Monday, February 14, 2011

Did Augustine Call Mary the "Mother of God"?

A dear reader notified me that a Roman apologist (or perhaps just a friend in the Roman church) had provided the following to them as allegedly representing Augustine's views:
"Mary was that only one who merited to be called the Mother and Spouse of God". (Sermon 208)
You'll notice that the person has provided a citation - the citation makes it look authentic. But, of course, I didn't stop there.

I grabbed a copy of Augustine's "Sermons on Liturgical Seasons," since that contains the range of sermons including Sermon 208. The quotation, however, was not to be found in Sermon 208 - a sermon on the occasion of Lent.

So, I did a little more digging. Alfonso de Liguori's "Glories of Mary," provides this same quotation and gives the Latin original ("Haec est quae sola meruit Mater et Spousa vocari.") as well as a more precise citation to an appendix of the Benedictine edition of Augustine's works.

In fact, upon locating the sermon, I discovered that it is listed as Sermon 208(a) on the occasion of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's not an authentic work. There are probably a variety of ways we could prove that, but the easiest way is that it is now recognized that there was no feast of the assumption in North Africa during Augustine's lifetime. Thus, the sermon was written at some later date, and merely ascribed to Augustine.

It's sad to see that some of Rome's advocates either knowingly or unwittingly are using falsehoods to try to promote their religion. It's one reason this blog exists - to shed the light of truth on the matter. And the truth is that Augustine did not call Mary "the Mother of God," nor would he have. In his authentic works he describes Mary this way:

At that time, therefore, when about to engage in divine acts, He repelled, as one unknown, her who was the mother, not of His divinity, but of His [human] infirmity.
NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate CXIX, §1, John 19:24-30.

-TurretinFan

48 comments:

donsands said...

"It's one reason this blog exists - to shed the light of truth on the matter."
Thanks.

When I bump into Marianists, or Roman Catholics, and we talk about Mary, or the Rosary, I almost always think of the Word where Jesus says, "Who is my mother? Look at this disciples, fo there is my mother, any who do the will of my Father."
That surely gives us the right perspective of Christ and His mother in the most spiritual sense.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Thus, the sermon was written at some later date, and merely ascribed to Augustine.

It's sad to see that some of Rome's advocates either knowingly or unwittingly are using falsehoods to try to promote their religion. It's one reason this blog exists - to shed the light of truth on the matter.
"

Uncovering a falsehood will cause untold numbers of staunch Roman Catholics to abandon their veneration of Mary.

Turretinfan said...

TU&D:

I'm not sure whether it will or not. Conversion is a gift of God, not simply the result of the effort of those who are engaged in seeding the fields.

-TurretinFan

aztexan said...

>>It's sad to see that some of Rome's advocates either knowingly or unwittingly are using falsehoods to try to promote their religion.<<

My dear brother, if I didn't know better I'd say you almost sound surprised! After all, how but through falsehood is false religion ever propagated? Mary is as surely not the "mother of God" as Rome is the Mother of Apostasy.

Excellent work. As you pointed out in response to TUAD, throwing this scrap of evidence atop the Everest-size mountain of proofs against the Romish cult will, apart from the Spirit's monergistic work, have absolutely zero effect on the Scarlet Whore's benighted brood.

Let us all continue to pray earnestly for those bewitched by her blasphemies.

natamllc said...

What we mature Christians are called to do is proclaim this Gospel of the Kingdom to every creature for a witness. Being His Light in this darkened world is one way. A simple conversation over coffee or tea in a public mall is another way.

Beyond that, it's God's call to end the world as we know it.

I am inclined to repeat again and again Peter's word of exhortation, pasted here in hopes more will hear the exhortation:::>

2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!


And as for His Way, among other prayers, this too might encourage the hastening the coming of the day of God:

1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

natamllc said...

I will so bold as to add Psalm 67 to what I have already posted above:

Psa 67:1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song. May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
Psa 67:2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Psa 67:3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Psa 67:6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.
Psa 67:7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

John Bugay said...

Hey T-Fan, thanks for posting this. I was looking at your "Codex 61" piece earlier; Dr. White mentioned that the work "Forgery" by Bart Ehrman was soon to be published.

Textual critical issues are going to come to the forefront, and we're all going to need to bring ourselves up to speed on this subject if we hope to be able to address the muddle that's going to be coming down the pike.

Because on the one hand, there are huge amounts of forgeries out there in early Christianity, just like this sermon.

On the other hand, the integrity of the New Testament Scriptures are going to be challenged.

The only thing that can be done is to have a patient sorting-through of things, using a good methodology.

Mr. Rob Ochs said...

The truth of Mary as the mother of God does not hinge upon Augustine. The fact that Jesus was God and Mary was His mother is what this hinges upon, so denial of Mary as mother of God is denial of either Jesus' divinity or Mary's motherhood of Jesus. You pick your poison.

God Bless

Turretinfan said...

"The truth of Mary as the mother of God does not hinge upon Augustine."

Mary was the mother of Jesus.

"The fact that Jesus was God and Mary was His mother is what this hinges upon, ... "

Joseph of Arimathea was stronger than Jesus. Jesus was God. Therefore ...

The Jews killed Jesus. Jesus was God. Therefore ...

For three days, Jesus was dead. Jesus was God. Therefore ...

David was the grandfather of Jesus. Jesus was God. Therefore ...

Funny how it doesn't invoke any anathema if one refuses to say David is the "Grandfather of God," or that "God was dead," or that "the Jews killed God," or that "Joseph was stronger than God." Don't you think?

" ... so denial of Mary as mother of God is denial of either Jesus' divinity or Mary's motherhood of Jesus. You pick your poison."

Or it is simply an ambiguous expression. It can mean that Mary is the mother of Jesus' divinity (which is a heresy) or it can mean that Mary was the mother of Jesus, who is God (which is true).

-TurretinFan

Pabladro said...

"Or it is simply an ambiguous expression. It can mean that Mary is the mother of Jesus' divinity (which is a heresy) or it can mean that Mary was the mother of Jesus, who is God (which is true)."

This is where knowing Catholic teaching may be helpful. To say Catholics teach that Mary is mother of Christ's divinity is attacking a straw man.

Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ who is both God and man. Jesus received his humanity from Mary. Mary is the mother of the second person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. She is mother of God. It is not ambiguous beyond your understanding of Jesus as God.

Mary has a very special role in salvation history, that cannot be denied. She is the only mother of Jesus Christ while at the same time being a daughter of the Father and bride to Christ as a Christian.

Again, you are left with the choice of denying scripture in saying that Mary was not the mother of Christ or denying Christ by saying He is not God. If you believe both, you are forced into a statement that Mary is the mother of God. Theotokos, God bearer, mother of God.

God Bless.

Turretinfan said...

"This is where knowing Catholic teaching may be helpful. To say Catholics teach that Mary is mother of Christ's divinity is attacking a straw man."

This is where reading carefully would be helpful. I didn't characterize Rome's teaching.

I can tell you this - some of your co-religionists do tell me that she has to be mother of his divinity, or she's not his mother. Of course, that's not the official position of your church, but it is the result of the ambiguous expression.

"Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ who is both God and man. Jesus received his humanity from Mary. Mary is the mother of the second person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. She is mother of God. It is not ambiguous beyond your understanding of Jesus as God."

She's only Jesus' mother with respect to his humanity. The term *can* mean that, and it can also suggest a broader term. The problem we have is with the ambiguity of the term, which leads to the problem of mariolatry. The problem is not (in this case) either the official teaching or the term itself.

"Mary has a very special role in salvation history, that cannot be denied."

So do Rahab, Tamar, Lot's wife and Lot's first-born daughter - that too cannot be denied. They, like Mary, are female ancestors of Jesus.

"She is the only mother of Jesus Christ while at the same time being a daughter of the Father and bride to Christ as a Christian."

She's not the only maternal ancestor.

"Again, you are left with the choice of denying scripture in saying that Mary was not the mother of Christ or denying Christ by saying He is not God."

Or we can just complain about the ambiguity of the expression.

"If you believe both, you are forced into a statement that Mary is the mother of God. Theotokos, God bearer, mother of God."

I've already pointed out that the expression can be given an orthodox sense. As such, we can affirm the expression.

-TurretinFan

Pabladro said...

It is fair to say that it can be ambiguous, but this is why the Church teaches. There are many ambiguous terms that we could purposefully ignore the teaching and say whatever we want to twist it to our own destruction, but just as in those cases, it puts you outside of the Church. Instead of focusing on what people think it means, focus on what it has been defined to mean. It's ambiguity does not mean it should not be used.

To clarify on one point, there are no other paternal mothers of Jesus, Mary was it. When I say Mary played an important role, I meant that no other woman before or after comes close to her in importance in salvation history. She is the only woman whose choice made possible the incarnation of the Word of God. Without the incarnation, there could be no teaching and no sacrifice. By the grace of God, she had the fortitude to make the choice and by the grace of God she was chosen from among all women from all time to be the mother of the Word made flesh. The mother of God.

"She's only Jesus' mother with respect to his humanity."

Sorry, but that is impossible. Jesus does not have two separate natures, divine and human. That would be like saying our soul is separate from our body. Without our soul, our bodies would perish. Christ is divine and human simultaneously and they cannot be separated without diminishing His sacrifice on the cross. It is precisely because he is a divine person that His sacrifice was meritorious.

A mother does not birth a human nature, she births a person.

God Bless.

Turretinfan said...

"It is fair to say that it can be ambiguous, but this is why the Church teaches."

Notice that I don't object to people or churches clarifying ambiguous statements.

"There are many ambiguous terms that we could purposefully ignore the teaching and say whatever we want to twist it to our own destruction, but just as in those cases, it puts you outside of the Church."

Yes.

"Instead of focusing on what people think it means, focus on what it has been defined to mean. It's ambiguity does not mean it should not be used."

Its ambiguity should discourage its use, particularly if we aim to speak clearly.

"To clarify on one point, there are no other paternal mothers of Jesus, Mary was it."

Paternal mothers? What?

"When I say Mary played an important role, I meant that no other woman before or after comes close to her in importance in salvation history."

From the standpoint of standing Christ's genetic line, his line is a chain back to Adam and Eve. All the women in the chain from Eve to Lot's wife, to Lot's eldest daughter, to Tamar, to Rahab, are all "but for" necessary links. Mary is genetically closest, of course. But she's not any more involved in saving people from their sins than Tamar is.

"She is the only woman whose choice made possible the incarnation of the Word of God. Without the incarnation, there could be no teaching and no sacrifice."

If Tamar had remained childless, as Judah planned, Christ could not have been born. If Lot's eldest hadn't chosen to give birth to Moab, Ruth wouldn't have existed, and without Ruth, David wouldn't have existed, nor would Jesus.

And actually, those women made a choice (a sinful choice). But Mary did not make a choice. She humbly accepted the news that was given to her.

Christ was not born by the will of the flesh, but by the will of God.

"By the grace of God, she had the fortitude to make the choice and by the grace of God she was chosen from among all women from all time to be the mother of the Word made flesh. The mother of God."

And her mother was chosen to be the grandmother of God (in the same sense) and so on back to Rahab, and Tamar, and Lot's eldest daughter, and Lot's wife, and so on back to Eve.

I wrote: "She's only Jesus' mother with respect to his humanity."

You replied: "Sorry, but that is impossible. Jesus does not have two separate natures, divine and human. That would be like saying our soul is separate from our body. Without our soul, our bodies would perish. Christ is divine and human simultaneously and they cannot be separated without diminishing His sacrifice on the cross. It is precisely because he is a divine person that His sacrifice was meritorious."

Of course, a moment ago you wrote: "To say Catholics teach that Mary is mother of Christ's divinity is attacking a straw man." Yet when I say that she's not the mother of His divinity, you get all uppity. In any event, as I've pointed out above, Augustine and I disagree with you.

"A mother does not birth a human nature, she births a person."

No one said otherwise. Nevertheless, she's only a mother with respect to his human nature. She's not a mother with respect to his divine nature. You may not appreciate the importance of analytically distinguishing between the natures, but confusion of the natures is a heresy.

-TurretinFan

Pabladro said...

You continue to bring up lineage in Mary's line. If Mary had said no, nothing Tamar or Rahab would have done would have meant anything. They are significant because Mary said yes. You are working from the wrong end. It is Christ that is important and everything else revolves around Him. This means because Mary said yes, the Word became flesh, and instantly Tamar and Rahab become important. The decision of Tamar and Rahab did not come into play until Mary said yes.

Mary didn't have a choice? WHAT!? You need to reconsider the ramifications of that statement.

Christ was born because the will of the flesh was united completely and perfectly with the will of God.

Okay, so because I said she is the mother of the person of Christ who is both human and divine, you imply that I am saying she is the mother of His divinity. I think I see where the disagreement may be and I am not exactly sure how to clarify it. I think we are discussing two difference concepts, so let me clarify.

Humans by nature are body and soul. The soul animates the body so one cannot be said to be living without a soul. Divinity is obviously God and God by nature does not have a body in the strict sense we define a body. God is purely spiritual.

In the typical human participation in creation of another purely human life, the body and soul are both created at the moment of conception. In the case of Christ, only the body was created because in place of a soul was Christ's divinity. This is the best way I can understand what happened, but essentially, Christ's divinity animated His humanity. So on the technical level (more scientific) Mary was the co-creator of Christs flesh which is often referred to as his humanity because it is the part of His humanity that was created (as a soul was not created). If we define mother as co-creator of human nature, then Mary is only the mother of His human nature. In the case of Christ, His human nature consisted of only His body which limited His divinity before His death and resurrection. His divinity was not created and this is the definition of mother and natures that Augustine is discussing.

Now back to what I stated earlier. Christ as the second PERSON of the trinity was human and divine. Just as any human PERSON is typically body and soul and as such the mother is mother of the person, not just the body or soul, Mary is the mother of the person of Christ. This is not a statement of co-creation or scientific facts, but of what a mother is. A PERSON is defined not just by their natures, but by their experiences and life. When we talk of Mary as the mother of God, we are talking about Mary as the mother of the person of Christ. She raised Him, protected Him, taught Him, gave Him stories for His parables....she mothered Him. She mothered His divinity during His time on Earth.

The problem isn't ambiguity so much as the definitions we have in an attempt to describe the mystery that is our God and His salvation. This is why it is important to look into what is being taught, not just apply definitions as we see fit. After all of this, I do not think we are disagreeing what Augustine is saying but we are disagreeing on what we are defining as mother and Christ's natures.

God Bless.

Turretinfan said...

"You continue to bring up lineage in Mary's line."

Yes. Because Mary's only significance is her place in Jesus' line.

"If Mary had said no, nothing Tamar or Rahab would have done would have meant anything."

a) No one asked Mary.

b) If they had chosen otherwise, Mary wouldn't have existed.

"They are significant because Mary said yes."

No, they are significant because Jesus is in their line.

"You are working from the wrong end."

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

"It is Christ that is important and everything else revolves around Him."

Yes, Christ - not Mary.

"This means because Mary said yes, the Word became flesh, and instantly Tamar and Rahab become important."

Scripture doesn't tell us that Mary said, "Yes." Mary was given the facts of what was about to happen. She wasn't given a choice or an options about it.

"The decision of Tamar and Rahab did not come into play until Mary said yes."

Their decisions determined (from the standpoint of agency) Mary's very existence.

"Mary didn't have a choice? WHAT!? You need to reconsider the ramifications of that statement."

The ramifications of that statement are acceptable, particularly since Mary was never asked for her permission.

"Christ was born because the will of the flesh was united completely and perfectly with the will of God."

Uh - no.

"Okay, so because I said she is the mother of the person of Christ who is both human and divine, you imply that I am saying she is the mother of His divinity."

No, that's not it. The reason you are implying that she is the mother of His divinity is that you object to the statement that she is mother only as to his humanity.

"I think I see where the disagreement may be and I am not exactly sure how to clarify it. I think we are discussing two difference concepts, so let me clarify."

ok

"Humans by nature are body and soul. The soul animates the body so one cannot be said to be living without a soul. Divinity is obviously God and God by nature does not have a body in the strict sense we define a body. God is purely spiritual."

ok

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]


"In the typical human participation in creation of another purely human life, the body and soul are both created at the moment of conception."

Scripture doesn't say this, but I'm not dogmatically opposed to it. Perhaps that is the usual case.

"In the case of Christ, only the body was created because in place of a soul was Christ's divinity."

Uh - no. This is a form of the monothelite heresy. Christ had a true human soul (and consequently a true human will) in addition to (and in hypostatic union with) his divine nature (which is only spirit).

"If we define mother as co-creator of human nature, then Mary is only the mother of His human nature. In the case of Christ, His human nature consisted of only His body which limited His divinity before His death and resurrection. His divinity was not created and this is the definition of mother and natures that Augustine is discussing."

With my important caveat above, ok ...

"Now back to what I stated earlier. Christ as the second PERSON of the trinity was human and divine. Just as any human PERSON is typically body and soul and as such the mother is mother of the person, not just the body or soul, Mary is the mother of the person of Christ. This is not a statement of co-creation or scientific facts, but of what a mother is. A PERSON is defined not just by their natures, but by their experiences and life. When we talk of Mary as the mother of God, we are talking about Mary as the mother of the person of Christ. She raised Him, protected Him, taught Him, gave Him stories for His parables....she mothered Him. She mothered His divinity during His time on Earth."

She didn't mother Christ's divinity. She was the mother of Christ who was (and is) both Divine and Human.

"The problem isn't ambiguity so much as the definitions we have in an attempt to describe the mystery that is our God and His salvation."

That's what we call ambiguity - when different definitions cause a problem. Isn't it?

"This is why it is important to look into what is being taught, not just apply definitions as we see fit."

Alternatively, it is why we should speak clearly, so as to avoid being misunderstood.

"After all of this, I do not think we are disagreeing what Augustine is saying but we are disagreeing on what we are defining as mother and Christ's natures."

What we are really disagreeing over is whether "mother of God" is a prudent or necessary expression.

It's neither prudent or necessary, though it can be understood in an orthodox way.

-TurretinFan

Pabladro said...

I will admit that I went beyond my knowledge in an attempt to explain something that quite honestly is going beyond what humans can really understand. I went into a theological argument and said things in ways that while correct in my mind did not come out correct in the message. To avoid this in the future, I will quote from people who do know so as not to misspeak.

First off, if Mary did not have a choice, then God circumvented her free will which God will not do. It is an absolute necessity of life on Earth that God and His plan are chosen freely. So besides the intricacies of the Greek that could lead one to see that it was a "yes", we know from experience and salvation history that each person has a free will to accept or deny God. Mary is no exception. It is a heresy to say that Mary could not execute free will in this situation and this is independent of anything else you may or may not believe about Mary. It is an absolute stubbornness and hardness of heart against anything and everything Marian that tries to remove her free will from this. She had a free will, she used it and it aligned with God's plan. She said yes and she could have said no.

To clarify, I do agree that it is all about Christ, not Mary, but Mary is the point of contention. Without Christ, Mary would be insignificant, but it did not happen this way. So, ultimately, it is because of Christ that any of the people we have been discussing, all the way back to Adam and Eve, are significant. Mary just happens to be the hinge upon which the OT and NT meet. She is the first Christian and much of the NT is dependent upon her testimony.

I think this quote is the best explanation of what I have been trying to explain.

"[T]he third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed 'that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man.' Christ's humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: 'Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh.'"

So as you can see, I misspoke regarding the soul and you are correct here.

God Bless

Pabladro said...

To be clear, I agree with what Augustine is saying in the quote from the original blog. I know it has gotten of topic, but I suppose the reason for the off topic discussion is ultimately, would Augustine agree to the term "Mother of God"?

If he did or did not say it directly, I think that he would. I think there can be no doubt that Mary was Mother of God but as to the ambiguity, I think it is generated by an attempt to deny it, not accept it. So much as Jesus in His humanity was God, so too was Mary the Mother of God. It is not until you try to deny it that you get into the arguments that Augustine's comment becomes significant. There is no question as to the fact Mary did not originate Christ's divinity and that in His humanity (which He received from Mary), he was limited and so His humanity could be considered an infirmity. But if Jesus was both God and man while on this Earth, and His humanity was perfectly united to his divinity while on this Earth, there can be no denial of Mary as the Mother of God without breaking this perfect union of God and man in Christ. That is why the term was first brought into existence in 431.

Now, it does get confusing when you start to define how God and man can be perfectly united and what this implies for Mary since He was conceived in her womb but that is less a question about Mary as it is about how God became man.

God Bless.

Pabladro said...

Correction, His humanity was conceived in her womb. I don't want anyone getting all crazy and undoing all of the explanation immediately before the word is left out.

Lvka said...

Mary was called Theotokos in Alexandria and Deipara in Rome centuries before Chalcedon, even in Augustine's time by Saint Ambrose of Milan.

Turretinfan said...

Luka:

a) Ambrose wasn't centuries before Chalcedon.

b) Ambrose was a Latin speaker, not a Greek speaker, if I recall correctly.

c) Who before Athanasius used the term "theotokos"?

-TurretinFan

Lvka said...

Ambrose was a Latin speaker

...and Latins used Deipara.

Turretinfan said...

:shrugging:

Lvka said...

The Latin equivalent of Theotokos.

Turretinfan said...

Understood - and yet I don't see the big deal, even assuming it is authentic Ambrose.

Lvka said...

Augustine lived in Africa, and was a contemporary of Saint Ambrose (hence the mention of Alexandria [Egypt] and Rome [Italy, near Milan, where Ambrose lived, and whose disciple Augustine was]).

Turretinfan said...

Yes, and?

Lvka said...

...and I'd be VERY surprised if Saint Augustine wouldn't use the same term(s), that's all...

Lvka said...

Use of Theotokos in the early Christian Church

Many Fathers of the early Christian Church used the title Theotokos for Mary since at least the third century AD.

Origen (d. 254) is often cited as the earliest author to use Theotokos for Mary (Socrates, Ecclesiastical History 7.32 citing Origen's Commentary on Romans) but the text upon which this assertion is based may not be genuine.

Dionysius of Alexandria used Theotokos in about 250, in an epistle to Paul of Samosata.

Athanasius of Alexandria in 330, Gregory the Theologian in 370, John Chrysostom in 400, and Augustine all used Theotokos.

Theodoret wrote in 436 that calling the Virgin Mary Theotokos is an apostolic tradition.


Source

Turretinfan said...

The form "deipara" doesn't appear in his works, as far as I can determine. Nor does any obvious (to me) declension of it.

Why is that so surprising to you?

Perhaps you've misidentified something as Ambrose that isn't Ambrose, or perhaps Ambrose's influence on Augustine is less than you thought.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

As for your source, it would be nice if it had some citations.

I couldn't find any letter amongst Dionysius' letters that is addressed to Paul of Samosata, although there are several about the controversy.

Lvka said...

Try 'Dei Genetrix' then..

(I can find "mother of the Lord" and "Lord's mother" in the English versions on CCEL).

Turretinfan said...

Nothing for "dei genetrix" or "genetrix dei" either. I think DTKing has already explained why, above.

Turretinfan said...

Yes, "mother of our Lord" or "mother of my Lord" or "mother of the Lord" is pretty much straight from the Bible. We have no problem with that.

Lvka said...

1). When the heresy of Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch, began to trouble the East, Dionysius wrote to the Church of Antioch on the subject -- "Catholic Encyclopedia".


2) Try "genetri" (no termination, just this root -- it's not exactly a frequent word).

And all the six forms of "mater dei". [Hey, you brought it upon yourself, TF! :-) ]

And "mater domini", all six.

ONE of these HAS to be there, Schaff didn't just made it up from whole cloth...

Turretinfan said...

Let's make it easy. Where did Schaff mention this? I can then get the Latin for the work and track down the usage.

"Mother of my/our/the Lord" (Mater Domini) I think we will find, but "Mother of God," not so much.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Here's the closest thing I've seen, Luka:

"Maria ex gratia mater Filii Dei."

translation: Mary, by grace mother of the Son of God.

But that's a heading in Sermon 291, not part of the text of the sermon. I have no reason to think that Augustine wrote those headings (though I don't recall when or by whom they were added).

-TurretinFan

Lvka said...

Seems he used "mater Domini", meaning "mother of the Lord", and never "Dei genitrix" or "Deipara", the Latin equivalents of the Greek ``Theotokos``. (Link). Odd.

Turretinfan said...

:)

kesto4 said...

The term 'Mother of God' was used by several first and second century Church Fathers. To deny Mary being the 'Mother of God' is to deny Jesus being 100% human and divine. It's as simple as that...Mary bore Jesus, who was 100% human and divine. If Mary is not the Mother of God, Jesus is only 100% human. Shall we deny Jesus died on the cross for our sins too because he wasn't divine? The reason in the Gospel she is called 'Mother of our Lord' is because no one used the word God or I AM then, no one spoke of it otherwise it would have been used. The Catholic Church fought the Nestorian heresey in the 5th century (the belief that Mary is not the Mother of God). ALL of the Protestant Reformers believed Mary was the Mother of God. Only now, have men come to reject obvious doctrine put forth from the gospel. It's what happens when the BLIND lead the BLIND. They both fall in the pit, meanwhile the Catholic Church has stood the test of time (Matthew 16:18-19), has upheld truth and not given into what all of Protestant sects have - okaying the use of contraception. May God Bless You All!

kesto4 said...

He doesn't say this to lower our thoughts of Mary or our mothers. You are picking a quote out of the Bible and making conclusions about it. Read the whole story, and you will understand what he is saying. The commandments tell us to Obey and honor our parents, surely you aren't suggesting Jesus refused his Mother's commands? He did not sin.

kesto4 said...

Matthew 16:18-19. God's church shall never die. Founded in 33 AD, yet so many refuse what the early Church fathers say.

kesto4 said...

How would you respond to God when you see Him at the judgement seat if you had to tell Him you blasphemed His One and True Church? That you had abandoned the traditions of His Church and followed a blind leader that made his own interpretations of the Bible (contrary to 2 Peter)? Just something to think about.

turretinfan said...

Kesto4:

We don't have to speculate about the judgment seat comments from God - we have God's word already in the form of Scripture. And Scripture doesn't teach Rome's religion.

What will you do when you discover that your church lied to you? that it was not what it claimed to be? I hope you will turn to the God whose word refutes Rome's false religion.

-TurretinFan

turretinfan said...

Those who believe in the Son will never perish. That's the church that will never die - not princes in fancy clothes in Rome.

turretinfan said...

a) I have read the full story - and I've accurately quoted him.
b) Jesus' obedience to Mary and her husband Joseph (not just to Mary) was voluntary, unlike ordinary children. It would not have been sin for Jesus to appeal to his authority as God to disregard the commands of any of his creatures - from Caeasar down to Mary.

turretinfan said...

"The term 'Mother of God' was used by several first and second century Church Fathers."

Which ones exactly? It's easy to make claims - it's harder to document them.

"To deny Mary being the 'Mother of God' is to deny Jesus being 100% human and divine."

To deny David being "Father of God" is to deny Jesus being 100% human and divine. Do you see how dumb that is? Same thing applies to your comment.

"It's as simple as that...Mary bore Jesus, who was 100% human and divine. If Mary is not the Mother of God, Jesus is only 100% human. Shall we deny Jesus died on the cross for our sins too because he wasn't divine?"

Jesus was the Son of David ... repeat your same equivocal argument.

"The reason in the Gospel she is called 'Mother of our Lord' is because no one used the word God or I AM then, no one spoke of it otherwise it would have been used."

That's nonsense. It suggests you haven't actually read the New Testament.

"The Catholic Church fought the Nestorian heresey in the 5th century (the belief that Mary is not the Mother of God)."

a) The Roman Catholic church wasn't around in the 5th century.
b) The churches that fought the Nestorian error described the error as being that Christ was two persons - a divine person and a human person.

"ALL of the Protestant Reformers believed Mary was the Mother of God."

Only in a limited sense ...

"Only now, have men come to reject obvious doctrine put forth from the gospel."

One of your problems is that you argue against what you don't understand. We object to the description because of what it connotes, not absolutely. It's the same argument we Reformed Christians have been presenting against Rome for hundreds of years.

"It's what happens when the BLIND lead the BLIND."

From one side of your mouth ...

"They both fall in the pit, meanwhile the Catholic Church has stood the test of time (Matthew 16:18-19), has upheld truth and not given into what all of Protestant sects have - okaying the use of contraception."

a) God doesn't forbid contraception.
b) The test of time? LOL If there's one thing your church can be easily shown to fail, it's the test of time. When Rome was slaughtering the messengers of the gospel in the early period of the Reformation, it showed its true colors.

"May God Bless You All!"

Ah, and there's the other side of your mouth.

-TurretinFan

Jack Lake said...

J.M.J.

Mr. TurretinFan,

The dissemination of this quotation is due to the work of the Novus Ordo apologist Dave Armstrong, who cites it as having been written by St. Augustine (http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/11/st-augustine-was-catholic-not-proto.html?m=1). He, in turn, got the quotation from St. Alphonsus, just as you did (http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2004/02/mary-as-mediatrix-patristic-medieval.html?m=1). Unfortunately, Mr. Armstrong did not look into the matter any further, and erroneously took it as having been written by St. Augustine (although I am nearly positive that he did so without any malice).

This sermon, as you correctly point out, was not written by St. Augustine. Its numbering as "Sermon 208" is due it being the 208th spurious sermon published by the Benedictine Editors, and later reprinted in Migne (PL 39:2129-2134).

However, I do take issue with some of the things which you have said. Although you did not explicitly say as much, your remarks, when taken in conjunction with what you have stated elsewhere, indicate that you think that this is a "Romish forgery" being used by "Romish" polemicists to defend "Popery" at any costs, even if it means using deception. While this sermon was not written by St. Augustine, it is not the mere work of a medieval forger. Rather, it was written by a Church Father, albeit a later one, named Ambrose Autpert (8th century). That this sermon was in fact written by him is confirmed by critical scholarship (cf. O'Carroll, Theotokos, pp. 22-23). Unfortunately, during the Middle Ages, it was mistakenly attributed to St. Augustine, hence the confusion regarding authorship.

Next, you claim that St. Augustine would *never* have called Mary the "Mother of God," as if he would have
*opposed* such a title. This seems unlikely, as most of his major contemporaries in the 4th and 5th centuries used it, including his teacher, St. Ambrose. And yes, unlike what has been stated above in the comments, St. Ambrose did in fact use the title, namely "Mater Dei" (cf. De Virginitate, lib. 2, cap. 2). While he did not use the title in his extant works, St. Augustine nowhere disapproves of it. Your claim that "nor would he have [called Mary the Mother of God]," as if he denied her Divine Maternity, is without any evidence. It's mere conjecture, and is based upon an argument from silence. Yes, we can say that he never used the title in his extant genuine writings, but to go beyond that and make a positive claim is irresponsible.

In fact, it is unwise for you to be appealing to St. Augustine in matters surrounding the Blessed Virgin. His Mariology is completely opposed to your own, as he clearly affirmed her Perpetual Virginity, her freedom from actual sin, her role as the New Eve, and her Spiritual Motherhood. He also taught, on numerous occasions, that the saints (and by logical extension, Mary) intercede for us, and that they are to be venerated.

Sincerely,

Jack Lake
Salve Regina Apologetics