The First Noel.

We are fast approaching the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a miracle of virgin birth. Virgin birth? Really? The weight of evidence or rather the lack of it is against the idea of a virgin birth as there is no reliable record of such a thing happening. Billions of births have been from a male and female having sex so the weight of evidence is that virgins don’t give birth. The only records of virgin births are in the dubious tales of religion.

Could the birth of Jesus be a miracle? First let’s define miracle. David Hume’s definition is:

[A] transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.

Note that by this definition a miracle must not only violate natural law but must also be an expression of divine will.

In the New Testament there are two differing accounts of Jesus’ birth in Luke and Matthew but they do agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, his mother Mary was married to a man named Joseph, who was descended from King David and was not his biological father, and that his birth was caused by divine intervention. Other aspects of the two narratives differ widely. Each gives a different genealogy which trace Joseph’s ancestry back to David, but Joseph was not Jesus’ father.

(Matthew 1:1-25, Luke 2:1-7, 3:21-38)

Of the two narratives only Luke offers the details of the birth.

The whole Christian religion rests on this supposed divine virgin birth and the later resurrection. The question is; how reliable are these stories? A virgin birth is against the laws of nature, so some divine intervention is required to make it happen.

Are the two narratives of Luke and Matthew enough evidence for the divine origin of a virgin birth?

The evidence of these two narratives, containing such dubious parts as the massacre of the innocents and the flight to Egypt, is rather flimsy.

Is there any other evidence for the virgin birth of Jesus?

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