THE VIRGIN BIRTH

 

Furthermore, this contention becomes even more preposterous when we consider that the same missionaries who attempt toexplain away Matthew’s mistranslation of the Hebrew word alma by claiming that Matthew used a Septuagint when he quoted Isaiah 7:14 also steadfastly maintain that the entire first Gospel was divinely inspired. That is to say, these same Christian missionaries insist that every word of the New Testament, Matthew included, was authored through the Holy Spirit and is therefore the living word of God. Are these evangelical apologists therefore claiming that God had to rely on a Greek translation of the Bible? Are they suggesting that God quoted from the Septuagint? Did the passing of five centuries since His last book cause God to forget how to read Hebrew that He would need to rely on a translation? Why would God need to quote from the Septuagint?

Although Matthew’s mistranslation of the Hebrew wordalma was recklessly crafted, it was deliberate endeavor. It was not the result of a clumsy decision to quote from a corrupt Greek translation of the Bible. The most casual reader of the seventh chapter of Isaiah recognizes that Isaiah 7:14 is not discussing the birth of a messiah at all.6

The Christian editors of the Septuagint retrofitted and shaped this Greek recension so that it would comport with Matthew’s mistranslation of Isaiah 7:14; not the other way around.

The prophet’s original intent regarding the young woman in Isaiah 7:14 was unimportant to the author of the first Gospel. Matthew was driven only by his fervid desire to somehow prove to his readers that the virgin birth was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures. Bear in mind that the author of the first Gospel — more than any other writer in the New Testament — deliberately shaped and contoured his treatise to promote Christianity among the Jews. In essence, Matthew was writing with a Jewish audience in mind. He understood that in order to convince the Jewish people to embrace Jesus as their messiah, it was essential to demonstrate his claim of the virgin birth from the Jewish Scriptures. Luke, in contrast, was writing for a non-Jewish, Greek audience and therefore makes no attempt to support his version of the virgin birth from the Hebrew Bible.

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