John the Baptist


#1

How is John the Baptist ‘the greatest man ever born of woman’ if Mary is the height of God’s creation?


#2

Jesus meant John the Baptist was the greatest prophet.


#3

As Thistle has said, the reference is to John’s prophetic ministry; the context of Matthew 11 makes this clear. St. John the Baptist is the last and greatest of the prophets. The translations of the RSV, the Vulgate, and even the KJV show this:

11:11 Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

There the phrase “hath not risen” indicates the meaning; the OT so often speaks of God raising prophets from the midst of the people, and St. John the Baptist is the final one to be raised up to bring the people to the fulfillment of all their aspirations, Christ Jesus.


#4

The Blessed Virgin wasn’t a man; therefore, Jesus Christ wasn’t talking about her.

– Mark L. Chance.


#5

Eh…perhaps that is because Mary is a woman???:confused:


#6

The text does not say the greatest ‘man’ born of a woman, so the idea that Mary is excluded on the basis of being a woman does not fit. Also, Jesus is a man and he is greater than John.

Amen I say to you, among those born of women, there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. (Mt 11:11)

For I say to you, among those born of women, no one is greater than the prophet John the Baptist. (Lk 7:28)

So the expression ‘those born of women’ has to be interpreted in such a manner that it does not apply to Jesus or Mary. Birth implies conception.
Jesus and Mary were each conceived by Divine intervention (with significant differences, of course). Thus neither of them was ‘born of women’ in the sense of being conceived and born in the usual human manner, absent of Divine intervention.


#7

I have not studied John the Baptist in great detail.
If he was the greatest prophet - what are some of His prophesies given that Jesus was already on earth a few months after his birth?

James


#8

Matthew chapter 11 is referring to Prophets, read the verses prior to Mt 11,11:

[quote="www.drbo.org] Matthew 11,9 But what went you out to see? a prophet? yea I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Amen I say to you, there hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is the lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
[/quote]

When you say “divine intervention” some may get the impression that the conception of Jesus and Mary were the same, that of course is not true. The conception of Mary was physically ordinary in every way. It was the union of two humans. The only thing special about Mary was that she was conceived without original sin. John the Baptist was also born free of sin, since he was filled with the Holy Spirit while still within the womb of Elizabeth, but he was not conceived free of sin.
Here we have three different conceptions and births. Jesus truly divine intervention, between the Holy Spirit and Mary; Mary, normal physical conception between two human parents, but conceived without original sin; and John, physically conceived, as Mary, by two human parents, conceived with original sin, freed from original sin after conception but prior to birth

[quote=www.drbo.org] Luke 1, 41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
[/quote]


#9

I specifically stated above that there are significant differences.

The Magisterium has not decided the question, nor is there any particular ordinary teaching that specifies her conception was ‘ordinary in every way’ except being free from original sin. I believe, based in part on the Scripture passage about John the Baptist, that Mary’s conception was virginal and miraculous, as was her birth.

I think you are vastly understating the Immaculate Conception.

I would say that John the Baptist received the equivalent of Baptism, so that he had sanctifying grace from the womb, not from conception as with Mary and Jesus, but that he still had concupiscence, the effect of which is seen in passages like the following, where he was not certain about the role of Jesus:

[Matthew]
{11:2} Now when John had heard, in prison, about the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to him,
{11:3} “Are you he who is to come, or should we expect another?”

The Church does not teach that John was entirely free from original sin from Birth. It is something of an open question as to the meaning and effect of the visitation on John.

But if you think that John had no original sin at all, not even that remnant of original sin called concupiscence, then can I conclude that you think John had no personal sin throughout his entire life?


#10

Where does the magisterium even hint of a virginal birth of Mary? Any reference?


#11

A virginal birth of Mary is not a Church teaching that I know of. Any reference? Which Scripture?


#12

I would say that John the Baptist received the equivalent of Baptism, so that he had sanctifying grace from the womb, not from conception as with Mary

Agree

Disagree, Jesus doesn’t “receive” Grace, He is God. God gives grace.


#13

Yes actually it does teach he was free from original sin from his birth. One can not be filled with the Holy Spirit and still have sin. Unless you think he sinned while in the womb, which is ridiculous.


#14

But if you think that John had no original sin at all, not even that remnant of original sin called concupiscence, then can I conclude that you think John had no personal sin throughout his entire life?

What I said was he was born free from original sin. He received the Holy Spirit in the womb after conception, as you remarked, like being Baptized in the womb. I have no idea if he sinned in his life, it’s really not important to me.


#15

but that he still had concupiscence, the effect of which is seen in passages like the following, where he was not certain about the role of Jesus:
[Matthew]
{11:2} Now when John had heard, in prison, about the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to him,
{11:3} “Are you he who is to come, or should we expect another?”

A little confused here. You see this questioning as a sin?


#16

It is not a Magisterial teaching, but neither is the contrary a Magisterial teaching. As for Scripture: the passage that states those born of women are not greater than John implies that Jesus and Mary, who are greater than John, must in some sense not have been conceived and born in the usual way.

Also, Blessed A.C. Emmerich stated that Mary’s conception was miraculous and virginal. Those books have the imprimatur and have long been accepted by the sensus fidelium, so her assertion does not contradict a Magisterial teaching. But neither has it been taught by the Magisterium.

The Church does teach that Christ is like us in all things but sin. Now grace is not sin, and we all have received grace, therefore Christ in his human nature receives grace.

Please cite a magisterial document to support your claim that the Magisterium teaches this. Rather, it is a conclusion that you draw based on Scripture, just as I draw the above discussed conclusion.

If he was entirely free from original sin, and then he committed personal sin, it would be like the Fall from grace of Adam all over again. Thus, if he was free from original sin, and there is nothing in Scripture to suggest such a momentous event as a second Fall from grace, he must have been free from personal sin also.

No, but John’s weakness of mind and heart, in not fully realizing the role of Jesus as Messiah was a result of concupiscence. So he had a mystical Baptism in the womb, but he still had that remnant of original sin called concupiscence.


#17

No, as has been posted earlier the context of the “greater than” refers to prophets, see verse 9 & 10. Where does it say that since Jesus and Mary were greater it must be because of their conceptions and births? That’s not a logical conclusion.


#18

Having the imprimatur does not constitute Church teaching. What Emmerich refers as the “virginal” conception of Mary is not the same as the conception of Jesus which was the singular conception between a human, Mary, and God. Mary was conceived between Saint Joachim and Saint Ann. Saint Ann was not a virgin. The conception of Mary was by human intercourse, the only “virginal” aspect is that the conception did not include the stain of original sin, that is what Emmerich refers to as virginal. Not virginal in human physical terms.


#19

Disagree


#20

No, I never said John was “ entirely free from original sin”. I said he was “born” free from original sin. For the same reason Mary was preserved from original sin thru the grace of her Son, John needed redemption, he was conceived in original sin, John simply received the Holy Spirit prior to his birth. Not all have committed personal sin. You’ve fallen into a Protestant trap there.

[quote=www.drbo.org] Roman 5, 11 And not only so; but also we glory in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received reconciliation. 12 Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. 13 For until the law sin was in the world; but sin was not imputed, when the law was not. 14 But death reigned from Adam unto Moses, even over them also who have not sinned after the similitude of the transgression of Adam, who is a figure of him who was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, many died; much more the grace of God, and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
[/quote]

12 “By one man”… Adam, from whom we all contracted original sin.

13 “Not imputed”… That is, men didn’t know, or made no account of sin, nor was it imputed to them, in the manner it was afterwards, when they transgressed the known written law of God.


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