I was disturbed to see Charisma News appealing recently to outright falsehoods in its efforts to encourage readers to keep accepting the virgin birth as though it were a historical fact that is supported by evidence. Here are the claims they make:
- A physician and world-class historian documented it
- Modern archaeology affirms it
- An agnostic professor of mythology is convinced
- Old Testament prophets predicted it centuries in advance
- The earliest Christians believed it universally
They pretend that Luke’s infancy account is not problematic on its own terms. They repeat the falsehood that there is evidence for a second stint by Quirinius as governor of Syria. They pretend that it was predicted in the Old Testament. And they lie in saying that the earliest Christians believed it universally.
None of that is true. The texts in Genesis and Isaiah which they refer to were not predictions of Jesus or a miraculous birth. Paul viewed Jesus as of the seed of David according to the flesh. And we know enough about the career of Quirinius that we cannot honestly even invent an undocumented second stint as governor of Syria in a time period that would fit the birth of Jesus and/or match up with Matthew. One can fact check all the claims made and find them false.
Contrast the approach of Charisma News with the recent blog post by Ian Paul, which acknowledges the genuine difficulties, while looking for ways that it might nonetheless be possible to conclude that Luke was not in error.
Why do some Christians think it is OK to outright lie in support of their beliefs? What good do they think doing that will accomplish?