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38

The phrase "pray to" confuses most people as it gives the impression that anyone who asks a saint to "pray for" them is actually praying to the saint as if he/she was God. This isn't true and is probably an artifact of language. The word "pray" also has the meaning to "make an earnest petition" so Catholics, and, I think, other Christians, call upon any ...


32

First off, it's useful to understand that Catholics (and that's Roman or Eastern Catholic, and, for that matter Eastern Orthodox) do not pray to the saints, rather, they ask the faithful departed to pray for them to God. (1) The idea has it's roots in the "communion of saints", along the lines of Hebrew's 12: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a ...


27

There is a subtle difference in the responses of Zacharias and Mary. Zacharias says, in Luke 1:18 (NASB) Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” Zacharias is essentially asking the angel, "How do I know I can trust you? Prove it." Furthermore, Zacharias's only basis of ...


25

The birth of Jesus is also only mentioned at all in Matthew and Luke. Following the logic, since only half of the Gospels mention that means we should discard the theory that he was ever born at all. In 100% of the cases where a birth narrative is present, the miracle of God becoming man is mentioned. Indeed, in John, even where the birth narrative isn't ...


21

One such passage is Matthew 13:55, where Jesus is identified thus: “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?" Some would quibble over the definition and translation of the word "brother" here, taking it to mean that the brothers listed weren't the offspring of Mary but ...


17

The Hail Mary is simply a prayer. It happens to be recited 53 times during the course of praying the rosary. It is said in place of the psalms for the illiterate. Since there are 150 or so psalms and traditionally the Rosary is split up into 15 decades to mediate on different events in the lives or Jesus and Mary, each decade consists of 10 Hail Mary ...


17

Actually, the Hail Mary comes from Luke 1:39-45 (NIV). This is when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth when both are pregnant. You will notice that half of the prayer comes from here (the first half). The second half adds on a supplication ("pray for us sinners") and is further development of the prayer as opposed to direct Biblical reference


17

There are many reasons why Catholics practice Marian devotion. One reason, given by Catholic Pam Brink, is that “If I ignore Mary, I am being disrespectful to Jesus”. Catholic apologist David MacDonald makes the same argument in Why do Catholics pray to Mary?: Is it not disrespectful to someone not to honour his mother? Another reason David gives is that, ...


16

I'm a Catholic. Our reverence for the Virgin Mary is greatly due to her response to God and her faith. When the angel appeared to her and stated that God was to have her give birth to the Christ, she didn't protest, but responded sincerely to God: "do unto me according to Your word". This is a model of how we should respond to God's requests of us. Also, ...


16

The underlying assumption is that if something is true, it has to appear in all four Gospels. However, if it appeared in all four gospels, some would ask why doesn't it appear in every epistle as well. It's interesting that people attack the Bible for having four versions of the same story in the Gospels and other people attack the Bible for not having ...


14

Born-again protestant Christians are not "against" Mary of Nazareth. Every one of them accepts Mary as the Mother of Jesus, and while few would use the phrase, they have no issue with the concept of Mary as the Mother of God. That said, all but a few protestants, including nearly all who would self-identify as "born-again" reject most of the teachings about ...


13

Credit to H3br3wHamm3r81 who actually found this link. According to Catholic Answers, it was because of God's salvation that she was able to be born sinless and remain sinless. Paraphrasing, God saved her pre-emptively, preventing (or perhaps keeping/preserving) her from sinning in the first place, something no human could do without God's protective ...


12

Matthew 1:25 (NIV) But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. This shows that she didn't have sex with Joseph until she had given birth. Furthermore, it fulfilled prophecy: Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV) 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin ...


12

One of the defining tenets of Protestant Christianity is sola scriptura--that the Scriptures are the fundamental basis for all doctrine. This is in contrast to extra-biblical teachings. The idea is that if it were important enough for us to know, God would have told us in the Scriptures themselves and not have us rely on extra-biblical teachings. ...


12

The Bible does emphatically state that Jesus was without sin. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 ESV Since Jesus was never reported to have been married in the Bible, a sexual relationship would have been a sin. ...


11

Q. Biblical Basis for Biblical literalists: A. None. Catholics believe that Mary is a type prefigured in the Old Testament of the Ark of the Covenant. The basis for this belief is rooted in scripture as firmly as Mary is rooted in scripture. God created His mother, and in so doing He created His mother as a fit dwelling place, like the Holy of Holies. ...


11

Since demongolem, a_hardin, and Peter Turner did a good job explaining what a Hail Mary is, I won't try and answer that question. Instead, I can give you my understanding of the use of repetitive prayer. This answer is based on a blog post I found quite informative. One reason for repetitive prayer is it is meditative. It can be used to clear the mind of ...


11

Catholics pray for the entire communion of saints to intercede on their behalf. It's more than just the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church (what most people refer to as Roman Catholic) it's the entire Church in communion with the pope, as well as the Eastern Orthodox Church who prays fervently to the saint. According to Catholic doctrine Angels are also ...


11

There is no clear biblical evidence for the non-Virginity of Mary. The Bible never says he had full blooded brothers and sisters. I don't want to delve into translations which I don't understand (Aramaic words for niece, cousin, nephew, etc...), but it is clear that Jesus does however call many people his brothers, and exhorts us all to call others our ...


11

To answer the first question: Yes, there is evidence that may lead to contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary, however this evidence is not conclusive. To answer the second question is also to complement the first: Catholic and Orthodox traditions have adhered to this belief, this belief does not contradict the scriptures (so, these churches are not ...


11

Science also says people can't walk on water, turn water into wine, spontaneously cure illness, or walk around after being killed. Whether you accept these things as having happened (as divine miracle) is pretty much the definition of most forms of Christianity. It isn't so much "glossing over", as "this is the doctrine and dogma of the Church". That said, ...


11

Key to answering this question is that no mainstream Christian denomination thinks they are actually worshipping any person other than the Triune Godhead - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. From the outside, however, accusations are often made in this regard. To the uninitiated, veneration of the Saints can look like worship. To the ...


10

So, there are many different forms of prayer, the three involved here are intercessory prayer and prayers of blessing and prayers of praise (which is more of paying honor to the saints and God). Then there are three forms of paying homage to God and His Saints in heaven. Veneration is the honor given to the saintсѕ аdoration is the honor given to God ...


10

The importance of the perpetual virginity of Mary lies in the scriptural parallelism between Mary and the Ark of Covenant. The Ark: Journeys to a town in the hills of Judah (II Samuel 6:2) It is greeted with awe “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?” (II Samuel 6:9 KJV) It remains at the house of Obed-Edom for three months (II Samuel 6:11) ...


10

The Bible makes it very, very clear that the virgin birth is true. The emphasis below is mine: Matthew 1:20-23 ESV "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."22All ...


10

The Magnificat or the Canticle of Mary (Luke 1:46-56) mirrors Hannah's prayer found in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 so closely that one would have to think that Mary found her words in through reflecting on scripture. And Hannah prayed: And Mary said: My heart exults in the LORD, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the ...


10

Theologically and historically the veneration of Mary is inseparably linked to an orthodox understanding of the Incarnation. The Council of Ephesus affirmed St. Cyril's defense of the earlier fathers' use of the term Mother of God -- in St. Cyril's account this is an important part of avoiding "the fallacy of speaking of two sons": The Word's becoming ...


9

Thomas Merton in "New Seeds of Contemplation" talks about the common protestant misconstrual of the Roman Catholic devotion to Mary the mother of Jesus. Mary is given praise because she is a servant. What is recorded in the Bible about her marks her as a perfect servant to the christ. This is often forgotten by Catholics themselves, and therefore it is ...


9

It should be noted that the entire Jewish race began with a miraculous birth of an old man and woman who was "past the age of childbearing". Additionally, women who were barren became mothers through the provision of God--not only Sarah, but Rebekah and Rachel as well. Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, "Shall a child be ...


9

The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary is tradition (mostly Roman Catholic), but actually not in Scripture at all. (I'm not taking a stand on that doctrine for purposes of this question, just pointing out that even Roman Catholics would not, I believe make the case from Scripture.) It mentions that at the time Jesus was conceived by the Holy ...



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