The Gospel of Matthew first mentions Mary in the genealogy of Jesus, in which four other women are also included within the two periods of fourteen generations. Matthew’s depiction sets Mary apart from the other four women, who all demonstrated questionable sexual behavior- being prostitutes, plotting to seduce men, or committing adultery.  Mary, on the other hand, “Brings the last period to its end by being a normal Jewish mother, faithful to Torah and to the customs of her time” (Tavard 1996, 7). Mary is especially unconventional in Matthew’s depiction because she conceived without having sexual relations with Joseph, but instead through the Holy Spirit. This portrayal elevates Mary as a special figure chosen by God to be the mother of Christ, and presents her as rich in moral and virtuous quality. Luke In Luke’s Gospel, Mary is at the center of the infancy narrative. The Gospel gives a detailed account of the annunciation of Mary’s conception of Jesus in which the angel Gabriel addresses Mary as “highly favored one,” and “full of grace.”  Luke similarly elevates Mary as chosen by God to bear the Messiah, and she still expresses her desire to remain a virgin, thus emphasizing her moral virtue and the root of the name ‘Immaculate Mary.’ In the Gospel of Luke, some have speculated that the author is characterizing Mary as a prophetess due to her being described as the Lord’s slave, the divine message that was given to her by the archangel Gabriel, and the conception of the Son of God.  Mary has very explicitly been stated as a virgin in this gospel but has only been implicitly characterized as a prophetess. In Luke’s Gospel, his similarities to Old Testament narratives and the theological motifs in Mary’s speech both suggest that she is a prophet. During antiquity, Luke’s designation of Mary being the lord's slave was symbolic of being devoted to God. Many Old Testament characters, such as Moses, Joshua, and Jonah, who were stated as prophets, were also referred to as slaves to the lord.  The angel’s choice of words in the annunciation to Mary is also very suggestive of a prophetic title. Gabriel approached Mary and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Lk. 1:28 [NSRB]). When Gabriel tells her that she will conceive through the Holy Spirit, Mary does not cower away, but embraces it and recognizes her importance to the Lord. She says, “from now on all generations will call me blessed.” (Lk. 1:28 [NSRB])
John In the Gospel of John, Mary is never mentioned by name- only as ‘the mother of Jesus’- though the human family of Jesus is implied in the writing. Mary appears with Jesus at the wedding in Cana and has a significant role in Jesus’ miracle of transforming the water to wine. As Mary takes part in the wedding organization, she suggests the miracle to Jesus and he performs it, though he is resistant to do so. This portrayal gives Mary a level of importance in Jesus’ miracle working, though she only appears briefly. She is not mentioned again with Jesus in John’s Gospel until the crucifixion.
Historical Interpretations Despite Mary’s absence in much of the Bible, she nonetheless plays an important role in being Christ’s mother, gaining her importance within the Bible through the birth and life of Jesus. Another thing that makes Mary important in the text is the fact that she is a woman. Her femininity, along with her mother-like qualities of compassion and love later filled a void that was created by having an all-male trinity. The Virgin Mary is viewed as having heavenly and supernatural healing powers. She plays a maternal role throughout the Bible and provides a sense of comfort and motherly-love to Christians throughout the world. Because Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, she is seen as the perfect woman to many Christian readers. The idea of how Mary is portrayed in the text has changed throughout time, as people have begun to view her as more divine as time goes on. The same Jewish woman who was portrayed simply in early scriptures has since been turned into an icon, represented as an empress dressed in fine fabrics and jewels. This change was due in part by the shifting importance from Greek philosophy to gods and goddesses and the involvement of the empire, as Christianity became the primary religion of the Roman Empire. Another shift occurred, too, following the Great Councils, and Mary was depicted again as ‘simple’ and someone who was approachable in the eyes of ordinary people.
Despite the changes in the way Mary has been depicted throughout history, one thing has always remained constant: her femininity and the motherly role she plays within the Christian tradition. Mary was an inspiring female character in the Bible that provided a motherly role to Christians who read the Bible. She can be interpreted as bridging the gap between women and the Christian tradition, as her femininity made the predominantly male religion more approachable. As Mary has been perceived in many different lights throughout history, from both religious and non-religious standpoints, it is certain that she will continue to serve as a feminine ideal and the epitome of perfection, though representations of her will change with the rise of the modern age.
 Tavard, The Thousand Faces of Mary, 7.  Tavard, The Thousand Faces of Mary, 9.  Clayton N. Croy & Alice E. Connor, “Mantic Mary? The Virgin Mother as Prophet in Luke 1.26-56 and the Early Church,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34, no. 3 (2011): 254-76. http://0search.ebscohost.com.helin.uri.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001893598&site=ehost-live  Clayton & Croy, “Mantic Mary? The Virgin Mother as Prophet in Luke 1.26-56  Tavard, The Thousand Faces of Mary, 13.  Ursula Brumm, “The Virgin Mary Among American Puritans: A Difficult Relation,” Amerikastudien / American Studies 47, no. 4 (2002): 449–68. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41157770.  Gary Waller. The Virgin Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Literature and Popular Culture. (Cambridge University Press, 2011).  Helen Bond, Mark Goodacre, Tal Ilan, Chris Maunder, Miriam Peskowitz, and James Charles Worth, "Mary," Bbc.co.uk. N.p., 2 Aug. 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/history/virginmary_1.shtml