The Importance of a Virgin Birth?

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son.” (Baptist Articles of Faith)

The virgin birth is a mainstay in all Christian denominations statements of faith – my question is – is it legit? Is it even reasonable? Is it even needed? 

I have some reservations about the virgin birth – to the point – I do not think it is plausible as an idea. Here are 2 of my reasons: 

(a) It is based on a scripture prophecy – from Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” 

Problem is the word ‘virgin’ (which bibles refuse to change) is actually the word ‘young woman’ in Hebrew – this is really not even a debate amongst scholars. 

Hebrew-English Tanakh Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” 

The term seems to be used by early Christians – in error it would seem – to prove that Jesus was born of a virgin to fulfill a prophecy. Fact is, all Jesus needs to do is be born of a young woman (which he was) to fulfill the prophecy. 

(b) Jesus, a messianic claim, is said to be from the line of David – Matthew 1:1 “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David…” 

This is not possible if he is born of a virgin. The lineage of the Jewish nation is passed through the male – Joseph would have to be the person from the line of David (which Matthew 1: 16 shows) – “Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.” 

But if Joseph is actually not the father – as the virgin birth claims – then Jesus cannot be from the line of David – but from whatever line Mary is from. The claim seems to be made due to Jesus becoming the ‘son of God’ and the meaning of that term – and how can Jesus be the literal ‘son of God’ without God getting Mary pregnant (as is the biblical claim). That just seems weird to me. 

I am not sure why the early church believed Jesus had to be born of a ‘virgin’ – maybe for the same reason the Baptist’s think – so he could be the actual and literal ‘son of God’. But if the idea is true – then this person is not the messiah. He is not from the line of David as proclaimed. So either we have an interpretive error on Matthew/Luke’s part or Jesus was born of a virgin – just not from the line of David.

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38 thoughts on “The Importance of a Virgin Birth?

  1. I am with you through and through. Part of my siding with your interpretations is the amount of logistic gymnastics required to harmonize the various accounts you reference. To me, it has has every natural appearance of someone trying to create a “fulfilled prophesy,” rummaging through scriptures to find supporting texts.

    And I wonder what the early church *did* believe. My guess is that the virgin birth story was not universally held to a point. At some point maybe the story caught on and eventually became orthodoxy?

    If I may pose an honest question, how can one reject the story of virgin birth and remain a Christian? Or maybe, how does a Christian view these passages if they are a Christian who does not take the bible to be inerrant?

  2. “If I may pose an honest question, how can one reject the story of virgin birth and remain a Christian? Or maybe, how does a Christian view these passages if they are a Christian who does not take the bible to be inerrant?” (Jay)

    I love the teachings of Jesus – and those are what I am asked to follow – the virgin birth is not really a teaching but was an event (that either happened or did not happen). Now whether the virgin birth happened or not really matters little to me – because it has no real bearing on my reality anyways.

    I believe the singular books of the bible (and letters) can contain errors – mistakes. It is not beyond human comprehension that this could and would happen with the writers. They were putting together theological frameworks or teachings for the young faith – for various communities around the Roman empire…some things were added that may have been in question (ie: the virgin birth).

    I appreciate your opinion here – I tend to think same as you on this one – I am not sure it is true as much as it is a type of device to help point to the idea ‘Jesus was special’. Thus the inconsistencies in logic that appear concerning the line of David and even a rush to use ‘virgin’ (likely from a greek translation of some sort) and not ‘young woman’ from the actual Hebrew.

  3. Hebrew-English Tanakh “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

    Svs, you overlooked what makes this unique. First, Immanuel means “God with us” and it only says the woman shall conceive. There’s no man in the picture.

    If memory serves, the Hebrew word used is almah, young woman, which would place the woman as old enough for marriage but unmarried. Mary was in her betrothal year when she became pregnant.

    The objections to the virgin birth as a prophecy don’t hold up. A young woman old enough to marry will conceive a child and name him “God with us”.

    Lineage question: Mary and Joseph were both from the line of David. Joseph’s lineage would still matter as he was the legal guardian of Jesus. He assumed the role of father and did it well.

    The virgin birth is in prophecy and in the gospels. Jesus reconciles man to God, and the virgin birth explains how only He, being both God and man, bridges the gap.

    I am not sure why the early church believed Jesus had to be born of a ‘virgin’
    Not sure why? Jesus’s contemporaries, who gave us the gospels, testified to it.

    There is no other known tradition than the virgin birth. Does that mean it’s 100% truth? How we answer that shows us where we stand in our opinion of Christ Himself. Unfortunately, it stays in that realm of opinion. In my opinion it’s 100% accurate simply because of the resurrection. Again, there’s no other report except that Jesus rose from the dead, and this happened at the very beginning, igniting the world’s largest religious faith.

  4. The objections to the virgin birth as a prophecy don’t hold up. A young woman old enough to marry will conceive a child and name him “God with us”.

    I forgot to add that she would be expected to be a virgin at that stage.

  5. Isaiah 7:14 is one of the misquoted and poorly handled phrases out of the whole bible. the over-arching context of the phrase states simple “if a young woman is pregnant, this whole thing will be over before that baby starts eating solid food.”

    my friends just had their son…i could say “before E.J. starts walking, Bush will be out of office.” that’s it. that’s all that passage says.

    as for virgin birth, the gospels wouldn’t mention it if there wasn’t some controversy around the circumstances of Jesus’ birth. whatever they are is fine, the point was Jesus came, spread his gospel, and was victimized through the cross, yet that wasn’t the end. the VB is not as important as other aspects of the gospel.

  6. 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you [c] a sign: A young woman will be with child and will give birth to a son, and [d] will call him Immanuel. [e] 15 He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. 16 But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

    here’s the full context from the NRSV. a young woman is with child and gives birth to a son… before the boy knows right from wrong two kings will come and go, just like when the two kingdoms split (ephraim vs. judah- divided kingdom) and assyria came into play (which wiped out the northern kingdom, 10 lost tribes of Israel).

    has nothing to do with a messianic prophecy when placed in context.

    nor does it when we look at the Hebrew root: Though the Hebrew word used here,
    äîìò, (‘almah) can sometimes refer to a woman who is a virgin (Gen 24:43), it does
    not carry this meaning inherently. The word is simply the feminine form of the
    corresponding masculine noun, íìò (‘elem), “young man”; cf. 1 Sam.17:56; 20:22).
    The Aramaic and Ugaritic cognate terms are both used of women who are not virgins.

    The word seems to pertain to age, not sexual experience, and would normally be
    translated “young woman.”

  7. “The objections to the virgin birth as a prophecy don’t hold up. A young woman old enough to marry will conceive a child and name him “God with us”.” (Jim)

    That passage is not about a ‘virgin’ so the use in the 2 gospels (Luke and Matthew) is likely a story that grew out of trying to find passages to fulfill prophecy – and this one seemed like an obvious one. Problem is – it’s not. The people took a passage out of context – thought it read ‘virgin’ – recognized the problem with their situation and made it read as if God impregnated Mary (which is even more bizarre).

    Basically, they give Jesus a miraculous birth to match his miraculous resurrection/ascension – like miraculous bookends for the story. Now the end was likely something not being disputed in the community – but I’ll bet the virgin birth is under dispute in early Christendom (John and Mark both exclude that story – why?). John never mentions the story one iota – not even in letters.

    Acts 1:13-14 “When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

    Why would John gloss over this – heck he knew her! It’s also worth noting that Mark (who also palled around with Paul and this Jerusalem council) does not note it either. Paul makes no mention of it – nothing. If this was a well known story – it’s really strange that some people close to Mary and her other sons do not record that story at all. It leaves obvious questions concerning it’s validity – some people close to Mary that also wrote – do not mention it.

    “Mary and Joseph were both from the line of David. Joseph’s lineage would still matter as he was the legal guardian of Jesus. He assumed the role of father and did it well.” (Jim)

    (a) How do we know Mary is from the line of David?

    (b) Joseph is not the actual father – but a step-father – so Jesus is adopted into the lineage of David – not actually from that line at all. Being a stepfather to a child does not make that kid that culture all of a sudden. I am First Nations – if I adopt a non First Nations child – they will not be from the Cree or Saulteaux nations – just adopted in. They will be granted the same rights and priveleges however – just won’t be from the line of ‘so and so’.

    “Not sure why? Jesus’s contemporaries, who gave us the gospels, testified to it.” (Jim)

    Really…there is some seriously scant evidence of this. John, who in his gospel has himself comforting Jesus’ mom at the cross – says not a thing about some virgin birth. None of this ever makes Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s, or James’ letters either. It seems to me Jesus’ contemporaries were quite selective on the importance of this virgin birth thing.

    “Jesus reconciles man to God, and the virgin birth explains how only He, being both God and man, bridges the gap” (Jim)

    This is where my biggest disagreeance actually begins…God impregnates a woman – then she has a God-child who sacrifices himself (like an animal) on the cross for humanity’s benefit. I can think of a plethora of things wrong with that picture.

    (a) God has a child with a woman – unheard of in Jewish theology – and wasn’t even part of the Jewish radar at the time (not like the messiah idea).

    (b) God has a ‘son’ (or actual child) – who shares God’s kingdom – which is a total breaking of commandment #1 (You shall have no other gods before/besides Me)

    (c) God dies on a sacrifical altar as a human being – something that God cannot do (die – for one) and something God abhors (human sacrifice).

    Is it just me or did the early Gentile faith not think this stuff through very well?

  8. Svs,
    How do we know Mary is from the line of David?
    Here’s one source.

    God-child who sacrifices himself (like an animal) on the cross
    Well, what did they sacrifice to God before? Lambs, bulls, i.e. animals. On my blog there’s a label on Zola Levitt’s Passover series. You should check it out.

  9. Luke,
    Here’s a study that shows how the original intent was in fact “virgin” and ha’almah was the original word. A translation by Jewish Septuagint translators in 285 BC “used a word in Greek that means exactly what ‘virgin’ means in English”.
    And whether the boy ate milk and honey or Cheerios really doesn’t matter, nor do the other points. In the future, past all their current troubles, a virgin/young woman will give birth to a son (no Dad mentioned) and he will be called Immanuel (God with us). We can disagree whether that is good enough or not, but you certainly can’t discard it.

  10. Jim I read your source – yikes – the man is speculating to a point – even he is not sure of. Nowhere in the biblical sources does it ever say Mary had any brothers – this is true – but she did have sons. The argument for John to take care of her means something else than the point about Mary not having brothers – she had sons of her own to help her – some just younger than Jesus most likely! Why John is selected is total guesswork by this writer of that column.

    “Well, what did they sacrifice to God before? Lambs, bulls, i.e. animals. On my blog there’s a label on Zola Levitt’s Passover series. You should check it out.” (Jim)

    Why check it out when I can ask a rabbi straightout? Never was human sacrifce ever an acceptable sacrifice to God – I repeat never in Torah. It is never found, seen, predicted, or appreciated. However, it is abhored. Leviticus 20:1-3 gets to this point about Molech (also Deut 12:31).

    “Jesus could not die for anyone’s sins, whether they were committed intentionally or accidentally. To begin with, the Jewish people were strictly prohibited from offering human sacrifices under any circumstances. There is not one place throughout the entire corpus of the Jewish scriptures where human sacrifices are condoned. In fact, over and over again the Bible warns the Jewish people that it is a grave sin to bring a human being as a sacrifice. In the Book of Leviticus, only distinct species of animals are permitted for use in blood sacrifices.” (Rabbi Singer)

    We have the Christian faith exclaiming God respected this action – but we have nothing like it prior. Except for one incident from Moses’ time:

    Exodus 11:4-5 “Moses said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.”

    This is the only incident where God is seen to allow for the sacrifice of human beings…to free some captives from slavery (sound familiar). Question is – does God do this same thing to Jesus – who becomes like the Pharoah’s children – so that we may be able to leave our states of captivity? I might be willing to look at this closer.

  11. I’m also of the opinion that the virgin birth prophecy doesn’t make sense when tied to Isaiah 7 as a whole. The child who is born, and called Immanuel will eat particular foods, and before the child knows how to choose between good/evil, Ahaz will see a particular land deserted.

    In looking at my HarperCollins study Bible, they are saying that the name Immaneul was symbolic at those times, “[embodying] the divine promise of protection.” It references Isaiah 8: 9-10 and Psalms 46: 4-7. The former verse does directly use the word “Immanuel” while the Psalms just speaks about how God is with them in the form of protection.

    ** how does the resurrection have anything to do with the virgin birth – or for that matter – atonement theories? They don’t.**

    I’m wondering how closely Paul would have agreed with this, given that he doesn’t mention the virgin birth in any of his letters.

  12. Jason,
    So there’s no evidence of Mary having brothers. But it is clear why John was “chosen” to look after Mary. They were at the foot of the cross; two tried and true followers of Christ. That bond is closer than blood relationships. Remember what Jesus’s response when his family showed up in Matthew 12:46-49 (Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21). ”
    vs. 49 – Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “These are my mother and my brothers!”

    Why check it out when I can ask a rabbi straightout?</i.

    A rabbi? Does he believe in Christ? I hope you take his interpretation with a grain of salt! And certainly a Messianic Jewish perspective like Levitt’s should not be unknown to a serious investigator like yourself.

    Can you ask Rabbi Singer if Jesus was divine, would he still be considered a “human” sacrifice? Furthermore, his response is categorically false.

    This is the only incident where God is seen to allow for the sacrifice of human beings…to free some captives from slavery (sound familiar). Question is – does God do this same thing to Jesus – who becomes like the Pharoah’s children – so that we may be able to leave our states of captivity? I might be willing to look at this closer.

    Hint: It’s worth a very close look. Here are a few more tidbits that also sound familiar:

    Exodus 7. Moses throws down his staff to prove God to Pharaoh. It turns into snakes. The king’s magicians throw down other snakes but the staff/snake swallows the others.

    In Numbers 21 the snake analogy comes back. Snakes are attacking the Israelites and the Lord asks Moses to make a snake of bronze and place it on a pole, raising it up. Anyone who looks on it will live even though they’ve been bitten by the snakes. Of course, the snake is a metaphor for sin. Paul picked up on this when he wrote, “Christ became sin for us”.

    Isaiah 53 is unequivocal in it’s sacrifical servant who’s described. Rabbi Singer must have overlooked Chapter 53 (Kidding, of course, he just looks at it from a traditional Jewish perspective in which he is deeply invested. His legalism is evident in that one paragraph). This is clearly a case of a “human” sacrificing himself to take away the sins of others (Isa 53:5).

    Exodus 12 describes the Passover in which a lamb is sacrificed and its blood placed over the doorframes of the Israelites’ houses. If not, the first-born sons of each family would die. Their first-born sons were spared while the Egyptians’ were not. God’s son was crucified on the Passover (Matthew 27:15). Levitt goes into much greater detail about this whole feast points to Christ.

    And on and on and on. On your virgin birth query (not having anything to do with the resurrection), What would you think if someone said Jesus was born of a virgin but here are his bones? You’d be wondering what went wrong and seriously doubt he was born of a virgin. Now if he is divine – an outrageous claim – you’d need to show God’s hand in his birth and his death, as well as in his life. If he could rise from the dead, the virgin birth becomes much more believable.

    I think I hear Yael’s footsteps running over so I’ll take a break.
    😎

  13. OSS–I’m wondering how closely Paul would have agreed with this, given that he doesn’t mention the virgin birth in any of his letters.

    Galatians 4:4

  14. Jim,

    Galatians 4:4 does not say Jesus was born of a virgin, or that a virgin was impregnanted, or any of that. That has to be inferred, and that inferrence is much more difficult without using the two gospels to say that the sentence from Paul must mean that it was a virgin birth. All it says is that God sent His son, born/made/came into being of a woman, born under the law. I don’t think most people, knowing just Paul’s letters, would say the woman must be a virgin.

    And, my sentence to Society was in terms of what the virgin birth has to do the resurrection/atonement theories, and I said I think Paul would agree in terms of what it has to do with the belief set, since Paul’s focus is on the resurrection, and never says that people are lost or not Christian because they don’t believe in the virgin birth. He doesn’t make it a focus, he doesn’t use it anywhere saying what it proves about Jesus or God.

  15. “Can you ask Rabbi Singer if Jesus was divine, would he still be considered a “human” sacrifice? Furthermore, his response is categorically false” (Jim)

    If Jesus was divine – then how can he be a human sacrifice? God cannot die! We are acting as if God can die in Christianity – do we realize how unrealistic that is? Of course the rabbi would go against this teaching – most Christians should – God dying – goodness gracious. That creates a whole horde of new problems theologically – for example – God can die being a premiere problem.

    “Isaiah 53 is unequivocal in it’s sacrifical servant who’s described” (Jim)

    It’s a strange thing – but I actually tend to agree sometimes someone’s sacrifice for others benefits the situation. It wouldn’t be exactly human sacrifice (as Singer describes) but more live human servitude. An example could be Gandhi or King Jr (bith gave their lives for the sake of the people they loved). This same idea (concept) is what I see in the case of Jesus (and really always have).

    “Their first-born sons were spared while the Egyptians’ were not. God’s son was crucified on the Passover (Matthew 27:15).” (Jim)

    Maybe I am not comfortable with a human acting as a sacrifice (which would be a human sacrifice on behalf of the people) – which is not allowed by this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (or at least this God was not accepting of such sacrifices – human in nature). That’s the part that troubles me more than anything.

    Now if Jesus’ message was that of inclusion and he dies for the people he served – then I get it. God can be pleased with Jesus as He was with the prophets who acted in like manners for their nation. Once Jesus becomes an actual sacrifice – on the altar of God – we get into some seriously dicey territory concerning God’s character changing from the Tanakh to the NT.

    “Now if he is divine – an outrageous claim – you’d need to show God’s hand in his birth and his death, as well as in his life. If he could rise from the dead, the virgin birth becomes much more believable.” (Jim)

    This isn’t that problematic for me – I don’t think Jesus was divine (there is only One God). Also the virgin birth – is skipped over quite well by all writers except Matthew and Luke (compilations of teachings most likely). Paul, Peter, James, and John – all part of the original Jerusalem council (or played a huge role with them) – the council that helped found this faith – and no mention of a virgin Mary (not even in Acts – Luke must of forgot to add it in as important).

    Fact is, the way Jesus was born is not important – if anything the fact he was born in a ‘lowly’ way speaks more to me than if he was born of a virgin (a fantastic claim at best). The virgin birth plays no role in anything – except holding orthodoxy up that Jesus is divine (and that’s really about it).

  16. “A translation by Jewish Septuagint translators in 285 BC “used a word in Greek that means exactly what ‘virgin’ means in English”.” -Jim J

    and the Jewish translators were translating from HEBREW which didn’t say virgin but young woman.

    It is clear from the narrative in this chapter, that Isaiah’s declaration (Is 7:14-16) was a prophecy about the unsuccessful siege of Jerusalem by the two armies from the north. The verses Isaiah 7:15-16 state that, by the time this child (whose imminent birth was foretold in Isaiah 7:14) reaches the age of maturity (“… he knows to reject bad and choose good …”), the kings of the two enemy nations will be gone, in fact, they will be killed. Two Biblical passages, 2 Kings 15:29-30 and 2 Kings 16:9, confirm that this prophecy was contemporaneously fulfilled when these two kings were assassinated.

    With an understanding of the context of Isaiah 7:14 alone, it is evident that the name of the child in Isaiah 7:14, Immanu’el, is a sign which points to the divine protection that King Ahaz and his people would enjoy from their otherwise certain demise at the hands of these two enemies. Clearly, Isaiah 7:14 is a near-term prophecy that is part of an historic narrative, and which was fulfilled in the immediate time frame, not some seven-and-a-half centuries in the future.

    Now we can talk about other prophecies that point to Christ, but this isn’t one of them.

  17. Fact is, the way Jesus was born is not important – if anything the fact he was born in a ‘lowly’ way speaks more to me than if he was born of a virgin” -SVS

    absolutely! remember what Mark has to say about Jesus’ birth… oh… that’s right.

    nothing.

  18. If Jesus was divine – then how can he be a human sacrifice? God cannot die!

    He “gave up his spirit”. That’s physical death. God is spirit.

  19. ‘He “gave up his spirit”. That’s physical death. God is spirit” (Jim)

    So do we also just experience physical death when we ‘give up our spirit’? Either way you look at that – it’s still death – the gospels and letters are very clear that Jesus died (they make no bones about that one). It seems to me there is a trickiness going on here – like Jesus really didn’t die because his spirit survived.

  20. I don’t much like the Jesus is God view. The way I see it, in my humble little non-seminarian, non-theologian soul, is that Jesus is the son of God, and he is the word of God made flesh.

    But I don’t see him as God. His is the son, he is the heir and he has his own role in Heaven alongside the Father and along with the Holy Spirit.

    Becuase that’s just it: God cannot die. God cannot sin.

    The great achievement of Jesus’ sinless life is that he COULD have sinned. He had a human body and human desires and he could be hurt and tempted. But he resisted. God wouldn’t have had any challenge resisting sin.

    The great thing about Jesus is he was filled with the spiritual nature of God, but he was a human being who understood us and what we go through. That is why he bridges God and humans. God does not lie. God does not sin. God can’t understand us in many ways, when you get down to it. But he can understand Jesus. And Jesus understands God. And Jesus also understands us.

    That’s the way I see it, anyway. Jesus died, he went to hell for a few days, he got up from the dead, and he went to heaven to start the eternal portion of his work.

  21. I always looked at it as nipping humanity’s greatest gripe against God in the bud. No one can ever say, “God doesn’t know what I’m going through.”

  22. “I always looked at it as nipping humanity’s greatest gripe against God in the bud. No one can ever say, “God doesn’t know what I’m going through.”” (Jim)

    I think there is lots of theology in the church built on that presipice – however – God created us in the first place – how is that He does not know our experiences? It is conceivable that God does not how it is to feel like a human – so God doesn’t know everything prior to Jesus does He? Omniscient – I think…I’ll question that premise.

    But Jesus died – true? We all said ‘amen’. Then Jesus resurrected – most of us say ‘amen’. In order for that resurrection to mean anything – he has to have died (for 3 days apparently). If Jesus is God – logic tells me – God died for 3 days.

    The even bigger problem there is part of God dies – but not all of God – and that’s not really death as we know it. See, God was also the Father and in the story He did not die – only Jesus (the son) dies. 1/2 of God lived during 1/2 of His death (makes no sense – it shouldn’t – it’s not close to reasonable).

    Solution: Jesus was sent by God – but is not God.

  23. Wow … a lot to consider, boys. I’ve always been taught that Jesus is the Son of God, and he’s God, and he’s human, and he’s … no wonder people are confused. For me, the virgin birth has never been an issue … I get back to the fact (I think it was SVS) that if we were to live like Jesus (regardless of his birth situation) we would be living according to how God intended. That’s not enough for a lot of people in the church. It’s all tied up into the same thing. One “block of belief” is pulled, their entire faith structure tumbles. I once said (concerning “The DaVinci Code”), “if Jesus were married, how would that change anything? The Bible doesn’t say he was never married.” I had two church leaders just about have a cow right in front of me. “If he were married, it would negate everything Christianity believes!” I couldn’t believe that this man — well versed in Greek and very studied — would be so intrincically tied to one small piece of the puzzle. I’m no scholar. But my faith is bigger than one arguable piece, I guess …

  24. Solution: Jesus was sent by God – but is not God.

    And that is an egregiously contradictory statement! C’mon, Jason. You would use more brain cells than that to plan a vacation.

  25. I’m new. I was on the phone tonight(last night technically) with a friend who is really into Rob Bell and we were discussing a few things and the VB came up. I googled and found this discussion. I really appreciate all of the input on both sides. I’m not real smart and yet I can follow the logic on both sides. The story is craaaaaazy! But I get it. I don’t know why exactly. I think that is why it’s called faith. I can’t prove on paper that God is real or not. I can however look at the law of probability with the information given and become confident with my conclusions. Which by the way can be very uncomfortable at times! A few questions. Why would an angel have to appear to Joseph also? Why would Joseph take Mary on a long journey on the back of a donkey to a consensus while she is pregnant and he is the only one who needed to go? Why would God pick an engaged Jewish couple who had premarital sex and be the shame of the whole community for life to send the chosen one through? How would a young woman giving birth and by the time the baby reaches maturity certain things would have taken place be some kind of a great sign? How many young women gave birth during that time? How is that a marker?Which woman and baby? How could Jesus be God’s only begotten Son if he didn’t begot Him?Is it possible that the reason every New Testament writer didn’t mention the Virgin Birth is that it would be repeating something that was already a given? if they did would the arguement then be “why are they all writing the same thing…that’s fishy and it seems rehearsed and scripted?

  26. To societyvs:
    Jesus was the same in nature as His Father and the same in nature as his mother. That would make Him 100% human and 100% Divine.When He was crucified His human body died. All the sins of every person who lived, past and future, where put on that body.Why? 1. The wages of sin are death(the penalty of imperfection) 2. There is no forgiveness of sin except the shedding of blood( which goes back to the Old Testament sacrifices of unblemished animals blood being poured over the ten commandments as an atonement for sins and a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do) So since Jesus remained sin free his blood payed the ransom for what we owed. His Spirit never died. Our spirits are dead because of sin. We can choose to believe and receive that and be made spiritually connected to God again or not. So essentially Jesus is the real Superman. To be totally honest with you it’s a real bender. I’m not sure if your just arguing or seeking to understand the concept. Even if you don’t believe it do you follow the concept?

  27. 2. There is no forgiveness of sin except the shedding of blood( which goes back to the Old Testament sacrifices of unblemished animals blood being poured over the ten commandments as an atonement for sins and a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do)

    Please list chapter and verse from Tanakh where it says that unless blood is shed sins cannot be forgiven.

  28. Quest

    Ah, let the mental Gymnastics begin. You would do well to listen to Yael, seems to me a Jew would have a clearer understanding of the Tanakh, especially since it was written for Jews not Christians.

  29. In order for that resurrection to mean anything – he has to have died (for 3 days apparently). If Jesus is God – logic tells me – God died for 3 days. (Societyvs)

    Technically Jesus wasnt dead for 3 full days and nights, so logically it makes absolutely no sense anyways. 😉

  30. “Why would Joseph take Mary on a long journey on the back of a donkey to a consensus while she is pregnant and he is the only one who needed to go?” -Quest

    i don’t remember ever reading this in the Bible… only seeing it on TV and in art. looks like tradition and the biblical narrative is confused in your mind… what else needs examining?

  31. “And that is an egregiously contradictory statement! C’mon, Jason. You would use more brain cells than that to plan a vacation.” (Jim)

    I don’t go on very many vacations to be honest – so actually ‘no I wouldn’t’. You version of contradiction is illogical – thought I’d mention that. The claim you say is in contradiction is:

    “Jesus was sent by God – but is not God”

    Jesus was sent by his Father – but is not his Father. This is logical. Jesus was sent by his Father – and Jesus is his Father. That not logical. Yet the 2nd one is the claim of Christianity – that Jesus and the Father are one – they are both God (yet one).

    I think for a Christian to believe the Messiah is one with God in that the Messiah is God – is a strong removal from the original faith Jesus himself belonged to – so strong a removal to be in opposition to it. It breaks the very first commandment – can’t get any more removed than that.

    “Even scientists and animals can reproduce virgin birth.. don’t say its impossible if you dont have all the facts.” (Cherri)

    It’s true – it is possible – I am not in total disagreeance. However, not all people in the original church care to mention it – thus it is not that big of a deal. I don’t think it happened – but then again – I don’t know for certain. But even if it did happen – I also don’t really care too much about it – since it does not take awy or add to my faith in God. Maybe for some it does?

    “A few questions” (Quest)

    The questions you ask are asked as if the story is 100% true already – I think there is a slant there (in my opinion).

    Now the story may very well be true – but it leaves more questions. Is Jesus – because of this birth – the literal son of God? This same thing happens in the Tanakh to Sarah – and her son is not considered the ‘son of God’ (a parallel). Heck, John the Baptist is brought about the same way – a miraculous birth – does this make him a son of God? No.

    The only writers to so much as touch on this subject are Matthew and Luke – that’s it. No John, James, Peter, Mark, and Paul. If this is such a strong and important doctrine – how come more than ½ the NT writers never mention it? I would also like to point out that Luke’s ‘Acts’ also does not mention it…one might think this story was an addition later on? I am not sure of that myself – I just know the doctrine means very little and was dropped altogether by Paul.

    “Jesus was the same in nature as His Father and the same in nature as his mother. That would make Him 100% human and 100% Divine.” (Quest)

    Quest, I hate to use some logic, but I must interject here…Jesus was 200% a person? Didn’t Hulk Hogan also give 110% in the ring? LOL. 100% is the most a human can be and I am going to break this down.

    If Jesus is born as God and a human man – then Jesus isn’t exactly like us in ‘every way’ – is he? Jesus is ‘more than us’ – he’s God – he’s actually nothing like us. Jesus then dies on our behalf – which is also not true – because God cannot die. So if Jesus died then that is very strange – it reveals he is human – but how is he God? Unless God can die – split Himself into 2 – and willingly sacrifice one piece of His parts for us (died) – so ½ of God can die? It’s just very strange – cause if it’s true – then when we die – ½ of us does not die (we fully die).

    “To be totally honest with you it’s a real bender. I’m not sure if your just arguing or seeking to understand the concept. Even if you don’t believe it do you follow the concept?” (Quest)

    I am looking at the concept and letting it be what it is – and then delving into it and seeing what it all means. I personally cannot believe Jesus is God – it breaks the first commandment – which God demands the Jewish faith do not break. I do not believe this concept – nor that the virgin borth truly matters (real or not). I follow the teachings of Jesus and that’s what I try to do – make those active in my life. I do believe that is what it means to ‘follow Jesus’.

    “Technically Jesus wasnt dead for 3 full days and nights, so logically it makes absolutely no sense anyways” (John)

    Actually – not according to our calendar he wasn’t and our understanding of Passover. I do believe he was dead 3 days and 3 nights – please don’t make me bring out the proof – I borrow it from Timothy’s works (that so called prophet).

  32. I dont care what anyone says, the virgin is completely essential in understanding his being. If the virgin birh didn’t really happen, Jesus could not be saving Lord and Messiah he is. The reason this is, is because he would then have a sin nature. In Romans 5:12 it says that the sin nature is passed on through the male. Women still have sin natures but they do not pass it on. Having said that, if Joseph was the biological father of Jesus, Jesus would have a sin nature.

    If Jesus had a sin nature than he would not be God anymore. So the virgin birth is completely essential in our faith.

    Another thing is that if the virgin birth did not happen then how can we believe what happened in the rest of the Bible. It leaves us guessin at who’s really God.

    This stuff takes faith, folks. That’s why God is God. If God was not a complex God than we could understand him perfectly and would no longer recognize his greatness and awesomesness.

  33. You are misleading folks by saying, “Problem is the word ‘virgin’ (which bibles refuse to change) is actually the word ‘young woman’ in Hebrew – this is really not even a debate amongst scholars.” This is just not true. The word can mean pure without having sexual relations too like the word virgin implies especially in the Greek New Testament.

    You also miss the context of Matthew 1:1-17. Matthew is driving home to a Jewish audience that Jesus is the King of Kings (David line, Josiah line, Jesus). He is clearly making a point. You can read about it here:

    http://sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-are-genes-of-jesus-matthew-11-17.html

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