Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Mother of God, what does this really mean?

Protestant Objection 1: Many Protestants claim the title "mother of God" means that Catholics must believe that Mary preexisted Jesus, if not God Himself! And then they assert it is an unbiblical belief.

Answer: However, this claim is not true.

The term Mother of God is derived from the term Mater Dei in Latin it is another way of saying the other Latin term "Gentrix Dei," which in turn is a translation of the Greek phrase declared at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in AD 431, theotokos, meaning God-bearer.

In short, the term "Mother of God" means only that JESUS WAS GOD, even while in her womb. It is not an assertion that Christ somehow derived his divinity from Mary, since that is heresy in Catholicism. In Catholicism we say that the Son has two nativities (births): One as God from all eternity from the Father, and one 2000 years ago in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary.

Calling Mary the Mother of God is completely biblical and it is found in the Holy Scriptures when St Elizabeth, mother of the Prophet John the Baptizer, says to the Virgin Mary:

And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?--Luke 1:43

Who is the Lord but God? And to those who may suggest Elizabeth was wrong or errant, St Luke says she was "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Luke 1:41).

Here is the Logic behind calling Mary the Mother of God.

1. Jesus was and is God (even in the Womb of Mary)

2. Mary bore Jesus in her womb.

3. A person that bears of person in her womb is called a mother.

Conclusion: Mary is the Mother of God.

Protestant Objection 3: Sometimes I have met people that object, nonetheless, to calling Mary the Mother of God, since she only gave birth to the Son, not the Trinity. They say "if she is called the 'mother of God' she would have to give birth to the Trinity, and she did not therefore we cannot call her the 'mother of God.'

Answer: However, the problem with this assertion is that it is saying you cannot call any particular person of the Trinity is God, except the whole Trinity. The person of the Word, Jesus, can be called God in His person, otherwise why does the Father say to Him:


If would anyone even use the position that Mary had to give birth to the whole Trinity? If anyone adopted this position, then they CANNOT say "Jesus is God," but rather a part of God, since according to that logic "only the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit collectively can be called God." Furthermore, this logic would prevent one from say "the Father is God" and that "the Holy Spirit is God" for the same reason it would prevent a person from saying that Jesus is God. So why would anyone even use this argument? It would just dig them into a deeper hole.

Protestant Objection 4: Some will argue that Mary is only surrogate mother and cannot really be called His mother at all.

Answer: Mary was not a surrogate, otherwise Christ would not really be the "Son of David" or the "seed of the woman"(Genesis 3:15). Furthermore, even if Mary were theoretically a surrogate, which was not, surrogate mothers still considered themselves to be mothers, for instance Sarai in Genesis 16:2:

Furthermore, the Scripture writers call Mary his mother many times, here are a few:

And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there...When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."--John 2:3,5

and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted-Luke 2:34

Protestant objection 5: Recently I heard a very strange one..."Mary stopped being Jesus' mother after He died"

Answer: How does someone stop being a mother? Regardless Acts 1:14 says:

All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.--Acts 1:14

Notice it does not say "Mary the ex-mother of Jesus..."

Conclusion: The phrase 'Mother of God' is simply an assertion that Jesus was God in the womb of Mary, something all Christians believe.

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