MARY IN SACRED TRADITION

MARY IN SACRED TRADITION

“The Orthodox Church reveres the Virgin Mary as “more honorable than the cherubim and incomparably more famous than the seraphim”, the One who surpasses all creatures. The Church views her as the Mother of God and the Intercessor before the Son for the entire human race and Who prays for all people without other mediation. Love and veneration for the Virgin is the soul of Orthodox piety, its heart that warms and
revives the entire body… Whoever does not venerate Mary does not know Jesus nor have faith in Christ. Whatever religion itself does not include reverence for the Virgin is a different faith, an apostasy to Christianity apart from the teaching of the Church.”

“The mother of Jesus was a pure godly young woman named Mary. According to tradition and the best and oldest apocryphal, that is unauthentic [non]apostolic, gospels, she was a God-fearing daughter of pious parents, Joachim and Anna, who descended from the tribe of David and resided in Nazareth in Galilee.”

On the Orthodox Church calendar, there are several holidays related to the veneration of the Mother of God. The most important of these days relate to the birth, presentation, and assumption of the Holy Mother of God. My goal is to examine all these events and to make an informed judgment, in accordance with the apostolic confession of the first century as recorded in the Bible.

First of all, I must emphasize that no apostle anywhere in the New Testament ever mentions anything about the events just listed that are present in the Orthodox confession of faith. If these events were truly so important events to the Christian Church and the salvation of people around the world, it is simply unforgivable that the apostles who knew such important matters would have concealed them from the general public. Not even the author of the gospel Luke himself mentions anything concerning Mary’s youth, not even in the period after Christ’s Ascension (except for Acts 1:14), even though Luke writes in the beginning of his gospel:

“…it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”

As we can see, Luke writes an orderly account, about what he truly experienced and what was taught to Theophilus. Therefore, if this gospel writer (and others) recorded absolutely nothing about the events of which Orthodox tradition informs us, it certainly means that they did not know something of which they should have been aware and neglected to teach other Christians (if those things actually existed).

The Apostles Matthew and Luke focused their narratives on the critical events of salvation that culminated in the birth of Jesus Christ, not the events from the early youth of the mother of Jesus. Nonetheless, in the writings of the first disciples of the Lord, we can find enough information to examine the claims of sacred tradition and to verify their accuracy.

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