Here are eight passages from the Pauline texts that remotely connect to Mary. They are to be read in the light of Paul's Christocentrism. The central theme of all the Pauline writings is Jesus Christ. His Christocentrism is so strong that the expression "in Christ" (en Christo) appears 154 times. His preaching of the good news or gospel of Jesus Christ parallels his centering on Christ as the Redeemer or Savior(cf. I Corinthians 2:1-5). This positive thrust is present in all of the Pauline literature in which God predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies all men and women who believe. All who believe are sisters and brothers of the Lord.
1. Galatians 1:19; 4:4-5; 4:28-29 written around 54-55 C.E.
2. II Corinthians 5:14c-17: written in autumn of 57 C.E.
- "I did not meet any other apostles except James, the Brother of the Lord..."
- "...but when the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons..."
- "You, my brothers, are children of the promise, as Isaac was. But just as in those days the son born in nature's course persecuted the one whose birth was in the realm of the spirit, so do we find it now."
3. Romans 1:3-4; 9:4-5 written near 58 C.E.
- "...since one died for all, all died. He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sakes died and was raised up."
- "Because of this we no longer look on anyone in terms of mere human judgment. If at one time we so regarded Christ, we no longer know him by this standard. This means that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new."
4. Philippians 2:6-8 written around 61-63 C.E.
- "...the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh but was made Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."
- "...the Israelites. Theirs were the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the lawgiving, the worship, and the promises; theirs were the patriarchs, and from them came the Messiah (I speak of his human origins). Blessed forever be God who is over all! Amen"
- "Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. He was known to be of human estate, and it was thus that he humbled himself obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!"
These are the ten or so lines in the entire Pauline Corpus that have been studied and reflected upon in reference to remote connections to Mary. Though we have only a confirmation of her humaness and the Jewish heritage she bequeathed to her son, these are seminal concepts which are important for the foundation of Paul's Christology. ... Mary, his mother, is most assuredly involved in his being one like us. She is also assuredly "in Christ -- a new creation" who lives no longer for herself but for him, who for her sake and the sake of all of us, died and was raised up.
Mark: The First Gospel Image of Mary (65-70 C.E.)
In Mark, we have a clear silhouette of a devout Jewish mother who is concerned about the activity of her son, Jesus. Most of the background for our assertions about her come from the context which surrounds the first scene in which she appears, Mark 3:31-35.
In contrast to Paul, the Markan image of Mary is no longer obscure, but more definite, precise, and explicit. Even though Mark has approximately the same number of lines about her, they do say more than Paul has said. To Mark, we owe the honor of naming her for us for the first time (Mark 6:3).
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.
32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you."
33 And he replied, "Who are my mother and brothers?"
34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:31-35).
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4 Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house."
5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
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