By Fr. Mark Perkins
This Advent I am teaching a two-week series on the biblical theology of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- focusing less on the Marian Dogmas or Marian devotions per se and more on the biblical basis for understanding Our Lady. Despite her apparently modest role, the Scriptures present the Blessed Virgin Mary as a New Eve, a New Sarah, a New Hannah, a New Rachel, a New Ark of the Covenant, a New Esther, and the Queen Mother of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This week I defend typological and allegorical readings in general and the significance of Mary specifically, and then I examined Luke chapters 1-2 and John chapter 5 and suggest that these portray Mary as a New Eve, as well as a New Sarah and a New Hannah.
Next week I will examine John chapter 12 and then quickly run through the remaining typological figures, before concluding with Revelation chapter 12. (See Part 2 here.)
Editor's Note: In response to an excellent comment on the YouTube video, I am adding a PDF of the section from Brant Pitre's Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary where Pitre argues that Numbers 30 includes (and likely has primarily in mind) vows of abstinence in particular. The short version is that the verb translated "afflict" or "deny" in Numbers 30:13, while frequently associated with fasting, has a wider array of meanings, including abstinence, and that the context makes vows of perpetual abstinence most likely. Such vows would surely have been unusual and do indeed cut against the grain of the Old Testament's view of marriage, sexuality, and celibacy, but I find Pitre's argument compelling:
Fr. Mark Perkins is Curate at St. Alban's Anglican Cathedral in Oviedo, Florida and Executive Editor of Earth & Altar.