The Gateway to Doubting the Gospel Narratives Is The Virgin Birth Myth

There is an often repeated argument that marijuana is the gateway drug leading to dangerous drugs. [I think it's largely false but don't get sidetracked on it.] There is however, a gateway to doubting the whole Bible that I want to highlight here. Lately I've been focusing on the virgin birth claim because this is the gateway to doubting the gospel narratives, just as Genesis 1-11 is the gateway to doubting the Old Testament narratives. It was for me anyway. You can see this double doubting of both Testaments in the list of the five most important books that changed my mind.

Apologists and theologians focus on the resurrection of Jesus primarily because they have studied it so much more than the virgin birth narratives. They now use the minimal facts approach of Gary Habermas, Mike Licona, and William Lane Craig, who want to sweep off the table a great deal of what atheists all agree on, especially their unanimous agreement that a virgin named Mary did not give birth to an incarnate god. The reason this atheist agreement should stay on the table is because it speaks directly to the credibility of the gospel narratives as a whole. Since there's no good reason to believe the virgin birth myth, there's no good reason to believe the resurrection myth either, despite any agreements atheist scholars and Christian apologists have about the resurrection narratives. After all, the virgin birth narratives are in the same gospels that contain the resurrection narratives (Matthew & Luke anyway). If the narratives about the virgin-born incarnate god can be shown to be non-historical myth, then so too are the narratives about the resurrection of this same virgin-born incarnate god. The virgin myth began as an concocted explanation for how an incarnate god came into human existence. So now without a credible virgin birth story, Christians are left with no explanation for how an incarnate god came into human existence!

So here's the scoop on the virgin birth. See what YOU think! First read Part 1 then read Part 2. For the best book-length analysis of the virgin birth see Robert Miller, Born Divine: The Births of Jesus and Other Sons of God. Miller wrote the chapter on Jesus fulfilling prophecy for my anthology, The Case against Miracles.

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