Also posted on my Facebook Page
BRISBANE, Australia - Thursday 21 May 2020
The doctrine of the Virgin Conception/Birth was fabricated by the Hellenist-Latin Church Fathers. It is not based on the Bible. Regardless of its current status in different denominations, the assertion that Jesus had no human father and that his mother Mary conceived him through supernatural means while still a virgin is the foundation stone on which the vast doctrinal edifice of Christianity stands…or falls.
In Part 1, we will just talk very briefly about the origins of the concept.
The ancient Hellenist and Latin world, the world of the Church Fathers, was a world of half-human and half-divine superheroes, of virgin goddesses such as the Greek Athena, Artemis and Hestia and their Roman equivalents Minerva, Diana and Vesta. And last but not least, that tribute to the Roman obsession with the virginity and purity of women, the College of Vestal Virgins.
The concept of virginity, especially consecrated virginity, was extolled and esteemed by the Fathers so it is no surprise that the first claims of the Virgin Conception/Birth of Jesus came from within this environment: Justin Martyr (in c.155 AD), Irenaeus of Lyon (in c.180 AD), and Tertullian (in c. 210 AD). These Fathers, and many others who came later, interpreted the available texts through the lens of Hellenist religious and philosophical thought, with confirmation bias playing its insidious role at every step along the way, as it still does to this day. The teaching eventually made its way into the Old Roman Creed and the Apostles Creed and finally into the universally-accepted Nicene Creed. (See Notes for the three states of Marian virginity - some Fathers believed in one, some in two and, after Nicea, some in three).
The brand of Christianity promoted by the Fathers began to grow and flourish because their teachings made the Jewish Jesus recognisable and acceptable to the general populace of the Roman Empire whose dominant cultures were Hellenism and Latinism. Who could be more acceptable to them than a half-human, half-divine superhero with a mother virtually indistinguishable from a priestess of Vesta or a virgin goddess? Against all odds, the brand became so successful that it outlived its origins in place, time and culture and…the rest is history.
In future posts in this series, we will talk about every single one of the cherry-picked “proof texts” ripped out of their linguistic and cultural context and used to this day to justify the teaching of the Virgin Conception/Birth of Jesus.
𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀
I will conclude by stating that the purpose of this page and all its posts is to stop the weaponisation of the Bible. Certain texts and concepts have been mistranslated, misunderstood, stripped of all cultural or linguistic context, and then fabricated into teachings which have been used to justify the spiritual enslavement and bodily destruction of millions for centuries. This is particularly so in the case of the “deity” teaching which gave rise to the charge of “deicide” against the entire Jewish people, a charge with monumental consequences. So, demonstrating from the texts themselves that these teachings are not based on the books of the Bible severs the link between them and negates attempts at pious self-justification for oppressive, discriminatory, predatory and, certainly in the past, murderous behaviour. Whether Jesus existed or not, whether God exists or not, and whether the texts in the books are wholly true, partly true, or not true at all is beside the point. The way the texts in these books have been used against others certainly is the point, at least on this page, and at least for me.
It is asserted that Ignatius of Antioch confirmed the Virginity of Mary as early as 105 AD in the Epistle to the Trallians, one of seven so-called “genuine” Epistles. However, these Ignatian Epistles reflect conditions prevailing around 250 AD and are so riddled with anachronistic interpolations specifically tailored to suit the developing doctrine of a certain Latin state that they even are not worth talking about.
The majority theory is that the Gospels were orally transmitted, gradually embellished, and not committed to writing (Greek) until decades after the crucifixion, first by Mark. This theory conveniently places the Gospels closer in time to the early Fathers thus making it much simpler to blur the lines between the two. However, it can now be conclusively demonstrated from evidence within the Gospel texts that they were all committed to writing before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.
The three states of virginity: Mary was a virgin at conception and before birth (𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘮), at conception and during birth (𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘶), remained a virgin after birth (𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘮).