Virgin Birth

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    F bite me posted Wed, 05 Dec 2007 19:25:00 GMT(12/5/2007)

    Post 229 of 609
    Joined 5/1/2007

    How/What does the WTS teach about the birth of Jesus? Do they Deny or not teach the virgin birth? Ignor it? ?

    M skyking posted Wed, 05 Dec 2007 19:33:00 GMT(12/5/2007)

    Post 949 of 1010
    Joined 8/28/2006

    They believe in it.

    Are you questioning it? If so I would love to hear your conclusion.

    F bite me posted Wed, 05 Dec 2007 19:38:00 GMT(12/5/2007)

    Post 230 of 609
    Joined 5/1/2007

    Not questioning it, I believe in it. I read somewhere where they did not believe in it to the extent that it is applied in the Bible.

    Let me get back to you. I'll let you know if I find what I found before.

    M skyking posted Wed, 05 Dec 2007 19:47:00 GMT(12/5/2007)

    Post 952 of 1010
    Joined 8/28/2006

    That would be new to me if you could find anything.

    I hope you do.

    JCanon posted Wed, 05 Dec 2007 23:42:00 GMT(12/5/2007)

    Post 2762 of 1335
    Joined 3/7/2001

    Not questioning it, I believe in it. I read somewhere where they did not believe in it to the extent that it is applied in the Bible.

    Let me get back to you. I'll let you know if I find what I found before.

    You might have in mind, related to this, is the different view JWs have the Catholics that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ and never had sex and thus any other children by Joseph even though the Bible clearly indicates so. I have a Catholic friend whom I discussed this with and he just plainly said that part of the Bible was incorrect or misleading. Done! No twisting, no arguing, just Mary is a Virgin, always was and always will be!... and that's it. She never had sex with any man, ever. Otherwise, as noted, JWs do believe in the virgin birth of Christ. JCanon

    golden age posted Thu, 06 Dec 2007 03:25:00 GMT(12/6/2007)

    Post 33 of 34
    Joined 12/3/2004

    My friend:

    The bible does not clearly teach that jesus had brothers and sisters as you state:

    First off there was no word for cousin, or for nephew or niece, or for aunt or uncle in ancient Hebrew or Aramaic - the words that the Jews used in all those instances were "brother" or "sister". For example, in Genesis 14:14, where Lot who was Abraham's nephew is called his brother.

    If Jesus had had any brothers, if Mary had had any other sons, would the last thing that Jesus did on earth be to grievously offend his surviving brothers? In Jn 19:26-27 prior to jesus death jesus intrusted the care of his mother to john his diciple, if mary had any other sons this would have been a great insult in jewish tradition.

    Remember, all questions have answers, sometimes you just have to search for them!!!

    JCanon posted Thu, 06 Dec 2007 09:21:00 GMT(12/6/2007)

    Post 2768 of 1335
    Joined 3/7/2001

    The bible does not clearly teach that jesus had brothers and sisters as you state:

    First off there was no word for cousin, or for nephew or niece, or for aunt or uncle in ancient Hebrew or Aramaic - the words that the Jews used in all those instances were "brother" or "sister". For example, in Genesis 14:14, where Lot who was Abraham's nephew is called his brother.

    If Jesus had had any brothers, if Mary had had any other sons, would the last thing that Jesus did on earth be to grievously offend his surviving brothers? In Jn 19:26-27 prior to jesus death jesus intrusted the care of his mother to john his diciple, if mary had any other sons this would have been a great insult in jewish tradition.

    Very interesting. But strange you didn't specifically quote the scripture regarding his "brothers and sisters". Let's quote it and see if "cousin" or "nephew" makes a much sense:

    Matt. 13:56 “Where did this man get this wisdom and these powerful works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Where, then, did this man get all these things?”

    Now, my question would be, why would cousins and nephews and neices be in the context here before an aunt? That is, if Jesus was an only child but he had other relatives, after mentioning his mother and father, seems they would have mentioned is aunt and uncle more primarily than cousins.

    Further this must be contrasted with this reference:

    GALATIONS 1:19

    But I saw no one else of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.

    You have mention in Matthew of a brother named James and here in Galations James being identified as the "brother of the Lord."

    As far as Jesus entrusting Mary to John, there could have been many circumstantial reasons, two of which that immediately come to mind:

    1) John was the "one Jesus loved." John wasn't married. Jesus and John were, "special companions" in a relationship closer than he had with the other disciples. So entrusting John to look after his mother may have been based upon the relationship all three of them had.

    2) The second thing that comes to mind is that Jesus had decided that John would not die. There were two groups of Christians, those who would die and some who would remain alive over 1900 years until Christ returned for various reasons. Paul and John were chosen not to die (1 Thess 4:15). But it would seem Mary, the woman God chose to bring the messiah into the world would likewise be chosen not to die either, thus entrusting her to John was a logistical decision. Who more appropriate to entrust the care of your mother to?

    Further, Mary may have preferred this as well.

    At any rate, I sometimes think the Templars somehow found out about the surviving congregation and the records they kept, maybe even Mary and John and that's what their whole secret society was based on, looking for these surviving blood relatives of Jesus and other Jews and all the records they maintained.

    But even if Jesus was an only child, it would be reasonable to think that Joseph would have had sex with his own wife.

    Cheers,

    JC

    Steve J posted Thu, 06 Dec 2007 19:44:00 GMT(12/6/2007)

    Post 16 of 41
    Joined 11/23/2007

    As an ex JW I know they believe the Virgin Birth, as do most "Christians", but there seems to be evidence to suggest that the Jews were certainly not expecting their Messiah to be born by anything other than natural means.

    Some scholars have suggested that the Greek Speaking translator of Matthew mistranslated the prophecy found in the scroll of Isaiah (Isa 7:14) and the Hebrew word almah meaning young woman was changed to the Greek parthenos meaning virgin and that's where the idea of the virgin birth originated.

    There is also a large question mark over the genealogies found in Matthew and Luke and clear evidence that some names were left out of Jesus' genealogy to make it fit more comfortably with the authors idea of the significance of there being 14 generations between Abraham and David, David and the deportation to Babylon and from then until the arrival of the Messiah. (see Matt 1:17)

    If you compare Matthew 1:8 with 1 Cronicles 3:10-12 you can see that the names Amaziah, jehoash and Ahaziah were omitted from the Matthew account.

    The Oxford Bible Commentary states;

    The outstanding feature of this passage is its triadic structure: there are fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from david to the captivity and fourteen from the captivity to Jesus (v. 17). The scheme is artificial. Not only have several names been omitted from the monarchial period, but there are only thirteen generations in the third series. (But cf.vl at v. II) Probably the key to understand the composition is the device known as gematria, by which names are given numerical value. (cf. Rev 13:18) In Hebrew David's name has three consonants, the numerical value of which amounts to fourteen: d + w + d = 4 + 6 + 4. When it is added that David's name is fourteenth on the list, that he is given the title, 'king', and that David occurs both before and after the genealogy, we may infer that 'David' is the structural key to vv. 2-17. (Oxford Bible Commentary page 848.

    Finally, the Matthew genealogy traces Jesus back through Joseph, who was not his biological father according to the gospel accounts, but makes the mistake of listing Jechonia, "son of Jehoiakim and grandson of good King Josiah," (Insight on the Scriptures Vol.1 page 1262) in the lineage, but when we compare Jeremiah 22:30 we see this line was cursed by Yahweh.

    This is what Jehovah has said, 'Write down this man as childless, as an able-bodied man who will not have any success in his days; for from his offspring not a single one will have any success sitting upon the throne of david and ruling anymore in Judah.' (NWT)

    This leaves a large question mark over the whole Matthew account, its authenticity, the virgin birth and the accepted "Christian" tradition that Jesus was the son of God, for if Jesus was a devine son, why try to make him out to be something that he was plainly not?

    By the way, you will never hear any of the above discussed by JW's, or in any of their publications and if you raise these questions in their congregations you are quickly labled "apostate."

    Yours in search of truth,

    Steve J

    JCanon posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007 01:19:00 GMT(12/7/2007)

    Post 2774 of 1335
    Joined 3/7/2001

    Hi Steve, interesting stuff!!!

    Some scholars have suggested that the Greek Speaking translator of Matthew mistranslated the prophecy found in the scroll of Isaiah (Isa 7:14) and the Hebrew word almah meaning young woman was changed to the Greek parthenos meaning virgin and that's where the idea of the virgin birth originated.

    This is true, but its a moot point if this is considered a cryptic interpretation. That is, the gospel was interpreting "maid" in relation to the virgin birth, whether or not its meaning always meant virgin. Given a choice whether Isaiah meant just a young girl or a virgin is an option.

    There is also a large question mark over the genealogies found in Matthew and Luke and clear evidence that some names were left out of Jesus' genealogy to make it fit more comfortably with the authors idea of the significance of there being 14 generations between Abraham and David, David and the deportation to Babylon and from then until the arrival of the Messiah. (see Matt 1:17)

    Agreed. This is probably a "device" with some hidden meaning. But unless we know precisely what the criteria was for this reference its only conjecture there is an "error" here. For instance, perhaps the reference is simply to assert a minimum of 14 generations, though it could be more, technically. In that case the focus was only to establish the minimal 14 generations to fit the pattern. Similar to the 12 children of Jacob, even though he had daughters, the focus was on the 12 sons. Later the pattern included the two sons of Joseph. So clearly the Bible sometimes takes its own artistic liberties in interpretation and that's up to the gospel writers and others: "Interpretation belongs to God." I acknowledge the legitimate inquiry but for so many of these issues like this, there are plenty of back doors to escape the issues of "error" usually.

    This leaves a large question mark over the whole Matthew account, its authenticity, the virgin birth and the accepted "Christian" tradition that Jesus was the son of God, for if Jesus was a devine son, why try to make him out to be something that he was plainly not?

    What is the Jewish tradition and the ultimate Judeo-Christian tradition would be two different things. Lots of things in the Bible were made secretive and "sacred secrets", meaning many things could have two or more meanings, and prophets were there to interpret things and put them together. Since, however, the concept of Mary being a virgin is a direct reference, it doesn't matter what the Jews might have expected traditionally or otherwse. On the esoteric level, the two wave offerings, both of which represent the messiah's body, it is clear that the "unleavened bread" indicates he is a perfect man, sinless, and thus would not have had a natural father who was descended from Adam. So the details of her brith explain how he could be sinless at the first coming. So what was "traditional" among the Jews and what was understood from the correct understanding of Jewish tradition are two different things. The "unleavened bread" a key symbol for the Jews during Passover confirms the need for a virgin birth, ultimately.

    By the way, you will never hear any of the above discussed by JW's, or in any of their publications and if you raise these questions in their congregations you are quickly labled "apostate."

    Ain't that the truth! AVOIDANCE is very effective. If your eyes are closed you can imagine it's light outside when it's pitch black. DENIAL does work sometimes.

    Thanks for the references.

    JCanon

    golden age posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007 05:33:00 GMT(12/7/2007)

    Post 34 of 34
    Joined 12/3/2004

    Here is further proof jesus did not have brothers or sister and that in fact the brothers and sisters mentioned in the bible are just relatives.

    In Mt. 27:55-56,James and Joses mentioned in Mark 6 as the "brothers" of Jesus, are actually the sons of another Mary. This is clear because this mary is watching jesus crucifixation from far off. The mother of jesus was at the foot of the cross. Another passage to consider is Acts 1:14-15, "[The Apostles] with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers...the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty." A company of 120 persons composed of the Apostles, Mary, the women, and the "brothers" of Jesus. Let's see there were 11 Apostles at the time. Jesus' mother makes 12. The women, probably the same three women mentioned in Matthew 27, but let's say it was maybe a dozen or two, just for argument's sake. So that puts us up to 30 or 40 or so. So that leaves the number of Jesus' brothers at about 80 or 90! Obviously mary did not have this many children.

    Lastly it may be seem like joseph would have had sex with his wife based on todays standards. But remember Mary was visited by an angel of god and was told that she would be the mother of the son of god. The bible specifically states that mary did not have sex prior to the birth of jesus. If they did not have sex while they were pregnant, what is the difference, why have sex after. It makes sense that joseph may have considered that mary was purified by god and he may have respected her special relationship with god and not had sex with her.

    Hope this helps.

    Steve J posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007 19:19:00 GMT(12/7/2007)

    Post 17 of 41
    Joined 11/23/2007

    Hi JC,

    I always appreciate your comments and you make some very good points, but I'm affraid I lack your kind of faith and can only understand things from my perspective. I'm not saying my comments are correct, but I do think they raise interesting questions that deserve further investigation.

    This is true, but its a moot point if this is considered a cryptic interpretation. That is, the gospel was interpreting "maid" in relation to the virgin birth, whether or not its meaning always meant virgin. Given a choice whether Isaiah meant just a young girl or a virgin is an option.

    On its own this is a very good point, but when we take into consideration that the Gospel of Philip denies the Virgin Birth in the following quote, it raises serious doubts.

    Some say Mary conceived by Holy Spirit. They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no power defiled...And the Lord would not have said "My father who is in heaven" unless he had another father, but he would simply have said "my Father." (Philip II,3.25 The Nag Hammadi Library page 143)

    We must also remember that the gospels were aimed mainly at the Gentiles and among the Greeks and Romans, the cult of the Virgin was very popular indeed. In fact, stories of the Virgin Birth can be traced back to early Semetic manuscripts, and seems to have had its origins in ancient Mesopotamia. But in Greek mythology, Zeus in particular, was belived to have had many lovers among godesses and mortals alike and some of the many women loved by Zeus gave birth to the heroic demi-gods. Therefore, the idea of Jesus being the result of a union between Yahweh and Mary, the virgin, would not have been out of place among the 1st. cent Gentile nations.

    To the Jews though, and no doubt to Jesus himself, this idea would have been abhorrent. Why? Because it would have reminded them of the account in Genesis 6, where the angelic sons of God saw that the daughters of men were attractive, so they materialized and had sexual relations with them. The resulting offspring were the Nephelim and the angels responsible were punished by being put in "eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgment of the great day". (Jude 6)

    If therefore, Yahweh saw fit to punish his angelic sons for having sexual unions with women, its hardly likely that he would do the same himself, even if it was by means of His Holy Spirit.

    As mentioned previously, Jesus' line, according to Jeremiah was cursed and that Ezekiel 21:26 records Yahweh's words:

    Remove the turban, and lift off the crown. This will not be the same. Put on high even what is low, and bring low even the high one. a ruin, a ruin, a ruin I shall make it. As for this also, it will certainly become no (ones) until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him. (NWT)

    This suggests there was no need for the Messiah to have been of Davidic descent at all.

    If Jesus was God's son, the very circumstances of his miraculous birth would have given him the "legal right" without him having to be a descendant of David. Yahweh himself had said of the Messiah's rulership; This will not be the same. The Messiah therefore, need not have been a royal king. Why then did Matthew go to all the trouble of tracing Jesus' ancestry through Joseph, his step-father's cursed line, when he could have just as easilly have stated; Jesus was the son of God, conceived by holy spirit. Surely this would have provided more legal right than any ancestry?

    If Joseph wasn't Jesus' natural father would the Davidic bloodline have passed to him anyway?

    Its also interesting that most scholars suggest that Luke was the earliest gospel and Matthew and Luke draw heavilly on this and from a document they know as Q. Mark though, contains no mention of the circumstances of Jesus' birth.

    Again, I am not saying these conclusions are correct, but I certainly believe that the argument against the Virgin Birth is strong and in my mind, if Jesus was just an ordinary man like you and I, then this would make his sacrifice much more powerful than if he was the son of God. As the son of God, he would have been assured of a resurrection, but as a man there would always have been an element of doubt in his mind, no matter how much he believed he was right, and as William Shakespeare put it in Hamlets famous speech;

    But that dread of something after death, The undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns, puzzles the will, and makes us bear those ills we have, than to fly to others we know not of. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all...

    The thought of an ordinary man being willing to undergo such an awfull death as crucifixtion, and to take the sin of the world on his shoulders for the sake of his fellow humans, is very pwerful indeed. To me, possibly much more powerful than if Jesus was indeed the son of God.

    Steve J

    Steve J posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007 19:25:00 GMT(12/7/2007)

    Post 18 of 41
    Joined 11/23/2007

    Correction. Mark was the earliest gospel...Sorry!

    F snowbird posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007 19:50:00 GMT(12/7/2007)

    Post 1810 of 23468
    Joined 5/2/2007

    I found some of the most thought-provoking information about the virgin birth and how it could be possible physically at this site:

    http://custance.org/old/seed/index.html

    I believe Jesus was born of a virgin, but I always wondered how He avoided inquiring the sin nature from Mary.

    The info I found there helped - a little.

    Sylvia

    Steve J posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007 21:52:00 GMT(12/7/2007)

    Post 19 of 41
    Joined 11/23/2007

    Interesting site Sylvia.

    Thanks

    Steve J

    Steve J posted Sat, 08 Dec 2007 18:54:00 GMT(12/8/2007)

    Post 20 of 41
    Joined 11/23/2007

    Just found this in Geza Vermes "Jesus the Jew":

    A final argument directly in favour of the paternity of Joseph is that the Ebionites, the Palestinian Judeo-Christians whom the Gentile Church declared heretics, accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but maintained that his conception was a natural one and that he was his parents natural son....(The Ebionites) divorced from the main Church at a very early stage, whilst apparently the story of the virgin birth was still under debate. (Page 190)

    The evidence for Jesus' natural birth continues to grow then.

    Steve J

    JCanon posted Sat, 08 Dec 2007 22:40:00 GMT(12/8/2007)

    Post 2801 of 1335
    Joined 3/7/2001

    The evidence for Jesus' natural birth continues to grow then.

    Steve J

    What? Last I heard Mary had to have a C-section. What gives?

    JCanon

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