994 A Virgin Birth?


When I re-wrote my essay on SCRIPTURE, or rather, after I added a couple more biblical quotes under the header “Divisive social and communal commentary?” … (it now reads) …


Divisive social and communal commentary? 


“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, 

both of them have committed an abomination; 

they shall surely be put to death ..."                                                                         .

(Leviticus 20:13)


“Wives, submit to your husbands, as you do to the Lord. 

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the 

head of the church ...”.                                         

(Ephesians 5:22-23)


“Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. 

I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man, rather, she is to remain silent.”.                                         

(1 Timothy 2:11-12)


… I reflected again on this statement of mine:



Nobody is born of a virgin, walks on water, performs 

miracles or arises from the dead.


So, how is it a lie for the texts in the Bible to say, Jesus was born of a virgin? ... an interesting article in The Conversation sheds some light on the issue.


It’s often said the use of the term ‘virgin’ is this context is a translation error:


In its original context, the claim that Jesus was born to a virgin mother places his birth in a long line of miraculous biblical births. The Bible tells of numerous old women, barren women and young unmarried women (“virgins” in ancient terms) who surprisingly bore children. Their offspring were seen as a sign of God’s blessing of new life, often in the midst of suffering or hardship.


Then presumably in the originals texts of the bible talk is not of a virgin, but actually of a 'young, unmarried woman'. This is significant, because this is what happened a few hundred year later:

The idea of original sin and its connection to sexual intercourse was popularised by African theologian Augustine. Not without controversy at the time, Augustine argued that humans were not born innocent, but rather sinful. His rationale was that sexual intercourse involves lust or sexual desire (a negative for him).

While Augustine tied this “original sin” back to Adam and Eve, the parallel focus on Mary’s perpetual virginity is relevant. If sexual intercourse produces sinful offspring, it was essential Mary be and remain a virgin so Jesus could, uniquely, be born sinless.

Such logic might seem absurd to many modern readers, but Augustine’s influence on Christian tradition cannot be overstated. In her book, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Princeton Professor Elaine Pagels argues Augustine has left a legacy of problematic and complicated attitudes towards sex in the Christian tradition.


So there we have it: The origin of the concept in Christianity that sex is sinful stems from the legend (the lie) that Jesus was born of a virgin ... in order to denote his provenance of having been born sinless.

And so to this day, and probably well into the next year too, Christians - presumably especially orthodox Christians - largely deem sex sinful; how awful.