Was Mary, the mother of Jesus, without sin?

Posted on

Mary was undoubtedly a godly woman (Luke 1:28). But the Catholic Church teaches that she was not just godly but without sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church -1994, 491-Mahwah, NY: Paulist Press). The Bible teaches that all humans have sinned before God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, emp. added). It is clear that the word “all” includes Mary.

Humanity became the recipient of the consequences of Adam’s sin (i.e., death). Paul wrote: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). And Paul agreed with the psalmist’s statement: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10; cf. Psalms 14:3; 53:1-3).

The Bible does not teach that Mary was sinless rather it teaches that Jesus Christ is the only Person who was not infected by sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). The apostle Paul confirms: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Therefore, Mary, like any other human being, needed a Savior to take away her sins. And Mary herself acknowledged this great truth, i.e., that all have sinned and are in need of a Savior when she declared: “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47, emp. added).

This fits with what the angel told Joseph about Mary: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21, emp. added). Jesus came to save mankind from the bondage of sin. If Mary lived without committing sin as the Catholics teach, it follows that she would not have needed a Savior. But instead she referred to God as her “Savior.”

Mary was merely a human vessel chosen by the Creator for bearing His Son and she clearly understood this point when she accepted God’s role for her life saying: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, emp. added).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

A closing message from BibleAsk:

Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps .