The following bible verses are referenced from the YouTube post of CEDAR Media on “Bible Study – The Woman Clothed with Sun” presented by apologist Atty Marwil Llasos, OP from Know the Truth (KTT) Philippines. For the actual video, please check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnzyiIr3NRQ:
Revelation 12:1 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
Ang Babae at ang Dragon
12 At ang isang dakilang tanda ay nakita sa langit: isang babae na nakadamit ng araw, at ang buwan ay nasa ilalim ng kanyang mga paa, at sa kanyang ulo ay may isang putong ng labindalawang bituin;
What do the scholars say about the identity of the woman in Revelation?
The book of Revelation, being an apocalyptic book, has very rich of interpretations. If you look at it in the perspective of moral life, history of salvation, and life of Jesus: There are 3 references used. The woman is a composite reality, i.e. there are different meanings as follows:
1) bayan ng Diyos (OT), which is Israel
2) bayan ng Diyos (NT) which is the Holy Church
3) Mahal na Birhen
Yes, teachings of the catholic church attest to that:
-> Referring to Rev 19, the bride of the lamb is the CHURCH, given to us by Jesus as the means of salvation.
Rev 19:6-9 >
6 Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder, as they said:
The Lord has established his reign,
[our] God, the almighty.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory.
For the wedding day of the Lamb[c] has come,
his bride has made herself ready.
8 She was allowed to wear
a bright, clean linen garment.”
(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)[d]
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed[e] are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These words are true; they come from God.”
-> Israel (OT) and Church (NT) are interconnected. Why Church is the one promise to Israel?
Hebrews 12:22-23 > 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
-> We can say that the woman can be the Heavenly Jerusalem; even though Israel is a country.
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; Rejoice with her in her joy, all you who mourn over her—
11 So that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast;
That you may drink with delight at her abundant breasts!
12 For thus says the Lord: I will spread prosperity over her like a river, like an overflowing torrent, the wealth of nations. You shall nurse, carried in her arms, cradled upon her knees;
13 As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.
14 You will see and your heart shall exult, and your bodies shall flourish like the grass; The Lord’s power shall be revealed to his servants, but to his enemies, his wrath.
15 For see, the Lord will come in fire, his chariots like the stormwind;
To wreak his anger in burning rage and his rebuke in fiery flames.
16 For with fire the Lord shall enter into judgment, and, with his sword, against all flesh; Those slain by the Lord shall be many.
Comment: We are not contradicting that this woman could be Israel and the church, being compared to a woman.
But why Catholics may reference this as Mary. Why do we have Marian Interpretation of Rev. 12:1?
1. Rev 12:5 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
5 At siya’y nanganak ng isang batang lalaki na siyang magpapastol na may pamalong bakal sa lahat ng mga bansa. Ngunit ang kanyang anak ay inagaw at dinala sa Diyos at sa kanyang trono.
The Son is sent to all mankind; king of all nations. Who is this Son? Read Isaiah 9:6 and Luke 1:35. No one else but Jesus is born of Mary.
Isaiah 9:6 >
His dominion is vast and forever peaceful,
Upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
By judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!
Luke 1:35 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
35 And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
Mateo 1:16 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
16 naging anak ni Jacob si Jose na asawa ni Maria, na siyang nagsilang kay Jesus na tinatawag na Cristo.
Comment: Prophesy the coming of a Savior who will be born of
Isaias 7:14 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
14 Kaya’t ang Panginoon mismo ang magbibigay sa inyo ng tanda. Narito, isang birhen ang maglilihi, at manganganak ng isang lalaki, at kanyang tatawagin ang kanyang pangalan na Emmanuel.
Comment: The sign in heaven mentioned by John in Rev 1 about the woman is the same sign (tanda) given to prophet Isaiah, and repeated by Matthew 1:23.
Matthew 1:23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
=> The characters in Revelation 12:1 are the Woman, the son and Serpent. These characters are the same in the ProtoEvangelium:
Genesis 3:15 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
15 Maglalagay ako sa iyo at sa babae ng pagkapoot sa isa’t isa, at sa iyong binhi at sa kanyang binhi. Ito ang dudurog ng iyong ulo, at ikaw ang dudurog ng kanyang sakong.”
Comment: In Rev 12:5, it is clear that the “binhi” is Jesus, son of the woman. Where do we find the dragon?
Revelation 12:9 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
9 At itinapon ang malaking dragon, ang matandang ahas, ang tinatawag na Diyablo at Satanas, ang mandaraya sa buong sanlibutan; siya’y itinapon sa lupa at ang kanyang mga anghel ay itinapong kasama niya.
If the character is Jesus in Rev 12:5, and the serpent is the Devil Re 12:9, then where is the woman? There must be a literal translation of the woman. Who is this Woman?
Other denomination says that it is not Mary in the Revelation. But recall, that twice Jesus called his own mother as Woman.
Juan 2:3 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
3 Nang magkulang ng alak, sinabi ng ina ni Jesus sa kanya, “Wala silang alak.”
4 Sinabi sa kanya ni Jesus, “Babae, anong kinalaman niyon sa akin at sa iyo? Ang aking oras ay hindi pa dumating.”
John 19:26 > Juan 19:26 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001)
26 Nang makita ni Jesus ang kanyang ina at ang alagad na kanyang minamahal, na nakatayong katabi niya ay sinabi niya sa kanyang ina, “Babae, narito ang iyong anak!”
Galacia 4:4 Ang Biblia (1978) (ABTAG1978)
4 Datapuwa’t nang dumating ang kapanahunan, ay sinugo ng Dios ang kaniyang Anak, na ipinanganak ng isang babae, na ipinanganak sa ilalim ng kautusan,
Comment: We see already that the bible has referred to Mary as the woman mentioned in Gen 3:15, the seed, Jesus; and the enemy, the serpent. And so the characters in Rev 12:1 are further described clearly as Mary and Jesus in Rev 12:5 and Satan in Rev 12:9.
Catholics go with Mary on this interpretation. We are on the side of Mary. In Luke 1:28 > “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” The Lord is with you!
The Lord is with Mary. Since we are with the Lord, we also favor Mary.
The other denomination is on the side of the serpent whereas Catholics are on the side of the woman.
Do you find other interpretations of Revelation: 12:1
1. Ian Boxall (Oxford University): The Revelation of St John, p. 179
This corporate interpretation reflects the earliest patristic exegesis of this passage: 1) the woman as the Church or 2) God´s people of Old and New Covenants. This does not render illegitimate the Marian interpretation, which emerged alongside the ecclesial one in the later patristic period, and flourished in the Middle Ages. However, it must be regarded as secondary reading derived from her identification as the Heavenly personification of God´s people.
=> Hindi puwedeng isantabi ang Marian interpretation
Last message comes from the book of Scot McKnight – The Real Mary “Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus.”
There is a consensus among Protestant scholars that the “woman” of Revelation 12 symbolizes the people of God. Israel and the Church. Is it possible that this woman is both Mary and the People God, or perhaps even Mary and Israel and the Church? Ben Witherington III, a notable evangelical scholar believes so. Maybe more Protestants need to have a careful and prayerful study of this passage.
=> Sana ang Protestante ay dapat madasaling pag-aralin ang passage na ito. .