(Continued from page 288)
The term 'woman' in the New Testament - and Genesis 3:15?
Did Jesus regularly use the term 'woman' when addressing women?
The Catholic writer continues to try and finds evidence that will support his 'Mary' as the 'woman' of Genesis 3:15:
Now that we have examined a very important passage that gives us a backdrop of the phrase 'woman' as applied in a prophetic text in Genesis 3, which is directly tied into our understanding of Revelation 12, let us look at the other way where the term 'woman' is applied in the New Testament. Now we saw that Israel was not termed as 'woman' in the Old Testament, perhaps we will see Geisler and Rhodes' view that 'woman' is used in the New Testament will verify Israel as the woman? Or will it be Mary?
Since John is the author of the book of Revelation which is our focus in this paper, it would be best to look at any indication of the use of the term 'woman' in his gospel. We need to see whether that term is used of Israel (Geisler and Rhodes' view) or of Mary (the Catholic view).
It is not my intention to dissect the whole meaning of the passages that we run across that use the term 'woman' in a singular manner, but just on how it is used, and what indication we can get from it. Now we know that both in Matthew and Luke, Mary is identified by name, and is termed Jesus' mother, which no one would question. Matthew calls her Mary in 1:16, 18, 20, 2:11. Luke calls her Mary in Luke 1:27, 30, 38, 41, 46, 56, 2:5. Of course other times Mary is simply referred to as Jesus' mother. However, John never identifies her by name. John refers to Mary as Jesus' mother several times as well (Jn 2:1, 3, 5; 19:25, 26). But John, the author of Revelation 12, also the author of his gospel, also identifies her in a different way. He identifies her several times through Jesus' words. In Jn 2:1-11 there is the mention of the wedding feast that Jesus and Mary appeared at in Cana. I will highlight a particular part of the passage in John 2:
2 Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. 3 When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.' 4 And Jesus said to her, 'O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.' 5 His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.'
Notice before any miracles had happened, on the eve of beginning his ministry, the specific way that Jesus addresses his mother. He does not address her as 'mother', even though she definitely was his mother. He identifies her as 'Woman'. Of course modern readers can read this as Jesus even being curt with his own Mother. However, it is important that he addresses her in this fashion. Before he goes to Calvary, and even before he goes to begin his mission, he calls his mother as 'woman'. Now of course Mary had just known that the wine run out and made him aware of that fact. Obviously she expected something to come of her passing this on to Jesus. Although Jesus responded that it was not yet his time (there is a question on whether his time is 'Calvary' or the beginning of his mission), her prompting (even if it seems just to inform Jesus that they had run out of wine) actually ends up with Jesus providing his first miracle and apparently the beginning of his ministry to the people. Mary asks, Jesus delivers. There is much more than that, but for the purpose of this essay, what does Jesus declare his mother? 'Woman'. This unmistakingly refers us back to the 'woman' of Genesis 3:15.
25 So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' 27 Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Just as Mary was one who was present at the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Cana, at the end of his life, Mary is right at his side with the apostle John, the only one left of the apostles during his crucifixion. As mentioned earlier, there is alot of discussion on the full meaning of Jesus' words to Mary that relate to whether it supports the perpetual virginity, or whether this is a good verse that supports her maternity of all Christians. I do not want to dwell on that in this study. However, what I do want to focus on is at the end of his ministry, just before he is about to breathe his last breath, he mentions her as Mother of John, the disciple that he loved, but also directly spoke to her as 'woman'.
Thus, two times the author of Revelation 12 specifically focuses on Jesus' words identifying her not only as 'mother', but more importantly for this study, as 'woman'. Now, what is the significance of Jesus calling his mother 'woman' instead of 'mother'? Is that a phrase that a son would normally use when speaking to his mother? Apparently not. John McHugh notes:
Apart from Cana and Calvary (Jn 2 & Jn 19) there is not a single instance anywhere in the Bible or in any of the rabbinical writings of a son's addressing his mother as 'Woman'. In fact, Jesus in the gospels uses this form of address to several women, including those whom he had never met before. Thus he uses it to the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:21) and to Mary Magdalen (Jn 20:13), to the Canaanite woman (Mt. 15:28) and to the woman crippled with arthritis (Lk 13:10. He also uses it to the woman caught in the act of adultery (Jn 8:11). From these examples it is fair to conclude that it was a normal form of courteous address (like the French Madame or the Italian (Signora) to someone outside the family; but when a Jew addressed his mother he said 'imma ('mother'). Jesus was therefore drawing attention away from Mary's blood-relationship with him by addressing her as 'Woman'. And if one objects that on Calvary (Jn 19:25-27) he was certainly regarding her as the mother who gave him birth, is not this begging the question? Perhaps Calvary has a different message too; perhaps Jesus on the cross was thinking of something other than physical ties of blood. 
Many will see that John is representative of all Christians and at the point of Jesus completing his mission on earth, he gives not only to John his Mother Mary. I believe there is credence to that theory, but for the purposes of this essay, I want to focus on the fact that Jesus calls his mother 'Woman'. Indeed, with the knowledge of the fact that Genesis 3:15 points to him being bruised at the foot, but the woman of that verse has a share in the victory over Satan ultimately that will bruise the head of Satan, his identification of his mother as 'woman' is important. His identification of her as 'woman' in John 2, at the beginning of his mission, as 'woman' in John 19 at the completion of his earthly mission, and with Jesus' foreknowledge that in years the passage would be written that the 'woman' of Revelation 12 will be at war with the devil and share in the victory of the Lamb over that devil, and will be identified as a 'woman' who has great privileges, this identification is important indeed. The identification of Mary at this pivotal point of his life as 'woman' points us even further to Mary as the 'woman' of both Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12. Contrast to the Geisler and Rhodes theory of 'Israel'. Nowhere is Israel even thought of as 'woman' here or anywhere in the New Testament, let alone that being the identification of the 'woman' of Revelation 12.
What about the other occasions when men addressed individual women as 'woman'?
TCE: it might look as if the Catholic writer is making a good point unless it is a fact that 'woman' was a common address to women - regardless of whether they are your mother or not! Perhaps this is why he admits: 'It is not my intention to dissect the whole meaning of the passages that we run across that use the term 'woman' in a singular manner, but just on how it is used, and what indication we can get from it.' But we will look at the other passages where 'woman' is used as a form of polite address. Does Jesus address any woman in the New Testament and call her other than 'woman'? If He addresses all women, or even most women, as 'woman' then it obviously completely nullifies any force in the term 'woman'! Has this been considered - the Catholic writer certainly mentions the other clear examples in Scripture ['the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:21) and to Mary Magdalen (Jn 20:13), to the Canaanite woman (Mt. 15:28) and to the woman crippled with arthritis (Lk 13:10. He also uses it to the woman caught in the act of adultery (Jn 8:11)'] where the apparently blunt address - 'woman' was used to women other than Mary? Checking the Scriptures carefully shows that Jesus regularly uses the term 'woman' when addressing women - except when He addresses the 'woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years' after He had healed her:
Matthew 9:22 - Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well.
Mark 5:34 - And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
Why does Jesus address the woman as 'daughter' and not 'woman'? Because He has in mind her position in Zion as per the promise of the prophet spoken of in Matthew 21:4-5 - "Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass."
Perhaps the Catholic writer is just ignorant of the use of very personal terms, such as 'Abba, Father'. The interpretation which is generally given of this expression is that Paul employs these two words - Syriac and Greek, the one taken from the language in use among the Jews, the other from that of the Gentiles - to show that there is no longer any distinction between the Jew and the Greek, and that all believers, in every nation, may address God as their Father in their own language. It would rather appear that the Apostle alludes to the fact that among the Jews slaves were not allowed to call a free man Abba, which signified a real father. The Apostle Paul also alluded to a law among the Jews which forbade slaves to call a free man Abba, or a free woman Imma. The Apostle meant that we were no more slaves, but freed by Jesus Christ; and consequently that we might call God Abba, as some began to call the Church Imma. In translating New Testament passages the word Abba, although a Syriac word and unknown in our tongue, must always be preserved, for in this term consists the force of the Apostle's reasoning. Abba was originally, like the feminine equivalent imma, a word derived from baby-language. When a child is weaned, 'it learns to say 'abba' (daddy) and 'imma' (mummy). Even in the pre-Christian era the word underwent a considerable extension of meaning. The effect of this widening of meaning was that the word 'abba' as a form of address to one's father was no longer restricted to children, but also used by adult sons and daughters. The childish character of the word ('daddy') thus receded, and 'abba' acquired the warm, familiar ring which we may feel in such an expression as 'dear father'.
It is clear from the Gospel tradition and moreover indirectly confirmed in Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6, that Jesus addressed God in his prayers as 'My Father'. In so doing, he made use of the warm, familiar term 'abba' used in the everyday life of the family. The only exception is the cry of dereliction from the cross (Mk. 15:34) - which is a quotation from Psalm 22:1. The invocation 'abba' is expressly attested in the Markan text of the prayer in Gethsemane (Mk. 14:36). But in the other prayers of Jesus recorded by the evangelists it is again 'abba' that underlies, either directly or indirectly, the various Greek versions of his invocation of the Father. The use, unthinkable for the pious Jew, of the childish and familiar term 'abba' in prayer is an expression of the unique relationship of Jesus to God. It expresses not only his attitude of trust and obedience towards the Father (Mk. 14:36 par.), but also his incomparable authority (Matt. 11:25 ff. par.). The early church took over the use of 'abba' in prayer. This is shown by the two passages Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6, where Paul may have been thinking of the Lord's Prayer. When Jesus gave his disciples the Lord's Prayer, He gave them authority to follow Him in addressing God as 'abba', and so gave them a share in His status as Son. Accordingly, Paul sees in the invocation 'abba', dear Father, clear evidence of our adoption through Christ as sons, and of the eschatological possession of the Spirit (Rom. 8:14 ff.; Gal. 4:4-7). The fact that the church, like Jesus, may say 'Abba' is a fulfilment of God's promise: 'I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters' (2 Cor. 6:18; cf. 2 Sam. 7:14).
Why 'born of woman' does not equate to 'the Woman' of Revelation 12
Why have we laboured this point? A considerable amount of supposition has gone into this section by the Catholic writer, but he still fails to prove that 'woman' is not a general term used to address women in Jesus' day - whether they are sons or not! We can also introduce other occasions when men addressed women and called them 'woman' - as Peter did when he was accused of knowing Jesus in Luke 22:57: 'And he denied Him, saying, "Woman, I know him not."
Again, we have the appearance of Mary Magdalene at the tomb in John 20:15: Jesus said unto her, "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said unto Him, "Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away."
Why should we not suppose that 'woman' was a general term used to address women in Jesus' day? There is absolutely no reason why not - as even this Catholic web-page admits tacitly ['Of course modern readers can read this as Jesus even being curt with his own Mother. However, it is important that he addresses her in this fashion… From these examples it is fair to conclude that it was a normal form of courteous address (like the French Madame or the Italian (Signora) to someone outside the family; but when a Jew addressed his mother he said 'imma ('mother').] If the Catholic writer can admit in one breath that 'it is fair to conclude that it was a normal form of courteous address (like the French Madame or the Italian (Signora)', is it unreasonable to also conclude that it was such a courteous form of address that it could even be used to your own mother? Obviously not - if you're not a Catholic!
There is another point. Since Jesus pointedly addressed His Father as 'Abba', and taught His disciples to do the same - why did He address His mother as 'woman'? If Mary really holds the position that Papal Rome claims for her as 'Mother of God' - why is she not addressed in the equally familiar, tender, and affectionate term - 'Imma'? Indeed, why did some begin to use the term 'imma' to describe the Church if Mary really holds the place that Rome claims? In striving to prove that Mary is the 'woman' of Genesis 3:15 they also fail to see that they have proven that their 'Mary' - who does not appear in her regular world-wide apparitions as the modest, self-effacing, faithful servant of the God of the Bible - is also not the 'Mother of God' in the way Rome would have us see her. Finally, if they now try to argue that Jesus addressed His mother as 'woman' in order to emphasise their desire to make a connection to Genesis 3:15-16, they now have the problem that they have 'down-graded' their 'Mary' from 'Imma' - Mother (of God) - and the sharing of an equivalent title to the Father, 'Abba'. Of course, Bible-believing Christians can sensibly argue that Jesus used the standard courteous phrase 'woman' instead of the affectionate 'Imma' simply because He wanted to emphasise that His loving mother was still no more than an ordinary human being, and not with any intention to link her to Genesis 3:15-16 at all! This argument deals a death-blow to all the following arguments of the Catholic apologists.
It is also clear that Catholic writers are willing to skip over any suggestions that Israel might be represented as the 'woman' of Revelation 12, or Eve as the woman of Genesis 3:15-16, while they seek continuously to find ways to promote 'Mary' in their Mariology. They also seek to exclude the 'born again' seed of the woman from a 'share in the victory of the Lamb over that devil' or to see that they will also have 'great privileges'.
The Catholic writer continues:
4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law
This is Paul's only direct reference to Mary, but he knows to refer to her as 'woman'. Here he indicates implicitly the fact of the virginal conception of Jesus. He writes born of 'a woman' in a Semitic society that would usually say 'born of Jesse' or born of whoever the man is. Pointing to Jesus as born of a 'woman' instead of a man indicates the uniqueness of the incarnation. However, again, Mary is again referred to as a woman, even outside a Johannine context. Thus, the phraseology of 'a woman' being tied to Mary has been passed on to Paul, who passes it on to his readers.
Conclusion: Mary is our Mother via Revelation 12
Who is the woman of Rev. 12? Who is called Woman in the Bible? Whenever Jesus refers to his mother, what does he call her? Woman. He calls her woman at the time of his first miracle in Cana John 2:4. He calls her Woman, behold your Son, when referring to John (John 19:27). Paul calls her the Woman in Gal. 4:4. Are all these coincidences (there happen to be no such coincidences for Israel and the term 'woman') or does it not show without a doubt, that the primary meaning of the Woman of Rev. 12 is Mary!!!
Does the term 'woman' always simply refer to an individual?
TCE: Despite the writers attempt to emphasise 'the Woman' when Paul was inspired to write 'born of woman', Fruchtenbaum [ibid. p135ff.] has given good reason to explain why the genealogy of Mary is recorded in Scripture, and therefore why Paul would recognise that 'born of woman' refers back to Genesis 3:15-16. But, as Fruchtenbaum explained, the phrase is important because Paul would also have recognised its reference to 'the seed of Eve' and, ultimately, Israel - not because of any recognition that Mary is the primary 'woman' referenced in Genesis! The importance of the Virgin Birth cannot be stressed too much, but the attempts to promote the Catholic 'Mary' to a position that Scripture does not give her is simply un-Scriptural and therefore unacceptable to orthodox Christians.
The Catholic writer continues to try and emphasise his point:
We have seen a striking parallel between the woman of Genesis 3:15, and the woman of Revelation 12. There is a woman who is at enmity with the Devil in both passages. Satan is at war with Jesus in both passages, and the woman is a central part in both passages. In the Genesis passage there is a promise of the victory that shows it fulfilled in Revelation 12. It is apparent that the 'woman' of Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 are the same woman. The only one who fits the bill in both passages is Mary. We have looked at the alternatives given by opponents of the Marian interpretations. In Genesis 3 we saw the possibility of Eve, being destroyed by the internal evidence. Genesis 3 points not only to Jesus but also to Mary, as even acknowledged by the 'reformers'. Martin Luther writes in reference to the Genesis 3:15 passage:
Is Christ only to be adored? Or is the holy Mother of God rather not to be honoured? This is the woman who crushed the Serpent's head. Hear us. For your Son denies you nothing. 
Eve nowhere is even brought into the picture of Revelation 12. None of the Protestant interpreters saw Eve as the 'woman' of Revelation 12. The Protestants who deny the Marian interpretation of Revelation 12 gave us Israel as the 'woman'. In fact we saw nowhere in the Bible was the 'woman' ever identified as Israel. Nowhere does Scripture ever allude to Israel being the one who specifically gives birth to the Messiah. Of course Scripture is quite clear that the one who gives birth to the Messiah is Mary. The most natural interpretation of Revelation 12, is that the 'woman' who gives birth to the Messiah, is actually the 'woman' who gives birth to the Messiah: That is Mary.
Mary is the 'Mother of the Church?'
TCE: The Catholic writer deceives himself in believing that 'In Genesis 3 we saw the possibility of Eve, being destroyed by the internal evidence.' It is clear from Fruchtenbaum's analysis that Eve's descendants recognised that the Redeemer would be 'born of a woman' and clearly, even when Jesus was born, rabbis of the day had difficulties in accepting the Virgin Birth so, to try and claim that the Virgin Mary would have been easily recognised as the 'woman' of Genesis 3 is pure speculation. The errors of the Reformers who had not fully escaped the clutches of Roman influence have already been acknowledged and it would be no surprise to find that 'None of the Protestant interpreters saw Eve as the 'woman' of Revelation 12.' We have also already shown that it is simply untrue to claim that 'nowhere in the Bible was the 'woman' ever identified as Israel.' We have already seen the clear possibility that the 'woman' follows the pattern of other 'women' mentioned in Scripture - 'women' who are simply not individual women!
The Catholic writer further addresses the description of the scene regarding the 'woman' in Revelation 12:
The 'woman' is one who gives birth to the Son who rules over the earth. The woman is clothed with the sun and the moon is put under her feet and she is crowned with twelve stars. All the other personages in the scene of Revelation 12 are individuals. Jesus is the Son who rules. Michael is identified. Satan is identified. Thus, in order to be consistent in interpretation the only way it can be so is by having this person identified as an individual. The only person who is an individual, who is also the Mother of the Messiah, is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Now I am not arguing that there are not other interpretations possible. In fact many Church Fathers saw the 'woman' as referring to the Church, or the people of God, and varying other interpretations. There can be many senses and interpretations in various passages and indications are that the woman of Revelation 12 does not need to be limited to one interpretation. The Catholic Church indicates in its interpretation of Matthew 16:18, the 'rock' not only is Peter, but can also supplementarily be the confession of faith of Peter, and even indirectly Jesus as the Rock. One interpretation does not necessarily exclude other interpretations. However, the indication in this study, has shown us Mary is the 'woman' of Revelation 12 in a primary way. Even if some after looking at the data want to say, that she is not the primary 'woman', will at a minimum have to in some way admit that the mother who bears the son who rules the earth (Rev. 12:5), is indeed the 'woman' who bears that son. That woman is Mary. Even if only in a secondary sense. Of course I believe that this study indicates she is the woman in a primary sense.
TCE: As we have already shown, the symbolism in revelation does not necessarily make the word 'woman' refer to an individual - so there is little point in this Catholic writer insisting that the text proves that 'Mary' is being spoken of here. Further, he actually admits that other 'senses and interpretations' are possible and have been accepted by such as the Church Fathers. There is a further fact which the writer ignores: the description of the activity of the 'woman' of Revelation 12 bears no real relationship to anything the Biblical Mary did, or might do in the future, despite the fanciful interpretations of Rome.
The claim is made that:
Some of those who are not pro-Catholic who objectively look at the data will admit that the woman of Revelation 12 is indeed Mary. An opponent of the Catholic view on Mary even cites the 'World Evangelical Fellowship' acknowledgment of the 'woman' of Revelation 12 as Mary.
In the apostolic witness, there are only two references to her. Paul spoke of the seed born of a woman (Gal. 4:4), and John told of the woman clothed with the sun who brought forth the manchild (Rev 12:1). Both depict the birth of Christ. 
Thus, even the World Evangelical Fellowship, hardly an advocate of Catholic theology will admit that the woman of Revelation 12 is indeed Mary.
TCE: quoting from a supposed 'opponent' of Rome is not necessarily what it appears. There are many groups who call themselves 'evangelical' who are happy to to be neutral to Rome, or even co-exist or indulge in ecumenism. So their opinion really holds no sway over this interpretation. Further, the opinion quoted here - 'Both depict the birth of Christ' - does not make these Scriptures refer to 'Mary' for, as we have shown, it is possible to read Eve and Israel (through Eve) from both Galatians 4:4 and Revelation 12.
The Mother of Jesus shares in the sufferings of the 'Immolated Lamb'?
What about the attempts to prove that 'Mary' is the 'Mother of the Church'? :
Now we have seen that the woman of Revelation 12 is Mary. In the above passage, where the woman is battling with the dragon, or Satan, she has some offspring who are at war with the devil. Who are her offspring? All those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. Thus, we see that those Christians who bear testimony of Jesus have this woman, or Mary as their Mother. This study has shown that Revelation 12 has Mary as the mother, and this passage in Revelation 12 indicates that those Christians who bear testimony to Jesus, also are Mary's offspring. God didn't give us a single parent household. He gives us his mother as Mary. Obviously these are the followers of Christ, not physical children of Mary. Just as Jesus named Mary the mother of John (Jn. 19:27), all who follow him, are her children, via Revelation 12:17. In addition to that, when we see that it is Mary who is the Woman who has the 12 crowns, we have a perfectly Biblical basis for calling her Queen mother. The fact that there are false Queen Mothers that may be referenced the Old Testament does not do away with her title and Revelation 12:1 any more than the fact that there are false messiahs, do away with the fact that there is a real Messiah!!! Thus, those who bear testimony to Jesus, also have Mary as their Mother. That is clear Scriptural truth.
TCE: it is astonishing that Catholics believe they can extrapolate Jesus' tender concern for his mother, in the hour of His mortal agony, to make her the 'Mother' of all believers - and thus the 'Queen Mother' - with all the associated attributes they have since piled onto her. The details we have already supplied prove the Catholic 'Mary' to be the false 'queen of heaven' - rather than 'Queen Mother' - just as the clear facts of Scripture and history proves who are false messiah's!!! The True Messiah will be clearly recognised by those who accept the Bible as the guide to all of God's Truth, while Rome will be a participant in the installation of the anti-Christ! The Biblical Mary has an undoubted position in the history of God's people as a wonderful, faithful servant of God. This is more than she ever claimed for herself! On the Biblical evidence it is clearly unwise to make a greater assumption from this passage than recognising that John was "the disciple whom he loved" (John 19:26 - not that this proves that He loved others less!), and it could well be that Jesus consigned His mother to John's care because none of his brothers was present (perhaps they fled in terror!) and because John was the nearest available relative. Again, while Catholic writers will accuse non-Catholics of failing to see Mary in Revelation 12 and Genesis 3 - despite the good reasons we have put forward for our beliefs - it is clear that Rome seeks associations where none exists!
Following the Catholic writer's attempts to prove that 'she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery' does not actually mean what it says - which we dealt with earlier - he shows another aspect of Rome's additional 'revelations' concerning 'Mary' and her supposed position alongside Christ:
According to R. Laurentin, the difficulty over the pains of childbirth on the part of the 'woman' of Revelation can be eliminated by a comparison:
In Apoc (Rev. ) 5:6 Christ appears in heaven in the form of an immolated lamb (cf. Jn 19:36). The sufferings of the woman who also appears in heaven in Apoc 12:2, stands in relation to the immolation of the celestial Lamb. Thus, in the 12th chapter of Apocalypse, the reference is not to the childbirth at Bethlehem, but to the words of Christ on the cross: 'Son, behold your Mother' (Jn 19:26). It is a question of the spiritual motherhood of Mary and of the compassion with which the Mother of Jesus shares in the sufferings of the immolated Lamb. Jn 12:9 and Apoc 12 are therefore, in strict relation to one another. In each passage Mary's motherhood in relation to the disciples entails a context of suffering (Jn. 19:25; Apoc 12:2). ) (D Suillaci, 'Maria nella Donna dell' Apocalisse', Mile Immaculatae 5 (1969): 151)
Thus, here John is speaking about a different type of suffering ... So Mary underwent the spiritual suffering at Calvary. Her soul was pierced when she saw her Son die on the cross. There is a richness in Luke 2:34-35, which shows how Mary suffered. But not only on the cross. John McHugh notes that the traditional classical interpretation in Catholic thought is that the sword signifies the suffering felt by Mary as she stood by the cross, watching the death-agony of her son. McHugh gives alot of evidence to say that the suffering of Mary speaks to much more than that (pages 104-112 of his book), but also in Lk. 2:35:
The 'classical interpretation' of Lk 2:35a (that Mary was suffering watching the suffering of Christ on the cross) may therefore be restated with this perspective of Luke in mind. 'Thou thyself, O Israel, shall feel a sword pass through they soul.' Mary as an individual had rejoiced to be the mother of him who would fulfill the promises made to Abraham; as the Daughter of Zion, more aware than anyone else of the destiny of her child, she welcomed his coming for the joy it would bring to Israel and to the world (cf. once more the Magnificat). Yet in the course of Jesus' public life she had to watch the mounting opposition to her son, and knew that the leaders of Israel were thereby turning against their saviour. Her mental sufferings reached a climax on Calvary, but they had begun long before. And even at the foot of the cross, she suffered a double agony. She watched the physical torment and heard the mockery directed at Jesus, her son' but in addition she had the far greater sorrow of knowing that the appointed leaders of God's chosen people had refused the message of salvation. 
Thus, this directly speaks to the issue of Revelation 12. Now, we also saw in Revelation 12 that right after speaking about her suffering in v. 2, it speaks to the dragon chasing the woman and the child, seeking to devour them. Her child is caught up to the throne. Thus, it speaks to his both resurrection and ascension into heaven. This is done after the fact of her suffering. Thus, the suffering pointed to in Revelation 12:2 points exactly to the suffering that she entailed when seeing the rejection of her Son, that reached its fulfillment on the cross. In addition to this, we see her as the Spiritual mother of all of Christ's children (Jn. 19:27, Rev. 12:17). Now, as Mary is still the only one who is Jesus' mother, this shows a double birth, both a physical birth of Christ, and a spiritual birth, where she begets the children of Christ. That brings with it also a painful spiritual childbirth, as we have seen in other passages which show spiritual suffering (2 Pet. 2:8, Gal. 4:19, Rom. 8:22).
Now a good summary of this passage and its relation to Mary, and the suffering in Revelation 12, is again provided by Manelli:
If the whole Son of Mary is Jesus, Head and Body, Mary is shown in joy at Bethlehem as the Mother of the Head, and on Calvary as the Mother of the Body regenerated unto the supernatural life of grace. Koehler succinctly summarizes: Mary 'is the Woman who in Jesus (therefore born at Bethlehem and at Calvary) gives to God mankind reborn to divine sonship. 
Mary is the Mother of the Head and Mother of the Body?
TCE: this is pure wishful thinking - and the kind of eisegesis that all cults specialise in using. To try and connect the 'immolated lamb' of Revelation 5:6 with Revelation 12:2 is simply eisegesis of the most ludicrous order and a desperate attempt to make a connection between 'the spiritual motherhood of Mary and … the compassion with which the Mother of Jesus shares in the sufferings of the immolated Lamb. Jn 12:9 and Apoc 12 are therefore, in strict relation to one another. In each passage Mary's motherhood in relation to the disciples entails a context of suffering'! Again, Mary suffered dreadfully at Calvary as she watched her Son die a dreadful, agonising death, but there is absolutely no Scriptural warrant whatsoever to connect the suffering of the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, with anything that 'Mary' suffered. So to read phrases such as: 'Thus, here John is speaking about a different type of suffering ... So Mary underwent the spiritual suffering at Calvary. Her soul was pierced when she saw her Son die on the cross. There is a richness in Luke 2:34-35, which shows how Mary suffered. But not only on the cross. John McHugh notes that the traditional classical interpretation in Catholic thought is that the sword signifies the suffering felt by Mary as she stood by the cross, watching the death-agony of her son.' Notice that the Catholic writer even manages to slip in a simple sentence ('But not only on the cross.') that makes it look as if 'Mary' was actually on the cross with Christ! This is blasphemy!
Popes instruct believers to pray to Mary - what does Jesus say!?
That the writer can conclude, again: 'Thus, this directly speaks to the issue of Revelation 12' is beyond belief! All of these phrases: 'Now, as Mary is still the only one who is Jesus' mother, this shows a double birth, both a physical birth of Christ, and a spiritual birth, where she begets the children of Christ…If the whole Son of Mary is Jesus, Head and Body, Mary is shown in joy at Bethlehem as the Mother of the Head, and on Calvary as the Mother of the Body regenerated unto the supernatural life of grace. Koehler succinctly summarizes: Mary 'is the Woman who in Jesus (therefore born at Bethlehem and at Calvary) gives to God mankind reborn to divine sonship' are without direct Scriptural warrant and are arrived at by 'comparison' of Scriptures in an attempt to support Rome's pagan 'queen of heaven' who is simultaneously hoisted above Christ as the supposed 'Mother of the Head' and who is now the one who 'gives to God mankind reborn to divine sonship'.
To conclude and return to the point you originally contacted us about, we finish with a typical Marian Litany ['Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary', approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587, http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/litany09.htm ]:
Holy Mary, pray for us. Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us. Mother of Christ, pray for us. Mother of divine grace, pray for us. Mother most pure, pray for us. Mother most chaste, pray for us. Mother inviolate, pray for us. Mother undefiled, pray for us. Mother most amiable, pray for us. Mother most admirable, pray for us. Mother of good counsel, pray for us. Mother of our Creator, pray for us. Mother of our Saviour, pray for us. Virgin most prudent, pray for us. Virgin most venerable, pray for us. Virgin most renowned, pray for us. Virgin most powerful, pray for us. Virgin most merciful, pray for us. Virgin most faithful, pray for us. Mirror of justice, pray for us. Seat of wisdom, pray for us. Cause of our joy, pray for us. Spiritual vessel, pray for us. Vessel of honor, pray for us. Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us. Mystical rose, pray for us. Tower of David, pray for us. Tower of ivory, pray for us. House of gold, pray for us. Ark of the covenant, pray for us. Gate of heaven, pray for us Morning star, pray for us. Health of the sick, pray for us. Refuge of sinners, pray for us. Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us. Help of Christians, pray for us. Queen of angels, pray for us. Queen of patriarchs, pray for us. Queen of prophets, pray for us. Queen of apostles, pray for us. Queen of martyrs, pray for us. Queen of confessors, pray for us. Queen of virgins, pray for us. Queen of all saints, pray for us. Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us. Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us. Queen of the most holy rosary, pray for us. Queen of peace, pray for us.
When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray he said:
'When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.' (Luke 11:2)
He also taught Christians not to pray such pagan-type prayers - and certainly never mentioned His mother in His prayers (Matthew 6:5-9):
5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
What did the Apostles teach?:
'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.' (1 Timothy 2:5)
They did not ask anything of a 'Mother of divine grace', or any 'Mother of the Creator', or any 'Virgin most powerful,' or any 'Virgin most merciful to pray or mediate for us'. We go directly to the Father via the Son! Who is most powerful on earth - a 'Queen' or a 'Prince'? You might then ask yourself - if Mary is 'the Queen of Peace', why is Jesus only 'Prince of Peace' (Isaiah 9:6)? And why has Rome usurped the place of the Son of God with a fictitious 'Queen' of anykind?
Over the centuries scholars have determined that at least seventy per cent of the Roman ritual is of pagan origin. Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1900), in his treatise, The Development of the Christian Religion, stated that: "Temples, incense, oil lamps, votive offerings, holy water, holy days and seasons of devotion, processions, blessing of fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure (of priests, monks and nuns), images, etc., are all of pagan origin" (p.1359). Two of Rome's greatest theologians, Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo, denied the immaculate conception of Mary.
Rome's mistake is not just that, in its first context, the woman (Eve) of Genesis 3 first of all represents Israel as much as she does the Church. More importantly, however, it is the seed of the woman - Jesus the Messiah, and not the woman herself who crushes the serpent's head - as we read in Romans 16:20: "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet". Again, it is Jesus, the Ancient of Days, who subdues the enemy and then gives dominion to the saints after the enemy first prevails against Him for a season. Error begets error and it is a combination of bad exegesis combined with the errors of putting tradition through extra-Biblical revelation ahead of Scripture that has resulted in Rome's errors and is setting the stage for the greatest deception of all - the approach of the Anti-Christ.
In Christ Jesus
===================================No response from Scott!