Talk:Virgin birth of Jesus/Archive 5

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Excised parthogenesis section for scrutiny

I have excised the below due to noncompliance with Wikipedia content standards. It should be edited outside the front page before being reinserted. In particular, the relevance of parthogenesis to this topic is dubious at best, since it is neither possible in humans, nor attested by Christianity.

There is nothing abnormal in the natural world about parthogenesis. Starfish reproduce from a broken limb, some plants reproduce asexually, even sharks are capable of fertilizing their own eggs, but the offspring is inherently female, as there is no Y chromosome present,[1] so if Mary had conceived by parthogenesis,, which would be contrary to the Christian belief that her virginal conception was not a natural phenomenon, Jesus would have been female, and not male, leading to the possibility that the phrase[clarification needed] was a euphemism,[citation needed] and not factual. The word euphemism, however, did not originate until 1656, and was not used in this manner[clarification needed] until 1793.[2]

I agree that this section is terrible too. There should be a statement that says that virgin birth is impossible and hence it never actually happened and hence that people who believe that it did are categorically wrong on their beliefs. The more we try to dance around the issue with words, the further we get away from a useful and truthful encyclopedia entry on a clear cut issue:This is pure fiction and myth and should be presented as such.

63.166.226.83 (talk) 23:53, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi! I think the matter of birth of Jesus Christ (may peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him) is quite simple and obvious. Mary, mother of Jesus, married Joseph to give birth to the promised son. Though she was devoted for the church service and not supposed to marry but she had to in order to fullfill the divine scheme.

If an angel comes to a virgin with the glad tiding from God Almighty that she will give birth to a special child, it does not mean that it is going to happen in a miraculous way. It need not be, because that glad tiding can be fulfilled in an ordinary way by the marriage of that virgin with some one. All the story that Mary concieved Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) miraculously before marrying Joseph is a supposition and do not have any roots in divine revelations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fahim Channa (talkcontribs) 08:16, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Celebration on 6th January

When the birth of Jesus is celebrated on 6 January, is that not then Christmas in the Julian Calendar rather than Epiphany? In the case of the celebration of his conception, that is Lady Day in England and it is 25 March "old style", 6 April "new style" - i.e. Julian and Gregorian calendars. Both Lady Day and Christmas are Quarter days in England. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:31, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

You are quite right about 25 March. However, 25 December (Old Style) corresponds at present (until 2099) to 7 January. 6 January (Epiphany for others) is the day on which Armenians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Lima (talk) 04:02, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

==Very biased== popular explanation, with a second book taking that view. Another view that I don't see presented is that a lot of young girls just don't know how babies get made (you can thank our wonderful sex education for that one). That does not appear to be a possibility, so there is no reason to include it. 2ndAmendment (talk) 17:52, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

An outside source, please. Not your own suppositions. Lima (talk) 17:57, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that I wrote those two books? Please get real. 2ndAmendment (talk) 20:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe Lima was implying anything of the sort. I believe Lima is just trying to make sure you contributions meet WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:CS. We can't say "When the Gospel of Matthew talks about the birth of Jesus as a miracle of the Holy Spirit, it is in all actuality simply a "euphemism"...", especially not without a citation. If we are to use the word "euphemism" anywhere in this article, we need a sentence more like "Scholar X contends that the story of the Holy Spirit was actually just a euphemism". THe question I believe Lima has been asking you is "Who is scholar X"? We need to attribute the euphemism claim to a reliable source. I know you have mentioned two books generally, but you have not specifically mentioned the names/authors of those books. Does that make sense? It's just a simple matter of basic wikipedia policy which seems to have been blown overboard.-Andrew c [talk] 21:04, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Whatever. Sometimes things are so obvious that it's hard to find an actual citation. Here is an example of what one person said. "A more logical explanation was Mary was a quick-thinking Hebrew girl who had sex with her fiance, found herself pregnant, and, not wanting to be stoned, concocted the visit from "God"." This however doesn't explain why Joseph was so clueless about how Mary got pregnant, since after all, he was the aforesaid "fiance". Change fiance to anyone else and the story becomes more plausible. Add that Mary was raped and you really have a motive for denial. You have to remember that 40% of the world could not care less about Jesus and his birth and the rest are hell bent to come up with a ridiculous explanation. By the way, the story isn't a euphemism, the words are a euphemism. 2ndAmendment (talk) 21:38, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I know it can seem silly at times, but we do need to make sure that our readers can verify all content. This is important because at wikipedia anyone can edit it and add whatever they want to articles. In order for our readers to be able to trust our content, it needs to be verifiable (and we have guidelines that outline how to do that). What you are doing in your above post is WP:OR, which is forbidden. If you don't like what a published scholar says, you cannot improve on it by posting your own theories here on wikipedia. However, we can cite the one scholar you allude to (even if we disagree with their theories) as long as they meet WP:RS. Remember wikipedia is not about the truth, only about summarizing content that has already been published. -Andrew c [talk] 22:17, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
However, we don't just list every article that has ever been published. Although some articles are like that. The idea is to be factual about a subject in a manner that the reader can actually learn something about the subject. It isn't OR to put things together in a comprehensive manner. The present article is far from that. 2ndAmendment (talk) 00:30, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Parthenogenesis

I have added a section, worded differently than the original entry on the topic. It is, in my view, a valid piece of the puzzle of the concept of the Virgin Birth. It does not take a side but merely states a very simple fact and is well referenced. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 21:24, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

umm... that doesn't at all explain how it's relevant to the article. I mean, I could put a cited statement that Micheal Jordan is 6 feet 6 inches tall into the article on apples and the mere fact it's cited does not make it relevant. Thingg 21:27, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
It's completely irrelevant to this article, which is about a miraculous virgin birth, not the known-to-science-among-animals-but-not-humans kind of virgin birth. Besides, the Parthenogenesis is already linked at least two more times than is necessary. --Elliskev 21:29, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I still don't see how that is irrelevant to the article. It is valid to raise a scientific side of the issue. It's just a piece of the puzzle and valid for the article to be totally NPOV. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 21:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, just stating that it's a miracle does not invalidate the scientific issues at hand. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 21:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Stating that this article is about a miraculous virgin birth does invalidate any references to a scientific side. It would be equally invalid for me to include a Religious issues section in the Parthenogenesis article stating several billion people throughout history have confirmed their belief in the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus. That section would be true, but out-of-place. --Elliskev 22:36, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually I would think at least a mention in the article on Parthenogenesis to the religious side would be totally valid. Given the number of people that hold the belief the Jesus was born of a virgin mother makes it relevant to that discussion. I'm even willing to add it myself. Merely claiming that something is miraculous doesn't put it beyond the purview of science. This is an encyclopedia and not a religious site where one POV can dominate. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 22:41, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess we're at an impasse. I just don't see how either subject is related to the other. Don't take this question the wrong way, but do you understand what both subjects are about? --Elliskev 23:50, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes it would be hard to not take that the wrong way. But I appreciate the redaction. I fully understand that, since the concept of parthenogenesis arose, Christian doctrine has rejected it as an explanation for the virgin birth of Jesus. But nevertheless, claiming that something is miraculous is not a defense against having a scientific exploration of the topic. The two subjects are related because parthenogenesis is the scientific term for virgin birth. Christianity relies to a certain extent on the concept that Jesus was born of a non-sexual event. Therefore, despite your protestations, it is indeed a part of the puzzle, regardless of the terminology that each camp chooses to use. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 03:54, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Regardless of whether it is relevant or not, the statement is definitely not NPOV. Also, I still fail to see how it is relevant to the article. How does it "add a piece to the puzzle"? I do not understand what you are saying by that because you say it is NPOV, but the only explanation I can think of for adding that info is to support a POV statement. (ie. that the virgin birth is impossible). If you are inserting that because of another reason, please let me know. Thingg 21:38, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Let me clarify. I did not say the comment was NPOV. I said the inclusion in the article makes the article as a whole NPOV. There are many parts to the discussion of the virgin birth of Jesus, some of them religious, some of them historical, some of them discussing the etymology, and finally the scientific issue of parthenogenesis in any species. To not acknowledge the possibility that it didn't occur, or conversely to just assume that it did is to render the article POV. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 21:41, 11 July 2008 (UTC) [fixed typo]
Just to put this in perspective here. This article is around 5000 words. I've only inserted one sentence that makes the article NPOV. --Stuthomas4 (talk) 21:46, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

It is discussed in a reasonable fashion on several religious sites, sites that one would think would have a bias yet are able to discuss the scientific part of the issue. I provide two references here: [1], [2] --Stuthomas4 (talk) 21:59, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references !

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "Harris" :
    • [[Stephen L Harris|Harris, Stephen L.]], Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
    • Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.

DumZiBoT (talk) 16:57, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Celebration

Not all who claim to be Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. The Roman Catholics instituted a celebration on Dec 25 (although shepherds would not have been in the fields at that time). I believe that the Orthodox celebrate it a week or two later. Those who use the Bible as authority instead of tradition do not celebrate the birth of Jesus, as there is neither command nor example of such. This section should be rephrased, perhaps "Many celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25," or "Catholics and Protestants celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25." 71.61.254.106 (talk) 03:24, 8 January 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Defteri (talkcontribs)

Q Gospel

Since Mark does not mention the virgin birth, does the story come from the Q Gospel? Isn't the Q Gospel supposed to be without narrative? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.184.202.208 (talk) 10:54, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

No, the hypothetical Q consists of material shared in common by Matthew and Luke, but not found in Mark. The birth narratives in those two gospels are very different, having almost nothing in common. Thus they emerged from unique sources, not a source in common. [User:Pekoebrew|Pekoebrew]] (talk) 05:41, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Historicity

In the past 36 hours a section has been deleted 3 times by 2 editors and reverted by three other editors, two of them (myself included) called it vandalism. May I suggest a 5 day ceasefire during which references for that piece of text are found? Else more effort will be spent debating it than improving it. The section does need better references, just like 50% of the rest of Wikipedia, but the info seems to be correct based on my preliminary searches. Quite often these deletions force people to go and look for references. So myself and the two editors who reverted it should really look for references for it. I think it came from the American Journal of Theology but I am not 100% sure, so I will search more in a few days. If you do have the reference please add it and edit the section. Thanks History2007 (talk) 08:48, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

There is a third explanation for the "multiple attestation," which Raymond E. Brown endorses in his Birth of the Messiah (rev.ed., 1993, p.699): that the common theme of virginal conception shows that there was an oral tradition of Jesus' virginal conception that predates Matthew and Luke. However, "multiple attestation" never proves historicity. This older oral tradition itself could be ahistorical. For example, it could have come from Christian circles in Syria after 70 CE, since both Matthew and Luke have connections there. No earlier attestation can be found. Note that this is an intermediate position. The two extreme positions cited in the "Historicity" section have less scholarly support than this one. J. Gresham Machen's and J. Shelby Spong's are outlying positions in New Testament scholarship. Thanks. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jakob3 (talkcontribs) 15:37, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

There are many highly dubious unreferenced claims in this section, including "The accounts of Matthew and Luke are taken as independent testimonies of the tradition, thus adding significantly to the evidence for the historical reality of the event of the birth." Taken by who as independent testimonies? and on what basis does this "add significantly to the evidence for the historical reality of the event of the birth." This confuses two very different ideas: 1. The event of the birth; and 2. The birth being of a virgin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.55.17.115 (talk) 01:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I'd like to present a slightly different slant on the hypothesis that "Matthew and Luke both wanted to present Jesus as fulfilling prophecies from Hebrew scripture": In Hebrew tradition, virgin birth was not and is not a criterion for the authenticity of a Messianic candidate. So I think it's unlikely that the authors were attempting to appeal to traditional Hebrew Messianic expectation regarding virgin birth in the case of Jesus. Luke makes no mention of prophecy relating to virgin birth. On the other hand, Matthew quotes what he understands to be a prophecy of virgin birth from Isaiah, based on the Greek translation that is available to him. But because there was no widely-held virgin birth expectation, I suspect that both Matthew and Luke either had some other motivation for including virgin birth in their narratives, or they were simply reporting the event as they understood it to have occurred. If the latter is true, then in Matthew's case, rather than manufacturing the virgin birth to support his assertion that Jesus is the Messiah, he could have been seeking to make a connection between an event that he believed to have occurred recently with the Hebrew scriptures, and he found it in the Greek translation of Isaiah 7:14. dcorsello (talk) 12:11, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Snip from "Genealogy of Jesus" article

Hi, I'm cleaning up the Genealogy of Jesus article, and under the section "Virgin birth", which links here for main article, someone has added quite a bit of material that seems out of place there and more appropriate here. I'm not sure how best, or whether, to integrate it, so I'm posting it below: --SlothMcCarty (talk) 10:53, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


Matthew 1:16 breaks with the pattern preceding it; it is at pains to distance Joseph from Jesus' actual parentage and point out that Joseph did not beget Jesus, but was simply the husband of the woman who was his mother. In the original Greek, the word translated as whom is unambiguously feminine. The shift to the passive voice also symbolizes the Virgin Birth.

Matthew 1:16 has attracted considerable scholarly attention because unusually the ancient sources show several different versions of it. For example, the Codex Koridethi has:

Jacob was the father of Joseph,
to whom the betrothed virgin
Mary bore Jesus, called the Christ

While the Syriac Sinaiticus has

Jacob was the father of Joseph,
to whom the virgin Mary was
betrothed, was the father of Jesus

The first version represents the same pattern as that used in most modern translations - unlike the prior genealogy, its convoluted wording, shifting to the passive voice, is at pains to distance Joseph from the parentage of Jesus, to support a Virgin Birth. The other version states clearly that Joseph was actually the father of Jesus, and while it does appear to state Mary is a virgin, the word now translated virgin actually corresponds to the Greek word parthenekos, which translates literally more as maid. Some scholars see these latter versions as evidence against the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, while others postulate that the original text only had words of the form "and Joseph was the father of Jesus", following the pattern of the prior verses, which later scribes altered to clarify that this did not amount to biological parentage.

Raymond Brown has proposed that these variants are not so much concerned with arguing for or against the Virgin Birth, but for the doctrine of perpetual virginity of Mary, which became prominent at the time the variants were created; both appear to be attempts to avoid making Joseph a husband to Mary, and hence to suppress the suggestion of sexual activity between them.


Jesus in Islam

If Jesus is mentioned in Islam as per the introduction, why isn't there a section regarding Islamic view point? Faro0485 (talk) 00:19, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

The Koran says:

"The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than God's apostle . . . God is but one God. GOD FORBID THAT HE SHOULD HAVE A SON!" (4:171)

"Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood, at which the very heavens might crack..." (19:88)

"They say: 'God forbid that He Himself should beget a son!' " (19:29-)

"They say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom . . .' " (17:111)

"They say: 'God has begotten a son.' God forbid! Self-sufficient is He.' " (10:68) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.149.154.130 (talk) 15:33, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

There's a see also link to this: [Islamic view of Jesus's Birth] which covers your point of concern. I have to a agree that this article takes a very Christian view of history though - perhaps the differences should be made more visible? --60.241.92.27 (talk) 11:12, 28 August 2010 (UTC)


The Islamic view of Jesus came far too late to be of any realy consequence to the topic. The Gospel account is far closer to the events being discussed, and necessarily has greater importance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.171.163.217 (talk) 17:37, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Septuagint

I have removed the following comment which rebuts an argument not put forward in the article and which I therefore think is off-topic. Besides, the theory that it propounds is not given in the article on the Septuagint, which is where it would seem to belong:

Christian apologists have sometimes argued that the word translated as virgin in many Christian translations of Isaiah 7:14 is justified by pointing to the Septuagint version of Isaiah, and arguing that Septuagint, which was translated by Jews, used the word virgin, so it have obviously must have been understood to mean virgin.[3] This argument has problems one the Letter of Aristeas, which dates to second century BCE, says that the Septuagint, was a translation by Jews only of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, this is also stated by Josephus Flavius, and the Talmud.[3] Also there is evidence, that the Septuagint was tampered with by the Church, the present Septuagint is largely a post-second century Christian translation of the Bible, used zealously by the church throughout the centuries as an indispensable apologetic instrument to defend and sustain Christological alterations of the Jewish scriptures.[3] Furthermore, the word parthenos, which some Christian translators, insists mean virgin, a word used in the Septuagint section containing Isaiah 7:14 does not mean virgin.[3] This can be seen by looking at other places where the Septuagint uses the word parthenos.[3] The word parthenos, only later on in time came to mean virgin, it originally meant young woman.[3] -- Lima (talk) 16:48, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I also agree with the deletion. History2007 (talk) 17:51, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
The article did say that Matthew used the Septuagint, as such it should be noted the Septuagint is known to be unreliable. --Java7837 (talk) 16:00, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Lima, I disagree with your above statment. The check with the LXX for the virgin issue was done already by Justin Martyr in the II century, in the dialogue with trifo if I remember well: so I suggest to keep the sentece, perhaps rewording it. You cant say that the LXX is largely a post-second century Christian translation: this was a 30 years old accademic ipotesis that has been challenges by the dead see scrolls. Research on this field changed a lot recently. A ntv (talk) 20:37, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
It is not I who say that παρθένος was not in the LXX text at the time that Matthew was written. In reality your words show you support me and agree with my deletion of the passage. So far, only Java 7838 is in favour of keeping it. Lima (talk)

Virgin birth vs. Incarnation

The article should better explain the distinction between the Virgin birth and the Incarnation, since many people tend to confuse those dogmas. Another common confusion is Virgin birth vs. Immaculate conception, but I see that this has already been noted on the page. ADM (talk) 20:43, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Scientific persepective

Why is the scientific fact, that a belief in the Virgin birth of Jesus is completely contradictory to modern biology and genetics, omitted from the article? There are a number of well known biologists (like the zoologist Richard Dawkins) who have specifically addressed this claim. Is it possible to include a criticism section and add the relevant source? 203.199.213.131 (talk) 10:20, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Christians too consider that the Virgin birth of Jesus is completely excluded by what we understand of biology and genetics, and could therefore have occurred only through a direct intervention by God. Lima (talk) 11:29, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree wit Lima. Many other religious issues also defy what the physics and biology text books contain this century. e.g. Resurrection, Ascention, Apparitions, etc. And Dawkins has sold a whole pile of books, against all kinds of anti-religious topics (may he be forgiven), including the existence of God Himself, but those are outside the scope of religion. And this article is about religion. History2007 (talk) 18:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Same user here as the first here. I disagree. I think that the claim of a virgin birth of jesus is also a scientific one, because it makes a claim about a specific event in the universe, which is governed by the laws of science. Same thing with the Ascention, Ressurection beliefs.
This article is indeed about religion, but specific claims of religion like the virgin birth make direct statements about the observable universe and are subject to science. "occurred only through a direct intervention by God" is what is criticised by science, because such a statement goes against observable scientific laws. You can't just magick away scientific critique.59.92.30.25 (talk) 20:43, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, start at the top. Regarding the statement that: "the universe, which is governed by the laws of science", start with the general statement that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Compare and contrast that with various theories of physics and see how far you get in any debate. It will be a stalemate. How does that much mass get created in 6 days? What happens to the laws of conservation of energy? You can talk about that for ever. Not me. I think God can change the simple laws we can observe, whenever He desires. End of debate. History2007 (talk) 21:29, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
No, not end of debate! Just the beginning. You might think that "God can change the simple laws we can observe, whenever He desires", but a significant number of scientists disagree with this, as you're simply magicking away the inconsistency with science. You have no evidence whatsoever what type of idea how he interacts, with what physical forces, about God's gender, etc. The idea that is a terrible scientific idea. Why shouldn't this get a paragraph, properly sourced, under criticism? Many people think that this is a flaw of specific religious ideas which needs to be addressed in an encyclopedia article, IMO. 59.92.40.31 (talk)

to 59.92.40.31. Science has nothing to say about what an infinitely powerful being can or cannot do regarding the laws of the universe. What you call "magicking away" is precisely what the article is doing. There is no disagreement a virgin birth is impossible without the intervention of an external force. It also could be accomplished via. an external force. Even with today's technological power things like artificial insemination could create a virgin birth. We are perhaps only decades away from forming an Y chromosome from a X. It becomes a question a question of history and theology not science whether such an intervention took place. jbolden1517Talk 02:20, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

You claim, "Science has nothing to say about what an infinitely powerful being can or cannot do regarding the laws of the universe". However, many scientists as well as myself disagree. Even the existence of such a being is in question if it does not follow universal scientific laws.
"Even with today's technological power things like artificial insemination could create a virgin birth". But, how was it possible for *today's* technology of artificial insemination to exist 2000 years ago? Based on historical records, the science did not exist then.
My point is that, we should try to verify the scientific accuracy of a claim in an encyclopedia, irrespective of whether it's religious or not. In this, there is plenty of sourced criticism of this claim I wish to include.
However, since I'm clearly in the minority I will not do so. 59.92.39.245 (talk) 05:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
This has gotten a bit off topic. We shouldn't be discussing personal opinion or greater philosophical questions. We should simply be saying "What do sources say?" Per NPOV, we should present all notable, relevant points of view given due weight. If anyone can find a "scientific" point of view in a notable source, then we should clearly find a way to incorporate that view into the article per NPOV. That said, we should also avoid original research. We can't add 59.'s personal arguments regarding science and the virgin birth. So... do we have sources regarding this or not?-Andrew c [talk] 15:40, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Even if this is an encyclopedia, it is not an encyclopedia's job to be solely scientific. An encyclopedia only offers information to a person covering a certain topic. The encyclopedia doesn't care what science says about the virgin birth, only what is believed about it or what it means. In that sense, even if there are books where science debates the virgin birth, which there probably are, does it really matter? This article is only here to say [i]what[/i] the virgin birth is. Not whether it is credible or not scientifically. If we do that, no religious articles can be shown on wikipedia because all have beliefs that science can argue with. -CCubed —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.4.35.166 (talk) 08:53, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

The current text about Dawkins opinion (using the word "unproven") is misleading. I'm sure Dawkins would never have formulated it like that. Natural science is not "proven" - it is backed by evidence. Dawkins would rather have said that there's no scientific evidence to justify belief in a virgin birth. ... or better yet: Ask him :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.62.117.184 (talk) 08:25, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

DEFAULTSORT parameter

Why is the "defaultsort" parameter: {{DEFAULTSORT:Resurrection Of Jesus}}? If this is a mistake, please change it yourself, as I do not monitor this page. Regards, Colin MacLaurin (talk) 01:31, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I noticed that this article was listed under "R" in the Jesus Category. I changed "{{DEFAULTSORT:Resurrection Of Jesus}}" to "{{Category:Resurrection Of Jesus}}". Now this article is listed under "V" in the Jesus Category. --Smoggyrob | Talk 16:55, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Lack of Gnostic faith's side

In reference to the virgin birth this article quotes the encyclopedia Britannica and states belief in the virgin birth was "A universally held belief in the Christian church by the second century" while this is a legitimate quote it is not correct as some members of the Gnostic Christian faiths (including Catharism) continue to believe in a traditional birth rather then a virgin birth. Recognizing this fact and respecting the Council of Nicea's adopting of the virgin birth into Christian Orthodoxy I propose to add the word Orthodox thusly

"A universally held belief in the Orthodox Christian church by the second century"

If anyone can come up for a better word to represent the fact that only parts of the Christian faith adopted the virgin birth in 325AD by all means suggest them, but something needs to be done to recognize the fact that not all Christians adopted the Nicene Creed. Without these other Christians we would never have had Heterodoxy ("other teaching")or heresy as it later came to be known. Many historical documents have been found (the dead sea scrolls, the gospel of Mary etc) dating from as late as the 6th century showing a Gnostic viewpoint and proving that all of Christianity did not adopt the virgin birth in 325AD.


71.175.201.21 (talk) 19:08, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

I would like to add that after stating the virgin birth is a UNIVERSALLY held belief the Britannica goes on to say "except for several minor sects, was not seriously challenged until the rise of Enlightenment theology in the 18th century." if several minor sects challenged the virgin birth, how could it have been universally believed. The very article in the Britannica that the universal line comes from retracts it in the next sentence. Due to this fact I would either use my above solution or remove the quote completely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.175.201.21 (talk) 04:18, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Distortion of "Jesus, Son of Mary" in re the subject

The cited Sura is the defining one for the role of Jesus in Islam and the quoted saying is a well known one used with diametrically the opposite import of what might be assumed given the prior text, i.e. an assertion of the divinity, i.e. godhood of Jesus. It does however support the creed of the virgin birth. The current wiki text in the Al-i-Imran article doesn't adequately or clearly convey this. Here is the penguin translation of Al-Imran:

The angels said to Mary: "Allah bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the next, and shall be favored by Allah. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a religious life."
"Lord" she said, "how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?".
& etc.

The passages show the evident influence of Christian myth, christianity having been a state religion in the then still vibrant East Roman empire for 3 hundred years when it was written. However Quran and Muslims believe in many miracles and have various renderings of different elements of the common parts of the Abrahamic tradition. They emphatically do not believe that Isa was god incarnate and that is what the expression "Jesus, Son of Mary" is meant to emphasize. Lycurgus (talk) 00:57, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

True, but that comment does not belong to an article on the virgin birth of Jesus, but rather to the Son of God article. Lima (talk) 11:29, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Acknowledged. Lycurgus (talk) 13:25, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Mythology?

I noticed that there is another article titled Virgin Birth (Mythology). Why is this article not part of that one? Isn't the concept of the virgin birth of Jesus part of the Christian mythology?Desoto10 (talk) 22:13, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Because that is not neutral point of view. It is not wikipedia's job to deem what is mythology and what is not. 97.81.112.37 (talk) 06:09, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Mythology doesn't mean what you think it means, at least in academic circles. Calling something mythological does not make a judgment on whether it is true or false. It just means it is supernatural and is regarded as true within the belief system it is espoused (as opposed to a fable or parable.)
The main reason this article is not in virgin birth (mythology) is because it is too wide a subject to be covered in that article. Still, if and when that article reaches maturity, it will most likely include a small summary of this one in the Christianity section, with a link here for more information. (In fact, I just added that last part.)
  — trlkly 22:36, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
"Regarded as true". This is perhaps inexact. Did people believe in the actual truth of, for instance, the transformation of Daphne into the laurel, or Narcissus into the flower of that name? Or did they see these Greek mythological stories as pleasant poetical pictures? Did they believe that those stories were true any more than we consider to be true Kipling's story of how the elephant got its long trunk? Esoglou (talk) 09:51, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Replace Orthodox with Eastern Orthodox?

There is some ambiguity to the term "Orthodox." In context, this wiki is talking about Eastern Orthodox (and links to the wiki). Some confusion could be avoided if Orthodox is replaces with Eastern Orthodox. 97.81.112.37 (talk) 06:08, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Conception did not involve human gametes [re: virgin birth]

Regarding "Undid revision 343518124 by Esoglou": I grant that prevailing views may included RC Church within Christianity, so I leave that change. However, it is not reason to wholesale chop every change I made. For example, the creeds were mis-quoted; why re-instate the mis-quoting? More dramatically, you removed evidence from the Bible regarding the conception by the Holy Spirit, which precludes human reproductive cells. If any kind of Christian seeks Christian truth, where shall he turn if not the Bible? What greater authority is there?

As for Joseph, the Bible refers to him as Jesus' father with the exact same Greek word that Christ used to refer to Almighty God, His Father in heaven. Joseph was certainly as much a parent of Jesus as was Mary. The word "foster" deletes biological AND legal connections, which is utterly false. Joseph and Mary were the legal guardians, the adoptive parents, and the parents divinely appointed as our Lord's human mother and father. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Totoro33 (talkcontribs) 17:56, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Totoro, as one who has been editing Wikipedia for quite some time, you know that your edits must be backed up with citations from reliable sources; but the vast edits you have yesterday made to this article are replete with unsourced statements. If you want to put any parts back, please first provide them with the needed citations. Rather, show first here on the Talk page that they based on reliable sources and are not just your personal opinions. The Wikipedia recommendation is that, when a bold edit such as yours is reverted, the person who boldly made the edit should justify his edit on the discussion page before reinserting it. Please do that, preferably one paragraph at a time.
Your claim that the Roman Catholic Church was not Christian was just one of the unsourced original-research ones that you put forward. Your claim that the Bible indicates that the conception of Jesus not was not a work of Mary was another. As for your claim that the article misquoted the creeds, would you please indicate some source for what you claim to be the texts of the creeds? Because of your surprising claim, I have added citations to show that the words of the creeds as found in the article are indeed those given in reliable sources. Esoglou (talk) 21:50, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply Esoglou. I note that the Nicene Creed and Apostle's Creed were already quoted (with errors). I made no change but to correct the errors. These documents are widely available in libraries and on the Internet. (E.g., from here: http://canrc.org/about/about2a.html ). That said, it was the responsibility of the person who originally quoted from these texts to both provide the reference and to accurately quote from them. My correction to these errors is not an indication of undue care on my part, it is a response to an existing work of undue care.
I conceded to your suggestion by removing my claim about the RC Church (even though where the word "Christian" is first used [in the book of Acts in the Bible], we have not much difficulty recognizing that the RC Church does not even begin to stand for the doctrines of Christ, whose name Christians take. I don't want to write an essay, but will provide one "small" example: the Bible overwhelmingly confesses (in the book of Hebrews, for example) that the priesthood is over-- Christ is the final priest who offered the ultimate sacrifice "once for all," and it is sufficient. There are no other priests required, and the earlier priests were merely shadows of the Christ-- they even needed to sacrifice for their own sins before sacrificing for the peoples' sins. Furthermore, they continually died and needed to be replaced. That the RC Church has priests, and regularly performs a "sacrifice"-type ritual, in unbelief of Christ's sufficient sacrifice, the RC Church more resembles Judaism than Christianity. These fundamental Biblical confessions about the Lord Jesus Christ are the things that define "Christian." What else could possibly define the word?)
As for the conception being a work of the Holy Spirit, I did indeed cite the Bible and provided the precise Greek word. I always diligently reference interlinear texts, even taking note of the tense/case/etc of verbs, whether a participle is accusative or not, and so on. What else might I do? Now that the scripture is no longer locked up by the Roman Church, I have full access to read it, as do you.
As for His human father Joseph, I again showed the Greek word used that clearly identifies Joseph as "father," even as Mary is "mother." For this article to refer to Joseph as a "foster" guardian was treacherously erroneous. On what grounds shall anyone stand against Matthew and Luke's usage of the word father, even the same Greek word they used when recording Jesus' statements about His Father in heaven? If the apostles called Joseph the father of Jesus, who am I to call him something less than "father"? At any rate, I can only stand for truth in this place for so long; rejection of the truth will ultimately rest in the hands of those who deny it. This world is overwhelmingly void of truth, so here I leave the matter in your hands. Rip it all out; I will grieve, but then you must fear.
I may not be "one who has been editing Wikipedia for quite some time," but I am one who does not read newspapers or watch people worship silly Greek torches on television-- my news and my bread is the Word of God. If you see no authority in the Word of God, so be it, but upon that alone I stand-- I fear God too much to devote myself to human "principles." If an encyclopedia is not FIRST attentive to truth, then all efforts beyond that are pointless. Reason this far with me, and we have a healthy mutual understanding. Totoro33 (talk) 06:41, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
But you have been editing Wikipedia for quite some time. That is why it is surprising that you seem not to have read WP:OR. You cannot just put your own ideas of what is true into Wikipedia articles: you can only insert what is verifiable. You claimed, for instance, that Matthew 1:20 ("τὸ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν ἐκ Πνεύματός ἐστιν ῾Αγίου" = "that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit") means that Mary did not conceive her child ("Some believe that Mary was biologically included in the conception of her son, although the Bible indicates that the conception was a work of the Holy Spirit alone (Greek "gennaō" = generated/conceived)[Mt. 1:20]"). If you want to put that claim in, you should produce a reliable source that says just that. Esoglou (talk) 09:35, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Not my own idea: Mary's ancestors were all cursed under Adam. Her chromosomes were cursed by original sin. One of those chromosomes in her egg came from her father, as if it matters. Either way, if a sperm would bring condemnation upon the Lamb who must needs be spotless, then so would an egg. Hence, the very reason for the virgin birth, establishing the very foundation of any article titled "Virgin birth of Jesus." Contrary to claims in this article, many protestant Christians do NOT take the Roman POV. If you are the greater authority over this article, then I kindly request that you check the Nicene creed, and correct the mis-quoting. The phrase proceeding the one quoted from the Apostle's Creed might well be added as well, seeing it is about conception-- its absence here is conspicuous. I'll leave it in your hands now. Recall scripture that Adam was the first man; Christ the second... (Romans 5.) Christ was a new creation. This is verifiable; AND there is consensus among Christians who have come to understand truth in some tiny measure. If this does not meet Wikipedia standards, then Wikipedia remains yet another cesspool that uses good policy in a corrupt manner: to uphold lies. Thank you for pointing out the suggested reading.Totoro33 (talk) 17:29, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
So far, this is original research by you. What you have to do now is to cite a book by an authoritative writer who says what you have just said here. Esoglou (talk) 19
03, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I added some information to Virgin birth (mythology) necessary to a link from another article. However, I have just read this article and see that much of the old information in that article is already here. I would like to add my information here, as that article needs work and is just a repeat of parts of this one:

Mythological overview

Mythology is the basis of many religious beliefs. Beliefs about the nature of virginity are no exception. Ancient Hebrews, like the Babylonians and Greeks, thought that bees were chaste because they seemed to produce offspring with their mouths, or from wax. There were many ancient doctrines concerning bees and their products. Honey was known by the Greeks to be an antiseptic, and believed to confer immortality. The Babylonians and Persians used bees’ wax in burying or embalming the dead. Bees were thought to be prophetic and divine. The Babylonian word for bee, nubtu, is a female form of the word for prophet, nabiu. Honey was produced by the Essenes and was part of the diet of Jewish ascetics, like John the Baptist. Since honey is a product of “speaking animals”, Hebrew poets compared it to the Word or to Wisdom, and bees to the Logos, the Word, or the Messenger.[4]

For the Hebrews, the prophetess Deborah was the sacred bee, which may have represented the conception of the divine Word. Robert Eisler said in "Orpheus the Fisher," that the idea of the divine Word was a primitive idea with the Semites and “independent of Hellenistic speculation.” However, Jacob Rabinowitz argues that the idea of reason or knowledge, drawn directly from the spirit of God in man, was entirely Greek. The idea of man as the reasoner is a partial definition that ignores man's imagination and passion. The preeminence of the rational ability in man represents Rabbinic, rather than archaic Judaism. [5]

The Christian Church took these ideas over. Both honeycomb and fish were eucharistic symbols of God’s mystic body. [4]--Hammy64000 (talk) 19:06, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Also, it has been argued that the Hebrews did not share the belief of surrounding peoples in the divine right of kings. For one thing, The prophet Samuel warned them against having any king at all. But there is a more philosophical argument given by Rabinowitz, that I could put here for discussion. --Hammy64000 (talk) 21:15, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Maybe this would be better in Virgin birth (mythology) after all. Or maybe another heading. It was in answer to a comment about virgin birth in another article so I thought this location made sense, but it's a big change of subject. Thanks any way.--Hammy64000 (talk) 00:10, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Links to BibleGateway.com instead of other Wikipedia Articles

I've noticed that all of the linked verses go to Biblegateway.com, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but for verses like "Isaiah 7:14" there are perfectly good articles on Wikipedia Isaiah 7:14, and it would be clearer if this was somehow indicated on the actual word. The first time I clicked on Isaiah 7:14, I was expecting to be sent elsewhere on wikipedia and it was a bit of a rude surprise when I was instead sent to another website. I'm not exactly sure if there are already guidelines about how to make clear when links will take the reader outside the website and when not, but I imagine there must be some acceptable ways to accomplish this. Tumacama (talk) 13:57, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Parthenogenesis

Sources must relate to the topic, which is the Virgin Birth. This is not the place for a general discussion of parthenogensis. I'll remove the bits that don't seem to have sources relating to Jesus. Dougweller (talk) 20:06, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I approve. A ntv (talk) 20:47, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Leslie Weatherhead

[The reverted edit may be viewed at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Virgin_birth_of_Jesus&diff=446053315&oldid=442209340 ]--DLMcN (talk) 05:13, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

NB I support History2007's revert. Place for a 1 man view is on that 1 man's own bio article .. : In ictu oculi (talk) 11:39, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

So I guess there are differing opinions, given that D Weller thinks he is ok. That theory is certainly not a mainstream opinion, and is way out on the outer edges. But let us see what other people say. History2007 (talk) 13:41, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Not an opinion from me yet, just a question. How is this different from the Allegory section, which starts, "According to Uta Ranke-Heinemann,"? - SummerPhD (talk) 14:39, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

For me, the difference is that I do not know about Heinemann's views and their general situation. I would have to look into those. But Weatherhead's views are a very lonely tune, and although supported by the Moonies, that type of support does not scholarship make. However, given that the Weatherhead name is now spread over the talk page, in 9 month someone will ask about it, if it does not appear in the article. So to save ourselves future effort we may have to mention him, but by WP:Weight with less space and then include the objections, etc. If you look at his own Wikipedia page, it is Murder she wrote anyway. So that type of qualification may need to be added to his theory, given that there are not a lot of scholars lining up to support it. I would note that there are more people who argue that "Jesus never existed" than those who support Weatherhead's theory. And that says a lot. History2007 (talk) 14:56, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I think the question is whether his idea is discussed in other reliable sources, ie is it a significant viewpoint according to WP:NPOV, even if fringe. [3] discusses it and the author has several books published by reputable publishers. Google books shows other sources but only snippets ignoring a book published by self-publishers Xulon. I don't care very much, just that I'm not convinced that WP:UNDUE applies here. Of course it's fringe - the issue isn't whether it's supported, it's whether it's discussed, even if all that discussion is critical. Dougweller (talk) 15:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
So in any case, for me the future déjà vu principle is probably going to trump all other discussions: either we mention him now, or we will be back on this talk page in 9-12 months. So my suggestion would be to give him a brief mention with a fringe type qualification, etc. But let us see what other people say anyway. History2007 (talk) 15:43, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to all of you for your comments and ideas ...
If you do decide to include some mention, then I would press you, please, to include what is perhaps Weatherhead's strongest point - namely, the likelihood that Mary would surely have told her son about any miraculous circumstances regarding his conception ... so > Why do the Gospels not contain any mention by Jesus of that all-important fact?
After reading Weatherhead's "The Christian Agnostic", incidentally, I feel compelled to suggest that Ian Paisley's criticism and condemnation of Weatherhead's explanation, seems unnecessarily harsh; Weatherhead did manage to describe Mary's decision (to go and 'stay' with Zacharias) using beautiful and very moving language.--DLMcN (talk) 15:52, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, four points: 1. Moving language does not scholarship make. 2. It does not lead to logic or historicity either. 3. Why the gospels do not mention statement X is no support for the truth or falsehood of X. 4: What we think matters not, what matters are reliable reference support. As a side point just FYI: there are separate theories about the dissemination of the birth story of Jesus and how it was kept to a small group within the early Church. I have those refs (they were wp:RS) somewhere in my notes from over a year ago, but they are beside the point here. I addressed the logic issue also on Weatherhead's talk page anyway, so I will not repeat it here. History2007 (talk) 16:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
There's some confusion here as you seem to be actually arguing about the issue, which is irrelevant - our opinions on the logic, etc. simply do not belong on Wikipedia, and we don't choose our sources because we agree or disagree with the logic (or whether we shouldn't). The issue is whether his comments are significant enough, ie discussed by other sources, to be included, and how to include them. Dougweller (talk) 16:15, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
As I said: "What we think matters not" and RS refs are all that matters. But clarifying the issue helps cut back on the debate sometimes. History2007 (talk) 16:18, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, History2007 - I agree with your (1) and (2) ... my point was just that it would be inappropriate to mention Ian Paisley here. But I am not convinced that your (3) is completely watertight. In any event, at this stage I am happy to leave the exact wording to you and the others.--DLMcN (talk) 16:23, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually I never mentioned or wanted Paisley as a source. I just thought there was too much on Weatherhead's views, given that there is no academic chorus behind him. Maybe if we can talk In ictu oculi into writing something brief that would be good - in most cases, he knows these things (and the breadth of the field) better than myself. Else I will do it after a day or two. History2007 (talk) 16:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
May I, as someone who has not read Weatherhead's book, be excused for expressing inability to understand how what DLMcN calls Weatherhead's "strongest point" can be said to support Weatherhead's idea that Mary conceived her son when staying with old Zecharias. Is it not at least as strong a point in support of the idea that it was Joseph who was the father? And is it not already dealt with in the article? Esoglou (talk) 19:55, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think you just explained why almost no one in the academic world supports Weatherhead. However, as Ruth A. Tucker explains in Another Gospel: Cults, Alternative Religions, and the New Age Movement ISBN 0310259371 pages 250-251, the Moonies support it as part of their strategy to "diminish the role of Jesus in Christianity, and promote the exaltation of Sun Myung Moon instead". Having Joseph as the father would not achieve the same level of refocus. But anyway, outside the Mooney compound there is hardly any scholarly support for Weatherhead's theory at all. So you are not alone in your bewilderment. History2007 (talk) 20:01, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Esoglou - Weatherhead rules Joseph out because of the description in St Matthew's Gospel - which implies that Joseph was completely taken aback - genuinely horrified - when he heard that Mary was already pregnant, such that he even thought seriously about cancelling their impending marriage. Weatherhead also regards it as significant that Mary stayed in Zacharias's house for as long as three months. He points out that Zacharias, despite his age, had recently fathered John the Baptist. For a quick read of relevant extracts from "The Christian Agnostic", you could look at http://www.dlmcn.com/weatherhead.html#beg --DLMcN (talk) 05:28, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Weatherhead theory is a fringe theory which is not what a reader of Wiki looks for when he read this Article. The fact that on a primary topic there are lots of people with lots of fringe theories, it does not mean that we shall include all of them in the Article. No room in this Article for Weatherhead supposition, at least a half-line reference in a "fringe theories" section (where I would place also parthenogenesis ect.) A ntv (talk) 06:27, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually it's not quite clear what would be fringe in this article. To me, 'virgin birth' is fringe in itself (and possibly to most non-Christians). And I can certainly see people looking at this article for a discussion of why a virgin birth is unlikely. Dougweller (talk) 09:24, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Weatherhead's idea, imaginatively built on a selected item from Matthew (Joseph's ignorance) and another from Luke (Mary's three-month stay "with her" - with her cousin Elizabeth - Lk 1:56), while ignoring other elements in Matthew (e.g. ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει) and Luke (e.g. Elizabeth greeting Mary immediately on her arrival as "the mother of my Lord"), on a picturing of Zecharias as the equivalent of a high priest, when it was only by lot that he was selected to offer incense just once in the temple, and on various suppositions about sacred "marriage"/prostitution, still seems exceedingly far-fetched. But it is on grounds other than my personal opinion that Wikipedia must decide whether to include such an idea or ignore it and, if it does decide to include it, in what way to present it: as something that has entered mainstream thought as a serious hypothesis or only as a fringe notion. In any case, to return to the matter that I raised here, no reason has been provided for saying that the so-called "strongest point" directs to Weatherhead's unusual idea rather than to the much more widely held supposition that Joseph was the father.
The same holds for what Dougweller says. People don't need an idea such as Weatherhead's "for a discussion of why a virgin birth is unlikely". The idea that Joseph was the father (clearly no fringe idea) is enough. The idea that Jesus was conceived virginally, being so widely held, is also no fringe idea, and those who hold it contend that the happening was not just extremely unlikely (as if it were a case of natural parthenogenesis), but actually impossible for natural causes. I can't imagine anyone whatever holding that a virgin birth is anything other than unlikely. Esoglou (talk) 09:50, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Please remember what is this article about: it is about a "tenet", a "belief" of some religious groups (as per Article first line). So Wiki shall explain what is this tenet and which gruops adhere to it. Wiki shall also give some room to similar religious gruops that reject partially or totally it having however some believes about Christ. We have, in order of representativity, the tenet of Catholics+Orthodox+someProtestants, the one of Muslims, and some relevant tenents of the other Protestants. Ok, which is the the weight of Weatherhead's idea? how many denominations adhere to Weatherhead's ideas? So Weatherhead's ideas are WP:FRINGE. Please never forget that this article is about a religious tenet, not about a scientific theory. A ntv (talk) 11:22, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The summary of all these discussions may be that the general consensus is pointing towards having a brief mention of Weatherhead (even if just to avoid a rerun of this very discussion in 9 months) with a qualifier that here is no general scholarly support for it at all. The fact that not everyone is "totally" happy with that decision maybe an indication of its suitability as a compromise. Is that a good assessment? Shall we just do that so we can move on? History2007 (talk) 13:22, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes. I support. Esoglou (talk) 14:22, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I've never thought it was worth more than a brief mention. However, any qualifier has to mention Weatherhead and whatever the qualification says, and probably be attributed. We might also want to use a source mentioning Weatherhead's idea rather than cite Weatherhead himself. Dougweller (talk) 14:27, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Given that A ntv mentioned other denominations, the other source could be Tucker which is WP:RS. Now, if this turns out to be the route, A ntv would you like to provide a sentence or two (with RS refs, needless to say) to explain your perspective that Weatherhead is way out on the fringe of fringe? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 14:33, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
1. A devout Christian, anxious to minimise the claim that Joseph could have been Jesus's biological father, would certainly find useful material in the Gospels to help criticise the "Joseph" theory. However, if asked to comment on the "Zacharias" theory, that same Christian would [I submit] probably find his task not quite so straightforward.
Admittedly, those^ suggestions may or may not be relevant in the specific context of this particular article, but they can perhaps be regarded as an adjunct to Esaglou's sentences: "People don't need an idea such as Weatherhead's for a discussion of why a virgin birth is unlikely. The idea that Joseph was the father (clearly no fringe idea) is enough".
2. This direct quotation (here below >) from Weatherhead is another way of putting his views into proper perspective:
"Mr Wainwright’s suggestion [regarding Zacharias] is, of course, a speculation, but for those who reject the Virgin Birth and are asked what alternative is possible, it seems to be a solution which meets such evidence as we possess".
3. History2007 has emphasised the lack of "historical support" for Weatherhead's theory. But can we really claim that the other theories are significantly more richly endowed with "historical support"?--DLMcN (talk) 18:02, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I could debate this with you for 3 days, but that should probably take place in a bar with plenty of beer at hand - not here. Or to be historical, we could find the pub that Weatherhead would go drinking in before he wrote that stuff. But again the key for Wikipedia is the Fringe test, not our views (which do not matter really) and I think there is consensus here that Weatherhead is squarely within WP:Fringe. History2007 (talk) 18:07, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The recently minted "speculation" (Weatherhead's word) was unsuspected for centuries and, it seems, has yet to win the support that for Wikipedia would remove it from the fringe area. Esoglou (talk) 18:35, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree. And I am really trying hard not to debate this with DLMcN, so I will not say more in agreement with you, in order not to generate debate. History2007 (talk) 18:51, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't really see what needs to be said here. 1-man theories go in the bio articles of the individual, not in main articles. The difference between Weatherhead and for example Ebionites or Joseph Priestley or Coleridge's psilanthropy is that of historical notablility of the person/group with the belief. Having said that, in a list of a dozen psilanthropists, a wikilink to Weatherhead's own article would be okay.In ictu oculi (talk) 03:38, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, that sounds like even a better solution. We can mention psilanthropism and Weatherhead will be one link in that, with Weatherhead's theory discussed on his own page. And I think psilanthropism should probably get a link in this article anyway - now it does not have one. But the more I look at it, the more I realize how isolated Weatherhead's theory is - people do not even bother to criticize him. History2007 (talk) 05:46, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

All right then, bowing to majority opinion I will avoid uttering Weatherhead's name in the main article - but it would nevertheless be illuminating for it to incorporate two important points that he makes, because they are both very relevant to the topic. Earlier, I did draw attention to those two items, namely:
(1) The Gospels contain absolutely no record of Jesus mentioning that his mother had conceived him without a human father. [As DougWeller says, people could well be visiting the main article in order to try and assess what evidence there is for and against the Virgin Birth].
(2) According to St. Matthew's Gospel, Joseph was genuinely surprised, even horrified, when he heard that his fiancée Mary was already pregnant, such that he thought seriously about cancelling the marriage.
I will accordingly make tentative additions to the text of the main article. --DLMcN (talk) 10:50, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
The one sentence you added is correct from a simple reading but incomplete, and some would say incorrect. There is more to say on that issue and plenty of references. As I go through and clean up the rest, as below, I will add references and explain that etc. There are at least 5-10 RS references on that single issue alone, but all in good time. History2007 (talk) 13:35, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you - it sounds as if I will learn something interesting, so I'm grateful in anticipation. Indeed, from the exchange in this forum I can say that I have already learned a few things I did not know before ... If, incidentally, it is my number (2) above which you will be amplifying, then your comments will presumably also address Luke 1, 34 - which (as most readers are undoubtedly aware) is not exactly consistent with the hypothesis that Mary and Joseph had been engaging in premarital intercourse. --DLMcN (talk) 14:58, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually we all learn here. Over the past 2 years I have learned a lot from both Esoglou and In ictu oculi, all for free. But in any case, I was referring to Jesus' specific claims to divinity which are in several points in the Gospels e.g. Matthew 16:15-16 which according to "One teacher: Jesus' teaching role in Matthew's gospel ISBN 3110181517 pages 240-241" is a specific assertion of sonship with respect to God. And there are others, but I need to clean up the Matthew 1 and 2 issues first. So it will take a few days. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 15:18, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Claims of what the Gospels say and do not say

Sorry, it is simply false to say: "However, according to Matthew 1:19, Joseph was genuinely surprised, even horrified, when he heard that his fiancée Mary was already pregnant, such that he thought seriously about cancelling the marriage." That is only an interpretation, not an account of what Matthew 1:19 says. Matthew 1:19 in the version you cited] (without giving a working link to it) says: "Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly." It says nothing of being horrified, and even does not actually mention surprise, although surprise was inevitable in the circumstances posited by those who understand the text as speaking of a virginal conception, even more inevitable, indeed much more so, than in the circumstances posited by those who understand the text as pointing to a human father other than Joseph.

The other insertion, "There is, however, no record in any of the Gospels of Jesus mentioning that his mother had conceived him without a human father", is disputed. Both Matthew and Luke are commonly interpreted as mentioning precisely that. Esoglou (talk) 15:22, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

You are right, of course. And thanks for breaking the news so gently... But on the last point I think he meant that there is no "direct sentence" by Jesus about his own birth. Is there? In any case, if that is to survive either way it needs a ref. Jesus does, however, clearly claim God to be his father in several places, as above. History2007 (talk) 16:00, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Esoglou - I would be quite happy to take a fresh look at the precise wording to be used here. I confess, incidentally, to being unable to read the Gospels in the original Greek ... But the 'bottom line' here, surely, is whether or not we can somehow reconcile the Gospels with the "Joseph = father" hypothesis; i.e. was Joseph just being hypocritical?
I would certainly be interested in the sections in Matthew and Luke which you refer to. --DLMcN (talk) 16:05, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
History, there is no direct sentence by Jesus about his own birth, if by that you mean his human parentage, not even that his mother is Mary. He does say: "For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice" (Jn 18:37).
DL, no, we can't reconcile in Wikipedia terms the Gospels with the Joseph hypothesis or the Zecharias hypothesis or the Panthera hypothesis. We might in our own minds, but "the majority of scholars (say) that Luke does intend a virginal conception" (Brown, Birth of the Messiah, p. 299). Esoglou (talk) 18:07, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
History, yes, you are right. I admit I did misunderstand what DL wrote. Apologies especially to DL. And indeed to you too for having rushed this reply to both of you. Esoglou (talk) 18:12, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, 1. no "direct statement" but indirect references by Jesus and 2. most scholars support Luke as asserting a Virgin birth, and Brown is a solid WP:RS reference for that. History2007 (talk) 18:13, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
As I've been saying at Epistle of James, we can't use primary sources this way, we need a source saying what isn't in the Bible, how many times something is in the Bible, etc. Dougweller (talk) 18:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, of course. As I go through it, I will make sure there will be WP:Secondary sources for every statement. But it will take a week probably. History2007 (talk) 18:53, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Article clean up

I had not read through this article in any detail before. Now that I have I see the need for plenty of clean up. I have tried to organize the sections so far but much more is needed. Some simple examples are as follows:

  • A lot of references are to websites that are totally open to WP:Linkrot and less than WP:RS. As I went to move a section, the spam filter stopped me from re-inserting one of the links, etc. That needs to change.
  • There is general disorganization, e.g. the first paragraph on the Pauline epistles section starts by saying that they are "considered to be the earliest texts in the New Testament". The last paragraph in the same section, then repeats the same statement. And there is lack of flow in between.
  • There are obvious "acts of omission" e.g. the first line in the article says: "The virgin birth of Jesus is a tenet of Christianity and Islam". The word Islam appears only in that first line and nowhere else!
  • And the treatment of the Nativity accounts in Luke and Matthew which provide the context for Virgin Birth discussions leaves a lot to be desired. It is not central to this topic, but should be presented with better organization.

And the list goes on... and there are more problems, but a step at a time. I will start cleaning up anyway. History2007 (talk) 21:00, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

DLMcN & Esoglou, I don't immediately have a WP:Secondary reference to the fact that there is no "direct statement" by Jesus about his mother, or his own nativity, as we discussed above, so I did not add that. If you have such a reference, you can add it, else we will just have to leave it. But I do not see that as a major issue, given that Matthew and Luke state it anyway. In any case, I think every statement in the article is now supported by a WP:RS reference, often by two. So I think it is well referenced now, given that there are over 80 secondary references - and for an article that is about 3,000 words that is above the general Wiki-standards. So I think it is generally in good shape now. History2007 (talk) 19:34, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I can't imagine any serious scholar raising the question. What conclusion could anyone reasonably draw, even outside of Wikipedia (which does not allow personal syntheses by its editors), from the absence of a record of a statement by Jesus himself about his parentage? The idea reminds me of Topsy and her "direct statement" that she "never was born"! Esoglou (talk) 20:13, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I think you mean it is not important. I agree. So we will let it be. History2007 (talk) 20:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
As discussed earlier, there are sceptics who are just not sure what to make of this Virgin Birth controversy, who will therefore be looking for illumination and enlightenment when they read the Wikipedia article.
1. As we know all too well, plenty of people were not convinced when Jesus announced that he was the Son of God. One such scenario was cited by Oswald Spengler ["Decline of the West" II/215]: the description in Mark VI/1-6 of Jesus's visit to his home village, when the people there recognised him but refused to believe that he was divine. That would have been the perfect opportunity for him (or Mary) to remind them that he had been conceived without a human father. The absence of any direct statement to that effect from Jesus, does undoubtedly help to question the claim that it was a "Virgin Birth". A secondary source which emphasises that fact is Weatherhead's "The Christian Agnostic", pages 59-63; [Hodder & Stoughton, 1965].
2. The theory that Joseph was Jesus's biological father is alluded to in the article, but surely it would be relevant to explain how and why that theory rejects the testimony given in Matthew I/19 and Luke I/34. Are the authors in your references 42-45 claiming that Joseph and Mary were guilty of a "cover-up"? --DLMcN (talk) 07:09, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
There are three separate issues here, and based on what you said their separation has obviously not been clearly stated in the article.
  • 1. The gradual revelation of the identity of Jesus in the New Testament narrative itself. The flow of the NT narrative makes it clear that Jesus did not travel around from the start of his ministry and claim to be the Messiah, or discuss his nativity. That deserves to be mentioned, but is probably not central to this article.
  • 2. References to the parentage of Jesus in the New Testament narrative itself, beyond the first parts of Luke and Matthew. In fact there are cases where there are indirect references to "son of Joseph" or "son of Mary" with implications as insults from what I recall. I have to look those up - and Esolglou probably knows them already. So he may be the best person to add them.
  • 3. Objections by scholars and various groups such as Ebionites since the 1st and 2nd centuries, and the Moonies now. These should be discussed in the Critical analysis section. The right place to discuss them is of course in the psilanthropism article and the section that summarizes it here, because any statement that the virgin birth did not happen (regardless of the form objection) is a form of psilanthropism. So if you feel you there is not enough info on the various forms of psilanthropism and approaches to it, we can expand both the psilanthropism article and the section here. I have already expanded the psilanthropism article a little, but I think it can be further expanded. In fact, to do it properly, we should expand that article first, then summarize it here, given that there is a "Main" whose purpose is a s summarization. So we should discuss the expansion of that article on its talk page first, arrive at a final version there, then summarize it here.
So if you want to sketch the various forms of psilanthropism that you think are not getting represented, let us do it on the psilanthropism article (which needs expansion), then we will summarize it here once that is stable. But the other two issues (1 and 2) need to be dealt with here, because they are pure NT issues. History2007 (talk) 07:50, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you History 2007 - in anticipation, too, of an answer to my question (2). In the small village where I live, there is no easy access to reference numbers 42-45. Based on the books listed there, Esoglou pointed out (correctly) that the "Joseph = Father" theory is not a fringe one - but it would still be relevant and helpful to have clarification as to how those writers managed to dismiss the Gospel references to Jesus's conception.
Are you now giving me permission to draft out a possible reference to Weatherhead in the Psilanthropy section? As you say, it would be better to first prepare, discuss, and polish it up here in the Talk-File. However, it would contain some of the material which I wrote earlier, which was reverted. DougWeller suggested bringing in a few authors who have actually written about Weatherhead - and that would indeed be illuminating - but I do not have the books that Doug cited. If, incidentally, we want to bring in the fact that Weatherhead rules out Joseph's biological role, then we probably need to be clear about the counter-arguments put forward in references 42-45. --DLMcN (talk) 10:44, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually you do not need permission from me or any other editor to edit any page, be it this one or the page on Chicago, as long as the material is referenced and does not run against consensus. The consensus was not to elaborate a lot on Weatherhead here, and my suggestion was/is that there should be consistency between the Psilanthropy section here and said article. So I am not the permission authority here, in fact no one is the permission authority on any page, this or any other. Edits just follow policy and consensus. It is that simple.
Now the interaction of policy and consensus on this talk page has been that there is general agreement that Weatherhead is fringe, and that he can be briefly mentioned, but by virtue of being fringe can not claim a lot of real estate. That is the way I read the talk page above. Do you read it differently? Anyway, the Moonies are certainly more notable than Weatherhead and there is now a reference to them as well as Weatherhead, with a 3rd party WP:RS quote. Now per WP:UNDUE not a lot of space can be given here to fringe items, so detailed discussions of Weatherhead can certainly appear on his page, and the interested parties will click there from here, or the Psilanthropy article which should really be the central place for discussing Psilanthropy. And as is, the section on Psilanthropy is almost the size of the section on Matthew+Luke and the section on Old Testament, etc. So given that this article is about the "virgin birth" that section can not really over run the key other elements per WP:WEIGHT and given that there is already an article on psilanthropism that needs expansion, the expansion should really take place there, to follow the combination of consensus and policy. History2007 (talk) 14:24, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
"How do those writers dismiss the Gospel references to Jesus' conception?" Easy. They simply dismiss them as mere inventions, as they dismiss much else or indeed almost all that is in the Gospels. Esoglou (talk) 14:45, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
That is a valid point in its own right. Given that angels make regular appearances within the narrative, the entire narrative can be (and is) dismissed by most skeptics anyway, without much effort. The same would apply to the raising of Lazarus. How is a man revived 4 days after death? So those items are often dismissed by skeptics rather easily. History2007 (talk) 14:52, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
We appear to have reached an "equilibrium" (more or less) - so it is appropriate to thank all contributors for their time and efforts. For me personally, the exchange has been fruitful - showing me other points of view. I wonder if we broke any Wikipedia records? ... e.g. for the number or volume of edits in one day, or during a two-day time-span, or maybe within one hour. --DLMcN (talk) 04:49, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we seem to have a stable version now. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 04:59, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Unification Church beliefs

I have been a member of the Unification Church since 1974 and have been editing church-related articles here for the last several years. I was a bit surprised to find a fairly obscure fact about our church here in this article. It is absolutely true that we do not believe in a literal virgin birth of Jesus. The idea that Zacharias is or may be Jesus' father, although held by many members, is not an official part of our doctrine -- not being mentioned in the Divine Principle. However this article is about a 1,000 year old (or more) doctrine which is of great importance to billions of people. I think a minor detail of the beliefs of a fairly small group is out of place in this article. The issue of the Virgin Birth is not even mentioned in Unification Church, Sun Myung Moon, Divine Principle, or any other article on the UC. Why should UC beliefs be mentioned here? Steve Dufour (talk) 20:24, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I did not even want to work on that section, but another editor started a discussion that resulted in it. The end result was that there was a need for mentioning who the modern adherents to Psilanthropism were. As part of that search this showed up. Seems relevant, else it seems that there are no modern Psilanthropists with that belief. If we do not add it now, I bet it will get added in a few months anyway after more debate.So keep cool and let it be. This is Wikipedia, a discussion starts, facts get added. Given that you say "held by many members" it is a valid fact anyway. If you have WP:RS sources that say it is held by many members but is not official, that can get added, not this deleted. History2007 (talk) 20:39, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the facts should be added to Unification Church. I don't think they are very important in a general article on the Virgin Birth. I have met many main-stream Christians who also do not believe in a literal virgin birth, although the official doctrines of their churches say there was. Steve Dufour (talk) 20:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Who you and I "have met" are personal sampling issue, subject to the obvious constraints of stratified sampling, and really not the issue here. I see no exact reason for deleting this referenced fact about Psilanthropism, except an application of WP:I just don't like it. History2007 (talk) 20:54, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I feel it is given undue weight in this article, which is not even about Psilanthropism much less about the commentary of one unnotable person (i.e. no WP article), Ruth Tucker, about a book by another unnotable person, Young Oon Kim, from which Tucker got her information on this point. Steve Dufour (talk) 21:05, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Look, you deleted the whole section in one edit. What can I say? To delete that referenced fact, you will need to get consensus. So we will wait, if there is consensus to delete it, we will, else if there is no consensus, what there is remains, per clear Wikipolicies such as WP:STATUSQUO, etc. So we wait. History2007 (talk) 21:09, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  • No problem. I really think that in the world probably 1/3 of people believe in the Virgin Birth, 1/3 believe in Jesus as a religious leader or at least a good person but not in the Virgin Birth, and 1/3 don't care. So we are talking about billions of people in each class. I don't see why the opinions of one fairly small church should be discussed in this article. On the other hand if consensus says to mention it more sources could be added for a more comprehensive presentation of UC beliefs on that topic, rather than one person's opinion about another person's statements. Steve Dufour (talk) 01:18, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
It is very easy, all you need is what you said above: "Although this view is held by many members, it is not an official teaching".Ref1, Ref2 That is all. Very simple. And happens to be true as well... The 1/3 of planet estimates, are, however a personal view. History2007 (talk) 02:28, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay I will look for some more sources about the UC views. I wasn't intending to add estimates about numbers of people, but I think the view that Jesus is a good person but not divinely conceived is very common now days. Steve Dufour (talk) 05:51, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Nowadays only facts confirmed by Twitter seem to be believed by the population at large. Should get Kim K to tweet whatever you want to be the public opinion.... sigh... History2007 (talk) 09:29, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Tutorial on UC

Steve, I think teh material you added as a subsection is now a general tutorial on UC beliefs rather than a discussion fo their position of Virgin Birth. E.g.:

  • Jesus was supposed to marry and establish an ideal family: This is long after hsi bit, what does this have to do with his birth?
  • ...beliefs of the Unification Church are based on the Bible, but include new interpretations not found in Jewish and Christian tradition.: This may be ok, if used in a sentence.
  • fallen mankind can be restored to God only through Christ (the Messiah), who comes as a new Adam to become the new head of the human race (replacing the sinful parents), through whom mankind can be reborn into God's family. Jesus of Nazareth came as the Christ, the Second Adam, the only begotten Son of God. He became one with God, speaking the words of God and doing the works of God, and revealing God to the people. If this is just a general tutorial, not a Virgin Birth discussion.
  • The people, however, rejected and crucified him, thereby preventing his building the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus, however, was victorious over Satan in his crucifixion and resurrection, and thus made possible spiritual salvation for those who are reborn through him and the Holy Spirit. The restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth awaits the Second Coming of Christ More tutorial about salvation, not Virgin birth.

And what this does NOT say is the crucial item: that the UC does not teach that Zachariah was the father of Jesus. I thought that was what you wanted to say. So this does not explain the key issue of "no teaching on Zachariah" but instead gives tutorial on salvation etc. I think you need to replace it with "UC does not formally teach that Zachariah was the father of Jesus" with a WP:Secondary reference. History2007 (talk) 13:59, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

I took out some of the material. It would be possible to say: "The Divine Principle does not say that Zachariah was the father of Jesus." And then cite that to the DP itself (the text of which is online). However that kind of thing is usually considered OR on WP. If it's okay with you I will consider that a consensus and add it. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:20, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

But you know that I never even wanted to work on that section, however now that it is there, should be done right. The problem still is: why is there a separate subsection on UC in a VB article? That looks just unusual. My guess is that given that Tucker was there, the other material would show other aspects of the UC beliefs, but it is still really overdosing on UC.

My suggestion is just to just say:

Modern psilanthropists include some members of the Unification Church. The church's textbook, the Divine Principle does not include the teaching that Zacharias was the father of Jesus, however according to Ruth Tucker some members of the church hold that belief based on the work of Leslie Weatherhead.[6][7][8][9]

That way Weatherhead gets mentioned as the other user wanted, Tucker gets mentioned and it is all brief, so we do not OD on a UC tutorial. History2007 (talk) 18:12, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

I will make the change as you say. I actually think it is still giving more weight to a fairly minor point, but better than it was. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:31, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Ok, fine. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 19:33, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I too am happy with the present (revised) version --DLMcN (talk) 04:14, 29 November 2011 (UTC) ... my suggested edit of today is just a restructuring of the sentence, without modifying the content --DLMcN (talk) 07:03, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Ok, the rest of the article has been stable as well, with hardly any other edits to the other sections - so at least it is not taking up any time and we can just leave it. History2007 (talk) 09:48, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

The Qur'an

Is it worth also mentioning the Qur'anic account of Mary being criticized (for being an unmarried mother) - and Jesus then speaking up from the cradle in [indirect] support of his mother? Admittedly, there is already a recommended link across to "Jesus in Islam", which contains the following description: "The Qur'an goes onto narrate that Mary ... brought [the extremely young] Jesus to the temple, where immediately she began to be taunted by all the men, excluding Zechariah, who believed in the virgin birth. The Israelites accused Mary of being a loose woman and having touched another man whilst unmarried. In response, Mary pointed to her son, telling them to talk to him ..." [which Jesus then did - according to the text, that is]. I confess, incidentally, that I find quite intriguing the above reference to Zechariah, because of my personal interest in Leslie Weatherhead's theory.--DLMcN (talk) 19:26, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I think you said it yourself. It is but a digression to Zechariah and Weatherhead and runs into WP:Undue of course. History2007 (talk) 20:14, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Pauline Epistles - no specific mention of VB?

History2007 and 217.43.107.207 ... St. Paul's mission was to try and convince others that Jesus really was the "Son of God" - so surely it would have been relevant for him to emphasize the miracle of the Virgin Birth? (assuming of course that it did happen and that he knew about it). Is that a fair reflection of any of the arguments contained in references 38 to 52?--DLMcN (talk) 06:49, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the silence of Paul is already discussed. The point 217.43 was making was however, somewhat similar to the rumor that Paul did mention the VB in the Epistle to the Corsicans but he did not apply enough postage, the letter was returned and is still languishing in the post office in Rome. But jokes aside, all "arguments based on silence" in this and all other cases, have the flaw that they assume we have all letters ever written. There is no way that can be the case, given the situation at the Corsican post office, etc. In any case, the wording there was too strong, as I said in the edit summary. History2007 (talk) 07:07, 14 January 2012 (UTC)