Christian theologians call the conception of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and the birth through the Virgin Mary ‘Virgin birth’. Some verses in the New Testament declare this fact as one of God’s great miracles. Well, I do believe many things, but not everything.
In this connection one ought to know that the gospels of the New Testament were written to deliver an evangelic (Greek: eu-angelos = ‘delivering good messages’) message, not a historic one. Religious researchers even say that in those days the gospels served ‘enthusiastic propaganda purposes’. Considering this aspect, it seems plausible that the gospels were not written to record historic events for posterity. In addition, some parts of the Bible have often been misinterpreted or (out of unawareness) incorrectly translated.
In ancient texts Mother Mary is referred to as almah. The Semitic word almah, which was translated as ‘virgin’, only means ‘young woman’. Its meaning is completely unlinked with the physical virginity. Therefore, for Mother Mary, it well may be the case she is an alma and Joseph’s wife, at the same time.
As the wife of a ‘dynastic husband’ (Joseph was no carpenter; his job title is also based on an incorrect translation) Mary was subject to certain rules. She had to undergo some sort of trial period as a wife, which I would like to expand on in a later blog. However, the rules were strict, and only allowed the conception of children at certain fixed dates.
The Catholic view is based on the fact that Mary was a virgin throughout her life, as she is venerated as ‘Virgin Mary’. But the gospels1 do not make a secret of the fact that Jesus was not the only son, which makes Mary’s physical virginity even more incredible. Even if she conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit, and not through a sexual act, one wonders how she gave birth to other children. It is hard to believe that Mary conceived all her children through the Holy Spirit. It makes one think that the church has a problem with sexual morals in general, and women in particular.
1 Mathew 13,55 – Luke 2,7 – Mark 6,3