Virgin birth of Jesus

Virgin birth of Jesus
The Annunciation, by Guido Reni, 1621

The virgin birth of Jesus is a tenet of Christianity and Islam which holds that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin. The term "virgin birth" is commonly used, rather than "virgin conception", due to the tradition that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son".[1] This doctrine was a universally held belief in the Christian church by the 2nd century,[2] and is upheld by Anglicanism, the Church of the East, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. It is included in the two most widely used Christian creeds, which state that Jesus "was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary" (the Nicene Creed)[3] and was "born of the Virgin Mary" (Apostles' Creed),[4] and was not seriously challenged, except by some minor sects, before the Enlightenment theology of the 18th century.[2]

The canonical gospels of Matthew (Matthew 1:18)[1:18] and Luke[1:26-35] say that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. These gospels, later tradition and current doctrine present Jesus' conception as a miracle involving no natural father, no sexual intercourse, and no male seed in any form, but instead brought about by the Holy Spirit.[5][6][7][8] In Roman Catholic and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox usage, the term "virgin birth" means not only that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and gave birth, but also that she remained a virgin throughout her life, a belief attested since the 2nd century.[9] (See Perpetual virginity of Mary).

The general Christian doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus (i.e., Mary's virginal conception of Jesus) is not to be confused with the Roman Catholic doctrine of her Immaculate Conception, which concerns instead her mother's conception of Mary. This is thought to have occurred in the normal way, not miraculously. What the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception holds is that, when Mary herself was conceived, she came into existence without the "stain" (Latin, macula) of original sin.[10]

Mary's virginity at the conception of Jesus is also a tenet of Islam.[11][12] Muslims refer to Jesus with the matronymic Jesus son of Mary (Isa bin Maryam), a term repeatedly used in the Qur'an.[13]


Distinction from other doctrines

The virginal conception of Jesus by Mary is at times confused with the Roman Catholic Church teaching of her "Immaculate Conception", namely Mary's conception by her mother in the normal way, but free from original sin.[14] While the Virgin birth of Jesus relates to the Nativity of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception relates to the Nativity of Mary. The Roman Catholic doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception has been defined as follows: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."[15]

The doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus is also distinct from the more general doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary which refers to her virginity for her entire life and thus subsumes the teachings on the virgin birth.[16][17]

New Testament

Key articles on
Fra Angelico 046.jpg

General perspective
Mother of Jesus

Specific views
AnglicanEastern OrthodoxLutheran • Marian veneration • Muslim • Protestant
Roman Catholic

Prayers & devotions

Hymns to MaryHail MaryRosary

Ecumenical views

This box: view · earliest Christian preaching about Jesus concerned his death and resurrection, and the early Church turned its attention to the chronology of the rest of the life of Jesus later.[18][19][20] Early Christians were hardly monolithic in their preachings, and the Nativity accounts of the gospels may have diverged as a result, but a comparison of the Nativity stories of Luke and Matthew show common elements in terms of the virgin births, the birth at Bethlehem and the upbringing at Nazareth.[19][21]


The accounts of the birth and Nativity of Jesus appear in only two of the four Canonical Gospels, the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew. Luke's story centers on Mary, while Matthew's story centers on Joseph, and in both gospel accounts (Luke 2:1-7 and Matthew 2:1) Jesus is conceived without a human father.[22][23][24]

Neither Luke nor Matthew claim that their birth narratives are based on the direct testimonies of either Mary or Joseph.[25] James Hastings and separately Thomas Neufeld have expressed the view that the circumstances of the birth of Jesus were deliberately kept restricted to a small group of early Christians, and were kept as a secret for many years after his death.[26][27] Ronald Brownrigg suggests that the narrative in Luke was obtained via a path from Mary, while the narrative in Matthew was obtained from a path on Joseph's side.[28]


The Gospel of Matthew (c 80-85) begins with a genealogy leading from Abraham to Joseph, but then calls Joseph "the husband of Mary, of whom (Mary) was born Jesus, who is called Christ."[1:16] The original Greek text, which has "ἐξ ἧς" (feminine singular), shows that the phrase "of whom" refers to Mary, not to Joseph or to Mary and Joseph together.[1:16] It then states that, when Mary was found to be pregnant, she had not lived with Joseph, to whom she was engaged,[1:18] and that he did not have marital relations with her before the child was born.[1:25]

Matthew then states: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit",[1:20] in fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet: "A virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."[Mt. 1:22-23] Scholars interpret "prophet" as a reference to Isaiah 7:14.[29] Some 5th and 6th century manuscripts read "Isaiah the prophet".[30]

Hebrew has a specific word "almah", which may mean "maiden," "young woman," or "virgin". When Matthew 1:22 states: "Behold the virgin shall be with child" it uses the Greek term "parthenos" as "virgin" as in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah, while the original Masoretic Isaiah uses the Hebrew "almah".[31] This Greek translation "alters or refines the meaning of Isaiah's original Hebrew: where the prophet had talked only of a ‘young woman’ conceiving and bearing a son, the Septuagint projected ‘young woman’ into the Greek word for ‘virgin’ (parthenos)."[32] Raymond Brown suggests that the translators of the Septuagint may have understood the Hebrew word "almah" to mean virgin in this context.[31]


The Nativity is a prominent element of the Gospel of Luke (c 85-90), and comprises over 10% of the text, being three times the length of the Nativity text in the Gospel of Matthew.[33] In Luke 1:30-35 Mary asks how she is to conceive and bear a son, since she is a virgin; and she is told it will happen by the power of God. Luke 3:23-38 gives a genealogy, different from that given by Matthew. Scholars differ on which of the two, Matthew or Luke, is the legal genealogy via Joseph, and which the physical descent via Mary.[34]

When the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will bear a son conceived by the Holy Spirit,[Lk. 1:26-38] she responds with the Magnificat,[Lk. 1:46-55] a prayer of joy.[35]

Pauline epistles

The Pauline epistles, perhaps the earliest surviving Christian writings, refer to the birth of Jesus, without stating that Jesus' mother was a virgin. Instead Paul focuses on contrasting the birth of Jesus with the fall of Adam, and presents Jesus as the "firstborn of all creation", and a second Adam, in Colossians 1:15-16.[8][36][37][38]

Some see the silence of Paul on virginity as implying that he knew of no account of the virgin birth of Jesus, while scholars such as Raymond Brown state that Paul's letters were composed with a view to ecclesiastical problems with which he had to deal, not to give a narrative of the life of Jesus, and this makes it difficult to judge whether Paul's silence on the question of the virginal conception of Jesus is significant.[39] Brown states that, even if the silence of Paul is taken to indicate ignorance of the virgin birth, it does not disprove it, for a family tradition about it could have circulated among relatively few in the years 30-60, before becoming known to the communities for whom Matthew and Luke wrote.[40] Other authors have noted that the silence of Paul is no indication, given the Pauline Epistles were not intended as chronologies and include very few details of the life of Jesus in general, and that even the Last Supper was only mentioned by Paul in response to problems in Corinth..[41]

Specific passages in Paul's letters include Galatians 4:4, usually translated as: "when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law". (The word translated as "born" literally means "having come to be",[42] and Young's Literal Translation gives the phrase as "come of a woman, come under law".) Some see this silence about a virgin birth as lack of knowledge of it, while others see the phrase "born of a woman, born under the law" as implying that Jesus had no human father.[43][44] The opening of the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 1:1-4) includes the words: "concerning his Son, who was descended from David (or who came from the offspring of David) according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord". Some take "descended from David according to the flesh" to mean that Joseph, a descendant of David, was the physical father of Jesus, thus denying the virgin birth of Jesus, others take it as indicating that Mary too was a descendant of David..[45][46][47][48] Others point out that here, as in Galatians 4:4, Paul does not use the ordinary word for "born" (γεννητός, gennetos, the word used in Matthew 11:11 in relation to John the Baptist being "born of a woman"), but the word γενόμενος, genomenos, literally meaning "become", "come to be",[49][50] a fact that some interpret as an allusion to incarnation of the pre-existent Son of God.[51][52]

The statement in Romans 8:3-4 that God sent his Son "in the likeness of sinful flesh" has been interpreted as meaning merely that Jesus was externally just like any other human being, supported by Paul's remark elsewhere that Christ "knew no sin".[2 Cor 5:21] Others suggest a contradiction between Paul's notion of being "in the likeness of sinful flesh" and his having been born of a virgin. In 1Timothy 1:4, where Paul urges people not to "occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies which promote speculations...", has been debated as to whether it indicates that Paul had a negative view of the developing virgin birth stories and their variant genealogies.[53]

Old Testament


Stories of miraculous or unexpected births occur throughout the Bible. Early in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, Sarah gives birth to Isaac when she is 90 years old. In Genesis and later books, other women also give birth after years of infertility. There is something of a pattern of waiting for a son promised to the father or mother, a son who goes on to rescue the nation, often by leading it.[54] This is considered by certain scholars to be distinctive of the Hebrew theology of a divine right of kings.[55]


Matthew, writing in Greek about the virgin birth of Jesus, quotes the Septuagint text of Isaiah 7:14-16, which uses the Greek word "παρθένος" (parthenos, virgin), while the original Hebrew text has "עלמה" (almah), which has the slightly wider meaning of an unmarried, betrothed,or newly wed woman such as in the case of Ahaz' betrothed Abijah, daughter of Zechariah.

In the King James Version of the Bible, a traditional Protestant translation, the verses of Isaiah appear as follows. (Among modern translations some do not use virgin for almah in this passage. An example is the Good News Translation.)

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.[56]

Isaiah names the two kings as Ahaz' two enemies Rezin, king of Damascus and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Samaria. One explanation of the purpose of the passage in Isaiah is that the original prophecy was spoken in 734 BC, when, before a soon-to-be-born child would know the difference between good and evil, Rezin of Syria (which threatened Israel at the time) would be conquered. This prophecy would be fulfilled 2 years later, when Syria was defeated by "the King of Assyria", Tiglath Pileser III in 732 BC. This child also appears in chapter 8, where it is said that, before he comes of age, Pekah king of Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel would be destroyed, which occurred also at the hands of Assyria in 722 BC.[57]

The reintroduction of Immanuel in Isaiah 8:8 indicates 7:14 as paving the way for a messiainc theme, and the translators of the Septuagint regarded it as more than an ordinary birth, in view of the use of parthenos in Greek and almah in Hebrew.[58]

The Qur'an

Mary and Jesus in old Persian Shi'a miniature.

In Islam Jesus and Mary were the only two children not be touched by Satan at the moment of their birth, for God placed a veil between them and Satan.[59]

The Qur'an says that Jesus was the result of a virgin birth. The most detailed account of the annunciation and birth of Jesus is provided in Sura 3 and 19 of The Qur'an wherein it is written that God sent an angel to announce that she could shortly expect to bear a son, despite being a virgin.[11]

The account in Sura 19 [Quran 19:1] of the Qur'an is close to that in the Gospel of Luke, and states how Mary was informed by an angel that she would become the mother of Jesus through the actions of God alone.[60]

Critical analysis


Some writers[who?] have taken it as significant that two separate gospels attest to the virgin birth, although their details vary.[61] In this view, the virgin conception and birth constitute a tradition that fits within the criterion of multiple attestation. The accounts of Matthew and Luke are taken as independent testimonies of the tradition, thus adding significantly to the evidence for the historical reality of the event of the birth. That the conception itself was indeed miraculous appears to rest on a "single attestation", that of Mary. The attestation of the angel to Joseph on the miraculous nature of the conception would not be accepted by many scholars as historiographically valid. Some critics of the double attestation argument point to differences between the accounts of Matthew and Luke regarding Jesus' birth.[62][63]

According to Matthew, an unnamed angel informs Joseph of the virginal conception; in Luke the angel Gabriel informs Mary before the conception occurs. Two rival explanations are put forward for the "double attestation" of Matthew and Luke regarding the virgin birth of Jesus:[64][65][66]

  1. The virgin birth was a historical event, and the narratives of Matthew and Luke are based on different aspects of the event according to witnesses' reports of it.
  2. Matthew and Luke both wanted to present Jesus as fulfilling prophecies from Hebrew scripture. Both were aware of prophecies concerning a virgin birth and Bethlehem, and therefore these elements of their stories match. But each author wove these prophecies into an overall narrative in a different way. For example, both authors had to explain how Jesus was born in Bethlehem when he was known to be from Nazareth (as mentioned in all four gospels)—and each came up with an independent explanation.

Among other hypotheses that have been proposed as explanations of the origin of the accounts in Matthew and Luke of the birth of Jesus from a virgin is that of Stephen L Harris, who proposed that these were written to answer Jewish slanders about Jesus' illegitimate birth,[67] of which there is evidence from the 2nd century, but which may have been a subsequent polemical Jewish response to the account in Matthew and Luke.[68] Helmut Köster sees the narratives of Jesus' virgin birth as having roots in Hellenistic mythology.[69]


Psilanthropists argue against the virgin birth and contend that Jesus was a "mere human".[70] Psilanthropism existed among early Jewish Christian groups such as Ebionites who considered Jesus the Messiah, but rejected Apostle Paul as an apostate.[71] [72] However, in the 4th century the Nicene Creed rejected the teaching that Jesus was a mere human.[73]

In the 2nd century, Celsus, a pagan anti-Christian Greek philosopher wrote that Jesus's father was a Roman soldier named Pantera. The views of Celsus drew responses from Origen who considered it a fabricated story.[74][75] Raymond E. Brown states that the story of Pantera is a fanciful explanation of the birth of Jesus which includes very little historical evidence.[76]

In the Middle Ages as part of the conflicts with Christians, a satirical parody of the Christian gospels called the Toledot Yeshu was written by the Jews, perhaps as a tool for warding off conversions to Christianity.[77] The book referred to the name Pantera, or Pandera as the father of Jesus, and also portrayed Judas Iscariot as a hero.[78][79][80] The book accuses Jesus of illegitimate birth as the son of Pandera, and of heretic and at times violent activities along with his followers during his ministry.[78][80] Robert E. Van Voorst states that the literary origins of Toledot Yeshu can not be traced with any certainty, and given that it is unlikely to go before the 4th century, it is far too late to include authentic remembrances of Jesus.[81]

Historically notable psilanthropists have included figures such as the translator of the first Bible in Byelorussian, Symon Budny, who was excommunicated by the Polish Unitarians[82] Joseph Priestley and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the 18th and 19th centuries.[83][84]

Modern psilanthropists include some members of the Unification Church. The church's textbook, the Divine Principle does not include the teaching that Zacharias was the father of Jesus, however according to Ruth Tucker some members of the church hold that belief based on the work of Leslie Weatherhead.[85][86][87][88]

Analogies and explanations

As part of the conflicts between Christians and other groups during the 1st and 2nd centuries, statements were made by both Jews and pagans that the Christian virgin birth narratives had been derived from pagan sources.[89][90] Early Christians such as Justin Martyr countered the argument about pagan connections to the virgin birth of Jesus.[91] In the 2nd century, Justin presented these arguments in The First Apology of Justin, and in Dialog with Trypho.[91] Justin argued at length against the pagan connection and noted that the word virgin does not even occur in the pagan sources.[92] He also addressed the Old Testament issues in his debates with a Jew called Trypho.[89]

Followers of Mithraism have proposed, from Persian sources, that Mithra might have been born of the union of Mother Earth and Ahuramazda, and that his story influenced both Christianity and Chinese mythology, where he became known as "The Friend".[93] Christian authors have argued that no historical basis for the connection to Christianity has been presented by the Mithraists.[94]

The early Christian document, the Ascension of Isaiah, which may date to the 2nd century, also has a narrative of the virgin birth of Jesus.[95] However, the date and origin of this document is questionable, given that the author disguised his identity behind Isaiah.[96] The narrative of the virgin birth of Jesus can be found also in other New Testament apocrypha, for instance the Protevangelium of James, perhaps written in the 2nd century.[97]

Parthenogenesis has been hypothesized as a possible biological mechanism for the virgin birth of Jesus.[98] But this hypothesis has received no general scholarly support.[99][100]

Christian celebrations and devotions

Mary writing the Magnificat, by Marie Ellenrieder, 1833

Christians celebrate the conception of Jesus on 25 March[101] (Lady Day) and his birth at Christmas (25 December) or Epiphany (6 January). Among the many traditions associated with Christmas are the construction of cribs and the performance of re-enactments of elements of the story in the Gospels of the birth of Jesus, a tradition started in the 13th century by the Franciscans.[102][103][104]

The festival of the Nativity which later turned into Christmas was a 4th century feast in the Western Church notably in Rome and North Africa, although it is uncertain exactly where and when it was first celebrated.[105] There has been debate about the reason why Christians came to choose the 25 December date to celebrate the birth of Jesus. One theory is that they did so in order to oppose the existing winter-solstice feast of the Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Unconquered Sun) by celebrating on that date the birth of the "Sun of Righteousness".[106]

Another tradition derived the date of Christmas from that of the Annunciation, the virginal conception of Jesus.[106] Since this was supposed to have taken place on 14 Nisan in the Jewish calendar, calculated to have been either 25 March or 6 April, it was believed that the date of Christ's birth will have been nine months later.[107] A tractate falsely attributed to John Chrysostom argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year and calculated this as 25 March, a computation also mentioned by Saint Augustine of Hippo.[106]

The Magnificat, based on Luke 1:46-55 is one of four well known Gospel canticles: the Benedictus and the Magnificat in the first chapter, and the Gloria in Excelsis and the Nunc dimittis in the second chapter of Luke, which are now an integral part of the Christian liturgical tradition.[35][108][109] The Magnificat is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn.[110][111] The Annunciation, representing the virgin birth, became an element of Marian devotions in Medieval times, and by the 13th century direct references to it were widespread in French lyrics.[112]

The Eastern Orthodox Church uses the title "Ever Virgin Mary" as a key element of its Marian veneration, and as part of the Akathists (hymns) to Mary which are an integral part of its liturgy.[113]

Artistic depictions

This doctrine of the Virgin Birth is often represented Christian art in terms of the annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God, and in Nativity scenes that include the figure of Salome. The Annunciation is one of the most frequently depicted scenes in Western art.[114] Annunciation scenes also amount to the most frequent appearances of Gabriel in medieval art.[115] The depiction of Joseph turning away in some Nativity scenes is a discreet reference to the fatherhood of the Holy Spirit, and the doctrine of Virgin Birth.[116]

Gallery of art

See also


  1. ^ David S. Dockery Holman Concise Bible Commentary 2011 p447 "Joseph did not have any sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus' birth (Matt. 1:25)".
  2. ^ a b "Virgin Birth" Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Translation by the ecumenical English Language Liturgical Consultation, given on page 17 of Praying Together, a literal translation of the original, "σαρκωθέντα ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένου"
  4. ^ Translation by the English Language Liturgical Consultation, given on page 22 of Praying Together
  5. ^ Lateran Council of 649, canon 3, quoted in Denzinger, 256
  6. ^ Cathechism of the Catholic Church, 484-486 and 496-498
  7. ^ John Paul II, 10 July 1996, 3
  8. ^ a b The virgin birth by Robert Glenn Gromacki 2002 ISBN 0825427460 pages 220-221
  9. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-10-280290-3), article Virgin Birth of Christ
  10. ^ Kathleen Coyle, Mary in the Christian Tradition (Twenty-third Publications 1996 ISBN 0-85244-380-3), p. 36
  11. ^ a b Sarker, Abraham.Understand My Muslim People. 2004 ISBN 1594980020 page 260
  12. ^ Qur'an 3:45, 3:47, 3:59, 66:12.
  13. ^ Qur'an 2:87, 2:253, 4:157, 4:171, 5:46, 5:72, 5:75, 5:112, 5:114, 5:116, 9:31, 43:57, 61:6, 61:14.
  14. ^ A history of the church in the Middle Ages by F. Donald Logan 2002 ISBN 0415132894 page 150
  15. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 491.
  16. ^ Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pages 56-64
  17. ^ Mary in the New Testament edited by Raymond Edward Brown 1978 ISBN 0-8091-2168-9 page 273
  18. ^ Raymond E. Brown, in The Birth of the Messiah, pages 26-28
  19. ^ a b The new Westminster dictionary of church history, Volume 1 by Robert Benedetto 2008 ISBN 0664224164 page 351
  20. ^ Robert J. Karris (editor), Collegeville Bible Commentary 1992, p. 939 [1]
  21. ^ The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew by George Dunbar Kilpatrick 2007 ISBN 0865166676 page 54.
  22. ^ Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 1998 ISBN 0865543739 page 556
  23. ^ Jesus and the Gospels by Clive Marsh, Steve Moyise 2006 ISBN 0567040739 page 37
  24. ^ The Gospel according to Matthew by Leon Morris ISBN 0851113389 page 26
  25. ^ Lord Jesus Christ by Larry W. Hurtado 2005 ISBN 0802831672 page 322
  26. ^ A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Volume II by James Hastings 2004 ISBN 1410217884 page 805
  27. ^ Recovering Jesus: the witness of the New Testament Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld 2007 ISBN 1587432021 pages 116-123
  28. ^ Who's Who in the New Testament by Ronald Brownrigg 2001 ISBN 0415260361 page 99
  29. ^ "In three details Matthew departs from the Septuagint form of Isa. 7:14 ... (1) the use of hexei rather than lēpsetai; (2) the third person plural 'they will call', rather than 'you [sing.] will call'; (3) the supplied interpretation of Emmanuel as 'God with us'" (Raymond E. Brown: The Birth of the Messiah [ISBN 0-385-05405-X], p. 150)
  30. ^ Barbara Aland, et al. Latin New Testament 1983, American Bible Society. ISBN 3-438-05401-9 page 3
  31. ^ a b Brown, Raymond E.; Achtemeier, Paul J. (1978). Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars. Paulist Press. p. 92. ISBN 0-8091-2168-9.
  32. ^ Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, 2009 (Penguin 2010, p. 81). ISBN 9780141021898
  33. ^ The people's New Testament commentary by M. Eugene Boring, Fred B. Craddock 2004 ISBN 0664227546 page 177
  34. ^ John Gresham Machen Virgin Birth of Christ 1987 Page 218 "We shall still be able to say that the difference between the two genealogies, taken broadly, is due to the fact that for the most part — perhaps even in every link except one — the Lucan genealogy traces the actual physical ancestors."
  35. ^ a b An Introduction to the Bible by Robert Kugler, Patrick Hartin ISBN 080284636X page 394
  36. ^ The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1988 ISBN 0802837859 page
  37. ^ An introductory dictionary of theology and religious studies by Orlando O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff 2007 ISBN 0814658563 page 238
  38. ^ Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 1998 ISBN 0865543739 page 712
  39. ^ Raymond Edward Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (Paulist Press 1973 ISBN 9780809117680), pp. 56-57
  40. ^ Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, p. 61
  41. ^ Virgin Birth of Christ by J Gresham Machen 1987 ISBN 0227676300 page 262
  42. ^ γενόμενος, aorist middle participle of γίγνομαι, to become
  43. ^ John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Vol. 1, Anchor Bible. 1991. p. 226
  44. ^ "A Re-Study of the Virgin Birth of Christ" in Evangelical Quarterly 37, published as a Supplement to the Columbia Theological Seminary Bulletin 1966, pp. 1-14]
  45. ^ Stevens, George Barker (1899), The Theology of the New Testament, T&T Clark, p. 391 
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  55. ^ Mark G. Brett, 'Nationalism and the Hebrew Bible', in John William Rogerson and others (eds), The Bible in Ethics: The Second Sheffield Colloquium, (Sheffield: Continuum International Publishing Group, 1995), p. 137.
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  65. ^ Gresham Machen, 1987, Virgin Birth of Christ Ingram Press ISBN 9780227676301 page 252
  66. ^ Robert Gromacki, 2002, The Virgin Birth Kragel ISBN 9780825427466 page 202
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Gabriel announces to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus
Life of Jesus: Conception of Jesus
Preceded by
Gabriel announces John's
birth to Zechariah
   New Testament   
Followed by
Mary visits Elizabeth

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Virgin Birth of Christ — • The dogma which teaches that the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ was a virgin before, during, and after the conception and birth of her Divine Son Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Virgin Birth of Christ     Virgin …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • virgin birth — 1. Theol. the doctrine or dogma that, by the miraculous agency of God, the birth of Christ did not impair or prejudice the virginity of Mary. Cf. Immaculate Conception. 2. Zool. parthenogenesis; parturition by a female who has not copulated.… …   Universalium

  • Virgin birth — A virgin birth can refer to:*The virgin birth of Jesus, believed by Christians and Muslims *The miraculous birth of a person from folklore or mythology; see also List of virgin births *Parthenogenesis, birth without fertilization …   Wikipedia

  • virgin birth, the — noun the birth of Jesus Christ. In Christian belief, Jesus s mother Mary was made pregnant by God, not by having sex with a man …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • virgin birth — n the virgin birth the birth of Jesus, which Christians believe was caused by God, not by sex between a man and a woman …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • virgin birth — n. 1. [usually V B ] Christian Theol. the doctrine that Jesus was born to Mary without violating her virginity and that she was his only human parent: cf. IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 2. Zool. parthenogenesis …   English World dictionary

  • virgin birth — noun (singular) the birth of Jesus, which Christians believe was caused by God, not by sex between a man and a woman …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • virgin birth — The assertion in the gospels of Matthew and Luke that Jesus was born of Mary without the intervention of a human partner. The pregnancy was initiated by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35). The earliest writers in the NT (Mark and Paul) show… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • virgin birth — noun Date: 1613 1. birth from a virgin 2. often capitalized V&B the theological doctrine that Jesus was miraculously begotten of God and born of a virgin mother …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • VIRGIN BIRTH —    the TRADITIONAL BELIEF that JESUS CHRIST was born of the VIRGIN MARY. Although the founders of many religions are often depicted as having a miraculous birth, the CHRISTIAN belief does seem quite unique in its particulars and is important for… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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