The origins of Catholic doctrine regarding the BV


#1

In another thread I posted a quotation that was attributed to St. Ignatius of Antioch, who allegedly wrote (c. A.D. 107-110), "He who is devout to the Virgin Mother will never be lost." I was accused by a subscriber of fabricating it.

I didn't fabricate it. I consulted my source, "The Apostolic Digest" (1994) only to find that the attribution wasn't in the index of attributions, so it couldn't be traced. I then consulted my hard copy of the Letters of St. Ignatius & the quote was nowhere to be found. I then went on-line & established that although this particular quote has often been attributed to Ignatius of Antioch, I could find no one with a correct attribution. Also, others have attributed it either to St. Irenaeus of Lyons or St. Ignatius of Loyola.

At that point I gave up. I'll concede the point that the statement was almost certainly not written by Ignatius of Antioch, & it may be entirely spurious.

However, my original purpose was twofold-- (1) to respond to another poster's unsupported statement that, "...another fact that speaks for itself...is the total absence (in the NT & the Apostolic Fathers) of any reference to Mary serving any significant continuing role for anyone;" & (2) to demonstrate that Catholic doctrine regarding the BV is well-grounded in the writings of the early Church Fathers. As those points are (in my view) deserving of a thread of their own, I'll continue them here.

St. Justin the Martyr, in his First Apology (A.D. 148-155) taught that Holy Mary, as the second Eve, was as involved in the reversal of the human sin problem as the first Eve was involved in introducing sin into the world: "He (Christ) became man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent, might be also the very course by which it would be put down." [100]

"...the very course by which it would be put down", even if it is not explicitly specific as to exactly what that role is, it strongly implies a significant continuing role. It would be hard to imagine St. Justin's statement as being true were there not a significant continuing role for the BV.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, in his Against Heresies, (A.D. 180-199), also taught that Holy Mary was the second & sinless Eve: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith." [3, 22, 4]

St. John Damascene, the last of the Greek Fathers of the Church (early to mid-700s), in his Concerning the Trisegion wrote, "O Mother of God! If I place my confidence in thee I shall be saved...for being thy client is a certainty of salvation..." He also mounts a spirited defense of the BV's title "Mother of God" in distinction to the expression "Mother of Christ" which was urged by Nestorius.

If we reflect on this for a moment, we shall see that obviously St. John was writing in defense of an older tradition-- which Nestorius had been attempting to change.

St. John Damascene, BTW, is also the author of 3 sermons on the Annunciation of the BV. In the 1st of these he attributes various blessings to her intercession. This is certainly "a significant continuing role". The 2d contains a detailed account of her bodily translation into heaven-- an account which he says is based on the most reliable ancient traditions. We possess no ancient refutations of his viewpoint-- as if he was merely speaking what everyone already knew.

St. Andrew of Crete, St. John's contemporary in the late 7th & early 8th Centuries & another Greek saint, wrote, "Being thy servant, O Mary, is a surety of salvation..."

This, in a nutshell, constitutes the basis of the Catholic belief-- from the writings of the early Church Fathers-- in the continuing role of the BV in salvation.


#2

Right, is not just the Catholic Church for its the Apostolic Churchs. The early writtings are abundant dating to a few decades after Christs death then foward. Feast dates begin appearing on the liturgical calender etc.

However accediting quotes, and to whom, and their translation is a very real issue which we have witnessed here several times.

Acts of Andrew among other Liturgys are historically accurate.

East: Patriarch St. Mark I the Apostle of Alexandria 60-AD [Liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist], "Most holy, immaculate, and blessed Mother of God, and ever Virgin Mary." Latin: "Sanctissima, immaculata, et benedicta, Deipara et semper virgine Maria."

East: Bishop St. James the Just Apostle of Jerusalem. [Liturgy of St. James], "Most holy, most glorious, immaculate, Mother of God and ever Virgin," and that Mary is "in every respect out of the range of sinful men."

The holy St. James, taught that Mary was not a sinner, i.e., she never contracted original sin or committed venial or mortal sin.

East: Bishop St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle of Byzantium. says in 62-AD [Acts of Andrew]: "And therefore, because the first man was created of immaculate earth, it was necessary that of an immaculate Virgin should be born a perfect man, that the Son of God should restore that eternal life which men had lost." Latin: "Et propterea, quod ex immaculatâ terrâ ereatus fuerat primus homo, necesse erat ut ex immaculatâ Virgine nasceretur perfectus homo, quo Filius Dei, qui antè condiderat hominem, vitam æternam quam perdiderant hominess, repararet."

Though the book The Acts of Andrew is not part of the Biblical Canon, it is historically accurate; one can see from the myriad lives of the saints published in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I have the sight on my other computer which a few of the Church Fathers are still working on. Which I'll add to here when I have a chance. Even with all the information we do have. New information is still surfacing.

However this developes through the centurys, no doubt which is the same with the Dormition/Assumption. There would be no Assumption without the Dormition. There would be no IC without the early writtings of the Apostolic Church Fathers as we see above.

The idea of All Grace flowing through St Mary is not a new idea either since all Grace did flow through St Mary at the incarnation. Of course I could add a ton of Biblical verse also which coincide with much of this, but thats not the point its doctrine and its developement.

Now of course this and proclaiming these teachings Infallable Dogma without the other Apostolic Churchs present and in agreement is yet another issue. Which may or may not even result in a issue regarding St Mary. However, Its not so much understanding how we arrived at where we are. Its having everyone in agreement since others have very real Apostolic Succession in their church, thus a very real say and opinion in all of this.

Peace


#3

You see the Lord didn’t say Peter you develope all the Doctrine of the church while the other Apostles convert the world. While we could say there is honor bestowed upon Peter while among the other’s in discussion. The issue seems to me the others from a period foward were not offered their very real authority to have a say?

Just saying.


#4

watch the link in my signature, it's all about the BV in scripture


#5

[quote="Graehame, post:1, topic:279494"]
In another thread I posted a quotation that was attributed to St. Ignatius of Antioch, who allegedly wrote (c. A.D. 107-110), "He who is devout to the Virgin Mother will never be lost." I was accused by a subscriber of fabricating it.

I didn't fabricate it. I consulted my source, "The Apostolic Digest" (1994) only to find that the attribution wasn't in the index of attributions, so it couldn't be traced. I then consulted my hard copy of the Letters of St. Ignatius & the quote was nowhere to be found. I then went on-line & established that although this particular quote has often been attributed to Ignatius of Antioch, I could find no one with a correct attribution. Also, others have attributed it either to St. Irenaeus of Lyons or St. Ignatius of Loyola.

At that point I gave up. I'll concede the point that the statement was almost certainly not written by Ignatius of Antioch, & it may be entirely spurious.

However, my original purpose was twofold-- (1) to respond to another poster's unsupported statement that, "...another fact that speaks for itself...is the total absence (in the NT & the Apostolic Fathers) of any reference to Mary serving any significant continuing role for anyone;" & (2) to demonstrate that Catholic doctrine regarding the BV is well-grounded in the writings of the early Church Fathers. As those points are (in my view) deserving of a thread of their own, I'll continue them here.

St. Justin the Martyr, in his First Apology (A.D. 148-155) taught that Holy Mary, as the second Eve, was as involved in the reversal of the human sin problem as the first Eve was involved in introducing sin into the world: "He (Christ) became man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent, might be also the very course by which it would be put down." [100]

"...the very course by which it would be put down", even if it is not explicitly specific as to exactly what that role is, it strongly implies a significant continuing role. It would be hard to imagine St. Justin's statement as being true were there not a significant continuing role for the BV.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, in his Against Heresies, (A.D. 180-199), also taught that Holy Mary was the second & sinless Eve: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith." [3, 22, 4]

St. John Damascene, the last of the Greek Fathers of the Church (early to mid-700s), in his Concerning the Trisegion wrote, "O Mother of God! If I place my confidence in thee I shall be saved...for being thy client is a certainty of salvation..." He also mounts a spirited defense of the BV's title "Mother of God" in distinction to the expression "Mother of Christ" which was urged by Nestorius.

If we reflect on this for a moment, we shall see that obviously St. John was writing in defense of an older tradition-- which Nestorius had been attempting to change.

St. John Damascene, BTW, is also the author of 3 sermons on the Annunciation of the BV. In the 1st of these he attributes various blessings to her intercession. This is certainly "a significant continuing role". The 2d contains a detailed account of her bodily translation into heaven-- an account which he says is based on the most reliable ancient traditions. We possess no ancient refutations of his viewpoint-- as if he was merely speaking what everyone already knew.

St. Andrew of Crete, St. John's contemporary in the late 7th & early 8th Centuries & another Greek saint, wrote, "Being thy servant, O Mary, is a surety of salvation..."

This, in a nutshell, constitutes the basis of the Catholic belief-- from the writings of the early Church Fathers-- in the continuing role of the BV in salvation.

[/quote]

ExtraBiblical thought has existed ever since God created the Bible.

The words written in the Bible, which predates all you have quoted and supersedes all other thought, states clearly and simply:
“We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven.” Ephesians 1:7


#6

Where does the Bible instruct us that we should take only the statements of Scripture as authoritative?

And how is Ephesians 1:7 relevant to this discussion?


#7

What he’s saying is that according to Scripture we are saved strictly by the merits of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, & not in any sense thru the BV. Implied in his statement is the idea that everything we need to know about salvation is contained in the Bible.

I’ll have more to say on both of these subjects after I’ve had a chance to assemble & vett my sources-- an issue to which I’ve recently learned to pay greater attention!

For now I’ll content myself with pointing out the following :

How odd a doctrine Sola Scriptura is-- a doctrine that says everything we need to know about salvation is in the Bible, which is nowhere stated in the Bible!

…and again how odd it is, if everything we need to know about salvation is really written down in the Bible, when (1) Jesus wrote nothing that we know of in His entire life, (2) He never commanded his Apostles to write a single word [He commanded them only to teach], & (3) the Bible uniformly & in several different places gives priority to oral teaching over the written word in terms of how we are supposed to learn the Gospel.

BTW-- It isn’t that the Bible says nothing about this issue. My previous correspondent focused on the early Church Fathers, so that is what I based my response on. I would argue that in most cases where the ECFs agree on something it can be better to use them, because the Bible is a finite resource that can’t & doesn’t say everything. The ECFs, on the other hand, acquired their doctrine from the Apostles or from those who learned it directly from the Apostles, so wherever they agree we can presume them to be teaching sound Apostolic doctrine.


#8

It is Dogma not Doctrine.


#9

[quote="Trebor135, post:6, topic:279494"]
Where does the Bible instruct us that we should take only the statements of Scripture as authoritative?

[/quote]

Actually the Bible explains a few concepts well.

The Church

Matthew 16:18 Jesus established and protects His church
Matthew 28:20 He promised to remain with THAT church always.
John 16:12 The Holy Spirit guides the church into all Truth
1 Timothy 3:15- The Church (not the Bible) is the pillar and foundation of Truth.
Matthew 18:17-18 If someone refuses to listen to the church cast him out.
Matthew 28:18-20 The Churchs authority is Jesus Christ.
1 John 4-6 Anyone who knows God listens to His Church.
Luke 10:16 He who rejects His church rejects Christ.
Matthew 16:19 The Church has the power to legislate
Acts 15:28 Decisions of the Church are decisions of the Holy Spirit,
Acts 15:6-29 The Apostles and the elders of the church settle the disputes.
Acts 16:14 People are to observe the decisions of the Apostles and Elders
Acts 1:25 The APOSTLES CHOOSE SUCCESSORS(Bishops)
Titus 1:5 Bishops appoint presbyters(Priests)
1 Peter 5:5 Be subject to the Elders.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and Submit to them.
1 Corinthians 1:10 THERE MUST BE NO DIVISION AMONG YOU.
Ephesians 4:4-5 There is One Body, One Lord, one Faith and ONE Baptism.

Bible Only?

Acts 8: 26-35 Guidence is needed to interpret the Scritures
1 Timothy 3:15 The Church (not the Bible) in the pillar and foundation of Truth.
2 Timothy 3: 16:17 Scripture is profitable for teaching , that the man of God may be complete.
Acts 2:24 The Church followed Apostolic Teaching (no bibles or printing press was invented) a teaching straight from God. Amazing some assume they got this wrong.
2-Peter 1:20 Scripture is NOT a matter of ones own interpretation!!!!
2-Peter 3:16 The ignorant and unstable twist scripture to their own destruction.
Proverbs 3:5 Do not rely on your own insight.

Thus the reality of oral and written tradition is very real and has been a very long time. The Bible is without doubt the Greatest Book Ever Written. However there's a very real history in the Torah, Jewish oral and written tradition, then to Christ foward, all weave together a very real history. In fact the Bible tells you itself it is impossible to document all the events of the period within it.

Christ speaks on Jewish oral tradition in the NT which isn't documented in the Torah yet is very real.

That said I believe to read the Bible and understand is indeed a great place to start the journey. However the Bible is focused on God. St Mary, Peter, Paul. James, John. Mark, Andrew etc. and all the Bishops who immediately follow also have a very real history, and very relevant information in understanding the first few hundred years from Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Rome among others. Theres a consistancy here in the Worship and veneration. The Eucharistic Liturgy still remains consistant after 2000 years in all these Apostolic Churchs.

Even Luther 1500 years later was not far off track with this. Seems we were moving along with some consistancy, few bumps and the wrongs of men, till America and liberty took hold. And liberty with Gods Word its been.

Christ said Prevail, that word alone speaks volumes. The geneology of Christ in Scripture shows sinners and Saints and a zig-zag line. Gods will is not ours, hopefully we are coming out of one those zags and heading toward the right direction. May be more trial and tribulation. I do not know.

I do believe we ought pay attention to the West in general though before we wind up in bondage. Seems to me the political/social situation has spun out of control a wee bit. Nothing would surprise me in the USA with this dysfunctional government.


#10

I didn’t accuse you of being the fabricator…I just said that it smelt like a pure fabrication

However, my original purpose was twofold-- (1) to respond to another poster’s unsupported statement that, “…another fact that speaks for itself…is the total absence (in the NT & the Apostolic Fathers) of any reference to Mary serving any significant continuing role for anyone;”

unsupported? Why would support be needed? …just give me a reference that proves the claim to be wrong. (I trust you know that the Apostolic Fathers is an established set of early works that doesn’t include Martyr or Irenaeus)

Justin the Martyr, in his First Apology (A.D. 148-155) taught that Holy Mary, as the second Eve, was as involved in the reversal of the human sin problem as the first Eve was involved in introducing sin into the world: “He (Christ) became man by the Virgin ***so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent, might be also the very course by which it would be put down.***” [100]

“…the very course by which it would be put down”, even if it is not explicitly specific as to exactly what that role is, it strongly implies a significant continuing role. It would be hard to imagine St. Justin’s statement as being true were there not a significant continuing role for the BV.

 are you kidding me?  All Martyr said was that, just as Eve was a virgin when she disobeyed, Mary was a virgin when she obeyed....and Irenaeus made the same point:

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, in his Against Heresies, (A.D. 180-199), also taught that Holy Mary was the second & sinless Eve: "The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith." [3, 22, 4]

neither quote says anything about Mary making any contribution after giving birth.


#11

[quote="Trebor135, post:6, topic:279494"]
Where does the Bible instruct us that we should take only the statements of Scripture as authoritative?

[/quote]

The Mormons that I have had conversations with say exactly the same thing word for word.


#12

Thank you for conveniently failing to answer my perfectly valid question.

Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible is the final or sole rule of faith (depending on whether you take the magisterial or evangelical Protestant view). To be logically consistent in theology, one has to demonstrate that the Scripture teaches this principle. Otherwise, one is not only going by what the Bible says, and that is supposed to be the whole point of the doctrine!


#13

Originally Posted by Trebor135

Where does the Bible instruct us that we should take only the statements of Scripture as authoritative?

Originally Posted by 1voice

The Mormons that I have had conversations with say exactly the same thing word for word.

[quote="Trebor135, post:12, topic:279494"]
Thank you for conveniently failing to answer my perfectly valid question.

[/quote]

I repeat... If the Bible is not the plumbline by which all else is measured ... then you have no more standing in your assertions that the Mormons that I talk to.


The scripture states clearly and simply...
“We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven.” Ephesians 1:7

Where does the scripture clearly and simply state...
"O Mother of God! If I place my confidence in thee I shall be saved...for being thy client is a certainty of salvation..."
#1


#14

[quote="Trebor135, post:12, topic:279494"]
Thank you for conveniently failing to answer my perfectly valid question.

Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible is the final or sole rule of faith (depending on whether you take the magisterial or evangelical Protestant view). To be logically consistent in theology, one has to demonstrate that the Scripture teaches this principle. Otherwise, one is not only going by what the Bible says, and that is supposed to be the whole point of the doctrine!

[/quote]

Of course, you will find no statement in Scripture that explicitly says "what's written here is the only authority in the church," or something to that effect. Sola Scriptura is a hermeneutical principle for how to judge the teachings of the church, pastors, etc. The principle operates on the fact that Scripture is the word of God. As such, it carries the authority of God Himself. Since there is no authority higher than God, anything which contradicts what it teaches is to be disregarded, no matter who it is doing the teaching. This is explicit in Scripture because Scripture explicits states the authority of God and His word.

Now, of course, it is the Roman Catholic position that the tradition it espouses is the word of God, because it was revealed by Christ, to the apostles, who handed it on to the Church. The burden in that case is for the Church to demonstrate that whatever tradition is in question comes directly from the apostles. If it can be, and it does not contradict the Scripture, then it should be something that is practiced by the Church.


#15

[quote="Trebor135, post:12, topic:279494"]

Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible is the final or sole rule of faith (depending on whether you take the magisterial or evangelical Protestant view). To be logically consistent in theology, one has to demonstrate that the Scripture teaches this principle. Otherwise, one is not only going by what the Bible says, and that is supposed to be the whole point of the doctrine!

[/quote]

Immediately following the most important event in the history of mankind...
After Jesus died, and arose ... Right out of the grave he was expositing the Scriptures ... on the road to Emmaus.

The Bible is God's word. God's word is higher than anything ...
“For You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Ps. 138:2).

"The Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. The Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer. The high places of Isaac will be desolated and the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste. Then I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:1-9).

The difference between this vision , given to Amos and the ones that preceded it was the plumb line. This tool was used to determine whether or not a structure was vertical. Even though a wall or a building might appear perfectly upright to the naked eye, the plumb line would make it evident if it was even one or two degrees off. It is the perfect and unmistakable standard. The plumb line was the reason Amos could not protest God’s judgment.


The difference between Nineveh being spared or destroyed ... was their response to the word of God written in the Scripture. Jonah knew the power of that truth ... and didnt want that power released in Nineveh.


All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
2 Tim 3:16

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

In this passage... God himself, was having a conversation with satan. He stated clearly that man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

When Jesus was challenged by the teachers of the law, he used the words of the Bible in his defense.

Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law (which is the Old Testament) ... and he said "I do nothing except what I see my Father do."

Jesus said that not one word that is spoken by God will ever pass away.


#16

[quote="1voice, post:15, topic:279494"]
Immediately following the most important event in the history of mankind...
After Jesus died, and arose ... Right out of the grave he was expositing the Scriptures ... on the road to Emmaus.

The Bible is God's word. God's word is higher than anything ...

[/quote]

What if Jesus appeared to you tonight and told you something? Would you tell Him that if it isn't it the bible it you're not going to pay attention to it? It is indeed true that the bible is God's word. But it is not the only place where God's word appears. Remember the end of the gospel of Luke?:

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.
[John 21:25, Douay-Rheims]

“For You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Ps. 138:2).

"The Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. The Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer. The high places of Isaac will be desolated and the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste. Then I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:1-9).

The difference between this vision , given to Amos and the ones that preceded it was the plumb line. This tool was used to determine whether or not a structure was vertical. Even though a wall or a building might appear perfectly upright to the naked eye, the plumb line would make it evident if it was even one or two degrees off. It is the perfect and unmistakable standard. The plumb line was the reason Amos could not protest God’s judgment.


The difference between Nineveh being spared or destroyed ... was their response to the word of God written in the Scripture. Jonah knew the power of that truth ... and didnt want that power released in Nineveh.

:confused:


All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
2 Tim 3:16

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Yes! EVERY word!

In this passage... God himself, was having a conversation with satan. He stated clearly that man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Yes! EVERY word!

When Jesus was challenged by the teachers of the law, he used the words of the Bible in his defense.

Yes! But He said so much more than what is stated in the bible!

Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law (which is the Old Testament) ... and he said "I do nothing except what I see my Father do."

Jesus said that not one word that is spoken by God will ever pass away.

Yes! Not ONE word! Not just the words in the bible but ALL the words of God are Truth.


#17

Do the words of God which appear in the bible supersede the words of God that do not appear in the bible?


#18

[quote="saveusfromhell, post:4, topic:279494"]
watch the link in my signature, it's all about the BV in scripture

[/quote]

I watched the video. When I saw that it was 11 minutes long I thought I would just give it a quick glance and then leave it. But I watched the whole video and would have been happy to continue to watch it for an hour. It is a very good video!

Thanks for posting the link. I will pass it on. :)


#19

Great video with an excellent presentation of the foreshadowing of the new testament in the old.

Thanks for posting this!!:thumbsup:


#20

Notice however, that they don’t preach that your church is the early Church that went apostate.


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