That’s far less than some of the Apostles - certainly less than Peter, who is mentioned about 155times.How then did she come to be one of only two people mentioned by name in the Apostles’ Creed("...born of the Virgin Mary")? How did she come to inspire some of the Church’s earliest liturgiesand prayers, as well as some of its most controversial and misunderstood dogmas?These questions have long been sticking points for many Christians, who can find no basis inScripture for what Catholics believe and pray about Mary.At best, they look upon our Marian beliefs and devotions as products of a pious but misguidedimagination. At worst, they call it "Mariolatry" - a false worship that undermines the perfect savingwork of Christ and robs Him of His glory.That’s why this course is important.We’re going to discover that when it comes to Mary, there’s far more to Scripture than what firstmeets the eye. We’ll see why prayers such as the "Hail Mary" are composed largely of biblicalwords, and see how the Church’s Marian dogmas and doctrines are definitive interpretations of Scriptures concerning Mary.In fact, through close study of the Bible, we’re going to find the seeds not only for Catholicdevotions such as the Rosary, but for dogmas and doctrines such as Mary’s ImmaculateConception, her Assumption, and her crowning as Queen of Heaven.Catholic devotion to Mary, rooted in the biblical witness of Christ’s first followers, is far fromblasphemy or idolatry. At the end of this course, you may wonder whether it is blasphemy
tohonour Mary - as God’s most perfect work, the human person who most truly conforms to theimage of God (seeGenesis 1:27;Romans 8:29;1 Corinthians 15:49).
To appreciate the connections between the Mary of Scripture and the Mary of doctrine anddevotion, we need to learn how to read the Scriptures
as they were written
. When we do, we’lldiscover that, though the biblical data is scant, it is rich in divine meaning.
Reading Mary in MatthewA. Of Her Was Born. . .
Consider this a "reading lesson." We’re going to learn how to read from the New Testament writersthemselves. We want to start by simply understanding the "literal" or literary sense of these texts -what the words on the page tell us about Mary.