Was Jesus Really Birthed by a Virgin?
by Sheri Bell
The Virgin Birth: Plausible, if God Exists
The Apostles’ Creed, an early creed of the Christian faith, affirms that Jesus Christ “was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.” If this belief is true, it means that Jesus’ entrance into human history isn’t just a tad different, but completely unique.
We can’t, of course, make the same kind of historical argument for the virgin birth that we can make for the resurrection. In the case of the resurrection, numerous eyewitnesses saw Jesus die and also later saw Him come back from the dead. But no eyewitness can attest to how Mary became pregnant. If Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that event was private.
Atheists, of course, declare it to be a “biological impossibility” for a virgin woman to give birth. In one sense they’re correct: humans, like other mammals, are normally incapable of parthenogenesis (a word that derives from Greek words meaning “virgin” and “birth”). But in another sense they’re completely wrong.
Affirming the virgin birth of Christ as “miraculous” does not mean having to believe that the laws of nature have been broken or violated. Just because a virgin birth is not naturally possible doesn’t mean we rule out the possibility of there being a God not bound by the laws of nature.
Is anything impossible for the God who designed and crafted our meticulously detailed universe?
~ The Virgin Birth: The Ultimate Miracle? ~
People in the ancient world knew that human conception naturally required sexual intercourse.
For that reason, they viewed Jesus’ conception by Mary to be a miracle. Joseph, the man who took Mary as his wife, certainly believed that Mary was telling him the truth when she said she had yet to be with a man.
Writes the great Christian thinker C. S. Lewis,
“Some people seem to have an idea that belief in miracles arose at a period when men were so ignorant of the course of nature that they did not perceive a miracle to be contrary to it. … 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. And Joseph obviously knew that.”
When scientists imply that Christians claim Jesus was born through an unusual but ultimately natural process of parthenogenesis, they are mistaken. Rather, Christians claim divine intervention to be the force that reconfigured the normal course of events…