Bible Question:

Is Mother Mary part of the Holy Trinity?

Bible Answer:

Roman Catholics worship Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church does not refer to Mother Mary as God, but other Catholic references to her are expressions worthy of God. For example, one portion of a concluding prayer of the Rosary is “Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy . . .”[1]  The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly the “Mother of God”[2] and is also the “All-Holy.”[3] That last comment is only true of God for Revelation 15:3-4 refers to God and says, “For You alone are holy.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church also says Mary is the “Queen over all things.”[4] This is a confusing statement since Revelation 15:3-4 also says that God alone is “King of the nations!” Catholic teaching sounds like there is a King and Queen in heaven. The impression left by Catholic theology is that if she is not God, she is almost God. Our question here: “Is Mother Mary part of the Holy Trinity?”

Mother Mary

Gospel Record About Mary

First, we will do a quick survey of references to Mary in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The first time Mary appears in the gospels is in Matthew 1:16 where we are told that she was the husband of Joseph. Matthew 1:20 tells us that Mary was pregnant with Jesus and Luke 2:7 says that she gave birth of Jesus. Later we are told in Matthew 12:46-49 that Mary had given birth to additional children other than Jesus.

While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! Matthew 12:46-49 (NASB)

A careful look at the passage reveals that Jesus was speaking to a crowd of His disciples when someone told Him that His mother and brothers were standing outside. Since He was speaking to His disciples, Mary and His brothers were family members. This account means that Mary had other children. John 7:3-5  reveals that He had brothers who at the time did not believe in Him. That is, they were not Jesus’ disciples. They were Mary’s children. Now if Mary was part of the Trinity, what does this reveal happened to “God”? The answer is that if Mary was a member of the Trinity and therefore was “God,” then “God” was pregnant and gave birth to Jesus plus His brothers who were named James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:55). Now if “God” gave birth to children, would they also be gods and their children be gods, and so forth? Such a concept is obviously contrary to all of Scripture.

In Luke 2:42 we are told that when Jesus was twelve, his parents took Him to a feast in Jerusalem. After the feast His parents were traveling back home when they discovered that Jesus was not with them. Therefore, they returned to find Him. Luke 2:48-51 tells us what happens.

When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Luke 2:48-51 (NASB)

When they found Jesus, Mary asked Him, ““Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” This reveals that Mary did not know everything. Her wisdom was as limited as ours. This is especially obvious when Jesus replied, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”

Later in John 2:1-4 we are told that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was rebuked by Jesus. He rebuked her because she thought His hour had come. She was wrong, for Jesus said, “My hour has not yet come.”

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” John 2:1-4  (NASB)

This again reveals that Mary was not omniscient. Since God knows everything, this reveals Mary was not and is not God.

We now have two strong reasons to reject the idea that Mary was and is a member of the Trinity. Also, Mary was not and is not “All-Holy.” She is not Queen over all things. These are all heresies because the Bible never teaches any of these concepts.

Roman Catholic Heresy

Another heresy is the statement by the Roman Catholic Church that “The Assumption of the Blessed Mary is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection . . .”[4] Why is this a heresy? The answer is that this statement cannot be found in the Bible. Further, Scripture teaches that God the Father raised up Jesus (Acts 2:24). The Holy Spirit raised up Jesus (1 Peter 3:18) and Jesus raised Himself up (John 10:17-18). Mary did not participate in Jesus’ resurrection, and His resurrection was accomplished by the Father, Holy Spirit and Himself. Why is this important? It reveals that the Roman Catholic Church teaches errors.

Conclusion:

The only source of spiritual truth is the Bible and not the Roman Catholic Church, its catechism, the pope or any of their books.  We must pay attention to the apostle Paul’s warning in 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.  1 Timothy 4:1-3 (NASB)

Here the apostle Paul tells us that the doctrine of demons includes a number of heresies. Among the heresies are two teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The first is the forbidding of marriage. The Church prevents nuns and priests from marrying.[5] The second heresy is abstaining from foods. This occurs on Fridays. Good Roman Catholics are forbidden from eating anything but fish on Fridays.[6] The apostle gave us a warning to avoid those who teach heresy and the Catholic Church teaches heresies!

 

 

References:

1. James G. McCarthy. The Gospel According To Rome. Harvest House Publishing. 1995. p. 205.
2. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Libreria Editrice Vatican. Boston. 1994. Canon 495, p. 125.
3. Ibid. Canon 493, p. 124.
4. Ibid. Canon 966, p. 252.
5. Code of Canon Law 1983, Canon 277.1.
6. Ibid., Canon 1250 and 1251.

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