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Is the Holy Rosary Biblical?

By: Allan Lamparaz Laniba Why do we need these necklace-like beads in praying? Is kneeling not enough? How about closing our eyes, lift our hands and sincerely talking to God? Why do we need to count the number of beads while we recite the patterned prayers? Why do we need to repeat things all over? Why do we need the rosary? Non-Catholics find difficulty in accepting the Rosary for it cannot be read literally in the Scripture. Influenced by the Sola Scriptura teaching of Protestant Martin Luther, they will not believe what is not written literally in the Bible. Bible alone is the sole basis of their faith. Aside from such, they also accuse the Rosary as repetitious and long prayer that is abominable to God (Mt. 6:7-8). Repetitious and long prayer is no different with pagan prayers. Hence, they have these arguments: Argument No. 1 1. 2. 3. 4. Bible alone is the source of truth and the basis of faith. What is not included in the Bible is deem excluded. The word Rosary cannot be found from Genesis to Revelation. Therefore, Rosary is unscriptural.

Argument No. 2 1. God despised repetitious and long prayers. It is believed as paganic (Mt. 6:7). 2. Rosary is a repetitious and long prayer. 3. Therefore, God despises the prayer of Rosary. Scrutiny on the Above Arguments In treating Christian faith, the Sola Scriptura as presented in Argument No. 1 is contradictory to itself. The theory that what is not written in the Bible should not be believed upon is nowhere to be found in the Bible. The Bible Alone Teaching of Martin Luther is unscriptural. No single passage in the Bible teaches what is not written should not be believed upon. The Bible even agreed that it does not have all the truth. John the Apostle wrote, But there are also many other things to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25). Therefore, this sola scriptura in not sola scriptura in itself. It is the contradiction of all contradictions. Argument No. 2 accused the Rosary as a long prayer. It is wrong! We can finish the Rosary within 15 minutes. Is 15 minutes long enough for prayer? Saint Paul even said, pray without

ceasing (1 Tes. 5:17 KJV). They misunderstood the context of Matthew 6:7. What Jesus tried to stress is that wonderful words of prayers, may it be short or long are be meaningless, if you prayed to pagan gods. Everything is in vain. Prayer should be done in truth not in hypocrisy and pride. Thats how the pagans are praying. No matter how often they repeat their prayer, these could not be heard because pagan gods are false gods. Thats the context of Jesus message! There is nothing wrong in repetition as long as you are repeating what is something good. Bad things ought not to be repeated. But praying is a good deed. Praising is glorifying and exalting! What makes repeating a prayer bad? Jesus even repeats His prayer three times saying the same words in Matthew 26:39-44. In heaven, they dont rest night and day in worshiping God in these words Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 4:8). God never rebuked them. Counter Argument No. 1 1. 2. 3. 4. The Sola Scriptura doctrine has no Biblical foundation. It is even contradictory to itself. There are truths that were not written in the Bible (John 21:25) Therefore, not all explicitly unwritten in the Bible should not be believed in.

Counter Argument No. 2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Bible alone is the source of truth, the non-Catholics declared. The Bible existed late. Does it mean there was no truth before the Bible existed? Of course there had been truth long before the Bible was written. Therefore, the Bible alone doctrine is false.

Counter Argument No. 3 1. 2. 3. 4. God despises paganic prayers (Mt. 6:7). Christian prayers are not paganic. The rosary is one of the Christian prayers. Therefore, God does not despise the Rosary.

Counter Argument No. 4 1. Granting without admitting that long prayer displeases God.

2. 3. 4. 5.

Non-Catholics accuse the Rosary as a long prayer. But Rosary can be finished within 15 minutes. Then, Rosary is not a long prayer. Therefore, it does not displease God.

Counter Argument No. 5 1. It is said by non-Catholics that repetition of prayer displeases God. 2. Jesus repeats His prayer three times of the same words (Mt. 26:44) 3. The heavenly beings worship God without rest day and night and sing the same words repeatedly (Rev. 4:8) 4. But God the Father never rebuked Jesus and the heavenly beings. 5. Therefore, the notion that repetition of prayer displeases God is false. The Lords Prayer was never called by Jesus as Lords Prayer. He never gave a title to it when He taught it to His disciples. It is only the Christians that named it as Lords Prayer since it was Jesus who taught it. The contents of this prayer are scriptural but the term Lords Prayer is not found in the original manuscript of the Bible. It is the same with the Rosary. Its contents are scriptural but the word Rosary was not literally written in the Bible. Let us examine what comprises the Rosary and how it is supported by text in the Holy Scriptures. The prayers in the Rosary are the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. a. The Apostles Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1-31, 2:1-3). I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son our Lord (John 3:16), who was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), born of the Virgin Mary (Mt.2:1, 11). He suffered under Pontius Pilate (Mt. 27:26). He was crucified (Mt. 27:35), died (Mt. 27:50) and was buried (Mt.27:60). He descended into the dead ( 1 Peter 3:18-19) and in the third day He rose again (Luke 24:1-12). He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9) and seated at the right of the Father Almighty (Acts 7:55). He will come again to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42). I believe in the Holy Spirit (John 14: 15-17), the Holy Catholic Church (Mt. 16:18-19), the Communion of Saints (Jude 1:14, Hebrew 13:24 KJV), the Forgiveness of Sins (John 20:23), Resurrection of the Body (Mt. 22:30) and Life Everlasting (John 6:40). Amen. b. Our Father (The complete text of this prayer is taught by Jesus in Mt. 6:9-14) c. Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you (Luke 1:28-30). Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus (Luke 1:42). Holy Mary, Mother of God (Luke 1:43) pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death (1Tim. 2:1, James 5:16). Amen. d. Glory Be Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit (Mt. 22:37, Acts 12:23). As it was in the beginning, now and ever shall be without end (Hebrew 13:8, Rev. 22:13). Amen. The four mysteries of the Rosary are all found in the Bible. The Rosary is the compendium of the Gospel. The Joyful Mystery 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38). The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (Luke 1:41-45). The Birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:11, Mt 2:1-2). The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (Luke 2:22-24). The Finding of Jesus at the Temple (Luke 2:41-49).

The Luminous Mystery 1. The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River (Mt. 3: 13-17, Mk. 1:9-12). 2. Jesus Self-manifestation at the Wedding in Cana (John 2:1-4). 3. Jesus Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call to Conversion (Mt. 4:1217, Mk 1:35-39, Luke 4:14-15). 4. The Transfiguration of Jesus (Mk 9:2-13, Mt. 17:1-13, Luke 9:28-36). 5. The Institution of Holy Eucharist as the Sacramental Expression of the Paschal Mystery (Luke 22:19-20, Mt. 26:26-30). The Sorrowful Mystery 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-38, Mk. 14:32-35). The Scourging at the Pillar (Mt. 27:26, Mk. 15:15, John 19:1). Jesus is Crowned by Thorns (Mt. 27:29, Mk 15:17). Jesus Carry the Cross (John 19:17). The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:23-30).

The Glorious Mystery 1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Mt. 28:1-18, Mk. 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12). 2. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (Acts 1:6-10). 3. The Holy Spirit Descended to the Apostles (Acts 2: 1-4).

4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (Rev. 12:1). 5. The Coronation of Blessed Virgin Mary in Heaven. (Rev. 12:1). Everything that comprises the Rosary is found in the Bible. How can we claim that it is unscriptural? On the argument that God is displeased with the prayer of the Rosary, how can God admonish the truth He Himself revealed? The Rosary is consisted of scriptural truth. Therefore, the prayer of Rosary is Biblical. This is what the Argument from the Whole and the Parts is trying to prove. The Argument from the Whole and the Parts 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. The whole is composed of the parts. The totality of the parts is integral to the whole. The parts made the whole. Therefore, what are the parts is also the whole. They are one. The parts of the Rosary are proven to be Scriptural. These parts made the whole Rosary. Since, the parts of the Rosary are scriptural. Therefore, the Rosary as a whole is also scriptural.

When we refer to the Rosary, we are going back to the history of Christs Gospel. The Rosary is the Gospel in a form of prayer. In short, it is the Gospels prayer. Why is it offered to Mary? Because no one among the Christians and the saints can relate the whole story of the Gospel intimately than Virgin Mary, the mother of the primary actor of the Gospel can. The prayer recited for every decade of the rosary, Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, and bring all souls into heaven especially those who most need of your divine mercy was Virgin Marys words during her apparition in Fatima. Question No. 1: Most of the beads of the Rosary are dedicated to Mary. Therefore, the Rosary is Mary-centered rather than Christ-centered. Christian should be Christ-centered. What can you say? Answer: Your contention is wrong. Since every bead of the rosary relates the history of the Gospel, and the Gospel is Christ-centered, therefore, the Rosary is not a Mary-centered but Christ-centered prayer. It is a devotional prayer with Mary to Jesus Christ. It is said through Mary to Jesus. The word pray for us sinners in Hail Mary is a manifestation that Mary is asked to pray to Jesus with the devotees. This prayer starts with God and ends with Him. Mary is just facilitating the prayer of the devotees to her Son, Jesus Christ. The ultimate end of the prayer is God. How could it become Mary-centered? It is God-centered instead.

Why do we need a rosary object in praying the rosary? Is there a need for the necklace-like thing to pray the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be? Can we not pray the Rosary without this object? We can relate this to the stick of Moses when God could easily divide the Red Sea by His power. But why it needs to raise the stick of Moses before the sea was divided. The Lord could outright give water for the Israelites in the wilderness. But why did He opt for Moses to strike the rock first with his stick before the water flowed? In the Old Testaments religious rites, why did the priest need to use incense in offering prayer to Yahweh? Can they not celebrate the liturgy without it? Still in the Old Testament, people need to offer animals like cows, sheep or goats for the atonement of their sins when God could have directly forgive their sins. In the New Testament, when Jesus hailed the blind, why did He knead mud before the eyes of the blind in order for the latter to see again? Jesus could have directly opened the sight of the blind. The same analogy could offer to answer the question why we a rosary is needed.

Allan L. Laniba

is a candidate for Doctor of Philosophy-Development Studies at the Ateneo de Davao University. He finished two masters degree: Master in Public Administration and the Master of Management at the University of Mindanao. He is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. A lecturer of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Apostolate and the Catholic Faith Defenders, Inc. He is a broadcaster, columnist, fine artist, national evangelist, a husband and father of three children.