The following was going to be my speech at my book presentation at the Magdalena chapel last Saturday, but later I decided to improvise…
Thank you all for coming. I will speak to you in Spanish. I haven’t yet learned Galician, not out of disinterest, but because I have dedicated myself to other tasks, such as finishing my book SECRETOS EN LA BIBLIA and my booklet WHO SAID THAT JESUS WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN?
Before talking about them, I want to ask if someone here has read the Bible from the beginning to the end.
I have asked you this question because it surprises me that few have read the Bible and yet many have opinions about it. I was one of them.
I will start by presenting my booklet WHO SAID THAT JESUS WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN? Based on a study of the Bible, I demonstrate that an enigma, at the beginning of the New Testament, made people suppose that Jesus was born of a virgin, but in reality indicates who was his father.
I thus contradict the dogma of Jesus’ Virgin Birth by basing myself on the authority of the Bible, since it is the same authority that Christian authorities based themselves on to declare that idea a dogma.
I want to emphasize the great difference there is between the idea that Jesus was born of a virgin and the idea that the Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin. Regarding the idea that Jesus was born of a virgin, believers and non-believers will never come to an agreement because the former accept miracles and the latter don’t. Regarding the idea that the Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin, they can come to an agreement, because both have to base their points of view on the Bible.
Why do some people believe in Jesus’ virgin birth? Firstly, they do so because they accept miracles, and secondly because they accept the authority of religious authorities who claim that Jesus was born of a virgin.
And why do Christian authorities believe in Jesus’ virgin birth. Firstly, because they accept miracles, and secondly because they believe that the Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin, and they assume that everything in the Bible is the truth. The idea that Jesus was born of a virgin is thus based on the idea that the Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin.
Both believers and non-believers assume that the Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin, but in none of the New Testament books did Jesus claim to have been born of a virgin.
The only reason to suppose that the Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin is that, in the first chapter of the New Testament, Saint Matthew refers to a prophecy about a virgin who is going to give birth to a son, and that, according to this gospeller, becomes reality in Jesus. However, this first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Matthew holds an enigma, which made people suppose that Jesus was born of a virgin, but in reality indicates who was his father.
For Muslims, Jesus is not the son of God, but a prophet born of a virgin. Since more than half of the world’s population is today Christian or Muslim, half of the world population believes, at least officially, that Jesus was born of a virgin. All these people do so because many centuries ago that first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Matthew convinced a few that this was so.
Do you now understand the importance of my study?
I wrote my book in Spanish and later translated it into English. I did the same with my booklet, but later asked a friend to translate it into Galician. And then asked other friends, or friends of friends, to translate it into Catalan, Basque, Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian and Arabic.
I made this effort because my discovery encourages believers to reconsider their belief in miracles and encourages non believers to reconsider their opinion of the Bible.
The Bible is considered a sacred book. Many believe that this implies that everything it says is true. However, a book ‘sacred’ originally implied accepting the fact that it holds secrets. The words ‘sacred’ and ‘secret’ come from the Latin verb ‘segregare’.
When our ancestors called that part of the temple ‘sacred’ where only the high priest could enter, because it was separated from the rest, they associated the concepts ‘sacred’ and ‘secret’ with each other.
Also the word ‘religion’ comes from Latin. It comes from the verb ‘legere’ that first meant ‘to unite’ and later ‘to read’. Therefore, originally, the word religion referred to reading a book many times in order to discover its secrets.
You now probably wonder why the Bible holds secrets. The Bible suggests that Jesus was born of a virgin because in Jesus’ time the Egyptians believed in a god who is born of a virgin and the Persians believed in a messiah who is born of a virgin.
Saint Matthew suggested that Jesus was born of a virgin to attract these people to Christianity. He concealed who was Jesus’ father because in Jesus’ time the Jews stoned adulteresses and despised their illegitimate children. The enigma at the beginning of the Gospel of Saint Matthew thus had several objectives.
Perhaps now you wonder why, until today, so many centuries later, nobody became aware of this enigma. Firstly, this is because Saint Matthew doesn’t announce that his genealogy of Jesus contains an enigma. While at the end of the New Testament, Saint John says: “Let those who are intelligent calculate the number of the Beast”, at the beginning of the New Testament, Saint Matthew does NOT say: “let those who are intelligent discover who was Jesus’ father.”
Secondly, this is because people ignore in the Bible whatever they want to ignore. For example, people tend to ignore that in his genealogy of Jesus, Saint Matthew mentions 4 women who all had extramarital affairs.
And thirdly, this is due to the fact that most people either accept an idea or reject it. Very few investigate where an idea comes from or what it really entails.
Two quotes about religion explain why divulging this discovery is so important to me.
One is from Steven Weinberg and says, “With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things. But for good people to do bad things, you need a religion. “
The other is from Voltaire and says: “Those who are capable of making us believe absurd ideas are capable of making us commit atrocities.”
With my book and my booklet I don’t pretend to harm Christianity or religions in general. The flaps of my book say on one side “for those who question religion and science”, and on the other “for those who appreciate religion and science”.
I regard Jesus as the most important philosopher of the last millennia. A century before him, the Jewish intellectual Hillel said that the main message of the Torah, the Jewish Bible, was not to do to others what is hateful to oneself, and that everything else was the explanation. Jesus said: “whatever you want men to do to you, do it to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
The idea of not doing to others what is hateful to yourself is called the golden rule. It is an idea of almost all religions and philosophies. Hillel realized that we must not cause harm to others. Jesus realized that we must also help others, because perhaps one day we may need help.
By dismantling the dogma of Jesus’ Virgin Birth, and by revealing many other secrets in the Bible, I want to encourage believers and non-believers to pay more attention to the values Jesus defended. These values, which all people can accept, and should not be considered Christian but of people of good will, are more important than following rituals or believing in miracles.
I have come to the end of my speech. I think that I have given you enough information to ask me lots of questions.
Before ending this presentation – there is another one starting at 13h00 – I want to thank you for coming and thank those who helped me with this project. It is a long list: Gloria, Fonso, Moisés, Vicky, Miguel, Mar, Isaura, Maite, Juan, Faci, Conchi, Carolina, Nick, Ricardo, Sara, Marco, Francesca, Silvia, Claude, Pierre, Bea, Timur, Heidi, Rolf, Elena, Karina, Marixabel, Gemma, Carmen, Leire, Maria Rosa, Elsa, Cristina, Colin, Paula, Pablo, Itziar, Nadia, Mado, Hasim and Manal Al-Juli. I also want to thank the council of Arzúa, for letting me use this chapel, and especially Marcos of the department of culture.
My book and booklet can be purchased through my website secretsinthebible.com both on paper and in digital format. Since it is self-published, for now, it cannot be found in bookstores outside of Arzúa.