Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Virgin Birth (5 Views)

What's all this gobbledygook on Jesus being "conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary"?

1. Traditional View (booo-ring)
God and sex don't mix. And no way the birth of the Christ would have anything to do foreplay, orgasms, nasty thoughts and stuff.

Key element: Avoiding the sinful associations of sex.

2. Traditional View (stiff) 
If Christ was 'conceived by Joseph and Mary, and born of the non-virgin Mary' He'd still have the taint of original sin in His DNA. This jeopardizes Christ's capacity to be the Saviour of all mankind. Christ is fully Man, yes, but He's also the new kind of Man able to save the old kind i.e. a new Adam put on earth to undo the devastation wraught by the offspring of the old one.

Key element: Christocentric 'composition' required for the redemption plan to take effect.

3. Historico-Critical View (bad) 
The early Christians included it into oral tradition and, eventually, the Gospels as further (contrived) validation of the divine status of Christ.

Key element: Historical fictionising, myth-making and tale-spinning for community window-dressing purposes.

4. Historico-Critical View (real bad) 
Mary wanted to hide the truth of Jesus' conception, which was most likely due to her being impregnated by a Roman soldier (with consent or otherwise, it's not important).

Key element: Brushing over harsh realities of Second Temple Judaism life under the heel of Rome.

5. Historico-Critical View (wic-ked)
A wonderful story like the virgin birth makes perfect sense in a narrative about God redeeming and re-creating the world by giving Himself and doing something New Creation-scented. This is the kind of thing a world-transforming and creation-renewing God would do i.e. it simply makes sense as part of a beautiful whole. Furthermore, Matthew and Luke would hardly want to risk the ridicule and suspicions (wouldn't the miracles have created enough problems already?)

Key element: Beauty and 'fit' of virgin birth within overall Gospel narrative.

1 comment:

Derek L. said...

Speaking of which, I just saw this today... I thought it was funny.