Mary (Jesus' mother)
Mary (Aramaic, Hebrew: מרים, Maryām Miriam Arabic:مريم, Maryam), usually referred to by Christians as the Virgin Mary or Saint Mary, was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, identified in the New Testament[Matt. 1:16,18-25] [Lk. 1:26-56] [2:1-7] as the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. Muslims also refer to her as the Virgin Mary or Syeda Mariam which means Our Lady Mary. In Islam she is the mother of the Prophet Jesus, Issa عيسى in the Arabic language.
The New Testament describes her as a virgin (Greek parthénos) Christians and Muslims believe that she conceived her son miraculously by the agency of the Holy Spirit. This took place when she was already the betrothed wife of Saint Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of Jewish marriage, the formal home-taking ceremony. Mary is also described in the Qur'an, the 19th sura (chapter) of the Qur'an Sura Maryam (Arabic: سورة مريم, Sūratu Maryam. It is named after Maryām, the Semitic name for Mary, Mother of Jesus (Issa). The New Testament begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, the appearance to her of the angel Gabriel heralding her divine selection to be mother of Jesus. However, early non-biblical writings state that she was the daughter of Joachim and Saint Anne. The Bible records Mary's role in key events of the life of Jesus from his virgin birth to his crucifixion. Other apocryphal writings tell of her subsequent death and bodily assumption into heaven.
A number of important doctrines concerning Mary are held by Christian churches. Primary among these are that Mary lived a sinless life, and that as mother of Jesus, she became Theotokos, literally the "God-bearer", or "Mother of God". This doctrine was confirmed by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in the year 431. Christians of the major ancient traditions including the Catholic and the Orthodox offer prayers to God through Mary and venerate her as intercessor and mother of the church. Many Protestants, however, do not follow these devotions. Mary is also honoured in Islam as the virgin mother of Jesus. In Jewish Toledot Yeshu Jesus was recorded as the son of Mary and Joseph ben Pantera.
- Paper 80 § 7 - Andites of the Mediterranean Isles - for study of relationship of Cult of the Virgin Mary with that of the "Great Mother".