The “Virgin birth” Myth

Preface:

 

We of the Assembly of Yahweh, Cascade, believe that only the Hebrew Bible contains the preserved record, history, and the foundational authoritative instructions from YHWH (Yahweh) the Almighty Sovereign Creator Power Life-Force Essence of the Hebrew Bible for ancient Israel. His message was delivered through His inspired prophets to these elect and chosen people. The Hebrew Bible has been preserved by Him through these people to provide ancient Israel and all True Israelites today with the knowledge of His attributes, wisdom, and truth, and desire for us as His Father, and as Sovereign, (Psalm 119:97-104; Deut. 6:4-9, 8:3). Those who choose to trust in Him; who will live in accordance with His will; who desire to demonstrate faithfulness to live righteously; who keep the 10 Commandments (the original Covenant with ancient Israel) will receive His mercy and become part of His heavenly household. Upon death they will gain life everlasting, (II Sam. 22:31+; Prov. 30:5, Isa. 56).

 

A sound historical study will prove that most of the content in the current Greek New Testament (NT) was compiled by the Constantine Roman Catholic Church in the middle of the 3rd Century CE. The Greek NT began from a collection of disjointed First Century letters gathered originally by a Greek tycoon by the name of Marcion who had hatred toward First Century Talmudic Phariseeism that had become an exclusive religion of the First Century Yahudi, who were controlled by traditions rather than the Hebrew Bible. Over time, the collection was acquired by the Roman Church and the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine recognized Marcion’s collection and saw it as a seed belief that could be beneficial to unify the various religious groups throughout his Empire. Over time Constantine’s appointed priests searched for and added others as well, then modified the entire disjointed collection of letters, into an acceptable Roman State Religion and Catholicism was born. Eventually Catholicism became known as Christianity.

 

The religion of Christianity was then forced by Constantine upon the then entire Roman Empire (under threat of death to those rejecting it). Many portions of the newly acceptable Greek writings have been altered and additions have been added by transcribers, in order to support strongly held pagan beliefs under the influence of Emperor Constantine and his cohorts. During that time and even up to today, the collection has been re-written many times through translation from Aramaic, into Greek, then into Latin and into English, and by deliberate miss-translation. Many First Century documents were also hidden or destroyed by the Roman Church and kept from the people if they did not support their acceptable canon.

 

The Catholic Church that developed under Constantine has in effect personified many historical but ancient pagan gods and their religious concepts and blended them into the one acceptable god-man personage of the prophet Yahshua (aka Jesus) of the Greek NT. In the First Century, the original Yahwism (Israelism) of the Hebrew Bible developed into corrupted Talmudic Phariseeism a religion where traditions of men and their sages superseded what the Hebrew Bible taught through its inspired prophets, now known as Judaism. The Hebrew Bible, however, remained rather constant except for copy errors and the later with the addition of vowel pointing where vowels do not exist in original Hebrew.  This does not mean that the Hebrew Bible is not without “content or historical” errors, because it has many.

 

Many Conservative Christians who study the Bible, do so with the belief that the Bible is inerrant (free of original errors); whose authors were all inspired by Yahweh. Although this is what they have been told to believe, it is completely false. To blindly believe this claim without solid evidence is very naive, and has led to many false conclusions within Christianity, since there is a lot of evidence to prove the “without error claim” is false. However, some Hebrew Bible Prophets and authors of the ancient Hebrew manuscripts do make the claim, that what they wrote was “inspired” by YHWH; however, none of the authors of the Greek Bible make any such claim. Because of the many content errors in the Greek NT and translation errors from Greek into English it should never be used to establish a foundation for doctrines of any one’s religious belief.

 

The virgin birth has become a central tenet of Christianity. For over two thousand years Christians have blindly accepted Yahshua’s[1] virgin birth without realizing that this comes from Roman and Greek mythology for the belief of the existence of “demigods.” (The discussion of the “demigods” will follow under that title in this document).

 

During the celebration of Christmas, familiar images are recalled in hymns about the birth of Yahshua. In the popular mind, the appearance of herald angels, shepherds abiding in the fields, the star of Bethlehem, the Virgin Mary giving birth in a stable, and the adoration of the Magi, have all been melded into the one Christmas story. In reality, there are in the gospels, two distinct and at times contradictory stories of Yahshua’s birth. A careful Bible reading will reveal that much about this celebrated birth is pure myth.


Dating December 25 as the birthday of Yahshua, is known to have gained popularity only by the mid-fourth century in order that Christians could have an alternative to a popular pagan festival at this time of year. December 25 was the
winter solstice according to the old Julian calendar, and it was on that day that Mithraism, a chief rival religion to Christianity, celebrated the birth of their god, Mithra. It is unlikely that we will ever know exactly the year and month when Yahshua was born (scholars estimate sometime between 12 and 4 BCE) nor do we know the real circumstances surrounding his nativity. We can, however with diligence, separate the historical facts from literary fictions.


The doctrine of the
virgin birth of Rabbi Joshua ben Joseph named Yahshua (incorrectly called Jesus) that is so central to the traditional Christmas story, was not even part of the teaching of the first Christians whom it should be remembered, also remained within the “Israelite faith” (Luke 24:52-53). The apostle called Paul/Saul makes no reference to the virgin conception by the mother of Yahshua when speaking of Yahshua’s origins or supposed divinity. Paul’s epistles were written during the 50's CE, and predate all of the four gospels. Although Paul never met Yahshua (who died about 30 CE) it is thought he did personally know James, the brother of Yahshua. Yet despite this eye-witness link to Yahshua, Paul apparently knows nothing of the virgin birth, for he states only that Yahshua was "born of a woman" (Galatians 4:4) and was "descended from David, according to the flesh" (Romans 1:3), therefore he was obviously  implying a normal conception.

 

Dating the Gospels

 

Because of the lack of original texts, it has been very difficult to date the canonical gospels as to when they were written or even when they first emerge in the historical record, as these two dates may differ. The gospels have been dated variously from shortly after the crucifixion, traditionally placed around 60 CE, to as late as a century and a half afterwards.

 

The Gospel “called”[2] Matthew[3] was originally written in Hebrew. This fact is testified by Papias (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 3.39.16), Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses 3.1.1), Origen (Eusebius,H. E., 6.25.4), Eusebius (H.E., 3.24.6), Epiphanius (Panarion 29.9.4), and Jerome (Epist., 20.5). As noted the guess of this Gospel is from 60 to 100 CE, but if the prophecy of Matt. 24 is to be believed, then it would have been written before 70 CE, (before the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem by Rome).

The gospel “called” Mark is considered the earliest written of the Gospels and was likely composed in the early 70's CE in Southern Syria. Mark however does not consider the birth of Yahshua worth mentioning (if he knew of it).  The silence of the earliest Yahudi-Christian authors about a miraculous birth of Yahshua would seem strange, given that they were trying to convince their readers that Yahshua was divine. This silence raises doubts about the authenticity of the later nativity stories from the gospels called Matthew and Luke with which Christians today are so familiar.

Luke is also considered to have been written before 70 CE, but the earliest version of the Gospel called Luke was from the Canon (composed Bible) of Marcion (circa 140 CE). Later critics would accuse Marcion of redacting Luke. It is more likely, however, that the Gospel of Luke was expanded and enhanced later with the addition of chapters 1, 2, 3 and 24 (which were not included in Marcion’s original Gospel of Luke).

 

The gospel “called” John, likely written in Northern Syria sometime in the first decade of the second century, is translated to assert that Yahshua existed from the beginning of creation, (correct translations, however dispels this conclusion).  John (some believe) presents Yahshua as the pre-existing eternal Word, and that Yahshua was begotten of the Father and made human at a particular point in time. (John 1:1-14, See end Note 1 for more info.). This gospel also claims that Yahshua was the son of Joseph (John 1:45) and chooses to ignore or reject the birth stories in the earlier writings of the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The first notice of John's gospel emerges around the time of Bishop Theophilus, who, while he does name a "John" as the author of verses seemingly from the first chapter of the gospel of John, does not identify the author as a direct apostle or disciple of Christ.

 

Other mentions of John's gospel occur around the same time by Clement Alexandrinus (d. c. 215) as well as commentary by Tatian (fl. 160-185), and then a grandiose and strident apology by Irenaeus, from whose pen it has been suspected the gospel originally emanated, as a defense against the "heretical" but powerful Gnostic sect of Docetism…. The argument for this assertion that Irenaeus himself authored John includes the fact that the Church father was provoked passionately to defend the gospel, which he does with a fervor that often accompanies a "pet project." Even if John were composed by another's hand, this abundance of defense suggests that the gospel had not been in existence for a long time, as has been claimed, but had only recently emerged in the literary and historical record, leading to the gospel immediately being attacked and dismissed…[4] The fact is, the true dates of the Gospels remains unknown.

Based on the dating difficulties and other problems, many scholars and researchers over the centuries have become convinced that the gospels were not written by the people to whom they are ascribed. As can be concluded from the remarks of fundamentalist Christian and biblical scholar Dr. Craig L. Bloomberg. So the gospels are in fact anonymous.

 

The Ebonite Gospel

 

The Israelite followers of Rabbi Joshua ben Joseph named Yahshua (Yahshua) were known as Nazarenes and Ebonites. According to Epiphanius, the Ebonites possessed the Gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew but it did not have any birth account or genealogy. (Panarion 30.13) According to Epiphanius, the Ebonies removed the first two chapters of Matthew. It is more likely that the first two chapters of Matthew are later additions to the text – especially considering the problems with the genealogy.

Only the gospels of Matthew and Luke refer to the biological miracle of a virgin woman being made pregnant by an act of Almighty, and giving birth to a baby boy. Matthew was likely written in the Galilee -- now called northern Palestine -- sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, and Luke in Asia Minor sometime during the late 90's, both about a century after this birth.

Just how reliable are the Matthew and Luke birth narratives?

For many Christians to question the description of Yahshua’s birth as related in the Bible is unthinkable. They believe that the Bible is the "word of the Almighty" and an infallible record of the Almighty's influence on his creation, and therefore is to be taken at face value. However, a careful study of the nativity narratives of Matthew and Luke indicate that the supposedly unerring "word of Almighty" is full of contradictions, errors and invented passages. The most plausible conclusion is that the familiar Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke are religious myths, awkwardly grafted onto an earlier non-miraculous tradition.


These stories appear to be assembled from early legends recorded many years later by unknown Yahudi-or minor religious apologists who were attempting to explain the origins of a man whom they considered as divine. In this sense, the authors employed the familiar Yahudi practice of the time known as "midrash" to illustrate and prove their points; that is to say, they liberally interpreted and expanded on texts and deceptively reused (non-applicable) prophesies found in the Hebrew Scriptures, to give a sort of credibility to their work. The virgin birth stories also served other purposes, to alter the contemporary inferences about the illegitimate birth of Yahshua (Matt. 1:18-19, Mark 6:3, John 8:41).


One of the first examples of things not appearing to be true can be found in the attempts by the authors of Matthew and Luke to trace the ancestry of Yahshua back to the Israel’s King David. It was from the royal house of David that the messiah was expected. However, upon close examination, the tables of descent provided in these gospels become transparently artificial, with many errors and contradictions. For example, the two gospels cannot agree on the lineage of Joseph, the father of Yahshua. Matthew has 28 generations between David and Yahshua, while Luke has 41 for the same period of about 1,000 years.

 

The gospel of Luke genealogy also says that Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel and that Shealtiel was the son of Neri. How can this be when 1 Chronicles 3:17 tells us that Shealtiel was the son of Jeconiah? The genealogy in Matthew does kind of get this relationship correct. Luke’s genealogy says that Joseph’s father was Heli, but Matthew’s genealogy also says that Joseph’s father was Jacob. Luke’s genealogy comes down through Nathan the son of David, but Matthew’s genealogy comes down through Solomon the son of David. Luke’s genealogy of Jesus is a clear attempt to tie him back to David and bypass the major problem which occurs in Matthew’s genealogy. However, Luke’s genealogy would disqualify Yahshua from being the Messiah because the messianic line must come down through Solomon.

 

In Matthew's gospel, Joseph's father (i.e. Yahshua’s grandfather) is said to be Jacob, while in Luke it is claimed that he is Heli. They cannot both be right, so one or both must be wrong.

 

Another Spurious Genealogy

 

There are problems with the genealogy in Matthew on several levels. First there is a conflict in the use of  “magic numbers” and the actual number of generations. Matthew lists three groups of fourteen generations. In the second group of fourteen, three generations are missing between Joram and Uzziah (Ozias). The second group is therefore seventeen generations and not fourteen. The third group says fourteen generations but only lists thirteen generations.

 

The problems do not stop there. This genealogy says that Yahshua is the descendent of Jeconiah. If this is the case then he is disqualified from being the Messiah because Jeconiah’s line was cursed (Jeremiah 22:30).

 

Unknown to Paul/Saul

 

Luke is purported to have been a disciple of Paul. It is hardly likely, therefore, that Luke would have believed in a virgin birth when his mentor Paul did not. Paul’s own belief, was that [Jesus was] “declared to be the son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, “by the resurrection from the dead.” Paul’s writings is thought to precede the writing of all the gospels. It is therefore odd that there is no mention of a virgin birth in any of Paul’s writings. It is even odder that the virgin birth does not come up as a controversy in the first 15 chapters of the Book of called Acts since this would have been a foreign concept to the Yahudi. It was clearly not a foreign concept to the Gentiles who had numerous pagan demi-gods, that they believed were born of virgins.

 

The source of the Virgin Birth Myth

 

From the time of Ishtar, the virgin mother, every idolatrous religion has had demi-gods who were born of virgins. The temple prostitutes of Babylon were called virgins even though they were clearly not. The virgin birth myth was prevalent in Mithraism, Zorastrianism, and other religions of the first century. Christianity had to adopt this same myth in order to attract its pagan followers during the time Constantine was Emperor of Rome.

 

The claims in the early chapters of Matthew and Luke that Yahshua was of royal lineage are further  weakened by the fact that elsewhere in all four gospels, there is no indication during the ministry of Yahshua that he and his father were of noble descent. Rather, he appears as a man of humble background from an obscure rural village in Galilee. Furthermore, according to Mark, Yahshua himself appears to reject the belief that messiah-ship was dependent on Davidic descent (Mark 12:35-37).

 
Matthew claims that the birth of Yahshua occurred during the reign of Herod the Great of Judea, a puppet king of the Romans, whom history records died in 4 BCE. Luke also tells us that Yahshua’s birth happened during Herod's reign. Luke even adds what appears to be detailed and historical evidence of the period. He writes that Yahshua was born during a census or registration of the populace ordered by emperor Augustus at the time that Quirinius (Cyrenius) was Roman governor of Syria (Luke 2:1-3). In reality, this has to be a fabrication because Quirinius was not governor of Syria and Judea during Herod's kingship. Direct Roman rule over the province of Judea, where Bethlehem was located, was not established until 6 CE. In other words, ten years separated the rule of Quirinius from Herod.


If the census did take place, it was in the year 6 CE, long after Herod's death. Therefore, Matthew's stories of the Wise Men's visit to Herod and the Christ child, and Herod's massacre of the innocents which caused the holy family to flee to Egypt, are all historically impossible. Moreover, it should be noted that Luke also got his facts wrong about the census of Augustus. Such an imperial census would only apply to Roman citizens of the empire, not to Joseph, a Galilean who was not under direct Roman rule.

As for the hometown of Yahshua’s parents, neither gospel can agree where it was. Matthew has them residing in Bethlehem in Judea, while Luke says they lived in Nazareth in Galilee. Incredibly, Luke has Joseph take his wife Mary (in the last stages of her pregnancy), on an arduous four day journey by foot or animal to Bethlehem because of the census. This assumes that the "census" (i.e. a registration which was to assist in levying a poll or a property tax) was conducted in a most peculiar way. According to Luke, illiterate peasants had to somehow trace their tribal and family heritage back to their ancestral birthplace, and then to report there for registration. The confusion and mass movement of population would be, in fact, contrary to the sensible Roman practice of registering men. Women had no political or property rights.

It was important, however, for the authors of both these gospels, that Yahshua be born in Bethlehem because it was the city of David from where, it was prophesied, Israel's ruler would come (Micah 5:2). Even so, John's gospel (contrary to Matthew and Luke) relates the common knowledge that Yahshua was not born in Bethlehem and that he was not a descendant of David (John 7:41-42).

The star of Bethlehem is also most likely a fabrication, consistent with legends of the ancient world that had heavenly events generally portend the births of great men. In first century Judea there was no concept of astronomy and natural law as we know it. In reality, as anyone who looks up in the nighttime sky can verify, no star high in the heavens can shine only on a particular town, let alone on a specific house as the Bible claims (Matt. 2:9-11). The Christmas star, rising in the east, moving west to Jerusalem, and then taking a jog south to Bethlehem and finally remaining stationary, would have defied the laws of celestial motion.

It is also hard to believe that the star was needed as a guide to direct the astrologers from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, a mere eight kilometers away. For his motif of the star and the visit of the wise men from the east, Matthew appears to have been inspired by Isaiah who wrote:

"nations shall march toward your light and their kings to your sunrise ... they shall come from Sheba; they shall bring gold and frankincense ...." (Isaiah 60:1-9).

This passage also refers to camels, giving rise in later years to further embellishment and the familiar Christmas scene of the magi arriving on camels. However, camels are nowhere mentioned in the Greek NT's birth stories.

Surprisingly, Luke knows nothing about the star, or the magi, or the birth taking place in a house. He has the baby being laid in a manger, but note that there is no reference to a stable and animals surrounding the Christ-child. This scene is a product of later Christian imagination based on a text from Isaiah:

"the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib (manger), but Israel, does not know, my people do not understand" (Isaiah 1:3).

Luke's reference to the baby being wrapped in swaddling clothes is copied from the birth of Israel's famous King Solomon, son of David (Wisdom 7:4-5). This sign of identification sends an important message to Luke's Yahudi-Christian readers that Yahshua was to be even greater than Israel's wisest king. Luke's gospel describes the visitors to the baby Yahshua as shepherds, not the wise men. They hear of the birth from an extraterrestrial, which the Bible calls an angel.

There are other differences in the nativity story which serve to lessen its credibility. For example -- in an attempt to parallel the importance of Yahshua’s birth with that of Moses -- Matthew describes the massacre of the children of Bethlehem by King Herod as he attempts to kill the infant messiah. This extraordinary event is not attested to by any secular source from the period, nor even referred to by Luke. Indeed, Luke has the family return peacefully to Nazareth after Yahshua’s birth in Bethlehem (Luke 2:22, 39). If the massacre did take place, it does not make sense that Herod's son later recalls nothing about Yahshua or his importance (Matt. 14:1-2). Moreover, if Herod and all the people of Jerusalem knew of the messiah's birth (Matt. 2:3), why is it that later in Yahshua’s ministry, the same author claims that people had not heard of his miraculous origin and still questioned his miracles and his teachings (Matt. 13:54-56)?

It is also impossible to reconcile Luke's account of the family of the newborn Yahshua soon returning to Nazareth in Galilee, with Matthew's assertion that the family of Yahshua immediately fled to Egypt for several years to escape Herod's wrath (Matt. 2:13-14). Luke has Joseph and Mary present Yahshua in the temple in Jerusalem when he was forty days old, and then return straightaway to Nazareth (Luke 2:22, 39). Also, Luke records that each year the family went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover (Luke 2:41). This does not tally with Matthew's claim that they were hiding out in Egypt. Matthew, with his predilection that Old Testament prophecies be fulfilled in the life of Yahshua, appears to have invented the massacre of the innocents to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah (31:15), and the consequential flight to Egypt to fulfill Hosea's prediction that:

"... out of Egypt I have called my son" (Hosea 11:1).

In ancient times it was often claimed that important people had miraculous births. Plato was said to have been born by the union of the god Apollo with his mother. Likewise, Alexander the Great was said to have been conceived when a thunderbolt fell from heaven and made his mother Olympias pregnant before her marriage to Philip of Macedon. In the book of Genesis we read that sons of mighty ones had intercourse with the daughters of Adamites and produced great powerful ones (Gen. 6:4). Even the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls tell of the miraculous birth of Noah and how his father Lamech was suspicious that his wife had been made pregnant by an angel. Also the writings of Philo of Alexandria, who were born about 20 BCE, contain evidence that some Yahudi of the period were speculating about miraculous births of religious heroes. Philo relates how Hebrew notables such as Isaac and Samuel were conceived by barren women by the intervention of the divine Spirit.[5] [6] [7]  

It is likely that as the Christian movement spread beyond Judea and the Galilee into a Hellenistic (Greek) environment, and thence to the Gentile world, the birth story of Yahshua was influenced by this ancient tradition of magnifying the births of great men. Such accounts were readily accepted in an age of superstition and belief in miracles. Indeed, Justin Martyr, one of the early Roman Catholic Church fathers (c. 100-168 CE), countered charges that Christianity copied earlier pagan virgin birth myths by instead claiming that these births were the work of the devil who anticipated this future Christian mystery by copying it in the past. He wrote:

"... when I hear that Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I understand that the deceiving “serpent” counterfeited this also." [8]

In addition, the author of Matthew uses a mistranslation of an Old Testament prophecy to reinforce his belief in the virgin birth. He quotes from Isaiah:

"... therefore the Almighty himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14) KJV.

The original Hebrew text of Isaiah uses the word "almah" which refers to a young woman of marriageable age, not the word "bethulah" which means virgin. However, the author of Matthew used the Septuagint -- the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible -- and not the original Hebrew version as his source material. Matthew inaccurately used the Greek word "parthenos" for "almah", thereby implying virginity. The actual text of Isaiah, however, makes no reference to a virgin becoming pregnant other than by normal means. Some modern translations of the Bible, which are based on the original Hebrew text, replace the word "virgin" with the more accurate translation, "young woman".

The Demigods

Demigod - Mythology. A male being, often the offspring of a god and a mortal, who has some but not all of the powers of a god. An inferior deity; a minor god; or a deified man.

 

In mythology – 900 or more years before anyone ever heard one word about Yahshua –it was thought pagan gods would come down to earth to mate with “virgin women” producing a half man–half god. Does this sound familiar? It should, Christianity imitated it! Let us look at some verses from Christian Bibles:

 

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Almighty by the prophet, saying, 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. (Matthew 1:22-23; Kings James Version (KJV))

Therefore the Almighty himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)

This happened as the Almighty said it would happen through the early preacher. He said, The young woman, who has never had a man, will give birth to a Son. They will give Him the name Immanuel. This means God with us.’ (Matthew 1:22-23; New Life Version)

All of this had been told long before by the Almighty through his prophet. It came true. The prophet said, ‘A young woman who has not slept with a man is going to have a baby son. His name will be *Emmanuel. That means “with us is Power.” (Matthew 1:22-23; Worldwide English New Testament)

However, recent Christian bibles such as the Revised Standard Version[9]  and the New English Bible[10]  do not give any credence to the virgin birth story. Unfortunately, to give the appearance that Yahshua fulfilled a biblical prophecy; other Christian bibles deliberately mistranslate the Hebrew word “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 as virgin.

Regarding the virgin birth, the Christian Abingdon Bible Commentary (page 643) does explain that it:

“must be said the Hebrew word almah may mean “virgin,” but does not necessarily mean anything more than a young woman of marriageable working age. Had the prophet intended specially and precisely to say “virgin,” he must have used the world bethulah, though even then there would be a faint shade of uncertainty.”

Hebrew is referred to as Leshon HaKodesh, meaning THE HOLY TONGUE, since it was the language that the Almighty chose for mankind to record the Torah.

So, let us see what Almighty told Isaiah in Hebrew: 

  Isaiah 7:14לכן יתן אדני הוא לכם אות הנה העלמה הרה וילדת בן וקראת שׁמו עמנו אל

In English this translates from literal Hebrew (from left to right) as:

“So the lord himself gives a sign – see, the pregnant young woman bears a son and will call his name Al.” (Al = means “Power” in Hebrew).

But this is translated in many Bibles as: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Note: This was an answer from Yahweh to King Ahaz who was afraid to ask Yahweh for a sign himself, (Isa. 7:11-12), therefore Yahweh gave it to him through Isaiah. Isa. 7:12. Notice also, that this entire passage is presented in “their present tense” it is not for some 700 years in the future of King Ahaz, or it could not have be a sign for him, (for whom it was intended).

Shmuel Golding, of the Jerusalem Biblical Polemics, wrote: “There are five points worth noting as we compare the original Hebrew with the English translation of the KJV, conforms the following:

1.  In Hebrew, the verse reads in the present tense, “the pregnant  young woman” and not as according to the KJV, which says, “will conceive and bear a son,” In Hebrew, it states that she is pregnant, not will be pregnant. In fact, in the Catholic Bible, Isaiah 7.14 reads as: “The maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son.” Yahshua was not born until 700 years after this sign was given, which could not be described as “soon.” The text reads “is pregnant;” no woman could be kept pregnant for 700 years until Yahshua arrive, so the statement cannot in any way pertain to Yahshua of the Greek NT.

2.  This is not a prophecy for some future date, like other places in the Hebrew Bible it means something which will come to pass immediately: “This shall be a sign unto thee from the Almighty” (Isaiah. 38.7-8) and “If they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign.” (Ex. 4.8-9) In each case, the sign came to pass immediately, not 700 years later.

3.  The name of the child was to be Al (meaning Power). Nowhere in the Greek NT do we find that Yahshua is called Emmanuel. The angel informs Joseph in a dream that Mary will give birth to a son and that she would call his name “Yahshua” (Matthew 1.20-21). “His name was called “Yahshua” (Luke 2.21). All the evidence indicates that Emmanuel was a different individual from Yahshua.

4.  The text in Isaiah. 7.14 specifically says “the young woman” (a young working woman) “alma;” whereas the King James Version changes the translation to “a virgin.” The definite article is changed to the indefinite article; whereas the original text is evidently referring to the young woman known to both Isaiah and Ahaz and not to some unknown person in the future.

We do not want to over-emphasize “alma” as not meaning a virgin but to point out that alma only applies to a woman for a fixed period of time, regardless of whether or not she is a virgin, for when she is no longer young, she loses the right to be called “alma.”

An “alma” can be a young woman who is a virgin or a young woman who is no longer a virgin. The way “alma” is used in Isaiah 7.14 simply says that she is a young woman, who, by the very fact that she is pregnant, cannot be a virgin.

If the prophet believed that the young woman in Isaiah 7.14 was also a virgin who conceived a child without the aid of a man and without losing her virginity – and if this incredible event was to be a sign – then surely he would have been more implicit and would have used the word “betulah,” which is the Hebrew word for virgin, so that no one would have misunderstood his words. All the prophet Isaiah says is that “a young woman is having a child.”

A fundamentalist may claim that “betulah” does not mean a virgin, but a married woman. This is because of a faulty understanding of two verses in the Hebrew Bible upon which they base their claims.

“Lament like a betulah girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.” (Joel 1.8).

“And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.” (Genesis 24:16)

In Genesis 24.16, the word “betulah” is used to describe Rebecca, but it is qualified with the statement following “neither had any man known her.” So the fundamentalists attempt to use this verse, saying that if the common understanding of “betulah” was virgin, the passage would not have needed the explanation “neither had any man known her.”

Both of these passages can be easily understood. The passage in Joel is simply saying that the virgin is weeping for a husband, not that she has a husband. She is weeping because she does not have one; in other words, she is weeping for a husband whom she will never have. It could refer to a young woman who is bereaved of the man to whom she had been betrothed and has not yet consummated the marriage before his death. Such would be a tragedy for lamentation as seen in Judges 11.37.

In the other passage, the latter part of Genesis 24:16, is there simply to amplify the fact that Rebecca was indeed a virgin. This kind of amplification can be seen by comparing it with II Sam. 14.5, which reads, “I am indeed a widow woman and mine husband is dead.” Here, we see that the latter part of these verses is there to amplify the first part.

Looking through a concordance under the heading “betulah,” shows at least 50 entries and, without exception, they refer to a virgin. More importantly they are translated in all Christian bibles as meaning “virgin.” For example, see Leviticus 21.3; Deuteronomy. 22.19; II Samuel 13.2; and Isaiah. 62.5, all of which employ the Hebrew word “betulah” and translated  “virgin” in the KJV.

Then why is betulah not used to describe the woman mentioned in Isa. 7.14, if we are to believe her to be a virgin?

Fundamentalist Christians try to prove their point that “alma” means a virgin by pointing to the Septuagint. In this case, turn to the Greek and see how little they know of it, despite the fact that their New Testament is a Greek book. As in all cases, they quote only what their unlearned colleagues tell them, for if the Greek word “parthenos” only means a virgin, then there are problems in explaining Gen. 34.3, where the Greek Septuagint calls Dinah a ‘parthenos.’ Anyone reading the story knows well the physical state of Dinah; she was definitely not a virgin, for she had been defiled, yet the Greek word parthenos is used.

Again, the prophet Isaiah (in Isaiah 7:14) is simply relating to the fact that the young woman is having a child and that this child will be a sign to King Ahaz. Finally, it should be understood that the sign was given to King Ahaz and not to the people of Yahshua’s day. It concerned the military situation of that time. The meaning is clear if the passage is read in context within its own historical setting (see 2 Kings 16.1-10) for the literal fulfillment of this prophecy.

Moreover, Isaiah's prophecy, when read in context, clearly refers only to the time surrounding a political and military crisis which faced ancient Judah, and not 700 years later during the time of Yahshua. Nor does the appellation "Al" (Power) imply that the child so named is divine, but rather in the context of the Old Testament passage, it acknowledges Almighty's presence in delivering Judah from its enemies (Is. 7:14-17). Nor was Yahshua ever called Immanuel. It is evident therefore, that Matthew takes liberties with the Isaiah text to justify (who ever wrote Matthew) the belief in Mary's virginal conception.

At first glance, it would seem that the virgin birth story of Yahshua makes the descriptions of his ancestral lineage to David in both Matthew and Luke, superfluous. This has led some to argue that the virgin birth narratives were later additions and not part of the original texts. Note especially in Luke, if the verses containing the birth story are omitted, how the prologue in chapter 1, verses 1-4, flows more consistently into the beginning of chapter 3). Even so, since descent was not traced through the female line in the Israelite law and custom of that time, readers would know that Joseph, as a descendant of David, secured Davidic succession for Yahshua by formally acknowledging him as his son, even though these gospels claim that he was not his biological father.

The two gospels reveal further discrepancies concerning the annunciation of Mary's virginal conception. Matthew describes the annunciation of Mary's pregnancy only to Joseph, by means of an angel in a dream, and only after she has conceived (Matt. 1:18-21); whereas in Luke, the angel Gabriel explains it all to Mary, but not Joseph, before she has conceived Yahshua (Luke 1:26-34). Yet later on, both Mary and Joseph are strangely astonished by the shepherds' tale about the heavenly host (Luke 2:18), and inexplicably puzzled by Simeon's affirmation that Yahshua is the Messiah (Luke 2:33).

According to the same Lucan narrative, John the Baptist was a relative of Yahshua and even knew of Yahshua’s divine nature when John was in his mother's womb (Luke 1:41,44). Yet in a later chapter of Luke, the adult John did not know who Yahshua was (Luke 7:19-23).

It is also interesting to note that Luke uses Old Testament motifs about the births of Isaac and Samson as models for the angelic annunciations to Elizabeth and Mary (Genesis 17:15-21; Judges 13:2-24). The description of Mary's divine vocation is in a format similar to Gideon's mission which is also announced by an angel (Judges 6:11-16). Likewise, the beautiful "Magnificat" or song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) in which Luke has Mary acknowledge her special role in history, is hardly original, but based on the prayer of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), who also gave birth through divine intervention. It is improbable that the illiterate peasant girl called Mary could have been so poetic. These accounts suggest more of a reliance on Old Testament parallels than eyewitness memories.

There are other indications that the virgin birth story was a later addition, given that it does not mesh well with the original accounts of the life of Yahshua. For example, in other gospel passages Mary shows little or no understanding of Yahshua’s special role. According to Luke, the message of the angel Gabriel made it clear to Mary that Yahshua was ordained to be the messiah, the king and savior of Israel. This message was also reinforced by the prophecies of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:34, 38). Surely, such predictions and the miracle of her virginal conception would have indicated to Mary that Yahshua was someone special, if not divine. Yet Mary does not understand Yahshua’s reference to the temple as his father's house (Luke 2:48-50).

Also, Yahshua does not venerate nor accord special status to his mother despite her supposedly divine role. When Mary is blessed by an admirer, he replies:

"... no, blessed are they who hear the word of Almighty and keep it" (Luke 11:28).

At other times Yahshua shows impatience with her, as at the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-4), and even disdain when he replies "who is my mother?" when told that she wanted to speak with him (Matt. 12:46-50). Neither Mary's understanding of Yahshua, nor his attitude towards her makes sense when juxtaposed against the assertion of the miraculous virgin birth.

It is also hard to believe that despite the supposedly extraordinary events surrounding Yahshua’s birth -- from annunciations by herald angels and the heavenly host, to shepherds and magi seeking out the messiah, to Herod's wrath -- that from the beginning, Yahshua was not recognized by the rest of his family as Almighty's anointed one (Mk. 6:4). Instead, there are times when they think him out of his mind (Mk. 3:21). Nor did any of his brothers become disciples during his lifetime (John 7:5).

Moreover, if both Joseph and Mary knew that Yahshua had no human father, why would they have not told him so? And if they did, why did Yahshua not claim from the beginning that his miraculous birth was proof that he was divine? Why, if this man was hailed by so many at his birth as the savior of Israel, did the people of his hometown place no credence in him (Matt. 13:53-58); and why was his true nature such a startling discovery by his disciples so late in his career (Matt. 16:15-17)?

The answer is that these seemingly illogical situations during his adult life in relation to the nativity stories are not illogical, if it is realized that the birth narratives were a later development in an evolving Christology. The Christmas story is an attempt through allegory, to explain Yahshua’s divinity from the moment of his conception, not just from:

It is as difficult to harmonize the Bible’s accounts of the birth of Yahshua with the record of his adult ministry, as it is to explain the inconsistencies in these birth accounts themselves. Instead of taking the nativity stories in Matthew and Luke literally, and thereby doing a disservice to historicity and rational thought, we should perhaps recognize them simply as religious myths. They are false legends attempting to embody faith in the supernatural and thereby add to the efficacy of prophecy. They are attempts by these unknown gospel authors to put into words their conception of a perceived event. And they did so in a manner consistent with what credulous naive people in ancient times expected.

The Christian English bible is only a version of the real SOURCE Bible, as the King James clearly says – “Version.” The KJV, for example, was taken from the Greek Septuagint that was altered in the Fourth Century by the Roman Catholic Church Fathers who wanted to put a Yahshua “spin” on everything they saw.

However, there are two kinds of bibles; the Source (Hebrew) Bible and all others. One thing is for sure; one must come before the next. If you really want to understand what is written in the real BIBLE, one should one go to the real SOURCE ― the Tan’akh, written in Hebrew ― instead of reading one of the altered “versions” using corrupt English translations.

 “Not knowing Hebrew does not make you stupid. The stupid people are the ones who do not know Hebrew, but think they know the Hebrew Bible better than the people who do know Hebrew.” [11]

End Notes:

1.  John 1: 1- has been seriously and deliberately miss-translated to make it appear that Yahshua was the “word” of God (Yahweh) that existed with the Almighty at the beginning of time (whenever that was). However, a correct reading of the Greek (if even the Greek is believable) is proof this is false.

A literal correct reading of John 1:1-5:

1. In [a] beginning existed the [reasoned expression] and the [reasoned expression] belonged to the Mighty One, and [the] Mighty One was the [reasoned expression] 2. This was in [a] beginning, belonging to the Mighty One. 3. All things through it (the reasoned expression) came into being and apart from it (the reasoned expression) came into being not even one [thing] that has come into being. 4. In it (the reasoned expression) life was, and the life was the light (enlightenment) of men; 5. and the light in the darkness shines, and the darkness does not overcome it.

In the above passages, the words in square brackets [like this] are words added for proper English but are not found in the original Greek text. The words "Mighty One" have been substituted for the Greek word "Theos" which has the English meaning of "Mighty One." The word “God” is of pagan origin, so we avoid the use of this word and instead use the correct Biblical meaning of "Mighty One." The words in brackets [like this] correctly define Greek words that are difficult or awkward to translate into English using only one English word. For example, the Greek word “logos” is usually translated into English as “word,” but in Greek it really means the oral expression of reason.” The English word “logic” which means “the science and art of correct reasoning” is a good translation for the Greek word “logos” as was used in John1: 1, but it could cause confusion from the use of many English words needed to correctly define the Greek word “logos,” therefore we have used “reasoned expression” to define “logos.” Anything that is reasoned, or expressed always must have neutral gender (logos must always be an “it”).

Note: Yahshua (Jesus) according to the Gospel called John was the “true light,” (a metaphor for enlightenment, knowledge, revelation) that came into the creation (by way of his birth). John the Baptist "came for a witness” that he might testify concerning the light.  John did not come to testify concerning the reasoned expression, because Yahshua was never the “reasoned expression” (or “word”). The reasoned expression always belonged to the Mighty One, YHWH (Yahweh).

All things through it (the reasoned expression of the Mighty One) came into being, and apart from it (the reasoned expression of the Mighty One) came into being not even one thing, which had come into being."  See also Historic John 1.  In many English translations, the Greek “it” is replaced by “he”; this is false.

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Note: Contributions to this article were made by R.C. Symes and Hugh Fogelman. Revisions, proper names, notes, updates, and additions were added by Assembly of Yahweh, Cascade.

 

Assembly of Yahweh, Cascade

https://AOYcascade.com.

 

 



[1] Yahshua is a common but manufactured name, substituted for the Hebrew name “Yahshua” meaning Yahweh is Savior.

[2] We say “called” because no one really knows who wrote the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Although recognized by these names, the Christian Gospels were all written by unknown authors.

[3] The author of the Gospel called Mathew is not known. The name Mathew was assigned to it by an unknown person. The author of the Gospel called Mark and the one called John are also unknown.

[4] When Were the Gospels Written? by D.M. Murdock/Acharya

 

[5] Danielle Sainte-Marie, "She Muses" Page 169. Online at: https://books.google.ca/ this book appears to be out of print.

[6] Art Koroma, "Holy Axion: Truth Exposed ... The Bible is a Myth," Page 130. AuthorHouseUK, (2014) Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store this appears to duplicate text in Reference 3. Online at: https://books.google.ca/

[7] "The Dead Sea Scrolls Book of Lamach gives an astonishing description on Noah as a Half breed alien, read more?," Yahoo! Answers, 2009, at: https://answers.yahoo.com/

[8] John M. Robertson, "Pagan Christs," Appendix C, "Replies to Criticism" (1911). Online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/

[9] The RSV was completed in 1952 as, in part, a revision of the King James Bible.

[10] The NEB was completed in 1971, after 25 years in the making. It was not a revision, but supposedly a new “phrase-for-phrase” translation.

[11] Hugh Fogelman    http://www.jdstone.org