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 Greek reads like this in Luke 1:28 of the Interlinear Transliterated Bible
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 1:14 “And 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.”
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].
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 , 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)
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!