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

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Sat Jun 27 2009 - 19:19:10 EDT

George Murphy wrote:
> 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.)
> Shalom
> George
> <>

Regarding your ending parenthetical comment: Do you mean that some
hold that Mary's later children, Jesus' brothers, also had virgin
births?! Or did you just mean that they held she was a virgin up
through the the entire birth process of Jesus himself?

What strikes me in all this is how there seems to be no such thing as an
unimportant detail. I think this has been elevated into a kind of
litmus test so that doctrine police can differentiate out those who
don't take every jot and tittle literally in the properly acceptable
ways. If one accepts that Christ was raised from the dead, I for one,
won't worry too much that they might have too small a view of God or
that God hasn't done miracles. The question is whether He *did* do
this one (not *can He* do it); perhaps we have a misunderstanding in
what we glean from Scriptures. Humility ought to prod us to not get too
bent out of shape either way on this one if it is a stumbling block for



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Received on Sat Jun 27 19:20:10 2009

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