"Proof" that Mary was a sinner?

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I got hit up by a protestant friend, saying he had biblical proof that Mary was a sinner, one which I had not heard before. It goes something like this;

In Luke 2:24, it says that Mary and Joseph offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. This dictate comes from Lev 12, and v 6 says it is for a sin offering. Hence, his assertation that Mary was a sinner.

I have a couple of ideas as how to respond, but, being new to the group, wanted to run it up a flagpole and see if anyone else has some ideas. 😃

Steve Chechet
2 things:

1, the “sin offering” was specifically to make her “clean” again after her first period following birth. Since Christ carried to term naturally (though born supernaturally), Mary would still have had to be “purified of her blood” (Lev 12:5)after her first periord following pregnancy.

2, Joseph was making the offering as well, and was sinful just like the rest of us

Hope this helps.
Sinless or not, Mary did not put herself above the law. It was a manifestation of her great humility. In similar fashion, Jesus paid the temple tax and observed the Passover, neither of which, as God, He needed to do.

I agree with both Dr. C and Betsy.

Remember also that Jesus was baptized by John. A baptism of repentance. Jesus had no sin, what did he need to repent of. nothing!.
I would ask him exactly WHAT Mary’s sin was?

The Law commanded a sacrifice for ritual uncleanliness, not for sin.

Mary had a child: if that was sinful, exactly why did God command Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”.

Did God actually command them to SIN??? :eek: 😛

( now if Mary had disregarded the Law, and not offered the sacrifice, that would have been sinful. But Mary would not do that, as she was sinless 🙂 )
Mary made the offering for the same reason that Jesus receives sinners’ baptism. Obedience to God.
Not to make light of the question, but tell your friend to stick with the brothers of Jesus scripture quotes. I am sure he has already brought those to your attention. They require a much more difficult answer. 😉
I agree with PAX. The responses to this thread are excellent!
The proof that I had heard that Mary is a sinner is that in the Magnificat she says “I rejoice in God, my Savior”

The arguement goes that she wouldn’t need a savior if she hadn’t sinned.

Just thought I’d add to the discussion…
Ahhhh…but exactly who saved her from original sin? Hmmm?
Thought I would throw this in. I heard this on Ave Maria Radio (I think it was Scott Hahn, but I listen to it so much, I begin to get the speakers confused 😃 !)

You are walking in a jungle and you fall into quicksand. Someone pulls you out and saves you from the quicksand. They saved you.

You are walking in a jungle; right before you fall in the quicksand, some grabs you and saves you from falling in the pit. They saved you.

The first is like baptism; you are in the pit of original (and probably also personal) sin. Baptism pulls you out the pit and cleanses you.

The second is like the immaculate conception. Mary was saved from the stain of original sin at the moment of conception by a direct act of God before she “fell in the pit”.

I liked this explanation, as I think it is very simple and illustrative. Even children can understand this 😉

God bless,

Not to make light of the question, but tell your friend to stick with the brothers of Jesus scripture quotes. I am sure he has already brought those to your attention. They require a much more difficult answer. 😉
Yeah, I know this is kind of a slam-dunk, but my experience so far is that what I say is not always what makes a difference. Getting other’s ideas or ways of expressing these ideas are very helpful. Thanks for all of your insiteful remarks. Is this forum great or what? 👍

Steve Chechet
Not to make light of the question, but tell your friend to stick with the brothers of Jesus scripture quotes. I am sure he has already brought those to your attention. They require a much more difficult answer. 😉
Not really, modern translations leave a lot to be desired in understanding the original meaning, There was NO word for brother, the closest we could come to it is kinfolk and that could mean lots of people even fellow villagers. The word brother is very misleading. And if anyone needs proof that the Mother of Our Lord is sinless, how about trusting St. Gabrial and the Catholic Church. St. Gabrail said "Hail, FULL of GRACE, and the Church teaches INFALLABLE the Immaculate Conception. Thats proof enough for me.
He was baptised in the river Jordan…Johns baptism was a sign of Coversion… Why did Jesus need conversion, was he a sinner?

TMary and Joseph were following the customs of Their people, further more, while Mary was sinless Joseph was not…
(Hi, everyone, I’m a Catholic convert after 46 years of evangelical Protestantism.)

Ask your friend what difference it will make to Jesus’ work of salvation (death, burial, resurrection) if Mary was indeed sinless. Will it make a difference in your friend’s personal salvation?

He/she will ask you why Mary didn’t die on the cross instead of Jesus.

The answer is that Mary is fully human, like Jesus, but not fully Divine, like Jesus. He was the Perfect Sacrifice.

I think it’s interesting that in Matthew 5:48, Jesus commands us to be perfect. So why are Protestant Christians so surprised when someone (Mary) actually obeys Jesus and is perfect? Do we think Jesus was just making a nice suggestion to all of us?
God chose the perfect mother for his perfect son. In order to do that Mary was saved before the cross, God is out side of time, he can extend his saving grace as he pleases. He gave Mary her grace so that the world may receive his!
I sometimes have things fixed on my vehicle that do not need fixing, does that mean they were “broke”? No

Maintaining our relationship with God in the disciplines He gives us does not mean we “needed” them, just that we are obedient to them. In the same way, Mary was obedient to the laws of God as we should be in the fulfillment of His law, Christ.

I go to confession whether or not I have sinned mortally, does this mean I have mortal sin upon my soul? no, just that I want to stay in accountability with my confessor who is in the person of Christ and therefore I stay stronger in Christ.
   and by the way Papist, thanks for making it here a day before me and getting my username! lol
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 papist1
Great posts for this column. I also wanted to add a couple of things.

First of all, if you want to make the argument that Mary was a sinner since she offered 2 turtledoves in accordance with Lev. 12 you would also have to make the argument that Jesus must have been a sinner since he was baptized by John the baptist. It was the Baptist who said “I baptize you with water for repentance” (Mt. 3:11); do we therefore conclude that Jesus needed to repent? That is absurd. Jesus was baptized to sanctify the waters of baptism to “fulfill all righteousness” (Mt. 3:15). Mary, being full of Grace and the Handmaid of the Lord is likewise pleased to fulfill all righteousness and to walk in all of the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Had Mary failed to keep the Law in this regard, these same people would be quick to point out how she transgressed the commandment of the Lord and was therefore a sinner.

Secondly, St. Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit exclaimed with a loud cry, “blessed are YOU among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42) Now if Mary were a sinner, this passage would be erroneous since we know that Eve was created in a state of perfection before she harkened to the voice of the serpent. If Mary sinned one could argue that Eve, at least at one time, was blessed among women being created in a state of perfection. This leads to a deeper point.

Sin puts us at enmity with God. It is inconceivable that God would take His human form from a woman who was in a state of sin and at enmity with him. This would give Satan the opportunity to reproach the Lord Jesus for all eternity. He would be able to say that He (Jesus) was unable to preserve even his own mother from turning against him at one time or another. He would be able to boast forever and ever that before she was His mother, she was his slave and able to say “I had her first”. God would never allow the Devil such a luxury. He would never ever allow his own mother to be numbered among the ranks of his greatest enemy for even the tiniest moment imaginable.

If you were God and you knew from all eternity the woman from whom you would take on human form for the redemption of mankind, wouldn’t you create her immaculate? The 4th commandment says, “Honor thy father and thy mother.” God certainly has the power to preserve a member of the human race from sin (He is God after all). We know that Jesus, being God, kept the commandments of God perfectly. How better for Jesus to honor his own mother than to preserve her from the stain of sin.

If we say that Mary was a sinner, we are saying something very grave and that is that Jesus in essence dishonored his Mother thereby transgressing his own commandment. This cannot be since God would never do anything contrary to his own will.
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