Scriptural confirmation of doctrine and the Assumption of Mary

Scripture seems to be very important, necessary in fact, from an early church standpoint, in establishing and confirming doctrine:

“They that are ready to spend their time in the best things will not give over seeking for truth until they have found the demonstration from the Scriptures themselves,” - St Clement of Alexandria

“No man ought, for the confirmation of doctrines, to use books which are not canonized Scriptures,” - Origen

“The Holy Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are of themselves sufficient toward the discovery of truth…The Catholic Christians will neither speak nor endure to hear anything in religion that is a stranger to Scripture; it being an evil heart of immodesty to speak those things which are not written,” St Athanasius

“How can we use those things which we do not find in the Holy Scriptures?” - St Ambrose

“Not even the least of the divine and holy mysteries of the faith ought to be handed down without the divine Scriptures. Do not simply give faith to me speaking these things to you except you have the proof of what I say from the divine Scriptures. For the security and preservation of our faith are not supported by ingenuity of speech, but by the proofs of the divine Scriptures,” - St Cyril of Jerusalem

“Those things which they make and find, as it were, by apostolical tradition, without the authority and testimony of Scripture, the word of God smites… As we deny not those things that are written, so we refuse those things that are not written." - St Jerome

Now, this establishes the great importance of the Scriptures. At least, there is a material sufficiency of scripture, Catholic apologists would say.

In this case, however, where can we actually find something like the Assumption of Mary in scripture? Having a pious belief in Mary’s assumption is one thing, but to have it actually proclaimed as dogma, actually defined as an article of faith for all Catholics? Does this not defy St Cyril’s ruling that “Not even the least of the divine and holy mysteries of the faith ought to be handed down without the divine Scriptures”? If it does defy this rule of St Cyril’s, what is to be said of the inerrancy of papal proclamations? Ecumenical councils in the early church took decades, heck sometimes even centuries to be fully recognised as ecumenical, they weren’t recognised as ecumenical the moment the Pope gave his approval. So when the Pope proclaims a dogma without the use of the Scriptures, do we just take it on faith, do we ignore the teachings of the church fathers? What use are the church fathers then, were many of them wrong about their beliefs about scripture? Are scripture and tradition just two sides of the same coin, or do the church fathers’ teaching show that scripture is a bit more than just that?

I have heard the response that the Woman in Revelation is Mary and this somehow shows her Assumption? Does anyone honestly find that convincing though? How can one reconcile the Assumption of Mary with many of the church fathers’ teaching that doctrine should be taught with scripture, that “Those things which they make and find, as it were, by apostolical tradition, without the authority and testimony of Scripture, the word of God smites"?

I share in your concerns as you stated above. I also have a hard time accepting all of the dogmas or doctrine of the Church. I didn’t realize that so many Church fathers were set on scripture. I would like to look into it further myself. Can you tell me where you got the quotes from the Church fathers from? Is there one book containing all these? Curious to know. Thanks!

Not all thing’s are in the bible. The bible tells you itself. To follow the teaching’s of the Church rather written or word of mouth.

Written is Scripture
Word of Mouth is Tradition.

God left us the Church not the Bible.

The Church was teaching and preaching the good news long before the bible.

We truly don’t need the bible, the word of God got around without it.

But if you want proof that she is in the bible, go to revelations, and they will show you she is in heaven.

The scriptural basis of Mary’s assumption is based on the fact that she is considered “the new ark of the covenant”

In the book of revelation we see that the ark is found after 600 years. It was lost but now it’s found.

Revelation 11:19
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.

Mary was considered the Ark of the new covenant by the earlier church fathers and lot’s of church father as well as scripture evidence for this.

Read the links below.

Parallelism in 2 Samuel 6 and Luke 1.

stpeterslist.com/2022/4-biblical-reasons-mary-is-the-new-ark-of-the-covenant/

patrickmadrid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Madrid_ark_newcov.pdf

catholic.com/magazine/articles/mary-the-ark-of-the-new-covenant

Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou[Jesus] and the ark[Mary], which thou hast sanctified. (Ps 131:8)

Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5 - Enoch was bodily assumed into heaven without dying. Would God do any less for Mary the Ark of the New Covenant?

2 Kings 2:11-12; 1 Mac 2:58 - Elijah was assumed into heaven in fiery chariot. Jesus would not do any less for His Blessed Mother.

Once you understand the ark of the covenant you can understand most Marian doctrines.

Hello Sultan.

While the exact accounts of Mary’s Assumption aren’t contained in the Canon of Scripture, there are Biblical places one can go to find clues.
First look at Genesis 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.
This passage points to the passing of a man to God who is in Heaven and although he couldn’t have been fully redeemed because Jesus had Redeemed him yet, his body was gone - he was no longer here - earth.

Hebrews 11: 13-16 13 All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth,14 for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
This passage says that those who had passed on thru death could actually see the future and know they would be redeemed and rejoiced to wait where they were (not Heaven but not here either) while God prepared a place for them - Heaven. So, others were going to see Heaven as God willed it and redeemed them and prepared a place for them, body and soul, not just metaphorically or mystically but reeeeeally. And this was known by the Israelites for a long, long time before Jesus came.

2 Kings 2: 1-13 1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please. The LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 The guild prophets who were in Bethel went out to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master from you?” He replied, “Yes, I know that. Be still.” 4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please. The LORD has sent me on to Jericho.” Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The guild prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master from you?” He replied, “Yes, I know that. Be still.” 6 Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please. The LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two went on together. 7 Fifty of the guild prophets followed and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood next to the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water: it divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Request whatever I might do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” 10 He replied, “You have asked something that is not easy. Still, if you see me taken up from you, your wish will be granted; otherwise not.” 11 As they walked on still conversing, a fiery chariot and fiery horses came between the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, 12 and Elisha saw it happen. He cried out, “My father! my father! Israel’s chariot and steeds!” Then he saw him no longer. He gripped his own garment, tore it into two pieces, 13 and picked up the mantle which had fallen from Elijah. Then he went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.

There is a whole bunch of stuff about Mary prefigured in this. First off, there is a death like no other and it is witnessed by not just Elisha (prefiguring St. John who took Mary to his home and lived with her till she passed from this life to the next) but others who stood off at a distance but saw the whirlwind and chariots of God (prefiguring the early disciples who did see and know of Mary’s passage and Assumption). There is also an clue to the Trinity in this passage as well in Elijah’s three fold reply “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” Elisha and Elijah both knew Elijah was about to die, but the manner and method chosen by God showed not only that there is life after death, but that God is as Jesus and others have said, a God not of the dead but of the living. And also here we see a promise made by God to Elisha as well that he too would go to Heaven to join his father Elijah as well as his Heavenly Father, God.

Oh well. I’ve said enough. Perhaps I see more in the Scriptures than some, but that is just me. I’m no expert on much of anything but spaghetti sauce and changing diapers, so don’t take my word for it. Trust God and His Church to have not only gotten it right on this stuff, and to have actually witnessed these things and handed down the accounts of them as they are - true. Mary was Assumed body and soul into Heaven because He could not let His Holy one to see corruption. There is more that could be said, but I’ve said enough. Check out John Martignoni at Bible Christian Society, www.biblechristiansociety.com . He’s tops in Biblical supports for Catholic stuff that Protestants and others refute.

Glenda

You have misinterpreted these words:

"even if it did not rest on the authority of the Scripture the consensus of the whole world in this respect would have the force of command…’ Jerome, Dialogue Luciferians 8 (c. A.D. 379).

‘But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the Church, AND which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures.’ Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 5,12 (c. A.D. 347).

“But if they will not believe the doctrines of the priests, let them believe Christ’s oracles, let them believe the admonitions of angels who say, “For with God nothing is impossible”. Let them believe the Apostles Creed which the Roman Church as always kept undefiled.” Ambrose, Letter to Sircius (c. A.D. 387).

‘But the sectaries, who have fallen away from the teaching of the Church, and made shipwreck concerning the faith.’ Athanasius, Gentes 6 (c. A.D. 350).

‘But they, safeguarding the true tradition of the blessed teaching, which comes straight from the Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul and transmitted from father to son have come down to us with the help of God to deposit in us those ancestral and apostolic seeds’ Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 1,11 (c. A.D. 205).

Regarding Origin, the Church teaches:

If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and ORIGEN, as well as their IMPIOUS WRITINGS, as also all other heretics already condemned and anathematized by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and by the aforesaid four Holy Synods and [if anyone does not equally anathematize] all those who have held and hold or who in their impiety persist in holding to the end the same opinion as those heretics just mentioned: let him be anathema.

Hello Paul.

Thank you very much for stating this. I cannot for the life of me understand why on God’s green earth anyone would want to use someone’s words in this age who was condemned in another as if the Church’s condemnation then has no bearing now. I’ve not understood why he gets such use these days by so many. It has mystified me since coming into the Church and it still does.

Maybe a thread on the notion.

Glenda

See further details on some of those Church fathers on Dave Armstrong’s post on the Early Church Fathers and Scripture/Tradition.

You may also consider reading Joseph Ratzinger’s (now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) Daughter Zion and his take on the Assumption in Scripture and typology. In it, he recognizes Mary as the holy remnant of Israel, and in turn, the definitive Church elect. That Church is preserved without blemish (cf. Eph. 5:27) and does not see corruption. He also delves into the titles of Mary and draws theology of the Assumption from there as well.

Remember that the authority of the Church to set doctrine is in the Bible. And the Pope is the representative of the Church as a whole. We by ourselves could not bind such dogma, except by Holy Tradition. But the defined dogmas of the chair of Peter are Sacred Tradition.

peace
steve

It appears that you have the cart before the horse. Doctrine was established through the revelation of God through Jesus.

[quote=Dei Verbum]2. In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (see Eph. 2:18; 2 Peter 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (see Col. 1;15, 1 Tim. 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (see Ex. 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (see Bar. 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself. This plan of revelation is realized by deeds and words having an inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them. By this revelation then, the deepest truth about God and the salvation of man shines out for our sake in Christ, who is both the mediator and the fullness of all revelation. (2)

[/quote]

The primary purpose of Scripture is not the confirmation of doctrine.

[quote=Dei Verbum]9. Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth, they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.(6)

[/quote]

Just out of curiosity, you might want to explore what books were “canonized Scriptures” in Origen’s day (185-254-ish AD). You’ll find that not even Origen himself could claim with infallible certainty which books were, or were not, Scripture.

First, read the document Munificentissimus Deus, in which the Assumption was declared to be dogma. You will find that it was not proclaimed without the authority and testimony of Scripture, but is filled with Scriptural support. Paragraph 38 says, “All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation.”

Second, I don’t think it’s silly at all to say that the woman in Revelation 12:1 is Mary. Verse 5 says she gave birth to the Messiah. Who else COULD she be?

Third, here are some Bible teachings that support the Assumption:

[LIST=1]
*]Revelation 12:1 “And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun.” Verse 5: “She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.”

*]Psalms 45:9-10 “On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.” This Psalm is a prophecy of Jesus according to Hebrews 1:8-9. And it says there will be a woman beside Him who will sit at His right hand.

*]“The New Eve” Mary’s Assumption is implied in the doctrine of the New Eve because Eve would not have been subject to death if she had not disobeyed God. Mary took the place of Eve in the New Covenant except she obeyed God’s will. She doesn’t inherit death because death is the result of Eve’s sin.

*]“The New Ark” Mary’s Assumption is implied in the doctrine of the New Ark for several reasons. The most important thing to look at is that God wanted the Old Ark of the Covenant to be brought into Solomon’s Temple – 1 Kings 8:1-6, 2 Chronicles 6:41-42, and Psalms 132 say that this was a prophetic symbol of something the Messiah would do. Since Mary is the New Ark, this indicates that the Messiah was going to take His Mother into the New Temple – and that Temple is in heaven, Heb. 9:24, Heb. 8:5.
[/LIST]

No one could claim “with infallible certainty” which book were scripture until the Council of Trent in the 16th century. Didn’t stop people using the Scriptures until then though.

So do you disagree with the Church Fathers on this point? “We truly don’t need the bible”. Wow, I wonder what the Church Fathers would have to say about such an arrogant viewpoint.

While all doctrine was delivered by Christ, this was not how doctrine was confirmed and affirmed in the early church. After there was some theological dispute which was serious enough to then cause an ecumenical council, it would take decades or even centuries for the complex web of the Church to stabilise and the Church to consider what had been said as infallible.

Full quote:

“Thirsty men in their dreams eagerly gulp down the water of the stream, and the more they drink the thirstier they are. In the same way you appear to me to have searched everywhere for arguments against the point I raised, and yet to be as far as ever from being satisfied. Don’t you know that the laying on of hands after baptism and then the invocation of the Holy Spirit is a custom of the Churches? Do you demand Scripture proof? You may find it in the Acts of the Apostles. And even if it did not rest on the authority of Scripture the consensus of the whole world in this respect would have the force of a command. For many other observances of the Churches, which are due to tradition, have acquired the authority of the written law, as for instance the practice of dipping the head three times in the laver, and then, after leaving the water, of tasting mingled milk and honey in representation of infancy; and, again, the practices of standing up in worship on the Lord’s day, and ceasing from fasting every Pentecost; and there are many other unwritten practices which have won their place through reason and custom. So you see we follow the practice of the Church, although it may be clear that a person was baptized before the Spirit was invoked.”

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying St Jerome was a sola scripturist or anything like that. However, he is speaking about church discipline here, not actual doctrines of the faith.

He clearly states elsewhere that those who use apostolic tradition but not scripture, the word of God smites? Perhaps he is referring to doctrine here, and not discipline.

‘But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the Church, AND which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures.’ Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 5,12 (c. A.D. 347).

Amen. I don’t see how this conflicts with Cyril’s other quote which says teaching, even a casual remark, must be delivered with the Holy Scriptures. This quote here isn’t advocating some sort of unscriptural source of revelation. If we look at more of the original in fact:

“But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to you by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures. For since all cannot read the Scriptures, some being hindered as to the knowledge of them by want of learning, and others by a want of leisure, in order that the soul may not perish from ignorance, we comprise the whole doctrine of the Faith in a few lines.”
^The Church had a problem with illiteracy. Even so, Cyril of Jerusalem affirmed in Catechetical Lectures 4 that even the least of the holy mysteries must be delivered with Scripture.

“But if they will not believe the doctrines of the priests, let them believe Christ’s oracles, let them believe the admonitions of angels who say, “For with God nothing is impossible”. Let them believe the Apostles Creed which the Roman Church as always kept undefiled.” Ambrose, Letter to Sircius (c. A.D. 387).

I’m not saying the teaching of the Church at the time was unimportant, but neither could it have been said to be equal to or greater than Scripture.

‘But the sectaries, who have fallen away from the teaching of the Church, and made shipwreck concerning the faith.’ Athanasius, Gentes 6 (c. A.D. 350).

What are you attempting to prove by this? We know the Church was good, we know its teachings were pure at the time. This says nothing about scriptural authority. Athanasius clearly says elsewhere that the scriptures are sufficient for the discovery of truth.

He also says, after naming the books of the Bible:
“These are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. Let no man add to these, neither let him take ought from these.” (Festal Letter)

and

“Vainly then do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point, there are the proceedings of the Fathers, for the Nicene Bishops did not neglect this matter, but stated the doctrine so exactly, that persons reading their words honestly, cannot but be reminded by them of the religion towards Christ announced in divine Scripture.” (De Synodis)

‘But they, safeguarding the true tradition of the blessed teaching, which comes straight from the Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul and transmitted from father to son have come down to us with the help of God to deposit in us those ancestral and apostolic seeds’ Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 1,11 (c. A.D. 205).

Before this, Clement also says:

“Now the Scripture kindles the living spark of the soul, and directs the eye suitably for contemplation; perchance inserting something, as the husbandman when he ingrafts, but, according to the opinion of the divine apostle, exciting what is in the soul.”

He then goes onto say how these remarkable men he met had preserved the tradition of the doctrine of the Apostles. There is still no indication here that this tradition holds something foreign to scripture or can do so.

Regarding Origin, the Church teaches:

Good point, I’ll concede the Origen quote.

Your passages have failed to demonstrate from these particular church fathers that there is a tradition that can teach something foreign to Scripture, or that this is a source equal to Scripture. The teachings of the church fathers I gave still stand.

Not even the most casual remark should be delivered without the Holy Scriptures, says St Cyril. I would think this would apply to the Pope as well. To extrapolate from scripture that the Pope has some infallible authority is falling into the trap of relying on private interpretation of Scripture that you accuse the Protestants doing so themselves. Something like a dogma should be derived from scripture. A pious belief is different, but an actual dogma? That needs scripture.

“For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell you these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures.” - St Cyril of Jerusalem

^Do you believe your scriptural evidence truly falls within what Cyril is saying here, or is it instead the other thing he talks about, “artifices of speech” and “mere plausibility” and “ingenious reasoning”?

Do you honestly find the passages you gave me as convincing of Mary’s actual assumption? You’re as bad as the Protestants you so like to accuse of private interpretation when you read such conclusions into the text.

None of this is evidence. You’re reading far too much into the text. Take a step back and honestly tell me whether you’d find this as convincing. Don’t give me some pre-prepared apologist’s answer from some website, take a look at it for yourself and tell me whether you really find this as scriptural evidence, because it’s laughable otherwise.

This appeal to “Enoch was assumed, would God do any less for Mary” is as St Cyril would say appealing to artifices of speech and “mere plausibilities” or “ingenious reasoning”, not on what is actually given to us in the Scriptures.

It is derivable from Scripture. Do you agree with the Church that Mary’s Biblical types include Eve, the Ark of the Covenant, the holy remnant of Israel, the Garden of Eden, etc… If not, then you would likewise be in contradiction to the Early Church Fathers to whom you now appeal. You would also be in contradiction to Scripture which needn’t demand explicit declarative statements to derive a Biblical type. For example, the OT story of Sarah and Hagar does not explicitly say they are types of covenants, yet Paul in Galatians 4 reads exactly that from the theological figures of these women. Paul teaches the Church how to recognize such types in Scripture when he teaches Timothy to adhere to the “pattern” (2 Tim 1:13) he set forth. You can see him exercise a variety of other typological exercises in Romans with Jacob/Esau/Gentiles/Israelites, etc…

You may also consider reading the entire proclamation on the Assumption which delves into numerous Scripture and historic Church interpretations thereof.

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