An exhaustive look at almah/bethula (part 2): The search for disproof of the virgin birth of Jesus continues

June 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm (Christ myth theories, theories on Jesus's parents)

Notice that Part 1 didn’t ever prove anything, it just showed statistical error in the translation of the verse. In this post I will attempt, at the best of my ability, to prove that Jesus was in fact not born of a virgin.

First, let’s look at the arguments that were presented last time summarized:

  • None of the Hebrew words in the original text are בתולה.
  • The virgin birthing of Jesus is not a new idea. It’s been around for millennia.
  • Almah has 6 different translations. This gives it a 16.67% chance of being correctly translated as “virgin”.
  • There are logical reasons (e.g. no evidence) for disbelief.

Now let’s look at some other arguments.

What does it take for a prophecy to be true? The following criteria are the general expectations of a true prophecy:

  • It must actually be a prophecy. Not a documentation of events that is misinterpreted as a prophecy after a similar event occurs later.
  • It must be written before the events that it predicts.
  • The predicted events must actually occur.
  • It must not be overly vague.
  • It must not predict a likely event.
  • It must not be self-fulfilling.
  • Most of the prophecies surrounding Jesus were merely coincidental.
  • If we were to ignore the rest of the rules and define the so-called prophesies to be actual prophesies, then yes this applies to every prophesy in the Bible.
  • As with the previous point, take it with a grain of salt that the events actually occurred.
  • Every “prophecy” is overly vague.
  • Some, such as Zechariah 9:9 were consciously fulfilled. Conscious fulfillment is the definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As you can see here, there were no real prophecies in the Bible, just one-liners that some wished to be true prophesies.

Next point: back to Isaiah 7:14. No, let’s go even deeper. Let’s look at the the whole chapter (Isaiah 7 (The Message)). What’s going on in this chapter? Let’s look at some Bible commentary. Syria and Israel were doomed, so Ahaz wanted to make peace. He was advised by Isaiah to trust in God, but, instead he called to Assyria for help. Ahaz refused to accept help from God, so God gave him another chance and told him that a virgin will bear a son (Ahaz’s son). This son is predicted to be the king of Assyria. Nowhere does it mention Jesus, or have any slight resemblance of what came of Jesus. Assyria only lasted from about the 20th century BCE to 612 BCE. Jesus was born after the fall of Assyria. There’s no way that prophecy was talking about Jesus. Virgin or not, the translation doesn’t even matter anymore because the verse in question doesn’t refer to a period possible for Jesus to live.

I would like to end there, but I can’t. I have one more point to make. Knowing the previous information, I will point out some verses that may actually conflict with the Biblical timeline.

According to some contradictions presented in the Bible, Joseph was never the father. We’ll ignore the Gospels because there are numerous contradictions within those as well.

  • Acts 2:29-36 speaks of a descendant of David, never referring to Joseph.
  • Acts 13:23-25 again doesn’t mention Joseph, but alludes to a possibility that David will have a son… Jesus.
  • Romans 1:3 specifically states Jesus as being “of the seed of David”. Seed is just ancient jargon for semen.
  • Revelation 22:16 once again has absence of Joseph being the father.

Joseph not being named the father, the timeline confusions, and the fact that there are no real prophecies in the Bible should be enough to convince anyone. But, alas, it isn’t. Part 3 is a couple of weeks away.
Unused material that may be of interest to believers (which I may cover in the next part): The Virgin Birth By Allan Hoben, Moorings Bible Study, and William Lane Craig’s take on the subject.


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