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Since the Bible makes no mention of Mary’s parents, I decided to do some research on the Internet and found the following information on the ‘Catholic Online’ website (under ‘Saints’ and ‘Parents of Our Lady’). “By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings). For those who wonder what we can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honor them, we must focus on why they are honored by the church. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God's request with faith, "Let it be done to me as you will." It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe. Such parents can be examples and models for all parents. Anne (or Ann) is the patron saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor.” It is interesting to note that their belief is based upon tradition with no biblical support. In their own words, they state there is no ‘historical evidence’ of Mary’s parents lives or their names, nor can the source of this story be trusted as ‘factual, historical, or the Word of God.’ On this basis, this story and its teaching should be rejected.
The fundamental reason is this: the Roman Catholic position is that there is continuing revelation that adds to the Bible as authoritative. Thus, you will find in their doctrine many things that add to the Word of God. God tells us nothing about who Mary's parents were. Someone, somewhere along the line, proposed this idea. It gained a following, and eventually becomes entrenched as "tradition". It is easy to look at such unbiblical doctrines and practices such as that the Roman bishop is the "vicar of Christ" and is in authority over the whole Church, and criticize. But we should all look at our own doctrine, and ask, "Is there anything that I believe, that is not clearly taught in the New Testament, particularly in the Epistles?" The many divisions within the Church boil down to adding to the Scriptures, then arguing over the additions. Calvinism vs Arminianism. Pentecostals vs Cessasionists. Roman Catholics vs everyone else. True unity comes only as we repent of the "wisdom of men" and become of one mind in the one faith, that was once delivered to the saints. Away with vain traditions that add nothing to godliness but are a distraction from true godliness, such as who the parents of Mary were! Away with "limited atonement" of the Calvinists! Away with "partial depravity" of the Arminians! Away with rosaries and archbishops, with allowing women in leadership, with bishop, pastor and elder being considered anything but three views of one office; away with saying all speak with tongues, and away with saying no one can speak in tongues! Away with a focus on our secular political rights rather than our right to be pilgrims through a world guaranteed to hate us! You might think I have wandered off the subject, but not so. The refusal to stick to the Word of god is the root cause of so many "strifes over words". This little legend is but an example of a huge problem. It is like a small swelling that announces the presence of a dread cancer.
Catholics believe that Mary's parents were Anna and Joachim because this is what history tells us. To suggest that only Catholics believe this is false. Orthodox, Anglican churches and Islam also believe this piece of historical fact. To say that we shouldn't believe this because it is not in the bible is unreasonable.
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