The Seed of Woman: Mary Among the Protestants

catcrazy24 (Posted by) Level 4
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One of our favorite images that circulates on social media during Advent depicts Eve and Mary both gazing at Mary’s swollen abdomen, a belly pregnant with the Life of the World, Jesus. Eve, clearly still crestfallen over her and Adam’s choice, holding the Forbidden Fruit, and entangled at her feet with the Serpent to whom she listened, is being directed in her gaze and in her touch away from her own choice and toward the Fruit of Mary’s womb, toward the presence of the Most High who has come in flesh to save His people, Israel. Mary’s feet are depicted not as entangled by the Serpent but as crushing his head.

This last bit is the most controversial aspect of the image – to some it communicates the Roman Catholic dogma of Mary as the Co-redemptrix, while for others it merely symbolizes the beginning of Christ’s victory at the moment of his incarnation. Let’s set aside for the moment the artist’s intention or subsequent viewer interpretation of this particular image and instead move back a step to a biblical theological framework for understanding Mary’s role in the history of redemption and in subsequent theological reflection.

Protestant - Mary - Data - Categories - Category

In Protestant thought Mary has been neglected, ignored, and sometimes even disparaged, but given the biblical data about her we think this is unfortunate. There are at least six typological categories and one dogmatic category we need in order to understand the biblical portrait of Mary:

“The whole course of Christ’s obedience.”

God - Adam - Eve - Image - Bearers

God made Adam and Eve his image bearers, those who were to represent his authority in his place by obeying his law, cultivating and keeping their land, and filling the earth with other image bearers through being fruitful and multiplying. But instead of obedience, Adam and Eve chose sin. Instead of ruling God’s place, Adam and Eve...
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