The sinless Virgin Mary - Romans 3:23 all have sinned


#1

Post 1 of 2.
The sin of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, marked the separation of mankind from God. After both of these 2 sinned, God said to the serpent:

"…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel". Genesis 3:15

Surely the seed or offspring that crushes the head of the serpent is Jesus Christ, whom crushes it on the Cross. The woman here then, is the Virgin Mary. Let us take a look at the word "enmity" (וְאֵיבָ֣ה ׀) more closely.

The word enmity is the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. The woman being talked of in Genesis 3:15, would have "enmity" with the Serpent. Some mistakenly say that this woman is Eve. The problem is, that Eve had "amity" with the serpent, not enmity. Eve obeyed the serpent and sinned, so it can't be Eve. The woman is Mary, being the Mother of the Seed that crushes the serpent. One thing one must do to have "enmity" with the serpent, is not doing what the serpent says. Namely, sinning. Therefore, Mary did not sin.

In another sense this woman could also be interpreted to be the Church. But in any case, Mary is a figure of the Church. This verse applies to her in a very personal way as she is the Mother of the seed that crushes the serpent (Jesus Christ). Some interpret the seed to also mean the Church. Again, in any case, Mary is the Mother of the Church. Thus Mary had enmity with the Serpent and didn't sin.

"And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women" Luke 1:28

The word "Hail" comes from the Greek "Χαῖρε".

There are examples in Scripture, in which greeting a person with Chaire (Χαῖρε), translated as "Hail", was often followed by a name or title. Examples are "Hail, Rabbi!" (Matt 26:49) and "Hail, king of the Jews" (John 19:3, Mark 15:18 and Matt 27:29). Mary's title or "name" given by the Angel, is "Full of Grace", since the Angel said "Hail Full of grace" (Χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη).

The word "κεχαριτωμένη" (Kecharitomene), is in the perfect tense, indicating that Mary was graced in the past (thusbefore the angel’s vist),and continued in the present. And if this title is given to Mary by the divine messenger, then certainly she continued to be "Full of grace" her entire life.

If we hold that she was "Full of Grace" her entire life, which is the title the Angel gave her, then we must hold she never sinned. For it is written:

Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace"

If Mary was Full of grace, then according to Romans 6:14 she would be absolutely free of the dominion of sin.

The main objection by protestants comes by quoting Romans 3:22-24.
"There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

The protestant reading of the above verse, is that there are no exceptions. Every single person, without exceptions, have sinned.

They key here is the word "all" (πάντας) and how it is interpreted. The word in its basic form, "πᾶς" (Pas) is translated as "all". However, this word has various uses in the Greek. It does not necessarily mean "all" as in "every single one".

Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Abridged Ed.) states: 'Pas' can have different meanings according to its different uses . . . in many verses, 'pas' is used in the NT simply to denote a great number, e.g., "all Jerusalem" in Mt 2:3 and "all the sick" in 4:24. {pp.796-7}. See also Mt 3:5, 21:10, 27:25, Mk 2:13, 9:15, etc., esp. in KJV.

Likewise, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament gives "of every kind" as a possible meaning in some contexts {p.491, word #3956}. And Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words tells us it can mean "every kind or variety." {v.1, p.46, under "All"}.

We find examples of a non-literal intent elsewhere in Romans. In verse 1:29 the KJV reads, "being filled with all unrighteousness.....," whereas NRSV adopts the more particular, specific meaning, ".....every kind of wickedness...."

There are many examples that can be taken from Scripture in which the word Pas "πᾶς" for "All" is not to be taken that way. Let us see 5 examples:

1- Luke 2:10
"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for **all **the people'".

When the Angel told the Shepherds that Jesus would be born, he said that this "good news" that would bring Joy for "all" the people. But we know for a fact that not everyone was happy with the news. At least King Herod wasn't.

2- Matthew 2:3
" And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and **all **Jerusalem with him."
The above verse confirms that this was not good news for "all people", because King Herod was so troubled that he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem. We cannot also take the above verse very literal. Not "all" Jerusalem was "troubled" by Jesus' birth. This refers to a great number of people.


#2

Post 2 of 2.

3- Romans 11:26
"Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved"

Are we to think that St. Paul is telling us that "all" Israel, without the exception of any Jew, will be saved? Certainly not.

4- 1 Corinthians 15:22
"As in Adam** all** die, so in Christ all will be made alive"
There are many who believe that Elijah and Enoch didn't die, since Scripture states that both were assumed into Heaven (and in fact some Jews thought Jesus was Elijah). Likewise, "all" will not be made spiritually alive by Christ, as some will choose to suffer eternal spiritual death in hell.

5- 1 Timothy 6:10
"For the love of money is the root of **all **evil......"
Is the love of money the root of every single evil without exception? Certainly not. Evil is not always the result of greed. For instance, Adultery is often not the result of greed.

The examples can be greatly multiplied. If then, the word in Greek "Pas" "πᾶς" can mean "every kind", "every kind of variety", or "great number", etc then the phrase "all have sinned" in Romans 3:23 can mean a great number of people, not necessarily every single person.

If we hold to the word "all" (πᾶς) in a very literal way in every single verse, then let us also hold it literally in this verse:
"For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed"
Words of the Virgin Mary in Luke 1:48

To find out more on the topic, check out my video "The Immaculate and Sinless Virgin Mary" on YouTube:

English Version:
youtube.com/watch?v=409IUtsdtr4

Spanish Version:
youtube.com/watch?v=94aRtUZGTFg

God bless!


#3

Excellent post! As a convert from Southern Baptist, this has bugged me for quite a while. Your post is very helpful. Thanks!


#4

[quote="ChrisRedfield47, post:1, topic:337236"]
Post 1 of 2.

The main objection by Protestants **comes by quoting Romans 3:22-24.
"There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for **all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

The protestant reading of the above verse, is that there are no exceptions. Every single person, without exceptions, have sinned.

They **key here is the word "all" (πάντας) and how it is interpreted. The word in its basic form, "πᾶς**" (Pas) is translated as "all". However, this word has various uses in the Greek. It does not necessarily mean "all" as in "every single one".........

Ciamar a tha sibh Chris, I would like to respectfully start by saying that many of us Protestants [a very generic term] believe in the sinless nature of Christs mother!
Some of us believe that all of her sins were taken away by grace, others like myself believe she was sinless, from the moment she left her mothers womb, and led a life in utter compliance with Gods law and precepts, never sinning once, under her own prerogative!
**How could Christ be born out of a vessel anything other than perfect? **
Mary is the reconstruction of Eve remade perfect. She is I believe what Eve should have become, and indeed through Mary and the prophesy in Eden, did become. The evidence for Marys sinless nature cannot be denied by any serious scholar, who opens his eyes without prejudice!

Fear not Chris, in my case and many others you are preaching to the converted. I have openly debated Marys "special" nature in church study groups. I have even convinced a few, and those I have not, are at least now more understanding of the Roman Catholic position.:)

[/quote]


#5

[quote="TheBurningBush, post:4, topic:337236"]


#6

[quote="getysbg, post:5, topic:337236"]

Nice.
[/quote]


#7

[quote="getysbg, post:5, topic:337236"]

Christ sinned! really? Peter and Paul were obviously mistaken.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:22
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
[/quote]


#8

[quote="TheBurningBush, post:7, topic:337236"]


#9

[quote="TheBurningBush, post:4, topic:337236"]


#10

[quote="getysbg, post:5, topic:337236"]

Yes, Jesus himself is an exception to Romans 3:23. ;)

And about "ALL Judea", the verse includes more than Judea......
"Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him...."
Matthew 3:5

I thank you for bringing that verse up. Indeed it refers to a great number of people, not "every single one" from those regions. There are many examples really, that can be mentioned about the word "Pas".
[/quote]


#11

[quote="ChrisRedfield47, post:1, topic:337236"]
Post 1 of 2.
The sin of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, marked the separation of mankind from God. After both of these 2 sinned, God said to the serpent . . .

[/quote]

Excellent analysis. The only thing you left out is the rhetorical term for the use of "all" to mean a large part of -- and now I can't think of it either :mad: :D


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.