Catholic Apologist Refutes Own Logic

Catholic apologist John Martignoni’s own “logic” has handed him a shovel and he’s digging deep. While attempting to defend the Catholic doctrine of the immaculate conception from Revelation 12, John Martignoni logically states that since Jesus and Satan are real people, the woman mentioned in that verse must also be a real person; and that real person, Martignoni claims, is Mary. Here is a quote from his newsletter for context.

“Now, some will say that the woman represents the Church, because it is the Church that brings Jesus to the world; or that she represents Israel, because Jesus is a child of Israel. And, at one level of interpretation, they would be right. The image of the woman can be a metaphor for either the Church or Israel. There are many passages of Scripture that can have different levels of meaning, and this is one of them. However, at the most basic level of meaning, the woman is also a real person – Mary, the mother of Jesus. After all, no one ever says that the male child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron is a metaphor. Nor do they say that the ancient serpent, Satan, is a metaphor. Why then do they claim “the woman” is only a metaphor? They claim that because they do not want her to be Mary. To admit that could damage some of their arguments against Catholic teaching on Mary. So, in the parallel passage of Gen 3:15, we see three real persons, but in chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation, we supposedly only have two real persons and a metaphor?” (John Martignoni; Apologetics for the Masses – Issue #127)

If it is only logical that the woman be a real person in Revelation 12, than the same logic must apply to the woman in Revelation 17; the two chapters refer to the same woman. In Rev. 12:6 the woman flees to the wilderness, in Rev. 17:3 John is taken to the wilderness where he finds the woman. It’s obviously the same woman. The dragon never became something different later in Revelation so why would anyone think the woman was something different- especially when we have the location to tie the two together?

No Christian would ever say that the woman in chapter 17 is Mary, so why accept that interpretation in chapter 12? The woman is a metaphor plain and simple. Martignoni defeated his own logic, unless of course his logic allows for double standards. I would ask him, but he’s probably tired of digging.

19 Responses to Catholic Apologist Refutes Own Logic

  1. David says:

    I never said it was my words Brian, but it is my belief. Thanks for instructing me how to express my belief. I really appreciate it.

    The fact is that there are many levels of interpretation in the book of Revelation. There are also many wrong interpretations of the Book of Revelation. The woman 2 clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (Rev 12:1 NAB for you, Brian ;) ) has always represented Mary to the Catholic Church, because the woman gives birth to a male child, which is pretty universally interpreted as the child Jesus.

    While it’s true that someone taught me that the reference is from Genesis 37 is evident, so why do I need an attribute? That I couldn’t say it any better, why does that need any explanation? The point has been made. How do you respond to it?

  2. PeaceByJesus says:

    I do not see Rome and its liberal NAB as always representing the woman of Rev 12:1 as Mary, and such would in violation to the requirement against interpreting Scripture contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers, (V1, 24th Session) as can be seen here:

    Not that Rome does not so so herself, ( but for an autocratic authority this is not a problem, as they define what unanimous consent means. (

  3. Ritesh Roy Zacharias says:


    As an ‘undecided catholic’, I can tell you that I have always had one fundamental problem with the woman of Rev 12 being represented as Mary by the Catholic church and their apologists. My issue is simply this: Revelation 1 states “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must SOON TAKE PLACE…”(NIV). The birth of Jesus was an event that HAD taken place. Would appreciate a correction in my understanding, if wrong, since I have never read the whole of Revelation.

    Ritesh Roy Zacharias

  4. peacebyjesus says:

    The woman said to be clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and twelve stars are symbols drawn from Genesis 37:9–11, in which Joseph ”dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” (Genesis 37:9)

    The sun represented Jacob (Israel) and the moon Rachel, and the stars representing his brothers, the patriarchs of Israel, all of which bow down to him. Thus Jacob said, “Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” The 12 stars on the woman’s head represents the 12 patriarchs, “and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rm. 9:5)

    The Old Testament’s prophets also referred to Israel as a “woman” (Is. 54:5-6; Jer. 4:31; Micah 4:9-10). This view is more fully articulated here:*

    And rather than the women of Rv. 12 being Mary, the notes in the official Bible for America (NAB), supports Israel being the women, and by extension the church:

    [12:1] The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Gn 37:9–10) symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (Rev 12:6, 13–17); cf. Is 50:1; 66:7; Jer 50:12. (

    In Rev. 12, after the manchild which Israel brought is caught up unto God, and to his throne, the devil persecutes the women (of which Scripture provides no direct testimony of regarding Mary), and which persecution is a historical constant.

    Moving forward in this overview, the people of God are protected for the 31/2 years from the devil, which sends a flood (or persecutions) after her, which the earth swallows up, and the devil attacks her seed, these also being children of the prophets.
    If the church is still there through the Tribulation, as i expect, the women broadly represents all believers, including the Gentile Christians, who overall are kept out of, or protected from this hour of temptation, (Rv. 3:10) but not before many are “slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held,” (Rv. 6:9,10) with 144k Christian Jews being witnesses for Him, and which are persecuted.

    This correlates to what Romans chapter 11 foretells, that of God reversing the general curse of blindness upon the natural branches, whose eyes are then opened to faith in their Messiah during the tribulation persecutions, with these joining the Gentile believers as being the “Israel of God,” (Gal. 6:16) and so all Israel, both the converted natural seed and believing Gentiles who are blessed with faithful Abraham, (Gal. 3:9) shall be saved (Rm. 11:26)

    2 b ctd.

  5. peacebyjesus says:

    Pt. 2

    It is understood by many that in the second part of Daniel’s seventieth week, (Dan. 9:25-27) a remnant of Israel will flee into the wilderness to escape the persecution of Antichrist, who is called “the son of desolation,” “the lawless one,” and “whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan” (2 Thes. 2:1-12; cf. Rev. 12:4,9). And there will God plead with them “face to face,” and bring them into covenant and purge out rebels. (Ezekiel 20:35-37) Perhaps the opening of the eyes of the remnant of Jews may not be instantaneous, but a period, in which Zech. 12:9-10 is fulfilled.

    The Lord Jesus, in the Olivet discourse, is seen warning the people of this time, which would occur just prior to His return to set up His earthly, Millennial kingdom (Matt. 24:15-22). In addition, the archangel Michael is called the guardian over the sons of Israel in Dan. 12:1, and who will arise at that time of national Israel’s tribulation (Dan. 12:1; cf. Rev. 12:7).

    The CCC also teaches,
    674 The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel”, for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus.

    The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles”,572 will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all”.573

    675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. (

    CFs Methodius and Victorinus also saw the women as symbolizing the church.

    Regarding no chapter divisions (or verse numbers) in the original texts, this is true, yet as in conversation, context and language indicate subject changes. Thus the entity at the end of chapter 13 does not mean that is who the entity is in the beginning of chapter 14, but in both cases the subjects have been previously identified, that of Israel and Christ respectively.

    The end of Rv. 11 flows from the beginning, in which the temple in Heaven in which the Ark resides is in focus, and then covers events in the tribulation period, and in which the two witnesses easily can relate to believing Jews and the Gentiles being true “Jehovah’s witnesses, and with the accompanying revelatory fearful events answering to that of Dt. 5:11 towards Israel, which theme of Rv. 12 continues.

    *Note though that i do not concur with the commonly held pre trib rapture, but expect God to keep His faithful thru His judgments, after much persecution and many are killed , until they are caught up to met the returning Lord and go on to fight with Him in the battle of Armageddon, and rule with Him in the millennium and judge the lost including angels, (Jude 1:14,15; 1Cor. 6:2,3) though much is open to some interpretation.

  6. There are a couple relevant articles on this blog under the topic “Prophecy.” There might be information there that you find useful, including the comments. As far as everything being future from John’s perspective, I don’t think the Scripture meant literally every detail was a future event. Take for instance Rev. 5:4, this verse is meant to show us that before Christ salvation was impossible. Christ’s victory over sin and death did not take place “soon after” John’s revelation; it took place before. In a similar way, Rev. 12 goes back to the same thing. God chose Israel as the instrument of salvation to all mankind; it is the nation from which our Messiah came. One of the articles in the topic Prophecy deals directly with chapter 12, and another article briefly discusses the chronology of Revelation. Check them out when you get a chance.

  7. Phil says:

    Rev 12 and 17 refer to two different women. The birth pains in this vision could be Mary’s sorrows, the childbirth here referring to her role in begetting the Church (though there are certainly some imperfect parallels to the nativity). The woman in Rev 12 could indeed also be the Church, the new Israel. You might consider the possibility that the woman in Rev 12 refers to both Mary AND the church, similar to the manner in which the word Israel can be both a person and a nation descended from that person.

  8. Etekia. M. Bouatoa says:

    I found John’s article so interesting especially on his questions and I quote:

    The very first thing I do when presented by someone with these passages as “proof” that Mary had to have sinned, is to ask that person a question. And that question is this: “Are you seeking God in your life?” If I’m speaking to them in person, I almost always get a quick retort of, “Absolutely!” To which I respond by pointing out that they just contradicted the Bible. Romans 3:11 states very specifically that “no one seeks for God,” yet they just told me that they do indeed seek for God. How can that be? Either they’ve just contradicted the Bible, or there is a problem with their absolutist interpretation of this passage of Scripture.

    Another question you could ask at this point is this: “Is praying to God a good thing?” You will undoubtedly be answered in the affirmative. You then ask, “Do you pray?” And they will respond that they do. You can then make the observation that by praying, they are doing good; yet, in Rom 3:12, it says that “no one does good, not even one.” So, once again, either they have contradicted the Bible, or there is a problem with their absolutist interpretation of these passages from Romans.

    He was asking such questions that I believe he even does not know how to answer. If he did know how to answer he won’t be able to ask.

    Paul was referring to our being as sinners just like Mary as a sinner when she said: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour (Luke 1:47). Why Mary says ‘my Savior’ if she is sinless? I believe Mary did not even know she was sinless, but then how come the Roman Catholic Church knows only? One who is sinless does not need a Savior.

    Truly, we are all sinners and if we said that we are not then we are just like a Pharisee praying and said:

    God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men (Sinners emphasize mine) [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

    We are sinners even if we follow the law because no one is perfect to satisfy what the law requires. However “…the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets” (Romans 3:21) in His Son Jesus Christ. That is where John get it all wrong by not reading the such passages in it context.

    To answer his questions;

    First, we seek Him because He seeks us first by setting the stage for us to come to Him and that is through the Gospel of His Son.

    God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

    Second or lastly, we do good works such as praying to Him because of His Spirit who dwells in us for we can do nothing because we are sinners. We cannot do good works unless we are being justified.

    Therefore, John Martignoni’s logic is a failure.

    God bless

  9. Mike says:

    John Says:

    The very first thing I do when presented by someone with these passages as “proof” that Mary had to have sinned, is to ask that person a question. And that question is this: “Are you seeking God in your life?” If I’m speaking to them in person, I almost always get a quick retort of, “Absolutely!” To which I respond by pointing out that they just contradicted the Bible. Romans 3:11 states very specifically that “no one seeks for God,” yet they just told me that they do indeed seek for God. How can that be? Either they’ve just contradicted the Bible, or there is a problem with their absolutist interpretation of this passage of Scripture.

    I love this, because it demonstrates so clearly how many Roman Catholics are very well versed in their church’s teachings, but are all but completely ignorant of Scripture. John, thinking he’s clever in “trapping” the unsuspecting Christian into making a case for Mary’s sinless state, is in error.

    What John misses in Roman 3 is what should be obvious to anyone who takes even a minute to understand the passage. Because no one naturally (I said naturally) seeks God, God seeks us. No one, on his or her own accord, has sought after God, so Romans 3 is correct. It speaks of the natural man, not the Christian whom John is addressing, who is now walking in the Spirit. Christians were first sought out by God, which is why we make the claim that Roman Catholics can do no work to save themselves, since all whom are saved are saved by a work of God, not by a work they themselves do. See Eph. 2:8.

    We know that God sought Adam and Eve as they hid in the Garden (Genesis 3:9), and He has been seeking His lost loved ones ever since. Jesus gave this as His mission statement: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

    Also consider this: if John is right, then the Scriptures can’t be trusted, since they say:

    I “You will seek me and you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

    So, is this a contradiction to those passages that say no one seeks God? Certainly not! In John’s zeal for his Roman religion to be true, he destroys his own case when he references the Scriptures. We can see that his quote from Romans does not, and cannot mean what he says it means without contradicting Jeremiah!

    This is the beauty of the Scriptures, and it’s why Christians say Scripture interprets Scripture. We understand Scripture given the Holy Spirit and His guidance, and John has given me a great opportunity here to demonstrate that very fact. Here we have seen how the Scriptures can be used to dispel false teaching and misunderstanding. We have seen in this blog where John himself (I believe it was John but it may have been Matt) admitted that the Scriptures do not contradict themselves, so in this case John has some serious reflecting to do in considering his interpretation of Romans 3, or he needs to admit to himself that the Scriptures are unreliable.

    In short when God says we must seek Him with all our heart, we understand that it’s God who has taken the first step toward us, not us seeking first for Him. This is what Romans 3:11 is talking about. It might be as simple as a person recognizing God’s work in nature that brings one to God, but the first effort was God’s, as no one seeks God on their own. God has done all that is necessary for our salvation, and that work is completed in Him. It’s finished. It’s now up to us to engage our will and follow Him.

    Thanks John for the opportunity to clarify this common misunderstanding of Scripture!


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