Nov 082012
 
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series The Virgin Mary Revealed Through Scripture by Dr. Scott Hahn

In this lecture Dr. Hahn has introduced three primary concepts: the new Eve, the woman and the Queen of Heaven.  Dr. Hahn’s presentation has aimed to show that Mary is the fulfillment or antitype of these concepts thus allowing for, or giving credibility to, the Marian doctrines that are held by Catholic tradition.  While Dr. Hahn didn’t spend much time dealing with any particular Marian doctrine in this lecture, I contend that if these types are relied upon in order to substantiate said doctrines, then it is reasonable to disregard them if the types do not actually fit.   You can find the chief doctrines discussed briefly in Part 1 of this series.

Throughout this series I have aimed to show that Mary is not the culmination of these types and that these types find fulfillment elsewhere.  In this final post I will put the pieces to the puzzle back together and show that, not only do they not need to be forced, but when properly understood, they demonstrate the cohesive design and supernatural origin of Scripture.

The New Eve

In Part 2 I addressed the concept of the new Eve.  Dr. Hahn, of course, holds that Mary fulfills the role of the new Eve but he introduced this in a very specific manner.  He said, if Jesus is the new Adam, Mary is the new Eve.  Now we know that Jesus is the new, or last, Adam as Paul tells us so in 1 Corinthians 15:45.  The problem is that if we press on the idea that Mary is the new Eve then the patterns simply do not hold together.  Recall that in Genesis 2, Adam was put to sleep and had a part of his side removed in order to form the woman whom he called Eve.  When Adam had woken up he said this at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!  This did not happen with Jesus to produce Mary, rather, Mary gave birth to Jesus in human form. Another major problem is that Adam and Eve are used by Jesus as a picture for marriage.  This turns the idea of Mary as the new Eve on its head as Mary and Jesus certainly did not share that sort of relationship.  As we can see, the idea that Mary is the new Eve simply doesn’t fit.

So is the concept of the new Eve worth investigating?  I believe so and have already given some clues above as to who she is.  I also hold that this has much greater implications for the believer than it ever could if the patterns were to stop with Mary.  The New Testament is replete with illustrations of the new Eve and to start, we need to take a look at something Paul says to his protégé Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:13-14.  It reads:

13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.1

Note first that verse 13 completely destroys the Marian antitype since it states that Adam was formed first, then Eve.  Second, note that in verse 14 Paul says that Adam was not deceived, however, Eve was.  This is pointing back to Genesis 3 when Eve ate of the fruit and subsequently gave some to Adam.  This suggests that Adam, at some level, knew what he was doing when he ate of the fruit and had a reason for doing so.  From this, we should start to see some patterns emerge.

We know that Jesus willingly gave up His life on the cross.  The New Testament is certainly full of references to this but Matthew 16:21 explains that this is what Jesus was teaching:

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

There are many other verses2 which all show that Jesus knew what He was doing and did so willfully.  But there is something else to be noted which Paul specifically points out to us and that is who Christ gave himself for.  In Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul shows us the antitype for the concept of marriage and that is the relationship that Christ has with His bride, the church.  In so doing, he quotes Genesis 2:24, which is the same passage that Jesus quotes when discussing divorce in Matthew 19:5.

In Ephesians 5:25, Paul illustrates that husbands are the representative of Christ while wives are the representative of the church in giving the instruction that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  Indeed, the church is the bride of Christ as Paul also says in 2 Corinthians 11:2 that we (the church) were betrothed to one husband and are to be presented as a pure virgin.  But the imagery doesn’t stop there because the church is also the body of Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 12:27 Paul tells his readers that they are the body of Christ.  This concept is found throughout the New Testament3 and in Matthew 18:20 Jesus says that where 2 or 3 are gathered together in His name He is among them.  Why is this?  Because we (the church) collectively make up the body of Christ and are His representatives on earth.  But there’s another aspect to being the body of Christ which echoes back to Genesis 2:22-23 where Adam sees Eve for the first time and exclaims she is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.  Adam, the man (אישׁ, ish), calls her woman (אשׁה, ishah) because she was taken out of man.  Even in the transliteration of the Hebrew you can see that the woman is an extension of the man.

It is worth taking a quick look at John 19:34-37 which reads:

34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Many speculate as to the symbolic meanings behind the water and blood but that is beyond the scope of this discussion.  The point of interest here is that Jesus’ side was pierced and blood and water came out, demonstrating that He had died.  John states that he saw it and as we know from John 19:25-27 numerous people, including John and Mary were standing nearby at this time.  We can note that Adam was put to sleep for a time when Eve was formed from his side just as the church is birthed through trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  With all this in mind, who other than the church could the concept of the new Eve find culmination in?  I think it is safe to say that if we still insist on Mary, we are fooling ourselves.  Augustine saw this as well in Tractate IX.10 in his Lectures on the Gospel According to St. John regarding the Wedding at Cana:

…. Since the Lord has enlightened us through the apostle, to show us what we were in search of, by this one sentence, “The two shall be one flesh; a great mystery concerning Christ and the Church;” we are now permitted to seek Christ everywhere, and to drink wine from all the water-pots. Adam sleeps, that Eve may be formed; Christ dies, that the Church may be formed. When Adam sleeps, Eve is formed from his side; when Christ is dead, the spear pierces His side, that the mysteries may flow forth whereby the Church is formed. Is it not evident to every man that in those things then done, things to come were foreshadowed, since the apostle says that Adam himself was the figure of Him that was to come? “Who is,” saith he, “the figure of Him that was to come.” All was mystically prefigured.4

Finally, as the first and last authority, Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:1-3 draws an allusion directly from Eve and applies it to the church:

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Adam was not deceived and chose to join Eve in some fashion just as Christ willingly became man and went to the cross.  Eve was birthed through the side of Adam as the church was birthed through the side of Christ.  Adam slept that Eve would be formed, Christ died that the church would be saved.  Eve was Adam’s bride just as the church is Christ’s bride.  What Dr. Hahn should have said is: If Jesus is the new Adam, the church is the new Eve.

The Woman

In Part 3 the concept of Mary as the woman in John’s Gospel was introduced.  In both of Mary’s only appearances in John’s Gospel she is addressed by Jesus as ‘woman’ and Dr. Hahn takes special note of this.  Dr. Hahn sees Mary as a fulfillment of this concept, noting that Adam calls Eve ‘woman’ when he wakes up from his sleep in Genesis 2.  Mary, or the woman, is also entrusted to John in John 19 and Dr. Hahn presents this as though we, as beloved disciples, are to take Mary, our mother, into our homes.  But I suggest that Mary is actually given the title of ‘woman’ in John’s Gospel because John is depicting her as the woman figure of Israel, found throughout the Old Testament.

In Ezekiel 16 God addresses Jerusalem which is often representative of greater Israel and gives his account of taking her as his wife, crowning her as queen.  Throughout Scripture, the nation of Israel, Judah, and the city of Jerusalem5, are presented as a woman, one betrothed to Yahweh and in Ezekiel 16:8-14 we have the language specifically detailing the relationship Israel was to have with God; it reads:

8 “When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine. 9 Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord GOD.

Notice in verse 8 where God spread His garment over her, made a vow and she became His.  This is the imagery we see when Ruth is asking Boaz to redeem her in Ruth 3:9-11.  Boaz accepts Ruth’s request which puts Ruth in the lineage of King David and ultimately Christ, Himself.  This is the imagery of Israel becoming the wife of Yahweh.  LeMar Eugene Cooper notes in the New American Commentary on Ezekiel:

As a beautiful young woman of marriageable age, she became the wife of Yahweh. “Spreading the corner” of a garment over a young woman was the ritual for claiming a bride. Unlike a marriage arranged by the parents, the arrangement in which the woman had no part, God made a “covenant” with her in which he pledged to care for her with words that are reminiscent of Sinai (Exod 19:1–8).6

Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 3:14, Jeremiah 6:2 and Jeremiah 31:31-32 all lend more to this imagery of Israel as the wife of Yahweh.  But there is something else that should be noticed and that comes from Ezekiel 16:12 where Israel is given a crown.  Cooper continues in his commentary:

The language of the marriage ritual continues through the passage. Ezekiel reported how God cleansed her (v. 9), clothed her luxuriously with the garments of a princess (v. 10), gave her bridal jewelry, the best food usually reserved for royalty, and crowned her as his queen. As a result she became renowned for her beauty (vv. 10–14). Israel was the orphan who became a queen. All the figures used in the description were reminders of the providential care God gave Israel from the time of Abraham to nationhood and onward.7

Recall in Part 4 that Dr. Hahn presents the woman in Revelation 12 as Mary who is now the Queen of Heaven because of her crown:

And so a sign appears in Heaven, a woman, clothed with the son, the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  What is the significance of the crown?  This makes the woman a queen.  What is the significance of the crown being 12 stars?  She is the queen of Heaven.  Her royal authority is a cosmic queenship, just like her sons is a cosmic kingship

By Dr. Hahn’s own assessment the crown makes the woman a queen but he fails to mention that Israel is also being crowned by Yahweh in Ezekiel 16:12, never mind the numerous other matrimonial images of Israel found throughout Scripture.  Dr. Hahn identifies the woman in Revelation 12 as Mary because she births the Messiah in Revelation 12:5 but the keys to identifying the woman are actually given in Revelation 12:1 which describes her as a woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  These pictures point back to a dream of Joseph’s which subsequently had him betrayed by his brothers.  Genesis 37:9-10 reads:

9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?”

Notice Jacob’s response: Shall I (the sun) and your mother (the moon) and your brothers (the eleven stars) bow before you?  Jacob’s name had been changed to Israel and these symbols are identified as the family that brought forth the 12 tribes.  The woman in Revelation 12 is Israel.  Israel birthed the Messiah.  In Part 3 it was noted by Dr. Hahn that John is called the beloved disciple because he is symbolic of all of us, that all of us are beloved disciples.  This can be applied to Mary in that Mary, in John’s Gospel, is symbolic of Israel, the woman, who becomes destitute when her first born is murdered.  Jesus entrusts her to John, the beloved disciple because she no longer has a home, just as the woman is driven into the wilderness after the man-child is caught up to God in Revelation 12:6.  James 1:27 tells us to care for orphans and widows in their distress and Genesis 12:3 tells us that those who care of the Jewish people are blessed.

In John’s Gospel, Mary is a symbol of the woman, Israel and Israel is the woman in Revelation 12.

The Queen of Heaven

The issue of Mary as the Queen of Heaven is one that is well beyond the scope of this series of posts but it should be noted that, for the Christian, attributing the title Queen of Heaven to Mary and subsequently offering adoration to her is to handle the spiritual realm in an incredibly irreverent manner.  The Queen of Heaven is a title often in reference to Astarte, Ashtoreth or Ishtar, the moon goddess.  She is figured as the wife of Baal or Molech.  Women would knead round flat cakes as a symbol of the moon and offer them along with drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.8  Israel did this as noted in Jeremiah 7 and Jeremiah 44 and was severely disciplined for it.

No positive imagery can be found in Scripture for even holding the Queen of Heaven in high esteem yet Catholic tradition does this and much more.  Regardless of whether or not the veneration of Mary is to re-establish the worship of the moon fertility goddess, as some suggest, it is clearly inappropriate for the Christian to participate in what the Scripture so specifically denounces.  No matter how you try to justify Marian doctrine, the Queen of Heaven is a title that we simply have no business playing around with.

Conclusion

Dr. Hahn has tried to demonstrate several types in Scripture as finding culmination in Mary.  He says that Mary is the new Eve but as I have shown, the patterns fall apart if we hold to that idea.  Instead a much more sound conclusion is that the church is the new Eve.  Dr. Hahn also suggests that Mary is a fulfillment of the woman figure in Scripture but the woman figure is specifically associated with Israel throughout the Old Testament and Revelation 12:1 leaves little room left.  Israel is the woman figure found in Scripture.

In John’s Gospel, the woman is entrusted to the care of the beloved disciple.  The beloved disciple is symbolic of the Christian and the woman is symbolic of Israel.  We are commended to care for orphans and widows just as John was to care for Mary.  Those who care for the Jewish people are blessed.

Whenever symbols in Scripture are being twisted around in order to obtain a particular picture it may be wise to take a step back and re-evaluate our motives.  Typology is indeed one of the most enjoyable interpretive methods but it should never have to be forced.

  1. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, use: English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. Emphasis mine.
  2. John 10:11, John 13:1, Matthew 26:2, Phillipians 2:5-8 are a small sampling which demonstrate that Jesus willfully went to the cross.
  3. See Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 10:17, Ephesians 4:12, Hebrews 13:3
  4. Augustine of Hippo. (1888). Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John J. Gibb & J. Innes, Trans.). In P. Schaff (Ed.), A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, Volume VII: St. Augustin: Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies (P. Schaff, Ed.) (66–67). New York: Christian Literature Company.
  5. These terms are often used interchangeably to refer to Israel as a whole as context will dictate
  6. Cooper, L. E. (1994). Vol. 17: Ezekiel. The New American Commentary (170). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  7. Same source as footnote 6; emphasis mine.
  8. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Je 7:18). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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