The Queen of HeavenSeveral times I have encountered Protestants accusing me of having Mary as a pagan goddess simply because the Virgin Mary is sometimes referred to as the "Queen of heaven." They would quote Jeremiah typically where a pagan goddess is referred to as the Queen of Heaven.
The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.--Jeremiah 7:18 (NIV)In addition the term Queen of Heaven is mentioned in Jeremiah 44 where its mentioned people would "burn incense and pour out drink offerings to her".
However, the Virgin Mary is not a goddess to us, she is, however, the holiest woman ever made by God, but is not omnipotent. Catholic women do not make "cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven" as the pagans did for Asherah. Nor do we pour out drink offerings and burn incense offerings to her as the pagans did for Asherah.
In fact when there was a sect in the early Church called the Collyridians in Arabia that did offer to Mary "cakes of bread"-- they were condemned:
"For certain women decorate a barber's chair or a square seat, spread a cloth on it, set out bread and offer it in Mary's name on a certain day of the year"-St Epiphanius of Salamis, The Panarion [The Medicine Chest against Heresies] (AD 377)He calls their practices "silly", "ridiculous," "extreme," and "idolatrous". This group may be the reason the Quran speaks of Mary as if Christians included her in the trinity.
The reason Catholics do call Mary Queen of Heaven is because of her Son, Christ, who is the King of Heaven, and in the Old Testament Scriptures the mother of the King was given a throne and was Queen (perhaps since kings had many wives in those days and would cause there to be many queens):
So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right.-1 Kings 2:19 NASBNotice that Revelation 12 can be interpreted as Mary, since she did give birth to the male Child, Jesus:
Say to the king and the queen mother, "Take a lowly seat, For your beautiful crown Has come down from your head."--Jeremiah 13:18 NASB
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;--Revelation 12:1 NASBCertainly we do not call Mary Queen of Heaven for no reason at all! (It is also interesting why Protestants do not wish to call her a queen in any sense if all saints in Heaven are given crowns and are called "kings" or "queen" in Revelation)
Though the term Queen of Heaven is given to a pagan goddess in the Old Testament, does not mean the term must be excluded to Mary? Let's consider some biblical titles given to people:
Who is the "King of kings?" Christ?, or a worldly pagan king?
Most assume only Christ can be called "king of kings"as seen here:
which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,--1 Timothy 6:15HOWEVER, here we see it being applied to earthly rulers of the Old Testament:
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."--Revelation 17:14
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.--Revelation 19:16
Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings.--Ezra 7:12Hence, following the logic of Protestants making the assertion the Catholic Mary is a pagan goddess just because she is called Queen of Heaven, then THEY would have to conclude THEY worship pagan kings because they call God "King of kings" or they would have to deny the Divine Inspiration of St Paul in 1 Timothy and St John in Revelation. Both of these points are ridiculous since just because two people are called the same thing does not require them to be the same person.
"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army.--Ezekiel 26:7
You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;-Daniel 2:37
Let us continue with another, more controversial title found in the bible--Lucifer. Most assume Lucifer if the actual name of the Devil before he fell and became known as Satan, or the Devil. However, this is not the case as all, Lucifer is just a reference to the state of Satan prior to his fall, not his actual name. The name/word Lucifer is actually a good name, not to be associated with something sinister as a the devil, in fact in the early Church some Christians were actually named Lucifer. Most are surprised to know that Lucifer is not a Hebrew name, in fact is not even Greek or Aramaic--its Latin. The reason people associated the name Lucifer as Satan's proper name is because of the King James Version of the Bible, where in Isaiah 14:12 it reads:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!This is proof of the KJV is influenced by the Latin Vulgate which read in Isaiah 14:12:
quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentesThe King James Version seems to present it as a his name, the original 1611 KJV puts in in the margins an alternative translation "day starre."It also should be noted the person called Lucifer here is not necessary the devil, but a king being addressed.
Strong's Lexicon for the word translated in the KJV as lucifer states its definition as the following:
Lucifer is Latin means "light-bringing" and "The morning-star, the planet Venus". The reason the word "lucifer" or "day star" or "morning star" is brought up is because these terms are given to the Lord Himself.
The Latin Vulgate, the origin of the word "Lucifer" gave the same title to Christ in 2 Peter 1:19:
et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestrisThe English Translation being:
And so, we have an even firmer prophetic word, to which you would do well to listen, as to a light shining within a dark place, until the day dawns, and the daystar [Lucifer] rises, in your hearts.Lucifer being translated day star. The King James Version of Isaiah 14:12 and 2 Peter 1:19 are:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O day star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!--Isaiah 14:12, KJV 1611 translation based on marginal noteNote the King James Bible applies the term "day star" to both a king/Devil (before his fall) and Christ.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:--2 Peter 1:19. KJV 1611
Now more modern translations of the bible such as the NASB mention "morning star" in the following:
"How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!--Isaiah 14:12In summary, yes a pagan goddess is called Queen of Heaven in the Old Testament, but in the Old Testament pagan kings are also called "morning star"(Isaiah 14:12) and "king of kings"(Ezra 7:12, Ezekiel 26:7, Daniel 2:37), which are both terms applied to Christ in the New Testament.
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.-2 Peter 1:19
And I will give him the morning star.--Revelation 2:28
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.--Revelation 22:16