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Rev 12:2 About Who?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Standing Up, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    Is Rev. 12:2 about Mary? Maybe so, but if so, it means her virginity ended. If not, then it's not.

    Rev. 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

    Aquinas:
    "On the contrary, Augustine says (Serm. de Nativ. [*Supposititious]), addressing himself to the Virgin-Mother: "In conceiving thou wast all pure, in giving birth thou wast without pain." ...
    Reply to Objection 1: The pains of childbirth in the woman follow from the mingling of the sexes. Wherefore (Gn. 3:16) after the words, "in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children," the following are added: "and thou shalt be under thy husband's power." But, as Augustine says (Serm. de Assumpt. B. Virg., [*Supposititious]), from this sentence we must exclude the Virgin-Mother of God; who, "because she conceived Christ without the defilement of sin, and without the stain of sexual mingling, therefore did she bring Him forth without pain, without violation of her virginal integrity, without detriment to the purity of her maidenhood."
    ...
    Reply to Objection 3: We are told (Lk. 2:7) that the Blessed Virgin herself "wrapped up in swaddling clothes" the Child whom she had brought forth, "and laid Him in a manger." Consequently the narrative of this book, which is apocryphal, is untrue. Wherefore Jerome says (Adv. Helvid. iv): "No midwife was there, no officious women interfered. She was both mother and midwife. 'With swaddling clothes,' says he, 'she wrapped up the child, and laid Him in a manger.'" These words prove the falseness of the apocryphal ravings [Protoevangelium of James].
    Summa Theologica

    So, Aquinas in railing against the PoJ as nonsense; it contradicts scripture. He also puts to rest the subsequent and much later theory that Rev. 12:2 is a picture of Mary as Queen of heaven.

    Or maybe Rev. 12:2 is, but it's a picture of Mary who gave a normal birth, not ever-virgin [non normal birth] Mary. Can't be both.
     
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  2. Mark51

    Mark51 Newbie Supporter

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    For the first time, John beholds a woman in heaven. She is, of course, not a literal woman. Rather, she is a sign, or a symbol.-Revelation 1:1.

    In the inspired prophecies, women at times represent organizations “married” to outstanding personalities. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Israel was spoken of as a wife of Jehovah God. (Jeremiah 3:14) In the Greek Scriptures, the congregation of anointed Christians is spoken of as Christ’s bride. (Revelation 21:9-14) The woman John here sees is also married to someone, and she is about to give birth. Later her child is “caught away to God and to his throne.” (Revelation 12:5) Jehovah thus claims the child as his own. Therefore, the woman that John sees must be Jehovah’s symbolic wife.

    About eight centuries earlier, Jehovah had addressed this symbolic wife, saying: “All your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah.” (Isaiah 54:5, 13) Jesus quoted this prophecy and showed that these sons were his faithful followers, who later formed the congregation of anointed Christians. (John 6:44, 45) So members of this congregation, spoken of as God’s sons, are also children of God’s symbolic wife. (Romans 8:14) The apostle Paul adds the final piece of information when he says: “The Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” (Galatians 4:26) The “woman” seen by John, then, is “the Jerusalem above.”

    Since Paul spoke of her as “above,” and John sees her in heaven, she is clearly not an earthly city; neither is she the same as “New Jerusalem,” since that organization is the bride of Christ, not Jehovah’s wife. (Revelation 21:2) Notice that she is crowned with 12 stars. The number 12 is associated with completeness in an organizational setting. Hence, these 12 stars seem to indicate that she is an organizational arrangement in heaven, just as ancient Jerusalem was on earth. Jerusalem above is Jehovah’s universal organization of spirit creatures that acts as his wife, both in serving him and in producing offspring.

    John sees this woman as being robed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet. When we add her crown of stars, she is completely surrounded by heavenly lights. God’s favor shines upon her day and night. She is also pregnant, enduring labor pains. Her cries for divine help show that her time has come to give birth. In the Bible, labor pains often symbolize the hard work needed to produce an important result. (Compare Psalm 90:2; Proverbs 25:23; Isaiah 66:7, 8.) No doubt labor pains of this kind were experienced as Jehovah’s heavenly organization prepared for this historic birth.
     
  3. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi standingup,

    I've never seen virginity defined as whether or not one has a child, although I understand that in the natural process of coming to childbirth it is assumed that there have been sexual relations. Also, the Scriptures don't address Mary's condition after child birth. What they foretell is that the virgin shall be with child (pregnant). So, whether or not we define virginity to be some way entangled with child birth, the Scriptures are speaking of a woman before she has given birth. The hymen, which I assume is why you are saying that she would not be a virgin in agreement with the Scriptures, would still be intact during the child's gestation.

    Secondly, how do you know that Augustine had any idea as to whether or not Mary suffered birth pains during her delivery? Is there some piece of Scriptures that he shows to support this or is it just more of the, "Gosh, I want Mary to have always remained a virgin and so this is what we must believe about her"? As far as I am aware, there were likely only two people there when Mary gave birth and neither Mary, Joseph or God's word gives any indication whatsoever that she didn't go through the normal pains of passing a full grown child from her body. The next we hear of anyone being with Mary, besides her husband, is when the shepherds came along quite a while after she had given birth and the baby was already wrapped in swaddling cloth. They would not have witnessed Mary's birth pains and didn't, as far as I know, write anything about the subject. So, for me, before I'd allow any credence to what Mr. Augustine wrote or is claimed to have said, I'd want to see his evidence that he has even a clue of what he's talking about.

    For me, this is one of the gravest errors of many teachers that claim to know the things of God. They just make up stuff from their heads because this is how they figure is the only way that their agenda can be supported. Augustine, being a good catholic practitioner, needed for Mary to not have suffered any pain in child birth because that was the only way that he could imagine she would meet his idea of the 'good holy mother of God' ideology.

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  4. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    Most think of virginity as regards sex, but the dogma definition of virginity is this---virgin before (sex), during (how was the infant born? with or without afterbirth), and after birth (sex).

    Yes, for the virgin Mary. At birth, if one agrees Christ was born normally, then per the definition, virginity would necessarily be over.

    It's from Gen 3:16. This has nothing to do with whether she remained a virgin or not. This is about the curse of birth pangs. Some believe Mary was exempted from the curse, and so she had no birthing pains. For them, she could not be the woman in Rev. 12:2.
     
  5. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Well, that may be how you have seen it defined, but I honestly can say that I haven't ever seen it defined that way. What most people think does not a definition make.

    Y
    Could you perhaps lead me to the dictionary that you have that defines virginity in this way? You see, there are many ways that a woman, especially today, can lose their hymen without having sexual intercourse. Are these women who lost their hymen by using tampons or strenuous exercise of some sort then not virgins according to the dictionary definition of virginity?

    Yes, and then for others who don't define the loss of virginity as you do or who don't believe that Mary wasn't under the same curse as everyone else, then she could well be the woman in Revelation 12:2. Again I will ask, is there some Scriptural evidence that Mary wasn't just a woman like every other woman only especially blessed of God to be found worthy to carry His Son into the world? I agree that Mary was certainly blessed of God by being given the responsibility that she was. This the Scriptures do tell us. But, I also believe that Daniel was certainly blessed of God just as the angel Gabriel told him he was, but I believe that Daniel was just a man like every other man who has walked upon the earth. He just had an enormously strong faith just as Abraham did, and because of his great faith, and because of Mary's great faith, and because of Abraham's great faith, they were all specially blessed of God to do the work for which God created them to do. But they were all just men and women just like the rest of us in all other matters. Mary was not some super woman. She was just blessed of God, as she tells her cousin, because of the great miracle God had done through her. She did not remain a virgin all of her life and she went on to live, I believe, a godly life throughout her life.

    Now there is no Scriptural evidence to support that last statement, but we are told that Mary treasured all the things that she had been told and that her son had done, and based on that treasuring of her memories, I believe she would have remained loyal to God throughout her life. Just as Elkanah seems to have probably done. I believe that John the Baptist's mother was also specially blessed of God to be given the great gift of being the parents of the son of Jesus' precursor. The parents of the one whose voice would call out to all the people of Israel, "Make straight the way for the Lord."

    There have been many throughout the annals of the Scriptures that were especially blessed of God and given great responsibilities in God's work of fulfilling His purpose upon the earth. Paul and the first disciples come readily to mind. Jesus said that the first disciples, not including Paul in this, had been handpicked and given to him by the Father to do what they were supposed to do. He said that he had not lost any that the Father had given him except the one doomed to destruction. It would seem that Judas also was raised up for the purpose that he fulfilled in handing the Lord over to the authorities. Judas was a thief and an instigator before Jesus ever chose him and so God set Judas among the disciples to do that which he did. Even way back in the psalms we read that Jesus was to be betrayed by a friend.

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
  6. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi standing up,

    Maybe I asked for the wrong definition of virginity. You seem to claim that there is some 'dogma definition'. Could you show me where that is found in the Scriptures? I'm not actually clear on what a 'dogma definition' is as opposed to just a regular definition.

    God bless you,
    In Christ, Ted
     
  7. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a3p2.htm

    510 Mary "remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin" (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is "the handmaid of the Lord" (Lk 1:38).
    -ibid-

    This idea sources to the Protoevangelium of James. The light diminishes. The baby appears. Mary retains all the afterbirth.

    People like Cyril of Jerusalem and Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian, following John (came by blood and water), disagreed with that docetic idea, believing instead that Christ was born normally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  8. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    Sure, Mary could by symbolized in Rev 12:2. But if so, then one can't also believe she was not travailing in pain at Christ's birth (Gen. 3:16). It is two diametrically opposed ideas, though it doesn't stop some from holding them at the same time anyway.
     
  9. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi standing up,

    Sure, one can believe whatever they would like to believe. The truth is that all of us believe what we have convinced ourselves is the truth. However, allowing what one wants to believe as their own personal choice, when it comes to proving that that belief is right to others, then evidences must be provided.

    I can tell you that I believe the moon is made of green cheese. You would rightly ask me how in the world could I believe such a thing and that then puts the onus on me to give you some kind of evidence to prove that what I believe is the truth. I'm not likely to convince you of my belief if my response is just 'because I said so'. Of course, once I do provide evidence for my belief, then we get to the more grittier part where you could look at my evidence and say, 'Oh, I see. Yes, you're correct', or you might challenge my evidence.

    In this case I am challenging your evidence. You have provided an excerpt from a writing from what many call an 'early church father', and the assumption that has to be made to accept your evidence is that ECF's are correct and therefore, I am correct. I don't actually put much faith in the ECF's. I have read the Scriptures through fairly thoroughly and they paint a picture, to me, that we have to test all things as regards what others say about spiritual things. The litmus test, for me, is always the Scriptures.

    I can't logically accept the claim you have produced that some woman gave birth to a child and suffered no birth pains. It is a fairly universal truth that when a woman delivers a full term baby that there are going to be pains, although today we do have the ability to block such pains through the use of medicine. There is universally some tearing of skin in the delivery of a full term baby and, as far as I know, women even joke to men that they haven't even touched on what real pain is until they've delivered a baby's head through the tiny opening of the birth canal and the vagina.

    I believe that Jesus was a healthy full term baby when born and that there is no evidence that God somehow miraculously kept her from feeling the normal pain of childbirth, but your evidence says that she didn't. I'm asking for proof and all your evidence seems to be able to provide for truth is, 'this is what an ECF said or wrote about the issue'. The problem for me being that the particular ECF in question wasn't there and so I want to know where he got his information.

    So yes, you are free to believe whatever it is that you've convinced yourself is the truth, but if you want to be able to 'prove' that what you believe is the truth to others who don't hold to such a belief, then evidence must be offered to support why you believe what you believe.

    In this particular case, Revelation 12 speaks of a woman who travailed in birth pains. The woman could be Mary specifically or it could well be the nation of Israel in general, but the passage seems to clearly be speaking of Jesus' visitation to us.

    Revelation 12:
    A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

    The passage speaks of a woman delivering a child. It speaks of that woman in fairly glowing words of being clothed with the sun and having the moon under her feet. It says that she wore a crown of twelve stars. It tells us that the devil was waiting for her to give birth so that he might devour the child. But it tells us before this that this creature swept a third of the stars from the sky and hurled them to the earth. Then she gave birth to a child who we are told will rule the nations with an iron scepter. The child, however, was snatched up to God's throne. Then the woman fled into the desert to a place prepared by God where she resides for 1,260 days. There is, during this time a great war in heaven between the righteous angels of God and the unrighteous ones. After losing this battle in heaven, the dragon and those aligned with him are hurled to the earth. We hear the proclamation from heaven that salvation has now come to the earth, but that the earth is still in trouble because now the dragon and his minions are here on the earth with us. The dragon pursues the woman who had given birth, but because she is removed to the place that God has prepared for her in the desert, he is unable to destroy her when the earth absorbs his fury against her. Seeing that he has lost this fight also, he then turns his pursuit to those who obey the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of His Son. The overall picture of this account and the subject of 'who' the woman actually is, seems to be Israel, although the devil's last attempt to destroy the work of God is clearly turned against born again believers.

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
  10. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus Hebrews 2:14.... Pesky Devil, git! Supporter

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    Perhaps that"woman" could be representing NC Jerusalem [while the other "woman" represents OC Mosaic Jerusalem during the time of Jesus]?
    I and many other actually view Jerusalem as being that Great City in Revelation back in ad70. IMHO

    Isaiah 66:

    7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
    8 "Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a Nation be brought forth all at once?
    As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.…


    Micah 4:2
    1 And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains.
    It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it.
    2 Many nations will come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD And to the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths."
    For from Zion will go forth the law, Even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.


    Revelation 14:1
    And I saw and behold! The Lamb standing on mount Zion
    and with it hundred forty four thousands having the name of it, and the name of the father of it, having been written on of the foreheads of them.


    http://www.christianforums.com/threads/why-jerusalem-is-mystically-called-sodom-and-egypt.7570002/
    Why Jerusalem is Mystically Called Sodom and Egypt

     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  11. Standing Up

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    Keep in mind, we actually agree about these things. My OP was about the woman of Rev 12:2 giving birth in pain. RC believes Mary was exempted from pain. Thus Rev. 12:2 couldn't be about Mary.

    From that "frying pan" we move into the "fire". The reason they believe there was no pain was specifically because they think the womb remained closed (" I[Aquinas] answer that, The pains of childbirth are caused by the infant opening the passage from the womb. Now it has been said above (Question [28], Article [2], Replies to objections), that Christ came forth from the closed womb of His Mother, and, consequently, without opening the passage. Consequently there was no pain in that birth,") This contradicts scripture NT and OT that says, the first born opens the matrix (womb).

    So, if one wants to believe Rev. 12:2 is about Mary, then at least one is on the right track that she travailed in birth, opening the womb, in which case her virginity ended, contrary to their de fide dogma as quoted above.
     
  12. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi standing up,

    Yes, I have never believed the passage to be about Mary specifically, but I must say that I was a bit tossed when you brought out the fact that one of the reasons that you thought it couldn't be about Mary was because some ECF didn't think she experienced any birth pains. I'm also not convinced that any normal (meaning most people believe the term 'virgin' is defined, not that you aren't in anyway normal) as having anything to do with whether or not a woman gives birth to a child.

    It's rather similar to those who argue that the 6 days of creation couldn't be actual days because there wasn't any sun. While we have for a number of millennia now equated the sun's rising to the definition of a day, it doesn't actually have anything whatsoever to do with the actual definition of the span of time of a day. Similarly, while we have come to understand that if a woman gives birth then she must have had sexual relations (of course today it can be done through invitro), and, therefore, because she had sexual relations she cannot be a virgin. But the actual definition of a virgin has nothing to do with childbirth. Although, you seem to want to provide some interpretation that says this isn't true.

    While I'm not much impressed with anything the RC and some other more orthodox fellowships may 'believe' about how Jesus got from being inside Mary's body to the outside world, I sincerely don't believe that he didn't spend 9 months in Mary's womb just as any other baby does through gestation. That his passing out of her womb into the world likely caused her just as much pain as any other birth procedure. Of course, I can't confirm that through Scripture, but, neither can they confirm that she didn't experience such pain other than some, to me, ludicrous argument that we have to keep Mary as a virgin all of her life. I think the Scriptures are quite clear that Mary had other children who were the familial brothers and sisters of Jesus. No, Jesus didn't have any of Joseph's or Mary's DNA. He wasn't conceived by an egg that belonged to Mary's body nor that egg fertilized by any sperm of Joseph's body. As I understand the Scriptures, the already beginning zygot was implanted in Mary's womb by the Holy Spirit. However, from that point on, Jesus' growth and birth were pretty much like every other fetus's growth and birth.

    Anyway, let us continue to follow Paul as he follows the Christ.
    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
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