“Check out this link as a counter point to the Rabbi’s claims” (Xander)
I want to address this article and show I am taking this with some consideration. So here I go.
(1) I definitely concede the idea of ‘closed wombs’ and that being apparent within the Tanakh (namely the Torah stories). There definitely is a tradition of this story existing. One minor problem. In each of the ‘opened womb’ stories God allows a child to be created…are they now literal ‘sons of God’? Should I now consider Isaac in the same category of Jesus – they came about the same way?
(2) For the ‘almah’ argument – I have addressed this above in a few comments. The strongest being lingusitically was there an equal for ‘young girl’ within contemporary Greek? Or was this translated that way based on convenience – like Greek words for love into English?
(2a) From Singer’s link (one I provided) how come Isaiah uses ‘alma’ in Isaiah 7:14 (young woman or virgin) and uses the actual term for virgin (betulah) 5 times in Isaiah in other places. Why that kind of inconsistency on Isaiah’s part? Why not use ‘betulah’ in Isaiah 7:14 and save me all this typing?
(3) Isaiah 7:14 in context
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin (or young woman) will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.”
If this is Jesus, where’s the curds and honey part in the virgin birth stories? What about the 2 kings…who are they? If I recall, Jewish people were still under Roman control (ie: land) during the whole mission of Jesus and quite beyond. No land was forsaken, no eating that meal is mentioned, and no need for a virgin birth in regards to context.
(4) The argument for ‘almah’ meaning ‘virgin’ within the short essay is quite wanting. There is no way they can make the jump they do based on the examples they give. They can assume a young woman would be a virgin, and I think that is a fair assumption to make, but they cannot outright say that when there is a Hebraic word for that same term (namely in Isaiah).
Just because I call someone a ‘young woman’ does not mean that I assume to use ‘virgin’ as it’s equal counter-part – specifically if I know the term for ‘virgin’ and ignore to use it.
*Comment mentioned on Carly Jo’s blog ‘Historicity of Jesus’