Genesis 3:15 Protoevangelium

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by rcconvert, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. rcconvert

    rcconvert New Member

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    Dear Team Anglican and Friends,

    After reading some posts and threads on this forum regarding the Mother of Jesus, I spent time this morning (on vacation) reading up on the RCC interpretation of Genesis 3:15--the gateway to Mariology. Three Marian doctrines of the RCC connected directly and/or indirectly to Gen 3:15 are:

    Mary as Mother of God (431)
    Perpetual Virginity (649)
    The Immaculate Conception (1854)

    What is the Anglican interpretation of Genesis 3:15? Are there any streams in Anglicanism that acknowledge the biblical basis for the doctrines listed above? How would an Anglican address this topic at a Theology on Tap ecumenical round table discussion?

    Thank you.
     
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  2. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

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    We have no official Mariology, so you can find Anglo-Catholics who uphold the Marian doctrines (virginity, sinlessness, immaculate conception). I think all Anglicans agree that the Roman Marian dogmas cannot be dogmas because of their lack of clear Scriptural support. Those who believe some or all of them do so out of "pious opinion" and respect for tradition, and not as a required point of faith.

    Mary as Mother of God, technically, is a christological point, out of the 2nd or 3rd ecumenical council, so we all believe that. (Sometimes we use the language of theotokos instead, but it's the same teaching.)

    The sinlessness and immaculate conception of Mary are probably rare beliefs among us, since Article of Religion 15 states that Christ alone was without sin.

    The perpetual virginity of Mary, though, was a commonly held view among almost all the Protestant reformers; even Charles Wesley believed in, as late as the 18th century! Perhaps not a lot of us hold to that doctrine today, though; it's just not something we talk about much.
     
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  3. rcconvert

    rcconvert New Member

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    Thank you for your response. I think we can agree that the end game ultimately is Jesus, and if Jesus isn't the center/focus, than the pathway strays from the target destination.
     
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I am new to Anglicanism so I couldn't answer your question directly. But I would like to comment that I think the Roman church did a disservice when they used the limited choice of Latin words to translate theotokos into what eventually became the English "mother of God." I feel personally that "God-bearer" is a more theologically correct translation, since we know that Almighty God, being without beginning or ending, has no mother.
     
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  5. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

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    "Mother of God" is just as accurate as "God-bearer" (theotokos) though, as the point in both cases is that Jesus is fully divine. As the Athanasian Creed spells out, "The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God... and yet there are not three gods but one God."
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but in another thread you commented:
    How do you reconcile these two posts? God the Son "took on flesh," took on the name "Jesus," and took on human nature; so didn't He also "take on" having a mother at that time? Since having a mother is similarly external to His essence and being, having a mother does not change God the Son's immutable, eternal, motherless being. If that is correct and accurate, then it seems to me that Mary cannot accurately be called the mother of God (a mother is one who brings a child into being!) but only the bearer of God (one who carried Him).
     
  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    With respect, I suspect that the rendition of the greek theotokos as mater dei in latin whilst tolerable historically caused some stress, especially in the East, given their strong emphasis of the monarchical integrity of the Father as the source (alpha point) of all that is, seen and unseen. Motherhood can convey a sense of origin which is what what was intended by the greek, nor was intended by those who rendered the phrase in latin, and quite possibly has seen some distortion of Christology on the part of those who may not be fully versed in this distinction.

    In some sense, for us in this day and age, where finis seems dead and everyone wants to take everything literally, perhaps either theotokos or Mary, Mother of the Lord, are both safer options.
     
  8. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

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    I don't see any conflict between my quotes you brought together here. Yes, God the Son took on flesh, became united with a human nature in the Person of Jesus - a human nature derived/received from his mother Mary.

    Some argue that Mary is only the Christotokos, the bearer and mother of the Christ, the human nature of Jesus alone. But this falls short of chalcedonian christology which unites the divine and human natures in one person. The communicatio idiomatum therefore enables us to speak of the human nature and the divine interchangeably, and thus we proclaim Mary is the mother of God, not just "the human Jesus."
     
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  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't know that we can go as far as erasing any distinction between the two natures, which I do not believe was the purpose of the definition in the Council of Chalcedon. We need to remember that it's not the case that he had two natures but one will. He actually had two wills, one separate from the other. Which means that every choice and action he made, he made only as a human being could. And differently, only as God could. Each of his wills, for different reasons, enacted their decisions in one and the same action. When he cried out at the Cross, "My God, why have you forsaken me?", his human nature was despairing of his faith. While his divine nature was literally quoting Psalm 22:

    Psalm 22:
    1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
    2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

    Which actually ends in an epic divine triumph!

    27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
    28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.


    That being said, I agree that Mary as Christotokos is insufficient, because upon the Incarnation the infant baby Jesus already had the divine nature, and thus she carried in her womb the Logos himself, and not only Ieshua.
     
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