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What Does the Bible Teach About Mary?

What Does the Bible Teach About Mary?


Mary’s Humility and Servant Nature

The Bible introduces Mary as a humble servant of God, chosen for the unique role of bearing Jesus Christ (Luke 1:38). Her response to the angel Gabriel reflects humility and obedience, qualities highly esteemed in Christian faith. However, this portrayal sharply contrasts with Roman Catholic doctrines that attribute sinlessness and divine qualities to her. Mary’s own words in the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) suggest her recognition of personal sinfulness and need for a Savior, directly opposing the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.


Lack of Scriptural Support for Marian Doctrines

Roman Catholicism holds several key doctrines about Mary, including the Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, and Assumption. These teachings, however, find no clear basis in Scripture. The Bible does not discuss Mary’s own conception or her assumption into heaven. Moreover, references to Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” (Mark 6:3) pose challenges to the claim of her perpetual virginity. This absence of scriptural backing raises significant questions about the origin and validity of these doctrines.

Mary’s Role in Salvation

The Roman Catholic Church attributes to Mary a mediatory and even co-redeemer role, which is not supported by biblical evidence. The New Testament, particularly in Pauline writings, emphasizes Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between God and humanity (1 Timothy 2:5). While Mary is undoubtedly honored as Jesus’ mother, she is never portrayed as sharing in Christ’s unique role in salvation. Elevating her to such a status not only lacks scriptural endorsement but also detracts from the centrality of Christ’s redemptive work.

Veneration and Worship of Mary in Practice

The practice of venerating and praying to Mary is widespread in Roman Catholicism. However, biblical teachings emphasize worshiping God alone (Exodus 20:3-5; Revelation 19:10). Mary, in the few instances she speaks in the New Testament, directs attention and honor to God and Jesus, not to herself. For example, at the wedding at Cana, she points to Jesus, instructing others to follow his guidance (John 2:5). This biblical pattern contrasts significantly with practices that elevate Mary to a status resembling worship, which the Bible reserves exclusively for God.

Biblical Narrative Focus Versus Catholic Tradition

In the New Testament, Mary plays a critical but limited role, primarily in the narratives of Jesus’ birth and early life. After these events, her presence in the biblical narrative diminishes significantly, indicating that while she is to be respected, her role is not central to the Christian faith. This stands in stark contrast to Roman Catholic tradition, where Mary is a continual, prominent figure in theology, devotion, and practice. This discrepancy between the biblical narrative and Catholic tradition suggests an elevation of Mary beyond her scriptural role.

Additional Considerations in Marian Doctrines

Further examination of Marian doctrines reveals additional areas of concern. For instance, the Rosary, a central component of Marian devotion in Catholicism, involves repeated prayers to Mary, which lacks a scriptural basis. The emphasis on Marian apparitions and messages in Catholicism also goes beyond what Scripture reveals about Mary’s role. These aspects of Marian devotion contribute to a view of Mary that is significantly different from her portrayal in the Bible.


In summary, the biblical depiction of Mary as a humble, obedient servant of God contrasts sharply with the elevated, almost divine status she holds in Roman Catholic doctrine and practice. The absence of scriptural support for key Marian doctrines, the exclusive role of Christ as mediator, and the Bible’s focus on God rather than Mary, all point to a significant divergence between biblical teachings and Roman Catholic views on Mary.

Read More

  1. “Mary: Another Redeemer?” by James R. White – This book provides a critical examination of Roman Catholic Marian doctrines, contrasting them with biblical narratives and Protestant perspectives. White delves into the development of Marian beliefs and their theological implications.
  2. “The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and The Word of God” by James G. McCarthy – McCarthy offers a comprehensive comparison between Roman Catholic traditions, including those concerning Mary, and scriptural teachings. The book is a valuable resource for understanding these differences in light of the Bible.
  3. “Mary for Evangelicals: Toward an Understanding of the Mother of Our Lord” by Tim Perry – Perry explores Mary’s role in Christian theology, including a critique of Roman Catholic views, offering insights that are valuable for evangelicals seeking to understand Mary’s biblical and theological significance.

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