Re: Virginal conception (was Re: [asa] Lawrence Krauss Defends New Atheism)

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Jun 27 2009 - 15:55:57 EDT

The technical meaning of "virgin birth" (virginitas in partu) is not just that Mary had not had sexual intercourse when Jesus was born (as Mt.1:25 says) but that she retained her physical virginity (virgo intacta) - i.e., the hymen was not broken even in the process of giving birth. Comparison is sometimes made with Jesus appearing in a locked room on Easter evening in Jn.20.

My own view is that not only is there no biblical basis for this idea but that its theological implications are entirely negative since it detracts from the belief that in the Incarnation Jesus shared fully in the human condition - & that in spite of the fact that Luther seems to have accepted it. (On reflection though I think I was wrong about Calvin & Wesley on that, & that what they accepted, as Luther certainly did, was yet another idea, that of the perpetual virginity of Mary - i.e., after Jesus' birth.)


----- Original Message -----
From: "gordon brown" <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 2:22 PM
Subject: Re: Virginal conception (was Re: [asa] Lawrence Krauss Defends New Atheism)

> On Sat, 27 Jun 2009, George Murphy wrote:
>> The issue here is whether or not Mary conceived the Word as a virgin, not
>> whether or not she retained her virginity in giving birth. The latter view
>> has been held by many Christians (not only Orthodox & RCs - Luther & I
>> believe Calvin & Wesley held it) but there is no biblical warrant for it.
> Doesn't Matthew 1:25 count as biblical?
> Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Sat Jun 27 15:57:38 2009

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