Author Topic: God's regard  (Read 3125 times)

mariemeyer

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God's regard
« on: March 25, 2021, 03:02:41 PM »
Reflections on the Magnificat prompted me to reread Luther's Magnificat Commentary, LW Vol 21 and the ALPB book, The Church, Selected Writings of Arthue Carl Piepkorn,Part III, Mary Archetype of the Church.

Luther writes, "In order properly to understand this sacred hymn of praise,  we need to bear in mind that the Blessed Virgin Mary is speaking on the basis of her own experience in which she was enlightened and instructed by the Holy Spirit...the Holy Spirit taught her this deep insight and wisdom, that God is the kind of Lord who doe nothing but exalt those of low degree...Just as God in the beginning of creation made the world  our of nothing, whence He is called the Creator and the Almighty, so His manner of work remains unchanged...

"She finds herself the Mother of God exalted above all mortals, and still remains so simple and that she does not think of any poor serving maid as beneath her....

Mary stated, For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden.

Luther comments, "Hence she does not glory in her worthiness not yet in her unworthiness, but solely in the divine regard....They therefore do her an injustice who hold that she gloried, not indeed in her virginity, but in her humility.  She gloried neither in the one nor in the other, but only in the gracious regard of God. Hence the stress lies not on the word 'low estate,' but on the word regarded/ For not her humility, but God's regard is to be praised."


Piepkorn calls attention to how Mary, the Mother of God,  is the link that unites Christ and humanity, and that her fiat mihi is the response of all Christians to God's call to servanthood.

"She (Mary) is the symbol of the presence  of God among His people, the one who combines in her person the expectation of Israel and the entire mystery of the Church."

There is so much more in the writings of Luther and Lutheran scholars on God's regard for Mary and the work the Triune God accomplished in and through her. It is for this reason I ask why or how it is that the Lutheran scholars who worked on The Lutheran Study Bible disregarded the significance of Mary as the Bearer  of the Eternal Word.

Marie Meyer

peter_speckhard

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 03:37:54 PM »
I wouldn’t say they disregarded her as the bearer of the Word. The note on Lk. 1:48 talks about how she thanked God for exalting her through the conception of Jesus in her womb. But given how big a topic Mary is, it would have been nice to see a page dedicated to the role/topic of Mary, sort of like the maps, diagrams, or topical articles they inserted to explain other things.

I didn’t work on TLSB, but my guess is that it was a combination of space constraints and an inability to get everyone comfortable with what exactly such a page would say. Some people would not appreciate, for example, Luther’s “ever-Virgin” descriptor, while others would hesitate to have a Lutheran Bible disagreeing with Luther on that. It probably felt like saying nothing would be better than trying to definitively settle an argument.

If they gave you a page to insert in Mary, what would you want it to say?

Weedon

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 03:48:44 PM »
I, for one, would have been glad to see both TLSB and LSB actually use the language of our confessions and say SOMEWHERE:

Lutheran Christians joyfully confess: On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, did not bear a mere man. But, as the angel (Gabriel) testifies, she bore a man who is truly the Son of the most high God. He showed His divine majesty even in His mother’s womb, because He was born of a virgin without violating her virginity. Therefore, she is truly the mother of God and yet has remained a virgin. SD VIII:24

One would think there couldn’t be too much of a problem with citing the Formula of Concord, but alas this IS the Missouri Synod...
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 03:50:53 PM by Weedon »

RDPreus

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 07:41:38 PM »
Luther's commentary on the Magnificat is wonderful reading.  One thing I love about Lent is that we sing the Magnificat every week at the midweek Lenten services.  Mary is truly an icon of the Church in faith and humble obedience.

mariemeyer

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 08:22:50 PM »
The Lutheran Study Bible is 2371 pages.  There is one page for "Women Disciples."   

Mary is one of the women mentioned. The social status of Mary of Nazareth reads, "The wife of Joseph the carpenter and the mother of Jesus, James, Jude and other children."

Her relationship to Jesus reads, "Mary was Jesus mother. She respected him and knew he was special (Jn21:1-5), but was confused by His calling. She did not agree with Jesus decision to leave the carpentry trade and life as a rabbi. Jesus down played the suggestion that Mary was especially blessed because of their earthly relationship. At the crucifixion He showed kindness to her by entrusting her to the care of his disciple John. She gathered with the apostles after Jesus' resurrection. Rev.12 may memorialize her role in history as a representative of Israel and as the mother of the Christ."   

The Lutheran Study Bible mentions Luther's Magnificat Commentary, but does not quote one word of what Luther wrote regarding Mary and how she teach us to know and love God. 

There are pages and pages of quotes lesser known theologians.  One full page is given to a lengthy quote from Gregory Lockwood. Lockwood is of the opinion that a woman is always under the authority of a man; her father, her husband or some other man in the  house.

What possible defense is there for one paragraph on Mary, and a full page for Lockwood.

I submit there is no defense for failure to quote Luther's Magnificat Commentary...or for how the Study Bible dismisses God's regard for Mary, the young virgin chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man.

Marie Otten Meyer



Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 08:25:21 PM »
TLSB quotes extensively from the Lutheran Confessions, Luther, and Church Fathers. I don't recall any debate about the particular passage mentioned above or about Mary as Theotokos. Peter is correct about space constraints. As general editor I urged writers to cite pertinent historical and theological sources and found myself supplying such when authors did not. The number of authors who could contribute well exegetically, devotionally, and historically was small especially if you asked them to meet schedule on top of all that.

I suppose that for every quote published in TLSB, one could wish for five or ten more that might have appeared.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

Weedon

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 08:29:05 PM »
On what ground does anyone assert that “She did not agree with Jesus decision to leave the carpentry trade and live as a rabbi”?  And how the heck did such an assertion pass doctrinal review???

And Dr. Pieper has some choice words about those who declare that she definitvely IS the mother of James and Judas, etc.; as did Martin Luther who called Helvidius a fool for thinking such a thing. Sigh.

TLSB has some very good stuff in it; but it also has silliness like the above. Frankly, the older and grumpier I get, the more I prefer my KJV with Apocrypha and without ANYONE’S study notes.

Dave Likeness

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 08:46:01 PM »
Here is what Pieper says about the perpetual virginity of Mary:

"If the Christology of a theologian is orthodox in all other respects,
he is not to be considered as a heretic for holding that Mary bore
other children in a natural manner after she had given birth to the
Son of God."  page 308  Christian Dogmatics Vol 2

"Since the question is a purely historical one, it is best not to spend
too much time on it."  page 309 Christian Dogmatics Vol. 2
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 08:48:22 PM by Dave Likeness »

Weedon

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 08:50:09 PM »
Dave, now try quoting the section where he disparages those with “tender exegetical consciences” who disallow the teaching of the perpetual virginity. Good grief.

Dave Likeness

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2021, 08:59:44 PM »
 Dr. Robert Preus taught us the word COGENT in our Systematic Classes at
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.    Dr. David Scaer wrote a cogent article
that Mary gave birth to other children after the birth of Christ.  As Dr. Pieper
would say nobody can call Dr. Scaer a heretic.

Weedon

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2021, 09:09:27 PM »
Dave, does that mean you won’t cite the part of Pieper that I referenced?

Let’s be clear. St. Basil the Great already made it clear that our faith doesn’t hang on Mary’s virginity post partum; it hangs on it to the birth. Luther certainly would concur with that. What he would not concur with is those who insist dogmatically that Mary HAD other children. If Scaer does that, he’s just wrong. And Pieper would call him out for it, as would Luther, as would St. Basil. Gerhard put it most simply: “We respond from Jerome Against Helvidius: We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. we do not believe that Mary had relations with Joseph after the birth, because we do not read it. So it suffices for our faith that the mother of the Messiah is called virgin in Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:35.”

P.S. I do apologize for the sharp tone which I should not have taken, and particularly with an older brother or sister in the faith. Please forgive me.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 09:11:28 PM by Weedon »

Weedon

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2021, 09:13:32 PM »
P.S. Still waiting to hear on what basis anyone can make assertions about Mary being displeased with Christ leaving the carpenter’s trade. The more I think about that the more it floors me that that’s in there.

Rob Morris

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2021, 09:40:17 PM »
P.S. Still waiting to hear on what basis anyone can make assertions about Mary being displeased with Christ leaving the carpenter’s trade. The more I think about that the more it floors me that that’s in there.

Especially given:
1) The angel's prophecies and
2) The extremely high regard for rabbis in First Century Judaism - they were the rockstars of the culture. For her to oppose that reminds me of the old Bob Newhart routine with Abraham Lincoln's PR guy correcting him: "No, no, no... you were a logsplitter, then an attorney! It doesn't really make sense, you leaving your law practice to go split logs."

Dave Benke

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2021, 10:16:37 PM »
On what ground does anyone assert that “She did not agree with Jesus decision to leave the carpentry trade and live as a rabbi”?  And how the heck did such an assertion pass doctrinal review???

And Dr. Pieper has some choice words about those who declare that she definitvely IS the mother of James and Judas, etc.; as did Martin Luther who called Helvidius a fool for thinking such a thing. Sigh.

TLSB has some very good stuff in it; but it also has silliness like the above. Frankly, the older and grumpier I get, the more I prefer my KJV with Apocrypha and without ANYONE’S study notes.

I agree with both you and Marie on this.  I actually don't use TLSB and don't recommend it, and have a well-worn Thomson's Chain Reference Bible KJV that serves pastoral ministry needs. 

Maybe by the way here, O Grumpy One, but I also agreed with your comments on the LCMS blog (mysteriously the article appeared on my phone - how does that happen?) concerning this very upcoming Sunday, Palm Sunday.  I demur on whether the blame goes to Vatican II, but not on the conclusion, which was that Palm Sunday is a good thing in and of itself.  You can provide the link should you so choose. 

Dave Benke

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: God's regard
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2021, 11:39:13 PM »
Maybe by the way here, O Grumpy One, but I also agreed with your comments on the LCMS blog (mysteriously the article appeared on my phone - how does that happen?) concerning this very upcoming Sunday, Palm Sunday.  I demur on whether the blame goes to Vatican II, but not on the conclusion, which was that Palm Sunday is a good thing in and of itself.  You can provide the link should you so choose. 

Dave Benke

From the east bank of the Bosporus and five weeks away from Palm Sunday, I'm intrigued.

Hope the link is forthcoming.

My interest stems from having just posted re:  The Annunciation onto my LInkedIn feed:

Quote

The Feast  this year is just three days before Western Palm Sunday.  The two days are beautifully comingled in this 17th century hymn by Paul Gerhardt:

O Lord, how shall I meet Thee,
How welcome Thee aright?
Thy people long to greet Thee,
My Hope, my heart's Delight!
O kindle, Lord, most holy,
Thy lamp within my breast
To do in spirit lowly
All that may please Thee best.

Thy Zion strews before Thee
Green boughs and fairest palms,
And I, too, will adore Thee
With joyous songs and psalms.
My heart shall bloom forever
For Thee with praises new
And from Thy name shall never
Withhold the honor due.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 11:42:25 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
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