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#1 of 64 Old 02-29-2004, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Let's discuss the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin - no man involved! Let the talking amongst ourselves begin.
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#2 of 64 Old 02-29-2004, 11:29 PM
 
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What about that female whale that was in solitary confinement for a long time and ended up reproducing an exact replica of herself?
Of course, Jesus wasn't a Mary, so I don't believe it.
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#3 of 64 Old 02-29-2004, 11:30 PM
 
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So is this a religious discussion, an historical one or a mix of both?
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#4 of 64 Old 02-29-2004, 11:33 PM
 
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I have a question? The Messiah was supposed to be a decendant of King David, correct? Joseph was a decendant of David, not Mary. Therefore, wouldn't it have to be Joseph's seed in Mary's womb?

We are all children of God. I don't think Jesus was God's biological child, as in Joseph's sperm had nothing to do with it.
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#5 of 64 Old 02-29-2004, 11:34 PM
 
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Moving this to Spirituality...
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#6 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 12:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Journey
I have a question? The Messiah was supposed to be a decendant of King David, correct? Joseph was a decendant of David, not Mary. Therefore, wouldn't it have to be Joseph's seed in Mary's womb?
it wouldn't do any good even if Joseph was involved in the conception because the lineage presented in Matthew goes through Jehoiakim and that line had been disqualified from kingship by G-d himself.
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#7 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 01:14 AM
 
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Do you want to discuss the actual concept of having Virgin born saviors (ie: Mithra, Krishna, Jesus) or just Jesus? There is a trend of "virgin born" saviors in ancient religions. If you wish to only discuss Jesus and Christianity, then I apoligize for my post, and will not intrude.
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#8 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 01:22 AM
 
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Here is an intersting discussion of the questions posted above about Mary being in the line of David and Joesph also being in the line of David through Jehoiakim. I would post an excerpt here, but I could not find one that would make sense w/o all of the background information, but it is not very long.

link

Pamstillheart.gif Cliffguitar.gif Malachi 5/08 bouncy.gif   Judah 5/10 jog.gif  Eden 8/12 babygirl.gif Asher 8/12 babyboy.gif

 
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#9 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 02:00 AM
 
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Wow! Thank you very much for that link!
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#10 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 09:37 AM
 
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in the end we all believe what we need to believe. that said, Nathan's line, too, is disqualified. the incident from Numbers isn't relevant because it references only property, not lineage.

but again, belief is a personal thing.
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#11 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 09:39 AM
 
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What makes most sense to me is that the nativity scene in Matthew and Luke was written quite a while after the Jewish cult of Xtianity had gotten its start. You can watch the progress of theories about Christ by reading the letters of Paul (the authentic ones) and the 4 gospels. I disregard the pastoral tracts' opinions about Christ as mere polemics, quite political in nature. Kind of snarky.

Paul thought Jesus was given power by God at the resurrection (as are we). Paul's Christ was not a historical figure but an indwelling spirit.

Mark, the next earliest writing we have in the canon, thought Jesus was given power by God (did not become God), at his baptism. Which helps explain why Jesus would even need to be baptized.

Matthew and Luke adopted the pagan virgin birth narrative from Greek tradition. The differing geneologies represent the differing Jewish and Greek mystery religion schools of thought. Their embarrassment at the baptism question is evident.

Only John, the latest gospel with the highest Christology, thought Christ as the Logos (word) was with God from before creation, was the spirit moving over the waters. I believe Jews think this co-creator was the Shekhina however (sometimes thought of as a female named Wisdom). John does not have Jesus bother with the baptism at all. In facxt, there is confusion as to who is the Christ (Messiah), Ioannes (John) or Ioesous (Jesus). The book, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man delves deeply into the John/Jesus linkage and battle for power amongst early CE Messiah cults. Facscinating window onto history.

Jesus was voted in as God, part of the trinity, at the council of Nicaea in 325 CE. Those Chrisitan bishops that objected were asked to leave the council. Their objecting letters are still extant.

I can't imagine what other forum this thread started in!
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#12 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 09:51 AM
 
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Emphasis on Pauls' authentic letters, NM, not the later forged ones, not the Acts of the Apostles.

Nothing literalist in my post. Don't even try to understand, as it is way outside your comfort zone/system of belief you have chosen, I think.
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#13 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am much more interested in the role of women in religion. I sometimes imagine a world where men have no concept of "sperm" and women are honored for giving life. Discussions of krishna, etc. are welcome by me.

If we accept the concept of virgin birth, what does that say about women, and men?
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#14 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 11:27 AM
 
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that's a good question. given that we now have the technology to fertilze one egg with another - skipping the sperm entirely - what does that say about the concept of virgin birth all 'round?
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#15 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 11:29 AM
 
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Not sure exactly where this fits in...but I just recently learned that when Catholics refer to the "Immaculate Conception," they are in fact referring to their belief that Mary herself was conceived without the taint of original sin, not to the conception of Jesus.

This was fairly mind-boggling to me. My Protestant upbringing had taught me that Mary was an ordinary girl who was chosen by God to bear Jesus, and who in turn chose to accept God's "will" for her.

I understand--or I think I do--that the "Immaculate Conception" doctrine is supposed to indicate how far-reaching God's plan was; that he freed Mary from the taint of original sin so that he would have a "perfect vessel" in which to carry his son.

However, it strikes me as being somewhat misogynistic...that the Church chose to bestow this "immaculate" designation on Mary because it just wouldn't do to believe that an "ordinary" woman was good enough to be Jesus's biological mother.

Am I way off base for thinking so? (Or for posting that opinion...this is my first post in this forum so if I'm on shaky ground just say so!)
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#16 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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the concept of original sin has no basis in Judaism, so i'm going to avoid the hornet's nest you just kicked entirely.
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#17 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 12:02 PM
 
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Very Snoofly: I love your user name. What's "Snoofly" mean?

Far from being off-base, you have fairly and truly summarized the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, as well as its theological underpinnings. Whether it's at all "misogynistic" to suppose that an ordinary, original sin-stained human is unworthy to bear God, would be the only point of disagreement. I say it isn't, but I don't like hornets any more than Dado does, so I'll bow out.

Dado: It occurs to me that if you don't believe in original sin, then you ipso facto must believe that Mary was conceived without it. Just thought it might please you to know that we agree on something.
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#18 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean
you...must believe that Mary was conceived without it [original sin].
you bet! as are we all.
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#19 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by dado
the concept of original sin has no basis in Judaism, so i'm going to avoid the hornet's nest you just kicked entirely.


I should've added that I don't much like the idea of original sin myself, whether for mere mortals or the mother of God. In fact that kind of crystallizes why the doctrine bothers me...that Mary had to have some kind of grand intercession to be born "pure"...whereas I like to believe that we're ALL born that way.


PS Sean, I borrowed "very snoofly" from a song called "Nobody Understands Me" on Sandra Boynton's "Philadelphia Chickens" album (my daughter's favorite). Nobody understands the singer because she mostly talks gibberish..."it's very snoofly," she laments at one point. It struck me as funny.
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#20 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 12:54 PM
 
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This is an interesting discussion, I love hearing about other's beliefs (or non-beliefs, as the case may be. )

in reply to the op...

Quote:
Originally posted by tessamami
Let's discuss the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin - no man involved! Let the talking amongst ourselves begin.
I was thinking about the term "no man involved." Now assuming the belief that Mary was a virgin (which I do) then one could say no man's sperm was involved, thus making this a miricale. However I think saying "no man involved" is perhaps misleding. This was a very patriarchal society that she was living in. Men were very much involved in just about every aspect of her life. Her father was probably the one who had arranged her betrothal to Joseph and her future was dependent on Joseph's grace and love toward her. In hind sight it is easy to see that God was in control of the situation, but who knows what may have seemed like to her. How much can one's faith sustain when the circumstances surrounding conception are called into question in a society where a young woman's life is directed by the Men in her life.

Perhaps a tangent, but I thought it relevent to the discussion of the involvement of men in a women's life.
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#21 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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I think what always struck me as the most misogynist aspect of the virgin birth theology as taught to me by the Catholics is that she was supposedly still a virgin AFTER the birth. Which is something interesting to contemplate. And chew on this: If she was without original sin and pain in childbirth is the curse of original sin... it begs the question, did Mary experience labor? In what fashion did the child exit her womb and how did she experience it?
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#22 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 03:48 PM
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I have a theory about this. I think that Jesus was not biologically Marys. I think she was just a vessel God used to send Jesus. No where in the Bible does it say Mary was with out sin. She was born sinful like the rest of us. Mary is an example of how God can just use a regular person to do his will. Jesus was perfect and without sin. Jesus was God come to earth as a man to die for our sins. I think lifting Mary up as anything more than what God had intended is a form of idolatry.
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#23 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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Originally posted by kama'aina mama ...she was supposedly still a virgin AFTER the birth.
so in your theology James was an immaculate conception as well?
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#24 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:18 PM
 
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dado... First of, get the terms straight. Mary was the product of the Immaculate Conception. Jesus was the product of the Virgin Birth. Two totally different concepts.

My recollection is that the Catholic Church (and this is largely theology specific to Catholicism we are discussing) does not acknowledge any siblings of Jesus. If there were any however, they would not be products of Virgin Births. They would be proof that at some time after the birth of Jesus Mary ceased to be a virgin, one would assume in the usual manner. But that this transformation from virgin to not-a-virgin had nothing to do with either the conception or birth of Jesus.

Oh... and I did not claim this theology for my own... I simply mentioned it's existance and the interest it brings to the topic at hand.

SQ, thank you. Your judgement about the belief systems of others has been noted.
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#25 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally posted by dado
so in your theology James was an immaculate conception as well?
Well, Catholics do believe that Mary was "ever virgin" and that she and Joseph did not have "relations" even after Jesus' birth. (Poor Joseph! I feel for the guy.)

They also do not believe that Jesus had any siblings; or, to put it another way, they do not believe that Mary and Joseph had any children together. I guess you're referring to the scripture where Jesus refers to James as his brother--their interpretation is that Jesus meant "kinsman."

By the way, I'm not Catholic. (I'm taking RCIA classes but don't intend to confirm. Partly because of topics like this one!) Hope I'm not overstepping by talking about this stuff. If I get anything wrong please let me know!
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#26 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:24 PM
 
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I've always understood the in the original writings, they said young girl, not virgin. That was a translator's goof/deliberate change. And she was supposedly only 16 or so when Jesus was born.
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#27 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irishmommy
I've always understood the in the original writings, they said young girl, not virgin. That was a translator's goof/deliberate change. And she was supposedly only 16 or so when Jesus was born.
There is a bit of a disagreement about that, but not in the Gospels. You're thinking of 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." It is true that the Hebrew word (sorry, I don't know what word that is right now) used there doesn't exclusively mean 'virgin,' but can mean young girl.

But the idea that Mary was a virgin at Christ's birth could not possibly be a translation error which the evangelists didn't intend, as they tell in detail how it all happened. Matthew 1: 18 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." Luke 1: 34 "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

So, either it was a virgin birth or it wasn't, but the belief that it was is not from a misreading of the Gospels.
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#28 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally posted by kama'aina mama Mary was the product of the Immaculate Conception. Jesus was the product of the Virgin Birth. Two totally different concepts.
yikes. i was confused, lol, thanks for clearing that up.

Quote:
Oh... and I did not claim this theology for my own... I simply mentioned it's existance and the interest it brings to the topic at hand.
apologies, i thought you were posting from that perspecitve.
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#29 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irishmommy
I've always understood the in the original writings, they said young girl, not virgin.
that is correct, virgin is an interesting "interpretation" of the original Hebrew. the idea of a G-d impregnating a human is not compatible with Judaism. but Sean correctly points out that in the c'ian books as we have them there is no doubt the birth is claimed as virginal.
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#30 of 64 Old 03-01-2004, 05:01 PM
 
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For further reading, I simply must recommend this treatise, written around 383 A.D.:
"Against Helvidius," by St. Jerome
Apparently, Helvidius was arguing that Mary was not 'ever-virgin,' based on Bible passages that suggest (1) she might have 'known' Joseph after Christ's birth, (2) He had 'brethren' including James, and (3) He is called the 'first-born.' In this tract, Jerome refutes these theories one by one, using logic and other Bible passages as his evidence. It's a lively read, even if you find it unconvincing. (Jerome was something of a curmudgeon, and he did not follow Spirituality Forum guidelines.)
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