Hi, guys —
Why is Mary called the mother of God in the Rosary prayer, Hail Mary?
I haven't been able to find a Scriptural reference for this prayer.
- Shouldn't it be the mother of Jesus and not God?
Shouldn't the prayer, the Hail Mary, be changed from the Mother of God to the Mother of Jesus? }
One of the first Church councils, the Council of Ephesus, declared Mary to be Mother of God. It's rather simple, following this syllogism (a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn [whether validly or not] from two given or assumed propositions/premises):
Jesus is the Second Person of God,
Mary is Jesus' mother, therefore,
Mary is the mother of God.
It is not that Mary preceded God. On the contrary, the Person of Jesus is eternal. He assumed a human nature within Mary in time. So while God created His own human mother, Mary is truly the mother of Jesus who is God. Hence, Mother of God. The Greek Theotokos is actually closer to the term God-bearer, but it means the same thing.
This explanation is difficult. Using the same analogy, Mary mother of God would lead to a Father of God which explains why Muslims have difficulty with this concept of the Trilogy of God . . . as do Jews.
Thanks for putting the historical time line on this concept. There still doesn't seem to be a Scriptural basis for this idea, except:
- for Wisdom bearing female gender in Scripture and
- that she was with God in the beginning.
If Mary is the essence of wisdom, she would still only be with God and not his mother.
Please Reply to All so that everyone here can respond.
Your comment on wisdom is more akin to the Son being with the Father. Like the prologue of John's gospel states, eternal Wisdom is the Word, who is eternally with the Father, and is also God Himself:
In the beginning, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
Mary is a mere mortal human being, like us, but without sin. She is not divine like her Son. God created her and chose her to be His human mother so that He would take on a human nature. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God in the flesh. Mary was not God's mother before [the Incarnation (her miraculous pregnancy)].
Thanks Paul for your explanation and I follow your logic.
Mary becomes bit of enigma for Protestants . . . even the Muslims show respect for Mary as only the Virgin to give Birth to Jesus. It seems she is the bridge which Catholic "Christians" can find common ground for reconciliation as Children of Abraham. Now if only Christian denominations could find the same reconciliation as followers of Jesus and under the banner of Christians.
Blessings for helping with your explanation.
This is from my Scripture Passages page. I highly recommend you review it to find the Biblical basis for many Catholic teachings.
Catholic teachings don't have to be based on the Bible. They are based on the Church, as Paul said, (1 Timothy 3:15) but you can find a Biblical defense for many of them.
Mary, the Mother of God.
Catholic Note: Catholics believe Jesus was a divine person, not a human person. Because mothers cannot give birth to natures but people, the Church teaches that Mary gave birth to the Divine Person, Jesus Christ. Therefore she is the Mother of Jesus, the Second Person of
the Trinity. We do not believe Mary:
- came before God
- is the mother of the First Person of the Trinity, God the Father, or
- in any way is greater
- Matthew 1:23
Look! the virgin is with child and will give birth to a son whom they will call
name which means God is with us.
- Luke 1:35
- The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and
the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will
be holy and will be called Son of God."
- Luke 1:43
- Elizabeth says to Mary, "Why should I be honored with a visit
from the mother of my Lord?"
- Galatians 4:4-5
- But when the completion of the time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law, so that we could receive adoption as sons.
Interested in what the very first Christians thought, taught, and died for?
- Check out what they said on this topic.
I hope this helps,