Bible Flock Box’s 10 “Facts” About Mary (2022)

Trent Horn:

Hey, everyone. In today’s rebuttal episode, we’re heading back to Greg at the Bible Flock Box channel to rebut his 10 alleged facts about Mary that the Catholic Church teaches. Now before I show why these facts are really just bad arguments and misrepresentations of what the Catholic Church teaches, I do want to remind you that I have another video on this channel where I rebut 10 reasons that Greg gives for why he is not Catholic. So, you should definitely check that out. And if you like what we do here at The Council of Trent podcast, definitely subscribe to us here on YouTube, leave a review at iTunes or Google Play and go to trenthornpodcast.com to get access to bonus content. Now, without further ado, let’s examine Greg at Bible Flock Box’s 10 alleged facts about Mary.

Greg:

Fact number one, Mary didn’t remain a virgin. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus even to the end of her life. This is actually a doctrine called the perpetual virginity of Mary. But this is not biblical. For instance, Matthew chapter one verses 24 through 25 says, “Then Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the LORD commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus.” It says Joseph did not know Mary until she gave birth to Jesus. To know someone is a modest way of saying they had sexual relations in ancient times. For instance, Genesis chapter four, verse one says, now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” So apparently, Mary remained a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus Christ, and then after that, Mary and Joseph enjoyed the benefits of marriage.

Trent Horn:

This argument assumes that Matthew’s purpose in recording this detail, is to tell us something about what Mary and Joseph did after Jesus was born. But it wasn’t. Matthew’s point is that Mary did not have sexual relations with Joseph before Jesus was born. Jesus had no earthly father. But sometimes when we use the word until in a statement, we imply a reversal. But other times we don’t imply that. The Greek word translated until in this passage, “heōs,” does not always refer to a changing condition. For example, when Jesus quoted Psalm 1:10 and Mark 12:36, he said, David himself inspired by the Holy Spirit declared the Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until “heōs” I put your enemies under your feet. But this doesn’t mean the Messiah will stop sitting at the Lord’s right hand after his enemies have been subdued.

Trent Horn:

Now concerning Matthew 1:25, the Protestant reformer John Calvin, he said this, “No just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words of the evangelist as to what took place after the birth of Christ.” So Matthew 1:25 simply does not refute the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

Greg:

Some also pointing out that Matthew chapter one, verse 25 says, Jesus was Mary’s firstborn son, which they think is an indication that Mary had more sons, since the word first is sequential. But that’s probably not the case, because among the Jews, the word firstborn was used in a technical legal sense. For example, as a result of the deliverance of Israel’s firstborn from the 10th Egypt should plague, God claimed all the firstborn sons of Israel as his own. Exodus chapter 13, verse two says, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb, among the children of Israel, both of man and beast, it is mine.” The firstborn child of a couple was the first child they gave birth to, and it was special to God, it was to be consecrated, set apart.

Greg:

But even if they didn’t have any more children, their first child would still be considered their firstborn. So, technically, their firstborn child may be their only child. So, this gives us some insight as to why Jesus was called Mary’s firstborn son. It wasn’t because Mary gave birth to more sons after Jesus, but to prepare the way for Jesus’s consecration to God.

Trent Horn:

That is correct.

Greg:

But what about Jesus’s brothers and sisters? You may be asking. Mark chapter six, verse three says, “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” So they were offended at him. Apparently Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters. But it appears that these were children of Joseph from a previous marriage. So, these were Jesus’s step brothers and sisters.

Trent Horn:

Well, that was unexpected. Greg’s view is that Mary and Joseph did not have other children, but they did have sexual relations. What’s interesting is that there are Protestant scholars who also hold this view, people like Richard Bauckham, he’s defended this view. And he says that there is good evidence for a view that the brethren of the Lord were actually Jesus’s step siblings. This is called the epiphanies and view named after St. Epiphanius. So this would say that these children were step siblings, and that they were children of Joseph’s from a previous marriage, and that when Joseph was wed to Mary, he was an older widower. So, I’ll let Greg explain the arguments for this view a little bit more.

Greg:

Notice that when talking about Jesus’s brothers and sisters, Mark chapter six, verse three, only calls Jesus, the son of Mary. His brothers and sisters are never referred to as children of Mary. Also, Jesus’s brothers attempts to control him, which is something expected from an older sibling at the time. For instance, John chapter seven, verse three says, his brothers therefore said to him, depart from here and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see the works that you are doing. And when Jesus was dying on the cross, Jesus committed the care of his mother to the apostle John. John chapter 19, verses 26 through 27 says, when Jesus therefore saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing by, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son.” And he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour, that disciple took her to his own home.

Greg:

If Mary had any sons of her own, it would be natural for them to take Mary into their home and to care for her. Another thing is, there’s no mention of Joseph, the husband of Mary during the adult life of Jesus. The last time he is mentioned, is when Jesus was 12 years old and got lost at the feast of Passover in Jerusalem. This has led some scholars to believe that Joseph was a bit older than Mary that he had children from a previous marriage and his previous wife may have passed away. And then he married Mary, the mother of Jesus. Consequently being older than Mary, Joseph had passed away. By the time Jesus began his ministry.

Trent Horn:

This is actually helpful if you have conversations with Protestants who think the best evidence against Mary’s perpetual virginity, are the brethren of the Lord. Because you can show Protestants who believe the brethren of the Lord are not children of Mary. Now there is another view that is more common in the western church that comes from St. Jerome, who says that the brethren of the Lord are cousins, or related kin, so they’re neither children of Mary, or Joseph. And that’s because while Greek did have words for cousins, it was not uncommon for Jews to use the Greek word brother, “Adelfoi,” to refer to cousin relationships because in Hebrew, there was no word for cousin in Hebrew, you would just say Brother, or brethren, or some other kind of description like that. The Catechism even says, the church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the virgin Mary. In fact, James and Joseph brothers of Jesus are the sons of another marry, a disciple of Christ whom St. Matthew significantly calls the other Mary.

Trent Horn:

They are close relations of Jesus according to an Old Testament expression. That’s paragraph 500 in the Catechism. So as a Catholic, you’re free to believe that brethren of the Lord are Jesus’s cousins, kin, step siblings, you just cannot believe that they are children of Mary, because we know that Mary remained a virgin her entire life. And there is good evidence for that, in spite of what Greg would have us believe.

Greg:

Fact number two, Mary is an immaculate. An online post entitled, What the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary by Catholiccompany.com states, the Catholic Church firmly believes that Mary was immaculately conceived since God rejects all sin. And the purpose of Christ’s incarnation was to release man from the grasp of Satan. It was not suitable that our redeemer be personally associated with sin. This means that unlike the original sin, that we as humans inherit at the moment of conception, Mary was exempt from this sin and in like manner was not subject to sin throughout her life. So, basically, Mary had a sinless nature and she lived a sinless life. The Roman Catholic Church believes this was necessary so that Mary could give birth to the sinless Son of God. This comes from the churches belief that sin guilt is inherited. In other words, if Mary were a sinner, the guilt from her sin would be passed down to Jesus, and he would be guilty of sin.

Trent Horn:

The church does not teach that the Immaculate Conception was necessary for God’s plan of salvation. Because of the Immaculate Conception where necessary, you could ask, if Jesus could not be conceived in sinful flesh, then how could Mary be conceived in the sinful flesh of her mother? Does that mean Mary’s mother or Saint Anne was also immaculately conceived? Then was her mother immaculately conceived? It doesn’t work. Now, God is omnipotent, so he could have chosen to be conceived in Mary’s womb, even if she had not been free from original or personal sin, just as he chose to preserve Mary from sin in the womb of her mother, who was a sinner like anyone else. That God could have bypassed the incarnation entirely, and just forgiven our sins through a divine decree. I mean, he’s omnipotent, right?

Trent Horn:

Instead, the Church teaches it was wholly fitting that God’s mother would be free from the stain of original sin. It’s fitting, it’s just a very great and glorious thing. Now what’s interesting is that Greg will rebut this argument by taking a Seventh Day Adventist approach and say that Mary was not protected from inheriting original sin, because there’s just no such thing as original sin. Or Greg will argue the effects of Adam’s sin are not passed down to us today. Here’s a listen.

Greg:

However, Ezekiel chapter 18, verse 20 debunks that stating, the son shall not bear the guilt of the father nor the father bear the guilt of the Son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Trent Horn:

It’s true the Bible teaches that people will not be punished for the sins of their parents. So if my father commits a murder, it’s unjust for me to be legally punished for that crime, if I had nothing to do with it. But the Bible also teaches that a person’s sins can have a negative impact upon his descendants. We see this for example, when the Bible speaks of “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Deuteronomy 5:9. This is talking about the lasting negative effects that sin can have on your descendants, the consequences that they inherit, or behaviors they imitate, not punishments they received solely because of their ancestors crimes. So, now some people will say it’s not fair for God to punish us because of something that Adam and Eve did. But we have to remember original sin is not a punishment. Original sin is a consequence of what Adam and Eve did, that we have to endure.

Trent Horn:

To understand this, imagine a man is given an inheritance, it makes him rich, but in his greed, he steals more money from the estate of his deceased relative. Now, the man’s wife and children who didn’t know that he did this, they’re thrilled, they’ll never have to worry about ever having money again. Until the police come, the guy’s arrested, and the courts take back all the money that he inherited. So the courts don’t punish the man’s family because they did nothing wrong. But the man’s family they still suffer, because they would have been blessed with riches and financial security if he had not stolen more money. In the same way, we would have enjoyed supernatural gifts of grace if Adam and Eve had not fallen from grace and rebelled against God. That’s why St. Paul says that, because of the fall of man, “Sin in came into the world through one man and death through sin. And so death spread to all men, because all men sinned.”

Greg:

What’s more, Romans chapter three, verse 23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This includes Mary. There’s no reason to believe that Mary is excluded from all the people mentioned here because the only person excluded from being a sinner in the Bible is Jesus. First John chapter three, verse five says, “And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins, and in him, there is no sin.”

Trent Horn:

Romans 3:23 describes the universality of personal sin between Jews and non Jews. Paul is talking about offenses against God that people who belong to both groups have committed, whether you’re a Jew or non Jew, you’ve offended God. That’s why Romans 3:22 through 24 speaks of there being no distinction among those who are justified by grace. And Romans 3:9 says all men, both Jews and Greeks are under the power of sin. Personal sins don’t apply to every person however. Because children under a certain age don’t commit personal sins. Paul assumes this and Romans 9:11, when he says of Jacob and Esau in Rebecca’s womb, they were not yet born, and had done nothing either good or bad. This means children who die early childhood, represent millions of examples of people who never committed a personal sin in their entire lives. That means this verse in Romans does not teach that every person including the mother of God, has sinned.

Greg:

Not to mention and speaking of Jesus, Mary said in Luke chapter one, verse 47, “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Mary wouldn’t need a savior if she wasn’t a sinner.

Trent Horn:

First, Mary might be speaking of salvation from temporal threats. Because in Luke 1:47 through 48, Mary says, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for, or because he is regarded the lowest state of his handmaiden.” Mary then describes how God saves people from different temporal threats or threats in this life, by exalting the lowly, feeding the hungry in verse 33. God is Mary’s Savior, because he regarded her lowly state, and then she has been lifted out of it by being called to bring the Messiah into the world. Now, second, if Mary is speaking of salvation from sin, that wouldn’t mean she committed any sins herself. Mary could be praising God for giving her grace that kept her from sinning. Just as a man might say, a doctor saved him from a disease through a vaccine that prevented the disease, rather than treating it after the fact. So, either way, this verse does not prove Mary ever sinned.

Greg:

In addition, Jesus wasn’t born with a sinless nature, he was born with a sinful nature, even though he never sinned. For example, Romans chapter eight, verse three says, “For what the law could not do, and that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” And again, speaking of Jesus, Hebrews chapter two, verse 16 says, “For verily, he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” The nature that Jesus took upon himself when he came to this Earth was identical to the nature of the seed, or children of Abraham, which is a sinful nature.

Trent Horn:

These verses only say that Jesus assumed a fully human nature, not a sinful nature. Hebrews 2:14 through 16 says, “Sense therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death, he might destroy him who has the power of death.” That is the devil. “And deliver all those who through fear of death, were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels, that he is concerned people without fleshy bodies, but with the descendants of Abraham.” So notice the focus is on Jesus becoming flesh to redeem fleshy human beings. And he’s not redeeming immaterial angels. So, there’s nothing here about a sinful nature, it’s a human nature. Likewise, Romans 8:3 says Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He looked like any human being, but he’s not like any human being because he is a divine person.

Trent Horn:

And so he is free from sin, as well as a sinful nature. Greg’s argument seems to assume that sinfulness is essential to our human nature, but that’s not true. Adam and Eve had true human natures before they sinned. And since scripture tells us Jesus is the new Adam, it makes sense that he would not have any kind of a sinful nature either. So, Adam and Eve were created without sinful natures, we will be human beings in Heaven, that will not sin, and we won’t have nature’s that dispose us to sin, either. And as I said, since Jesus is the new Adam, Adam was created without a sinful nature and he disobeyed. Jesus was created human without a sinful nature, but he perfectly obeyed.

Greg:

However, there is one difference between Jesus’s sinful nature and our sinful nature, aside from the fact that he never sinned. Jesus never even had an inclination to sin.

Trent Horn:

All right. So, this is confusing. I would ask Greg, what is a sin nature. Because if Jesus never sinned, but he also never had the inclination to sin, then in what sense was Jesus’s nature sinful? I think that Greg just assumes human nature has to be sinful in some way. And so Jesus has a sin nature, even though there’s nothing really sinful related to Jesus. But that doesn’t make sense. I just go with the simpler explanation that Jesus is free from sin. And that sin is not an essential part of our human nature, and it definitely is not a part of Jesus’s human nature either.

Greg:

In John chapter 14, verse 30, Jesus said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me.” The devil had nothing in Jesus in the sense that there was no weakness in Jesus’s character that the devil could use to entice him to sin. For example, if you steal something and get away with it, and you get some kind of thrill from that, the devil could use that to entice you to steal in the future. However, Jesus never sinned, he resisted all of the temptations of the devil his entire life. So the devil had no specific temptation he could use to entice Jesus to sin. And this is powerful, because it goes to show that even with a sinful nature, it is possible to overcome sinful living by the power of God.

Trent Horn:

Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not a high priest, who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning.” However, this translation may miss that Hebrews 4:15 literally says Jesus is [foreigh language 00:21:44], or without sin. Hebrews 7:26 says, for it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the Heavens. Jesus is human, but without sin, nothing is nothing in him is rebellious to God. Therefore, Jesus is free from not only sin, but whatever a sin nature might be.

Greg:

Speaking of Jesus, Hebrews chapter two, verses 17 through 18 says, therefore in all things he had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest and things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that, he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted. Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted with a sinful nature and to overcome. And having that experience, he can help you gain the victory over sin.

Trent Horn:

The reason Jesus did not sin is not because Jesus struggled to overcome a sinful nature, it’s because Jesus is a divine person. Only people can sin, natures cannot sin. And Jesus is one divine person, therefore it is metaphysically impossible for God… He’s a divine person, for God to sin. If it’s impossible for God to sin, and Jesus is God, then it’s impossible for Jesus to sin. Now, Jesus was tempted, or he was tested by the devil. And Jesus felt physical effects in his body from not giving into those temptations such as hunger in the face of not turning stone into bread. But Jesus did not sin, and he never even considered sinning. But why did the devil tempt Jesus if Jesus is God, and it’s impossible for God to sin?

Trent Horn:

The answer is that the devil didn’t know Jesus was divine. Demons and the devil as St. Thomas Aquinas says, “Can be misled with regard to supernatural matters.” For example, on seeing a dead man, they may suppose that he will not rise again, or on beholding Christ, they may judge him not to be God. So remember, the devil isn’t the opposite of God. He’s not all knowing, and so even he did not fully understand Jesus’s true identity.

Greg:

Facts number three, Mary is not in Heaven now. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is in Heaven now. This is part of a doctrine called the assumption of Mary. The online post, What the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary by Catholiccompany.com, states, “The assumption of Mary is one doctrine of the Church that has emerged from apostolate tradition rather than directly from scripture. It has not officially declared whether or not Mary underwent human death.” However, what the church does officially pronounced is that after the course of her earthly life, Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven by the power of God. Just like the online post admits, this is not a biblical doctrine. It comes from apostolic tradition.

Trent Horn:

This article says it does not come directly from scripture, in the same way that other doctrines like the ending of public revelation in the first century, don’t directly come from scripture. This argument’s only powerful if you believe in the unbiblical doctrine of sola scriptura. And plus, there are some verses that provide indirect evidence for this dogma, which we’ll talk about shortly.

Greg:

What’s more according to the Bible, Mary is not in Heaven now. She’s asleep in the grave, waiting for the second coming of Jesus to be resurrected and taken to Heaven. The Bible doesn’t teach that people go straight to Heaven, or hell upon death.

Trent Horn:

Greg’s Seventh Day Adventism is really starting to show here because he’s advocating for the false doctrine of soul sleep. I talked about this in my other rebuttal to Greg, but it’s worth mentioning again. And I’ll do that after Greg puts forward his reasons in favor of the false teaching of soul sleep.

Greg:

They have to first wait for God’s judgment. And God’s judgment, our works will be analyzed to determine whether or not we will go to Heaven. Second Corinthians chapter five, verse 10, says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” And God’s judgment is executed at the second coming of Jesus. Second Timothy chapter four, verse one mentions that Lord Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom. His appearing is at the second coming. That’s why Jesus said in Revelation chapter 22, verse 12, “And behold, I am coming quickly and my reward is with me to give everyone according to his work.” He will reward us at his second coming, because that’s when God’s judgment will be executed.

Greg:

And at that time, those who are saved will be resurrected and take into Heaven with Jesus. First Thessalonians chapter four, verses 16 through 17, puts it this way, “For the Lord himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will arise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

Trent Horn:

Greg’s argument confuses the two judgments human beings face after death. There’s the particular judgment and the general judgment. This is what the Catechism says. Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ, either entrance into the blessedness of Heaven through a purification or immediately, or immediate and everlasting damnation. Paragraph 1022 of the Catechism. So, we know there must be a particular judgment after death, because the Bible teaches, there are human souls in Heaven that are conscious, so God must judge whether they belong in Heaven, in order for them to be in Heaven, a judgment has to be rendered on those souls showing they died in a state of grace.

Trent Horn:

Revelation, chapter six, verses nine through 11, even describe the souls of martyrs in Heaven crying out to God. Here’s what it says, “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar, the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God, and for the witness they had born. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘oh, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the Earth?’ Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete. Who were to be killed, as they themselves had been.” So, as you can see, Revelation is talking about souls that were in Heaven, but they’re not asleep. They’re conscious of their life with God in Heaven. And this refutes the doctrine of soul sleep.

Greg:

You may be asking yourself, if we have to wait until the second coming of Jesus to be taken to Heaven, what are the dead doing in the meantime? They’re asleep in the grave. The Bible describes death as a sleep. Psalm chapter 13, verse three says, “Consider and hear me, oh Lord my God, enlightened in my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death. Furthermore, according to Ecclesiastes chapter nine, verses five through six and 10, the dead have no emotions or conscious thoughts. It states, “For the living know that they will die but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward for the memory of them is forgotten. Also, their love, their hatred and their envy have now perished. Never more will they have a share in anything done under the sun.” Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or device, or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”

Trent Horn:

These verses don’t prove the doctrine of soul asleep for a few reasons. First, they confuse the language of appearances with the language of reality. So, a lot of times we use metaphors, or we describe the way things appear passing away, falling asleep to refer to death. Those who recently died, they do kind of look like they’re sleeping, so the metaphor isn’t far off. So, Greg hasn’t shown that this kind of language in the Bible is supposed to be taken literally. Second, these verses they even show they shouldn’t be taken literally, since they say things like the memory of them is forgotten. Even though for most people who die there are at least some people who remember them. The point of these passages in the Old Testament is that the dead do not interact with the living as they did when they were alive.

Trent Horn:

They don’t take part in our plans, they don’t know the intimate knowledge of our lives through their own sense perception. If they have knowledge, it’s something that God gives them. From the perspective of human reason alone, all looks hopeless, the dead seem to be gone. But even the author of Ecclesiastes, he admits that the end of the world, “God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” So the dead are cut off from the living, as the Bible says, and they can only interact with the living then through God’s omnipotent power. Finally, in Philippians 1:23, St. Paul says, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” This doesn’t preclude a process of purification that might take place before being with Christ in Heaven. But it does seem to preclude a state of soul sleep that keeps a person unconscious until Christ comes in the final judgment.

Greg:

Now, there are a few exceptions to the rule that we have to wait until the return of Jesus before going to Heaven. For example, Moses, Enoch, and Elijah are all in Heaven now. We know this because Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. In Hebrews chapter 11, verse five says God took a knock away from this world without seeing death. There are also the Old Testament saints that rose from the dead after Jesus’s resurrection in Matthew chapter 27, verses 52 through 53. My personal belief is that Jesus took them to Heaven with him when He ascended, and they are now the 24 elders in Heaven. But besides Moses, Elijah, Enoch and the 24 elders, the Bible gives us no reason to believe that anyone else is in Heaven, including Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Trent Horn:

My personal belief means I don’t have evidence for this assertion, but it would really help my argument. But notice, Greg has opened the door to God raising people up to Heaven in their bodies, and he can only close the door by appealing to the unbiblical doctrine of sola scriptura. So in doing so, he’s undermined his own case against Mary’s assumption.

Greg:

Fact number four, Mary can’t hear your prayers. Catholics are taught to pray to Mary because they believe that she can intercede on their behalf. But since Mary is in the grave waiting for the resurrection at the Second Coming to be taken to Heaven, she can’t hear your prayers because she’s asleep in the grave.

Trent Horn:

Which isn’t true, as I’ve already explained.

Greg:

Not to mention communicating with spirits of the dead is prohibited by scripture. Deuteronomy chapter 18, verses 10 through 12 tells us, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens. Or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.” That passage strictly forbids practicing spiritism. Spiritism is communication with the dead. The freedictionary.com defines spiritism as the belief that the dead communicate with the living. Spiritualism. Praying to Mary is simply spiritism cloaked in a Christian garb. It’s a very dangerous deception.

Trent Horn:

Praying to the saints does not fall under the Bible’s prohibition of necromancy or prohibited communication with the dead. The Catechism says all forms of divination are to be rejected, recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead, or other practices falsely supposed to unveil the future. Catechism paragraph 2116. But seeking the intercession of the saints is not an act of necromancy. Asking for the saints intercession involves sharing a personal request with a saint through personal prayer. Necromancy involves using magic or the occult to extract information from the dead. That’s not what we do when we asked the saints to pray for us. If it was absolutely wrong to communicate with the dead, then Jesus sinned on the Mount of Transfiguration when he spoke with Moses, who had died centuries earlier.

Trent Horn:

Greg’s argument also focuses on the definition of modern English words like spiritism, when he should be examining the original Hebrew words in the scriptures where God prohibited necromancy. My friend and colleague Jimmy Akin puts it this way. The fact that necromancy was for purposes of gaining information which we don’t do when we ask the saints to pray for us, is made clear by the Hebrew terms for medium, spirit inquirer, spiritist, and inquire of the dead. The focus on gaining information is also made clear by the context in Deuteronomy, which specifies that God will send his people prophets, instead of allowing them to use mediums, wizards and necromancers.

Greg:

Fact number five, Mary has not been appearing to people. Supposedly the Virgin Mary has been appearing to people all over the world for hundreds of years. These are known as the apparitions of Mary. For instance, in the year 1531, the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared to a peasant named Juan Diego on a hill near Mexico City and instructed him to seek out the Bishop of Mexico and tell him to build a church on the spot she appeared. In 1846, Mary supposedly appeared to two children tending sheep in La Salette France. She entrusted two messages to the children calling for Christians to respect the holy name of Jesus, and keep Sunday holy, which is a false Sabbath, but that’s another subject. And the list goes on. There’s a couple of dozen recorded apparitions of Mary around the world. But since we’ve already seen that Mary is dead and in the grave, waiting for the resurrection at the second coming of Jesus to be taken to Heaven, this can’t be Mary who is appearing to people. So who is this?

Greg:

These are demons in disguise. Satan and his fallen angels, also known as demons have the ability to appear as something they’re not and to perform false miracles. Second Corinthians chapter 11, verse 14 says, “And no wonder for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” And Second Thessalonians chapter two verse nine says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power signs, and lying wonders.” So Satan or some other demons are assuming the appearance of the Virgin Mary, to deceive people around the world.

Trent Horn:

It’s true demons can present themselves as false apparitions of Mary or the saints, but that doesn’t mean every apparition is demonic. This is true even if evil methods are used. In First Samuel 28, King Saul makes use of a woman known as the witch of Endor, in order to communicate with the deceased prophet Samuel, but there’s nothing in the text that hints that the soul Saul is speaking with doesn’t belong to Samuel or that it’s a demon. The text makes it seem like this is just Samuel. Moreover, I would use the same defense of Marian apparitions that Jesus used of himself when his critics said that he was demonic. In Matthew 12:25 to 26 he says, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?”

Trent Horn:

In other words, how could genuine Marian apparitions be demonic when those apparitions encourage people to hold fast to the deposit of faith Christ gave us? So if they’re from the devil, why is the devil giving advice that goes against everything he’s trying to do? And since I’ve already shown Greg’s defense of soul sleep doesn’t work, he’s going to need another test to determine if an apparition really comes from God or not. In fact, the church, it gives us such a test, when the magisterium acts in its capacity to guide Christians and it declares whether some apparitions are safe to believe in, others are unsafe, or it hasn’t rendered a judgment yet. And the judgment is made on a number of criteria. And part of that is based on the message in the apparition or the private revelation. If it contradicts what God already revealed in public revelation, which we’d expect a demon or the devil to do. Well, then it’s definitely not genuine and you should never listen to it.

Greg:

Fact number six, Mary is not the mother of God. The Roman Catholic Church concludes that Mary is the mother of God, since she gave birth to Jesus Christ. The online post what the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary, states, “If Jesus is God, we must gather that Mary, the one who gave birth to and nurtured Jesus, is the mother of God, who became man.” Mary is not the Mother of God, God is eternal, he has no mother.

Trent Horn:

First saying Mary is the mother of God does not mean Mary created the Trinity, or even the second person of the Trinity from nothing. That’s not what it means to be a mother. A mother is an individual who conceives and bears a person in her womb. So, if the second person of the Trinity was conceived and birthed, then that person, the word or God the son, would have a mother. Second, whenever a Protestant says, Mary is not the mother of God, they’ll fall into the heresy of nestorianism, which claims that Jesus Christ is two persons instead of one person. They divide Jesus into two people and say Mary gave birth to the human person, but not the divine person. Now, they don’t say it that bluntly, but that’s where the logic leads. Listen for yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

Greg:

What Mary did give birth to, is the human body of Jesus. Jesus has to natures, divine and human. Before becoming a man, John chapter one verses one through three says of Jesus, “In the beginning was the word and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through him, and without him, nothing was made that was made.” Jesus is the eternal creator God. However, verse 14 tells us, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth.” Christ voluntarily assumed human nature, he veiled his divinity in humanity.

Greg:

First Timothy, chapter three, verse 16 calls this the mystery of godliness, stating, “And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifested in the flesh, justified in a spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” This is called the mystery of godliness, because it’s a mystery how God could become a man. But that’s exactly what he did. Jesus, while remaining fully God became fully man, in order to save man.

Trent Horn:

When people make arguments like Mary gave birth to the human body of Jesus, you should ask them, when the human body of Jesus was born, where was the person of God the Son? Where was God the Son? If the answer is anything other than the human body of Jesus, you have the nestorian heresy. That’s why the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in the fifth century dogmatically defined that Mary is the Theotokos, or the God bearer, and it rejected the nestorian title, Christotokos, the Christ bearer. Mary did not give birth merely to the Messiah, or a human Jesus who later became divine, Mary conceived and gave birth to the God man. One divine person, who from his conception and for all eternity exists as one divine person with a fully human nature and a fully divine nature.

Greg:

Not to mention, the Bible never calls Mary the mother of God, so we have no biblical reason to attribute that title to her. The closest thing to that, is Luke chapter one, verse 43, where Elizabeth told Mary, “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” But again it Mary gave birth to the human body of the Lord, not Jesus’s divine being.

Trent Horn:

Once again if the human body of Jesus existed apart from the divine being, that’s not the real Jesus, it’s a counterfeit. For more, see my book Counterfeit Christ, available from Catholic Answers press if you want to learn more about counterfeit Christ. Also, even Protestant scholars recognize the language of divinity that is present in Elisabeth’s reply to Mary. According to Robert H. Stein, who is the senior Professor of New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “Here Lord is clearly a christological title and refers to Jesus. The title is used in our account and in Luke one through two in general, both for God and Jesus.”

Greg:

Fact number seven, Mary is not the queen of Heaven. The Roman Catholic Church attributes the title queen of Heaven to Mary. This is explained in the online post What the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary. Stating, Mary’s body has been glorified in Heaven, and she has been given an important role near her son as queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary is entitled queen because she is the mother of Jesus, who was truly a king of kings. The Bible never calls Mary the queen of Heaven. However, the phrase queen of Heaven does appear in a few passages in scripture, and it’s always in reference to a pagan idol. One of the verses that talks about the queen of Heaven is Jeremiah, chapter seven, verse 18, which states that children gather wood, the father’s kindle the fire, and the women need dough to make cakes for the queen of Heaven, and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

Trent Horn:

If the existence of a false queen of Heaven disproves the true queen, then the existence of false sons of God would disprove the true son of God. Paul said in First Corinthians chapter eight, “For though there be so called gods in Heaven or on Earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us, there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we exist.” So there were deities in the ancient world who were called sons of God. And some people worshiped them as rising from the dead through something like the crop cycle symbolically. But none of that shows that Jesus is not the true, unique risen son of God. And if that’s true, then none of this Greg has shown us disproves that Mary is queen of Heaven, just because there were other false queens of Heaven.

Greg:

Queen of Heaven here is a reference to Ishtar, in online post entitled Ishtar by Brooklynmuseum.org states, “Ishtar called the queen of Heaven by the people of ancient Mesopotamia, modern Iraq was the most important female deity in their Pantheon. A multi faceted goddess Ishtar takes three paramount forms. She is the goddess of love and sexuality and thus fertility. She is responsible for all life, but she is never a mother goddess. As the goddess of war, she is often shown winged and bearing arms. Her third aspect is celestial. She is the planet Venus, the morning and evening star.” So now you may be wondering, how did Mary come to be known as the queen of Heaven? When was this title of this pagan idol attributed to her. In online post entitled, Why is Mary called the Queen of Heaven by Catholic.com, states, “Mary, as queen of Heaven is an ancient address to Mary used in prayer that dates back to at least the fourth century.”

Greg:

The imagery of Mary as queen of Heaven was very popular in the middle ages. It’s interesting that the Catholic Church admits that this title for Mary dates back to around the fourth century.

Trent Horn:

It wouldn’t be a Seventh Day Adventists argument without a conspiracy theory.

Greg:

Because that’s when Constantine the Great was emperor of the Roman Empire. And it’s a well known fact that Constantine made compromises between paganism and Christianity. An online post entitled, Who Was Constantine? By lineagejourney.com, states, in an effort to unify Christianity and paganism, Constantine began to mingle the rights of the two religions. The Roman pantheon of gods was slowly assimilated into Christianity, Peter became a substitute for Jupiter, the king of the gods, and the Roman counterpart of the Grecian Zeus. The worship of saints became a substitute for pagan polytheism. With each saint, becoming a working model of one of the Greco Roman pantheon of gods. Pagan holidays were mingled with Christian beliefs. For example, the celebration of Easter and Christmas, both originally set apart for the worship of pagan deities were assimilated and rebranded to reflect Christian themes. So it’s no wonder that around this time, Mary was given the title queen of Heaven, it made pagan worshipers of Ishtar feel more comfortable embracing the Christian religion and Constantine’s effort to unify Christianity and paganism.

Trent Horn:

A few points to note Here. First, Mary’s title queen of Heaven, reflects a Jewish background, not a strictly pagan one. In the ancient world, Kings had many wives in order to consolidate their relations with other civil powers. The Bible says David and Solomon had hundreds of wives. Though the Bible doesn’t command them to do this and even warns rulers against doing this, less they turn their hearts away from God, which is exactly what actually happened with David’s son Solomon and led to the divided kingdom. But in any case, as a result, the title of queen was often given to the king’s mother. So in the Old Testament, Bathsheba, the wife of David, the mother of Solomon, received a variant of this title, she was called the great lady, or in Hebrew, gabira. The title is actually still used in some monarchies today, such as when Elizabeth the Second became queen of England. Her mother Elizabeth the first when her daughter became queen, Elizabeth the first received the title Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Now as for Constantine, veneration of Mary occurred long before Constantine allegedly paganized the Christian Church in the fourth century.

Trent Horn:

In the third century for example, Coptic Christians sung this prayer to Mary, which reflects the oldest liturgical prayer in the church’s history. Once again in the third century, 100 years before Constantine, they prayed to Mary, we take refuge beneath the protection of your compassion Theotokos. Do not disregard our prayers in troubling times, but deliver us from danger only pure and blesses one. Greg’s Constantine invented Catholicism theory it fails, because the Church fathers document things like the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The sacramental priesthood, confession of sins to a priest, long before Constantine. Ephrem the Syrian, for example, he died before Catholicism became the official religion of the Roman Empire. He called Mary lady, queen. He says of Jesus, there is no flaw in me, and in particular, and no stain in thy mother.

Greg:

Fact number eight, Mary is not a mediatrix. One of the titles that the Roman Catholic Church gives to Mary is mediatrix, which means a female mediator. An online post entitled, Mary Our Mediatrix by spiritualdirection.com, states, the Church teaches us to invoke Mary as mediatrix of all graces. By the communion of sorrows and of will between Christ and Mary, says St. Pius the 10th, she merited to become the dispenser of all the benefits which Jesus acquired for us by shedding his blood. That basically means that Mary is the channel of all of Jesus’s grace and mercy. Continuing on the online post reads, just as no one can approach the Almighty Father, except through the sun, so no one can approach Christ except through his mother. First Timothy chapter two, verse five says, for there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. A mediator is someone who reconciles two parties. Jesus is our mediator to God in the sense that he restores us into a relationship with God through his atoning sacrifice. So Jesus is the only mediator between us and God. There are no other mediators, including Mary.

Greg:

But the Roman Catholic Church tries to get around this by saying, Mary is not a mediator to God, she’s a mediator to Jesus. So basically, she’s a mediator for the mediator, which is just ridiculous. Not to mention you never find a Mary being called a mediator for Jesus in the Bible, nor does the Bible say all of Jesus’s grace and mercy is dispensed through her. And never does scripture say we can only approach Jesus through Mary.

Trent Horn:

It’s true, you don’t find Mary formally being called a mediator for Jesus, but she certainly does act like one. At the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus performs his first miracle after his mother intercedes on behalf of the wedding guests. And unlike Theotokos though, Mary’s title of mediatrix it’s not a dogmatic title, but it’s been used by many theologians, and it should be understood in the continuity of all of divine revelation. So Mary, like all the saints in Heaven, she prays to lead us closer to her son. We mediate for one another whenever we pray for the needs of someone else. But we can only do that through the one mediatorship of Jesus Christ. First Timothy 2:5. Now, the Second Vatican Council said this about Mary’s mediatorship. This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.

Trent Horn:

Taken up to Heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office, but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. Therefore, the blessed virgin is invoked in the church under the title of advocate, helper, benefactress, and mediatrix.

Greg:

Fact number nine, salvation doesn’t come through Mary. If you thought that the teaching that Mary is a mediatrix was bad enough, wait until you get a load of this. An online post entitled, All Salvation Comes Through Christ, But Does it Depend on Mary? By stpaulcenter.com, states, all salvation depends on Mary because it comes through Mary. The Roman Catholic Church assumes that since Mary consented to give birth to Jesus Christ, salvation comes through Mary. This is just the bad logic. Yes, she gave birth to the Savior, but that doesn’t mean that salvation comes through Mary.

Trent Horn:

Here we have to distinguish between church teaching and theological opinion. Greg is quoting an article putting forward a theological opinion about how Mary was involved in God’s plan of salvation, not an official church teaching on the matter. Also, this argument should be interpreted charitably. Oka? For example, it wouldn’t be odd for a Protestant to say, our salvation comes from the cross, or we’re saved by the cross of Christ. St. Paul even says, “Far be it from me to glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” Now, this shouldn’t be taken to literally mean that two pieces of wood save us from sin. Instead, our salvation comes from the fact that God shows of the many ways he could choose to leave his earthly pre-glorified life, through a death upon the cross, and in the process atone for our sins.

Trent Horn:

We can also celebrate that Christ chose to use such a violent means of dying in order to show his love for us. Likewise, when Catholics say salvation comes from Mary, they don’t literally mean Mary with her human abilities saved us from eternal damnation. They mean instead, that God shows of the many ways he could choose to begin his earthly life through a means that allowed him to fully identify with the creatures he set out to save. He showed his love for us by, as St. Paul says in Galatians 4:4, being born of a woman born under the law.

Greg:

As a matter of fact, speaking of Jesus, Acts, chapter four, verse 12, says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among a man by which we must be saved.” Salvation comes through Jesus alone. Saying that salvation comes through Mary in any way, shape, or form, is an attempt to exalt Mary to a position that the Bible does not give her.

Trent Horn:

What I’ve said before also applies here, but this also comes up when some people take quotes from the doctors of the church out of context. One example would be St. Alphonsus Liguori, he said this, “We more easily find salvation by having recourse to the mother than by going to the son.” So many critics who quote St. Alphonsus Liguori, they leave out what he wrote next. “Not as if Mary was more powerful than her son to save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Savior, and that he alone by his merits has obtained and obtains salvation for us.” St. Alphonsus goes on to say that Jesus has the ability to damn us for all eternity. Mary has no such ability. Her sole mission in the church is to lead people to her son Jesus Christ. As a result, we should feel a sense of comfort in approaching Mary and being led in the process to her son, Jesus Christ.

Greg:

Fact number 10. Mary is not symbolized in Revelation chapter 12. Revelation chapter 12, verses one through two says, “Now a great sign appeared in Heaven, a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet, and on her head, a garland of 12 stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.” The Roman Catholic Church identifies this woman as the Virgin Mary. The online post, What the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary states, in the book of Revelation chapter 12, verse one, Mary’s status as queen is reflected. And a great portent appeared in Heaven, a woman clothed with a son with a moon under her feet, and on her head, a crown of 12 stars. By all accounts, this does seem like the Virgin Mary. That is until you start closely analyzing the context of this scripture, because it says some things that conflict with the life of Mary.

Trent Horn:

The book of Revelation is symbolic. So it’s possible the woman in Revelation represents multiple people, including Mary. For example, the Protestant scholar, Ben Witherington, he writes, “This figure is both the literal mother of the male child Jesus, and also the female image of the people of God.” Again, the text is multivalent, or has multiple meanings. Peter Leithart agrees. If not only Mary, the woman is also Mary. Mary as eschatos, in a line of miracle mothers as the embodiment of the virginity of Israel’s labor, all of it necessary to form Christ in this world. Also, keep an eye out for how Greg will use contradictions to disqualify this passage from talking about Mary. But then he’s going to brush away contradictions that go against his own favored interpretation of the passage.

Greg:

For example, verse six says, then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1,260 days. The Bible says nothing of Mary fleeing to the wilderness for 1,260 days.

Trent Horn:

As I said, the passage can apply to multiple individuals. When it comes to Mary, this may refer to her flight into Egypt, or it may be a reference to her retreating into a safe kind of obscurity after Pentecost. Also, the text doesn’t intend to be chronological, since revelation 12 says the fallen angels were cast down during the birth of the Messiah, which happened long before the creation of man.

Greg:

Then verse 17 says, “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Here it says the woman has more offspring or children. The Roman Catholic Church believes Mary remained a virgin her entire life. So this can’t be talking about Mary.

Trent Horn:

It can if Mary is the new Eve, and so her children represent anyone who comes to believe in her son and falls under her spiritual care. An example of this can be seen in John 19:25, when Jesus entrust his mother to the apostle John during the crucifixion. John 19:26 to 27 says, “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loves standing near, he said to his mother, ‘woman, behold your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘behold your mother.’ And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.” Tim Staples, Catholic apologist Tim Staples, notes in his book, Behold Your Mother, “Through her suffering, Mary gives birth to a spiritual son. And since the beloved disciple stands in for all Christians to the whole church.” John confirms this for us at the back of the book, affirming in revelation that Mary is not only his own mother, and the mother of Jesus, but the mother of all who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.

Trent Horn:

This biblical data indicates to us, just as the fathers of the Second Vatican Council declared that this maternity of Mary, in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the annunciation, and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.

Greg:

So who is the woman in Revelation chapter 12? It’s the church. Revelation is a highly symbolic book and a woman in the Bible symbolizes the church.

Trent Horn:

This is true, but the woman doesn’t only symbolize the church.

Greg:

For example, in reference to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote in Second Corinthians chapter 11, verse two, for I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. The church has compared to a chaste virgin here and Christ is compared to her husband. Also, the symbolic description of the woman in Revelation chapter 12, corresponds to the experience of the church.

Trent Horn:

All right, get ready to stretch everybody, because this will be quite a stretch of an explanation.

Greg:

For instance, in verse six, when it talks about the woman fleeing into the wilderness for 1,260 days, that corresponds to the 1,260 year Papal supremacy and God’s people fleeing into the wilderness for protection. A day equals a year in prophecy. We can see this principle in action in Luke chapter 13, verses 31 through 32. Stating, on that very day, some Pharisees came saying to him, “get out and depart from here for Herod wants to kill you.” And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Notice that Jesus said that after three days he would be perfected. The word perfected here is translated from the Greek word teleios, which means to complete, finish or bring an end.

Greg:

Most likely Jesus here refers to his coming death, which would perfect that he has complete his earthly ministry. However, at the time Jesus made the statement, he was only six months into his ministry, and he still had three years left until his crucifixion. So when he said he had three days left until the completion of his ministry, he was speaking prophetically. And those three days meant three years.

Trent Horn:

First, Jesus, maybe foreshadowing the fact he will be raised on the third day, not that he’s talking about the third year of his ministry. Second, even if Jesus is symbolizing days with years, that doesn’t mean every other writer does this in the New Testament. In fact, that would also be the case here in John’s depiction of the 1,260 days in Revelation 12. It could be a literal 1,260 days, it could be 1,260 months, which is roughly 100 years. Or it could just mean a really long time. Finally, even if revelation we’re talking about 1,260 literal years of something, that doesn’t support what Greg says next regarding the context of this alleged time period.

Greg:

So to reiterate, the 1,260 prophetic days, the woman fled to the wilderness for, is 1,260 literal years, and this corresponds to the time of Papal supremacy. From 538 AD to 1798 AD, there was a church and state union between the Roman Catholic Church and many European countries. And the Catholic Church used the state to persecute Christians who did not want to submit to its authority. During this time, one Christian group called the Waldensians, fled to the Italian Alps for safety. An online post entitled, Waldensians by britannica.com, states, “Their movement often joins to and influenced by other sects spread rapidly to Spain, Northern France, Flanders, Germany and southern Italy, and even reached Poland and Hungary.

Greg:

Rome responded vigorously, turning from excommunication to active persecution and execution. By the end of the 15th century, they were confined mostly to the French and Italian valleys of the Cottian Alps. So, the Waldensians are the woman or God’s church who fled into the wilderness to escape the wrath of the dragon demonstrated through the persecution of the Catholic Church. And in Revelation, chapter 12, verse 17, when it talks about the dragon being enraged with the woman, and making war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments and have the testimony of Jesus, it’s talking about the war that Satan is waging against the church and its members.

Trent Horn:

There are so many problems with this interpretation to put it lightly. First, I thought the pope under Greg’s view, he rose to power in the fourth century, when pagan elements took over the church under Constantine. I thought that was Greg’s argument earlier. In order for Greg to put the start of the Papal reign in the sixth century, he’s got to ignore all his other conspiracy theories, saying that the Catholic Church actually began in the fourth century. He also has to say the pope lost his power in the year 1798 for basically no reason. You can find similar arguments like this among Seventh Day Adventists. There’s another guy Dustin, who made a video about this with the Antichrist, I debunked that on this channel. So definitely go and check that out as well. But basically, they’re both using the same argument and saying Pope Pius the sixth in the 1700s, was taken prisoner during the wars of Napoleon. And this was when Papal supremacy ended.

Trent Horn:

And so the pope, he lost his authority over the Papal States during that time, during the reign of the Emperor Napoleon, but after Napoleon left, he was exiled in 1814, the pope got the control of the Papal States back who was given to him by Congress of Vienna. So his whole… This is when Papal supremacy happened historically, it just doesn’t work. Plus if the pope being arrested by Napoleon’s forces in 1798, and did Papal power, why wouldn’t we believe papal power ended in 1303 when Philip the fourth kidnapped Pope Boniface the eighth and forced his successor Clement the fifth to live in France instead of Rome. This is also called the Avignon Papacy, the Babylonian captivity of the papacy. And finally, Greg claims that the medieval Waldensian heretics were the real Christians who fought the evil Catholic Church to keep up the revelation allegory. But the Waldensians believe in heresies, both Catholics and Seventh Day Adventists reject. And the Waldensians did not believe in many Adventist teachings that Seventh Day Adventists do accept. So they could not be the church fighting the dragon in Revelation 12.

Greg:

One verse in Revelation chapter 12, is tricky though. Speaking of the woman, verse two says that being with child she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. This is talking about the birth of Jesus. However, if the woman is not Mary, but the church, how did the church give birth to Jesus? This is talking about the struggle that the church went through to bring Jesus into the world. The woman, that is the church, experienced pain when Jesus was brought into the world, and we don’t have to go far to discover the extent of some of that pain. For example, in Matthew chapter two, verse 16, after Herod heard about the birth of Jesus, he ordered all of the male children in Jerusalem from two years old and under to be put to death.

Trent Horn:

Well, wait a minute. Is it talking about the church or Mary? Notice how Greg can’t even maintain his interpretation. And he has to fall back on to the woman representing Mary. And the text is talking about the evils that occurred surrounding Christ literal birth, not the Christian community trying to metaphorically birth Jesus through evangelism or something like that. Alternate you can see that these kinds of arguments fall apart when they’re examined against what the church, the first Christians, and the Bible actually teach. So, I hope this episode was helpful for you. And I just hope that you have a very blessed day.

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