From Where did the Earliest Christians Derive the Concept of a Virginal Conception?

“The story of Jesus’ conception has…taken a form for which to the best of our knowledge, there is no exact parallel or antecedent in the material available to the Christians of the first century who told of this conception.  …non-Jewish parallels consistently involve a type of “hieros gamos” where a divine male, in human or other form, impregnates a woman, either through normal sexual intercourse or through some substitute form of penetration.  They are not really similar to the non-sexual virginal conception that is at the core of the infancy narratives, a conception where there is no male deity or element to impregnate Mary.”  —Raymond Brown, Catholic scholar, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, p. 62

Gary:  No male deity?  What exactly was the Holy Ghost?  And when the Bible says that the Holy Ghost “overshadowed” Mary, that certainly sounds like a sexual metaphor to me.  But, hey, I’m not a Bible scholar.

One thought on “From Where did the Earliest Christians Derive the Concept of a Virginal Conception?

  1. Not all Lutheran (we are not “protestants!” – you should know that much!) scholars agree with the above. All the above or below, whatever are conclusions reached on the basis of the historical-critical method of approaching Scripture. So they are, one might say – “pre-wired” toward a given conclusion. Not exactly an objective approach.

    Anyway, I thought you might find this to be food for thought:

    Pax – Pastor Baxter


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