Mary, sacred tradition, and teachings not found in the Bible

by Matt Slick


Pope bowing before stature of Mary Mary has been exalted to an extremely high position in the Roman Catholic Church. But, what Catholicism teaches concerning her is not found in God's inspired word. Instead, Catholicism claims that through its authority to interpret scripture and tradition, it is then revealed many new truths not found in God's inspired word. Following is a list of some of the things taught about Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. As you read them, ask yourself if any of these are found in Scripture.

  • Mary is the all holy one (CCC 2677)
  • Mary issecond to Eve (Mystici Corpois Christ, par. 110)
  • Mary is prayed to (CCC 2679)
  • Mary sits at the right hand of Christ (Pope Pius X, 1835-1914, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14)
  • Mary is Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix (CCC 969)
  • Mary is the mother of the members of Christ (CCC 963)
  • Mary Queen over all things (CCC 966)
  • Mary brings eternal life by her intercession (CCC 969)
  • Mary helped make atonement for sins (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ott, page 213)
  • Mary crushed the head of the serpent (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)
  • Mary delivers souls from death (CCC 966).
  • When considering the Church, there is no better way than to look to Mary, (CCC 972).
  • Catholics entrust themselve to Mary's prayer (CCC 2677).
  • No man goeth to Christ but by His Mother," (Vatican Website: Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914).

Nothing in God's inspired word promotes with the Roman Catholic Church has stated in the above list of teachings. This is important because God has given us his inspired word to guide us. The Roman Catholic Church's "Sacred Tradition" is not inspired. Only God's word, the Bible, is inspired.

Therefore, we ought not trust any spiritual teachings that come from any source outside of God's word unless it agrees with God's word. Any doctrines developed after the closing of the canon must not contradict God's word. After all, it is the word of God to which Christ himself appealed as did the apostles in defending spiritual truth.

  • Jesus said "It is written," as you referred to Old Testament Scriptures (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10)
  • Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill it, (Matt. 5:17).
  • Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away but not the smallest letter of the word of God (Matt. 5:18)
  • Jesus said that the Scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35).
  • Jesus said, "your word is truth," (John 17:17).
  • Paul the apostle said the Bereans were noble minded for checking what he said with Scripture (Acts 17:17)
  • Paul told us not to exceed what is written in God's word (1 Cor. 4:6).
  • Peter quoted scripture (1 Pet. 1:16, 24; 2:6-10, 22; 3:10-12, 14; 4:16; 5:5; 2 Pet. 2:22). Peter evn quoted the New Testament, (2 Pet. 1:17).  Peter said nothing of tradition.

It is only the word of God that is inspired. But, the Roman Catholic Church is not satisfied with sticking to God's word.

Scripture and Tradition

Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church uses its tradition as a justification for extra-biblical doctrines. It claims its sacred tradition is inspired on the same level as Scripture. After all, it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 80 that, "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring..."

When the Roman Catholic Church claims its tradition is sacred and inspired, then it can say anything it wants in support of any doctrine it claims is true. Essentially this means that they are not submitting themselves to the word of God but are instead submitting the word of God to their tradition.  Please consider the following quotes from the catechism of the Catholic Church, an official document.


  • CCC 80, "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal." Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".
  • CCC 84, "The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church.
  • CCC 95, "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."
  • CCC 97 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God" (DV 10) in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches."

As you can see, the Roman Catholic Church elevates its own sacred tradition the same level as the word of God. This can only be hubris to an extraordinary extent.

Mary and Scripture

In my dealings with Roman Catholics in social media and radio throughout many years, I have repeatedly asked them to demonstrate their teachings on Mary from Scripture. I am almost always met with a profound silence. However, on those rare occasions when that silence is broken and the attempt to produce Scripture, it is possible to hear those verses being ripped out of context in order to support the unbiblical doctrines held by the Roman Catholic Church.

But, the truth is that nothing in the Scriptures promote these fantastic claims the Roman Catholic Church makes about Mary. There's nothing there.

Hypothetically, if Mary could see what is happening in Catholicism, she must be deeply saddened by those who refuse to follow the word of GOD and instead, follow another voice (John 10:26-28). It is not the voice of Christ that the Roman Catholic Church follows. Otherwise, it would not promote praying to Mary and seeking her intercession instead of that of Christ himself (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Tim. 2:5).


God has given us his inspired word for a reason. It is guidance for us and those who take their eyes off of inspired Scripture and put it onto man's 'sacred tradition' will be led astray. The Catholics are, without a doubt, led astray. Their semi-goddess status of Mary is due to extra-biblical teaching. It is not revelation from God. It is the teaching of an apostate church. They have exceeded what is written in God's word (1 Cor. 4:6). As a result, they have ventured so far off course, that their direction is no longer towards Christ. Instead, they follow the traditions of men, and the result can only be damnation.







About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.