Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, but do so with gentleness and reverence.”
cf. 1 Peter 3:15-16
A daily morsel of Catholic education and faith formation.
QUESTION OR COMMON OBJECTION:
The rosary is against the Bible. In Matthew’s Gospel it says, “When you pray do not use vain repetition.”
Jesus was against “vain” or insincere repetition, not all repetition. Even Jesus used repetition.
He prayed a third time, saying the same words.”
Jesus also tells us in Matthew’s Gospel to pray in secret (Mt 6:6), but that doesn’t mean we can’t pray together in church. These two admonitions are against superficial prayer.
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where is the rosary in the bible?
Anybody who has prayed the Rosary (who has really prayed the Rosary with heartfelt attention and sincerity) knows he is entering into the deepest mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ. The Rosary is one of the most beautiful prayers in the Catholic tradition. It’s also one of the most commonly misunderstood. This is often the case for many of our Protestant brothers and sisters. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. Put simply, the Rosary is a prayerful meditation on the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother.
That the Rosary is not mentioned in the Bible is a common objection Catholics get. One has to be careful when making such an objection. Many a well-intentioned non-Catholic Christian will object, “Where is the Rosary in the Bible?” Allow me – as briefly as I can – to touch on a few things about never “seeing” the word rosary in the Bible, or that it’s “not ever used in the Bible,” as many like to say.
First, I think these well-intentioned, but ill-informed, non-Catholic Christians would agree with me that all Christians believe in the Trinity. It’s indisputable that all Christendom believes the Trinity doctrine that God is one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But where do we find the word “trinity” in the Bible? The answer is, we don’t. In fact, nowhere in scripture do we find the word “trinity”. So, to make an argument against the word rosary not appearing in Holy Scripture, we’d have to apply the same argument logic to other words, like trinity. I’m going to guess that even the most hardcore anti-Catholic Evangelical Protestants wouldn’t want to do that. Such argument just doesn’t work because the doctrine of the Trinity is a fundamental teaching and tenet of the Christian faith.
Secondly, if you agree with me – and the Catholic understanding – that the Rosary is truly a prayerful meditation on the life of Jesus Christ, then you’ll understand that it is a prayer comprised of a series of prayers. In the Rosary we have the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. All are prayers we recite after we begin the Rosary with the Apostles Creed. The Apostles Creed, of course, is a summation (a credo) of what Christians believe. This creed, similar to the Nicene Creed, states the truth of Christianity.
The most common objection, within the objection, Catholics get about the Rosary is the Hail Mary prayer. The question is often, “Where in the Bible is the Hail Mary? You Catholics just made that up!” Well, again, the prayer is rooted in scripture. Let me provide this as an example, and then encourage, most especially, all our Sola Scriptura Christian friends to dive into the Bible to find what I’m highlighting here to see for yourselves:
The Hail Mary Prayer
The Hail Mary in the Bible
“Hail Mary, full of Grace … (see Luke 1:28);
“The Lord is with Thee” … (see Luke 1:28);
“Blessed art thou among women” … (see Luke 1:42);
“And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus” … (see Luke 1:42);
“Holy Mary, Mother of God” … (see Luke 1:43);
“Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death” … (see James 5:16) ….
In this closing part of the Rosary prayer, you’ll see in James 5:16 that St. James tells Christians to pray for one another. All the baptized are members of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-14), therefore, it is right to pray for other members of the body. James goes on to say that the prayers of the righteous have great power. What human (other than Jesus, in his humanity, of course) is more righteous than the Mother of Jesus? As God is the God of the living, not the dead (Mk 12:27), Mary in heaven hears the prayers of her children on earth and intercedes for them, much like she interceded for the wedding couple at the wedding feast at Cana (John 2).
For more about the Rosary, I invite you, whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or other, to watch this beautiful video by our friends at Word on Fire. Each day the Catholic faithful pray one of the different Mysteries of the Rosary. We meditate on five key events in the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother, the Virgin Mary.
Be not afraid! And if you still don’t believe the Rosary is in the Bible, surely you can agree the Bible is in the Rosary. Meanwhile, please visit our blog site often, and join us each day, as we prayerfully meditate on the life of Christ our Lord and Savior through the eyes of his Blessed Mother.
Peace be with you!
Disciple of Christ | Son of the Church
Protestants often claim the Catholic practice of praying the rosary is condemned by Jesus when he teaches against “vain repetitions” in Matthew 6:7. But is this true? Karlo Broussard gives the reason why the answer is no, and explains what Jesus meant by these words.
dr. john bergsma | st. paul center for biblical theology
Dr. John Bergsma, author of “Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls”, reflects on the mass readings for October 7, 2020. If you have any further questions about this or any topic, feel free to leave them in the comment section below! Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5 Psalm 117 Luke 11:1-4
catechism of the Catholic Church
For information about what the Catholic Church believes, answers to FAQs, and an encompassing resource addressing common objections and misconceptions non-Catholics and Catholics alike may have about the Church and what it teaches, we invite you to visit the online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Let us pray.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you.”
Saint John Paul II, pope
Jesus, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (cf. John 6:68).
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.