My Christian training emphasized the uniqueness of the Christ as the only human ever directly created since Adam,thus the only one ever born of woman that could offer a propitiatory sacrifice that would exactly cover the fall of Adam.

Catholics and some Protestants regard Mary as having had a similar special conception that left her perfect to be the mother of God.

My question is if Jesus had to have a perfect mother to be perfect, would not Mary also have had to have a perfect mother to be born perfect? And her mother the same and her mothers mother the same and her mothers mothers mother the same etc....
Would it not make much more sense to conclude that just once in all history the Creator of Adam created another perfect human by miraculously adding the necessary spark that initiated the process known as fetal development from the ovum of Mary?

  • Hi Pam. To make this question on-topic, you'd have to ask either for the perspective of a particular denomination, such as Roman Catholicism, or ask for the Biblical basis of some particular teaching related to your question. Please see: What topics can I ask about here? – Lee Woofenden Oct 19 '15 at 2:03
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    "Those who adhere to the immaculate conception" is sufficiently narrowly scoped. Good question. – ThaddeusB Oct 19 '15 at 2:16
  • Working on it; give me a bit. – Matt Gutting Oct 19 '15 at 4:01
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    If your hypothesis that "Jesus had to have a perfect mother to be perfect" is intended to represent Catholic doctrine, then I think you've misunderstood the doctrine. It was, indeed, appropriate for the Son of God to have a completely sinless mother, but that was not a necessary prerequisite for His being perfect. Jesus is God; He would have been perfect no matter what His mother was or did. – Andreas Blass Oct 19 '15 at 10:47
  • All of the prophesy and promises to Abraham that the redeemer would come from his loins and that through David's royal lineage would be the geneology of Christ is thrown away if Jesus was not infact Mary's offspring – Kris Oct 19 '15 at 11:25

No, they do not. Jesus was born without sin by virtue of being God. Mary, who was conceived in the usual way, would have had to have some other approach to be sinless. After some thought about how that might have occurred, theologians concluded that

the soul of the Blessed Virgin, in its creation and infusion into the body, was endowed with the grace of the Holy Spirit and preserved from original sin.

(Apostolic Constitution "Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum", Alexander VIII, 1661; quoted in "Ineffabilis Deus", Pius IX, 1854)

In particular, the Catechism states:

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 491)

That is, essentially, Mary was redeemed, sanctified, and justified (as we all are at baptism) in the moment of her conception, by the merits of her Son's sacrifice extended back in time. There was no need for her to be born of a sinless mother. It was the supreme glory of the Divinity that made it appropriate for Mary herself to be sinless, but she herself didn't have to be born of a sinless one to become that way.

  • "... appropriate for Mary herself to be sinless, but she herself didn't have to be born of a sinless one to become that way." That seems to suggest an odd argument that you're saying Christ would otherwise had not been sinless had Mary been "in sin" (not immune from the stain of original sin) and He born of/from her. – SLM Mar 8 '19 at 5:30
  • I'm not seeing how that argument arises, but let's clarify. Christ would have been sinless regardless of Mary's condition, but it was more appropriate (in view of his divinity) that she be sinless. But since Mary wasn't God, the same argument doesn't hold for her. – Matt Gutting Mar 8 '19 at 6:21
  • Thanks for clarifying. Yes, Christ was sinless regardless of Mary's condition. The "more appropriate" idea has been around since Origen that I'm aware of. – SLM Mar 8 '19 at 17:59

No, it is not believed in that way. Immaculate conception is not about the way that the blessed virgin was conceived. She was conceived by normal biological way (unlike Jesus Christ). Immaculate conception means, she was conceived without being burdened by original sin. This can be found in bull of pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (only most important part is cited there, whole bull is about immaculate conception):

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

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