If Jesus was not Born of a Virgin, He Could not be our Savior

COPYRIGHT WARNING

Isaiah 714The importance of the Virgin Birth of Jesus–cannot be overstated. If Jesus had not been conceived by the Holy Spirit and was instead–the result of a union between a human father and mother–He could not be the Savior of the world.

In the first prophecy of the Bible, the Messiah is described as One born by (The Seed of a Woman) without the aid of a human father.

Genesis 3:15a “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Matthew 1:18-20 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15. and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

It is interesting that Jesus is spoken of as being “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” in the book of Revelation chapter 13, verse 8. In a distant eon of time, immeasurable by human comprehension, before God created the universe, before He formed man on the earth, the Son of God would be the instrument whereby God could offer redemption.

In the first prophecy of the Bible, the amazing love of God is placed into action immediately after the sin of Adam. Not wanting any of us to be lost, the Lord announces that the fail-safe plan He had instituted beforehand would now go into effect.

As stated by the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, it would be by “her Seed” (Eve), that this prophecy would be fulfilled. A descendant of Eve (Mary) will bring the Messiah into the world. By using a capital “S” in the word Seed, the intent here is that this future Seed of Eve spoken of in Genesis 3:15 will be God in human flesh. This flesh will supernaturally be imparted to the virgin who will give birth to the Messiah, without the aid of a human father.

How sin is transmitted

According to Hebrew tradition, it is through the father that sin is transmitted to a baby, not through the mother.[1] If God were to implant the Seed of His own Son in the body of a human being, that Seed would be the Son of God. The Messiah would be both God and Man together in a single human body.

Early church Theologian and Philosopher, Augustine, wrote that sin passed to a baby through the father.[2]

Today, Medical Science confirms that a Fetus does not receive its blood supply from the mother but from the father. An Ovum begins to produce its own blood supply immediately after the father’s sperm penetrates the egg held in the body of the woman. An unfertilized ovum can never develop blood since the egg of the female does not contain the elements which are necessary for the production of blood.[3]

To Eve, God promises, from your seed and from her (Mary’s) Seed shall come one who will bruise the head of satan. If you bruise your heel you are not likely to die. If on the other hand you bruise your head, you very likely may suffer a fatal blow and die.

It is clear that God is predicting that from a woman who will supernaturally have both the seed and the egg implanted by God inside her body, there will come a Savior who will destroy the works of the devil and redeem man back to his former place of righteousness.

This very first prophecy of the Bible, not only promises a Savior, it predicts that this Savior will be born of a Virgin, a woman who has not conceived by the seed of man, but by the Seed of God. This would enable the Savior to bypass the inherited sin nature imparted to all human beings from Adam, and be born without sin.

The eye witness accounts of Jesus’ birth found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, describe the fact that Mary was a virgin who had known no man. She was found to be pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. The child within her was fully human, but was also fully God. The perfect candidate to take man’s place and die for his sin.

If God did not become a human being like us, He could not die for us. If a candidate for the Messiah had any trace of sin that came from Adam, he could not be the savior of all men. The account of Jesus’ birth and life, is that He was perfect and without sin. The testimony of Jesus’ sinless life, proves that He has met all the qualifications for being the Messiah, the Savior of all men.

The Lamb who takes away the sins of the world

When John saw Jesus coming towards him as he was baptizing in the Jordan river, he proclaimed Jesus as The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

The fulfillment of the 21st prophecy from the Old Testament, describes Jesus as the spotless Lamb, is confirmed by Peter’s words from the Book of 1 Peter 1:18-19:

1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Jesus Himself claimed that He was without sin:

John 8:46 (Jesus Speaking) Which of you convicts Me of sin?

The testimony of the scriptures is that Jesus’ life was one of perfection and Holiness and that this was the source of His power over sin and death to be our Savior.

Romans 1:4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

It is because of Jesus’ sinless perfection that He is qualified to be the Savior of the world. There is no other person who has ever been born who could make this claim. This is one of the reasons that the Old Testament prophecies are so important. They validate, explain, and provide a foundation for all the events of Jesus’ life and how He perfectly fulfilled all of the requirements of these many prophecies.

Denial of the virgin birth

Many people challenge the statement that the Bible teaches–the coming Messiah would be born of a virgin, a conception that occurs without the aide of a human father. To deny that a supernatural birth is possible, is to ignore the very first prophecy in the Bible. Genesis 3:15 speaks of a Savior that is to come who would be born by The Seed of a woman. This language is clearly an indication that the Savior of the world would be born as a human being, but by supernatural means. The conception will be caused by God’s Spirit, therefore He will be called The Holy Son of God.

Isaiah’s speaks of a virgin who will conceive and bear a son.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

There is an implied meaning here in the Hebrew language as the words “ha almah” are understood together. The Hebrew word ha (the) before the definite article almah (virgin), implies that this not just any young woman, or just any virgin but the virgin, implying a virgin who has previously been predicted in the scriptures, going back to the beginning. The obvious intent here is that the Seed spoken of by God in Genesis 3:15 is the one who is described in this first prophecy of the Bible.

A secondary possibility of the Hebrew phrase ha almah. The ha is the sound of breath, specifically, the breath of God. It is interesting that when God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, it was the addition of ha that caused Abraham to be led and directed by the Holy Spirit. In the same way, if we apply this principle to ha almah, it is a virgin conceiving by the Holy Spirit.

The obvious virgin that the first prophecy of the Bible is speaking of is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is vividly described in the New Testament as being with child by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:18-23 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

The angel who brought this announcement to Joseph and Mary told them that their Son would be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The Virgin of Isaiah 7:14, who is The Seed of Genesis 3:15 is also the Holy Son of God in the womb of Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

The common criticism that the Hebrew word almah could also be translated young woman, is preposterous when the entire Hebrew sentence structure of Isaiah 7:14 is considered, in speaking of The Virgin. Clearly the intent by Isaiah is that we understand that this child by a virgin would bear, would be God with us, as we examine the entire verse of Isaiah 7:12: they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us. The subject of Isaiah’s prophecy being God dwelling in the body of a man, conceived by a virgin, is absolutely clear. See Prophecy 165

Any Hebrew who read Isaiah 7:14–understood that a common young woman could not give birth to a sinless child who was also God with us.

This fact is confirmed by the angel who spoke to Mary and Joseph who told them that their child was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The virgin” (described by Genesis 3:15) would conceive and bear a Son and He would be Immanuel, God living with us.

First, if it was the intended purpose of Isaiah 7:14 that this was just a young woman, ha would not have been placed before almah, and the New Testament would not have confirmed Isaiah’s prophecy as belonging to Mary, the virgin who bore Him, confirming that her child would be God with us.

Secondly, when this prophecy was given by Isaiah to king Ahaz, it was said to be a sign. If the object of Isaiah’s prophecy was just a young woman giving birth, how would an ordinary young woman having a baby be a sign? Young woman give birth to babies everyday, and no one would consider any of these births a sign, unless that young woman had conceived her child without the aide of a human father.

Third, a virgin giving birth to a Son who would also be God with us, would be a sign indeed. It is for this reason that we should chose the translation of almah as a virgin, not simply a young woman.

By the implied text in the verse where it is written ha almah, the meaning is pointing to a promise that God had previously made in Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy of the Bible. This Savior will be the seed of the woman, conceived without the aid of a human father, who will be the Messiah.

Fourth, when the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek about 286 B.C., the Greek word used for virgin in Isaiah 7:14 was parthenos, which is almost always translated as a virgin.

Fifth, if any further doubt is cast on this verse as to whether Isaiah is speaking of a young woman or a virgin, this Son” will be: Immanuel meaning God with us. The child will have both the flesh of man and the Spirit of the Living God, living within Him. He is not an ordinary child because He came by extraordinary events. When we combine all of the elements of this verse together, it is clear that the intent of Isaiah’s verse is not simply that God is with us, in the sense of His favor being upon us. The intent of the term God with us is defined by the article before, the child will be from a virgin.

What the Jews say about Isaiah 7:14

The Talmudic translation of Isaiah 7:14 reveals that the Jews who translated and commented on Isaiah’s prophecy, believed that he was speaking of a virgin.

In the “Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae,” the Hebrew Talmud, it is declared:

“Be not troubled, O Ahaz… Does it not seem an impossible thing to thee, that will never happen that a virgin become a mother; But I tell thee such a virgin shall bring forth a son, before the House of David perish.”[4]

It is certain that as the tradition of the elders of Israel at that time, wrote in the Talmud that they believed the object of Isaiah’s prophecy was a virgin, this was the intent of Isaiah when he wrote this prophecy.

Why the virgin birth is an absolute requirement for the Messiah:

1. Salvation must originate from God, because man is helpless to save himself.

2. If the Messiah is not born of a virgin, He would Himself be a sinner, making it impossible that He could be the Savior of all men.

3. The Messiah must be God in human flesh or His life is of insufficient worth to die for the sins of all people.

Salvation must originate from God because man is helpless to save himself.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight….

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…

Galatians 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The entire body of scripture indicates that mankind is lost in sin with no hope of redemption. Therefore, there is no work that anyone can perform that is sufficient to merit their own redemption. For this reason, unless God initiates the salvation, it is otherwise impossible. The common thought among those who are uniformed, is that human beings are basically good and that if our good works outweigh our bad works, God will accept us into heaven when we die. Unfortunately, the Bible teaches the opposite; all men are sinners and therefore not good and incapable of self-redemption. This impossible state of man made action by God to initiate salvation an absolute necessity.

Under a provision carried out by God, all people could enter heaven, if they follow the requirements that God has prescribed.

First, an awareness that we are all separated from God by our sins with no hope of redemption on our part. (Romans 3:23)

Second, a sincere sorrow for the sins we have committed with an honest desire and willingness to turn from those sins. (Romans 10:9)

Third, an acceptance of Jesus sacrifice on the cross as payment for the sins we have committed, and a complete trust in Him for our salvation. (1 John 2:2, 1 John 5:12)

Fourth, a willingness to follow Jesus closely and be obedient to Him for the remainder of our life. (Luke 6:46)

Three additional requirements keep those who have been saved in fellowship with God. These three points are not required for salvation; they do however, give evidence of a new life that has been changed as a result of coming into a saving relationship with Jesus.

Fifth, when sins are committed, an immediate confession of those sins to the Lord, whereby fellowship with Him is restored. (1 John 1:9)

Sixth, a constant expectation of Jesus’ promise to return to earth at any moment. The effect of anticipating Jesus’ imminent return, is that those who believe this will seek to keep their life pure of sin so that when Jesus arrives, He will find us living for Him and be pleased. (1 John 3:3, Luke 12:42-44)

Seventh, to be a witness to others of who Jesus is, and what He has done, so as to lead as many people as possible to a saving faith. (Luke 28:19, John 4:35)

If the Messiah is not born of a virgin, He cannot be the Savior of all men.

When claims are made by individuals, churches or other organizations in which they state that their method of salvation is the only way to heaven, we should immediately be skeptical. The Bible is very specific in that there is only “one way” that God will accept us: through Jesus Christ. Salvation is not through a religion, it is through a person. God made salvation very simple for us to understand by providing one clear and definite way to be saved. Salvation is by Jesus Christ alone.

The way that we know for certain that salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ, is because only Jesus is without sin and only Jesus has fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the promised Messiah. Jesus Himself declared that He was the only way to heaven:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus then validated this claim by raising Himself from the dead three days after He was crucified. No other person in the history of the world has been raised to life after they have died, never to die again, except Jesus. By fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies, you will observe for yourself that Jesus is the only person in the history of man that could be the Messiah.

See the book: “The Prophecies of the Messiah,” by the same author.

The Messiah must be as the Passover Lamb, “without spot.”

The Old and New Testaments are specific in their declaration that the one to whom salvation shall come must be perfect and without sin. The Lamb that was brought to the Passover sacrifice had to be firstborn, a male, without any defects, and he had to be offered in a very specific way.

Jesus fulfilled all of the requirements of the Passover Lamb by being firstborn, a male, without sin, and offered for our sins during the feast of Passover. He lay in the ground for three days, un-raised, fulfilling the feast of Unleavened Bread, He then rose from the dead on the feast of First Fruits. Fifty days later on the feast of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy spirit to all those who were assembled, and birthed His church on the Feast of Pentecost.

The Messiah must be sinless

Any human being that is born by the normal process of human reproduction is disqualified as the Messiah. The reason is that all of us are descended from Adam who was the first sinner. Just as we all inherit the genetic material of our father and mother, we also inherit the sin nature of Adam as it has been passed down from generation to generation.

Every human being is born with this fatal moral defect. We seem to understand what is right and what is wrong, but find that it is nearly impossible to do the right on a consistent basis. More often than not, we choose the wrong way, most often because it is the most attractive to us.

We have many days when we do right things. We also have many more moments of selfishness, deceit, anger, a desire for revenge, jealousy, malice and lust. No matter how hard we may try, we cannot be truly good on a permanent basis. It is for this purpose that that Messiah came: to rid us of this curse of imperfection. First He must remove our record of past sins. Then He must make us perfect forever so that we do not ever have another sin attached to our record.

Because the Messiah is described as sinless, and eternal, He has the power and the right to pay for our sins, remove them, and make us perfect.

Heaven requires perfection

Heaven is devoid of all sin. In this place of perfection no one ever breaks the righteous laws of God. In order to gain admittance into heaven our sins must first be dealt with and removed. Unfortunate for us, no human being has the capacity to remove their past sins, nor make themselves perfect.

If salvation will be possible for us, it must be initiated and accomplished by God. The One that God can use to bring about our salvation must Himself be perfect and without sin.

Since the scriptures are clear that the Messiah will also be a man, and that all men are born sinners, how could the Messiah be a human being? The answer seems to be an unsolvable paradox.

The only solution is that the Messiah must be born of a virgin, without sin, and continue to live without sin, all the days of His life, if He would be qualified to offer His life in exchange for all of us.

The coming Messiah, He must be born of a Virgin, or He cannot be our Savior.

How could a man be born without sin? He would have to be conceived apart from the normal union of a man and a woman. He would have to be born as an act of God’s Spirit, causing the conception of a being without the aide of a human father. This is what is referred to as a virgin birth, and the topic of great controversy.

Many claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. Others claim that Isaiah 7:14 is not a prophecy of a virgin conceiving a child. Naturalists and humanists claim that a virgin birth would be a supernatural event, and not possible because such events would be classified as a miracle, and miracles are not possible.

A miracle is defined as: “An event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency” (God).

The testimony of the Bible is that when the Messiah came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, it was by the miracle of a virgin birth.

The Messiah must be God in human flesh or His life is of insufficient worth.

One of the excellent questions that is asked concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is “how could the death of one man pay for the sins of the whole world?”

The answer is: the life of this one man would have to be of infinite value. How could a normal human being have a life that has infinite value? He would have to be God dwelling in human flesh because only the life of the eternal God has infinite value.

What does Isaiah’s prophecy speak of?

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

The results of this virgin birth is that the one who is born will be Immanuel, in Hebrew: God with us. The one born of a virgin, will be a man, He will also be God living with us. This is the answer to the riddle, how can one life pay for the lives of all men? If the life that is given is the eternal Son of God, then His life has more than enough value to pay for the lives of all other men.

Only Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, who was born of a Virgin, and lived a perfect and sinless life. He offered this perfect life as the payment for the sins of all human beings. There is no other person in the entire history of mankind who can make this claim other than Jesus Christ. He is therefore, the Messiah, the Savior of all people.

Up until Adam’s sin, all human beings were morally perfect. No person had ever become sick, grown old, or had died. From the moment that sin entered the human race, the curse of death was upon all the descendants of Adam.

One of the most profound proofs for the existence of God is the fact that sin and death exist, just as God describes them in the Bible.

In Genesis chapter three, we see how sin began and the immediate response by our loving God, to put away sin and make a provision to redeem us all.

Sin and death are two curses that every human being fears and recognizes as being unnatural. All of us have a deep inner sense that death is not normal and should not happen to us. The fact that God describes both sin and death in the Scriptures exactly as they exist in reality, is evidence that the Bible is the word of God. Everything that God declares about sin and the horrible consequences that come as a result of this curse is observable in the world today.

There is a fatal flaw in human beings and all of us are aware of this defect as we observe it in ourselves and others. We have moments of intrinsic goodness, but the greater part of our lives are plagued by a constant tendency towards wrongful actions that hurt and destroy ourselves and the lives of those around us.

Amazingly, God already knew the course that Adam would take when He created him. As stated previously, the New Testament describes Jesus as being The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. This means that before the earth was created, God had determined that He would create a race of beings. These beings would make the choice to reject His claim of rulership over their life and sin against Him. This action would require a Savior to redeem the fallen, if they would have any hope at all.

Jesus offered to be this Savior before the world was made. He is therefore, forever called The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:8 …the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Jesus volunteered to be the fail-safe plan for man when he sinned and condemned himself to an eternal death, even before Adam breathed his first breath.

The first prophecy of the Bible in Genesis 3:15 is a confirmation of God’s original intent to create man with the privilege of choice. When Adam made the wrong choice and condemned himself, God stepped in and offered His own Son as the payment for all of our sins, giving us the opportunity for eternal life.

The Bible describes this amazing and loving plan of the Living God, to send His Son to earth to redeem all of us. How He did it, and what it all means is understood in the personal applications that follow each of the Hebrew prophecies and their New Testament fulfillment.


NOTES:
[1] Shaul Magid (2008). From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala. Indiana University Press. p. 238.
[2] Saint Augustine of Hippo, (De civitate Dei, XIV, 16; CCL 48, 438-439 [1-10]). See also: Schmitt, É. (1983). Le mariage chrétien dans l’oeuvre de Saint Augustin. Une théologie baptismale de la vie conjugale. Études Augustiniennes. Paris. p. 97.. See also Augustine’s: De continentia, 8.21; PL 40, 363; Contra Iulianum VI, 19.60; PL 44, 859; ibid. IV, 14.65, z.2, s. 62; PL 44, 770; De Trinitate, XII, 9. 14; CCL 50, 368 [verse: IX 1-8]; De Genesi contra Manicheos, II, 9.12, s. 60 ; CSEL 91, 133 [v.31-35])
[3] Howell’s Textbook of Physiology, Second Edition, pages 885 and 886
[4] Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae 
Hebrew and Talmudical exercitations upon the Gospels, the Acts, some chapters of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, and the First Epistle to the Corinthians. New edition by Robert Gandell. Published 1859 by University Press in Oxford .

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