Mary’s Assumption—A Scriptural Dogma?
“THE immaculate mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, when the course of her life on earth was finished, was taken up body and soul into heaven.” Thus spoke Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, when he proclaimed the assumption of Mary to be infallible Roman Catholic dogma.
Christians base their beliefs on the Bible. It is God’s Word of truth. (John 17:17) Honest men, regardless of their religious affiliations, want to know the truth. They would rather change their belief to be in agreement with God, than to show stubborn pride by holding to error to save face. In Christ’s day the majority of the Jews were too stubbornly proud to change from the old law covenant mediated by Moses to the new covenant brought into effect by Jesus the Messiah. But a minority of the Jews did change and became the first Christians, one of whom was the apostle Paul, who wrote: “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” (Rom. 3:4, NW) Hence honest men who seek to serve God will accept his words as true, even though it make every man, including the pope, a liar.
In weighing the worth of the papal pronouncement above quoted, we consider it in parts. First, “the immaculate mother of God.” Two errors appear here. “Immaculate conception” means to Catholics that Mary from the first moment of her conception was free from all stain of original sin. Not so, for “through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned”. The only Scriptural exception to this is Jesus. (Ps. 14:1; 51:5; Rom. 3:9, 10; 5:12; Heb. 7:26, NW) Nor is she God’s mother. God had no mother, no beginning. He made Adam and Eve, from whom Mary descended thousands of years later. Mary became the human mother of God’s Son, Jesus.—Ps. 90:2.
“Mary ever Virgin.” This is not true. Of Joseph and Mary it is written: “He had no relations with her until she gave birth to a son; and he called his name ‘Jesus’.” The meaning is clear that they did have sexual relations after the miraculous, virgin birth of Jesus. The Scriptures also abundantly testify that Mary had sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of Jesus, after Jesus’ birth. Of Jesus his hometown acquaintances queried: “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called ‘Mary’, and his brothers ‘James and Joseph and Simon and Judas’? And his sisters, are they not all with us?”—Matt. 1:25; 12:46-50; 13:53-56; John 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; Gal. 1:19, NW.
“When the course of her life on earth was finished, was taken up body and soul into heaven.” This is the assumption dogma itself. It is not only unsupported by the Bible, but refuted by it. Paul argues in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians that no one, not Mary nor even Jesus himself, can take his physical, human body with him to heaven. Flesh-and-blood bodies could not survive in the heavens beyond earth’s atmosphere; heaven is the habitation of spirit creatures. Paul states concerning death and resurrection: “It is sown a physical body, it is raised up a spiritual body.” “Flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom.”—1 Cor. 15:44, 50, NW.
The Roman Catholic Church can point to no Bible text to support the assumption dogma—only traditions manufactured centuries after her death. Actually, the doctrine is only a legend of pagan origin. We conclude this brief article with the following quotation from Hislop’s The Two Babylons, pages 125, 126, that shows one of these pagan legendary beliefs.
“It is impossible for the priests of Rome to find one shred of countenance for such a doctrine in Scripture. But, in the Babylonian system, the fable was ready made to their hand. There it was taught that Bacchus went down to hell, rescued his mother from the infernal powers, and carried her with him in triumph to heaven. This fable spread wherever the Babylonian system spread; and, accordingly, at this day, the Chinese celebrate, as they have done from time immemorial, a festival in honour of a mother, who by her son was rescued from the power of death and the grave. The festival of the assumption in the Romish Church is held on the 15th of August. The Chinese festival . . . is equally celebrated in the month of August.”