Mary, Did You Know?

by Michelle Arnold

in Mary

Weyden18_1 Mary did you know, that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know, that your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know, that your baby boy
Was Heaven’s perfect Lamb?
And this sleeping Child you’re holding
Is the Great I AM

From the song Mary, Did You Know?, lyrics by Mark Lowry


Tim J here.

I know a lot of people like this song, especially at this time of year, and I am NOT trying to get anyone all twisted up about it, but I have to get something off my chest…

Every time I hear this song, I want to stand up and holler "YES, Mary knew! If ANYONE knew, she did!!"

In my mind, the song conjures up an image of Mary as a nonplussed and naive young girl, caught up in events she can’t comprehend or control. This is not surprising, since the song was written by a Protestant Evangelical and this is the prevailing view of Mary among Protestants.

But, consider this from the first chapter of Luke’s gospel:

And Mary said:
   "My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
      of the humble state of his servant.
   From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
      holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
      from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
      but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
      but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
      remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
      even as he said to our fathers."

Now, even if I didn’t believe that Mary was born without sin, after reading her Magnificat, I would begin to suspect that this was no ordinary little Jewish girl. She was perhaps 16 (give or take a year or two) at the time. How many sixteen-year-olds do you know who would put together a psalm of praise like that? Mary’s Magnificat demonstrates that she not only knew who Jesus was, but what he meant to the nation of Israel and to the world.

Consider what the angel told her, also from Luke 1:

"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

But Mary had not just been told who Jesus was, she had direct experience of who he was, having been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit at his conception. She knew! Boy, did she know!

Now, I am not saying this is a bad song, or that Catholics shouldn’t listen to it. I do, however, want to invite those who hear it to consider that Mary DID know precisely who Jesus was. The next time you hear Mary, Did You Know?, go and read the first chapter of Luke, and give thanks for all that God has done for us through our Blessed Mother.

Oh, and pray a Rosary!

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Eric December 23, 2005 at 7:46 am

Amen! I just heard that song a few nights ago and thought the same thing. Still, just glad she’s mentioned at all!

mio December 23, 2005 at 7:47 am

Personally, my quibble with that song is with this verse
Did you know that your baby boy
has come to make you new;
the child that you delivered
will soon deliver you?

which, to me, conflicts with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Of course, it’s not a Catholic song (at least, I don’t think so), so what can you expect?

Rosemarie December 23, 2005 at 7:55 am

Yeah, I heard that song while shopping in a store last week. The “will soon deliver you” line irked me, too.
Tim makes some very good points; no one who really reads the Gospel of St. Luke can claim that Mary “didn’t know” Who her Son was.
In Jesu et Maria,

Mike December 23, 2005 at 7:55 am

That’s funny. They played it on the 4th Sunday at my parish and I thought the same thing as well.
Still better than most of the “Marty and Dave” show.

whimsy December 23, 2005 at 7:59 am

Mary pondered many things in her heart. Perhaps the song is a meditation on that — how Mary still walked in Faith of things yet to come — like all of her ancestors from Abraham.

Jules December 23, 2005 at 8:11 am

I pointed this out to my mother the other day. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one to think that.

Mia Storm December 23, 2005 at 8:35 am

Personally I love the song, seeing it as a way to meditate on what Mary did or did not know. As Frank Sheed once said, it is impossible to read very far into the mind of one untouched by sin, so the song reflects more on our limitations than hers.
As for the “soon deliver you” line, Mary was given the grace of an Immaculate Conception in anticipation of the cross and that had yet to occur. So while she had already been delivered in one sense, in another (from the point of view that the crucifixion had not yet taken place in time and space) she too awaited the cross.
I should say though that this is a way of understanding the song that the lyricist likely did not intend and the song is open to confusion, so while I love hearing it on my car radio, I hate hearing it at Mass.

J A Baumgartner December 23, 2005 at 8:46 am

“Personally, my quibble with that song is with this verse
Did you know that your baby boy
has come to make you new;
the child that you delivered
will soon deliver you?
which, to me, conflicts with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.”
While the song is written from a Protestant standpoint and the future tense gives us pause as Catholics, it is important to remember that God is not bound by time and that it was the (Incarnation,) Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ which gave Mary the grace to be conceived without original sin, not the other way around. Yes, this is a paradox, but it is important to remember.
As to whether Mary knew that Christ was the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, it doesn’t seem that the Lucan text demonstrates this. The same goes for Christ as Sacrificial Lamb or High Priest.. Luke’s Gospel dwells on messianic language, which did not necessarily carry the high Christological attachments that Christians found to be implicitly contained within them after the resurrection of Christ. In fact, a Jew of the time would not have expected the Messiah (Christ) to be “Heaven’s perfect Lamb” or “The Great I AM.” Inflated titles like “Son of God” were regularly employed in the coronation rites of Jewish kings and part of the Davidic and messianic traditions, but they were not understood as ascribing divinity to the king.
Could Mary have been given this knowledge, given her unique role and relationship? I don’t see why not. But the Lucan text itself doesn’t seem to indicate that she must have known this.
This is mostly speculation on my part, however, and I have not looked into this question in any depth. Perhaps the Church has spoken on this issue and/or there is something in the Gospel text that I am missing..

Anonymous December 23, 2005 at 8:50 am

Please lighten up, people. It’s like someone singing about the young Jesus looking at the kids he played with and wondering if one of them would drive the nails into his hands. It’s called a literary or poetic device.
And if Jesus didn’t deliver Mary, then why did Mary call Jesus her savior?

Laura December 23, 2005 at 9:40 am

I can’t stand that song for exactly the reasons Tim said. I just want to scream at the radio whenever I hear it too. I had a protestant friend who completely deminished our Lady after hearing that song. She took all her holiness away and made her out to be some frightened little child who didn’t have any clue as to what would happen to her. I was so shocked that people would think so little of her.Sigh, anyway, it’s why I just turn the radio off whenever I hear that song

Tim J. December 23, 2005 at 9:46 am

My intention was really not to knock the song too badly.
I just wanted to make plain the answer to the song’s rhetorical question “Mary, Did You Know?”.
The answer is “Yes, she did!”.

cw December 23, 2005 at 9:58 am

Everytime I hear that song, which musically speaking is very nice, in the back of my head I hear a voice saying, “Of course she did!” It is the same voice that speaks when I hear Mercy Me’s verse “Will I dance for you Jesus….” It says: “Not the Baptists. chuckle, chuckle”

Rosemarie December 23, 2005 at 10:03 am

>>>And if Jesus didn’t deliver Mary, then why did Mary call Jesus her savior?
Because He saved her at the very moment of her conception. He prevented her from ever acquiring original sin, by virtue of the forseen merits of His Death. Thus Jesus is Mary’s Savior.
In Jesu et Maria,

jack bennett December 23, 2005 at 10:13 am

You must have been reading my mind. I was about to post something along these lines on my own blog. The song is lovely but it makes no sense from a theological point of view – of course Mary knew. The Angel Gabriel told her, her cousin Elizabeth told her, the Magi told her, Simeon in the temple told her and she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit! Duh. What do the writers of this song think she thought? Even without knowing who wrote, I’m 99.9% sure it was a Protestant (and not of the liturgical kind) to whom Mary is someone to be avoided – even if she does have more lines/references than almost every other woman in scripture.

Barbara December 23, 2005 at 10:58 am

I never heard it. Having read the lyrics, it doesn’t sound like I’m missing much.

Dave December 23, 2005 at 11:15 am

JA Baumgartner,
“How is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” seems pretty plain to me.

Perry December 23, 2005 at 11:24 am

Jimmy, thanks for the early Christmas present! I just love that song!

Rod Bennett December 23, 2005 at 11:43 am

All of the objections so far are valid — but you guys have to consider the source. This song is a TREMENDOUS advance in Evangelical Mariology — usually our separated brethren will hardly mention her at all for fear of “idolatry.” It’s also interesting to note how very similar the meditations in this song are to several passages in the Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers (written, of course, long before the exact amd more developed definitions of later centuries had been laid down). So to me, a song like this is like a time machine — we get to watch a devout and sincere soul who’s never thought much about Mary going back and re-inventing the wheel without realizing it. It’s like listening to Origen or Clement of Alexandria. And if, like them, Mark Lowry fails to actually nail the precise details of how Mary’s redemption went down…well, so did St. Thomas Aquinas, with far less excuse. So please — let’s encourage all Evangelical contemplation on this topic, even when it’s slightly faulty. Trust me, it is headed in a VERY interesting direction…

StubbleSpark December 23, 2005 at 11:53 am

The poetic device sort of begs the issue, or rather sidesteps it altogether. Do we care that Noah knew, for example? The only people who asked him that question were probably the ones who did not believe in the impending flood. If you were to write a song about Noah not knowing then you would be taking the position of those who ridiculed him.
Noah, did you know
That big boat might go?
Noah can you see
from dry land you flee?
Noah: Yeah dude, that’s why I’m working all day and night building this ginormous thing facing scorn, derision and even danger. Sail away! That’s the plan, I figure or God wouldn’t have told me to do this!
Considering she was 1) asked by God 2) Consented to God 3) the spouse of the Holy Spirit 4) on the run for fear of her life from the very beginning 5) the one who told Jesus to perform the first miracle and begin his mission, it is hard to imagine her not knowing. The idea that God would ask for her consent in the matter demonstrates that she was morally obligated to know.
God did not force His will on her. Even Adam and Eve were given choices stemming from their free will. Are we to assume then, that when God wanted things done right He negated hers? That the salvation of Man was nor born out of a choice to obey God but through divine robotic manipulation?

Ruthann December 23, 2005 at 12:10 pm

I love this song and continue to sing it even after folks rip it apart. Mary WAS saved by Jesus. “My spirit rejoices in God MY SAVIOR.”
I consider the question, “Mary did you know?” to be a rhetorical device, much the same way someone walks up to the mother of a baby and says, “Did you know you have a beautiful baby?” Of COURSE the mother knows her baby is beautiful.
Of COURSE Mary knows her son is the Son of God.
It’s a lovely song.

Rod Bennett December 23, 2005 at 12:23 pm

Also: J A Baumgartner (above) is right — it hasn’t ever, to my knowledge, been established as an article of Faith that Our Lady had a full, complete Athanasian understanding of the Incarnation at the time of the Annunciation. Absolutely she knew that her child was Messiah; absolutely she knew that He was King of the Jews, the Suffering Savior, the Son of God, and her own Lord and Master. But none of these titles includes the truth that Jesus the Man was in fact “the Great I AM” — which seems to be the thing that Mr. Lowry expects Mary to find staggering. And it IS, in fact, staggering! (but to stagger isn’t necessarily to deny). All twelve of the Apostles staggered, even after three years of daily contact (even Peter’s great confession in Matt 16 only affirms Jesus’ Messiahship and Divine Sonship, not the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity). Theotokos is a staggering word. It’s supposed to shock us…and to those who manage NOT to deny, the shock gives way to a new depth of adoration. My point was that Mark Lowry DOES believe in theotokos (though he might balk at the alien terminology). “Mary, Did you know?” clearly affirms this wonderful dogma — and celebrates it!–which is a delightful thing to find in a Evangelical song. Mary’s full theological apprehension of it, however, isn’t a dogma. In fact, her glorious fiat might actually be more admirable if she DOESN’T understand exactly what she’s getting herself into. It’s as if she says “I don’t understand, Lord. After all, I’m fully human. But even so, be it done unto me according to your word.” (BTW, I, myself, am not convinced she didn’t have a full understanding — only that it doesn’t make a song heterodox to suggest she might not have).

Rod Bennett December 23, 2005 at 12:29 pm

And please, ‘thann. No one here denied that Jesus was Mary’s Savior. We’ve strongly confessed it several times already. The Catholic Catechism insists on it. So there’s no need for the “sheeshing.”
Merry Christmas!

Ruthann December 23, 2005 at 12:40 pm

I was sheeshing the whole attempt to discredit a song that I find entirely Catholic. Until recently I never questioned that this song was a celebration of Mary’s acceptance and knowledge that she was selected to be the Mother of God. I now have to think before I sing it, wondering if I’m sending the wrong message and it could possibly lead folks astray from The Truth.
My sheesh was utter exasperation with this whole issue.
Again, sheesh.

Rod Bennett December 23, 2005 at 12:49 pm

Well, I’m not sure it’s “entirely” Catholic (in fact, I’m pretty sure it ought not to be sung in Catholic churches, because, ever since 1950, it HAS been an article of Faith that Mary was saved at the moment of her conception) but I really am on your side, Ruthann! It IS a beautiful song and the writer’s heart really is in the right place. And if the “sheesh” is a cry of exasperation that life is so darn complicated…well, I second that emotion as well. But it has to be done in theological matters. The Arians spoke very highly of Jesus and Mary, too — with only one small quibble: “There was a time when the Son was not.” But if the Church hadn’t taken the next 100 years to parse that one out (very exasperating stuff to read) European civilization would have sunk back into Roman paganism about 400 AD.
Again, Merry Christmas.

Anonymous December 23, 2005 at 12:52 pm

My bad: the definition concerning the Immaculate Conception happened in 1854, not 1950. Oops.

Devin Rose December 23, 2005 at 12:55 pm

As a former Evangelical Protestant, I remember how deathly afraid I was of ever giving Mary an ounce of credit more than she was due because of the “errors” in the Catholic faith that led them to revere her so highly.
As a Protestant I didn’t want to offend Jesus by honoring anyone else but him, and so it is understandable that every Protestant-written song that includes Mary in it is carefully crafted so as to avoid giving her too much honor.
We Catholics should be generous in these matters because Protestants do not believe the Traditions that help us Catholics meditate deeply on her life and the role God has given her in salvation history.
The song isn’t on my top ten list, but as another commenter said, at least they’re singing something decent about Mary!
Blessed Mother, pray for us!

bill912 December 23, 2005 at 1:03 pm

StubbleSpark, As they used to say on the original “Battlestar Galactica”: You have a way of cutting through the felgercarb. Keep it up!

Tammy December 23, 2005 at 4:23 pm

HATE that song.

Phyllis December 23, 2005 at 5:02 pm

Maybe instead of “Mary DID YOU know?”, we Catholics can just sing “Mary YOU DID know.”

Cindy December 23, 2005 at 5:47 pm

I too believe that Mary knew, but the song, as people have posted here, is just that.. a song in praise of Mary as she looked at her newborn son. On top of the fact that the song does not say MARY KNEW, it says Mary DID you Know??? Asked as a question and a meditative device, I do not see anything wrong here.

CatholicDefender December 23, 2005 at 6:00 pm

Close to 50% of the songs in Novus Ordo Parishes are Protestant creations, which have been incorporated into the Mass for so long, Catholics cannot distinuguish them from Catholic songs.
One common song recited in catholic churches is ” Let there be peace on earth”, this is the UN anthem.
Other protestant songs include ” On Eagles Wings ” , “Now thank we all our god” ,
Lift high the Cross, and a favorite song, which expresses the Protestant doctrine of Salvation, ” Amazing Grace”.

Laura December 23, 2005 at 6:22 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Tim. Great post.

Susan December 24, 2005 at 2:56 am

Having spent over 40 years as a protestant and only the last four months as a Catholic, I had never even heard this song until last week (when it was sung by two teen-aged girls at our parish). I remarked to my husband at the time that I thought it went against the doctrine of the IC (and he thought I was stretching things a bit).
But for two thousand years, Mary is shown repeatedly pointing to her son (in Scripture, art and music), constantly asking the question, “Do YOU know?”
It seems the height of hubris (and stupidity) to ask, “Mary do you know?”

Devin Rose December 24, 2005 at 8:28 am

One blessed day when we are all in Heaven by the grace of God, we can ask Mary and discover just how much she did know–I think we’ll discover that, full of grace, perfectly conformed to the Divine will for her entire life, she “knew” things much more deeply than we imagine!
Blessed be God in his most holy mother!

Bill Q December 24, 2005 at 8:56 am

An anonymous writer wrote:
Please lighten up, people. It’s like someone singing about the young Jesus looking at the kids he played with and wondering if one of them would drive the nails into his hands. It’s called a literary or poetic device.
And if Jesus didn’t deliver Mary, then why did Mary call Jesus her savior?

When people sluff of such criticisms of songs, books or movies with an “oh, lighten up,” all it makes me think that they must not care much about truth. To me, “beauty is truth, truth beauty,” as Yeats put it. Art is beautiful insofar as it contains something true. (Even good fiction contains much truth, IMO.)
The big problem I have with this song, from a Catholic perspective, is that it does not contain truth. The truth is that the question of whether Mary “knew” is relatively easy to answer and not all that profound, as the song seems to suggest. The question is answered by the Magnificat. Time would be better spent pondering the Magnificat itself than wondering about whether Mary knew.
If the song pondered what it must have been like to be in Mary’s shoes, that might be a different story.
As for the “would soon deliver you” line, the problem is that Mary had already been delivered in her Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception was the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but it had already taken place. So, while Christ was indeed her savior, he was not going to “soon deliver her” as he would the rest of us.
As for your suggestion that we “lighten up,” just because you don’t care about something doesn’t mean we don’t or shouldn’t. Why not go read something else if this isn’t important to you? IMO, if you can’t really stand the idea of people conversing about things you don’t care about, it is you who needs to lighten up.

Bill Q December 24, 2005 at 9:03 am

Susan writes:
It seems the height of hubris (and stupidity) to ask, “Mary do you know?”
Exactly — the song seems to suggest that the singer knows something Mary doesn’t. It would be like me telling Buzz Aldrin, “Did you know that the flight to the moon can get a bit bumpy?” Yeah, he knows.

Mary December 24, 2005 at 9:52 am

In pedantic interest in the truth: that was Keats, not Yeats.

Anonymous December 24, 2005 at 9:30 pm

“That Beethoven – I can’t stand him.” – anonymous person in Vienna, 1823

Inquisitor Generalis December 25, 2005 at 5:30 pm

That “Mary, Did You Know?” song is purely wretched, theological matters aside.

Puzzled December 26, 2005 at 10:27 pm

There is actually a lovely carol by a Presbyterian pastor to the congregation in the isles he was called away from, that I think you’d like a lot better. In this one, Mary knows.

ACTS827 December 27, 2005 at 1:50 pm

as taken from Today’s Christian magazine: “In 1984, the leaders at Lowry’s Nashville congregation asked him if he’d be willing to write a musical for Advent. He gladly agreed.Inspiration came as Lowry focused his heart and mind on the wonder of Christmas.
“I tried to picture Mary holding the baby Jesus on the first Christmas morning and wondered what she was thinking about that child,” he says. “She knew he was special—the Virgin Birth was her first clue—but could she ever imagine all the things that he would do while he was here?”
Soon, Lowry came up with a series of questions that he would like to ask Mary: “Did she know he would walk on water? Raise the dead? Give sight to the blind?”
Lowry decided to use the questions as a monologue to be recited between the scenes of his musical. . .”
Like Mary, we love our children. Like Mary, we know what they are capable of. BUT (and a very big but) could we ever imagine – after holding our baby – that they would “someday walk on water”? We know – through scripture – that Mary knew. Mr. Lowry knows that Mary knew (a “Protestant Evangelical” or any true Protestant and Catholic faith also knows – it’s taught in the Bible). But can you imagine? I cry each time I hear this song because I put myself in the Holy Mothers place.
Every Christian knows the importance of Mary. Our Father chose Her to be the Mother of our Lord and Savior. How more important is that . . . .except to actually be our Lord Jesus Christ. By-the-way, we “non-Catholics” believe in the Virgen Birth and believe in the Holy Mother. She is preched about in many places of worship and is held in high esteam. Some of us just prefer to go directly to Jesus through prayer.

Father Joe December 29, 2005 at 7:35 pm

“Did you know” that the composer Mark Lowry deliberately inserted the following verses to repudiate the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception? “This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.”
Mary was already delivered, as you well know, by the redemptive action of the cross reaching backwards into human history and touching Mary at the very first moment of conception and life in the womb of Saint Ann, so that the one who is the Holy of Holies could pass through a pure vessel untouched by sin.
Lowry had remarks against the Catholic dogma on a webpage some years ago, but I have noticed that he took it offline. No doubt he is counting on the general ignorance of “papists” and the sentiment of the Christmas season to circulate the song– and even Catholics have money to buy CDs. What is worse is that Catholic churches and schools frequently have their choirs singing the song. Permission to requests for public recital and to recopy lyrics, is granted with the provision that the lyrics cannot be altered.
It is a pretty song, but it is also heresy.
One collegue of mine tried to defend the song, saying, “I noticed the words, but my theological take was along the lines that Mary was redeemed by Christ in the eternal dimension but that the act of her redemption is the same as ours: the sacrifice of Christ in the dimension of time.” I saw what he was trying to say, but again, the meaning of the lyrics was clearly set in a temporal context, “… will soon deliver you.” Lowry does not believe, as a Protestant, in the Immaculate Conception, and the song deliberately says this to malign Catholic teaching and to proselytize. While the redemptive power and grace of the Cross cannot be segregated exclusively to any one time or place, the passion and crucifixion are themselves posited in human history as are their immediate effects upon mortal men and women. God who is in the eternal now, enters into human history and touches us where we live, so-to-speak. Lowry would see this encounter with saving grace as something accomplished with a faith profession in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. He also views the work of Christ as accomplished and that we need merely acknowledge it. Catholics would normally see it as impacting upon us, not only with faith, but in a faith that is actualized by obedience and charity within the community of the Church– particularly through baptism and the other sacraments. While Christ has died, once-and-for-all, his saving work is extended or perpetuated or re-presented through the sacraments.
The mystery of Mary’s sinlessness is measured temporally, from the very first moment of her existence in the womb of St. Ann. It was not that she had original sin and that it was quickly stripped away; rather, at the very moment of her conception and personhood, there was no trace or stain of sin. Historically this takes place maybe 45-50 years prior to the saving event at Calvary. Just as the ripples from the Paschal Mystery touch us forward in time, it reached backwards and touched Mary.
As you can tell, I have talked myself silly trying to get churches and schools to either change the offensive lines (no matter whay the composer wants) or to avoid it altogether.
Take care and God bless,
Father Joe Jenkins

Anonymous January 1, 2006 at 12:22 pm

There is nothing wrong with this song.There is only 1 God!

Anonymous January 1, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Number one, as far as the Catholics are concerned if they would read the true King James version of the Bible, it clearly states in so many scriptures that there is one God, there is no mention of the “Holy Trinity.” And yes, Mary, was born with sin just as everyone else was. Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin. Doesn’t anyone bother to read the Bible? And the Catholic baptism is incorrect as well. Read Acts 2:38, that is the plan of salvation. Who are you going to listen to, Catholics, who don’t even know the truth? It is written in Revelation that the Catholic church is the Harlot of all churches. Need I say more.

bill912 January 1, 2006 at 1:09 pm

“It is written in Revelation that the Catholic church is the Harlot of all churches. Need I say more.(sic)” Yes. You might offer some evidence for your claim.

Dr. Eric January 1, 2006 at 1:15 pm

To paraphrase Nelson Muntz: “Leaving an anonymous incendiary post on a blog is a victimless crime, like punching someone in the dark.”
True KJV of the bible? What ever did anyone do in 856, 792, 543, 321, or any other date before 1611?
Re Acts 2:38: St. Peter still says be baptized for the remission of your sins. Or are you a Sabellian and believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all the same scizophrenic deity who wears different masks and talks to himself like Cybil?
Where is the Catholic Church explicitly called the Harlot of all churches in the Book of Revelation?

bill912 January 1, 2006 at 1:29 pm

“the true King James version of the Bible” is a translation of the Bible. It is only the original versions that are inspired. Some translations are good, some are not so good. Some of the good translations are better than others. But the translators were not divinely inspired as were the original writers of Scripture.
Catholics also believe that there is only one God. We believe in one God in three persons. All 3 Persons are mentioned in the Bible. You are correct to point out that the word “Trinity” is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. Neither is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. That is why personal interpretation of the Bible is prohibited (2Peter 1:20), and why the Bible declares the Church to be the pillar and foundation of the truth(1Tim 3:15).
“Mary was born with sin”. How can one who is “full of grace” have any sin? If Mary were a sinner, then Jesus inherited from her a sinful human nature, that Jesus, too, was a sinner.
God exists outside time. He lives in an eternal present. He does not “foresee” the future; he “sees” it happening in His eternal now. He does not “remember” the past; He sees is happening in His eternal now. God the Father sees Mary being concieved in the womb of her mother, while simultaneously seeing the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. He applies the merits of Jesus’ Sacrifice to Mary at her conception.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 28:19.(Note that “Name” is singular, because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, while individual Persons, are One God).

jamie klanderud April 11, 2006 at 1:59 pm

I am wondering why Mary would call Jesus her savior if she was already saved at the moment of her conception?
Earlier, someone quoted this,
“Because He saved her at the very moment of her conception. He prevented her from ever acquiring original sin, by virtue of the forseen merits of His Death. Thus Jesus is Mary’s Savior.”,
but I have heard other Catholics mention that in that moment she may have been in certain peril or impending danger…so which one is it?

J. R. Stoodley April 11, 2006 at 2:47 pm

Jamie Klanderud,
In 1854 Pope Pius IX infailably defined that Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”
This is the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It is infailable because it is binding Papal teaching, and the Pope (and the Magisterium as a whole) supernaturally has the power to bind and loose by the authority of Christ Himself. If the Pope could bind the Christian people to error by the authority of Christ, that would be an ultimate victory of Satan.
The belief in the Immaculate Conception goes back in recorded documents to the first centuries of Christianity. The Celtic Christians believed it, for instance.
The specific explanation for how she was concieved without sin but still all humans were saved by Christ came from Bl. John Duns Scotus who taught in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Finally, in the 19th century, the Magisterium (teaching authority of the Church) took up the matter and declared it binding.
Without the unearned intervention of God, without the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary would have been a poor sinner like the rest of us. How wonderful that God did this for one of our sisters!

Cesar Arreola April 23, 2006 at 1:13 pm

This is a very powerful song I can feel in my soul.

bill912 June 9, 2006 at 8:07 am

Amazing, isn’t it, that those who hate just HAVE to express that hatred.

bill912 June 9, 2006 at 8:08 am

But, then, smallness can’t contain much.

bill912 June 9, 2006 at 8:11 am

Jimmy, I know you’re going to delete the vulgar above post. While you’re at it, how about also deleting the looooooong vulgar post on “What Ratzinger Said”?

bill912 June 9, 2006 at 8:18 am

Thank you for proving me right. (LOL at you)

bill912 June 9, 2006 at 8:18 am

Of course, you do make it easy. (You can’t help that).

bill912 June 9, 2006 at 8:20 am

Go ahead. Make another vulgar comment to let us know I’ve got you wrapped around my little finger.

David B. June 9, 2006 at 8:58 am

Don’t roll in the brimstone with them. It’s useless.

Amber December 22, 2006 at 9:46 am

She definitely knew but I think this just speaks to the awesomeness of God and the wonder she must have felt being His mother… Knowing of His greatness and holiness and being able to kiss his face and be entrusted to raise Him. It must have been an amazing honor!

bill912 December 22, 2006 at 10:22 am

I can think of a much better song that “speaks to the awesomeness of God and the wonder she must have felt being His mother…”: her own song, The Magnificat.

john galvan December 22, 2006 at 6:05 pm

This is just a song to glorify the messiah and nothing else people. Jesus was preaching and it was crowded with people to the point that his mother and brethren could not get to him. Finally someone said,”your mother and brothers are looking for you.” Jesus replied,” My mother and brothers(brethren)are those who hear my word and do the will of the father. This he did say as he streched forth his hand toward his disciples. Matthew 12:48-49

john g. December 23, 2006 at 2:11 pm

Why would someone get offended with such a beautiful song? How could someone misunderstand the meaning of deliver. In this song,”Mary Did You Know?” the word deliver has two meanings. One has to do with being brougth forth to this world by giving birth. The second has to do with being set free from the bondage of sin and death that only until the death and resurrection of christ, every one was under that bondage. Yes even Mary. When Jesus resurrected he defeated satan and took the keys of the gates of hell from satan, something that Adam had given up to satan through disobedience in the garden. Check out Revelation 1:18
The question Mary did you know? is not meant to belittle Mary. It’s a reflection of the heart of the person writting the song. Mary probably caught up with all that was prophesied in the book of Isaiah and the other prophets after being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. So, she did know, but that does not make her divine or somthing to worship.

Tim J. December 23, 2006 at 2:18 pm

“every one was under that bondage. Yes even Mary.”
Actually, no. She was delivered at her conception.
“So, she did know, but that does not make her divine or somthing to worship”
Catholics don’t worship Mary or the other saints.
Have a blessed Chrtistmas, everybody!

johnny G. December 24, 2006 at 12:10 pm

I really like the song Mary, did you know?
I don’t care whether you are catholic, protestant or other. When you come to the Truth, there is only one. And to Him be the Glory for ever Amen.He is the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, His name shall be called counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and blessed is whosoever receives Jesus as their Savior and makes him Lord of his or her life.
Luke 11:27-28 (27)And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which though has sucked.(28) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

John G. December 25, 2006 at 5:05 am

How can someone be delivered from sin and death if JESUS had not died on the cross and resurrected. Jesus is the truth and the truth will set you free. His truth was sealed at the cross and at the resurrection and until then,it had no validity, because it had to be sealed with his blood. With out the resurrection, death would not have been defeated. Deliverance comes from what Jesus did, not from our own works, or goodness. What Mary had was favor. When God decides to use someone, for his purpose or his will there is nothing that can stop that person from being blessed or obtaining grace and mercy and Godly power.

bill912 December 25, 2006 at 7:40 am

God exists outside of time; time is His creation. God has no past, no future; He has an eternal present. All times are *now* to God. He does not remember the past; He sees the past happening in His eternal now. He does not foresee the future; He sees the future happening in His eternal now.
God the Father sees Mary’s conception in her mother’s womb, and simultaneously sees Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. He applies the merits of His Son’s sacrifice to Mary so that she can be a perfectly holy tabernacle for His Son, a tabernacle that is “FULL of Grace”.
To address your last sentence, Mary had free will at all times. She could have said “No” to God, just as did the virgin Eve, who was also created free from sin. Mary’s willing obedience cancelled Eve’s willing disobedience.

John G. December 25, 2006 at 5:35 pm

We can look at it from Gods point of view or our point of view which includes a time line. You say that she was delivered at conception at the time she was overshadowed by the holy spirit, that still includes a time line in history. Only God can see our future,past,and present at the same time. We have to look at it from our perspective and that includes a time line. Mary was chosen because she was of the house and lineage of David, and so was Joseph.It was also the right time. I don’t think she was ever ask the question, Do you want to participate in conceiving the Savior. Luke 1:31 The angel said,” And, behold thou Shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. This is a prophesy being fulfilled exactly to the right person at the right place. The chances of her rejecting this offer are very very slim. Check out Isaiah 7:14

John G. December 25, 2006 at 5:35 pm

We can look at it from Gods point of view or our point of view which includes a time line. You say that she was delivered at conception at the time she was overshadowed by the holy spirit, that still includes a time line in history. Only God can see our future,past,and present at the same time. We have to look at it from our perspective and that includes a time line. Mary was chosen because she was of the house and lineage of David, and so was Joseph.It was also the right time. I don’t think she was ever ask the question, Do you want to participate in conceiving the Savior. Luke 1:31 The angel said,” And, behold thou Shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. This is a prophesy being fulfilled exactly to the right person at the right place. The chances of her rejecting this offer are very very slim. Check out Isaiah 7:14

Jared December 26, 2006 at 12:35 am

John G.: Aren’t you forgetting Luke 1:38?
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Sure sounds like a subjection of her will to God’s. A “yes” or “fiat.”
And don’t forget that free will was what caused us to need a Savior to begin with. No matter how important one is to the plan, one can always say “no.”
Luckily, Mary said “yes.” But, then, what would you expect of one consceived without sin?

John G. December 26, 2006 at 6:02 pm

Yes, free will did play a part in Mary’s conception, but the fact that she was a Jew, she knew exactly what would happen to her if she said No. I say this because the story of Jonah is a favorate story among the Jews. Jonah said no to the Lord, and he wound up in the belly of a big fish that God had prepared. What would have happened to Mary if she would have refused to conceive? I don’t think the Lord would have stopped or given up at that piont.
What I am trying to say is that, if God had chosen to bring the Messiah some other way to this world, then Mary would just be an unknown teenager and Joseph would be an unknown carpenter. Its Jesus that generates all the glory. If you spend time giving glory to him, he will shed some of his glory on you. Then, you will see the light.

bill912 December 26, 2006 at 6:25 pm

Well, thank you, John G., for assuming that we all don’t give glory to Jesus and need you to set us straight.

David B. December 26, 2006 at 6:33 pm

John G.,
Following that line of thought, one could also say that Adam and Eve isn’t really important, because someone would’ve fallen somewhere down the line. Yes, Mary could’ve refused God’s grace, but she didn’t. And we DO give glory to Jesus by venerating her.

David B. December 26, 2006 at 6:43 pm

John G.
I take exception to your insinuation that Mary accepted God’s will for her out of fear of hell rather than out of love of God. Mary was sinless, so her intellect was not darkened by sin. She could not be tempted through inward weakness, such as obedience only out of fear of hell, but, like Jesus, only through direct outward temptation from the devil.

David B. December 26, 2006 at 6:46 pm

Let me restate it more clearly: Mary could not be tempted through inward weakness, because SHE HAD NO INWARD WEAKNESS.

Jared December 27, 2006 at 1:19 am

It’s odd the amount of effort that is spent by people trying to convince Catholics to do that which we do already.
Right. We don’t.
Um, yeah, we do that.
Seriously, this is rather ridiculous.

John G. December 27, 2006 at 5:07 am

There are alot of thing we whorship without us being aware of them. Money, drugs, Catholicism, sex, religion, power, ect. David and Jared, it looks like you are hung up on Catholicism.

bill912 December 27, 2006 at 5:58 am

I admire your guts, John G. You don’t allow your ignorance to stop you from expressing yourself.
By the way, did you get your misinformation about the Catholic Church directly from Lorraine Boetner’s “Roman Catholicism” or filtered through one of his professional anti-Catholic disciples?

David B. December 27, 2006 at 10:27 am

John, you haven’t even tried to engage me in a rational discussion. Where did I mention Catholicism in any of my posts on this thread? I merely state what every christian should believe, and you respond with arbitrary judgements about the state of my soul. It seems to me that *you* are the one ‘hung up’ on hating the Catholic Church.
I’m done talking with people, like you, who will not be civil and respectful (or at least logical) in discussing topics of interest. see ya.

David B. December 27, 2006 at 10:27 am

bill912 December 27, 2006 at 10:35 am

One correction, David B. As Bishop Sheen used to say: “There are not a hundred people in this country who hate the Catholic Church. But there are thousands who hate what they *think* is the Catholic Church.” John G. probably thinks he is one of the <100; he is almost certainly one of the thousands.

Mary December 27, 2006 at 10:37 am

Mary December 27, 2006 at 10:38 am

David B. December 27, 2006 at 10:40 am


David B. December 27, 2006 at 10:41 am


David B. December 27, 2006 at 10:42 am

Anonymous December 27, 2006 at 10:47 am

Jared December 27, 2006 at 12:16 pm

John G.: So happy to see that you’ve made a devil out of Catholicism and a god out of arguing with them. Seriously, you’ve put far more effort into this than is warranted.

Larry December 27, 2006 at 12:31 pm

Greetings to all,
I found this thread by accident while surfing and I just have to comment. First of all, I am a protestant pastor, (Baptist).
secondly, I do not like the song Mary Did You Know either. It is simple…. The song is simply not scriptural. It does not line up with what the truth of scripture declares. There can be no argument there and for me that is enough. The Scripture is the revealed word of God and as such must be revered and held to as such. Mary, did she know? Yes by all means she knew and she believed!
Thanks for allowing me to defend the truth of the Holy scripture.

Tim J. December 27, 2006 at 12:58 pm

The above offensive posts have been deleted.
You can say what you want about me, but don’t mess with my Mother!

Dr. Eric December 27, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Overheard after an Anti-Catholic-Anti-Mary Revival:
“If the preacher would have said that stuff about my mom, I’da punched his lights out!”
“Behold your mother.”
-St. John 19:27

David B. December 27, 2006 at 4:37 pm

Thank you for showing John G. what a REAL
Christian should sound like. God Bless.
Tim J.,
Thank You for deleting those posts.
People like that jerk hate not only Mary, but also her Son.

David B. December 27, 2006 at 4:40 pm

bill912’s exchange with that idiot now looks like the raving of a madman! :-)

bill912 December 27, 2006 at 5:36 pm

Oh, heck! That’s been said, David.

monika December 21, 2007 at 7:27 am

one person said On Eagles Wings was a protestant song….haha made me laugh it was written by Michael Joncas – A Catholic Priest! amazing how this misinformation gets out

Mark December 24, 2007 at 9:06 pm

You guys are nuts, even you John G. You engage these catholics in a conversation and then bring free will into it, save your charismatic agenda for the hour of power. If any of you think that the will of God can be thwarted, you do not know your scripture. If any of you think that Mary was born any different than any other person on this earth after Adam and Eve ie. “sinless” you also are not reading the word of God you have been given. Mary was a sinner just like the rest of us, completely in need of a saving faith in the God/Man she gave birth to.

Mark December 24, 2007 at 9:10 pm

……BTW if Mary would have died without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, she would be suffering eternal punishment this very day. Glory be to God’s will and not our own.

bill912 December 24, 2007 at 9:19 pm

My interpetation of the Word of God says that your interpretation is wrong. Prove from the Bible that your interpretation has more authority than mine.

Inocencio December 24, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Have a very Mary Christ’s Mass!
Take care and God bless,

bill912 December 25, 2007 at 2:59 am

Thanks, Inocencio. Yule, too.

Fr Bill P December 25, 2007 at 8:11 am

Mark…what a beautiful time to slam catholics! Timing’s everything. AS far as Mary not being born sinless…then what do you make of the Gabriel’s greeting to Mary in Luke (‘full of grace’)? Anybody else greeted in such a way? I’ll save you the trouble…no. So, what does it mean to be full of grace? Why is she the only person, who is not the Eternal Word of God, given such a greeting? But let’s not let actual scripture get in the way of our hate and bias. Despite your attitude, may the grace and peace of the Incarnate God, Our Savior, Jesus Christ be with you and your family in this Christmas season and in this coming year.
The same to all of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Pax Vobiscum.

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