I thought I would celebrate Advent by having a series of posts on Jesus. I will start with the virgin birth. I will not try and prove the virgin birth but will discuss the purpose of the virgin birth. Some skeptics would suggest that Matthew and Luke were forced into inventing a virgin birth because of either Hebrew or pagan traditions. I am not convinced. On the Hebrew side, the passage in Isaiah 7:14 does not require a virgin birth for the Messiah. In the original context, the child was born in Isaiah’s day and likely was not born of a virgin. The Hebrew word almah does not require that there is no male involvement in conception. On the pagan side, once you read the myths, there are very few actual virgin births. Most of the times it is a supernatural birth that includes sexual intercourse in conception.
Most often from Christians I hear that Jesus was born of a virgin because Jesus needed to be born without sin and the only way that could happen is if there was no human father. However, I see no biblical reason for this. Is sin passed on through DNA? And where does it teach that sin is passed only through the father and never through the mother? If sin is passed through DNA (which I doubt), DNA is passed through the mother as well and so Jesus would have received it through Mary.
So why was Jesus born through virginal conception (more accurate than virgin birth)? I believe it is because Jesus had a unique relationship with God the Father. A biological relationship with a human mother would not create confusion with this but a biological relationship with a human father would. By being conceived through a virgin, Jesus’ relationship with the Father was emphasized in a special way. This is why I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin.