Monday, April 10, 2017

An Exposition On The Virgin Birth

  • Introduction:
          -Many of us are familiar with the biblical narrative of the miraculous conception of the Lord Jesus Christ in Mary's womb by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is prophesied in the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:14). The fulfillment is attested to in the New Testament (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:27-36).
          -Scripture records events which took place within that same time period such as the Angel Gabriel's appearance to Mary, the baby needing to be taken out of Israel due to King Herod wanting to exterminate Him, the visit from shepherds, and the gifts of the Magi (which were gold, frankincense, and myrrh).
  • How Does Matthew's Narrative Of Jesus Being Taken To Egypt Fit With Luke's Account Of Him Being Taken To Nazareth?:
          -This assumes on a priori basis that Matthew and Luke wrote about all the details of Christ's early life, when that is simply not the case. Also, it goes without saying that gaps of time existed between these two events.
          -It is possible that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth before traveling to Egypt. He could have been born up to two years prior to Herod ordering the killing of infants (Matthew 2:16). His decree included all males under the age of two.
          -One of both gospel narratives may have been consulted by either author or were dependent on separate sources that no longer exist.
  • Acceptance Of The Virgin Birth Is Ultimately A Matter Of Underlying Philosophical Presuppositions:
          -The doctrine of the virgin birth can be deemed absurd if, and only if, an individual rejects the existence of the supernatural realm. A deity who knows how to create the universe can most certainly bring about a pregnancy in a woman without sexual intercourse. He understands how every part of creation works. Just as God created Adam without a father or mother, so He caused Mary to conceive in her womb without a man. The virgin birth should sound more plausible in light of scientific breakthroughs such as embryonic transfer and artificial insemination.
  • Did The Apostle Paul Affirm The Virgin Birth?:
          -It can be argued Paul implicitly believed in the virgin birth on the grounds that he cited Luke 10:7 as Scripture in 1 Timothy 5:18. If he believed the gospel of Luke to be divinely inspired revelation, then that would mean he upheld the virgin birth because that event is recorded in the narrative from which he quoted.
  • Was The Virgin Birth A Later Invention?:
          -"Some have argued that the Virgin Birth is a later mythical addition since it is mentioned only in two Gospels and is not spoken of by any other New Testament authors. Over a century ago one biblical scholar answered this objection with a very practical observation: If the Virgin Birth was common knowledge among the apostolic community, the New Testament authors "would have abstained from mentioning it for prudential reasons, lest they should expose the mother of our Lord to scandal during her lifetime—such scandals did in fact arise as soon as the virgin birth was declared." Hence the apostles may have kept silent concerning the doctrine until after the death of Mary." (J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace, Reinventing Jesus: What the Da Vinci Code and Other Novel Speculations Don't Tell You, p. 245)
          -" would have been very risky to document and claim that He was born of a virgin. In the Middle East there were "honor killings" for women who conceived out of wedlock, so to speak of a virgin birth was extremely dishonorable. In fact, the Bible alludes to some disparaging remarks made by the opponents of Jesus. In addition, if you look at the anti-Christian literature at the time, much of it focused on this aspect of Christianity. This makes one wonder why, if Christians were just making up a religion, they say something that would offend virtually everybody in the Middle East. It makes no sense to make up something offensive, unless it were true." (
  • The Virgin Birth Is Necessary For A Proper Understanding Of Christ's Nature:
          -Jesus Christ is eternal (John 1:1-3). He has no beginning or end. If Joseph, Mary's husband, was Jesus Christ's biological father, then He could not possess any divine attributes that Scripture ascribes to Him. He most certainly could not be God, as He oftentimes asserted. If Christ is not God, then He could not save us from the eternal consequences of sin. If He could not atone four our sins, then we could never receive forgiveness from God. And if we cannot be forgiven for sin, then we are destined for eternal condemnation in hell.
  • The Virgin Birth Provides The Basis For Jesus Christ Being Sinless:
          -If Jesus had a biological father, then He would in reality be just like everybody else. He would not in any way be different than we are. He would have our sinful nature that we inherited from Adam (Romans 5). However, the Scriptures enforce the sinlessness of the Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). If Jesus was the son of Joseph in the sense of being of his earthly seed, then His sinlessness could simply not be true.
  • The Virgin Birth Provides The Basis For The Atonement Of Jesus Christ:
          -If Jesus Christ is not sinless, then it would have been impossible for Him to make the necessary atonement sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. Jesus needed to be sinless for our justification because only a perfect sacrifice for sin will satisfy the wrath of God (Exodus 12:5; Hebrews 10:1-18). Atonement for sin requires a perfect substitute. If He was a sinner like everybody else, then He could not save us from our sins. The purpose of Jesus Christ coming down from heaven to earth was for the redemption of sinners (Galatians 4:4-5). The doctrine of the virgin birth is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity because it directly relates to the salvation of our souls.
  • The Virgin Birth Emphasizes The Uniqueness Of Jesus Christ:
          -Just as nobody is able to resurrect from the dead and depart from this world in the manner that Christ did, nobody other than Him can be born in the same manner, without the need of sexual intercourse. He was conceived into Mary's body through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the earthly life of Jesus Christ is a in itself a miraculous act of God.

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