Virgin Birth of Christ
The question of the Virgin Birth of Jesus has been one of the most widely discussed, as well as one of the most disputed, subjects in the whole range of Christian doctrine. This encyclopaedic study achieved a wide reputation when it was first published, and it is well known on both sides of the Atlantic, but in recent years has been virtually unobtainable in Great Britain. It remains the most thorough and scholarly treatment of the subject published this century. The book is not only invaluable as apologetic but also as a compendium of information.
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The author attempts to justify why the virgin Birth is absent from two of the 4 gospels, and never mentioned in the Acts or the Epistles. It is a brave and sincere attempt, but seems desperate, made harder by the fact that the nativity accounts of Matthew and Luke are in great variance.
Long speeches are made to the Jews in Acts etc, yet this remarkable sign from God is not mentioned to help persuade people to repent and change their ways!
The author says (correctly) that the Epistles were written to change the views of people already Christians who were straying. The same can (and has been said) about the gospels, in each supporting a school of thought. Alas, where is the original Aramaic testimony of Jesus the anointed?
The clearest account of the virgin birth is contained in the most trustworthy of books, the Quran. He is mentioned by name 25 times (5 times more often than Mohammed), and every Muslim must accept Jesus (Isa peace be upon him), as one of the mightiest of God's messengers, and born by miraculous virgin conception.
Remarkably, as a sign of the truth of the Quran and that it was not written by Mohammed (pbuh), it is Jesus who will return bodily from Heaven, to defeat the anti-Christ and rule the world until the final day, not Mohammed, despite Mohammed being the final messenger of God.
J. Gresham Machen demonstrates that one can believe without doubt in the Word of God as it has been revealed and preserved over the ages without being called unscholarly or uncritical. Certainly there will be those who disagree with Machen and his commitment to Scripture, but they cannot dismiss him as being naive or unaware of the current scholarship of the day. There is a great need for Christian scholarship on the caliber of Machen.
This particular book is very well explained by the title. What is the evidence for what is called the Virgin Birth of Christ in Scripture and Tradition? What are the challenges to Scripture? Should the Virgin Birth be given the status of myth or midrash? Machen ably deals with biblical and historical challenges.
"..it is perfectly clear that the New Testament teaches the virgin birth of Christ; about that there can be no manner of doubt. There is no serious question as to the interpretation of the Bible at this point.” (387)
In my humble opinion, this is an excellent book. Thanks to Google for displaying at least a portion of this book.
The Virgin BIRTH IN THE SECOND CENTURY
THE BIRTH NARRATIVE AN ORIGINAL PART OF THE THIRD GOSPEL
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LUCAN NARRATIVE
THE HYMNS OF THE FIRST CHAPTER OF LUKE
THE ORIGIN AND TRANSMISSION OF THE LUCAN NARRATIVE
THE INTEGRITY OF THE LUCAN NARRATIVE
THE NARRATIVE IN MATTHEW
THE INHERENT CREDIBILITY OF THE NARRATIVES
THE BIRTH NARRATIVES AND SECULAR HISTORY
THE BIRTH NARRATIVES AND THE REST OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
THE THEORY OF JEWISH DERIVATION
THE THEORY OF PAGAN DERIVATION
CONCLUSION AND CONSEQUENCES
THE RELATION BETWEEN THE NARRATIVES