Matthew's Testimony : Part 1
Matthew's Testimony : Part 2

The Virgin Birth Classic

Church scholars have assiduously cultivated the impression that the manuscripts upon which the New Testament is based claim that Jesus was born of a 'virgin'.

They say no such thing. Far from being taught as a 'truth necessary for salvation', the doctrine of 'virgin birth' should be taught as a classic in misrepresentation and disinformation.

Because of the discovery of a complete copy of Isaiah amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls, theologians are now forced to admit publicly what their forbears knew at least 1800 years ago:

  • no Israelite prophet predicted a 'virgin birth'
  • none of the contemporaries of Jesus had ever heard of 'virgin birth'
  • it was never preached by any of his disciples
  • Matthew, for a compelling reason that had nothing to do with 'virgin birth', recorded that Jesus was not the son of Joseph
  • Luke, for the same compelling reason, recorded the name of the biological father of Jesus*
  • Luke also made clear that Mary was of the tribe of Levi, thereby ruling out any possibility that he intended his account to be read as a record of virgin birth.

Two genealogies of Jesus are recorded. There is no conflict between the two. One is the genealogy of his supposed father, the other is the genealogy of his biological father. Confusion was introduced only by the later imposition of the doctrine of 'virgin-birth'.

Ever since Ignatius introduced the idea that Jesus was born of a virgin - between 110-117 AD - those charged with the grave responsibility of speaking in his name have succeeded only in negating the purpose of his life and death.

*This point will be dealt with exhaustively in the forthcoming series entitled 'Luke's Testimony'.

Coming up: Matthew's Testimony : Part 2


Scot McKnight

Can I assume that you have chosen not to include my comments?

Scot McKnight

I'll try this one more time. If it doesn't show up I'll consider it that you don't want to be challenged.

First, "no" Hebrew prophet? How do you know that? What you mean is that there is no prediction of a virginal conception in the Hebrew prophets.

Second, why speak of a "virgin birth"? We gave that up long ago: you mean "virginal conception."

Third, "none of the contemporaries"? How do you know such things? We don't have access to all of his contemporaries. What you mean is that we have no evidence for ... and that flies in the face of Matthew 1 and Luke 1 ... which means you assume your conclusion too soon.

Fourth, "it was never preached by his disciples". How do you know this? Do you have access to all their sermons? Again, infelicitous language: you mean you don't think any disciples, as written in the NT (?), say these things. Which goes against the oral traditioning theory that the Gospels arose from oral testimonies, some of which may well have gone back to the disciples (you probably mean "apostles").

Most dispute what you say about Matthew; most would argue that Matthew teaches the virginal conception. Your overstatement is unwise.

In short, your comments go well beyond the demonstrable.

Nearly every Matthean scholar I know thinks Isaiah did not predict a virginal conception, but a birth by a young woman (almah). The LXX translated almah with parthenos, and Matthew picked up on that? Why did he pick up on that text? Because it corresponded to a known reality in his world: Mary had gotten pregnant without a male partner. That is why Matthew chose that text. Matthew's OT formula quotations, as can be seen in scholars like Soares Prabhu, deal with the interplay of event and text, and the lean of scholarship is that the events led the Christians to the texts, not the other way around.



I have already stated on 'Hoist the Engineer' that the evidence I present on the Race is Run is taken SOLELY from the written record of the Old and New Testaments. So, when I claim that 'no prophet predicted' or 'no disciples preached' it is axiomatic that I refer only to the written record.

All your questions including 'how do you know' are therefore irrelevant.

When you say "WE gave that up long ago" you imply superior knowledge on your part and ignorance on my part because I do not use theologically precise terminology. I deliberately use terms familiar to the general public, not the esoteric and exclusive language favoured by divinity school graduate types.

It is not my purpose to attempt to convince the theological establishment- they have reputations to uphold and vested interests to protect.

You describe my words as 'overstatements', 'unwise', 'infelicitous','not demonstrable' and so on, when you have not yet seen most of my evidence. I rather think that is just a little 'unwise'.

At to the 'Matthean scholars' you mentioned, there is a vast gulf between what 'scholarly' circles may know and what the flock are led to believe - in fact, I will soon demonstrate that certain church scholars have known certain facts for many centuries, all the while allowing their congregations to continue worshipping paganism.

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