THE VIRGIN (conception) BIRTH
There are only two Scriptures in the entire Old Testament that refer to the virgin conception of Jesus. Although there are many about the Messiah.
Gen.3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." This is the only place in the Bible where it is called her seed and not his seed. The lineage was never attributed to the woman but the man, this is why when we read the genealogies the women are not included in the records, it was the men who begat.
Isa.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. the sign which usually is interpreted as a miracle or unusual event is describing a virgin conception and through her God will be in a human son.
The Hebrew word for virgin is Alma which can also have the concept of a young woman. At that time in Jewish culture almost unanimously all young women were virgins. In the Greek the word is translated Parthenos which has its only meaning as virgin. When the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into the Greek approximately 250 BC. they translated the word to parthenos. In Athens at the time was the Parthenon. It was called this because they used virgins for their temple prostitution.
It was the miraculous conception without a man, having no human father. This would be a sign of a super- natural means of bringing the Emmanuel into the world.
Isa.9:6 tells us a child would be born, this refers to his birth and humanity. It also says a son will be given this refers to his nature since he already was the Son in his pre-existence. He is sent from heaven as the son. (Jn. 3:16, 6:39, 12:49 )
Did Jesus need the virgin birth to be sinless? No, he was already sinless as the eternal Son of God before His birth. In Luke 1:32 he is called the Son of the most high. v.35 he is called "that Holy one", "the Son of God". He is also called in Mt.1:23 "Emmanuel", all these titles are of God himself who is without sin. Heb. 4:15 tells us "he was at all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." 2 Cor. 5:21, " For he made him who had no sin to be sin for us;" (also 1 Pt.2:22, and 1 Jn. 3:5.) This is the reason that God became man- to be a sacrifice for all mankind's sin.
This is why there was the necessity for a virgin birth. We find that the sin nature is passed on specifically through the male. Rom. 5:12 tells us sin entered the world through one man and that everyone is given a built in death warrant because of their sin nature.
What was necessary is that God enter the world like anyone else so that He could be a genuine human. If he was born of both a human Father and mother there could have been no authentic claim to be deity, he would be no different than any of us. On the other hand if he had come with no relation to human parentage then he could not claim to be a genuine human. The perfect solution worked out from before the foundation of the world and prophesied in Gen.3:15 the seed of the woman, a virgin birth.
This was the miraculous conception without a man, having no human Father. This would be
a sign of a super-natural means of bringing Immanuel into the world.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name, (Immanuel)
God with us.”
Did Mary need to be a perpetual virgin to have Jesus' birth be sinless?
Roman Catholics believe for sinlessness to occur in Jesus they claim Mary was of necessity made sinless, for this reason Mary is given want they call the immaculate conception, she conceived without sin. Biblically for Mary to be without sin, then her parents needed to be without sin and then their parents and so on down the line. God did not intervene in the human genealogy except when he himself became man. Mary was not picked because she was made perpetual virgin before hand but because of God’s grace. His sinlessness was not dependent on Mary's purity, she didnt need to be preserved from sin to make Jesus sinless. Biblically the sin nature is passed on through the man, it lies within the heart of man, in his very soul, the nature of our being. This is why it was not passed on to Jesus he had no human Father. This is why there was need of a virgin birth. The human body is not sinful, but can be used for sin as its base nature dictates what is already in ones heart. The Bible teaches that sin is present at conception as David the Psalmist stated "in sin did my mother conceive me." Also in Job 14:4 " No one can make something clean out of something unclean." So Jesus was placed into the womb of Mary without the normal means of conception. It was His human nature that needed to be conceived since He already existed as deity. The virgin birth became the means to protect the sinless son of God as He became human. In Luke 1:35: And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy one which is to be born will be called the Son of God." The Holy Spirit then protected His human nature as it developed. In Mt.1:20 The angel tells Joseph "that which is conceived of the Holy Spirit. The egg was generated to life by the Holy Spirit as God the Son- who already existed entered the egg under the superintending ministry of the Holy Spirit.He is the only human being born like this. From the time of the conception to his actual birth Mary's womb was under the protection and sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
It is the male seed where the sin nature is passed on. By having the virgin birth, this bypassed the natural process to insure no sin nature was transferred to the female chromosome. The female ovum itself has no blood, neither the male sperm; but it is when these come together in the fallopian tube that conception takes place, the blood is made and a new life begins. The blood type of the Son of God was a separate and precious type unlike any other, it had no sin. Because of this method of conception, it is not possible that Mary could have supplied any of her Adamic blood for Jesus who was to be the spotless lamb of God.
Neither is there any indication that God fertilized the egg of Mary through either the father or Holy Spirits work. She conceived without human or divine fertilization so there was no sperm to hit the egg, Jesus who is the author of life made a biological miracle.
All tests of genetic law show that the virgin conception should have produced a daughter not a son. "The human male determines the sex of the offspring. His entrance into the unfertilized egg of Mary caused it to develop without the expected duplication of the female X chromosomes. When an artificial egg duplicates its chromosomes in response to artificial stimulation. the result is female" ( animal studies) D. Hocking from his Christology course.
The Holy Spirit who is God, protected His sinlessness, as God the Son entered the womb and the egg of Mary and took upon Himself a human nature in addition to His divine nature (clothed himself in humanity Phil. 2:5-8). There was no change of nature but an addition, adding humanity to His deity.
The female eggs source was of Mary, so Jesus was the real son of Mary, yet it was also the Holy Spirit that generated the life so he was begotten of the Father enjoying a special relationship before and during his earthly existence. Jn.1:18 (begotten meaning eternal generation as the unique son, not begotten as humans are).
Since the sin nature does not come through the female chromosomes but is dependent on the male seed, God did not have to make Mary sinless first. His sinlessness was not dependent on Mary, she didnt need to be preserved from sin. This is known by Roman Catholics as the immaculate conception and for this reason they claim she was made sinless. The sin nature from Adam is passed on through the man, this is why it was not passed on to Jesus, he had no human father.( in Adam we all sinned, not Eve) For Mary to be without sin then her parents needed to be without sin and then their parents and so on down the line. If one argues that this was a supernatural intervention of God for the immaculate conception of Mary, why not leave it to be applied to Jesus so it will fit the biblical account. If one insists the Mary is without sin then they are denying the virgin conception of which was the supernatural means God chose to keep Jesus sinless. This whole concept of his earthly mother being preserved from original sin militates against the incarnation of the only sinless human to be born. If the Father could make Mary sinless then he could just as well have Jesus sinless- which is exactly what the scripture says. 1 Sam.2:2 says there is "no one holy as the Lord". In Rev.15:4 we see the redeemed singing the song of the lamb in heaven "You alone are Holy." In other words only God has intrinsic holiness as His nature. If you are without any sin, then you are Deity. The Bible teaches the only one who would be born sinless after the fall would be Jesus (this is why this event is called the seed of the woman-excluding the man).
Catholic scholars point to Gen.3:15 to support their teaching of Mary being the co-redeemer. the standard Roman Catholic Bible the Douay Rheims version reads. " I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shall lie in wait for her heel." This is based on the translation of the Latin texts of the Vulgate Bible which has been the official Bible of the roman Catholic church since the fourth century. Mary " most completely triumphed over him ,(the ancient serpent) and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot." (Pope Pius IX Ineffabilis Deus)
The Hebrew Masoretic text which is the original language of the Old Testament reads quite different then the Douay Rheims version. The one who will crush the serpents head is in the masculine not feminine. So instead of reading like " She shall crush thy head" it should be translated "He shall crush thy head, the God/man. This verse is speaking about Christs future victory over Satan, not Mary. The He is a masculine single pronoun in Hebrew, meaning He does this Himself, and He does not share this victory with anyone else. The New Testament agrees with this.
In Rom.16:20 It states, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan"--" It was for this very reason that the Son of God appeared to destroy the devils work." (1 Jn.3:8) That "by his death He might destroy him who had the power of death-that is the devil." To attribute any of this to Mary even as a co-victor is to take the significance of the birth of the messiah away, and it diminishes the purpose and victory that He alone accomplished by His work on the cross. In Acts 20:28 it states "God purchased the church with his own blood." The blood from Emmanuels veins, is the very reason there had to be a virgin birth. Mary was only the vehicle for 9 months, she had no sharing in any other purpose that the spotless lamb would accomplish, except to share with Joseph in bringing him up in the ways of the Lord.
The Bible does not confirm Mary as the triumphant one over the devil, she did not die for our sin Col.2:15 says it was Jesus who humiliated Satan when he died for sin..
One needs to believe in the Biblical account of the virgin birth to be a Christian, when one changes this they lose the miracle of God using fallen humanity to accomplish His decrees. To actively and consciously refuse the facts of the means of the Son of God's birth. This is why the Apostles creed and the Nicene creed had mention of the virgin conception, it was this important.