Assumption Defended


#1

Blessed Assumption!

This article, when done, will be the best defense of the Assumption online. :slight_smile: It is articles from Juniper Carol’s old 1950s study, plus some objections of William Webster answered. I don’t name him or link to him. He’s kind of silent on the Internet anyway, except when someone posts links or text to his anti-Catholic articles.

Phil P


#2

Hi Phil,

Sure looks like this will be an excellent online resource once completed—do you have a projected date?

After you have finished the project, I would like to type up a few additions to send to you for review, and possible incorporation.

BTW, our ever-present “Reformed Baptist apologist”, James R. White, posted some comments yesterday on the Assumption:

[/FONT]http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=2196

It sure seems that James has not grasped the important difference between implicit and explicit Scriptural content. A correct understanding is essential when approaching the complex issue of doctrinal development.

Grace and peace,

David


#3

<< Hi Phil, Sure looks like this will be an excellent online resource once completed—do you have a projected date? >>

NOW. DONE. AUGUST 15, 2007. Feast of the Assumption. I answer Webster without naming or linking him. That’s the way to do it.

The only thing I have questions about is my own translation of the Latin poem by St. Fortunatus (c. 595 AD), near the middle of the article. It was untranslated in a footnote by Burghardt (Carol Mariology, volume 1, page 151, footnote 193).

Hooray, another of my “unfinished projects” that finally gets finished this time. :thumbsup:

BTW, I was trying to link this Envoy thread above, this is what got me started on the article.

Phil P


#4

Nicely done Phil! Don’t hold your breath for an objective response from our “favorite” Protestant apologists…:smiley:

Will send you some suggested additions later, the Lord willing.

Grace and peace,

David


#5

<< Will send you some suggested additions later, the Lord willing. Grace and peace >>

Thanks. I forgot to do some “Queen Mother” biblical defense, maybe I can add that later. But there are definitely some big obvious mistakes Webster makes in his anti-Assumption article (which is a number of years old now). It was re-posted at Envoy Mag boards so I just took excerpts from that.

Normally all one has to do is read White or read Webster or your “favorite” anti-Catholic :slight_smile: , then please follow up and read the actual Catholic documents they cite (in this case, Juniper Carol, and Pius XII MD encyclical), and their mistakes are rather obvious. Though it can get a little deep historically and theologically. It’s not like trying to answer “The Death Cookie” :doh2:

Phil P


#6

All right, done. I made a few minor changes. I’ll link again for the benefit of search.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(from Juniper Carol Mariology, and some objections answered)

Phil P


#7

[QUOTEIt sure seems that James has not grasped the important difference between implicit and explicit Scriptural content. A correct understanding is essential when approaching the complex issue of doctrinal development.[QUOTE]

Neither has Karl Keating. At least as it concerns the “Assumption”. See his current E- mail.


#8

Congratulations, Phil, on a job well done!

I believe the best argument in favour of the Assumption is the question, “Wouldn’t you do that for your mother if you were Jesus?”

Pax vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


#9

Jesus’ ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8


#10

Meaning? :shrug:


#11

WWMD? What would man do? I don’t think Jesus did things because we might think it’s appropriate. He knows us too well. John 2:25 The best argument for Mary’s assumption is in the Scriptures. II Chronicals 6:41, Psalm 132:8, Revelation 11:19, 12:1


#12

I have cited the above biblical verses myself when defending Catholic belief in Mary’s Assumption. But biblical passages are more a matter of interpretation than Jesus himself is. As Christians we must come to personally understand and know our Lord for who he is as a person apart from interpreting his actions. By truly knowing what kind of person he is - he is also human - we can safely infer what he would do for someone as close to him as his own mother. In my experience, Protestants readily counter with their own interpretations of the above passages, for these verses are implicit to begin with. But when I focus on something more explicit and personal, namely the person of Jesus, when discussing the Assumption, I am usually greeted with a prolonged silence from the person whom I am addressing. Concerning our Lord, whom we must emulate, it is not merely a question of what would be the suitable or acceptable thing for him to do for his mother, it is a question of what would be the right thing for him to do: to honour her. The Son of man could not sin - and we are expected to be as perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect - and so he would never break the Fourth Commandment by neglecting his mother within his power as the Son of God. Perhaps I should rephrase the question by asking, “Wouldn’t we do the same for our mother if we could just as Jesus would?” We certainly would if we could, and our love for our own biological mothers isn’t nearly as perfect as the love Jesus has for his mother.

Pax vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


#13

You can’t seperate Jesus from scripture

As Christians we must come to personally understand and know our Lord for who he is as a person apart from interpreting his actions.

Neither can you seperate Him from His actions. What He does is who He is.

In my experience, Protestants readily counter with their own interpretations of the above passages, for these verses are implicit.

The verses concerning the Trinity and the divinity of Christ are also implicit. .

The Son of man could not sin - and we are expected to be as perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect - and so he would never break the Fourth Commandment by neglecting his mother within his power as the Son of God.

Talk about implicit. You seem to be implying that if Jesus didn’t assume His Mother into Heaven, but let her die and enter the way the rest of the saints do, that He would be breaking the fourth commandment.

“Wouldn’t we do the same for our mother if we could just as Jesus would?” We certainly would if we could, and our love for our own biological mothers isn’t nearly as perfect as the love Jesus has for his mother.

Outside the scriptural citations we wouldn’t know that Jesus’ perfect love would entail the “Assumption” of His Mother. And of course Church Tradition as well.
[/quote]


#14

A couple of typos corrected…if you’ve printed it out, print out again. :slight_smile: Most importantly

“…either the holy Virgin died and was buried; then her falling asleep was with honor, her death chaste, her crown that of virginity. Or she was killed, as it is written: ‘And your own soul a sword shall pierce’; then her glory is among the martyrs and her holy body amid blessings, she through whom light rose over the world. Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and He can do whatever He desires; for her end no one knows…” (St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion 78:23, 377 AD; PG 42:737)

I had “though” instead of “through”

BTW, another translation of the above is: “her holy body from which light shone forth for all the world, dwells among those who enjoy the repose of the blessed” (Panarion 78:23, translation by Fr. Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church).

Also, “Timothy of Jerusalem” should be dated c. 400 AD, not c. 500 AD, although some scholars date him later. This obscure father wrote:

"…some have supposed that the Mother of the Lord was put to death with a sword and won for herself a martyr’s end. Their reason lies in the words of Simeon, ‘And your own soul a sword shall pierce.’ But such is not the case. A metal sword, you see, cleaves the body; it does not cut the soul in two. Therefore, the Virgin is immortal to this day, seeing that He who had dwelt in her transported her to the regions of her assumption [or to the places of His ascension, or into the regions high above]. (Timothy of Jerusalem, In prophetam Simeonem, PG 86:245)

My new article may not be the best defense online, but at least the most thorough on the Assumption. :thumbsup:

Phil P


#15

You mean the most “through”? Sorry… bad pun.

Anyway, thanks Phil! I intend to look at it later!


#16

Yeah and I get my centuries mixed up as well. When Juniper Carol says Timothy of Jerusalem dates late 4th century, early 5th century, I put 500 AD. Oops, should be 400 AD, one of the few references pre-Council of Ephesus (431) to Mary’s assumption. Althrough I mean… Although some scholars date him later, as in this article which says: “Timothy of Jerusalem (ca. 5th-8th centuries)…” That guy lived a long time! :confused:

Phil P


#17

Threadkiller,

I agree that Jesus cannot be separated from the scriptures, for our Lord “is” the scriptures - the Word of God. We come to fully know Jesus in His teachings and sayings, but not to the exclusion of His actions, which reflect and confirm what he is telling us. His parables certainly require interpretations, unlike his more direct teachings and commands. However, his actions taken alone without reference to his words in the scriptures would leave us absolutely wondering. What Jesus says and does is who He is to us. His ministry of teaching and healing together with His passion, death, and Resurrection present the whole Person to us.

Yet Jesus was condemned to death for what He said, not for what He did. And in His fatal words there is not much room left for wondering: “I Am. From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” Then the High Priest tore his robes and said,“He has blasphemed. He deserves to die” (Mt 26:63-66). Jesus would not have fulfilled His greatest act of love on the Cross if He had not first told us who he really was. Until this point in His life, He had never been more explicit in revealing His true identity.

Earlier in his ministry, Jesus was accused by his enemies of working for the devil as he cured the sick and healed the lame. What He did made less of an impression on the scribes and pharisees than what He had said to them. He had just cured a paralytic with these words for the benefit of some teachers: “Son, your sins are forgiven,” and to his enemies,"Which is easier to say to the paralytic, ‘your sins are forgiven you’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk.?’ But that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sin’, he said to the paralytic, 'I tell you get up, take your mat, and go home ’ " (Mk 2:12). Our Lord’s enemies could care little for what he did, for they had no faith in His words. In fact, what Jesus had just told them in their hearing range paved the way for His eventual arrest. For those of us who have faith in the Word of God, this miracle served to confirm Christ’s divine authority. But if Jesus had never verbally alluded to His true identity, and left us with only an inexplicable supernatural act, I doubt there would presently be a Church and her traditions. Protestants accept Christ’s divinity just as we Catholics do, but they either question or reject our Marian doctrines and dogmas. What Jesus tells us about himself is not so implicit as the Assumption of Mary. Our Marian doctrines rely far more heavily on Old Testament typology than do our dogmas concerning the divinity of Christ and the Holy Trinity.

That’s just it: There is no other saint or human being other than Mother Mary who exists in heaven body and soul with Jesus, having preceded all the rest of us before the Resurrection. And we know this to be true because of our personal understanding of our Lord based on His Word. It is not simply because Jesus showed concern for His mother’s welfare as she stood at the foot of the cross with the beloved disciple. Jesus had already said,“Honour your father and mother. Anyone who “curses” his father or mother must be put to death.” (Mt 15:4) These are very strong words on our Lord’s part which clearly shows how vital keeping the commandments is and how important they were to Him. Jesus obeyed all the commandments while he was on earth. Would our Lord ignore His own commandments and go back on His Word in heaven by applying the “curse” of Eve on His own Mother? “In pain you shall bring forth children…until you return to the ground from which you were taken. For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” (Gen 3:16,19) I think not, for what He says is explicitly clear. Now Our Lord cannot break His own commandments, for He never commanded himself to follow them. But since our Lord commanded us to follow them, naturally He would think them worthy to follow. Would Jesus have broken the First Commandment, if he had prostrated himself and worshipped the devil after having given in to the temptation of possessing all the kingdoms of the earth? A needless question, for the Bible explicitly tells us how Jesus responded and what he told Satan: “It is written. The Lord your God shall you worship, and Him alone shall you serve.” (Mt 4:8-11)

“No one obeys the Fourth Commandment of honouring father and mother more fully than Jesus, who is Son of God and Son of Mary. It is fitting that Jesus would honour His mother, truly the Mother of God, by preserving her from the corruption of the grave and by glorifying her body in heaven before the general Resurrection of the body for all the other saints on the last day.”

From the Apostolic Constitution,’ Munificentissimus Deus’, of Pope Pius Xll (1950)

Pax vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


#18

Phil
Thanks for the information; nice job. Having read JW’s piece, I’m reminded about how important it is to remain positive and charitable. I commend you and the responders for demonstrating such qualities. As Christ said, we are to love one another. This does not preclude debate and discussion, but it does mandate certain standards. Thanks to Phil and everyone else. God bless!!!
Jerry Heil


#19

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