Virgin Birth—Or Prophetic Slip?
One of the first miracles recorded in the New Testament is the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. According to Matthew 1:22-23, Isaiah prophesied about the virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14. However, some in the scholarly community (particularly those within the atheistic and agnostic segments) deny that Isaiah was prophesying about a virgin birth. Isaiah 7:14 reads as follows in three separate translations:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (ASV, emp. added).
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (KJV, emp. added).
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman'u-el (RSV, emp. added).
The difficulty with the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 lies in the Revised Standard Version’s translation of the verse, which renders the Hebrew word ‘almâ as “young woman.” The American Standard and King James Versions render ‘almâ as “virgin.” If the correct translation of the verse is “ young woman,” then Matthew misquotes and misuses a section of Isaiah. According to Sam Gibson, a former-believer-turned-skeptic and author of the website Cygnus’ Study Debunking the Bible, the Bible cannot be true since, “there is not one prophecy in the Bible that cannot be explained away through rational, chronological, interpretive or other methods without relying on the supernatural” (2001). If Isaiah is not a prophecy at all, then others like Mr. Gibson will fall from Christianity, citing the Bible as unreliable…
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