The Virginity of Mary
Today we're going to look at the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. I was asked by a friend to make this video because he was encountering some individuals who were questioning the doctrine. And I myself find it amazing that some people would want to question this doctrine. To begin with lets look at the birth texts.
Matthew 1:18–25 NASB95
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.
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
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.
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,
but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
One of the first things we need to tackle is the word "Virgin" in the Hebrew texts.
A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible 5959. עַלְמָה
5959. עַלְמָה ʿalmâh, al-maw´; fem. of 5958; a lass (as veiled or private):—damsel, maid, virgin.
The argument is that the word “Almah” does it mean Virgin necessarily but that it could mean a young girl a damsel and not necessarily a virgin. The reason that this argument is coming into play is that Jews in Judaism don't want the Scripture to support the narrative of the Messiah being born of a virgin. So Jews who want to undermine the Scriptures and the New Testament will say that that's not actually what it's saying it's only talking about a young girl. But it's possible that it could be talking about a young girl who is a virgin or a girl so young it safe to assume that she's a virgin. So with that there's no definite answer either way whether it's only talking about a young girl or it's only talking about a young virgin girl we know that it's talking about a young girl and it can be presumed that she is a virgin or is so young that you would presume that she was a virgin. So although the Jews don't like how the Scriptures been interpreted in the New Testament it is a possibility and a way of reading it regardless of whether they like it or not.
Now onto the Greek the word for Virgin in the Greek New Testament is "Parthenos" and it also can mean a virgin or a young woman or both a young virgin woman. So the argument remains that it could be either or both but given the context of the New Testament we can see whether or not Mary is, in fact, a virgin or not.
First, we must look at the Hebrew way of describing sex that is found in Genesis concerning Adam and Eve.
Genesis 4:1 YLT
And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, ‘I have gotten a man by Jehovah;’
So here we see Adam knowing his wife and then she got pregnant and had Cain. So the word for "knew" is "Yada"
A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible 3045. יָדַע
3045. יָדַע yâdaʿ, yaw-dah´; a prim. root; to know
Implications of the word are to have knowledge of her and also to experience her so it kind of like an experience and knowledge of what that experience is like. To boil it down he knows what sex with her is like. And so that's why it says that Adam knew his wife. And that is the Jewish way of viewing things as a sexual matter whether she knew her or not. And so, if your a virgin no one has ever known you and you have not been known. So when we look back at the story of Mary and Joseph and Matthew we see that the word know is involved in the story.
Matthew 1:18 ASV 1901
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
So we find out that Mary was engaged to Joseph and that before they came together in regard to sex she was pregnant with a child of the Holy Spirit. So it's saying that Joseph did not have sex with her or had not had sex with her before she became pregnant with this child from the Holy Spirit. Now you might be saying okay that shows that Joseph did not get her pregnant so maybe she was sleeping around with someone else.
Luke 1:34 NASB95
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
Now the next argument about this can be that Mary is saying in this verse how can I have a child since I am a young woman because the word for virgin here could be talking about a young woman or could be talking about a virgin or both a young virgin. Contextually though it can be presumed that it's talking about not having sex and how my supposed to have a baby since I have not had sex yet, a virgin, it makes sense in the context. But also that it being a young maiden Mary saying I'm just a young maiden how could I have a child be possible. But the problem with this thinking is that God eventually makes her pregnant with Jesus, if the issue is that she feels like she's too young to be marriable and able to become pregnant to have a child, she had no problem accepting the conception by faith. But if Mary is more worried about how was she supposed to conceive when she's of virgin makes more sense and it doesn't seem to violate any kind of morality if Mary was of marrying age. We also see that the angel seemed to agree that she was a virgin.
So at this point, we have that the Bible says that Joseph had not known Mary before she was pregnant with the Messiah. And then we hear Mary herself wondering how she can have a child without having ever having sex. Remembering how the word “know” in Hebrew and Jewish circles is understood, meaning having knowledge of what it's like to have sex with her. The Bible said that Joseph had not known Mary in this next verse is going to even give us more understanding of Mary's virginity.
Matthew 1:25 YLT
and did not know her till she brought forth her son—the first-born, and he called his name Jesus.
So essentially this is saying that he was not knowing her while she was pregnant with Jesus in other words he wasn't having sex with her during the time that she was with Jesus.
So by this we know that Joseph did not have sex with her before she got pregnant. He didn't have sex with her during her pregnancy until after is the assumption because it says he did not have knowledge of her, and was not having knowledge of her until she brought forth Jesus.
So because of the word until is there, it shows that after Jesus was born Joseph did have sex with her and she would no longer be a virgin after that the birth of Christ.
Mark 6:3 NASB95
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
Notice here that they did not mention Joseph they call Jesus the son of Mary which may be because they know that Joseph is not actually the father of Jesus.
John 6:41–42 NASB95
Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”
They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”
And yet the argument can go the other way that some of the Jews thought that he was the son of Joseph so even that argument is not as definite as the previous Scriptures prove Mary's virginity.
Luke 3:23 NASB95
When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,
Here we see that the Bible is indicating that Joseph is not the father of Jesus because the Bible itself says that everyone supposed that Jesus was the son of Joseph which would explain why sometimes they ask isn't this the son of Joseph. Everyone else assumed these things it's not like they had knowledge the Bible itself is not describing any sexual intimate relationship with Mary by any man in the Bible. And the Bible itself is implicitly sending out a scenario that Jesus is the son of a woman only.
So let's talk for a moment about the virginity of Mary and its importance in the narrative and its relationship to salvation. I do not think that if Mary had sex with Joseph before being found pregnant with the Messiah would have any issues in salvation itself but it would have problems in the minds of humans believing that the baby could've been conceived by some other means. I think God knows that the devil would've used that situation as an avenue to spring and placed doubt in humans about the validity of the miraculous birth of Christ. So I do believe that Mary was a virgin so that the devil could not use her not being a virgin as a stumbling block for new believers. Do I believe that the book of Isaiah prophesied that she would be a virgin? Yes, I do regardless of the fact that someone could interpret it another way doesn't mean that it's impossible that the meaning was a virgin. Therefore I believe that the meaning is virgin and that that is the meaning of the word in Judaism when you read a word sometimes you can read in two or three different ways and that is allowed so they should have no problem with me reading it as virgin and as young woman at the same time.
Next I want to talk about the prophecy that the Messiah was supposed to come through a woman without a man which would mean that a man did not have a hand in the birth of the Messiah.
Genesis 4:1 YLT
And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, ‘I have gotten a man by Jehovah;’
Here Eve is saying something very profound and this can be taken in a variety of ways she could be saying that she got a man by Yahweh that Yahweh had given her a man.
Another way can be understood is that she had got a man that was before the Lord in other words that there was a man with Yahweh that Yahweh had given to her by means of being pregnant.
Genesis 3:15 NASB95
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Now, this can be understood as though it's talking about children from Eve that were made with Adam or it could also be taken that she has a seed that is promised her we know that women don't have seed but that there will be a seed from her. The implications would be that the seed of the devil which would be the antichrist and other Children of the devil will be at war with the seed of the woman that is Christ, because this is a prophecy not of snakes being enemies of human children but that the devil will be at war with the children of the promised seed of the woman which is the Messiah. So in this verse is a promise of the Messiah and a picture of the relationship between the children of the devil and the children of the woman.
Eve being naked at first shows she is alluded to here in Rev 12 clothed with the sun and we her children.
Because Jesus is a child of a woman only and that his spirit came into the flesh that he got from the woman; he is a new line of Adam. Now if any person is born by the will of a man he is therefore of the line of the first Adam. Jesus, on the other hand, was born from a woman who had not had sex with any man and therefore he was a new line of human that did not have a soul from Adam but came with his own life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB95
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
The reason the difference is important between Adam becoming a living soul and the last Adam became a life-giving spirit is because anyone who received a soul from Adam is of Adam's line. But if all Jesus took was the flesh of Mary then he's not a descendant of Adam not sharing his soul but by reason of the flesh, he is a son of David.
Romans 1:3–4 NASB95
concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
So here we see the difference Jesus is a descendant of David according to the flesh the flesh that he got from Mary. It says who was declared the son of God with power not that he wasn't the son of God before but that now he's the son of God with power because after his resurrection he said all power and all authority is given to me so it saying that he is the son of God with an extra authority after resurrection according to the spirit of holiness that he has that's the same spirit that the last Adam became a human with.
Galatians 4:4–5 NASB95
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
First of all, it says that Jesus is the son of God first and that at the right time he sent this son who was afterwords born of a woman born under the law which means born of a woman only not with any assistance of a man and born a Jew under the law. So we see that the Scriptures show that Paul understood that Jesus was born of a woman only and that it did not involve any human males will.
Philippians 2:7 NASB95
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
So here it talks about someone who was of some kind of substance and emptied himself of that substance and took on a new form and that form is the likeness of men so he's not being conceived as a baby through a man and a woman sexually. He is already existing being who took the task of emptying what he was, to begin with, and to become a new form in the likeness of humans, therefore, being placed within Mary and becoming flesh shows that Jesus took flesh from Mary to become a man and become a human rather than the form he was, to begin with. So this coincides with the story of Eve saying that she had gotten a man from before the Lord or by the Lord or with the Lord understanding that God was promising to bring a man to her for her salvation to destroy the head of Satan her tempter.
So as to the question of whether Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived and born the answer is yes the Bible shows that there is a wide-ranging set of reasons why we must believe that Mary was a virgin when she had Jesus. We also have evidence that Mary did have sex with Joseph after having Jesus, therefore, she was no longer virgin after giving birth to Jesus. Jesus is a new lineage of human not part of the first one can only be done if he became a human without the assistance of a man. The Angel does not dispute with Mary about her virginity John has the narrative of the logos becoming a flesh, Paul talks about someone who was in some form emptying himself of that form and becoming a human which is for all intensive purposes a new line of human because he's not begotten by the old-line. Honestly, if you were to believe that Jesus was born from a human man and not divinely come into existence through a miracle of a preexistent being becoming a man. If you were to deny that then you have affected your salvation to say that Joseph or any other human could save us from our sins being made after the image of Adam the first one. No one from the line of the first Adam could ever die for our sins and be pure enough to sacrifice to save us. Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son and when he was about to kill his son he was stopped. The sacrifice still needed to happen but Isaac was not pure enough he was not sinless to die the death needed but a human sacrifice was needed. So the RAM that was killed in the place of Isaac was a temporary fix a RAM cannot substitute a human death they are not equal. This was symbolic of the animal sacrifices that would substitute on till we got to the real sacrifice in which case animal sacrifice was unnecessary. The same with Adam and Eve after they sinned an animal was killed for their coats of skins and that temporarily stayed the judgment of death for them which is why they did not instantaneously die after sinning. But there had to be a pure human sacrifice for our sins that is going to pay off the death that Adam owed and since Adam couldn't pay it everyone else owed that is why judgment followed all humanity.
Romans 5:17–19 NASB95
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
So then as through one transgression there resulted from condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted in justification of life to all men.
For as through the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
This is why the last Adam came as a ship that had no sin a place for humans to leave the first line of Adam and go to on to a line, a sinless line. If you were to maintain in the first Adams sinful line all of humanity under the first Adams line will go to hell. The ship or the island of salvation for humanity is Christ to leave that First Adams line, die to yourself and come into the new line the last Adam, born again, a new creature, all things becoming new. Then like Noah's Ark, you will be saved in Christ while the rest drown. But if Jesus was made through a human male and not miraculously through a transformation and an entry of Mary then Jesus himself would be part of the drowning line of humanity. But because God knew that no human of the line of Adam would ever be sinless and worthy to pay off the debt death that Adam had he had to introduce a
new line of humanity and this new line would be a pure line that has not inherited the sin of the first Adam, and Jesus would, therefore, be able to be a sacrifice for all of the humanity. But that does not happen if Jesus was born from a human male. Therefore Mary had to be a virgin to prove to humanity that Jesus was a new miraculous line. Jesus is of the line of David through the flesh that he received from Mary and by the adoption by Joseph, therefore, he is of the line of David. But he did not receive the soul of Adam, all descendants of Adam share that one breath of life that became a living soul that started with Adam. But those of us who are of the last Adam all share that same spirit that is in Christ and will share his flesh at the resurrection.
1 John 3:2 NASB95
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
But this only happens if Jesus is a miraculous birth, of a virgin mother so that there would be no question as to the miracle of his conception.