Do Protestants believe in the "Virgin Birth"?


#1

I was recently listening to a Gerry Matatics audio tape recently on the topic of Mary foreshadowed in the Old Testament.

He mentioned something that caught my ear.

Jerry said that there are many Protestants who don’t believe in the “Virgin Birth”.

They believe in the “Virgin Conception”, but they don’t believe that Mary was a Virgin after Jesus was born, since they believe that Jesus broke the hyman during the birthing process, and therefore they really don’t believe in the “Virgin Birth”.

Jerry referrend back to 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.

Jerry says that this passage reads that

  1. A virgin will conceive,
  2. A virgin will give birth.
    That is, Mary was a virgin after conception, and she was still a virgin after birth.

Jerry went on to say that the reason that Jesus didn’t break the hyman was the same reason he was able to walk through walls after his resurrection.
He said, if you can believe this, that it was a “miracle”.
But how could that be, doesn’t that go against the natural process of human birth?


#2

And resurrection goes against the natural process of dying.


#3

The importance is that Mary was a virgin when she conceived. The conception was the extraordinary miracle, not the birth. Also, I’d find it hard to believe that Jesus wouldn’t have broken the hymen during his birth.


#4

The BLESSED Virgin Mary was a true virgin, before, during, and after giving birth to Jesus Christ. And she remained so until her time on earth came to an end and she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she is now Crowned (Rev 12:1) as Queen of Heaven and of all Angels and Saints


#5

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. 154 In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” 155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”. 156

kofc.org/publications/cis/catechism/search.cfm

That settles it for the Catholics. You can find some group of Protestants, or individual Protestants, who believe just about anything.

I;m not sure this thread is about what Protestants believe or what Catholics believe about Mary’s perpetual virginity.


#6

The Virgin Birth is one of the 5 fundamentals. From Wikipedia:

The original formulation of American fundamentalist beliefs can be traced to the Niagara Bible Conference (1878–1897) and, in 1910, to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which distilled these into what became known as the “five fundamentals”:
-Inerrancy of the Scriptures
-The virgin birth and the deity of Jesus
-The doctrine of substitutionary atonement through God’s grace and human faith
-The bodily resurrection of Jesus
-The authenticity of Christ’s miracles (or, alternatively, his pre-millennial second coming)


#7

This is exactly what I am talking about.

Some Protestants claim that they believe in a virgin birth, but when you ask them to give a definition of what they mean by that, they will give you the definition for the “virgin conception”

It is as if they interpret Isaiah 7:14 to read
"A virgin shall conceive and will carry the baby to term"


#8

That is what the Virgin Birth means. The Immaculate Conception of Mary and Mary’s perpetual Virginity are not the same thing as the Virgin Birth.


#9

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

I wasn’t referring to Mary’s conception, but that of Jesus.

Jerry said that the common non was “a virgin”, and that the sentence would be broken down to two parts " a virgin will conceive" and " a virgin will give birth"

Now if her hyman had broken when Jesus was coming out of her womb and down the birth canal, then she would not have been a virgin when he was born, that is when he exited her body.

I was not referencing to her perpetual virginity, but remaining a virgin right after the birth, thought that plays into it.


#10

Breaking the hymen during birth is not how a woman loses her virginity. :wink: Even if Jesus did break it (which I’ve heard tradition says no) it wouldn’t mean that Mary was no longer a virgin. She still would have been.


#11

Never ever heard that stuff before. It may be incorrect on the whole and I suspect Gerry M. is incorrect if he madea big issue of it with Protestants. However, he is correct that there are Protestants that do not beleive in the Virgin Birth period. Liberal Anglicans and others (eg Bishop John Shelby Spong) believe the birth narratives are Midrash (fiction) to explain a life that was extraordinary. You can read this is any number of Spong’s Books. This would be echoed by other figures in the academic Jesus Seminar group.

Rev North


#12

It is possible for a woman to have her hymen broken by other means than sexual relations anyway.


#13

A women loses her virginity when she has sex NOT when she gives birth. Although like I said tradition says it did not break during the birth.


#14

The greatest significance of the hymen is a traditional belief that an intact hymen indicates a state of intact virginity.


#15

i was taught that mary was a virgin at conception and remained a virgin until sometime shortly after jesus was born and then mary and joseph began a sexual relationship, because jesus had brothers. however, i have seen on other threads that the use of the word “brothers” to describe people could also mean cousin or friend, and if that is true (haven’t looked into it yet) then it could be possible that mary died a virgin. the logic (that they had sex afterwards) is that what guy would stay married to a woman that wouldn’t have sex. however, perhaps God told them not too and they obeyed. after all, with everything they went through from conception til jesus was about two, it would be more than obvious that she gave birth to God, and that might have freaked joseph out a little bit (it would me) and maybe he wouldn’t want to have sex with her. but i could be wrong.


#16

EXACTLY, I have heard that it is possible for a woman’s hymen to break while riding horse back.


#17

Now if her hyman had broken when Jesus was coming out of her womb and down the birth canal, then she would not have been a virgin when he was born, that is when he exited her body.

A virgin is someone who has never participated in sexual activities. The Blessed Mother would not have suddenly lost her virginity due to the birth of Jesus, regardless of the state of her hymen. A ruptured hymen does NOT indicate that a female is not a virgin, especially when you consider that the hymen can easily be torn during strenuous physical activity that has NOTHING to do with sexual activity.


#18

:thumbsup: This is correct.


#19

it can be broken just from rigorous activity such as play sports


#20

Numbers 30 makes a good read into this thought. As a mother of 2 children I can tell you it is impossible for me to devote myself entirely to one child. To do so would mean I would have to ignore the other. We believe that Mary and Joseph gave their whole life to Jesus. That meant they did not have other children and yes the word in Greek means a lot more than just blood brothers.


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