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Luke 1:26-27 ESV

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.

The New Testament is clear: When Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary, she was a virgin.

I’m really not even sure why professing Christian scholars debate this. I understand the argument that the Hebrew almah means “young woman” and the “virgin” translation comes from the Septuagint Greek parthenos. I understand that Paul never mentions Jesus was conceived in a virgin. However, Luke and Matthew are clear that Jesus Christ was miraculously born of a virgin.

Almah can be explained easily enough. Sexual purity has always been important in Judeo-Christian morality (no matter what liberal revisionists might say). The Jews assumed that the “young woman” of Isaiah 7 was a virgin, and it was translated as such by the Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew Tanakh into the Greek Septuagint.

The fact that Paul never mentioned a virgin birth is potentially troubling, but hardly a knock-down argument against Mary’s virginity. Luke says she was a virgin, and he was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys. We also should remember that Paul was not converted until years after Jesus was crucified, and was not necessarily aware of the details of Christ’s birth.

Now, only a simpleton would believe that Mary was a lifelong, perpetual virgin. The Scriptures say Joseph did not make love to Mary until after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25) which means they eventually had sex, and Jesus had [half] brothers and sisters later on (Matthew 13:55-56). However, Luke and Matthew are clear that Mary was a virgin until after Jesus was born, and Matthew even states that this fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Luke’s account further confirms what Matthew had written, and Luke endeavored to write an orderly, historically accurate, eyewitness account.

+Jared+

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