Was Mary Really a Virgin?

Listen to Laci Green and learn something:

***Update***: Laci admits messing up that bit about the Immaculate Conception. Sorry for not catching it myself!


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  • John Michael Strubhart

    That was very informative, but it should be noted that the “immaculate conception” refers to Mary being conceived though male-female intercourse, but without original sin.  Bullshit by any secular standard, but there it is.  

    I refer you to the Wikipedia article (
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception).  

  • Jim Howard

    Hmmm…Great synopsis!  However, I was under the impression that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception had nothing to do with Jesus but referred to Mary’s birth.  In order to give birth to the oh so perfect Jesus, Mary had to have been born without the taint of original sin.  Mary was conceived without the taint, thus her Immaculate Conception.  Of course it is all bullshit built up over a mistranslation when the Hebrew scriptures were first translated into Greek.

  • Jim Howard

    Educated minds think alike?

  • bobby

    the word that was translated from Hebrew to Greek did not mean a woman who had never had intercourse it was the word for a woman of marriageable age. The assumption that she was virgin was just chauvianism.

  • bobby

    or chauvanism even.

  • Anonymous

    Of course it is all bullshit built up over a mistranslation

    No. This is a rationalisation (kind of like those who try to use semantics to argue that the writer of Leviticus had nothing against men having sex with men, that it was really temple prostitution that was condemned). 

    In a patriarchal society, young women were called ‘maidens’ or the equivalent (including G. παρθένος L. virgo)–until marriage. Sometimes the same vocabulary was extended to young married women  (for example, if they were as yet without children). There was no distinct word for “young, unmarried woman who has never been sexually penetrated”. It was just assumed. So, no mistranslation, just an understanding of the most common usage, as the word from Isaiah was translated from one language to another.

  • Informative, but somewhat inaccurate.

    Isis was NOT a virgin. She conceived Horus after retrieving Osiris’ body parts (missing one, but she replaced that bit with one made of — I think it was clay?) and bringing him back to life for a quickie.

    Osiris, born of Geb and Nut, was also NOT BORN OF A VIRGIN. The mythology actually points out that Geb and Nut had to be physically separated, thus we have the Earth (Geb), with the Sky (Nut) arching overhead.

    /nitpick

  • Anonymous

    Gold Phallus (according to wiki) in the case of Horus, so yeah still a virgin birth.
    /nitpick

  • Why would she construct the phallus if they could just magick up a baby?

    So NOT a virgin birth.

  • Jason Goertzen

    Laci Green repeats what is becoming an internet favourite that “Isis was a virgin” which is nonsense: the text explicitly has her copulate with Osiris–albeit his reconstructed corpse–to conceive Horus.  That’s hardly a “virgin birth.” Hercules was Zeus’ son;  in Greek mythology that meant Zeus found some mortal and had sex with her–in this case Alcmene.  Adonis’ parentage isn’t as clear as “born to Myrrha,” (there were lots of stories with different parents) but even it if WERE Myrrha, it was said to be through an incestuous relationship with her father–emphatically not virginally.As far as I can tell, the Persian version of Mithra wasn’t *born* at all, let alone of a virgin.Baccus?  Another of Zeus’ bastards, as was Hermes.Prometheus was the son of Iapetus and his wife,  Clymene.  No virgin birth here, either.

    Perseus?  Well, we have a winner!  Here, Zeus couldn’t get at her to have sex with her, but wanted to impregnate her anyway (unstoppable beast that he was, much to Hera’s chagrin), so he did so by coming in the form of a golden shower – *ahem*.So all told, we have one story that does resemble the gospel virgin birth, but the rest don’t.  Laci Green seems to have gotten most of her information from the terrible internet sensation Zeitgeist.  There are dozens of fascinating ways in which the Jesus story can be exposed as the collection of myths and legends that it is–so it puzzles me why other atheists on the internet feel the need to make up reasons!  The Gospel of Mark, for instance, is full of literary allusions to the Odyssey, as well as re-writes of Old Testament stories; it depicts events Jesus’ followers weren’t privy to–all clear signs of a fiction.One last thing: the “Immaculate Conception” doesn’t refer to the virgin birth at all.  It refers to the later doctrine that Mary was conceived without sin, so Jesus wouldn’t have been born through sinful flesh… of course, if *Mary* could be immaculately conceived from sinful parents, then Jesus should have been able to, right?  It makes no sense.    Laci Green gets this wrong too. :Anyway, I thought I’d get in before a Christian piped up that atheists will believe anything if it makes Christianity look bad. 😛

  • Jason Goertzen

    Also, evidently this thing doesn’t accept spacing between paragraphs all the time. :  Sorry for the block of text.

  • Rorschach

    There is much confusion here. The “Immaculate Conception” refers to the birth of the Virgin Mary, not the birth of Jesus.

  • or chauvinism even 😉

  • Anonymous

    Because Doc Johnson hadn’t started it’s mail order business yet?  

  • Bazinga!

  • Gordon Duffy

    I dont see Jesus as a pivotal piece of the christmas story, let alone Mary.

  • John Michael Strubhart

    If I were God and felt the need to sacrifice Myself to Myself to compensate for a problem that I created in the first place by sending Myself to Earth in human form as the above mentioned sacrificial offering, I’d have had Myself born of a Killer Whale, raised by a mermaid and would have died from being forced to watch reality TV (far worse than crucifixion).  I’ll be THAT’S never been done in anyone’s mythology.  

  • Brian Macker

    If Jesus is Gods son then Mary really isn’t a virgin either. She was impregnated by a god also. These were examples of half breed god-human hybrids by virgins at the time of supernatural conception.

  • Brian Macker

    Since there is no such thing as original sin everyone has an immaculate conception.

  • As a young Catholic, the idea of the immaculate conception of Mary always bothered me.   If God could have Mary be born without original sin, why couldn’t he do that for everyone?  It would have been a lot less violent than his human sacrifice route.

  • Xeon2000

    Every time I give this topic a serious moment of consideration in my mind, and I contemplate something interesting to say… all that I can do is imagine that this is like debating what sort of food Peter Pan prefers. Or maybe argue about whether wolverine could beat spiderman. Or we could agree on an interesting Tolkien story element to debate. That might be more entertaining.

  • NorDog

    Isis?  Immaculate Conception?

    We should never let accuracy get in the way of a good polemic.

  • T-Rex

    I’m guessing Mary was your typical naive, teenage girl that gave it up to Joseph after a couple of glasses of meade or wine. Prefering not to be stoned to death due to her being pregnant out of wedlock, a close knit circle of family/friends, obviously with some influence, came up with the whole “virgin birth” story. Several Chinese telephone calls later and presto! A savior is born?!

    I’m betting Jesus was a bastard born of a lieing slut. But that’s just me. Now bow down and give praise for the bastard zombie savior that almost sacrificed himself to himself!

  • Jason Goertzen

    The difference is that in these other myths, the god takes human form and has sex with the woman–hence Hera’s outrage at Zeus for his infidelity.   In most cases the woman isn’t described as a virgin even before she has sex with Zeus>

    In some of the cases, the woman isn’t even human, but rather is another god–and the wife of the father (the godfather? hehe).  With the exception of Perseus, these aren’t good parallels, unless you abstract them out to the point of “Jesus wasn’t the first son of a god…”–but at that point it’s not impressive.  At a high enough level of abstraction, any two things can be made to look similar.

  • Ex-Ortho

    Not that it’s relevant, but just for general knowledge, there actually is such a word – ‘besulah’ or ‘betulah’ depending on which school of hebrew pronunciation you ascribe to.

  • LOL

     or Joseph wasn’t getting any and she didn’t want to say she was having an affair….mary: It’s not my fault! God did it!