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The Myths Of Christmas

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The Myths Of Christmas The Virgin Birth One Of The Greatest Challenges Perhaps the most attacked account in the Bible is the story of the virgin birth of Jesus. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Myths Of Christmas


1
The Myths Of Christmas
  • The Virgin Birth

2
One Of The Greatest Challenges
  • Perhaps the most attacked account in the Bible is
    the story of the virgin birth of Jesus.
  • Liberal critics attack this story vehemently
    because it demands supernatural intervention from
    God.
  • Can we adequately defend the virgin birth
    narrative?

3
Critic Attack 1
  • It is scientifically impossible for a virgin
    birth to take place
  • NOT TRUE! Modern science has proven since 1978
    that with proper intervention a woman can become
    pregnant without having intimate relations with a
    man.
  • The Holy Spirit WAS THAT INTERVENTION

4
Holy Spirit Intervention
  • Matthew 118-20 -- This is how the birth of Jesus
    Christ came about His mother Mary was pledged to
    be married to Joseph, but before they came
    together, she was found to be with child through
    the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was
    a righteous man and did not want to expose her to
    public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her
    quietly.  20But after he had considered this, an
    angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and
    said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to
    take Mary home as your wife, because what is
    conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

5
Holy Spirit Intervention
  • Luke 130ff-- 30But the angel said to her, "Do
    not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with
    God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a
    son34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel,
    "since I am a virgin?"
  •  35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come
    upon you, and the power of the Most High will
    overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will
    be called the Son of God.

6
Defending Miracles
  • Can we with a good conscience defend miracles?
  • As miracles go, the conception of Jesus would be
    a small one for God the author of life.
  • Should we be enlightened enough to no longer
    believe in miracles?

7
Challenge From Liberal Critics
  • Think carefully about the miracles recorded in
    the Bible
  • They were usually seen by large numbers of
    people, often those who were actually hostile
    toward Jesus.
  • They were usually irrefutable men born blind
    suddenly able to see. Men born lame suddenly able
    to walk.

8
Science Versus Faith
  • Can there be a clear winner?
  • Science depends on theories and evidence to
    support or refute those theories. Science is
    notably weak in proving or disproving miracles.
  • Faith depends upon belief in eyewitness testimony
    and the inspiration of the word of God. We
    believe the eyewitnesses were accurate and
    truthful. Only fools believe in BLIND FAITH.

9
Critic Attack 2
  • The whole virgin story is the result of a
    translation error.
  • Completely untrue. Lets look at the evidence.
  • Verse in question is Isaiah 714 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.

10
Virgin? Or Young Woman?
  • The Hebrew ALMAH
  • Critics claim ALMAH should be translated as
    young woman and not VIRGIN. Word for virgin is
    BETHULAH.
  • Critics claim LXX wrongly translated ALMAH as
    VIRGIN and Matthew then borrowed that verse to
    try and give added credibility to the Son of
    God aspect of Jesus.

11
What is the LXX?
  • A group of Hebrew scholars 300 years before
    Christ translated the Hebrew scriptures into
    Greek.
  • They were the reportedly the brightest scholars
    of their day, during a time when Hebrew was still
    a spoken language.
  • Oh and there were 70 of them (hence the LXX
    designation).

12
Answering the Critics
  • Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew lexicon
  • -- virgin, young woman of marriageable age
  • maid or newly married .
  • There is no instance where it can be proved that
    this word designates a young woman who is not a
    virgin.
  • Used seven times in Old Testament and each time
    can indicate a young woman who is also a virgin.

13
The Bibles Use of Almah
  • Genesis 2443 most certainly virgin because
    Abrahams servant was getting a wife for Isaac.
  • Exodus 28 most certainly virgin since it is
    the baby Moses sister, a young girl.
  • Psalm 6825 uncertain maidens playing
    tambourines
  • Proverbs 3019 most likely virgin discussing
    the amazement of a man with a virgin
  • Song of Solomon 13 -- probably virgin, as those
    who secretly love Solomon

14
  • Song of Solomon 68 most certainly virgins as
    contrasted with queens and concubines
  • Isaiah 714 uncertain either young woman or
    virgin. Interesting construct has the article
    the so that it is the virgin will conceive
    and not a young woman.
  • With none of these verses can it be assumed that
    a virgin is not being considered.

15
  • Unfounded assumptions and their easy answers
  • Matthew was mislead by the translational error
    and while searching for prophesies he could plug
    into his gospel fell for this one.
  • Answer Luke also includes the virgin birth and
    said that he carefully investigated everything
    from the beginning before recording what he
    wrote (Luke 13).
  • Answer We believe in the inspiration of the Holy
    Spirit with all Bible writers. Matthew recorded
    what the Holy Spirit told him to record and
    nothing else. The same is true of Luke.

16
Critic Attack 3
  • The idea of virgin birth was borrowed from pagan
    myths
  • A brief overview of some of these myths
  • Zagreus a.k.a. Dionysus a.k.a. Bacchus one
    version of many states that Zeus gave his heart,
    torn to bits, to the mortal Semele to drink. When
    she drank she became pregnant and gave birth to
    Dionysus. A more prevalent myth is that Semele
    was killed by lightning bolts from Zeus

17
  • While pregnant with Dionysus. Zeus saved the baby
    by gestating him in his thigh. He then gives the
    baby to some nymphs to be raised.
  • Danae the daughter of Acrisius was shut up by
    her father in a bronze room to keep her from
    becoming pregnant. Zeus desired her and came to
    her through the roof in the form of a shower of
    gold that fell into her lap and made her
    pregnant. She gave birth to Perseus.

18
  • Adonis there is much confusion in early
    mythology over his parentage, but among the more
    prevalent are that he is the son of Myrrha
    (Smyrna) who deceitfully committed incest with
    her father Theias, king of Assyria. He tried to
    kill her when he discovered her deception, but
    the gods turned her into a Myrrh tree. Theias
    struck the tree with an arrow and the tree opened
    up and gave birth to Adonis. Another version has
    Aphrodite involved in the incest plot, and later
    in changing Myrrha into a tree. Another version
    has a wild boar open the tree and later a wild
    boar killing Adonis.

19
How Many Of These Myths?
  • Wikipedia (as reliable as a cell phone service)
    lists 20 of these virgin birth myths.
  • Most are equally as bizarre and convoluted.
  • Compare the simple, unadorned, unchanged version
    of the virgin conception of Mary and ask Did
    this account originate in any of the convoluted
    myths of that era?

20
  • Additionally we must remember Christianity began
    with the Jews and only later spread to the
    Greeks.
  • The Jews would NOT have adopted a mythological
    story from the Greeks they hated to give credence
    to their expected Messiah. Not even the Jewish
    apostles would do something like that.
  • Such is an outrageous claim concerning Jewish men
    and women of that age.

21
Critic Attack 4
  • No one except two late date synoptic gospel
    writers who borrowed from one another even
    mention the virgin birth.
  • Not so fast, there. Possible other indications of
    virgin birth
  • It is possible Jesus alluded to his own virgin
    birth (though cryptically) in two interesting
    passages.

22
  • John 24 And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what
    does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet
    come." (Not dear woman as the NIV)
  • John 1926 -- When Jesus then saw His mother, and
    the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He
    said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
  • Why, on the occasion of his first miracle and at
    his crucifixion, does Jesus refer to his mother
    as woman. Unless is a reference to Genesis
    315, I will put enmity between you and the
    woman.

23
  • Possible references to the virgin birth from
    Paul
  • Galatians 44 -- But when the fullness of the
    time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a
    woman, born under the Law.
  • The word for born is ????µa? which literally
    means to be made (as the KJV has it).
  • The usual Greek form for being born is not used
    here. Paul seems to be saying here that God made
    Jesus of a woman speaking of the virgin
    conception. He does the same thing in Romans 13.

24
So What?
  • What if Matthew and Luke ARE the only two sources
    of the story?
  • Peter, Paul, John, Mark, James and Jude were all
    contemporaries, any one of which could have
    refuted the story if it was in error, yet no one
    did.
  • In fact, all early documents seem to simply
    accept the story as true.
  • Arguing from silence is a double-edged sword.
    Just because no one else mentions it does not
    mean they didnt believe it.

25
Early Christian Records Defend the Virgin Birth
  • Apostles Creed written fourth century I
    believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of
    heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only
    Son, our Lord Who was conceived by the Holy
    Ghost, born of the virgin Mary.
  • Nicene Creed written 325 A.D. Who, for us
    men and for our salvation, came down from heaven,
    and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the
    virgin Mary, and was made man

26
  • Concluding thoughts
  • Bible critics abound
  • They use pea shooters to intimidate the
    biblically illiterate
  • We must be ready with good Bible answers to
    challenge their attacks
  • The Bible can be defended against ANY attack.
  • Christianity will survive ANY criticism.
  • Lets always be ready to give an answer for the
    hope that is within us.
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