Is there Biblical instruction to pray the Rosary?

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By BibleAsk Team


Praying the Rosary is a deeply rooted practice in Catholic tradition, involving the recitation of specific prayers in a particular sequence, primarily focusing on the “Hail Mary,” the “Our Father” (Lord’s Prayer), and the “Glory Be.” However, when examining the Bible it becomes apparent that the practice of praying the Rosary is not supported by biblical teachings. This study will explore several reasons why praying the Rosary is not biblically supported, using NKJV references to illustrate these points.

The Absence of Scriptural Basis for the Rosary

Praying the Rosary is arranged as follows: ten Hail Mary preceded by one Lord’s Prayer. The Rosary contains two parts. The first part is a direct quotation from (Luke 1:28) and that is biblical. The second part of the “Hail Mary” and portions of the “Hail, Holy Queen” are not biblical.

The practice of saying the Rosary goes contrary to Scripture in a number of ways:

1-Worship God Alone

Humans are forbidden to pray, worship or “venerate” other humans.

Acts 10:25-26 (NKJV): “As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.”

Acts 14:13-16 (NKJV): “Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,  who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.”

Matthew 4:10 (NKJV): “Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”

Revelation 19:10 (NKJV): “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Revelation 22:8-9 (NKJV): “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

A person praying the Rosary spends more time calling out to Mary than to God! For every one praise of God in the Rosary, there are 10 praises of Mary!

2-God is our Creator, Life and Hope

It is not right to call Mary our “life” and “hope” for these are terms used of God alone, particularly God the Son, Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:4 (NKJV): “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

1 Timothy 1:1 (NKJV):Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.”

Ephesians 2:12 (NKJV): “that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”

John 1:1-14 (NKJV): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Titus 2:13 (NKJV): “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

3-Christ Is Man’s Advocate, Mediator and Redeemer

The “Hail, Holy Queen” calls Mary our “most gracious advocate” but the Bible calls only Jesus our only Mediator, Advocate and Redeemer to the Father.

1 John 2:1 (NKJV): “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV): “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5 (NKJV): “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons

Titus 2:14 (NKJV): “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV): “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Revelation 5:9 (NKJV): “And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

The Bible nowhere instructs Christians to pray through intermediaries, or to petition saints or Mary for their prayers. Believers in Christ have an imparted righteousness from Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus is our only Savior (Matthew 1:21). Even Mary herself called God her “Savior” in (Luke 1:47).

4-God Alone Is Holy

In the Rosary, Catholics call Mary “holy” because they believe Mary never sinned nor had any taint of the original sin. But the Bible teaches:

Romans 3:23 (NKJV): “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Jesus said there is none good but God (Matthew 19: 17) including Mary (Romans 3:10-23; Romans 5:12). And every believer can become a saint through faith and obedience to God (Revelation 24:12).

5-The Model Prayer – The Lord’s Prayer

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He gave them what is commonly called the “Lord’s prayer.”

Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV): “In this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

6-Do Not Use Vain Repetitions

The Lord instructed that His children are not to use vain repetition in prayer.

Matthew 6:7 (NKJV): “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

In conclusion: while the Rosary is a valued tradition within Catholicism, it goes against the teachings of the Bible.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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