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Discussions and questions pertaining to Christmas: when and where was Jesus born? The Shepherds, the Wise men, the descent into Egypt, the star, the manger, and the Virgin Birth. Let's talk.

Was the virgin birth essential?

Postby Tonya » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:28 pm

Is the virgin birth essential for Christianity?

Re: Was the virgin birth essential?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:27 am

Is the virgin birth essential for the gospel? No it's not. It wasn't prophesied (Isa. 7.14 is about a local birth that Mathew used for his purposes; it was not understood to predict a virginal conception), and no further mention is made of it in the rest of the NT. Jewish messianic expectation included Davidic descent, so no one was expecting a virginal conception. No theology is built upon it. Christ's sinlessness is not dependent on it. Theologians are not quite sure it has anything to do with Christ's sinlessness because nothing more is said. It is not built upon by Paul or any other writer.

It even works against the case of Matthew, who was trying to give evidence that Jesus was of the line of David. It hurt his case to claim that Joseph wasn't involved in the conception. Matthew had little if any reason to invent it; so also Luke.

These facts are elements that cause us to believe the record of it. Since it doesn't matter all that much, Matthew and Luke wouldn't bothered to have written it if it weren't true.

That being said, it is part of the ancient creeds. Many pastors and some theologians think it has to do with Christ's sinlessness, but that point is never made by the Bible. Here's the point of the virgin birth in the Bible: it's about Jesus's divinity. He was of divine essence. He doesn't need the virgin birth to prove that, but the virgin birth is part of that theology.

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