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Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception
CatholicEducation.org ^ | April 2003 | David M. Bristow

Posted on 12/07/2012 8:28:45 PM PST by Salvation

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

DAVID M. BRISTOW

Why do Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception? The belief means that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved without sin for her entire life.

It was Mary's closeness to Christ that made her receive God's "fullness of grace" to be sinless. Without God's grace, it would have been impossible for Mary to be sinless, and she too would be like the rest of humanity. However, because of her decision to say, "yes" in giving birth to Christ, she was given a special privilege by having no sin touch her. Catholics believe that God wanted a perfectly pure woman to carry His Son, the God of the universe, for nothing else short of perfection would do.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary continues to be a major disagreement point by other Christian denominations towards the Catholic faith. Many people say that the Immaculate Conception somehow takes away from Christ's glory and message. Some will say that this belief in Mary is not found in the Bible, or that it blatantly contradicts the Bible's words. There are also thousands of people who mistakenly believe what the Catholic Church teaches about the Immaculate Conception, which unfortunately has lead to many misguided opinions. What evidence do Catholics have to defend their belief in Mary's Immaculate Conception?

Evidence from the Scriptures:

"And the angel came in unto her, and said, hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." - Luke 1:28

It is the term "full of grace" that is emphasized by the Church when dealing with Mary's Immaculate Conception. The title "full of grace" comes from the Greek word kecharitomene, which describes a "perfection" and "abundance" of grace. In other words, Mary was proclaimed by the angel to be with a perfection of grace, which was a very powerful statement. How can Mary be completely and perfectly with God's grace, yet still have sin left in her? Christians eventually came to recognize that it was extremely possible for Mary to be without sin, especially if she was completely filled with God's grace. Luke 1:28 happens to be the only place in the Bible where anyone is addressed with the important title of "full of grace."

"…the Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." - Luke 1:35

Luke 1:35 shows Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. According to the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was the pure and holy vessel that held the Ten Commandments (the Old Covenant). The Ark was so holy in fact, that if anyone where to touch it they could actually fall down and die! It was housed in the Holy of Holies, which was a perfectly clean place where the Jewish high priests could enter only once a year according to their law (See Lev. 16:2-4). So how are Mary and the Ark related? The same language that describes God's "dwelling" place for the Old Ark is used again for Mary's overshadowing by the Holy Spirit. Put another way, the Old Ark held God's Ten Commandments and could not be touched by human hands because of its holiness. Mary, the New Ark, holds the New Covenant in her womb, which is Jesus Christ. How much holier is Christ than the Ten Commandments? It only makes sense that for Mary to hold God in her womb, she too would be completely pure and without any sin.

"I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed (offspring) and hers; He (she) will crush your head while you strike at his (her) heel." - Genesis 3:15

What does the book of Genesis have to do with Mary's Immaculate Conception? Genesis 3:15 is the first passage in the Bible that refers to Jesus defeating Satan on the cross. It is also the first verse that shows us how Mary would become the New Eve. The seed of the woman, who would crush the serpent's head, is Jesus. The woman at enmity, or hostility with the serpent, is Mary. It was God who put this hostility between Mary and Satan (the serpent), and it is believed to be in the same likeness as Christ's hostility for the seed of the serpent. What exactly does all this mean? For Mary to be like Christ in His hostility for Satan forever, it is very possible to say that this passage implies Mary's lack of sin. What better way is there to be in total hostility with Satan than to be in God's constant grace? As the New Eve, Mary undid the "no" of the Old Testament Eve by saying, "yes" to carry Jesus.

Evidence from History:

Pope Pius IX officially defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in the year 1854. He did so with the understanding that this belief would help the Catholic faithful grow spiritually towards Christ. The belief that Mary was without sin was not "invented" as numerous people mistakenly think. Many are still under the false impression that the Immaculate Conception was not believed until the year 1854 when it was defined. What they fail to realize is that the belief itself has extremely strong roots in Church writings going well back into the 4th century.

"Every personal sin must be excluded from the Blessed Virgin Mary for the sake of the honor of God." - St. Augustine, 390 AD.

"Mary, a virgin not only undefiled but a virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free from every stain." - St. Ambrose of Milan, 340-370 AD.

"You, and your Mother are alone in this. You are wholly beautiful in every respect. There is in you, Lord, no stain, nor any spot in your Mother." - St. Ephraem, 350 AD.

In fact, there are literally dozens of cases where early Church fathers have mentioned Mary as being without sin, using such words as "All-Holy One," "All-Sinless One," and "Immaculate." It proves that the idea of Mary's sinlessness was not uncommon in the first few centuries of the Church. As time passed, the Eastern Church began to show its strong love for the Immaculate Conception with its own feast day beginning in the 8th to 9th century. By the 12th century, the Western Church was celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception all over Europe, and by the end of the 15th century, it was universally recognized and defended as true Christian doctrine.

 



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: blessedvirginmary; brokencaucus; bvm; catholic; christ; immaculateconception; jesus; jesuschrist
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Common Objections and Questions:


I thought that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit! Could you please explain?

This happens to be a popular misconception by many people. What you are referring to is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and not the Immaculate Conception. The Incarnation is the belief that Jesus came into the world as fully man and fully God. The Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary was conceived into the world without sin to carry Christ.


But doesn't the Bible say in Romans 3:23 that, "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

At first glance this "all have sinned" may appear to contradict a Catholic's belief in Mary's Immaculate Conception. However, on further examination, it is not an impossible verse to overcome. For Catholics, Mary is seen as an exception to this passage, as are children under the age of reason, and mentally disabled people. With both of these examples, these groups are unable to sin because of their lack of reasoning. For example, a child who does not understand what sin is cannot sin, because the child is unaware of what is right and wrong. Now granted, a child who does not understand sin is not entirely like Mary, but it does show that there are exceptions to the "all have sinned" rule.


Ok, but what about original sin? Adam and Eve passed sin down to us when they ate the forbidden fruit.

This is true, but even original sin has its exceptions. Both Adam and Eve were originally created without sin, as were God's multitude of angels. This simply shows that it is not impossible for God to create living beings without the stain of original sin!


Still, the passage reads that, "all have sinned," so both Adam and Eve and the rest of humanity must have sinned during their existence!

What the Catholic wants to show is that there are exceptions to the rule. We understand that "all have sinned," but believe that Mary — and Jesus — are not included in this verse. The "all" in Romans 3:23 was translated from the Greek word pas. Like the usage of the word "all" today, it does not necessarily mean each and every person with no exceptions. For instance, in the same letter to the Romans (11:26), St. Paul says that "all Israel will be saved," and in Matthew 2:3 it says "all of Jerusalem" were troubled. Yet, were all of Israel going to be saved, or was each and every person in Jerusalem troubled? There are plenty of other examples like these found all throughout the Bible. The main point is that the word "all" had many different meanings in the Greek language, and that it does not rule out the possibility of exceptions in Romans 3:23.


The fact remains that the words "Mary was without sin" are not found in the Bible. Why do Catholics continue to believe in it?

True, the words "Mary was without sin" cannot be found in the Bible. However, one will not find the direct wording of "Mary was with sin" either. As shown above, Catholics believe that the Immaculate Conception has implied evidence for it within scripture. Add this to the large amount of early Church writings on the topic, and it is no wonder why Catholics continue to believe in it.


But if Mary didn't sin, doesn't that mean she didn't need Christ as her savior?

No, it does not mean that Mary did not need Jesus as her savior. This is one of the most common misunderstandings with other Christian denominations. Think of it this way…if Jesus did not make Mary perfectly sinless, she too would have sinned like everyone else! As was the case with Mary, we too will one day be without sin when we are in heaven. Mary was preserved without sin before she was born, in order that she may hold Christ in her womb. So, Mary fits the "all have sinned" in an indirect way. If God did not intervene with His grace, Mary would be with sin. She needed Christ as her savior to keep her from sin in the first place, just as Christ's death on the cross will keep us from sin in heaven.


Doesn't Mary's lack of sin take away from Jesus Christ?

Why would it? To Catholics, the belief in the Immaculate Conception is as much about Christ as it is about Mary! Jesus was so holy, so awesome, and so divine, that He made a woman perfectly pure just so He could enter the world through her. How does that take away from Christ? The Immaculate Conception simply reinforces how powerful and perfect Jesus Christ truly is!


Why did it take so long for the belief in the Immaculate Conception to come about? Why was it not defined right after Jesus' death? 1854 is a long time after Jesus!

Yes, 1854 is considered by most to be a long time after Jesus. However, most Christian beliefs, including the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the New Testament Books, took centuries before they were made official Christian beliefs. This does not mean that they were not true, but that they took time to define properly. The same goes for the Immaculate Conception. There were many early Church fathers who believed that Mary was sinless, but it was not the most important issue that needed to be addressed in the early years of the Church. For example, it was more important to discuss Jesus and His divinity than Mary's complete lack of sin. How could the Church teach about Mary's lack of sin if they had not yet come to certain conclusions about Jesus' divinity?


Didn't St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Church philosopher, disagree with the Immaculate Conception? I thought he was a very significant Church father!

Yes, St. Thomas Aquinas did disagree with the Immaculate Conception, but he did not disagree with the belief that Mary was without sin! The debate arose over if Mary was conceived in her mother's womb without sin, and if this affected her need for Christ as a savior. Of course, this philosophical debate was finally settled by Duns Scotus in the 13th century whose writings cleared up all complaints over Mary's need for Christ. With his help, the belief in the Immaculate Conception became standard teaching within the Churches and Universities of Europe. This debate over when — and not if — Mary was made sinless is one of the reasons why the Church did not officially define the doctrine until 1854. It just goes to show how the Church does its research and evaluation on topics before making them official teachings.


Origen, St. Basil, and St. Chrysostom were early Church fathers! Doesn't that prove that Mary believed to have sin?

No, it does not. Although these early Church fathers believed Mary to have sinned, there are just as many — if not more — who believed that she did not. Some examples of those who called Mary as the "New Eve" include Irenaeus, Justin, Tetullian, Cyril of Jerusalum, and Sedulius. Further examples of Mary's absolute purity include Fathers Maximum of Turin, Ambrose, Augustine, Theodorus of Jerusalem, and John Damascene. The list of names and examples continues to go on and on throughout history. snip ----  believed in Mary's complete lack of sin! Catholics are perfectly justified to say that there have been many writings about Mary's sinlessness in all periods of Church history.


You bring up some convincing evidence, but I am still not sure about the belief.

That is ok! It is not always an easy belief to grasp! However, one should remember that it was by Jesus and for Jesus that Mary was created sinless. Without His grace, it would be impossible for such a thing to happen. Finally, it is important to say that Mary is not equal to Jesus in any way simply because she is without sin! Sometimes it comes off like that to people who do not understand the Catholic view of Mary. Jesus is without sin because He is God; Mary is without sin because Jesus made her so. Therefore, when we see the Immaculate Conception, we actually see Christ's perfection, His love, and His divine greatness!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

David M. Bristow. "Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception." Catholic Educator's Resource Center (April, 2003).

This article reprinted with permission from David M. Bristow.

THE AUTHOR

David Bristow serves as the Youth Minister at St. Joseph Church in Herndon, Virginia. He is a member of the Youth Apostles Institute, an organization of priests, laymen, and consecrated men who devote themselves to strengthening our young people's Catholic faith. David converted to Catholicism in the spring of 2001, and enjoys reading theology and philosophy in his spare time.


1 posted on 12/07/2012 8:28:55 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All
This is a Catholic Caucus thread.

Please follow the Guidelines of the Religion Moderator when posting on this thread.

2 posted on 12/07/2012 8:29:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Immaculate Conception Ping!


3 posted on 12/07/2012 8:45:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

this isn’ t for argumnent, but itwasn’t brought up in the points above. I would like to know the apologetic answer to this: if mary was sinless why did she chastise Jesus for not returning home with her and Joseph from the temple, and Jesus had to remind her where else would He have been but His Father’s house? I would think sinless would imply not getting upset at Jesus for doing nothing wrong and she and Joseph were extremely worried and had no idea where He was. when thgey found Him they asked Him why they did that to them, which tells me they believed He did something wrong. And not like getting a math problem wrong, something morally wrong, ie sinning, disobeying parents.


4 posted on 12/07/2012 8:47:56 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Salvation
Why do Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception?

Isn't this realy the most ignorant question that ever existed? Faith has no "why" and I'm not even Catholic. You might as well ask why an apple tree sways with the summer breeze.

5 posted on 12/07/2012 9:09:39 PM PST by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

http://www.catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=33791


7 posted on 12/07/2012 9:34:07 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: Religion Moderator
Isn't the rule for Caucus threads that you don't disparage other faiths because they cannot defend themselves in a closed thread? This post contains these words:

The Immaculate Conception of Mary continues to be a major disagreement point by other Christian denominations towards the Catholic faith. Many people say that the Immaculate Conception somehow takes away from Christ's glory and message. Some will say that this belief in Mary is not found in the Bible, or that it blatantly contradicts the Bible's words. There are also thousands of people who mistakenly believe what the Catholic Church teaches about the Immaculate Conception, which unfortunately has lead to many misguided opinions. What evidence do Catholics have to defend their belief in Mary's Immaculate Conception?

It says that those who disagree with Roman Catholics on this dogma are "mistaken" and "misguided", yet having a closed caucus thread gives no one the chance to counter their assertions. The poster of this thread is well aware of the rules and restrictions. The subject has been debated dozens of times on the Religion Forum OPEN threads in the past. Why this time is it okay to close off debate? It appears as a way to "sneak" past the rules. As always, I submit to your judgment and authority. Thank you.

8 posted on 12/07/2012 9:52:39 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

I didn’t take it as against other Christians.....just a statement of fact.

It is a question for Catholics not for other believers.


9 posted on 12/07/2012 9:57:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: boatbums; Salvation; higgmeister; Secret Agent Man
You are correct. Speaking in behalf of non-members of a caucus makes the article ineligible for the caucus label since the non-members have an interest in speaking for themselves.

I will open the thread and restore the two removed posts.

In the future, please let me know by Freepmail if you disagree with a caucus tag.

10 posted on 12/07/2012 10:00:59 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator
There are a lot of Catholic Caucus threads here:

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA [Prayer]
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

11 posted on 12/07/2012 10:13:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
As long as the article is describing what the caucus members believe and why, it is fine for a caucus. The problem arises when the article puts words in the mouths of non-members of the caucus. In this case, the article says:

"The Immaculate Conception of Mary continues to be a major disagreement point by other Christian denominations towards the Catholic faith. Many people say that the Immaculate Conception somehow takes away from Christ's glory and message. Some will say that this belief in Mary is not found in the Bible, or that it blatantly contradicts the Bible's words."


12 posted on 12/07/2012 10:23:23 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Thank you. I will.


13 posted on 12/07/2012 10:24:09 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Religion Moderator

Those questions are answered in the Common Questions post. The Bible is not contradicted in my judgment. In fact, the Bible supports the Immaculate Conception as in the original post.


14 posted on 12/07/2012 10:27:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
I didn’t take it as against other Christians.....just a statement of fact. It is a question for Catholics not for other believers.

I didn't say it was "against" anyone in particular, just that it calls those who do not believe like Roman Catholics are "misguided" and "mistaken" which is not a statement of fact but an opinion. The Greek Orthodox do not accept the Immaculate Conception of Mary and they contend that such a dogma does NOT have Apostolic or Biblical precedent. By saying it is a question for Catholics only totally dismisses the Catholic insistence that no one can be saved outside of her. The doctrine was made "official" and therefore mandatory for all Christians before Vatican II came out and changed that saying others CAN be saved without being Roman Catholics.

I know today was a holy day of obligation for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception because I took my Mom to Mass tonight. And, frankly, you guys can believe whatever floats your boat. Where I object is telling people they are wrong if they don't believe it. Had the article stuck to just explaining the reasons why Roman Catholics believe in Mary's sinlessness and not mentioned those who don't, it probably could have stayed as a caucus thread. But you, I KNOW, know the rules. Did you not read it before you posted it?

15 posted on 12/07/2012 10:41:01 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

Since the thread is open, I’ll post this link to a discussion on what the Greek text means:

“In our case all it would mean is that Mary had received favor from God in the past and was still in His good-graces. In short, this is just a verb form, not a miracle or the representation of one.”

http://ichthys.com/mail-Mary-full-of-grace.htm


16 posted on 12/07/2012 10:49:05 PM PST by Mr Rogers (America is becoming California, and California is becoming Detroit. Detroit is already hell.)
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To: Salvation
But doesn't the Bible say in Romans 3:23 that, "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

At first glance this "all have sinned" may appear to contradict a Catholic's belief in Mary's Immaculate Conception. However, on further examination, it is not an impossible verse to overcome. For Catholics, Mary is seen as an exception to this passage, as are children under the age of reason, and mentally disabled people. With both of these examples, these groups are unable to sin because of their lack of reasoning. For example, a child who does not understand what sin is cannot sin, because the child is unaware of what is right and wrong. Now granted, a child who does not understand sin is not entirely like Mary, but it does show that there are exceptions to the "all have sinned" rule.

But even Catholics believe that ALL are under sin because of Adam - you call it "original sin" - and you even baptize babies before they have awareness of sin, right? So, it isn't that children and the mentally handicapped don't sin, they just do not have the awareness of sin and their need for a savior. Romans 3:23 does say "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and Romans 3:10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one". Because Mary was a human being, she falls under the same category we all do. When those who have not reached the "age of accountability" die, they are saved because of the grace of God - he does not hold their sin against them. That's the exception really. It's not that they don't sin, but that they do not have the capacity to understand sin.

Sin is "missing the mark" of God's perfection and we all are not as perfect as God and never could be without the righteousness of Christ imputed to us through faith.

17 posted on 12/07/2012 10:55:01 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

Are you still not getting it? The Immaculate Conception is about Jesus Christ — have an immaculate womb for him.


18 posted on 12/07/2012 10:58:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: boatbums

I did not interpret it as telling people they were wrong. To me, it expressed the opinion of Catholics.

Yes, I read the article. Some of it even got snipped.


19 posted on 12/07/2012 11:00:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: boatbums
Jesus made her without sin -- did you miss that?

You bring up some convincing evidence, but I am still not sure about the belief.

That is ok! It is not always an easy belief to grasp! However, one should remember that it was by Jesus and for Jesus that Mary was created sinless. Without His grace, it would be impossible for such a thing to happen. Finally, it is important to say that Mary is not equal to Jesus in any way simply because she is without sin! Sometimes it comes off like that to people who do not understand the Catholic view of Mary. Jesus is without sin because He is God; Mary is without sin because Jesus made her so. Therefore, when we see the Immaculate Conception, we actually see Christ's perfection, His love, and His divine greatness!


20 posted on 12/07/2012 11:04:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Catholics believe that God wanted a perfectly pure woman to carry His Son, the God of the universe, for nothing else short of perfection would do

I cringe every time I read something like this. God can and does make use of the imperfect all the time. The Immaculate Conception wasn't strictly speaking necessary, as I understand it. Rather it shows the superfluous goodness of God. It bothers me when someone suggests it HAD to be a certain way. God, being God, can accomplish his purposes by an infinite number of means. This is the one he chose :) He chose to fashion a pure creature to overshadow with his Spirit but he wasn't obliged to because "nothing else would do."

Luke 1:35 shows Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant.

Understanding Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant was the key that unlocked all Marian dogma for me. IMHO the author missed an opportunity to reference other passages in Luke 1 and 2 Sam 6 to flesh out the concept.

Happy patronal feast day to my fellow American Catholics :)

21 posted on 12/07/2012 11:07:49 PM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: Salvation

The Immaculate Conception tells us about herself in the Magnificat. What’s not to like?

Our spirits will rejoice in God our Savior.


22 posted on 12/07/2012 11:12:32 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: Salvation

The Immaculate Conception tells us about herself in the Magnificat. What’s not to like?

Our spirits will rejoice in God our Savior.


23 posted on 12/07/2012 11:12:41 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: Salvation

The Immaculate Conception tells us about herself in the Magnificat. What’s not to like?

Our spirits will rejoice in God our Savior.


24 posted on 12/07/2012 11:12:41 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: PeevedPatriot

And a blessed solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to you also!


25 posted on 12/07/2012 11:19:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Secret Agent Man
You ask an interesting question. I am no apologist but I'm willing to share my thoughts. Even when I was Protestant, I never saw Mary's question to Jesus as a chastisement. She and Joseph were entrusted with the care of the Messiah. Who wouldn't be anxious at losing what one was so generously given? I'd be out of my mind if I lost a pet for three days, let alone a child! I think Mary showed more restraint than I would have :)

Scripture tells us Mary and Joseph didn't understand Jesus' reply to their question. Being without sin isn't the same thing as being omniscient. They were obviously in the right for asking Jesus to return home with them because Scripture tells us Jesus obeyed. And we know Jesus was without sin. Would he have honored a request to do something sinful?

26 posted on 12/07/2012 11:22:54 PM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: Mr Rogers
That is a good explanation. Thanks. It brought up a good point that the angel said to Mary, "you have found favor with the Lord" and if it was found, it couldn't mean she started out with it.

One thing that causes me to question this doctrine of Mary having to be "sinless" from birth in order to carry the Lord Jesus in her womb is that it takes away from her the ability to freely choose to obey God. She is in essence, a robot with no free will to accept the great calling God made to her. It speaks to God's foreknowledge, of course, that He knew Mary would accept so He made her completely sinless at birth, but I think it skews the whole idea of free will. If she had said no, would she become a sinner retroactively?

I also wonder why there is no mention anywhere in Scripture of her specifically having this attribute. Surely, such a perfect person could not go unnoticed all those years, could she? Did her parents ever say anything to anyone about what a perfect, obedient child she was and all the neighbors were in awe of her and jealous of her parents? I'm not asking this to be disrespectful - I honor Mary and appreciate her role in bringing our savior into the world - but it just seems unlikely that she would not have been the talk of the town and somebody would have made it known an exemplary woman like her lived. Besides, we already know that the Greek word for sin is "hamartanō" which means "missing the mark" and as Romans 3:23 says, we ALL "come short of the glory of God".

27 posted on 12/07/2012 11:23:31 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: PeevedPatriot

I agree. Christ pointing out that He had to be about His Father’s business was making it clear to Joseph and Mary that while they saw themselves as His parents and had behaved accordingly, they also had to see His role, even at an early age, as far more than a child they were responsible for.


28 posted on 12/07/2012 11:31:19 PM PST by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: Salvation
Are you still not getting it? The Immaculate Conception is about Jesus Christ — have an immaculate womb for him.

I get it that that is what you are told to believe and to justify the unscriptural dogma, but it doesn't mean it is true. What is an "immaculate womb" anyway? According to Scripture, Mary was a virgin, she had never had sex with anyone, so her womb was inviolate, pure. That doesn't automatically have to mean she was a sinless human from birth. The miraculous part is that a virgin would conceive and bear a son. THAT was the prophecy. Nothing was ever said that this virgin would have to be free from all sin - such a person could not have existed because all mankind is under the sin of the first man, Adam. The miracle was Christ was God in the flesh. He was sinless because he is God, not because his mother was a normal human being. THAT is about Jesus.

29 posted on 12/07/2012 11:34:07 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
So, it isn't that children and the mentally handicapped don't sin, they just do not have the awareness of sin and their need for a savior.

The stain of original sin isn't the same thing as a conscious choice to sin. A disabled person is baptized for the same reason all other Catholics are, because of the stain of original sin and for the benefit of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity imparted to us at baptism. A disabled person may or may not have the ability to consciously choose to commit sin. That's a different issue than original sin.

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one". Because Mary was a human being, she falls under the same category we all do.

Jesus had two natures, one human and one divine. As a human being, he would also be sinful based on the verse you cited. It's not like Christ or Mary were the first sinless beings. Adam and Eve were created sinless but chose to sin. Same goes with the angels. They were created sinless but some chose to rebel against God. Our belief is that just as the first Adam and Eve were created without sin, so were the New Adam and the New Eve.

Peace be with you.

30 posted on 12/07/2012 11:43:52 PM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: Salvation
Are you still not getting it? The Immaculate Conception is about Jesus Christ — have an immaculate womb for him.

Wombs are incapable of sinning. One womb is as immaculate spiritally as another. Sin is not spread through the bloodstream like HIV or Hep C.

And I just came from a play that reminded me that God let His son be born in a filthy sheep pen, and announced the wonderful news first to a bunch of ragged, stinky, sinful shepherds who were the first to greet him, after of course His sinful step-father, who probably delivered him with his dirty hands.

Seems to me that if He wanted Jesus to be insulated against sin he would have had Mary be a incredibly rich recluse locked in a luxurious tower with him for his first 30 years.

31 posted on 12/07/2012 11:48:07 PM PST by T Minus Four
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To: boatbums

she is the second eve (who was created sinless) and mary is also the ark of the convanent, which house the word...that was pure and inviolate as well, Mary was simply the living version of that.

housing the perfect god-man in a womb stained with original sin would not do at all....as the original ark was perfect for the word....so to was the womb that housed the living word.

not difficult at all to understand....just difficult to accept for those unwilling.


32 posted on 12/07/2012 11:51:28 PM PST by raygunfan
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To: boatbums
it takes away from her the ability to freely choose to obey God. She is in essence, a robot with no free will

Being created without sin didn't seem to stop Adam and Eve from sinning. Nor did it stop the angels who rebelled. According to your line of reasoning it'd be no big deal for Jesus to resist temptation in the desert. Nor would he be able to freely choose the cross.

Peace be with you.

33 posted on 12/07/2012 11:54:07 PM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: Salvation

Is MARY SINLESS?

Even with the best intention's one cannot prove Mary is sinless from the Bible. The Word of God gives a different story than the traditions the Roman Catholic church uses to validate their dogma of the Immaculate conception. Eve was the only sinless woman who ever existed, until she sinned.But Eve was not born but created from Adam.  In Luke 1:34 when the angel Gabriel first appeared to her and announced the savior would be conceived in her womb, she responded, “ how can this be since I do not know a man.” Mary asked the angel what manner of greeting is this. If she was sinless certainly she would have known and understood the things of God, but Mary could not understand why she had been selected for this honor. In Luke 2:49-50 When Mary and Joseph after a day's journey found out that Jesus was missing from their company they went back to find Him. After two more days they found Him teaching in the temple teaching. Mary then asks Jesus why he did not leave with them, they looked high and low for him? His response is, why did you look all over for me?  Did you not know that I must be about my fathers business (work)?”

Lk.2:50: “But they (both Mary and Joseph) did not understand the words he spoke to them.” Notice in both accounts Mary does not understand the things of God. Someone who is sinless would know God’s ways and not need a explanation. It is sin that corrupts ones understanding of spiritual things. What did they not understand? That Jesus would be about His Fathers business. In this account we see Mary equal with Joseph in not understanding.

Nowhere does the Bible says Mary was sinless or the exception to sin passed on from each generation. For such a miraculous event the Bible surely would have spoken to this issue. Catholics do not find this doctrine from the context of Scripture but from making a pretext out of the Scripture from their Church tradition (which happens to be written down). But again it is not apostolic tradition. If Mary was conceived without sin then her parents would have certainly known and would have assumed she was to bare the Messiah. The Catholics say she became sinless later in life. This would mean God took someone who has the nature of sin and completely change them to be sinless like Jesus Christ--without a virgin birth. Certainly such a miracle would be mentioned in the Scripture, but it is not! The Bible has no hint of such a thing to occur and actually says the very opposite in no uncertain terms in Romans 3. Accusing all of humanity to be under sin except for one, the God/man with the virgin birth. 

There is not one Scripture given in context to show Mary is without sin. However, there is much to show the opposite. In Luke 1:46-47: After she visits Elizabeth and she is blessed she exalts the Lord saying “ My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior.' Here Mary is saying that God is her personal savior, only sinners need a savior. In vs. 48 Mary states “ Henceforth all generations will call me blessed for He (God) has done great things for me and Holy is His name and His mercy is on those who fear Him.” Notice she says, God is Holy not herself, that He will have mercy upon her. Mercy is withheld punishment, only a sinner needs the mercy of God. It wasn’t until 1850 that the Catholic church endorsed Mary's sinlessness. Luke records by the Holy Spirit that Mary said she is a sinner by her admission in needing a savior, but the Pope says she does not. So then the Bible would be wrong and  a man called the Pope is right, it can't be both.

She also states God has done great things for her, yet in Catholic theology today it is more the opposite. She has done great things for God! How clear is the Bible to speak to today’s current trends of religion.

And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” Here they extolling Jesus’ mother (as the Catholic Church does today), notice what Jesus’ reaction is v.28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28). The WORD of God was what Jesus said was more important, even than His earthly mother. 

In the Catholic translation of the Bible ( Douay Rheims) it reads in Luke 1:28 “ the angel said to her: Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee.” Unanimously in all the other translations which are from the Greek, not the Latin. They instead say, “ Rejoice, highly favored one the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.” At first we notice she is blessed among women not exalted above them. She is chosen in preference to all the women upon earth, not men. The word for grace is what is being disputed. Roman Catholics state that this grace is a special measure to Mary only, but this does not fit the Biblical record. This word in the Greek is Kechari tomene (a perfect participle in the verb form, an omega verb) it means the one who God has graced, to give undue favor; only sinful people need God's grace. She is being chosen in preference to all the women upon earth, favoured above all the daughters of the house of David to be the mother of the Messiah in the flesh. This refers to one who is a recipient of God's favor, not the source of grace. This word for grace is from the root word Charitoo in Ephesians 1:6 it is also used of the believers in that church, “graced us.” A. T. Robertson, the Greek scholar states it is a late verb charitoo (from charis, grace), in the New Testament attracted to case of antecedent charitos only here and Luke 1:28 (Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament).

This term is also used of Stephen in Acts 6:8 yet no one would claim that he too is without original sin. This is the same used for all who have been graced by God. Mary was no different in this respect. It was grace given to her to conceive without the aid of man and care for Jesus. 

(The later part of Luke 1:28 “blessed art thou among women.” according to Strong's concordance are inserted words; This word was added by the translators for better readability in the English. There is no actual word in the Greek text. The word may be displayed in italics, or in parentheses or other brackets, to indicate that it is not in the original text.)
V.30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” This grace means endued with special honor: she was honored with the blessing to birth the Messiah. Again this is the same word for grace as to believers in the New Testament. Where does it say the virgin will be without sin? It doesn’t, it does not say she is sinless but full of Grace which really is highly favored. If full of grace means without sin than what of the grace given to believers, God’s grace is promised to all the believers collectively? Mary didn’t have grace from birth but when she was going to be with child.  But the Catholic Church insists Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. (The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception Catechism of the Catholic Church, 490-492).

The Greek reads like this in Luke 1:28 of the Interlinear Transliterated Bible                              

 eípen   Chaíre                        kecharitooménee  ho   Kúrios         metá   soú 

 said,    Hail,  ( thou that art)    highly favoured,   the  Lord      (is)   with   thee:

Besides it says  “blessed are you among women!” Not among men and woman. This is significant because Catholics claim she was without sin, singled out among all mankind.  The whole theology of Mary’s sinlessness is based on this one passage that says nothing of the sort.

 How does anyone get this to mean without sin when the bible says only God is without sin is beyond belief.   John 1:14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. V.15-17 6 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”

pleérees cháritos

 full of grace

Full is the from the word it means  to “fill” (literally or figuratively [imbue, influence, supply (Interlinear Transliterated Bible )  To have grace does not mean one is sinless it means God's favor toward that person[s].  
Eph 1:6: “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” In Eph 1:6, grace has the meaning of being “made... accepted.” The believers are made accepted by the same grace that Mary enjoyed. (Go to article on the )   If the term cháritos means "sinlessness," then it would have to be applied the elect of God, to be sinless as well. In other words one cannot be inconsistent in its usage unless they can find a serious reason for it. In Lk.1:42 Elizabeth's words were “you are most blessed of all women”  Does not mean Mary was the holiest of all women, but blessed because she carried the savior.

Luke 1:30 Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor (grace) with God. Many others found the same grace from God. Gen. 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Ex. 33:12  “Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.” Ezra 9:8  “And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God.” Ps. 84:11 “The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.” 2 Cor. 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” Rom 6:15:  “we are not under law but under grace?

Furthermore there are other things that cannot be ignored. Mary brought a sacrifice of two turtledoves in accord to Jewish law in Leviticus chapter 12. One was for a burnt offering, the other was for a sin offering. This couldn’t have been for the child who was the Holy one, the sinless spotless lamb of God. This must have been for her own uncleanness. Mary's conformity to the law is an admission she was a sinner needing to be restored by cleansing, only sinners need cleansing.

Another point of contention with the Scripture-- If Mary is the woman of Revelation 12 as Roman Catholics say, it describes her with birth pains which according to the Bible is a judgment on sinners (Gen. 3:15-16).

At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary realizes the wine has run out. She makes Jesus aware of the need, He replies “woman what do I have to do with you, my hour has not yet come.” Jesus felt she was going to reveal who He was before the right time and manner. He let her know He is not subordinate to a persons request, He is not subject to another person's will, not even His own earthly mother, only His Fathers who is in heaven. She had no say in his ministry. Jesus obeyed the law to honor both His Father and his mother, but he would not allow her to choose the time of his disclosure. She receives this correction and then proceeds to tell everyone to listen to her son. Jesus obeyed the commandments of God perfectly as it states “to honor your father and Mother.” In Luke 2:51 we see Jesus was subject to His parents, not Mary alone.

The wages of sin is death, all who sin die. If Mary was sinless she could not have died. Which is what modern Mariology says in Roman Catholicism. What are the ramifications of Mary being sinless? She would be the first human being without sin since Adam. She would qualify to be our substitute just as Jesus, since only a sinless being could redeem mankind. There would have been no need for Jesus. The Bible is clear only God is holy in this way. 1 Sam.2:2 says,  “there is no one holy as the Lord,” in Rev.15:4 we see the redeemed singing the song of the lamb in heaven “You alone are Holy.” They are not singing this to Mary!  If you are without sin, you are Deity! (this of course means after Eve sinned and before the resurrection where all believers will be changed together to have a completely new nature not having sin). Jesus said of which sin do you accuse me of…He had no accusers, Mary could never say this.

The Bible teaches that whenever God necessitates an exception to a rule or standard He will always state it clearly. For example marriage is a life long bond, Jesus taught that there was one exception. The exception to this commitment which was either death or adultery (Mt.9:19) which gave the one offended a way out if they so chose. We see the rule of sin in mankind is to all people, no exceptions. “All have fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). All who have sinned and fall short or deprived of the glory of God. For one to be sinless as Mary is claimed to be means they have the glory of God. Yet God himself states “my glory I will not give another.” The only one who shares in this glory is Jesus (Jn.17:5), Mary did not have God’s glory, only Jesus did. Rom.5:12 tells us sin entered the world through one man and spread to all as death reigned. The only exception is the holy one from all eternity. It took nothing short than deity to accomplish sinlessness in the flesh via the virgin birth. The virgin birth was the vehicle but not a source for his sinlessness. Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE.” If Mary ascended to heaven like Jesus, this incredible act of someone raised in a resurrection or never dying would certainly be recorded in Scripture. Yet it is suspiciously omitted from John’s writings, the one who she was entrusted to be looked after by Jesus. John’s last book the Revelation was written 85-90 A.D. Neither John nor any historian of the early church records this. This is an unknown doctrinal event that evolved until it was ratified in 1854. Roman Catholic tradition has made speculation into doctrine with Mary being guarded from actual sin by becoming sinless. This concept was around from about the twelfth century, and was developed into a papal decree of December 8, 1854. On November 1, 1950, the bull Munificentissimus Deus declared the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. This dogma asserts  “that the Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, when the course of her life was finished, was taken up, body and soul, into the glory of heaven” (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 32 [1950], pp. 753-73). 

Where does Scripture say Mary is perfect (sinless) in her body without a resurrection? The  resurrection is the very event we need to become sinless. Mary's body rests in the ground with the rest of the saints waiting for the resurrection. There are no personal raptures until the first resurrection occurs. That will be when the whole church both the living and the dead are transformed and raised.

Mary waited in the upper room for the Holy Spirit with the rest of the apostles and disciples. Mary was not numbered among the apostles nor is she exalted in any way above their ministry as the 12 pillars of the churches foundation. She is not mentioned in heaven as the apostles are the foundation  for the new Jerusalem.  Nowhere do we find the apostles conferring with Mary in doctrine. Nor  are there any miracles attributed to her as are with the apostles.

The Catholic Church says but we have tradition that was not written in the Bible. Funny thing is that it is written down (just not in the Bible), so it is not passed on orally as claimed.

What we find in Scripture is another Mary that Jesus points to in Mt.26:6. It records Jesus being at the house of Simon the leper who happens to be Judas Iscariots father according to the parallel account in Jn.12. This woman pours oil over His head anointing him for His burial. Jesus points to this woman saying assuredly wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial.

Mark 14:8-9 "She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."

This is the woman that participated by giving all that she had for His crucifixion and is a reminder to us today that we are to die to self, and from Christ's death we are brought new life. Why do we neglect honoring this woman and her actions? While Mary, Jesus earthly mother is to admired for her servitude, she needs to be honored only as much as God honors her, not more. She is a role model for women, as well as men but not to be exalted in equality with the Son.

Col.1:18 tells us that Christ in all things is to have the PREEMINENCE.

Paul warns and gives New Testament commands 1 Timothy 2:11-13: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer (allow) not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.”  If Christ is the last Adam and the Church relates Mary to Eve she still has the inferior role to Adam.

1 Timothy 2:11-14: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer (allow) not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”  Why is it we now have Mary whose words are recorded but twice in scripture, currently speaking new revelation to their church. Paul says she is not to speak in church, no woman is to have authority over a man. to give the prominence that the Catholic Church does gives her preeminence over man, and it is breaking scripture commands.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

While their have always been a few people who held to the view of an exalted Mary, it was not the teaching of the early church, or of their theologians. Many of the church’s earliest theologians and Popes would be thrown out of their church today for their views on Mary… Starting with the pre Nicene church fathers whom Catholics love to quote.

(215 AD Tertullian) “God alone is without sin. The only man who is without sin is Christ; for Christ is also God” (The Soul 41:3).

Clement of Alexandria “ The Word Jesus Christ alone was born without sin.”

St. Irenaeus says, “”  For more oBeing obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.n the early Church and quotes on the virgin and the woman of Rev.12 see the writings  of Hippolytus, On Christ and Antichrist, 61, in ANF, V:217 .

If we go through history we find many of the popes did not believe in Mary being sinless; Augustine Bishop of Hippo “Whatever flesh of sin Jesus took, He took of the flesh of the sin of his mother. Jesus did not partake of sin, but took of his mother, which came under the judgment of sin.”

Augustine “ He, Christ alone, being made man but remaining God never had any sin, nor did he take of the flesh of sin. Though He took flesh of the sin of his mother.” Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas (rewrote the Christian religion as a platonic one while Thomas Aquinas rewrote it as a Aristotelian one.) The two greatest theologians of the church Both canonized as saints denied the immaculate conception that Mary was conceived without sin.

It is said of John the Baptist, "And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." And his father Zacharias is found to have been filled with the Holy Ghost, so as to say such things of him. And Mary, too, was filled with the Holy Ghost, so as to foretell such things of the Lord, whom she was bearing in her womb. And Simeon and Anna were filled with the Holy Spirit, so as to acknowledge the greatness of the little child Christ.” (St. Augustine of Hippo On the Trinity Book IV). Here Augustine gives others equality with Mary on being filled with the Holy Spirit.

as the Son of God is that man who was made of a virgin? but only to the ministry of bringing about such intimations as God judged needful; or whether anything else is to be understood: is difficult to discover, and not expedient rashly to affirm.

For neither do we know the countenance of the Virgin Mary; from whom, untouched by a husband, nor tainted in the birth itself, He was wonderfully born...”

For we believe our Lord Jesus Christ to be born of a virgin who was called Mary. But what a virgin is, or what it is to be born, and what is a proper name, we do not believe, but certainly know. And whether that was the countenance of Mary which occurred to the mind in speaking of those things or recollecting them, we neither know at all, nor believe. It is allowable, then, in this case to say without violation of the faith, perhaps she had such or such a countenance, perhaps she had not: but no one could say without violation of the Christian faith, that perhaps Christ was born of a virgin” (Augustine of Hippo On the Trinity Book VIII)

If the Scriptures be duly considered, and the saying of the doctors ancient and modern, who have been most devoted to the glorious Virgin, it is plain from their words that she was conceived in sin,” (Cardinal Cajetan, De Loc TheoI. parts c. 2.) “For he (Christ) alone was truly born holy” (Gregory the Great Bened. Edit. page 598.(quoted from the Secrets of Romanism)

The POPES

Philip Schaff lists seven Roman bishops who rejected her sinlessness (The Creeds of Christendom [Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998], Vol. I, p. 123).  

Pope Leo 1 (440 a.d.) “The Lord Jesus Christ alone among the sons of men was born immaculate”(sermon 24 in Nativ. Dom.). “And therefore in the general ruin of the entire human race there was but one remedy in the secret of the Divine plan which could succour the fallen, and that was that one of the sons of Adam should be born free and innocent of original transgression, to prevail for the rest both by His example and His merits. Still further, because this was not permitted by natural generation, and because there could be no offspring from our faulty stock without seed, of which the Scripture saith, '’Who can make a clean thing conceived of an unclean seed? is it not Thou who art alone?’” (Sermon 28:3) The unclean seed includes Mary. The one being from Adam who is sinless is Jesus - Pope Gelasius (492 a.d.) 

It belongs alone to the immaculate lamb to have no sin at all.” (Gellasii papae dicta, vol. 4, col 1241, Paris, 1671)

Pope innocent the third (1216 a.d.) “She (Eve) was produced without sin, but she brought forth in sin, she (Mary) was produced in sin, but she brought forth without sin.” ( De festo Assump., sermon 2) When the immaculate conception was first presented in the year 1140 it was opposed by Bernard of Clairvaux also Thomas Aquinas adamantly taught Mary was a sinner. This is something the Catholics need to deal with.In fact this whole doctrine is fairly new not an apostolic tradition. It was in 1547, at the council of Trent that the Catholic Church announced the sinlessness of Mary enabling her to avoid venial sins. In 1620 Pope Paul the 5th forbade anything contrary to the teaching of Mary's immaculate conception to be said publicly under threat of excommunication. In 1622 Pope Gregory the 15th forbade any contradictory statements of her immaculate conception to be made in private. And so began the official elevation of this servant woman the mother of the humanity of the Lord. Until  Pope Pius IX in 1854 “Let all the children of the Catholic Church ... Proceed to worship, invoke, and pray to the most blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, conceived without original sin"), but that the reason she never sinned at any time during her life was because she was unable to sin.” Then in 1950 Pius the 12th said, “Mary the immaculate perpetual virgin mother of God after the completion of her earthly life was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.

One can only wonder what great revelation awaits this church after the year 2,000 and beyond. I don’t think we will have much to guess at!

From: letusreason.org

34 posted on 12/08/2012 12:02:46 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: boatbums

And, if you follow this logic, it would be necessary for Mary’s mother (and father, for that matter) to also be “free from all sin” in order to avoid contaminating Mary. In other words, where was the immaculate womb for Mary? Wouldn’t this be at least as necessary as a “sinless womb” for the Sinless One if you are to be consistent?

Thus, you set up a perpetual problem, for Mary’s parents’ progenitors would have had to be sinless as well, in order not to carry forward the stain.


35 posted on 12/08/2012 12:12:44 AM PST by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: PeevedPatriot
The stain of original sin isn't the same thing as a conscious choice to sin. A disabled person is baptized for the same reason all other Catholics are, because of the stain of original sin and for the benefit of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity imparted to us at baptism. A disabled person may or may not have the ability to consciously choose to commit sin. That's a different issue than original sin.

Sin is "missing the mark" of God's perfection. Anyone who has raised kids knows that they fall short of God's perfection almost as soon as they learn the word, "NO"! So, we all sin because it is our nature to rebel against God. We have no choice, in reality, it is what we are - at enmity with God. Whether you call this propensity "original sin" or just our natural tendency, we sin because we are sinners, not we are sinners because we sin.

Jesus had two natures, one human and one divine. As a human being, he would also be sinful based on the verse you cited. It's not like Christ or Mary were the first sinless beings. Adam and Eve were created sinless but chose to sin. Same goes with the angels. They were created sinless but some chose to rebel against God. Our belief is that just as the first Adam and Eve were created without sin, so were the New Adam and the New Eve.

It was the humanity of Jesus - without a sin nature because he was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit - as well as his Deity that he was NOT a sinner. The verses that state all mankind is under the curse of sin, doesn't apply to the God/Man. The only way Jesus could be our redeemer, is if he was without sin - NEVER having sinned, even once. His baptism by John was as a demonstration of the start of his ministry and the exhibition of the Holy Spirit and the Father recognizing Him before all the people there. It was a PUBLIC event. He did not need to be baptized in order to take away "original sin" nor to "get" the Holy Spirit. He WAS already God in the flesh.

There is a difference between a "sinless" person who has the free will to choose to sin such as Adam and Eve and those who came after them after the fall. The fall, the sin of Adam and Eve started the ball rolling and thereafter ALL mankind was under sin, born with the nature to sin. No one has to tempt us, we sin because we are sinners. By saying Christ and Mary are the "new" Adam and Eve, puts them both at the same level but Jesus is GOD, Mary will NEVER be God. Adam and Eve were equals. Jesus and Mary are not, she is the human, He is God.

There is no genuine need for Mary to be sinless. It did not affect the incarnation at all. The prophecy was the Messiah would be born of a virgin. He was. That Mary was of the House of David, passing the birthright to Jesus as well as his "Jewishness", that she be a virgin, are all the conditions placed upon the woman that would bear the Messiah. Nothing in the Old Testament makes any kind of prophecy that the mother of the savior had to be "sinless".

Have a good weekend!

36 posted on 12/08/2012 12:15:35 AM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
justify the unscriptural dogma

Unscriptural in your opinion. You need to include that caveat.

If there were no defect in the Ark that contained the written word explain why you believe that there would have to be a defect in the Ark that carried the Word made flesh?

"Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:20-21

"And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction" 2 Peter 3:15-16

"It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin." Martin Luther Sermon "On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God" December 1527 AD.

37 posted on 12/08/2012 12:17:29 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: fwdude
it would be necessary

Correction: it would be necessary for the obtuse to conclude.

You apparently accept that, just as Scripture teaches, the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived a child in her womb without knowing man by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet you can't accept that the same Holy Spirit could also immaculately conceive the same Blessed Virgin Mary.

38 posted on 12/08/2012 12:27:32 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: higgmeister
Isn't this realy the most ignorant question that ever existed?

Only to the obtuse.

39 posted on 12/08/2012 12:31:15 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: AnalogReigns
If she was sinless certainly she would have known and understood the things of God, but Mary could not understand why she had been selected for this honor

Sinlessness is not omniscience. A finite human being cannot possibly reason as the infinite God does. Being sinless would also mean possession of great humility. A sincerely humble individual wouldn't presume to understand or reason as God does. Nor would she presume to know all about the Trinity prior to its revelation.

Mary's conformity to the law is an admission she was a sinner needing to be restored by cleansing, only sinners need cleansing

If she hadn't undergone the purification rite or offered the required sacrifices the author probably would have called her disobedient and claimed a sinless one would have obeyed. Darned if she did and darned if she didn't! Jesus chose to submit to John's baptism. Using the author's line of reasoning Jesus must have been a sinner too.

Proceed to worship,...

Yeah, I wondered how long it'd be til someone used the w-word. Of course Catholics honor Mary. But we don't worship her in the sense that word is used today. Nor did the Pope say that we should. The word also means to reverence, honor, and respect. Are Brits worshipping officials they refer to as "your worship?" Of course not.

40 posted on 12/08/2012 12:32:08 AM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: Salvation

Origen is a weird case. He defends the immaculate conception very precisely:
.
“The Blessed Virgin ...worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, most complete sanctity, perfect justice, neither deceived by the persuasion of the serpent, nor infected with his poisonous breathings.”

Yet, despite his belief that she was immaculately conceived, Origen has the notion that when she died, her faith flickered, that this doubt was the sword that was prophesied would pierce her spirit.

Apparently, this is what your source considers Origen’s belief that she sinned; it’s interesting that this supposed sin does not involve any action, but an instant of spiritual desolation.


41 posted on 12/08/2012 1:17:43 AM PST by dangus
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To: A.A. Cunningham

‘You apparently accept that, just as Scripture teaches, the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived a child in her womb without knowing man by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet you can’t accept that the same Holy Spirit could also immaculately conceive the same Blessed Virgin Mary.’

1.scripture teaches that jesus was born of a virgin

2. it’s not that i ‘can’t’ accept an immaculately conceived mary, it’s that i don’t- because scripture doesn’t teach it

3. Luke 11:27-28 NIV)

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

according to scripture, mary is blessed among women, but followers of jesus are more blessed

i’m thinking, as a follower of jesus, that i should be venerated and adored by catholics

will


42 posted on 12/08/2012 1:34:56 AM PST by will of the people
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To: boatbums
Whether you call this propensity "original sin" or just our natural tendency ...

We call our tendency to sin concupiscence. I'm sure you remember from your Catholic days that it's not the same thing as original sin.

we sin because we are sinners, not we are sinners because we sin.

I'm not so sure about that. Scripture is pretty clear that baptism removes sin. Acts 2:38 and 22:16 is what immediately comes to mind. If my sins were removed when I was born again in baptism, then did I not after that become a sinner because I sin?

It was the humanity of Jesus - without a sin nature because he was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit - as well as his Deity that he was NOT a sinner. The verses that state all mankind is under the curse of sin, doesn't apply to the God/Man.

Sorry, but I don't see your logic. If Jesus was human then he had a possibility to sin if He chose to. Indeed scripture tells us he was tempted but didn't sin (Hb 4:15). And James (1:13) tells us God cannot be tempted, therefore we know it was the human nature not the deity of Christ that was tempted.

He did not need to be baptized in order to take away "original sin" nor to "get" the Holy Spirit. He WAS already God in the flesh.

Indeed.

By saying Christ and Mary are the "new" Adam and Eve, puts them both at the same level

How'd you work that out? Adam was created first, just as Jesus was before Mary. Eve was taken from Adam, just as Mary was created by God.

but Jesus is GOD, Mary will NEVER be God.

Indeed!

Adam and Eve were equals.

Scripture says Eve was created to be Adam's helper. 1 Cor 11:9 says she was created for his sake. And this was precisely the role Mary assumed. She bore and raised our Messiah. And loved him through his brutal crucifixion, which I see as her greatest act. I wouldn't have been able to be anywhere near!

There is no genuine need for Mary to be sinless.

Which is what I said in my first post on this thread. There are many things that aren't necessary that our Father in his goodness gives us. It's not necessary that we have color vision, but God gives us beauty instead of a black and white world. It's not necessary that we have tasty food and beverages. God could have given us only ingredients for a pasty mix for each meal. And nothing but water to drink. But God's gifts are more than we can ask or hope for. And such is his gift of the Immaculate Conception. Not necessary. Just more evidence of the overwhelming mercy and goodness of our God.

A blessed weekend to you too!

43 posted on 12/08/2012 1:45:02 AM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: will of the people
according to scripture, mary is blessed among women, but followers of jesus are more blessed

Yes, scripture does teach that membership in his spiritual family is more blessed. Mary was blessed to be member of both spiritual and biological family.

i’m thinking, as a follower of jesus, that i should be venerated and adored by catholics

There's actually some truth in what you say if you substitute "venerated and adored" with a different word such as reverence. I'm reminded of a quote attributed to St Gregory Nazianzen: "Each of us can say to the tempter, 'Unlike you, I have not yet become an outcast from heaven through my pride. By my baptism I have become one with him. It is you that should fall prostrate before me.' "

As Catholics we believe in the divine indwelling of the Holy Trinity that comes to us in baptism. We are indeed temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). We are to reverence (show honor and respect) each other as part of the corporate mystical body of Christ. As Catholics we see our fellow Christians this way, whether they are with us on earth or have preceded us into heaven.

Peace be with you.

44 posted on 12/08/2012 2:14:19 AM PST by PeevedPatriot
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To: Salvation

O MARY CONCEIVED WIYHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSED TO THEE.


45 posted on 12/08/2012 6:26:41 AM PST by Coleus
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To: Salvation
Jesus made her without sin -- did you miss that?

There's nothing to miss because it's not true...And Jesus is the only one who ever lived that was not tempted enough to sin...A cursory examination of the scriptures will show anyone that truth...

Just another fable put out by your religion to deceive people who are searching for Jesus...

But doesn't the Bible say in Romans 3:23 that, "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

At first glance this "all have sinned" may appear to contradict a Catholic's belief in Mary's Immaculate Conception. However, on further examination, it is not an impossible verse to overcome.

Of course it appears to contradict Catholic belief because it DOES contradict Catholic belief...

For Catholics, Mary is seen as an exception to this passage, as are children under the age of reason, and mentally disabled people. With both of these examples, these groups are unable to sin because of their lack of reasoning. For example, a child who does not understand what sin is cannot sin, because the child is unaware of what is right and wrong. Now granted, a child who does not understand sin is not entirely like Mary, but it does show that there are exceptions to the "all have sinned" rule.

How low will you guys go??? This is not even a Catholic belief...This is a Protestant belief...Catholics teach that you must be baptized at birth...Without baptism at birth, you go to hell if you die...It has been that way for centuries...So now you are stealing Protestant theology to justify a sinless Mary...WoW...

What the Catholic wants to show is that there are exceptions to the rule. We understand that "all have sinned," but believe that Mary — and Jesus — are not included in this verse. The "all" in Romans 3:23 was translated from the Greek word pas. Like the usage of the word "all" today, it does not necessarily mean each and every person with no exceptions. For instance, in the same letter to the Romans (11:26), St. Paul says that "all Israel will be saved," and in Matthew 2:3 it says "all of Jerusalem" were troubled. Yet, were all of Israel going to be saved, or was each and every person in Jerusalem troubled? There are plenty of other examples like these found all throughout the Bible. The main point is that the word "all" had many different meanings in the Greek language, and that it does not rule out the possibility of exceptions in Romans 3:23.

Your religion's understanding is flawed, whether by deception or ignorance...

πᾶς
pas
pas
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole: - all (manner of, means) alway (-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), X throughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

And this one's got to take the cake...

The fact remains that the words "Mary was without sin" are not found in the Bible. Why do Catholics continue to believe in it?

True, the words "Mary was without sin" cannot be found in the Bible. However, one will not find the direct wording of "Mary was with sin" either.

And the Bible does not say that Mary had the appearance of a Banana Split , or a Klingon...But could she have??? NO...Because God said we are made in the likeness of God, just as Jesus said ALL have sinned...

Quit perverting the Bible...

46 posted on 12/08/2012 7:02:53 AM PST by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: boatbums; Mr Rogers

“Surely, such a perfect person could not go unnoticed all those years, could she? Did her parents ever say anything to anyone about what a perfect, obedient child she was and all the neighbors were in awe of her and jealous of her parents?”

“...somebody would have made it known an exemplary woman like her lived.”

Jesus Himself chose to experience the same kind of “anonymity”.

“Isn’t he the son of the carpenter?”

Wanting to be noticed, acknowledged, looked up to, held in high esteem, set in a place of honor, being set apart as special...these are all marks of pride.

For 33 years, Jesus willed to live among his people known only as the “son of the carpenter.”

What He chose for himself, he shared with his mother.

So it was at Bethlehem, where she went unnoticed and without special care and attention and He was born in the silence of a stall.

And as He “humbled Himself to death on a Cross”, so she stood there for three hours at the foot of the Cross, that Cross which was an ignominious death.

And then...in his 7 last words from the Cross, Jesus gave his mother place.

“Son, behold your mother. Mother, behold your son.”

In all of the Four Senses of Scripture, at that moment , in his last will and testament to us, He offered his mother her maternal role to all believers.


47 posted on 12/08/2012 7:33:47 AM PST by Running On Empty (The three sorriest words: "It's too late")
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To: Running On Empty; boatbums

Jesus never even called Mary his mother. He called her “Woman”. Why? How would your mom have felt if you only called her “woman”?

Here are the verses I could find on Jesus, as an adult, speaking to or referencing Mary...

The first 3 are different accounts of the same event.

“46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” 48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” - Matt 12

21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”...31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” 33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” - Mark 3

19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” 21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” - Luke 8

While I assume Jesus did eventually speak to his mother and brothers, he certainly didn’t jump up and say, “The Theotokos, she who is higher than the Cherubim, is here? Show her in, with reverence!”

One woman sought to give honor to Mary:

“While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” — Luke 11

Rather than saying, “Indeed, Blessed is She, the Theotokos, the unshakable hope, ever vigilant in intercession and protection, Mother of life!”, Jesus replies, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” The NAB footnotes say, “Rather, it emphasizes (like Luke 2:35) that attentiveness to God’s word is more important than biological relationship to Jesus.”

There is the Wedding at Cana:

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.

3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.”...You have kept the good wine until now!”...12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days. — John 2

The Catholic footnote in the NAB: “4 [4] This verse may seek to show that Jesus did not work miracles to help his family and friends, as in the apocryphal gospels. Woman: a normal, polite form of address, but unattested in reference to one’s mother. Cf also John 19:26. How does your concern affect me?: literally, “What is this to me and to you?”—a Hebrew expression of either hostility (Judges 11:12; 2 Chron 35:21; 1 Kings 17:18) or denial of common interest (Hosea 14:9; 2 Kings 3:13). Cf Mark 1:24; 5:7 used by demons to Jesus. My hour has not yet come: the translation as a question (”Has not my hour now come?”), while preferable grammatically and supported by Greek Fathers, seems unlikely from a comparison with John 7:6, 30. The “hour” is that of Jesus’ passion, death, resurrection, and ascension (John 13:1).”

And finally, we have the scene at the cross:

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. — John 19

He cares for her, even in his agony - but he doesn’t exactly exalt her, does he?

“14All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” - Acts 1


48 posted on 12/08/2012 8:29:21 AM PST by Mr Rogers (America is becoming California, and California is becoming Detroit. Detroit is already hell.)
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To: PeevedPatriot
"Proceed to worship,..." is a quote from a Pope from the 1850s. Our vocabulary has not changed THAT radically in 150 years.

As to so called "veneration" of Mary not being worship, there is the "Duck principle", an application of William of Ockham's "razor" :

If it LOOKS like a duck,

WALKS like a duck,

QUACKS like a duck,

and SMELLS like a duck,

IT'S A DUCK!!!

49 posted on 12/08/2012 9:49:32 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: boatbums
All good points. But if you look carefully at the passages in Luke's Gospel related to the Visitation of Mary by the archangel Gabriel, you'll find a few remarkable things there.

First of all, it is clear from those passages that Mary did not fully comprehend what Gabriel was saying (she was "troubled" by the conversation). Secondly, Gabriel makes a reference to two things: grace and the Third Person of the Holy Trinity (the "Holy Ghost" or the "Holy Spirit," in Luke 1:35) which are surely the earliest chronological references to these things in Scripture. In other words, God had clearly seen fit to work through the Holy Spirit to bestow a degree of sanctification upon Mary that at the time hadn't even been given to the most devout historical figures of Israel.

50 posted on 12/08/2012 9:59:49 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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