Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant

In the comments, Waterloo Region African asked how early Christians thought of Mary as the New Ark.  I think that the best answer is that St. Luke lays this out pretty clearly in the first chapter of his Gospel.  He draws some incredibly obvious parallels between Mary's visit to Elizabeth and David's movement of the Ark through the hill-country of Judah. These are ones that a well-read Jewish audience should have been able to pick up on, and it helps reveal who Luke is telling us Jesus is, as well as the role he says Mary plays.

Start with the Old Testament passage.  From 2 Samuel 6:2-14:
And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Ba'ale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.

And they carried the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abin'adab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahi'o, the sons of Abin'adab, were driving the new cart with the ark of God; and Ahi'o went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there because he put forth his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the LORD had broken forth upon Uzzah; and that place is called Pe'rez-uz'zah, to this day.

And David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David; but David took it aside to the house of O'bed-e'dom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of O'bed-e'dom the Gittite three months; and the LORD blessed O'bed-e'dom and all his household.

And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of O'bed-e'dom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of O'bed-e'dom to the city of David with rejoicing; and when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
Here are the seven things to notice:
  1. David “arose and went” to move the Ark.
  2. They're in Judah (they start out from Baale of Judah)
  3. They're in the hill country: Abinadab's house is on one of these hills, and it's navigating these hills that causes the ox to stumble, the Ark to totter, and Uzzah to touch the Ark, which causes God to strike him dead.
  4. David, vexed by the death of Uzzah, asks, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?
  5. Obededom and his household are blessed by the presence of the Ark. 
  6. David dances before the Ark.
  7. The Ark stays with Obededom for three months.
Compare this with Luke 1:39-45,56 (I'm skipping over the beautiful Magnificat for the sake of brevity):
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." [...] And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
And again, the seven things to notice:
  1. Mary “arose and went” to transport her and her Son to the household of Elizabeth.
  2. They're in Judah.
  3. They're in the hill country.
  4. Elizabeth's question mirrors David's, but is asked out of joy, rather than vexation: “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
  5. Elizabeth is blessed by the presence of Mary (“the mother of my Lord”).
  6. John the Baptist dances in the womb upon hearing Mary's greeting.
  7. Mary stays for three months.
So both Mary and David “arose and went” on these journeys, to the same place (the hill-country in Judah) for the same length of time (three months).  David dances before the Ark, and John the Baptist dances before Mary.  David asks, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” Elizabeth asks, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  And Elizabeth was blessed to be visited by the Mother of the Lord, just as Obededom was blessed to be visited by the Ark.

Now, St. Luke chose to include all of those minor details (including that it was the hilly country, and that Mary stayed for three months) for a reason.   Likewise, he chose to words things in the precise way that he did for a reason - to say that she “arose and went,” for example (the only time he uses this Old Testament expression in his Gospel).

There are three reasons that it makes sense for Luke to choose this particular passage (2 Samuel 6), of all the Old Testament descriptions of the Ark, to show the parallel to Mary:
  • It reminds us that even at this point, immediately after the Annunciation, Mary is carrying Jesus Christ. 2 Samuel 6:2 reminds us that it is “the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.”  That's an important reminder, in the middle of a chronological retelling of a series of events.
  • It's our first hint that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Again, the Ark contained the enthroned LORD of hosts.  If Mary is the new Ark, that means that Jesus is the enthroned LORD of hosts.  We take this for granted today.  At the time Luke is writing, it's a shocking claim.
  • It shows how Mary is set aside by God.  This is the exact passage in which Uzzah is struck dead for touching the Ark.  This helps explain Mary's consecrated Virginity -- her strange response in Luke 1:34, for example, or the fact that the Isaiah 7:14 prophesy required the Christ to be both conceived and born of a Virgin, when a Virgin conception would have been sufficient to establish the miracle.  These odd details make perfect sense if Mary is the new Ark.  
Ark of the Covenant Monstrance at
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Chicago
Nor is St. Luke the only one New Testament writer to have this insight. In Revelation 11:19-12:2, here's what John sees:
Then God's Temple in Heaven was opened, and the Ark of His Covenant was seen within His Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with Child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.
Sure enough, this woman “brought forth a Male Child, One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5).  That is, we're dealing with the Mother of Jesus here.  It's true that this passage likely refers to the Church as well as Mary,  But once you read Luke 2, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that it's not for nothing that John is shown the Ark immediately before being shown the Mother of God.

For more on this subject, there's a helpful article here.  It includes other interesting details, like the connection between the “overshadowing” of Mary in Luke 1:35 and the overshadowing of the Shekinah Glory Cloud in the Old Testament.

83 comments:

  1. And what was contained in the Ark? Manna from Heaven, the Bread of Life.

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  2. The Ark also contained the written Word of God, and Mary the Ark of the New Covenant, contained The Word Made Flesh.

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  3. I read somewhere (can't remember where off the top of my head) that the word for "dance" used to describe St. John the Baptist's response to Mary/Jesus/the Holy Spirit in Elizabeth's womb is the same word used to describe David's action before the OT Ark.

    I was completely blown away by these parallels (between Luke and 2 Samuel) when I first learned of them. How similar I am to the African Eunuch in Acts 8! "How can I understand [Scripture] unless someone teaches me?"

    I've since found that this is a great passage to use in apologetics when sharing the Catholic faith with Bible-only Christians, for at least four reasons:
    1. It so clearly teaches, from Scripture, an important truth about Mary...and one that leads to so many others, including her Immaculate Conception.
    2. This passage teaches about Mary in a way that is disarming (it's all right there, plain for anyone to see and examine, with almost no interpretive leap required). The parallel is hard to ignore once one has seen it. Barring reasonable counter-arguments, those who deny that Mary is rightly called the NT Ark must call into question the extent to which their tradition is motivated by anti-Catholic bias (rather than a complete, docile surrender to Scriptural teaching).
    3. It shows that there are things in the Bible, when taken apart from the assistance of a guide (most especially Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium), that loving, faithful Bible-only Christians often miss. At least in my own experience, I've never met a Protestant laymen or pastor who had even heard of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. (I had always thought of Mary as the Ark from Revelation 12, but I still felt a bit helpless knowing how this connection in Revelation is often dodged.)
    4. Finally, as stunned as I was to learn of the Luke/2Samuel connection, I soon learned (on the next Marian feast day), that the Church pairs these Scriptures in the Mass. I saw anew that the Church is a wise Mother who, like Mary, ponders the Word deeply in her heart.

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  4. Ready, very good points.

    I've come across a few protestants who were shocked at John 6:50 onwards. They mentioned how Jesus sounded like "...a Papist..."
    ;-)

    One does need to start with the idea that the Catholic Church might have something useful to say and teach before one will ever begin to take Her seriously, but once that first log in the dam is dislodged, the rest come crashing down.

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  5. @Joe:
    [Wow, 2Sam. 6:2-14 is quite the parallel if not taken too far! I didn't realize that. But that said, you did take it too far by emphasizing Mary's presence and not the Lord's. The point of the Ark of the Covenant was WHO sat upon it, not the Ark itself.]
    1) "5. Elizabeth is... my Lord")." - "...and John the Baptist dances before Mary."
    Elizabeth was already blessed by the Lord with The Baptist who jumped in the womb because of the Lord's presence, not Mary's presence. (Not to say that THE LORD'S presence, and not Mary's, was another blessing on top of the blessing that was John the Baptist.)
    2) "...a Virgin conception would have been sufficient to establish the miracle." (I don't know about the capital V.)
    Who other than Mary would've believed that as far as evidence is concerned. (Look at Joseph. He looked to quietly divorce her. It took a dream to believe.) The evidence was in the broken hymen AFTER the birth when the blood covenant of marriage occurred according to Jewish OT traditions; when Mary lost her virginity.

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  6. It is precisely the Lord's presence in Mary that emphasizes Mary's presence as the Ark. No one can elevate Mary more than Jesus did. St. Luke (and Joe, by pointing at the gospel writer) are merely pointing this fact out.

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  7. Michael Addison,

    It seems you're viewing the issues raised in your comments through a protestant lens (which I used to wear). You seem to think that by discussing Mary, the Lord is somehow on a lower level or excluded. But it's not an either-or thing, it's a both-and. Mary only ever points us to Christ, and these things we discuss only ever point to Christ. Mary is venerated as the New Ark precisely and only because who was inside of her.

    Even the Marian dogmas are an extension of Christology, and not just some things made up to make us love Mary more (even though they do).

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  8. @Taylor: Yes, I am 'Protestant'. I hope God calls you back, too. Anyways, you said, "Mary is venerated as the New Ark PRECISELY and ONLY because who was inside of her." You used 'was', no? So why would you still consider her The New Ark since she no longer has the Lord in her womb? My point to Joe about taking a parallel concerning her too far definitely applies to The New Ark in a current-sense.

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  9. @Taylor: I should've said, "using the present tense" instead of, "in a current-sense". Not that it totally matters.

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  10. michaeladdison:

    If Mary is not the Ark anymore, then does Revelation depict her as so in the book of Revelation?

    Because, even though (as Joe said) "the woman" is Israel, or the Church, the fact that John desribes this "woman" as the ark of the covenant means that she represents more than Israel; more than the Church.

    I would be interested to hear your answer.

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  11. "then *why* does Revelation despict her as so ..."

    Sorry, typo..

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  12. Michael:

    I/we still consider her the Ark in the same way that the Ark of the [Old] Covenant didn't simply become a box when everything was removed from it.

    Furthermore, a human is infinitely more valuable than a container, just as Christ is infinitely more valuable than the manna, commandments, and staff in the "Old" Ark. Also, once something is made holy it stays holy. I'm not a Bible scholar by any means, but I can't think of anything in the Bible that was holy or made holy and simply "lost" its holiness.

    Nobody knows what happened to the Ark for sure. Although there are random rumors of its location, we don't have any idea or relics. But it would be the relic for those practicing Judaism. Surely they would have kept better tabs on it. It is the same with Mary. Surely someone who held, birthed, and raised Christ, someone who received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, etc. would have had a popular grave. So where is it/where are her relics? Same thing.

    Somewhere Dr. Brant Pitre mentioned how the Old Ark was sealed up and never seen again, but Mary fit the prophecy of when it would return (both in her Earthly life and in Revelation).

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  13. "So why would you still consider her The New Ark since she no longer has the Lord in her womb?"

    Taylor makes some great points which I won't repeat. I'll simply ask this: if the original Ark of the Covenant was found today, but contained nothing inside it, how do you think Jews would treat it?

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  14. If you have 11 minutes, this video does a good job with Biblical evidence explaining Mary's prominence in our faith.

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  15. @Christian, Taylor, and Pilgrim: She's not depicted at all in Revelation. 1) The Ark is the literal Ark in heaven. The temple on earth was but a picture of the temple in heaven. 2) The woman is Israel. 3) The man-child is the 144,000 Jews, sealed. (Dake Annotated for points 1-3)
    There was a parallel within the 2Sam. 6:2-14 story. That is all. She is NOT the Ark. Shoot, for those of us who are born-again and receive the Spirit, there's a parallel within us, too.

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  16. Michael,

    This is the second time you've defended that reading of Revelation 12 with nothing more than a citation to "Dake Annotated."

    So let's address Finis Jennings Dake Much of his Scriptural commentary was written from prison: as a 35 year-old preacher, he'd been arrested for transporting a 16 year-old across state lines “for the purpose of debauchery and other immoral practices,” and plead guilty. For this, his ordination was revoked by the Assemblies of God.

    But even Saints make mistakes, I suppose. More damning is the fact that he claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit with a “special anointing” that gave him special knowledge of the Scriptures, yet he denied the Trinity, and taught that Scripture required segregation. This crosses the line from “fallen man” to “false prophet” and “heretic” by any orthodox Christian standard. Yet you'll listen to this guy's testimony over the testimony of the earliest Christians, who died for the Faith?

    But Dake aside, there's an even more glaring problem: that exegesis of Revelation 12 seems pretty clearly wrong. The Woman of Rev. 12 is described as the Mother of both (a) “a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Rev. 12:5) and (b) “the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus” (Rev. 12:17). This makes sense as (a) Jesus and (b) the Saints.

    But to claim that (a) is the 144,000 doesn't make sense here. Why would they be described as a child, singular, and why would they be described as a male child? Why, for that matter, would they be distinguished from those who hold fast to their testimony about Jesus? Did the 144,000 not hold to the testimony? So I think that's bad exegesis that you're supporting only by citing to a false prophet who denied the Trinity.

    Of course, when this is connected with your apparent admission that yes, Luke 1 really does describe Mary (as opposed to all Christians) as the new Ark, it's increasingly looking like you'll go to nearly any lengths to avoid an interpretation of Scripture that honors the Mother of the Lord.

    I.X.,

    Joe

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  17. The arguments here for Mary being the new Ark are compelling and convincing. I've never thought of her as such and certainly it gives me something to think about.

    What about the temple gate. What say you on that?

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  18. Michael Addison: "The evidence was in the broken hymen AFTER the birth when the blood covenant of marriage occurred according to Jewish OT traditions; when Mary lost her virginity."

    Actually, Catholics believe Mary was perpetually an intact and undefiled Virgin even in and after the birth of Jesus. It wasn't just a "virgin conception" it was a "virgin birth."

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  19. @Joe:
    1) "...he denied the Trinity, and taught Scripture required segregation."
    Concerning the Trinity: Dake didn't deny the Trinity. He believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Don't believe everything you read. That guy in the article didn't use whole teachings/quotes, manipulating the topic.
    Concerning segregation: Yes, he did teach segregation incorrectly from Scripture, and I definitely disagree with him on that.
    2) "But Dake aside,... who denied the Trinity."
    a) The "child" was taken to heaven. Jesus was a man, Joe. Don't let the statues of Mary with child confuse you. b) The saints will rule during the thousand-year reign with some iron, figuratively speaking (Psalm 149:5-6). c) "The rest of her offspring" are those Jews whom believe in the tribulation after they see that the 144,000 disappear. Her offspring in the desert are those in Petra/Selah, as Scripture indicates, who won't believe until the Second Coming when He defeats the Mahdi (Antichrist) and Jesus of Islam (False Prophet).
    [Look at more of Rev. 12. Satan hasn't been cast out of heaven yet, in a forever sense. He still accuses us who believe until the time of Rev. 12 occurs.]

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  20. @Paul: I believe in a virgin conception and birth, also. I'm talking when she and Joseph came together after the birth, hence the evidence of the miracle.

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  21. Micahel: "I'm talking when she and Joseph came together after the birth, hence the evidence of the miracle."

    And where can I find that in the Bible?

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  22. Michael - I apologize for my last comment. I was somewhat tongue in cheek, but I was trying to provoke you also. It was out of line.

    God Bless

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  23. Michael,

    I don't know who this Dake guy is; I've never heard of him. Why should I take your assertion that Mary is not mentioned in Revelation?

    My assertion is that she is. Joe's assertion is that she is. The Church's assertion is that she is. Even some Lutherans say she is.

    So why would your assertion be right, I suppose is waht I'm asking.

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  24. WRA,

    To understand the idea of Mary as the Temple Gate, you have to understand the idea that Christ's Body is the Temple foretold in Ezekiel 40-48 (both His Physical Body, and His Mystical Body, the Church).  I address what this means for Jesus, the Church, and Mary here.  I'm glad you asked!

    I.X.,

    Joe

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  25. Michael,

    I pointed out earlier that Dake denied the Trinity. You deny this since he "believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit." But if you read the link, nobody's denying this. Yes, he believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But he claimed that they were three separate Gods. The Trinity is the doctrine that God is Three-in-One. Dake denies the One. In other words, he's not a monotheist.

    For example, from his commentary on 1 Samuel 4:8, in which the Philistines refer to the Israelite "gods," Dake writes:

    “These pagans knew and understood the correct way to refer to God, using the plural form which indicates more than one person in the Godhead. There are three separate and distinct persons in the Trinity. 'Elohiym could have been translated "gods" over 2,347 times, but is retained in the plural only 216 times. See The Trinity."

    So by his own account, he understood the Trinity to be Three Gods united in purpose.

    That, anyway, is what I've gathered from what I read. I don't pretend to be a particular expert on Dake, and don't own (or care for) any of his work. If you can quote something from Dake showing that he believed that there was only one God (as Isaiah 45:21-23 and innumerable other passages teach), I'd love to see it.

    Regarding segregation, I'm relieved to see that we agree that Dake is totally off-base on that. But doesn't that undermine your belief in his status as an inspired prophet?

    I.X.,

    Joe

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  26. @Joe: You're digging everywhere to find nothing? OK, you know he acknowledged God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He also stressed they are one in unity, perfection, divinity, etc. I know I've been better in my comments, as you've said, but concerning denying the Trinity: WHATEVER! Also, concerning your 'status as an inspired prophet' comment: Do not you, yourself say that not all saints are perfect? Plus, to my knowledge, he never claimed to be a prophet.

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  28. == The Picture of Christ – The Ark ==

    1. The Picture of the Pre-incarnate Christ, guided Israel in the wilderness, her Commander in the Battles of Canaan
    2. God's Presence on earth – Christ & His Sprit
    3. The Law on stones inside – Christ is the end of the Law
    4. The Manna inside – Christ the Word of God, our Bread from Heaven
    5. Aaron's Rod represents RESURRECTION & LIFE (sprout–bud–blossom–fruit) – Christ is the RESURRECTION & LIFE!
    6. The Ark – the Body of Christ

    The Church is also the Body of Christ: everyone who is in Christ is in the Church, the invisible Church of Christ; everyone who is inside the invisible Church is inside the Ark, his/her name is written in heaven, as the Ark is now in heaven.
    Luke 10:20 "but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
    Revelation 11:19
    Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the Ark of His covenant was seen within his temple.

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    1. Jess,

      Catholics would agree with almost everything that you just said. The fact that the Ark is a type of Mary doesn't mean it can't prefigure the Church, too -- in fact, the early Christians acknowledged that Mary was a symbol of the Church (both of them are sinless Virgins and Mothers). I do have two questions, though:

      1) If you deny the parallel between the Ark and Mary, how do you explain the seemingly-intentional parallels between 2 Samuel 6 and Luke 1, described above?

      2) Where do you see in Scripture the claim that the Church is only invisible? Is Christ's Body only invisible?

      I.X.,

      Joe

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    2. 2 Samuel 6 – David dance before his LORD –– Jesus Christ!

      Luke 1 - Zechariah and Elizabeth sang before the LORD -- Jesus Christ!

      Your description has lots of holes.

      The Church is invisible because the Church is NOT a building or an organization; The Church is made up of TRUE BELIEVERS OF CHRIST; and God knows each of them by the Spirit who are invisible :D

      The Roman Catholic Church is NOT a Christian Church; the roman church is Satan's temple in Rome, Babylon the Great!

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    3. What holes?

      And the question I asked earlier was “Where do you see in Scripture the claim that the Church is only invisible? Is Christ's Body only invisible?” Your response doesn’t quote or allude to a single Scriptural reference.

      And are you suggesting that the Kingdom of God on Earth is made up of only true believers of Christ?

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    4. Do catholics care about what the Scriptures say??

      lol

      “the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith... because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance, and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation.” ~The Faith of Our Fathers, VIII. The Church and the Bible

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    5. I fully affirm what is written in the quotation you provide. The Scriptures need the Church as a guide, since they were written (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) by and for the Church, that they were and are maintained by the Church, under that same Spirit, and that they are interpreted by the Church in the light of that same Spirit.

      Cutting Scripture off from the Church, suggesting that it stands alone and against the Church that originated and preserved it, is an odd notion. When the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 encountered an ambiguous Christological passage of Isaiah, he had the humility to turn to the Apostles (specifically, St. Philip) for proper interpretation and exegesis.

      But in any case, you’re not answering the question. I asked you directly, twice, “Where do you see in Scripture the claim that the Church is only invisible? Is Christ's Body only invisible?” If you can’t point to any Scriptural support for your beliefs, I don’t think you get to laugh at Catholics for allegedly not caring about Scripture.

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  29. Mary can NEVER be the Ark.

    The Ark was kept in the Holy of Holies; it is completely HOLY, and is everlasting;

    Mary was a sinner made clean in Christ, like all of us who are in Him; Mary died, and was buried; she will be resurrected when Christ comes for us :D

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    1. So Mary can't be the Ark, because it would mean that she's sinless, and perhaps even suggest that she was assumed into Heaven, rather than being left in the ground?

      It sounds like we are on the verge of agreeing on another issue: if Mary is the Ark, then the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are true, too.

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  30. Mary's assumption is a Satanic lies!

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    1. That didn't actually answer my question?

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    2. I was trying to make sure that I understood your earlier argument. I asked, "So Mary can't be the Ark, because it would mean that she's sinless, and perhaps even suggest that she was assumed into Heaven, rather than being left in the ground?"

      Because I think we actually agree on one thing: that if Mary is the Ark, then the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are true, too. (Conversely, if Mary wasn't immaculately conceived and assumed, she's not the New Ark). I'll address my other two questions in the comments above.

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    3. " if Mary is the Ark, then the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are true, too."

      This is an idiotic statement. NONSENSE!

      You cannot say "if the sun rises from the west, then ...."

      Because the sun DOES NOT RISE FROM THE WEST!!

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    4. It's not nonsense. This is how logic works.


      You can use these sort of if-then statements to determine whether something is true or false. For example, you could say, “if it is raining, then the ground is wet.” That statement is true, whether or not it’s raining.

      You can then use the if-then statement in two different ways:
      1) If you can see that it is raining, you can know for certain that the ground is wet.
      2) Conversely, if you can see that the ground is dry, you can know for certain that it’s not raining.

      So if Scripture shows that Mary is the New Ark, then by your own logic (in your comment from 3:28 PM), her Immaculate Conception and Assumption must be true, as well.

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. Since catholics despise the Holy Scriptures, discussion with a Roman Catholics have to based on Vatican lies . . . that's too painful a task to dig into the Vatican shits . . .

    “Is the Bible a book intelligible to all? Far from it; it is full of obscurities and difficulties not only for the illiterate, but even for the learned... the Bible a book full of knotty difficulties.” ~The Faith of Our Fathers, VIII. The Church and the Bible

    Roman Catholicism = Anti-Christ!

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    1. It’s probably worth providing what Gibbon actually said, because you’re stripping some important context:

      “A rule of faith, or a competent guide to heaven, must be able to instruct in all the truths necessary for salvation. Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice.

      We must, therefore, conclude that the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith, because they cannot, at any time, be within the reach of every inquirer; because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance, and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation.

      God forbid that any of my readers should be tempted to conclude from what I have said that the Catholic Church is opposed to the reading of the Scriptures, or that she is the enemy of the Bible.

      For fifteen centuries, the Church was the sole guardian and depository of the Bible; and if she really feared that sacred Book, who was to prevent her, during that long period, from tearing it in shreds and scattering it to the winds?

      Printing was invented in the fifteen century, and almost a hudred years later came the Reformation. It is often triumphantly said, and I suppose there are some who, even at the present day, are ignorant enough to believe the assertion, that the first edition of the Bible ever published after the invention of printing, was the edition of Martin Luther. The fact is, that before Luther put his pen to paper, no fewer than fifty-six editions of the Scriptures had appeared on the continent of Europe, not to speak of those printed in Great Britain. Of those editions, twenty-one were published in German, one in Spanish, four in French, twenty-one in Italian, five in Flemish, and four in Bohemian.

      These facts ought, I think, convince every candid mind that the Church, far from being opposed to the reading of the Scriptures, does all she can to encourage their perusal.”

      Now, having read that, in context, I hope you can see how misleading and inaccurate it is to take half-sentences out of context like you’re doing.

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    2. "For fifteen centuries, the Church was the sole guardian and depository of the Bible; and if she really feared that sacred Book, who was to prevent her, during that long period, from tearing it in shreds and scattering it to the winds?"

      1. It was the Holy Spirit who guards His own Word; you rob God's Glory?

      2. The Bible was written by the Jews, not romans (your fathers)

      3. Nero was your first pope (Nero burned Chrsitians; so did your popes, you burned Christ's sisters and brothers and mothers and newborns)

      4. The Bible is only a dead letter to Roman Catholics

      5. The Vatican robbed the Bible from the Jews then burned them alive


      “What then must the Catholic Christian generally believe?

      He must believe all that God has revealed and the Catholic Church proposes to his belief, whether it be contained in Holy Scripture or not.” ~A Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion, By Joseph Deharbe, Patrick Niesen Lynch (bp.)

      “the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith... because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance, and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation.” ~The Faith of Our Fathers, VIII. The Church and the Bible

      I now leave you Roman whore alone, sleep with your Satan, muslim gods, hindus gods, .... keep producing freaks.

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    3. In that case, may God bless you, Jess Lee. Peace be with you!

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    4. ===== Memorial Plaque in Saint Peter Port ====
      To the memory of
      Katherine Cawches (mother of the following two)
      Guillemine Gilbert
      Petrotine Massey
      All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who on, or about, 18th July 1556, and near this site, were cruelly burned to death at the stake for their Protestant faith. The latter named was pregnant at the time of martyrdom and gave birth to a son in the flames. The child was retrieved, but it was ordered that he be thrown back.
      Faithful unto death.... Rev 2:10

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    5. Jess, if you don't mind my asking, are you commenting out of a Christian love and concern for my souls, and the souls of all those who read? Or are you just writing out of hatred - of what you think the Church teaches, of what you think Church history is, etc.? God bless you.

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    6. I am writing out of my hatred against your Vatican evil which brings all catholics souls to hell flames.

      To love God is to hate evil.

      This is from the Scripture, which you despise :D

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    7. But we don't despise Holy Scripture. In fact, we love it so much, we have extra books in our Bible.

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    8. you "love" it so much you add to God's Word....... how nice :D

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    9. “I am writing out of my hatred against your Vatican evil which brings all catholics souls to hell flames.”

      That might explain your invective. I agree with you that to love God is to hate evil, but I would challenge you that since every one of us was once an enemy of God through our sin (Colossians 1:21), and yet was treated with mercy by Jesus Christ through the Cross (Romans 5:10), that perhaps we can hate sin, while still approaching sinners in authentic Christian love.

      If you genuinely seek to reach Catholics, shouldn’t you at least have the humility and patience to listen (from actual Catholics, rather than anti-Catholic propaganda) to what Catholics actually believe?

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    10. Jess,

      I think Taylor means we have extra Books, relative to you. Historically, it was the Reformers who ripped seven Books out of Sacred Scripture, and Luther attempted to remove four more. We use the same Bible the early Christians used. You can't honestly claim the same (try to find an early Protestant Bible if you don't believe me).

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    11. Your extra 7 tails are NEVER part of the Word of God.


      Jesus Himself proves He preached the Hebrew Bible without the 7 apocryphal books:

      "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke 24:44)

      Jesus mentioned the 3 parts of the Hebrew Bible, not the Apocrypha!!
      1. The Law (Torah)
      2. The Prophets (Neviim)
      The Writings[Psalms] (Kethubim)



      “The explicit testimonies to the canon of the Old Testament in the catalogues of Christian councils and Christian fathers of the first four centuries have now been examined. And it has been found that, with the exception of three catalogues at the close of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century, all the remainder, with slight and unimportant variations, unanimously and unambiguously sustain the Protestant canon. And the other three emanate from one region, and were issued under one influence; so that they are virtually one testimony, and this demanding an explanation which brings it, too, into harmony with the united testimony of the rest of the catalogues. There was a strict canon, limited to books inspired of God, which is witnessed to from all parts of the Church during these early ages, and is identical with the canon of Jews and with that of Protestants. But the term canon was also used in a more lax and wider sense by Augustin and the councils in his region, who embraced in it not only the inspired word, but in addition certain books which had gained a measure of sanctity in their eyes from their connection with the Greek and Latin Bible, and from their having been admitted to be read in the churches on account of their devotional character and the noble examples of martyrdom which they recorded. These supplementary volumes, however, were not put upon a level with the canon strictly so-called in point of authority. They were to be read and heard soberly in the exercise of Christian discretion, and with this caution they were commended to Christian people.”

      William Henry Green(1898). General Introduction to the Old Testament

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    12. Jess,

      So, what about The Books of Kings, Chronicles, etc.? Are they considered part of the Kethubim to you?

      Do you recall in the Gospels when Our Lord is celebrating the Festival of Lights, also known as the Festival of the Tabernacles?

      "1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

      2 Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand.

      3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

      4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.

      5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

      6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

      7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

      8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.

      9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

      But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret." (John 7 1-9, KJV).

      Did you know the only place in the Bible where the Festival of Lights/Tabernacles, AKA Hanukkah, is discussed is in the book of Maccabees, which is in the Catholic Bible?

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    13. Jess, the Torah-Neviim-Kethubim structure was sometimes used in the Greek version of the Jewish Old Testament, which contained all seven of the Books you reject. In fact, the Jewish Talmud explicitly recognizes one of the Books, Sirach, as part of the Ketubim, or Hagiographa.

      From Folio 92b of the Tractate Baba Kamma:

      “This matter was written in the Pentateuch, repeated in the Prophets, mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, and also learnt in a Mishnah and taught in a Baraitha: It is stated in the Pentateuch as written, So Esau went unto Ishmael [Genesis 28:9]; repeated in the prophets, as written, And there gathered themselves to Jephthah idle men and they went out with him [Judges 11:3]; mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, as written: Every fowl dwells near its kind and man near his equal... [Sirach 13:5]”

      As for your quotation from Green, he says that the early Christians affirmed the Protestant canon with “slight and unimportant variations.” In other words, he’s claiming that they had something similar to (but not identical to) the Protestant canon. Do you agree that it’s only a “slight and unimportant variation” is someone has even one Book too many (or too few) in their Bible?

      If so, why bother debating this question at all? We can just write the Catholic Bible off as seven “slight and unimportant variations.” But if not, if having an actual to-the-Book Protestant canon is important, name me a single early Christian who used one.

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  33. === The Pope's Winged Dragon ===
    Revelation 12:14-17 "But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness... the dragon became furious with the woman"
    Pope Gregory XIII adopted the winged dragon as his symbol on his heraldic shield. The Vatican is filled with the dragon.
    Why WINGED dragon?
    Because the Woman of Yahweh, Israel, was given 2 wings to fly away from the dragon; how the devil wishes to have wings !!

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  34. ==== The Vatican God is the Muslim Satan Allah ====

    CC#841 “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”


    Roman Catholic bishop: Call God 'Allah' to ease relations
    "Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem." ~Dutch Roman Catholic bishop Tiny Muskens
    "Sure. Lets call God Allah. Lets then call a church a mosque and pray five times a day. Ramadan sounds like fun," Welmoet Koppenhol wrote in a letter to the Netherlands' biggest-selling newspaper De Telegraaf.
    8/15/2007, msnbc.com

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    1. Mark Twain is attributed to having said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” I think That summarizes the situation here nicely. You refuse to actually defend your earlier claims: refusing to provide any Scriptural support for the idea that the Body of Christ is merely invisible, for example, refusing to answer whether or not there are any unsaved in the Kingdom of God on Earth, etc. You just spout off more lies and inaccuracies.

      It takes much more work for me to correct your errors than for you to make new ones, so why not just pick a topic – any topic that you actually care about – and actually defend it, rather than abandoning it as soon as you discover that the Catholics have solid answers?

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    3. Jess, you're just doing it more -- abandoning your earlier arguments to jump to yet another one: this time, that there were Protestant martyrs; guess what, there were Catholic martyrs, too!. I'm deleting your links to that anti-Catholic Youtube channel. If you want to have an actual discussion, I'd love to, but if you're just going to spam for anti-Catholicism, I don't seen any need to let you.

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  36. wow!

    you are so afraid of me that you removed two of my comments :D

    The mother of harlots trembles before me!!

    :D

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    1. Perhaps this would be more productive if you would actually choose an issue to talk about, and then interact with it (you know, actually providing Scriptural support, answering questions, and giving a reason for your faith), rather than just filling my comments page with self-promotional spam and countless unrelated and poorly-researched arguments. That’d be a conversation that I would welcome.

      Not trembling.

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    2. "Not trembling."

      so ... you admit you are the mother of harlots :D

      I don't enjoy talking with whores.

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    3. Jess, I have asked Mary, Mother of Jesus to pray for you.

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    4. For you alone are Holy, you only are the Lord, you alone O Jesus Christ, are Most High together with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.

      When we get such filthy talk and senseless curses, let us praise the Holy Trinity.

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    5. Jonathan,

      Amen. Matthew 10:25 says, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the Master of the House Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His Household?”

      If we weren’t getting called Satanic, it’d mean that we had some explaining to do. As it is, when folks like Jess slander the Church as Satanic, they’ll literally doing exactly what Christ prophesied.

      I.X.,

      Joe

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    6. That's a fantastic verse! I had forgotten it, thanks for reminding me, Joe.

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  37. Jess Lee:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Clitherow

    "In 1586, [Margaret Citherow] was arrested and called before the York assizes for the crime of harbouring Roman Catholic priests. She refused to plead to the case so as to prevent a trial that would entail her children being made to testify and therefore they would be tortured, and she was executed by being crushed to death – the standard punishment for refusal to plead. She was killed on Good Friday 1586. The two sergeants who should have killed her hired four desperate beggars to kill her. She was stripped and had a handkerchief tied across her face then laid out upon a sharp rock the size of a man's fist, a door was put on top of her and slowly loaded with an immense weight of rocks and stones (the small sharp rock would break her back when the heavy rocks were laid on top of her). Her death occurred within fifteen minutes; she was left for 6 hours before the weight was removed from her corpse. After her death her hand was removed, and this relic is now housed in the chapel of the Bar Convent, York. After Clitherow's execution, Elizabeth I wrote to the citizens of York to say how horrified she was at the treatment of a fellow woman: due to her sex, Clitherow should not have been executed.

    In 2008, a commemorative plaque was installed at the Micklegate end of Ouse Bridge to mark the site of her martyrdom; the Bishop of Middlesbrough unveiled this in a ceremony on Friday 29 August 2008."

    By your own logic, then, Protestantism is also satanic.

    What now?

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  38. The Satanism of the Vatican is revealed here:


    === The Pope's Winged Dragon ===
    Revelation 12:14-17 "But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness... the dragon became furious with the woman"
    Pope Gregory XIII adopted the winged dragon as his symbol on his heraldic shield. The Vatican is filled with the dragon.
    Why WINGED dragon?
    Because the Woman of Yahweh, Israel, was given 2 wings to fly away from the dragon; how the devil wishes to have wings !!


    you keep on removing my posts, you mother of harlots . . . . you are afraid to death . . . . it won't be long, we will watch you being burned :D

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  39. What a load of nonsense on this page... I wish I could say the lack of charity is astonishing, but I've known and experienced it before. Calling people harlots, the mothers of whores, and remarking in a giddy manner that we will all as Catholics burn in the depths of Hell fire for all eternity, just to name a few recent jewels, leaves know doubt that you do not speak in love and are therefore not of God, regardless of teachings.

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  40. ==== Mary can NEVER be the Ark ====

    The Ark was kept in the Holy of Holies; it is completely HOLY, and is everlasting!

    Mary was a sinner made clean in Christ, like all of us who are in Him.
    Mary died, and was buried; she will be resurrected when Christ comes for us :D

    "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." 1 Thessalonians 4:16

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    1. Hi Vatican Rome / Jess,

      i am a catholic married to a protestant. Both of us are believers and study the bible daily.
      My Husband does NOT hate catholics and even has found true believers in the Catholic church.
      I believe that the hatred you feel is not God-given. Do everything in LOVE and HUMILITY dear. Hatred will not only cause hurt and sin in others, but also in you. There are a lot of misconceptions about the Catholic Church, especially in Protestant circles. So don't believe everything you hear. In patience varify what you hear.
      You might find this as interesting.
      1) When Moses went up to Mount Sinai, the Mount was filled with God's Holy Presence.
      Exodus 19:18-26
      18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire.....21 and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish...23..‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.'
      Even if a Levi or an animal crossed the limits, it would die, because the Lord is HOLY and all creation is sinful.
      God removed every living creature from the Mount.
      2) When Jesus (who is our HOLY God) became flesh, shouldn't Mary have died at conception? Since she was a sinner' according to you?
      When God's mighty presence descended on her, how could she be in a sinful state and still live?
      Since Mary survived, she has to be sinless.
      I believe that God purified her ancestors for many generations before her birth. I believe that she was selected by God for a calling only she could fulfill. (Like Jonah.)

      I request you to just ponder on the possibility and hope that when you respond, if you choose to respond, it will be in Love (Jesus=Love)

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    1. As I said above, “I'm deleting your links to that anti-Catholic Youtube channel. If you want to have an actual discussion, I'd love to, but if you're just going to spam for anti-Catholicism, I don't seen any need to let you.”

      That’s it: that’s literally the only parameter I’ve set for this conversation. Certainly, I’ve urged you to be loving and productive, but I haven’t forced it. I’ve urged you to stay on topic, but I haven’t forced it. But the one thing I’m putting my foot down on is this: none of those links. If you want to debate an issue, we’ll talk it out here, in text, where anyone can read and see the truth, without having to click through to watch some twenty minute video full of anti-Catholic nonsense.

      It's one rule, and it's more than fair.

      If you can’t respect that single rule, leave.

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  43. Well, gentlemen, thank you for going the long haul in charitable love. The degree of fear and hatred of the truth sometimes takes one's breath away. I wonder what is really at the bottom of it. Is it just a tenacious hold on anti-Catholic bigotry that prevents them from having a reasonable discussion, or is there something in their life, either past or present that is the real stumbling block? Have they or someone they care about been treated badly in the past by Catholics? (My grandfather was, and the story of his experiences was passed down to me by my mother.) Or is there some unrepented sin that has firm hold of their personal life and that they are unwilling as yet to give up? Whatever keeps them from the Church and from the truth, our prayers for them are what the Lord asks of us.

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  44. I completely agree with you deepoctave, and I will continue to pray for the conversion of all to Catholicism and the unification of all Christians under the Holy See.

    It's interesting that you should mention that about you grandfather. My father had terrible experiences with the so-called Catholics in his life, and I know from first hand experience that it is nearly impossible for this type of person to be reconciled to the Church. They identify the Church with the people who wronged them in a tightly bound ball of wounds.

    Christ, have mercy on us Catholics who fall short of your will, and by your Spirit make up for our many sins. Work through us in spite of them, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

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  45. They found the Ark of the Covenant; Christ tomb, Crucifixion site and the Ark of the Covenant found buried under a trash pile at the foot of Skull Mountain.

    http://arkofthecovenant2.blogspot.com/

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  46. There's a reason the old Ark of the Covenant (which God Himself once protected so fiercely) has now disappeared.

    Exactly the same reason the Temple in Jerusalem (the building of which God had once personally directed, with such astonishingly detailed specifications) has now been demolished.

    In the fullness of time both were replaced by "things" far more perfect and appropriate to God's purposes.

    Who wants to bet the old Ark will never be found, nor the old Temple rebuilt? God does not harbor confusion in His works. The Spirit of Understanding is given to those who obey Him and worship Him in His indefectible Church.

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  47. Hello,

    A fellow named cwdlaw223 sent me a link to this post, asking me to interact with it. I come from a Reformed, Evangelical perspective, but was also once a convert to Roman Catholicism (I "reverted" 10 years ago). In any event, as a courtesy I did respond to the article and posted my response to it on my own blog. Rather than paste multiple com-box replies here, I'll simply paste the link if you're interested in may take on it:

    http://fallibility.blogspot.com/2013/06/mary-new-ark-study-in-parallelomania.html

    No, I'm not "picking a fight." (I just thought if someone rebutted one of my blog articles on their blog, it might nice to know about it.)

    Cheers,
    Mike Taylor

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