Friday, June 2, 2017

WHO is " Full of Grace " ... in Scriptures ?

WHO is "Full-of-Grace" … in Scriptures ?

Part 2 of A Deeper Look at "Hail, Mary" ...Through the Eyes of Scripture

 Why did the Marian Press insert "Mary" into their rendition of Luke 1:28 ?

Simply this: The Marian clergy wanted to FOCUS the attention on Mary herself. If her name was left out --- as it was in the Angel Gabriel's address to her --- then the focus would move onto the next phrase instead of high-lighting the personhood of Mary.

Praying The Words of an Angel ?

There is not one incident or example in Scripture, Old or New Covenant, of anyone praying or reciting the words which were spoken to men by an angel.

To Review: The First Phrase...

There are only 4 sentences which hold the 9 phrases in a "hail mary" prayer ; the prayer is very short. It is repeated 10 times FOR EACH OF THE FIVE mysteries ( i.e., the 5 topics or segments in focus) when worshippers "do" the rosary prayers, for a total of 50 times in the decades.

The first phrase is simply "Hail Mary... " .

Is that from Scripture ?

Those who pray "the rosary", claim it is from Luke 1:28.

And the angel came in unto her,

and said,

Hail, thou that art highly* favored,

the LORD is with thee:

blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:28, KJV

* highly is NOT in the Greek text.
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The first article was all about "HAIL”.  This second article will examine the second phrase printed by the Roman Catholic Marian Press’s "Hail Mary", which is

"….Hail Mary, "Full-of-Grace"...

Scripture tells us there is only ONE+ Who+ was "Full-of-Grace" and truth.  That is written in John 1:14 and it refers to The LOGOS+, the Word+ made Flesh Who+ dwelt among us, Full of Grace and Truth.

Now, some modern versions claim that Stephen was "Full-of-Grace" also. ( ? ? ? )

Those modern versions try hard to refute ALL of the Byzantine-Majority Text manuscripts, plus the Syriac Harclean version and the writings of Gregory of Nyssa, circa 394 AD.  

This claim for Stephen is based on these faulty Alexandrian manuscripts:

Aleph ( Sinaiticus),
A, (Alexandrinus
B ( Vaticanus),
D, (Bezae --- Greek-Latin diglot , Fifth Century)
manuscript 0175 ( listed as a Fifth Century uncial containing only Acts 6),
minuscules 33, 323, 614, 945, 1175, 1739, 2495
SOME of the Latin manuscripts: lat = an agreement of only a part of the Old Latin with the Vulgate ( from Nestle-Aland's 26th edition's apparatus, Introduction, pg. 55).

Syriac Peshitta Coptic version
Three Papyri: P8 and P45 --- both of which are qualified as witnesses in Nestle-Aland's 26th ed., with "vid" . That means the reading is based only on some surviving letters or parts of letters found in the Papyrus. Also listed is Papyrus 74 with no qualifications.
These FEW manuscripts are used as the basis to change "faith" to "grace" in Acts 6:8, identifying Stephen as "full of grace and power," instead of "full of faith and power" . Acts 6:5 also has Stephen “full of faith and of the HOLY SPIRIT.”

This change is yet another issue over Bible version translators using the eclectic manuscripts compiled from the Alexandrian school instead of the Byzantine Text. We have the Nestle-Aland camp to thank for bringing in this confusion into Acts 6:8 in the Greek eclectic text and hence, into the modern versions based on the faulty Alexandrian manuscripts.

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Why did the Marian Press insert "Mary" into their rendition of Luke 1:28 ? 

Simply this: The Marian clergy wanted to FOCUS the attention on Mary herself. If her name was left out --- as it was in the Angel Gabriel's address to her --- then the focus would move onto the next phrase instead of high-lighting the personhood of Mary.

Praying The Words of an Angel ?

There is not one incident or example in Scripture, Old or New Covenant, of anyone praying or reciting the words which were spoken to men by an angel.

Gabriel is the angel that visited the prophet Daniel. He is the angel that visited Zachariah, John the Baptist's father. Gabriel stands even today in the Presence of GOD.

However, there is simply NO JUSTIFICATION for lifting these words of the Angel Gabriel from the historical account of the nativity of The LORD and placing them as prayers to be recited Even worse... as prayers to be recited towards another human being

Mary was no goddess; she bore a baby, the Immanuel. She also gave birth to other sons and daughters, according to Scripture.

Mary was no goddess; The GOD of Israel would have brought a cursing instead of a blessing upon her if she had tried to be a goddess.

Mary was no goddess; she was NEVER lauded anywhere in the New Testament church nor among the disciples and Apostles nor in the Scriptures. Mary was not lauded while she lived nor after she died, by the Early Apostolic Church.

Mary was not a mediatrix; not one person in the New Testament accounts ASKED Mary to pray to her birth-son JESUS for them.

Furthermore, if we look accurately at what Gabriel said to her, we will see that the Angel Gabriel did NOT laud Mary.

The Angel Gabriel said to her, "You, REJOICE !"  There was no obeisance. The Angel Gabriel did NOT bow down NOR offer worship to the Hebrew virgin Mariam. 

The last mention of Mary in Scriptures is found in Acts 1:14, in the Upper Room with the disciples after the Ascension of The LORD, where Mary was awaiting the Baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT ... along with His+ brethren.

The “Mary” who is found in Scripture was not a super-human; she needed the baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT just like all the other disciples needed it.

In the BRIEF encounters we have with the Mary found in Scriptures, she always and ever pointed to The LORD GOD her SAVIOR+.

Some Christians freely imbibe of the waters of the Apocryphal writings in regards to Mary. However, in regards to Mary they are legends and myths and cannot be trusted as equal in authority as Scriptures. There are NO such corresponding stories of Mary to be found in the New Testament. 

Truth resides in the HOLY SCRIPTURES which we have, given by inspiration of GOD and is profitable

for reproof,
for correction,
for instruction in Righteousness

and are able to make us WISE unto salvation through faith
which is in JESUS CHRIST
  ... not Mary.
[ See 2 Timothy 3:15,16 ]

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Full-of-Grace ?

Where did THAT phrase come from ?

"Full-of-grace" in Luke 1:28 is not found in ANY of the Greek manuscripts listed in Nestle-Aland's 26th edition of the Greek New Testament.  There are NO VARIANTS listed in that volume which indicate that phrase is found in ANY ancient Greek manuscript.

Oddly enough, "full-of-grace" is ALSO NOT FOUND in an Old Latin manuscript of note: Bezae's Codex D, Greek-Latin diglot.  It has Greek on the left page and the same verses in Latin on the right page facing the Greek.

Written in the AD 400's , Codex D was undoubtedly taken from Old Latin manuscripts of more ancient age which were used in "Western" areas of Christendom, Gaul and southern France and perhaps Italy. 

[ To see the transcript of the Old Latin manuscript writing found in Codex D online, see the note at the end of this article.]

Luke 1: 28
 et introiens angelus ad eam dixit
habe benedicta dms tecum
benedicta tu inter mulieres.

dms = Sacred abbreviation used in the ancient manuscripts . This one means "DOMINUS" ( LORD, nominative --- subject --- case)

habe benedicta = hail blest one ... the lower one BEING blest by the Superior ONE, of course

"and entering (the) angel to her said

hail blest (one)

(the) LORD (is) with you

blessed you (are) among women."

Thus, the Latin found in Codex D, Bezae, Fifth Century , simply says: "Hail, blest one... "

 Modern Latin, However, is Another Story ...

"Full-of-grace", however, is found in the modern LATIN VULGATE, whose original author was Jerome, completing the work over several years, around the year 400 AD.

The mystery thickens when we realize that Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate from Greek manuscripts --- which did not have “full-of-grace” --- and Old Latin ( Vetus Latina or Itala) manuscripts.

True, Jerome may have written the Latin Vulgate before Codex D was composed… but the Old Latin manuscripts upon which both were based were likely similar.  That is, both Codex D and Jerome would have used the best of the Old Latin manuscripts which they could have procured.

Keep in mind, the QUALITY of the Old Latin manuscripts varied greatly, according to Dean John William Burgon , pages 140-141, in his classic, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels,  originally written in 1896.  He quotes Augustine of Hippo regarding the multitude of un-authorized , independent, rather rough Old Latin texts circulating in great abundance. ( See that book’s Footnote 2: De Doctr. ii.16). 

Furthermore, among the “Western Texts” of the Early Church’s manuscripts, Codex D was the most important manuscript, according to Wikipedia’s article on Codex D.  


neither the Greek manuscripts

nor Codex D’s manuscripts of the Old Latin

have "Full-of-Grace" in them !

Thus, WHERE did The Latin Vulgate version obtain ..

"Hail Mary, "Full-of-Grace" ?

The LATIN VULGATE currently released to the public has Luke 1: 28  written:

et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit

have gratia plena Dominus

tecum benedicta tu in mulieribus.


"And coming in (the) angel to her said

hail (one) "Full-of-Grace"

(the) LORD (is) with you

blessed you (are) among women"

Thus, the Latin Vulgate reads as though the Angel Gabriel was giving Mary AN HONORARY SALUTE and doing his obeisance to her

Instead, the actual text shows that the Angel was bringing TO HER a message of comfort and great joy:

“You, REJOICE! O one having been favored,
The LORD is with you.”

against “Full-of-Grace"

An earlier Latin writer who was "into" Mary adulation was Gregory of Thaumatagurus.  He was a bishop of Neo-Ceasarea .  He wrote three homilies somewhere between 205 and 265 AD... almost two centuries before Jerome.

His homilies sound like NO OTHER bishop's homilies in his adulation of his IDEA of who Mary was and her " many virtues", so unlike the New Testament witness which we have in Scripture.  [ See ANF, Volume 6, pages 58 – 67. The first three homilies of Gregory Thaumatagurus. ]

Nevertheless, his witness is valuable to us because he wrote in Latin and consistently and constantly directed his praises ( GOD forbid ) to Mary by calling her "O highly favored one ".  NEVER  ONCE did this mis-directed bishop ever call her "full-of-grace." 

Why is this significant ?

It is significant because it is highly probable that if he could WRITE in Latin, then he could read Latin well. It is very likely, then, that the manuscripts he used were written in the OLD LATIN, Vetus Latina, Old Itala.

It is likely that this adulator of Mary would have most certainly incorporated into his three essays about her the highest terms of laudation that he could have found.  If "full-of-grace" had been found in the Old Latin manuscripts, he likely would have used it throughout those essays.  

The Vulgate had not yet been developed. Jerome came almost two centuries later.

If Gregory of Thaumatagurus used any Greek manuscripts, they too would have agreed with the OLD LATIN of Luke 1:28.  

In short, Gregory of Thaumatagurus, in the 200's , did not veer one time AWAY from "highly favored one" in his writings of those 3 homilies adulating Mary. That fact gives a strong testimony to the Old Latin and the Greek manuscripts instead of the Latin Vulgate that we have now

Keep in mind: the Greek manuscripts did NOT have "Full-of-Grace" in Luke 1:28 and we know that at least one MAJOR Old Latin manuscript ( Codex D, Bezae) did NOT have "Full-of-Grace" in it, either.  

The old GENEVA Bible, ostensibly translated from the Waldensian’s Bible of the Old Itala ( i.e., Old Latin. See The EKKLESIA COMMUNICATOR) , says this for Luke 1:28:

And the Angel went in unto her, and said,
Hail thou that art
freely beloved,
the LORD is with thee;
blessed art thou 
among women.
Luke 1: 28
Courtesy of

1599 Geneva Bible

This rendition is accompanied by a footnote saying “"Full-of-Grace" and favor” is also acceptable. [ ed. Note: Exactly why it is also acceptable is not explained, as that is not found in the Greek text.   ]

The ODD thing is that "HIGHLY favored" is not in the Greek either. Literally, the phrase being translated accurately is :


O one having been favored... "

 The verb is a participle, Perfect, Passive, Vocative, Feminine, Singular . hence:   

  •  having ( Perfect ) ...

  • been  (Passive) ....

  • favored ( participle form).

  • Vocative means it was spoken in direct address, thus: "O one... "

  • Feminine means to a female;
  • Singular means not to a crowd but applying to one person. 

Some would choose " having been graced" , since favor and grace are used somewhat interchangeably by translators.  However, the ROOT of that participle means " to favor."

The Summary of FACTS

Thus, it seems that the composers of  " Hail, Mary, "Full-of-Grace""  have added a few words to the Angel Gabriel's greeting to the Hebrew virgin, along with un-intended adulation of the Hebrew virgin Mariam.  

  • There is no "Mary
  • there is no "Full-of-Grace" in the Greek manuscripts,

  • there is no "Full-of-Grace" in at least SOME of the Old Latin manuscripts ( Codex D, Bezae's being the most prominent),

  • and there is no "HIGHLY" . 

Hail  itself would have been better translated literally as the command that it is:  You.. REJOICE ! 

Furthermore,  an accurate translation from the Greek of "having been favored" puts the focus  squarely upon The LORD GOD,  the ONE WHO had called Mary to bring to birth the Babe JESUS into this world of woe.

"HIGHLY " should never have entered the translated page in English.

The DIFFERENCE between the literal salutation and man's version is that the SALUTE by Gabriel should have turned readers to focus upon The LORD GOD instead of to lauding Mary because she was supposedly "Full-of-Grace".

Where did the Latin Vulgate  obtain "Full-of-Grace" ?

If "Full-of-Grace" was:

  • NOT from the Greek manuscripts, and if it was

  • NOT found in the Old Latin of Codex D and 
  • NOT found in the Old Latin used 200 years before Jerome by Bishop Gregory of Thaumatagurus...

from WHERE then was it obtained ?

Where did the scholarly and learned Jerome obtain "Full-of-Grace" for Mary in Luke 1:28 ?

THAT is a good question because...

Jerome used two sources to compile the authorized Latin Vulgate:  some Greek texts and some  Old Latin manuscripts.

However, the Latin Vulgate available to the public TODAY is the Clementine Vulgate... which differs from Jerome's original version.  As a matter of fact, the Latin version, the compilation and edited version from the Old Latin and some selected Greek texts, was not known as the "Vulgate" for three centuries after Jerome's version was finished.

The Latin Vulgate which is released to the public today has Mary "full-of-grace" in Luke 1:28, but none of the Greek texts do. 

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown's Commentary , ( pg. xliii, Introduction) states this:  

 " ... The version as left by Jerome, of which happily we have some valuable manuscripts --- the best of which is the Codex Amiatinas --- the high value of the TRUE Vulgate."

"Jerome revised the variety of readings of the Old Latin. Gospels were published in AD 384, the rest afterwards.  It took three centuries to supercede the Old Latin, when it received the name of "Vulgate."  The Clementine Vulgate alone recognized in the church of Rome DIFFERS TO A CONSIDERABLE EXTENT  from the same version as left by Jerome. "

(Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, Vol. 3, page xliii, Introduction to the Gospels, Sources of  the Authority for the Text of the Gospels, JFB, Eerdmans, 1976 reprint).

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And the Angel went in unto her, and said,

Hail thou that art freely beloved,

the Lord  is with thee;

blessed  art thou among women.

Luke 1:28

Geneva Bible, 
courtesy of

Now Stephen full of faith and power,

did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 6:8


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Let us pray:

Our FATHER, Who art in Heaven, we offer our prayers to THEE and to Thy Holy SON+ JESUS CHRIST

Let it never be said that we offer prayers to any other person, dead or alive, or even those alive with THEE, O LORD.

Keep us from going astray. Help us to measure every word, and more... every CONCEPT ... that we hear.  

Help us to SIFT all spiritual teachings through the True Sieve of the Holy Scriptures, which were kept for us at a great price of Thy martyrs and confessors through the years.

We repent of neglecting to be vigilant and watchful, as Thy HOLY SON+ JESUS told us to be.

Wake us up, we pray. Let no-one take our crown, O FATHER. 

This we pray in the Life-Giving Name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST ... and not his birth-mother's.

Amen and amen.

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To see the transcript of the Old Latin manuscript writing found in Codex D online, go to:

the on-line site from the University of Cambridge ( UK ) Digital Library at 

Folio 185r Quire_24-1r (flesh) Luke1 sec(undum) lucan I·165-185

Line Numbers ( on the left side of the column)  Verse Numbers ( on the right side of the column. ) ]

These verses are on PDF page 350.

·                   Go to the GREEN BOX in the lower right-hand part of the page.

·                   Click on “VIEW MORE OPTIONS.”

·                   Then click on “transcriptions ( diplomatic)”  for the Latin which is on the Codex. It is readable. Otherwise, reading the Codex itself in Latin is a difficult struggle due to the age of the document and the scanning process of the document for the computer.


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