Immaculate Conception:December 8th

Q. Where in Scripture does it teach the Immaculate Conception of Mary?

A. The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is not clearly taught in Scripture in a way that would satisfy a skeptic. But, to be honest, neither is the Doctrine of the Trinity. I know, because I spent hours trying to discover it, in order to show a friend who was a Jehovah’s Witness.

What we do find in Scripture are oblique comments that only make sense if the underlying doctrine that gave rise to the comments are known.

For instance, Jesus instructs his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in Matthew 28. This verse is cited when arguing for the Trinity. But does it unequivocally teach the Doctrine of the Trinity? No. But if you can understand that this verse rests upon and takes for granted that the listeners have already been instructed in the Doctrine of the Trinity thus no further explanation is necessary. Why else is name singular unless it denotes a trinitarian God-Father, Son & Holy Spirit?

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:41-42)

Elizabeth declared both Jesus and Mary “blessed”. Sinless perhaps? Some kind of equality there.

But this verse is very soft evidence of the underlying theology of the Immaculate Conception.


A stronger implication of the doctrine is found in the greeting to Mary from the angel in Luke 1:28:

“Hail! Full of Grace!”

The Greek word, chairo means “hail” or “rejoice.” Every other use of this verb hail/chairo in the New Testament, that is followed by a noun, declares the title of the person being saluted. For example, in Matthew 26:49, Judas greets Jesus with “Hail! Master!” Similarly, in Matthew 27:29 soldiers mockingly bow before Jesus saying, “Hail! King of the Jews!” “Master” and “King of the Jews” are being uses as titles of Christ, just like “Jesus Christ.”

So, the phrase, Full Of Grace, which follows the angel’s “Hail!,” is her title. It is “Full of Grace.” This might seem like an odd name, but in OT days God often had people named with strange titles to reveal some truth. For example, in Isaiah 7:3 we find that one of Isaiah’s sons was named “A Remnant Shall Return.”

The title given to Mary is a form of the Greek word, “charitoo,” which means “to endow with grace,” “highly favored.” We see this title, given to Mary by the angel Gabriel as evidence for the truthfulness of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. “Kecharitomene” is the actual Greek word translated in various versions of the Bible as “full of grace,” “O favored one,” etc. This Greek word literally means “having been highly favored” or “having been full of grace” (Luke 1:28).

The phrase, “full of grace,” doesn’t jump out as a reason to consider Mary something unique—one who from conception was without sin!

But, as Origen commented, in the second century, the angel’s greeting was an expression never before used to address someone. Even Mary was puzzled by such an unusual salutation (Luke 1:29).

So, many might be convinced that the Angel was calling Mary by a new name but wasn’t it merely a new name to express the honor of her upcoming state of blessedness as the mother of the Messiah?

No, because kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle. This means that Mary was filled with grace in the past and this fullness of grace continues to the present. Therefore this fullness of grace is not new. It will not begin with the Incarnation and is not due to her maternity alone.

So, the angel’s words were a declaration of existing fact, not a prophecy of a future event. Rather than the title “You are about to be full of grace” kecharitomene would mean “You have been and still are full of grace”.

The Angel’s greeting reveals the unstated and universally accepted fact that Mary had been given the fullness of God’s grace in her past before the angel’s announcement—way in her past, from the time of her conception. Mary was created by God without the defect of Original Sin. She was created in the Fullness of Grace, The Fullness of Humanity just as Adam and Eve had been created.

Whereas, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, Mary obeyed God throughout her whole life. And, if you were God, entirely HOLY and you could create your mother in which to dwell in the incarnation would you choose a sinful woman or an immaculate one?



Mary was not sinless. There was only one that ever was sinless – Jesus. What Biblical Scripture supports your idea that she was sinless?

BFHU:  Please read: Immaculate Conception
Both Catholics and Protestant believe things that are not explicitly spelled out in scripture.

For instance:

Where does Scripture say anything even close to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura? Where in Scripture does it say explicitly that Jesus is the only one who never sinned? What about babies? Born with original sin? Yes. Committed sin? NO. You might find the series on Protestant Traditions interesting….

Sola Scriptura?

A Tradition of Men: Jesus had Siblings. Mary is NOT a Perpetual Virgin.

Tradition of Men: Catholics worship Idols.

Sola Scriptura: A tradition of Men

Sola Scriptura: A Tradition of Men 2

Sola Scriptura: A Tradition of Men 3

I don’t know what happened to 4. 🙂

Sola Scriptura: A Tradition of Men 5





Why be Catholic?

Sola Scriptura?


Q. I would be interested to know where Mary’s Immaculate Conception is referenced in the Bible. I would also like to have reference to her being/remaining sinless. Thank you.

A. Dear Michelle,

Before I answer your questions let me explain a fundamental difference between the sources of Catholic Doctrine and Protestant Doctrine.

The source for Catholic Doctrine is:

All that Jesus taught His disciples which were both written and orally transmitted.

The source for Protestant Doctrine is:

Many things that Jesus taught His disciples, but not all because limited to:

  1. Only what is in the  Bible after Luther removed 7 books.
  2. A few doctrines adopted from Catholicism

Because Protestants are bound to the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura they judge Catholic Doctrine to be suspect when teachings cannot be found explicitly in scripture. They do not seem to be aware that the Bible is a derived source. A sacred secondary source. A source derived from the primary source which is the teaching of Jesus Christ to His disciples.

The Catholic Church derives her teaching from the primary source. Catholic teaching and the Bible are both derived from the primary source, the teachings of Jesus. For this reason, nothing the Catholic Church teaches contradicts anything in the Bible because they are both derived from the same source. Everything that the Catholic Church teaches can not be found explicitly in Sacred Scripture. But, it can be found in the historic teaching of the Catholic Church which is derived from what the apostles taught and handed down to their successors….that which Jesus taught.

So when you ask,

Where is Mary’s Immaculate Conception  referenced in the Bible? I would also like to have reference to her being/remaining sinless.

This is because you have been taught that nothing must be believed as Christians, unless it can be found in Scripture. But this source (the Bible)  is an incomplete record of all that Jesus did and taught. This is clearly affirmed in Scripture.

John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book

John 21:25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Ironically, even as Protestants criticize Catholics for believing things that are not in scripture they unwittingly believe things that also are not to be found explicitly in Scripture.

First and foremost, the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura  is nowhere to be found in scripture.

Neither is the Doctrine of the Trinity or the Incarnation to be found explicitly in scripture. These were adopted from Catholicism.

For these reasons the Immaculate Conception and perpetual sinlessness of Mary cannot be found explicitly in scripture. But then, again, neither can Sola Scriptura .

For what Scriptural evidence we do have you might want to explore the following post:

Immaculate Conception

Jesus was Born at the end of December!

UnknownQ. Was Jesus really born on December 25th? I have heard he was born in the spring.


 God has allowed His Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on the right day or very close to it. This is not mandatory or a matter of faith, but why doubt it without very good reason?

The argument for assigning late December as the rightful date of the birth of Yeshua is based on the time Zacharias was told that Elizabeth would conceive a child.

Osservatore Romano: December 24,1998

“December 25 is an historical date,” Professor Tommaso Federici, Professor at the Pontifical Urbanian University and a consultant to two Vatican Congregations, has stressed. In an article in the Osservatore Romano on December 24, he wrote: “December 25 is explained as the ‘Christianization’ of a pagan feast, ‘birth of the Sol Invictus’; or as the symmetrical balance, an aesthetic balance between the winter solstice (Dec. 21-22) and the spring equinox (March 23-24).

But a discovery of recent years has shed definitive light on the date of the Lord’s birth. As long ago as 1958, the Israeli scholar Shemaryahu Talmon published an in-depth study on the calendar of the Qumran sect [Ed. based , in part, on Parchment Number 321 — 4 Q 321 — of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls,], and he reconstructed without the shadow of doubt the order of the sacerdotal rota system for the temple of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 24, 7-18) in New Testament times.

Here the family of Abijah, of which Zechariah was a descendant, father of John the herald and forerunner (Luke 1, 5), was required to officiate twice a year, on the days 8-14 of the third month, and on the days 24-30 of the eighth month. This latter period fell at about the end of September. It is not without reason that the Byzantine calendar celebrated ‘John’s conception’ on September 23 and his birth nine months later, on June 24. The ‘six months’ after the Annunciation established as a liturgical feast on March 25, comes three months before the forerunner’s birth, prelude to the nine months in December: December 25 is a date of history.”

Therefore, If Zacharias served during the end of September and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Jesus’ birth during the month of Tevet, in late December. The explanation is as follows:

1. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was conceived just after Yom Kippur (late Sept) and born 9 months later in (late June).

* John’s father (Zacharias) was a Levite of the house of Abijah who was assigned to serve in the temple during the 8th and 34 weeks of the year. If the Angel’s announcement to Zechariah was the 34th week that would have been during the High Holiday of Yom Kippur.
* It is written that John was conceived shortly after this tour of duty (Luke 1:23-4), and Yom Kippur. Thus, John would have been born around (late June).

2. Jesus was conceived in (late March), six months after John the Baptist (Luke 1:24-27, 36) near Passover, and born 9 months later during late December.

Luke 1:36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.

3. Circumstantial Evidences:

Church history, since the time of the late first century, has attested to a late December birth.

Hippolytus, in the second century AD, argued that this was Christ’s birthday.

In the fourth century,

John Chrysostom (347-407) argued that December 25th was the correct date. Chrysostom taught that Zechariah received the message about John’s birth on the Day of Atonement and John the Baptist was born sometime in June or July, and the birth of Jesus took place six months later, in late December (or early January). There was never a question about the period of Jesus’ birth either in the East or in the West; only in the recent years this date was challenged.
Early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. In the normal traffic of shepherds they move around and come near Bethlehem from November to March of the year. But then these were a special class of Levitical shepherds who kept the sacrificial lambs. They do not move around because they supply the lambs for daily sacrifice from whom people bought their approved lambs, which are blemishless. The fact that the Angels announced the arrival of the perfect sacrificial lamb to these shepherds indicates this. The climate near Bethlehem is more like Southern California, it is after all Mediterranian. It is not a Canadian or Russian climate.

Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew, wrote, “There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable.”

Edersheim notes that Megillot Taanit states that the 9th of Tevet is considered the day of Christ’s birth, and that puts the birth of Yeshua sometime during late December.

If Zacharias served during Yom Kippur and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Jesus’ birth during the month of Tevet, in late December.

Both views can be seen HERE

There Was NO Papal Primacy for the First 1000 Years of Christianity!

papacyKim: In the first 1,000 years there was no papal primacy,what church are you refering to ?

BFHU: There absolutely was papal primacy attributed to the Bishop of Rome. One of the reasons I was convinced of this is that while reading about some controversy in the early Church ( I was not even researching evidence for papal primacy)I saw that historically, it was always decided, that to settle a matter, they would go to the Bishop of Rome for a final decision. I don’t remember what historical event I was looking up back then but here are a few ancient examples way, way, way, before 1000AD

In the writings of the Early Church Fathers the fact of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome is taken for granted. Before, 80 A.D. the Corinthian Church kicked out their bishop. Appeals were made to Pope Clement I,(who died in 80 AD) the fourth Bishop of Rome to settle the matter. And yet, the Apostle St. John was still alive at Ephesus and living a lot closer to Corinth than Rome. Never-the-less the appeals were made to the Pope/Bishop of Rome rather than to one of the 12 original apostles,  because all knew that only the Bishop of Rome had the authority to make a binding decision.Peter & the Keys

Pope Clement I: “You therefore, who laid the foundation of the rebellion, submit to the presbyters(priests) and be chastened to repentance, bending your knees in a spirit of humility.

“If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him (Jesus) through us (Pope & Church) let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger”(First Letter to the Corinthians)

St. Irenaeus180 AD, a student of St. Polycarp (a disciple of St. John the Apostle), exhorts all “Christians (to) be united to the Church of Rome in order to maintain the Apostolic Tradition/Teaching.

St. Irenaeus: “But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a small volume as this, the succession of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the succession of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all,  founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us, after having been announced to men, by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all the Churches must agree, that is all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic traditions. (Against Heresies)

St Peter'sHe then made a list of all the Bishops of Rome up to his time. There is nothing in his writing that sounds like he is trying to be convincing because he is teaching something new, but rather that all Christians took for granted that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church.

Also, for 250 years the Roman Emperors tried to destroy Christianity through persecution. In the first 200 years of Christianity, every Pope but one was martyred. So, even the pagans knew that the Bishop of Rome was the head of the Church.

A Roman Emperor’s greatest fear was a rival to the throne. Nevertheless, the emperor Decius (249-251 A.D.) one of the harshest persecutors of the early Christian Church made the following remark:

I would far rather receive news of a rival to the throne than of another bishop of Rome. (Christian History, Issue 27 1990, vol IX, No. 3, p22)

Decius said this after he had executed Pope Fabian in 250 A.D.
Beginning Apologetics by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham



Eastern Orthodox Red Eggs

Eastern Orthodox Red Eggs