Divinity on Trial : A Summary
Of hair-splits and dummy-spits

Isaiah and the young woman

Common misrepresentations by various Christian churches are:

  • That Isaiah predicted that a 'virgin' would conceive (7:14)
  • That the Israelite people therefore expected a virgin-born messiah
  • That young Israelite girls, after the time of Isaiah, grew up hoping they would be chosen by God as this 'virgin' mother
  • That Jesus' claim to messiahship hinged on 'virgin birth'.

The facts are:

  • Isaiah did not predict that a 'virgin' would conceive
  • The word 'virgin' is a mistranslation of the Hebrew text
  • The Christian churches have given a Hebrew word a meaning which it never at any time possessed in the language of the Israelites
  • The churches knew 1800 years ago that 'virgin' was not the correct translation*
  • The prophecy of Isaiah referred to a span of time, not to a particular type of conception
  • The span of time was to be measured by the growth of a child named Immanuel
  • The child's growth was to be a visible sign to the King. The mother of the child was referred to by a word which means 'a young woman of marrying age'
  • The Israelite people did not expect a virgin-born messiah
  • The New Testament did not record that a prophecy of a 'virgin birth' had been fulfilled - no such prophecy existed
  • The title 'messiah' ('christ' in Greek, 'anointed' in English) does not imply a claim to be virgin-born
  • There are many messiahs in the bible - the word is left untranslated only where it refers to Jesus.

* Ancient translations by Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotian all endeavoured to correct the error.

Coming up...Virgin Birth : Matthew and the young woman

Comments

Jody

Either you just invalidated your own thesis or you've changed it without announcing the change.

To quote your original thesis (http://raceisrun.typepad.com/weblog/2006/05/the_gauntlet_is.html):

There is no *biblical* basis for the doctrines of 'Miraculous Incarnation' (Virgin Birth), 'Trinity', or 'Transubstantiation'.

In your list, you assert that the virgin birth is a mistranslation, but that's a Biblical basis for the doctrine of a virgin birth.

Repeating my reply to your throwing down the gauntlet post:

"If you were arguing that only "unreliable" verses or mistranslated verses are the sources of these doctrines or that they were demonstrably false, you would at least have a defensible (though wrong) argument. But to assert that these doctrines aren't supported biblically ("There is no biblical basis") is just nuts.

Vynette

Jody, I cannot allow your comment to go unchallenged, nor can I allow you to 'wrest' my words.

My thesis, as you refer to it, remains unchanged. It states that there is no 'biblical' basis for the DOCTRINES of the Christian Churches.

The definition of the word 'basis' is:

"the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; e.g. the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture"

The doctrines quoted are not based on the Bible - the fundamental assumptions from which these doctrines developed are based on pagan mythology.

To paraphrase the definition, 'The doctrinal arguments of the Christian Churches rest on a BASIS of paganism'. Therefore, they have no 'biblical' BASIS.

Jody

Besides the fact that you have changed your thesis in your comment from a) "There is no Biblical basis" to b) "The Bible is not THE basis", your revised thesis is nonsense for Christians whose doctrines are sola scriptura or even prima scriptura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_scriptura) which together form most of Protestantism. (Which is what I thought this site was intended to combat.)

Again the points that you cite would be supportive of a thesis that the virgin birth doctrine is theologically unsound.

But by the very act of citing verses from the Bible that you say are mistranslated or derived from pagan sources gives *A* potential Biblical basis for the doctrine. It may be flawed. It may be unsound. But it exists and you proved it exists.

A potential Biblical basis does not mean it is THE basis for the doctrine, but it does mean that there is not "no Biblical basis" as 1>0.

Michael Samudio

Hi Vynette,

I received a comment from you on my blog. And I welcome a healthy discussion about the things of God.

I would just like to point out that if Jesus was not born of a virgin, you and I are still dead in our sins. Adam has passed down his fallen nature through his seed. If Christ was conceived in the natural fashion, He would have been a sinner just like us.

If He were a sinner just like us, His death on the cross would have been meaningless. He would not have made satisfaction for our sins and we will all have no escape from the wrath of God that we deserve.

Are you questioning the authenticity of Matthew 1:25?

Vynette

Michael,

I also welcome healthy discussion in the search for truth.

I do not question the authenticity of Matthew 1:25. On the contrary, it is my stated aim to prove what IS NOT in the Bible, not what IS in the Bible.

I put up my posts in a predetermined sequence and the next one is entitled: 'Matthew and the young woman'.

Regards
Vynette

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