Mary, Ark of the New Covenant


#1

I have, in the past, discussed this passage with several of our Reformed brothers and sisters. And they are of the opinion that this verse does not describe the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, I’d like to visit some Scriptures of which they might not be aware, to perhaps get some understanding as to why the Blessed Virgin Mary is considered the Ark of the New Covenant. Why we consider her so important to our faith. And why we believe she is our mother, given to us by God the Father.

Revelation 11:1919And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 12:11And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

Perhaps you will agree with me that the Jews considered the Ark, made of wood, a very important part of their faith. In that Ark of the Old Covenant, were contained the Word of God written by the finger of God on stone tablets, the Rod of Aaron, symbol of the Aaronic High Priesthood and the Manna from heaven (i.e. Bread of heaven).

Perhaps you will also agree that those three things are symbols of Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, who was contained in the Ark which was not made by human hands, the womb of our Blessed Mother.

Hebrews 9:4
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

Luke 1:30-32

King James Version (KJV)
30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

The Israelites had a great deal of reverence for this wooden box. They even bowed before it:
Joshua 7:6
And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.

And they considered it the Glory of Israel:
1 Samuel 4:22
And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

Of course, Catholics are frequently berated by Protestants for bowing before images of Our Blessed Mother:

Luke 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Power flowed from this wooden box. So much so, that the Philistines, when they stole it, were forced to return it even though the Israelites did not intervene at all (see 1 Sam Chapter 5).

Reformers berate Catholics because we believe that power now flows through the Virgin Mother.
Revelation 12:17

King James Version (KJV)
17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
There are so many parallels between Mary and the Ark of the Old Covenant, that it would take a small book to list them all. For the sake of time, I’d like to simply post a small snippet from a Catholic source:
Compare David and the ark to Luke’s account of the Visitation:

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:39-45).Here are the parallels:
Mary arose and went to the hill country of Judea. Ein Kerem (where Elizabeth lived) and Abu Ghosh (where the ark resided) are only a short walk apart. Mary and the ark were both on a journey to the same hill country of Judea.
When David saw the ark he rejoiced and said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” Elizabeth uses almost the same words: “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke is telling us something — drawing our minds back to the Old Testament, showing us a parallel.
When David approached the ark he shouted out and danced and leapt in front of the ark. He was wearing an ephod, the clothing of a priest. When Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, approached Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb — and John was from the priestly line of Aaron. Both leapt and danced in the presence of the ark. The Ark of the Old Covenant remained in the house of Obed-edom for three months, and Mary remained in the house of Elizabeth for three months. The place that housed the ark for three months was blessed, and in the short paragraph in Luke, Elizabeth uses the word blessed three times. Her home was certainly blessed by the presence of the ark and the Lord within…
Catholic Culture

I’d like to ask this. Is Scripture telling us that St. Mary’s role in salvation history is much more important than Protestant theology teaches? And also, for those who do not believe that she is the ark of the New Covenant, are all these verses merely coincidence?

Sincerely,

De Maria


#2

Obviously yes. Protestant theology is one third of Catholic theology.

The other two thirds are Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church.

She is much more than just the Ark of the New Covenant. The depth of Marian Theology is sufficient to puzzle very learned Catholic theologians, and is utterly unacceptable to (most) Protestant and even some Eastern Orthodox theologians.

I suggest a good, patient read of the following:

[LIST]
*]Ineffabilis Deus
*]Deiparae Virginis Mariae
*]Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum
*]Munificentissimus Deus
*]Ingruentium Malorum
*]Fulgens Corona
*]Ad Caeli Reginam
*]Redemptoris Mater
*]Marialis Cultus
*]Rosarium Virginis Marie
[/LIST]

That’s a mere overview of (some of ) the (most recent) teaching of Christ’s Vicars (which are strongly rooted on Scripture and Tradition).

As Catholics, we must bear in mind that he is not only free of error when exercising his extraordinary magisterium, but also when he exercises his ordinary and universal magisterium reiterating teachings taught semper et ubique (always and everywhere) and do require the assent of faith (they cannot be disputed nor rejected publicly).

In general, their writings are meant to expose in a concise and clear way what the Church believes and why. So it would, in a sense, be a futile effort to try to figure out the answers on our own when men endowed by God with the grace to teach without error have already done the work for us.

Of course, perhaps the greatest Marian theologians are the Early Church Fathers. I can’t recall one book that brings together all they taught about her, but this is a nice article on the topic by Dr. Mark Miravalle (author of great books like “Introduction to Mary: The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion”, “Meet Mary: Getting to Know the Mother of God”, and “Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons”).

Additional readings include the writings of St. Louis de Montfort (“Treatise on True Devotion” is a good starting point) and of St. Maximilian Kolbe (consider “Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit: The Marian Teachings of St. Maximilian Kolbe” by H.M. Manteau-Bonamy, O.P. )

For dialogue with Protestants, Dr. Scott Hahn’s books have proven to be of immense worth (such as "Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God "). Here Dr. Hahn speaks of Our Lady as Ark of the New Covenant. Other resources here.


#3

Here is one list of comparisons between the Ark of the Old Testament and the Ark of the New Testament:

agapebiblestudy.com/charts/Mary%20the%20Ark%20of%20the%20New%20Covenant.htm


#4

have you ever thought of the possibility that the “ark” in revelations is the “wood box” that has never been found on earth? God could have taken it up to heaven at any time, like he did with Enoch and Elijah.

I mean if we can use the argument that Mary’s grave and bones were never produced as proof that she was assumed into heaven… than we can also use the same argument for this.


#5

Except that there is no evidence that this was ever held by the Church. God does what He wills, and reveals what He will. He does not reveal everything, but we do know that which has been revealed. God assuming Elijah is spectacular and well-known, though witnessed by only a single person. The ark was lost and many were present. Yet, not a peep about any assumption of the ark.

But, you are coming from the mindset that the Catholic church may have made things up. Consider that it might just be correct After all, it possessed the sacred scriptures for 1,500 years before ML was taught them.


#6

The ark of the Old Covenant had been lost for centuries—no one had seen it for about 600 years. But in Revelation 11:19, John makes a surprising announcement: “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple.”

At this point chapter 11 ends and chapter 12 begins. But the Bible was not written with chapter divisions—they were added in the 12th century. When John penned these words, there was no division between chapters 11 and 12; it was a continuing narrative.

What did John say immediately after seeing the Ark of the Covenant in heaven? “And a great portent 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” (Rv 12:1-2). The woman is Mary.


#7

You probably got your info from EWTN, I believe the church is not really CONSISTENT when it provides explanations of this verse.

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Gn 37:9–10) symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (Rev 12:6, 13–17); cf. Is 50:1; 66:7; Jer 50:12. This corresponds to a widespread myth throughout the ancient world that a goddess pregnant with a savior was pursued by a horrible monster; by miraculous intervention, she bore a son who then killed the monster.

Which can be accessed here. usccb.org/bible/revelation/12

Maybe the church needs to have a meeting, because they have different “offices” teaching different things. It’s confusing to those who are searching to discover many inconsistencies in teaching.

One other thing… how can you be 100% sure you are right?

It’s hard to be a person that says… ok, I can accept the POSSIBILITY of the IC and Assumption etc… but find myself unable to say that it is 100% correct. (for example the people who were not bound by a dogma one day and then next find themselves under condemnation for not believing.)


#8

Look at what happened at Guadalope has similar imagery to the book of revelation.

agapebiblestudy.com/documents/The%20Image%20of%20the%20Virgin%20of%20Guadalupe.htm

We should note, too, that John’s choice of words in Revelation 12:1-2 seems to deliberately evoke Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s birth (see Isaiah 7:10,14). In both, we read of a sign high in the sky, and of a woman with child giving birth to a son.

John is showing us Daughter Zion giving birth to the Messiah.

The son born to the woman is said to be “destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.” This is a reference to Psalm 2, which depicts God giving His son the nations as an inheritance, and instructing the son to “rule them with an iron rod” (see Revelation 12:5; Psalm 2:7-9).

Elsewhere in the New Testament, this Psalm is interpreted as a prophecy of Jesus (see Acts 13:32; Hebrews 1:5). So in showing us the Messiah’s birth to Daughter Zion, John is, at the same time, showing us that Jesus is that Messiah and Mary is that Daughter Zion.

In John’s vision, the Christ child is taken to heaven and enthroned, as a battle breaks out in between a huge dragon and the heavenly host.


#9

That’s a good a place as any Hockeygurl.

I believe the church is not really CONSISTENT when it provides explanations of this verse.

It is very consistent, but apparently you don’t have the time to study everything the Church teaches.

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

The woman adorned with the sun, …

Which can be accessed here. usccb.org/bible/revelation/12

This Teaching is consistent with all Marian Doctrine.

First, notice that the Woman symbolizes both the people of Israel and the Church. This is consistent with Catholic Teaching that one word can mean different things in Scripture. Because Scripture speaks to us on many levels.

The Catechism says:
*The senses of Scripture

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.
*

Note that in different Teachings, Mary also represents the people of Israel and the Church:

*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…
*

*2676 …

Full of grace, the Lord is with thee: These two phrases of the angel’s greeting shed light on one another. Mary is full of grace because the Lord is with her. The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is the source of all grace. “Rejoice . . . O Daughter of Jerusalem . . . the Lord your God is in your midst.” Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is “the dwelling of God . . . with men.” Full of grace, Mary is wholly given over to him who has come to dwell in her and whom she is about to give to the world…*

The Woman symbolizes the Church. Mary, the Woman, symbolizes the Church. Therefore, Catholic Doctrine today is consistent with 2000 years of Teaching. See what St. Irenaeus said 2000 years ago.

***Irenaeus

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]).


The Pure One is Jesus, opening the pure womb, means he is born of Mary. That is Mary representing Israel from which Jesus was born.
The pure womb generates men unto God. That is the Mary representing the Church.
Mary as the cause of salvation is Mary representing the Church to which all the saved are added.

Maybe the church needs to have a meeting, because they have different “offices” teaching different things. It’s confusing to those who are searching to discover many inconsistencies in teaching.

Without meaning any disrespect, the fact that you are confused has nothing to do with the Church’s Teaching. The simple fact is that people have different abilities to understand.

The good news is that God doesn’t expect us to be theologians. God doesn’t expect you to understand. He simply expects us to obey Him through His Church.

One other thing… how can you be 100% sure you are right?

I can’t. But I can be 100% sure that the Church is right because Scripture says that the Church is the Pillar of Truth (1 Tim 3:15).

It’s hard to be a person that says… ok, I can accept the POSSIBILITY of the IC and Assumption etc… but find myself unable to say that it is 100% correct. (for example the people who were not bound by a dogma one day and then next find themselves under condemnation for not believing.)

Take for instance, St. Jerome. He didn’t believe that the Deuterocanonicals were inspired. But when the Church declared them inspired, he put them in his Bible. That is the Bible that is the source of all Catholic Bibles today.

And that is why he is a Saint. Because, regardless of whether he understood or not. Regardless of whether he agreed or not. He obeyed the authority of the Church which Jesus Christ appointed to guide us to eternity.

Sincerely,

De Maria


#10

One point that has not been mentioned is the description of where Eliz. and Zachariah lived, the hill country of Juda. This is the only instance of Luke’s use of the name Juda for the region; In all other references, both in the gospel and in Acts, he calls it by the Roman designation Judea. We are definitely being called to relate this passage to the one in 2 Samuel


#11

We come to Christ in faith, not because we are intellectually forced to do so. Our trust is in Him and His promises to His Church rather than in ourselves.

The Old Testament prefigured How Christ would ascend into heaven and bring His ark, which we now see is the Blessed Virgin Mary, into heaven with Him.

See
defendingthebride.com/ma4/arknew.html#old

.


#12

eisegesis is the form of bible interpretation where one imposes one’s preconception on scripture, to prove a point.

Calling Mary the ark of the covenant is certainly a form of piety or pious reverence for Mary.

The old testament ark of the covenant did not contain God, as Mary carried Jesus from conception to his nativity, in her womb. But, this is close enough, for a lot of people, to push the point.

If Mary was the ark of the new covenant, than so were her mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc. all the way to “Eve.” Mary would not be unique in this regards.

But, give sentimental piety a scriptural “inch” and it takes a theological “mile.”

Calling this a doctrine of the church is pushing the point quite a bit. Doctrine can change, doctrine has changed. One’s salvation surely cannot hang on this small point, can it?


#13

Let me lay this out in a different format, and then you tell me whether these things are simply coincidence.

Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant Proved from Scripture

The ark of the Old Covenant contained the words of God written on Stone. (Deut. 10:5, Hebrews 9:4)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, contained the Word of God made flesh. (John 1:1)

The ark of the Old Covenant contained the jar of manna which came down from heaven. Those who ate of this bread still died. (Exodus 16:32, Hebrews 9:4)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, contained Jesus, the bread of life which came down from heaven. Those who eat of this bread will live forever. (John 6:31-41)

The ark of the Old Covenant contained the staff of Aaron which had budded as proof as his priesthood. (Number 17:1-9)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, contained Jesus, our high priest, Himself. (Hebrews 4:14)

The ark of the Old Covenant was overshadowed by the glory cloud. (Exodus 40:34-35)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:35)

The ark traveled to the house of Obed-edom in the hill country of Judea. (2 Sam. 6:1–11)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, traveled to the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah in the hill country of Judea. (Luke 1:39)

A man touched the ark of the Old Covenant to steady it without God’s permission and was struck dead on the spot. David was filled with awe and said, “Who am I that the Ark of the Lord should come unto me?” (2 Samuel 6:9)
Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and said, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?” (Luke 1:43)

The ark of the Old Covenant remained in the house of Obed-edom for three months. (2 Sam. 6:11)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, remained in the house of Elizabeth for three months (Luke 1:56).

The house of Obed-edom was blessed by the presence of the ark of the Old Covenant. (2 Sam. 6:11)
In the account of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, the word blessed is used three times; surely Elizabeth’s house was blessed by God. (Luke 1:39–45)

The ark of the Old Covenant returns home and ends up in Jerusalem, God’s presence and glory is revealed in the temple. (2 Sam. 6:12; 1 Kgs. 8:9–11)
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, returns home and eventually ends up in Jerusalem, where she presents God incarnate in the temple. (Luke 1:56; 2:21–22)

Dressed as a priest, David danced and leapt in front of the ark of the Old Covenant. (2 Sam. 6:14)
John the Baptist—of priestly lineage—leapt in his mother’s womb at the approach of Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant. (Luke 1:41)

David shouts in the presence of the ark of the Old Covenant. (2 Sam. 6:15)
Elizabeth “exclaimed with a loud cry” in the presence of the Mary, the Ark of the Old Covenant. (Luke 1:42)

The ark of the Old Covenant disappeared, and no trace of it can be found anywhere on earth.
Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, was assumed bodily into heaven by God at the end of her earthly life, and no trace of her can be found anywhere on earth.


#14

Hi Randy. You and De Maria each do a Great job of explaining the facts.

Thank you.

As to your question, it is like hitting the lottery, 15 times, in a row !
Coincidence ??? Hmmm. I don’t think so. :thumbsup:
.


#15

eisegesis is the form of bible interpretation where one imposes one’s preconception on scripture, to prove a point.

Correct. We should work to avoid it.

Calling Mary the ark of the covenant is certainly a form of piety or pious reverence for Mary.

Agreed. It’s also recognizing the intricate link between the Old and New Covenant, and furthering our understanding and appreciation for the magnitude of the New Covenant.

The old testament ark of the covenant did not contain God, as Mary carried Jesus from conception to his nativity, in her womb. But, this is close enough, for a lot of people, to push the point.

It’s your opinion that it is pusshing the point. When laid out side by side, the similarities are simply too numerous and blatant to ignore.

If Mary was the ark of the new covenant, than so were her mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc. all the way to “Eve.” Mary would not be unique in this regards.

Not at all. None of those women gave birth to the One who would institute the New Covenant, whose Blood IS the New Covenant. They are certainly to be honored, but they are clearly different from Mary, who is unique. Just as the tree which dropped the acorn, which became the tree that was used to build the Ark, the honor given to the wood which became the Ark was not the honor given to the tree which “begat” the tree which became the Ark. Similar situation.

But, give sentimental piety a scriptural “inch” and it takes a theological “mile.”

This can happen within all denominations. But I just don’t see it here. This is clearly rational, logical, deeper understanding of the New Covenant.

Calling this a doctrine of the church is pushing the point quite a bit. Doctrine can change, doctrine has changed. One’s salvation surely cannot hang on this small point, can it?

Has it been declared a doctrine?

And no, doctrine has not, and will not change. Better understood, yes, but not changed.


#16

The Ark contained the word of God in the Old Covenant, Mary held the word of God in The New Covenant.


#17

Yes.
This literally is not rocket science, it’s common sense acceptance of the Incarnation.

Belief in the Incarnation should be the minimum basic understanding of Christianity, but regrettably, after 2000 years, is still rejected (I hesitate to say misunderstood, because it is not a hard concept to grasp, but it is hard to accept that God con-descended to human flesh. Just ask the Light Bearer).

Is Christ the Word Made Flesh?

Is Christ’s God’s only and final word, personified?

Is He the fulfillment of the law?

Isn’t Christ personally the New Covenant, or did I miss something?

Was Christ conceived in the womb of a human mother, or was he impersonally hatched from a spirit-egg-thought-experiment? (Serious question which goes un-addressed. It’s pretty hard to claim the label Christian without -at least- believing these things).

Was his human mother anyone special, or was she some sort of love-slave, impregnated as a tool of an imposing God? (Mary the Tool of God :rolleyes:)

Can we give the Mother of God the tiniest bit of credit, seeing that God conceives with her? (maybe it was just a fling for God:rolleyes:?)

If the God-man is conceived helpless in a woman’s womb, and the God-man IS the New Covenant, what should the woman who bears him be properly called?

Does any shred of common sense and intuitive expression come to mind here?

How about “God Bearer”, Ark of the New Covenant, Mediatrix ( I know I know, the act of giving birth so detracts from the child :rolleyes: )


#18

At the bottom of my post I did this booklet. There is a section about Mary Ark of the New Covenant. It is detailed. Check it out it might help.


#19

:thumbsup:


#20

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