Monday, December 31, 2007

The "Virgin" Mary?

With tomorrow being The Solemnity of the Mary, Mother of God, I thought it may be appropriate to consider the virgin birth. While I disagree with atheist Paul Tobin's view of Jesus a whole, I think his view of the virgin birth is dead on.

1) The Isaiah 7:14 passage that Matthew and Luke use to "foretell" the virgin birth is a Greek mistranslation. In Hebrew it just means young girl.

2) The Isaiah passage refers a boy to born shortly, not some 700 years in the future after the death of Ahaz and Isaiah.

3) Neither Paul nor the Gospel of Mark, our earliest Christian sources mention the virgin birth.

4) It seems to be an import from the Roman mystery religions. It was a "creative" way for Matthew and Luke to demonstrate that Jesus was God's son.

Personally, I have no problem believing that Joseph and Mary had sex, conceived Jesus, and at conception, the Word became Flesh in a very special way that has never happened before or since, but I have a feeling that others may find that view horrific (but hopefully not).

Does it really matter to if Mary had a virgin birth within the greater scheme of the paschal mystery?

A Faithful Catholic


Anonymous said...


Dad29 said...

Insofar as it is dogmatic, I think there's a difference.

Remind me again why you call yourself Catholic.

Terrence Berres said...

I suppose some of the folks on the Church payroll that go to such lengths to omit the Creed at Sunday Mass don't believe all of what it says, either.

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

"Personally, I have no problem believing that Joseph and Mary had sex, "

It's not a long jump from that position to the position that Jesus did not rise bodily from the tomb, and from there to the position that the Gospels are patriarical bunk and should be disregarded with all dispatch.

The Gospels are full of events that modern people deem impossible, and full of concepts that seem impossible as well; Chastity, Continence, Celibacy, Obedience, and Humility. Once you start discarding the ones you don't fancy, the rest disappear as well.

Here's a thought: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and what do you think that the Holy Spirit's been doing in the last 2000 years?

Faithful Catholic said...

JB, maybe for you it's not a long jump and you find it troubling. But for me, the jump from Jesus' natural conception and birth to no resurrection, is a leap so far I cannot make it.

Terrence Berres said...

In the Apostles Creed, it's a leap over one sentence.

Anonymous said...

You would have fit in well at the ELCA Church that I used to attend before I became Catholic.