The Real Jesus (DVD) Myth #3 (5 & 6 of 10)


Myth #3: There was no virgin birth and
Jesus was not born in Bethlehem
By Jay Rogers

Jennings: “We cannot tell you whether or not Jesus is the Son of God, that is a matter of faith. But if you have difficulty with the idea that the Virgin Mary could get pregnant without a man involved, there are a number of ways to explain why in Luke it is written that way.” [24:50]

Jennings: “Some scholars think that Jesus was illegitimate and that the story was a cover-up.” [26:28]

That Jesus was born of a virgin is confirmed by both Matthew and Luke. In his Gospel, Matthew writes that this miracle was a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

The name Immanuel in Hebrew means literally “God-With-Us.” In other words, God himself was to be incarnate in human form. And the miraculous sign would be that He would be born of a virgin.

Now some have said that the word “virgin” in Hebrew can simply mean a maiden or an unmarried woman. The problem with this speculation is the context of Isaiah’s prophecy. A “sign” in the Hebrew language is simply another way of translating the word “miracle.” And the exclamation “Behold!” means to look with wonder. Both Isaiah and the Gospel writers meant to say that the Messiah would be born of a virgin and the witnesses would look in wonder at the event.

Peter Jennings is right about one thing. There is no physical evidence other than the scripture left to us today to determine the miracle of the Incarnation. But not only is the virgin birth called into question, but also the place and circumstances of Jesus’ birth also prophesied in scripture.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.'”

— Matthew 2:1-6

According to prophecy given hundreds of years before Jesus was born, not only would He be born of a virgin, but He would also be born in the city of David, his forefather, in Bethlehem. Of course, Peter Jennings disagrees.

Jennings: “Luke writes that Joseph and Mary came here to Bethlehem from Nazareth because the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus had ordered a world wide taxation. Now there is no record outside the Gospels that the Emperor Caesar Augustus ordered such a tax. Roman tax records do show that a man is to be taxed where he lives and where he works and Joseph lived and worked in Nazareth. Tax records also show they didn’t count women. And so why would Joseph have brought Mary on this very difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem through the desert especially when she was very pregnant?”[10:33-11:06]

But let’s look at what the Gospel of Luke actually says: And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered (Luke 2:1-6).

Some translations have the word “taxed” for the Greek word apographé, a word that comes from the Greek verb meaning to enroll or to register. What Luke actually wrote is not that Joseph came to Bethlehem “to be taxed,” but that he came “to register” in a census. In the ancient world, a census was often used to assess the amount of able-bodied males eligible for military service.

The Real Jesus: Myth #4 (6 of 10)
Myth #4: Jesus did not claim to be God


The idea that Jesus did not claim to be God is often put in a more subtle way.

Jennings: “The word Messiah did not mean the Son of God. It simply meant ‘the anointed one.'” [34:52]

[INTERVIEWS WITH PANEL OF EXPERTS: “Did Jesus claim to be God?”]

The idea that the Jewish Messiah is God himself is not something that first century Christians made up. The divinity of the Messiah is something we find throughout the Old Testament.

[INTERVIEWS WITH PANEL: “Is the Old Testament Messiah divine?”]

The great Reformed scholar Benjamin Warfield wrote:

“It is quite clear, at the outset, that the writers of the New Testament and Christ Himself understood the Old Testament to recognize and to teach that the Messiah was to be of divine nature. For example, they without hesitation support their own assertions of the Deity of Christ by appeals to Old Testament passages in which they find the Deity of the Messiah afore-proclaimed.” (Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield, The Divine Messiah In The Old Testament)

As an example of this, let’s look at Psalm 110, which happens to be the most quoted Old Testament passage by New Testament writers.

“The Lord said to My Lord, sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” — Psalm 110:1

Jesus himself brought this prophecy into focus when He confronted the skeptics of his day.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”

They said to Him, “The Son of David.”

He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord,’ saying:
“The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘?

If David then calls Him “Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. (Matthew 22:41-46)

Let’s look at Psalm 110 carefully: God addresses the Son as God. He tells us that the Lord Jesus sits upon God’s own throne. We have to ask: Who except God could sit upon God’s throne? Jesus sits on God’s throne because He always was and always will remain God in every sense of the word.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: