St. Joseph, Jesus’ Earthly Father, Believed in the Miracle of the Virgin Birth
C.S. Lewis Institute
In examining the question of miracles, some argue that the “laws of Nature” demonstrate from experience that miracles are a scientific impossibility. C.S. Lewis argues that those who believe in miracles are not denying the norms that God has placed in nature. However, just because one hasn’t observed a miracle, doesn’t mean that it is not possible. For as St. Joseph knew, a miracle by very definition is an exception to the rule. Lewis writes:
The idea that the progress of science has somehow altered this question is closely bound up with the idea that people ‘in olden times’ believed in [miracles] ‘because they didn’t know the laws of Nature.’ Thus you will hear people say, ‘The early Christians believed that Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know that this is a scientific impossibility.’ Such people seem to have an idea that belief in miracles arose at a period when men were so ignorant of the cause of nature that they did not perceive a miracle to be contrary to it. A moment’s thought shows this to be nonsense: and the story of the Virgin Birth is a particularly striking example.
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When St. Joseph discovered that his fiancée was going to have a baby, he not unnaturally decided to repudiate her. Why? Because he knew just as well as any modern gynecologist that in the ordinary course of nature women do not have babies unless they have lain with men. No doubt the modern gynecologist knows several things about birth and begetting which St. Joseph did not know. But those things do not concern the main point– that a virgin birth is contrary to the course of nature…
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