Virgin Birth of Jesus: Fact or Fiction?

Need a Christmas present for someone who enjoys wrestling with Christianity’s role in modern society? Consider my new book, A Modern Christmas Carol, available as paperback or ebook.

Virgin birth of JesusIn December, thoughts turn toward Christmas. In particular, to the Isaiah quote in Matthew’s narrative of the birth of Jesus: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (Matt. 1:23).

Matthew documents the fulfillment of a prophecy written 750 years earlier. Powerful evidence of the truth of the Bible?

Well … no. The first reason is the reason by which anyone would reject a claimed prophecy: the evidence of the fulfillment is not independent but comes only through authors (of Matthew and Luke) who one must assume had read the prophecy. They had motive and opportunity to claim a fulfillment where none existed. (I write more about common-sense requirements for a fulfilled prophecy here.)

The original prophecy in Isaiah

But was that quote from Isaiah even a prophecy of a messiah? You’d expect something like, “The LORD God understands the burdens of His people and will send a savior. And ye shall know him by this sign: the virgin will give birth to a son” and so on.

Here’s what that chapter of Isaiah is actually talking about. In the early 700s BCE, Syria and Israel allied with nearby countries for protection against Assyria, the local bully that was vacuuming up smaller states. Judea refused to join the alliance. Syria and Israel, fearing a potential enemy at their rear, moved to conquer Judea.

God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to tell the king of Judea that, with faith, his enemies would be destroyed. Isaiah gives him a sign: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (7:14). Before the boy is old enough to understand right from wrong, Syria and Israel will be destroyed.

The meaning of the Immanuel prophecy

In other words, in five years or so, your enemies will be destroyed—that’s the point of the Immanuel story. The boy simply acts as a clock. And not only is Immanuel not a messiah, his three-verse story isn’t even a significant part of this chapter, which goes on to describe the impending conquest of Judea by Assyria and Judea’s painful future.

Isaiah prefaces the prophecy to the king with, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.” This sign must be a near-term event, since the king won’t live long enough to see the birth of Jesus centuries later.

Yes, the Immanuel story is a prophecy, but it’s a prophecy that is to be fulfilled in five years, not 750. (And was the prophecy even fulfilled? Apparently not, according to the 2 Chron. 28:5–6 summary. We see another history of the battle in 2 Kings 16:5, with Judea the winner this time, but to argue that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled you must argue that the Bible is contradictory.)

Where’s the miracle?

The Immanuel story doesn’t even claim to be a miracle. Women are virgins before having sex, by definition. The story says that a woman who’s never had sex will then do so, become pregnant, and deliver a boy. Happens all the time. If this prediction involved a miracle, we’d expect more would be made of it to eliminate the (obvious) mundane explanation.

Where’s the Jesus parallel?

And if Immanuel’s story is supposed to foreshadow Jesus, where does the Immanuel prediction (“before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid to waste,” Isa. 7:16) map in Jesus’s life?

Does Isaiah even say “virgin”?

To make things even more difficult for Matthew’s claim, the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14 doesn’t really say that. First-century scholars could have had access to two versions of Isaiah, the Hebrew original and the Greek translation, the Septuagint. Since the author of Matthew was literate in Greek, he was likely more familiar with the Greek version. But these two versions use different words here—“young woman” in the Hebrew original and “virgin” in the Greek translation. The NET Bible uses the older Hebrew term and has a thorough footnote documenting the scholarship behind this decision.

Why do most Bibles use “virgin,” even though the best sources use “young woman”? Perhaps only to avoid embarrassing Matthew. And that may be changing. The new Catholic Bible, the revised New American Bible (2011), drops “virgin” in favor of “young woman.”

Is Isaiah fulfilled in Jesus?

Matthew prefaces his Isaiah quote by saying, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet” (1:22), but the prophecy isn’t fulfilled since Jesus is never called Immanuel—not just in Matthew but anywhere in the New Testament. In fact, Matthew contradicts his own claim of fulfillment just two verses later: “And [Joseph] gave him the name Jesus.”

Pope Benedict’s 2012 book, The Infancy Narratives, emphasizes that the virgin birth is one of the “cornerstones of faith” and assures us that it is not a myth. Though he rejects the idea that mythology entered the gospels, everybody who was anybody during that time in the eastern Mediterranean was virgin born—Alexander the Great in Greece, the Caesars in Rome, the Ptolemies in Egypt.

Despite the proliferation of virgin birth claims at the time, all were false except for the one for Jesus? That needs a lot of evidence, especially when Matthew’s argument is built on nothing more than the misreading of a prophecy that expired centuries earlier.

This is the third biblical prophecy claim that I’ve studied (I’ve also written about Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22). Each has unique features, but I’m struck by one similarity: in context, each is plainly not talking about a future messiah. No serious scholarship is necessary to see this, just a willingness to let each chapter speak for itself. Only a determination to maintain the idea of supernatural prophecies, regardless of the evidence, props them up.

I pray that one day we may live in an America 
where Christians can worship freely, in broad daylight,
openly wearing the symbols of their religion …
 perhaps around their necks? 
And maybe (dare I dream it?)
maybe one day there can be 
an openly Christian president. 
Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively.
— Jon Stewart

 

(This is a modified version of a post that originally appeared 12/10/12.)

Photo credit: Steve Day

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Y. A. Warren

    I believe you are doing your book a disservice by being off message in this post. Your book is not about theology, but about hypocrisy. Just sayin’…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Sorry–I’m not following. Are you referring to the ad at the beginning?

      It’s hard to characterize a book, especially with a heterogeneous audience. Are you saying that my summary wasn’t on target or that this post about prophecy was an odd one with which to attach a note about the book?

      • Y. A. Warren

        I am saying that your book is a great easy-to-read book that could easily lead to questions that the “faithful” should ask themselves. I simply don’t see the connection between the premise of your book and this post.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          OK, I got it.

          You’re right. No connection, except the calendar. It’s the time to shop for Christmas presents. And what better stocking stuffer than my new book, eh?

        • Y. A. Warren

          Yes, and I think your market is in progressive religious circles.

  • JohnH2

    Immanuel – means God with us and was precisely what Jesus claimed to be. Also, the verse first says that God will send a savior which as we all know is the meaning of Joshua which as we all know is where the name Jesus comes from.

    Also, in regards to the Hebrew vs. Greek I believe that the Dead Sea Scrolls had versions of Isaiah with virgin in them showing that the Masoric and Septuagint texts both come from Hebrew textual traditions. In fact with the Dead Sea Scrolls being as they are it provides minor support to the Catholic claim that the Jews edited the Masoric text to strip out meanings and interpretation which support the claim of Jesus being the Messiah.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Immanuel – means God with us and was precisely what Jesus claimed to be.

      But that’s not the point. Isaiah said that this guy would be called “Immanuel.” Was he?

      • JohnH2

        Are you occasionally called “broken but fabulous”?

        • Itarion

          Ah, but is he?

          I would say amazing, but more to the point, “broken but fabulous” is not a name. It is a descriptor or title.

          Immanuel was to be the name of the child, and not a title. [Will call him, will name him, will call his name by various translations.] The fact that one is referred to by a title is different from the fact that one’s name is that same word, as in Jesus Christ, where Christ is a title, rather than a name.

        • JohnH2

          Matthew and Christians from that time until now hold that Immanuel is a titular name, like Christ, and that Jesus was in fact Immanuel (God with us).

          Regardless of what you would call Bob, there is a commenter that calls him broken but fabulous

        • Pofarmer

          It may be, but he was never called that anywhere else in the NT.

        • Itarion

          “Matthew and Christians from that time until now”
          But that doesn’t matter, if the original intent of the passage was as a literal name. “He will be named” and “He will be titled” are two different phrases in a great many languages, including Hebrew. Since that is the tensing of the translation, it would be reasonable to assume that that is the original was tensed similarly, that is, in the future perfect.

          Yeah, I’ve seen it. “Bob, the broken but fabulous atheist.”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Are you arguing that, as predicted in Isaiah, Jesus was called “Immanuel,” even as just a title?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am. it’s an inside joke (that I don’t quite get), I think.

      • Submitted

        The scriptures record in Matthew 16:16 that Peter, in response to the question by Jesus, ““But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”, “Simon
        Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
        Among Jews, this was clearly an instance of a declaration of Jesus’
        divinity-his Godhood. This is because among Jews, to claim that one was
        the “Son of God”, that person claimed to be God Himself. This is in
        contrast to when Jesus called himself “Son of Man”. So it is clear that
        Jesus WAS called by others Immanuel, “God with us”. So much, the fact
        that Jesus claimed divinity, or Godhood, was the very reason the
        Pharisees were so offended that they called for his crucifixion. Yet,
        the evidence shows that Jesus was indeed God–he carried all the
        evidence to support his claim to Godhood. Healing the sick, curing the
        blind, multiplication of food miracles, and raising the dead are all
        recorded in scripture. No man could have done this without God’s power.
        Jesus
        was in fact, called “Immanuel” by His disciples and by others, because
        by His deeds, he demonstrated that he truly was God with us.

        • Greg G.

          But Mark 8:27-29 tells us Peter only said, “You are the Christ.” Matthew tends to embellish his story with out-of-context verses to indulge his prophecy fetish.

        • Nemo

          So, outside of the Bible, there is evidence that Jesus actually did the stuff attributed to him in the Bible? There is evidence that he could resurrect people, that his very presence turned Jerusalem’s political climate upside down, that his death caused the dead to walk the city? What historian can verify this actually happened, as opposed to Josephus et al, who mention stories they heard about Jesus decades after the fact?

        • MNb

          Good questions except for the last one – the first biograph of Alexander the Great that has survived retold stories more than 250 years after his death. What’s more – Josephus didn’t tell any story about Jesus. The two infamous and distorted quotes only mention that he walked around.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m amazed at how Christian apologists point with pride at Joesephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and the other extra-biblical authors who (they say) support the gospel story. In fact, they do little more than confirm when Christians were running around.

          “There are people who follow someone called ‘Christ'” doesn’t give much support to any of the miracle claims.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You seem to be confusing “read it in a book” with “actually happened, for real.”

        • Pofarmer

          All of those miracles are copies of miracles performed by Elisha and Eliza. No child eating bears though. Apparently they were popular themes.

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      The text of Isaiah 7:14 in the Dead Sea Scrolls uses the word almah (young woman) and not betulah (virgin), the same as the conventional OT in Hebrew.

      • JohnH2

        Looks like you are right about virgin.

  • Rick

    Is your interpretation based on personal study or the consensus of Hebrew and Greek scholars?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I don’t believe I saw a consensus view among scholars on this question–and, of course, there are several questions.

  • Castilliano

    Bob,
    I hope this is the first time I’ve posted these here:
    http://www.deism.com/paine_essay_false_prophecies_of_jesus_1.htm
    http://www.deism.com/paine_essay_false_prophecies_of_jesus_2.htm
    They’re essays from Thomas Paine’s study and dismantling of all the gospel prophecies.

    Pretty cool stuff.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      That does look like good stuff, thanks for sharing.

      One of our other commenters is a fanboy of Paine, though I imagine he’s already read that.

  • Greg G.

    The various sect of Jews read some specific prophecies that David’s seed would remain on the throne. When that failed due to the Babylonians, they had to figure out why God had abandoned his promises. They thought if they followed the scriptures, then one of Davids descendants would take back the throne. Over the centuries of this not happening, they went of the scriptures for clues to come up with explanations.

    The clues had to be verses pulled out of context. At least one sect thought they were finding long hidden mysteries and the fact that these clues were being revealed to them at that point in time convinced them that it was a sign the Messiah was coming. They began to read the verses on suffering as ancient history All Paul knew about Jesus was what he read in the scriptures.

    The early epistles do not support the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis. They don’t mention the teacher or the preacher or the miracle worker. They never quote Jesus but their ideas end up in Jesus’ mouth in the Gospels. For example, in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, Paul is explaining what the Lord says about divorce in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 to the Gentiles and mentions that if women divorce, they should not remarry, as their is no provision for women to divorce in the OT. In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus is telling that to the disciples. Matthew and Luke saw the problem and omitted that error from their versions. Mark has Jesus repeating Paul’s ideas from Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians while the Gospel of Thomas adds James sayings to Jesus’ words. Those three letters must have been the ones in circulation when Mark and Thomas were written.

    If Paul and James were actually repeating things Jesus had said, their arguments would have been much stronger by adding “Jesus said” to them.

  • Jason

    Te difference in context is an important point that most Christians don’t want to address. A similar example is Is. 40.3, which is cited by all the gospels in relation to John the Baptist. Bob, it is also similar to your example here because there is a difference between the Hebrew original and LXX. Maybe you have already discussed it (?).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      No, I haven’t talked about this verse or even about John the Baptist much.

  • MNb

    “And that may be changing.”
    It is. Dutch Catholic Bible, modern version and a Protestant counterpart called the Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling:

    http://www.willibrordbijbel.nl/?p=page&i=50455,50479

    http://www.biblija.net/biblija.cgi?m=Jesaja+7&id18=1&l=nl&set=10
    “de jonge vrouw is zwanger”
    “The young woman is pregnant”
    Of course quite a few believers think these translations too progressive.

  • MNb

    As for the title “Virgin Birth of Jesus: Fact or Fiction?”
    The virginal interpretation of Jesus’ birth is thoroughly antiscientific. All atheists will argue that when science conflicts with theology the first always wins. Also for quite a few christians (at least in Europe) the virginal birth is not an article of faith.
    Once you accept a miracle like this one (ie a phenomenon that flat out is impossible according to the Laws of Nature as formulated by science) you must explain why such things don’t happen on a more regular base. As such we are back at the divine grounding of math, logic and natural law. A god that/who breaks the laws he/she/it has grounded him/her/itself when suitable is a capricious one and thus not perfect.

    • JohnH2

      How is artificial insemination of a virgin anti-scientific?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        ‘Cause it was magical artificial insemination?

        You do know the story, right?

        • MNb

          John is a typical case of the procedure I described underneath your Jesus and Santa article.

      • MNb

        Would you be so kind to explain me, if we assume artificial insemination, where the semen that impregnated virgin Mary came from and who inserted it? Could you also give me historical records that make clear that a) the Ancients in Judea knew about artificial insemination and b) used it?

        • JohnH2

          MNb,

          Take two seconds to connect what you know of my belief in God with your questions and the answers should be obvious.

        • Itarion

          What JohnH2 means to say is, his god, despite being a god, also has a physical form. The question then becomes, is this god genetically compatible, and also why bother with artificial insemination at all? The Greek gods didn’t bother with it.

          I mean, if you’re gonna have a god’s child, why not have the time of your life first?

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      The virginal interpretation of Jesus’ birth is thoroughly
      antiscientific. All atheists will argue that when science conflicts with
      theology the first always wins.

      And since you proved that the virgin birth is scientifically impossible, we should expect that everyone will just refuse to believe it and the entire edifice of religion will simply disappear. Right?

      As Bob has pointed out elsewhere, even Paul seemed unaware of the virgin-birth story when he was literally singing Jesus’s praises. It certainly wasn’t part of Jewish lore. But when the new religion was trying to gain new converts, it developed some suspicious adaptations from Mediterranean sun-god mythology like the miraculous birth story and the disappearing corpse. What better way to expand its appeal beyond the Jewish community?

      I think this myth and the cult of Mary have done a lot of damage through the centuries. The way Christians can only relate to anima or female consciousness through a symbol of a sexless female is responsible for the repression of women and puritanical assbaggery that have characterized the legacy of Christianity in the West.

      • MNb

        “and the entire edifice of religion will simply disappear.”
        That’s your conclusion, not mine. Do we witness another theist fighting a strawman? Do you not want to know what I wrote elsewhere – that for many European christians the virginity of mother Mary is not a dogma?
        Your rhetorical question is pathetic.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          Your rhetorical question is pathetic.

          No moreso than your assertion that the virgin birth doesn’t represent the scientific explanation it was never meant to represent in the first place.

  • MNb

    When it comes to the story of the birth of Jesus another scientific discipline comes into play: History of Antiquity. We never should forget that the Ancients had another way of thinking than we 21st Century people. They didn’t care about separating fact from fiction as we do. So if we don’t ask ourselves what the authors actually meant with the word “virgin” we never get a complete picture.
    Besides the biological meaning of the word there was also the metaphorical meaning: a woman of great, if not perfect spiritual purity. Obviously this hasn’t any meaning for me, but equally obviously it was of great importance for the early christians. I’m far from an expert in this field, but I don’t think it will be hard to find other examples from Antiquity where “virgin” has the same meaning.
    Of course the concept of spiritual purity is unscientific, which is not the same as antiscientific. There is another trap for christians here though – actually two. First of all the question rises how to determine which parts of the Bible are metaphors and which ones literal; the second trap is that the interpreter might be left with a belief system only consisting of metaphors. Then the question is what sense that belief system still makes in relation to our reality.
    It might be possible; I’m not ready at all to argue that religion is incompatible with science, though I would very much like it.

  • Y. A. Warren

    One of the most offensive things about the “Christian” religion is the preoccupation with genitals and reproductive systems. How one behaves toward others, as long as it does not include irresponsible actions, has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not one has a sex life. It is insulting to all men and women to make morality based on believing that people must be celibate to be a benefit to humanity. it is the same level of insult to make an person’s worth based on breeding for “the cause.”

    • MNb

      It’s rather typical for all three abrahamist religions.

      “How one behaves toward others has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not one has a sex life.”
      I think I understand what you mean and if yes I agree. But note that besides masturbation any sex life involves behaviour toward others.

      • Y. A. Warren

        Don’t forget erotic dreams. Both forms of self-satisfaction were presented as sources of shame to be punished out of the “participants.”

        The actual point seemed to be that anything over which the church didn’t have control was to be punished by the church. Talk about a closed loop that double binds all believers…No wonder infant brainwashing (baptism) was so popular.

  • Dominic

    “The word for virgin in Hebrew is bethulah.This verse uses almah, a word that means “maiden.” But we know that almah also means “virgin” because the Bible calls Rebekah a maiden (almah) before her marriage. (Genesis 24:16, 43) God’s holy spirit directed Matthew to write that Isaiah 7:14 came true when Jesus was born. In this verse, he did not use the Greek word for “maiden.” He used the Greek word for “virgin,” parthenos. The Gospel writers Matthew and Luke both say that Mary was a virgin and that she became pregnant through God’s holy spirit.—Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35.” http://bit.ly/1rXFod8

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      If you’d like to discuss the points, it would be best if you’d directly respond to the points in the post above. Otherwise, I think I’d just be repeating the post in my respond to you.

  • Dominic

    “This identity of Jesus Christ as Immanuel did not mean he was the incarnation of God, ‘God in the flesh,’ which proponents of the Trinity teaching claim is implied by the meaning of Immanuel, namely, “With Us Is God.” It was a common practice among Jews to embody the word “God,” even “Jehovah,” in Hebrew names. Even today Immanuel is the proper name of many men, none of whom are incarnations of God.

    If there seems to be a conflict between the angel’s instructions to Mary (“you are to call his name Jesus”) and Isaiah’s prophecy (“she will certainly call his name Immanuel”), let it be remembered that Messiah was also to be called by yet other names. (Lu 1:31; Isa 7:14) For example, Isaiah 9:6 said concerning this one: “His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Yet none of these names were given to Mary’s firstborn as personal names, neither when he was a babe nor after he took up his ministry. Rather, they were all prophetic title-names by which Messiah would be identified. Jesus lived up to the meaning of these names in every respect, and that is the sense in which they were prophetically given, to show his qualities and the good offices he would perform toward all those accepting him as Messiah. So also with his title Immanuel. He measured up to and fulfilled its meaning.” http://bit.ly/1xZpCxt

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      they were all prophetic title-names by which Messiah would be identified

      And does the bible record these titles being applied?

  • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

    Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    Written 500 years before Jesus of Nazareth was born
    Matthew 1:23 Behold, 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.

    God in the Flesh
    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    Witness of the Son
    John 14:6-9
    v6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
    v7 If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him.
    v8 Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
    v9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how do you say then, Shew us the Father?

    Witness of the Son
    John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

    The Son never lied
    1 peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

    • Greg G.

      Isaiah 7:14
      Written 500 years before Jesus of Nazareth was born

      The Hebrew version does not say “virgin”. The Septuagint was translated a few hundred years later.

      The Hebrew “betulah” is the word for “virgin”. Isaiah uses “almah” one time only, “betulah” appears five times.

      Isaiah 23:4; 23:12; 37:22; 47:1; 62:5

      The context of Isaiah 7:14 implies the woman is not a virgin simply by referring to her having a child.

      Proverbs 30:18-20 uses “almah” to mean “not a virgin” when you recognize the euphemisms.

      Most of the time, the authors of the New Testament wrote in Greek and read the Septuagint, which does use the Greek word for “virgin”, so that was what threw Matthew off.

      God in the Flesh

      John probably got that from Philo of Alexandria. It is invented theology.

      Witness of the Son
      John 14:6-9

      Witness of the Son
      John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

      Fictional claims from a fictional character in a fictional tale.

      The Son never lied
      1 peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

      That comes from Septuagint Isaiah 53:9. The Hebrew is translated as “He did no violence” but the Septuagint says “he committed no lawlessness.

      It is yet another example of the epistles knowing nothing about Jesus but what they read in the OT.

      • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

        Nice try Greg G, but you are wrong.

        עַלְמָה ʻalmâh Is used 7 times in the old testament, 4 translations are virgin.

        4 virgin translations
        Isaiah 7:14
        Genesis 24:43
        Song of Solomon 1:3 & 6:8

        3 translations are maid
        Exodus 2:8
        Psalms 68:25
        Proverbs 30:19

        Therefore the Lord himself shall give you “a sign”… opening of the verse.

        Go tell me what the word “a sign” means now and then tell me why the verse ends with
        עִמָּנוּאֵל ʻImmânûwʼêl = with us (is) God
        אֵל ʼêl = God

        If the majority of the time עַלְמָה ʻalmâh was translated virgin, how much more when God is showing a sign (miracle), and causing a woman to bear God in the flesh?

        Your bearing false witness and ignoring the evidence of prophets and eyewitnesses.

        • Greg G.

          Those are the verses that support my claim. “Almah” is a young woman but makes no claim about her sexual status. She could be a virgin or not a virgin. The clue is in the context.

          Genesis 24:43 says she is a young woman but it does not say she is a virgin. We know she was a virgin because it was explicitly said in verse 16 where she was called “בְּתוּלָה” (bĕthuwlah).

          Song of Solomon 1:3 does not imply anything about her sexual status as it is irrelevant.

          Song of Solomon 6:8 does not explicitly refer to the young women as virgins but it could be inferred that they are the ones who haven’t become concubines yet.

          Exodus 2:8 might be a virgin but it is irrelevant to the story.

          Psalms 68:25 is talking about tamborine players but their sexual status is irrelevant so the word “almah” is appropriate.

          But read the context of Proverbs 30:19, the verse before and the verse after. It is about an adultress, who cannot be a virgin. The text is about an eagle in the sky leaving no trace, a snake on a rock leaves no trace, a ship on the sea leaves no trace, and a non-virgin can have sex with a man and wipe her vagina, in case you are confused by the euphemism, so there is no trace.

          Proverbs 30:19 proves my point that “almah” does not imply virginity. An almah is a young woman but the word does not convey anything about whether she has had sex, though that can be inferred by the context. “בְּתוּלָה” (bĕthuwlah) does imply a woman is a virgin. That is the word used for young woman everywhere else in Isaiah. The Hebrew word for “virginity” is “”בְּתוּלִים (bĕthuwliym), used in Deuteronomy 22:14, 17, 20.

          If the majority of the time עַלְמָה ʻalmâh was translated virgin, how much more when God is showing a sign (miracle), and causing a woman to bear God in the flesh?

          It depends on the translation as not all versions translate that way in every case which also shoots down your claim.

          Your bearing false witness and ignoring the evidence of prophets and eyewitnesses.

          You practically proved it for me that you are the one who is telling lies about Isaiah 7:14. It is only the Septuagint mistranslation that says “virgin”.

          Furthermore, Jesus was not named “Immanuel”. He was named “Jesus”, the Septuagint version of “Joshua”.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Wrong…
          Hebrew Masoretic text was used to translate the old testament I study.
          Your spinning your wheels, in your own front yard on this one.

          UPDATE: This is NOT greek, “עַלְמָה “, like the Septuagint you are referring too…

        • Greg G.

          That is what I am telling you. Try to keep up. The Septuagint was translated from the Hebrew. But the New Testament authors were reading the Septuagint, they wrote in Greek, and quoted the Septuagint verbatim.

          The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 7:14 does not mean “virgin”, it means a young woman but implies nothing about her sexual history, she could be a virgin or not a virgin. If her sexual history is somehow relevant, you must get that from the context. There is a Hebrew word that means a virgin explicitly and Isaiah used it 5 times while only using “almah” that one time. That should tell you that Isaiah did not mean that the woman of Isaiah 7:14 was a virgin, especially if he was saying she was going to have a baby.

          The Septuagint used the Greek word for “virgin” for that verse. The New Testament authors read the Septuagint and got the improper “virgin” translation from it.

          If you want to claim the New Testament is authoritative, you must accept the sources of the New Testament as authoritative. Since the New Testament authors favored the Septuagint over the Masoretic texts, perhaps you should consider the Septuagint translation as superior to the more original Masoretic text. Many Christians consider the King James Bible to be more authoritative than the Greek manuscripts and many insist that only the 1611 edition is authoritative.

          How can you expect to understand the difference between words for “virgin” vs “young woman” in different languages when you consistently struggle with homonyms like your/you’re in your first language? I don’t like to be the language police but I have noticed a correlation between issues with homonyms and equivocation in arguments. Perhaps learning to focus on the meanings of words rather than just the sounds will sharpen your ability to understand arguments.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Since you go against every single credible Hebrew scholar in history and say that it does not mean virgin…
          A damsel shall conceive and bear a son, and His name is Immanuel, “GOD WITH US”.

          Matthew 1:23 explicitly says “virgin”, which you deny Isaiah said and completes the context, indeed God sent himself as Jesus of Nazareth, Immanuel God with us.

          The witness of scripture is true, your bearing false witness. The timer is counting down on your life. When they drop you in the casket, if your words are contradicting the witness of God’s Son, you will surely perish.

          Updated “Hebrew” 1st line.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker
        • Greg G.

          Since you go against every single credible Hebrew scholar in history and say that it does not mean virgin…

          Please cite some of them.

          I showed you that “almah” is used to refer to an adultress, which, by definition, cannot be a virgin.

          The English version of the Jewish Bible does not translate it as “virgin”. Those with “virgin” are either using the Septuagint or is just a Christianese translation.

          Isaiah 7:14 (JPS Tanakh 1917)
          Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

          Matthew 1:23 explicitly says “virgin”, which you deny Isaiah said and completes the context, indeed God sent himself as Jesus of Nazareth, Immanuel God with us.

          I don’t dispute what Matthew says. He just wasn’t reading the Hebrew text. Matthew copied the Septuagint when he quoted Isaiah, only changing the suffix of one word.

          Matthew 1:23 (mGNT)
          ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν καὶ καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον μεθ’ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός

          Isaiah 7:14 (LXX)
          διὰ τοῦτο δώσει κύριος αὐτὸς ὑμῖν σημεῖον ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Εμμανουηλ

          The witness of scripture is true, your bearing false witness. The timer is counting down on your life. When they drop you in the casket, if your words are contradicting the witness of God’s Son, you will surely perish,

          Oooh, scary. Why should I believe you about the afterlife when you can’t admit that Matthew got the virgin crap from the Septuagint version?

          BTW, the longest verbatim match in Greek between two New Testament passages is Matthew 13:14b-15 and Acts 28:26b-27 for 47 words and 235 letters. Both are quoting the Septuagint version of Isaiah 6:9b-10, both leaving out the same redundant word that does not affect the meaning.

          You are obviously wrong to think the New Testament authors didn’t use the Septuagint most of the time and it isn’t even a close call.

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t know that Wikipedia had a page on the word “Almah”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almah

          It is almost as if they were using my responses to you as a source for their material. It agrees with what I have been explaining to you.

          From the page:

          In Isaiah 7, the almah is already pregnant, and modern Jewish translators have therefore rendered almah here as “young woman”.

          I would expect each of those “modern Jewish translators” to be a “credible Hebrew scholar” but they disagree with your bluff.

          The Septuagint version of the Old Testament renders both Hebrew words almah and betulah as the same Greek word parthenos. The term occurs nine times in the Hebrew Bible.

          I would add to that sentence from the page that “נַעֲרָה” (na`arah) is also translated as “virgin” (παρθένος, parthenos) in the Septuagint in many places.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          “I didn’t know that Wikipedia had a page on the word “Almah”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

          It is almost as if they were using my responses to you as a source for their material. It agrees with what I have been explaining to you.” -Greg G

          This is perhaps why your missing every interpretation possible.

        • Greg G.

          This is perhaps why your missing every interpretation possible.

          I had never seen that page until just before I posted the link to it about 18 hours ago. The timestamp at the bottom of the page says “This page was last edited on 12 September 2017, at 14:27” which is 30 days before I saw it. Everything I have posted to you on this has been in the last month, I don’t think you have been using that Disqus handle (or the earlier version of www.ScriptureSearch.info) and avatar that long here. The odds of the page agreeing with me so closely but independently is unlikely unless we are using the same scholarship sources.

          This is perhaps why your missing every interpretation possible.

          I tend to avoid absurd interpretations. I have shown that “almah” is used to refer to an adulteress which means it is not strictly a virgin. I have shown that everywhere it is used for a virgin, it explicitly states that the woman is a virgin in the surrounding text, which would not be necessary if it was a word for “virgin”.

          I will also point out the the Septuagint used the word “parthenos” and its cognates very promiscuously throughout.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Greg G.,
          You are in err using Wikipedia to interpret the scripture… why not just study the scriptures only, for yourself, without anyones help? Your way too religious.

          Mark 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

          Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

          Holy One, not two…

          God in the flesh Greg…

          Why not confess your sins today to Gods Son, be converted, and receive eternal life? You’ll have peace…

        • Greg G.

          You are in err using Wikipedia to interpret the scripture… why not just study the scriptures only, for yourself, without anyones help? Your way too religious.

          I just told you that I did not use that page to reach my conclusions. My conclusions came from comparing claims, reading the Bible, looking up the words used, seeing how they are used elsewhere in the Bible, and checking other references to validate my findings. It was either an amazing coincidence that everything I told you matched the same wrong conclusions that the Wikipedia page had, or that the evidence actually leads to those conclusions.

          Compare Mark 1:24 with:

          1 Kings 17:18 (NRSV)
          She then said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!”

          The author of Mark took the words of the widow of Zarephath speaking to Elijah to make up a story about Jesus. That is how the Gospel of Mark was created. It is fiction. The other three gospels used Mark to write their own fictions.

          Why don’t you face reality? Life is more fulfilling when you don’t try to experience it through fairy tales.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          1 Kings 17:18… not a useful reference, try again.

          Mark 1:24 and Isaiah 40:25 – Who’s the “Holy One”, there can only be ONE.

        • Greg G.

          1 Kings 17:18 is as useful as any other Bible reference and I agree that it is not useful.

          But it does help to show that the gospels are made up fiction that combine OT references and combine them with other literature to create stories. Mark 1:24 also appears to have altered the question using:

          2 Kings 3:13a (NRSV)Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you?

          The Greek for the question there is “τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί”. The question in Mark 1:24 is “τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί”.

          Who’s the “Holy One”, there can only be ONE.

          The phrase translated as “Holy One of God” is “ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ” in the Greek. The word “One” is not in the Greek. Those three words are used together in Luke 4:34 which is copied from Mark and in John 6:69 with Peter saying it. Matthew used over 90% of Mark but he seems to have rejected that passage though Matthew 4:24 says people who were possessed were brought to him.

          Since the word “One” is not actually in the Greek, you are making much ado nothing.

          Those same three words are used together in the Septuagint version of 2 Kings 4:9 to describe Elisha but is translated as “holy man of God”, not too many verses from the “what have I (we) to do with you?” question above.

          Do you realize that demon possession is superstitious religious nonsense?

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          take “one” out if you’d like, doesnt make it true. Referencing the greek would have let you know that “One” could be attached to holy in this instance. Did wikipedia say it shouldn’t be there… good interpretation.

          Holy God…

        • Greg G.

          I showed you that those words together is translated as “holy man of God” regarding Elijah in 1 Kings. Other parts of the sentence can be traced to 2 Kings. Nobody ever actually said that, let alone demons.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The word isn’t that big a deal IMO.

          There’s a girl who’s a virgin. Then she has sex, then she gets pregnant, then she has a boy named Emmanuel. Nothing supernatural here. It’s Matthew who spins it like it’s a virgin birth or divinely conceived birth.

        • Greg G.

          I think it is telling that the Hebrew does not imply that she is a virgin with the context of her being pregnant implies that she is not a virgin. The Septuagint translates “almah” to “parthenos” which explicitly means “virgin”. Matthew tends to quote the Septuagint verbatim so we know the idea comes from reading the Greek version of Isaiah.

          Isaiah used “almah” only the one time but used the Hebrew word for “virgin” five times, though I suspect Isaiah had more than one author, perhaps three, but the use of “betulah” is spread across all three sections.

      • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

        Greg G. You butcher the scriptures worse than Bob Seidensticker (@BobSeidensticker:disqus )., and he blog’s entire post’s that twist scriptures. Your trampling the text, your interpretation is worse than a goats, you live in deceit, deceiving your own-self, foaming out of the mouth, dead while you live.

        1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

        Confess to the Son of God your sins and they will be washed in His blood. All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

        To say the resurrection is fiction is to be dishonest to the evidence… But hey, trying to show a guy who believes “nothing became rock” evidence, is like trying to show a fish how to try shoes on…

        • Greg G.

          you live in deceit, deceiving your own-self

          Show me.

          Why don’t you believe Jesus’ prayer failure? Why not try to convince other Christian’s that you are correct rather than trying to convert atheists? If you could get all Christians to agree with you, then Jesus prayer might possibly come true. It can never come true until Christians agree with one another on theology. They are already halfway there. That should be a more efficient method of bringing the world to God. You could impress us right here in this forum if you could convince Ed Senter, Robert Lockett, and Ameribear that you are right and they are not quite right.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Prayer failure?

          Go look how you interpret scriptures to see how you deceive yourself. Twisting every prophecy like a pretzel gets you nowhere.

        • Greg G.

          I am unraveling the fiction for you. You can save your tithes and sleep in on Sundays.

          Don’t you think it would be easier to convince Christians who already believe the weird parts of the Bible to agree with you? Jesus thought that would convert unbelievers.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Jesus thought that would convert unbelievers.

          What did he know? He thought the world would end in the 1st century.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Some peace for you today Bob….

          Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
          -Jesus of Nazareth

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

          — Jesus of Nazareth

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Matthew 9:4
          And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, why do you think evil in your hearts?

        • Greg G.

          Proverbs 31:6 (NRSV)6 Give strong drink to one who is perishing,    and wine to those in bitter distress;

          I’ll have whatever Seidensticker is drinking.

        • BlackMamba44

          “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

          ~ Jesus of Nazareth

        • BlackMamba44

          “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

          “‘a man against his father,
          a daughter against her mother,
          a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
          a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household

          “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

          ~Jesus of Nazareth

          EDIT: added a little more.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          All you have done is ignore the written testimony of over 40 witnesses, not unravel fiction.

          I already sleep in on Sundays and if I give money it is to specific needs (like feeding the homeless myself), I don’t throw it in the pot.

          I’m not here to convince Christians, I’m here to bring the witnesses to atheist.

          Which of these statements can you deny is TRUE…

          You think about having sex with people you aren’t married to (Matthew 5:28)

          You will live a very short life and then die leaving all your material possession behind (James 4:14, 1 Timothy 6:7)

          Death is promised by God, after death you will face the judgment, the judge is the Son of God (Hebrews 9:27, John 5:22)

          If you are not born again, you will not see heaven… (John 3:3)

        • Michael Neville

          I’m not here to convince Christians, I’m here to bring the witnesses to atheist.

          Your attempts at proselytizing are not working. We’re seeing the same things from you that other missionaries to the heathens and apostates have brought and we rejected those arguments years ago. Most of us are ex-Christians and we’re familiar with the Christian mythos. It’s not convincing.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Ex-Christians? What kind, please be specific.

        • Otto

          I hear bagpipes…

        • Michael Neville

          Who’s been sleeping in my porridge.

        • Michael Neville

          Catholics, liberal Protestants, fundamentalist Protestants, Mormons, evangelical Protestants, basically the whole spectrum of Christianity. Why does it matter?

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Michael,
          There is only ONE version of Christianity, at least according to scripture (Ephesians 4:4 – 6)

          So, what “faith” group were you attached to?

        • Michael Neville

          Nope, there are thousands of Christianities, all claiming to the the “one TRUE version”. When people as dogmatically diverse as Pat Robertson, Pope Francis and John Shelby Spong all claim to be Christians then it’s obvious there are a whole lot of versions.

        • Greg G.

          If the Second Street Bible Church thought the Third Street Bible Church was just as right as they were, they’d merge to become the Fifth Street Bible Church.

          PS: Both would still despise those Fifth Avenue Bible Church heretics.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          What you have said is true, men have divided themselves, but that doesn’t change “what is written”… This comes down to God’s word, not man.

          Ephesians 4:5 “…One faith…”

          So which organization were you a part of?

        • Michael Neville

          So which organization were you a part of?

          Why do you want to know? What difference does it make? Are you going to ask if I put sugar in my porridge?

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Even the apostle had to warn people not to create “denominations”, but stay in Christ only… its a problem man has, “making things up”.

          1 Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

        • Greg G.

          That passage in 1 Corinthians 1 shows that the Christian religion is already splitting into denominations. Paul is trying to argue that they are all Christians.

        • Michael Neville

          If the apostle warned people not to create “denominations” then they didn’t pay any attention to the warning. As I said before, and you’ve ignored, when people as dogmatically diverse as Pat Robertson, Pope Francis and John Shelby Spong all claim to be Christians then it’s obvious there are a whole lot of versions.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Yes, all man made. Ephesians 4:5 …One faith…

          So which denomination were you a part of, I’d like to know who did you a disservice in the name of Christ?

        • Greg G.

          The Christianity would be a sect of Judaism.

        • Greg G.

          All you have done is ignore the written testimony of over 40 witnesses, not unravel fiction.

          They didn’t know where the sun goes at night. They were superstitious. They felt oppressed by foreign powers. They hoped that a Messiah would come to take the throne of David that was promised to last forever. They believed a fairy tale that the Messiah would come any day and expected it to be during their lifetime. Christians are still holding that vigil.

          I’m not here to convince Christians, I’m here to bring the witnesses to atheist.

          I understand that but you are not doing a very good job. Try what Jesus suggested in that prayer. He seems to have thought that if all Christians agreed, it would impress every atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and all other religions into becoming Christians. Or do you think Jesus didn’t know what he was talking about.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Need peace today Greg G? you can have it…

          Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
          -Jesus of Nazareth

        • Greg G.

          When I saw the “Peace I leave with you” I thought you were leaving. But you were quoting John 14:27. I think it is hilarious that in John 14:31, Jesus says, “Arise, let’s go from here!” like he is going to shut up and go do something yet he keeps talking for three more chapters. Did you ever notice that?

          I enjoy peace everyday and I appreciate that. I am planning to soak in the hot tub at the gym on my way home from work this evening. I just hope the President of the Virgin Islands doesn’t declare war on North Korea between now and then.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Either way…
          This is offered to you, even when things go wrong in the future, which they will for you…

          Philippians 4:7
          And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

          It only works when you call upon Him for salvation first.

        • Greg G.

          If you are gullible enough to do that, you are gullible enough to believe whatever else they tell you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          ‘m not here to convince Christians, I’m here to bring the witnesses to atheist.

          And you suck at it.

          You’ve heard the expression “everyone is a teacher”? We’re all filthy, hateful, baby-eating atheists, but we’re your teachers. All of our criticisms are pointing out where you could do better. I haven’t noticed a single instance where you responded to any of them with “Wow—that’s a good point” or “Thanks for that” or “I didn’t know that, thanks” or maybe even “Hey, let me run this past you and you tell me if this argument holds water.”

          You’re an idiot–you’re in the world’s best college for the kind of work you claim to want to do and you’re sleeping in class.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          All you’ve done is twist scripture, and, I showed you how over and over.

          What you have claimed contradicts the written testimonies and witnesses.

          Everything that was written, is still written. It is written… still in effect.

          Changing word meanings or blowing clear fulfilled prophecies does not benefit.

          Isaiah 7:14 – Matthew 1:23
          Matthew 1:23 is not a tax collectors attempt to “copy” old writings and say look, this is this. He is simply laying forth world history.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          All you’ve done is twist scripture, and, I showed you how over and over.

          Nope. You’ve complained over and over. You’ve never made your case, however.

          I’ve attacked the claims of Ps. 22, Is. 7, and Is. 53. You don’t like my analysis? Then show me, precisely, what I missed. Seriously, this isn’t hard (unless you have no argument, which is what it looks like).

          What you have claimed contradicts the written testimonies and witnesses.

          I’m just readin’ the Good Book and letting the chips fall where they may. If Matthew misinterprets Isaiah 7 (he does), that’s his problem. That doesn’t change what Isaiah actually says.

          Everything that was written, is still written. It is written… still in effect.

          Except all the stuff that has been discarded.

          Changing word meanings or blowing clear fulfilled prophecies does not benefit.

          Give me a fulfilled prophecy. The virgin birth in Matthew, I’m guessing?

          Matthew 1:23 is not a tax collectors attempt to “copy” old writings and say look, this is this. He is simply laying forth world history.

          Laying forth history by accurately recording the miracle of Jesus’s virgin birth? Uh, no—he read Isaiah. And then he proposes to write, “Hey, you know that bit in Isaiah that doesn’t talk about a virgin birth but let’s say that it did? It totally happened!!”?

          Uh, yeah. That’s convincing.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’m not here to convince Christians, I’m here to bring the witnesses to atheist. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a5d324ede412b49f70a3bf9341344db607c6e3d2d740cd5913ea064310766333.jpg

        • Greg G.

          I had Christianity when I was young. I had chicken pox when I was young so I got a shot for shingles immunization recently. Is there anything I can take to prevent shingles-like Christianity?

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          posting some random sign, that some random church displays, tells me nothing…

          Their is only one faith according to scripture, which is what dictates Christianity (Ephesians 4:4-6)

          You can spot false Christ’s, so can I.

        • BlackMamba44
        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Did you draw that yourself?

          Scripture dictates, not dogma…

          Ephesians 4 :5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

          How many faith’s again? Count with me…

        • BlackMamba44
        • Greg G.

          I had never thought about there being more denominations than Bible verses. In 2014, a study showed 45,000 denominations growing at one or two per day, so the projection would be about 47,000 denominations by now which is half again more denominations than verses, assuming they haven’t added more verses. Take out the known interpolations and forged books and maybe denominations double or triple the number of verses.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Show me one denomination in the scriptures other than the ONE preached by the apostles…

        • Greg G.

          Show me one denomination in the scriptures other than the ONE preached by the apostles…

          Galatians 3 and the fact that Paul had to show them that Jesus was crucified because someone had “bewitched” them. Paul argues that faith is most important while James argues that works are just as important. In 2 Corinthians 11:4-6, Paul is defending his theological knowledge compared to the “super-apostles” and again in 2 Corinthians 12:11. The “Super-apostles” are probably the “pillars” he disdains in Galatians 2:6 and names in Galatians 2:9 – Cephas, James, and John. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul has to defend the financial support received from the Corinthians because somebody opposes him and he is ranting about the other apostles, including Cephas. 1 John rants about Gnostic Christians who didn’t think Jesus came in the flesh.

          You only read the Bible in namby-pamby ways wearing your Christianese goggles with a God-shaped clean spot.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          that is a laughable way to twist truth, if you love error.

          Translated from Greek, to Latin, to English. 3 languages…

          But really just 2, Greek to English.

          But your pictograph makes “you” think otherwise… I still believe the truth.

        • BlackMamba44

          LOL!

        • Greg G.

          It was not that simple. The early English translations did not have all of the Greek texts. They relied on the Vulgate for some parts. Some had a Greek version translated from the Latin Vulgate back to Greek. They used texts that had the “cast the first stone” that was added a few centuries after the Gospel of John was written.

          Scholars have shown that there were fewer interpolations after canonization than before but there is about a century or more between the oldest surviving manuscripts and the original manuscripts, which implies the oldest manuscripts already had interpolations.

        • Greg G.

          The author of Ephesians had one faith that he wished to impose on everybody. The “Early Christianity” line in the third graphic is vastly over-simplified. The early Christians were all over the place with their theologies and with greater differences between them that what is represented on the right side of the graphic.

        • BlackMamba44

          So much for “one faith”

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          “The “Early Christianity” line in the third graphic is vastly over-simplified” -Greg G

          2 Corinthians 11:3
          But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

        • Greg G.

          Read the first 15 verses or so of Galatians 3. Somebody has told the Galatians that Jesus was not crucified so Paul had to re-explain it to them. The Galatians apparently knew Peter and James but he didn’t say to ask them. The first two chapters of Galatians has Paul discrediting Peter and James. He also argued in Galatians against the circumcision faction which was Peter and James. He argued for the importance of faith while the Epistle of James argues that works are important.

          1 John argues against Christians who did not think Jesus came in the flesh, which would be the Gnostics.

          You should read up on the history of the period, then read the Bible in that light.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          I challenge you to pray this Greg G.

          Lord Jesus,
          I was told by a witness of yours that I am blind, but you give sight. The witness said I was evil, even though I say I am good. The witness against my sin damns me, I am a slave to my sin, but Christ sets free. How can the def hear Lord Jesus, unless you open my ears. Because you were resurrected, I can only have faith that saves if you give it to me. I am without strength against death, I ask you for eternal life and to be sealed by your promised Holy Spirit. Adopt me from the devil’s family, into an eternal inheritance with you.
          In the name of Jesus of Nazareth,
          Amen.

        • ColdFusion8

          Shouldn’t that be “Jesus of Bethlehem”? That’s where he was reportedly born, right?

        • Michael Neville

          Jesus’ family moved around a lot. That’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent.

        • Greg G.

          One Step Ahead Of The Law – Randy Bachman – YouTube
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz8BpI6cGto

        • Greg G.

          Jesus would shit if I did that. I’ve been thrown out of three churches and two county fairs.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Greg today is the day of salvation, now is the time. Pray this alone…

          Lord Jesus,
          I was told by a witness of yours that I am blind, but you give sight. The witness said I was evil, even though I say I am good. The witness against my sin damns me, I am a slave to my sin, but Christ sets free. How can the def hear Lord Jesus, unless you open my ears. Because you were resurrected, I can only have faith that saves if you give it to me. I am without strength against death, I ask you for eternal life and to be sealed by your promised Holy Spirit. Adopt me from the devil’s family, into an eternal inheritance with you, now, before my vapor of a life expires from earth.
          In the name of Jesus of Nazareth,
          Amen.

        • epeeist

          And it always comes down to two things, proselytising or the threat of eternal damnation.

          Both of them come out when it is obvious you have no response to any arguments put to you.

        • Greg G.

          Your repetition seems to be setting off Disqus flags. I am responding to this one because the one from two hours ago is not active and doesn’t allow a reply.

          Did you ever stop to think how silly Christian praying is? The Logos concept may play a role in it as God was supposed to be immaterial and had to act with the material world through the Logos. Material people had to pray to God through the Logos. When Jesus became associated with the Logos, they would pray to God through Jesus or in Jesus’ name. Praying to Jesus in his own name is particularly silly.

          You should buy a gallon of chocolate milk and pray to it. You get the same results but at least you are praying to something that exists.

        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • BlackMamba44
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Why would any atheist be interested in this prayer over a prayer to Zeus or Xenu?

          Would you pray to Zeus? If not, perhaps you’ve found the flaw in your challenge.

        • MNb

          I just said your prayer.
          Nothing. Zilch. Nada.
          Now what?

          Later addition:
          And because you posted this prayer underneath a second time I said it again.
          Still nothing, zilch, nada.
          Apparently Jesus is the one who is blind and deaf. That’s not surprising – dead people can’t see and hear and Jesus has been dead for almost 2000 years.

        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Caesar was a real Roman ruler…

          Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.

          https://www.britannica.com/biography/Augustus-Roman-emperor
          https://www.biography.com/people/caesar-augustus-39561

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info
        • BlackMamba44

          And you’re telling me this why?

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Mark 16:6
          And he said to them, Be not afraid: You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

          Nazareth is a real place…

          Pray this prayer blackMamaba44, unless you are too prideful.

          Lord Jesus,
          I was told by a witness of yours that I am blind, but you give sight. The witness said I was evil, even though I say I am good. The witness against my sin damns me, I am a slave to my sin, but Christ sets free. How can the def hear Lord Jesus, unless you open my ears. Because you were resurrected, I can only have faith that saves if you give it to me. I am without strength against death, I ask you for eternal life and to be sealed by your promised Holy Spirit. Adopt me from the devil’s family, into an eternal inheritance with you, now, before my vapor of a life expires from earth.
          In the name of Jesus of Nazareth,
          Amen.

        • BlackMamba44

          Fuck off with your bible shit.

          Matthew 10:14 (NIV)
          14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1a1d6d1916ed3a58863fcdb52d3f5cca75de5039fda305cf374c434e8321a0e.jpg

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f27bbb5267e770c203dfe0d0c81038090311240aaac8c4f4ca0c18d29da02760.jpg

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

        • BlackMamba44

          Fuck. Off.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Caesar was a real Roman ruler…

          Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.

          Source’s

          1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Augustus-Roman-emperor
          2. https://www.biography.com/people/caesar-augustus-39561

        • BlackMamba44
        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Luke 6:27
          But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

        • BlackMamba44

          Stop proselytizing to me, asshole. Your precious YahwehJesus told you to leave if no one wants to listen to you.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b1837f82143d43fdce858cdaf69a4a5419c526bcf1aa2b599157d9b3871a3f0.jpg

        • Greg G.

          When you keep posting the same shit, Disqus detects that you are spamming which puts your posts into moderation. Don’t expect a miracle to happen to save your post.

        • adam
        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          God is asking you…

          Job 38:4
          Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.

        • adam
        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Remember that “I’ll pray for you” is Christianese for “fuck off”.

        • BlackMamba44

          Yep.

        • epeeist

          Caesar was a real Roman ruler…

          Oh FFS, Caesar is a title not a name.

        • Greg G.

          Luke got the 20:25 from Mark 12:15-17, which is probably derived from Romans 13:1-7.

        • Michael Neville

          There’s no call to be rude. You should say: Fuck. Off. Please.

        • BlackMamba44

          Oh yes (sorry). I forgot my manners. :)

          Edited to add my sincere apology.

        • adam
        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          FICTION???

          Nazareth is a real place…
          Mark 16:6 And he said to them, Be not afraid: You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Nazareth,+Israel/@32.7130708,35.2575109,12z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x151c4e7cf16c0fff:0xd2385b30c1275dd6!8m2!3d32.699635!4d35.303546

        • adam
        • MNb

          London is a real place too and England has a Prime Minister.
          So the Harry Potter series is historical according to you.

        • adam
        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Was it inhabited at the time of Jesus? In the time of the gospels being written, yes, but I’ve heard it was abandoned earlier.

        • epeeist

          So are Mecca and Medina. Therefore it follows that the writings about Mohammed must be true.

          Oh and Lumbini and Kushinagar are also real places, thus it follows that the stories about the Buddha are also true.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Its not a basis for “truth” to say a place exist. But when history and archeology combined to match up with the stories written with 100% accuracy then you can know.

        • MNb

          Excellent! The same for a well tested theory of physics like General Relativity (check your GPS) and the observations of an expanding universe (Hubble, late 1920’s) and cosmic background radiation (Penzias and Wilson, 1964). That’s an excellent basis for “truth” to say that the Big Bang happened in exactly the same way.
          Not that an incurable sinner like you will ever admit it, of course.

        • adam
        • adam
        • MNb

          Yeah, we agree on that one with one exception.
          The christ you promote is also false.
          1. You already admitted that you tend to produce false testimonies.
          2. The christ you promote produced false prophecies.
          Your belief system is false.

        • adam
        • adam
        • MNb

          “I’m here to bring the witnesses to atheist.”
          Unfortunately the majority of them violate the Ninth Commandment, including you.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          I violated every commandment… except for actual murder.
          Christ died for sinners friend, you never heard? (Romans 5:8)

          We are saved by Grace, not works… Ephesians 2:8-9

        • MNb

          So we can safely assume that every comment of yours contains lies.
          That includes the blabla about salvation.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          As for your “religious” experience, to science…
          Colossians 2:8
          Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

        • epeeist

          Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

          But as Odin said:

          An ignorant man thinks that all he knows,
          When he sits by himself in a corner;
          But never what answer to make he knows,
          When others with questions come.

          A witless man, when he meets with men,
          Had best in silence abide;
          For no one shall find that nothing he knows,
          If his mouth is not open too much.
          (But a man knows not, if nothing he knows,
          When his mouth has been open too much.)

          Wise shall he seem who well can question,
          And also answer well;
          Nought is concealed that men may say
          Among the sons of men.

          Often he speaks who never is still
          With words that win no faith;
          The babbling tongue, if a bridle it find not,
          Oft for itself sings ill.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivers from death.

        • epeeist

          Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivers from death.

          If you want a competition to who can produce the most gibberish in a post then I am up for it.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          You already won that, you’re the champ of it… undisputed.

        • Greg G.

          Genesis 25:30 (NRSV)30 Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.)

        • adam
        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          Yawn, old testament.

          Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yawn, old testament.

          Because you reject what the OT says?

        • BlackMamba44

          That was my thought.

          No Fall of Man?
          No Original Sin?
          No Ten Commandments?

        • adam

          No Joshua to become Jesus.

        • Greg G.

          Woe to those who think they have enough knowledge. You use Bible verses to justify remaining gullible.

        • MNb

          As you already admitted that you have violated every commandment, including the 9th one, I see no reason to accept this one either.
          You are the one who produces vain deceit.
          This time the lie is that I am doing philosophy.
          I am not.
          I just apply what you wrote yourself. To you and your comments.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Twisting every prophecy like a pretzel gets you nowhere.

          Spend less time insulting and more time crafting a convincing argument.

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t think that was an insult. It made me hungry for pretzels. I thought it was an advertisement.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That guy is more clever than I thought!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Have you actually read Isaiah 7? I doubt it. Here’s your homework: summarize that chapter for us. The whole thing. Then focus on just the 3 verses about Emmanuel and summarize that for us.

      Once that’s done and we’re on the same page, let’s discuss.

      • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

        Mark 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

        Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

        Holy One, not Two…

        Jesus is the Holy One of God… Go look at the Greek now Bob, tell me if “of” is in the text or not…

        • Greg G.

          Mark 1:24 = 1 Kings 17:18

          Ho hum.

        • http://www.ScriptureSearch.info ScriptureSearch.info

          1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.

          2 John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

          Mark 1:24 = Isaiah 40:25

        • Greg G.

          “Holy One” is a Christianese translation of Mark 1:24. There is no word for “one” in the Greek. It could be translated as “holy-thingy”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hilarious! I give you a direct challenge, and then you change the subject.

          Respond to the points I raise, or baby Jesus cries.

          https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/sites/default/files/styles/carousel_medium/public/chicken-main_0.jpg?itok=pAFuYVvC

  • ColdFusion8

    There’s not one Old Testament verse that actually speaks of Jesus. It’s the NT writers and Christians hammering a square peg into a round hole and hoping no one will notice the mess they’ve made.