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:
- Only what is in the Bible after Luther removed 7 books.
- 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: