by Pastor Dan Miller
Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from Dan Miller’s book Spiritual Reflections.
Jesus of Nazareth was born in southern Palestine sometime between the winter of 5 BC and the spring of 4 BC. At the time of his conception, Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a Jewish peasant girl, probably in her early teens, and betrothed to a man named Joseph.
The Bible unblushingly declares that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:16, 18-23). “Enlightened” readers understand, of course, that virgin birth is a myth; and scholars have tripped over themselves the last couple centuries to assure us that the Bible is mistaken at this point, or that the original authors did not mean what they appear to say, or some similar dismissal of the text.
For the record, I believe the enlightened view is lost in the dark. Only a virgin-born Savior could secure the divine forgiveness of a believer’s sin which God’s Word attributes to the sacrificial death of Jesus. Be that as it may, Mary and Joseph, in anyone’s estimation, had a real problem on their hands. Young Mary was pregnant in a culture that strictly forbid premarital sex and characteristically ostracized offenders.
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