Faith/Spirituality Forum: Mary was without sin?
Mary was without sin? QUESTION from B. Bolden on August 22, 2002 I must disagree with the stance of the catholic church on the topic of Mary being without sin. Yes she was full of grace, but scripture tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Now you may say, well Jesus was without sin. True he was without sin, but the bible specifically addressed the fact that he was without sin. The bible does not reveal that Mary was without sin, therefore we must believe that she was a person born into original sin. Also none of the prophesies of Christ's birth mentioned he would be born to a virgin without sin. Thank you for the forum to share theological view points. I enjoy reading all the questions and the responses although I don't agree with them all. I can say we agree that Jesus Christ is Lord and he was hung, He bled, and died for us all and was resurrected and now sits at the right hand of the father. He died that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 30, 2002 Dear Mr. Bolden:
The bible does not give us all teachings, only some. The bible itself says that in John 21:25 and Acts 20:35. Thus to say that the bible specifically exempted Jesus from sin, but made no mention specifically of Mary does not matter.
But in fact, the bible does imply the Mary was without sin. If one studies the phrase, full of grace, we discover that this is a ontological condition of sinlessness. None of the rest of us are FULL because of sin.
Second, and understanding of God's teaching on the nature of the sacred that we find in the Old Testament shows that Mary HAD to be without sin. She could NOT have been the Ark of the New Covenant unless she was without blemish. The Ark must be pure, untouched and unblemished to hold the presence of God.
With all due respect to the opinion of non-Catholics that Mary sinned (a view that did not get popularized in earnest until the 16th century), the early Church did not believe such a thing. Such a believe flies in the face of Scriptural principle concerning the sacred and the ark of the covenant.
We have extant manuscripts of the early Church Fathers as early as 370 AD that talk about the sinlessness of Mary. This was not a novel idea in 370 AD but a well established teaching.
The Immaculate Conxeption, while not specifically mentioned in the bible (Trinity is not specifically mentioned either), is nevertheless throughly Scriptural. The Immaculate Conception is a doctrine that is demanded by the Scriptural principles previously mentioned.
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