” come from regarding Mary?

          The Latin Vulgate and other translations

          The Latin Vulgate is the Latin translation of the Bible done by St. Jerome in the fourth century. It is here in Luke 1:28 that is found the unfortunate Latin translation which says “ave gratia plena “Hail full of grace.'” Remember, the New Testament was written in Greek–not Latin–but the Roman Church has derived its doctrine from the Latin translation–not the Greek original. Therefore, it constructed its doctrine on a false translation. Of course, it cannot correct itself since so much is invested in the worship, adoration, and prayer to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church; and to recant of this false teaching would greatly lessen its credibility. Unfortunately, this means that millions of Catholics will continue to look to Mary for help–not Christ who is truly full of grace.

          So what do the other translations say about Luke 1:28? Let’s find out.

          The Nestle Aland 26th edition, Greek New Testament Interlinear–“having gone into her he said rejoice one having been favored, the master is with you.”
          The NRSV English Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
          American Standard Version–“And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee.”
          English Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!
          Today’s English Version–‘”The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”
          King James Version–“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.”
          New American Standard Bible–“And coming in, he said to her, Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.
          New International Version–“The angel went to her and said, Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
          New King James Version–“And having come in, the angel said to her, Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
          Revised Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’
          New Revised Standard Version–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
          The New Century Version–The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”
          New Living Translation–Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’”
          The Cambridge Paragraph Bible–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.’
          The Holman Christian Standard Bible–“And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
          International Standard Version–‘”The angel” came to her and said, “’Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”
          What does the Greek say here for “highly favored one? It is the single Greek word kexaritomena and means highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc. It does not mean “full of grace” which is “plaras karitos” (plaras = full and karitos = Grace) in the Greek.

          5923 χαριτόω (charitoō): vb.; Str 5487; TDNT 9.372—LN 88.66 show kindness graciously give, freely give (Eph 1:6); as a passive participle, subst., “one highly favored.”1
          5487 χαριτόω [charitoo /khar·ee·to·o/] v. From 5485; TDNT 9:372; TDNTA 1298; GK 5923; Two occurrences; AV translates as “be highly favoured” once, and “make accepted” once. 1 to make graceful. 1a charming, lovely, agreeable. 2 to peruse with grace, compass with favour. 3 to honour with blessings.2
          Therefore, we conclude that the Roman Catholic Church has manufactured far too much doctrine concerning Mary out of the erroneous translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible, and that the RCC needs to recant its false teaching concerning Mary.

          carm.ord

          • Michael Bowes

            answer in your own words.. not carms..

      • Lyn

        Ruth, I am Catholic and your crazy. We do NOT pray to Mary to forgive us our sins. We pray for her intercession to Polish our prayers to Jesus. Keep hearing the lies of the protastant Anti Catholic faith. WTG G/f!

      • Lyn

        I will pray for you…

      • Anthony Kulušić

        No one said Mary can forgive sins, we ask her to pray for us. Just as the bible shows the angels and saints in heaven offering our prayers to God.

    • Michael Bowes

      Interesting considering a Catholic Priest founded your ‘church’.. Fr. Jean Baptiste… You are correct.. you do not follow the Pope because you have donned your own papal tiara and named yourself Pope. You dictate what you believe, you decide what is right and wrong.. and you falsely claim to be a Christian. I still haven’t met a Catholic who worships Mary.. to make a statement that Catholics do.. is not only stupid.. but it is wrong to continue to spread lies against the Mother of God.. a woman that was first elevated to great heights by the archangel Gabriel when he called her “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee”. If an archangel spoke so highly of the Mother of God.. then you should as well. “Whoever came up with all of these set ups with the priests and popes and Nuns” — well that would be God who came up with it… and the bible called for the use of graven images and statues and used them frequently.. there was never a problem with that until protestantism came along…

    • Lyn

      Excuse me? I am not like her but hope to be. She is Holy and a clean of all sins. God is not stupid, he has a divine plan and she was part of it. Why would God use an unclean vessel. Use your head..We do not worship her, we honor her as our mother. We are Jesus brother and sisters and Gods children. Honor your mother and father. Man, I am glad I Catholic…

    • Anthony Kulušić

      Why does St Paul continually ask others to pray for him in scripture? Why didn’t he just pray directly to God himself? Why ask others to pray for him? And we do not worship Mary, we venerate her and honour her of course. You have no true form of worship, so you falsely equate all prayer as worship. If bowing to others out of reverence is worship as you claim, how do you explain: Ruth 2:8-10 (she bowed down with her face to the ground to Boaz – was she worshipping him)? Or how about (2 Kings 4:37) – she fell at his feet and bowed to the ground -was she worshipping him?), What about Genesis 19:1? – Lot bowed down to the angels with his face to the ground – was he worshipping them?). How about (1 Samuel 24:8)- David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground – was he worshipping Saul?).
      (1 Kings 1:16)-Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king -was she worshipping him?), Or how about (Genesis 33:30) – Jacob bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother- was he worshipping him?). And what about (Genesis 27:29)? what does the bible say about Jacob? “May nations serve you and peoples BOW DOWN TO YOU. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

      So if if these can be bowed to, and prostrated to, why can’t I kneel before the mother of my Lord?

    • Anthony

      We do not worship Mary, we venerate her and honour her of course. You have no true form of worship, so you falsely equate all prayer as worship.

      If bowing to others out of reverence is worship as you claim, how do you explain: Ruth 2:8-10 (she bowed down with her face to the ground to Boaz – was she worshipping him)?

      Or how about (2 Kings 4:37) – she fell at his feet and bowed to the ground -was she worshipping him?),

      How about Joshua? He fell facedown in reverence to an angel of the Lord. Was he worshipping him? (Joshua 5:14)

      What about Genesis 19:1? – Lot bowed down to the angels with his face to the ground – was he worshipping them?).

      How about (1 Samuel 24:8)- David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground – was he worshipping Saul?).

      (1 Kings 1:16)-Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king -was she worshipping him?),

      Or how about (Genesis 33:30) – Jacob bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother- was he worshipping him?).

      And what about (Genesis 27:29)? what does the bible say about Jacob? “May nations serve you and peoples BOW DOWN TO YOU. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

      So if if these can be bowed to, and prostrated to, why can’t I kneel before the mother of my Lord?

      And we do not worship statues or images, that’s a ridiculous claim; that’s like saying you worship the wall when you pray in on your knees in front of it. Or worshipping the bible if you bow your head in prayer in front of it.

      A Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn’t worshipping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshipping the Bible or praying to it. It’s merely a visual aid to help recall the person in our mind.

      The Church absolutely recognizes and condemns the sin of idolatry. What anti-Catholics fail to recognize is the distinction between thinking a piece of stone or plaster is a god and desiring to visually remember Christ and the saints in heaven by making statues in their honor. The making and use of religious statues is a thoroughly biblical practice. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know his Bible.

  • RickDC

    The Mary of the Bible is not this Mary of the RCC this one is basically Diana and also appeared under other names. Ishtar, Queen of Heaven. etc.,

    • Demopublicrat

      IHS = “Isis Horus Seb” the satanic trinity.

    • Michael Bowes

      One day.. you will meet this Mary and what a sad day it will be for you.. you who spent your life hating her and spreading lies about her. Repent and ask Jesus for mercy for blaspheming his Mother.

  • Faithfull

    The pope must remain ignorant of the glory of Gods Word, The Bible. Were he to examine Scripture, he would reach the same conclusion I reached 40 years ago: The teaching of rome are and always were not Biblical. there is no pope, cardinals, archbishops, Mary worship, sacrifice of the mass, official proclaimed saints, etc. It would force him to become a protestant. I can’t wait!

    • Tassieo

      Anything is possible with God. Blessings

    • Michael Bowes

      That will never happen.. just like Christ will never be a Protestant.. he is Catholic.

  • jennylynn

    This is a cult that goes outside the doctrines of Christ. It is a works based, man made religion that will not bring salvation..

    • Roger Noether

      Really now? Works based, you say. Have you ever read the words:

      James 2:14-26New King James Version (NKJV)

      Faith Without Works Is Dead

      14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

      • jennylynn

        You are confusing fruit with works. Fruit is a result of faith. Catholics follow unbiblical sacraments that are not biblical.
        Baptism Is the first sacrament of forgiveness of sins.
        (Catechism o the RCC par. 977) this doesn not save you nor does baptism forgive sins, Jesus does. Romans 3:20,28; 4:3; 5:1 an Ephesians 2:8
        Roman Catholicism teaches that works are necessary for “re-attainment” or justification.according to catholic theology, penance is a sacrament where a person, through a CATHOLIC PRIEST(CCC,par.987) receives forgiveness of the sins committed after baptism. The penitent person MUST confess his sins TO A PRIEST. The priest pronounces absolution and imposes acts of penance to be performed. Again this is unbiblical. Christ institutes the sacrament of penance for ALL SINFUL MEMBERS of His church. There is only one mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus. 1 Timoth 2:5. Not Mary and not the pope! 1 john 1:9, Mathew 28:18. Now there may be Catholics that think there good works will save them, but works are a result of our love for God, fruit of our salvation, the Spirit living in us. This is not the same thing. The Catholic Church has many other things that are unbiblical these are just a couple. Do your own research and do not cofuse scripture with the false doctrines of the Catholic Church.

        • Roger Noether

          In this life are you familiar with people who mouth all kinds of slogans (especially politicians) and then do nothing to actuate them. Here’s what Matthew 7:21 has to say on this issue
          New International Version
          “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

          New Living Translation
          “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
          —!
          Please tread very carefully here; you are skating on thin ice!

          • jennylynn
          • Roger Noether

            James 2:14-26New King James Version (NKJV)

            Faith Without Works Is Dead.

            Amen. Peace Be With You.

          • jennylynn

            I guess you have not read any other posts, or you don’t understand scripture and salvation.

          • Michael Bowes

            Please use the Bible or tradition.. don’t just post a link to a biased one side jack-chick oriented site. I can post sites as well that would blow your site out of the water.. but I choose to instead dialogue with you.. so please no more carm.org.. or our conversation isn’t going to go very far.

          • jennylynn

            Yes, carm is not liked by Catholics. It quotes straight from the catechism and exposes the false doctrine. Apparently dialogue would take more than a comment blog to show the facts. Most people just like to argue back and forth instead of look at their own doctime that is practiced. I know, I have seen it many times. But I understand your point I knew many Catholics that were the same way. I hope you really look at what the Catholic Church teaches. I use the word of God so I am not worried about any catholic sites.

          • Michael Bowes

            While I know the catechism well, I like to use history and the bible in my discussions. Carm uses the Catechism as a double barreled shotgun, they like the short answers and they use it to twist the minds of uneducated Catholics and protestants that do not know their faith very well and have done little research on where their faith came from and why the Catechism teaching what it does based upon tradition and the Bible. I can just as easily use Catholic Answers to blast you back with.. but I choose not to. I enjoy a good conversation and discussion that delves into the richness of history. =)

          • Michael Bowes

            I researched my faith many years ago when I was in my early 20’s, I researched all the protestant Churches, who started them, their writings, and the early Church fathers. I made my choice based upon my findings. I then received my BA in religious studies and went on to join a Monastery and study at a Seminary while working on my MA in Philosophy and Divinity. I left after a bit and returned home to live my life as a single vocation. I’m not boasting here to trying to prop myself up, I’m just letting you know that I am not your typical uneducated and badly catechized Catholic that you probably come across quite frequently that has little knowledge of what they believe and why their believe it. Many of those Catholics are CINO’s.. (Catholics in Name Only) or Chreasters (Christmas/Easter Catholics) who only show up to Church twice a year. =D

          • pax2u

            Jack Chick and the KKK also hate the Catholic Church do you use them as your theological scholarship?

          • jennylynn

            If you’re a Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven when you die? As a Protestant, I can say that I know I am going to heaven. This isn’t arrogance. It is confidence in the work of Christ and not my own work. It is confidence in the ability of Jesus to save me completely, to have fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, and to have cleansed me from my sin totally. Therefore, because all my hope and trust are in him and not what I can do, I know I am going to heaven. If my salvation depended on my goodness and abilities in any way, then I can’t have any confidence that I will make it to heaven because I am an imperfect sinner. But God is perfect and requires holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). This is why God provided Jesus who fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17), including loving God (Deut. 6:5) and loving your neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In other words, Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do. This is why we should trust Jesus alone and not Jesus and our goodness or Jesus and our church or Jesus and our ability to love God and our neighbor.

            But, what about you? Do you have that confidence? If not, perhaps it is because of the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church has stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

            “The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1257).
            “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 846).
            “This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn,” (CCC 980).
            “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation, (CCC 1129).
            “Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1816).
            “The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).
            Are you as a Catholic able to keep all the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church says are necessary for salvation? We both know you can’t.

            Are you sincere, and do you go to confession?

            If you go to confession, then that means you are not keeping the law perfectly; otherwise, you would not need to go to confession. So, the very fact that you go to confession demonstrates you’re not able to live up to the standard of God’s requirement. But since the Roman Catholic Church says you are to keep the Law to be saved, please consider this:

            Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law.’”
            James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
            God’s standard is perfect. We are not. This is why we need to trust Jesus alone, so that we are justified by faith. What about you? Are you doing that? Or, are you trusting in Jesus and your ability to keep the Law?

            Rom. 3:28, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
            Rom. 4:1-5, “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.”

          • Michael Bowes

            You are committing the sin of presumption, you presume to know where you are going when you die. Even St. Paul prayed for his friend who had died.. not knowing where he had gone. You may think you know where you are going.. but you cannot say with finality that you are bound for heaven. Very few people die and go straight to heaven.

          • jennylynn

            That is a sad state for Catholics. They have no faith in God so they can’t be sure of salvation. When your trusting in good works, popes and sacraments then you are not saved. Only trusting in Jesus will save you. Nothing more, nothing less.

            Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;”

            Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”

            Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”

            Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast.”

          • Michael Bowes

            ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” shall enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 7:21)

          • jennylynn

            Context, context, context!
            They were doing miracles in Jesus’ name and not trusting Him, but their own works.
            What is the will of the Father? To trust in Jesus and abide in Him. Then you will bear much fruit, apart from Him you can do nothing. John 15. It is important to rightly divide the word of truth and compare scripture with scripture.
            Works don’t save you Jesus does. Works is a result of our salvation not a cause.

          • Michael Bowes

            Just because you believe in Jesus or have faith in him isn’t going to save you necessarily. Jesus is stating here that not everyone who calls themselves a Christian or who proclaims they are saved.. are actually saved. Many of these people are CINOs (Christians in Name Only) who believe all they had to utter was a Jesus prayer and they can go on living terrible lives and be saved. No. If that were the case.. then God would have just had us be born without the ability to commit sin and if that were to occur, then there would have been no need for him to die on the Cross. But we know that-that is not the case.

          • jennylynn

            This passage in Matthew 7 is talking about false teachers and prophets who used Jesus for self prophet. Further on Jesus said everyine who hears His word and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who builds his house in a rock. Meaning Christians are to obey the word of God. ( not the pope, not the catechism, not the apostolic fathers, not follow sacraments, not praying to the dead virgin marry; (necromancy), not indulgences and confession to the priest etc.) NONE of this is in accord to the word of God, but are doctrines of men. If you have faith in Christ you will act on it. Miracles and casting out demons is not obedience. I think you are confusing having faith with someone who said a little prayer but then lives wickedly. That is not abiding in Christ. If you have faith and trust in Him you will obey His words. ( love your neighbor and Love God, which sums up the whole of the Law). Not for salvation, but out of love. The Lord is NOT saying faith isn’t important, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6.
            False Christians neither obey God nor love Him. These are pretenders.

          • Michael Bowes

            “None of this in in accord to the word of God, but are doctrines of Men” — Wrong. All of it is biblical and due to the word of God that we believe in the way that we do. You stated: “Not praying to the dead virgin mary”. That is also unbiblical. You must not believe in intercessory prayer or that Mary is in heaven. If she is in heaven, which we all know she is..then she is alive in Christ, alive as all the saints are in heaven It is a common misconception and due to bad catechesis on the part of protestants to not have a solid grasp on the bible. I’ll explain below what I mean:

            The saints in heaven are not worshipped or thought to have any power in and of themselves. They are merely asked to pray for and with us. We believe they can do this in part because of what we read in Scripture. We know that those in heaven care for us (Luke 15:7). We also know that they present our prayers to Jesus (Revelation 5:8). Finally we see that they add their own prayers to ours (Revelation 8:3-4). You see, to pray to saint isn’t an act of worship, it’s an act of asking.. The old english translation and understanding of what the definition of prayer is: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pray

            To pray means to ask. Just as I may ask you to pray for me.. or I may say something like “Pray tell, what do you mean?” And in saying “Pray tell” I am asking you a question or asking you to intercede for me and seek out an answer.

            The bible is clear about this supplication and intercessory prayer as stated above and through this scripture:

            ““And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 5:8).

            This shows us the twenty-four elders, who represent the leaders of the people of God in heaven, offering to God the prayers of the saints on earth. They therefore must be interceding with God by presenting to him our prayer needs.

            And it goes without saying that the angels intercede on our behalf:

            “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Revelation 8:3-4).

            And Jesus himself told us that the guardian angels of little children have guaranteed access to the Father to intercede on behalf of their charges:

            “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

            So you see.. when we ask the Mother of God for help or prayer, she is interceding on our behalf to God. We know from the wedding of Cana that anything that Jesus’ Mother asked of her son, he will do. Why even have intercessory prayer in the first place here on earth from weak sinful creatures and not support that prayer being accepted and prayed for by the saints? It doesn’t make sense and clearly the protestant take on it isn’t supported by the bible.

          • jennylynn

            Is Mary sinless?
            Did amary remain a virgin?

          • Michael Bowes

            Of course she is sinless and she did remain a virgin.

          • jennylynn

            What verse in the Bible says Mary was without sin? And remained a Virgin?

          • Anthony

            What verse in the Bible says Mary was without sin?

            Notice in Luke 1:42 that Jesus is called the FRUIT OF WHAT? Mary’s womb, right?

            Luke 1:42 “and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

            THEN, the bible says in that a bad tree cannot bear good FRUIT,

            Luke 6:43-44 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUIT.”

            AND, the bible says that a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT, (remember Luke 1:42)

            Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its FRUIT will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:17 “Likewise, every good tree bears good FRUIT, but a bad tree bears bad FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:20 “Thus, by their FRUIT you will RECOGNIZE THEM.”

            Full of Grace before the incarnation:

            Luke 1:26-28:in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

            St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, “kekaritomene”, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary?

            Why is all of this significant? Because some erroneous translations of Luke 1:28say “highly favored daughter,” which takes God’s grace out of the picture. “Charitoo” means “Grace,” not “favor.” But this erroneous translation was no accident; it was by design to downgrade the role of Mary in salvation.

            There is another example of scripture where the term “full of grace” is used, in Acts 6:8: And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” But the Greek term for “full of grace” here is not “kecharitomene,” but rather, “pleres charitos.” “Pleres charitos” is a different tense of being filled with grace, and means “a temporary filling with grace at that point in time,” and does not equate to kechariomene,” which means “has been filled with grace.”

          • jennylynn

            And my spirit has rejoiced in “God my Savior”. Luke 1:47
            What did Mary need to be saved from? Sin
            Further in luke she offers a sacrifice according to Levitical law in luke 2:22-24.

          • Anthony

            Of course Mary needed a saviour! I already addressed this in my previous posts.I guess you didn’t bother to read them.

            And Luke 2:22-24 does not support your argument. Consider,Jesus did not require baptism but was still baptized by John in order to fullfil all righteousness. Mary was a woman born under the law, so she was obedient to the law of God.

          • jennylynn

            The phrase “full of grace” in Greek is “plaras karitos,” and it occurs in only two places in the New Testament; neither one is in reference to Mary.

            “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
            “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8).
            The first citation refers to Jesus who is obviously full of grace. Jesus is God in flesh, the crucified and risen Lord, who cleanses us from our sins. In the second citation it is Stephen who is full of grace. We can certainly affirm that Jesus was conceived without sin and remained sinless, but can we conclude this about Stephen as well? Certainly not. The phrase “full of grace” does not necessitate sinlessness by virtue of its use. In Stephen’s case it signifies that he was “full of the Spirit and of wisdom,” along with faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3, 5). But Stephen was a sinner. Nevertheless, where does the phrase “full of grace” come from regarding Mary?

            The Latin Vulgate and other translations

            The Latin Vulgate is the Latin translation of the Bible done by St. Jerome in the fourth century. It is here in Luke 1:28 that is found the unfortunate Latin translation which says “ave gratia plena “Hail full of grace.'” Remember, the New Testament was written in Greek–not Latin–but the Roman Church has derived its doctrine from the Latin translation–not the Greek original. Therefore, it constructed its doctrine on a false translation. Of course, it cannot correct itself since so much is invested in the worship, adoration, and prayer to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church; and to recant of this false teaching would greatly lessen its credibility. Unfortunately, this means that millions of Catholics will continue to look to Mary for help–not Christ who is truly full of grace.

            So what do the other translations say about Luke 1:28? Let’s find out.

            The Nestle Aland 26th edition, Greek New Testament Interlinear–“having gone into her he said rejoice one having been favored, the master is with you.”
            The NRSV English Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
            American Standard Version–“And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee.”
            English Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!
            Today’s English Version–‘”The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”
            King James Version–“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.”
            New American Standard Bible–“And coming in, he said to her, Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.
            New International Version–“The angel went to her and said, Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
            New King James Version–“And having come in, the angel said to her, Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
            Revised Standard Version–“And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’
            New Revised Standard Version–And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
            The New Century Version–The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”
            New Living Translation–Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’”
            The Cambridge Paragraph Bible–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.’
            The Holman Christian Standard Bible–“And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
            International Standard Version–‘”The angel” came to her and said, “’Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”
            What does the Greek say here for “highly favored one? It is the single Greek word kexaritomena and means highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc. It does not mean “full of grace” which is “plaras karitos” (plaras = full and karitos = Grace) in the Greek.

            5923 χαριτόω (charitoō): vb.; Str 5487; TDNT 9.372—LN 88.66 show kindness graciously give, freely give (Eph 1:6); as a passive participle, subst., “one highly favored.”15487 χαριτόω [charitoo /khar·ee·to·o/] v. From 5485; TDNT 9:372; TDNTA 1298; GK 5923; Two occurrences; AV translates as “be highly favoured” once, and “make accepted” once. 1 to make graceful. 1a charming, lovely, agreeable. 2 to peruse with grace, compass with favour. 3 to honour with blessings.2

          • Anthony

            “Pleres charitos” is a different tense of being filled with grace, and means “a temporary filling with grace at that point in time,” and does not equate to kechariomene,” which means “has been filled with grace.”

            St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, “kekaritomene”, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name.

          • Anthony

            Did Mary Remain a Virgin all Her Life?

            Let’s examine more closely the example of James, one of these four “brothers of the Lord” mentioned in Matthew 13:55, we discover him to be a cousin or some other relative of Jesus rather than a uterine brother. For example, Galatians 1:18-19 informs us: “Then after three years I [Paul] went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”

            Notice, the “James” of whom Paul was speaking was both a “brother of the Lord” and an “apostle.” According to the bible, there are only two apostles named James among the 12. The first James is revealed to be a “son of Zebedee.” He most likely would not be the “James” referred to because according to Acts 12:1-2 he was martyred very early on. Even if it was him, his father was named Zebedee, not Joseph.

            Paul more likely is referring to the second James who was an apostle, according to Luke 6:15-16. This James is revealed to have a father named Alphaeus, not Joseph.

            The term “Adelphos” (brother) has a much wider meaning in scripture. For example, in Matthew5:23, Matthew 5:23, Matthew 7:3, Matthew 10:21, Matthew 18:15,

            Jesus told us to call one another “brothers” in Matthew 23:8. The passage obviously does not mean to suggest that all Christians have the same uterine mother.

            Christ also calls the Apostles “brothers” in Matthew 28:10 and John 20:17: and the word in both verses is the plural form of “Adelphos”. Would you claim that since the term “Adelphos” is used, that the apostles were the “uterine brothers” of Jesus?

          • jennylynn

            In Greek, the word for brother is adelphos and sister is adelphe. This word is used in different contexts: of children of the same parents (Matt. 1:2; 14:3), descendants of parents (Acts 7:23, 26; Heb. 7:5), the Jews as a whole (Acts 3:17, 22), etc. Therefore, the term brother (and sister) can and does refer to the cousins of Jesus.

            There is certainly merit in this argument; however, different contexts give different meanings to words. It is not legitimate to say that because a word has a wide scope of meaning, that you may then transfer any part of that range of meaning to any other text that uses the word. In other words, just because the word brother means fellow Jews or cousin in one place, does not mean it has the same meaning in another. Therefore, each verse should be looked at in context to see what it means.

            Lets briefly analyze a couple of verses dealing with the brothers of Jesus.

            Matthew 12:46-47, “While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”
            Matthew 13:55–“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”
            In both of these verses, if the brothers of Jesus are not brothers but His cousins, then who is His mother, and who is the carpenter’s father? In other words, mother here refers to Mary. The carpenter in Matt. 13:55 refers to Joseph. These are literal. Yet, the Catholic theologian will then stop there and say, “Though carpenter’s son refers to Joseph and mother refers to Mary, brothers does not mean brothers but “cousins.” This does not seem to be a legitimate assertion. You cannot simply switch contextual meanings in the middle of a sentence unless it is obviously required. The context is clear. This verse is speaking of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus’ brothers. The whole context is of familial relationship: father, mother, and brothers.

          • Anthony

            Well, the bible says we are all “brothers” of the Lord. He is the first born of many brothers (ADELPHOIS).

            Romans 8:29 “For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren (ADELPHOIS)”.

            DOES THIS MEAN WE ARE ALL THE UTERINE BROTHERS OF JESUS? LOL

            WHO ELSE IS CALLED BROTHER OF THE LORD?

            Christ also calls the Apostles “brothers” in Matthew 28:10 and John 20:17: and the word in both verses is the plural form of “Adelphos”.

            Would you claim that since the term “Adelphos” is used, that the apostles were the “uterine brothers” of Jesus?

            Hebrews 2:11 “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers” (Adelphous).

            Here’s “ADLEPHOS” in the plural referring to all those in God’s family as Jesus’ “brothers”.

            Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren (adelphōn), even these least, ye did it unto me”

            Hebrews 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren (ADELPHOI), partakers of the heavenly vocation, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus”

            Hebrews 2:11 “For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one. For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (ADELPHOUS).

            According to you and your definition of the words “ADELPHOS”, that would make us all uterine brothers of Jesus right? LOL

          • Anthony

            We see James and Joseph (also called Joses), who are called Jesus’ “brothers”, named in (Mark 6:3). However, the mother of James and Joseph (Joses) is referred to as the “other Mary” in scripture.

            Matthew 27:56
            “Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”

            Mark 15:40
            “Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.”

            Now, This mother of James and Joseph is referred to as the “other Mary”,

            Matthew 28:1
            “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”

            Matthew 27:61
            “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb”

            Mark 15:47
            Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

            We know this “other Mary” is not the mother of Jesus, For in John’s Gospel we read:

            John 19:25
            “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene”.

            Here we can see that there’s THREE Mary’s, FIRST the mother of Jesus, second, her “SISTER” (relation) who is also named Mary, who is the wife of Clopas, .THIS is the “OTHER MARY” referenced in (Matthew 27:61 & Matthew 28:1) who is the mother of James and Joseph – who are the “brothers” of Jesus.

            No ones denies that they were related to Jesus by blood but they were not His uterine brothers.

          • jennylynn

            As the veneration of Mary increased throughout the centuries, the vehicle of Sacred Tradition became the means of promoting new doctrines not explicitly taught in the Bible. The virginity of Mary is clearly taught in scripture when describing the birth of Jesus. But is the doctrine of her continued virginity supported by the Bible? Did Mary lose her virginity after Jesus was born? Does the Bible reveal that Mary had other children–that Jesus had brothers and sisters?

            The Bible does not come out and declare that Mary remained a virgin, and that she had no children. In fact, the Bible seems to state otherwise: (All quotes are from the NASB.)

            Matthew 1:24-25–“And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.”
            Matthew 12:46-47–“While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”
            Matthew 13:55–“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”
            Mark 6:2-3–“And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?”
            John 2:12–“After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother, and His brothers, and His disciples; and there they stayed a few days.”
            Acts 1:14–“These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
            1 Cor. 9:4-5–“Do we not have a right to eat and drink? Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?”
            Gal. 1:19–But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.”
            An initial reading of these biblical texts seems to clear up the issue: Jesus had brothers and sisters. But such obvious scriptures are not without their response from Catholic Theologians. The primary argument against these biblical texts is as follows:

            In Greek, the word for brother is adelphos and sister is adelphe. This word is used in different contexts: of children of the same parents (Matt. 1:2; 14:3), descendants of parents (Acts 7:23, 26; Heb. 7:5), the Jews as a whole (Acts 3:17, 22), etc. Therefore, the term brother (and sister) can and does refer to the cousins of Jesus.

            There is certainly merit in this argument; however, different contexts give different meanings to words. It is not legitimate to say that because a word has a wide scope of meaning, that you may then transfer any part of that range of meaning to any other text that uses the word. In other words, just because the word brother means fellow Jews or cousin in one place, does not mean it has the same meaning in another. Therefore, each verse should be looked at in context to see what it means.

          • Anthony

            “The Bible does not come out and declare that Mary remained a virgin, and that she had no children.”

            The bible no where says that Mary gave birth to other children; nor are any children referred to to as the children of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nor is there any mention of any other children when Jesus and his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover when He was twelve .They went every year, yet no mention of any uterine brothers or sisters. Luke 2:41-52

            if we examine more closely the example of James, one of these four “brothers of the Lord” mentioned in Matthew 13:55, we discover him to be a cousin or some other relative of Jesus rather than a uterine brother. For example, Galatians 1:18-19 informs us: “Then after three years I [Paul] went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”

            Notice, the “James” of whom Paul was speaking was both a “brother of the Lord” and an “apostle.” There are two apostles named James among the 12. The first James is revealed to be a “son of Zebedee.” He most likely would not be the “James” referred to because according to Acts 12:1-2 he was martyred very early on. Even if it was him, his father was named Zebedee, not Joseph.

            Paul more likely is referring to the second James who was an apostle, according to Luke 6:15-16. This James is revealed to have a father named Alphaeus, not Joseph.

          • jennylynn

            Again you refuse to actuall read the Bible and hear what it says. How about the Old Testament prophecy of Jesus. Try to read carefully all the way through.
            Psalm 69, A Messianic Psalm

            There are many arguments pro and con concerning Jesus siblings. But the issue cannot be settled without examining Psalm 69, a Messianic Psalm. Jesus quotes Psalm 69:4 in John 15:25, “But they have done this in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, they hated Me without a cause.”

            He also quotes Psalm 69:9 in John 2:16-17, “and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Fathers house a house of merchandise.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Thy house will consume me.”

            Clearly, Psalm 69 is a Messianic Psalm since Jesus quoted it in reference to Himself two times. The reason this is important is that what is written between the verses that Jesus quoted.

            To get the whole context, here is Psalm 69:4-9, “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies, What I did not steal, I then have to restore. 5O God, it is Thou who dost know my folly, And my wrongs are not hidden from Thee. 6May those who wait for Thee not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; May those who seek Thee not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel, 7Because for Thy sake I have borne reproach; Dishonor has covered my face. 8I have become estranged from my brothers, and an alien to my mothers sons. 9For zeal for Thy house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me.”

            This messianic Psalm clearly shows that Jesus has brothers. As Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” God’s will has been revealed plainly in the New Testament and prophetically in the Old. Psalm 69 shows us that Jesus had brothers.

            Did Mary have other children? The Bible seems to suggest yes. Catholic Tradition says no. Which will you trust?

            Of course, the Catholic will simply state that even this phrase “my mother’s sons” is in reference not to his siblings but to cousins and other relatives. This is a necessary thing for the Catholic to say; otherwise, the perpetual virginity of Mary is threatened, and since that contradicts Roman Catholic tradition, an interpretation that is consistent with that tradition must be adopted.

            The question is, “Was Jesus estranged by His brothers?” Yes, He was. John 7:5 says “For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” Furthermore, Psalm 69:8 says both “my brothers” and “my mother’s sons.” Are these both to be understood as not referring to His siblings? Hardly. The Catholics are fond of saying that “brothers” must mean “cousins.” But, if that is the case, then when we read “an alien to my mother’s sons,” we can see that the writer is adding a further distinction and narrowing the scope of meaning. In other words, Jesus was alienated by his siblings, His very half-brothers begotten from Mary.

            It is sad to see the Roman Catholic church go to such lengths to maintain Mary’s virginity–something that is a violation of biblical law to be married and fill the earth.

          • Anthony

            Did Mary have other children? The Bible suggests no. Man made tradition says yes. Which will you trust?

            What dos the bible actually tell is?

            We see James and Joseph (also called Joses), who are called Jesus’ “brothers”, named in (Mark 6:3). However, the mother of James and Joseph (Joses) is referred to as the “other Mary” in scripture.

            Matthew 27:56
            “Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”

            Mark 15:40
            “Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.”

            Now, This mother of James and Joseph is referred to as the “other Mary”,

            Matthew 28:1
            “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”

            Matthew 27:61
            “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb”

            Mark 15:47
            Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

            We know this “other Mary” is not the mother of Jesus, For in John’s Gospel we read:

            John 19:25
            “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene”.

            Here we can see that there’s THREE Mary’s, FIRST the mother of Jesus, second, her “SISTER” (relation) who is also named Mary, who is the wife of Clopas, .THIS is the “OTHER MARY” referenced in (Matthew 27:61 & Matthew 28:1) who is the mother of James and Joseph – who are the “brothers” of Jesus.

            No ones denies that they were related to Jesus by blood but they were not His uterine brothers.

            The bible no where says that Mary gave birth to any other children; nor are any children referred to to as the children of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nor is there any mention of any other children when Jesus and his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover when He was twelve .They went every year, yet no mention of any uterine brothers or sisters. Luke 2:41-52.

            “Adelphos” has a much wider meaning. For example, in Matthew5:23, Matthew 5:23, Matthew 7:3, Matthew 10:21, Matthew 18:15,

            Jesus told us to call one another “brothers” in Matthew 23:8. The passage obviously does not mean to suggest that all Christians have the same physical mother.

            Christ also calls the Apostles “brothers” in Matthew 28:10 and John 20:17: and the word in both verses is the plural form of “Adelphos”. Would you claim that since the term “Adelphos” is used, that the apostles were the “uterine brothers” of Jesus?

            Second, if we examine more closely the example of James, one of these four “brothers of the Lord” mentioned in Matthew 13:55, we discover him to be a cousin or some other relative of Jesus rather than a uterine brother. For example, Galatians 1:18-19 informs us: “Then after three years I [Paul] went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”

            Notice, the “James” of whom Paul was speaking was both a “brother of the Lord” and an “apostle.” There are two apostles named James among the 12. The first James is revealed to be a “son of Zebedee.” He most likely would not be the “James” referred to because according to Acts 12:1-2 he was martyred very early on. Even if it was him, his father was named Zebedee, not Joseph.

            Paul more likely is referring to the second James who was an apostle, according to Luke 6:15-16. This James is revealed to have a father named Alphaeus, not Joseph.

            This evidence shows that indeed “adelphos” is used in the New Testament to refer to something other than a uterine brother. 

            Even in the Old Testament (in Greek) there are instances where the word “adelphos” is used for the word “cousin”, “close relative”, or “kinsman”.

            Genesis 13:8- “eipen de abram tō lōt mē estō machē ana meson emou kai sou kai ana meson tōn poimenōn mou kai ana meson tōn poimenōn sou oti anthrōpoi adelphoi ēmeis esmen”

            In the English translation of this verse, “So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives.” (New International Version). And in the New American Standard Bible, “So Abram said to Lot, ‘Please let there be no strife between you and me, for between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.’ “King James Bible
            And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren”

            The Bible is clear that Lot was Abram’s nephew, “They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.” ~Genesis 14:12. Even the Greek Septuagint uses “adelphou” for nephew, while the Greek word for nephew is ανιψιός (anipsiós), “elabon de kai ton lōt uion tou adelphou abram kai tēn aposkeuēn autou kai apōchonto ēn gar katoikōn en sodomois” ~Genesis 14:12.

            Another verse where the English translation uses “cousin” (adelphou) is Jeremiah 32:12, “kai edōka auto tō barouch uiō nēriou uiou maasaiou kat’ ophthalmous anameēl uiou adelphou patros mou kai kat’ ophthalmous tōn estēkotōn kai graphontōn en tō bibliō tēs ktēseōs kai kat’ ophthalmous tōn ioudaiōn tōn en tē aulē tēs phulakēs” (“and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.”

            Hebrews 2:11 “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers” (Adelphous).

            Here’s “ADLEPHOS” in the plural referring to all those in God’s family as Jesus’ “brothers”.

            Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren (adelphōn), even these least, ye did it unto me”

            Hebrews 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren (ADELPHOI), partakers of the heavenly vocation, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus”

            Romans 8:29 “For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren (ADELPHOIS)”.

            So we can plainly see that bible uses the term “Adelphos” in a wider context, even in the Old Testament -to refer also to kinsmen & relatives.

          • Anthony

            Psalm 69:4-9 – the reference to ‘brothers’ and ‘mother’s sons’ is speaking about the jews and Israel.

            not to show that Jesus had uterine brothers and sisters.

          • pax2u

            I feel sorry for poor jennylynn her hatred has consumed her soul

          • Anthony

            Psalm 69:4-9 – is clearly not referring to the any uterine brothers of Jesus, nor is it in reference to Mary. The reference to ‘brothers’ and ‘mother’s sons’ is speaking about the jews and Israel. not to show that Jesus had uterine brothers and sisters. How is it you refuse to actuall read the Bible and hear what it says?

            I mean seriously, read the context of John 15:25, who is Jesus speaking about? Verse 24 gives you a hint.

            It is sad to see heretics go to such lengths to deny Mary’s perpetual virginity–something that is a violation of biblical teaching.

            Did Mary have other children? The Bible teaches no. Man made tradition says yes. Which will you trust?

            Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

            No mention of any other children that Mary gives birth to in the Old testament. It says the Virgin will give birth to a son.

            What about the New testament?

            Matthew 1:23
            “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Again, it says the Virgin will give birth to a son.

            No other mention in the bible of Mary giving birth to any other children, period.

            No mention of any other children being born of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

            This is how children are identified in scripture, the son of ……..,” or the daughter of ………”. Yet when it comes to Jesus’ ‘brothers and sisters’, it is interesting to note that not one of them is ever referenced as being a son or daughter of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Rather they are references as being the children of the “other Mary” (Simon and Joses).

            The reality is there isn’t any mention of these ‘bothers and sisters’ in Luke 2 when Jesus, Mary and Joseph went to the Passover Festival, as they did every year. (Luke 2:41-52):

            Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you”

            There is absolutely no mention of Jesus’ ‘brothers and sisters’ in this context. But it does mention that Jesus’ other relatives were there, in verse 44. That’s because if you follow what the bible actually shows and says, it tells you that Mary had no other children, and remained a perpetual Virgin all her life.

            Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold. That is why Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–373) wrote:

            “O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Ark of the Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides” (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin).

            Gregory the Wonder Worker (c. 213–c. 270) wrote: “Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary” (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary).

            In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God in flesh. In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life. In the ark was the rod of Aaron, the proof of true priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest.

            The early Christians taught the same thing that the Catholic Church teaches today about Mary, including her being the Ark of the New Covenant.

          • Anthony

            Let’s examine Matthew 1:24-25–“And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.”

            In many examples from Scripture (which i will provide below), the words ‘before’ and ‘until’ do not signify a change afterwards; for that point is left indefinite, but only what was done before, or not done. Thus when it is said, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool, Psalm six, by no means signifies, that after the subjection of his enemies, the Son of God is no longer to sit at the right hand of his Father.

            If we say that a man was cured before he went to a physician, the natural inference would be, that he did not go to a physician at all.

            Here are examples of the idiomatic use of the word ‘until’ in scripture:

            2 Samuel 6:23: And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to (until) the day of her death. (Does this mean she had children after she died?)

            Luke 1:80 “And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts UNTIL the day of his manifestation to Israel. ” Did John the Baptist still stay in the desert? YES! (Matt 3:1; Mark 1:3-4; Luke 3:2-4)

            Rom 8:22 — “…the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together UNTIL now.” Is it still groaning? YES!

            1 Cor 15:25 — “For He must reign UNTIL He has put all enemies under His feet.” After all enemies are put away, will Christ be reigning? YES!

            Eph 4:12-13 — “…for the equipping…for the work of ministry…. for the edifying….UNTIL we all come to the unity of the faith….”. Once we become unified, will equipping, ministry, and edification still be necessary? YES!

            1 Tim 4:13 — “UNTILL I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” When Paul arrives, no reading, no exhorting, no attention to doctrine? NO!

            1 Tim 6:14 — “….that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless UNTIL our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing…” When Jesus comes back, we should disobey these commandments? NO!

            Rev 2:25-26 — “But hold fast what you have UTILL I come. And he who overcomes and keeps My works UNTIL the end, to him I will give power…” Should we stop holding fast and stop obeying when Jesus returns then? NO!

            Okay, that shows Matt 1:18,25 does not disprove the perpetual virginity of Mary. This is how the earliest Church Fathers understood this passage.

            The word “until” does not imply that they lived on a different footing afterwards (as is evident from the passages I provided). The word “until” may be so understood as referring to the time preceding, and that the use of the word ‘until’ does not imply the contrary of the time following.

            And the term “firstborn” is a term given to the child who first opens the womb of his mother, whether any follows after or not.

          • Anthony

            Who were Jesus’ brothers and sisters’?

            Let’s See what the Bible Shows:

            We see James and Joseph (also called Joses), who are called Jesus’ “brothers”, named in (Mark 6:3). However, the mother of James and Joseph (Joses) is referred to as the “other Mary” in scripture.

            Matthew 27:56
            “Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”

            Mark 15:40
            “Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.”

            Now Notice; this mother of James and Joseph is referred to as the “other Mary”,

            Matthew 28:1
            “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”

            Matthew 27:61
            “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb”

            Mark 15:47
            Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

            We know this “other Mary” is not the mother of Jesus, For in John’s Gospel we read:

            John 19:25
            “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene”.

            Here we can see that there’s THREE Mary’s, FIRST the mother of Jesus, second, her “SISTER” (relation) who is also named Mary, who is the wife of Clopas, .THIS is the “OTHER MARY” referenced in (Matthew 27:61 & Matthew 28:1) who is the mother of James and Joseph – who are the “brothers” of Jesus.

            They were his relatives, not His uterine brothers.

          • jennylynn

            And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. Luke 1:46 what does Mary need a savior for?
            In luke 2:22-24 Mary gives a sacrifice to God for purification according to Levitical law chapter 12.

            Romans 3:10 As it is written there is NONE righteous NOT EVEN ONE.
            Romans 3:23 for ALL HAVE SINNED and fall short of the glory of God.
            Acts 4:13 There is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men BY WHICH WE MUST BE SAVED.

          • Anthony

            I already addressed these in my previous posts.

            And if you also notice, Mary also says that her soul magnifies the Lord. The greek word used is found only once in the New testament, and it mean to make clearer, conspicuous, enlarge etc.

            Now for the Romans 3:23 argument, “for all (pas) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

            Consider this passage: Rom 11:26, “ALL Israel shall be saved.”

            Yet we know for certain that ‘ALL’ in Israel will not be saved.

            Does the word ‘ALL” refer to very single person who has ever lived? Are there any exceptions to the word ‘All’ in the bible?

            John 12:19, “The whole (pas) world has gone after him!” Did everyone in the entire world really go after Christ? Of course not.

            Matthew 3:5-6, “Then went out to Him Jerusalem, and ALL (pas)Judea, and ALL (pas) the region about the Jordan; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

            Was every single individual of Judea, and the region about the Jordan baptized? Every single person? of course not, we know that isn’t true from the rest of scripture.

            1 Corinthians 15:22: “As in Adam all die” Yet we know that Enoch and Elijah did not die.

            Rom 15:14, “…you yourselves are full of love, filled with ‘ALL’ (pas) knowledge…”

            Here we know for sure that the only person filled with ‘ALL’ knowledge is GOD Himself.

            Mark 14:53-64 states “all” the Sanhedrin assembled for Christ’s trial, that the “whole council” sought for testimony against Him and they “all condemned him to death.”

            But we know there were exceptions to the “whole” and the “all,” such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Again, this verbiage indicates a majority of the Sanhedrin or all of its members who were actually in attendance at the trial—but not literally every single person who composed this Jewish council.

            Acts 4:13 There is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men BY WHICH WE MUST BE SAVED. AMEN! TRUE! NO CATHOLIC WOULD DISAGREE!

          • jennylynn

            You need to look at the Greek of the word. I would suggest a Greek/Hebrew linear Bible to help you from confusing text to fit your doctrine.
            The word “ALL” in the Greek is “pas” and in this verse as well as Romans 3:9, 3:19 and 3:23. It means ( whole, every, all #3956 strongs) you need better Hermanuetics. This is a waste of time because you are brainwashed by doctrines of men instead of looking at the text in the Greek for yourself. So you add to scripture what is not there which Gid warned not to do. Remember words have different meanings in several passages.
            Blessings

          • Anthony

            You need to compare scripture with scripture: You read the bible right?

            The word in Romans 3:23, “for all (pas) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

            Consider this passage: Rom 11:26, “ALL Israel shall be saved.”

            Yet we know for certain that ‘ALL’ in Israel will not be saved.

            Does the word ‘ALL” refer to very single person who has ever lived? Are there any exceptions to the word ‘All’ in the bible?

            John 12:19, “The whole (pas) world has gone after him!” Did everyone in the entire world really go after Christ? Of course not.

            Matthew 3:5-6, “Then went out to Him Jerusalem, and ALL (pas)Judea, and ALL (pas) the region about the Jordan; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

            Was every single individual of Judea, and the region about the Jordan baptized? Every single person? of course not, we know that isn’t true from the rest of scripture.

            1 Corinthians 15:22: “As in Adam all die” Yet we know that Enoch and Elijah did not die.

            Rom 15:14, “…you yourselves are full of love, filled with ‘ALL’ (pas) knowledge…”

            Here we know for sure that the only person filled with ‘ALL’ knowledge is GOD Himself.

            Mark 14:53-64 states “all” the Sanhedrin assembled for Christ’s trial, that the “whole council” sought for testimony against Him and they “all condemned him to death.”

            But we know there were exceptions to the “whole” and the “all,” such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Again, this verbiage indicates a majority of the Sanhedrin or all of its members who were actually in attendance at the trial—but not literally every single person who composed this Jewish council.

            Remember words have different meanings in several passages.

          • Anthony

            You need to look at the context of the Greek of the
            word being used. I would suggest a Greek/Hebrew linear Bible to help you:

            Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

            Pas: a. any, every one (namely, of the class denoted by the norm annexed to πᾶς);

            St Paul states at the beginning of Romans 3 saying, “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one”

            He takes this from Psalm 14, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. ALL have turned away, ALL have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” NOTICE THE TERM ALL?

            YET, verse 5 says, “But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.” This is also confirmed in the very next Psalm 15 and Psalm 16.

            If you read verse Psalm 14:4 it says, “Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour MY PEOPLE as though eating bread; they never call on the LORD.”

            So when Psalm 14 says “ALL have turned away, ALL have become corrupt;” …IT’S TALKING ABOUT ‘EVILDOERS’, THOSE WHO DO NOT CALL UPON THE LORD, THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN HIM OR TUST IN HIM. Both Jew and Gentile (Romans 3:9)

            THAT is what Paul is talking about in Romans 3 when he says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” and “none are righteous”. He’s speaking of a certain ‘class’ of people.

            Because if none are righteous, why does the bible say:

            Luke 1:6 it says “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”

            Luke 2:25
            Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.”

          • jennylynn

            You have been blinded by catholic heresies and are in idolatry, and no idolater will inherit the kingdom of heaven. God shares His glory with no one.isaiah 42:8. Furthermore catholics are real good at eisegesis not a good form of hermeneutics. I will leave you with this. I have nothing more to say.

            maryRoman Catholics certainly exalt Mary to a great extent, and in doing so almost elevate her to the status of God. Of course, they will deny that she is a goddess and maintain that it is only the proper honor due to her that is offered, and that this proper honor can then account for the astounding attributes granted to her per Sacred Tradition’s declaration. But is it right to endow to Mary things attributed to God, such as her atoning for sin1, delivering our souls from death2, and simultaneously hearing thousands of people praying silently in different languages all over the world3? Without a shred of biblical evidence to support these and other things said of Mary, we must conclude that Roman Catholicism has gone beyond what is revealed in scripture (1 Cor. 4:6) and has even violated Scripture.

            This is why Protestants frequently equate Roman Catholic exaltation of Mary with idolatry. Protestants maintain that God alone should receive the glory, that God alone performed the atoning work, that God alone delivers our souls from death, and that God alone has the ability to simultaneously hear thousands of silent prayers from around the world in different languages. Still, Roman Catholics claim they are not committing idolatry but are instead only giving Mary her proper honor–an honor derived completely from Roman Catholic’s Sacred Tradition. So, which is it? Does Roman Catholicism lift Mary almost to the level of God, or is it nothing more than a very high honor?

            Following is a grid comparing things attributed to God that are also attributed to Mary. Some of them are shocking.

            C O M P A R I N G M A R Y T O G O D

            GOD MARY
            Access to Jesus Matt. 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” “so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.” (Vatican Website: Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914).

            Atonement 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Col. 1:20; and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. “Christ alone truly offered the sacrifice of atonement on the Cross . . . In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma4, Ott, page 213).

            Body Not See Corruption Acts 2:31, “he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.” “She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 5); “her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb,” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 14).

            Crush the Serpent Gen. 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise [Heb. shoof, bruise, crush] you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (NASB5). Gen. 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel,” (vatican.va, New American Bible). “All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin—in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world,” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus).

            Deliver from death 2 Cor. 1:10, ” [God] who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,” ” . . . You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.” (CCC 966).

            Devotion to 1 Cor. 7:35, “And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” “The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary,” (CCC. 971).

            Feasts Exodus 32:5, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” “The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary,” (CCC. 971).

            Full of Grace John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” “The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” (CCC 722).

            Helper John 14:16, 17, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth,” “Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'” (CCC, par. 969).

            Holy 1 Pet. 1:16, “because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” ” “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One.” (CCC 2677).

            Hope of Grace 1 Pet. 1:13, “Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” “The holiness which is our end in Christ (cf. 1 John 3:2-3) was seen, by unmerited grace, in Mary, who is the prototype of the hope of grace for humankind as a whole.” (www.vatian.va, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity. Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), #59).

            Intercessor Hebrews 7:25, “Hence, also, He [Jesus] is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” ” . . . by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . ” (CCC par. 969).

            Look to Psalm 123:2, “So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He shall be gracious to us.” “After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary,” (CCC 972).

            Lord’s Supper Mark 14:22-24, “And while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it; and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup, and given thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” “Therefore, in the footsteps of Mary, “woman of the Eucharist” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, chapter VI), the Christian community lives this mystery! Strengthened by the “bread of eternal life”, it becomes a presence of light and life, a leaven of evangelization and solidarity.” (Address of John Paul II, Altar of the Confessio of the Vatican Basilica, Sunday, 17 October 2004).

            Mediator 1 Tim. 2:5, ” For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Matt. 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” “Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'” (CCC, par. 969).

            Offering Heb. 7:27, “who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” See also Heb. 9:13 It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam,” (Mystici Corpois Christ, par. 110).

            Prayer, addressed to 2 Cor. 13:7, “Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we should appear unapproved.” “Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father.” (CCC 2679).

            Prayer, answers John 14:14, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. Roman Catholics all over the world fully expect Mary, by her intercession, to provide answers to their prayers.

            Prayer, hears prayers Psalm 65:1-2, “There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, and to You the vow will be performed. 2 O You who hear prayer, to You all men come.” “May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer.” (Message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31 May 2003).

            Preparing a Place John 14:1,2, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” “This mother . . . is waiting and preparing your home for you” (Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 31).

            Receive us John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” “Jesus entrusts us to Mary as our Mother, and Mary receives us all as her children!” catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=748; “Mary receives us, nurtures us, and returns us to God the Father in love,” (secretummeummihipress.com/content/view/172/117/).

            Sinless 1 Pet. 2:22, “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; “The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin. The state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Immaculate Conception, newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm).

            Trust in Psalm 9:10, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You. For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”; Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord.” 1 Pet. 4:19, “Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” “By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: ‘Thy will be done,’ (CCC 2677).

            Well Pleased Matt. 3:17, “and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” “Above all creatures did God so love her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight,” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus).

            Worship Matt. 4:10, “Then Jesus *said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” ” . . . when she [Mary] is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to come to her Son . . . ” (Vatican Council II, p. 420).

            1. Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914, on the Rosary, Octobri Mense.
            2. CCC, 966
            3.”May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer,” Message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31 May 2003.
            4. nihil obstat and imprimatur. The nihil obstat is a declaration that the material contains nothing objectionable to the Catholic faith. It doesn’t mean that the one giving the approval agrees with everything within the work, but that the work contains nothing contrary to the Catholic faith and morals. The Imprimatur means it is worthy to be published and distributed among Catholics. Question: If Christ alone offered the sacrifice of atonement, how can it be said that Mary atoned for the sins of man?
            5. Hebrew is “shoof” and means “bruise, crush, gape upon” ¹Wv 1) to bruise, crush, gape upon; Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.

          • Michael Bowes

            Having fun on Carm again I can see… So I guess you are admitting defeat that you no longer wish to dialogue with me while you continue to avoid my answers and the questions that I have put to you? So in order to make yourself feel more secure in your misguided understanding to of Christianity you use CARM to cherry pick verses and twist them out of context to support your beliefs. Let CARM go.. it is not doing you any good. Dialogue with me as I stated above with your own God-given logic instead of CARM’s twisted heresies.

            If you were truly a Christian and CARED about my soul, you wouldn’t give up so easily by calling me a few names that do not represent who I am and how I believe. Clearly you’ve been challenged in your beliefs and the only thing you have left to do is call me a name, tell me I am going to hell, and then run off as quickly as you can because you know that if you continue to get challenged and are not able to logically answer me.. you will have to drop the facade of knowing the Christian faith as well as you promote yourself as knowing it… But run if you must… I will be here with the truth when you are ready to dialogue like an adult. >

          • Anthony

            Let’s see what the bible reveals about Mary shall we?

            Full of Grace before the incarnation

            Luke 1:26-28:in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

            St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, “kekaritomene”, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary?

            Why is all of this significant? Because some erroneous translations of Luke 1:28say “highly favored daughter,” which takes God’s grace out of the picture. “Charitoo” means “Grace,” not “favor.” But this erroneous translation was no accident; it was by design to downgrade the role of Mary in salvation.

            There is another example of scripture where the term “full of grace” is used, in Acts 6:8: And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” But the Greek term for “full of grace” here is not “kecharitomene,” but rather, “pleres charitos.” “Pleres charitos” is a different tense of being filled with grace, and means “a temporary filling with grace at that point in time,” and does not equate to kechariomene,” which means “has been filled with grace.”

            DO OTHER BIBLE VERSES SHOW THAT MARY WAS FULL OF GRACE AND WITHOUT SIN?

            Notice in Luke 1:42 that Jesus is called the FRUIT OF Mary’s womb.

            Luke 1:42 “and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

            THEN, the bible says in that a bad tree cannot bear good FRUIT,

            Luke 6:43-44 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUIT.”

            AND, the bible says that a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT,

            Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its FRUIT will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is RECOGNIZED BY its FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:17 “Likewise, every good tree bears good FRUIT, but a bad tree bears bad FRUIT.”

            Matthew 7:20 “Thus, by their FRUIT you will RECOGNIZE THEM.”

            Then in Luke 1:46 it says Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord. The word here in the greek is “Μεγαλύνει” and is the only time it is used in the New Testament.
            It means to make clearer, to enlarge, to magnify, enlarge,to make conspicuous.

            Then the bible also says that all generations will call her blessed. When is the last time that you referred to her as blessed?

            Now for the Romans 3:23 argument, “for all (pas) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

            Consider this passage: Rom 11:26, “ALL Israel shall be saved.”

            Yet we know for certain that ‘ALL’ in Israel will not be saved.

            Does the word ‘ALL” refer to very single person who has ever lived? Are there any exceptions to the word ‘All’ in the bible?

            John 12:19, “The whole (pas) world has gone after him!” Did everyone in the entire world really go after Christ? Of course not.

            Matthew 3:5-6, “Then went out to Him Jerusalem, and ALL (pas)Judea, and ALL (pas) the region about the Jordan; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

            Was every single individual of Judea, and the region about the Jordan baptized? Every single person? of course not, we know that isn’t true from the rest of scripture.

            1 Corinthians 15:22: “As in Adam all die” Yet we know that Enoch and Elijah did not die.

            Rom 15:14, “…you yourselves are full of love, filled with ‘ALL’ (pas) knowledge…”

            Here we know for sure that the only person filled with ‘ALL’ knowledge is GOD Himself.

            Mark 14:53-64 states “all” the Sanhedrin assembled for Christ’s trial, that the “whole council” sought for testimony against Him and they “all condemned him to death.”

            But we know there were exceptions to the “whole” and the “all,” such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Again, this verbiage indicates a majority of the Sanhedrin or all of its members who were actually in attendance at the trial—but not literally every single person who composed this Jewish council.

            Then there’s Romans 3:10-11 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God.”

            We know this is a general statement about the wicked and atheists taken from Psalm 14, and is not talking of every single person but rather those who do to seek God in general. There were in fact those who certainly did obey the command to “seek for God.” They are even called “the righteous” in several places, including this exact same Psalm 14 in verse 5!

            Example,

            Luke 1:6, regarding Zachary and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, “Both were just before GOD, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord”.

            Luke 1:15, regarding John the Baptist, “For he shall be great before the Lord; he shall drink no wine or strong drink, and shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mothers womb”

            As you can see, the phrase ‘the whole world’, does not really mean everybody in the world. The words ‘whole world’ and ‘all’ are used in several different senses of Scripture, and seldom do they literally mean all persons. The Greek word ‘pas’ in many verses in Scripture simply means a ‘great number’, or ‘a lot’.

            As the bible shows there are always exceptions to the normative rule. Did Mary need a saviour? YES! As the Catholic Church has always taught. Yet Mary was “saved” by anticipation, that is, at the moment of her conception in a special way.

            Sacred Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to someone being protected from sinning before the fact:

            “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, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever.” (Jude 24-25)

            This is what Our Lord did for Mary. She was kept free from the stain of sin at the moment of her Immaculate Conception.

            Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant:

            St. Luke lays this out pretty clearly in the first chapter of his Gospel. He draws some incredibly obvious parallels between Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and David’s movement of the Ark through the hill-country of Judah. It’s easy to miss the parallel between the Holy Spirit overshadowing the ark and the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, between the Ark of the Old Covenant as the dwelling place of God and Mary as the new dwelling place of God.

            The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was a true icon of the sacred. The Old Testament tells us that one item was placed inside the Ark of the Old Covenant while in the Sinai wilderness: God told Moses to put the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inside the ark (Dt 10:3-5). Hebrews 9:4 informs us that two additional items were placed in the Ark: “a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.” Notice the amazing parallels between Mary and the ark?

            In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14 ). In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life (John 6:51). In the ark was the rod of Aaron, symbol of the priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest (Hebrews 4:14).

            The glory cloud (Hebrew Anan) was representative of the Holy Spirit, and it “overshadowed” the Ark when Moses consecrated it in Ex. 40:32-33. The Greek word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint is a form of episkiasei. Compare: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Greek word for “overshadow” is episkiasei.

            David “leapt and danced” before the Ark when it was being carried into Jerusalem in procession in 2 Sam. 6:14-16. Compare: As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s salutation, John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in her womb (cf. Luke 1:41-44).

            The Ark of the Lord “remained in the house of Obededom . . . three months” in 2 Sam. 6:11. Compare: “Mary remained with [Elizabeth] for about three months” (Luke 1:56).

            There are three reasons that it makes sense for Luke to choose this particular passage (2 Samuel 6), of all the Old Testament descriptions of the Ark, to show the parallel to Mary:

            It reminds us that even at this point, immediately after the Annunciation, Mary is carrying Jesus Christ. 2 Samuel 6:2 reminds us that it is “the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.” That’s an important reminder, in the middle of a chronological retelling of a series of events.

            It’s our first hint that Jesus Christ is Lord. Again, the Ark contained the enthroned LORD of hosts. If Mary is the new Ark, that means that Jesus is the enthroned LORD of hosts. We take this for granted today. At the time Luke is writing, it’s a shocking claim.

            It also shows how Mary is set aside by God. Remember Uzzah was struck dead for touching the Ark. This helps explain Mary’s consecrated Virginity — her strange response in Luke 1:34, for example, or the fact that the Isaiah 7:14prophesy required the Christ to be both conceived and born of a Virgin, when a Virgin conception would have been sufficient to establish the miracle. These odd details make perfect sense if Mary is the new Ark.

            Nor is St. Luke the only one New Testament writer to have this insight. In Revelation 11:19-12:2, here’s what John sees:

            “Then God’s Temple in Heaven was opened, and the Ark of His Covenant was seen within His Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with Child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.”

            Sure enough, this woman “brought forth a Male Child, One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5). It is quite apparent that it is referring to the Mother of Jesus here.

            Isaiah 7:14:Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

            It’s true that this passage also refers to the Church as well as Mary. But once you read Luke 2, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that there’s a reason St. John mentions the Ark immediately before being shown the woman who is to give birth to Jesus.

            Furthermore, Rev 12 identifies persons. The ‘woman’ is Mary (the New Testament identifies her as ‘woman’ three times); the child is Jesus, Michael is St. Michael the Archangel, and the dragon is the devil. All of this was foretold in Genesis 3:15,

            “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”

            This is a great bookend to the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3, Eve, an immaculately created virgin, says yes to Lucifer and allows Adam to bring sin into the world. Eve came forth from Adam.
            In the New Testament, Mary, an immaculately created virgin, says yes to Gabriel, which allows Jesus to bring salvation to the world (Luke 1). Jesus came forth from Mary.

            Revelation 12:17 says that we are her children if we obey the commandments and bear testimony to her son, Jesus. Not surprising considering this is the same author to whom Christ said, “behold thy mother” (John 19:27).

            Eve became the mother of the living at the foot of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:20).
            Mary became our mother at the foot of the cross (John 19:26-27)…….
            NOTE** The cross was called a tree in Acts 5:30.

            These are some of the things found in scripture about the Blessed Mother.

          • Anthony

            Context, context, context!… EXACTLY!

            “one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28)?

            “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” (Romans 2:13)

            SO WHAT DOES PAUL MEAN?

            WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE, YES, BUT WILL BE JUDGED BY OUR WORKS:

            James says in James 2:24 that man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Paul says the same thing in Galatians 5:6, Romans 2:6. and Romans 2:13. And its why James says that faith by itself, if it isn’t accompanied by action, is a dead faith. James 2:17.

            What is meant in Romans 3:28 and throughout the New Testament by the phrase “works of the law” is the Old Testament laws and prescriptions; It IS NOT IN REFERENCE TO ALL WORKS AND HUMAN ACTIONS. Paul was writing to people who were stuck on the notion of the Old Law, with circumcision, etc.

            That this is what the “works of the law” means in Romans 3:28 and similar passages is proven from the context of Romans, but especially from Galatians 2:14. Notice that the phrase “works of the law” is used, and that it specifically refers to the Old Law (the Law of the Old Testament), it’s not referring to all works or deeds. Romans 3:1- “What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision?”etc.

            You can see that the very first verse of Romans 3 deals with the Old Testament work of circumcision. St. Paul is emphasizing to the Jews (and others) that they don’t need to observe these prescriptions for salvation, or to enter the true faith of God.

            Here’s another example:

            Galatians 5:3-6- “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

            Paul wasn’t referring to all human works or actions for he also said:

            Romans 2:6 “who shall render to each according to his works”

            2 Corinthians 11:15
            It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

            2 Timothy 4:14
            Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.

            The Gospel’s reflect the same teaching:

            Matthew 16:27
            For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

            Matthew 25: 31-46 “And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

            Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

            Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.”

            Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

            Just as James says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”James 1:27

            So remember, saved by grace, YES! But you will be judged by your works; for that is what proves your faith, as James and Paul said.

            2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

            Ephesians 6:8 “because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free”

            1 Corinthians 3:13
            their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

            Colossians 3:25 “Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.”

            Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

          • Michael Bowes

            According to your argument above regarding salvation and your destination, it seems that you are proclaiming that there is no sin, and there isn’t a penalty for sin as long as you accept Jesus as your savior and say a few prayers backing that up… is that what you are saying here Jenny?

          • jennylynn

            Never said that! When we sin we repent to God directly with a heartfelt repentance. God know and sees out hearts and knows when we are broken and sincere. Mary can not hear our prayers and neither should we repent to a sinful pope. Furthermore living in sin does have consequences, but then people who do that are not sanctified anyway. Messing up we will do, but that is not the same thing as rebellion to God. I think you need to read 1st -3rd John.

          • Anthony Kulušić

            Paul speaks of faith as a life-long process, never as a one-time experience (Philippians 2:12). He never assumes he has nothing to worry about. If he did, his words in (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) would be nonsensical. He reiterates the same point again in his second letter to Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:5). He takes nothing for granted. Our Lord and Saviour spoke of the same thing by “remaining in Him” (John 15:1-11).

            Paul tells us our faith is living and can go through many stages. It never stays permanently fixed after a single conversion experience no matter how genuine or sincere. Our faith can be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19), departed from (1 Timothy 4:1), disowned (1 Timothy 5:8) wandered from (1 Timothy6:10), and missed (1 Timothy 6:21). Christians do not have a “waiver” that exempts them from these verses. No matter how many times you quote (Acts 16:31) out of context and in isolation from the rest of scripture.

            Do our works mean anything? According to Jesus they do (Matthew 25:31-46). The people rewarded and punished are done so by their actions. And our thoughts (Matthew 15:18-20) and words (James 3:6-12) are accountable as well. These verses are just as much part of the Bible as Romans 10:8-13 and John 3:3-5.

            Some will object by appealing to Romans 4:3 and stating Abraham was “declared righteous” before circumcision. Thus he was only saved by “believing” faith (Genesis 15:6), not by faith “working in love” (Galatians 5:6). Isn’t this what Paul means when he says none will be justified by “works of law” (Romans 3:28)? No, this is not what he means. He’s condemning the Old Covenant sacrifices and rituals which couldn’t justify and pointing to better things now in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant (Hebrews 7-10). A close examination of Abraham’s life revealed a man of God who did something. In Genesis 12-14 he makes two geographical moves, builds an altar and calls on the Lord, divides land with Lot to end quarrels, pays tithes, and refuses goods from the King of Sodom to rely instead on God’s providence. He did all these works as an old man. It was certainly a struggle. After all these actions of faith, then he’s “declared righteous” (Genesis 15:6). Did these works play a role in his justification? According to the Bible, yes.

            The Catholic Church has never taught we “earn” our salvation. It is an inheritance (Galatians 5:21), freely given to anyone who becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1), so long as they remain that way (John 15:1-11). You can’t earn it but you can lose the free gift given from the Father (James 1:17).

            The reformer’s position cannot be reconciled with the Bible. That is why the Catholic Church has taught otherwise for 2,000 years.

            Where does our assistance come from to reach our heavenly destination? Philippians 4:13 says it all, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”

            Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ NOT ONLY to believe in him, but also to suffer for him”

            Why is this important? In the story about Judgment Day, (Matthew 25:31-46) where Jesus separates the sheep from the goats, the only questions that Jesus asks the multitude concern works:

            1. Did you feed the hungry?
            2. Did you clothe the naked?
            3. Did you give a drink to the thirsty, etc.

            If they answered “no” to these works in Matthew 25, then Jesus said that they were going to hell. Nowhere does Jesus ask, “Did you accept me as your personal Lord and Savior?” So, you can infer from all of this that just confessing with your lips that Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior is NOT ENOUGH (deathbed conversions are a different standard), although it is a great start on your salvation journey!! The Book of James, in the Bible, says that your faith must be justified by works (James 2:24), which is much different from what Paul says in Galatians 2:16 about “We may be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law (In the former, James refers to faith being justified by works; In the latter, Paul says that we are justified by faith. So, once you have the faith and are justified by it, then your faith in turn must then be justified by works).”

          • jennylynn

            You can stop trying to explain living for God, I already know that. You obviously have not read any past posts of mine. You are mistaken. The Catholic Church is heretical on too many issues. I truly feel sorry because most don’t even realize it because they go by papacy teachings and the apocrypha which is not inspired. I refuse to go on because most of you deny your own teachings when confronted by them. Teachings that fallible popes have added over the years.
            I hope the best for you.

          • Anthony

            With all due charity, If you want to see a heretic jennylynn then I suggest you look in the mirror. I’m sorry to burst your ‘bubble’ but none of the early Christians believed as you do, or worshipped as you do; nor was their theology remotely similar to yours. And they certainly didn’t interpret scripture as you do. (take a history class in western civilization). Even all the patriarchs in the east recognized the Primacy of Rome. http://www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/orthodox/pope_orthodox_church_fathers.php

            Two thirds of the Old Testament quotations in the New are from the Septuagint, which included the Deuterocanonical Books. The canon of Scripture, Old and New Testament, was finally settled at the Council of Rome in 382, under the authority of Pope Damasus I. It was soon reaffirmed on numerous occasions. The same canon was affirmed at the Council of Hippo in 393 and at the Council of Carthage in 397.

            I feel sorry for those who are not honest with themselves, and reject the overwhelming historical evidence that hey have access to today; unlike previous generations who din’t have such easy access. If you choose to follow the traditions of men that began in the 16th century that is your choice, but don’t call it Christian because it’s historically inaccurate to do so.

          • Roger Noether

            If I am a Catholic do I know for sure I can go to heaven when I die? I don’t even know for sure if I am a Protestant or a Catholic, much less what will happen to me when I die. And what of it? From what I know of this world it is more important to be a good follower of Christ than a card carrying Catholic or Protestant. 1 Corinthians 1:12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” You can look up the rest of the text.

            why don’t I know if I am catholic or protestant? Because I had a Catholic mom, so I went to Catholic church in the USA and a protestant dad. Mom was always doing house work cooking, cleaning, taking care of younger siblings. Only dad had time to talk about theology with me. For young males its very difficult to escape a father’s influence,especially a father with a strong personality.

            Then I lived in North China where I taught. I am not able to accept the official Protestant or official Catholic Church both subjugated by the Chinese Communist Party. Instead I was adopted by a “house Church” which synthesized the best of both schools of thought. There was no Catholic priest around (they were in prison or killed – read your history) The pastor there said that faith is not enough. You also have to stop sinning (Catholic influence?). Now you tell me that I worry about gettig my sins forgiven when the Communist Party of China has done away with the Catholic priests or the ministers who didn’t what to take orders from Communist theologians. Trust me I never worried about that even once!

            Since I work for the Dept. of Defense I can tell you that in the pentagon there is a memorial to the five chaplains (certainly one a Catholic, two or more good upstanding Protestants and lets not forget the rabbi just google the history. The ship the chaplains were serving on was torpedoed by a German submarine. All of the chaplains decided to give their life vests to sailors who had none. The five perished that day. You read the bible, so please tell me which one of the five was saved by his theology and or good deed? Which one didn’t make it because of theological deficiencies?

            Please stop the name calling, “heretic”, “twisted exegesis”, etc. You might also want to try posting my rebuttals on your ultra “purist” website instead of your views alone. That’s more like the American ideal of fairness that I know about. In your private life you might want to imitate the selfless actions of the 5 chaplains (including the Catholic and the Jewish one, too), then I predict you will neither care or worry if I am a Protestant or a Catholic.

        • Michael Bowes

          Jenny,

          I’m going to break this down as best I can without writing a book. Let’s first tackle confession.. You say that it is unbiblical to confess to a Priest.. but that is wrong. Let’s go back and look at how confession was dealt with first in the OT and then the NT:

          Leviticus 19: 20-22: A man who committed adultery had to bring a guilt offering for himself to the door of the tent of meeting (holy place where the ark of the covenant, which contained God’s true presence was kept). But then it adds “And the priest shall make atonement for him …before the Lord for his sin…and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven.” (see also Leviticus 5: 5-6) The priest could not make atonement if he were not aware of the man’s sin. He is acting as a mediator for the repentant sinner.

          As you can see.. the Priest was used as a mediator between man and God and an offering had to be made in order to atone for that sin. Lets move on to the NT:

          Matthew 3: 16 (and Mk 1: 5): “they were baptized by him [John the Baptist] in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” So he who prepared the way for Christ, listened to confessions of sin. — So we see again.. a man was used as a mediator between God and man when it came to confessing sins.

          Matthew 9: 6-8: Jesus tells us that He was given authority on earth to forgive sins (a power reserved to God alone) and proves it with miraculous healings and then Scripture notes this same authority was given to “men” (plural). Is this merely a figure of speech? No, John’s Gospel makes it clear Jesus intended to give this sacrament to men:

          What is interesting to note here is when we read Matthew and Jesus breathed on the apostles and said “I give you the power to forgive sins, whatever you bind here is bound in heaven and whatever you loose is loosed in heaven”. There is only one other time in the bible that we hear of God breathing on man and that was when he created man. It is a major power that was conferred in both instances and not to be taken lightly.

          • jennylynn

            1 Timothy 2:5
            For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

            The priest in the Old Testament were a picture of Christ the great high priest. ( Hebrews 5) There is lots of typography. Furthermore John was paving the way for Christ and John even said He must increase and I decrease. He was not acting as mediator. They were confessing their sins to God and John was acting as witness. This was before the death and resurrection. The Catholic Church teaches that sacrament of penance was instituted for all men. Acts of penance vary, but some of them are prayer, saying the rosary, reading the scripture, doing good works, fasting and other such things. It is by doing these acts of penance that the catholic is able to regain his justified state before God? In essence it’s earning ones salvation. Furthermore Mathew 9:6-8 is the SON OF MAN has authority on earth to forgive sins. 1 john 1:9 confess your sins to God. Why would you confess to a mere sinful man who puts on his pants like you do. Go directly to God! Jesus finished the work on the cross. John 19:30. Also Matthew 18:18 was specifically directed to the Lord’s apostles to validate their ministry. Nowhere does it say they could pass it on to a successor. These disciples where the ones that would start the church. The Catholic Church did not even exist till the 4th century. Make sure you read context and don’t go beyond the doctrines of Christ. 1 Corinthians 4:6.

          • Michael Bowes

            “The Catholic Church didn’t even exist until the 4th century” —

            Interesting.. so would you be surprised then to learn that the Catholic Church was around from the very beginning? From your statement.. it’s a good bet that you have little to no knowledge of the early Church fathers. Let me show you your fallacy in thinking that the Church wasn’t around until the 4th century:

            Ignatius lived from around A.D. 35 to 107. He was the third bishop of Antioch and he was a disciple of the apostle John During the reign of Emperor Trajan, he was taken to Rome and suffered martyrdom there. Along the way he wrote seven letters—one to St. Polycarp of Smyrna, and six others to various churches.

            On the Authority of the Catholic Church:
            The Greek root of the term catholic means “according to the whole” or “universal.” Ignatius uses the term to refer to the visible and authoritative Church:

            He said: “See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. —Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8”

            So.. let me ask you Jennylynn does your Church have a Bishop, Priest or Deacon? No? Then perhaps your not in the right Church.. because this early church father.. over 3 centuries before you stated that the Catholic Church existed.. was talking about the very Catholic Church that I follow today and by his own words.. it still practices what he stated. We still have a Eucharist, the Priests follow the Bishop and where you find Jesus Christ.. is where you find the Catholic Church.

            Clearly the term Catholic Church was in use way before St. Ignatius used it..

          • jennylynn

            The church fathers you stated are church fathers, but the catholic church started under Augustine in the mid 300’s. Also when the church fathers referred to the “catholic church” it was the universal church not the Roman Catholic Church which was not even around yet. This is a misconception by the RCC and claims they have their roots from the beginning. The RCC used that term because they claim to be the “only true church”. I would recomend the “The Canon of Scripture” by F.F. Bruce.
            as far as the eucharist, I will send you link to help you see why it is not biblical. Too long to state here. Lastly I would hope you would look at the other serious issues on the link so at least you can see where the doctrinal issues lie.
            Blessings!

          • Michael Bowes

            Hey Jenny,

            I’m going to disagree with you here regarding the Church and when it began. I don’t have a lot of time to write all that needs to be said.. I gotta get in bed soon.. but I will get out what I can.

            Around the yr 79 AD there was two people on the road from Rome to Corinth on a very important mission, they were Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Vito, a pair of freed slaves from the household of the deceased Emperor Claudius, carried a letter to the Christian community in Corinth from Bishop Clement of Rome – Pope Clement I. You see here… the Papacy was already set up, Pope Clement was the 4th Pope in line after Peter and he was presiding in Rome.

            We can read about Clement as a co-worker of St. Paul in Philippians 4:3. This letter is the earliest piece of Christian literature outside of the New Testament. The letter starts out with the statement and title of: “the Church of God which sojourns at Rome”. Clearly that first bit tells us about the Catholic Church ruling from Rome before the end of the 1st century.. still 300 yrs before you believe the Roman Catholic Church was begun. Let’s look at this further and see why this letter is so important.

            1. Clement’s clearest claim to special authority comes towards the end of the letter, when he says that if the recipients of his letter disobey him they will be guilty of sin:

            “Receive our counsel, and ye shall have no occasion of regret…. But if certain persons should be disobedient unto the words spoken by Him through us, let them understand that they will entangle themselves in no slight transgression and danger, but we shall be guiltless of this sin.”

            And again: “For ye will give us great joy and gladness, if ye render obedience unto the things written by us through the Holy Spirit.”

            2. Clement urges the Corinthians to faith and good works. While we are justified not by our own virtues and works, “but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men,” this is not an excuse to refrain from good works:

            What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work.

            One of the good works most prized by Clement is hospitality; he offers reflections on how this virtue was practiced by Lot and Rahab. He reminds his audience of the eternal reward Christians will receive for their perseverance in good works, which they are enabled to do by the grace of Jesus Christ.

            3. (this is a really interesting passage on Church hierarchy) This leads into Clement’s discussion of church hierarchy and the prerogatives of ministers, whose most important function is the celebration of the liturgy. Urging the Christian community to respect the order set down by God, Clement makes the first use of the word “layman” in Christian literature:

            To the high priest, indeed, proper ministrations are allotted, to the priests a proper place is appointed, and upon the Levites their proper services are imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity.

            Clement lays out clearly the grounds for a hierarchy of Christian ministers based on apostolic succession. Chapter 42 is worth quoting at length:

            The Apostles received the gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; and Jesus Christ was sent from God. Christ, therefore, is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both of these orderly arrangements, then, are by God’s will.… Through countryside and city they preached; and they appointed their earliest converts [literallyfirst-fruits], testing them by the spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers.

            4. (and he lays out the groundwork for apostolic succession as the bible stated) He continues in Chapter 44:

            Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep,other approved men should succeed them in their ministry.

            Clearly the Catholic Church was alive and well centuries before you say it started. And again.. we see the laity, deacons, Priests, Bishops and Popes… The celebration of the Eucharist, confession, apostolic succession, sacraments, baptism, Roles of laymen, and all the great things in the Catholic Church today alive and well half way through the 1st Century.

          • Anthony

            “but the catholic church started under Augustine in the mid 300’s”

            Let’s Examine Your Statement with the testimony of the earliest Church Fathers:

            Ignatius of Antioch

            You [the See of Rome] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force (Epistle to the Romans 3:1 [A.D. 110]).

            Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

            Irenaeus

            But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles. Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

            …..the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the things pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there should arise a dispute relative to some important question among us. Should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary [in that case] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the churches? (ibid. 3:4).

            Clement of Alexandria

            The blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? “Behold, we have left all and have followed you” [Matt. 19:2 7, Mark 10:28] (Who is the Rich Man That is Saved? 21:3-5 [A.D. 200]).

            Tertullian

            The Lord said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven” [Matt. 16:18-19]. … Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed (Modesty 21:9-10 [A.D. 220]).

            Where was Marcion then, that shipmaster of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus then, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago – in the reign of Antoninus for the most part – and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled (The Prescription Against Heretics 22,30 [A.D.200])

            Letter of Clement to James

            Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon Peter, who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first-fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D, 221]).

            Cyprian

            With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 [A.D. 252]).

            The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” he says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” . . . On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church4 [A.D. 251]).

            Peter speaks there, on whom the Church was to be built, teaching and showing in the name of the Church, that although a rebellious and arrogant multitude of those who will not hear or obey may depart, yet the Church does not depart from Christ; and they are the Church who are a people united to the priest, and the flock which adheres to its pastor. Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop; and if anyone be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church, and that those flatter themselves in vain who creep in, not having peace with God’s priests, and think that they communicate secretly with some; while the Church which is Catholic and one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound together by the cement of priests who cohere with one another (Letters 66 [A.D. 253]).

            Cyril of Jerusalem

            In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9 ;3 2-3 4] (Catechetical Lectures 17;27 [A.D. 350]).

            http://www.staycatholic.com/early_church_fathers.htm

          • jennylynn

            I have read all the apostolic fathers and it does not give its roots to the Catholic Church but to Jesus Christ alone. The word “catholic” used simply means “universal” which the RCC decided it was a fitting term for them claiming to be the only true church.

            The Roman Catholic Church claims to have started in Matthew 16:18 when Christ supposedly appointed Peter as the first Pope. However, the honest and objective student of the Scriptures and history soon discovers that the foundation of the Roman church is none other than the pagan mystery religion of ancient Babylon.

            While enduring the early persecutions of the Roman government (65-300 A.D.), most of professing Christianity went through a gradual departure from New Testament doctrine concerning church government, worship and practice. Local churches ceased to be autonomous by giving way to the control of “bishops” ruling over hierarchies. The simple form of worship from the heart was replaced with the rituals and splendor of paganism. Ministers became “priests,” and pagans became “Christians” by simply being sprinkled with water. This tolerance of an unregenerate membership only made things worse. SPRINKLED PAGANISM is about the best definition for Roman Catholicism.

            The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church around 313 A.D., which made this new “Christianity” the official religion of the Roman Empire. The first actual Pope in Rome was probably Leo I (440-461 A.D.), although some claim that Gregory I was the first (590-604 A.D.). This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, properly known as the “Dark Ages” (500-1500 A.D.). Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal.
            Throughout all of this, however, there remained individual groups of true Christians, such as the Waldensens and the Anabaptists who would not conform to the Roman system.

            In the Bible there are no popes or priests to rule over the church. Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5; 8:1; 9:11), and all true Christians make up a spiritual priesthood (I Pet. 2:5). Jesus Christ has sanctified all Christians who believe on Him (Heb. 10:10-11), so all priests today are unnecessary and unscriptural. Furthermore, the practice of calling a priest “father” is forbidden by Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:9. There is only ONE mediator between God and men (I Tim. 2:5).

          • Anthony

            The first Christians understood that Peter and his successors held a place of primacy in the Church and exercised authority over it. They believed that a rejection of Peter’s authority was a rejection of Christ’s authority. As the Scriptures tell us, Peter and Peter alone received the keys of the kingdom with the power to bind and loose (Matthew 16:18-19).

            Clement of Rome

            Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobeys the things which have been said by him [Jesus] through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in no small danger. We, however, shall be innocent of this sin and will pray with entreaty and supplication that the Creator of all may keep unharmed the number of his elect (Letter to the Corinthians 58:2, 59:1[A.D. 95]).

            Ignatius of Antioch

            You [the See of Rome] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force (Epistle to the Romans 3:1 [A.D. 110]).

            Irenaeus

            But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles. Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

            Clement of Alexandria

            [T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? “Behold, we have left all and have followed you” [Matt. 19:2 7, Mark 10:28] (Who is the Rich Man That is Saved? 21:3-5 [A.D. 200]).

            Tertullian

            [T]he Lord said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven” [Matt. 16:18-19]. … Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed (Modesty 21:9-10 [A.D. 220]).

            Letter of Clement to James

            Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first-fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D, 221]).

            Cyprian

            With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 [A.D. 252]).

            The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” he says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” . . . On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4 [A.D. 251]).

            Cyril of Jerusalem

            In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9 ;3 2-3 4] (Catechetical Lectures 17;27 [A.D. 350]).

            Optatus

            In the city of Rome the Episcopal chair was given first to Peter, the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head — that is why he is also called Cephas — of all the apostles, the one chair in which unity is maintained by all. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would [presume to] set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . . Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church” (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [circa A.D. 367]).

            Ambrose of Milan

            [Christ] made answer: “You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church . . .” Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]? (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

            Augustine

            Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear “I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]).

            Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter? (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).

          • Anthony

            “In the Bible there are no popes or priests to rule over the church.”

            Protestants attack the Catholic Church by saying there is no need of a Pope. Well, they should look in their own back yard first, because each Protestant acts as his or her own pope. There are millions of “popes” in Protestantism, and all of them are running around claiming that their personal opinion regarding the interpretation of Scripture is the truth. Are there really millions of truths? I thought Holy Scripture said there was only one truth.

            a careful reading of 1 Peter 2, verses 5 and 9 reveals a reference to Exodus 19:6: “. . . and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” This text from Exodus indicates a universal priesthood in the Old Testament. And yet, in Exodus 19:22, we read, “And also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves . . . ” In other words, a universal priesthood in the Old Covenant did not exclude a ministerial priesthood; the same as in the NT. Scripture takes this distinction between clergy and laity very seriously; I direct your attention to Jude 11, a verse most people gloss over. A warning to those who rebel against established church authority (8) just as the fallen angels rebelled and left their proper dwelling(6) The story is found in Numbers 16; and it concerns precisely the issue which is before us today: Whether the fact that all believers are priests means that there is no ministerial priesthood? Korah gathered a rebellion against Moses and Aaron to usurp the ministerial priesthood from them. He says to Moses, “‘You have gone too far! For all the congregation are holy, every one of them,…..why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?’ SOUND FAMILIAR? It is against this sin (usurping the ministerial priesthood) that the book of Jude warns us, because the same thing can happen in the New Testament age. Jude tells us it was going on in his day as well. In the New Testament age there were people rising up and assuming the priesthood who had not been authorized to do so, and Jude records their judgment for us. All three examples cited in verse 11—Cain, Balaam, and Korah—involve religious ministry. Hebrews 11 makes clear that Abel had offered a better sacrifice to God than Cain, for which Cain was jealous. 2 Peter 2 makes clear that Balaam was willing to corrupt his ministry for money. I think we should all heed the warning of St. Jude.

            Just as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram came along and said, “Hey, in Exodus 19 God said we are all priests, so we don’t need a ministerial priesthood; we can do that ourselves!” today people come along and say, “Hey, in 1 Peter and Revelation God said we are all priests, so we don’t need a ministerial priesthood; we can do that ourselves!” It is against this erroneous conclusion that the book of Jude warns us, proclaiming that people who fall into this error perish in the rebellion of Korah.

            Also, in Rom. 15:15-16, the verb form of heirus is used [hierourgounta] to describe the priestly duties of St Paul. Such as forgiving sins in the person of Christ 2 Cor 2:10 & 2 Cor 5:20, a power which God gave to men Matt 9:8, and which Christ gave to the apostles in John 20:22-23. In Rev 4:4 it mentions the 24 “elders”; these represent the 12 sons of Jacob, and the 12 apostles, signifying the continuance of a ministerial priesthood. The word used to identify both groups is “presbyterous”

            The verb form of hiereus is used for New Testament ministers. It is found when Paul speaks specifically of his ministry as an apostle, referring to it as a “priestly service”: “. . . because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service (Gk. hierourgounta) of the gospel of God…” (Rom 15:15b-16a). Just as the term priest is used only once in the NT when referring to Christ, so also it is used only once when referring to his ministers.

            Romans 15:16 applies the Greek term for priest (hiereus) to NT ministers. Why isn’t this word applied to them more often in the Bible? For the same reason it isn’t applied more often to Jesus. Jesus is the NT high priest yet He was from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. Most of the priests, like Jesus, were not from the tribe of Levi. Thus there is only one book–Hebrews–which directly refers to Jesus as a priest and only one book–Romans–which directly refers to his ministers as priests.

          • Anthony

            Long Before Constantine:

            Dionysius of Corinth

            You have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time (Letter to Soter of Rome [inter A.D. 166 -174] as recorded by Eusebius).

            Irenaeus

            Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also handed down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter (Against Heresies 3:1:1 [A.D. 189]).

            But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all Churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic tradition (ibid 3:3:2).

            Tertullian

            Let us see what milk the Corinthians drained from Paul; against what standard the Galatians were measured for correction; what the Philippians, Thessalonians, and Ephesians read; what even the nearby Romans sound forth, to whom both Peter and Paul bequeathed the Gospel and even sealed it with their blood (Against Marcion 4:5:1 [inter A.D. 207-212]).

            Eusebius

            The Apostle Peter, after he has established the Church in Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he remains bishop of that city, preaching the Gospel for twenty-five years (The Chronicle, Ad An. Dom. 42 [A.D. 303]).

            When Peter preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had been for a long time his follower and who remembered his sayings, should write down what had been proclaimed. Having composed the Gospel, he gave it to those who had requested it (Ecclesiastical History 6:14:1 [A.D. 325]).

            Peter of Alexandria

            Peter, the first chosen of the Apostles, having been apprehended often and thrown into prison and treated with ignominy, at last was crucified in Rome (Canonical Letter, canon 9 [A.D. 306]).

            http://www.staycatholic.com/early_church_fathers.htm

          • Anthony

            Waldenses (WALDENSIANS), an heretical sect which appeared in the second half of the twelfth century and, in a considerably modified form, has survived to the present day.

            Anabaptists , a heretical and violent and extremely radical body of ecclesiastico-civil reformers which first made its appearance in 1521 at Zwickau, in the present kingdom of Saxony, and still exists in milder forms.

            Did the Emperor Constantine found the Catholic Church?

            http://www.catholic.com/video/did-the-emperor-constantine-found-the-catholic-church

          • Anthony

            Did the Emperor Constantine found the Catholic Church?

            http://www.catholic.com/video/.

          • Anthony

            “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in Heaven. (Matthew 23:9)?

            Matthew 19:19″Honor your father and mother.”
            Luke 14:26Jesus says, “Anyone who comes to me without hating father.”
            Acts 3:24-26When speaking to the people Peter says: “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. .”
            Acts 6:14 to Acts 7:1-32St. Stephen calls the Jewish leaders fathers and before his glorious martyrdom in his speech to the Sanhedrin, mentions the word father nine times! Is Stephen sinning during his martyrdom?
            Acts 21:40 to Acts 22:1St. Paul calls Jerusalem Jews fathers.
            Romans 4:16-17Abraham is called the father of us all.
            1 Corinthians 4:14-15St. Paul says, I became your father in Christ through the Gospel.
            1 Thessalonians 2:1We treat you as a father treats his children.
            1 Thessalonians 2:11″Treated each . . . of you as a father treats his children.”
            1 Timothy 1:2St. Paul says, My true child in faith. (Children have fathers.)
            Titus 1:4St. Paul says, My true child in our common faith.
            Philemon 1:10″Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment.”
            Hebrews 12:7-9We have earthly fathers to discipline us.
            1 John 2:13-14I write to you, fathers, because you know him.
            See also:Matthew 3:9, Luke 1:73, Luke 3:8, John 8:56, Romans 4:11-12, Romans 9:10, 1 Timothy 5:1, James 2:21

            Please also note that in Matthew 23:8 Jesus said, “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Master/Teacher”.
            Jesus Himself calls Nicodemus this in John 3:10.

          • Anthony

            No ministerial priests in the New testament?

            The word priestis is actually taken from the Greek word presbuteros (“elder”). Further, Paul tells us that God’s ministers in the New Testament age do perform “priestly service” (Rom. 15:16).

            Romans 15:16 applies the Greek term for priest (hiereus) to NT ministers. Why isn’t this word applied to them more often in the Bible? For the same reason it isn’t applied more often to Jesus. Jesus is the NT high priest yet He was from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. Most of the priests, like Jesus, were not from the tribe of Levi. Thus there is only one book–Hebrews–which directly refers to Jesus as a priest and only one book–Romans–which directly refers to his ministers as priests.

            Regarding monks and nuns, the Old Testament records people who took special vows of consecration to God (Nazirites, cf. Num. 6), the Old Testament equivalent of monks and nuns. In the New Testament, Anna the prophetess seems to have lived like a cloistered nun, as “she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day” (Luke 2:37). Paul tells us of an order of widows devoted to good works who had vowed to not marry again (cf. 1 Tim. 5:9—12).

          • Anthony

            “In the Bible there are no popes or priests to rule over the church.”???

            Acts 15:6 — “The Apostles and presbyters met together to see about this matter.”

            Acts 15:23 — “This is the letter delivered by them: ‘The Apostles and presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin…”

            1 Thess 5:12 — “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and show esteem for them with special love on account of their work.”

            Hebrews 13:17 — “Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

            Hebrews 13:7 – “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

            Hebrews 13:24 — “Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings”

            The New Testament refers basically to three types of permanent offices in the Church; bishops (episkopos), elders (presbyteros, from which are derived priest), and deacons (diakonos). Upon close observation, clear distinctions of office appear, and the hierarchical nature of Church government in the New Testament emerges. Bishops are always referred to in the singular, while elders are usually mentioned plurally. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome.

            The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner much as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders (priests) came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, “Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:18); interesting since it was James who was the Bishop of Jerusalem. There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches. That James was the sole, “monarchical” bishop of Jerusalem is fairly apparent from Scripture (Acts 12:17, 15:13,19, 21:18, Galatians 1:19, 2:12).

            The historical evidence of the earliest Christians after the Apostles and the Church Fathers is quite compelling as well: there exists virtually unanimous consent as to the episcopal, hierarchical, visible nature of the Church, which proceeds authoritatively down through history by virtue of Apostolic Succession. (Acts 1:20-26). Since Judas is called a bishop (episkopos) in this passage (1:20), then by logical extension all the Apostles can be considered bishops (albeit of an extraordinary sort).

            If the Apostles are bishops, and one of them was replaced by another, after the death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, then we have an explicit example of apostolic succession in the Bible, taking place before 35 A.D. In like fashion, St. Paul appears to be passing on his office to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-6), shortly before his death, around 65 A.D. This succession shows an authoritative equivalency between Apostles and bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles.

            St. Clement, bishop of Rome (d.c.101), teaches apostolic succession, around 80 A.D. (Epistle to Corinthians, 42:4-5, 44:1-3), and St. Irenaeus is a very strong witness to, and advocate of this tradition in the last two decades of the 2nd century (Against Heresies, 3:3:1,4, 4:26:2, 5:20:1, 33:8). Eusebius, the first historian of the Church, in his History of the Church, c.325, begins by saying that one of the “chief matters” to be dealt with in his work is “the lines of succession from the holy apostles .

            St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, offers remarkable testimony, around 110 (Letter to the Magnesians, 2, 6:1, 13:1-2, Letter to the Trallians, 2:1-3, 3:1-2, 7:2, Letter to the Philadelphians, 7:1-2, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8:1-2 – the last also being the first reference to the “Catholic Church”). St. Clement of Rome refers to the “high priest” and “priests” of Christians around 96 (1 Clement, 40). Other prominent early witnesses include St. Hippolytus (Apostolic Tradition, 9) and St. Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis, 6:13:107:2), both in the early third century.

            Note, however, that while the Apostles and presbyters – AND THEY KNEW IT– had authority GREATER than the High Priest of Israel (Acts 4:18-20 & Acts 5:29-32), they exercised their authority with the signature Christian charity, causing modern readers of Scripture to sometimes assume this authority did not exist.

          • Anthony

            Does the Bible teach the Papacy? Does it teach that Jesus made St. Peter the first pope?

            What happens in Matthew 16:16? Simon is given a revelation directly from the Father about Jesus. And what does Jesus say to Simon after proclaiming this revelation. In Matthew 16:17 Jesus says, “”BLESSED ARE YOU, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” As a result of this Christ says, “AND SO I CALL YOU PETER (CEPHAS/ROCK in John 1:42), AND upon THIS ROCK (UPON THE ROCK JESUS JUST FOUNDED – PETER) I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.”

            Notice that after Jesus names Simon Peter/Cephas -which means Rock-, Jesus then says “AND upon this Rock”. The term “AND” signifies that Jesus is referring to the Rock which He had just named in the previous verse.

            Some try to use Peter’s denial of Our Lord to suggest that he failed Him just as Judas? Christ already knew that Peter would deny Him three times and He said to Peter, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32

            Then the Good Shepherd, after his resurrection, entrusts the flock to Peter. (John 21:15-17). He is speaking to Peter alone in these passages. What does Jesus say to Peter? “Feed my lambs., Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep. He makes Peter state three times that he loves Him in order to counter the threefold denial he had made earlier. (in the greek you’ll notice that Jesus is telling Peter to feed (Boske) His lambs (arnia)- this refers to the apostles. But then Jesus also tells Peter to Shepherd (Poimaine) and feed (Boske) His (probata) sheep .

            Strong’s Exhaustive Concordanceto shepherd, rule
            From poimen; to tend as a shepherd of (figuratively, superviser) — feed (cattle), rule.

            Matt. to Rev. – Peter is mentioned 190 times and the rest of apostles combined are only mentioned 130 times. Peter is also always listed first except in 1 Cor. 3:22 and Gal. 2:9 (which are obvious exceptions to the rule). Even St Paul calls him Cephas, which means Rock, and Galatians 1;18 in the greek refers to Peter as Kephan, aramaic for Rock.

            Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

            Cephas.

            Of Chaldee origin (compare keph); the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter — Cephas.

          • jennylynn

            There are problems with the Roman Catholic position. First of all, when we look at the Greek of Matthew 16:18, we see something that is not obvious in the English. ” . . . you are Peter (πέτρος, petros) and upon this rock (πέτρα, petra) I will build My church . . . ” In Greek nouns have gender. It is similar to the English words actor and actress. The first is masculine, and the second is feminine. Likewise, the Greek word “petros” is masculine; “petra” is feminine. Peter, the man, is appropriately referred to as Petros. But Jesus said that the rock he would build his church on was not the masculine “petros” but the feminine “petra.” Let me illustrate by using the words “actor” and “actress:” “You are the actor; and with this actress, I will make my movie.” Do see that the gender influences how a sentence is understood? Jesus was not saying that the church will be built upon Peter but upon something else. What, then, does petra, the feminine noun, refer to?

            The feminine “petra” occurs four times in the Greek New Testament:

            Matt. 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
            Matt. 27:60, “and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock (petra); and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.”
            1 Cor. 10:4, “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock (petras) which followed them; and the rock (petra) was Christ.”
            1 Pet. 2:8, speaking of Jesus says that he is “A stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”
            We can clearly see that in the three other uses of the Greek word petra (nominative singular; “petras” in 1 Cor. 10:4 is genitive singular) we find it referred to as a large immovable mass of rock in which a tomb is carved out (Matt. 27:60) and in reference to Christ (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:8). Note that Peter himself in the last verse referred to petra as being Jesus! If Peter uses the word as a reference to Jesus, then shouldn’t we?

            In addition, Greek dictionaries and lexicons give us further insight into the two Greek words under discussion:

            Petros:
            Petros, “πέτρος, a stone, distinguished from πέτρα (Source: Liddell, H., 1996. A lexicon : Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon (636). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.).
            Petros, Πέτρος, Peter, meaning stone. The masc. of the fem. pétra (4073), a massive rock or cliff.” (Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, electronic ed., G4074, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000, c1992, c1993).
            Petros, Πέτρος, “a noun akin to 4073, used as a proper name; “a stone” or “a boulder,” Peter, one of the twelve apostles:— Peter(150), Peter’s(5).” (Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition, H8674, Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998, 1981).
            Petra:
            Petra, πέτρα , Ion. and Ep. πέτρη, , a rock, a ledge or shelf of rock, Od. 2. a rock, i.e. a rocky peak or ridge . . . Properly, πέτρα is a fixed rock, πέτρος a stone.” (Source: Liddell, H. (1996). A lexicon : Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon (636). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.).
            Petra, πέτρα , (4073) denotes a mass of rock, as distinct from petros, a detached stone or boulder, or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved.” Source: Vine, W., & Bruce, F. (1981; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996). Vine’s Expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (2:302). Old Tappan NJ: Revell)
            Petra, πέτρα, ας, ἡ (1) literally, living rock, bedrock (MT 7.24), in contrast to πέτρος (isolated stone); (Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg and Neva F. Miller, vol. 4, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Baker’s Greek New Testament library, 311, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2000).
            Petra, πέτρα, noun feminine; ≡ bedrock, (James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament), electronic ed., GGK4376 (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
            Petros & Petros
            πέτρα petra; a prim. word; a (large mass of) rock:–rock(10), rocks(3), rocky(2). Πέτρος Petros, “a noun akin to 4073, used as a proper name; “a stone” or “a boulder,” Peter, one of the twelve apostles:— Peter(150), Peter’s(5).” (Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition, H8674, Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998, 1981).
            “On this rock (ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ). The word is feminine, and means a rock, as distinguished from a stone or a fragment of rock (πέτρος, above).” (Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, 1:91, Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002).
            Petros, “πέτρος, a stone, distinguished from πέτρα. Petra, πέτρα , Ion. and Ep. πέτρη, , a rock, a ledge or shelf of rock, Od. 2. a rock, i.e. a rocky peak or ridge . . . Properly, πέτρα is a fixed rock, πέτρος a stone.” (Source: Liddell, H. (1996). A lexicon : Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon (636). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.).

          • Anthony

            There are problem with the your position, several actually.

            First, the only manuscripts we have of Matthew are written in Greek but Greek scholars — even non-Catholic ones — admit, the words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant small stone and large rock in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew’s Gospel was rendered in Greek. The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek — an entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros and petra simply meant rock.If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used.

            Second, There is also the fact that St. Paul references him several times as “Cephas” throughout his Epistles. And Christ calls Peter “Cephas” in (John 1:42), re-epmhazing the fact that Simon is the Rock upon which He would build His Church. In Galatians 1:18, in the Greek, the name “KEPHAN” is used for Peter (which is from KEPHA in Aramaic, which means Rock).There can be no denying this no matter how hard you try.

            Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
            Cephas.

            Of Chaldee origin (compare keph); the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter — Cephas.

            Third, you say that Peter wasn’t the Rock referred to in Matthew 16? yet that isn’t the only place where Jesus calls Simon “Rock”.Read John 1:42, where Jesus calls him Cephas (which is the greek transliteration of the Aramaic word “Kepha”. Then in 1 Corinthians 15:5, St paul also refers to Simon as Cephas. And after his conversion, St Paul went up to Jerusalem to spend 15 days with Kephan. Galatians 1:18.

            Jesus is called a stone Acts 4:11 – the faithful are called stones 1 Peter 2:5.

            In scripture, the words “foundation” “builders” “stones” “temple” and “bishop” are applied to both Jesus and His faithful. Nothing prevents Scripture from applying the word “rock” to both Jesus and Peter. Abraham was also called a rock in the Old Testament Isaiah 51:1-2.

          • jennylynn

            well, twisting every scripture to fit your doctrine may make you feel better, but I read from a Hebrew/Greek translation so I don’t need to go off the catholic church to interpret for me. Maybe you should read 1 Peter and see who he says is the chief corerstone, and all the metaphors and typography in the Old Testament of the Rock. I assure you it is not Peter, even he acknowledgess that in his books. But I know what you will say that doesn’t mean that, like God made the Bible confusing. Only the priests know how to interpret, huh? And so you know ALL the Jews will be saved. That is a prophecy during the tribulation when the Jews flee to the dessert for 3.5 years and cry out for their Messiah. So all those Jews which will be the only surviving remnant will be saved. So “All” does mean ‘ALL” but not if it messes up your perpetual sinless virgin. The church willl never acknowledge their error, they prefer to lead the masses into idolatry of the worst kind, It is really dangerrous to add or take away from scripture and that is exactly what you are doing.
            Do NOT add to His words lest He reprove you and you be proved a liar. Proverbs 30:6
            And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy , God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. Revelation 22:19
            You shall not add to the word whicch I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2

            So God made it clear three times, In the Law, In the prophets and In the New covenant.
            I will leave you with this.

            “THE STONE IN WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNERSTONE. 1 PETER 2:7
            which is a Messianic prophecy in Psalm 118:22 so you can’t say it means something else.

          • Anthony

            Of course Jesus is the chief cornerstone, who on earth would deny that? But just as God was called a Spiritual Rock in the Old Testament, He called Abraham a Rock of lineage from which the nation of Israel would be hewn from. So to, just as Jesus is the Spiritual Rock, He named Simon a Rock, a symbol of unity, of lineage in the New Testament, ,from which the New Israel (the church) would be hewn from.

            Many of your beliefs can’t be traced back more than a few hundred years,. As for example the great tribulation you speak of where “all” the jews will be converted. Do some research, you won’t find anyone who held this interpretation more than 200-300 years ago; it’s a recent invention, as is most of your beliefs.

            Jesus installed Peter as a form of chief steward or prime minister under the King of Kings by giving him the keys to the kingdom. As can be seen in Isaiah 22:22, kings in the Old Testament appointed a chief steward to serve under them in a position of great authority to rule over the inhabitants of the kingdom. Jesus quotes almost verbatum from this passage in Isaiah, and so it is clear what he has in mind. He is raising Peter up as a father figure to the household of faith (Is. 22:21), to lead them and guide the flock (John 21:15-17). This authority of the prime minister under the king was passed on from one man to another down through the ages by the giving of the keys, which were worn on the shoulder as a sign of authority. Likewise, the authority of Peter has been passed down for 2000 years by means of the papacy.

            Ask yourself, WHY in Paul’s epistles—four times in Galatians and four times in 1 Corinthians—we have the Aramaic form of Simon’s new name preserved for us? In our English Bibles it comes out as Cephas. That isn’t Greek. That’s a transliteration of the Aramaic word Kepha (rendered as Kephas in its Hellenistic form).

            “And ask yourself, “what does Kepha mean?” It means a rock, the same as petra. (It doesn’t mean a little stone or a pebble. What Jesus said to Simon in Matthew 16:18 was this: ‘You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.’

            “THE STONE IN WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNERSTONE. 1 PETER 2:7 (if you notice, the word stone here is transaleted as “lithos” in the greek, not petros. If petros means stone, why does the bible translate stone as “lithos” instead of “petros”?

          • jennylynn

            If Peter is the first pope who had already been given the authority of Christ in Matthew 16:18, then why did Paul the apostle have to rebuke him? The common response here by Roman Catholics is that the papacy speaks with authority and without error, but the men who hold the office can make many mistakes. But the problem here is that there is no way to distinguish the truth of the Roman Catholic Church’s claim that the papacy is descended from an office granted to Peter alone. You see, whenever a pope makes a mistake or speaks something that isn’t true, the man is blamed and is said to not have spoken with authority. But whenever something is “true,” then it is by virtue of his office. So essentially there is no way possible to challenge the claim that the Roman Catholic Church has regarding the office of the papacy. It is, essentially, non-falsifiable. Non-falsifiability means that something cannot be proven to be false. The Roman Catholic Church assumes, without warrant, that Peter is the first pope and then distances itself from heresies and mistakes of those who held the papal office that supposedly descended from him. In this way, it attempts to remain untouchable to cross examination.

            1 Pet. 5:1-2, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;”

            If Peter was supreme among the apostles, why does he state he is a fellow elder instead of asserting his supremacy? Did Peter not recognize his position given to him by Christ? The Roman Catholic Church certainly affirms the primacy of the papal office as a cited above. Apparently, the Roman Catholic pope has no problem proclaiming such self-affirmations. Yet, this is not what Peter does in scripture. One has to wonder why the pope in the present Roman Catholic Church does not follow the lead of Peter who they claim to follow. Nevertheless, Peter does not affirm his own supremacy. In fact, he does the contrary by saying he is a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ.

          • Anthony
          • Anthony

            You stated, “I have read all the apostolic fathers and it does not give its roots to the Catholic Church”

            Really did you happen to read these ones?

            “Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars of the Church have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him.” Clement of Rome, The First Epistle of Clement, 5 (c. A.D. 96).

            “The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the church of God which sojourns at Corinth … But if any disobey the words spoken by him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger.” Clement of Rome, Pope, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

            “I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, 4 (c. A.D. 110).

            “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love…”Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110).

            “There is extant also another epistle written by Dionysius to the Romans, and addressed to Soter, who was bishop at that time. We cannot do better than to subjoin some passages from this epistle…In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians, showing that it had been the custom from the beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows: To-day we have passed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your epistle. From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice, as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through Clement.’ Dionysius of Corinth, To Pope Soter (A.D. 171).

            ‘You have thus by such an admonition bound together the plantings of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth.” Dionysius of Corinth, Epistle to Pope Soter, fragment in Eusebius’ Church History, II:25 (c. A.D. 178).

            “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:1:1 (c. A.D. 180).

            Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2 (A.D. 180).

            “As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out.” Clement of Alexandria, fragment in Eusebius Church History, VI:14,6 (A.D. 190)

            “A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s Passover. It was therefore necessary to end their fast on that day, whatever day of the week it should happen to be. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour…Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicated.” Pope Victor & Easter (c. A.D. 195).

            “It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: ‘But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.'” Gaius, fragment in Eusebius’ Church History, 2:25 (A.D. 198).

            “[W]hat utterance also the Romans give, so very near (to the apostles), to whom Peter and Paul conjointly bequeathed the gospel even sealed with their own blood.” Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4:5 (inter A.D. 207-212).

            ‘We read the lives of the Caesars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising blood. Then is Peter girt by another (an allusion to John 21:18), when he is made fast to the cross.”Tertullian, Scorpiace, 15:3 (A.D. 212).

            “Peter…at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer this way.” Origen, Third Commentary on Genesis, (A.D. 232).

            “And he says to him again after the resurrection, ‘Feed my sheep.’ It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church’s) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided.” Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256).

            “Thus Peter, the first of the Apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into prison, and treated with igominy, was last of all crucified at Rome.” Peter of Alexandria, The Canonical Epistle, Canon 9 (A.D. 306).

            “[W]hich Peter and Paul preached at Rome…” Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 4:21 (A.D. 310).

          • jennylynn

            Dear Roman Catholic, how do you know the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church in that it has the authority to forgive sins, give the sacraments, and interpret Scripture? Is it because you believe the Roman Catholic Church is true because it says it is the true church? If so, then is that a good enough reason? If it is, then what do you do when another church claims to be the one true church? Is a simple claim sufficient? Of course not. Besides, if you trust whatever the Roman Catholic Church says about itself, then there’s no way to verify if it is true or false because you would always believe whatever it says. So, if by some chance that were false, you would never know.

            The most common answer I’ve heard from Roman Catholics as to why their church is true is that Jesus gave the apostles the authority to teach the truth, to forgive sins, to administer the sacraments, and to interpret Scripture. Okay, if that is your position, then why is that your position? Where do you get the idea that Jesus gave the apostles the apostolic authority? Is it because the Roman Catholic Church just claims it has the authority, or is there something more? Is it because you go to the Bible and cite verses such as the following . . .

            Matthew 16:18-19, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
            John 20:22-23, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.'”
            1 Corinthians 11:2, “Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.”
            2 Tim. 1:13-14, “Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.”
            Is it because of Scriptures like these that you believe the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church? If so, then I have some questions for you.

            By what authority do you interpret the word of God?
            How do you know your interpretations of the Scriptures are correct?
            Are you giving a private interpretation of the word of God?
            Are you interpreting these verses for yourself without the authority of the Roman Catholic Church?
            Are you subjecting the entire Roman Catholic Church to your interpretation of Scripture and thereby concluding it is true?
            If you reply that you were just reading what the Scriptures say, then when I do the same thing and conclude that the Roman Catholic Church is not the true church, then you can’t argue with me since I also am interpreting the Scriptures the same as you. But, if you say that I am wrong and you are right, then how do you know without asserting your own authority?

            But, if you believe the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church and it has the authority to interpret Scripture, then you don’t have the authority to interpret it in a manner different from what they tell you it means–which is the same as not being able to interpret at all without it being your own “private interpretation.” And, if you believe what the Scriptures say and your conclusion is that the Roman Catholic Church is true, then you are subjecting the entire Roman Catholic Church to the validity of your own interpretations.

            Do you see the problem from your perspective? You are required to subject yourself to whatever the Roman Catholic Church tells you is true, yet you do the opposite when you look at Scripture to judge the Roman Catholic Church to be true.

            Carm.org

          • Anthony

            Dear Heretic, how do I know the Catholic Church is the One True Church? Because it was founded by Jesus Christ in 33 A.D.

            Quite simply put;”if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck,…it’s a duck”

            Clement of Rome

            Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobeys the things which have been said by him [Jesus] through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in no small danger. We, however, shall be innocent of this sin and will pray with entreaty and supplication that the Creator of all may keep unharmed the number of his elect (Letter to the Corinthians 58:2, 59:1[A.D. 95]).

            Ignatius of Antioch

            You [the See of Rome] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force (Epistle to the Romans 3:1 [A.D. 110]).

            Tatian the Syrian

            “Simon Cephas answered and said, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah: flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee also, that you are Cephas, and on this rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it” (The Diatesseron 23 [A.D. 170]).

            Irenaeus

            But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles. Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

            Clement of Alexandria

            [T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? “Behold, we have left all and have followed you” [Matt. 19:2 7, Mark 10:28] (Who is the Rich Man That is Saved? 21:3-5 [A.D. 200]).

            Tertullian

            [T]he Lord said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven” [Matt. 16:18-19]. … Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed (Modesty 21:9-10 [A.D. 220]).

            “Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the Church would be built’ [Matt. 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ [Matt. 16:19]?” (Demurrer Against the Heretics 22 [A.D. 200]).

            “For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]” (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).

            Letter of Clement to James

            Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first-fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D, 221]).

            The Clementine Homilies

            “[Simon Peter said to Simon Magus in Rome:] ‘For you now stand in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church’ [Matt. 16:18]” (Clementine Homilies 17:19 [A.D. 221]).

            Origen

            “Look at Peter, the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church [Matt. 16:18]. And what does our Lord say to him? ‘Oh you of little faith,’ he says, ‘why do you doubt?’ [Matt. 14:31]” (Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).

            “If we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens” (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

            Cyprian

            With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 [A.D. 252]).

            The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” he says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” . . . On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4 [A.D. 251]).

            “There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering” (Letters 43[40]:5 [A.D. 253]).

            “There [John 6:68–69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are secretly [i.e., invisibly] in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is one and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but it is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another” (ibid., 66[69]:8).

            Cyril of Jerusalem

            “The Lord is loving toward men, swift to pardon but slow to punish. Let no man despair of his own salvation. Peter, the first and foremost of the apostles, denied the Lord three times before a little servant girl, but he repented and wept bitterly” (Catechetical Lectures 2:19 [A.D. 350]).

            “[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven [Matt. 16:19]” (ibid., 6:14).

            In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9 ;3 2-3 4] (Catechetical Lectures 17;27 [A.D. 350]).

          • jennylynn
          • Michael Bowes

            Please see my earlier comment regarding posting the carm site.. dialogue, bible, Church history, and tradition is welcome in the replies.. but posting to a one sided biased site.. not going to work for me.

        • Nathaniel

          Jesus was a priest and the Bible mentions it in the letter to the Hebrews. I won’t banter and I won’t bash anybody who does not understand Catholic teaching but I will stand up and defend it and will gladly discuss it. But before making drawing a conclusion make sure you have all the facts and are well in formed on the subject. As to your accusations of Mary and the Pope, Mary acts as an intercessor (that’s why Catholics pray to Her) and she leads people to Her Son. If you research every apparition of Mary, She is always pointing people to her son, Jesus not herself. The Pope does not mediate like you think; rather, the Pope through the guidance of the Holy Spirit leads the Church. At all times it is God speaking through the Pope, just like He speaks through His priests and other people. I know many of Catholic teaching may be very confusing but keep in open mind. I will say this to say that you know everything is like saying more than God. If you believe Catholics are wrong, that’s your opinion but I offer this advice, pray to God to know the Truth and to be opened to the Truth. Also, what is the one thing that you desire most? If the answer is God than you have to ask yourself why the Catechism of the Catholic states that the desire of God is written on the human heart……(CCC paragraph 27). Remember that Christ said to Love one another as I have loved you, so bashing people doesn’t bring anyone closer to Christ.

          • jennylynn

            Nathaniel, the Catholic Church is not confusing, it’s heretical. Mary was a sinner and needed a savior like the rest of us. Luke 1:46-50. She called God her Savior. What did Mary need saving from? Her sins because she was a sinner like the rest of humanity. There is none that are righteous, no not one. Romans 3:10. Further more Mary can’t it lead anyone to Christ because she is dead and sinful and she hasn’t been resurrected from the dead yet.
            There is only one Mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5.

          • Anthony Kulušić

            The One Mediator Argument

            I already stated that God is ultimately the one who forgive sins, yet He does so through the priest, in the person of Christ, just as St. Paul states in the bible. Catholics believe membership in Christ’s Body means a personal relationship with Jesus and, through him, with all Christians. Although Protestants may agree with this in theory, in application most of them (this is especially true of Evangelicals and Fundamentalists) promote an individualistic “me and Jesus” version of Christianity, which is unbiblical.

            The “One Mediator” Argument

            The “one mediator” argument is: “Since Christ is the one mediator between God and man, having someone to intercede for us constitutes a gross infringement on his unique role. This is impermissible. We should just pray to God directly, period.” Actually, Catholics do both.

            The Catholic Church in no way teaches that priests are mediators in the special sense used in 1 Timothy 2:5. Because of the Incarnation, Jesus has a unique role as mediator. He is the only one who is God and man, the only contact point between us and the Father, and only he is capable of bridging the chasm of sin that separates us from God. No man can take Christ’s place as mediator. The Church teaches instead that all Christians are intercessors who, because of Christ’s mediatorship, are able to become coheirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and some His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). If 1 Timothy 2:5 eliminates intercession by other Christians in this would be a serious misreading. Far from excluding Christians from a share in Christ’s mediatorship, Paul is actually emphasizing that we share in it through intercessory prayers. Our intercessions are effectual precisely and only because Christ is the one mediator.

            When he commanded that “supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone . . . for this is good and pleasing to God our Savior” (1 Tm 2:1, 3), Paul was calling all Christians to exercise a “mini-mediatorship” through and in Christ. After all, someone who prays, supplicates, and petitions is a go-between—a mediator who goes to God on behalf of someone else and who asks the Lord to grant blessings, healing, strength, forgiveness, or salvation. Christian mediatorship is qualitatively different from the mediatorship of Jesus, and it is only possible because Jesus is the mediator between us and the Father. By his death on the cross we can go boldly into the presence of the Father and pray, intercede, petition, and supplicate on behalf of others (Eph 2:18, 1 Tm 2:1-4, Heb 4:16).

            A Share in His Ministry

            Jesus is the one mediator between God and man but Jesus shares his unique roles in lesser ways with Christians:

            Jesus is the Creator of all things (Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17, Heb 1:1-2), yet when it comes to creating human life Jesus shares this role with men and women. The human soul is created by God, out of nothing, at the instant the marital union produces a new body. The Lord could have chosen to create human life, body and soul, directly and unilaterally, but he did not, preferring instead to make his role as Creator dependent in a way on human action.

            Jesus is the shepherd of his flock the Church (Jn 10:16), yet he shares his shepherdhood in a subordinate way with others, beginning with Peter (Jn 21:15-17) and extending it later to others (Eph 4:11). It is true that Jesus says he is the only shepherd (Jn 10:11-16), yet this seemingly exclusive statement does not conflict with him making Peter shepherd over the flock (Jn 21:15-17) or with his calling others to be shepherds as well (Eph 4:11). Peter emphasizes that Jesus shares his role as shepherd with others by calling Jesus the chief shepherd, thus implying lesser shepherds (1 Pt 5:4). Note also that the Greek construction of John 10:16 ([there is] one shepherd, heis poimen) is the same as 1 Timothy 2:5 ([there is] one mediator, heis mesites). The apostles and their successors, the bishops, are truly shepherds also.
            Jesus is the high priest of the New Covenant, eternally present before the Father, mediating his once-for-all sacrifice for our redemption (Heb 3:1, 4:14-15, 5:5-10, 7:15-26, 8:1, 9:11). But the Bible also says Christians are called to share in Christ’s priesthood (1 Pt 2:5-9; Rv 1:6, 5:10, 20:6).
            Jesus is the supreme judge (Jn 5:27, 9:39; Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tm 4:1), yet Christians are called to share in Christ’s judgeship. They will be judges in heaven, even judging the angels (Mt 19:28, Lk 22:30, 1 Cor 6:2-3, Rv 20:4).

            Jesus is the sovereign king of the universe (Mk 15:32; 1 Tm 6:15; Rv 15:3, 17:14, 19:16), but he shares his kingship with all Christians, who in heaven will wear crowns, sit on thrones, and reign as kings alongside Jesus—but always subordinate to him. Our Lord says, “I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne” (Rv 3:21). (See also Mt 19:28; Lk 22:30; Rv 1:6,5:10).

            Jesus forgives our sins and reconciles us to the Father (2 Cor 5:18-21), but he calls us to share in various ways in his ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation (Mt 9:5-8, 18:18; Jn 20:21-22; Acts 2:38; 2 Cor 5:18-20; Jas 5:14-15).

            Clearly, no Christian can usurp Christ’s unique roles as Creator, shepherd, priest, king, judge, and reconciler, but each Christian is called to share in these roles in subordinate ways. The principle of sharing in Christ’s roles extends, in the form of intercessory prayer, to Christ’s mediatorship as well.

            Just as God empowered his priests to be instruments of forgiveness in the Old Testament, the God/man Jesus Christ delegated authority to his New Testament ministers to act as mediators of reconciliation as well. Jesus made this remarkably clear in John 20:21-23:

            Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

            Having been raised from the dead, our Lord was here commissioning his apostles to carry on with his work just before he was to ascend to heaven. “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” What did the Father send Jesus to do? All Christians agree he sent Christ to be the one true mediator between God and men. As such, Christ was to infallibly proclaim the Gospel (cf. Luke 4:16-21), reign supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16); and especially, he was to redeem the world through the forgiveness of sins (cf. I Peter 2:21-25, Mark 2:5-10).

            The New Testament makes very clear that Christ sent the apostles and their successors to carry on this same mission. To proclaim the gospel with the authority of Christ (cf. Matthew 28:18-20), to govern the Church in His stead (cf. Luke 22:29-30), and to sanctify her through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist (cf. John 6:54, I Cor. 11:24-29) and for our purpose here, Confession.

            John 20:22-23 is nothing more than Jesus emphasizing one essential aspect of the priestly ministry of the apostles: To Forgive men’s sins in the person of Christ— “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain are retained.” Moreover, auricular confession is strongly implied here. The only way the apostles could either forgive or retain sins is by first hearing those sins confessed, and then making a judgment whether or not the penitent should be absolved.

          • jennylynn

            This has good information that might help you.

            http://carm.org/roman-catholicism-mary-idolatry

          • Anthony Kulušić
        • Anthony Kulušić

          You bring up an interesting point; being “born again”. The bible verse says that you must be born again of water and the Spirit in order to be saved (John 3:5). This is a clear reference to Baptism as illustrated in (Matthew 3:16).

          Being born again, or being born from above, is a reference to our baptism, which washes away our sins (Acts 22:16) and saves us (1 Peter 3:21) and replaces circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12). Jesus Himself shows us that being born again is a reference to baptism in (John 3:5 & 3:22), the only scriptural reference to Him baptizing anyone.

          Some people think that baptism is only “symbolic”, and not necessary for salvation, but that would fly in the face of Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21. John the Baptist even said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit, in Matthew 3:11.

          Acts 22:16: And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

          1 Peter 3:21: Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

          Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”

          John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

          Matthew 3:11: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

          Colossians 2:11- 12 “In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

          How did the early Christians understand this and what did it mean to be “born again”?

          The Didache

          After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days (Didache 7:1 [ca. A.D. 70]).

          Justin Martyr

          As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, and instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we pray and fast with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father… and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit [Matt. 28:19], they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, “Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (First Apology 61 [A.D. 151]).

          Irenaeus
          He [Jesus] came to save all through himself – all, I say, who through him are reborn in God; infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age (Against Heresies2:22:4 [A.D. 189]).

          Tertullian

          [N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, “Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life” (On Baptism 12:1 [A.D. 203]).

          When we are about to enter the water — no, just a little before — In the church and under the hand of the bishop, we solemnly profess that we renounce the devil and his pomps and his angels. Thereupon we are immersed three times (The Crown 3:2 [A.D. 211]).

          Hippolytus

          Where there is no scarcity of water the stream shall flow through the baptismal font or pour into it from above; but if water is scarce, whether on a constant condition or on occasion, then use whatever water is available. Let them remove their clothing. Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D.215]).

          Recognitions of Clement

          But you will perhaps say, ‘What does the baptism of water contribute toward the worship of God?’ In the first place, because that which has pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because when you are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the frailty of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so . . . you shall be able to attain salvation; but otherwise it is impossible. For thus has the true prophet [Jesus] testified to us with an oath: “Verily, I say to you, that unless a man is born again of water . . . he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Recognitions of Clement 6:9 [A.D. 221]).

          Origen

          The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine sacraments, knew there is in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

          Cornelius I

          As [the heretic Novatian] seemed about to die, he received baptism in the bed where he lay, by pouring. . . . (Letter to Fabius of Antioch 6:43 [A.D. 251]).

          Cyprian

          [l]t behooves those to be baptized . . . so that they are prepared, in the lawful and true and only baptism of the holy Church, by divine regeneration, for the kingdom of God . . . because it is written “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Epistles 72 [73]: 21 [A.D. 252]).

          As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).

          In the saving sacraments, when necessity compels and when God bestows his pardon, divine benefits are bestowed fully upon believers, nor ought anyone be disturbed because the sick are poured upon or sprinkled when they receive the Lord’s grace” (Letter to a Certain Magnus 69(76):12 [A.D. 254]).

          Ambrose of Milan

          The Church was redeemed at the price of Christ’s blood. Jew or Greek, it makes no difference; but if he has believed, he must circumcise himself from his sins [in baptism (Col. 2:11-12)] so that he can be saved . . . for no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the sacrament of baptism…. “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (On Abraham 2:11:79-84 [A.D. 387]).

          Augustine

          It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated . . . when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, “Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents” or “by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him,” but, “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit.” The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefit of grace, both regenerate in one Christ that man who was generated in Adam (Letters 98:2 [A.D. 408]).

          Paul alludes to infant baptism when he tells us that baptism replaces circumcision (Colossians 2:11). This is why the early Christians baptized infants on the eighth day after birth. The eighth day after birth is when Jewish boys were circumcised. Those who contend that infants shouldn’t be baptized have a faulty understanding of what baptism is. With baptism there is an infusion of grace, grace is what enables a child being raised in the faith to understand his or her need for God. The early church administered baptism in three ways; by immersion, sprinkling and pouring.

        • Anthony Kulušić

          Confession

          John 20:23 says “forgive”. “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” The word use is “aphēte” and it is used also in Matthew 6:14 and Matthew 18:35 as well. Just as God empowered his priests to be instruments of forgiveness in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:20-22 ), Our Lord Jesus Christ delegated authority to his New Testament ministers to act as mediators of reconciliation as well. Jesus made this remarkably clear in John 20:21-23:

          “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The New Testament makes very clear that Christ sent the apostles and their successors to carry on this same mission. To proclaim the gospel with the authority of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), to govern the Church in His stead (Luke 22:29-30, Luke 10:16), and to sanctify her through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist (John 6:54, I Cor. 11:24-29) and for our purpose here, Confession.

          The next question for many upon seeing the plain words of St. John is, “Why don’t we hear any more about Confession to a priest in the rest of the New Testament?” The fact is: we don’t need to. How many times does God have to tell us something before we’ll believe it? He only gave us the proper form for baptism once (Matt. 28:19), and yet all Christians accept this teaching.

          But be that as it may, there are texts that deal with Confession and the forgiveness of sins through the New Covenant minister:

          2 Cor. 2:10: “And to whom you have pardoned anything, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes HAVE I DONE IT IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST”(DRV). This is what a priest does; he forgives sins in the person of Christ, as an ambassador of Christ.

          Many may respond to this text by quoting modern Bible translations, e.g., the RSVCE:

          “What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake IN THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST”(emphasis added).

          (2 Corinthians 5:20 ). “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal THROUGH US. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

          1. Not only the Douay-Rheims, but the King James Version of the Bible—which no one would accuse of being a Catholic translation—translates prosopon as “person.” (in 2 Cor. 2:10)

          2. The early Christians, who spoke and wrote in Koine Greek, at the Councils of Ephesus (AD 431) and Chalcedon (AD 451), used prosopon to refer to the “person” of Jesus Christ.

          3. Even if one translates the text as St. Paul pardoning “in the presence of Christ,” the context indicates that he forgave the sins of others. And notice: St. Paul specifically said he was not forgiving anyone for offenses committed against him personally (see 2 Cor. 2:5). Any Christian can and must do this. He said he did the forgiving “[for the Corinthian’s sakes]” and “in the person (or presence) of Christ.” The context indicates he is forgiving sins that do not involve him personally.

          4. Just three chapters later, St. Paul gives us the reason why he could forgive the sins of others: “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18). Some will argue that “the ministry of reconciliation” of verse 18 is identical to “the message of reconciliation” in verse 19. In other words, St. Paul is simply referring to a declarative power here. I don’t agree. I argue St. Paul uses distinct terms precisely because he is referring to more than just “the message of reconciliation,” but the same ministry of reconciliation that was Christ’s. Christ did more than just preach a message; he also forgave sins. And the apostles were sent by Christ to do the same.

          Also, in (Rom. 15:15-16), the verb form of heirus is used [hierourgounta] to describe the priestly duties of St Paul. Such as forgiving sins in the person of Christ (2 Cor 2:10 & 2 Cor 5:20), a power which God gave to men (Matt 9:8), and which Christ gave to the apostles in (John 20:22-23). In Rev 4:4 it mentions the 24 “elders”; these represent the 12 sons of Jacob, and the 12 apostles, signifying the continuance of a ministerial priesthood. The word used to identify both groups is “presbyterous”.

          The bible itself says that the power to forgive sin was given to men (PLURAL) in Matthew 9:8:”And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men. ” This in in the PLURAL SENSE in case you missed it. It’s easy to gloss over scripture without noticing things sometimes.

          Remember that Jesus Himself bestowed this authority onto the apostles when He said, “And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me” (Luke 22:29). And before His Ascension He said to the apostles, “… As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”(John 20:21).

          Thirdly, Presbyters were priests. James 5:14-15 puts it quite plainly:

          “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders (presbyteroi) of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” Some will object and point out that verse 16 says to confess our sins “to one another” and pray “for one another.” Is not James just encouraging us to confess our sins to a close friend so we can help one another to overcome our faults?

          The context seems to disagree with this interpretation for two main reasons:

          1. St. James had just told us to go to the presbyter in verse 14 for healing and the forgiveness of sins. Then, verse 16 begins with the word therefore—a conjunction that would seem to connect verse 16 back to verses 14 and 15. The context seems to point to the “elder” as the one to whom we confess our sins.

          2. Ephesians 5:21 employs this same phrase. “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” But the context limits the meaning of “to one another” specifically to a man and wife—not just anyone. Similarly, the context of James 5 would seem to limit the confession of faults “to one another” to the specific relationship between “anyone” and the “elder” or “priest” (greek-presbuteros).

          (Notice that Scripture does not say we should go to just anyone because we are all ‘priests’ as Christians. It singles out the presbyters and clearly depicts them as having the power and authority to act as mediators in the forgiveness of sins and healing). The existence of a common priesthood for all God’s people did not exclude a special calling for the pastors of the Church to be priests.

          Then of course there is (Matthew 16:18). The keys are a symbol of dynastic succession to Peter’s seat of authority. This seat of authority would replace Moses’ seat of authority (Matthew 23:2) then occupied by the Sanhedrin. The keys were symbols of authority and succession. We see reference to the keys in (Isaiah 22) where David’s vicar had the keys to the kingdom and the authority to open and shut. Jesus, the Son of David, also appoints a Vicar over His kingdom, and gives him the keys of the kingdom and the authority to bind (shut) and loose (open). The Fathers were unanimous in their understanding of the keys. Your exegesis fails to address the critical significance that the “keys” have on this discussion. It is true that Jesus confers binding and loosing authority on the rest of the apostles in (Matthew 18:17-18), but Jesus gives Peter alone the keys. They refer to declaring dogmatic and disciplinary decrees as well as forgiving and retaining sin (binding and loosing equates to forgiving and retaining in the context of John 20:23). Since the binding (shutting) and loosing (opening) authority are derived from the keys which Peter alone holds, the other apostles can only bind and loose when in union with Peter. Thus, Jesus gives Peter the singular authority to bind and loose, and the apostles the collective authority to bind and loose (Jesus doesn’t single any apostle out when he confers upon them binding and loosing authority in Mt 18:18 because he has already identified Peter as the one with the keys in Mt 16:19).

    • Anthony Kulušić

      The only time the words “faith alone” appear in the Bible, the words “not by” directly precede it. (James 2:24)

      Romans 2:13 ” For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”

      Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

      James 2:26 “For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.”

      Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

      Romans 2:6 “Who will render to every man according to his works”

      James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

      Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”

      2 Corinthians 11:15 “It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

      1 Corinthians 7:19 “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.”

      Matthew 19:17 “But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

      Luke 10:28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

      2 Timothy 4:14 “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.”

      1 Corinthians 3:13 “their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.”

      2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

      Ephesians 6:8 “because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free”

      Colossians 3:25 “Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.”

      Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

      Matthew 25: 31-46 “And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

      Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

      Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.”

      James 2:24 “Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith alone?

      John 15:10 “If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father’s commandments, and do abide in his love.”

      John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands”

      John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

      1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.”

      1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

      1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

      “Acts 14:22 “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.”

      1 Peter 4:1 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.”

      Mark 10:29-30 “Jesus answering, said: Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting.”

      Acts 9:16 “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

      Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him”

      1 Thessalonians 3:3 “so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”

      Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

      Matthew 24:13 “but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

      Romans 2:7 “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.”

      Hebrews 10:36 “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

      Philippians 2:12 “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”

      Hebrews 5:9 “and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”

  • 54blueroses

    His ignorant statement just goes to show us that the Pope does NOT read his Bible. No wonder most Catholics live like heathens Monday through Saturday and then confess their sins on Sunday. It is a man made religion full of man made traditions, idol worship (saints), and deception! ANYONE who reads and studies the Holy Bible, and earnestly prays, can come to the same conclusion.

    • Michael Bowes

      Where did your bible come from? Oh ya.. the Catholic Church. Where did your beliefs come from? Who Preserved it through time until the protestant reformation? Yep.. the Catholic Church. You hate what you believe is the Catholic Church.. if you only knew the truth..! And while you are talking about hypocrites.. look to your own self, faith, and Church.. there are hypocrites everywhere. The Catholic Church was founded by Christ.. unlike the Protestant Churches which were founded by men.. Luther, Henry VIII, Jean Baptiste, ect… Anyone that actually reads the bible will find that the man-made protestant Churches practice nothing of what the bible calls for and their services are nothing like the early Church. Go pick up a history book and see who came first.. the Protestant or the Catholic.. =)

    • Anthony Kulušić

      A true Christian is he who follows the traditions of the

      apostles handed down EITHER by word or by letter.

      2 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Corinthians 11:2,

      2 Thessalonians 2:2, 2 John 1:12, 3 John 1:13, 3

      John 1:14, John 21:25, John 20:30-31.

      Just as St .Athanasius of Alexandria wrote,

      “But what is also to the point, let us note that the very TRADITION, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and PRESERVED by the FATHERS. On this the CHURCH was founded; and if anyone departs from THIS, he neither is,nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.” (295-373 A.D.)

      There is a difference between the Traditions of the Church (official church teaching handed down from the apostles either orally or written (2 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:6), …….and human tradition which you espouse. Yours is a man made tradition without apostolic authority, as you rely on your own erroneous, private interpretation of scripture (which the bible forbids by the way – (2 Peter 1:20, Acts 8:30-31, 2 Peter 3:16 );.

      Your beliefs, your theology, how you interpret sacred scripture, even how you ‘worship’….have no historical continuity with that of the early Church., and are therefore man made traditions.

  • joey

    Mary is not my mother and will never be. But her obedience is something we must emulate. She humbled herself and obeyed God which is what the Pope should do.

    • Michael Bowes

      She was Jesus’ Mother and is the Mother of God. If she is not your mother than who is? Will you continue to blaspheme the new eve? The new ark of the covenant that God chose to carry his son? The Archangel Gabriel said “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee”.. if the archangel help Mary in such high esteem.. how can you blaspheme her and think that Jesus is going to give you a high five for disrespecting his Mother..? It will be a sad day when you realize your mistake upon death .. and you will have no time to repent or take back the hateful things you have said.

  • http://www.imagineitincorporatedng.com/ Tessa

    LOL
    Jesus died on the cross, shed His blood and purchased me with His own blood.
    Glad for that.

  • George Bell

    “Behold, your mother!” (19:27)

    “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her children—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” (Rev 12:17)

  • Nicholas Limon

    Without Mary, there would be no Jesus and without Jesus, there would be no salvation. How can you say that you honor your Mother here on earth, but do not honor your Heavenly Mother? It is not even possible! Per Jesum per Mariam.

  • Freddymeboy

    “When the designated time had come, God sent for his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that we might receive our status as his (adopted children).” So, according to the word of God, you cannot be a child of God unless also a son or daughter of Mary. And consider this: when King David proposed to build a house (Temple) for God, and the prophet Nathan had to be corrected to tell the King to get real, God Himself promised to fix a place for his people Israel where they would be safe forever. In the Old Testament, the partial fulfillment of that prophecy was the Temple Solomon built on the very spot (threshing floor of the Jebusite) where God’s mercy stopped the plague, but in the New Testament there can be no doubt that God the father “fixed a place” for his people in the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was there that Jesus “pitched his tent,” it was in her “fiat” her unconditional yes to God that “the word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” And if there were any doubt, and there is not, Jesus gave his Mother Mary to us all as our Mother in faith @ the Cross. Could anything be more wonderful than that?

  • ladycygnus

    The Christian Church has ALWAYS seen Mary as our mother…

    She is the New Eve – correcting the error of our old mother Eve. “Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith” (Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

    Even Augustine thinks so: “That one woman is both mother and virgin, not in spirit only but even in body. In spirit she is mother, not of our head, who is our Savior himself—of whom all, even she herself, are rightly called children of the bridegroom—but plainly she is the mother of us who are his members, because by love she has cooperated so that the faithful, who are the members of that head, might be born in the Church. In body, indeed, she is the Mother of that very head” (Holy Virginity 6:6 [A.D. 401]).

    Even Martin Luther thought this! “Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees . . . If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother.” (Sermon, Christmas, 1529)

    And it’s completely biblical! Revelation 12 speaks of the woman giving birth to “son, a male child, who ‘will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.’… Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”

    Obviously the child is Jesus, the Serpent is the devil and the child’s mother is Mary. I’ve heard some try to pass this off a purely symbolic (the woman is Israel giving birth to the Christian church), but they have no problem with the child being Jesus. If the child CAN be Jesus then obviously the woman CAN be Mary.

    She is the mother of Jesus, our Lord and Brother. By adoption into God’s family His mother becomes our mother. To reject Mary is to reject our mother and leave us at least half orphaned and, since we are rejecting the woman God choose to be his (and our) mother, we damage our relationship with God.

    Mary is not a distraction from Christ, but leads us closer to him. Do not false teachings of modern teachers cause you to fear her.

  • jennylynn

    Quoting verses out of context might fill some but not all. This verse has nothing to do with Mary. It is talking about Christians under grace.

    Romans 14-15

    14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
    15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

  • Cheryl Spooner

    God is the same yesterday, today, and always, right? So how is it that so many have a difficult time accepting the Pope? From the beginning, with Abraham, God has always had one male leader, anointed in the Holy Spirit, over His people. Moses experienced tremendous complaints from the Israelites. As a result, only two men of the original adults who left Egypt reached the promised land.

    I’ll just bet there’s a lesson for us in that Old Testament theology. God expects obedience coupled with charity. He hasn’t done away with the Ten Commandments. No, instead He has upped the expectations. He expects us to “Love our neighbor as He has loved us!” Christianity is not a democracy, a free for all, or a name we can use while flagrantly violating His teachings.

    Cheryl Spooner

  • Frank Cartwright

    in other words,all non believers are wrong and motherless! such arrogance and ignorance and of course what a lie!

  • Willem Toerien

    Not interested in the queen of heaven…

    The word that came to Yirmeyahu concerning all the Yehudwho were dwelling in the land of Mitsrayim – who were dwelling at Migand at Tahand at Noph, and in the land of Pathros, saying, “Thus said Yahuvah of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’el‘You yourselves have seen all the evil that I have brought on Yerushalayim and on all the cities of YehudAnd see, this day they are a ruin, and no one dwells in them, because of their evil which they have done to provoke Me, by going to burn incense by serving other mighty ones whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. ‘And I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Please do not do this abominable matter that I hate!” ‘But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil, not to burn incense to other mighty ones. ‘So My wrath and My displeasure were poured out and burned in the cities of Yehudand in the streets of Yerushalayim, and they became a ruin and a wasteland, as it is this day.’ “And now, thus said Yahuvah, the Elohim of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’el‘Why are you doing this great evil against your lives, to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, from the midst of Yehudleaving none to remain, by provoking Me with the works of your hands, by burning incense to other mighty ones in the land of Mitsrayim where you have gone to dwell, to cut yourselves off and be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? ‘Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, and the evils of the sovereigns of Yehudand the evils of their wives, and your own evils, and the evils of your wives, which they have done in the land of Yehudand in the streets of Yerushalayim? ‘To this day they have not been humbled, nor have they feared, nor have they walked in My Torah and in My laws that I set before you and your fathers.’ “Therefore thus said Yahuvah of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’el‘See, I am setting My face against you for evil and for cutting off all Yehud‘And I shall take the remnant of Yehudwho have set their faces to go into the land of Mitsrayim to sojourn there. And they shall all be consumed in the land of Mitsrayim – fall by the sword, consumed by scarcity of food. From the least to the greatest they shall die, by the sword and by scarcity of food. And they shall be an oath and an astonishment and a curse and a reproach! ‘And I shall punish those dwelling in the land of Mitsrayim, as I have punished Yerushalayim, by the sword, by scarcity of food, and by pestilence. ‘And none of the remnant of Yehudwho have gone into the land of Mitsrayim to sojourn there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Yehudto which they are longing to return to dwell there. For they shall not return, except those who escape.’ ” Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other mighty ones, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Mitsrayim, in Pathros, answered Yirmeyahu, saying, “We are not going to listen to you in the matter about which you spoke to us in the Name of Yahuvah! “But we shall do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the sovereigness of the heavens and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our sovereigns and our heads, in the cities of Yehudand in the streets of Yerushalayim. And we had plenty of food, and were well-off, and saw no evil. “But since we ceased burning incense to the sovereigness of the heavens and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked all and have been consumed by the sword and by scarcity of food. “And when we burned incense to the sovereigness of the heavens and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to idolize her, and pour out drink offerings to her, without our husbands?” Then Yirmeyahu spoke to all the people – to the men and to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying, “As for the incense that you burned in the cities of Yehudand in the streets of Yerushalayim, you and your fathers, your sovereigns and your heads, and the people of the land, did not Yahuvah remember them? And it came into His heart! “And Yahuvah could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your deeds and because of the abominations which you did. Therefore your land is a ruin, an object of astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day. “Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against Yahuvah, and did not obey the voice of Yahuvah or walk in His Torah, in His laws or in His witnesses, therefore this evil did befall you, as at this day.” And Yirmeyahu said to all the people and to all the women, “Hear the word of Yahuvah, all Yehudwho are in the land of Mitsrayim! “Thus spoke Yahuvah of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’elsaying, ‘You and your wives have spoken with your mouths, and have filled with your hands, saying, “We shall perform our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the sovereigness of the heavens and pour out drink offerings to her.” Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!’ “Therefore hear the word of Yahuvah, all Yehudwho are dwelling in the land of Mitsrayim, ‘See, I have sworn by My great Name,’ declares Yahuvah, ‘My Name shall no longer be called upon by the mouth of any man of Yehudin all the land of Mitsrayim, saying, “As the Master Yahuvah lives…” ‘See, I am watching over them for evil and not for good. And all the men of Yehudwho are in the land of Mitsrayim shall be consumed by the sword and by scarcity of food, until they come to an end. ‘And those who escape the sword, few in number, shall return from the land of Mitsrayim to the land of YehudAnd all the remnant of Yehudwho came into the land of Mitsrayim to sojourn there, shall know whose word is established, Mine or theirs. ‘And this is the sign to you,’ declares Yahuvah, ‘that I am punishing you in this place, so that you know that My words are certainly established against you for evil.’ “Thus said Yahuvah, ‘See, I am giving Pharaoh Hsovereign of Mitsrayim into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Tsidsovereign of Yehudinto the hand of Nebsovereign of Babhis enemy who sought his life.’ ” – Jeremiah 44:1-30

    • Anthony

      As for your reference to Jeremiah. First, the verses you cited are in no way references to Mary, Mother of Jesus, because Mary hadn’t been born yet. As you well know Mary hadn’t been born until quite some time after Jeremiah was written. She was not the false ‘queen of heaven’ written by Jeremiah.

      The ‘queen’ Jeremiah was referring to is identified as the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar [Greek: Ἀστάρτη, “Astártē”], goddess of fertility (cf. 1 Sm 31:10; 1 Kgs 11:5, 2 Kgs 21:3–7). Cakes shaped like stars (Ishtar was identified with the planet Venus) were offered in her honour. Never has the Catholic Church offered cakes (or any other sacrifice) to Mary. The passage says “and to pour out drink-offerings to other gods.” Catholics never have presented any offerings to any but the one true God as found in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost).

      The fact that a false pagan deity was unduly given the title ‘queen of heaven’ in the past doesn’t mean this term isn’t rightfully applied now to Mary, the true Queen of Heaven. The pagan king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, is called the king of kings by Daniel (Daniel2:37), yet this doesn’t preclude Jesus from being called by the same title (Rev. 17:14;19:16). Solomon is the “son of David” and he acted very immorally. See 1 Kings 11. Yet, Jesus redeems that title and is honored as the “Son of David.” And, Mary is a venerable Queen Mother, the Queen of Heaven.

      Since the destiny of all Christians is to reign as kings and queens with Christ in heaven (Eph. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; 5:10), and since Mary is the preeminent Christian, there’s nothing wrong with giving her the title which Christ, the King of kings, bestowed upon her in making Mary his mother.

      Mary as Queen of heaven is based on the fact that in the Davidic kingdom, it was the mother of the King who reigned as Queen. The queen was always the King’s Mother, not his wife.

      An example of this scripturally is in I Kings 2:19: “When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her (a sign of respect) and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought out for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand .”

      See the amount of respect Solomon pays his mother, the queen, in this passage, even though he is the king?

      In Israel, the queen was the king’s mother (and we all know who inherited the throne of his father David – (Luke 1:32)., and we all know who the mother of the King is, don’t we.

      Even logically, it makes sense that if all the Kings of Israel had their mothers at their right hand as queen, that Jesus as the true King of Israel would also have His mother at his right hand, as Queen.

  • 1_4thebooks

    Whoa! I think he just convinced me that the Catholic religion is a cult. Like most cults, they have an element of truth, but their foundation is blasphemy. No wonder pope John Paul admitted he didn’t know if he was going to Heaven, only if people prayed him out of purgatory (another false teaching). Folks, if it isn’t backed by scripture, then don’t follow it. Very sad and tragic.

    • Anthony

      The Pope was quite accurate in his statement both biblically and theologically. For Mary is the mother of Christ, and Christians are the body of Christ (that would make us her children ‘by adoption’ as well). The Scriptures also tell us that Christ is Our Lord, yet it also reveals that He calls us His brothers as well (again, this would mean that Mary is our Mother as well -not in a biological sense but in a spiritual sense).

      About Purgatory, read (Matthew 18:23-35) for starters.

      The same parable is told in shorter form in (Matthew 5:25-26) where a ‘prison’ is mentioned that you will be released from eventually. The same ‘prison’ mentioned in (Luke 12:58-59) (again it says you will be released from it eventually but not until you have paid the last penny).

      The language is unmistakable. A Judge (God), the Guards (Angels), and a prison that you will be thrown into and ‘tortured’, and then released from eventually (we call this purgatory). Since there is no release program from hell (the Bible says hell is eternal), there exists a place outside of heaven where one must go, As Jesus said, “until you have paid the last penny”.

      There are other Scriptural references to this as well.

  • markexpress75

    There is no true Christian outside the Catholic Church. Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant

  • Dennison Fajardo

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

  • Dennison Fajardo

    Psalms 6:3-5 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

    Psalms 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

    Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish

    Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

    Isaiah 38:18-19, “For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.”

    Acts 2:29,34 “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. For David is not ascended into the heavens:…”