Christianity assumes that Jesus Christ had no human father - he only had a mother.  The language of conceived by the Holy Spirit in the creeds is supposed to be a poetic way of saying God was not his literal father but filled in for the absence of a male agent. 

The gospels do not define father or mother so that is a problem.  If a man married a woman and she got pregnant it was assumed that he was linked to the child.  There was no way of considering the biology.

The Gospel of Matthew seems to say that Jesus had no father but the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin.

It is clear that Joseph was not the father.

But this shows no idea of what conception means - a male gamete has to be provided.  Some say Matthew knew there was a connection between seed and conception.  So did the Holy Spirit create the sperm?  If no sperm was involved then this was not a conception.

Mary could have been raped or molested and this could coincide with the Holy Spirit sending a sperm.  Would the Holy Spirit possessing the father count as conception by the Holy Spirit?

I prefer the notion that the conception was considered odd for she was a virgin but that does not exclude a human father.  A sperm getting to her during molestation would be seen as very strange.

There is no blunt affirmation that we are talking a miracle here.  What if it is paranormal or just an extremely odd event?  Unexplained is not the same as supernatural.

The Gospel of Luke mentions neither the virginal conception nor the virgin birth. Even if it mentions or indicates a Virgin conception it still doesn't say if Mary will be a Virgin when she gives birth. Perhaps she conceived as a Virgin and had sex during pregnancy. This indicates the observation of modern theologians that Luke cares mostly about showing Jesus came from God and was sent by him. He does not care how the conception happened - it's not important.

Christians like to use the Luke story as evidence that Mary gave consent to get pregnant. But would a girl in her day and her age really understand enough to be able to give valid and informed consent?  The Luke story is cosmetic.  Mary makes her choice during a short conversation.  That is not consent.  It is manipulation.
Here's the Luke story.

The angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that she will have a son.

She asks how this can happen when she is a virgin. She seems to think he meant she would get pregnant there and then and then he says that God will give her a baby reminding her that it is a future thing. We know that this is only an assumption of hers because the angel never said that she would get pregnant while they were talking.

Mary meant that she had no husband, legal sexual partner. The angel tells her that God WILL descend upon her help her to conceive his son. The will shows that the angel is correcting her for thinking that she was to have a conception there and then. This could mean will Mary have a baby without a man. It could mean she will get a man to father her son. It could mean she will conceive by sperm without loss of her virginity which is certainly possible.

The angel replies that God will descend upon her which is why her baby will be the Son of God.

The child will be the Son of God because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in Mary which makes the child a servant of God. But the Son of God could have been meant in the Jewish sense of a man being extra-close to God as evidenced by Luke 20:36. Mary asked how she could conceive without a man after the angel told her the baby would be the son of the Most High God. She knew the angel meant Son of God as in exceptionally holy prophet.

Then Gabriel tells her that her cousin Elizabeth has conceived. Some translations say conceived also which would imply that Mary had just conceived there and then.
The NAB rejects this word also. It appears in the Revised Standard Version and in the Amplified Bible. If it should be there then Mary was pregnant already. Luke never says the angel was exactly right in everything so he could have been mistaken when he said that Mary will conceive. The angel was sent to announce who the baby would be and about Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Also can mean: “conceived like you will.” This interpretation implies that Mary will conceive with a man like Elizabeth had done.
Also does not mean she conceived there and then because the angel uses the future tense for her conceiving and the also is said before she consents to become pregnant.

Also, conceived may have meant the seed starting off the process that makes a person or conceived could mean when the foetus becomes a person for at that point the person exists. Mary could have been pregnant before the angel came but not carrying a person yet and the angel is referring to the beginning of personhood when he tells her she will conceive. The ancients did not know what conception was and so used the word both for the origin of the body and/or the origin of the person. The Jews did not consider an early embryo to be a person as is obvious from Exodus 21 which does not prescribe a severe penalty for causing a miscarriage.
The angel tells Mary that Elizabeth despite being barren in her old age has conceived because nothing is impossible with God. The angel is saying that conception is down to God. But it does not exclude Elizabeth and her husband having had sex resulting in conception. Where the angel is unclear about Mary having a miracle conception, the angel is explicit that Elizabeth had one.

Mary agrees to the whole thing then.
Catholics note this: her consent is not asked for though she gives it and it could be that it was not up to her or the pregnancy had already started. Yet Catholics have the cheek to say that Mary is co-redeemer and co-mediatrix with God for her consent gave us our Saviour. This is nonsense. God gives many women babies without their consent. Mary could have got pregnant whether she wanted it or not. Given God's record, she would have been made pregnant without her consent. If Mary's consent was so important then God must have regarded her like some kind of goddess or equal. Catholicism has always tended to put Mary above God.

Luke does not say when Mary became pregnant. Elizabeth seems to say she was pregnant when she arrived at her house. The spirit-filled Elizabeth blesses the fruit of Mary’s womb. She might have foreseen a pregnancy and used the present tense because she was seeing it. And you can say to a virgin, “Blessed is your baby”, when you know she will have one when she will get married. Changing the tenses was in the prophetic tradition. Mary might have told her about Gabriel first.

Christians claim that Luke implied the miraculous virginal conception when he said that Mary was unmarried and a virgin (1:27) for that was an unnecessary emphasis for all knew that unmarried women were virgins. But perhaps he was answering or afraid of slanders against Mary or just giving details, in accidental emphasis, like some historians do? It is even said that Luke 2:5 implies that Mary was pregnant before the wedding to Joseph which it does not. All it says is that Joseph took his pregnant wife to be enrolled. What imaginations the Christians have! It is nonsense to say that if it implies anything that it must be the virginal conception for it couldn’t mean that Joseph made Mary pregnant before they wed. The gospels never suggest that Mary and Joseph were angels of chastity or that the former interpretation is right.
It seems Mary and Joseph were married not just betrothed when they went to Bethlehem for being engaged and travelling around for miles and days while being heavily pregnant would have been a source of scandal especially when Mary would have been little more than a child.

Later, Luke makes Mary say that Joseph was the father of Jesus (2:48). And Luke says that Jesus was the supposed son of Joseph (Luke 3:23). Luke is not totally convinced that Jesus was Joseph’s son though he thinks that he was. Many say that the genealogy he gives for Jesus is Josephs. If that is true then he is sure enough however to give Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph.
The startling opposition to female adultery in the Bible is partly down to how it breaks family unity.  The woman could have another man's child.  Mary in Luke, if she conceived without Joseph who Luke says was her espoused (Luke 1:27) was no better than an adulteress when she got pregnant without his consent. And believers say banning adultery is about family values!
Take Luke 1 to be promising a Virgin conception. Then the statements that the conception will happen because the Holy Spirit will descend and the power of the Most High will cover her with its shadow resulting in the child being holy imply that the baby is sacred for it wasn't created through sex.
Note too that though the Angel was sent by God that does not mean what the angel said was infallible or correct. Visionaries report at times difficulty in seeing and hearing and getting the message from the entities they see. Mary was very unclear to St Bernadette at Lourdes. Luke wrote that when the angel appeared and said to Mary, "Rejoice O Highly Favoured for the Lord is with you" she was deeply disturbed by these words and didn't understand what this greeting could mean. She wasn't at all confident about her vision - note that this doesn't amount to her being unconfident about the angel but it may. She certainly did not think she was exceptionally favoured by God or had been sinless. And Jesus brought her nothing but suffering. The angel made a mistake. The story does nothing to justify belief in the virginal conception of Jesus Christ.


The virgin conception thing speaks of a mystery but not necessarily a miracle.  Conceived by the Holy Spirit seems to just mean "unexplained."  That could simply be down to information lacking.


No Copyright