Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?, Part 3

Part 2 can be found here. Realist1234 responded. My introductory remarks: 'Q' is a hypothetical document that most NT scholars think best explain the synoptic gospels. Yes, there is a minority view. Do you want to hang your belief in the resurrection on a minority view? And if your god desires belief unto salvation why did he allow the evidence to lead most scholars to think Q exists?

Paul may not have needed to talk about the virgin birth, or indeed of many realities about Jesus' life. But why not? You assume he believed what we find in the canonical Gospels even though he doesn't mention the virgin birth. Can you establish that? He and Peter disagreed on circumcision. What else did they disagree about? Surely there were other things. Nonetheless, there was a need to discuss the virgin birth. His discussion of original sin in Rom. 5-8 (according to most theologians) demands it. Had he done so he would've disarmed critics who would say Jesus suffered from original sin if he was born the natural way. So why didn't he?

Paul said he received his knowledge about the Lord's Supper not from men (Gal. 1:12) but directly from the Lord himself (I Cor. 11:23): "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you..." Why should any of us take someone's private communication from a supposed supernatural force and accept it?

- the Gospel of Mark starts with John the
Baptist and the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. There are no
details of His birth or early life, so not exactly surprising there's no
mention of the virgin birth! That does not mean Mark was not aware of
it - I thought atheists did not like arguments from silence?

How do you know Mark's Gospel was aware of it? According to Bart Ehrman there is evidence Mark was not aware of it:


- 'the gospel of Thomas' - you seem to imply,
given you lump Paul and Mark with this 'gospel' together, that this was
an early writing about Jesus. But it is not - likely written in the
mid-2nd century, long after the Gospels and Paul's writings. Most
scholars believe it to be a 'Gnostic' piece of writing, which early
Christians rightly rejected as false.

The dating of the Gospel of Thomas itself doesn't show us how early are the sayings in it. That's a different dispute. There are saying that are much earlier that the dating of the document and as such needed to be mentioned. Why is there no virgin birth saying among the others?

Richard Valantasis writes:

Assigning a date to the Gospel of Thomas is very complex because it is difficult to know precisely to what a date is being assigned. Scholars have proposed a date as early as 40 AD or as late as 140 AD, depending upon whether the Gospel of Thomas is identified with the original core of sayings, or with the author's published text, or with the Greek or Coptic texts, or with parallels in other literature.
Im not sure there was a 'need'. Could the Son of God not have been born
divine even if both human parents were involved? As for, as it were,
passing on sin, Mary was sinful, yet Jesus remained sinless. And early
Christians did not 'begin to deify Jesus', but rather understood who He
was claiming to be from what he said about Himself and His actions. I
think you've been reading too much of Bart Ehrman.

Yes I have been reading Ehrman and you should too:


Yes, Mary could have made it all
up, or then again it just might be true. But
only if you reject the miraculous and the very existence of God, which
you do. So with your mind-set of naturalism, your explanation is the
only viable one for you. But that is as subjective as any other

Later on in life as a believer I rejected the virgin birth stories, even as a Christian! I rejected it just as the clergy did in the polls mentioned. So no, it demands no pre-theoretical naturalistic commitment to reject the virgin birth narratives.

When I read the account, it rings true, particularly their
initial fear and Joseph's attitude of quietly 'divorcing' her, until he
received his own angelic message. But to argue that because they
could have made it up, therefore you reject it as false, does not mean
it is actually false.

I argued that since they could have made up the virgin birth story we should demand more than their testimony to believe it. Do you really disagree? The story itself could have been made to seem believable. That is, the very parts you say make it believable could have been made up by Mary and Joseph!

Luke was likely written before AD 63, so that's
around 30 years after Jesus' birth, not 90. Many scholars believe John
was the last Gospel to be written, in the AD 90s.

*Sheesh* "This scholarly consensus holds that the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke were composed, independently of one another, sometime in the 80s or 90s."


Yes the majority of the Jewish
people rejected Jesus as the awaited Messiah, it seems primarily because
they wanted him to overthrow the Romans etc. But actually, if they
properly understood the prophecies, they would have seen they were being
fulfilled in Him.

Not a chance. You pulled out a quote where your "guy" relied on a Greek translation of the Hebrew word for "young woman" not the original Hebrew word. No biblical scholar would do that and still be considered a scholar. Read chapter 17 in my magnum opus where I argue there isn't a single passage in the OT that singularly points to the virgin birth of Jesus, his death or resurrection or Messiahship.



Our last and final round went as follows.

Realist1234, I'll respond one more time unless you read further or say something important.

one can rightly argue Paul had nothing to say on the virgin birth because it was accepted as fact with no disputes around it.

No historian would ever say that, nor prosecuting attorney in a court of law.

Mark does not talk at all about Jesus' birth or early life before His public ministry, so why on earth would he need to mention the virgin birth, as you seem to require? Illogical

One should think that because Mark didn't mention the virgin birth or early life these pericopes were created after he became famous through preaching. It's a much more reasonable supposition than saying these stories were known so well they didn't need mentioned. Take for example the mention of the "church" in Matthew's gospel (16) with a church structure that wasn't yet in place and unmentioned in Mark. It's clear Jesus did not come to start a church. Matthew made it up to meet the needs of the ongoing demands of the church. Same with the great "I am" statements we read in John's gospel. They are so memorable, why didn't any other earlier gospel see the need to write them down?
I wonder why you rejected the virgin birth? Did you also reject the miraculous in Jesus' life? If so, why?

I did not reject the miracles of Jesus when I rejected the virgin birth. I treated them as different claims and found the virgin birth story unreasonable to believe.

because theoretically they both could have made up the story, you therefore choose not to believe it.

Again, no. It's rather that since they could have made up the virgin birth story we should demand more than their testimony to believe it. Do you really disagree? Please answer the question.

there are alot of 'coulds' there. Yet you think I should believe you.

I'm not asking you to believe anything except that you should require more evidence than you do to believe. If you did, you would be more reasonable and would reject the virgin birth story.

There is compelling evidence that Luke was written by AD 63, because for example, he makes no mention of the martyrdoms of Paul (his travelling companion) or James.

Nope, not at all. Before you respond take the time to watch this video. Think while doing so.


Jewish scholars began translating the Hebrew text, starting in the 3rd century BC. Yet they used the Greek word 'parthenos' which means 'virgin', long before Jesus' time. Matthew is simply repeating that Jewish-translated Greek. You can hardly blame him for that.

I don't care who did what! Biblical scholars should not substitute a translated word when there is an original word to be dealt with. Doing so is rejected by all biblical scholars. Any so-called biblical scholar who did this would be laughed at.