Roman Catholics and their Queen, part 2

The Mary of Roman Catholicism is a late 4th century novelty, unrelated to the Mary of the Bible.

Semper Reformanda Radio recently produced a series of five podcasts on the Roman Catholic view of Mary under the title Roman Catholics and their Queen. The purpose of this blog series is to provide the supporting data behind the podcasts. We hope this will be helpful to those who would like to become familiar with the Roman Catholic claims to apostolicity for their Marian position, and the historical and biblical data showing that the apostles and the Early Church knew nothing of it.

We continue this week with the supporting data for Episode 2.

Episode 2: Mary, Ark of the Covenant

Roman Catholics teach that the Ark of the Old Covenant is a prefiguration of Mary, and that Mary, having carried in her womb the Heavenly Manna, the incarnation of the Word, and the Rod of Aaron blossoming, is therefore the Ark of the New Covenant, imperishable, holy and pure.

It is important to be familiar with Roman Catholic arguments on the Ark because the belief undergirds other Marian doctrines: Mary’s sinlessness (see episode 3), Mary’s perpetual virginity (see episode 4), and Mary’s bodily Assumption into Heaven (see episode 5).

  • The Roman Catholic support for this comes from five basic premises.
    1. Mary was “overshadowed” by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), just as the Ark was ostensibly “covered” by a cloud in the Old Testament (Exodus 40:34).
    2. The Ark’s stay in the hill country of Judæa for “three months” as depicted in 2 Samuel 6 is taken as a prefiguration of Mary’s journey to the hill country of Judæa to visit Elizabeth for “about three months” (Luke 1:39-56).
    3. The Contents of the Ark (Manna, Tablets of the Law, Rod of Aaron) are taken as prefigurations for the contents of Mary’s womb, making her the new Ark.
    4. Revelation 11:19 depicts “the Ark of His testament” in heaven, followed immediately by Revelation 12:1 depicting a woman in heaven, crowned with twelve stars. The woman is taken to be Mary, making her “the ark of His testament.”
    5. The Early Church ostensibly taught that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant
  • Due to the amount of data to be provided under each premise, we list them first in summary form, and will now refute them in the same order, below.

Mary Overshadowed

  • According to Roman Catholics, the language describing the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary at the moment of Christ’s conception (Luke 1:35) is considered so similar to that used for the glory of God covering the tent of the congregation (Exodus 40:34) that it is assumed that the Holy Spirit intended to link the two. In fact, the word in Exodus 40:34 in the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) is the same word used in Luke 1:35. By way of example, one Roman Catholic apologist attempts to make the connection for us:
    • “It is clear, then, that the angel Gabriel drew a parallel between God’s presence in the Sanctuary and in Mary. She is the new, living Ark chosen to bear the God-Messiah; just as the glory of the Lord overshadowed and dwelt in the Old Covenant Ark, the glory of the Lord overshadowed and dwelt in Mary.” (emphasis added)
  • Counterevidence:
  • We note first of all that the Roman Catholic apologist has taken the liberty of filling in for us what is actually missing in the text. Exodus 40:34 says “a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” It says nothing about the cloud covering or filling the ark, and yet the apologist writes, “just as the glory of the Lord overshadowed and dwelt in the Old Covenant Ark…”. The text says nothing like this at all, and yet the Roman Catholic apologist informs us of the link on Gabriel’s high authority, i.e., “It is clear, then, that the angel Gabriel drew a parallel between God’s presence in the Sanctuary and in Mary.” But the parallel was not alleged by the apologist to be Sanctuary|Mary or Tent|Mary or Tabernacle|Mary, but rather Ark|Mary, and that specific parallel is precisely what is missing in the attempt to link Exodus 40:34 with Luke 1:35.
  • Second, we note that there was nothing particularly special about the word used in the Hebrew text. In the Hebrew, the Holy Spirit inspired Moses to use the word, ḵāsâ (כָּסָה), for “covered” in Exodus 40:34, the same word used to say that frogs covered Egypt (Exodus 8:8), locusts covered the earth (Exodus 10:5, 15), waters covered the chariots (Exodus 14:28) and quail covered the camp (Exodus 16:13). This shows that the Hebrew word has no intrinsic prophetic meaning apart from context.
  • Additionally, in the Greek the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to use the word episkiazo (ἐπισκιάζω), for “overshadow” in Luke 1:35, the same word used to describe the cloud overshadowing Jesus and the apostles at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34). But it is also used in Acts 5:15 to say that Peter’s shadow “might overshadow” the sick—again showing that the Greek word has no intrinsic prophetic meaning apart from context.
  • In sum, the Roman Catholic attempt to make a link between Exodus 40:34 and Luke 1:35 to make Mary the Ark is exceedingly difficult because first, in Exodus 40:34 it is not the Ark that is “overshadowed,” and second, the words used for “cover” or “overshadow” in the two verses are not used exclusively to describe the manifestation of the presence and glory of God, so the apologist is left trying to construct a link out of nothing by importing events and forcing parallels that are absent from the text.

Mary’s Journey

  • According to Roman Catholics, Mary’s journey to the hill country of Judæa (Luke 1:39-56) is so similar to the Ark’s temporary stay in the hill country of Judæa (2 Samuel 6), that it is assumed that the Holy Spirit intended to link the two. By way of example, one Roman Catholic apologist explains the relation:
    • “Mary and the ark were both on a journey to the same hill country of Judea.
      • When David saw the ark he rejoiced and said, ‘How can the ark of the Lord come to me?’ Elizabeth uses almost the same words: ‘Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’ …
      • When David approached the ark he shouted out and danced and leapt in front of the ark. … When Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, approached Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb … .
      • The Ark of the Old Covenant remained in the house of Obed-edom for three months, and Mary remained in the house of Elizabeth for three months. …
      • When the Old Testament ark arrived—as when Mary arrived—they were both greeted with shouts of joy. …
      • The ark returns to its home and ends up in Jerusalem, where God’s presence and glory is revealed in the temple (2 Sm 6:12; 1 Kgs 8:9-11). Mary returns home and eventually ends up in Jerusalem, where she presents God incarnate in the temple.
    • It seems clear that Luke has used typology to reveal something about the place of Mary in salvation history.” (Lk 1:56; 2:21-22).” (Steve Ray, Mary, Ark of the New Covenant)
  • Counterevidence:
  • First, David refused to receive the Ark saying, “How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9) and Elizabeth welcomed Mary saying, “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43). “Refusing” is not a type of, and does not foreshadow, “welcoming.”
  • Second, the Scripture does not say David danced before the Ark, but rather “before the LORD” (2 Samuel 6:14), and John leapt at the sound of Mary’s voice, not at the presence of Jesus (Luke 1:44); additionally, David danced after the Ark had stayed “three months” in the house of Obed-edom (2 Samuel 6:11), and John leapt in Elizabeth’s womb before Mary stayed “about three months” with Elizabeth (Luke 1:44), showing that there is nothing but a forced parallel to be found here.
  • Third, we note that the Ark and Mary did not both remain in the hill country of Judæa for three months.
    • The “the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months” (2 Samuel 6:11) and Mary went to visit Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah for “about three months” (Luke 1:56). “Three months” and “about three months” are not the same thing.
    • If such rough equivalents are sufficient for finding a prophetic connection, we can easily use the same flawed Roman Catholic thinking in order to prove that John the Baptist is the Ark. For example:
      • The ark was in the country of the Philistines for “seven months” (1 Samuel 6:1), before it came to the field of Joshua where there was a great stone (1 Samuel 6:14). Elizabeth “hid herself for 5 months” (Luke 1:24), and then in the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy Mary found out about it (Luke 1:36), and then had to travel about 100 miles to visit her cousin. That would be “about seven months” that John waited in Elizabeth’s womb before meeting Jesus, Yeshua, the Cornerstone, and “about seven months” is close enough for the Roman Catholic apologist.
      • The Ark remained in Kirjathjearim for “twenty years” (1 Samuel 7:2), and John the Baptist as a Levitical priest would have waited until he was 20 years old to begin his priestly ministration (1 Chronicles 23:24, 31:17).
      • Thus, the “seven months” the Ark was in the country of the Philistines signified “about seven months” that John waited in Elizabeth’s womb to meet Jesus in Mary’s womb. Also, the 20 years the Ark spent in Kirjathjearim signified John’s youth until he became a priest, making John the Baptist the Ark of the New Covenant.
      • That is foolishness. Yet the methodology used is the same used by Roman Catholics to conclude that Mary is the New Ark.
  • Fourth, it is true that the Ark was brought to Jerusalem with shouts of joy (2 Samuel 6:15), and Elizabeth greeted Mary in “a loud voice” (Luke 1:42). However, we note that the Roman Catholic argument is a very selective one. Notice that the apologist had drawn a parallel with regard to how David greeted the Ark before its three month stay with Obed-edom (“How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?”, 2 Samuel 6:9) and Elizabeth welcomed Mary before her three month visit (“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”, Luke 1:43). In that case, David’s greeting was of dread, and Elizabeth’s of joy. Lacking a sufficient parallel with regard to that greeting, the Roman Catholic apologist instead shifts to the period after the three month stay with Obed-edom, and shows the Ark greeted “with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet” (2 Samuel 6:15), trying to connect it with Elizabeth greeting Mary before the three months. In 2 Samuel the ark is greeted with shouting and joy, including trumpets, but in the case of Elizabeth’s greeting, there were no trumpets.
  • Finally, we notice again how selective the Roman Catholic apologist is in his analysis of Mary’s journey. When the Ark is returned after its three months in the hill country of Judæa, it is taken directly to Jerusalem and placed in the Tabernacle (2 Samuel 6:17) “where God’s presence and glory is revealed in the temple,” but here the Roman Catholic apologist refers to an event that took place nearly 40 years later (1 Kings 8:9-11). When Mary returns from her stay of “about three months” in the hill country of Judæa, she returns not to Jerusalem but to Nazareth (Luke 1:26, 56), and then does not go to the Temple for six more months to present Jesus there. When the Ark and Mary both are depicted going to the hill country of Judæa for roughly equal amounts of time, geography and time were extremely important to the Roman Catholic apologist. But here, lacking a geographic parallel (Jerusalem vs. Nazareth), and lacking a time parallel (40 years vs. six months), suddenly time and geography are of no consequence, and the Roman Catholic apologist settles for both the Ark and Mary returning “home,” and the presence of God manifesting in the Temple “eventually.” That is a very loose “parallel.”
  • In sum, the Roman Catholic attempt to find a parallel between 2 Samuel 6 and Mary’s journey in Luke 1 is so presumptuous and selective that one would first have to believe that Mary is the Ark before one could find a parallel in the passages, just as we demonstrated with John the Baptist. That ostensible parallel is only maintained by a highly selective use of the Scriptures, and ignoring the significant differences. Further, nothing is said in the Scriptures about Mary being the fulfillment of the Ark as a type.

The Contents of the Ark

  • According to Roman Catholics, having carried in her womb the Heavenly Manna, the incarnation of the Word, and the fulfillment of the Rod of Aaron blossoming, Mary is therefore the Ark of the New Covenant. Roman Catholic apologist, Steve Ray, attempts to make the argument as follows:
    • “Notice the amazing parallels: In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God in flesh. In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life. In the ark was the rod of Aaron, the proof of true priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest.” (Steve Ray, Mary, Ark of the New Covenant)
  • Counterevidence:
  • We grant that the Heavenly Manna signifies Christ, for the Scriptures inform us of this (John 6:32). Likewise, we grant that the law signifies Christ, for the Scriptures inform us that Jesus is the incarnation of the Word of God (John 1:14). But we cannot grant that the Rod of Aaron signifies Christ, for the Scriptures explicitly rule out the signification. The Rod of Aaron actually signifies a genetic lineage from Aaron:
    • Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. … but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness. … And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. … unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.” (Numbers 18:1-8)
  • What is more, the Scriptures explicitly deny that Jesus is of the genetic lineage of Aaron:
    • “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.” (Hebrews 7:11-13)
  • In sum, while the Manna and the Law prefigure Christ (for the Scriptures say as much), the Rod of Aaron cannot possibly signify Christ’s priesthood (for the Scriptures tell us this), and therefore, the Rod’s presence in the Ark cannot possibly signify Christ’s presence in Mary, and in fact the Scriptures never identify Christ with the Rod of Aaron. Thus, the attempt to find a parallel between the Ark and Mary based on the Ark’s contents is shown to be untenable.

The Ark in Revelation 11

  • Roman Catholics observe that the reference to the Ark in Revelation 11:19 immediately precedes the mention of the Woman of Revelation 12, whom Roman Catholics take to be Mary. The close proximity of the mentions of the Ark in heaven and the Woman in heaven is taken to mean that the Ark mentioned in Revelation 11:19 is Mary. Roman Catholic apologist, Steve Ray, makes the connection:
    • “What did John say immediately after seeing the Ark of the Covenant in heaven? “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child” (Rv 12:1-2). The woman is Mary, the Ark of the Covenant, revealed by God to John.” (Steve Ray, Mary, Ark of the New Covenant)
  • Counterevidence:
  • The Woman of Revelation 12 is shown to be “travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered” (Revelation 12:2). Labor pains are evidence of sin (Genesis 3:16), showing that the Woman of Revelation 12 is sinful, something that Roman Catholics cannot countenance if she is Mary, for Roman Catholicism teaches that Mary is sinless.
  • Additionally, the Woman of Revelation 12 is in pain, and thus her physical virginity is being compromised. This, too, is something that Roman Catholics cannot countenance if she is Mary, for Roman Catholicism teaches that Mary’s physical virginity was not compromised in Christ’s birth.
  • We will address both of these in episode 3, Mary’s Sinlessness, and episode 4, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. For now, we simply note that Victorinus (270 – 310 A.D.), below, when commenting on Revelation 11:19, saw the Ark as a prefiguration of Christ and His ministry of evangelism, not Mary.

The Ark of the New Covenant in the Early Church

  • According to Roman Catholics, the early church taught that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. We will first review the evidence provided by Roman Catholics to show that all the  early evidence is based on forgeries, frauds, misrepresentations and anachronisms, and then we will show that the Early Church, until the latter part of the 4th century, was completely unaware of any typological link between the Ark and Mary.

Alleged Support from the Church Fathers

  • Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 A.D.)
    • Roman Catholic Apologist, Scott Hahn, claims that the teaching that Mary is the Ark can be traced as far back as the 3rd century. He says, “This application of the Ark of the Covenant to the Blessed Virgin is very ancient. We find that already at the beginning of the 3rd Century in the writings of Hippolytus of Rome.” (Answering Common Objections, A Closer Look at Christ’s Church, Mary, Ark of the Covenant, see “added notes”)
    • Counterevidence: Hippolytus actually taught that Jesus, not Mary, was the Ark:
      • “And, moreover, the ark made of imperishable wood was the Saviour Himself. ” (Hippolytus, Fragments, On the Psalms, Oration on ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’)
      • “And that the Saviour appeared in the world, bearing the imperishable ark, His own body…”(Hippolytus, Fragments, of the visions of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, 6).
  • Gregory Thaumaturgus (c. 213 – c. 270)
    • Roman Catholic Apologist, Steve Ray, compiled “evidence” from the early church fathers in his document, Ark of the New Covenant-Quotes from the Fathers. In that document he claims that Gregory Thaumaturgus taught that Mary is the Ark:
      • “Let us chant the melody which has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou, and the Ark of Thy sanctuary.’ For the holy Virgin is in truth an Ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary.” (Gregory Thaumaturgus, First Homily)
    • Counterevidence:
    • The Homilies attributed to Thaumaturgus are considered, even by Roman Catholics, to be spurious. Even Thomas Livius, (whom Ray cites) conceded that the Homilies were “of doubtful genuineness” (Livius, Thomas, The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries, p. 48n). Additionally, Philip Schaff, in his Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 6, lists them under doubtful or spurious works.
  • Dionysius of Alexandria (late 2nd century – 264 A.D.)
    • Steve Ray also cites Dionysius of Alexandria in support of the identification of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant:
      • “…by the power of God is that tabernacle protected, to be had in everlasting remembrance, Mary, God’s Virgin Mother” (S. Dionysius of Alexandria, Respons. ad Quoest. v. Pauli Samos) (Livius, Blessed Virgin, p. 81).
      • “Not in a servant did He dwell, but in His holy tabernacle not made with hands, which is Mary the Mother of God” (Ib. ad Quoest. vii.) (Livius, Blessed Virgin, p. 81).
    • Counterevidence:
    • The most obvious problem with these citations from Dionysius is that he has Mary as the Tabernacle, not the Ark. But the larger problem, a problem acknowledged by no less than Cardinal Newman, is that Dionysius’ alleged response to Paul of Samosota is a forgery (King, Benjamin J., Newman and the Alexandrian Fathers: Shaping Doctrine in Nineteenth-Century England (Oxford University Press, 2009) 139 – 140). As we noted last week, the forged letter dates to the latter part of the 4th century.
  • Hesychius of Jerusalem
    • Steve Ray also cites Hesychius of Jerusalem in support of the identification of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, saying that he lived about 300 A.D.:
      • The ark is without doubt the Virgin Mother of God (Hesychius, Orat. De Virginis laudib. Biblioth. PP. Græco-Lat. Tom. ii. p. 423) (Livius, Blessed Virgin, p. 89).
      • Arise, Lord, into Thy rest, Thou and the Ark of Thy sanctification, which is very evidently the Virgin Mother of God. For if thou are the pearl, with good reason is she the Ark” (Serm. V. De S. Maria Deip. Patr. Gr. Tom. 93, pp. 460-4) (Livius, Blessed Virgin, p. 227).
    • Counterevidence:
    • These are citations from Greek sources, and as we noted last week, there is no evidence that the term “Mother of God” was used in Greek sources prior to the latter part of the 4th century. Additionally, even the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges that Hesychius was likely from the 5th century, not the 3rd or 4th as Ray places him:
      • “Presbyter and exegete, probably of the fifth century. Nothing certain is known as to the dates of his birth and death (433?), or, indeed concerning the events of his life.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Heyschius of Jerusalem).
    • Hesychius can hardly be used to show an “early” teaching that Mary is the Ark.
    • The rest of Ray’s sources are from the latter part of the 4th century, and beyond. He provided no authentic sources for earlier representations of Mary as the Ark.
  • Methodius of Olympus
    • Roman Catholic apologetics organization, Catholicism.org, cites the Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna by Methodius of Olympus in support of the identification of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, saying that he lived about 311 A.D.:
      • “To honor her, few words are more beautiful than those composed by St. Methodius of Olympus (+311): ‘God paid such honor to the ark, which was the image and type of your sanctity, that no one but the priests could approach it, open or enter to behold it. The veil separated it off, keeping the vestibule as that of a queen. Then what sort of veneration must we, who are the least of creatures, owe to you who are indeed a queen — to you, the living ark of God, the Lawgiver — to you, the heaven that contains Him Whom none can contain?’ (Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna [chapter 5])”
    • Counterevidence:
    • The problem is that Methodius’ Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna is so hopelessly compromised that it cannot be trusted. Parts of it appear to have been added later, and possibly have been confused and conflated with the works of a 9th century monk of the same name. Chapter 1 of the Oration actually identifies Jesus as the Ark before attempting to make Mary the Ark later in chapter 5:
      • “Let no Jew contradict the truth, looking at the type which went before the house of Obededom. [2 Samuel 6:10] The Lord has ‘manifestly come to His own.’ … The publican, when he touches this ark, comes away just; the harlot, when she approaches this, is remoulded, as it were, and becomes chaste; the leper, when he touches this, is restored whole without pain.” (Methodius, Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna, chapter 1)
    • Phillip Schaff observed that the work of “Methodius the monkish artist and missionary of the ninth century has been often copied into the works” of Methodius of Olympus (Schaff, General Note on Methodius, AnteNicene Fathers, Volume 6), and even Steve Ray, when citing the same passage as Catholicism.org, correctly places it in the 9th century, where it belongs (Steve Ray, Ark of the New Covenant -Quotes from the Fathers).

Actual Evidence from the Church Fathers

  • What is remarkable about the actual evidence from the Early Church is that the Ark is said to signify many different things—Christ, His ministry, His people—but what is conspicuous by its absence is any reference to Mary being the Ark:
    • Irenæus (d. 202 A.D.) taught that the Ark signified “the body of Christ pure and resplendent” (Irenæus, Fragments, Fragment 8)
    • Tertullian (155 – 240 A.D.) taught that Christ was foreseen by the twelve stones “set up for the ark of the covenant” (see Joshua 4:1-10), the stones prefiguring the twelve apostles, the Ark therefore prefiguring Christ  (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book IV, chapter 13).  Elsewhere, Tertullian writes that “the ark of the testament” is a figure for us, “for we are temples of God, and altars, and lights, and sacred vessels” (Tertullian, De Corona, chapter 9).
    • Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235 A.D), as we noted above, taught that “the ark made of imperishable wood was the Saviour Himself” (Hippolytus, Fragments, On the Psalms, Oration on ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’), “His own body” (Hippolytus, Fragments, of the visions of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, 6).
    • Victorinus (270 – 310 A.D.) taught that the Ark signified Christ and His ministry of preaching: “‘And there was seen in His temple the ark of the Lord’s testament.’ The preaching of the Gospel and the forgiveness of sins, and all the gifts whatever that came with Him, he says, appeared therein.” (Victorinus, Commentary on the Apocalypse, from the eleventh chapter). Notably, Victorinus was commenting on the mention of the Ark in Revelation 11:19, immediately preceding the mention of the Woman of Revelation 12:1. And yet he does not identify the Ark with the Woman, much less, as Mary. Rather, the Ark represented “Christ” and “all the gifts whatever that came with Him.”
    • Gregory Nazianzen (329 – 390 A.D.) taught that when Christ was conceived in Mary, the Ark had finally arrived, or come to rest, which makes the Ark signify Christ’s body, rather than Mary’s, connecting David’s and John’s leaping to our leaping before Christ, not Mary: “Now then I pray you accept His Conception, and leap before Him; if not like John from the womb, [Luke 1:41] yet like David, because of the resting of the Ark.” (Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 38, On the Theophany, paragraph 17).
  • In sum, it is not until the latter part of the 4th century that we begin to see references to Mary being the Ark. Any evidence alleged to be earlier than that has proven to be fraudulent.

We will continue this series with part 3, on Mary’s alleged sinlessness.

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