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New Testament and Mary

New Testament and Mary

An Overview of New Testament References

– Sister M. Danielle Peters

The New Testament is the primary source for our knowledge of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. Any sound Marian theology and spirituality needs to take their bearing from Sacred Scripture. In the chart below we present the New Testament texts which refer to Mary. These texts are listed in a chronological order starting with St. Paul's indirect reference to her and ending with the accommodated symbolic sense of Revelation's twelfth chapter on "the woman clothed with the sun." (Rev. 12:1-6) The span of information extends from approximately 54 AD to 95 AD. It is from these texts that the doctrine and tradition concerning Our Lady's person and mission in salvation history evolved.

1. The SHADOW of a Jewish Woman

Galatians 4:4-5--Paul's most important reference to a Jewish woman involved in the history of salvation (written between 54 and 57 C.E. from Ephesus in Turkey).

2. The SILHOUETTE of a Jewish Mother

Mark's texts: Mark 3:31 and 6:1-6a--The first written Gospel gives us Mary's name (6:3) and also a scene from the early ministry of Jesus. The brothers and sisters of Jesus are mentioned. [How do we interpret such a text?]

3. The SKETCH of Mary, Virgin and Mother

Matthew's texts are found throughout his special theological narrative which is called an Infancy Gospel or Infancy Narrative (Chapter 1 and 2 of Matthew). Matthew also refers to Mark's passage in his parallels in Math. 12:46-50 and 13:53-58.

- 46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
- 47 Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
- 48 He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
- 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.
- 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

4. The PORTRAIT of the Blessed Virgin, Mother and Disciple

Luke also has a special Infancy Narrative and/or Gospel in his first and second chapters which are summarized in our Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Luke, likewise, uses Mark's material on Mary. He ends with a reference to Mary in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:12-14) where she can be seen as a model for the Church.

5. The Pieta: A STATUE of the Mother of Jesus

The Gospel of John has two important references to the Mother of Jesus (John 2:1-11 and 19:25-28a). These were written around 90 C.E. [There are implicit references to Joseph and the "brothers of Jesus."]

6. The APPARITION of Mary: Woman

Finally, by way of accommodation and symbolism, chapter 12 of the Apocalypse has been seen as a secondary reference to Mary. (Rev. 12:1-17)

See: Mary of Galilee, Vol. I. by Bertrand Buby, NY: Alba House, 1994.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


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