Friday, June 25, 2010

Luke and Moses, witnesses against the Immaculate Conception

Luke 2:21And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD”), 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.”

Leviticus 12:1Then the LORD  spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying:
‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. 3‘On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4‘Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. 5‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days.
6‘When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7‘Then he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a female. 8‘But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”
Mary brought a sin offering after the birth of Christ.  The priest made atonement for her.  But if she was born without the stain of original sin and never sinned herself, why?


Lvka said...

Every woman brought those sacrifices. Christ Himself was baptised by John, though He had no sin.

John Bugay said...

We know, specifically, from Scripture, why Jesus was baptized. He gave us the reason.

No such reason is given for Mary to have made that sacrifice. You said, "every woman brought those sacrifices." Of course they did. We know from Scripture, specifically, that Mary needed to make that atonement sacrifice; no further Scriptural explanation is given.

According to Scripture, Mary was no different from or better than "every woman."

Lvka said...

Mary was no different from or better than "every woman."

Eliajah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (St. James, The Epistle of Straw, chapter 5, verse 17 and 18).

John Bugay said...

Everyone can agree on the efficacy of prayer. No one claimed that Elijah was immaculately conceived.

Rhology said...

One has to ask: Why would Mary have brought the sacrifices? If you have no sin, you'd know it. And if you're sinless, you know the OT backwards and fwds. So to bring a sacrifice for sin uncommitted and to request atonement where none is needed would be...bizarre if nothing else.

Shows that Mary had no idea that she was sinless. 'Cause she wasn't.

Lvka, why are you arguing this point anyway? EOC doesn't think Mary was Immaculately Conceived. Or is it just that you're a stubborn (and none too bright) contrarian?

John Lollard said...

While I think this is neat, I don't think it works, but there is something I don't understand.

Is Leviticus 12 saying that giving birth is a sin? If that's what Leviticus 12 means, then obviously Mary did sin since she gave birth to Jesus and the rest of her children.

What seems more likely to me is that the woman has been excluded from the temple for 33 days or 66 days and probably sinned in the meantime, and that for these sins she committed she is to offer the sacrifice mentioned to atone for those sins. All the same, Leviticus is here commanding this sacrifice, and to not have offered it would have been a violation of the Law as well, even if Mary did not sin. If one were to argue that Mary was sinless, then obviously she would have to obey this command of the Law.

I think the idea of Immaculate Conception is absolutely blasphemous and idolatrous, but I don't think this argument works either. All said, I may merely be ignorant in the working of the Law, and if that is so, then I would appreciate correction.

Love in Christ,

BillyHW said...

Mary brought a sin offering after the birth of Christ.

Jesus was baptized.

Rhology said...

Is Leviticus 12 saying that giving birth is a sin

No, I don't think so. The offering in question is a good opportunity to offer a sin offering, reminding all that we are born sinful and we bring children into the world thru the curse of suffering in childbirth.

probably sinned in the meantime

Absolutely agree.

Jesus was baptized.

And baptism doesn't atone for sin. Thanks!

Matthew D. Schultz said...

I've read in various places that the Talmud interprets this offering as to atone for any rash promises made during childbirth due to the excruciating pain: such as vowing never again to have children. That certainly seems plausible given how horrible childbirth without anesthesia is, although not certain.

But whether or not this is the best interpretation or explanation of the offering, the broader issue of ritual impurity remains. If Mary was ritually impure, that seems to entail sinfulness. If Mary wasn't ritually impure, then she offered a sacrifice she didn't need to, which would be (as implied above) a failure to obey the Torah and be a sin.

Anonymous said...

So the turtledoves cleansed Mary's sin?

Lvka said...

And baptism doesn't atone for sin.

...but O.T. sacrifices do... (seriously, Rho, you can't have it both ways...)

Why would Mary have brought the sacrifices?

Then came Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized by him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. (Matthew's Gospel, chapter 3, verses 13 to 15).

EOC doesn't think Mary was Immaculately Conceived.

No, but we do believe that she (and a few others) never sinned.

Phil said...

P1: God doesn't sin.
P2: Mary is God.
C: Mary didn't sin.

Water tight y'all.

Ben M said...
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Rhology said...

Lvka said:

..but O.T. sacrifices do.

No, the sacrifice of Christ does. The OT sacrifices were done as foreshadowings of it, and God granted atonement on the basis of the sacrifice of Christ when ppl did the animal sacrifices back then. Hebrews.
But there's no language like that in the Bible about baptism... so the analogy doesn't work.

for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness.

Yes, quite. And where does He say "to atone for sin"?

but we do believe that she (and a few others) never sinned.

Then you are a fool and a humanist.
Plus there were quite a few of your CFs who thought she sinned.

"About the words of Simeon to Mary, there is no obscurity or variety of interpretation....By a sword is meant the word which tries and judges our thoughts, which pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of our thoughts. Now every soul in the hour of the Passion was subjected, as it were, to a kind of searching. According to the word of the Lord it is said, 'All ye shall be offended because of me.' Simeon therefore prophesies about Mary herself, that when standing by the cross, and beholding what is being done, and hearing the voices, after the witness of Gabriel, after her secret knowledge of the divine conception, after the great exhibition of miracles, she shall feel about her soul a mighty tempest. The Lord was bound to taste of death for every man--to become a propitiation for the world and to justify all men by His own blood. Even thou thyself, who hast been taught from on high the things concerning the Lord, shalt be reached by some doubt. This is the sword. 'That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.' He indicates that after the offence at the Cross of Christ a certain swift healing shall come from the Lord to the disciples and to Mary herself, confirming their heart in faith in Him. In the same way we saw Peter, after he had been offended, holding more firmly to his faith in Christ. What was human in him was proved unsound, that the power of the Lord might be shewn." - Basil (Letter 260:6, 260:9)

Clement of Alexandria:
"Now, O you, my children, our Instructor is like His Father God, whose son He is, sinless, blameless, and with a soul devoid of passion; God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father's will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father's right hand, and with the form of God is God. He is to us a spotless image; to Him we are to try with all our might to assimilate our souls. He is wholly free from human passions; wherefore also He alone is judge, because He alone is sinless. As far, however, as we can, let us try to sin as little as possible. For nothing is so urgent in the first place as deliverance from passions and disorders, and then the checking of our liability to fall into sins that have become habitual. It is best, therefore, not to sin at all in any way, which we assert to be the prerogative of God alone...But He welcomes the repentance of the sinner-loving repentance-which follows sins. For this Word of whom we speak alone is sinless. For to sin is natural and common to all." (The Instructor, 1:2, 3:12) (emph added)

Gregory Nazianzen:
"took on Him flesh for the sake of our flesh, and mingled Himself with an intelligent soul for my soul's sake, purifying like by like; and in all points except sin was made man. Conceived by the Virgin, who first in body and soul was purified by the Holy Ghost" (Orations, 38:13)

Rhology said...

"For where parents cause no impediment or hindrance in things belonging to God, it is our bounden duty to give way to them, and there is great danger in not doing so; but when they require anything unseasonably, and cause hindrance in any spiritual matter, it is unsafe to obey. And therefore He answered thus in this place, and again elsewhere, 'Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?' (Matt. xii. 48), because they did not yet think rightly of Him; and she, because she had borne Him, claimed, according to the custom of other mothers, to direct Him in all things, when she ought to have reverenced and worshiped Him. This then was the reason why He answered as He did on that occassion....And so this was a reason why He rebuked her on that occasion, saying, 'Woman, what have I to do with thee?' [John 2:4] instructing her for the future not to do the like; because, though He was careful to honor His mother, yet He cared much for the salvation of her soul" - John Chrysostom (Homilies on the Gospel According to St. John, 21)

Ben M,
But of course, the Virgin could hardly have imparted a “depraved nature” to Christ!

Thankfully, I'm not bound to consider Matthew Henry inspired!
Besides, where did he say that WOMAN imparts her depraved nature to her offspring? As we all know, Jesus didn't have a human father.

So just exactly what was the purpose of the purification of she who both conceived and brought forth while remaining a virgin?

See my comments above.

Lvka said...

"One baptism for the remission of sins" ?

The bodily washing in the waters of baptism represented the spiritual cleansing from sin.

Matthew 3:6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Matthew 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:

Mark 1:4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Mark 1:5  And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Luke 3:3  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance,

Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

1 Peter 3:21  ¶The like figure whereunto [Noah's flood] even baptism doth also now save us


Rhology said...

Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. & Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:

Those are baptisms of John the Baptist.
And those are specifically said to be baptisms OF REPENTANCE. Not "atonement".

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

See? It says "baptism of repentance for the remission of sins"

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

a) There is no fixed sequence between baptism and reception of the Spirit in Acts (cf. 8:12,14-17; 9:17-18; 10:44-48; 19:5-6).

b) Baptism is a concrete metaphor for spiritual purification. The same imagery is used for repentance in 3:19. Therefore, baptism is simply a picturesque figure for God’s forgiveness of the penitent believer. Repentance, not baptism, is what literally results in divine forgiveness. Baptism merely signifies that transaction.

c) Apropos (b), the Book of Acts attributes forgiveness to three different things: faith, repentance, and baptism. How are these related? Do they represent three alternate routes to arrive at forgiveness?

It’s easy to see how faith and repentance are interrelated. These flow from a common source: a change of heart and mind.

In relation to faith and repentance, baptism would symbolize the effect of repentance and faith. It trades on the figurative imagery of washing and cleansing as a concrete emblem of inner purification. What scholars call an enacted parable.

d) In this passage, repentance is a precondition for baptism. Yet infant baptism is the norm in Catholicism. But infants aren’t penitent. Therefore, you can’t cite this as a prooftext for baptismal justification (or baptismal regeneration)

1 Peter 3:21 ¶The like figure whereunto [Noah's flood] even baptism doth also now save us

Did you read the rest? "****NOT**** the removal of dirt from the flesh, but the appeal to God of a clear conscience". Sounds like repentance, and b/c you repented, you get baptised.

Thanks for the fail.

Lvka said...

What "fail" ? Did Jesus needed to repent of anything? Or confess any sins? Or be baptised for the remission of any sins?

Rhology said...

No, He didn't. B/c baptism is not about the remission of sins.

Lvka said...

Seems the Bible says otherwise. (Even you said otherwise: see point "b)" of your previous post, for instance).

Ben M said...
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Rhology said...

But what commentators do you agree with?

I'm not an aficionado of commentators, still less about this particular psg. As a rule, I take any non-Scripture on a case-by-case basis. As should anyone and everyone.

Nowhere. But I didn’t say anything about the possibility of a WOMAN imparting a depraved nature, but of a VIRGIN doing so (which of course, is impossible)!

Right, b/c a virgin did not have relations with a man (thru whom the curse is passed) to produce the offspring. Problem solved, and it doesn't require a perfect woman.

And Mary certainly could never have transmitted os since she was a VIRGIN and remained a VIRGIN even in giving birth!

I agree 100%. I highly doubt that Joseph and Mary had sex while she was giving birth.

I'm not sure how any of this relates to the Immaculate Conception and how Luke and Moses testify against the dogma, but thanks for the contribution!

Reform said...
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Reform said...

Sorry for the off topic. I had posted the citation in spanish. Sorry about that. This is what I am asking:
Vincent of Lerins say that the Canon of Scripture is complete and closed and sufficient in all points "The Commonitories". I have heard some say that Vincent is just saying that the Canon is closed and not that the scriptures are sufficient. Thanks.

Ben M said...
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Anonymous said...

I think Mary's need to atone can also be equated to the OT understanding of the female body. As is clearly evident, female's menstruating, and generally anything to do with the female sex organs was considered unclean. In order to become clean again after giving birth, an atonement ritual was necessary to make a woman clean. The atonement was not necessarily a result of Mary being born with sin, but was necessary so that she could be cleansed (spiritually) from the birthing process.

Its pretty clear that the female need for atonement wasnt because of any explicit act outside of simply being female and enduring the physical processes that accompany being female.