This comes from a presentation I did on Mary for our adult class at Church.
Mary – the New Eve
The Typology that leads us to Mary’s discussion for today is introduced to us by St. Paul, when he calls Jesus the New Adam. In Romans 5:14, St. Paul tells us Adam is “the type of the one who was to come”. He summarizes this in 5:18, “just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all.” Adam was tempted by the devil in a garden and failed. Jesus was tempted by the devil in a garden (Gethsemene) and called on the Lord for strength.
The Typology begins with the first news of the Gospel in the Old Testament. Can anyone tell me where the earliest news of the coming of the Messiah is in the Bible? It’s called the ProtoEvangelium and it occurs in Genesis 3:15. God is chastising the serpent (Satan) for his part in the Fall of Adam. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall crush your head, and you shall strike at His heel.” Remember how God refers to Eve – “The Woman”. That’s a key to the rest of this presentation. Who is the person that will strike at the head of Satan? Of course, it’s Jesus. Jesus will strike at Satan’s head when he dies on the Cross and redeems us of our sins, just as Satan strikes at Jesus on the Cross.
But the key phrase here is the term “***enmity… ***between your seed and her Seed”. It’s interesting that God refers to the woman’s seed, especially when you consider the Greek word used for seed is “Sperma”. This is why the ancient Israelites tracked the seed through the man. There is only one person in all the Bible that could be referred to being sprung from a woman’s seed. Jesus! So the woman referred to in Genesis 3:15 is not pointing at Eve, for her children were Adam’s seed. No, it’s pointing at Mary! This is one of the reasons that the Catholic Church has always referred to Mary as the New Eve. Christians since the first century have looked at this Bible Passage and seen a prophecy of the Virgin Birth of the Messiah.
Another clue is the term enmity. It refers to two people being enemies – mortal enemies in the Hebrew usage, and this enmity is “put” by God (I will put enmity between…). This verse has led the Church to the doctrine of Mary being Immaculately conceived. If Mary was conceived with original sin, there couldn’t be the perpetual enmity promised by God himself between the seed of the woman and the serpent. To the contrary, if Mary was conceived with original sin, the serpent would be victorious, subjecting the woman to his power. If this were the case, God’s promise would prove to be untrue.
But this clearly is not what God intended in putting enmity between the woman’s seed and the serpent’s. Rather, it appears that Mary, the woman promised in the beginning, must be born outside of Satan’s power in order to fulfill God’s promise of absolute enmity.
Let’s fast forward to the Gospel of John. As we’ve previously discussed, the Gospel of John begins with the same theme as Genesis. It starts out with, “In the Beginning….”, and it uses the same themes seen in Genesis, using Light, Darkness, Life, etc. John continues with this theme by describing 7 days of the New Creation, just like Genesis begins with 7 days of creation. On the 7th day in Genesis, we have a wedding between Adam and Eve. On the 7th day of John’s Gospel, we also have a wedding. Although the wedding is not between Jesus and Mary, it’s interesting to note that there are only two names given at the wedding – Jesus (the new Adam) and Mary (the New Eve). We see this further when Jesus refers to Mary just as God did to Eve in Genesis. “Woman, what has this to do with me?”
We see this later on in John’s Gospel when Jesus refers to Mary at the Foot of the Cross as, “Woman, behold your son”. And then we see a “woman” later on in John’s writings when we get to Revelations. In Chapter 12, we are introduced to a “Woman, clothed with the sun.” This woman gives birth to a child who will rule the world with a rod of iron. We learn from the 2nd Psalm that this child is Jesus. God describes the Messiah as His Son and says, “***With an iron rod you shall shepherd them…***" That would make the woman Mary. But there’s another character in this narrative – a dragon. The dragon, of course, is Satan. So, it’s ironic that the Old Testament begins with a conflict between Adam, Eve, and Satan. And the New Testament ends with a conflict between Jesus (the New Adam), Mary (the New Eve), and the serpent (Satan).