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Wednesday, April 10 2013

What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary?

The Hebrew name pronounced meer-yawm, rendered into English as "Miriam," has been known to the Israelite people from the most-ancient times. The sister of Moses and Aaron was named Miriam.

"26:59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister." (Numbers 26:59 KJV)

The so-called Old Testament was written in Hebrew, so Bible translators generally maintained the actual Hebrew names of people i.e. Miriam was rendered as "Miriam" (keeping in mind that English and Hebrew have very different alphabets). The New Testament however was written in Greek, in the time of the Roman "world," so Hebrew names were most-often rendered into their Greek or Roman forms by translators, even though the people themselves were known by their Hebrew names. Hence Miriam, the mother of the Messiah, was recorded by the Greek and Roman pronunciations of the name, Mariam, which was abbreviated as Maria, and then Mary. Miriam however was never known to herself, or her family, or her friends, by that name.

Notice the difference between the King James Version (and most other English-language translations) and, for example, the Complete Jewish Bible (by David H. Stern) which, although also translated into English, uses the Hebrew pronunciations of names as they actually were used by those people themselves.

A Lady

"1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:18 KJV)

"1:18 Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef, before she was married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh." (Matthew 1:18 CJB)

There is nothing in the Holy Bible that describes the appearance of Mary (as she will be referred to in this study). If the Messiah had a resemblance to His physical ancestry, as has always been normal between parents and children, it had to have been from Mary alone. While not much is written about the Messiah's appearance (other than He looked nothing at all like the typical "Jesus" pictures; see Satan's Masquerade), it is stated in the Scriptures that He was a normal-looking Jew of His time, just as His mother would have been.

"53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." (Isaiah 53:2 KJV)

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son"

Mary was chosen by God to be the virgin by which the prophecy would be fulfilled. Note very carefully that Mary was an ordinary young woman, nothing special or different about her (no phony halo, no one worshipping her, no one making blasphemous plastic or plaster idols of her).

"1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:26-38 KJV)

The will of the LORD was then made known to Joseph, a righteous man who was chosen to be the husband of Mary - and the father of the children that she had after the virgin birth of her firstborn i.e. he "knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son" (below) and "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?" (Matthew 13:55-56 KJV).

"1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." (Matthew 1:18-25 KJV)

"Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him"

The fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem came about as the result of a Roman census (see also Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?).

Bethlehem

"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus [see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars], that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1-7 KJV)

The first witnesses of the birth were local shepherds.

"2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them." (Luke 2:16-20 KJV)

As practicing Jews, the child was presented at the Temple in nearby Jerusalem where some recognized that the Messiah had been born, to which "Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."

"2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." (Luke 2:21-24 KJV)

"2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:33-35 KJV)

Months later (notice that the shepherds came to a stable, while the Magi came to a house), the Magi arrived after their long journey from the East (see Why Did The Magi Come?).

Bethlehem

"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)

"2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way." (Matthew 2:9-12 KJV)

Herod the Great (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Herod) then attempted to kill the Messiah, which caused the family to flee to Egypt, before returning to Nazareth.

"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:13-23 KJV)

Almost nothing is recorded about the entire family from the time of the birth of the Messiah until the beginning of His ministry, other than that "the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him."

"2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." (Luke 2:39-40 KJV)

The famous incident when Jesus was age twelve happened when Joseph and Mary, along with their relatives (see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth), journeyed from Nazareth to Jerusalem for Passover.

"2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 2:43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 2:44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 2:50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:4152 KJV)

"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus"

Mary was not an active participant in the Messiah's Ministry, although never far from Him. Notice, by that time, the family had grown with Mary's other children - four sons and at least two daughters ("his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters").

"12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50 KJV)

Mary stood steadfast at the Crucifixion. Unlike anyone else there that day, Mary became a witness of the birth and the death of the Messiah. As He was about to die, the Messiah commanded that Mary was to thereafter reside with the apostle John.

"19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." (John 19:25-27 KJV)

The Crucifixion

Why was it appropriate for Mary to reside with John, as if they were mother ("Behold thy mother") and son ("Woman, behold thy son")?

Standing among the women near the cross with Jesus' mother Mary was Salome, who was Mary's sister, and therefore Jesus' aunt:

"19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." (John 19:25 KJV)

"15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem." (Mark 15:40-41 KJV)

Note also that at least two of the women who came with Jesus from Galilee "and ministered unto him" were His mother Mary and His aunt Salome.

Who were Salome's children? The apostle James and John - who were therefore first cousins of Jesus. Among the people standing at the foot of the Cross that day were the Messiah's mother, an aunt and a cousin, the son of the aunt.

"4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them." (Matthew 4:21 KJV)

"27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children." (Matthew 27:56 KJV).

As he was about to die, Jesus commanded that His mother Mary (then obviously a widow, otherwise the command would not have been given) go to live with the apostle John. Mary then went to live with her nephew John, where her sister Salome was either already living (Christ's logic for the choice), or would be, according to the custom of kinsfolk taking care of their own.

"19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 19:29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost]." (John 19:25-30 KJV)

The last Biblical mention of Mary was right after the Messiah's ascension when she remained with the apostles (i.e. with John): "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

"1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." (Acts 1:9-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the Holy Bible tell us about Joseph?
See Joseph Of Nazareth


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This Day In History, April 10

428: Nestorius became the Patriarch of Constantinople (the city was named after Constantine; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

879: Louis III became King of the Western Franks.

1512: James V of Scotland, who allied his country with France against the English, was born. He became king at the age of 17 months.

1606: The Charter of the Virginia Company of London was established by Royal Charter by James I of England (after whom the King James Version of the Bible is named) with the purpose of establishing English colonial towns and settlements in the wilderness of North America. The English investment and development continued for about 170 years until the rebellion of the colonies against those who established and built them.

1741: Frederick II of Prussia defeated Maria Theresa's forces at Mollwitz and conquered Silesia.

1809: Austria declared war on France.

1814: Napoleon was defeated by the British and Spanish at the Battle of Toulouse. It resulted in Napoleon's abdication and exile to Elba.

1858: The original "Big Ben" bell for the Palace of Westminster was cast.

1864: Archduke Maximilian of Austria took the throne of Mexico.

1875: The Northwest Mounted Police (which later was included in the formation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the "Mounties") received government authorization to build a post that would later become the city of Calgary.

1912: The Titanic set off on its first, and only, voyage.

1919: Revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata was ambushed and killed by government troops in Mexico.

1922: The Genoa Conference opened to discuss the reconstruction of Europe after the First World War.

1932: In Germany, Paul von Hindenburg received 19 million votes in the presidential elections, beating, for the time being, Adolf Hitler's 13 million votes (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1938: In a referendum, 99.75% of Austrians voted for a merger with Germany (Adolf Hitler was born in Austria).

1941: During the Second World War, U.S. troops occupied Greenland to block German military control of the north Atlantic island.

1944: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), a British mini-submarine entered Bergen harbor in Norway and sank the German ship Barenfels.

1945: The Allies liberated the Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald. It is estimated that nearly 57,000 people (mostly Jews) were killed in its gas chambers during its 8 year existence.

1963: The U.S. atomic submarine Thresher was lost in the Atlantic off Cape Cod; the 129 crew were lost.

1972: More than 50 countries signed a treaty outlawing the stockpiling of biological weapons. As might be expected, the countries that already had the greatest stockpiles of such weapons refused to sign the treaty.

1974: Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir resigned over differences within her Labor Party. She was succeeded by Yitzhak Rabin.

1980: Britain and Spain agreed to reopen the border between Gibraltar and Spain, closed in 1969.

1989: Intel announced the release of the 80486 processor.

2010: A Polish Air Force Tu-154 crashed near Smolensk, Russia. Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people aboard the aircraft were killed.





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