The Virgin-Birth Fairy-Tale

The only sources the Church recognises for accurate information about the life of Jesus are the four gospels. Only two of them, Matthew and Luke seem to teach the Christian idea expressed about Jesus in the Nicene Creed, “By the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary and was made man.” This on the face of it is the outlandish idea that Mary conceived Jesus without sperm and without sex and gave birth to him as a Virgin. The baby in her womb was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  But nobody really knew what conception meant in those days.  It was kept simple "sex means baby may arrive".  A virgin birth would certainly be possible without vaginal sex having taken place.

If you take a close look, it is really only Matthew that seems to be saying Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.  It is interesting that he does not say by God the Father.  He cites Isaiah as saying that the virgin will conceive and bear a son and call him Emmanuel but this text actually says almah which is the word for young woman and was addressed to a king in Isaiah's day.  The prophecy is not support for a virgin birth though it would prompt the idea.

One eyewitness testimony is not enough in the Bible and Jesus himself accepted that rule and Matthew doesn’t even pretend to be an eyewitness or to be using eyewitnesses.

The story is that Mary and Joseph were engaged and Joseph decided the baby had nothing to do anybody having intercourse with her for a dream told him the child was of the Holy Spirit.  The text says before that that Mary was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit and that fits the notion that the only authority for that was Joseph's dream.  It's a valid interpretation and a valid interpretation is all you can ask for anyway.  If Mary said her pregnancy was a mystery then Joseph did not believe her and took the word of a dream for it instead of her word.  That says a lot about her character and the trust between them.  And about him perhaps.

God needing to give a divine revelation to say where Jesus came from is a sign that there was no evidence that the girl had not say being abused sexually and blacked it out.

Conceived by the Holy Spirit still uses the language of conceived.  Why not just say that the Holy Spirit made Mary's seed grow into Jesus?  It is like it merely says the conception was strange but not necessarily miraculous.
The Bible says Jesus was true man and like us in all things but sin.  I would argue that it does say Jesus sinned but tradition follows the letter to the Hebrews which says he didn't.  We know from genetics that a lot of the evil things we do come from a genetic predisposition. It follows then that Jesus inherited the inclination towards evil from his mother and the sperm that fertilised her egg or from both. God then as good as tempted Jesus to sin by doing that to him. Yet the Bible says God is too good to suggest that we sin. He doesn't tempt.


Oddly certain races like the Canaanites were to be destroyed at divine command but the men of Israel were allowed to forcibly marry their virgins and impregnate them! See Deuteronomy 21. This shows no understanding of conception. The women were seen as host mothers.   The reformer Menno Simons argued that Mary was not the mother of Jesus but she was just an incubator for Jesus.  The popular Christian view is that Mary was the mother of Jesus but he had no human father.  If Mary was not Jesus' mother then her high place in Catholicism is just stupid and she was degraded by God.

Many argue that a woman conceiving a child without a father in a loving relationship is being degraded anyway.  She is not a host mother but treated as something that is no better than a host mother.

Luke does not clearly say that he meant no man's sperm would be involved.  Neither does Matthew.  So even if they are true Jesus might still have had a human father.

Let us check if the other New Testament writers knew of a virgin conception/birth.

In Mark (6:3), Jesus is called the Son of Mary by Jews. The Jewish practice was to call a child the son of his father. Sexism reigned then. This title does not imply that Jesus had to be called the Son of Mary for he had no father at all. If they meant that then they believed in the virginal and miracle conception which is most unlikely. They would not have been amazed at his wisdom if they believed that a miracle brought him into the world. They called him the Son of Mary because they did not know Joseph. They had to call him something. Joseph seems to have been dead or away with another woman then. Different areas have different customs and idioms so maybe this one had no fault with calling a man the son of his mother.

It is imagined that Paul spoke of the virginal conception when he said that Jesus was born of a woman (Galatians 4). The Jews traced descent from the father and his male ancestors not the mother or the female ancestors. But in Job 14:1 we read about man born of woman. Born of woman is just a way of saying that you are human. And Paul was speaking to Greeks who used that kind of terminology.

Marcion claimed that Galatians 4 did not originally say that Jesus was born of a woman under the law of Moses. Tertullian did not challenge that. He quoted Marcion’s version of the text which did not contain that information. This at best leaves us undecided.  It is felt by those who suspect Jesus never lived that Marcion was right.

Anyway, what tribe you belonged to in Israel depended on what tribe your natural father, not your mother, belonged to. Israel was sexist in the extreme. Mary was not descended from Judah. Yet in Hebrews (7:14) we are told that Jesus came from the unpriestly tribe of Judah inferring that Joseph or at least another member of the tribe of Judah must have been his father.

Christian scholars claim that the Jews in the New Testament accused Jesus of being born outside marriage. They argue that Jesus must have been either illegitimate or conceived of a virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph in order for the rumour to begin.

An illegitimate man could certainly have been the Son of God. The way he was born was not his fault. Some Christians might say that God would not allow that for too many would use it as an excuse for having babies out of wedlock. It is an error to argue what these Christians argue because the gospels insist that there was a lot of nonsense believed about Jesus. Some even thought that he was John the Baptist raised from the dead. He was slandered and he was the target of much revolting gossip. The Jews might have called Jesus illegitimate not because they thought he was born out of wedlock but because he claimed to be the Son of God and they thought he was really the spiritual Son of the Devil and not God’s legitimate Son. If he was a fraud then he was illegitimate for he couldn’t have been a son, a child, of God at all. The Jews would not call him a bastard to demean his virgin birth for that is something they would have wanted nobody to remember.

The Gospel does not say that the Jews slandered Jesus’ birth. Despite Father Raymond Brown (page 65, The Virginal Conception & Bodily Resurrection of Jesus) saying that the Matthew Gospel claimed that there was a rumour saying Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus was adulterous it says no such thing. It only says that Joseph thought it was adultery not that anybody else did or that people were saying that. Everybody would have known she was pregnant before marriage but that didn’t signify any adultery. Joseph was stated to have meant to get a quiet divorce and that wouldn’t have been possible if there had been public knowledge that her baby didn’t belong to him.
The Jews told Jesus that unlike him they were not born of fornication but were God’s children (John 8:41). But just before that they told him that his father was Satan. They did not have illegitimacy in mind at all for they did not suppose that a person was no child of God if he was born outside marriage. By being born of fornication they meant being born under the spell of the Devil. Born of Satan corresponds to the metaphor Matthew uses conceived by the Spirit. Fornication, evil union, is a good metaphor for sin because it is uniting your soul with the Devil. In plain language, the Jews meant this, “Unlike you, we are God’s holy children but you are the fruit of the Devil’s work from your birth”. If the gospel did slander Jesus as having been born out of marriage, then the tales of Jesus being popular as a prophet are fictitious because the Law of Moses found illegitimate children detestable and they were banned from the altar meaning Jesus would have been hated by the Jews and would have got no followers. His claiming to be Son of God would have been thought to be intolerable blasphemy.

You can suppose that the Jews were just returning insult for insults and did call Jesus a bastard blackening his birth if you wish and did not mean what they said.
However it is undeniable that though no trace of the illegitimacy rumour can be found among the Jews of Jesus’ generation plenty of them very long after his time said he was born out of wedlock as a result of adultery. If Matthew had been telling the truth that Mary had been found pregnant before her time this would have been used against Jesus as well for surely God would send his son only after his mother and the man thought to be his father had married properly and conceived following the marriage. Jesus would have got no followers.

There is no evidence of a rumour that Jesus was illegitimate among the people of his day. If he had been illegitimate or believed to be he would have had no followers for it was believed that the Jewish scriptures said that an illegitimate person was unclean and so could not be a messenger of God.

Mary would not have told anybody if Joseph was not Jesus’ father for that would have cost her her life.  Nobody would believe the miraculous explanation.

There is no evidence from the first century that Jesus was born of a virgin. The first Christians knew it still made Jesus an illegitimate child and the Lord had said that illegitimate children could not enter his congregation even to the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 23:2) and so they would not have believed it until the pagan influence crept in.

The New Testament refuses to say what the how of Jesus' conception was - it merely disguises how it happened by the vague notion that it was down to the Holy Spirit. 

The virgin birth doctrine of Christendom is a pack of lies. The Church made it up so that its god could match the pagan Gods by having an alleged miraculous origin. It warns us to pay no attention to apparitions of the Virgin Mary - these visions are deceptive for they testify to a virgin conception and birth that never happened.


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