The Queen of Heaven and the King of Kings

Many non-Catholics object to our use of the title “queen of heaven” in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary. They do so because in the Old Testament, a false goddess – apparently Ishtar, the Assyro-Babylonian fertility goddess – was called the “queen of heaven” (see Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19, and 44:25). Using the title when speaking of Mary, they reason, means that Catholics worship Mary as a pagan goddess. Obviously, this would be a wrong thing to do.

But take heart! The good news is that Catholics neither (a) consider Mary to be a goddess nor (b) worship her.

Catholics think that it is appropriate to call Mary the “queen of heaven” for two reasons:

  • Her son is the King, making her the queen mother. More than just an honorary role, the queen mother was an office in the Davidic kingdom. As one Protestant encyclopedia explains, “The gebhirah, or queen mother, occupied a position of high social and political importance; she took rank almost with the king.”
  • The Bible depicts her as “wearing a crown of twelve stars” in heaven (Revelation 12:1), which is appropriate given her role as the queen mother of Christ the King.

But does the title’s pagan usage make it inappropriate to apply in a Christian context? By all means no! Just because the title was applied to a false queen of heaven in the Old Testament does not mean that the title cannot be used for the true queen of heaven.

There is strong Biblical precedent for this in the title “king of kings”. In the Old Testament, two pagan rulers were called “king of kings”:

  • Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon – Daniel 2:37 and Ezekiel 26:7.
  • Artaxerxes, king of Persia – Ezra 7:12

In spite of the pagan use of “king of kings”, we appropriately apply the title to Jesus Christ, our ultimate and true King of Kings, in 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16.

So we see from Scripture that it is certainly appropriate to call the Blessed Virgin Mary “Queen of Heaven.”

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2 Responses to The Queen of Heaven and the King of Kings

  1. tunde says:

    I have read through some your article and found out that you have either delberately or ignorantly run away from the truth.
    Now you might like to answer these questions on while Mary is still called Virgin Mary.

    1. Why is Mary (that is, if indeed the Catholoics are referring to Mary the Mother of Jesus) still being referred to as Virgin?
    2. Can a woman who is a virgin before conceiving her first child still remains a virgin therefore?
    3. Where and when in the Bible were the Believers commanded or instructed to worship Mary?
    4. When the Mary become an Advocate to plead on behalf of anyone with Jesus?
    5. Which verse of the Bible calls Mary, the Mother of God?
    6. In Revelation 12 vs 1 – 6, who is the woman that brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne? Who is this Male Child?

    Thank you as you response to these questions.

    Regards

    • Tunde,

      Thanks for the feedback. Below are answers to your questions. I hope you find them helpful!:

      1. Why is Mary (that is, if indeed the Catholoics are referring to Mary the Mother of Jesus) still being referred to as Virgin??

      We refer to Mary as the Virgin Mary because we are told in Scripture that she was a virgin when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:27). Protestants often assert that Mary lost her virginity after the birth of Christ, but this does not appear to be the case after a closer look at the data. See my post on Mary’s Perpetual Virginity (due to the length of the content, I wanted to avoid having it in this comments field).

      2. Can a woman who is a virgin before conceiving her first child still remains a virgin therefore??

      Sure. I don’t see any requirement that a virgin who conceives must necessarily start having intercourse thereafter.

      3. Where and when in the Bible were the Believers commanded or instructed to worship Mary??

      There is no place in the Bible that instructs us to worship Mary. Catholics do not worship Mary. We only worship God.

      4. When the Mary become an Advocate to plead on behalf of anyone with Jesus??

      During her earthly life, Mary is shown as an intercessor at the wedding feast in Cana, where she intercedes on behalf of the wedding party and asks Jesus to work a miracle (John 2:1-3 and following).

      Just as the Jewish queen-mother (i.e., the mother of the king) is honored by her son the king and intercedes on behalf of others to her son (see 1Ki 2:13-20), we believe that the heavenly queen mother Mary can intercede on our behalf to her son the King of Kings.

      The Bible also tells us to intercede in prayer for one another: “pray for one another … the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” (James 5:16); “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men” (1 Timothy 2:1). If the prayer of those on earth are beneficial, even though we are not yet perfected, how much more powerful will the prayers of the perfected saints in heaven be!

      5. Which verse of the Bible calls Mary, the Mother of God??

      The title “Mother of God” is not in the Bible — although some might say that Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary as “mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43) has the marks of a claim for Christ’s divinity. Mary is called Mother of God because:
      1. Mary gave birth to Jesus
      2. Jesus was God incarnate from the moment of his conception
      3. Therefore, the person to whom Mary gave birth was God incarnate
      The teaching that Mary is Mother of God is intended to protect Christ’s Divinity, not elevate Mary to some improper pseudo-deity status. The title was developed in response to a heresy that claimed that when Jesus was born, he was not fully God.

      6. In Revelation 12 vs 1 – 6, who is the woman that brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne? Who is this Male

      This woman’s child is the Messiah; therefore, the woman is Mary. Since the dragon is an individual (the devil) and the child is an individual (Jesus), the woman must also be interpreted to be an individual (Mary). It is also possible that the woman could be a symbol for God’s people (Israel or the Church), just as Adam represented humanity (Romans 5:19) and Jacob represented all of Israel (Psalm 44:4). Given this biblical notion of “corporate personality,” the woman in Revelation 12 should be understood as both an individual (Mary) and a symbol for the people of God.

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