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Featured So Why A Virgin?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Skwim, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    The article is about miraculous births, not necessarily virgin births. From what I can see, there is only a single 'important god' around the 'Mediterranean world' for which a virgin birth is claimed. That is Zoroaster. However, that is a later addition to the story of Zoroaster. I cannot find a reference to when the Zoroaster virgin birth idea appeared relative to Matthew’s time, and most sources on Zoroaster do not even mention the virgin birth aspect. Also it is a bolt of lightning that makes his mother pregnant, not any identifiable god.

    In Greek mythology, there are numerous stories about Zeus and mortal women. The offspring are often great heroes but not gods. Hercules was elevated to divine status at death and brought to Olympus but that was not usual. Most of Zeus’ conquests were married women. For those that were unmarried, the stories do not mention virginity as an important factor, or at all.

    There is also the issue that Matthew is clearly addressing readers from a Jewish background. It is not likely that they would be knowledgeable about the mythologies of other peoples, making the alleged reference pointless. If they were, they would surely not be happy about Matthew trying to sell them a pagan story.

    As I said earlier, the virgin birth narrative is a justification of Jesus being the one and only literal Son of God, not any other lesser use of the term.
     
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  2. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...

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    00000
    If you wanted to (though clearly you do not) you could easily find the many parallels. They include Krishna (called "God" and "Son of God" and "Saviour"), Romulus (born of a Vestal Virgin), Dionysus (born of a virgin on -- gasp! -- December 25 and placed in a manger), Attis of Phrygia, also born on Dec 25, saviour of mankind, body eaten as bread by followers, crucified on a tree, resurrected after 3 days, Horus, born of the virgin Isis around the winter solstice (you know when that is, don't you?)....

    The list goes on. You're just not interested in knowing.
     
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  3. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    Virgin birth doesn't translate into sexual intercourse as being tainted... but a good question.

    1) It had to be God who saved mankind therefore a body had to be created. Legally, and with authority, it was the gate where He could come into the earth to redeem mankind.
    2) It had to be another Adam (one created by God) to face the Serpent without sin.
    3) If it had been just another birth, then anyone could redeem himself.

    Those are some reasons other that fulfilling what He said He would do.
     
  4. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Krishna

    Matthew would not have known about Krishna, who BTW was not born of a virgin. He was the eighth child of Devaki, all fathered by her husband. Devaki

    ”In light of his traditional summer, rainy-season birth, the contention made by several writers over the past couple of centuries that Krishna was born on "December 25th" or the winter solstice appears to be a mistake.”
    Was Krishna Born on December 25th?

    When Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar with the help of an astronomer, it was discovered that the winter solstice was no longer on January 1 but was now on December 25.
    Roman Calendar

    The winter solstice is the beginning of the solar years, after which the days get longer. All religious festivals and the like that were related to the winter solstice would be reported as being on December 25. No surprise that it shows up, or is claimed to show up, in religious contexts.

    At this point, we should take into account that December 25 did not get associated with the birth of Jesus until the 4th century, after other proposals were made. Not only is this irrelevant to the subject at hand which is the virgin birth, it is something Matthew would have been ignorant of.
    Why Christmas Celebrated on the 25th December?

    Romulus

    Romulus and Remus, who were not gods or even a demi-gods, were supposedly the sons of Mars. But in the time of Matthew, Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita Libri was the primary source of the history of Rome. In it, Livy speculated that it there was no divine involvement, that this claim was made to cover up an ordinary mortal affair. This is the last thing Matthew would want to bring up.
    Ab Urbe Condita Libri (Livy) - Wikipedia

    Dionysus

    Oddly enough, Dionysus was really born of his father Zeus. His mother had been killed by a trick of the jealous Hera. Zeus rescued the fetus and sewed him into his thigh until he was ready to be born. His mother Semele is not married and presumably a virgin. Nevertheless, her virgin status has no importance in the story.
    Semele - Wikipedia

    Dionysus was not crucified but torn apart by Titans. Being the god of wine, he was associated with the growth of the grape in spring, this being considered his rebirth. His death was associated with the harvesting of the grape in the fall. The ‘resurrection’ was not after three days but after several months. This was an annual cycle. The resurrection of Jesus is somewhat unique in that it is a one-time event, unusual for typical dying-reborn gods.
    Dionysus

    I am unable to find in any credible academic source giving December 25 as the birth date of Dionysus or any of the multitude of exotic claims about Dionysus. Can you provide any? In respect to that, may I suggest that any source that says that a birthday of December 25 linking some god to Jesus is automatically disqualified as credible on the basis of being ignorant of that subject.

    Attis

    Attis was a vegetation god. The festivities concerning his birth were in the spring, not the winter. The supposed resurrection of Attis as part of the spring rites in any manner resembling the resurrection story in the Gospels did not appear unit after 300 AD.
    http://www.equip.org/article/the-cult-of-cybele/

    Apparently, the consumption of bread and wine was forbidden during the Attis festival, because they were the products of agriculture and would be identifiable with the god. Mystery Religions—Tammuz and Adonis, Attis and Cybele

    As with the winter solstice subject above, Attis is unrelated to the topic of the discussion, virgin birth.

    Isis

    The claim that Isis was a virgin is simply not the case. Isis was married to Osiris and had other children by him. To conceive Horus after Osiris was dead, she needed his reconstructed body and a magic phallus to take the place of his missing one.
    Osiris - Wikipedia

    The earliest reference I was ever able to find that referred to Isis as a virgin was from Madame Blavatsky.


    It is because I am interested in learning that I do real research. I recommend that approach to everyone.
     
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  5. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    But it can't be as simple as that ─ the baby's got himself a Y-chromosome from somewhere.

    Consider the possibilities:

    Mark refers to Jesus only as the 'son of Mary'. But in Mark Jesus doesn't become the son of Yahweh until Yahweh adopts him (on the model of Psalm 2:7) as his son when JtB baptizes him. No virgins involved, a natural paternity implied, but no mention of the father.

    Matthew says that Mary 'was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit' and that an angel appeared to Mary's husband Joseph in a dream and talked him out of a divorce. (This results in the following problem for Trinitarians: on the face of it if the Holy Ghost was the father, you'd say that means Jesus wasn't his own father, nor was Yahweh. But to ascribe paternity to the Holy Ghost is to ascribe paternity to God, and like the HG, both Yahweh and Jesus are God, so Jesus was indeed one of his own fathers.)

    Matthew also quotes Isaiah 7:14 but there translates Hebrew 'almah (primary meaning 'young woman of marriageable age'; Strong gives 'lass', 'damsel', 'maid', 'virgin') as ἡ παρθένος, which directly means 'virgin'. So Matthew says Mary was a virgin.

    Luke says she's a virgin betrothed to Joseph and Gabriel appears and tells her (not asks her) she's going to bear Jesus, fathered by the Holy Ghost again and called the son of God.

    (John doesn't mention Mary or associate Jesus with virgin birth.)

    Which brings us to the Talmud, which refers to Jesus as Jesus ben Pantera, meaning 'Jesus son of Panther', Pantera being a Roman legionary with whom Mary had an affair.

    So it's clear Jesus' father wasn't Joseph. That leaves Yahweh, or Pantera, or Unknown.

    (I suppose it's possible that Mary was an extremely rare type of hermaphrodite and provided all Jesus' genome, including the Y-chromosome, but that doesn't seem the right tone for the story.)
     
    #25 blü 2, Dec 31, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  6. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    The Talmud wasn't written down until centuries after Jesus' life so I don't see how that can be taken as an authority. Of course they would have a motive to to attempt to refute Christian claims about Jesus' birth.
     
    #26 Saint Frankenstein, Dec 31, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
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  7. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    That may be true.

    Of course, we're all assuming there was an historical Jesus at all.
     
  8. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    Because It's more logical to decude that there was a real basis for the Jesus myth rather than it being fabricated out of whole cloth.
     
  9. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    That would fit in the rest of the narrative of the Bible in how it regards sex and sexuality.
    I suppose that would depend on if someone defines sexual intercourse as something that requires penile-vaginal penetration or not.
     
  10. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    That means we're assuming the hero of the story is real, even if the details of the story aren't. And we're looking for the best fit for an historical explanation.

    I think Mark's version is the best fit: son of a mother with no father mentioned, and adopted by God to become God's son in accordance with Jewish cultural practice. You could color that with a surmise that Jesus' approach to God was a yearning for the father he never had.

    Whether the absent father was Pantera is, as you say, another question.

    Digging on the net, >I find< that the grave of a Roman legionary named Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera (c. 22BCE-40CE) was found in Germany and associated with Jesus because Origen, writing in 248CE, attacked the pagan writer Celsus for reporting that Jesus was the son of Mary and a legionary named Pantera. The Talmud writings, as you say, were later, so this would appear to be their basis. That doesn't show the real Pantera was Jesus' father, but it shows it was not impossible he was.
     
  11. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Firstly I'm shocked by people's answers, that many don't actually look up the context in the text it came from, rather there are many ideas of plagiarism, etc.

    It isn't plagiarism, it is that avatars like myself visit this realm, and in the Biblical text there was prior warning before it happened, with the outcomes of what will take place; yet people don't understand the texts properly.
    Isaiah 8:18 says that these children Isaiah prophesied (Maher Shalal Hash Baz - those quick to the spoils, and whom hasten to the prey, Shear Yashub - a remnant will return, Immanuel - God is with us), shall be signs to the children of Israel that everything else in Isaiah will happen.

    Within Isaiah 7:14 the idea the child shall be called Immanuel meaning 'God is with us', implies that it is Yah-Havah (Lord To Be) being physically born, if we've taken everything else into account in Isaiah; as Isaiah 12:2 says YHVH shall become Yeshua, and Isaiah 52:10, Psalms 98:3 says we shall physically see the salvation of our God (Yeshuat Eloheinu), in the form of Yeshua Elohim.

    In my opinion.
    :innocent:
     
    #31 wizanda, Jan 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  12. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    But she never took any wedding vows with God. Damn adultery!!!!
     
  13. RedDragon94

    RedDragon94 Agnostic Bible Reader

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    So now you're arguing that Mary was favored because she was loose?
     
  14. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Paul wrote letters to communities of Christians throughout the Empire who evidently already knew some things about Jesus such as he was crucified and was called Son of God. One gets the strong impression that there was some Jesus-oriented belief system in place before Paul, including practices like baptism and moral system that was apparently Jewish law. If we take the traditional dates for the crucifixion around 30 AD and Paul’s letters being written in the 50s, the concept of a real Jesus having started some kind of religious movement, getting killed for his troubles, and the movement spreading after his death seems entirely reasonable. The more striking aspects of the Gospels such as miracles need not have been actual, but later enhancements. Paul knows nothing of a living Jesus performing miracles. Moreover, those aspects of the Jesus story that are used to support a mythological basis typically depend on narratives written well after Paul and that go beyond anything Paul had to say.

    A real Jesus seems to be the most likely explanation, although not the supernatural agent described in the NT.
     
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  15. RedDragon94

    RedDragon94 Agnostic Bible Reader

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    God is incorporeal as the Father and Holy Spirit, so wedding vows do not apply. On top of that it was not a sexual union.
     
  16. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Boy, IMO to become pregnant while a virgin would certainly imply hanky-panky much more than not.

    .
     
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  17. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Sorry, but there's no such thing as bloodline by adoption. "Bloodline" implies just that: related by blood. Mary not being related to David, neither was Jesus. However, this is getting off track. Should you wish to pursue this I suggest you post your own thread.

    .
     
    #37 Skwim, Jan 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  18. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Your "reason" here makes no sense. As if god was unable to "transfer a being living in heaven into becoming human" through a non-virgin.

    .
     
  19. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    You missed the point. Mary was a virgin so that Jesus could be Josephs adopted son. Jesus was the from the tribe of Judah by adoption. Showing the people are heirs to the promise by adoption.

    Ephesians 1:5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--

    Sorry if it was not the answer you were looking for....
     
  20. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    That pretty much blows away Gods own marriage laws that he made for humans. Sure God gets away, but Mary's in violation

    I'm willing to bet Mary's going to get secretly punished for having a child out of wedlock for being duped into breaking God's Own marriage laws. Not to mention God is considered a heavenly father. ... Ugh. Gross.
     
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