“Whenever a religion has been founded among barbarians and ignorant people, the founder has appealed to miracle as a kind of credential—as an evidence that he is in partnership with some higher power. The credulity of savagery made this easy, but at last, we have discovered that there is no necessary relation between the miraculous and the moral. Whenever a man’s reason is developed to that point that he sees the reasonableness of a thing, he needs no miracle to convince him. It is only ignorance or cunning that appeals to the miraculous.
There is another thing, and that is this: Truth relies upon itself —that is to say, upon the perceived relation between itself and all other truths. If you tell the facts, you need not appeal to a miracle. It is only a mistake, or a falsehood, that needs to be propped and buttressed by wonders and miracles.”- Robert Ingersoll, 1891.
When the ancient people wanted to make somebody that is obviously more intelligent or insightful than his time seem divine, they invented stories about his supposed divine birth. Usually they pointed to a relation between a god and a woman. This makes the person out to be both a human, and a god at the same time. It made them a sort of god-man. Now, before you think I am just trying to be a ‘hater’, here’s a quote from a third century Catholic Church father named Origen: “For some have thought fit …to relate as a possible thing that Plato was the son of Amphictione, Ariston being prevented from having marital intercourse with his wife until she had given birth to him with whom she was pregnant by Apollo.
And yet these are veritable fables, which have led to the invention of such stories concerning a man whom they regarded as possessing greater wisdom and power than the multitude, and as having received the beginning of his corporeal substance from better and diviner elements than others, because they thought that this was appropriate to persons who were too great to be human beings.”
There are numerous other stories of, divine god-men, all throughout pagan history. Not all of them were necessarily born of virgins, but the way the ancients figured it; to have a god-man on Earth, a story needed two things: 1. A source for His Godness, and 2. A source for His humanity. Numerous examples abound of such stories: Apis’ divinity was zapped down into his mother in a lightning bolt, or turning a normal cow into the holy and sacred mother of the God-cow. Glycon, the snake-god, was placed on Earth directly, by the God Apollo. Alexander the Great was born after his mother, in a part of the world where snakes were worshiped, was impregnated by a divine snake. Mithras, divinity came to Him when His father in heaven spilled his seed on a rock, Plato was apparently born of Amphictione and the god Apollo. The divine Vishnu, himself, descended into the womb of Devaki and was born as her son, Vaasudeva (i.e., Krishna), Hercules was also born from a woman, and Zeus etc.
NOW TO THE STORY OF JESUS’ BIRTH: Mathew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit…” Luke 1:34-35 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
These two passages from the bible were careful to show that Jesus got his birth both from the divine, (Holy Spirit) and a human (Virgin Mary), a totally pagan idea.
Before I go further, it is important to note that the Gospel accounts were NOT written during the lifetime of Jesus, nor were they written by eye witnesses. In fact, the earliest gospel manuscript, Mark, was written at least a generation AFTER the alleged death of Jesus (ca. 30CE) by someone who never knew, or even met him. (the original manuscripts were anonymous (in case you still think it was written by his actual disciples). It also contained numerous geographical, legal and customary errors. Most importantly, it does not contain the story of the virgin birth. The other Gospel accounts, Matthew and Luke, which contained the virgin birth accounts are known by historians to have been largely copied from the gospel of Mark, with some important corrections and additions. So, it is quite clear that the divine birth story must have been reconstructed from hearsay, and oral accounts handed down over the years in addition to the numerous other accounts of divine births of ancient man-gods. This is an important point to note, considering the fact that most of the regular ancient Jews would have been illiterate, superstitious, highly ignorant and credulous. Now, imagine such folks retelling stories of the life of a man who walked among them some years back…
Back to the bible accounts. Christians love to quote a part of the Old Testament as a sign that in fact the birth of Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy by Isaiah. Let’s look at that shall we? Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Despite the fact that that passage has absolutely nothing to do with the messianic prophecy (read from the beginning of the chapter), for this work. However, I would assume that the gospel writers must have imagined the birth of Jesus to be a fulfillment of that ‘prophecy’. Therefore had to make sure that his mother was a virgin. Was that passage in Isaiah really about a virgin?
You see, the original Hebrew word used in that passage of Isaiah was “almah” which means “young woman” (which is quite normal if you think about it. Something like, a young woman will be with child and give birth to a son….but when the original Hebrew was translated into the Greek Septuagint scriptures, the Greek word used was “parthenos”. This word could mean either “young woman”, or “virgin”. They mean two totally different things, which was either intentionally or non-intentionally missed by the writers of Mathew and Luke. All the more reason why the Muslims insist that only the Arabic version of the Quran is pure and unadulterated. Anyway, the way I see it, the writers simply put in writing the myth of Jesus’ virgin birth. Then looked for a passage in the Old Testament to use as a prophecy fulfiller. This is like drawing the bull’s eye around a shot that has already been made, which is characteristic of most of the so called bible prophecies.
So how did the early Christian apologists respond to this? According to Father Origen: “We [Christians] are not the only persons who have recourse to miraculous narratives of this kind.”
Justin Martyr: “He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you believe of Perseus.” “The devils…craftily feigned that Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter not by sexual union.”
So in other words, Justin Martyr is saying that the Devil haven heard of the virgin birth prophecy. Then decided to spread other false virgin birth myths, before the time of Jesus in order to murky the waters. Lol.
But the question remains, why do you disbelieve all other ones, and believe only this one? Have you really thought about it? I leave you with this quote from John Crossan : “Augustus came from a miraculous conception by the divine and human conjunction of the God Apollo and his mother Atia. How does the historian respond to that story? Are there any who take it literally?… That divergence raises an ethical problem for me. Either all such divine conceptions, from Alexander to Augusts and from the Christ to the Buddha, should be accepted literally and miraculously or all of them should be accepted metaphorically and theologically. It is not morally acceptable to say…our story is truth but yours is myth; ours is history but yours is a lie. It is even less morally acceptable to say that indirectly and covertly by manufacturing defensive or protective strategies that apply only to one’s own story.”
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