The First Christian? Jesus? NO. Mary? NO. St Joseph? YES!


#1

Here is my reasoning:

Both Jesus and Mary are Christianity itself! Not that they don’t have the Faith, but their Faith is something that is part of their very being.

The first person to the Faith as we would understand it was St Joseph - he had his doubts, he was spoken to by the angels, and his Faith developed. St Joseph’s journey in the Faith is the most like our own, making him “the first Christian”.

Opinions?


#2

Mary had a choice. Even Jesus had choice. They chose the Will of the Father. Jesus and the Father are One. Mary’s fiat was the first Christian act. That’s the way I see it anyway.


#3

I personally think that Mary being the first Christian and Mary being the archetype of the Church are intimately connected.


#4

The reason I can’t say Mary is the first Christian is because it seems so absurd to say the Mother of God is “Christian” - she is the embodiment (literally) Christ, as is Jesus Himself. By no means am I using this reasoning as an insult, quite the opposite. Both Mary and Jesus had a different mind frame, if you will, by being free of sin - once again, they aren’t Christian, they are Christianity itself! St Joseph was the first that had doubts, then built his Faith despite those doubts.


#5

I thought there weren’t any Christians before the reformation. That’s what I’ve been told anyway.


#6

I wish there were much more in the Bible about St Joseph—it’s as though he steps off the stage in the manger and is never heard from again.

There is so much more I wish we knew. I suspect he died fairly early in Jesus’ life and that may be why there’s so little about him written.

The recent movie “The Nativity Story” did a nice job of presenting Joseph’s role. What would you do if you visited your betrothed only to find her very pregnant and claiming no man had touched her? Had he reacted differently, the course of history would have been radically altered.

I’m not sure if he was the first Christian, but surely he deserves to be a Christian saint.


#7

Interesting. I know that I am able to identify more with Joseph.


#8

A Christian is (fully) human and not (fully) God.

Mary is (fully) human and not (fully or non-fully) God.

Thus, Mary is a Christian.

The first Christian, though, is Adam.


#9

Well, they were called “those belonging to The Way”. “Chirstian” was a later 1st century term. So in a way we are putting new labels on old jars.


#10

KofC660,.,.:hmmm: very interesting “take” of this. I never thought of it in such a way before, but to be honest, it kinda makes sense to me.

Yes it is true that Mary first had to say YES to God, but she was Immaculately Conceived so she Could be the Mother of our Lord Jesus (least that is my understand), this kinda gave her the “edge” over St. Joseph if you will. He was confused, hurt and even doubted Mary’s pregnancy (if only for a moment) and so he needed to grow in faith and understanding.

He showed us the rewards of having faith in God’s plans, what an Awesome model for us all.:thumbsup:


#11

Thanks for the comments!

I honestly believe this is one of those “chicken and the egg” type questions!

It just proves how fun and theologically “deep” Our Catholic Faith really is!

I don’t know, but I bet the Protestants and Mohammedans can’t have this kind of fun discussing a “quirk” in their respective theologies!


#12

The Chicken came first,God created all the animals then they made baby animals.:stuck_out_tongue:


#13

The Chicken came first,God created all the animals then they made baby animals.

Or they evolved into increasingly complex organisms over the course of time, at God’s direction, eventually separating into two distinct sexes and produced offspring. But hey, whatever floats your boat! :smiley:

It’s a tricky subject; I think it all sort of goes back to our lack of understanding when it comes to the free will of an individual born without the stain of Original Sin. Both Mary and Christ had a chance to sin (Christ as it pertains to his human Nature, anyway), but neither did. Yes, it was of their own free will that they obeyed. I would say, for this reason, Mary is the first “Christian,” as she did, being fully and utterly human, have the option to sin, to say no, etc., yet she didn’t.

Here’s a toughie, IMO:

How was Mary BORN into the Body of Christ, as he was yet to be conceived? Thoughts?


#14

This is like asking:

Was Jacob an Israelite?

Jacob WAS Israel! I think that prevents him from being an “Israelite”! To call Israel himself an “Israelite” is just absurd!


#15

Its a ridiculous thing to say that Mary is Christianity itself. Christianity is a religion. You sound like you are trying to promote Mary to being divine which she is not. Blessed above all women. Yes. Probably blessed among all people. Yes. Immaculately conceived. Yes. But she is not divine and not a religion.


#16

No no no.

I’m not trying to make Our Lady “divine”.

What I am stating here is that part of Christianity is the Incarnation, which is part and parcel of Our Lady - you can’t separate the Incarnation from Our Lady! She is the unique “actor” in Our Faith! Without Our Lady, there is no Incarnation, there is no Christianity! Her “fiat” is what makes the Incarnation possible, and Our Lady’s Faith is on another level that goes beyond our understanding of Our Own Faith. Our Lady is fully human, and in no way is she divine, but her Faith is different from Our Faith, which is why she is the Theotokos, and no other woman! Just as Jesus and His Faith is unique, and that is why He is God, and no other man! Mary is not God because she is a woman, and God in the Flesh is a Man! But, other than that, they were both conceived without sin, never sinned, and Jesus Ascended into Heaven, and Mary was Assumed into Heaven, something none of us have any chance of doing!

That is why one could make the argument that St Joseph was the first Christian!

You can’t tell me this kind of discussion isn’t more fun than the kind of stuff John Calvin and John Knox would be talking about!


#17

I think it would be correct to say that she was/is the closest thing to Divinity.


#18

I don’t. Divinity isn’t a matter of blessings. Divinity is a state, which Mary simply didn’t possess. She was whatever she was (Immaculate) because of the grace of God, through his Son Jesus Christ. What other reason was there for Mary to be preserved than the Incarnation? Her conception was different not because she herself, a mere human, was worthy of all the honors to be bestowed upon her. Far from it. Rather, she was able to call God her Savior, because he HAD redeemed her, like he did us all–even if in a more exalted fashion. Any blessing given her is little more than a sign of what is to come for us, as well as a genuine expression of love from God for the Virgin, who humbly presented herself to the Lord as his handmaid.

We’re coming close to Mariolatry here. I mean, the person posting before me (didn’t catch the name) said Mary was practically deity! That’s a little absurd, no? “Close only counts in horseshoes,” anyway. Let’s not contribute to a stereotype here. Yes, she had a very strong genetic relationship to her offspring, as well as a unique internal bond, as well, but she in no way shared in his divinity, and that’s that. We would do best to leave it at this, lest we should expose further heresy.


#19

The Shepherd of Hermas, included in many early lists of books of the bible, is a story of a man (Hermas) who has a series of visions, (similar to Revelation) where he sees sin, the effect of sin, the conquering of sin, etc. He also meets an old woman. The Church. As he comes to know her, her beauty grows until she is more desirable than any other woman. Ever ancient, ever new.

There is support in the church fathers for the claim that Adam was the first Christian. Who was the God that walked in the afternoons in the Garden with Adam? Who was the Word that spoke to Adam?

It was the Christ, the Son of God. Not yet given a name (Jesus) but before Abraham was, HE IS!

So Adam first knew our Lord, and first followed Him, and was the first Christian. :o expand your thinking to include all time :eek:

I could be wrong, but it expands the argument greatly.


#20

The Mother of God…nuff said…:smiley:


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