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Earlier this week, Christianity Today published an article on how the current debate on justification is reigniting questions about Roman Catholicism. Francis Beckwith and Taylor Marshall indicated that the New Perspective is a major step toward the Catholic view. N.T. Wright gave a response, only a snippet of which was included in the CT article. Here is the longer version of his remarks.

1. I’m on sabbatical writing Volume IV of my big series, on Paul; so I don’t have time for more than a quick response.

2. “Sacramental, transformational, communal, eschatological”? If you gave me that list and said “Where in the Christian world would you find that?” I could easily and truthfully answer:

  • (i) in the best of the Reformed tradition — spend a couple of days at Calvin College, or read Jamie Smith’s new book, and you’ll see;
  • (ii) in much of the best of the charismatic movement, once it’s shed its low-church prejudices and discovered how much God loves bodies;
  • (iii) in the best of… dare I say it… Anglicanism… ;
  • (iv) in some bits (not all) of the Emerging Church movement . . .

3. Trent said both much more and much less than this.

  • Sacramental, yes, but in a muddled way with an unhelpful ontology;
  • Transformational, yes, but far too dependent on unbiblical techniques and practices;
  • Communal, yes, but don’t let the laity (or the women) get any fancy ideas about God working new things through them;
  • Eschatological? Eschatology in the biblical sense didn’t loom large, and indeed that was a key element in the Reformers’ protest: the once-for-allness of the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection as producing, not a new system for doing the same stuff over and over, but a new world.

Trent, and much subsequent RC theology, has had a habit of never spring-cleaning, so you just live in a house with more and more clutter building up, lots of right answers to wrong questions (e.g. transsubstantiation) which then get in the way when you want to get something actually done.

In particular, Trent gave the wrong answer, at a deep level, to the nature/grace question, which is what’s at the root of the Marian dogmas and devotions which, despite contrary claims, are in my view neither sacramental, transformational, communal nor eschatological. Nor biblical.

The best RCs I know (some of whom would strongly disagree with the last point, some would strongly agree) are great conversation partners mainly because they have found ways of pushing the accumulated clutter quietly to one side and creating space for real life. But it’s against the grain of the Tridentine system, in my view. They aren’t allowed to say that but clearly many of them think it. Joining in is just bringing more of your own clutter to an already confused and overcrowded room…

4. I am sorry to think that there are people out there whose Protestantism has been so barren that they never found out about sacraments, transformation, community or eschatology. Clearly this person needed a change. But to jump to Rome for that reason is very odd.

It reminds me of the fine old German NT scholar Heinrich Schlier, who found that the only way to be a Protestant was to be a Bultmannian, so, because he couldn’t take Bultmann, became a Roman Catholic; that was the only other option in his culture. Good luck to him; happily, most of us have plenty of other options.

To say “Wow, I want that stuff, I’d better go to Rome” is like someone suddenly discovering (as I’m told Americans occasionally do — sorry, cheap shot) that there are other countries in the world and so getting the first big boat he finds in New York to take him there . . . when there were plenty of planes lined up and waiting at JFK. Rome is a big, splendid, dusty old ocean liner, with lots of grand cabins, and, at present, quite a fine captain and some excellent officers — but also quite a few rooms in need of repair. Yes, it may take you places, but it’s slow and you might get seasick from time to time. And the navigators have been told that they must never acknowledge when they’ve been going in the wrong direction . . .

5. I spent three very happy weeks as the Anglican observer at the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops last October. They were talking about the Bible: about how for so long they have more or less banned the laity from reading or studying it, and how now they want to change all that, to insist that every Catholic man, woman, child, cat and dog should have the Bible in their own mother tongue and be taught to read it, study it, pray with it, individually and together. Hallelujah! Who knows what might happen!

Question: why did nobody say this in 1525? If they had, we’d have been saved a lot of bother.

Let’s engage cheerfully in as much discussion with our Roman friends as we can. They are among my best ecumenical conversation partners, and some of them are among my dear friends. But let’s not imagine that a renewed biblical theology will mean we find ourselves saying “You guys were right after all” just at the point where, not explicitly but actually, they are saying that to us . . .

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46 thoughts on “N.T. Wright on Protestant-Catholic Relations”

  1. Theresa says:

    Thanks for not having a knee-jerk reaction against Catholics.

    I’m a Catholic because I believe that it is the one true church founded by Jesus. All other Christian churches are offshoots of the Catholic church since the Reformation.

    I believe in the sacraments. I read my Bible and pray daily. I go do Mass and receive Jesus. I love my separated brothers and sisters in the faith.

    I’m a convert to Catholicism, and I don’t think that jumping to the Catholic Church is very odd at all. Going back to the roots of the early church is the thing that makes the most sense of all.

  2. Grant says:

    I love Wright’s analogies….I so pictured myself on a dusty old ocean liner in New York right there…fantastic!

  3. Jess says:


    Your claim is not historically correct. The Eastern Orthodox Church has a much more historically accurate claim to being the original apostolic church. The Orthodox Church existed prior to the Great Schism of 1054 between East-West.

    The Roman Catholic Church became independent of the Eastern churches when the Roman Patriarch insisted upon his own supremacy over the other patriarchs.

    Leo IX and Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius heightened the conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains. In 1054, Roman legates traveled to Cerularius to deny him the title Ecumenical Patriarch and to insist that he recognize the Church of Rome’s claim to be the head and mother of the churches.Cerularius refused. The leader of the Latin contingent, Cardinal Humbert, excommunicated Cerularius, while Cerularius in return excommunicated Cardinal Humbert and other legates.

  4. Tom says:

    Both you and Joel Martin publish this “longer version of his remarks” or “quote” but do not cite your source. Your versions differ only in structure as far as I can see.

    I know I’m being extremely picky, but am I asking too much when I ask that you to cite your source and, if necessary, that source’s citation and so on back to an original and verifiable source?

  5. Mark says:

    1. Both Catholicism and Orthodoxy are apostolic churches. Denominations formed 1500 years after Pentecost are not. They are Christian, but they are not apostolic churches.

    2. As much as I admire Wright and have benefited from his teaching, the truth is, he is a leader in a body that is tolerant of abortion – and in the US an advocate for it, plus ordains openly homosexual persons to ministry, elects them as bishops, and is moving toward a wholescale acceptance of homosexual behavior as morally neutral, and of gay marriage. There is no turning back for Anglicanism, and how that is “apostolic” and in the catholic tradition – is beyond me.

    3. Of course, since most evangelical Protestants disagree vehemently with Wright’s assesement of Paul and his view on justification (a rather fundamental disagreement), it calls into question the coherence of Wright’s argument. In short, his critiques of Catholicism are almost laughable when Protestants regularly excommunicate each other (including Wright) over the fundamentals.

    1. Ryan Godfrey says:

      Mark, I agree with your assessment of apostolicity. And I was annoyed at Wright’s blithe dismissal of Roman Catholicism as a dusty old ocean liner. However, as an Anglo-Catholic myself, I think there is a legitimate claim to apostolicity by Anglican bishops…especially those who have maintained basic orthodox views on sexuality and marriage (im thinking of south america, africa, and asia here). I dont know that “there is no turning back.” It is my hope that we are on the cusp of a worldwide renewal of Christianity that returns to a truly unified Church with the See of Peter a First among equals. It seems RC and EO need to reconcile before Protestants will be able to come along.

  6. Trevin Wax says:

    It was originally posted on the WrightSaid discussion group (private members only) by Kevin Bush, who secured the quote from Wright himself.

  7. Kevin Bush says:

    I’m the source for the original quote. Colin Hansen contacted me about getting the quote for the CT article. There wasn’t room for the entire quotation in the CT piece, so I wanted to provide the whole thing. Trevin, thanks for posting.

  8. Jeff says:

    I also find it difficult to take an Anglican preening about the Awful Roman Extra-Biblical Dogmas. Aside from the fact that Anglicans have been known to pray the rosary and name their institutions after Mary, there is the modern trajectory of Anglicanism which is discarding…er…Biblical..anthropology and morality at a startling rate of speed.

    When Gene Robinson’s male lover handed him the symbols of his office at his consecration…all Anglicans lost any cred in this regard, instantly.

  9. Brian says:

    I’ll take Kevin at his word in attributing the quote to N.T., but we should be cautious in jumping in too quickly when we can’t verify unequivocally. That said, as a Catholic who is delighted to be so, N.T’s talk of clutter, spring cleaning, and the like misses the mark in my opinion. I’ve been married 25 years, and at this point, our house is “cluttered” with nick-nacks on every shelf and table. The thing is, they each call to mind a pleasant experience or memory. Likewise, my friend has a toddler who goes into the room where all his toys are kept, and each time he goes in, it’s as if he’s seen a particular toy for the first time. Once enjoying that toy, he puts it down and moves along to the next toy, again, which he’s as excited about as he was when he saw it for the first time. That’s the Catholic Church with her set prayers, devotions, liturgical practices, etc.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen N.T. distance himself from Mary and some of the RCC’s traditions, while wrapping himself in the sola scriptura mantle. So, in which of the traditions he listed, ie. Reformed, Evangelicalism, Anglicanism, or the Emerging Church would we find, say, a church with a plaque prominently displayed which might say something like, “Hail Mary, mother of our Lord, she is blessed!”? This is, after all, entirely biblical. Scriptures, in reference to Mary, says, “Future generations will call me blessed.” So, why is N.T. quick to run the other direction? When was the last time an Evangelical pastor preached on Mary as full of grace and blessed among women? This is just one example of where it seems N.T. is attempting to be charitable across the Christian landscape, er, um, that is, except for the Catholics.

    1. Aaron Siering says:

      N.T. Wright’s response sounds like a lot of fallacious rationalization to me.

  10. Trevin Wax says:


    I wouldn’t have posted the comments unless I were sure that they are from Wright. Kevin runs the ntwrightpage, and I have interviewed Wright on this blog several times. I know that blogs can be slippery when used as sources, but I hope Kingdom People would have already staked out a place as a reliable source of info.

  11. Gary Ware says:

    Thanks for this.
    It’s interesting to get the more complete version of Wright’s comments.
    It’s also intriguing to see how everyone from what seems to be every conceivable position scrutinises Wright’s whole theology and ecclesiology on the basis of comments that are particularly directed as a response to one particular theological issue.
    But something as basic as justification has implications for broad theology and ecclesiology, so I suppose its no real surprise.
    Thanks again for the insights.

  12. Rick says:


    “…all Anglicans lost any cred in this regard, instantly.”

    Please don’t paint with too broad a brush. The problems between the Anglican Church and the Episcopal Church over that issue is well-known and is causing a divide.

    Futhermore, Bishop Wright, along with other Anglican leaders, has supported and encouraged those in the Episcopal Church that are opposed to those developments.

  13. Rick says:

    sorry- should say “are well-known and are causing a divide.”

  14. brian says:


    This combox is a little stale at this point since it’s about a week old, but I wanted to respond to the oft mentioned claim that the Eastern Orthodox have a “much more historically accurate claim to being the original apostolic church.” (I’ve seen this claim a few times even within Trevin’s blog alone.) First, I presume you are not Orthodox, and if not, based on your quote here, why not? Such a statement is a terrific arguement against Protestantism, and a powerful reason to be Eastern Orthodox, yet Protestants seem to be the ones who make this argument! Secondly, there was no Eastern Orthodox Church nor Roman Catholic Church as such UNTIL the Great Schism. There was but one Catholic Church, spreading Christendom throughout the world. The word catholic connotes “one universal”, and more aptly, “always and everywhere the same.” Yet, such arguments as yours are to give the impression that after the apostles there were two unique strains of Catholicism and Rome appears to have won out, but Eastern Orthodoxy in reality should be the recognized victor. This is a significant distortion of both history and of the understanding of early Christendom.

  15. Phil Hodson says:

    The argument of Eastern Orthodoxy, that their physical historical continuity legitimates them as the true Church, apart from which is a break where guilt is not on them, or that demonstrates them as necessarily and exclusively in fellowship with the apostles, is an argument that stands upon the foundation of historical existence alone rather than upon conformity to the deposit received from the apostles. As a “protestant,” I regularly confess in the creed that there is “one holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” And in doing so, we confess and believe that our body is part of that one holy, catholic, and apostolic body, on earth, and which was present in the upper room, baptized by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and to which the apostolic ministry added, building the foundation which every generation since has proceeded from. So how can protestants do this? Well, with regard to the East and the Roman Catholic Church, we are not accepting that apostolic fellowship is simply found in historical continuity, or upon the foundation of fellowship with the pope. With regard to Rome’s claim, the Eastern Orthodox are good at displaying overwhelmingly from the fathers and history that while there was always respect for the Roman see among the other original sees, there was not jurisdiction beyond the Roman see until hundreds of years later. The break in 1054 is the manifestation of a disagreement about authority, among other things. And the practical reality is that there is no longer fellowship possible because the apostolic teaching about our fellowship has not been maintained in either of those communions. The Church on earth was established upon and should remain anchored to the eyewitness testimony of the apostles which has supernaturally been placed for the Church into a book, the Holy Scriptures, which as Jesus says, cannot be broken. That is the source of teaching to which we all must be conformed, and by which we will be judged on the Day of the Lord. Also, the existence of the Church, in the world, is not established upon a foundation of historic succession of men (or women!), but upon the objective sacramental setting apart which Rome, the East, and biblical Protestants all acknowledge with regard to one another, namely the objectivity of baptism, which does not belong to any particular communion or body on earth, but to the One Who governs history and sets apart a people for His own name. THAT is the catholic Church on earth, and not Rome, nor the East, nor any protestant body can claim to be without the sin of schism. The bounds of the catholic Church exist where baptism is valid. And fellowship should exist where the apostolic teaching is believed and practiced. It is upon that testimony that the Church was established, and is to stand upon (Eph 2:20). All the claims to exclusivity, I am saying, are sin. Rome sins this sin. The east sins this sin. And many protestant sects sin this sin. Jesus prayed that we would be one, and that means forbearance on the part of us all, as well as repentance on the part of us all, not each claiming that the others alone must come back to THEM who have legitimacy apart from conformity to the apostolic teaching in Holy Writ. We must all come back to the Truth of the Word of God, and pursue the fellowship on earth that Jesus prayed for in the garden, and which our first parents had in the first garden. The arrogance that proceeded from the first garden will not allow fellowship until the sin that so easily entangles is put away and that holiness without which no one will see the Lord is manifested. The ones casting the stones in this fight are all arrogant in their claiming exclusivity for themselves. They are saying that they are qualified by their being without fellowship breaking sin. Therein lies the problem. See also 1 John 1.
    Phil Hodson

  16. Mark Horne says:

    Thank you, Kevin and Trevin for getting this out.

  17. kepha says:

    Fantastic reponse!

    It’s weird to me that Taylor Marshall would say what he did, because N.T. Wright actually was an important part of me leaving Rome.

  18. Tris Miller says:

    We are in one accord in this. I have never heard it said better save the Word itslf. I would appreciate a direct copy or something similar from your pen.

    by our love one for another

    That reply was to Phil Hodson

  19. brian says:

    Tris, Kepha, Mark, Phil,

    So, let me get this right… N.T. Wright causes a big stir in Protestantism because of his New Perspective on Paul, which in large part is what the Catholic Church has said for millenium (so is it really a new perspective? But I digress). This causes significant issues in the PCA (and elsewhere) as the Federal Visionists split off into the CREC. Wright, as Anglicanism is imploding, is quick to distance himself from other Catholic teaching, and says above that among other places, we can find the best of Sacramentalism, Tranformationalistm, in Anglicanism. Huh? As this takes place, many Reformed folk (including some in this thread) applaud his looking down his nose at Rome, giving others the opening to state that in actuality, Eastern Orthodoxy has the first historical claim to Christianity. I’d say not only is this not new, but it’s PROTESTantism at it’s finest. Read again what Wright has said in this entry and it’s clear that as Wright has laid it out our Lord must surely be the author of confusion (cause his comments are pretty darned confusing). Especially as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, I don’t wish to seem uncharitable in my comments, but I feel the need to offer, if you’ll forgive me, A New Perspective on N.T. Wright’s Comments.

  20. Xmas Man says:

    When was the last time an Evangelical pastor preached on Mary as full of grace and blessed among women? This is just one example of where it seems N.T. is attempting to be charitable across the Christian landscape, er, um, that is, except for the Catholics. – Brian | Nov 1, 2009

    “When was the last time an Evangelical pastor preached on Mary as full of grace and blessed among women?”

    Hopefully NEVER, because kecharitômenê does NOT mean “full of grace” as has been popularly (and theologically/doctrinally/Marianologically) taught and understood. :)

  21. Brian says:

    Merry Christmas folks. Xmas Man, you say,
    Hopefully NEVER, because kecharitômenê does NOT mean “full of grace” as has been popularly (andtheologically/doctrinally/Marianologically) taught and understood.
    This is tough to argue on two counts… First, the comment is tossed out there with no supporting argument. Then, on top of that, it would take me about 1000 words to defend with about 50 separate, sound arguments. In leiu of that, I suggest the book “Hail,Holy Queen” by Scott Hahn as an easy read and a decent place to start. God bless.

  22. Xmas Man says:


    I’ve read Hahn’s book.

    I’ve read Karl Keating’s flawed definition of the meaning of the perfect participle.

    I don’t need to put out a supporting argument. All you or anyone has to do is look at the other NT use of the verb (it occurs only one other time), the lexical definitions of the verb, and the grammatical meaning/aspect/usage of the perfect participle in Greek.

    There is a reason most Bibles translate it as they do, and not as “full of grace” – as if grace were a substance or power with which Mary was greatly filled or endowed, and could subsequently give to others.

    Any argument to the contrary a la Keating is flawed from the get-go.

  23. Manfred says:

    While no Christian should bash Roman Catholics, neither should any Christian believe the lie that the Roman Catholic Church is Christian in its core doctrine and practices.

  24. Xmas Man says:

    While no Christian should bash Roman Catholics,

    But it’s okay for the Catholic Church to let the anathemas of Trent stand (and for Catholics to affirm those anathemas against other Christians), whereby they indeed bash – literally “curse” – non-Catholic Christians?

  25. Manfred says:

    Xmas man,

    One would be very naive to expect a cult to act against its core teachings. They who hold to Trent and other Roman Catholic heresies can only be expected to act against the church of the living God.

  26. Xmas Man says:

    A week later and “Brian” has still not responded with his “1000 words” and “50 separate, sound arguments.”

    But when one is committed to confess as required dogma one’s belief in the Immaculate Conception, as well as that Mary is the mediatrix of every and all grace(s), then no amount of lexical or grammatical proof to the contrary will suffice.

    As they say: “The Catholic Church says it. I believe it. That settles it.”

  27. Brian says:

    Xmas Man,
    As mentioned in my earlier comment, I offered a book title in LIEU of a long discertation, which would likely earn me a scolding from Trevin. I can’t see him want me clogging up this particular thread by launching into a study of Mary, the mother of our Lord. The reason I ceased commenting is that judging by the last few comments in the thread, it’s obvious anything I’d have to contribute wouldn’t exactly be received in a spirit of beneficient charity by you and Manfred. Do you have a blog? Since you called me out, if you’d SINCERELY like to unpack this topic, I can join you there for a back and forth. Let me know. Also, I suggest you visit There you’ll find a little info on Mary, and lots about the RCC in general as looked at through Reformed eyes.

  28. Xmas Man says:


    I told you I’ve read Scott Hahn’s book, as well as several other books of his.

    I have no blog, but if YOU have a blog, feel free to direct me there to read your arguments related to kecharitomenê.

    Re: looking at – I already have lots of info on Mary, from Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox sources and authors.

    I was simply saying that it’s good IMO that no Protestant pastor preaches that Mary is “full of grace” because Luke 1:28 does not teach that she is, or the idea derived from or supported by that faulty translation that Mary is the Mediatrix of every and all grace(s).

    If you can refute the lexicons and grammars and scholars re: the meaning of charitoô and the perfect participle, by all means do so, either here or on your blog.

    Happy New Year!

  29. Brian says:

    Your beef likely isn’t limited to RCC teaching. For example, who said the following?

    “It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin”

    And who said this?

    “She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin- something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil.”

    Answer to both… Martin Luther.
    (Sermon: “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527)
    (Personal {“Little”} Prayer Book, 1522).

  30. Xmas Man says:


    My present “beef” is now with how you tap-dance around and avoid answering what I’m saying, whether in 1000 words or 50 arguments or whatever you have yet to produce. Your responses are non sequiturs to my point.

    But to restate my original “beef”: The mistranslation and misunderstanding of the lexical and grammatical meaning of kecharitômenê in Luke 1:28 is wrongly used by Roman Catholics to assert or teach that Mary is “full of grace” and the Mediatrix of every and all grace(s).

    I’m not saying that there are no texts that can be used to support the idea that Mary is “full of grace.” What I am saying is that Luke 1:28 neither says this nor supports this. And you have yet to refute or disprove that.

  31. Xmas Man says:


    Re:, the Website you referred me to.

    In Professor Lawrence Feingold’s Q&A to his lecture on Mary’s role as the Second Eve and the Immaculate Conception (the second audio link), beginning at 36:29 he repeats the faulty understanding of the perfect passive participle and this verb. In the case of Luke 1:28, he and other Catholic apologists read too much into and too much out of the word and its syntax and morphology and grammar. It’s an embarrassing example of eisegesis at its worst.

    And that is the point I have been making all along. That is my “beef,” so to speak.

  32. Brian says:

    Xmas Man,

    As a layman, I’ll admit I have no training in Greek, but this seems pretty self evident. The root of kecharitômenê is what? “Charis” of course. And what does charis mean? Grace! And how is the perfect tense manifest in Greek? By the doubling of the root word. Thus “kechari”. Grammatically this is pretty straightforward. So, earlier you mentioned Karl Keating’s “flawed” definition of the meaning of the perfect participle. So, how is Keating’s definition flawed?

  33. Brian says:

    Xmas Man,
    Your criticism reminds me of what R.C. Sproul says regarding Romans 3 & 4. He says that the use of “j’ustificare,” which means “to make righteous,” tripped up Augustine because Augustine relied on the Latin translation. Sproul says this, “created one of the most serious linguistic difficulties in the early centuries of Christendom.” Basically, it appears that if Augustine had a better grasp of grammatical basics, Christendom would have been spared the false gospel that went forth from Augustine to Luther, until Luther could properly shed light on matters through sola fide. In essence, bad grammer lead the Church astray for a millennium. Please.

  34. Xmas Man says:


    R.C. Sproul? Another non-sequitur on your part.

    FYI: The perfect doesn’t double the root word; it reduplicates (i.e., doubles) the initial consonant and adds an intervening epsilon for ease of pronunciation. If the initial letter is a vowel, it lengthens it – alpha/epsilon => eta, omicron => omega – rather than doubles it.

    My point is that Keating is misunderstanding/misrepresenting the meaning of the perfect participle, filling (pun intended) its meaning with more than it can hold. Read any standard grammar on NT Greek to understand the meaning of the perfect and the meaning of the participle, and read what Stanley Porter and Buist Fanning have to say about verbal aspect. Surely you know someone who can answer your Greek grammar questions.

    And while the root of charitoô might be charis (or vice-versa), one can’t automatically fill (again, pun intended) charitoô with the meaning of charis, for to do so could be committing the root fallacy (see D.A. Carson Exegetical Fallacies, Second Edition, pp. 28ff.). I’m not saying that’s the case here, just saying that to do so could potentially be an instance of committing a root fallacy.

    FYI and for you to do your own research: Here’s every occurrence of a perfect passive participle in the NT (the grammatical form of charitoô in Luke 1:28). Look them up and see if you can “fill” each usage with the meaning that Keating, et al., wants to give the perfect passive participle. I know you don’t read Greek, but I think you’ll see that Keating’s definition of a perfect passive participle can’t be made to fit all these instances, and if it can’t (and it can’t), then his conclusion/assertion about the grammatical meaning of the form is faulty.

    Matthew 5:10
    Matthew 5:32
    Matthew 7:14
    Matthew 8:14
    Matthew 9:2
    Matthew 9:36
    Matthew 10:26
    Matthew 10:30
    Matthew 11:8
    Matthew 11:28
    Matthew 12:20
    Matthew 12:44
    Matthew 13:19
    Matthew 13:35
    Matthew 13:44
    Matthew 16:19
    Matthew 17:17
    Matthew 18:13
    Matthew 18:18
    Matthew 18:20
    Matthew 21:2
    Matthew 21:9
    Matthew 22:3
    Matthew 22:4
    Matthew 22:8
    Matthew 22:41
    Matthew 23:27
    Matthew 23:37
    Matthew 23:39
    Matthew 25:34
    Matthew 25:41
    Matthew 26:43
    Matthew 27:9
    Matthew 27:17
    Matthew 27:34
    Matthew 27:37
    Matthew 27:52
    Matthew 28:5
    Mark 1:33
    Mark 3:1
    Mark 4:15
    Mark 5:15
    Mark 6:9
    Mark 6:52
    Mark 7:30
    Mark 8:17
    Mark 11:2
    Mark 11:4
    Mark 11:9
    Mark 11:10
    Mark 11:20
    Mark 14:15
    Mark 14:51
    Mark 15:7
    Mark 15:23
    Mark 15:26
    Mark 15:32
    Mark 15:46
    Mark 16:5
    Mark 16:6
    Mark 16:8
    Mark 16:14
    Luke 1:1
    Luke 1:17
    Luke 1:27
    Luke 1:28
    Luke 1:42
    Luke 1:45
    Luke 2:5
    Luke 2:12
    Luke 2:24
    Luke 2:26
    Luke 2:27
    Luke 3:13
    Luke 4:16
    Luke 4:17
    Luke 4:18
    Luke 5:18
    Luke 5:24
    Luke 6:25
    Luke 6:38
    Luke 6:40
    Luke 7:25
    Luke 8:2
    Luke 8:35
    Luke 9:32
    Luke 9:35
    Luke 9:41
    Luke 9:45
    Luke 11:21
    Luke 11:25
    Luke 11:50
    Luke 12:2
    Luke 12:6
    Luke 12:35
    Luke 12:52
    Luke 13:6
    Luke 13:34
    Luke 13:35
    Luke 14:7
    Luke 14:8
    Luke 14:17
    Luke 14:18
    Luke 14:19
    Luke 14:24
    Luke 16:18
    Luke 16:20
    Luke 18:14
    Luke 18:31
    Luke 18:34
    Luke 19:30
    Luke 19:32
    Luke 19:38
    Luke 20:6
    Luke 20:17
    Luke 21:22
    Luke 22:12
    Luke 22:22
    Luke 22:37
    Luke 23:15
    Luke 23:25
    Luke 24:2
    Luke 24:33
    Luke 24:38
    Luke 24:44
    John 1:6
    John 1:24
    John 1:51
    John 2:9
    John 2:17
    John 3:6
    John 3:8
    John 3:21
    John 3:24
    John 3:27
    John 3:28
    John 5:10
    John 6:31
    John 6:45
    John 6:65
    John 8:3
    John 9:7
    John 9:32
    John 10:34
    John 11:44
    John 11:52
    John 12:13
    John 12:14
    John 12:16
    John 13:5
    John 13:10
    John 15:25
    John 16:24
    John 17:13
    John 17:19
    John 17:23
    John 18:24
    John 19:11
    John 19:19
    John 19:20
    John 19:38
    John 19:41
    John 20:1
    John 20:7
    John 20:19
    John 20:26
    John 20:30
    Acts 1:17
    Acts 2:13
    Acts 2:16
    Acts 2:22
    Acts 2:23
    Acts 3:20
    Acts 4:12
    Acts 4:14
    Acts 4:31
    Acts 5:23
    Acts 7:56
    Acts 8:7
    Acts 8:16
    Acts 9:2
    Acts 9:8
    Acts 9:21
    Acts 9:33
    Acts 10:11
    Acts 10:17
    Acts 10:33
    Acts 10:41
    Acts 10:42
    Acts 11:11
    Acts 12:6
    Acts 12:12
    Acts 13:29
    Acts 13:40
    Acts 13:48
    Acts 14:26
    Acts 15:16
    Acts 16:4
    Acts 16:27
    Acts 17:26
    Acts 18:25
    Acts 19:16
    Acts 19:32
    Acts 19:36
    Acts 20:7
    Acts 20:8
    Acts 20:13
    Acts 20:22
    Acts 20:30
    Acts 20:32
    Acts 22:3
    Acts 22:5
    Acts 23:3
    Acts 23:31
    Acts 24:14
    Acts 24:18
    Acts 24:27
    Acts 25:14
    Acts 26:18
    Acts 26:26
    Romans 1:1
    Romans 1:29
    Romans 3:13
    Romans 4:18
    Romans 4:19
    Romans 7:14
    Romans 9:22
    Romans 9:25
    Romans 13:1
    Romans 15:14
    Romans 15:16
    Romans 16:25
    1 Corinthians 1:2
    1 Corinthians 1:10
    1 Corinthians 1:23
    1 Corinthians 1:28
    1 Corinthians 2:2
    1 Corinthians 2:7
    1 Corinthians 4:8
    1 Corinthians 4:19
    1 Corinthians 5:2
    1 Corinthians 6:4
    1 Corinthians 7:18
    1 Corinthians 7:25
    1 Corinthians 7:29
    1 Corinthians 11:5
    1 Corinthians 15:20
    1 Corinthians 15:54
    2 Corinthians 2:12
    2 Corinthians 3:2
    2 Corinthians 3:3
    2 Corinthians 3:7
    2 Corinthians 3:10
    2 Corinthians 3:18
    2 Corinthians 4:3
    2 Corinthians 4:13
    2 Corinthians 8:1
    2 Corinthians 9:3
    2 Corinthians 10:10
    Galatians 2:11
    Galatians 3:1
    Galatians 3:10
    Galatians 3:15
    Galatians 3:17
    Galatians 4:3
    Ephesians 1:6
    Ephesians 1:18
    Ephesians 2:5
    Ephesians 2:8
    Ephesians 2:12
    Ephesians 3:9
    Ephesians 3:17
    Ephesians 4:18
    Ephesians 6:16
    Philippians 1:11
    Philippians 2:15
    Colossians 1:21
    Colossians 1:23
    Colossians 1:26
    Colossians 2:7
    Colossians 2:10
    Colossians 3:12
    Colossians 4:6
    Colossians 4:12
    1 Thessalonians 1:4
    2 Thessalonians 2:13
    1 Timothy 4:2
    1 Timothy 5:5
    1 Timothy 6:5
    2 Timothy 1:4
    2 Timothy 2:8
    2 Timothy 2:21
    2 Timothy 2:26
    2 Timothy 3:4
    2 Timothy 3:6
    2 Timothy 3:8
    2 Timothy 3:17
    Titus 1:15
    Titus 2:3
    Hebrews 2:8
    Hebrews 2:9
    Hebrews 4:2
    Hebrews 4:13
    Hebrews 4:15
    Hebrews 5:14
    Hebrews 7:3
    Hebrews 7:26
    Hebrews 7:28
    Hebrews 9:4
    Hebrews 9:6
    Hebrews 9:13
    Hebrews 9:15
    Hebrews 10:2
    Hebrews 10:10
    Hebrews 10:22
    Hebrews 11:12
    Hebrews 12:11
    Hebrews 12:12
    Hebrews 12:18
    Hebrews 12:23
    Hebrews 12:27
    Hebrews 13:3
    Hebrews 13:23
    James 5:4
    1 Peter 1:4
    1 Peter 1:8
    1 Peter 1:20
    1 Peter 2:4
    1 Peter 2:10
    1 Peter 3:18
    2 Peter 1:3
    2 Peter 1:12
    2 Peter 1:16
    2 Peter 2:12
    2 Peter 2:14
    2 Peter 3:2
    2 Peter 3:7
    1 John 1:4
    1 John 3:9
    1 John 4:12
    1 John 5:1
    1 John 5:4
    1 John 5:18
    2 John 12
    Jude 1
    Jude 4
    Jude 17
    Jude 23
    Revelation 1:3
    Revelation 1:13
    Revelation 1:15
    Revelation 2:17
    Revelation 3:2
    Revelation 3:8
    Revelation 3:18
    Revelation 4:1
    Revelation 4:4
    Revelation 5:1
    Revelation 5:6
    Revelation 5:12
    Revelation 6:9
    Revelation 7:4
    Revelation 7:5
    Revelation 7:8
    Revelation 7:9
    Revelation 7:13
    Revelation 8:7
    Revelation 9:7
    Revelation 9:14
    Revelation 9:15
    Revelation 10:1
    Revelation 10:2
    Revelation 10:8
    Revelation 11:3
    Revelation 12:1
    Revelation 12:6
    Revelation 13:3
    Revelation 13:8
    Revelation 14:1
    Revelation 14:3
    Revelation 14:10
    Revelation 15:2
    Revelation 15:6
    Revelation 16:10
    Revelation 17:4
    Revelation 17:5
    Revelation 17:16
    Revelation 18:2
    Revelation 18:16
    Revelation 18:24
    Revelation 19:9
    Revelation 19:11
    Revelation 19:12
    Revelation 19:13
    Revelation 19:16
    Revelation 19:19
    Revelation 20:4
    Revelation 20:9
    Revelation 20:12
    Revelation 20:15
    Revelation 21:2
    Revelation 21:8
    Revelation 21:12
    Revelation 21:19
    Revelation 21:27
    Revelation 22:18
    Revelation 22:19

  35. Xmas Man says:


    Save yourself some time. Just look up all of Luke’s instances (i.e., Luke and Acts) of the perfect passive participle. That’s less than 120 verses. :)

    That’s plenty for you to see what I’m saying about Keating’s claim for the meaning or significance of a perfect passive participle.

  36. Brian says:

    Wow… in retrospect, it now seems silly of me to have been concerned about a lengthy comment on Trevin’s blog.

    You say the root might be, buy may not necessarily be, charis (which allows that it might indeed be charis). That’s the problem with translations and why some say, “Every translator is a traitor” (because translations “flow,” in a manner of speaking, and often times something’s gotta give; compromises abound.) So we’re left wondering what then is a reasonable transliteration of kecharitômenê? One of my buddies (a former RTS Charlotte graduate well versed in Greek) says, “Hail, the one who has been graced.” This sounds perfect tense to me.

    So, where that leaves us that you can marshall several who see it your way, and I can marshall several who see it mine. Do we, dare I ask, need an authority outside of scriptures to settle this? You present this as if Keating has come up with a new interpretive definition of this term, yet I can quote Augustine, Ambrose, Damascene, Ephraim, and others (including Luther – done earlier – and Calvin) all of whom clearly hold to the understanding of kecharitômenê that you dispute! And as you know, many of these guys go back to the earliest centuries of the Church.

    Also, notice I brought Luther’s quote back into this as relevant, so what you label as non sequiturs, I see as a pertinant aside, or in the case of the Sproul quote, analogous.

    So, gather up your evidence from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. centuries giving credence to the “rent a womb” understanding of Mary that it seems would be the likely result of dismantaling kecharitômenê, and then I’ll consider that maybe you have a point.

  37. Xmas Man says:


    You still don’t get it.

    I am not so much disputing how kecharitomenê is translated as what a perfect passive participle is being presented as meaning or signifying.

    As I said, you still don’t get it.

    As fish likely don’t know that they’re swimming in water, your responses suggest that you don’t know that all you are capable of seeing is what is filtered through Roman Catholic spectacles.

    Take off the glasses, engage your brain, and … as Augustine thought he heard: Take up and read. You might learn something.

    You have the Scriptures – all ~400 of them.

    Do the math.

    You lose.

  38. Brian says:

    As can be sensed from my early reluctance to enter this dialogue, I figured it was entered into in bad faith and would end badly. Sorry I didn’t completely grasp Greek in 3 or 4 combox exchanges. I know my slow learning disappointed you. If I could have learned it fast enough to “arrive” at the appropriate learned level, I’d be a more complete Christian, because after all, everyone knows one can’t be a complete Christian until one gains command of Greek and Hebrew. Most of all, I’m sorry you see such dialoge as having winners and losers. So, in parting I wish you God’s peace, and may our Lord bless you abundantly as you seek his will.

  39. tom says:

    Xmas Man,

    I find your way of interacting to be in bad taste. With all due respect it is the Protestant that is “the fish that does not know it’s wet”. As Newman said, to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.

  40. Xmas Man says:


    It was Brian who wrote:

    This [i.e., my comments about kecharitomenê and Mary being “full of grace”] is tough to argue on two counts… First, the comment is tossed out there with no supporting argument. Then, on top of that, it would take me about 1000 words to defend with about 50 separate, sound arguments. In leiu of that, I suggest the book “Hail,Holy Queen” by Scott Hahn as an easy read and a decent place to start. God bless.

    He claimed that “1000 words… [and] 50 separate sound arguments” would refute what I asserted about kecharitomenê and its use by Catholic apologists to argue that Mary was “full of grace” and hence the Mediatrix of every and all grace(s).

    Yet he never once offered a refutation of what I was saying (and repeatedly saying) and the verb and its morphology. Instead, he dragged in unrelated arguments and ended with a “you have your experts and I have mine.” Yet none of “his” experts or citations responded to what I was saying about the nature of the perfect passive participle.

    If my interacting was in bad taste, his exhibited bad sportsmanship.

    So be it.

  41. Xmas Man says:

    And as Luther and Calvin said, to be deep in the Scriptures is to cease to be Roman Catholic.

  42. tobi says:

    i just gave a short look to the lenghty discussion here, then scrolled all the way up to the top, where it reads: ‘living on earth as citizens of heave’…what a pathetic statement on the background of such a discussion. i hope we are not going to be beating each others heads like this in heaven. …or is any one of the contributors excluded from the kingdom b/c of his views? of course doctrine is important. but to quote a pastor who has been influential in my life: ‘when it comes down to it, love is more important than orthodoxy. because god can change my opinion about something in a moment, but it might take him a lifetime to change my character.’

  43. St Clare says:

    It has to do with Apostalic succession and the Chair of St Peter

  44. Sherry Weddell says:

    Which came first, the Church or the New Testament? Read the Early Church Fathers, no I mean truthfully, genuinely, & honestly read and study them.

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Trevin Wax

​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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