Is the Queenship of Mary Scriptural?
Why is Mary nowhere referred to in the Bible as a queen? Upon what is her queenship said to be based? Answers to these questions will aid you to render exclusive devotion to One to whom it is due.
STEP by step the Roman Catholic Church has elevated Mary to where she now stands in a position of equality with God in that church and performs the functions of both Jesus Christ and the holy spirit. The queenship of Mary is not determined by any reference to the Bible or to Christ. It is founded solely upon the traditions and authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
When one inquires for the factual basis in Scripture or in history for the doctrines of the immaculate conception and the bodily assumption of Mary, which doctrines have opened the way for the acclamation of Mary in our day, the common reply given is a part of a famed theological epigram: “Potuit, decuit, ergo fecit—God could do it; it was fitting that He should do it; therefore He actually did it,” that is, did the things the above dogmas affirm, namely, keep Mary free from Adamic sin, spare her body from the corrupting power of death, raise her fleshly body, blood and all, into the courts of heaven itself, without having it undergo any change.
A far greater authority than the medieval Franciscan tradition, the apostle Paul, boldly declares that none of the above doctrines have any basis in fact. Paul says: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” Paul did not exclude Mary, a fleshly descendant of Adam, from this rule. Paul does, however, exclude Jesus Christ, because Jesus was not the son of Joseph, a descendant of the man Adam. Jesus was a Son of God, born not from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.—Rom. 5:12; Heb. 7:26; Luke 1:34, 35, NW.
As for the assumption dogma, Paul argues that no one, not Mary nor even Jesus himself, can take his physical, human body with him to heaven. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom.”—1 Cor. 15:44, 50, NW.
Despite the unscripturalness of these dogmas, the Roman Catholic pope Pius XII energetically builds upon these sandy traditional foundations. In the autumn of 1954 he elevated Mary to new glory and new heights by symbolically crowning her the reigning queen of heaven and of all creation. He also proclaimed that every May 31 should be set aside as a special feast day to the queenship of Mary. Mary is being hailed by such titles as “Queen of all hearts,” “Queen of Peace,” “Queen of the Universe,” “Queen of Heaven and Earth,” “Mistress of all creation,” plus such popular designations as “Mother of the United Nations,” “Mother of America,” “Mother of the Atomic Age,” “Our Lady of Television,” “Queen of Education” and “Queen of the Home.”
MARY MADE EQUAL TO GOD AND CHRIST
Roman Catholic theologians represent Mary as coredeemer and comediatrix with Christ. She is seen performing many functions that, in the Christian Greek Scriptures, are exclusively associated with Jesus Christ and the holy spirit. Nations are being urged to call upon Mary in their hour of danger, difficulties and doubts. The attention and devotion given to Mary in the Roman Catholic world now equal, even exceed, that given to Jesus Christ.
The activities of Jesus Christ are being removed farther away from direct contact with human life by Catholic authorities. Christ is being regarded as living aloof from mankind. He is no longer seen as the only One who intercedes before God in behalf of fallen humankind. Mary now is pictured as the copartner and cointercessor, transmitting prayers from earth to God. In fact, in all that has to do with salvation, with the achievement of human welfare and the establishment of peace on earth, Mary figures as prominently as does Jesus Christ.
Note how an official Catholic publication, Our Sunday Visitor, bestows honor upon Mary and equates her work with that of Jesus Christ, the holy spirit and God himself: “The name Mary is said to mean ‘Star of the Sea.’ Mary is set in the heavens as a bright star in the blackness of night, as a beacon in the storm that threatens to engulf civilization. Mary is a teacher given us by God to correct His erring children, to set our feet in the path of justice.” “Mary manifests herself in a special manner as the bright Morning Star and the Seat of Wisdom.” Place “an unwavering confidence in Mary.” “In danger, in difficulties, in doubts, think of Mary. Call upon Mary.” “Never let her name be absent from your lips or absent from your heart. If you would obtain the help of her prayers, do not neglect to follow the example of her conduct. If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you need not despair. If you think of her, you will not err; sustained by her, you will never fail; protected by her, you need not fear; guided by her, you will walk unwearied. If she smiles upon you, you will succeed.” The pope expressed firm confidence that through Mary “mankind will little by little progress along this way of salvation and she will guide the rulers of nations and the hearts of their peoples toward concord and charity.”—Our Sunday Visitor, October 17, 1954.
If Mary performs the above functions, what is there left for God and Christ to do? If Mary intercedes, directs and teaches mankind, what is the assigned work of the holy spirit? If Mary occupies the foremost position in our hearts, what place does God occupy? Does not the elevation of Mary obscure the headship and activities of Christ over his church? Does not it minimize his earnest and undying concern for the members of his church body and for all who call upon him in spirit and in truth? Is not all this glorifying of Mary unscriptural?
THE BIBLE DETHRONES MARY
The Roman Catholic Church hails Mary as “a bright star in the blackness of night, as a beacon in the storm that threatens to engulf civilization,” whereas the Bible says that Jesus is “the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.” Instead of Mary’s being the beacon light, Jesus is hailed as “the light of men”—“the light of the world.” The prophet Isaiah foretold that Christ would be raised “a signal over the peoples.” While Mary is nowhere referred to in the Scriptures as “teacher,” Jesus is frequently called by that title. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, said to Jesus: “Rabbi, we know that you as a teacher have come from God.” Jesus, in fact, counseled: “Do not you be called ‘Rabbi’, for one is your teacher, whereas all you are brothers. Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for One is your Father, the heavenly One. Neither be called ‘leaders’, for your Leader is one, the Christ.”—Rev. 22:16; John 1:4; 8:12, NW; Isa. 62:10, AT; John 3:2; Matt. 23:8-10, NW.
The inspired Scriptures declare that Jehovah the Almighty God and his Son Christ Jesus, the holy spirit and Word of truth are to be helpers, teachers, educators, directors and counselors in God’s organization. But nowhere is Mary mentioned as such. Isaiah stated: “And all thy children shall be taught of Jehovah; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Regarding God’s Word the psalmist wrote: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path.” Of the holy spirit Jesus said: “I will request the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive.” “But the helper, the holy spirit which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.”—Isa. 54:13; Ps. 119:105, AS; John 14:16, 17, 26, NW.
Catholic theologians call Mary “the Seat of Wisdom”; the Bible says: “Jehovah giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Catholics are directed to call upon Mary in their hour of danger, difficulty and doubts; God’s Word tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”; that “Jehovah is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” Catholics look to Mary “to subdue violence beneath her foot,” but God’s Word assures us: “The God who gives peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”—Prov. 2:6, 7; Ps. 46:1-3; 145:18, 19, AS; Rom. 16:20, NW.
NO MENTION OF MARY BY APOSTLES
The elevated position that Mary holds in the Catholic world is certainly not in accord with the Scriptures. When examining what the Bible record has to say about Mary, we are amazed at the scarcity of comment. Only one mention is made of her outside the Gospels. Neither the apostle Paul, nor the apostle Peter, nor Judas, the servant of Jesus, nor James, the brother of Jesus, make so much as one single mention of her in all their inspired writings. Mary is conspicuous by her absence of mention. Paul makes frequent references to faithful women, but never mentions Mary. Why such silence? There can be only one answer. The exalted offices of queen of the universe, queen of heaven and all creation, are purely man-made and have no basis in fact. Mary’s pre-eminence was “among women” only, because the Messiah was to be born of her: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”—Luke 1:28, 42, NW.
But the apostles were not alone in their silence. Jesus himself very carefully refrained from giving any special attention to his earthly relatives, never once granting to them any pre-eminence, but always emphasizing his personal relationship with his Father. “Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” The earliest account of Jesus as a child begins with his saying to his parents: “Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father?” And his last words were: “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” There are at least 150 Scriptural references in which Jesus is mentioned in close association with his Father, but there is absolutely not one reference where Jesus expresses any affiliation with his mother. There is not one single instance where he addresses her as “mother.” He invariably refers to her as “woman.” “What have I to do with you, woman?” “Woman, see! your son!”—Matt. 12:46-50; Luke 8:21; 2:49; 23:46; John 2:4; 19:26, NW.
Nowhere in the Bible is Mary seen as a mediatrix or intercessor, or as a co-worker with Jesus in the role of human salvation. Jesus stands alone in these offices, saying: “Apart from me you can do nothing at all. If anyone does not remain in union with me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up, and men gather those branches up and pitch them into the fire and they are burned. If you remain in union with me and my sayings remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will take place for you.” “No matter what you ask the Father in my name he might give it to you.” Instead of God’s servants’ performing “all their actions ‘through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary,’” as taught by the Roman Catholic Church, the inspired Paul extols God’s mercy and wisdom, and says: “Because from him and by him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.”—John 15:5-7, 16; Rom. 11:33-36, NW.
PAGAN BACKGROUND EXPOSED
Mary’s exaltation is part of a deliberately planned and carefully executed scheme on the part of the Roman Catholic Church to revive the ancient form of worship of the queen of heaven, as was practiced in the pagan nations of ancient Babylon, Egypt and Rome; and also in the unfaithful ancient nation of Israel. Herodotus, from personal knowledge, testifies that in ancient Egypt the “queen of heaven” was “the greatest and most worshipped of all the divinities.” The historian Alexander Hislop writes that according to the Chaldean doctrine, Semiramis, the mother and later the wife of Nimrod, when exalted to divinity under the name of the queen of heaven, came to be worshiped as “the Holy Spirit incarnate.” Nonnus, speaking of the Babylonian queen of heaven, calls her “the hope of the whole world.” She is also referred to as “mistress of all creation.” Hislop further says that it was this same goddess who was worshiped at Ephesus, whom Demetrius, the silversmith, characterized as the goddess whom “the whole province of Asia and the inhabited earth worships.” All of these titles, which were once applied to pagan goddesses, are now attributed to Mary.—Acts 19:27, NW.
The ancient nation of Israel fell victim to this form of idolatry. Instead of to Mary, the Hebrew women offered cakes in the streets of Jerusalem to the Babylonian goddess, Astarte. They burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her. The people openly defied God and his Word to carry out their wicked practices. For their willful wickedness God reduced them to slaves and completely devastated the land. Will God react differently today? He says of himself: “I, Jehovah, change not.”—Jer. 44:15-19; Mal. 3:6, AS.
Aside from Babylonian paganism and Catholic tradition, there is absolutely no authority whatsoever for the present worship of Mary or any other woman as the queen of heaven. It would be well, therefore, to heed the apostle Paul’s advice: “Look out: perhaps there may be some man that will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.” “Even if we or an angel out of heaven,” says the apostle, “were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.” Because as the apostle Peter sums up regarding Christ Jesus: “There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.” Let these inspired words of God, not the traditions of men, guide you in your worship.—Col. 2:8; Gal. 1:8; Acts 4:12, NW.