The Virgin Birth -- By: Anonymous
BSP 2:4 (Autumn 1989) p. 100
The Virgin Birth
Two Archaeologists Critique An Article From Biblical Review
As the season of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ approaches, we do well to consider the full implications of the Virgin Birth.
Last October Biblical Review (sister magazine to Biblical Archaeology Review) presented an article entitled “Can Scholars Take the Virgin Birth Seriously?” Although authored by a professor from a Christian college (Muskingum in Ohio), it was anything but Christian in content. We asked two true scholars (both seasoned field archaeologists) to critique this article for our readers. You may find that the article itself is not as scholarly as the author presumed it to be. We hope that considering the Virgin Birth in this fashion will sharpen our readers’ awareness of the importance of this central doctrine of the Christian faith.
The two scholars are Dr. Bryant Wood and Professor Wilbur Fields. Both have taught college and university students for years, have done considerable research including being on the staff of many excavations in Israel and Egypt, and have published a good number of articles. Both these scholars take the Virgin Birth seriously.
The author, J. Edward Barrett, closes his article with the suggestion: “Surely it is... possible to be a disciple who takes the virgin birth seriously, but not literally” (p. 29). Wood answers: No, you cannot be a disciple of Christ and
BSP 2:4 (Autumn 1989) p. 101
not believe He is the literal Son of God. That is a central tenet of the Old and New Testaments. Fields says, “Those like Barrett who feel the virgin birth cannot be literal probably have missed one of the greatest, and often-repeated, promises of Scripture - that God was going to come to dwell as man with mankind.”
Barrett (p. 14): There is “… clear internal disagreement on the matter of the virgin birth within the New Testament itself… myths and endless genealogies… If we ask what Paul could possibly be describing as ‘myths’ in close association with ‘genealogies,’ the virgin birth stories immediately come to mind.”
Fields: “They come to his mind! Paul surely did not specify that the virgin birth was one of the myths he had in mind. It is difficult to think that Paul was against the virgin birth when he wrote that Christ Jesus existed in the form of God, but then emptied Himself, and took the form of a bondservant, and came in the appearance of man (Phil 2:5–7). Paul also said that in Christ “all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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