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I feel bad that the Protestants don't have the Theotokos.

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I've always deeply admired the devotion that Roman Catholics have for Mary, even if they have way over dogmatized it (which is one of the reasons why I'm Orthodox hehe). I feel so bad for the Protestants though, the Theotokos, the very woman who bore God from her womb, is not apart of your spirituality? Huh? I could not imagine even having a spirituality without the inclusion of the holy and perpetual virgin within it. How could Protestants say the Bible does not include Marian devotions? They claim to believe in sola scriptura, but it looks like they haven't even read the first chapter of Luke...
 
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Well Anglicans do. In our evening prayers we include the Magnificant and we refer to her as the Theotokos or the nearest English Rendition of it. She is the Blessed Virgin.
 

Ainnir

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The English for Theotokos is “God-bearer.”
 

sestir

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Maybe they kept reading, found Luke 8:20-21, and remembered it until they got to Luke 11:27-28?

``And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.'' 8:20-21 (KJV)

``And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.'' 11:27-28 (KJV)
 

JTLoganville

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One of the best ways to begin with understanding Luther's view of Mary is Luther’s Marian hymn, completed A.D. 1545, one year before his death.

Luther scholars frequently--generally correctly--differentiate between "young, Catholic Luther" and "old, Protestant Luther". Well, here is "old Protestant Luther, some 28 years after posting the 95 Theses sounding very Catholic/Orthodox indeed:

To me she's dear, the worthy maid,
And I cannot forget her;
Praise, honor, virtue her are said,
Then all will love her better.
I seek her good,
And if I should
Right evil fare,
I do not care,
She'll make up for it to me
With love and truth that will not tire,
Which she will ever show me,
And do all my desire.

She wears of purest gold a crown
Twelve stars their rays are twining,
Her rainment, glorious as the sun,
And bright from far is shining.
Her feet the moon
Are set upon
She is the bride
With the Lord to hide.
Sore travail is upon her;
She bringest forth a noble Son
Whom all the world must honor,
Their king, the only one.

That makes the dragon rage and roar,
He will the child upswallow;
His raging comes to nothing more;
No jot of gain will follow.
The infant high
Up to the sky
Away is heft
And he is left
On earth,all mad with murder.
The mother now alone is she,
But God will watchful guard her.
And the right Father he.
 

rstrats

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I think it's interesting that none of the New Testament epistle writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to mention her if she is intended to be such a vital part of the Roman/Latin Rite Catholic/Orthodox religion. And even John's gospel never mentions her when it mentions Mary of Bethany 9 times and Mary Magdalene 5 times.
 

Stinky

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I love all of the names of Our Blessed Mother! Mother of us all.... Holy Theotokos! Pray for us!
 

Ainnir

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I think it's interesting that none of the New Testament epistle writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to mention her if she is intended to be such a vital part of the Roman/Latin Rite Catholic/Orthodox religion. And even John's gospel never mentions her when it mentions Mary of Bethany 9 times and Mary Magdalene 5 times.
Never is inaccurate. The wedding at Cana and the Crucifixion both mention her. The amount of mentions doesn't make either of the other women the mother of Christ.
 

rstrats

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Never is inaccurate. The wedding at Cana and the Crucifixion both mention her. The amount of mentions doesn't make either of the other women the mother of Christ.
re: "Never is inaccurate."

Please point out where John's gospel mentions Mary.


re: "The wedding at Cana and the Crucifixion both mention her."

Where did I say that they didn't?
 
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re: "Never is inaccurate."

Please point out where John's gospel mentions Mary.


re: "The wedding at Cana and the Crucifixion both mention her."

Where did I say that they didn't?
The wedding at Cana and the Crucifixion are both in the Gospel of John.
 

rstrats

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The wedding at Cana and the Crucifixion are both in the Gospel of John.
When I wrote my comment I was thinking of the fact that it doesn't mention her by name when It does the other 2 women. But that is too much of a weak technicality and I withdrawal the comment.
 
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What? There is no argument, it’s totally unambiguous. Are you going to do a Nestorius here?
You comment makes no sense. I literally states I just prefer to use the term Theotokos because I have seen people argue over the best way to translate that and by using the greek term it takes away the translation issue.
 

Sethrak

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I recently talked with a person , who had become ,Seventh Day Adventist, everything and only what is in the books we have selected to include in the. Bible count,,

Saints, Mother of our Lord, Communion, forgiveness of sin, nothing is holy,
She came from Catholic eventually to seventh day,,,
She likes to pray with me, at me, I like her very much, but it seems she would convert me to biblianity , seems to be preaching when praying out loud,,,
 

Stinky

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A protestant deacon's wife from the Mennonite Church would stop by my porch and drop off beautiful flowers for years and just check in at the porch with this sinner, backslider.
One day I caught her at my porch leaving roses and I came outside while she was walking away and I joyfully exclaimed: Thank you! Please! More flowers! I dedicate them to The Blessed Virgin Mary at my home alter! More! You too can have a part in loving Our Mother!


Never heard from her nor got flowers again.....
 

Stinky

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A protestant deacon's wife from the Mennonite Church would stop by my porch and drop off beautiful flowers for years and just check in at the porch with this sinner, backslider.
One day I caught her at my porch leaving roses and I came outside while she was walking away and I joyfully exclaimed: Thank you! Please! More flowers! I dedicate them to The Blessed Virgin Mary at my home alter! More! You too can have a part in loving Our Mother!


Never heard from her nor got flowers again.....

Altar.

Paranoid speller here. It's not spell check. Its all me.
 

rstrats

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I've always deeply admired the devotion that Roman Catholics have for Mary..."
."

In trying to determine what the attitude toward Mary should be it might be useful to start with what the Messiah's attitude was with regard to her. In general it doesn't seem to be very warm.

As far as scripture is concerned, the Messiah never refers to Mary as His mother but rather as woman. There are only 3 times mentioned where the Messiah spoke to her. And He seemed to be a bit perturbed with her 2 of those times. The 3rd time He merely told her to look at her son.

Also, He only spoke 2 times with regard to what someone said about her and again His responses couldn't be considered very flattering.

And then aside from the Messiah, there is the fact that other than Galations 4:4 saying that the Messiah was born of a woman, none of the epistle writers ever mention her in any of their letters including the one to the church at Rome and the two by Peter.
 

Ainnir

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You seem to think that the reality and totality of Christ’s life is completely encompassed by what is recorded in Scripture. This is both a logical impossibility and unbiblical, as the gospel of Saint John the Evangelist states that all the books in the world couldn’t contain the things Christ said and did.
 

Bizzlebin

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The English for Theotokos is “God-bearer.”
I agree but I have seen people argue over the best translation.
I like using the term "Mother of God", while still sometimes saying "Theotokos".
I'm not sure these are arguments over the "best" translation but over the fact that these are blatant *mistranslations*. "God-bearer" is actually "Θεοφόρος" (lit "Theophoros", which is a title attributed to other saints, eg St Igantios, and referring to having God within). "Mother Of God" is actually "Μήτηρ Θεοῦ" (lit "Mater Theou", "mater" being mother: not as much a biological relationship as a familial one). So, while of all of those other names/titles are true—and show just how important the Ever-Virgin Mary is to Christianity—they are not translations of "Θεοτόκος" ("Theotokos", meaning the actual, biological mother [kinda sorta, but not "mater"!]; more "one who gave birth"). There is really only one popular translation I see of it, which I use myself when composing new hymnography and/or rubrics: Birthgiver Of God; @hecma925 got it right here ↓ .

Birthgiver of God is my favorite.
 

Ainnir

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Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification!
 

Stinky

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A protestant deacon's wife from the Mennonite Church would stop by my porch and drop off beautiful flowers for years and just check in at the porch with this sinner, backslider.
One day I caught her at my porch leaving roses and I came outside while she was walking away and I joyfully exclaimed: Thank you! Please! More flowers! I dedicate them to The Blessed Virgin Mary at my home alter! More! You too can have a part in loving Our Mother!


Never heard from her nor got flowers again.....
The Mennonite Deacon's wife dropped off red velvet cupcakes today! Wanted to share with y'all!
Please pray for Wanda Holy Theotokos!
 

rstrats

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You seem to think that the reality and totality of Christ’s life is completely encompassed by what is recorded in Scripture.
If your post was intended for me, I was merely pointing out what scripture says. I'm not saying that if it's not in scripture that it didn't happen.
 

Ainnir

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If your post was intended for me, I was merely pointing out what scripture says. I'm not saying that if it's not in scripture that it didn't happen.
My mistake. It’s a common enough argument.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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``And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.'' 11:27-28 (KJV)

and related:


"Yea rather" is the potentially problematic part. A perfectly accurate way to render it in contemporary English would be:

And he said, "Yes, but moreover, blessed are they that ear the word of God and keep it."

Basically, yes, she is blessed, but not by virtue of simply having birthed and nursed him. She was chosen because of her obedience to God and cooperation with his will, hence she exemplifies the one who hears the word and keeps it.

In fact, even Sufi mystics have commended on how Mary received Jesus through God's word, meaning God's angel speaking to her, rather than receiving seed in the usual manner. She heard the Word of God, and then she literally kept the Word in her womb.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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I'm not sure these are arguments over the "best" translation but over the fact that these are blatant *mistranslations*. "God-bearer" is actually "Θεοφόρος" (lit "Theophoros", which is a title attributed to other saints, eg St Igantios, and referring to having God within). "Mother Of God" is actually "Μήτηρ Θεοῦ" (lit "Mater Theou", "mater" being mother: not as much a biological relationship as a familial one). So, while of all of those other names/titles are true—and show just how important the Ever-Virgin Mary is to Christianity—they are not translations of "Θεοτόκος" ("Theotokos", meaning the actual, biological mother [kinda sorta, but not "mater"!]; more "one who gave birth"). There is really only one popular translation I see of it, which I use myself when composing new hymnography and/or rubrics: Birthgiver Of God; @hecma925 got it right here ↓ .
A good comparison from Biblical language would be the title πρωτότοκος / prōtótokos; which is translated as "firstborn" into English. Christ is the "firstborn" of all creation (Colossians 1:15) and the "firstborn of the dead" (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5).

If prototokos is technically something literally rendered as "first-birthed"; then likewise Theotokos would be "God-birther".

But obviously, to translate it that way would be awkward, unnatural, and has a kind of off-putting clinical style to it. We don't refer to woman as "birthers"; they are mothers. "Mother of God" may have another direct equivalent in Greek as mentioned above: Μήτηρ τοῦ Θεοῦ / Mētēr tou Theou; however in this case in my opinion, in terms of how the language works, if translating Theotokos, we should render it "Mother of God" rather than God-Birther.

As you rightly stated above, "tokos" doesn't mean "bearer". It doesn't have anything to do with "carrying", as nice as that sounds. It doesn't mean God-bearer as has been suggested elsewhere in this thread, as you explained so well. It means to birth:

STRONGS NT 5110: τόκος

τόκος, τόκου, ὁ (from τίκτω, perfect τέτοκα);
1. birth
a. the act of bringing forth.
b. that which has been brought forth, offspring

In fact, it is so identified with birth that the Arians used the Colossians passage about Christ as prototokos to say that he is a creature. The firstborn, the most preeminent before and above all of the rest of creation, but ultimately a creature nonetheless.

Hopefully some of that is helpful to this thread.
 
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Alpo2

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I think Lutherans might also have some devotions to Mary
Nope. She's mentioned once a year during Christmas. They have more devotion to Luther or forefathers of their particular kind of Lutheranism.
 

RichardW

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When i first started to attend an Orthodox church, I fell in love, 'heaven on earth'. The second time I attended i thought 'this is boriing, what am i doing here'. But I kept attending. However, my Evangelical background of course told me everything was idolatrous! But after a few months I realised that kissing an icon of Christ was just a way of showing love to him (the fact that it was a traditionally decorated church - the Serbian Orthodox church in Birmingham, uk - i.e. the images were not sentimental) helped in accepting this view. A few months later I was able to accept that kissing an icon of a saint was also just a way of showing love to the human depicted (which is in itself a way of worshipping God, 'the glory you have given me i have given them' says Jesus). However, it was many months AFTER being able to kiss an icon of a saint that I was able to kiss an icon of the Virgin Mary!! Think of how illogical that is - but in my Evangelicalism Mary was the very symbol of corruption, superstition, and idolatry in the Catholic church. Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us!
 

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In trying to determine what the attitude toward Mary should be it might be useful to start with what the Messiah's attitude was with regard to her. In general it doesn't seem to be very warm.

As far as scripture is concerned, the Messiah never refers to Mary as His mother but rather as woman. There are only 3 times mentioned where the Messiah spoke to her. And He seemed to be a bit perturbed with her 2 of those times. The 3rd time He merely told her to look at her son.

Also, He only spoke 2 times with regard to what someone said about her and again His responses couldn't be considered very flattering.
If your average person reads the bible at flat, face value then a lot of scripture can "appear" to be as you describe and the devil will take advantage of this to twist the Savior into something He is not. I bear the scars of this myself 20+ years later after reading a bible from start to finish with either no commentary or inaccurate commentary and drawing some very wrong conclusions about God.

But you have to dig deeper with the help of appropriate Eastern Orthodox commentaries for proper interpretation. Then, you see God in new eyes, as He was meant to be seen.

I found a couple of quotes online that might help you see better the Lord and His interactions/words with His mother using the word "woman":

1. "As noted in Orthodox biblical commentary, when Jesus addressed Mary as “woman” he is in fact using a unique scriptural title imparting respect, affection, dignity, and distinction."

-AND-

2. "In his Gospel, Saint John never refers to the Lord’s mother by her name of Mary, but always as the “mother of Jesus” (John 2:1,3) or “His mother” (John 2:5; 19:25-26). At one point, Jesus even addresses her by the term “Woman,” certainly a strange and unprecedented term for a son to use for his mother according to Jewish custom.

Always with a profoundly insightful eye for the “symbolic” or the typological (an Old Testament prototype that anticipates its fulfillment in the New) the evangelist is presenting the Virgin Mary here as the counterpart to the “woman” in the garden of Genesis 3. The mother of Jesus is the “New Eve” who will act in a way that is in harmony with the will of God, and not in a way that will subvert that will.

According to the biblical scholar Raymond Brown, “In this light we can compare the woman in the Garden of Eden who led Adam to the first evil act with the woman at Cana who leads the new Adam to his first glorious work. In the prophecy of Genesis we hear that God will put enmity between the woman and the serpent and that her seed will crush the serpent.

In calling his mother “woman,” Jesus may well be identifying her with the new Eve who will be the mother of his disciples as the old Eve was the ‘mother of all the living.’ She can play her role of intercession, however, only when her offspring on the cross has crushed the serpent” (The Gospel and Epistles of John: A Concise Commentary, p. 29)."

* (The second quote referenced, though a Catholic priest's commentary of John, still lines up with the Orthodox view of Mary being the New Eve.)
 
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Irened

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My uncle, who's agnostic, says that the very idea of a woman giving birth to God moves him strongly. It's so weird that so many "Christians" don't feel the same way.
The title "Mother of God" says more about Jesus than it does Mary. Many people lose sight of that.
 
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