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Our readers asked:

Where in the Bible does it say that Mary, mother of Jesus, is sinless? And if it is not in the Bible, why does the Catholic Church act like she is?

Fr. Joe Answers:

Catholics differ from some Christian Churches which accept the Scripture as the only source of God’s revelation. Catholics have a strong belief in the truth of Scripture, but we also believe in tradition as a way in which God continues to reveal truth to us. Tradition can include beliefs, customs, prayers, and worship, the teaching of popes, bishops, theologians and Church councils. It’s our process of continually reflecting on the way in which the Word of God encounters our own experience as a community of faith.

Catholic understanding is that tradition includes the Scripture, and began before the gospels and letters were written. We do believe that Scripture is a unique revelation from God and that the truths of tradition must always be tested and evaluated against the truths revealed in Scripture. They should not contradict Scripture. They should find their roots in Scripture.

The belief that Mary lived without sin from the moment of her conception springs from Church tradition. It evolved over a period of time, and was not formally defined as a teaching of the Church until 1854. It is not found explicitly in Scripture, but seems for Catholics to flow naturally from the testimony of Scripture that Mary was “full of grace” (Luke 1:28) and “blessed” (Luke 1:42).

In Catholic understanding the belief in Mary’s “immaculate conception” does not say so much about Mary as it is about Christ’s saving power. We believe that God created the human person to be in God’s own image. Grace is more original than sin. Our natural state was to be “full of grace.” Sin is our universal experience but it’s not what God intended for us in the past nor wants for us in the future. We are saved from sin through Christ. Mary’s being conceived without sin takes place in the context of the entire saving act of Christ. In being “full of grace” she is a model of what we human beings were intended to be and who we are redeemed to be through God’s saving power. She is the first sign of God’s victory over sin in Christ.

You also ask: “Why are Catholics who are baptized when they were infants, choose to lead unholy, even atheistic lives, die and then the priest at the funeral says they are going to heaven because they were baptized?”

The bishop of Rome, as head of the Catholic Church, sometimes declares certain people to be “saints” because they lived such exemplary and holy lives that we can believe with confidence that they are “with God in heaven.” Such a declaration only comes after a long investigation into the facts of that person’s life. The Catholic Church has never declared any deceased person to be “in hell.” Aside from this we don’t know and can’t presume the eternal state of any person who has died, although we believe that God desires all people to be with him in death as well as in life. Baptism does not automatically ensure that a person will go to heaven when he or she dies. We must try to live out our Baptism with lives of faith, hope and love.

The Catholic Church asks its members to pray for those who have died BECAUSE we know that we are all sinners, and even when we have tried to live a good life we can die short of the purity of heart that makes eternal life “with God” a reality. Yet we believe that God’s mercy is not thwarted by death and that God has the power to purify and transform the soul even after death so that it is fully open to participating in eternal life. Purgatory is not a place of “sentences”, like a prison, because it exists in eternity which is timeless.

We should certainly pray for the living as well, that they may accept God’s grace into their lives.

 
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The Author : Fr. Joe
Fr. Joe Scott, CSP, has been a campus minister, pastor and editor as a Paulist priest.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Michael R.

    Still waiting for an answer to this from an informed Catholic, from a Biblical standpoint, not one with their heads buried in the sand that just goes by previous false teachings as proof to back up their ideologies. I challenge anyone to give me a Biblically sound explanation please. I believe it can’t be done. I’m starting to think that the only people who are scripturally informed enough, or care enough to respond to peoples questions and concerns are the people who are not Catholic.

    • YaraGreyjoy

      I know it’s been a year but here goes (again) – look, I get it, I respect it, you are a Protestant and believer in sola scripture aka the bible alone however Roman Catholics are not of that tradition. Like the article says – we not only follow Scripture but also something we call “tradition” which is a basically a whole lot of things, mostly they are the products of intense theological debate, analysis, etc. We believe – for reasons that are obvious – in different ideas both subtle (mostly) and others grand – like this bee in certain Protestant’s bonnets have about our veneration of Mary and what we believe she is.

      This of us as having a process or religious tradition, rather, more like the Jews. They not only have the Torah (what we call the Old Testament) but commentary on and interpretation of the Torah known as the Talmud. They also have traditions that fall under the heading of customs & the rest of the laundry list that makes up our Catholic tradition – obviously NOT the teachings of Popes :) but they do follow the teachings of Rabbis commenting on the Torah. So mentally just throw us (and while you’re at it, throw in the Copts, the Eastern Churches & all the various Christian Orthodox churches too) in the mental bin as having more in common methodologically with the Jews & the other mentioned ancient churches than we have with Protestantism which was born, if you will, after the Modern Age (post Middle Ages sense of the term circa 1500-1800) had begun. Just think on that kind of gap in time and the changes & influences and maybe the apparent strangeness of our church to you (ours being “born” some time in the early second century) might not seem so odd or seemingly offensive.

      I just have to reply b/c it seems like of all the things us Catholics

      • PWB

        Thank you for alluding to the Talmud in Judaism. The religion of Christ (Judaism) was/is a religion that has always been based both on scripture and on tradition. Roman Catholicism continues that theological principle. The idea of “Bible alone” is a relatively new phenomenon. The fact becomes lost that the Bible came from the Church, and the New Testament wasn’t canonized until the 4th century. The conundrum arises for Protestants.. Who gave those people in the 4th century the authority to decide what books were in and not in the Bible? (Also, who gave the Protestants the authority to scrap 7 books from the Old Testament, but that’s another debate haha)

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Indeed! But the “problem” the Protestants who descend on threads like this to screech & wail about doctrinal issues that are settles & done usually 100′s of years ago if not 1000′s – they have nothing to say to my facts or your facts b/c they undermine their arguments entirely.

        They usually come back with what the Protestants of the Reformation said was their intent which is to return to doing things the way they were done in the “original” church which especially in the 15-1600′s would be known largely by conjecture & implication from what remaining texts there are. Needless to say, since you said it so well, us devil Catholics kept those books for centuries pretty good for the Protestants to then use & interpret their own way.

        Now I’ve never met a Catholic who would make the claim that their church was always in the right – especially when we were a powerful political force in the world – but I’m stunned by the number (and loud volume) of Protestants claiming their church is “pure” their church is “the one” etc. Not a very nuanced view of the world, not a nice way to deal with others in my opinion but it seems the character of the hostile sects as demonstrated by so many angry Protestants that made this thread enormous, btw, is they are characterized by a whole lot of self-righteousness & not a lot of reflection.

        What else would you call people who come to a website about another faith & just be flat out nasty? Fact is, as proven by the silence of their response to my post & yours is they just don’t like either us or our faith & feel they have the right to come to “our” place & bash us for it. I’ll never understand people like that who actively seek out others engaging in activities different from their’s but not injurious to anyone else in anyway & take such umbrage at their sheer existence. Come down to it, it’s a hatred of anyone who “isn’t me.”

        And what is the deal with their hatred of all things Mary? That is odd, and telling if you ask me. For all it’s faults, I’m glad I was born a Catholic woman.

  • Michael R

    JD, Thank you for your response. I agree with you about Mary’s humanity being a crucial factor in her decision to say yes, as our own spiritual battle with sin will testify to the importance of our decision to say yes to Jesus. As far as the Catholic position of Mary being the new Eve, I am not sure I can agree with that either because of the simple fact that if Jesus is the new Adam, who has conquered sin, then wouldnt that make His bride (the church) the new Eve? Giving birth to the spiritual man/woman that we are to become through Christ, hence being born again in water and spirit. Since we are all responsible for our “yes” decision in conquering sin in our own lives and encouraged as believers to have an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus. I do believe however, Mary was an excellent example of nurturing this relationship and the decision on God’s behalf to have Jesus be born of a virgin birth is to be a display of the spiritual purity and chastity of Our Lord and not necesarily that of His mother. As it is written in scripture that she was to remain a virgin “until” the birth of Jesus. Also I cant help but question what merit spiritual purity would hold if it wasnt achieved through the refinement of the spirit through ones humanity. The way silver is refined of its impurities through the fire. (Holy Spirit) Thanks again Jd and I am also still looking forward to scripturaly sound clarification from a Catholic point of view. May God bless you in the truth of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name. Amen

  • JD

    Michael R, I appreciate the message you have shared, and I agree with your current perspective. The question of who Mary is and why has been lingering with me for a few months. I was raised Protestant, but have come to appreciate many of the teachings and rituals of the Catholic church. However, I find the Catholic view of Mary confusing and spiritually and biblically unsound. Catholics refer to Mary as the new Eve, one who could undo what Eve had done by an active choice to obey God. I agree that by birthing the Christ child, she did, indeed, accomplish this. This I believe to be an act of God’s grace, and not due to Mary being an extraordinary person. I also believe that we are all called to say “yes” to God in our own lives. But, as you noted, declaring Mary to be without sin removes her from the honorable position as an example for the rest of us. If she isn’t like us, she is above us, and if she is above us, then Eve is below us, and then the whole scripture makes absolutely no sense. As Catholic’s note, it is her “yes” to God’s will that was important. But denying her a normal humanity removes all significance from her “yes.” Eve’s “no” and Mary’s “yes” mean nothing to us, unless each of these had a God given freedom to choose something else, just as our “yes” to Jesus means nothing without the freedom to deny him. At least as far as I can discern by the spirit of God which I believe is in me. Anyway, I would also greatly appreciate clarification from a Catholic. Thanks!!!

    • boohoo..hehe

      the new Eve..? thats the first Ive heard of that..last I knew Catholics referred to Mary as Mother Mary ;) or Mother of Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. all I know is this…She (Mother Mary) will always be welcomed in my home. like Elizabeth, It would be an honor. god bless.

      • mike

        It is common for the term “the new Eve”–the mother of us all–to be used for Mary. Just for the record, the Pope himself has said it on many occasions.

  • Michael R.

    As I am still eagerly awaiting someone to help me understand this circular logic in regards to the “Imaculate Conception”of our Savior’s mother, another question occured to me in light of Julia’s mention of God our Father’s incarnation to dwell among sinner’s in the fleshly body of the Son Jesus. The main theme of Jesus’ role as Christ being the Almighty humbly lowering himself to be a lowly servant and assuming the role as a “friend of sinners”,not only to be an example to us, but also a display of God’s mercy and will to reconcile us with Him. That being said, am I to assume that Our Lord, though being willing to live a comletely human life, (and a sub-par one so to speak as far as poverty and human struggle is concerned), was all of a sudden to proud to be born of a normal human birth? or to be contained in a vessel that may not have been completely perfect and sinless? Doesnt that reinforce the idea that the sinner is not worthy of God’s grace? Am I to believe that Our Heavenly Father would be that trivial in what seems to be an arbitrary judgement in matters of superficiality? “For God has consigned ALL to disobedience, so He may have mercy on ALL.” Am I to believe that Mary was beyond God’s mercy? I am sorry but it is just not biblical. I am not trying to bash the mother of our Lord, or disrepect her in anyway. I have a deep admiration and respect for in her holiness and her strength as a woman beyond all women, and I used to even pray to her. But in reading God’s word I realized my error and repented. It was not easy to break these old habits and I am still seeking clarity on these issues of Catholic dogma, from a catholic’s point of view. please explain…thanks

  • Michael

    Michael R. here again…this comment is in reply to “the other Michael” on this thread. You asked if an infant sins, or a mentally challenged person… and justified them as examples of there being an “exception” to the scripture.I feel that these are bad examples as they lack the mental capacity to recognise good from evil. Its the knowlege of good and evil and the choice between the 2,that makes us guilty of sin. That is why Adam and Eve hid from the Lord because they were ashamed of the sin that THEY KNEW THEY HAD COMMITED. Anyway I dont believe that mentally challenged people do not necesarily sin. Sin is anything that is counter to G-d’s law. NO ONE was able to fulfill G-D’s perfect law completely, hence the need for GRACE via our Savior, Jesus Christ who was the only one. If Mary was without sin then that would mean that she was able to fulfill G-d’s law, which goes against the very basis of our faith. The need for a Messiah.

  • Michael

    footnote to my previous comment….i am not the same Michael as in the comments posted earlier in the thread.lol man there sure are a lot of mikes in the world. just wanted to clear that up so there is no confusion. Call me Mike R. I suppose. Thanks G-d bless!

  • Michael

    I have a question. If Mary was born without sin then why didn’t the angel ask her to die on the cross for our sins, since only a perfect sacrifice of sinless blood was needed to atone for our sins? Also if she was a human being without sin wouldnt that make her without need of G-ds grace and Christs sacrifice making her in a sense equal to G-d in her divinity and disqualify the Holy trinity? While at the same time discrediting the arch angel Michael when he said “Who is like the Lord? and the many writers of scripture: ex “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.” “You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in HIM there is no sin.” “What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous? “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.” “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” “For as by the one man’s disobedience the Many were made sinners, so by the ONE man’s obediencece the Many will be made righteous.” “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”But the Scripture imprisoned EVERYTHING under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” “For there is ONE God, and there is ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” etc. I dont mean any disrespect to my Catholic brothers and sisters but I was raised Catholic and when I read the Bible and weigh out the facts, it seems that one thing is clear…either all these writers are in some way lying or teaching false doctrine or the oppressive Roman Empire has led many astray with its man made traditions and doctrines for the sake of its power. Which one seems more likely? Please Catholics, read and study your Bibles and pray to the Holy Spirit for understanding. Follow Jesus (G-d’s Word) not popes. I pray for all of you , as well as myself, to be led in the Spirit of Truth concerning these difficult issues in Jesus’ name.

    • Aerauxel

      The Article didn’t say that she is the savior nor she didn’t need to be saved. One this is for sure, Mary has the most privileged more than anyone else ^^

  • Linda Lally

    Why would Mary be the one leading us to our Saviour? His death for all my sins, his stripes at the scourging post – for my healing draws me. I appreciate her willingness to go through all her pain in order we have Jesus for our Saviour, but where in the Bible does it state that she was without sin. I thought Jesus was the only person ever…. without sin. I am very earnest to understand. Please help. Thank you!

    • Aerauxel

      If you understand the bible, especially in the Roman, it isn’t ALL means everybody. Exception is still applied.
      Have St. Paul and Mary meet? I know even St. Paul will give the full respect to the Mother of God.

  • Michael

    Kevin – does an infant sin? Does a severely retarded person sin? Did Jesus sin? Clearly there are exceptions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1539788445 Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden

      Yes some severely retarded people can sin, even if they’re ignorant of their offense! Jesus was SINLESS this is elucidated in the entire book of Hebrews! As to the question of babies, if you took the Bible literally, scripture says that those who believe ON JESUS will have everlasting life (John 3:16). If a baby cannot comprehend belief on Jesus then the converse would imply that they would not receive eternal life.

      However, the God with whom I am familiar is merciful! And Jesus said to his disciples that the children ought to be able to come to him and to get into Heaven one must be ‘like a child’. Therefore we can be assured that Jesus’ words supercede the converse reading of John 3:16. Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16 all verify this assertion.

      Lastly here is Mark 10:15

      15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

  • Kathy

    Proverbslady: Mary leads us to her son ….just like someone can lead another to a closer relationship with Jesus through praying for them or teaching them.

  • Ann

    And our Blessed Mother leads us to Him!

  • Kevin

    Romans 3:23 clearly states that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Scripture does not leave room for any exceptions. Jesus is the way. Thank you Proverbslady!

    • Aerauxel

      Oh really :) Don’t cherry pick

  • Proverbslady

    Whatever men are trying to prove theres only one statement that i believe and is 100% sure in the bible. Jesus said”No one comes to the father except through me”. Thanks.

  • Alcides Rios

    it says nothing against his divinity but on the contrary shows that when one allows his/herself to be lead by the Spirit and allow CHrist to live and reign in his/her body and soul, that person can live that holy saintly life. Mary is who we can become if we allow ourselves to be the humble handmaid of the Lord. And for with Christ nothing is impossible.

    • Pastor Dwayne

      We don’t become as Mary, We are to become the very image of Jesus Christ!!!

  • Julia

    One friend of mine pointed out that “Eve was full of grace too” – which makes some sense of Mary’s decision and how she could have responded differently.

    I’ve been drawn toward the Catholic Church and don’t see Mary as a make-or-break issue, but I do have one niggling immaculate conception question: what does it say about the divinity of Jesus if he is not the only person to have lived a sinless life?

    Actually, one more question. I’ve seen a beautiful icon of Jesus’ baptism that shows him submerged in dark water, surrounded by demon-like fish, symbolizing his incarnation as a descent among human sinfulness. It made me wonder, if he could descend so completely into the depths of our sin and hell, could he not have suffered to be born of an ordinary sin-prone person?

    I want to emphasize that these questions are not meant to be antagonistic, but they continue to haunt my mind amid my Catholic sympathies.

    • YaraGreyjoy

      As a Catholic I surely hope you can retain your sympathy for me and other Catholics even if you don’t agree with our beliefs :)
      As for the whys and the wherefores of this rather esoteric theological question regarding the state of Mary’s soul, the best I can say is if you really want to know why this belief if one way or the other, the Catholic church keeps great records & writes extensively on the reasons for theology handed down from tradition. It’s all there – probably lengthy and most readers will find it abstruse if not very rough going if you want to delve into say the actual unabridged theological discussion (if it’s readily available – I recommend any reputable source on Catholicism of which there are many & if there are deeper answers you seek, they are there to be found with very little looking as it seems this article and the comments from various Catholics trying to explain in greater detail have left the majority of Protestant commenters unsatisfied – we are only laity after all, not Doctors of Theology :) ) that went on before the church proclaimed Mary Immaculately Conceived (which as I was taught only meant that she was conceived w/o sin not that her Immaculate Conception granted her a sinless life thereafter. If she was sinless that was a result of her own choices, or so I was told.
      Oh and no – you do not sound or seem antagonistic at all! Ask away!

  • Jim

    When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel‚Äôs greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.

    The traditional translation, “full of grace,” is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of “highly favored daughter.” Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for “daughter”). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel‚Äôs visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.

    • Aerauxel

      And if we talk about Grace, it is the equipment we need to go to heaven.
      If we received Jesus them we are Justified and Sanctified. But if we commit sin, we will not be given sanctifying grace unless we submit to the actual grace and repent.
      If Grace is that important to go to heaven in Union with God them, Mary was abundant of that(Grace) which make her sinless.

  • mike

    Christy, thanks for the great question. We always have the ability as humans, Mary included to go against God’s wish for us. Even though Mary was not caught up in sin by birth, that doesn’t eliminate her from committing sin, first of all, but also doesn’t mean that she can’t make a decision counter to God’s wishes.
    That’s why her decision, made freely, is as you say, “so darn important.”

  • Christy

    So, my question is this: If Mary was conceived without sin on her soul, then wasn’t she predestined to carry the Christ child? So doesn’t that mean that it wasn’t really her choice? And therefore, if it wasn’t really her choice to carry Jesus in her womb, what makes her “decision” to say yes to God (via the angel Gabriel I believe) so darn special?

    I just find this doctrine very confusing & seems counter to our view of God giving us all free will. I would love for someone to shed some light on this.

    • Pastor Dwayne

      Mary had the sinful nature as all people from the time of Adam’s sin, God chose her as he chose the nation of Israel to bring forth his Son. Mary also had other sons and daughters.

      • Aerauxel

        No, Mary don’t have another sons and daughters.
        You just interpret the bible literally without considering the culture and language on their time….

      • Pastor Dwayne

        I’m confused, what was the culture of that time???

      • Aerauxel

        Yes Sir,

        The language on that time was aramaic, and those language don’t have the word ‘COUNSIN’ because of their culture calling cousins as brothers. Literally, we can’t automatically think that when a person in the bible call someone a brother/sister, they automatically related. Remember an Angel called someone a Brother which we are sure they are not related.

        In the other part of the bible, those ‘brother/sister’ of Christ was mentioned that they are someone’s sons and daughters. I know you’ve read that Sir.

        Thanks

      • Pastor Dwayne

        Wow, So the Aramaic doesn’t have the word for cousin. Therefor they use the Aramaic word for brother.
        I have a question then, What Aramaic word do they use for an actual brother???

      • Aerauxel

        I can’t actually verify that.
        Why didn’t you asked Sir?
        I was asked them same question Sir, but as of the Culture and the Language, you can research on your own and ask people their as well which are much knowledgeable.

        If Jesus has brother/sister, why did he choose John to take care of His mother Mary?
        Also, lots of Mary in the bible like Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, not Mary the Mother of Jesus.

      • Pastor Dwayne

        So in fact you can’t say with certainty that the Aramaic word for brother means cousin either! I can verify the word , in the Aramaic , it is brother, so in fact in your beleiveth to make MARY holy she can not have any more children , CORRECT ??
        However, Mary did have sex after Jesus was born.

      • Aerauxel

        Mary was Ever Virgin Sir.
        I know you will stick on your primary doctrine, ‘Sola Scriptura’.
        But if you will not, lots of evidence speaks about the about Mary. Where St. Joseph was required to regard Mary’s vow of Virginity with respect.

      • Pastor Dwayne

        Mt 1:25 “”And Joseph Knew her not ( didn’t have sex with Mary) until Jesus was born, After Jesus was born Joseph had sex with Mary, thus no longer a virgin!!

      • Aerauxel

        Is there any problem Sir? Let us be calm so that we can easily understand each other.
        Your arguments was answered less than millennium, it is just protestant won’t accept even they already understand.

        We do confession, but the technicalities are different than yours. We pray and we ask prayers not only for the living but also the people in heaven. Again we are not forbidden to do that. We are not Mediums, Witches, and Necromancers that we consulting the dead.

        Call no man a father? Are you reading the bible literally pastor? Some characters call themselves Father to the people, some are father for the poor. Elders were called fathers as well. Please understand the context and don’t read it literally.

        To bad, protestants didn’t recognize Mary’s important…

        OK, here is your Matthew 1:25
        On the translation, the word UNTIL was originally ‘heoce’, from the Greek translation. Heoce was used again in the 2 Samuel 6:23 but in the English it was unto, which I believe unto is different from until.

        If you change unto into until, read the Samuel if the thought was the same. ^^

        Dig deeper Pastor and seek for the truth yourself ^^
        Open you mind and always remember 2 Peter

        If you think Your doctrine are for TRUE Christians, why won’t protestant cannot even have the same doctrine…

        Politics…

        PS:
        Brother’s of Christ? I won’t answer that :) FACTUAL Evidences are easy to access and when I say FACTUAL it is not just the BIBLE but with other form of evidences also ^^

      • Pastor Dwayne

        You are just like some other guys on other sites I visit, They are just like you , they don’t want to believe what the Word of God says, But will believe what some hogwash Pope , or some dead saint says instead of the Word of God!
        Other Protestants believe as I Mary only had one job to do, and that was bring Christ into the world, she has nothing else to do concerning God’s Salvation.
        concerning the above PS: any other form of evidence is not FACTUAL unless it agrees with God’s Word

      • kerrant

        Stop trolling the Catholics, man– engage people in the spirit of Christ’s love, in the hopes that you might discover His grace for your own self; rather than presuming to speak with the authority of the Almighty, based on your own extremely limited, ideologically slanted, context free, “literal” reading of a translation of a translation of a translation of a copy of a copy of a copy’s copy of some portion of the “original Gospel”. Trolling is not evangelization; it does not reflect Christ’s humility, His love or mercy; trolling doesn’t reflect anything but the fire of your own ego, consuming you, threatening to burn anyone who might think to reach out and touch you. Take it to the Lord in prayer, man– if you are obsessed with Catholics, try going to one of their services and simply observing how their community attempts to express the love of Christ– focus on that love, and on the human dignity of the people around you. Try shutting your mouth and paying close attention to the people around you. Try paying attention to the majesty and grace of God, which is being expressed all the time, all around you.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Thank you kerrant, I must say I always believed (I hope not naively :( ) That our Protestant brothers & sisters – the mainline ones certainly – thought of us Catholics as just another group of Christians like themselves with their own separate beliefs & customs, just like the fact that there are all sorts of theological & practical differences between the various Protestant denominations (I don’t think a Pentecostal & an Evangelical would agree on much at all for example) but they’re all still considered “brothers in Christ” – is there really a widespread like we see on this message board? I mean I never, ever would dream of going to a Protestant website just to what? Scream at the Protestant commenters a litany of differences between their theology/beliefs & my Catholic theology (of which there is more than one interpretation in side the church on various points but that’s a whole nother post).

        There are numerous differences btwn Catholicism and, I’m going to guess “Pastor Dave” is a Jehovah’s Witness b/c of all the references to being born again – sorry if I’m wrong, it’s my best guess – and any number of Protestant beliefs however nothing but nothing draws the frothing at the mouth crowd out whenever the subject of the Catholic conception of Mary is mentioned. I would imagine of all the differences, that would be one of the least objectionable (she’s a mama for heaven’s sake! & Jesus’s mama to boot! Who doesn’t like a little reverence for the mother of the savior of the world?)

        I’ve just seen this phenomenon so much I wonder if a friendly Protestant might have some insight to share why all the vitriol around this particular figure & faith doctrine. To me it the internet equivalent of bursting into a synagogue, grabbing the rabbi by his lapels & screaming at him “Don’t you get it? The messiah has come! You’re all wasting your time – he was all ready here!” It’s like, don’t you think they’ve had plenty of time to hear that little tidbit of information you’re now hurling at him & he and his congregation just believe otherwise…

      • Aerauxel

        Why Pastor? Did the bible say anything about Lying? I do believe that we are both sinners, but why did you do with your tongue? Haven’t you cut it out? Why aren’t you LITERALLY interpret that verse if you think the bible is LITERALLY the world of God…

        Remember again the 2 Peter Pastor. If you think your Church is TRUE, why does other PROTESTANT CLAIM they are true if you all use the same BIBLE…

        This is how we love Mary, this is not just a Job for her. She was favored and will always be favored. Still bible didn’t say about her death nor remain was found Historically. And I know you are educated enough to understand that the bible can’t answer that.

        Unless agree with God’s Word? lol
        If I say to you, I just met a Muslim last night and he ask Christians, God’s Word o Paul’s :P
        I don’t have question about the Bible for it contains SALVATION but as of the History, You know you can’t guaranteed, will you believe that the Apostle suffer death so much before they died? If you won’t believe, what’s your research?

      • http://www.ferotexphilippines.com/ Oliver A. Almero

        May I quote “This is how we love Mary, this is not just a Job for her. She was favored and will always be favored.” If it is not just a job, may I know what exactly could it be? May I say what could be the purpose or the role?

      • Aerauxel

        God’s Words? or St. Paul? Even Muslims questions US because of your LITERALLY BIBLE BASES

      • Pastor Dwayne

        Tradition and NEW revelation has to agree with scripture, other that that it is false.

      • Pastor Dwayne

        Jesus is every thing, every thing, We confess to Jesus our sins, while under conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit, to get Born Again! If we sin after becoming a Christian , we go to Jesus for forgiveness, (Not some man you call father), Jesus sends his Angels to protect us , (not some dead saint)
        Jesus and God the Father , and God the Spirit, is every thing concerning God’s Salvation, The Word of God says , God the Father draws men to Jesus, MARY, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING CONCERNING SALVATION!! All she did was bring the Savior into the world!!!

      • Pastor Dwayne

        Jesus chose John because at that time none of His brothers or sisters were born again, while John was, born again, therefore Jesus told John to take care of His Mom, Mary

      • Aerauxel

        I haven’t read this..
        If Jesus was about to die, and His mother is there near the Cross, why isn’t his siblings not there? It is not whether you’re born again or not. It is because Jesus don’t have any siblings. If your Sister/Brothers are Catholics or your sons/daughter if you are persecuted, do you think they will not come unto you?

      • glebealyth

        “The language on that time was aramaic, and those language don’t have the word ‘COUNSIN’ because of their culture calling cousins as brothers.”

        How, then, do we know that Elizabeth really was Mary’s cousin? Ws she, perhaps her sister?

      • Aerauxel

        How, then, do we know that Elizabeth really was Mary’s cousin? Ws she, perhaps her sister?
        – Check all the translation if ALL were using ‘COUSINS’
        If you can’t get what I mean, check the greek translation, if they are using the word cousin or RELATIVE ^^

        Also about Aramaic word for Cousin, how about consulting Mr. Google, he is your friend on that :)

      • glebealyth

        You are on dangerous ground here:

        The Hebrew word Almah does not mean virgin, though it is conveniently translated as parthenos, and believers insist that this means Mary was a virgin. Only the New Testament claims this, not the Hebrew prophecies.

        The whole edifice of xianity is built upon expedient interpretations, obfuscated so that the laity, who provide the income, are kept from being empowered to make up their own minds.

      • Aerauxel

        Isaiah 7:14
        In Isaiah 7, the almah is already pregnant, and modern Jewish translators have therefore rendered almah here as “young woman”. The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which was completed in the late 2nd century BCE, translated almah into Greek as παρθένος (parthenos). Many scholars render parthenos into English as virgin. However, the Septuagint also describes Dinah as a parthenos even after she has been raped and hence is no longer a virgin

        Resources: Botterweck & Ringgren 1974

        It only means Mary is a virgin when conceiving Jesus.
        Unless you believe that she was with a MAN and that is why she was pregnant…

        Catholic didn’t say that almah means VIRGIN after giving birth.But before conceiving… What is your point…

      • glebealyth

        The point is that Almah means a young woman, and most women who conceive are young women.
        It is only the inadequacy of Greek, or the septuagint translation of Almah as virgin which brought about the myth of a virgin conception.
        Had a different greek work or phrase been used to more accurately translate the original prophecy, millions of people would never have been defrauded by this spurious religion.

      • Aerauxel

        1. As I understand, Isa 7:14 talks about a VIRGIN YOUNG GIRL, I know you believe that Mary was a virgin before conceiving Jesus, that will bear a person will be called Emmanuel.

        2. Almah didn’t say anything about Mary’s EVER VIRGIN. What is your point of opening this up?

        Mary’s ever virgin was with the principle in the OT saying, “What God open will be open and no one can close, And what God close and no one can open.”

        Early writing says something about Mary, saying…
        The principal aim of the whole writing [Protoevangelium of James] is to prove the perpetual and inviolate virginity of Mary before, in, and after the birth of Christ” (Patrology, 1:120–1).

        This post is telling about Mary as SINLESS, not VIRGIN…

      • glebealyth

        Mary’s status as sinless is dependent upon her virginity.

        there is no scriptural basis for claiming this, other than the loss of meaning between Hebrew and Greek.

        No, the Old Testament Hebrew word, Almah, does not mean virgin, merely young girl.

      • Aerauxel

        Mary’s being sinless was discussed above.
        No scriptural basis? Please read above

        Almah, so you mean, Mary was NOT virgin before getting pregnant? When we say Young girl, is the girl not virgin?
        I won’t argue with you on this one…

      • glebealyth

        Virgin and Young Girl are not synonymous.

        Ask any 70-year-old, faithful, truly celibate nun.

        Almah does not say Mary was a virgin, it only says Mary, if indeed it was she who fulfilled the prophecy, was a young girl or young woman.

        I won’t argue with you on this one…Why do you feel this should not be discussed?

      • Aerauxel

        Virgin and Young Girl are not synonymous.
        – I know, but on the case of Mary, is she virgin or not?

        Almah does not say Mary was a virgin, it only says Mary, if indeed it
        was she who fulfilled the prophecy, was a young girl or young woman.

        – Literally it didn’t, yes She fulfilled the prophecy

        Why do you feel this should not be discussed?
        – Ok if you insisted. You just started this issue.

        Before anything else

        was Mary virgin before getting pregnant or during she was pregnant?

      • glebealyth

        We do not have any evidence to be able to claim that Mary was a virgin before conception. We do not have anything, other than a mistranslation, on which to base the claim of Mary’s virginity at the time of conception.

        No. If she did not fulfil the prophecy literally, she did not fulfil the prophecy. Half-fulfilled prophecies are ten-a-penny.

      • Aerauxel

        We do not have any evidence to be able to claim that Mary was a virgin before conception.
        – Do YOU have evidence that She had sex? If so, I will keep my mouth shut saying Mary was virgin when she bear Jesus.

        If she did not fulfil the prophecy literally, she did not fulfil the prophecy. Half-fulfilled prophecies are ten-a-penny.
        – The prophecy only say, a YOUNG GIRL will bare the son of God. Didn’t she?

        again
        was Mary virgin before getting pregnant or during she was pregnant?

      • http://www.chemtrailareforchildren.gov/ daddybigcat

        defrauded like what that whole Ex-c thing is all about.

      • http://www.chemtrailareforchildren.gov/ daddybigcat

        in other words you need attention. why dont you just stay on ex-c where everyone just agrees with you- your not very good at debate.

      • glebealyth

        Whereas our(sic) offensive.

        You have not yet debated, merely insulted.

      • http://www.chemtrailareforchildren.gov/ daddybigcat

        Its funny how you overly sensitive types “feel” insulted all the time but enjoy no sense of empathy. Kind of a big character flaw, wouldn’t you agree?

      • http://www.chemtrailareforchildren.gov/ daddybigcat

        Bitter?

        BITTER???

        Your post oozes with the acrid smell of bile and bitterness.

        Perhaps your atheism is not working out for you. Could it be that your atheism is not meeting the expectations you were given and the promises it was claimed he would keep?

        We are very tolerant here on ExC, but it is beyond the pale for you to come here and use us as a way of working off your frustrations and disappointments.

        If you have nothing worthwhile to contribute, please don’t.

      • glebealyth

        How original of you.

        If you intend to cut and paste my comments from elsewhere, at least have to courtesy to credit me and to mark the changes you have made.

        You are merely offensive.

      • http://www.chemtrailareforchildren.gov/ daddybigcat

        I just love a good laugh and thought id share your pearls of wisdom… sorry i was laughing again… with the rest of the straights.

  • Mike Hayes

    Good point, Mike in PA. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Mike in PA

    Another point to make regarding the theological language related to this issue, e.g. “Immaculate Conception”, is that the mammalian ovum was not discovered until 1827 by Baer. It seems logical that the title “Immaculate Conception” would not be found in scripture since the biological concept surrounding it was foreign. Another tip of the hat to science for giving us a fuller vocabulary to better articulate the tenets of faith.

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