Differences Between the Doctrines of
"THE VIRGIN BIRTH" &
"THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION"
Both the doctrine of the "Virgin Birth" and
the doctrine of the "Immaculate Conception" are Roman Catholic
doctrines. However, the doctrine of the "Immaculate
Conception" is unrelated to the doctrine of the "Virgin
Birth," and is not accepted by most Protestant Christians, but it
is often confused with it. Many believe that the doctrine
of the Immaculate Conception states that Jesus was without original sin
from the moment of his conception by Mary and the Holy Spirit.
This is not correct - that is part of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. The
doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states that when Mary herself was
conceived, she was also without original sin.
The doctrine of Original Sin produced a conflict
concerning the "sinlessness of Jesus." According to it, every human being was a carrier of the
"Original Sin," because it was passed down to all through
Adam. Since the doctrine of
the Virgin Birth stressed the fact that Jesus' mother was human, this
presented a problem - Mary would have been a carrier of the Original
Sin. There wasn't a problem from the father's side since the Holy
Spirit wasn't human. This
problem of Mary's sin produced many challenges to the doctrines that
stated that Jesus was sinless in all ways.
Pope Pius IX finally solved this problem by
introducing the doctrine of the "Immaculate Conception" in his
declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the
Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a
singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits
of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, was preserved free from every
stain of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this
reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful."
When did the Pope solve this theological
problem? It was issued just
before the American Civil War in
1854. For almost
1500 years Mary's human nature had been a serious problem, but with the
Pope's declaration the problem was solved - at least for Catholics.
Now, both Jesus and Mary were sinless and without even the "stain
of Adam's sin." By the
way, when was the first time that anyone had heard of Adam's
"Original Sin"? It wasn't until the 5th century CE when
Augustine, through another declaration, that created the doctrine of
"Original Sin." It should be noted that Original Sin was
unknown during the time of Jesus and for centuries thereafter. It
should also be noted that without the doctrine of Original Sin, the
doctrine of the Virgin Birth would not be so important - and there would
be no need for a "universal" savior.
Remember, it didn't exist until after 400 AD (CE).