Virgin birth of Jesus

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The Annunciation, by Guido Reni, 1621

The virgin birth of Jesus is the belief that Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary by the Holy Spirit and born while Mary was yet a virgin.1 The New Testament references are Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38. The virgin birth is not mentioned in the Pauline epistles, nor is it mentioned in the Gospels of Mark or John.

The virgin birth was universally accepted in the Christian church by the 2nd century, was enshrined in the Apostles’ Creed, and, except for several minor sects, was not seriously challenged until the 18th century, and remains a basic article of belief in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestant churches. Muslims also accept the virgin birth of Jesus.2

Distinction from other doctrines

Mary's virginal conception of Jesus is sometimes confused3 with the Roman Catholic doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception, namely, her being conceived in the normal way but free from original sin.45

The virgin birth of Jesus is also distinct from the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the belief that Mary remained a virgin for her entire life.6

Cultural context

According to standard Jewish custom of the time of Jesus, girls were betrothed around the age of twelve or twelve and a half.7 During the betrothal period, which lasted about a year, the marriage was not consummated and the bride remained in her parent's house.8 Betrothal was formalised by a contract regulating such matters as the transfer of property and provision for the wife and children should the husband die; voiding the contract required a divorce document freeing the girl to remarry.9

New Testament

Events in the
Life of Jesus
according to the Gospels
Life of Jesus
Portals: P christianity.svg Christianity Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg Bible

The earliest Christian preaching about Jesus concerned his death and resurrection, and the early Church turned its attention to the chronology of the rest of the life of Jesus later.101112 Early Christians were hardly monolithic in their preachings, and the Nativity accounts of the gospels may have diverged as a result, but a comparison of the Nativity stories of Luke and Matthew show common elements in terms of the virgin birth, the birth at Bethlehem and the upbringing at Nazareth.1113

Pauline epistles

The Pauline epistles, the earliest surviving Christian writings, refer to Jesus' mother without stating that she was a virgin. Instead Paul focuses on contrasting the birth of Jesus with the fall of Adam, and presents Jesus as the "firstborn of all creation", and a second Adam, in Colossians 1:15-16.141516

Some17 see the silence of Paul on virginity as implying that he knew of no account of the virgin birth of Jesus, while scholars such as Raymond Brown reject the "argument from silence" and state that Paul's letters were composed with a view to ecclesiastical problems with which he had to deal, not to give a narrative of the life of Jesus.

Raymond E. Brown states that given the multiple lines of reasoning, there are no convincing arguments to determine whether Paul knew of the virgin birth or not.18 Brown writes that it is difficult to decide whether Paul's silence on the question of the virginal conception of Jesus is significant in any case.18 Brown states that, even if the silence of Paul is taken to indicate ignorance of the virgin birth, it does not disprove it, for a family tradition about it could have circulated among relatively few in the years 30-60, before becoming known to the communities for whom Matthew and Luke wrote.19 Other authors have noted that the silence of Paul is no indication, given the Pauline Epistles were not intended as chronologies and include very few details of the life of Jesus in general, and that even the Last Supper was only mentioned by Paul in response to problems in Corinth.20

Specific passages in Paul's letters include Galatians 4:4, usually translated as: "when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law". (The word translated as "born" literally means "having come to be",21 and Young's Literal Translation gives the phrase as "come of a woman, come under law".) Some see this silence about a virgin birth as lack of knowledge of it, while others see the phrase "born of a woman, born under the law" as implying that Jesus had no human father.2223 The opening of the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 1:1-4) includes the words: "concerning his Son, who was descended from David (or who came from the offspring of David) according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord". Some, pointing out that the Greek word translated as "descendant" in some Bibles is sperma, which literally means "seed", and interpreting this as indicating descent through the male line,242526 take "descended from David according to the flesh" to mean that Joseph, a descendant of David, was the physical father of Jesus, thus denying the virgin birth of Jesus, others take it as indicating that Mary too was a descendant of David.27282930 Others point out that here, as in Galatians 4:4, Paul does not use the ordinary word for "born" (γεννητός, gennetos, the word used in Matthew 11:11 in relation to John the Baptist being "born of a woman"), but the word γενόμενος, genomenos, literally meaning "become", "come to be",3132 a fact that some interpret as an allusion to incarnation of the pre-existent Son of God.3334

The statement in Romans 8:3-4 that God sent his Son "in the likeness of sinful flesh" has been interpreted as meaning merely that Jesus was externally just like any other human being, supported by Paul's remark elsewhere that Christ "knew no sin".[2 Cor 5:21] Others suggest a contradiction between Paul's notion of being "in the likeness of sinful flesh" and his having been born of a virgin.

In 1Timothy 1:4, the author urges people not to "occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies which promote speculations...". Some scholars see this passage as reflecting a negative view of the developing virgin birth stories and their variant genealogies.35

Gospels

The accounts of the birth of Jesus appear in only two of the four Canonical Gospels, the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew. Luke's story centers on Mary, while Matthew's story centers on Joseph, and in both gospel accounts (Luke 2:1-7 and Matthew 2:1) Jesus is conceived without a human father.363738

While Luke's introduction does assert that its author has "carefully investigated everything",[Lk. 1:3] neither Luke nor Matthew attribute their birth narratives to the direct testimonies of either Mary or Joseph.39 James Hastings and separately Thomas Neufeld have expressed the view that the circumstances of the birth of Jesus were deliberately kept restricted to a small group of early Christians, and were kept as a secret for many years after his death.4041 Ronald Brownrigg suggests that the narrative in Luke was obtained via a path from Mary, while the narrative in Matthew was obtained from a path on Joseph's side.42

Matthew

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

The Gospel of Matthew (c 80-85) begins with a genealogy leading from Abraham to Joseph, but then calls Joseph "the husband of Mary, of whom (Mary) was born Jesus, who is called Christ."[1:16] The Greek text, which has "ἐξ ἧς" (feminine singular), shows that the phrase "of whom" refers to Mary, not to Joseph or to Mary and Joseph together.[1:16] It then states that, when Mary was found to be pregnant, she had not lived with Joseph, to whom she was engaged,[1:18] and that he did not have marital relations with her before the child was born.[1:25]

Matthew then states: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit",[1:20] in fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet: "A virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."[Mt. 1:22-23] Scholars interpret "prophet" as a reference to Isaiah 7:14.43 Some 5th- and 6th-century manuscripts read "Isaiah the prophet".44

The text of Isaiah in Hebrew, as given in both the Masoretic text and the Great Isaiah Scroll found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, uses the word עַלְמָה (almah), meaning an unmarried young woman of the age of puberty. David Strauss in The Life of Jesus, suggests that Isaiah was referring to events of his own time, and that the young woman in question may have been "perhaps the prophet's own wife".45 The Encyclopedia Judaica calls the interpretation as referring to a virgin "a two-millennium misunderstanding of Isaiah 7:14", which "indicates nothing concerning the chastity of the woman in question".46

Matthew 1:22 ("Behold the virgin shall be with child") uses the Greek term παρθένος (parthenos), meaning a virgin, as in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah,47 which "alters or refines" the meaning of the Hebrew word,48 perhaps understanding, as Raymond Brown suggests, the Hebrew word עַלְמָה to mean "virgin" in this context.47

Luke

"26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her."

The Nativity is a prominent element of the Gospel of Luke (c 85-90), and comprises over 10% of the text, being three times the length of the Nativity text in the Gospel of Matthew.49 In Luke 1:30-35 Mary asks how she is to conceive and bear a son, since she is a virgin; and she is told it will happen by the power of God. Luke 3:23-38 gives a genealogy, different from that given by Matthew. Scholars differ on which of the two, Matthew or Luke, is the legal genealogy via Joseph, and which the physical descent via Mary.50

When the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will bear a son conceived by the Holy Spirit,[Lk. 1:26-38] she responds with what is known as the Magnificat,[Lk. 1:46-55] a prayer of joy.51

Isaiah

Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good. For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned."

In this passage from the Book of Isaiah the prophet predicts to King Ahaz that a young woman will give birth to a son who will be called "Immanuel", meaning "God with us", and that Ahaz's enemies will be destroyed before this child learns the difference between good and evil, i.e., before he reaches maturity. The Hebrew word is "עלמה" (almah), which scholars agree means a young woman of child-bearing age, without any connotation of virginity, and the context of the passage makes it clear that Isaiah has in mind events in his and Ahaz's near future. The Greek-speaking author of Matthew, however, used the Greek translation of Isaiah, in which the word is given as "παρθένος", parthenos, meaning a virgin.52

The Qur'an

According to the Qur'an, the pains of labor took Mary to the trunk of a palm tree. The voice of Gabriel or Jesus consoled her and told her that God miraculously provides water to drink and dates to eat.

The Qur'an says that Jesus was the result of a virgin birth. The most detailed account of the annunciation and birth of Jesus is provided in Sura 3 (Al Imran) and 19 (Maryam) wherein it is written that God sent an angel to announce that she could shortly expect to bear a son, despite being a virgin.53

The account in Sura 19 Quran 19:1 of the Qur'an is close to that in the Gospel of Luke.54 The Annunciation to Mary is mentioned twice in the Quran and in both instances Mary is told that she was chosen by God to deliver a son. In one case, the bearer of the news, who is believed to be archangel Gabriel, delivered the news in (3:42-47) as he takes the form of a man (19:16-22).5556 The details of the conception are not discussed but when Mary asks how she can bear a son in view of her chastity she is told that God creates what he wills and that these things are easy for God.55 However, elsewhere the Quran states (21:91 and 66:12) that God breathed "His Spirit" into Mary while she was chaste.5556

Although not specifically mentioned in the Quran, Muslims believe that Jesus and Mary were the only two children not to be touched by Satan at the moment of their birth, for God placed a veil between them and Satan.57

Critical analysis

Historicity

The modern scholarly consensus is that the doctrine of the virgin birth "rests on very slim historical foundations."58 Some writers5960616263 take it as significant that two separate gospels attest to the virgin birth, although their details vary. In this view, the virgin conception and birth constitute a tradition that fits within the criterion of multiple attestation. The accounts of Matthew and Luke are taken as independent testimonies of the tradition.64 The mutual independence of the two attestations is shown by the differences between the accounts of Matthew and Luke regarding Jesus' birth, to which scholars have drawn attention.6566

According to Matthew, an unnamed angel informs Joseph of the virginal conception; in Luke the angel Gabriel informs Mary before the conception occurs. There are at least two rival explanations for the "double attestation" of Matthew and Luke regarding the virgin birth of Jesus:6768

  1. The virgin birth was a historical event, and the narratives of Matthew and Luke are based on different aspects of the event according to witnesses' reports of it.69
  2. Matthew and Luke both wanted to present Jesus as fulfilling prophecies from Hebrew scripture. Both were aware of prophecies concerning a virgin birth and Bethlehem, and therefore these elements of their stories match. But each author wove these prophecies into an overall narrative in a different way. For example, both authors had to explain how Jesus was born in Bethlehem when he was known to be from Nazareth (as mentioned in all four gospels)—and each came up with an independent explanation.citation needed

Among other hypotheses that have been proposed as explanations of the origin of the accounts in Matthew and Luke of the birth of Jesus from a virgin is that of Stephen L Harris, who proposed that these were written to answer Jewish slanders about Jesus' illegitimate birth,70 of which there is evidence from the 2nd century, but which may have been a subsequent polemical Jewish response to the account in Matthew and Luke.71 Helmut Köster sees the narratives of Jesus' virgin birth as having roots in Hellenistic mythology.72

Psilanthropism

Psilanthropists argue against the virgin birth and contend that Jesus was a "mere human".73 Psilanthropism existed among early Jewish Christian groups such as Ebionites who considered Jesus the Messiah, but rejected Apostle Paul as an apostate.74 75 However, in the 4th century the Nicene Creed rejected the teaching that Jesus was a mere human.76

In the 2nd century, Celsus, a pagan anti-Christian Greek philosopher wrote that Jesus's father was a Roman soldier named Pantera. The views of Celsus drew responses from Origen who considered it a fabricated story.7778 Raymond E. Brown states that the story of Pantera is a fanciful explanation of the birth of Jesus which includes very little historical evidence.79

In the Middle Ages as part of the conflicts with Christians, a satirical parody of the Christian gospels called the Toledot Yeshu was written by the Jews, perhaps as a tool for warding off conversions to Christianity.80 The book referred to the name Pantera, or Pandera as the father of Jesus, and also portrayed Judas Iscariot as a hero.818283 The book accuses Jesus of illegitimate birth as the son of Pandera, and of heretic and at times violent activities along with his followers during his ministry.8183 Robert E. Van Voorst states that the literary origins of Toledot Yeshu cannot be traced with any certainty, and its medieval composition without a fixed form, it is "most unlikely" to have reliable historical information.84 The Blackwell Companion to Jesus states that the Toledot Yeshu has no historical facts as such, and was perhaps created as a tool for warding off conversions to Christianity.85

Historically notable psilanthropists have included figures such as the translator of the first Bible in Byelorussian, Symon Budny (who was excommunicated by the Polish Unitarians86), and Joseph Priestley and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the 18th and 19th centuries.8788

Modern psilanthropists include some members of the Unification Church. Although the church's textbook, the Divine Principle does not specifically mention the teaching that Zacharias was the father of Jesus, according to Ruth Tucker89 some members of the church hold that belief9091 - which is based on the work of Leslie Weatherhead.17

Richard Dawkins dismisses the possibility of virgin birth from a biological perspective, as he generally dismisses all biblical miracles on grounds that they are unproven and unsubstantiated supernatural events.92

Analogies and explanations

As part of the conflicts between Christians and other groups during the 1st and 2nd centuries, statements were made by both Jews and pagans that the Christian virgin birth narratives had been derived from pagan sources.9394 Early Christians such as Justin Martyr countered the argument about pagan connections to the virgin birth of Jesus.95 In the 2nd century, Justin presented these arguments in The First Apology of Justin, and in Dialog with Trypho.95 Justin argued at length against the pagan connection and noted that the word virgin does not even occur in the pagan sources.96 He also addressed the Old Testament issues in his debates with a Jew called Trypho.93

Followers of Mithraism have proposed, from Persian sources, that Mithra might have been born of the union of Mother Earth and Ahuramazda, and that his story influenced both Christianity and Chinese mythology, where he became known as "The Friend".97 Christian authors have argued that no historical basis for the connection to Christianity has been presented by the Mithraists.98

The early Christian document, the Ascension of Isaiah, which may date to the 2nd century, also has a narrative of the virgin birth of Jesus.99 However, the date and origin of this document is questionable, given that the author disguised his identity behind Isaiah.100 The narrative of the virgin birth of Jesus can be found also in other New Testament apocrypha, for instance the Protevangelium of James, perhaps written in the 2nd century.101

Parthenogenesis has been hypothesized as a possible biological mechanism for the virgin birth of Jesus.102 But this hypothesis has received no general scholarly support.103104

Christian celebrations and devotions

Mary writing the Magnificat, by Marie Ellenrieder, 1833

Christians celebrate the conception of Jesus on 25 March105 (Lady Day) and his birth at Christmas (25 December) or Epiphany (6 January). Among the many traditions associated with Christmas are the construction of cribs and the performance of re-enactments of elements of the story in the Gospels of the birth of Jesus, a tradition started in the 13th century by the Franciscans.106107108

The festival of the Nativity which later turned into Christmas was a 4th-century feast in the Western Church notably in Rome and North Africa, although it is uncertain exactly where and when it was first celebrated.109 There has been debate about the reason why Christians came to choose the 25 December date to celebrate the birth of Jesus. One theory is that they did so in order to oppose the existing winter-solstice feast of the Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Unconquered Sun) by celebrating on that date the birth of the "Sun of Righteousness".110

Another tradition derived the date of Christmas from that of the Annunciation, the virginal conception of Jesus.110 Since this was supposed to have taken place on 14 Nisan in the Jewish calendar, calculated to have been either 25 March or 6 April, it was believed that the date of Christ's birth will have been nine months later.111 A tractate falsely attributed to John Chrysostom argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year and calculated this as 25 March, a computation also mentioned by Saint Augustine of Hippo.110

The Magnificat, based on Luke 1:46-55 is one of four well known Gospel canticles: the Benedictus and the Magnificat in the first chapter, and the Gloria in Excelsis and the Nunc dimittis in the second chapter of Luke, which are now an integral part of the Christian liturgical tradition.51112113 The Magnificat is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn.114115 The Annunciation, representing the virgin birth, became an element of Marian devotions in Medieval times, and by the 13th century direct references to it were widespread in French lyrics.116

The Eastern Orthodox Church uses the title "Ever Virgin Mary" as a key element of its Marian veneration, and as part of the Akathists (hymns) to Mary which are an integral part of its liturgy.117

Artistic depictions

This doctrine of the Virgin Birth is often represented Christian art in terms of the annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God, and in Nativity scenes that include the figure of Salome. The Annunciation is one of the most frequently depicted scenes in Western art.118 Annunciation scenes also amount to the most frequent appearances of Gabriel in medieval art.119 The depiction of Joseph turning away in some Nativity scenes is a discreet reference to the fatherhood of the Holy Spirit, and the doctrine of Virgin Birth.120

Gallery of art

See also

References

  1. ^ Dorman 1995, p. 990.
  2. ^ Britannica 2007, p. Virgin Birth.
  3. ^ O'Brien, Catherine (2012). The Celluloid Madonna. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-23150181-1. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  4. ^ McKnight, Scot (2004). The Jesus Creed. Paraclete Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-1-55725400-9. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Harrington, S.J.J. (2010). Historical Dictionary of Jesus. Scarecrow Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-81087668-2. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Brown, Raymond Edward, ed. (1978). Mary in the New Testament. Paulist Press. p. 273. ISBN 9780809121687. 
  7. ^ Deiss 2010, p. 25.
  8. ^ Lachs 1987, p. 6.
  9. ^ Saldarini 2003, p. 1007.
  10. ^ Raymond E. Brown, in The Birth of the Messiah, pages 26-28
  11. ^ a b The new Westminster dictionary of church history, Volume 1 by Robert Benedetto 2008 ISBN 0-664-22416-4 page 351
  12. ^ Robert J. Karris (editor), Collegeville Bible Commentary 1992, p. 939 [1]
  13. ^ The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew by George Dunbar Kilpatrick 2007 ISBN 0-86516-667-6 page 54.
  14. ^ The virgin birth by Robert Glenn Gromacki 2002 ISBN 0-8254-2746-0 pages 220-221
  15. ^ The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1988 ISBN 0-8028-3785-9 page
  16. ^ An introductory dictionary of theology and religious studies by Orlando O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff 2007 ISBN 0-8146-5856-3 page 238
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  19. ^ Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, p. 61
  20. ^ Virgin Birth of Christ by J Gresham Machen 1987 ISBN 0-227-67630-0 page 262
  21. ^ γενόμενος, aorist middle participle of γίγνομαι, to become
  22. ^ John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Vol. 1, Anchor Bible. 1991. p. 226
  23. ^ "A Re-Study of the Virgin Birth of Christ" in Evangelical Quarterly 37, published as a Supplement to the Columbia Theological Seminary Bulletin 1966, pp. 1-14
  24. ^ Carlson, Paul (1995) "New Testament Contradictions"
  25. ^ Kick, Russ (2007) Everything You Know About God Is Wrong
  26. ^ Everett Peter (2013) Jesus: The Man Behind the Veil; Page 36
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  43. ^ "In three details Matthew departs from the Septuagint form of Isa. 7:14 ... (1) the use of hexei rather than lēpsetai; (2) the third person plural 'they will call', rather than 'you [sing.] will call'; (3) the supplied interpretation of Emmanuel as 'God with us'" (Raymond E. Brown: The Birth of the Messiah ISBN 0-385-05405-X, p. 150)
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  71. ^ Brown, Raymond E., The Birth of the Messiah. Doubleday & Company. 1977, Appendix V: The Charge of Illegitimacy, p. 537
  72. ^ Köster, Helmut Ancient Christian gospels: their history and development Edition 7, Trinity Press, 2004, pg 306
  73. ^ The Westminster handbook to patristic theology by John Anthony McGuckin 2004 ISBN 0-664-22396-6 page 286
  74. ^ Angels and Principalities by A. Wesley Carr 2005 ISBN 0-521-01875-7 page 131
  75. ^ Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians in Antiquity by James Carleton Paget 2010 ISBN 3-16-150312-0 page 360
  76. ^ The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology by Berard L. Marthaler 2007 ISBN 0-89622-537-2 page 129
  77. ^ Contra Celsum by Origen, Henry Chadwick 1980 ISBN 0-521-29576-9 page 32
  78. ^ Patrick, John The Apology of Origen in Reply to Celsus 2009 ISBN 1-110-13388-X pages 22–24
  79. ^ Mary in the New Testament by Raymond Edward Brown, et al. 1978 ISBN 0-8091-2168-9 page 262
  80. ^ Michael J. Cook Jewish Perspectives on Jesus Chapter 14 in the "The Blackwell Companion to Jesus" edited by Delbert Burkett 2011 ISBN ISBN 978-1-4443-2794-6
  81. ^ a b Studying the historical Jesus: evaluations of the state of current research by Bruce Chilton, Craig A. Evans 1998 ISBN 90-04-11142-5 page 450
  82. ^ Princeton University
  83. ^ a b William Horbury, The Depiction of Judeo-Christians in the Toledot Yeshu in "The image of the Judaeo-Christians in ancient Jewish and Christian literature" edited by Doris Lambers-Petry 2003 ISBN 3-16-148094-5 pages 280-285
  84. ^ Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence WmB Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pp. 122, 127 and 128
  85. ^ Michael J. Cook Jewish Perspectives on Jesus Chapter 14 in the "The Blackwell Companion to Jesus" edited by Delbert Burkett 2011 ISBN 978-1-4443-2794-6
  86. ^ The Jews in old Poland, 1000-1795 ed. Antony Polonsky, Jakub Basista, Andrzej Link-Lenczowski - 1993 p32 "Budny rejected the eternality of Christ and, in the notes to his translation of the New Testament, denied the Virgin birth, assenting that Jesus was Joseph's son. Even among heretical leaders Szymon Budny was considered a heretic and they would have nothing to do with him
  87. ^ Cyclopædia of Biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical literature, Volume 2 By John McClintock, James Strong 1894 p404
  88. ^ Joseph Priestley and English Unitarianism in America by J. D. Bowers 2007 ISBN 0-271-02951-X page 36
  89. ^ Another Gospel: Cults, Alternative Religions, and the New Age Movement by Ruth A. Tucker 1989 ISBN 0-310-25937-1 pages 250-251
  90. ^ Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for Chaplains, By U. S. Department of the Army, Published by The Minerva Group, Inc., 2001, ISBN 0-89875-607-3, ISBN 978-0-89875-607-4, page 1–42. Google books listing
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  92. ^ The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins 2006 ISBN 0-618-68000-4 pages 93-94
  93. ^ a b Roman world, 44 B.C.-A.D. 180 by Martin Goodman, Jane Sherwood 1997 ISBN 0-415-04969-5 page 326
  94. ^ A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Volume I by James Hastings 2004 ISBN 1-4102-1786-8 page 784
  95. ^ a b The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1995 ISBN 0-8028-3785-9 page 271
  96. ^ Virgin Birth of Christ by J Gresham Machen 1987 ISBN 0-227-67630-0 page 335
  97. ^ The mysteries of Mithras by Payam Nabarz 2005 ISBN 1-59477-027-1 page 5
  98. ^ The Catholic Answer Book of Mary by Peter M. J. Stravinskas 2000 ISBN 0-87973-347-0 page 105
  99. ^ Virgin Birth of Christ by J Gresham Machen 1987 ISBN 0-227-67630-0 page 42
  100. ^ Lord Jesus Christ by Larry W. Hurtado 2005 ISBN 0-8028-3167-2 page 595
  101. ^ International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1995 ISBN 0-8028-3781-6 page 182
  102. ^ Kessel, E.L. 1983. A proposed biological interpretation of the Virgin birth. Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 35:129-136. web version
  103. ^ The birth of Jesus by George J. Brooke 2001 ISBN 0-567-08756-5 pages 62-63
  104. ^ The virgin birth by Robert Glenn Gromacki 2002 ISBN 0-8254-2746-0 page 113
  105. ^ The Julian Calendar 25 March corresponds at present to 8 April in the Gregorian Calendar.
  106. ^ The image of St Francis by Rosalind B. Brooke 2006 ISBN 0-521-78291-0 pages 183-184
  107. ^ The vitality of the Christian tradition by George Finger Thomas 1944 ISBN 0-8369-2378-2 page 110-112
  108. ^ The tradition of Catholic prayer by Christian Raab, Harry Hagan, St. Meinrad Archabbey 2007 ISBN 0-8146-3184-3 pages 86-87
  109. ^ Christian worship in Reformed Churches past and present by Lukas Vischer 2002 ISBN 0-8028-0520-5 pages 400-401
  110. ^ a b c Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Christmas
  111. ^ Procter and Frere's New History of the Book of Common Prayer (see The Date of Christmas and Epiphany)
  112. ^ Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 1998 ISBN 0-86554-373-9 page 396
  113. ^ Sanctity of time and space in tradition and modernity by Alberdina Houtman, Marcel Poorthuis, Joshua Schwartz 1998 ISBN 90-04-11233-2 pages 61-62
  114. ^ The History and Use of Hymns and Hymn-Tunes by David R Breed 2009 ISBN 1-110-47186-6 page 17
  115. ^ Favourite Hymns by Marjorie Reeves 2006 ISBN 0-8264-8097-7 page 3-5
  116. ^ Marian devotion in thirteenth-century French lyric by Daniel E. O'Sullivan 2005 ISBN 0-8020-3885-9pages 14-15
  117. ^ The image of the Virgin Mary in the Akathistos hymn by Leena Mari Peltomaa 2001 ISBN 90-04-12088-2 page 127
  118. ^ The encyclopedia of angels by Rosemary Guiley 2004 ISBN 0-8160-5023-6 page 183
  119. ^ Medieval art: a topical dictionary by Leslie Ross 1996 ISBN 0-313-29329-5 page 99
  120. ^ Christian iconography: a study of its origins by André Grabar 1968 Taylor & Francis page 130

Bibliography

Further reading

Gromacki, Robert G. The Virgin Birth: Doctrine of Deity. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1981, cop. 1974. 202 p. ISBN 0-89010-3765-4

Virgin birth of Jesus
Preceded by
Gabriel announces John's
birth to Zechariah
New Testament
Events
Succeeded by
Mary visits Elizabeth


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