THE BIBLE DOESN’T SAY THAT JESUS WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN, BUT INDICATES WHO HIS FATHER WAS?
Those who believe that Jesus was born of a virgin assume that the Bible says that he was born of a virgin. However, in the NT Jesus never claimed that he was born of a virgin. The only reason for assuming that Jesus was born of a virgin is that in the first chapter of the NT Saint Matthew refers to a prophecy about a virgin who is going to give birth to a son and that, according to him, comes true in Jesus. But that prophecy is from Isaiah, and in the original text he used a word that according to some means “virgin” and according to others “young woman”.
Saint Matthew suggested that Jesus was born of a virgin to attract the pagans to Christianity: the Egyptians believed in a God who is born of a virgin and the Persians in a Messiah who is born of a virgin. And he concealed who Jesus’ father was because the Jews stoned adulterers and discriminated against their illegitimate children.
Saint Matthew and Saint Luke offer different lineages for Jesus. This is because, due to extramarital relationships, a lineage can be true or supposed: one can be sure of the mother of a child but not of its father.
Saint Matthew offers Jesus’ true lineage because it is based on the “father begot son” principle; Saint Luke offers his supposed lineage because it says: “Jesus was, as it was thought, the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, etc.”
The fact that Saint Matthew says that Jacob begot Joseph, while Saint Luke says that people believed that Joseph was the son of Heli, tells us that Jacob begat Joseph of Heli’s wife. This information prepares us for what we will find if we continue to investigate these genealogies.
Bruno Lernout is the author of the book Secrets in the Bible and the booklet Who said that Jesus was born of a virgin? that are available at secretsinthebible.com.