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An objection against Marian devotion dealt with.

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  • An objection against Marian devotion dealt with.

    I'll do a little bit of setup before I get to the point.

    Occasionally when I talk to protestants about whether or not Mary should be venerated as Catholics do, I usually point to the places in the Bible where we have some reason to see that God did give us an example of the position that she'd possess.

    I never try to give a positive defence of traditional views about Mary from the Bible alone, since at the end its ultimately a matter of tradition and doctrinal authority. What I can do to someone who asserts Sola Scriptura, is that I can defend some aspects of it, this usually amounts to little more than defending that Mary is the Mother of God. I can also point to biblical passages that lend credence to traditional teachings.

    In the Old Testament for instance you have Solomon seated in power, with his mother Bathsheba seated at his right hand as mediator.

    1 Kings 2:19-21 (ESV)
    19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.”

    Song of Solomon 3:11 (ESV)
    Go out, O daughters of Zion,
    and look upon King Solomon,
    with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

    Since a lot of Christology is given in the OT by it having analogies that preshadow it, and especially Solomon is given as a parallel, I don't think its unreasonable to see the role of Bathsheba as intercessor and mediator between the king of Solomon, as possible indicating the relationship Mary would have between Christ and man. We do see similarities: she's crowned queen along with her son, Solomon didn't say no to Bathsheba just as Jesus never says no to Mary, people bring requests to Solomon and she succours them, etc...

    The objection then is that Christ, since he's all-knowing, wouldn't have any need of an intercessor. King Solomon might, in that he couldn't personally consider all of the problems of state on his own, and Bathsheba could handle the things he couldn't, and bring particular issues to him. To Christ, Mary is completely superfluous, and perhaps even detracts a bit, since instead of praying to her to intercede for us with Him we could pray to Him on our own.

    However a person who makes this objection doesn't make it consistently enough: To Christ, the Bible is completely superfluous; if he wanted he could just impart divinely inspired all the knowledge needed into the head of everyone walking around. To Christ, theology of any stripe is unnecessary, again he could simple have Christianity one large mystical experience. To Christ, prayers aren't needed, he already knows our hearts and what we want. The particular way He's chosen to teach us about the Kingdom of God, all go above and beyond what's needed and has much more to do with what is appropriate.

    These are all only done by us because we have reasons to suspect that they are either things he's commanded (pray, worship), respect (the bible is authoritative), or something that we need since we aren't given mystical experiences (natural reasoning based studies of theology). Presumable all these things ultimate serve to glorify God more, if perhaps by distancing us from Him we're more aware of His kingly stature and our own lowliness in comparison.

    If Christ has installed Mary as someone who in Heaven get special grace to mediate for us on our behalf, I don't think anyone can object to it on the ground because its not really needed.

    If you take it consistently to the end point our own salvation isn't needed.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    We do see similarities: she's crowned queen along with her son
    Bathsheba is crowned queen?

    Solomon didn't say no to Bathsheba just as Jesus never says no to Mary, people bring requests to Solomon and she succours them.
    Solomon does say yes at first, but then later rejects her request. And only one instance is recorded of Bathsheba interceding for one person.

    All I can conclude is that you're twisting Scripture just to prop up your own view.

    Comment


    • #3
      Mark 10
      36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
      37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
      38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
      39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
      40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
        Mark 10
        36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
        37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
        38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
        39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
        40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
        I don't agree with Marian devotion, but I have to ask (under the assumption that you're using this passage to argue against Marian devotion) exactly what you think this passage establishes when it comes to RCC views on Maria?
        ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paprika View Post
          Bathsheba is crowned queen?
          Queen mother to be more precise, my bad.

          Solomon does say yes at first, but then later rejects her request.
          I never said the analogy is perfect, hopefully you'd think the same about Solomon and Jesus, otherwise you'd be wondering where the harem for Jesus would be, or why Solomon had one. The fact is though that Solomon clearly, along with David, prefigured some of the ways Christ would be to us. I don't think its a stretch, without basing all of Mariology on it, that Bathsheba showed us the role Mary would play.

          And only one instance is recorded of Bathsheba interceding for one person.
          Why is this relevant?

          All I can conclude is that you're twisting Scripture just to prop up your own view.
          I accidentally called Bathsheba queen rather queen-mother, and according to you the prefiguration isn't perfect. That's hardly twisting scriptures, it would be if I was claiming that things happened that didn't, or the words meant something they didn't. As it stands I think you're the one failing to realise the implications of what's written. However as I said in the beginning I will not make a positive defence of Mariology here.

          This thread is about one response that comes up a lot 'Mary doesn't need to intercede for us', more especially in the context of this passage.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
            Queen mother to be more precise, my bad.
            She is crowned queen mother?

            That's hardly twisting scriptures, it would be if I was claiming that things happened that didn't, or the words meant something they didn't. As it stands I think you're the one failing to realise the implications of what's written. However as I said in the beginning I will not make a positive defence of Mariology here.
            Neither am I making a attack of Marioogy. Now this is how you twisted Scripture:

            1) Claiming that Bathsheba was crowned - whether as queen or queen mother, it is not recorded that it happened

            2) Claiming that Solomon "didn't say no to Bathsheba" - he does say no emphatically later, with a rather harsh rebuke

            I don't think its a stretch, without basing all of Mariology on it, that Bathsheba showed us the role Mary would play.
            Scripture is pretty clear that Jesus would be and was like many people in certain respects: Moses, David, Solomon are key examples. It doesn't say that about Mary.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              She is crowned queen mother?
              That's what Bathsheba is. This isn't controversial as far as I remember.

              1) Claiming that Bathsheba was crowned - whether as queen or queen mother, it is not recorded that it happened
              I need to understand the kind of objection you're trying to make... if something isn't directly mentioned in the Bible, then we can call it into question?

              Bathsheba takes a position at the right hand of Solomon.

              "19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right."

              I quoted that at the beginning. You'd have to draw 'and sat on his right' into question. However there's no independent reason to assume that it means anything different in this context. If Bathsheba sat there, then she held a queen title of authority, which is what it always means when in the Bible someone is asked to sit at the right hand. The same with Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, being our Lord or lords.

              2) Claiming that Solomon "didn't say no to Bathsheba" - he does say no emphatically later, with a rather harsh rebuke
              There's a point here, and I should have written a bit more careful.

              I'm not sure its correct to say that she was rebuked. Notice first of all the how much an honoured position she receives as is due to her according to the Fifth Commandment. Adonisja was trying to win over influence in the thrown room, and perhaps one day throw of Solomon himself by success in the marriage bed. He manages to deceive Bathsheba into making her propose another marriage to Solomon. She knows Solomon because of the respect he gives her will not deny her giving the request. “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” And actually he doesn't. A king had the permission to deny anyone to be heard, they'd just be turned away at the throne. She got to make her request. He refused to execute it.

              So you're definitely right that I didn't get the description completely right at first, I rushed through this in order to get to the objection I wanted to deal with.

              However there's no part of this where he rebukes her. He simple looks through Adonisja's subterfuge and executes him.

              Again the parallel does not have to be perfect, otherwise you ought to be objecting to Davids many sins and Solomons harem if they're to be prefigurations of Christ.

              Scripture is pretty clear that Jesus would be and was like many people in certain respects: Moses, David, Solomon are key examples. It doesn't say that about Mary.
              This amounts to an argument from silence. There's no biblical principle, and the bible never states that only those things which the apostles mentioned as prefigurations are exclusively those things.

              I don't have to say more in response to it than that, however we know that God patterns things on the way he did things in the past: The Exodus becomes a prefiguration of baptism and conversion; The Final Judgement is prefigured in Sodom and Gomorra. Even the destruction of the Jewish temple in year 70AD was prefigured.

              And again, this isn't the point of this thread. I opened with this to give context to an objection to Mariology I keep hearing. I assume you have no problem with that rebuttal.
              Last edited by Leonhard; 05-18-2014, 08:27 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                That's what Bathsheba is. This isn't controversial.
                There was no crowning.

                I need to understand the kind of objection you're trying to make... if something isn't directly mentioned in the Bible, then we can call it into question?
                Of course we can call it into question. You need to rigorously show that it can and should be inferred.


                I quoted that at the beginning. You'd have to draw the phrasing 'and sat on his right' into question. However there's no independent reason to assume that the it meant anything different in this context. If Bathsheba sat there, then she held a queen title of authority, which is what it always means when in the Bible someone is asked to sit at the right hand. The same with Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, being our Lord or lords.
                I don't dispute that it is a position of honour, but I would like to see evidence that it would necessarily connote a position of power.

                This amounts to an argument from silence. There's no biblical principle, and the bible never states that only those things which the apostles mentioned as prefigurations are exclusively those things.
                I'm not arguing that it cannot be the case. I'm saying that given the lack of any evidence there's no reason why we should think it is so.

                And again, this isn't the point of this thread.

                Which is why the first half was expounding on the supposed Bathsheba-Mary typology.

                In response to your edit:
                However there's no part of this where he rebukes her. He simple looks through Adonisja's subterfuge and executes him.
                King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him—after all, he is my older brother—yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!”
                Solomon places Bathsheba as the one interceding for the traitors, those who had made an attempt to seize the kingdom (with Adonijah trying to do so again). In the context where she was treated with high honour and her request initially granted, this method of refusal is a very sharp rebuke.
                Last edited by Paprika; 05-18-2014, 08:35 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I missed this earlier.
                  Originally posted by Leonhard View Post

                  Why is this relevant?
                  Because you earlier said that Bathsheba succoured "people". The text only has one person being succoured. This weakens your portrayal of her as someone who would regularly mediate.
                  Last edited by Paprika; 05-18-2014, 08:37 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There was no crowning.
                    How do you know that?

                    I don't dispute that it is a position of honour, but I would like to see evidence that it would necessarily connote a position of power.
                    What does 'sit at my right hand' mean? Does it have a different meaning here, than what it usually does?

                    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                    Which is why the first half was expounding on the supposed Bathsheba-Mary typology.
                    Yes, I usually hear the objection I mentioned in the OP during that part.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                      How do you know that?
                      I meant that there's no crowning in the text.

                      What does 'sit at my right hand' mean? Does it have a different meaning here, than what it usually does?
                      You're claiming that it would "usually" have a certain meaning. Please do show that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        I missed this earlier.

                        Because you earlier said that Bathsheba succoured "people". The text only has one person being succoured. This weakens your portrayal of her as someone who would regularly mediate.
                        Again, you believe only one person in all of her existence came to her? It seems far more plausible that only one example is mentioned. Bathsheba was not punished for her request in any way, and there's also nothing that indicates that anything changed afterwards.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                          Again, you believe only one person in all of her existence came to her? It seems far more plausible that only one example is mentioned. Bathsheba was not punished for her request in any way, and there's also nothing that indicates that anything changed afterwards.
                          My point is that there's only evidence for one succouring, and that this of course was ultimately rejected. Your case for Bathsheba as mediator for "people" is not supported by the text.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            I meant that there's no crowning in the text.
                            So? Lets say that there were a mention of any crowning in the Bible at all. Is Solomon suddenly no longer a king?

                            You're claiming that it would "usually" have a certain meaning. Please do show that.
                            This is getting too far off topic. I might open another thread about that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                              So? Lets say that there were a mention of any crowning in the Bible at all. Is Solomon suddenly no longer a king?
                              I'm pointing out the obvious, that there was no crowning of Bathsheba in the text. The burden of proof for any implicit or inferred crowning despite the lack of any explicit crowning of Bathsheba (actually, I don't even know what Bathsheba's supposed crowning is supposed to correspond to for Mary in your theory) lies entirely with you.

                              Comment

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