Was the Virgin Conception an Invention of Jewish Christians?
by J Warner Wallace
I’ve been writing lately about the “virgin conception” of Jesus. Is this an essential truth claim of Christianity? Is it reasonable Jesus could have been conceived in such a miraculous way? Was the “virgin conception” borrowed from mythologies that preceded Jesus? If the “Virgin conception” is true, why didn’t Paul mention it? Why didn’t Mark include it in his Gospel? Skeptics have assailed the claim on a variety of fronts. Some critics of the “virgin conception” argue that the earliest Christian authors of the Jesus “mythology” inserted this idea regarding His conception in an effort to give Jesus the “heroic” birth that was consistent with other Old Testament heroes.
Remember that the first Christians were raised within the Jewish culture and religious environment, and these first adherents were familiar with the birth stories of Isaac, Moses, Samson and Samuel; these characters had irregular and unusual births. Were the early authors of the New Testament canon simply trying to create a new hero in the tradition of other Jewish heroes who had unusual birth narratives? There are several reasons to reject such an accounting of the birth story of Jesus…
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