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