RE: [asa] Lawrence Krauss Defends New Atheism

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Sun Jun 28 2009 - 15:28:17 EDT

Hi Merv, you wrote:


>>O.T.O.H the prophecies of Isaiah refer to the Hebrew word 'almah'
literally referring to 'young woman' when they could have used 'bethulah'
which more literally is associated with virginity.<<


First off, what would the prophecy be if he intended "a young woman"?


"Therefore the
kjv> Lord himself shall
=kjv> give you a
kjv> sign; Behold, a
=kjv> virgin shall
=kjv> conceive, and
=kjv> bear a
=kjv> son ."


What if he had said a man would give birth to a son. That would be
attention getting, but if he had said a man will father a son, what kind of
prophecy would that be? In other words, for it to be any kind of prophecy
at all it would have to be either a virgin or an unmarried women who in that
culture would have been stoned to death for her lack of virtue.


Dick Fischer, author, lecturer

Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham




-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Merv Bitikofer
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 8:56 AM
To: Alexanian, Moorad; asa
Subject: Re: [asa] Lawrence Krauss Defends New Atheism


Alexanian, Moorad wrote:

The virgin birth is peanuts compared with the notion of a Creator God. I
never quite understood why that issue is ever brought up. The virgin birth
must be something to be doubted only by atheists.

Playing atheist's advocate here...

Yes, but it's also peanuts for hyperbole, hagiography, and general "story
growth" to work its way into cultural "memory" even over a single human life
span. Atheists don't doubt that an existing God could do what he wants.
What they doubt (other than His existence obviously) is that the event
actually happened as recorded in some of the gospels. To atheists, it's a
matter of choosing the simpler explanation.

....and yes, some Christians do doubt the literal virgin birth, though I
can't recall any big names to back this up (other than 'Jesus Seminar' folks
like Marcus Borg --but then they doubt a lot of things that are pretty
essential to Christianity). But it seems I have read somewhere how some
wonder why the Apostle Paul who makes the earliest written contributions to
the N.T. and who gives us otherwise expansive and comprehensive theology
never once mentions this little detail about the virgin birth. As you can
tell, I wrestle with doubts of my own, but they aren't doubts about God's
capabilities. They are doubts about human cultural ability to resist the
temptation of embellishment, in their zeal of reporting on a cherished
cause. Since Luke, a physician, records it, and since it is O.T. prophecy
anticipating it, these are marks in favor, even to one who doesn't
automatically accept all Scripture literally. O.T.O.H the prophecies of
Isaiah refer to the Hebrew word 'almah' literally referring to 'young woman'
when they could have used 'bethulah' which more literally is associated with
virginity. So doubters can reference this dispute as evidence that later
gospel writers are imputing something back into prophecy to make it match.
At least this is the case according to an ex-Christian blogger at this
Does he have his Hebrew straight?

--Merv (quester after Truth wherever that may lead; Lord, help me in this!)

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Received on Sun Jun 28 15:29:16 2009

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