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Mary is NOT Immaculate Conception ( Scriptural Argument)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,934 times Debate No: 38292
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Mary, the mother of Jesus, is NOT immaculate conception according to the Bible.

#1 Scriptural Argument against the Dogma of Immaculate Conception of Mary:

In the Vulgate, Luke 1:28 says that Mary is "full of grace" and according to the Scriptures, only sinners are given grace.

Grace means "undeserved kindness" .

The Holy Angels can't be given grace because they are elected by God according to their works ( 1 Tim. 5:21).

The Saints are given grace because they are elected by God not according to their works but according to God's grace ( Romans 11:5).

Premise 1: Mary is given grace
Premise 2: grace is given only to sinners
Conclusion: Mary is a sinner

#2 Argument against the Dogma of Immaculate Conception of Mary:

Mary said that her spirit rejoices in God her Savior ( Luke 1:47).

Savior means "one who rescues".

In the Scriptures, God is the only Savior. He alone does the work of salvation ( 1 Peter 1:2).There are many kinds of rescue which God makes for his people and oen of those commonly known is rescue from hell but this is not the kind of salvation God saves Mary. According to the CONTEXT, Mary was saved from "arrogance, of conceit, of pride" ( Luke 1:48).

Luke 1:46-48:
46 And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 BECAUSE he has been mindful
of the "humble state" of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed

According to St. Luke's gospel, God is Mary's Savior because of the reason of HUMILITY. The significance of this is great because Lucifer, Adam and Eve fell via pride. That's why the church and its leaders are called to humility:

"An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become PROUD, and the devil would cause him to fall" ( 1 Timothy 3:6 NLT).

"God opposes the PROUD
but shows favor to the humble"( James 4:6 NIV)

Premise 1: God saved Mary from arrogance.
Premise 2: Salvation( i.e. rescue) is for sinners only
Conclusion: Mary's a sinner.

#3 Argument against the Dogma of Immaculate Conception of Mary:

The Ark of the Covenant Typology proves that Mary inherited the original sin.

The Ark of the Old Covenant was made of "cursed" stuffs ( Genesis 3:17-18, Romans 8:22).

But still, God used it for his glory. The Ark contains "sacred" stuffs which are 1) the manna 2) Aaron's rod 3) tablets stones ( i.e. the Law) according to Hebrews 9:4.

Holy, sacred ( In Greek, "hagios"- literally mean 'to set apart' ).

Mary is a type of the Ark (2 Samuel 6:1-12; Luke 1:39-56). She conceived within her the Word of God, the Bread of Life ( John 1:14; 6:35).

Premise 1: Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant
Premise 2: The Ark is of corruptible nature.
Coclusion: MAry is of corruptible nature.


Hippolytus of Rome in the 2nd century had an error about the Ark of the New Covenant typology. His theological opinion that Mary is the Ark which is "of incorruptible nature" contradicts the Scriptural data about the Ark of God. Augustine rejects the idea that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant which shows that it is not universally accepted in the early church.

How could Mary contain within her the Holy God?

For with God nothing shall be impossible ( Luke 1:37). It is through the hypostatic Union and virgin birth. Jesus "became in the likeness of men, was sent in the likeness of the flesh of sin" ( Romans 8:2-3, Philippians 2:7-8).The original sin is passed through the fertilization of a female human egg with a male human sperm which are both contaminated with the original sin. Jesus has his human nature not from Adam's infected nature but from the power of the Holy Spirit ( Luke 1:35).


First off, I wish thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate this resolution. Please note, this debate is on a Catholic dogma, so naturally my arguments will be Catholic in nature.


Grace indeed is the free and unmerited favor of God. I contend that God extended this favor in the fullness of Grace (Lk. 1:28), namely Sanctifying Grace, to Mary at the very moment of Her conception, and She was thus immune from the stain of original sin.

The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It is used as an expression of a fundamental characteristic quality of Mary. This grace given to Mary is immediately effective and a unique intervention of Almighty God. Kecharitomene is a perfect past participle of another Greek word that means, "to fill or endow with grace". It is used in the present tense, which implies that Mary was full of grace in the past with continuing effects into the present, not as a result of the Angel Gabriel"s visit.

With regard to the two scriptural passages put forth, I must agree with Saint Ambrose. "What is greater than the Mother of God?" Though by no means on par with Christ, Mary, as the Mother of God, ranks above the angels and the saints as the fullness the grace within her is in between the fullness of grace peculiar to Christ (Jn. 1:14) and that of the holy angels and saints (outranking the latter).

As for my opponent"s first premise under his first argument, I agree. However, the grace was given by the special intervention of Almighty God to the one who would carry and give birth to the God-Man, at the moment of her conception. Thus she was without original sin (unlike any of the saints). This precludes his second premise.


God is of course the only Savior. My opponent states that God commonly rescues his people from hell, but in his opinion, this was not the case with Mary. I disagree. As I mentioned in argument #1, Mary"s soul was blessed with Sanctifying Grace at the moment of conception, which is indeed what one needs to attain heaven and consequently avoid hell.

My opponent then argues that the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-48) proves the Immaculate Conception false because Mary states that her "spirit rejoices in God my Savior". In order to be conceived without sin, Mary indeed needed a Savior " her Son. Mary was redeemed, or saved, by the grace of Christ at the moment of conception in an anticipatory manner. Christ"s sacrifice was and is redemptive both forward and backward in time as God is not fixed to operating in a linear, chronological fashion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that she was "redeemed in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son" (CCC 492).

In Luke 1:48, the "humble servant" is one translation of the original Greek word, tapeinosis, which means lowliness or the status of being unimportant, not humility in the sense that my opponent has made use of it.

The first premise here is false, which renders the second false as well. The common analogy used in this scenario is one of pulling someone out of a mud pit. The mud pit in this case is the pit of sin, the dominion of satin. We are all born mired in the mud by original sin. Through Christ, one can be pulled out of the mud pit through baptism. Mary, however, was rescued from ever falling into the mud pit by the hand of God at her conception, so she was never subject to sin.


I agree with my opponent on his first premise, Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.

In the Bible, the verbs "to cover" and "to overshadow" are used metaphorically to represent God"s presence and glory. The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives some insight here:

"In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory " with Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert, and with Solomon at the dedication of the temple. In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures [types]. The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"' Finally, the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his Ascension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory on the day of his final coming. The glory of the Lord "overshadowed" the ark and filled the tabernacle (CCC 697)."

There is a direct parallel between the overshadowing of the ark and the Holy Spirit"s overshadowing of Mary, the Mother of God. The Ark of the Old Covenant was the dwelling place of God and Mary, being similarly "overshadowed" by the Holy Spirit is shown to be the new dwelling place of God.

God was extremely specific about the fine details of the Ark (Ex. 25-30) as it was to be a perfect container for Him to dwell within (Ex. 25:8). Jesus, the God-Man, the Word made flesh, was to dwell within Mary. I contend that God would not have His Divine Son " the Second Person of the Holy Trinity " dwell in a less-than-perfect tabernacle and thus created the human who was to carry Jesus without flaw, completely untainted by sin " indeed, immaculate.

Further scriptural evidence is found in the Apocalypse of St. John: "The temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple." And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun." (Rev. 11:19, 12:1) This is widely held by the Church Fathers to be a type of Mary as the Ark of the New and Eternal Testament.

The Old Testament types are recognizable in Luke"s Gospel, sufficiently so to show that Mary, the Mother of God, is in fact the Ark of the New Covenant.

The conjecture that Hippolytus of Rome was mistaken about the "incorruptible" nature of the Ark of the Covenant is speculation and does not violate scriptural data about the Ark as evidenced in Psalm 131:8: "Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified."

While it has been pointed out and it is true that some Church Fathers did not fully accept the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, one should take note that the majority of them did. Here are just a few examples:


This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

Ephraim the Syrian:

You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A. D. 361]).

Ambrose of Milan:

Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin (Commentary on Psalm 118:22-30 [A.D. 387]).

Gregory Nazianzen:

He was conceived by the virgin, who had been first purified by the Spirit in soul and body; for, as it was fitting that childbearing should receive its share of honor, so it was necessary that virginity should receive even greater honor (Sermon 38 [d. A.D. 390]).

Yes, even St. Augustine can be quoted as supporting the Immaculate Conception:

We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honor to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin (Nature and Grace 36:42 [A.D. 415]).

I look forward to responding to my opponent"s rebuttal in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1


1))I believe that Mary is perpetually full of grace. Full means she doesn't lack any grace. Grace means undeserved kindness. Hence, Mary " doesn't lack any undeserved kindness " from the Holy Trinity. But this led to the question of WHAT are those graces given to her? St. Luke didn't specify it. He just recorded Gabriel's greeting: kecharitomene.

The autographa reads literally as:

Greetings! You who have been graced!

Vulgate is not literal translation of kecharitomene but a dynamic equivalence.
Kecharitomene is not a title in Greek.

Charito in kecharitomene is a VERB ( past participle).

The Latin Vulgate translates it as NOUN whereas the english translation of latin vulgate is " full of grace" ( a noun also not a verb like what St. Luke originally wrote).

Full of Grace in itself came from the Latin Vulgate not from the Greek MSS.

kecharitomene is the Greek word found in Luke 1:26 and it is used by the church in Rome for proof about the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. To find out if this is plausible let's have a little grammar of the said word:

ke- present perfect tense ( an action happened in the past that continues up to the present time).
charito- grace, undeserve kindness
mene-passive participle( Mary Receiver not giver of grace)

The Greek literally means " You have been graced".

Mary has received grace from God both in the past and in the present. What she has received in the past is just continuing to be in her possession at Gabriel"s greeting. Hence, she is complete of grace at the time of the Annuniciation.


Jesus experienced the consequences of the original sin. Why? It is because he was " sent in the likeness of sinful flesh" ( Romans 8:3). If Mary is not infected with O.S. then Jesus can't experience pain and death.

Original Sin is acquired via a human Father ( Patristics and Scripture)
Jesus had no human father. Therefore, Jesus is O.S. Free.

2)) spirit rejoices in God my Savior because he gave a special attention to the humility of his servant. The evidence of this is, look! From now on all generation will count me blessed! " ( Luke 1:47,48).

The Greek word "tapein"sis' has two definitions. The literal meaning is " the state or condition of lowliness" and the figurative means" humility".

Here's the Latin Vulgate:
Magnificat anima mea Dominum,
et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo,
QUIA respexit HUMILITATEM ancillae suae.
Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,

Mary acknowledged God as her Savior from " arrogance" and the evidence for this is very contextual: God gave a special attention to her ' humility' as a servant.

The opposite of humility is arrogance. Although not uttered by Mary, it is the natural implication of her words...especially as v. 48 explains why is God her Savior( notice the Greek word " hoti").

Mary praised God as her Savior from moral decay especifically in the realm of conceit because this was the same attitude upheld by , first Lucifer and then, Adam but now, in God's sovereignty and grace. The church per se were warned in 1
Timothy 3:6 about this very theme and Philippians 2 also had the same thought which is humility.

Animals may not be sinners for they were not sentient soul like us but they were part of the entire creation which is CURSED as St. Paul explicitly affirmed in Romans 8:22 and as the Old Testament confirmed in Genesis 3.

That is why animals live by GRACE just as we. Theilogically, it is proper for all of us to suffer and die as a consequence of the original sin per Romans 5:12 and this is to show forth the "Just" attribute/trait of the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Angels were not living by grace for they are holy and no fault. They continue to live in holiness because they were ' elected" by the Father after they had chosen him and left all the rest of the rebelled angels for future eschatological judgment as Revelation 20:10.

1 Timothy 5:21 mentioned " the Elect Angels" which were chosen not by grace as humans but by works because of their use of " free will to choose life".

THEREFORE, Mary inherited the original sin because she is styled as " Full of Grace" per Jeromes's Vulgate and " had been graced" per Lukan Greek of St. Luke 1:28.

again, grace is the sacred scripture was NEVER given to any one who is holy.

Tn what sense was those the "Ark" Holy? It can't mean in the sense of substance because the entire creation is cursed ( Genesis 3). Hence, those are Holy in subjective sense only. The term holiness should be qualified as " to set apart, sacred" to avoid nuances.

The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament is made of cursed materials (Rom. 8:22) but still, it is considered " sacred or set apart" because it contains " divine stuffs" related to YHWH.


I rejected every patristic support on the I.C. starting A.D. 300 onwards because it is the time where invocation of the saints became existent.

Hippolytus believes in I.C. but his argument on typology is wrong. The Ark in the O.T. is not made of "incorruptible wood " but on the contrary, it is corruptible. Hence, Mary as the NT Ark must be a sinner. (Romans 8:22, 1 Cor. 3:12)

Origen Believes that Mary has a " SIN":
Origen, although he ascribed to Mary high spiritual prerogatives, thought that, at the time of Christ's passion, the sword of disbelief pierced Mary's soul; that she was struck by the poniard of doubt; and that for her sins also Christ died (Origen, "In Luc. hom. xvii").



My opponent concedes that he does indeed believe that Mary is perpetually full of Grace. What I think, however, is that we disagree on the definition of grace. Catholic theology holds that there are several different kinds of grace. Sanctifying grace, which is given to Mary at conception, is the fullness of grace (through Christ) that merits eternal salvation. Protestants have different ideas of grace. However, we are debating a Catholic dogma, not theological differences between Catholics and Protestants. I am presenting my argument on a Catholic dogma from a Catholic perspective, which should be recognized by my opponent.

Charitoo, the root of the word kecharitomene, means to bestow grace or favor upon, or to bless. I will accept my opponent"s translation of the Greek notwithstanding the Vulgate. "You have been graced" in the Greek MSS is kecharitomene. It is critical to note that this word stands in place of Mary"s name as the noun in the angelic salutation. "You who have been graced" is the better translation in context.

I do not dispute my opponent"s structured breakdown of the word, nor his explanations. Mary received Grace from God in the past, which carried forward to the present and she is complete of Grace at the time of the annunciation. I do not see this as an argument against the Immaculate Conception at all; On the contrary, in fact.

My opponent states that "If Mary is not infected with O.S. (original sin) then Jesus can"t experience pain and death." This seems to imply that Christ was infected somehow with O.S. through Mary (a blasphemy), however, in his very next argument my opponent states "Jesus is O.S. free." Perhaps my opponent can clarify his point on these two notes.


It is interesting that my opponent now elects to use the Latin Vulgate to try to make his point. He concedes that the Greek word has a literal meaning, "the state or condition of lowliness," yet assumes a figurative usage. Mary is simply responding to Elizabeth (Lk. 1:42) as though to say, "There is no reason to congratulate me. It is all the work of the Lord. My good fortune consists in the fact that he has deigned to notice one so small as I am."

"The keynote is that God is gracious especially to the poor and lowly, and Mary, who has called herself "the slave of the Lord", insists on keeping that place; "because he hath regarded the lowliness (not, humility) of his slave, therefore all generations will call me [blessed]". She confesses that since God is her Saviour, 47, she needs salvation; that is the doctrine of the Church: as a child of Adam she needed her Son"s redemption which gained her the preventive grace saving her from incurring the stain of all sin, original and actual." [1]


The Ark of the Covenant was in fact made of "incorruptible wood" according to the Septuagint: "And thou shalt make the ark of testimony of incorruptible wood..."
Exodus 25:10, Septuagint

The Ark, being the dwelling place of God was Holy and thus Mary, the Mother of God, was also Holy (sinless, immaculate), for she was to bear Christ within her womb and be a dwelling place for God.

While my opponent rejects Patristic support beyond 300 AD I do not, coming from a Catholic perspective. Being an argument on a Catholic dogma, I contend that Catholic principles should be admitted.


[1] Ginns, R. (1953). The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke. (B. Orchard & E. F. Sutcliffe, Eds.)A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (p. 941). Toronto: Thomas Nelson.
Debate Round No. 2


1))According to Catholic theology, saving grace is upon Mary the very moment of her existence.

Based on this, we can conclude the following:

1) Mary wasn't saved from hell but from inheriting the original sin.
2). The rest of mankind ever born was saved from hell.

The Scripture indicates that salvation done by Christ on the cross is for (1) those infected with original sin because (2) it is from hell they're saved from.

2)) According to church fathers (i.e. Augustine and Ambrose to name a few) original sin is passed on via male progenitor and female progenitor both who are infected with sin.

Jesus did not inherit original sin because his flesh is not made of both male and female progenitors of sinful nature but only of Mary.

Mary's original sin was not passed on her offspring because Mary's egg wasn't fertilised by a sperm cell of a Male progenitor with original sin.

Philippians 2:6 said that the Son became in the likeness of men. Why likeness? It is because he is not infected with original sin.

Romans 8:3 says that God sent his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin.

Mary has " the flesh of sin" ( i.e. She's infected with original sin). Jesus is the "likeness" of the flesh of sin. Therefore, he could experience the effects of sin ( i.e human pain and human death) without having the original sin.

Premise 1: Jesus is in the likeness of the flesh of sin.
Premise 2: Mary is Jesus' mother
Conclusion: Mary has the flesh of sin and Jesus is her likeness.

The Ark is not made of incorruptible wood per se in the sense of " unable to destroy or breakdown". The LXX renders " acacia" wood of Hebrew scripture as " incorruptible" in the sense of its " lastingness" because we know that acacia trees .
won't last for all eternity.Hence, my previous argument about Mary as the NT Ark who is contaminated with original sin stands.



Pro is wandering from the resolution here and uses some fallacious logic. Indeed according to Catholic theology Mary was conceived without original sin because God intervened in a unique way to preserve her from the stain of sin by infusing her with Sanctifying (saving) Grace at her conception. Pro concludes from this that, "Mary wasn"t saved from hell but from inheriting the original sin." Without being tainted with original sin Mary was not subject to the fall and like the new Eve was perpetually without sin. Therefore she continued to exist in Sanctifying Grace and was saved from hell. I should like to point out here that this argument wanders from the resolution. We are not arguing whether or not Mary was perpetually without sin, we are debating whether or not she was conceived immaculately, which I contend she was.

As with the first point, the second has nothing to do with the Immaculate Conception and the conclusion does not logically follow from the dictates of Catholic theology on the Immaculate Conception.

In fact, in Pro"s first point he concludes that Mary was saved from inheriting original sin. If this is the case, he has conceded the resolution.


Mary was conceived with the sperm of a male progenitor. The Church holds this to be true. However God, at the moment of Mary"s conception, preserved her from falling into the "pit" of original sin infusing her with Sanctifying Grace. It is a unique and divine act of God that makes Mary immaculate.

Pro then goes on to say that Mary had inherited original sin but Jesus was without sin because he did not have a male human progenitor. Immediately following this, my opponent refers to Philippians 2:7 that Christ Jesus was born "in the likeness of men" and expanding on this he states that the "likeness" of men means that Jesus was not infected with original sin. From this point he posits that Mary had original sin, which allowed for Jesus to experience the effects of sin, as though Jesus had some degree of sin attached to him. Pro argues two different meanings of the word "likeness". He cannot have it both ways. In scriptural context, likeness has the same meaning, which is that Jesus has only the semblance, guise, or outward appearance (dictionary definition of likeness) of "sinful flesh".

The Ark of the New Covenant was the perfection of the Ark of the Old Covenant, just as Jesus was the perfection and fulfillment of the Old Testament. Christ"s incarnation in the Virgin Mary perfected the Old Ark of the Covenant insofar as Christ takes upon himself the roles of the former objects.

Nothing imperfect enters heaven, and the Ark did. The Ark of his Covenant (the new Covenant) is spoken of in the book of Revelation (Rev. 11:19):

"Then God"s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail."

(Rev. 12:1) "And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars"

Furthermore, the Fathers (even before 300 AD) attest to the Ark being the Virgin Mary:

"The ark is verily the holy Virgin, gilded within and without, who received the treasure of universal sanctification. Arise, O Lord, from the Father"s bosom, to raise up again the ruined race of our first parent" (Orat. in Deip. Annunciat. Int. Opp. S. Greg. Thaumaturg) (Blessed Virgin, p. 89). St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (c. 213-c. 270)

"As Christ our priest was not chosen by hand of man, so neither was His tabernacle framed by men, but was established by the Holy Ghost; and by the power of God is that tabernacle protected, to be had in everlasting remembrance, Mary, God"s Virgin Mother" (S. Dionysius of Alexandria, Respons. ad Quoest. v. Pauli Samos) (Blessed Virgin, p. 81). St. Dionysius (died 264)

The physical makeup of the Ark of the Old Covenant is ultimately not relevant to the discussion, as the New Ark is perfected.
Debate Round No. 3


On the veracity of my argument

My opponent misapprehended my argument. I elucidated that Mary wasn"t saved like everyone else. She wasn"t even saved from hell but from inheriting the original sin. This is significant for this is the very reason why my opponent cannot say that Mary was saved by Christ"s passion because only people with original sin were atoned by his blood.
Catholic theology inevitably puts Mary into assurance of salvation because she did good things on earth not to be saved from hell but because she"s already saved from it.

On the likeness of sinful flesh

I didn"t argue for dual meanings of the word "likeness" and in fact, I only concurred with one definition of it which according to scriptural context is "similarity".

The Son "became similar to men" (Philippians 2:6). In what way did he become similar to men? Context implies that he became similar to men regarding the "effects of original sin" which is human pain and human death ("death on a cross. Philippians 2:8)

Romans 8:6 is explicit too. It says that the Son was sent by God "similar to the flesh of sin".

If Mary is not infected with original sin then how could Jesus experience human pain and death?

Premise 1: Only humans with original sin could experience pain and death (Genesis 3).
Premise 2: Mary has original sin (Romans 8:3).
Premise 3: Mary got pregnant without a sperm with original sin (Matthew 1:21).
Conclusion: Mary"s offspring could experience pain and death without having original sin (1 Peter 3:18).

On the Ark of the Covenant

Hippolytus says that the woman of Revelation 12 is the church. He says that this interpretation is "most manifest", and he contradicts numerous details of the Marian interpretation:

"By the woman then clothed with the sun, he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father's word, whose brightness is above the sun. And by the 'moon under her feet' he referred to her being adorned, like the moon, with heavenly glory. And the words, 'upon her head a crown of twelve stars,' refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded. And those, 'she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered,' mean that the Church will not cease to bear from her heart the Word that is persecuted by the unbelieving in the world. 'And she brought forth,' he says, 'a man-child, who is to rule all the nations;' by which is meant that the Church, always bringing forth Christ, the perfect man-child of God, who is declared to be God and man, becomes the instructor of all the nations. And the words, 'her child was caught up unto God and to His throne,' signify that he who is always born of her is a heavenly king, and not an earthly; even as David also declared of old when he said, 'The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.' 'And the dragon,' he says, 'saw and persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.' That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church, which flees from city to city, and seeks conceal-meat in the wilderness among the mountains, possessed of no other defence than the two wings of the great eagle, that is to say, the faith of Jesus Christ, who, in stretching forth His holy hands on the holy tree, unfolded two wings, the right and the left, and called to Him all who believed upon Him, and covered them as a hen her chickens. For by the mouth of Malachi also He speaks thus: 'And unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.'" (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61)

The church father Methodius says that the woman is the church, not Mary. He refers to *the* correct view of the woman, so he doesn't seem to have thought that there were multiple correct interpretations. Apparently, he thought it would be incorrect to view the woman as Mary:

"The woman who appeared in heaven clothed with the sun, and crowned with twelve stars, and having the moon for her footstool, and being with child, and travailing in birth, is certainly, according to the accurate interpretation, our mother, O virgins, being a power by herself distinct from her children; whom the prophets, according to the aspect of their subjects, have called sometimes Jerusalem, sometimes a Bride, sometimes Mount Zion, and sometimes the Temple and Tabernacle of God. For she is the power which is desired to give light in the prophet, the Spirit crying to her: 'Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see; all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.' It is the Church whose children shall come to her with all speed after the resurrection, running to her from all quarters." (The Banquet of the Ten Virgins, Discourse 8:5)

Not only did Methodius not view the woman as Mary, but he didn't even think that the child is Christ. He describes the child in Revelation 12 as the people who are regenerated in baptism through the work of the church. He argues against those who think the child is Christ:

"The Church, then, stands upon our faith and adoption, under the figure of the moon, until the fulness of the nations come in, labouring and bringing forth natural men as spiritual men; for which reason too she is a mother. For just as a woman receiving tim unformed seed of a man, within a certain time brings forth a perfect man, in the same way, one should say, does the Church conceive those who flee to the Word, and, forming them according to the likeness and form of Christ, after a certain time produce them as citizens of that blessed state. Whence it is necessary that she should stand upon the laver, bringing forth those who are washed in it....If any one, for there is no difficulty in speaking distinctly, should be vexed, and reply to what we have said: 'But how, O virgins, can this explanation seem to you to be according to the mind of Scripture, when the Apocalypse plainly defines that the Church brings forth a male, while you teach that her labour-pains have their fulfilment in those who are washed in the laver?' We will answer, But, O faultfinder, not even to you will it be possible to show that Christ Himself is the one who is born. For long before the Apocalypse, the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word was fulfilled. And John speaks concerning things present and things to come. But Christ, long ago conceived, was not caught up to the throne of God when He was brought forth, from fear of the serpent injuring Him. But for this was He begotten, and Himself came down from the throne of the Father, that He should remain and subdue the dragon who made an assault upon the flesh. So that you also must confess that the Church labours and gives birth to those who are baptized." (The Banquet of the Ten Virgins, Discourse 8:6-7)


Victorinus wrote a commentary on the book of Revelation. We would *expect* somebody to mention a Marian interpretation of Revelation 12 in such a document, if he held such a view. Instead, Victorinus says that the woman is the people of God, and he goes on at length to contradict numerous details of the Marian interpretation:
"The woman clothed with the sun, and having the moon under her feet, and wearing a crown of twelve stars upon her head, and travailing in her pains, is the ancient Church of fathers, and prophets, and saints, and apostles, which had the groans and torments of its longing until it saw that Christ, the fruit of its people according to the flesh long promised to it, had taken flesh out of the selfsame people....And the crown of twelve stars signifies the choir of fathers, according to the fleshly birth, of whom Christ was to take flesh." (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, 12:1-2)

When commenting on how the woman flees into the wilderness *after* the child is taken up to Heaven, Victorinus suggests that the fleeing into the wilderness hasn't occurred yet:

"Although, therefore, it may signify this woman bringing forth, it shows her afterwards flying when her offspring is brought forth, because both things did not happen at one time; for we know that Christ was born, but that the time should arrive that she should flee from the face of the serpent: we do not know that this has happened as yet." (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, 12:16)

Thus, if the fleeing into the wilderness hadn't occurred yet, at a time *after* Mary's death, the woman cannot be Mary.
Victorinus goes on to say that some of the events of Revelation 12 are to occur in the end times:

"This is the beginning of Antichrist yet previously Elias must prophesy, and there must be times of peace. And afterwards, when the three years and six months are completed in the preaching of Elias, he also must be cast down from heaven, where up till that time he had had the power of ascending; and all the apostate angels, as well as Antichrist, must be roused up from hell." (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, 12:17)
If the woman of Revelation 12 is still alive in the end times, she, once again, can't be Mary.

I challenge my opponent to give an irrefutable proof for the dogma of the Immaculate Conception both from the bible and early church before the Nice Council.


bjblatz forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by radz 4 years ago
@bjblatz i understood you ( for not posting your rebuttal in time). So , apologies accepted.

But No, if the Scriptures explicitly teaches something clear then there's no way an outside source be authoritative. What I mean is that if sacred tradition contradicts sacred scripture then sacred tradition must be false because the Apostles won't teach anything contradictory to their records in sacred scripture.

Premise 1: Tradition says Mary is Immaculate Conception
Premise 2: Scripture says Mary has original sin
Premise 3: Both Tradition and Scripture came from the Apostles.
Conclusion: The Apostles are teaching two doctrines that are very contradictory.This is simply absurd.
Posted by bjblatz 4 years ago
My apologies for not posting my rebuttal in time.

@solomon_grim: That's only a valid argument for those of the sola scriptura bent. Catholics rightly reject such notions holding fast to sacred apostolic tradition AND sacred scripture.
Posted by radz 4 years ago
Argument # 1: Church Polity

The Apostolic church (33- 90 C.E.) was never ruled by a single Bishop known as the "Pope".
The church polity in first century Christianity was "multiple bishops" over autocephalous churches.
The congregations were led by elders (Greek: presbeteros). These elders also act as "overseers" (Greek: episkopos or bishop). This is evident is the Acts of the Apostles which gives an account of Paul's farewell to the elders of Ephesus:

Acts 20:17,28
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders (presbeteros) of the church ... [Paul, speaking to these elders said] "Guard yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (episkopos)"

Elders are functioning as bishops. Simply put, all bishops are Elders.

--Pope Dammasus (c304-384) was the first one to use the Petrine text (Matthew 16:13-20) to assert his supremacy over the whole of Christendom
Posted by DanielDate 4 years ago
Mary's immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, and assumption to heaven are old testament prophesies fulfilled in the new with parallel passages. See document below.
Posted by DanielDate 4 years ago
The instigator does not know the bible verses that prove Mary's immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, and assumption to heaven.

This document contains all of them :
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
was a sinner
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
was a sinner
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
I agree that Mary was not a sinner, the Bible never implies that she isn't one. All the Bible says is that she gave birth as a virgin.
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