Why on earth would the Romans have required Joseph to go to the city where a remote ancestor had lived a millennium earlier? Needless to say, legends surround the birth and childhood of many figures who afterwards become important. What matters is the powerful, mysterious presence of the God of Israel, the creator God, bringing Israel's story to its climax by doing a new thing, bringing the story of creation to its height by a new creation from the womb of the old. Originally published in UK in Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. To say that Jesus was born of a virgin as Christians did in later centuries is to say that some significant Old Testament prophecies were wrong, and that Jesus's father was God, and therefore that Jesus had no male bloodline at all.
What about the Pagan Accounts
To put it another way: What would have to have happened, granted the sceptic's position, for the story to have taken the shape it did? And what of the 3 wise men who follow the bright star to Jesus's birthplace, bearing gifts? All we learn from him is that Jesus had a Jewish mother. Matthew has invented a story to fit Old Testament prophecies. I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance. Published by Musiaicum Books. Having been warned of this by the angel Gabriel, Joseph and Mary escape to Egypt with their baby, until it is safe to return to Nazareth.
The Virgin Birth and the Constraints of History - ABC Religion & Ethics
Twelfth , other elements of the birth narratives tell us that the story is partly fiction, or figurative. There are strong indications that neither author really knew when Jesus was born, and, no-one could find Jesus' family in order to ask them either. No one can prove, historically, that she wasn't. For example, Paul might have used the account of Jesus' virgin birth to prove the male gender of the Holy Spirit, in effect making the entire Trinity male. The early Greek speaking Christians did not know what the word "Nazarene" meant. He researched carefully the data regarding Jesus Lk. An embroidered border, presumably, around the belief that Jesus was divine.
Of course, the argument "miracles are possible therefore virginal conception is possible, therefore Jesus's virginal conception may well be true" also commits one to saying, "therefore Augustus's virginal conception may well be true. The virgin birth of scripture itself is not contested. While it is true that many pagan mythologies describe the gods having sex with mortal women, the blatant sexual activity of these mythologies is missing from the Biblical narrative. The Roman Empire is well documented - especially their taxation laws and systems which were based on property and wealth. Once the early Christians decided to use the virgin birth story, they also decided to enhance it with additional related miracle stories.