The Virgin Birth of Jesus

The Virgin Birth of Jesus

by G.H. Box

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Overview

From the intro:

"Have the Gospel narratives of the Nativity, in their canonical form, been influenced by pagan conceptions? No apology is needed for asking once more and endeavoring to answer this question in view of the critical controversy that has within recent years invaded not only our scholastic, but also popular theological literature. The questions in debate have, of course, long ceased to be of merely academic interest, and involve issues of grave practical importance to Christians generally. With the theological question involved, however, it is not the purpose of the present volume to deal at any length. The writer s primary aim is to discuss, in as objective a manner as he can, the alleged influence of pagan ideas on the Nativity-Narratives of the First and Third Gospels, and the questions that arise therefrom.
According to the latest exponents of one branch of the critical school there is not the faintest shadow of doubt as to what the true answer to our question is. What the Christian Church has always regarded as the central fact of the narratives in question the Virgin Birth is without hesitation assigned in these quarters to a purely pagan origin. Thus, according to Usener, "for the whole birth and childhood story of Mt. (Matthew) in its every detail it is possible to trace a pagan sub-stratum. It must have arisen in Gentile-Christian circles, probably in those of the province of Asia, and then was to some extent legitimated by its narrator in accordance with the tendency manifested through out the whole of the First Gospel by citation of prophetic words in its support." With this conclusion, also, Schmiedel agrees. According to him, "the origin of the idea of a virgin birth is to be sought in Gentile-Christian circles."
Soltau's estimate, though more guarded, is also in substantial agreement with the foregoing: "May we not suppose," he says, "that the Virgin Birth of Jesus had a similar (heathen) origin (to that of the episodes of the angels Song of Praise, Luke ii. 8, and of the magi)?"
In view of the pronouncedly Jewish-Christian character of the Nativity-Narratives of the Gospels such conclusions at first sight certainly seem to savor of paradox. How can such an essentially pagan idea have found entrance into Jewish-Christian circles? In order to elucidate this question, it will be necessary to discuss the character of the narratives afresh."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781505864748
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/02/2015
Pages: 92
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.19(d)

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