Monday, April 7, 2008

Something About Mary

Let's finish off the Vatican Versus God series so we can get started on the new round of misinformation, shall we?

Vatican says - "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." - The Roman Catholic version of Genesis 3:15 Reference - The Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible

God says - [Note: It is undisputed in Christian circles that Genesis 3:15 is the first biblical Messianic prophecy.] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [the seed of the woman] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

First, it is important to note that Candy quotes from the Douay-Rheims Bible, which is sort of the Catholic King James Bible. We even have Douay-Rheims-only-ists in the Catholic Church. Because we've got something for everyone!

At any rate, the Douay-Rheims Bible is not the currently favored translation. The US Conference of Bishops uses the New American Bible.

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.

Footnote: The serpent was regarded as the devil (Wisdom 2:24; John 8:44; Rev 12:9; 20:2), whose eventual defeat seems implied in the contrast between head and heel. Because "the Son of God appeared that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8), the passage can be understood as the first promise of a Redeemer for fallen mankind. The woman's offspring then is primarily Jesus Christ.

The official Catholic Catechism uses the New Revised Standard Version. The NRSV states "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."

The Catholic Church agrees that this verse is the first promise of a Redeemer for fallen mankind. See paragraph #70: Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (cf. Gen 3:15) and offered them his covenant.

So, I guess if the question is which translation is correct, the Vatican has conceded the point. However the verse is translated, the meaning remains the same.

As an article James Akin wrote for This Rock on the topic of this verse explains, "Therefore, though the she/her and he/his readings of Genesis 3:15 are different, both are true, and Catholics have long recognized this. A footnote provided a couple of hundred years ago by Bishop Challoner, in his revision of the Douay-Rheims version, states, "The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head."

Back to Candy--

Vatican says - "Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself "in the middle," that is to say she acts as a mediatrix [mediator] not as an outsider, but in her position as mother." reference 6

What God says - For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; -1 Timothy 2:5

The Catholic Catechism, paragraph #1544 states: Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men." The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High," as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek"; "holy, blameless, unstained," "by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified," that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

Considering Mary as mediatrix does not negate Jesus as the One Mediator. This is a difference in understanding what is meant by mediatrix. When Catholics refer to Mary as Mediatrix, we saying that God entered the world through her. Jesus was physically born by a woman, and that woman was Mary. Because she cooperated with God, by saying yes to him, Jesus was able to enter the world.

Does this mean our salvation depends on her? No. But because she cooperated with God, God worked through her (mediated), and so she has been known from the earliest time of Christianity as Theotokos, or God-Bearer.

Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong gives a great answer to this question on his website:

7) So, just as we are allowed the unfathomable privilege of participating in our own redemption, likewise God willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, the Immaculate one, the perpetual Virgin, the Second Eve, would play a part in the Redemption of all, by consenting to the Sacrifice on the Cross of her Son, who was God in the flesh. She doesn't (solely and sufficiently) cause the Redemption any more than we (solely and sufficiently) cause our own redemption. Her role is to freely assent and to bear the suffering in her immaculate heart that Jesus bore in His Sacred Heart (hence those two devotions in Catholic theology).

8) "Co" in Latin does not mean "equal"; it merely means "with" or "alongside." We see this even in English. If you have a "co-pay" with regard to health insurance, that doesn't mean that you always pay equally with your insurance provider (I sure hope not!). "Co-Pilot" sometimes means "equal" but usually not. Etc. But because the term Co-Redemptrix is so misunderstood, it has fallen out of use in the last 50 years or so. But nevertheless, Pope John Paul II has used it at least five times, as Dr. Miravelle notes.

9) This was God's marvelous plan - to involve a creature and a woman at every step of the way, so as to achieve a certain "balance" - if I may properly speak in such a way. Eve brought down the human race, acting with Adam; Mary helped to raise it, acting in concert with Jesus Christ, her Son, the second Adam (as Paul describes Him). If Satan could cause the fall of the human race through the frailty of Woman and Man, why is it not plausible that God could in turn bring about the Redemption of the human race in part through the Immaculate Mary, the Second Eve, the Theotokos? To me it all makes eminent sense. It is contrary neither to Scripture nor to common sense and reason.

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1 comment:

Shannon said...

You go girl!

I never even heard of Visits to Cancyland....but I'm a frequenter of Postscripts to the Catholic Spitfire Grill. (And in the Tiber Swim Team Class of 2008!)

I've suscribed to your blog....I'm hooked!