Originally published Dec. 25th, 2014, I thought it would be good to take another look at this one, for it is still timely. Also, as our Jewish friends celebrate Hannukah, (the miracle of lights) we are reminded that JESUS is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD that will NEVER go out. HE has come to save the Jewish people and the whole world from their sins. We celebrate HIM. We invite every Jew to celebrate this light along with us!
New Radio Broadcasts:
The Virgin Birth Pt. 1
The Virgin Birth Pt. 2
The Virgin Birth Pt. 3
Isaiah 9:6 ~ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
|The Black Art Depot|
I would like to wish to all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. I know that there are so many things happening in this world and there great burdens tied to and upon many of us, but thank god that we are not alone and or without hope. We give gifts today in honor of the greatest gift that God has given to us, his SON Jesus Christ!
As indicated in the above podcast, I have set forth to provide a specific teaching on the virgin birth. In all I have delivered, 2 articles of which this is part 1 and 2 radio broadcasts on the subject for your review and study.
For the Christian, I hope that these resources is a further strengthening of your faith and encourages you to give yourself even the more to Christ as we all march through this very barren land. For those who don;t know Christ and may be seeking to know what this is about, I urge you to seek attentively and diligently study and seek truth. Christ has promised that those who seek truth shall find it (Jn. 14:6) and as countless souls throughout history, I believe that truth is in HIM.
For the critic that simply won't believe...that is your choice...but as you can tell from this article and the series in general, it is not because there is not ample evidence to believe. It is because you chose NOT to believe.
The Virgin Birth
Texts for consideration: Is. 7:14 & Mt. 1:23Background
Assumptions:1- Isaiah 7:14 does not refer to a women who has never had sex with a man, giving birth. This assumes that the word “”almah” refers simply to a “young woman of marriageable age” as opposed to “bethulah” which Isaiah uses an additional 5 times and is popular in the OT usually referring to a physical virgin in every use.
2- Matthew used the LXX which incorrectly translated the word some 200 years prior to his existence as “Parthenos” which meant “virgin”. Since Matthew used a spurious version of the LXX, he was wrong and simply wanted to fill in the blanks of what he wanted to believe that the OT (Old Testament) and specifically Isaiah was communicating.
Are the assumptions of the critic correct? Was Matthew deceived by the LXX in pulling “virgin” from Isaiah and attributing it to Jesus birth? Is the word “bethulah” always associated with being a virgin? Does the word “almah” simply refer to a “young woman”?
In addition to this, I want to examine if the birth of Jesus requires a “miraculous or immaculate Conception”? What are the implications if Jesus is not born of a virgin or immaculately conceived?
I: Are The Assumptions Of The Critic Correct?
Bethulah: This word occurs 50 times in the OT, 21 times to reference “virgin” determined only by context. The word is used an additional 12 times in a metaphorical sense. It appears from all available evidence, that the association as used to infer “virginity” was a later or more recent development as language has changed over time.
Further discussion on Bethulah and Almah:
1- Scriptural Redundancy
Although in many cases, Bethulah has come to mean “virgin” as we interpret it in a modern linguistic context, we find that historically the word did not necessarily conclude that the person was a “virgin” or one who had never had sexual intercourse. One of the greatest proofs of this is found in Gen 24.15-16 which reads:
15-"Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16- The girl (na'ar) was very beautiful, a virgin (bethulah); no man had ever lain with her."
The redundancy of adding “no man had ever lain with her” suggests that the word “bethulah” was not intended alone to designate a woman who had never had sex. You will find a similar addition in Judges 21:12 when there were found “bethulah” young women, “who had never slept with a man”. Clearly, the elements of a young woman of marriageable age is suggested by and throughout the text but to conclude because of the word "bethulah" that the person specified is a "virgin" is beyond the text. When this technique of redundancy is applied in context it makes a good case, but not a sole case on the issue.
Building on the previous observation we are certain that the word "bethulah" refers to a female youth of marriageable age, and further one who is not pregnant at the time of marriage and living under the authority of her father. The case of one who is not pregnant at the time of marriage can be made as follows:
2- The Examination of Deut. 22:13-21
The term “tokens of virginity” has long been misunderstood to mean, proof of physical virginity. However, upon closer examination, the text is more appropriately dealing with proof of the last menstrual period. In this light many of the difficulties of the passage are solved. The examination would not have been that a bloody bedsheet provided proof of a broken hymen, but the examination of the bloody bed sheet (kept and presented by the father) would have been proof that the daughter, for whom a dowry had been given, was NOT PREGNANT at the time of marriage, since in most cases, women cease to menstruate at pregnancy. Hence the word bethulah used here would not simply and specifically point to “virginity” but point to the fact that the daughter was not pregnant with another man’s child. The defilement mentioned would point to having been pregnant prior to having consummated marriage through and by the act of a lawful sexual union.
3- Bethulah could refer to youth of marriageable age without inference to sexual history
In other words “bethulah” could even be a widow or a formerly married woman under certain circumstances. In 8 places Deut 32:25; II Chr 36:17; Ps 148:12; Isa 62:5; Jer 51:22; Lam 1:18; 2:21; Zech 9:17 the word is contrasted or combined with the Hebrew word for “young man” (baharem) and In Ez. 9:6 refers to a plurality of females including girls, children and women.
4- A married woman and even a widow was considered “Bethulah”
Joel 1:8 the word used is Bethulah, but she is morning for her “Ba’al” or (husband) or bridegroom. The language is one consistent with one who is married, although many have taken this verse to mean a husband who is married to a woman to which the union has not yet been consummated.
5- The Conundrum Of The King’s Court
The book of Esther 2:17-19 states that Ahasuerus favored Esther above all the other “bethulah”. It is known however, that the king’s harem of available women, not only included unmarried women, but also married women and women who had previously been married or in relationship. (which is an interpretation rendered by Jewish scholar Solomon Ben Issac Jarchi 1104-1180) It is also said that they, the women, were called bethulah even after they had been with the King sexually.
6- Even Under Polygamy, Looking Upon A Married Woman With Lust Was Condemned
Job 31:1. The word bethulah is is more commonly translated as “maid” or” young woman”. The reason being is that there is not an OT condemnation for a man looking upon an unmarried woman and desiring or coveting her beauty. Why? Because she could potentially become his wife. But there is solid condemnation for one desiring the wife of another. (this is a completely different story and teaching, so I will digress) This is especially tenuous in Job’s time as Job’s society was polygamous at the time, so I would at least say that this verse actually meant more than meets the eye and certainly more than what has traditionally been taught regarding it and Mt. 5:27-28.
7- Figurative Use Of The Word Bethulah
We also find that the term “daughters of Zion” is constructed from bethulah throughout scripture. That term in no wise suggests that the only daughters of Zion were those who were virgins. They were however, his servants and handmaids.
(See Part 2 of this mini-series for the conclusion)