The "Immaculate Conception" of St. John the Baptist


#1

I’ve heard from numerous sources that Catholics believe St. John the Baptist was born without Original Sin (or something of the like). What is the scriptural evidence for this?


#2

[quote=FuzzyBunny116]I’ve heard from numerous sources that Catholics believe St. John the Baptist was born without Original Sin (or something of the like). What is the scriptural evidence for this?
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It is not the same understanding of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. St. John the Baptist was not concieved immaculatley, Mary was. St. John the Baptist was purified from original sin when the Holy Spirit entered his mother upon Mary’s salutation. He leaped with joy within Elizabeth’s womb.

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari’ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:39-44)


#3

I’ve never heard anything of the like. Will you post your “sources”?

In the gospels, Mary, pregnant by the Holy Spirit, went to visit Elizabeth, and the child in Elizabeth’s womb “leapt for joy” at the presence of the unborn Messiah. The leaping baby was St. John the Baptist.

I have NEVER, and I repeat NEVER heard this particular heresy. I doubt any other faithful Catholic has, either, and if so, then not from any credible source.


#4

It might be more proper to call it the “Immaculate Birth” of St. John the Baptist rather than the “Immacuate Conception” because as far as we know he was conceived in the usual way in Original Sin. I don’t know that the Church has said anything officially about this one way or the other. However, these verses might be used to support the notion he was born without Original Sin:

13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechari’ah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; 15for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:13-15)
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[size=1][size=2][/size]41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:41-44)

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#5

[quote=FuzzyBunny116]I’ve heard from numerous sources that Catholics believe St. John the Baptist was born without Original Sin (or something of the like). What is the scriptural evidence for this?
[/quote]

That is correct. It is held that St. John the Baptist was born not conceived without Original sin. Luke 1:41 is used to support this. It’s not held as a doctrine however.


#6

It makes sense, though, as the Baptist should be baptized himself first. And Catholic tradition puts this as being purified in his mother’s womb.


#7

“And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant” – filled, like the mother, with the Holy Ghost – “leaped for joy in her womb”, as if to acknowledge the presence of his Lord. Then was accomplished the prophetic utterance of the angel that the child should “be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb”. Now as the presence of any sin whatever is incompatible with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul, it follows that at this moment John was cleansed from the stain of original sin.

From the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
newadvent.org/cathen/08486b.htm

This is a very ancient Catholic belief, but not, as far as I know, a doctrine. It is not heretical in any way.


#8

This is the first I’ve heard of this - and boy am I glad it’s not the Church’s official position. I believe John was the last prophet, greater perhaps than the others, but born normally just like them. If the prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament are any indication, you don’t need to be without original sin to do what John did.

What are we going to say next? Did anyone who had anything to do with Jesus have to be without original sin? Did St Joseph also have to be conceived without original sin? What about the Shepherds and Magi? What about the ox and the donkey?


#9

The ox and the donkey definitely had no original sin.

John the Baptist was conceived (with original sin) and born in the normal way. This belief has to do with the idea that John’s original sin was removed in the 6th month of his life (in embryo) when coming into the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary.


#10

[quote=JimG]The ox and the donkey definitely had no original sin.
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What, you mean their ancestors didn’t sinfully eat of the hay of knowledge of Good and Evil? :smiley: I was being facetious of course…


#11

This is the first I’ve heard of this - and boy am I glad it’s not the Church’s official position. I believe John was the last prophet, greater perhaps than the others, but born normally just like them. If the prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament are any indication, you don’t need to be without original sin to do what John did.

Actually Christ is the last prophet. He fulfils all prophesy. He is the King, Priest and Prophet.

Actually this is an interesting question, (one which I don’t think we will get an answer to until Christ thinks we are ready for it Jn 16:13 or are upstairs) what about Enoch, Elijah and Moses?

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#12

[quote=LilyM]What, you mean their ancestors didn’t sinfully eat of the hay of knowledge of Good and Evil? :smiley: I was being facetious of course…
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Oxen and donkeys have nothing like that in their ancestry. Cats are another matter.


#13

[quote=Nicene]Actually Christ is the last prophet. He fulfils all prophesy. He is the King, Priest and Prophet.

Actually this is an interesting question, (one which I don’t think we will get an answer to until Christ thinks we are ready for it Jn 16:13 or are upstairs) what about Enoch, Elijah and Moses?

Peace and God Bless
Nicene
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I stand corrected - it happens far too often in these forums :slight_smile: That’s what I get for plunging into the murky depths of religious thought when I should keep to the shallows like the minnow that I am :yup:


#14

[quote=LilyM]I stand corrected - it happens far too often in these forums :slight_smile: That’s what I get for plunging into the murky depths of religious thought when I should keep to the shallows like the minnow that I am :yup:
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Lily,
Actually I was quite surprized when I learned this several months ago but the scriptural evidence does bear it out. There are many correlations between the Old Testament Arc of the Covenant and the New Testament Arc of the Covenant (Mary).
Old New
Arc was filled with Manna…Food (Body of Christ)
Aarons Rod…Word of God (Jesus authority in teaching)
10 commandments from God…New commandments Jesus gave us

Arc was stored temporarily for 3 months :
He left the Ark in the hill country of Judea for three months (2 Sam 6:11). And then we are told that David (dressed as a priest) danced and leapt in front of the Ark and everyone shouted for joy (2 Sam 6:14). The house of Obed-edom which had housed the Ark was blessed (2 Sam 6:11) and then David took the Ark to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:12).

Mary was 3 mos pregnant when she went to the same place to see her cousin Elizabeth…John lept in the womb when he heard Mary’s greeting…

Many many more…read Mary, The Ark of the New Covenant

This is really awesome!!!


#15

[quote=BlestOne]Aarons Rod…Word of God (Jesus authority in teaching)
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Well it rhymes, so they must correlate :smiley:

[quote=BlestOne]Arc was stored temporarily for 3 months :
He left the Ark in the hill country of Judea for three months (2 Sam 6:11). And then we are told that David (dressed as a priest) danced and leapt in front of the Ark and everyone shouted for joy (2 Sam 6:14). The house of Obed-edom which had housed the Ark was blessed (2 Sam 6:11) and then David took the Ark to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:12).

Mary was 3 mos pregnant when she went to the same place to see her cousin Elizabeth…John lept in the womb when he heard Mary’s greeting…

Many many more…read Mary, The Ark of the New Covenant

This is really awesome!!!
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I was aware of some of this already, not all of it though. Certainly impressive :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=LilyM]…Did St Joseph also have to be conceived without original sin?..
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Have to? No, but some saints and theologians have held the opinion that St Joseph may have also been conceived without original sin, or else been redeemed at some other time, possibly before birth, in anticipation of Christ’s Death and Resurrection much as Mary was by her Immaculate Conception. While an ancient and pious belief, I do not think this has been defined by the Church, though.

Happy St Joseph Day.


#17

Based on my understanding of this Scripture, I concur that there is theological significance to John leaping for Joy, whether it be evidence that he was concieved immaculately (without original sin) or it was done upon Christ becoming present to Elizabeth and John upon Mary’s visit. The words of Luke 1:15 make it clear to me that it definitely happened prior to birth but when or not I’m not so sure. There might be some theologians who better grasp when exactly based on other Scripture.

But to me (one who reads the Bible less for theological understanding but more in the spirit of Lecto Divina (a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible, the Word of God, to become a means of union with God), I have come to find the significance of this verse about God’s presence with us and love for us from our conception (at that point we are made in God’s holy image) until our natural death. Our ability to see that which is holy and good transcends our mental development and capacity.

These verses speak to our dual modality (human and spirit beings) being united yet distinct. When we fail to respect another’s humanity, we fail to respect their spirit and vice versa. When we have a hard time seeing holiness in another by virtue of their humanity and weakness, we need to find it in their spirit. It greatly affects how I react to another person’s sinfulness. Rather than being condemning or admonishing, I look to nurture and love where the Holy Spirit is working.

Somone once told me that the soul is always filled. The more it is filled w/ the Holy Spirit, the less it contains evil. Similarly, the Holy Spirit is heavier and stronger than evil. Thus, removing evil with a dipper doesn’t assure that the removed evil isn’t replaced by a different evil. However, by pouring in love of God does assure that the “lighter” element (evil) will be pushed out. It is for this reason, whenever I have the choice of showing someone love or using a dipper (admonish or judging), I’ll always show love as its effect is guaranteed to be successful.


#18

[quote=JimG]Oxen and donkeys have nothing like that in their ancestry. Cats are another matter.
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:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

I’ve always liked cats - now I know why :smiley:


#19

[quote=Orionthehunter] Based on my understanding of this Scripture, I concur that there is theological significance to John leaping for Joy, whether it be evidence that he was concieved immaculately (without original sin) or it was done upon Christ becoming present to Elizabeth and John upon Mary’s visit.
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Again, as many have posted, John was not “conceived” immaculately, he was simply born free of original sin. Big difference. Conception is not the same as birth.


#20

[quote=Tom]Again, as many have posted, John was not “conceived” immaculately, he was simply born free of original sin. Big difference. Conception is not the same as birth.
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You seem to be quite sure of this. Neither my interpretation of the Scripture nor what I’ve read from others makes it conclusive. Do you have some additional references?

In my reading, the operative phrase is from Luke 1:15 (“he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb”) or known as from the Canticle of Zechariah. Since this was proclaimed prior to John’s conception, I’m not sure that is is definitive that the filling with the Holy Spirit was prophetized to occurr when Mary visited Elizabeth or earlier up to the moment of conception.

I’m not disagreeing. I’m just not seeing the clarity that your post implies. Your insight would be appreciated.


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