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Zwingli’s’ Mariology: On Mary “Full of Grace”
Beggars All: Reformation and Apologetics ^ | Thursday, January 18, 2007 | James Swan

Posted on 02/01/2007 9:29:47 AM PST by Ottofire

Because he stands in the shadows of Luther and Calvin, Zwingli (1484-1531) gets overlooked often. His writings can be difficult to track down. One can go to the local bookstore and get a Calvin or Luther bio or anthology, but you’ll do a lot searching to actually get a Zwingli book. When you do read Zwingli, it becomes apparent that he was not on par with either Luther or Calvin.

I’ve always wanted to read Zwingli discussing his Mariology. For the most part, the only people who seem to “care” about Zwingli’s Mariology are Roman Catholics. And really, they probably aren’t interested in actually reading and researching Zwingli. Rather, his writings are used for polemical purposes- to show that an early Reformer had particular beliefs about the Virgin Mary. It does appear that Zwingli did have some similar beliefs about Mary to those found in Roman Catholicism. This is a subject that I plan on exploring. I'd like to see for myself how Zwingli understood the role of Mary. I refuse to be spoon fed Zwingli quotes from Catholic apologetics- for I doubt most of the pop Catholic apologetic writers have actually read Zwingli on this subject.

Well, here's a present from me to the Catholic apologetics community. I did finally track down a piece from Zwingli on Mary. It is a section from the “Sermon on Mary, The Pure Mother of God”. Zwingli preached the sermon in Zurich in the autumn of 1522. In it, you will find Zwingli saying all sorts of things about Mary. He calls her "pure" and "holy", a "spotless virgin" etc. Note though, Zwingli’s explanation of the Greek word "kecharitomene". Zwingli understands the word to mean “favorable”.

“When the angel came in unto Mary, he greeted her with these words: " Hail, thou art full of grace! The Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women." Here it is to be noticed that this word "full of grace" is, translated from the Greek word "kecharitomene," which means beloved, or filled with grace, highly favored, whereby we understand that the word “full of grace " should not be taken to mean that she was from herself full of grace, but that all the grace with which she was so rich and full was from God. For to be full of grace is nothing else than to be highly favored of God and to be chosen before all other women. For grace is only the favor of God. So if I should say that God has given much grace to men, I should say nothing else than God has been very favorable to men and done loving things for them. Therefore is the pure Mary full of grace from God, as she herself sings: "He hath done to me great things." She says not: "I am great from mine own grace," but " the Almighty hath done to me great things." For immediately afterward she adds: "He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden, for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." [Source: Guy Carelton Lee (ed.), The World’s Orators (New York: GP Putnum’s Sons, 1900, 95-96).

posted by James Swan at 6:33 AM


TOPICS: Apologetics; Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: protestant; snakes
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Just a little Zwingli in the morning...
1 posted on 02/01/2007 9:29:48 AM PST by Ottofire
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To: drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; jboot; AZhardliner; ...

GRPL ping!


2 posted on 02/01/2007 9:33:14 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire
Of course the meaning and implications of the word kecharitomine will be key to this discussion. My understanding is that the word is uniquely applied to Mary the Mother of God (another thread) and implies not only a fullness of grace but a perfection of grace. Since Mary was the daughter of the Father and mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit - a truly singular situation - it is not surprising that God is also working through Mary in an extraordinary way.
3 posted on 02/01/2007 9:47:38 AM PST by Klondike
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Ottofire

Huldreich Zwingli

He turns, in September 1522, to a lyrical defense of the perpetual virginity of the mother of Christ . . . To deny that Mary remained 'inviolata' before, during and after the birth of her Son, was to doubt the omnipotence of God . . . and it was right and profitable to repeat the angelic greeting - not prayer - 'Hail Mary' . . . God esteemed Mary above all creatures, including the saints and angels - it was her purity, innocence and invincible faith that mankind must follow. Prayer, however, must be . . . to God alone . . .
'Fidei expositio,' the last pamphlet from his pen . . . There is a special insistence upon the perpetual virginity of Mary.

{G. R. Potter, Zwingli, London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976, pp.88-9,395 / The Perpetual Virginity of Mary . . ., Sep. 17, 1522}
Zwingli had printed in 1524 a sermon on 'Mary, ever virgin, mother of God.'
{Thurian, ibid., p.76}
I have never thought, still less taught, or declared publicly, anything concerning the subject of the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our salvation, which could be considered dishonourable, impious, unworthy or evil . . . I believe with all my heart according to the word of holy gospel that this pure virgin bore for us the Son of God and that she remained, in the birth and after it, a pure and unsullied virgin, for eternity.
{Thurian, ibid., p.76 / same sermon}


5 posted on 02/01/2007 10:18:30 AM PST by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
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To: rrc

But the descendants of Mary are also sinners, going all the way back to Adam. She is not sprung from dust, she is human, thus carries the sin of Adam carried by all descendants of Adam except the one Perfect Savior.

Using your semi-gnostic argument Mary would have to be wholly created for this purpose without any human parents to be sinless, which Luke, did not document, nor did he document the perfect birth of Mary, though he most likely did talk to the Blessed Mother in person, himself.

(I use the term semi-gnostic as the RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong, much like the anti-materialist gnostics. Sex between married people is indeed a blessing and carries no sin, given to us from God Himself. Thus the sex that produced Mary gave her no sin, just her nature as a human did.)


6 posted on 02/01/2007 10:25:04 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire

is sex between a husband and his second wife a blessing?


7 posted on 02/01/2007 10:32:25 AM PST by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
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To: Ottofire
I use the term semi-gnostic as the RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong

You would be well advised to better acquaint yourself with our theology of Marriage. Your statement, quoted above, 'seems' delusional and disconnected from reality.

8 posted on 02/01/2007 10:37:35 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: kawaii

--is sex between a husband and his second wife a blessing?

Of course it is. But marriage is only for this world. And all the pleasures of marriage serves the purposes of God to ensure the generations. If you are asking about a second marriage after unwarranted divorce, the divorce is a sin that must be repented of. You must consult the scriptures and get counseling to see if sex after the second marriage is a sin. I am not studied in this area.

Something of the Scriptures that I just read and came to mind:
Matthew 22:23-33 (NASB)

23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him,
24asking, "Teacher, Moses said, 'IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.'

25"Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother;
26so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.
27"Last of all, the woman died.
28"In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her."
29But Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.
30"For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

So if according to the RCC, Mary is the wife of the Spirit, is she still that after her death?


9 posted on 02/01/2007 10:52:15 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire

Mat 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?


Mat 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.


10 posted on 02/01/2007 10:54:30 AM PST by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
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To: kawaii

Please clarify. By "second wife" do you refer to "remarriage" after "divorce", or to marriage of a widow(er)?


11 posted on 02/01/2007 10:57:02 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Ottofire
O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me

Do you actually think God can glorify His Name through you and not His Mother in the supernatural things that He did for her? It doesn't matter whether you or I believe it or if Zwingli and Calvin and whoever believed it, truth is truth; regardless.

12 posted on 02/01/2007 10:58:37 AM PST by tiki
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To: ArrogantBustard

reffering to protestant divorce really (IE not a situation where the marriage was nonexistent due to porneia)


13 posted on 02/01/2007 10:59:48 AM PST by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

--I use the term semi-gnostic as the RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong

-You would be well advised to better acquaint yourself with our theology of Marriage. Your statement, quoted above, 'seems' delusional and disconnected from reality.

("delusional and disconnected"? Heh!)

Then please explain why, if Mary's parents were married, she must be immaculately conceived herself. Her conception was pure if done the natural way.

Does the RCC suggest that Mary was conceived of the Holy Spirit similarly to Jesus?


14 posted on 02/01/2007 10:59:49 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire

>>I use the term semi-gnostic as the RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong, much like the anti-materialist gnostics.<<

What the hell are you talking about? Read this and then get back to us:

http://www.theologyofthebody.net/


15 posted on 02/01/2007 11:00:23 AM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Ottofire
she must be immaculately conceived herself.

What do you think "immaculately conceived" means?

16 posted on 02/01/2007 11:01:34 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: kawaii

Thanks ... I ask because my first thought involved widow(er)s ...


17 posted on 02/01/2007 11:02:22 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: tiki

--Do you actually think God can glorify His Name through you and not His Mother in the supernatural things that He did for her? It doesn't matter whether you or I believe it or if Zwingli and Calvin and whoever believed it, truth is truth; regardless.

Did I say that God was not glorified in the virgin birth? I give all glory to God for that is where it belongs.

The reformed give no glory to His servants, who are but mirrors that reflect His Grace, and neither deserve or require worship, latria, dulia or otherwise. Sola Dei Gloria not glory to Mary, and certainly no glory TO me. I pray that THROUGH me, may God be glorified.

It does not require the immaculate conception of Mary for her to give birth to the Savior. That happened with Mary having a natural one. And all glory for Christs birth is His alone.


18 posted on 02/01/2007 11:14:30 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire
the RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong

May I direct you to Pope Benedict's recent encyclical, Deus Carita Est?

But the descendants of Mary are also sinners, going all the way back to Adam. She is not sprung from dust, she is human, thus carries the sin of Adam carried by all descendants of Adam except the one Perfect Savior.

The RCC does not deny that Mary required a savior. But theologically speaking, however, for her to have held the presence of God in her womb (a virtual human "ark of the covenant"), she could not be stained with original sin. The RCC believes that Mary was PRESERVED from this sin by the living Word at her (immaculate) conception. So, yes, Jesus saved His own mother at her conception.

Luke's account of the Visitation to Elizabeth gives strong evidence that, even in the earliest days of Christianity, Mary was honored and praised as a new "ark of the covenant". It was not too long after that early believers honored her as being without sin.

19 posted on 02/01/2007 11:24:50 AM PST by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna)
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To: ArrogantBustard

my point is more that if Joeseph were to have relations with Mary after God set her apart it would be at best no more blessed than are remarriages after divorce.

Also though even Paul mentions remarriage for widowers is more of a lesser of two evils...


20 posted on 02/01/2007 11:27:05 AM PST by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
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To: Ottofire
It does not require the immaculate conception of Mary for her to give birth to the Savior.

There was nothing requiring Jesus to be born of a woman at all. God fashioned Adam out of dust. He could have done the same with His Son. Because something isn't "required", doesn't mean that God didn't will it so anyway. Heck, if you want to really get down to brass tacks, God could have simply willed to redeem the world absent of the cross, but that wasn't His plan, and we're not qualified to question why he chose that path.

21 posted on 02/01/2007 11:29:32 AM PST by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Ottofire
RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong,

Then you seriously misunderstand the Church's position.

23 posted on 02/01/2007 12:01:46 PM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: Ottofire
Using your semi-gnostic argument Mary would have to be wholly created for this purpose without any human parents to be sinless

God isn't bound by your rules.

I use the term semi-gnostic as the RCC seems to think that something as blessed as sex is wrong

Study up on the "theology of the body"; for example, in the writings of Christopher West (based on a series of catecheses given by John Paul II). In all sincerity and charity, you really don't know what you're talking about.

24 posted on 02/01/2007 12:12:57 PM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Ottofire
Did I say that God was not glorified in the virgin birth

No, but from other things you say you don't believe that God was glorified in every breath that Mary drew. She was his creation and one so pure that she bore God's Son, nurtured Him to adulthood, and followed Him in his ministry and after His death and resurrection.

I pray that THROUGH me, may God be glorified.

And I SEE that THROUGH Mary, God was glorified. Mary is not to be worshipped even as I would never worship you, no matter how good of a Christian you might be; but as an example of pure love and obediance to God, Mary certainly deserves my respect.

25 posted on 02/01/2007 1:42:38 PM PST by tiki
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To: Ottofire
But the descendants of Mary are also sinners, going all the way back to Adam.

I assume you mean the ancestors of the Blessed Virgin Mary? She only had one Child and He was not a sinner!

26 posted on 02/01/2007 1:47:35 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: ArrogantBustard; Ottofire
What do you think "immaculately conceived" means?

If you don't know you're gonna be shocked.

27 posted on 02/01/2007 1:52:07 PM PST by DungeonMaster (Acts 17:11 also known as sola scriptura.)
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To: Ottofire

"But the descendants of Mary are also sinners, going all the way back to Adam. She is not sprung from dust, she is human, thus carries the sin of Adam carried by all descendants of Adam except the one Perfect Savior.
Then please explain why, if Mary's parents were married, she must be immaculately conceived herself. Her conception was pure if done the natural way."

I will answer.
First, Mary had no descendants other than Jesus.
She was ever virgin, gave birth as a virgin, and remained a virgin until her assumption into Heaven. Nobody in the world is a descendant of Mary.

She WOULD carry the sin of Adam, but for the Immaculate Conception. If you wish to read the ancient texts that speak of the immaculate conception, of Mary's marriage to Joseph, and which give details about the Virgin Birth, the protoevangelium of James is available online. This is an orthodox work in the Catholic and Orthodox tradition, and was considered part of the canon of Scripture by many in the early days, though it did not end up in the final canon of the Bible.

Through God's intervention, Mary's conception in the womb of her mother was "immaculate", meaning that she was NOT infected by the Original Sin. God's power prevented the curse of Adam from passing to her. She was the first sinless person since Adam and Eve, and the first sinless person ever BORN (Adam and Eve were MADE). Jesus was the second.

Why was it so crucial for Mary to be without any sin, including (especially) Original Sin? The short answer is because wanted it so.
The longer answer would be that God abhors sin. For Mary to be tainted with original sin would mean that God would have to unite himself to sin, in her, and grow within sin, and be in full contact with sin during those long years. It would mean that God would take sin for his bride and consort and mother. And so He protected Mary from sin so that he could grow in her womb without being surrounded by sin, in contact with sin, DEPENDENT on sin for his very existence during the crucial period of being formed into a man by way of flesh instead of spirit, for JESUS was the only BEGOTTEN Son of God, God's first BORN son. God's first SON, first human son, was Adam (and that didn't work out so well...), but Adam was MADE. When God made Adam, he did not come into contact with sin, for the world was good and Adam and Eve both were made without sin. But by the time of Jesus, the world was marred by sin, and all humans carried the sin of Adam in them. God prepared a womb for himself to grow in by cleansing it of all sin, including original sin. God prepared for himself a bride, whose body He would overshadow by His power, by keeping her free from sin - indeed, the Protoevangelium tells us she was a Nazirite of the Temple! Obviously bearing a son by God is a very strong reason for Mary's perpetual virginity to be assumed, even required. Shall the Mother of God Jesus cuckold God the Father? Shall she, having been impregnated by the Holy Spirit, been the consort of God, abase herself to lust and adultery against God by joining with another man?
No.
And she didn't.

Mary was immaculately conceived because God did not want to grow in a womb contaminated with sin.


28 posted on 02/01/2007 3:11:03 PM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Rutles4Ever

"Heck, if you want to really get down to brass tacks, God could have simply willed to redeem the world absent of the cross, but that wasn't His plan,"

Absolutely correct!

God is God.
He could have just forgiven Adam and Eve, erased the stain of sin from them, and let everything go on.
He didn't need to set up sacrifices or require atonement.
He didn't need to require that sin be repaid by sacrifice, and original sin be repaid by the horrible bloody sacrifice of his Only Begotten Son.
God is God. He can go whatever He wants.
He wanted to do it the way He did it.
So he did.
Maybe you or I or McGee think we'd have done it differently, if we were God.
But we're not, and He is,
and that's that.


29 posted on 02/01/2007 3:15:10 PM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Ottofire

Otto, am I correct in assuming that Reformed protestants accept the Augustianisn construction of Original Sin as opposed to the Orthodox one of Ancestral Sin or the Sin of Adam? If indeed they do, isn't the Latin doctrine of the Immaculate Conception a theological necessity?


30 posted on 02/01/2007 4:53:49 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: DungeonMaster; Ottofire

I know what it means.

I want to know what "ottofire" thinks it means.

Now I'm somewhat curious to know what you think it means, DM.


31 posted on 02/01/2007 6:31:06 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Kolokotronis
Otto, am I correct in assuming that Reformed protestants accept the Augustianisn construction of Original Sin as opposed to the Orthodox one of Ancestral Sin or the Sin of Adam? If indeed they do, isn't the Latin doctrine of the Immaculate Conception a theological necessity?

Though I'm not Otto, I shall (perhaps unfortunately) thrust my opinion in here.

As one other(presumably)Catholic contributor to this post said "God is not bound by your rules." And God would not be bound by some construct of ours such as "Original Sin." Anymore than God is bound by the construct of conception being between a man and a woman.

Why must we make two miracles of one? And by that I mean, why must we construct an Immaculate conception of Mary in order to attempt to explain the Incarnation? And even then coming up horribly lame in that attempt, whether with an Immaculate conception as part of it or without it.

I find the idea of God becoming flesh to be inconceivable (quite literally). I arrogantly suggest that anyone who does not, does not really believe in the Incarnation. I do not need to know the "how" of the Incarnation nor do I need to try to explain the "how." It is all gloriously beyond me and as such, any attempt to explain "how" Jesus was carried by a human seems to me to be a construct to fit our theological boxes rather than any sort of important idea about salvation or who God is.

As such, the idea of the Immaculate Conception seems to introduce more problems than it solves. And by adding another "layer" of miracles to the miracle of the Incarnation, it only serves to move the theological and, if you will, "logistical" problems of an Incarnation to the preceding generation. It does little to do away with those problems.

Of course, I could be completely and utterly wrong and welcome any thoughts to the contrary.

32 posted on 02/01/2007 10:14:11 PM PST by the808bass
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To: ArrogantBustard; Ottofire
I guess the way I posted made it seem like I was suggesting that you didn't know. It was my intention to be saying that to Ottofire and include you in since you originally posted about his not knowing what it means. I distinctly remember nearly 20 years ago when someone explained it to me. I had thought it meant to be conceived without sex as in Jesus and the virgin birth. I was shocked to find that it means that Mary was conceived without original sin.
33 posted on 02/02/2007 5:01:50 AM PST by DungeonMaster (Acts 17:11 also known as sola scriptura.)
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To: All

I apologize to all in this forum for my ignorance. I was misinformed from my youth, or perhaps did not understand what I was told in my youth about what the RCC teaches about the IC.

My ignorant belief was that the RCC taught that Mary was conceived from her mother alone, without the sexual congress of her father. I now know that according to Pope Pius IX Mary was conceived the normal way, and she was somehow preserved from having a sinful nature. If you look to my arguments they probably make sense now, from my mistaken standpoint. :o)

I stand corrected, thanks to all that stood their ground and gave an apologia to their faith.

This does NOT invalidate the actual post in any regard, just my previous mistaken arguments.


Again, as in previous posts from Marian Doctrine discussions, I must ask, if this is the tradition, why would Luke not mention anything in his exhaustively accurate texts, either his Gospel or the Acts, if this is and if this was important? He did extensive interviews with the witnesses, and probably Mary herself; Luke 2:51 "...His mother kept all these things in her heart."

John, the adopted son, who wrote his Gospel and his letters, who lived with this supposedly sinless woman; why did he not mention it even once? "Hey, Mary was doing my laundry one day, oh, and did I ever mention she was rendered completely sinless by God???" Nope, not mentioned, thus either not important or not true. And no one would dare to think such a thing was not important.

Why would Paul not put it in his works, which are there to spell out the hows and whys, the nuts and bolts of salvation and such? Mary is not required, and the Apostles give their mute testimony to that fact by never mentioning it.

Yes, she is blessed, but sinless? No. Not in the Scriptures. Again tradition raises its man-centered head and turns the Gospel into falseness.

(Again, I give thanks to those corrected me.)


34 posted on 02/02/2007 8:28:59 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire
Luther, Calvin, and Other Early Protestants on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

The Protestant Reformers on the Virgin Mary

Luther, Calvin, and Other Early Protestants on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

35 posted on 02/02/2007 8:32:18 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Vicomte13

Are you saying that Mary was perfect? Sinless?


36 posted on 02/02/2007 8:41:38 AM PST by irishtenor (Save the whales. Collect the whole set.)
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To: Ottofire; klossg
For your information:

Christopher West's Theology of the Body Webiste

Books, tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.

From book by the same name by Pope John Paul II.

You would be much enlightened by reading or listening to the Catholic viewpoint on the subject of chastity. Yes, there was a fall of man, but we can work to right that wrong.

The CD is very inexpensive -- less that $5.00 last time I checked.

37 posted on 02/02/2007 8:46:00 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Indeed Luther believed in the tradition of the Perpetual Virginity. He did start out as a Roman Catholic, if you remember. But-


"Now just take a look at the perverse lauders of the mother of God. If you ask them why they hold so strongly to the virginity of Mary, they truly could not say. These stupid idolators do nothing more than to glorify only the mother of God; they extol her for her virginity and practically make a false deity of her. But Scripture does not praise this virginity at all for the sake of the mother; neither was she saved on account of her virginity. Indeed, cursed be this and every other virginity if it exists for its own sake, and accomplishes nothing better than its own profit and praise."

"The Spirit extols this virginity, however, because it was needful for the conceiving and bearing of this blessed fruit. Because of the corruption of our flesh, such blessed fruit could not come, except through a virgin. Thus this tender virginity existed in the service of others to the glory of God, not to its own glory." Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 45:204. As quoted by "Luther's Theology of Mary." James Swan. http://www.ntrmin.org/Luthers%20Theology%20of%20Mary.htm .


"Take note of this: no one should put his trust or confidence in the Mother of God or in her merits, for such trust is worthy of God alone and is the lofty service due only to him. Rather praise and thank God through Mary and the grace given her. Laud and love her simply as the one who, without merit, obtained such blessings from God, sheerly out of his mercy, as she herself testifies in the Magnificat." Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 43:38. As quoted by "Luther's Theology of Mary." James Swan, http://www.ntrmin.org/Luthers%20Theology%20of%20Mary.htm .


And again, the Catholics do not understand that the Reformed do not put our faith in Luther, Calvin, nor Mary and the saints, as they do in their early church fathers and the Pope for doctrine.

They may be references, and give some good counsel, but they are not Scripture. If they contrast with those Scriptures such as Luke, who claimed to give the firm truth, then they are wrong, false, and Satan inspired. We cannot do better than measure traditions against the Scripture, and discard that which does not agree.


38 posted on 02/02/2007 9:09:22 AM PST by Ottofire (O great God of highest heaven, Glorify Your Name through me)
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To: Ottofire

On the Last Day of Jedgment we will all know where Luther, Calvin, Zwingli are, won't we?

Did they deny Chrisit, when they denied Christ's mother?

"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (from the Acts of the Apostles.)

Is this question from God to St. Paul meant for all of us as well?


39 posted on 02/02/2007 9:13:04 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: the808bass

I'm not going to tell you that you're utterly wrong.

Rather, I'm going to tell you a little bit of history.

I don't believe that the Catholic Church started really keying up the "Immaculate Conception" issue for many years after the time of Christ. But that doesn't mean that the doctrine was made up out of wholecloth to fill a hole in Catholic theology.

Rather, there existed (and exists) a very ancient, proto-canonical text, one used by the early church and which was included in some early lists of the canon (not in others). It didn't make the canon; neither did the Didache of the Apostles, but both are orthodox documents. Both are acceptable to read and consider in the Church.

This very ancient text is the Proto-Gospel of James. It purports to be written by James, brother of Jesus, and recounts quite intricate details of the inner workings of the Holy Family. It contains the account of the virgin birth, the flight into Egypt, Mary's life, Joseph's age, the reason Joseph took Mary as his wife, the reason why one would not expect that marriage to be consummated, and - most importantly for these purposes - the story of how Joachim, father of Mary, and Anna, Mother of Mary, came to conceive Mary, the angelic visitations and circumstances surrounding this.

I want to emphasize that this was a very ancient document, not something devised by the Church once the theology of the Church became more sophisticated and the conundrum of Original Sin and Mary arose. Catholics didn't make up the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception out of wholecloth. Rather, they got the idea from a very ancient First or Second Century text, which might have even come from James, writing from WITHIN the Holy Family about things that he knew from his particular vantage point.

Now, it is true that the proto-evangile is not in the Bible, but that is not important from a Catholic or Orthodox perspective, because the Catholic/Orthodox Church never did view the Bible the way Protestants do, so the fact that a Tradition is in or out of the Bible doesn't vitiate (or strengthen) it's authority in Catholic/Orthodox eyes.

The Orthodox, apparently, do not read the Proto-Gospel in a way to see the remarkable conception of Mary as being an answer to the problem of Original Sin, the way Catholics do, but they certainly read the document and observe that Mary was, from conception, a special girl with a special destiny, ordained from the beginning.

So, this is the thing about your post that I think is mistake. You think the Catholic Church "made two miracles" to explain one. You presumably think that the Immaculate Conception was conceived in the heads of men. But actually, someone alleging to be James, from within the Holy Family, wrote down the story of Mary and Joseph, and the very remarkable circumstances surrounding Mary's conception, long before any medieval churchmen started puzzling through the issues of immaculate conception and original sin. There was always this persuasive and orthodox document out there, from the very earliest time, describing the angelic involvement in Mary's conception. Immaculate Conception, avoidance of Original Sin, specically chosen from before birth to be Theotokis - all of this fits in with that text. It gives a rational explanation as to why God did that, not the other way around.

It is not true that the Church just made up the concept of immaculate conception out of wholecloth in order to solve a medieval theological riddle. There was always this text about Mary's supernatural conception. That text inspired an answer to the problem of Original Sin, and the supernatural events described in the proto-Gospel may have been given the name "Immaculate Conception", thus giving them a rational basis, a reason for being. But the Church didn't make it all up. At worst, the church formulated a doctrine to explain why God went out of his way to cause Mary's parents to have such supernatural occurrences at the time of HER conception. She was foredestined, by God, to carry Jesus, from the moment of her conception.

To suggest then that this conception was Immaculate is not much of a stretch. It gives it meaning and makes sense. Whether the conception was really immaculate or not, there was a miracle, documented from the First or early Second Century on, about a miracle that occured at the time of her conception. The Church didn't fabricate a miracle. There WAS a miracle in the ancient texts. At worst, the Church ascribed an explanation to the miracle which gave it a function in solving a theological problem.

As I noted above, the theological problem of the Immaculate Conception gives Mary a womb untainted by Original Sin, but creates a new problem: if Mary didn't have original sin, she shouldn't bear the curse of Adam, and should therefore have been immortal. From this comes the great question as to whether Mary DIED or merely fell asleep and was carried bodily into heaven. There are bones and bodies and artifacts of a great many saints. We probably have Jesus' burial cloth, at Turin. But there are no relics of Jesus: he ascended into Heaven. And there are no relics of Mary either, which is interesting. The doctrine of Mary's assumption into heaven and the real lack of a body leave open the question asto whether Mary bore the price of original sin at all. Maybe she didn't die, because she was immaculately conceieved. Maybe she fell asleep and was taken into heaven.
We don't have any accounts of an AGED Mary, and this is important too. Assuming Mary was 15 at the time of Jesus' birth, she was almost 50 when she stood at the foot of the cross. St. Luke gives such detailed treatment of the life of the Holy Family, such personal details, that it is always assumed that he had direct contact with Mary, spoke with her, etc. But that would have been at least 15-20 years after the Crucifixion, so by that point Mary would have been in her 70s. If Luke's Gospel was written AFTER the destruction of Jerusalem, Mary would have been 84 years old, at least, when she talked to Luke. Was she OLD?
We don't know.


40 posted on 02/02/2007 9:29:26 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Salvation

A question for you, then. Do you deny Christ when you deify Mary?


41 posted on 02/02/2007 9:31:16 AM PST by irishtenor (Save the whales. Collect the whole set.)
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To: Salvation

I don't think Luther ever denied anything about Mary.
If I recall, he held to the Immaculate Conception (I believe he called it "a sweet piety"), and to the virgin birth.

The problems Protestantism had with Mary didn't start in the Reformation, but mostly in the 19th Century, when Mary began to appear at places like Lourdes, and then into the 20th with the apparition at Fatima.

It was the Marian apparitions, really, that caused the sudden, acute focus on Mary, and forced a theological decision on everybody's part. For it's part, the Catholic Church's first clear and unambiguous use of Papal Infallibility as explicitly pronounced by Vatican I concerned Mary. For their part, the Protestants, especially American Protestants, began to become very, very hostile to Catholic Marian devotion at the same time, and for the same reason.

Mary either was either really injected into human history in the Mid-19th Century by real apparitions, or was conjured up by imaginations, but either way, she was front-and-center on stage in the Catholic world from the 1830s through World War 1 because of these revelatory apparitions which, in the first mass media age, swept the world up in speculation. That provoked a harsh reaction on the part of some Protestants, who came down very hard on Mary and the Marian Apparitions because they aren't biblical (obviously, considering the last penstroke of the Bible was probably sometime late in the First Century).

Luther and Calvin both would have probably attacked anybody who attacked Mary the way she has been attacked since the Lourdes Apparition.

In truth, Luther's position on Mary was very close to the Catholic position.

And, just to be clear, the Catholic position is that Mary is NOT co-redemptrix.


42 posted on 02/02/2007 9:38:22 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: irishtenor

"Are you saying that Mary was perfect? Sinless?"

The teaching of the Catholic Church is that Mary was conceived without Original Sin, and did not bear the sin ancestral to man since Adam and Eve.

The further teaching is that Mary remained perpetually a Virgin, before and after the conception and birth of Christ.

The further teaching is that when Mary left the Earth, either by falling asleep or by dying, she was assumed bodily into heaven.


43 posted on 02/02/2007 9:41:23 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

You haven't answered the question. A person could be a virgin all their life and still be a sinner. If you break one law once, you are a sinner, doomed to death.


44 posted on 02/02/2007 10:12:14 AM PST by irishtenor (Save the whales. Collect the whole set.)
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To: irishtenor

"If you break one law once, you are a sinner, doomed to death."

Jesus never said that.


45 posted on 02/02/2007 10:18:35 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

Sigh...

The wages of sin is death. Not some sins, but any and all sin.
If you break one jot or tittle of the law, you have broken the whole law.

I could go on, but you haven't even answered my question.


46 posted on 02/02/2007 10:22:57 AM PST by irishtenor (Save the whales. Collect the whole set.)
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To: irishtenor

I thought I answered your question?

Catholic teaching is that Mary remained sinless her whole life.


47 posted on 02/02/2007 10:24:33 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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To: Vicomte13

Right. Give 'em heck. Ignore the leaven of the Pharisees.


48 posted on 02/02/2007 10:25:13 AM PST by RightWhale (300 miles north of Big Wild Life)
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To: Vicomte13

Then she didn't need a savior. She was the only PERFECT human. She also contradicts scripture.


49 posted on 02/02/2007 10:28:35 AM PST by irishtenor (Save the whales. Collect the whole set.)
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To: irishtenor

So does Jesus.
So does Job - blameless as he was.
So do Enoch and Elijah.

Anyway, there are many Catholics on FreeRepublic who can answer you. My time here is through.

Farewell and Godspeed.


50 posted on 02/02/2007 10:52:55 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
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