If the Assumption of Mary into Heaven isn’t described in the New Testament, how do we know that it happened?
I’m interested to see the responses to this. Out of all the mysteries of the Rosary, this is my least favorite because I don’t have a bunch of Scripture passages running through my mind to meditate on. I usually rush through the decade without really thinking about anything.
I’m not a Catholic, but it is supposed to be from tradition, rather than scripture (albeit obscure, see the Feast of the Dormition).
Anyway, the Assumption has been dogmatically defined by the church.
Pope Pius X condemned the following proposition on dogma:
The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.
Because Christ’s Bride, the Church, has infallibly assured us that it did.
The New Testament isn’t a definitive source for everything that happened to Jesus, Mary or the Apostles.
The last verse in the Gospel of Johm states, “But there were many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written”.
We should not rely so heavily on scripture that we take a position that almost denies that something happened because it is not stated in scripture. I believe that that is an error that many of our Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ make.
We rely not just on Scripture, but on Tradition and Magisterium. And if the Church, with the authority given her by Christ have declared as dogma, the Annuciation, then that is what happened. The Church existed before the New Testament and it was that Church that, through her authority, declared what scripture was to make up the New Testament.
Scripture does not take precendence over the Magisterium, just as the Magisterium does not contradict scripture.
Many Christians start with the presumption that,
- obviously, the Bible is inspired, and
- obviously, these 27, and only these 27 books are in the NT.
So they start their reasoning with step 3. This is like saying “My teacher is trustworthy on Mondays and Thursdays, but untrustworthy on the other days.” The teacher that ratified the New Testament, and chose 27 books, excluding other books, is also the same teacher for the dogma of the Assumption.
There is a movement now to add books to the New Testament. See “A New New Testament”, among other sources. They are quietly adding in gospels such as The Gospel of Thomas and The Gospel of Mary as well as many new Acts and Epistles, to church services and Sunday School in some very liberal Protestant denominations.
But this will gradually spread through Protestantism, and in liberal Catholic circles that dispute the Magisterium. I think they will also start dropping certain passages in Paul’s epistles, eventually they will likely omit verses from the “Traditional” 4 gospels.
Start adding other books and you may as well include anything written by anybody back then and you end up with a bible that becomes whatever anybody wants it to become.
This is the ultimate result of following Sola Scriptura to its logical conclusion. Keep in mind that “anything written by anybody back then” can include books “discovered” or “revealed” now that are transcribed from stuff attributed to “back then”, like the Mormon scriptures. But the more likely additions now will be books supposedly excluded due to “patriarchal sexism”, such as the Gospel of Mary.
The only reason Christians, other than Mormons and a few others, have not added books up till now is that everyone assumed “The Canon is Closed”, without asking who closed it, by what authority it was closed. But now, in the anti-religious authority climate we live in, people will argue that “the Community” determined what the NT canon should be…so now, the Community can add or subtract books…Towards a more inclusive canon.
I agree. I pray a scriptural rosary, so I too have trouble with the Glorious Mysteries.
The Glorious Mysteries:
The Resurrection: SCRIPTURAL
The Ascension: SCRIPTURAL
The Assumption: Tradition/Church Dogma
The Coronation: Tradition
Even the last two mysteries, while not explicitly found in Scripture, certainly have allusions in both the OT and NT.
There has never been record of knowing she was buried unlike the Apostles and other early martyrs.
Because Mary lived a perfect life in reverence to the Lord our God, in perfect imitation of her Son. She was rewarded for this by being taken up to heaven, as a sign of what will happen to all who imitate her divine son and live a life of faith, hope and charity.
Why is this under “Sacred Scripture”?
Secondly, how do we know the nature of God as being One God in three Divine Persons?
In the case of our Blessed Mother, contemporary evidence and perhaps eyewitnesses, as well as Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium have preserved it as revealed truth.
Through tradition dating back to the Apostles and early Church Father’s who had been taught and succeeded the Apostles.
In the East Catholics and Orthodox have the Dormition where Mary died and her soul was reposed by Christ and on the third day her body was assumed into heaven.
What a coincidence, I was just thinking about this a few days ago. Saying that she must have been assumed into heaven, as there is no record of her burial. I was pondering over arguments that protestants have when they say that Our Blessed Mother is asleep, and no one is in heaven with the exception of Jesus. If so, then why no record of where her body is?
with all the different brands of Christianity it appears that’s happened already.
Aren’t there many with no record of where there bodies are?
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the Ark of his testament was seen in his temple, …” Apocalypse 11:19
This verse can be seen as a allusion to the Virgin Mary, or the Ark of the New testament. Immediately after follows …
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Apocalypse 12;1 … another allusion to the Virgin Mary crowned. So there are Scriptural sources to cite for these Rosary mysteries of Assumption and Coronation.
There is an excellent little history of the Feast of the Assumption on the EWTN website. Here is an excerpt that I’ve heard before and that I particularly like:
At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that “Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven.”
The rest of the document can be found at:
Through the Immaculate Conception Mary, effects from original sin were removed like the inclination to sin and death would not effect her. Certain holy people like Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven (Genesis 5:20-24 and 2 Kings 2:12) As the Mother of God, Mary cannot be defiled by sin. This can be seen in the ark of the covenant which was sacred that people would die for merely touching it. In biblical texts there are parallels in the narratives in the Annunciation and Visitation with the verses concerning the ark. It also was said in Genesis 3:15 I will put enmities between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you shalt lie in wait for her heel. The women is the Blessed Virgin Mary and her seed is Jesus. As an enemy of the devil it would make sense that she would not sin since she would be cooperating with the plans of the devil if she did.