The Roman Catholic doctrine of the assumption of Mary teaches that she was assumed body and soul into heaven either without dying or shortly after death. The word assumption is taken from a Latin word meaning “to take up.”
The doctrine of the Assumption of Mary began in the Byzantine Empire around the 6th century. The feast honoring Mary grew into a commemoration of Mary’s death and it was called the Feast of Dormition “falling asleep.” As the practice spread to the West, an emphasis was placed on Mary’s resurrection and the glorification of her body as well as her soul. And the name of the feast was thereby changed to the Assumption. It is still observed on August 15, as it was in the Middle Ages. The Assumption of Mary became an official dogma of the Roman Catholic Church in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
However, there is no biblical basis for the Assumption of Mary. The Bible does not record Mary’s death or mention any thing about Mary after Acts chapter 1. And even the Roman Catholic writer Eamon Duffy concedes that, ‘there is, clearly, no historical evidence whatever for it …’ (Eamon Duffy, What Catholics Believe About Mary (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1989), p. 17). The Catholic Church emphasizes this doctrine because it’s a step towards the veneration and adoration of Mary.
Jesus teaches that our love and adoration should be directed to God alone “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37- also Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).
The only grounds the Roman Catholic Church have for believing in the teaching of the assumption is that a supposedly ‘infallible’ Church declares it. But how can a church which is supposedly infallible promote teachings which the early church condemned as heretical such as the veneration of Mary? The conclusion has to be that teachings such as Mary’s assumption are the teachings and traditions of men, not the revelation of God.
In His service,
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