“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.