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Jesus - Virgin Birth


Scriptures of Particular Interest




Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 1:18  NAS

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  – Matthew 1:20  NAS

The angel answered and said to [Mary], The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. – Luke 1:35  NAS




Scholars

 

Anthony BuzzardThe origin of the Son of God is not in eternity, but in the womb of his mother some 2,000 years ago.

 

 

Anthony Buzzard, The Begetting, Coming into Existence, of the Son of God.

 



James DunnLuke is more explicit than Matthew in his assertion of Jesus’ divine sonship from birth (1:32, 35). But here too it is sufficiently clear that it is a begetting, a becoming, which  is in view, the coming into existence of one who will be called, and will in fact be the Son of God, not the transition of a preexistent being to become the soul of a human baby, or the metamorphosis of a divine being into a human foetus… Luke’s intention is clearly to describe the creative process of begetting…. Similarly in Acts there is no sign of any Christology of preexistence.

Dr. James Dunn on Luke 1:35 (Christology in the Making, p. 51)




 

By the word ‘therefore’ the angel alludes to his preceding words: he will be called the son of the Highest. We might paraphrase it: ‘And it is precisely for this reason that I said to you….’  We have  then here, from the mouth of the angel himself, an authentic explanation of the term SON of GOD, in the former part of his message. After this explanation Mary could only understand the title in this sense: a human being of whose existence God Himself is the immediate author. It does not convey the idea of preexistence…”

Professor Godet on Luke 1:35



Jesus Did not Literally Preexistence Himself

 


To avoid confusion, therefore it would be better to speak of the Johannine Christ as the incarnation of God, as God making Himself known to human flesh, not as the incarnation of the Son of God (Intro to Christololgy in the Making, xxvii)… To speak of Christ as himself preexistent, coming down from heaven, and so forth, has to be seen as metaphorical; otherwise it leads inevitably to some kind of polytheism.

Dr. James Dunn on Preexistence



For Matthew and Luke there was no thought of preexistence or incarnation associated with the mystical [sic] dogma of the virgin birth. The fact is that Virgin Birth and preexistence cannot be reconciled. A preexistent being who becomes man reduces himself to the state of a human embryo, but he is not conceived [or begotten] by action exterior to himself in the womb of a woman. Conception is the point at which  an individual is formed who did not exist before -at least as an individual (p. 43).

Dr. James Dunn on Luke 1:35 (Christology in the Making, pp. 51, 43)

 



 

Raymond Brown notes the fundamental difference between the Virgin Birth and preexistence. In preexistence christology, conception cannot be a real begetting. For Kuschel the absence of preexistence is virtually determined by the presence of the virginal conception.

The Preexistent Son, by Simon Gathercole, 2006, p.9

 


Notes on the word gennao in Matthew 1:20

(Begotten rather than conceived)

 


Strongs on gennao, beget

Meaning:  1) of men who fathered children 1a) to be born 1b) to be begotten 1b1) of women giving birth to children 2) metaph. 2a) to engender, cause to arise, excite 2b) in a Jewish sense, of one who brings others over to his way of life, to convert someone 2c) of God making Christ his son 2d) of God making men his sons through faith in Christ's work

 



Geneva Bible Notes: Matthew 1:20 but while he pondered on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to (1) take to thee Mary, thy (2) wife, for that which is (3) begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Youngs Literal Translation, Matthew 1:20 And on his thinking of these things, lo, a messenger of the Lord in a dream appeared to him, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, thou mayest not fear to receive Mary thy wife, for that which in her was begotten is of the Holy Spirit,

Darby, Matthew 1:20 but while he pondered on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take to thee Mary, thy wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Thayer’s Lexicon on gennao

Passive, to be begottento en aute gennethen  ‘that which is begotten in her womb,’ Matt. 1:20.



Bauer’s Lexicon on Gennao

1624  gennao See A Rahlfs, Genesis 1926, 39.

Generate, to cause something to come into existence, primarily through procreation or parturition.

1. become the parent of, beget

Liddell and Scott on Gennao

8263  gennao
(Gennao,) Causal of gignomai. of the father, to beget, engender, Aesch., Soph.; rarely of the mother, to bring forth, Aesch.

 

 





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