The Expository Files

Do You Believe in the "Virgin Birth" of Jesus?

Well, I suppose I do believe in the "virgin birth" of Christ, but it has been brought to my attention recently that the term is somewhat of a misnomer. While events leading to the birth of Jesus were miraculous, the fact is that as far as I can tell His birth was purely natural. It was His conception nine months before that was supernatural. Jesus had no human biological father, but the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and an egg cell became an embryo by miracle. An infant developed naturally within Mary's womb for about nine months and then when the due date came Jesus was born in the natural  way. For a more complete study of this and other circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus, see The Gospel of Matthew by Kenneth L. Chumbley; pages 24-35.

Of course, the significance of this is that Jesus is God's Son, the promised one. The angel later appears to Joseph to assure him of Mary's chastity and explains how in her the ancient prophecy given through Isaiah was to be fulfilled:

"But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is
He who will save His people from their sins. Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name 'Immanuel,' which translated means, 'God with us.'"

The evidence that Jesus is who He claimed to be is overwhelming. His miraculous conception is merely one of a very great many others. His coming was anticipated by the Old Testament Scriptures written down centuries before. The birth on that long ago night in the little village of Bethlehem (also prophesied centuries before) to a young woman who was a descendant of David (also prophesied centuries before) and of the tribe of Judah (also prophesied centuries before) whose baby would shortly be hunted by a murderous king willing to kill other infants in the attempt to kill Jesus (also prophesied centuries before) was all written in the prophetic Scriptures of the Old Testament.

With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, documents that predate Jesus' birth by over one hundred years, we find that these prophecies do indeed predate Jesus and had not been later altered to make them fit the events.

I hope the significance of all this is not lost on anyone. The identity of Jesus as God in the flesh is most certainly assured, as the angel said, Jesus' birth means "God with us." It is best that we recognize the fact and treat Him accordingly.

By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 7.3; March 2000