Split: Protestant/Catholic stance on Mary: Biological reasoning

Okay, I’ll offer a little more, so you can see why the woman you quoted called Mary “the most beautiful being ever created”.

Catholics teach that Mary was saved (kept from original sin) by Jesus from the moment of HER conception. Yep. It’s called the Immaculate Conception. Hang in there, and I’ll explain.

First, the easy part. Certainly the merits of Christ’s cross can be applied backward in time, to the people who lived before His Incarnation. So, it is possible that the grace of Calvary could have been applied back to Mary, right?

But why from the moment of her conception?

That’s the other easy part. Here are two of several aruguments from the Bible.

1st. The angel Gabriel greets her, in the Greek, *kecharitomene *(Lk 1:28). You might recognize “chari”, which is same part of the word for grace. The first Bible translation from Greek used the phrase “full of grace.” Hence, Catholics pray, with the angel, "Hail [Mary], full of grace (Lk 1:28). The sense of kecharitomene is that it means a filling with grace to the highest degree. Since we all have some tendency to sin, we are not completely filled with all God’s grace–our sin partially rejects some of the grace that He would have for us. The messenger from heaven confirms that Mary had no such rejection because she did not sin. Remember that Adam and Eve had no sin before they sinned.

Which brings us to
2nd. Christ is the new Adam (1 Cor 15:45). The first Adam was made out of the earth (Gen 2:6). At the time of Adam’s creation, there was no sin in the world. The earth was pure and good.(Gen 1:31). The last Adam–Christ–was formed out of the womb of the Virgin Mary. In order for Christ to be at least equal to the first Adam, the raw materials of Christ’s body had to have been pure and good, too. Therefore, we can see that Mary had to be without sin!:bounce: . I like that comparison. The important thing to note is that this teaching is not so much about Mary as it is about Christ.

God bless,

Ok, from a purely biological stance- why did Mary have to be without sin to bear Jesus? Did he inherit her genetic material? I guess I’ve always thought of Mary bearing Jesus much like a mother would bear a child conceived through IVF. The baby can be placed in any womb, but it is still the biological child of its parents, no matter who carries it.

Biologically, Jesus took his human form from Mary’s body. Yes, he inherited her genetic material.

It’s interesting that you mention IVF. Not to raise another difficulty, but the Church rejects this practice because it separates the creation of life from the union of a man and wife. Getting back to Mary and Jesus, did it ever occur to you that, since Jesus is God’s son, created by the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, that Mary could be considered to be the spouse of the Holy Spirit? Another reason why she had to be sinless, not to mention why she did not have other children.

You really have an instinct for this Catholic stuff!

She didn’t have to be without sin.

We Catholics cannot use the argument that Mary had to be without sin, because all someone has to do is point out that Mary’s mother was a sinner. One could say “well if Jesus’s mother had to be sinless, then why didn’t Mary’s mother have to be sinless?” and so on. God didn’t make Mary sinless because He had to, He did it because it was fitting and appropriate for the Mother of God to be a spotless bloom of mankind.

I always point the Scripture in Genesis where God says to the serpent “I will put enmity between you and the Woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall crush your head, and you shall strike at his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

God says he will PUT enmity between Satan and Mary, just as he puts enmity between Mary’s offspring (Christ) and Satan’s offspring (all anti-Christs). Enmity is a deep, intense feeling of hostility. There cannot be enmity between Satan and Mary if Mary was a sinner.

Also, I should point out that Mary is still saved by the blood of Christ like all of us are. In her Magnificat she says “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior”. God is definately her savior. She was saved totally by God’s grace, the same as the rest of us. She did nothing to merit God’s saving grace, just as the rest of us do nothing to merit God’s saving grace.

Mary received ahead of time what the rest of us are receiving now, and when we get to Heaven we will completely freed from sin and attachment to sin just as she is. Our sin will be gone, it will be as though we never sinned at all. We will be totally pure, just as she is. That is why Mary is often called the exemplar of the Church, she stands as an example of a perfect Christian, the first perfect Christian. We will all be like Her one day. :slight_smile:

This may be a real dumbing down of a concept, but why couldn’t God just give Jesus a human formm why did it require a human participant? Obviously we know that God didn’t need the input of a human. I suppose its allowing human participation in this, but I’m not real sure what I think about all that.

And purely being obnoxious, in a way, the creation of Jesus’ life on earth is separate from the union of man and wife. :slight_smile:

Honestly, I would disagree with Mary being the wife of the Holy Spirit. Much like Paul said that it is better to remain single, like Jesus did, I would expect the Holy Spirit to likely do the same. Just my thoughts.

Ah, but the way God chose to save the world is that He DID need a human participant so that Jesus could be fully human.

I know that you’re getting a lot of info at once, but for Jesus to be God’s son and Mary’s son, there had to be some sort of spiritual union (right, not physical). Anyway, this is more of a side point.

The Holy Spirit isn’t married. Mary isn’t the “wife” of the Holy Spirit, she’s the spouse of the Holy Spirit. But it’s not the sacrament of Matrimony, it’s not an institutional marriage. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and, together with her, conceived Jesus in her womb. The Holy Spirit didn’t conceive Jesus by Himself, and Mary didn’t conceive Jesus by herself, it was both of them. This is something that has only happened with Mary, and no one else, so it is appropriate to call her the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

And Jesus had to be born of a woman because He had to be human. If Jesus were just given a body but not born like we are, then he woudln’t have been part of our race. He wouldn’t have been fully human. And he had be a descendent of David, according to the Old Testament.

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