Mary vs. John The Baptist: Was Jesus Wrong?

Most if the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church amaze me. One of those doctrines is the “Immaculate Conception” also known as the sinlessness of Mary. I’ve always found it puzzling that people that seem to have such a heart for Christ could uphold a doctrine that is basically blasphemy at its core.

I have been reading a book titled The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories. So far it has been a pretty decent book. Nuns tell their stories how, just like the Reformers, God led them out of the false religion of Rome and into the Saving grace of Christ by way of His Holy Word. It’s odd how that always seems to happen when people read the Bible! It’s easy to understand why so many brothers and sisters were tortured and burned for their love of the Word, and their desire to get it to the common man through out history.

But, back to Mary. At least one of the former nuns in the book has went into the hurt and betrayal she felt when she learned that most of what the Church had taught her was not in the Bible at all … she talked about purgatory, praying to saints, and Mary. And I found what she said about Mary’s sinless state to be profound and true.

She envoked use of this verse:

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” Matthew 11:11

Her argument went like this: Obviously, Mary was around at the time this statement was made … shouldn’t she be greater than John the Baptist if she was sinless (since he was a sinner and this isn’t disputed)?  The only logical way to make this verse work with Roman Catholic doctrine is to assume Jesus was wrong or lying.

I’m sure she’s not the first to make this argument, and I don’t doubt Rome has attempted to wiggle out from under Scripture … but I honestly don’t see how they can.

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14 thoughts on “Mary vs. John The Baptist: Was Jesus Wrong?

  1. Hi, Anonymous. I have read the New Advent articles on this before and I just browsed it again and fail to see where they address this specific issue from scripture. As you might know, Christians use the Bible as the final authority, which is one way we differ from Rome. So, they appeal to tradition to hang on to heretical doctrines such as this one.

  2. There are many books as well about Protestants and Reformers who have left the church and have entered into the dreaded "Rome" which you despise. I find it terribly disrespectful when you refer to Catholicism as "Rome". Catholicism wasn't based in Rome and "Rome" didn't invent it.

  3. The name of the religion is "Roman Catholicism." It's not the only type of "Catholicism" there is. Greek orthodox, is certainly not "Roman." But Church history shows much of what is today the RCC did indeed come out of Rome … though not all of it. I'm not sure what your point about Protestants coming to Rome means? Jesus told us they would go out from among us because they were never one of us. This is always very sad when it happens. I've had several friends enter into the Roman Catholic Church and it was very heartbreaking (just ask my husband, I was shaken for weeks) But, praise be to God, we have many, many brothers and sisters that have been saved by God from the RCC. And just to be sure, I'm not suggesting there cannot be believers within the RCC. I'm sure there is. I've encountered many Roman Catholics that really don't know what the church teaches (for example I've never had two Roman Catholics give me the same answer on how to "get saved."). But, I don't believe someone can be saved and hold to beliefs that go against scripture – which just reading through the RC Catechism will show the Church does indeed do.

  4. "God led them out of the false religion of Rome and into the Saving grace of Christ by way of His Holy Word. It's odd how that always seems to happen when people read the Bible!" Oh, how I wish that God would draw more people to Himself with His great word of truth! Thanks for sharing what seems to be an encouraging read. Blessings!

  5. So, before the bible was written, in the early church right after Jesus died, how did they have "sola scriptura" if the New Testament hadn't even been written yet? How in the world do your beliefs make any sense in light of the fact that for several centuries, the only way to spread the good news was oral tradition?

  6. @Anon – Sola Scriptura is not dependent upon this anachronistic structure which you've imposed upon it. During the Apostolic period, the church relied directly upon Apostolic teaching since the Apostles were still alive. This is true and all of the Reformers would have conceded this. But how does that refute Sola Scriptura as such? We find the continuation of Apostolic teaching within the Word of God itself. This is the only place where we find anything akin to "Apostolic succession." Sola Scriptura exists as a foundational doctrine precisely because we want to keep ourselves in line with Apostolic teaching. The New Testament is where we find the teaching of the Apostles, not in humanistic traditions. Even so, the New Testament (especially the epistles of Paul) was written during the time of the Apostles and these documents were being circulated around the known ancient world at quite a rapid pace. We know this just from the sheer amount of manuscripts found from that period (and still counting as more discoveries are made). If a particular church didn't have an Apostle to teach them in the flesh, they instead relied upon Apostolic teaching via the aforementioned documents.Scripture is God-breathed. Along with the Holy Spirit, God left us His word as a sufficient means for the church to instruct, rebuke, and correct. The Apostles themselves looked to the Old Testament in this way and claimed this doctrine for their own God-breathed manuscripts.

  7. The basis for this doctrine continues to elude me, but not so much as the perpetual virginity of Mary. She was married, and the Gospel of Matthew tells us that Joseph "had no relations with her until she bore a son" (1:25). The Gospels refer to Jesus' brothers and sisters. Where does this idea come from? It's illogical, unnecessary, and baseless. It seems like such an odd belief to hold on to so fervently.

  8. All of Romans 5 seems to mean that sin entered creation through MAN."Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—"I'm no theologian, but it seems to me, from these verses, than though Genesis 3 says Eve ate the fruit first, sin came about through Adam. This would make sense since God is the father (in human terms, the 'man') of Jesus, and Jesus was sinless. He obviously didn't get His sinlesnes from Mary since Romans 3 says that ALL have sinned. Including Mary.This makes sense in my head. lol

  9. Hi Hollie, I appreciate this article and the way you are standing up for the truth of what the Scriptures teach. Like you, I simply can't see from the scriptures how the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary can be supported. As well as the verse you quoted, there are also the words of Mary herself, in Luke 1:46 where upon hearing the news that she will bear the Son of God, she exclaims "my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour". Who needs a saviour other than a sinner?May God bless you.

  10. Cynthia – I agree the perpetual virginity is another odd one! I know that Roman Catholics say that where the scripture says brother and sisters it really means cousins :-/ Diana – I agree, that's another great verse. I've been told by Roman Catholics she's thanking God for making her sinless. Erica- Couldn't agree more! It seems pretty clear to us. But, it's only by grace we are what we are. 🙂

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