Is Mary the mother of God?

Catholic dogma asserts that Mary, the greatest of saints, is the "Mother of God" (Greek Theotokos). This was declared at the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431 and is primarily based on circular reasoning that, since Mary was the mother of Jesus, and Jesus was God incarnate and the second person of the Trinity, then she is therefore the mother of God (though she did not necessarily procreate God the Father). However, there is no New Testament scripture that teaches or promotes this belief. The closest is Luke 1:39-55, where Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, says to Mary, "But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" and Mary's resulting praise to God, wherein she says, "From now on all generations will call me blessed." Catholic support from scripture only comes from Luke 1:28-30, where the angel Gabriel greets Mary as one who has "found favor with God." Had she been this kind of divine entity, surely Jesus would have identified her as such, but he didn't (Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 11:27-28). Due to her position as mother of the Savior, she is considered by Catholics as both a mediator and intercessor between God and man, as well as a channel of God's grace to mankind. Contrary to this is John 14:6 ("I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.") and 1 Timothy 2:5 ("There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.").

        "While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.' He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.' " (Matthew 12:46-50)

There is also no scripture which teaches the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (declaired by Pope Pius IX in 1854), whereby Mary was also born of a virgin by conception of the Holy Spirit, thereby making her sinless. The Assumption of Mary (declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950) teaches that Mary didn't die, but was raised into heaven bodily where she is exalted as Queen of Heaven -- despite a lack of witnesses, even by the Apostle John, who was Mary's caretaker after Jesus' death (John 19:25-27) and Jeremiah's warnings to not worship Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and fertility, who shares the title of Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-25). It is also interesting to note that sometime between the sixth and seventh century, the Feast of Dormition on January 18 commemorating Mary's "falling asleep" was changed to Assumption Day on August 15 commemorating her bodily assumption into heaven. Mary was also considerd a perpetual virgin by the Fifth General Council of Constantinople in 553, and believed to have remained a virgin the remainder of her life. On the contrary, according to Matthew 12:46-47, 13:54-56, John 2:12, 6:41-42, 7:3-5, Acts 1:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5, and Galations 1:19, Jesus did have natural born brothers and sisters. Catholic history attributes these as cousins or half-siblings, but Matthew 1:25 implies that Joseph did have union with Mary after she gave birth to Jesus. Other graces bestowed to Mary include her role as the Mother of the Church, the New Eve, Co-Redemptrix (co-redeemer with Christ), and the spiritual motherhood of all Christians. Most of these doctrines are held by the Catholic Church as revelation and accepted by faith.

        "When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. 'Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?' they asked. 'Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?' " (Matthew 13:53-56)

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Reference sources: Catholic Answers (; - Early Christian History as Viewed by Roman Catholics (; Fast Facts on False Teachings - Roman Catholicism (chapter 14, pp 211-232), by Ron Carlson and Ed Decker, ©1994 by Harvest House Publishers; New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (; Wikipedia (