The Ark of the New Covenant

I have often heard Mary spoken of as the ark of the New Covenant. Tonight at RCIA, I learned of a parallel between Mary and the original ark that I had not heard before.

"And David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, ‘How can the ark of the LORD come to me?’…And David danced before the LORD with all his might;" – 2 Samuel 6:9,14a

"And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. " – Luke 1:43-44

Interesting, ain’t it? Of course, the entire notion of the Immaculate Conception doesn’t (and couldn’t) hang on these verses, but I think they’re interesting nonetheless.

Comments 20

  1. Tom Smith wrote:

    The notion of the Immaculate Conception didn’t really hit home for me until I realized that the womb of the Blessed Mother is the New Testament analog of the Ark of the Covenant. Then it all becomes very clear why the Mother of God was Immaculately Conceived.

    Posted 07 Dec 2005 at 5:39 am
  2. Jeff Miller wrote:

    You must not have read much Scott Hahn since he nails all of the parallels between the old new testaments. An example can be found here:
    http://www.catholic-pages.com/bvm/hahn.asp

    Posted 07 Dec 2005 at 5:36 pm
  3. Funky Dung wrote:

    I’ve read a little of Hahn. I’ve met him, too. He’s a nice guy, but his writing style doesn’t do anything for me. He tries too hard to be funny. I like puns, but not THAT much. He’s much better when writing with someone else, such as Aquilina.

    Posted 07 Dec 2005 at 5:43 pm
  4. Tom Smith wrote:

    I’m probably being a bit too grumpy when I say this, but I don’t know why people are all gaga over Saint Scott Hahn. His stuff is great; I really liked The Lamb’s Supper. But his ideas are not new, not by any stretch. In fact, they’re very old. And they were originally had by people who are entitled “Doctor.” It amazes me that the Church hasn’t tried harder to popularize the great writings of the Fathers. The Greek Fathers, in particular, are fairly easy to read, and have a particular mystical tone that, I think, people would find appealing these days.

    I guess my thing is basically this: why read Hahn when you can get the same information from Chrysostom, Basil, or Gregory Nazianzen?

    Posted 07 Dec 2005 at 8:17 pm
  5. John wrote:

    I’m confused as why such a big deal is made of the parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The people who wrote the New Testament new the Jewish scriptures very well and likely had them in front of them while they were writing. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that parallels show up.

    Posted 07 Dec 2005 at 11:51 pm
  6. Funky Dung wrote:

    Tom: Because C, B, and GN aren’t as accessible as Hahn. Hahn regurgitates those fellas into language a modern, worldy person can understand.

    John: You’re begging the question, John. Do the parallels show up because the Gospel writers took artistic license (or worse yet had ulterior motives) or because God planned it that way. The Church teaches the latter. The former view is the kind of bunkum you get from crap like Jesus Seminar.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 12:09 am
  7. John wrote:

    The fact that a prophesy from the old testament is fulfilled is part of a divine plan. The fact that the phrasing and dramatic structures are paralleled is the result of the writers.
    And if we watn to risk controversy, which prophesies a Gospel shows being fulfilled and the manner in whihc they are fulfilled is the product of the writer.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 1:45 am
  8. edey wrote:

    the reason that more people read hahn than the Fathers has probably less to do wtih accessibility of language and more to do with popularity within the target audience. hahn tends to reach those who are looking for answers to “tough questions” and those who are interested in finding out more about Church teachings. unfortunately, when someone asks “where can i find out about Mary, the Eucharist, etc?”, scott hahn is more likely to come to mind than C,B, and GN. many who are searching for those answers, unfortunately, have never heard the names of Church Fathers and are unlikely to look up source texts when you can get it already “prepackaged”.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 2:36 am
  9. Jerry Nora wrote:

    Another parallel between Mary and the OT is that the verb Gabriel used when he told Mary that the Holy Spirit would “come over” her (or something like that) was only used once in the Septuagint, and that’s when it described when the presence of God would come upon the Tent of Meeting with Moses.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 2:53 am
  10. Jerry wrote:

    Tom, before I went to the Oratory, I didn’t know any Church Fathers besides Augustine and maybe Ambrose. To judge from what I’ve seen of American Catholicism, my experience seems more common than yours.

    I think a good reason for reading Hahn that has not been addressed here is the issue of where to start. One could spend a lifetime plumbing Chrysostom or Augustine, and in the latter’s case at least, not even reach the end of that saint’s astonomical output.

    Hahn helps assemble things together, draw people’s attention to folks they’ve never heard about (“Maximus the Confessor”, who the heck is that guy?), and maybe set people off on a journey to the relevant sources.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 11:56 pm
  11. Jerry wrote:

    Nate: “overshadow” was the term used to describe the Holy Spirit’s action. That was the term I was grasping at. Of course, it’s a translation of a Greek verb, but it’s the translation that I’ve seen people far more informed than me consistently use, so I’d roll with that.

    Posted 09 Dec 2005 at 12:03 am
  12. Nathan Nelson wrote:

    That is interesting. I’m stealing it for my own blog, with credit to you of course.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 4:51 am
  13. Tom Smith wrote:

    Funky Dung says:
    “Tom: Because C, B, and GN aren’t as accessible as Hahn. Hahn regurgitates those fellas into language a modern, worldy person can understand.”

    You’ve missed the point. I’m saying that the Fathers typically *are* highly accessible, and the Church ought to promote the reading of their works.

    edey says:
    “unfortunately, when someone asks ‘where can i find out about Mary, the Eucharist, etc?’, scott hahn is more likely to come to mind than C,B, and GN. many who are searching for those answers, unfortunately, have never heard the names of Church Fathers and are unlikely to look up source texts when you can get it already ‘prepackaged’.”

    I must’ve been highly unclear. I’m not faulting anyone for reading Scott Hahn; it’s laudable to read his books. But the Fathers are even better. I’m lamenting the fact that, indeed, one needs to dig, or be an academic, to access their writings. I’m sure their works are public domain; how hard would it be for a printing house to drop some modern writers and start printing Patristic homilies and apologetical works?

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 7:13 am
  14. edey wrote:

    i said unfortunately about hahn because i tend to be a fan of source material. i must have also been unclear. i dont’ think it’s necessarily unfortunate that people read hahn, but, like you, i think it’s unfortunate that people read hahn *instead* of reading the Fathers.

    anyways, i think the fact they aren’t printed by major publishers is only part of the problem. i know you can find at least some of the works of the Fathers on the internet. so they are out there. it’s a problem of name recognition among the target audience. someone who is looking to understand Church teaching most likely to recognize the name hahn rather than C,B, or GN. if they were available at popular bookstores, maybe that would help alleviate the problem, though.

    you do bring up a good point, though. i wonder why someplace like ignatius press doesn’t even publish their works.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 1:44 pm
  15. Tom Smith wrote:

    I dunno. Is there really a name recognition issue? I knew the names of many of the Fathers before I was serious about religion, and hadn’t heard of any of the popular writers until fairly recently.

    Regardless, this is really irrelevant and way off topic.

    Posted 08 Dec 2005 at 2:57 pm
  16. edey wrote:

    jer,
    my experience was similar to yours….well i hadn’t even heard of Ambrose. 😉

    Posted 10 Dec 2005 at 2:24 am
  17. Tom Smith wrote:

    I’m still not being clear enough, I guess.

    Jerry: “I think a good reason for reading Hahn that has not been addressed here is the issue of where to start. One could spend a lifetime plumbing Chrysostom or Augustine, and in the latter’s case at least, not even reach the end of that saint’s astonomical output.”

    But how hard would it be for a publishing company to put together, say, St. Gregory the Great’s homilies on a certain particular subject? This sort of thing has been done with much success before, particularly with St. Thomas Aquinas. That’s what I’m talking about; I’m not trying to get the Church to push people to read the entire Patristic corpus.

    Posted 10 Dec 2005 at 8:43 am
  18. edey wrote:

    tom
    there are compilations of Patristic writings on certain topics, but the ones i’ve seen are arragned by topic and give relevant quotations from the Fathers rather than all of one particular Father’s writings on a subject.

    while i also hadn’t heard of most of the Fathers pre-Oratory, i do think greater availability would lead to more people reading the Fathers. so…have you written to any Catholic publishers and asked them this very question?? i’m surprised Ignatius press doesn’t do that. write to Father fessio. it wouldn’t be hard for them to do it, but it’s probably a perceived lack of demand. write to publishers. let them know there is demand out there.

    Posted 10 Dec 2005 at 5:51 pm
  19. gbm3 wrote:

    “I’m confused as why such a big deal is made of the parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The people who wrote the New Testament new the Jewish scriptures very well and likely had them in front of them while they were writing. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that parallels show up.”-John

    A side (and around the corner) comment:

    While going to Pitt and writing for the Pitt News (opinions/non-sexual), I attended a Bible study series sponsored by the Rainbow Alliance. I will never forget this for many reasons. One big thing was that the leader proposed that there was no connection between the OT & NT (Lev. 18 & Romans 6). I pointed out many examples to the contrary but to no avail in his head.

    Point: Some people don’t see the connection. (I think it’s obvious.)

    Posted 12 Dec 2005 at 4:00 pm
  20. FX wrote:

    Hi, liked the article

    Posted 22 Mar 2007 at 11:50 am

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