Mary questions that I can't yet answer


#1

Sorry - you must be sick of questions about Mary. Here’s two more.

1a. What does it mean when Mary is called “full of grace” (Douay-Reims Luke 1:28)? I had to hunt hard for a translation that actually said that - none of my protestant Bibles do and neither does the New Jerusalem. Memo to self - must look more closely at the Greek and the different translations.

1b. What does it mean when Stephen is called “full of grace”? (Douay-Reims Acts 6:8 also written by Luke so easy to presume that it may mean something similar).

2a. What does it mean for Mary to be “blessed among women” (Douay-Reims Luke 1:42)?

3b. What does it mean for Jahel to be “blessed among women” (Douay-Reims Judges 5:24). She’s even more blessed than that elsewhere - in sometranslations she is “blessed above women”. In the New Jerusalem she is “most blessed of women”. And all for hammering a peg through Sisera’s head with a mallet.

I am on the way to Catholicism - but have a lot of “Mary issues” like many people coming to the church from other churches. I see that much is made of the words when they are applied to Mary. But they are also applied to someone else. Do they mean something different when applied to someone who isn’t Mary? And if so, why?

Stephen was called “full of grace” but obviously wasn’t redeemed at the moment of his conception. Why do the words necessarily have to mean that Mary was? (This isn’t an argument that the Immaculate Conception didn’t happen but I really don’t understand this).

Many of the titles given to Mary which I’d previously fought against are now ones I can accept - knowing what they mean rather than what I had been taught they meant. Mother of God, new Eve etc. Once you understand exactly what they mean they cease to become a doctrinal knot. But the above questions (and quite a few others) I have yet to understand.

Please help.

Blessings

Asteroid


#2

Stephen’s is not “full of grace”. Check the original word.

Go to google and type kecharitomene


#3

If you haven’t already read catholic.com/library/Mary_Full_of_Grace.asp (referring to the many distinctive blessings Mary received in order to make her a more fitting mother for Christ) you might want to start there… and of course the other “Mary links” at catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp.

Also, the online Catholic Encyclopedia has a lot of “Mary links”… the article on the Blessed Virgin Mary is at newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm

Hope this helps!


#4

For me, “full of grace” (kecharitomene) is tied to the doctrine of her immaculate conception. One with sin on his soul cannot be “full of grace.” But the archangel Gabriel addresses her as “full of grace,” indicating that she is not only without sin, but filled with God’s grace, in anticipation of her “yes” to God to carry the Son of God in her womb.

(Her sinlessness is a direct result of being saved by her son Jesus, who had selected her to be his mother. The Lord who is not subject to time, applied the salvific effects of his crucifixion directly to her soul at the instant of her conception.)


#5

after doing a google search, here is what i found on this web site:
bringyou.to/apologetics/a116.htm

it explains:

*However, Luke 1:28 uses a special conjugated form of “charitoo.” It uses “kecharitomene,” while Ephesians 1:6 uses “echaritosen,” which is a different form of the verb “charitoo.” Echaritosen means “he graced” (bestowed grace). Echaritosen signifies a momentary action, an action brought to pass. (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p.166). Whereas, Kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle, shows a completeness with a permanent result. Kecharitomene denotes continuance of a completed action (H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968], p. 108-109, sec 1852:b; also Blass and DeBrunner, p.175).
*


#6

[quote=Dan-Man916]after doing a google search, here is what i found on this web site:
bringyou.to/apologetics/a116.htm

it explains:

However, Luke 1:28 uses a special conjugated form of “charitoo.” It uses “kecharitomene,” while Ephesians 1:6 uses “echaritosen,” which is a different form of the verb “charitoo.” Echaritosen means “he graced” (bestowed grace). Echaritosen signifies a momentary action, an action brought to pass. (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p.166). Whereas, Kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle, shows a completeness with a permanent result. Kecharitomene denotes continuance of a completed action (H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968], p. 108-109, sec 1852:b; also Blass and DeBrunner, p.175).

[/quote]

Very well said…and your very involved, very difficult to understand response is the exact reason why we should leave interpreting the scriptures to the Church, and not to our own ignorant minds. No matter how much we think we know the scriptures, we can never know them as the Church does.


#7

[quote=Dan-Man916]after doing a google search, here is what i found on this web site:
bringyou.to/apologetics/a116.htm

it explains:

However, Luke 1:28 uses a special conjugated form of “charitoo.” It uses “kecharitomene,” while Ephesians 1:6 uses “echaritosen,” which is a different form of the verb “charitoo.” Echaritosen means “he graced” (bestowed grace). Echaritosen signifies a momentary action, an action brought to pass. (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p.166). Whereas, Kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle, shows a completeness with a permanent result. Kecharitomene denotes continuance of a completed action (H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968], p. 108-109, sec 1852:b; also Blass and DeBrunner, p.175).

[/quote]

Dan-Man916 has explained this very nicely.

There are 3 people said to be “full of grace” in the NT (in the English). Christ, Mary and Stephen. The Greek word *kecharitomene *is only applied to Mary and is part of the reason we believe in the Immaculate Conception. It is the only time the word appears in the Bible. Note: Only the Douay Rhiems and RSV-CE translate it “full of grace” in the English (Luke 1:28).

Stephen too was “full of grace” (in a different way - different Greek) at his death. In heaven we will all be immaculate and full of grace. The only difference with Mary is that she started that way.

Remember that Adam and Eve were also immaculately “conceived” (created). So the first Adam and Eve were immaculate. And the second Adam (Christ) and the second Eve (Mary) were also immaculate. None of this robs Christ of anything.

God Bless:)


#8

I apologize that I cannot cite a reference to my statement, but I was listening to a talk about Luke 1:28 on EWTN, and the presenter said another way to translate Gabriel’s salutation to Mary is "Hail, Mary, perfected by grace."She was able to lead a sinless life because of this perfection and was thus rewarded at the end of her life with being reunited with her perfected body, which we are all promised to receive at the end of time.


#9

Luke 1:28 - also, the phrase “full of grace” is translated from the Greek word “kecharitomene.” This is a unique title given to Mary, and suggests a perfection of grace from a past event. Mary is not just “highly favored.” She has been perfected in grace by God. “Full of grace” is only used to describe one other person - Jesus Christ in John 1:14. dios te salve maria llena eres de gracia… bless you all:)


#10

[quote=beng]Stephen’s is not “full of grace”. Check the original word.

Go to google and type kecharitomene
[/quote]

Ah, that’s ok then. pleres pistis. full of faith for Stephen. So I don’t have to worry about that then. Question one answered. Many thanks to everyone who has given the good answers.

Turns out that the Douay-Reims version is mistranslated then - a mistranslation that applies these important words to the wrong person. And there I was expecting the protestant versions to make the anti-catholic translations. :wink: The New Jerusalem has a very different translation - so which translation should I be buying that actually gets these things right? Should I switch to RSVCE and drag that off the shelf?

Why do Catholic translations use words like “highly favoured” instead of “full of grace”?

From Robertson’s Word Pictures:
The Vulgate gratiae plena “is right, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast received’; wrong, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast to bestow’”

Has anyone got any ideas on what it meant for Jahel to be blessed among (or above) women? Does the Greek eulogeo mean something different to the Hebrew ba-rak.

Blessings

Ashley


#11

Ashley,
I can’t comment on the Hebrew or Greek but I do think the story of Jael is a picture or type of Mary. In other words, the deeper meaning of the story (as an allegory, one of the 4 senses of scripture) is that Mary helps crush the head of Satan. See Genesis 3:15. In this story it’s the Woman who crushes the head while in reality its the Christ (who came to us through the Woman) that crushes Satan’s head on the cross.

What Jael does (lends a hand in defeating the enemy) and what she’s called (blessed are you among women) teach us deepen our understanding about Mary.


#12

[quote=GWitherow]Dan-Man916 has explained this very nicely.

There are 3 people said to be “full of grace” in the NT (in the English). Christ, Mary and Stephen. The Greek word *kecharitomene *is only applied to Mary and is part of the reason we believe in the Immaculate Conception. It is the only time the word appears in the Bible. Note: Only the Douay Rhiems and RSV-CE translate it “full of grace” in the English (Luke 1:28).

Stephen too was “full of grace” (in a different way - different Greek) at his death. In heaven we will all be immaculate and full of grace. The only difference with Mary is that she started that way.

Remember that Adam and Eve were also immaculately “conceived” (created). So the first Adam and Eve were immaculate. And the second Adam (Christ) and the second Eve (Mary) were also immaculate. None of this robs Christ of anything.

God Bless:)
[/quote]

HI G Witherow,
Can I just sneak this in to this forum. Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mothers womb.
Where does John fit in bearing in mind that Jesus said no one born of woman was greater than John.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#13

originally posted by asteroid]QUOTE]

Stephen was called “full of grace” but obviously wasn’t redeemed at the moment of his conception. Why do the words necessarily have to mean that Mary was? (This isn’t an argument that the Immaculate Conception didn’t happen but I really don’t understand this).

[quote]

Stephen was not full of grace, to be full of grace you need to be sinless, Mary was sinless, so therefore “Full of Grace”.
We gain Gods grace at confession, but we fall into sin, Mary was so touched by God as to be sinless, Jesus couldn’t have entered into a sinful person when He Himself was without sin.
[/quote]


#14

There is a certain mindset in our culture, and noticable in Protestantism, to isolate one doctrine from another. I think one of the many reasons Mariology is such a stumbling block for non-Catholics is that the doctrines are so intertwined, and NONE of them should ever be considered outside of her relationship with God.

[/font]http://www.mariology.com/sections/introduction.html :

From Genesis to Revelation, from Bethlehem to Cana to Calvary, the most powerful procession of images in Scripture is the dazzling vision of the Woman and her Seed, the Virgin and her Son, the Queen-Mother and the King, the Daughter of Zion and the messianic Son of Man, the New Adam and the New Eve.

This striking sequence of scriptural icons locked itself into the minds and hearts of the Christian faithful, starting with the Apostolic Community of the first century, the first Fathers and the earliest Councils, and resulted in a vast treasury of doctrinal and devotional masterpieces.

The union of Mother and Son in the Son’s mission of salvation and in the war against the Serpent is a persistent theme of Scripture mirrored in Christian doctrine and devotion through the centuries. This union of the New Adam and the New Eve has been portrayed from a wide variety of perspectives, the most recent being the union of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

To see the Son without the Virgin Mother, the Seed without the Woman, the King without the Queen-Mother, the New Adam without the New Eve is to do violence both to Scripture and to all of Christian history. For the Christian who enters the mind of the New Testament Church, the idea of “Jesus alone” without Mary is as unthinkable as the idea of the New Testament alone without the Old or the divinity of Jesus without the Humanity.

[/font]http://www.mariology.com home page

kepha1


#15

[quote=edwinG]HI G Witherow,
Can I just sneak this in to this forum. Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mothers womb.
Where does John fit in bearing in mind that Jesus said no one born of woman was greater than John.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG
[/quote]

John the baptist is considered to be like the second among the saints behind Mary. Youu can see this if you look at the confiteor, which is a prayer in the Catholic Mass.

I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you, my brothers and sister, that I have sinned through my own fault, through my own fault, through my most greivous fault, in thought, word, and deed, and I beseech Blessed Mary ever a virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the baptist, the Holy apostles Peter and Paul, and the saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

He is placed above the apostles. He is blessed while Peter and Paul are only called Holy.

He is not greater than Mary you quote Jesus as saying that no one born of a woman is greater than John. Jesus was born of a woman, wasn’t he?


#16

Quick response - time seems in short supply today.

Thanks to GWitherow - the idea of a typology of Mary in the Old Testament is, unsurprisingly, a new one to me. This puts the whole passage in a new light. More thought & meditation needed here.

Thanks to those who pointed out that Stephen wasn’t full of grace and that was just a mistranslation in a Catholic Bible and not what the Greek says at all. Were the translators having a bad day when they translated ‘pistis’ as grace, or were they working from the Latin translation ‘gratia’ and if so, how did pistis turn into gratia? Doesn’t matter really unless it adds a heresy into the Douay Rheims version.

Thanks too to kepha1 - interesting site. It’s going to take a while to read, especially from this computer monitor. Thanks.

Blessings

Asteroid


#17

Hi Ashley,

I can tell you what I found at Blue Letter Bible blueletterbible.org/index.html
regarding the tense of the words *kecharitomene * and barak.

The tense of the word barak used here is pual imperfect:

Pual is the “passive” of Piel - see 08840

Piel Pual

he smashed it was smashed
he told it was told

The imperfect expresses an action, process or condition which is
incomplete, and it has a wide range of meaning:

1a) It is used to describe a single (as opposed to a repeated) action
in the past; it differs from the perfect in being more vivid and
pictorial. The perfect expresses the “fact”, the imperfect adds
colour and movement by suggesting the “process” preliminary to its
completion.

he put forth his hand to the door
it came to a halt
I began to hear

  1. The kind of progression or imperfection and unfinished condition
    of the action may consist in its frequent repetition.

  2. The imperfect is used to express the “future”, referring not only
    to an action which is about to be accomplished but one which has
    not yet begun:

3a) This may be a future from the point of view of the real
present; as:

Now “shalt thou see what I will do”
“We will burn” thy house

3b) It may be a future from any other point of view assumed; as:

he took his son that "was to reign"
she stayed to see what “should be done”

  1. The usage of 3b may be taken as the transitive to a common use of
    the imperfect in which it serves for an expression of those shades
    of relation among acts and thoughts for which English prefers the
    conditional moods. Such actions are strictly “future” in reference
    to the assumed point of relation, and the simple imperfect
    sufficiently expresses them; e.g.

of every tree thou “mayest eat”
"could we know"
he “would” say

Now contrast this with the perfect passive participle of kecharitomene (charitoo):

The perfect tense in Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in
English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been
completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be
repeated.

Jesus’ last cry from the cross, TETELESTAI (“It is finished!”)
is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense,
namely “It [the atonement] has been accomplished, completely,
once and for all time.”

Certain antiquated verb forms in Greek, such as those related
to seeing (eidw) or knowing (oida) will use the perfect tense
in a manner equivalent to the normal past tense. These few
cases are exception to the normal rule and do not alter the
normal connotation of the perfect tense stated above.

The passive voice represents the subject as being the
recipient of the action. E.g., in the sentence, “The boy was
hit by the ball,” the boy receives the action.

The Greek participle corresponds for the most part to the
English participle, reflecting “-ing” or “-ed” being suffixed
to the basic verb form. The participle can be used either
like a verb or a noun, as in English, and thus is often termed
a “verbal noun.”

So with Mary the grace was imparted completely, in the past, for all time, by Someone Else’s action. With Jael, the “blessedness” was also imparted by someone else, but in an incomplete way that could need to be repeated. Jael is indeed a type of Mary, and like all types is inferior to the “real deal.”

God bless you on your journey home!! I wrestled with these issues at my conversion as well. May the Holy Spirit guide us all into the fullness of truth.

Pax Christi,

Jim


#18

This is a good question. I never thought about the difference between the two verses until I looked at this post.

In Luke 1;28 it says

[font=Symbol]kai eiselqwn proV authn eipen, caire, kecaritwmenh, o kurioV meta sou.

[/font]

The word kecaritwmenh [font=Verdana][size=2]is used here. This is a perfect passive participle. It is also feminine. A participle is a verb that is used to describe the subject. The perfect tense describes an action in present time which has a completed aspect. In this verse it is used as a title and means basically “you who have been graced” or “you who have been filled with grace”. This word is not speaking of just a little grace, it is speaking of an abundance of grace. Although this is a completed action, the effects are still on going in this verse. Mary is still full of grace when the angel says this.[/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2]In Acts 6;8 it says[/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][/size][/font]

[font=Symbol]stefanoV de plhrhV caritoV kai dunamewV epoiei terata kai shmeia megala en tw law.

[/font]

[font=Verdana][size=2]the word [size=4][font=Symbol]caritoV [/size]is used. This is a noun that means grace. The word [font=Symbol][size=4]plhrhV[/size] is also used here, which is from the noun that means to fill. It can either be translated as an aorist or a pluperfect tense which are both past tenses. The word pluperfect comes from the latin expression, “more than completed”. If it is an aorist tense, it would be “was graced” and if it is pluperfect it is “had been graced”. The pluperfect is expressing something that was done before something else. In other words what this means is that when Stephen had to defend himself he was filled with grace.[/font][/font][/size][/font]


#19

I wanted to correct my post but when I tried it was too late. I made a big mistake plhrhV is not a verb, so what I said does not make sense. I said it was a noun but descripbed it as a pluperfect verb.

stefanoV de plhrhV caritoV kai dunamewV epoiei terata kai shmeia megala en tw law.

The focus of the verb should be the word epoiei which is a verb that is imperfect tense. This is still a past tense verb so the verse is still talking of an action that is no longer happening, but it is a progressive. It can be translated as, “was doing”. The entire verse can be translated literally as,
"Stephen, but full of grace and strength, was doing miracles and great signs among the people."
This is speaking of something that was being done sometime in the past but is not being done now.
Sorry about the mistake.


#20

[quote=jimmy]John the baptist is considered to be like the second among the saints behind Mary. Youu can see this if you look at the confiteor, which is a prayer in the Catholic Mass.

He is placed above the apostles. He is blessed while Peter and Paul are only called Holy.

He is not greater than Mary you quote Jesus as saying that no one born of a woman is greater than John. Jesus was born of a woman, wasn’t he?
[/quote]

Hi jimmy,
Yes Jesus was born of woman, but then apart apart from being fully man He was fully God. I do think there is a difference. It is something that is hard for us to understand.Mary and John are both human in all aspects. Mary must have been born of woman. Is she fully human. If so why does Jesus say John is the greatest.
How can we understand this?
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


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