Mary - New Ark, sinless, and her death

Hi,

I’m currently in a discussion with a protestant and need some help with a few arguments against the immaculate conception.

  1. I have read on how typology is used for the old testament ark and Mary. (catholic.com/magazine/articles/mary-the-ark-of-the-new-covenant) and some other sources. One question about that specific article though is the instance of the ark going back to Jerusalem and Mary bringing Jesus to the temple. How is this specific to Mary since most/all Jews would do this? (Is it safe to ignore/ not use that particular similarity of going to the temple to present Jesus?) Also why is Mary used for the typology of the ark? Is Jesus not also suitable to be used?

  2. The explanation for Mary’s state of grace when Gabriel visited her is easy to explain with the greek text of “full of grace” and its grammar. But all the grammar shows that she was graced in the past and will continue in grace (correct?) I can’t find any specific way to show that the grace was there at the time of conception since the term past is not specific. I am hoping for some more explicit support but implicit would be fine too.

  3. The question of if Mary is sinless why did she die? I know that Mary’s physical death is not agreed on. But let’s assume that she did. Why and how? I know the argument that Jesus was sinless but he still died a physical death, but the reason for his death would be our salvation. What about Mary, what would be the benefit of her death? And how would she have died, since she is sinless she couldn’t commit suicide obviously or is my understanding that the consequence of sin is the physical death wrong?

Thanks for your help!

  1. Mary’s return more parallels the Ark than any other Jew’s return because what Mary presents is Jesus––the Word, High Priest, and the Bread, corresponding to the Commandments, Rod of Aaron, and the Manna in the Ark (as well as the numerous other parallels between Mary and the Ark in your article and others). As to the second part of your question, never accept an argument that tries to insist Biblical types can only have 1 corresponding anti-type. For instance, Isaac is a type of Jesus, but so is Moses. Your friend cannot argue that Isaac counts but Moses doesn’t. And your friend cannot argue that Mary can’t be a type of the Ark if Jesus is also in some sense.

  2. I don’t think your argument has to rest on kecharitomene “alone,” but nevertheless, it is a strong one. Another argument I find strong is the witness of Cherubim angels. :wink: It’s a mid-lengthed essay, but I think it is faithful to Biblical typology, and worth reflection. See also breakdown of kecharitomene here and here.

  3. I think the answer to this is in Luke 2:25-35 when Mary encounters Simeon and tells Mary that she would have a sword pierce her heart also. He says this in the context of predicting Christ’s destiny as savior. There is a solidarity between Mary and Christ. As well, Mary, as figure of the Church, represents all Christian’s role as we participate in the suffering of Christ. See Philippians 3:10 about sharing in Christ’s suffering, or 1 Peter 4:12-19 about suffering with Christ. Paul also makes the “make up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ” statement (Col. 1:24) that has vexed non-Catholics because they do not believe we are privileged with a share in the work of redemption. As Paul also says, when one member of the body suffers, the whole body suffers (1 Cor. 12:26)––Mary, as the model Christian, would certainly share in Christ’s suffering, even unto death.

As to the consequence of sin being physical death, that is true. But think about it logically. If fatigue is a consequence of running a marathon, does that mean therefore that anyone who experiences fatigue does so as a result of running a marathon? Of course not. Take another example. The rule is: students caught talking in class have to stay after school. Let’s say Billy is caught talking and gets a detention. But Suzie gets a ride home with Billy. If Suzie also stays after school then, does that mean Suzie is staying after school as a result of being caught talking in class? Of course not.

In the same way, death was a consequence of original sin. As in Adam all die, as Scripture says. Yet Christ died. Did he experience death as a result of original sin? No. So too, Mary does not have to necessarily have sinned in order to experience death.

Thanks for the reply, somethings for me to think about! Here are some of my initial thoughts

  1. With your example it shows multiple OT types to 1 NT type, but your statement was that it is not incorrect to have 1 OT type to 2 NT types. I find it hard to see how 1 OT type can be fulfilled by 2 antitypes, as to me that would mean both antitypes are equal (from my understanding we view Mary as something very special and definitely close to Jesus but not equal right?) or that both antitypes are dependent on each other to be truly fulfilled. Typology is something I’m having a hard time understanding.

  2. Thanks for the links! I’ve read the last one but did not see any mention to the specificity of WHEN (before or after conception) this grace was conferred to Mary other than the past. I’ll have a look at the other articles though!

  3. Thanks I’ll reflect on this. Following this is it unreasonable to say that Mary wanting to be a part of Christ’s physical suffering , but can’t because of her state of grace, asked God to let her experience death? Would God allow this or does it go against some kind logic?

I like the analogy of the consequence of sin!

  1. I don’t see why 1 OT type can’t be fulfilled in 2 NT types. To do so wouldn’t say anything about an “equality” about either. I don’t quite follow that idea. Typology is basically a sign in the Old Testament pointing to the New. But a sign could point to more than one thing.

I’m also not sure what you mean by Mary not “equal” to Jesus - equal in what way? She’s not a divine person, if that’s what you mean.

  1. If she died, she may have prayed to be united to her son in his Passion, or God may have given her a share in his death apart from a specific prayer. But I don’t see any reason why God wouldn’t “allow” her to die anyway.

:o

It might be helpful to focus on
**Genesis 3:14-15
“The Lord God said to the serpent ‘… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.’ ” RSV

Read more on that below

**** SATAN’S ENEMY #1**
An introduction to why we should consider being devoted to Mary with an emphasis on her Immaculate Conception

And more details here
defendingthebride.com/ma2/conception.html#genesis

.

I believe that Mary chose to imitate her Son as completely as possible as a model for all of us. Since He died, she chose to accept death, also.

A bit pious perhaps, but I like it.

  1. Hmm ok, the argument for Jesus being the more suitable type was that the ark “represented God’s presence through the covenant with Abraham” and Jesus fulfills this better “as the one that finally brings God’s presence within reach of mankind”. I guess it was also through Mary that God’s presence was brought to us? Which doesn’t make her LESS of the antitype?

Yes I thought about that typology of the new eve too but I thought I would try and go slow and affirm 1 before moving on to another.

Also with the case of the ark in Jerusalem, at that time only the tablets were left. How is this reconciled with Mary presenting Jesus at the temple?

I found the study of the Cherubim to have the potential to be a strong argument and will continue to think on that. As for the other 2 links, they still don’t clearly explain her sinlessness at her conception. And going to the church fathers might not help since there were some who doubted her IC, plus that hinges on the assumption of Tradition. I would like to try and not include other assumptions if possible.

I don’t think you are obligated to determine who is “more” or “less” of an anti-type. Clearly, when you do the Scriptural comparisons between Samuel and Luke regarding the Ark and Mary, it requires a certain amount of obtusity (if you ask me :o) to deny a typological connection between Mary and the Ark. If you are only trying to prove Mary as Ark, you don’t have to address whether she is “more” or “less” the Ark than Jesus, because whether or not she is “more” or “less” the type, she is the type. I’d probably argue stronger that Jesus is “more” the type of what is inside the Ark (manna, priestly rod, commandments), which also makes Mary “more” the Ark, but like I said, it’s irrelevant who is more or less if you are only seeking to prove that Mary is a type of the Ark—especially because she was a dwelling place for the presence of divinity.

Get a copy of Tim Staple’s book Behold Your Mother. Even better, have your non-Catholic friend read the book as well. It is an incredible book and provides an answer to every teaching, question and argument about Mary. The supporting data from scripture and the ECF’s is extremely persuasive.

God bless.

All that the grammar shows is that she was engraced at some point prior to Gabriel’s speaking to her, with no reference to what would occur later (cf. the same form in Lk 6:25).

The answers you seek are not to be found in the language: if it were that simple, the arguments would have ended centuries ago, I am afraid.

Thanks for the replies!

[quote=MarcoPolo]I don’t think you are obligated to determine who is “more” or “less” of an anti-type. Clearly, when you do the Scriptural comparisons between Samuel and Luke regarding the Ark and Mary, it requires a certain amount of obtusity (if you ask me ) to deny a typological connection between Mary and the Ark. If you are only trying to prove Mary as Ark, you don’t have to address whether she is “more” or “less” the Ark than Jesus, because whether or not she is “more” or “less” the type, she is the type. I’d probably argue stronger that Jesus is “more” the type of what is inside the Ark (manna, priestly rod, commandments), which also makes Mary “more” the Ark, but like I said, it’s irrelevant who is more or less if you are only seeking to prove that Mary is a type of the Ark—especially because she was a dwelling place for the presence of divinity.
[/quote]

OK I guess it would be on him then to show that she isn’t the ark?
So how would one reconcile with the fact that when the ark arrived at Jerusalem only the tablets were left? To link it to Mary presenting Jesus at the temple.

[quote=Pax]Get a copy of Tim Staple’s book Behold Your Mother. Even better, have your non-Catholic friend read the book as well. It is an incredible book and provides an answer to every teaching, question and argument about Mary. The supporting data from scripture and the ECF’s is extremely persuasive.

God bless.
[/quote]

Thanks I will read it, only issue I have with asking them to read it is to ensure that they read it properly while trying to bring bias into it. I know I have trouble when reading an opposing argument sometimes where I’m picking at it trying to find flaws which can be distracting. Might just be me :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=Mystophilus]All that the grammar shows is that she was engraced at some point prior to Gabriel’s speaking to her, with no reference to what would occur later (cf. the same form in Lk 6:25).

The answers you seek are not to be found in the language: if it were that simple, the arguments would have ended centuries ago, I am afraid.
[/quote]

Yep that’s why I’m trying to find more definitive proof of the the specific time it happened.

I would think so. Why should we ignore what appear as obvious parallels, particularly when the early Christians largely identified her as the Ark as well. You can even reference the last verse in Revelations 11 with the first in Revelations 12 (because remember there were no verse numbers in the original text, you read this:*Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. 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. (Rv. 11:19-12:1)*And Rev. 12 of course goes on to describe the woman as the mother of the savior. So again, Mary is associated with the Ark.

So how would one reconcile with the fact that when the ark arrived at Jerusalem only the tablets were left? To link it to Mary presenting Jesus at the temple.

Off hand, I’ll give you this answer. OT types are always inferior to the NT anti-types.

For instance, manna from heaven was supernatural and gave the people physical life. The NT anti-type, the Eucharist, is supernatural, gives physical life, and also supernatural life.

In the OT, Moses leading the people “through” the water is a type of baptism (1 Cor. 10:1-2). In the OT they were saved from temporary harm. In the NT, baptism saves from eternal harm.

The book of Hebrews has many phrases like “better sacrifices,” “better hope,” “better covenant,” etc… while comparing the OT and NT.

In the same way, Mary is superior to the Ark. As the Ark is clad in gold (a consistent symbol for purity in the OT), Mary is superiorly pure virginally and immaculately conceived as discussed herein or other places.

NT types are always superior to the OT types.

With all that in mind, if the contents of the Ark fell short on arrival to Jerusalem, all the more does Christ fulfill superiorly the OT type. He is the fulfillment of what was incomplete in the OT.

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