Born of a Virgin. How do atheists pretend to disprove that?

Tiburon

Well-known member
Right. I know. Thanks, or maiden, aka, virgin. The NT Greek translates as "Parthenos," or "virgin."

Not so. The prophecy says she will call the child, Immanuel, which means God with us, not she will call him king Ahaz. Read it.

I hope that helps
A prophecy for king Ahaz not of king Ahaz. It predicted the downfall of his enemies. The word from the OT was the word "almah" a Hebrew word for a young woman of childbearing age. Was Jesus called Immanuel? I don't think so.
 

Tiburon

Well-known member
Oh, I get it. You don't know what I'm talking about.

Here, read this.
I know what you're talking about, I just don't accept it. It's just another excuse from the armoury of Christian excuses to patch the holes in the sieve of scripture. It actually just makes things worse. If you can't blame the discrepancies on the failures of man then you are left with the inability of God to transmit an unambiguous message.
 

bigthinker

Well-known member
I never said they did.

It' not been overlooked. It's in Matthew.

Can you tell me why there is a plethora of history books on the Civil War and none of them is identical. Think about it.
that's not the same thing at all.
But any thoughtful person understands that.
And yes I'm saying that you're not being thoughtful; you're not thinking about this.
First of all, no one (no rational person) puts absolute trust in any one civil war history book. Two, civil war history books are collections of existing information and data. This means the information on the books can be checked.
Third and most importantly, it is the fact that the books are NOT identical yet provide consistent details about events that give a more robust account.
Fourth, civil war books generally don't include supernatural events.
 

hatsoff

Active member
@Howie The almah/parthenos debate doesn't seem to be all that relevant here. Allow me to explain.

First of all, it is widely recognized that Hebrew didn't have a word like our English "virgin" or the Latin term virgo intacta, which referred in a precise sense to a person's sexual status. Even the Greek word parthenos appears to refer principally to a young woman of marriageable age who has not yet been married, with the connotation of virginity but not with that technical meaning. Moreover, it's not even clear that the translation of almah into the LXX's parthenos in Isaiah 7:14 happened prior to Matthew's use of it.

That being said, the real problem here is that even if the author of the Hebrew Isaiah intended to refer specifically to virginity---which, again, is very probably not the case---the passage in Isa 7:14 is not evidently a prophecy about a virginal conception, but only speaks of a woman who (presumably) is now a virgin, but will conceive in the future through natural means.

Larry Chouinard (Kentucky Christian College), explains (Matthew, The College Press NIV Commentary (1997), pp51-2):

While Matthew clearly teaches the virginal conception of Jesus, his use of Isaiah 7:14 has been the subject of extensive discussion. The apparent absence of a pre-Christian Jewish messianic interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 has led some to suggest that Matthew either misunderstood Isaiah or falsified the text to fit his Christian presuppositions. After all, as many have observed, one may understand the Isaiah prediction to refer to a "young girl," presently a virgin, who would at some later time conceive and give birth, without any miraculous overtones. Neither is the linguistic evidence conclusively in support of a strictly messianic prediction of Jesus' virginal conception. The LXX parthenos translates the Hebrew term almah which is not a technical term demanding the translation "virgin" (cf. Prov 30:19); although contextually its usage in the OT seems to accent both a young girl's marriageable age as well as her virginity. It may be argued that the LXX's rendering of almah with parthenos conclusively demonstrates that at least some Jewish translators understood almah as referring to a "virgin" and not merely a "young woman." Although virginity is ordinarily implied by parthenos some have pointed to Gen 34:3 as an exception. Even if Isaiah had in mind a conception by a virgin, it is still possible to understand the fulfillment as a purely natural conception of a young woman who at the time of Isaiah's prediction to Ahaz was a virgin. Therefore, notwithstanding the extensive linguistic discussions that the term "virgin" has stirred, a more convincing line of argument detailing Matthew's use of Isaiah lies elsewhere.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
That being said, the real problem here is that even if the author of the Hebrew Isaiah intended to refer specifically to virginity---which, again, is very probably not the case---the passage in Isa 7:14 is not evidently a prophecy about a virginal conception, but only speaks of a woman who (presumably) is now a virgin, but will conceive in the future through natural means.
The prophecy actually makes more sense if the woman was already pregnant.

The point of the birth is to give a time frame; God is reassuring Ahaz the two nations threatening him will fall soon. If this is a woman who is pregnant, that gives a definite limit to to timeframe - before the child can tell right from wrong. If the woman is not pregnant, it could be ten years before she has a baby; the timeframe is very much more woolly.
 

hatsoff

Active member
Mark didn't even mention the birth at all....so what?

Mark was writing a biography of Jesus, and so for that reason it seems like the sort of thing he would mention if he had known about it (and believed it!). The best explanation for its omission, in my judgment anyway, is that he simply didn't know about it---or, if he did, he didn't believe it.

John's gospel was most likely written after Matthew's, and so it strains credulity to think he hadn't heard some version of the story. However, due to his pre-existence theology, the virginal conception was at best superfluous and at worst contradictory.
 

Howie

Well-known member
A prophecy for king Ahaz not of king Ahaz. It predicted the downfall of his enemies. The word from the OT was the word "almah" a Hebrew word for a young woman of childbearing age. Was Jesus called Immanuel? I don't think so.
Right it's a prophecy of the coming of Jesus who would be born of an "almah" (uoung woman, maiden, virgin) which is translated by Matthew as "parthenos" or virgin. Skipping to 9:6 there's more: For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace ...
 

Howie

Well-known member
Mark was writing a biography of Jesus, and so for that reason it seems like the sort of thing he would mention if he had known about it (and believed it!). The best explanation for its omission, in my judgment anyway, is that he simply didn't know about it---or, if he did, he didn't believe it.
You're an atheist, correct?
John's gospel was most likely written after Matthew's, and so it strains credulity to think he hadn't heard some version of the story. However, due to his pre-existence theology, the virginal conception was at best superfluous and at worst contradictory.
The Spirit directed neither Mark, nor John to write about the Virgin birth. He also directed Isaiah to prophesy about it.

See here: verbal plenary inspiration
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Mark was writing a biography of Jesus, and so for that reason it seems like the sort of thing he would mention if he had known about it (and believed it!). The best explanation for its omission, in my judgment anyway, is that he simply didn't know about it---or, if he did, he didn't believe it.

John's gospel was most likely written after Matthew's, and so it strains credulity to think he hadn't heard some version of the story. However, due to his pre-existence theology, the virginal conception was at best superfluous and at worst contradictory.

"In A's biography of X, A mentions occurrence Y, but in B's biography of X, B doesn't mention Y, so THEREFORE the most likely explanation is that A made up Y, or B didn't know about Y."

Works only if X=Jesus Christ. Doesn't work if X= Churchill or Lincoln or Jim Thorpe or any other human being.

Don't you atheists ever get tired of this crap?
 

hatsoff

Active member
Right it's a prophecy of the coming of Jesus who would be born of an "almah" (uoung woman, maiden, virgin) which is translated by Matthew as "parthenos" or virgin. Skipping to 9:6 there's more: For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace ...

You may have a theological interpretation of it being a kind of double-prophecy, but this is not at all clear. For instance, in v16 we read that

*before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.*

This seems to be a prophecy most immediately about Syria and Israel (the two kingdoms) falling. If it has a kind of double meaning, well, that's a matter of faith, but there is no indication in the text that it is about Jesus.

As for the verse you cite (9:6), it's pretty vague and doesn't seem to match Jesus' ministry. The government never rested on Jesus' shoulders, and he was never a father figure in any context of which I'm aware. And, so far as anyone can tell, the only reason he's called Wonderful Counselor or Prince of Peace is because later Christians read this verse from Isaiah and applied it to him retro-actively.
 

Howie

Well-known member
@Howie The almah/parthenos debate doesn't seem to be all that relevant here. Allow me to explain.

First of all, it is widely recognized that Hebrew didn't have a word like our English "virgin" or the Latin term virgo intacta, which referred in a precise sense to a person's sexual status. Even the Greek word parthenos appears to refer principally to a young woman of marriageable age who has not yet been married, with the connotation of virginity but not with that technical meaning. Moreover, it's not even clear that the translation of almah into the LXX's parthenos in Isaiah 7:14 happened prior to Matthew's use of it.

That being said, the real problem here is that even if the author of the Hebrew Isaiah intended to refer specifically to virginity---which, again, is very probably not the case---the passage in Isa 7:14 is not evidently a prophecy about a virginal conception, but only speaks of a woman who (presumably) is now a virgin, but will conceive in the future through natural means.

Larry Chouinard (Kentucky Christian College), explains (Matthew, The College Press NIV Commentary (1997), pp51-2):

While Matthew clearly teaches the virginal conception of Jesus, his use of Isaiah 7:14 has been the subject of extensive discussion. The apparent absence of a pre-Christian Jewish messianic interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 has led some to suggest that Matthew either misunderstood Isaiah or falsified the text to fit his Christian presuppositions. After all, as many have observed, one may understand the Isaiah prediction to refer to a "young girl," presently a virgin, who would at some later time conceive and give birth, without any miraculous overtones. Neither is the linguistic evidence conclusively in support of a strictly messianic prediction of Jesus' virginal conception. The LXX parthenos translates the Hebrew term almah which is not a technical term demanding the translation "virgin" (cf. Prov 30:19); although contextually its usage in the OT seems to accent both a young girl's marriageable age as well as her virginity. It may be argued that the LXX's rendering of almah with parthenos conclusively demonstrates that at least some Jewish translators understood almah as referring to a "virgin" and not merely a "young woman." Although virginity is ordinarily implied by parthenos some have pointed to Gen 34:3 as an exception. Even if Isaiah had in mind a conception by a virgin, it is still possible to understand the fulfillment as a purely natural conception of a young woman who at the time of Isaiah's prediction to Ahaz was a virgin. Therefore, notwithstanding the extensive linguistic discussions that the term "virgin" has stirred, a more convincing line of argument detailing Matthew's use of Isaiah lies elsewhere.
It's clear from Matthew and every other NT writer that Jesus is the Son of God. He is both God and man. That requires a supernatural conception of a virgin who remains a virgin, according to Matthew, until she gives birth.

Based on the whole testimony of Scripture, I every good reason to believe in the virgin conception. The virgin birth follows naturally from that good reasoning.
 

hatsoff

Active member
"In A's biography of X, A mentions occurrence Y, but in B's biography of X, B doesn't mention Y, so THEREFORE the most likely explanation is that A made up Y, or B didn't know about Y."

Works only if X=Jesus Christ. Doesn't work if X= Churchill or Lincoln or Jim Thorpe or any other human being.

Don't you atheists ever get tired of this crap?

That's not my argument. There are many things a biographer might not mention for various reasons. But, try finding a biography of Churchill or Lincoln that doesn't mention their origins! Dozens, probably hundreds of biographies have been written about each, but I would be very surprised if you could find even one that didn't mention Churchill was born in Oxfordshire, or that Lincoln was born in Kentucky.
 

hatsoff

Active member
It's clear from Matthew and every other NT writer that Jesus is the Son of God. He is both God and man. That requires a supernatural conception of a virgin who remains a virgin, according to Matthew, until she gives birth.

Based on the whole testimony of Scripture, I every good reason to believe in the virgin conception. The virgin birth follows naturally from that good reasoning.

If you believe Scripture as a matter of faith, then sure, I agree that it follows Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, as indicated in both Matthew and Luke.
 

Howie

Well-known member
You may have a theological interpretation of it being a kind of double-prophecy, but this is not at all clear. For instance, in v16 we read that
Correct, as a Christian, I have the theological interpretation that Is 7:14 is prophecy foreshadowing the virgin birth of Christ.

As an atheist, your goal is to sow doubt about the scriptures in rhe minds of Christians.
*before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.*

This seems to be a prophecy most immediately about Syria and Israel (the two kingdoms) falling. If it has a kind of double meaning, well, that's a matter of faith, but there is no indication in the text that it is about Jesus.

As for the verse you cite (9:6), it's pretty vague and doesn't seem to match Jesus' ministry. The government never rested on Jesus' shoulders, and he was never a father figure in any context of which I'm aware. And, so far as anyone can tell, the only reason he's called Wonderful Counselor or Prince of Peace is because later Christians read this verse from Isaiah and applied it to him retro-actively.
Noted.
 
Top