It’s sad that there are so many self-appointed laymen, who were either hurt by their mothers (thus hating Motherhood) or by women (thus hating women in general) who pontificate on church history all the while despising the actual men who make up that very history. These theological pygmies (the “moderns”) would do better to practice humility and devotion than logic and cheap-jack Protestant exegesis. They desire to stamp their own truncated vision of the Bible onto the Church but are not worth a bucket of warm spit when they come face-to-face with the actual Church Catholic and her eternal teachings.
While we (the communities of the Unaltered Augustana) have no magisterium as such, we do have our Norma Normans (the Holy Scriptures) and our Norma Normata (the Symbols of the Evangelical-Catholic Church as found in the Book of Concord, 1580). We also have a wonderful deposit of learned Church Fathers whose consensus on many matters is a great weight of supportive verity (from Cyprian to Bernard; from Hus to Chemnitz; from Gerhard to Sasse; etc).
Many of us, if not most Christians, have favorite Saints and Biblical characters (and many of them were “characters” in the fullness of that word). My most beloved and revered Saint is the Blessed Ever Virgin, Saint Mary of Nazareth.
In addition to being sui generis in all of creation, history, time & space, she is accessible to us in the pages of Holy Writ and whenever the Lord touches us in His word and Sacramental Word (indeed as are all the Saints and host of Sabaoth).
Mary is Theotokos (“God bearer”)—simply because she is: Thus saith the Lord (look it up in Luke). In addition, she is titled so by the Church Catholic at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in AD 431. Confessional Lutheranism and the lc-ms [sic] have always accepted the early councils and their creeds (c.f. the Niceno-Constantinopolitan, AD 325/381).
But beyond the witness of the early Fathers we have the witness and testimony of our own German patrimony, to-wit:
“On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, bore not a mere man, but, as the angel [Gabriel] testifies, such a man as is truly the Son of the most high God, who showed His divine majesty even in His mother’s womb, inasmuch as He was born of virgin, with her virginity inviolate. Therefore she is truly the mother of God, and nevertheless remained a virgin.” [Formula of Concord S.D. Art. VII, para 24, Triglotta, pp. 1022-1023
What is so salutary is that the English follows the German in denominating Saint Mary of Nazareth as “mother of God” [German: Gottes Mutter]. This is a more accurate in REALITY, if not in text, translation than the Latin version which merely uses the ancient, conciliar title: Theotokos.
To be sure, the Blessed Virgin is Theotokos but “God’s mother” more beautifully describes her special relationship with Jesus. A shopping cart carries a water melon…a brief case carries a note pad, and women carry babies. It is clinical, scientific, truthful and good definition, to be sure. But The Virgin is no mere functional surrogate for the Holy Ghost, but the mother of God. It was Mary who was closer to the Christ during those 9 months of pregnancy, and the months she nursed the God/Infant at her breasts, than any other living creature has ever been. It was The Virgin who taught Jesus to walk, and talk, and who sang to Him and tucked Him in at night. The Prince of the Apostles, and the beloved Disciple, knew our Lord for three intensive years of close fellowship; Saint Mary knew Him for 33 years of motherly love and affection.
Ave Maria—blessed art thou among women and blessed it the fruit of thy womb.