Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi

Retired Professor of Theology,  Andrews University



      * Update on Recent Developments



                   *This is the Essay of this Newsletter



Š      Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana

Š      Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?

Š      Pre-publication of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?

Š      Cover Design fo Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?


* SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER on all the books & recordings,

            including Cristina Piccardi’s CD and DVD Albums.


* Upcoming seminars for the months of January &February


* Incredible Offer on the new Hitachi 3000 Lumens Projector

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* The Smallest and most Powerful Remote Presenter


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 * Bed and Breakfast in London, England.






            Two days following my 69th birthday, I learned that I had advanced-stage colon cancer requiring immediate surgery. Later I was told that the cancer had spread to the liver, infesting 90% of the organ and making its prognosis bleak. Several oncologists that I consulted, confirmed that I had Stage 4 terminal liver cancer, with only a few months to live. All what they could do was to prolong my life with chemotherapy for a few months or a year at best.


Driven by my faith in God and optimistic attitude, I sought another opinion at the Goshen Center forCancer Care in Goshen, Indiana. Following a two-hour consultation with Dr. Seza Gulec, a pioneer in the field of nuclear oncology, I learned that my cancer was treatable with a combined strategy of chemotherapy and microsphere embolization – a treatment unavailable at other cancer centers. Within one month, two rounds of the innovative treatment reduced the presence of liver cancer by almost 80% and decreased total tumor volume from 2435cc to 680cc. Within two months, two more treatments reduced Dr. Bacchiocchi’s cancer by 95%.


Click here to see the pictures of the various stages of my cancer:





While at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, I participated in an unprecedented clinical trial using the combined strategy to treat colorectal cancer that had advanced to the liver. Placed directly into the cancerous area via catheter, the microspheres deliverered 40 times more radiation directly into the tumor than conventional therapy alone, eradicating it over a period of weeks. This targeted therapy aggressively attacked the tumors, quickly reducing their size, while normal liver tissue remained relatively unaffected.


The Goshen Center for Cancer Care is one of the few treatment facilities in the world to offer this breakthrough technology primarily due to the commitment of Dr. Gulec. A world-renowned physician, Dr. Gulec has dedicated years to research and develop the combination therapy, which greatly increases survival rates in those with advanced liver cancer. He has also authored landmark publications in lymphatic mapping, sentinel node biopsy, radioguided surgery and radionuclide therapy. Dr. Gulec currently leads the endocrine surgery, hepatic oncology, molecular imaging and positron emission tomography programs at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care. 


Truly I can say that I believe that the Lord providentially placed me in contact with Dr. Gulec, who has done for me what appeared to be impossible.  The Lord has used Dr. Gulec to give me a new lease on life. Now I feel like a new man energized to serve the Lord in a greater way in the sunset years of my life.  Somehow I feel that I have more energy now than I had at 25 years of age.




The Goshen Center for Cancer Care is home to some of the world’s most sought after cancer specialists who use groundbreaking research, state-of-the-art technology and patient-specific clinical trials to offer the most advanced treatments available anywhere. Incorporating conventional and alternative medicine, our multidisciplinary, integrated team of physicians, surgeons and specialists work together every day to provide unmatched care all under one roof.


What has impressed me about the Goshen Center for Cancer Care is their patient-oriented focus. Among other things they provide very confortable free guest rooms facilities. They offer our a holistic approach to healing which addresses the emotional, spiritual, mental, as well as physical aspects of cancer. From relentlessly recruiting some of the brightest minds in cancer to pushing current treatments further than ever imagined, everything they do is for the betterment of their patients.


To find our more about the GOSHEN CENTER FOR CANCER CARE, click at these links:


CONTACT: http://www.cancermidwest.com/contact/contact.asp

WEBSITE: http://www.cancermidwest.com/

MORE ABOUT DR. GULEC: http://www.cancermidwest.com/main.asp?id=217





                           The research and writing of the new book Popular Beliefs: Are They Biblical?  is proceeding well, as you can tell from this newsletter, where I am posting the last part of chapter 7 on “Mariology.” This is the longest chapter of the book (about 50 pages), and has required much more research and reflection than I had anticipated, because there are a cluster of dogmas and teachings about Mary that need to be examined. The cult of Mary is at the heart of Catholic worship and deserves a close examination.


                           In many ways the progressive Catholic glorification of Mary represents also, as we shall see, the progressive consolidation of papal power.  “As the invisible maternal supervisor of the Church becomes equal to God—or as ‘pure’ as the Second Person of the Trinity—so her visible paternal counterpart [the Pope] makes a commensurate advance.”   In researching this chapter I came to the conclusion that the old saying “As Mary goes so goes the Church,” should be modified to say “As the papacy goes so goes Mary.”


                           Another serious implication of the veneration of Mary highlighted in this chapter, is that it detracts from the majesty of Christ and the honor due to Him alone. We shall see that every magnification of Mary ultimately results in the denigration of Christ. By exalting the human Mother of Jesus to a heavenly channel of intercession and redemption, the Catholic Church is obstructing and rendering needless, the immediate access of believers to Christ’s redemptive ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.


                           Researching this chapter has truly been a learning experience for me. It has help me to understand more fully not only the ecumenical role of Mary in bringing together Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims, but also the progressive glorification of Mary from being sinless to being immaculately conceived, to being bodily assumed into heaven, and being venerated as the Mediatrix, the dispenser of grace and salvation.


                           Due to the length of this chapter, I decided to post it in two installments. The last newsletter No. 191, contained the first half of the chapter, dealing with the two dogmas of the perpetual virginity of Mary and her immaculate conception. This newsletter is taken from the second part of the chapter which examines the dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption to heaven, her heavenly role as Mediator, Co-redeemer, and her growing veneration.


                           In view of the growing popularity of the veneration and worship of Mary, it is imperative to thoroughly examine this development from a biblical perspective. The study shows that Catholic Marian dogmas are Scripturally baseless, historically unjustified, and doctrinally unsound.




                           Having completed 7 of the 10 chapters of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  By God’s grace, I plan to complete the remaining three chapters within the next two months.  They will deal with SPEAKING IN TONGUES, ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED, and INFANT BAPTISM. These chapters will NOT be posted in our Endtime Issues newsletters. The reason is obvious.  Posting all the chapters, diminishes the interest to buy the book when it comes out. 

                           The book, consisting of about 400 pages with a nice four colors, laminated cover.  Its released is scheduled for the end of March or the beginning of April 2008.


                           At this time I would like to offer our readers the opportunity to place an order at the special pre-publication price by mailing your order a check postdated March 31, 2008. If you prefer to pay by credit card, feel free to email me your name, address, and credit card number. 


                           PLEASE NOTE THAT NO CHECK OR CREDIT CARD WILL BE PROCESSED UNTIL THE SHIPMENT OF THE BOOK EXPECTED FOR THE BEGINNING OF APRIL. This means that your check or credit card information will be placed in a special folder, awaiting the release of the book. As soon as the book is out your check will be deposited or your credit card will be processed.


                           Your advanced order will offer me, not only the encouragement needed to complete this very demanding project, but also an approximate idea of how many copies we should print. Thank you for your encouragement and support.




10 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $10.00 per copy, postage paid, instead of the regular price of $30.00. ($100.00 for 10 copies)


30 copies (one case) of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $5.00 per copy, postage paid.  ($150.00 for 30 copies)


100 copies of Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? at $4.00 per copy, postage paid. ($400.00 for 100 copies).


NOTE: These special prices are for shipments to USA destinations.  To AIMAIL the book overseas, add $5.00 per book.  The US Postal Service no longer offers surfice mail, which took several months for overseas delivery. All overseas shipments are now done by airmail, which is expensive, but fast and reliable.




                           In previous newsletters I shared with you my inclination to shelf this project because the funds needed for an initial printing of 100,000 copies, have not been received yet. Many of you emailed me very encouraging messages which rekindled my enthusiasm for this project.


                           You urged me to proceed without delay because this book Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical? is urgently needed to help many sincere believers to understand why their popular beliefs are unbiblical and why the Adventist beliefs are biblical. I believe that after reading this study about the exaltation of Mary to heavenly roles that belong to Christ alone, you will sense more than ever before the need share this timely book with people who are sincere, but sincerely wrong.


                           Some of you have sent in contributions toward this project, which will make it possible to discount substantially the price of the book.If the Lord impresses you to contribute to this project, I am pleased to inform you that now we can offer you a tax deductable receipt, because our son, Daniel, an Architech,  has just received a non-profit status for his MASTER’S BUILDERS INC.  He has established this organization to channel funds to build churches and schools in developing countries.   Your contribution should be sent to this mail and address:






                           Your prayers and financial support for this new book is greatly appreciated.  If sufficient funds come in to cover the cost of printing it, our plan is to charge only for the cost of mailing. Note, however, that the cost of mailing a 400 pages book by Priority Mail is $4.95.  This means tha the special pre-publication prices for quantity orders are already incredibly low.




                           If you are a gifted graphic designer and would like to try to design the cover of my forthcoming book Popular Beliefs: Are they Biblical?  feel free to submit a rough sketch.  If I like the idea, I will give you the go-ahead and send you a compensation of $250.00.


                           The cover of my book The Sabbath Under Crossfire was designed by a student missionary in China.  He did a magnificent job in encircling the Fourth Commandment with flames.


                           Among our 40,000 readers of this newsletter, there might be gifted artists who could design a modern appealing cover.  If you are one of them, and have the time and interest  to design the cover, feel free to contact me by email or phone at 269-471-2915.  I look forward to hear from you.




                           After weeks of preparation, the SABBATH SEMINAR WITH WORDS AND SONGS was presented and recorded on November 16-17, 2007, at the Avon Park SDA Church, a 900 members congregation near Orlando, Florida. The church was packed with visitors from the surrounding churches. The response surpassed our fondest expectations.


                           In the past I  presented my Sabbath, Advent, and Lifestyle Seminars by myself with my broken Italian accent. But now, providentially the Lord has brought to my ministry a most gifted Brazilian lady, Cristina Piccardi, who touches the hearts of people with her powerful and passionate singing.


                           During the past five Sabbaths, Cristina has sung at rallies in Avon Park (near Orlando), Loma Linda, Hinsdale (Chicago),  San Antonio, (Texas), and Lexington (Kentucky).  In Lexington we ministered to about 400 non-SDA sabbatarians, who came from different parts of the USA and Canada.  Everywhere our seminars with words and songs, were warmly received.


                           This is what Pastor Paul Boling, the Senior Pastor of the Avon Park SDA Church, wrote about  our SABBATH SEMINAR WITH WORDS AND SONGS, that was recorded at his church on November 16-17, 2007.


“November 18-2007


                           Over the past years I have had the privilege of inviting Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi to speak at 2 churches that I  have pastored. So, I was eager to again host his seminar in the Avon Park SDA Church, of Florida Conference. 


                           However, the weekend visit of November 16-17, 2007 was slated to be different, because he was bringing his own guest singer, Cristina Piccardi.  This gifted vocalist added immeasurably to Dr. Bacchiocchis timely lectures.  She is extremely well trained, and she graciously brought to our congregation the most beautiful music we have ever heard, coupled with her love for God.  Our congregation was so overjoyed with her concert, and they want the team of Bacchiocchi and Piccardi to return soon!”


Pastor Paul Boling

Senior Pastor

Avon Park Seventh-day Adventist Church


Who is Cristina Piccardi?


                           Truly I can say that Cristina is by far the best Adventist soprano I have heard in my life. Surprisingly she is a slim, only 118 pounds, 5.6 feet high—not the typical heavy-set soprano. When my wife asked her: “How can you project such a powerful voice when you are so slim?”  She replied: “It is God’s gift.”


            Cristina was born in Brazil 26 years ago and came to Andrews University two years ago to accompany her husband who is studying at the seminary. She has earned degrees in voice performance both in Brazil and at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she received full scholarship during the two years of her studies, graduating in December of 2005.  


                           In the same year she performed in a leading role with symphonic orchestras in the USA and overseas. At the annual 2005 International Competition for Opera Singers she won the first prize as the best soprano singer of the year. Now that Pavarotti has passed away, it is encouraging to know that one of the best soprano in the world belongs to the Adventist Church.


                           I officially met Cristina on October 6, 2007 at Andrews University Pioneer Memorial Church. I was spellbound by the three sacred songs  she sung during the communion service led by Pastor Dwight Nelson. When we met after the communion service, we both immediately felt that the Lord was bringing us together in a providential way to proclaim with words and songs our timely Adventist Message. She told me that after singing for five years in a leading role with various symphonic orchestras, she felt the call of God to leave glitzy world of the opera stage, in order to dedicate the gift of her voice to sing sacred music. This means that now we are presenting together with words and songs my powerpoint seminars on the SABBATH, SECOND  ADVENT, and CHRISTIAN LIFE STYLE.


                           You can enjoy a preview of Cristina’s outstanding singing by clicking at this link:  http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cristina/   She sings the first stanza of THE HOLY CITY.




                           To make it possible for many fellow believers and especially small churches, to benefit from the newly released  DVD Album on the SABBATH WITH WORDS AND SONGS recorded on November 16-17, 2007, we are pleased to offer you the Album as a HOLYDAY SPECIAL for only $30.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. The price is valid until January 31, 2008, and includes the airmail cost to any oversea destination.


                           The DVD Album consists of 3 DVD disks containing a total of 6 hours of recording, that is, the Cristina singing and my preaching done on Friday evening, Sabbath morning, and Sabbath afternoon.  


                           The Friday evening program begins with Cristina’s mini Sacred Concert, and is followed by my testimony entitled “My Search for the Sabbath at a Vatican University. This is a gripping testimony delivered with 100 powerpoint slides. I share how the Lord opened the door for me to research and publish my dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday at a Vatican University in Rome and since then to share the message of the Sabbath in many countries.


                           On Sabbath morning Cristina leads the Praise Songs and then she sings “The Lord’s Prayer” before my sermon.  My powerpoint sermon “The Sabbath as a Time for Service,” offers practical principles on how to keep the Sabbath to gain a greater blessing out of it. 


                           The Sabbath afternoon program is divided into two parts. In the first part Cristina offers a sacred concert and in the second part I deliver my final lecture entitled “The Sabbath Under Crossfire.” This lecture offers an update report on the latest Sabbath/Sunday developments.  


                           You can enjoy this informative and inspiring 6 hours seminar in the privacy of your home or church, without having to travel long distances or investing money to fly us in.


How to Order the New DVD Album on THE SABBATH WITH WORDS AND SONGS at the SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER of only $30.00 (instead of $100.00) until December 31, 2007.


        (1) Online by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=104

        (2) By calling us at (269) 471-2915

        (3) By emailing us your address and credit card information

        (4) By mailing a check for $30.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA.


                           We guarantee to AIRMAIL the DVD album immediately to ensure that it will reach you in time for Christmas.




                           Would you like us to present a SABBATH, or ADVENT, or LIFESTYLE SEMINAR with WORDS AND SONGS at your church? Every weekend is already taken until the end of April 2008, but we have openings in the latter part of the year.


                           If you are interested to invite Cristina Piccardi and myself for a special seminar with Words and Songs, feel free to contact us by eamil <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> or by phone (269) 471-2915. We will be glad to give you the details and the open dates.



Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi

Retired Professor of Theology,  Andrews University





            Another significant indication of the Catholic Church attempt to elevate Mary to the same place of Christ, is the dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary to heaven.  The parallel between Christ and Mary is self-evident.  The biblical teaching that Jesus ascended into heaven as King of Kings, is matched by the Catholic claim that Mary was assumed into heaven to serve as “Queen over all things.”


            The Roman Catholic dogmas concerning Mary reveal a progressive glorification of her status. We noted how Mary has been progressively elevated from being sinless to being immaculately conceived, to being bodily assumed into heaven, to being venerated as a Co-redeemer and mediator of grace (Mediatrix) and Queen of Heaven.


            The growing exaltation and worship of Mary is pressuring the pope to promulgate a final dogma that would officially elevate Mary to the status of Co-redeemer. This teaching will be discussed more fully in the following section of this chapter. Over six million Catholics from nearly 150 countries have already signed a petition drive urging the pope to make a formal definition of the final Marian dogma “that the Virgin Mary is Co-redeemer with Jesus and cooperates fully with her Son in the redemption of humanity.”49  If and when the Pope promulgates this dogma declaring Mary to be Co-Redemptrix—Co-redeemer and Mediatrix—Mediator of All Graces and Advocate for God’s people, the glorification of Mary will have reached the ultimate stage of her deification.


The Promulgation of the Dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary


            This dogma of the bodily Assumption of Mary, was officially promulgated by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950—a day observed by Catholics as “All Saints Feast.”  Pius XII solemnly declared: “By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by Our own authority, We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”50


            To ensure that this dogma would be accepted without questioning, Pius XII added this frightening warning:  “If anyone, which God forbid, should dare wilfully to deny or call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic faith. . . . It is forbidden to any man to change this, Our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”51


                  The Catechism expands the meaning of this dogma, saying: “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and  an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:  ‘In giving birth you [Mary] kept your virginity; in your Dormition [sleeping in the grave] you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.’”52


                  By promulgating the dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary, Pius XII succeeded in elevating Mary to the highest position as Queen of Heaven. “Mary finally attained to the highest crown of her privileges, that she would be immune from the corruption of the tomb, and in the same manner as her Son, she would overcome death and be taken away soul and body to the supernatural glory of heaven, where as Queen she would shine forth at the right hand of the same Son of hers, the Immortal King of Ages.”53


Is Mary Portrayed as the Queen in Heaven in Revelation?


                  The belief in the enthronement of Mary as the Queen of Heaven is clearly negated by the vision of the throne of God found in Revelation chapters four and five. In the vision John saw God  seated on the throne, surrounded by twenty-four elders and four living creatures.  Christ, the Lamb, is on the throne. Thousand of angels encircle the throne. There is no Queen of Heaven next to Christ’s throne, for that would be an abomination to the Lord.


            Jeremiah warns the people of Judah against the worship of the Queen of Heaven, saying: “Thus says the Lord of host, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared in your mouths, and have fulfilled with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour libation to her.’ Therefore hear the word of the Lord . . . Behold, I am watching over them for evil and not for good; all the men of Judah . . . shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them.” (Jer 44:25-27; Emphasis supplied).


            The reason for God’s condemnation of those who promote such worship to the Queen of Heaven, is that He alone is to be worshipped and glorified. “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Is 45:22; NKJV). Those who promote the worship of false gods like that of the Queen of Heaven, are warned in Revelation that they “shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation” (Rev 14:10).


The Backlash of the Second Vatican Council


                  The glorification by Pius XII of Mary as Queen of Heaven at the right hand of her Son,  experienced a delayed backlash at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).  In an article in Time magazine, entitled “Cover Stories: Handmaid or Feminist?” Richard Osling writes: “Prior to Vatican II, Popes had proclaimed Mary the Co-Redeemer with Jesus. During the council, bishops were under pressure from the faithful to ratify the Co-Redeemer doctrine; instead they issued no decree on Mary at all. Rather she was incorporated into the Constitution on the Church, a move that placed the Virgin among the community of believers in Christ rather than in anything resembling a co-equal position.”54


            Osling explains that a reason for down playing the role of Mary at Vatican II,  was  “a concern over making Mary into a competitive divinity, a tradition common to many of the pagan religions that Christianity superseded. Remarks Warner: ‘The great terror is that she will be worshipped above her son.’”55


            The concern of Vatican II was justified, because popular piety has largely ignored the caution of the Council,  choosing instead to venerate and often worship her above Christ Himself. In my homeland, Italy, for example, far more Catholics display in their homes the icon of the Sacred Heart of Mary than that of Christ. The popular prayer following the Rosary says:  “Hail Holy Queen, mother of mercy, hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.”  This is the way pious believers offer their life and hope to the Queen of Heaven. 


            In the official litany of the Catholic Liturgy, Mary is called:  “Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Confessors, Queen of Virgins, Queen of all Saints, Queen conceived without original sin, Queen assumed into heaven, Queen of the most holy Rosary, Queen of Peace”56 The elevation of Mary to the role of Queen of Heaven and of all the believers who ever lived, is a pure Catholic fabrication, condemned in Scripture as an abomination to the Lord.


Pagan Worship of the Queen of Heaven


            The worship of the Queen of Heaven can be traced back to ancient times. We noted earlier that unfaithful Israelites worshipped the Queen of Heaven.  “The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger” (Jer 7:18). This is reminiscent of the ancient Phoenicians who called the moon Ahstoreth or Astarte, the Queen of Heaven.


            In his article “Mary and the Pope: Remarks on the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary,” Prof. Hermann Sasses clearly  acknowledges that “The Marian cult was the Christian replacement for the cults of the great female deities, which played such a great role in the life of pre-Christian pagan humanity, the holy virgins and divine mothers, the Babylonian Ishtar, whose cult had already forced its way into Israel, the Syrian Queen of Heaven, the great mother of Asia Minor, the Egyptian Isis, whose favor in the West is testified to by the long use of the name “Isidor” among Jews and Christians. But unfortunately it was not only a Christian replacement for a pagan religion, it was likewise a pagan religion in Christian guise. The Marian cult is the last of the great cults of a female divinity, which made its way from the Orient into the Roman world, since in the second Punic War Rome had adopted the cult of the Magna Mater of Asia Minor.”57


            Prof. Sasses continues noting that the reason for the triumph of the veneration of Mary in Christendom is to be found in the fact that sinful man “perverts God’s order, because he does not acknowledge God as the Lord, and would rather make God subject to him, thus, the need for a feminine deity is of the essence of the natural, fallen man.”58  A female deity devised to meet human needs, can be more easily manipulated, because after all she is tender Mother God, not the uncompromising Father God of the Bible.





            The dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption to heaven is an amazing dogma which the Catholic church defends by appealing to both Scripture and tradition. But the fact is that there is no biblical or historical support for this dogma. Noted defenders of this Catholic dogma acknowledge this fact. For example, Catholic apologist Ludwig Ott admits that “direct and express scriptural proofs are not to be had.”59   Similarly Roman Catholic writer Eamon Duffy concedes that “there is, clearly, no biblical or historical evidence for it . . .”60  Yet some Catholic scholars still seek to find indirect support in a few Bible text, which we will briefly examine.


Does Matthew 27:52-53 Support the Assumption of Mary?


            The opening of the graves after Jesus’ resurrection which caused some saints to arise, suggest to some Catholics the “probability” of the bodily assumption of Mary. Ott argues that “If the justified of the Old Covenant were called to perfection of salvation immediately after the conclusion of the redemptive work of Christ, then it is possible and probable that the Mother of the Lord was called to it also.”61


                  This interpretation is discredited by two major considerations. First, the text speaks only of “many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” (Matt 27:52).  We are not told if these saints were resuscitated like Lazarus or resurrected in their immortal bodies to be translated to heaven after completing their witnessing mission.  If they were resurrected immortal, they would represent the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20). But Paul applies this phrase exclusively to Christ’s resurrection, though he lists the various appearances of Christ. It is surprising that the resurrection of some saints at the time of Christ’s resurrection, is mentioned only by Matthew. If these saints were eventually translated to heaven, such an important event could hardly have escaped the attention of New Testament writers.


            A second important point is that Mary is not mentioned in the group that was raised nor does the Bible ever suggests that she was raised at a later time. So this text offers no support whatsoever to the belief that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.


Does Revelation 12:1-6 Support the Assumption of Mary?


            Revelation speaks of a woman who “brought forth a male child, one who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne” (Rev 12:5). Some Catholic authors maintain that this woman represents the mother of Christ who was assumed to heaven.62


                  This interpretation cannot be supported by this passage for two major reasons. First, the woman represents, not Mary, but the Church that was protected by God during a prophetic period of 1260 days. The dragon tried “to sweep her away with the flood” of persecutions, but he did not succeed because God protected her.


            Second, it was not the woman, but Christ who “was caught up to God and to his throne” (Rev 12:5). An objective reading of the text cannot support the belief in Mary’s bodily assumption to heaven.  Likewise, the celestial imagery of “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1), can hardly depict Mary, the Queen of Heaven, as portrayed in the European Flag. The reason is simple. In Revelation, the woman is not “caught up to God” in heaven, but “fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Rev 12:6).


            It is evident that Catholic theologians are grasping for proof texts to defend the bodily assumption of Mary to heaven. Such texts do not exist because the Bible clearly teaches that only Christ ascended to heaven and was exalted at the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33).  To claim that Mary rose from the dead and was taken to heaven to be accorded a status similar to that of Christ, ultimately denigrates Christ’s unique redemptive role.





            The dogma of the Assumption of Mary lacks not only biblical support, but also early Christian evidences. No early Christian writer ever claimed to have seen a bodily relic of Mary and no city ever claimed to have Mary’s remain. By contrast, everyone seem to know that the graves of Peter and Paul were in Rome and those of John and Timothy in Ephesus.


            For centuries in the early church there is complete silence regarding Mary’s end.  The first mention is by Epiphanius, a native of Palestine who moved to Cyprus in 390, where he was elected Bishop of Salamis. He specifically states that no one knows what actually happened to Mary. He wrote: “But if some think us mistaken, let them search the Scriptures. They will not find Mary’s death; they will not find whether she died or did not die; they will not find whether she was buried or was not buried . . . Scripture is absolutely silent on the end of Mary . . .  For my own part, I do not dare to speak, but I keep my own thoughts and I practice silence  . . . for her end no-one knows.”63


                  How then did the teaching of the Bodily Assumption of Mary become so prominent that eventually it was declared a dogma in 1950?  The answer is to be found in the circulation of an apocryphal Gospel toward the end of the fifth century known as the Transitus Beatae Mariae (The Journeys of the Blessed Mary). This apocryphal Gospel gave rise to a score of Transitus accounts in Coptic, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Armenian.


            The first Church father to affirm explicitly the assumption of Mary is Gregory of Tours in 590 A. D.  He based his teaching on the apocryphal Transitus Beatae Mariae. The problem is that the Transitus literature is regarded by all serious historians as a complete fabrication. Catholic Mariologist, Juniper Carol, explicitly states: “The Transitus literature is admittedly valueless as history, as an historical report of Mary’s death and corporeal assumption; under that aspect the historian is justified in dismissing it with a critical distaste.”64 On a similar vein, noted Catholic theologians Karl Rahner acknowledges that “there is nothing of any historical value in such apocryphal works.”65


Apocryphal Transitus Literature Condemned by Popes


            Contrary to the claim of Pope Pius XII that the Assumption of Mary is “a divinely revealed truth dogma,” the historical reality is that the Catholic Church has developed this teaching on the basis of heretical writings which were officially condemned by the early Church. Sometimes between 494 to 496 A. D. Pope Gelasius issued a decree entitled  Decretum de Libris Canonicis Ecclesiasticis et Apocryphis, in which he officially set forth the distinction between canonical writings to be accepted and the apocryphal writings to be rejected. Among the apocryphal writings to be rejected, Gelasius includes  Liber qui apellatur Transitus, id est Assumptio Sanctae Mariae, Apocryphus (The Apocryphal Book which is called Transitus, which is the Assumption of Holy Mary.”66


                  Pope Gelasius explicitly condemns the Transitus literature and the teaching they promote, saying: “These and writings similar to these . . . have not only been rejected but also banished from the whole Roman and Apostolic Church and with their authors and followers have been condemned forever under the indissoluble bond of anathema.”67


                   It is noteworthy that this entire decree and its condemnation was reaffirmed by Pope Hormisdas in the sixth century around A.D. 520.68 These historical facts prove that the early Church viewed the assumption teachings of the Transitus literature to be a heresy worthy of condemnation, and not as a legitimate expression of the pious belief of the faithful.


            The condemnation of the Transitus  literature, may explain why prior to the seventh and eighth centuries there is a complete patristic silence on the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. The renown Catholic liturgist, Gregory Dix, points out that “In Rome none of the five great festivals of our Dear Woman are older than 700 A.D. At that time the festivals of the Purification, the Annunciation, Assumption and Birth of Mary were taken over by Pope Sergius I, a Syrian from Byzantium. The Immaculate Conception developed as a festival and doctrine in the west first in Anglo-Saxon England, in the early eleventh century, on the basis of an older and different form of Byzantine origin.”69




            In 1950 Pius XII declared the dogma of the bodily assumption of Mary to be revealed by God. But our study has shown that such dogma lacks both biblical and historical support. The only ground Catholics have for believing that this dogma is “infallible,” is because the Church declares it. The above facts have shown that the claim of infallibility is completely groundless.


            How can a pope promulgate a dogma to be supposedly infallible, when earlier popes condemned its teaching as heretical? How can an early papal decree anathematized those who believed in the assumption of Mary as taught in an apocryphal Gospel, when now papal decrees condemn those who disbelieve it?  The conclusion is that teachings such as Mary’s bodily assumption to heaven derive from legendary tradition of men, and not from the biblical revelation.






            Another significant Catholic attempt to elevate Mary to a position similar to that of Christ, can be seen in the push to proclaim the final Marian dogma dealing with Mary’s mediatorship and redemptive roles. Up to the present time the Catholic Church has defined four major Marian dogmas as central truths: the Motherhood of God (teotokos) proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Perpetual Virginity of Mary proclaimed at the Lateran Synod in 649, the Immaculate Conception proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, and the Bodily Assumption to Heaven proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950.


            Many Catholic believe that now is the time during the climax of the universally designated “Age of Mary,” to proclaim and define the fifth and final Marian dogma, that is, Mary’s universal mediation as Co-redemptrix (Co-redemptress), Mediatrix of all grace, and Advocate for the People of God.


            An international lay movement, headed by Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (The Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix) has already collected over 7 million hand-signed petitions from over 155 countries. The petitions are being sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at a rate of over 100,000 per month. These Catholics who are urging the pope to promulgate this dogma, can hardly be called a lunatic fringe, since they include 43 cardinals and over 550 bishops.


            Vox Populi believes that the Marian dogma of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, would answer the questions: What is Mary doing in heaven, body and soul?  If she is Queen of Heaven, how does she rule her subjects?  To answer these questions, they are asking the pope to make an infallible statement that “the Virgin Mary is Co-redeemer with Jesus and co-operates fully with her Son in the redemption of humanity.”70  If this were done, Mary “would be a vastly more powerful figure, something close to the fourth member of the Holy Trinity and the primary female face through which Christians experience the divine.”70


            It is uncertain whether or not Pope Benedict XVI will promulgate this final Marian dogma.  But the fact remains that there is a swelling support for crowning Mary with the dogmatic title of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.


Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces


            According to Catholic teachings, “although Christ is the sole Mediator between God and man (1Tim 2:5), since He alone by His death on the Cross, fully reconciled mankind with God, this does not exclude a secondary mediatorship, subordinate to Christ.”71


                  Mary was called “mediatrix” in the 1854 bull Ineffabilis of Pope Pius IX, the same document that proclaimed Mary’s immaculate conception. Catholic authorities take the term to mean two things: “1. Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her co-operation in the Incarnation. And 2. Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her intercession in Heaven.”72


            In his encyclical Magnae Dei Matrix (Great Mother of God) promulgated on September 8, 1892, Pope Leo XIII declares: “Nothing whatever of that immense treasure of all graces, which the Lord brought us . . . is granted to us save through Mary, so that, just as no one can come to the Father on high except through the Son, so almost in the same manner, no one can come to Christ except through His Mother.”73


                  The claim that no one can come to Christ except through Mary, is clearly contradicted by Jesus’ words:  “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).  “No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father [not by Mary]” (John 6:65). “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). Christ’s invitations are always direct and personal.  They admit of no intermediary.  He taught us to approach God directly as “Our Father who are in Heaven,” not as “Our Queen who art in Heaven.”  To interpose human mediators between God or Christ and the believer, means to misconstrue the nature of God, making Him into a punitive and unapproachable Being, to be feared rather than to be loved. Ultimately we end up worshipping the intercessors of human creation, rather than the God of divine revelation.


Mary as Co-redeemer with Christ


            Over the years the term Co-redemptrix—Co-redemptress, has come to denote a more active role of Mary in the redemption offered by through her Son. In the final chapter of the Constitution of the Church Lumen Gentium, dedicated to Mary, the Second Vatican Council declares, “in suffering with Him as he died on the Cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls.”74


                  The Council’s text strongly emphasizes Mary’s suffering at the Cross with her Son. “She endured with her only begotten Son, the intensity of His suffering, joining herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her.”75


            According to Vatican II, the redemptive role of Mary which began on this earth continues in heaven: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” For this reason “the Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix”76


                  The title of Co-redemptrix does not appear in the Council’s texts. “Ecumenical sensitivity” was undoubtedly a prime factor in its avoidance. The concept, however,  is conveyed several times, in Lumen Gentium which speaks of Mary as “under and with him [Christ], serving the mystery of redemption, by the grace of Almighty God”  and as “freely cooperating in the work of man’s salvation.  The document further speaks of the “union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation.”77


The Usage of Co-redemptrix by John Paul II


            The reluctance of Vatican II to describe Mary as Co-redemptrix,  was overcome by John Paul II, who uses the term frequently both in his published statements and speeches. If the subject of Marian co-redemption has regained respectability after a long postconciliar “dark night,” this is due in no small measure to the vigorous and persistent teaching of Pope John Paul II—a man who was totally dedicated to Mary.


            For example, in greeting the sick after the general audience of 8 September 1982,  the Pope said: “Mary, though conceived and born without the taint of sin, participated in a marvelous way in the sufferings of her divine Son, in order to be Co-redemptrix of humanity.”78  


            In an address at the Marian shrine in Guayaquil, Ecuador, John Paul II said that “by accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption; . . .  Crucified spiritually with her crucified Son (cf. Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she “lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. . . . She was in a special way close to the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection.  In fact, Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.”79


                   In commemorating the sixth centenary of the canonization of St. Bridget of Sweden on 6 October 1991, John Paul said: “Brigitta looked to Mary as her model and support in the various moments of her life.  She spoke energetically about the divine privilege of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.  She contemplated her astonishing mission as Mother of the Saviour.  She invoked her as the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Co-redemptrix, exalting Mary’s singular role in the history of salvation and the life of the Christian people.”80


                  In the Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris (February 11, 1984)  John Paul II  combines the intensive sufferings of Mary with those of Christ, making them both the basis of our redemption: “In her [Mary], the many and intense sufferings were amassed in such an interconnected way that they were not only a proof of her unshakable faith but also a contribution to the Redemption of all. . . . .  It was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view but which was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the Redemption of the world.  Her ascent of Calvary and her standing at the foot of the cross together with the beloved disciple were a special sort of sharing in the redeeming death of her Son.81


            This citation from Salvifici Doloris  show how John Paul II blends together the suffering of Christ with that of Mary to make them “fruitful for the Redemption of the world.” Many other statements from John Paul II could be cited expressing the same belief. It is evident that he contributed in no small measure to vigorously promote the co-reedemptive role of Mary. He firmly believed that Mary actively participated in the redemptive mission of her Son. For example, in his general audience of June 22, 1994, John Paul II stated: “Mary co-operated with Christ in his work of redemption, not only preparing Jesus for his mission, but also joining in his sacrifice for the salvation of all.”82


Mary Co-operate in the Redemption of Mankind


            Catholic scholars are eager to point out that Mary’s redemptive role “must not be conceived in the sense of an equation of the efficacy of Mary with the redemptive activity of Christ, the sole Redeemer of humanity (1 Tim 2:5) . . . [for] “she herself required redemption and in fact was redeemed by Christ.”83


                  Nonetheless, Catholic scholars maintain that Mary participated in Christ’s redemption by sharing in His suffering. “In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her Divine Son for men, made atonement for the sins of men, and merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ.  In this manner she co-operates in the subjective redemption of mankind.”84





            There is no scriptural evidence for calling Mary a mediator and Co-redeemer. Catholic apologists acknowledge this fact. For example, Ludwig Ott admits that “express scriptural proofs are lacking. . . . Theologians seek a biblical foundation in a mystical interpretation of John 19:26.”85 The text reads: “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!”


            The mystical Catholic interpretation takes “woman” to mean Mary as the mother of mankind. The Catechism of the Catholic Church comments on this text, saying: “Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom he came to save.”86  The implication is that Jesus by calling Mary “woman,” He acknowledged her as the mediator of mankind. This mystical interpretation is so farfetched that it only weakens the case for the doctrine. It only serves to show that the Catholic scholars are searching in vain for biblical support for a doctrine derived solely from subjective speculations.


            The issue of mediation between God and the believer is very serious, because it is only through the God-man, Christ Jesus, that a person is brought into a saving relationship with God.  Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us” (Eph 1:7; cf. Col 1:14).  “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).


            “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). The Catholic argument that “one” in Greek (monos) does not mean only one (eis), because there are other human intercessors on earth (1 Tim 2:1-2), ignore that the text speaks of heavenly intercessors for our salvation, not of human intercessory prayers for the wellbeing of kings and rulers (1 Tim 2:1-2).  The fact that there are human intercessors on earth, does not imply that there are intercessors in heaven besides Christ.


            There is an inherent dilemma in the Catholic teaching about the mediator role of Mary. For, on the one hand it admits that Christ offers to believers all the grace and salvation that they need. But, on the other hand, many Catholic documents exalts the role of Mary as the dispenser of all graces. This is a classic example of double-talk. There is a hopeless dilemma in this teaching. Either the role of Mary is superfluous or the all-sufficiency of Christ’s mediation is inadequate. Ordinary Catholics who pray to Mary as their motherly mediator, can hardly be expected to put all their trust and confidence in Christ as their sole Redeemer.


            The only way out of this dilemma is for Catholics to recognize the fundamental biblical truth that Jesus Christ is the only Mediator in heaven. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). This is a solid biblical truth which the Vatican continues to deny by exalting Mary as a feminine Mediator, Co-redeemer, Advocate, and the Queen of heaven.


            There is no question that Mary, as the earthly mother of Jesus, was a godly woman used by God as a channel to bring the Redeemer into this world. But to elevate Mary to a semi-divine position in heaven, ruling as the Queen of Heaven, serving as Co-redeemer, and dispensing graces, means to attribute to Mary the functions and prerogatives that legitimately belong only to God.





            A final significant indication of the Catholic Church attempt to elevate Mary to the same place of Christ, is the popular veneration of Mary. This practice represents the natural outcome of the Marian dogmas and teachings proclaimed over the centuries by the Catholic Church.  By proclaiming the perpetual virginity of Mary, her immaculate conception, her bodily assumption to heaven, her heavenly roles as Mediator and Co-redeemer, the Catholic Church has fostered the popular veneration of Mary which often far surpasses the adoration of Christ. This is evident in one of the most popular Catholic prayers, known as the “Hail Mary,” which  ends: “Holy Mary, Mother of God. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”


Mary a Worthy Example of Purity, Love, and Piety


            As the mother of the Savior of the world, Mary unquestionably holds for ever a special place among all women and in he history of redemption. She brought up Jesus in the fear of God in what may have been a dysfunctional family, where the Savior was not initially accepted by his brothers and sisters.


            It is perfectly natural to admire Mary as the best model of female purity, love, and piety. She stands as a shining example of motherly dedication, humility, and purity. Truly she was “Blessed among the women” (Luke 1:42).


The Unbiblical Exaltation of Mary


            The problem is that both the Catholic and  Greek Orthodox churches do not stop here. Beginning from the middle of the fifth century (the Council of Ephesus in 431 when Mary was proclaimed Theotokos–Mother of God),  they have overstepped the biblical boundaries. They have transformed “the mother of the Lord” (Luke 1:43) into the Mother of God, the humble “handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38) into the Queen of Heaven, the “highly favored” (Luke 1:28) into the Dispenser of Graces, the “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42) into the heavenly Co-redeemer, Mediator, and Advocate. We might say that she has been transformed from the redeemed daughter of fallen Adam into the sinless Co-redeemer of mankind.


            A first, Mary was exempted from inherited sinful tendencies, later even from original sin. After centuries of debates, she was proclaimed in 1854 to have been conceived immaculately, that is, without any stain of sin. Over the centuries the veneration of Mary has gradually degenerated into the popular worship of Mary. The result is that today  devout Catholics scarcely utters a Pater Noster without an Ave Maria. They turn more frequently to the compassionate, tenderhearted mother for intercessions, than to the divine Son of God, because they think that through Mary any petition will be more surely answered.


The Distinction Between Adoration and Veneration


            The Catholic Church teaches that there is a basic distinction between the adoration of God, known as latria, the general veneration of the saints, called dulia, and the special veneration of Mary, called hyperdulia. In his book Introduction of Mary: The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Prof. Mark Miravalle explains the different meanings of the three terms.


            “Adoration, which is known as latria in classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the acknowledgement of excellence and perfection of an uncreated, divine person. . . Veneration, known as dulia in classical theology, is the honor due to the excellence of a created person. . . . Under the category of veneration we see the honor and reverence that the saints rightly receive. . . .


            “Within the general category of veneration we can speak of a unique level of veneration . . . classically called hyperdulia, [which is] the proper devotion ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Hyperdulia or special veneration of Mary remains completely different and inferior to adoration that is due to God alone. Devotion to Mary is never to rival in nature or in degree the adoration proper only to God. While veneration of the Blessed Virgin will always be inferior to the adoration given uniquely to God, it will always be superior and higher than devotion given to all other saints and angels.”87


                  These theoretical distinction between the adoration of God,  the general veneration of the saints, and the special veneration of Mary, exists primarily in the mind of Catholic theologians, but they are largely unknown or ignored in the devotional life of most Catholics. This is evident when we consider the prayers offered to Mary, to be cited shortly.





Bible Texts Used to Support the Veneration of Mary


            The Catholic defence for the veneration of Mary is largely derived from her exaltation, expressed in the Marian dogmas and teachings gradually promulgated over the centuries. It is based on the roles attributed to her by the Catholic church as Mother of God, Queen of heaven, Mediatrix, Co-redeemptress, Advocate, Intercessor, and Dispenser of graces.


            The biblical support for the veneration of Mary is non-esistent.   The few texts that are generally used, make no allusion to any form of worship due to Mary.  Catholic apologist Ludwig Ott summarizes the texts used for venerating Mary above all other creatures but below God. He writes: “The Scriptural source of the special veneration due to the Mother of God is to be found in Luke 1:28: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,’  in the praise of Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, Luke 1:42: ‘Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,’ in the prophetic words of the Mother of God, Luke 1:48: “For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,’ in the words of the woman in the multitude, Luke 11:27: ‘Blessed is the womb that bore three, and the paps that gave thee suck.’”88


                  The conclusion drawn from these texts is that “in view of her dignity as the Mother of God and her fullness of grace, a special veneration is due to Mary.”89 This conclusion can hardly be drawn from a plain reading the cited texts.


A Biblical Response to the Veneration of Mary


            The texts cited say nothing about venerating Mary above all creatures but below God. The praise of Elizabeth “Blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:42), suggests that Mary was truly “Blessed” by the favor God granted her to bear His Son. Mary acknowledges this unique privilege, saying: “Henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48). But note that nothing is attributed to Mary that is not attributed to other “blessed” people in the Bible.


            Rebekah was blessed before leaving her home to marry Isaac: “And the blessed Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Our sister, be the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendant possess the gate of those who hate them” (Gen 24:60).  Abimelech blessed Isaac, saying: “You are now the blessed of the Lord” (Gen 26:29). Moses pronounced a blessing upon he entire nation of Israel: “You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock” (Deut 7:14).


            The Bible pronounces as “blessed” all people who follow God: “Blessed is the man who walk not in the counsel of the wicked . . . but his delight is in the law of the Lord” (Ps 1:1-2).  “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Ps 2:12). Many people in Bible history were found in the “favor” of God (1 Sam 2:26; Prov 12:2). Nowhere the Bible hints at the veneration of “Blessed” people.


            Contrary to Catholic teachings, Mary was not blessed above  all women but was the most blessed among all women. Even the Catholic New American Bible reads: “Most blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:42; emphasis supplied).  There is a significant difference among the two, because being blessed among women, does not make Mary worthy of veneration above all other women.


No Veneration of Mary in the New Testament


            “There is not a single instance in the New Testament where veneration was given to Mary. When the magi came to the manger to visit the Christ child, Matthew 2:11 declares that “they prostrated themselves and did him homage, not Mary (emphasis added).”90


                  Furthermore, the Scripture clearly forbids bowing down in veneration before any creature, including angels. When John the Revelator bowed down at the feet of an angel, he was told: “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev 22:9).


            The Bible clearly teaches that we are not to make “idols” of any creature or even to bow down to them in an act of religious devotion (Ex 20:4-5).  In the Catholic Church the pictures or statues of Mary are mass-produced as icons for worship purposes. They are regarded as aids to worship in the sense that the believer kneels and prays before them in order to form a mental image of the real  Mary that they are worshipping.


            Scripture condemns as idolatry the use of visual images as aid to worship. Paul explains that idolatry involves exchanging the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal beings: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man” (Rom 1:22-23). To venerate Mary as the Queen of Heaven, by bowing down and praying before her icon or statue, depicting her with 12 stars around her head, reminds us of the old pagan idolatrous worship of the Queen of Heaven condemned in the Bible (see Jer 7:18). It also fosters the worship of Mary, known as Mariolatry. And Mariolatry is idolatry.


No Real Difference Between Veneration and Adoration


            Despite the attempts of Catholic theologians to differentiate between the adoration reserved for God, known as latria, the general veneration of the saints, called dulia, and the special veneration of Mary, called hyperdulia, there are no distinctions in the devotional life of practicing Catholics. They do not shift mental gears when they move from the Pater Noster to the Ave Maria.  Prayer is prayer, whether it is addressed to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, or Mary and the saints.


            The very prayers devout Catholics address to Mary, hardly make a distinction between adoration and veneration. Take for example, the popular book Novena Prayers in Honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, published with the official Catholic imprimatur.  One prayer says:


“We have no greater help,

no greater hope than you,

O Most Pure Virgin; help us, then,

for we hope in you, we glory in you,

we are your servants.

Do not disappoint us.91


            In the same devotional book, there are similar prayers where the power of Mary is described as greater than Jesus.  This is one of them: “Come to my aid, dearest Mother, for I recommend myself to thee. In thy hands I place my eternal salvation, and to thee I entrust my soul.  Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me.  For, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing: nor from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for the  pardon of them; nor from the devil, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; not even from Jesus, my judge, because by one prayer from thee, He will be appeased.92  


            The notion that one prayer from Mary has the magic power to appease Jesus, makes Mary into a wonder working woman and denigrates Jesus into a punitive Judge who needs to be softened by His compassionate mother. Such teachings are blasphemous to say the least.


            Similar striking examples of the worship of Mary can be found in Alphonsus de Liguori’s (1696-1787) famous book, The Glories of Mary (1750 A. D.)–a book which has been published in over 800 editions with the official Catholic approval (imprimatur). Liguori was canonized as a saint in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI. The massive circulation of his book in 72 languages has played a major role in promoting absurd claims about Mary. A few examples will suffice to show the extravagant claims of the book:


            “Shall we scruple to ask her to save us, when ‘the way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary.’

            “Many things,” says Nicephoros, “are asked from God, and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are obtained.” “At the command of Mary all obey—even God.”93


                  Statements such as these about the way of salvation being open only through Mary, who has the capacity to manipulate God to do her will, are repugnant, if not blasphemous, to any Christian familiar with the biblical view of salvation and of God’s character.  The way of salvation is open, not through Mary, but through Christ alone: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).  It is preposterous to assume that the Creator God is obliged to take order from a human creature, Mary.


            The above sampling of statements suffice to show that the theoretical distinction between the adoration of God and the veneration of Mary, hardly exists at the experiential level of devout Catholics. Part of the reason is that some of the prayers to Mary exalt her above God Himself. The end result is that million of sincere Catholics worship today a goddess fabricated by their Church, rather than the God of biblical revelation.


            The worship of Mary is promoted throughout the year especially through what are known as the Feasts of the Blessed Mary.  The Catholic liturgical calendar shows that all the major facts and fictions of Mary’s life are celebrated with no less than 35 Marian Feasts.  Some of the annual feasts like the Annunciation, the Immaculate Conception, the Purification, and the Assumption to heaven, are the counterpart of the festivals of the birth, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. The goal is to establish an unmistakable parallel between Mary and Christ, which ultimately leads devout Catholics to the worship of Mary as a semi-divine being.




            Our study of the Marian dogmas and teachings proclaimed over the centuries by the Catholic church, has shown that there has been a gradual and growing elevation of Mary to the same place of Jesus Christ. The strategies underlying the promulgation of the Marian dogmas has been to prove that Mary shares similar qualities and functions of the Lord Himself.           


            By proclaiming the perpetual virginity of Mary, her immaculate conception, her bodily assumption to heaven, her heavenly roles as mediator, Co-redeemer and dispenser of graces, the Catholic Church has fostered a popular veneration of Mary which far surpasses the adoration of Christ. This is evident, as we have seen, in some of the prayers to Mary that show the extraordinary influence she exerts within the Trinity.


            The most serious implication of the veneration of Mary, which devout Catholics experience as actual adoration, is that it detracts from the majesty of Christ and the honor due to Him alone. Every magnification of Mary ultimately results in the denigration of Christ. By exalting the human Mother of Jesus to a heavenly channel of intercession and redemption, the Catholic Church is obstructing and rendering needless, the immediate access of believers to Christ’s redemptive ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.


            The Lord’s command and promise to those who are misled by the deceptive Marian teachings and practices, is clear: “Therefore come out from them, and separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor 6:17-18).




            49. http://zenit.org/article-17236?l=english

            50.  Munificentissimus Deus, Selected Documenst of Pope Pius XII (Washington, 19? ), p. 45.

            51. Ibid., p. 47.

            52. Catechism of the Catholic Church (note 11), p. 252, paragraph

            53. Henry Denzinger (note 31), p. 647, no. 2331.

            54.  Richard N. Osling, “Cover Stories: Handmaid or Feminist?” Time (Monday, December 30, 1991).

            55. Ibid.

            56. www.webdesk.com/catholic/prayers/litany-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary.html

            57. www.clai.org.au/articles/sasse/marypope.htm

            58. Ibid.

            59. Ludwig Ott (note 12), p. 208.

            60. Eamon Duffy, What Catholics Believe About Mary (1989), p. 17. 

            61. Ludwig Ott (note 12), p. 209 .

            62. Ibid.

            63.  Epiphanius, Panarion Haereses  78.10-11, 23. Cited by Juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology (1957), vol. 2, pp. 139-140.

            64. Juniper Carol (note 63), vol. 1, p. 150.

            65. Karl Rahner, The Mother of Our Lord  (1963), p. 16.

            66. Pope Gelasius 1, Epistle 42, Migne Series, M.P.L. vol. 59, col. 162.

            67. Henry Denzinger (note 31), p. 70.

            68. Migne Series, vol. 62. cols. 537-542.

            69. Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (1947), p. 376.

            70. www.religioustolerance.org/mary_cor.htm

            71. Ludwig Ott (note 12), p. 211.

            72. Ibid., pp. 212-213.

            73. Elliot Miller and Kenneth R. Sample (note 42), p. 50.

            74. Lumen Gentium  61-62.

            75. Catechism of the Catholic Church (note 11), p. 251, paragraph 964.

            76. bid., p. 252, paragraph 969.

            77. Lumen Gentium #57

            78. Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II ( 1982), vol. 1, p. 404.

            79. Ibid.,  vol. 1, p. 318-319.

            80. Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II ( 1991), vol. 2, p. 756.

            81. Salvifici Doloris #25.

            82. L’Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English, (June 22, 1994), vol. 1347, p. 11.

            83. Ludwig Ott (note 12), p. 212.

            84. Ibid., p. 213.

            85. Ibid., p. 214.

            86. Catechism of the Catholic Church (note 11), p. 127, paragraph 501.

            87. Mark Mirvalle, Introduction to Mary: The Heart of the Marian Doctrine and Devotion  (1993), p. 12.

            83. Ludwig Ott (note 12), p. 215.

            89. Ibid.

            90. Norman Geisler and Ralph E. MacKenzie (note 44), p. 322.

            91. Novena Prayers in Honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Sisters of St. Basil, 1968), p. 16.

            92. Ibid., p. 19. Emphasis supplied.

            93.  Alphonsus de Liguori, The Glories of Mary (Redemptionist Fathers, 1931), pp. 169, 180, 137.




        This offer may sound too good to be true. Until January 31, 2008, we are offering together as a package all the 12 DVD/CD albums, containing Cristina Piccardi’s DVD and CD albums, the new Sabbath Seminar with Words and Songs, Prof. Jon Paulien’s DVD album on Simply Revelation, Prof. Graeme Bradford’s DVD Album on More than a Prophet, and my own 9 DVD albums on such topics as The Mark and Number of the Beast, Cracking the Da Vinci Code, The Passion of Christ, the Abundant Life Seminar, the Sabbath and Advent Seminars. Until now these recordings were sold separately, costing considerably more.  To make it possible for many to benefit from all these timely messages, I have decided to offer them together as a package for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $1150.00.  The offer is good until January 31, 2008.

The Package Includes the Following 12 Albums:

1) DVD Album wih Sabbath Seminar with Words and Songs recorded at the Avon Park SDA Church on November 16-17, 2007. The album contains three DVD disks with 6 hours of recordings.

2) DVD and CD Albums containing Cristina Piccardi’s sacred songs. The CD Album “Rejoice in the Lord” contains 11 songs. The DVD Album “Sing Unto the Lord” contains 10 songs. 

3) Prof. Jon Paulien’s newly released DVD ALBUM video seminar on Simply Revelation.

4) Prof. Jon Paulien’s CD ALBUM with a dozen of his books, and all his articles.

5) Prof. Graeme Bradford’s DVD ALBUM with a two hours video lecture on Ellen White. He shares the highlights of his book More than a Prophet. The album contains also Prof. Bradford’s the publications and articles.

6) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s newly recorded DVD ALBUM called ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR.  The album contains 2 video powerpoint lectures: The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages and How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. These two lectures summarize the highlights of Bacchiocchi’s two books Wine in the Bible and The Marriage Covenant. Two separate files with 225 powerpoint slides are included.

7) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s DVD ALBUM containing 10 video powerpoint lectures on the Sabbath and Second Advent.  Some of the lectures show the documents Prof. Bacchiocchi found in Vatican libraries on the role of the papacy in changing the Sabbath to Sunday. This album contains the popular powerpoint SABBATH/ADVENT seminars Prof. Bacchiocchi presents in many countries.

8) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s DVD ALBUM on Cracking the Da Vinci Code. The album contains a two hours video lecture, professionally taped with a vitual studio as a background. A separate file with 200 powerpoint slides is included.

9) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s DVD ALBUM on The Mark and the Number of the Beast. The album contains the two hours video lecture and a separate powerpoint file with the 200 slides used for the lecture.

10) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s  CD ALBUM with all his books and powerpoint lectures. The album consists of two disks. The first disk has all his 18 books and over 200 articles. The second disk has the slides and script of 25 of Prof. Bacchiocci’s popular PowerPoint presentations.

11) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s  DVD ALBUM on The Passion of Christ.  The album contains the 2 hours live interview conducted by 3ABN on Prof. Bacchiocchi’s book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History.

12) Prof. Bacchiocchi’s MP3 AUDIO ALBUM which contains 2 disks with 22 AUDIO lectures on vital biblical beliefs and practices. Ideal for listening in your car while driving.

        You can see the picture of all the 12 ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this link:http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm

How to Order the Package of the 12 Albums:

        You can order the complete package of 12 DVD/CD Albums for only $150.00,  instead of the regular price of $1150.00, in four different ways:

(1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm

 (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $150.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.



           It is for me a real honor and privilege to offer you two newly released recordings of Cristina’s singing at Andrews University. The recording consists of two disks. The first is a CD and the second is a DVD. Cristina powerful and passionate singing will help you to appreciate more fully God’s love and saving grace for your life. Here is a brief description of the CD and DVD recording.

THE FIRST DISK is an AUDIO CD recording entitled REJOICE IN THE LORD. It contains 11 audio Gospel songs like How Great Thou Art, He Shall Feed His Flock, Softly and Tenderly, The Holy City, etc. This is an audio recording that you can play in your car CD player, or on any CD players you have in your home.

THE SECOND  DISK  is  a VIDEO DVD recording entitled SING UNTO THE LORD.  It contains 12  sacred familiar songs that were recorded live at  Andrews University Pioneer Memorial Church, in Michigan. This is a video recording that you can enjoy in your living room and play in your church.


      The special HOLIDAY OFFER for the new Album with Cristina’s CD and DVD recordings is only $30.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination.

How to Order Cristina’s CD/DVD ALBUM:

        (1) Online by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=103

        (2) By calling us at (269) 471-2915

        (3) By emailing us your address and credit card information

        (4) By mailing a check for $50.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.


           You may have noticed that the new 2008 Daily Devotional Book The Gospel from Patmos, is authored by Prof. Jon Paulien. He has done a masterful job in expanding each verse of the Revelation into a daily devotional thought.      

           To help you appreciate more fully  Paulien’s Daily Devotional, we offer you his DVD album on SIMPLY REVELATION that was released few months ago.  We have been airmailing the DVD album to church leaders, pastors, and lay Adventists in different part of the world. Several pastors have already shown the lectures to their congregations.  They wrote to me saying that viewing the lectures were truly an enlightening experience for their members.

      My wife and I viewed Simply Revelation on our TV on a Sabbath afternoon. Though I had already watched Prof. Paulien’s lectures during the taping session which I paid for, I was spellbound to hear him again offering so many refreshing insights into the most difficult book of the Bible. For me it is a thrilling experience listening to a scholar like Prof. Paulien, who knows what he is talking about.

           Prof. Paulien is rightly regarded as a leading Adventist authority on the book of Revelation which he has taught at the Seminary for the past 25 years. His doctoral dissertation as well as several of his books deal specifically with the Book of Revelation.

           The constant demand for Prof. Paulien’s CD album with his publications and articles, led me to discuss with him the possibility of producing a live video recording of a mini Revelation Seminar, which he chose to call Simply Revelation. As suggested by its title,  Simply Revelation aims to present simply the message of Revelation–not to read into Revelation sensational, but senseless views.

           The preparation of this video recording took several months. The Simply Revelation seminar consists of four one-hour live video lectures, which have just been recorded in the studio of Andrews University. An impressive virtual studio provides the background of the lectures. Each lecture is delivered with about 50 powerpoint slides.   This mini Revelation seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation. Be sure to inform your pastor about the newly released Simply Revelation, if he is not aware of it.

           You will be pleased to know that we have placed on a separate file all the powerpoint slides and the script of the live lecture.  This means that if you are a pastor or a lay member who want to use Prof. Paulien’s Simply Revelation Seminar, you can pick and choose the powerpoint slides that you like.

           The file with the powerpoint slides is placed on Prof. Paulien’s CD album containing all his publications and articles.  The reason is that there was no memory left on the DVD disks.  In spite of my pleas, Prof. Paulien was so full of the subject that he used the full 60 minutes of each lecture, leaving no space for the slides’ file.

           This has been a very expensive project, both in time and money. I sponsored it financially because I believe that many will be blessed by Paulien’s fresh insights into Revelation.  The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you can order it now at the SPEPCIAL HOLIDAY PRICE UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2007 for only $30.00.  The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination.

           If you have not ordered before the CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, we will be glad to add it to your DVD order for only $20.00, instead of the regular price of $60.00. This means that you can order both the DVD album with Prof. Paulien’s four live video lectures on Simply Revelation and his CD album with all his publications and the powerpoint slides of Simply Revelation, for only $50.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00.

        As an additional incentive, I am offering you together with Prof. Paulien’s DVD/CD albums, also my own popular DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for an additional $20.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. This means that you can order the DVD and CD albums by Prof, Paulien, together with my DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00.

        This research on The Mark and Number of the Beast, was commissioned by Prof. Paulien himself. He asked me to trace historically the origin and use of the Pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei and of the number 666. I spent six months conducting this investigation which was professionally taped at the Andrews University Towers Auditorium. I use 200 powerpoint slides to deliver this informative two hours lecture which is warmly received by Adventist church leaders and pastors in many parts of the world. For a detailed description of this DVD album click: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Beast/BeastPromo

Special Offer on Paulien/Bacchiocchi’s Albums:

* ONE DVD Album of Prof. Paulien’s four video lectures on Simply Revelation at the introductory price of $30.00, instead of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation and ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications for only $50.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation,  ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, and ONE DVD Album with Bacchiocchi’s two hours video lecture on The Mark and Number of the Beast for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

Four Ways to Order Paulien/Bacchiocchi’s Albums:

           (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/revelation/

           (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

           (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.   

           (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.



           Gradually I am rescheduling some of the invitations I had to cancel because of liver-cancer treatments. Here is a list of the upcoming weekend seminars for the months of January and February 2008


Location: 65 West Elm Street, Brockton, Massachussetts

For information and directions contact Pastor Felix Monteiro at (857) 204-3231


Location: 10827 California Street, Redlands, California 92373.

For information and directions contact Pastor Albert Pardede at (909) 796-2206


Location: 170 Westwood Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K 2B1

For information and directions contact Pastor David Rogers at (905) 417-5468 or (416) 705-7665



Location: 26271 Mayberry Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354

For information and directions call Pastor Valentin Danaiata at (909) 556-5491.



Location: 3611 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919.

For directions and information call Pastor Ed Komorowski at (865) 524-7842 or (865) 206-2082.



Location: St. Peter’s Church, Bounce Road, Edmonton, London N9 8LE, England

For directions and information call Pastor Steve Roberts at 01923-673755



        HITACHI has just released the new CP-X400 3000 lumens projector, which replaces the CP-X444.  The new projector has an impressive high resolution, low fan noise, and a wealth of connectivity options. The most impressive feature of this projector is the incredible price of only $1395.00 to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries.

This is the special offer on the following two models:

CP-X400 HIGH RESOLUTION 3000 LUMENS - Only $1395.00

          This is the lowest price for an HITACHI 3000 lumens projector.

CP-X1250 HIGH RESOLUTION 4500 LUMENS Only $3795.00

          Previous SDA price for the 4500 lumens was $4900.00

WARRANTY: The above prices include a 3 years 24/7 replacement warranty worth about $285.00.

 You can order the HITACHI projectors online by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=24  If you have a problem ordering online, call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. Your order will be processed immediately.



            If you are looking for an outstanding REMOTE for your PowerPoint presentations, you will be pleased to know HONEYWELL has just come out with the smallest and most powerful remote in the market.

        The size of the transmitter is smaller than a credit card. You can stick it inside the palm of your hand and nobody can see it. I tested the remote in an open environment, and the radio signal can go up to 400 feet of distance. IT IS INCREDIBLE! The transmitter has three button: forward, backward, and laser.

        You can order online the new POWERPOINT  PRESENTER simply by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=67

        If you have a problem ordering online, simply call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. You can also email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date.



        If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at about 30% discount.

        The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that best suits your church, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.




            If your travel plans call for a stop in London, you will be pleased to learn about a most gracious Adventist couple that offer the best accommodation and breakfast I have ever enjoyed. It has become my home away from home when in London.  See details at: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Promotions/BED&BREAKFAST.htm