"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

Virgin birth questioned in the light of the Torah

If we presume a birth without a man’s assistance, we still have the problem that Jesus was not born in accordance with the Law. His birth, according to the New Testament, violates the laws of the Torah, which specify what constitutes adultery. Mary, according to the New Testament, did not conceive by her betrothed, Joseph. Therefore, she committed adultery “under law” (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). As a result, the Christian claim that Jesus was born of a woman engaged to a man, yet had God as his father, must be considered to refer to an adulterous union.

Such a statement made in reference to the God of Israel is an abomination. Are we to believe that God would violate his own laws and involve a human named Mary into this transgression? The NT writer of the Gospel of Matthew would have us believe that God had no problem looking the other way at violations of the law after he made it clear how important following the law was.

God’s law does not allow for Him to seduce a maiden, even with the medium of the Holy Spirit. What would be the worth of a moral code that is violated by God Himself? The seduction of a female by a god belongs at best, in the realm of pagan mythology.

Mystery religions

“Each mystery religion taught its own version of the birth, dying and resurrecting god men, who were known by different names in different places.  In Egypt, where the mysteries began, he was Osiris.  In Greece he became Dionysus, in Asia Minor he is known as Attis, in Syria he is Adonis, in Persia he is Mithras, in Alexandria he is Serapis, to name a few.”

Proponents of this idea point out that there are several parallels between these pagan myths and the story of Jesus Christ. Parallels cited include a virgin birth, a divine Son of God, the god dying for mankind, resurrection from the dead, and more. Sceptics allege that Christianity did not present any unique teaching but instead borrowed the majority of their tenets from the mystery religions.   Some of the alleged parallels indeed appear to be quite striking. One example is the god Mithras.  This myth teaches that Mithras was born of a virgin in a cave, that he was a travelling teacher with twelve disciples, that he promised his disciples eternal life, and that he sacrificed himself for the world. In addition, the Greek god Dionysius miraculously turns water into wine. The Egyptian god Osiris is killed and then resurrects from the dead.   Historical people are not the product of virgin births as Christians claim Jesus was. Pagan god/men in mythology are however often the products of a god mating with a human female.

Mithraism and Christianity

“Mithraism was similar to Christianity in many respects, for example, in the ideals of humility and brotherly love, baptism, the rite of communion, the use of holy water, the adoration of the shepherds at Mithra’s birth, the adoption of Sundays and of December 25th (Mithra’s birthday) as holy days, and the belief in the immortality of the soul, the last judgment, and the resurrection. Mithraism differed from Christianity in the exclusion of women from its ceremonies and in its willingness to compromise with polytheism. The similarities, however, made possible the easy conversion of its followers to Christian doctrine. Mithraism was one of the major religions of the Roman Empire, the cult of Mithra, the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom. In the Avesta, the sacred Zoroastrian writings (see Zoroastrianism) of the ancient Persians, Mithra appears as the chief yazata (Avestan, ‘beneficent one’), or good spirit, and ruler of the world. He was supposed to have slain the divine bull, from whose dying body sprang all plants and animals beneficial to humanity. After the conquest of Assyria in the 7th century BC and of Babylonia in the 6th century BC, Mithra became the god of the sun, which was worshipped in his name (see Sun Worship). The Greeks of Asia Minor, by identifying Mithra with Helios, the Greek god of the sun, helped to spread the cult. It was brought to Rome about 68 BC by Cilician pirates whom the Roman general Pompey the Great had captured, and during the early empire it spread rapidly throughout Italy and the Roman provinces. It was a rival to Christianity in the Roman world.”

Emperor Constantine officially fused Mithraism and Christianity

During the 1st century BC, a cult of Mithra, made much progress in Rome, after enduring persecution, when some Emperors adopted the religion… Mithra became very popular among the Roman legionaries and later even among the Emperors. The worship of Mithra was first recognized by Emperor Aurelian and he instituted the cult of “Sol Invictus” or the Invincible Sun. Emperor Diocletian also a worshipper of Mithra, the Sun God, burned much of the Christian scriptures in 307 A.D.

This enabled Emperor Constantine to merge the cult of Mithra with that of Christianity that was developing much. He declared himself a Christian but at the same time maintained his ties to the Mithra cult. He retained the title “Pontifus Maximus” the high priest. On his coins were inscribed: “Sol Invicto comiti” which means, commited to the invincible sun. This new blend of the two faiths, he officially proclaimed as Christianity. Christianity spread all over the Roman empire and Eastern Europe by massive persecution and brought an end to a variety of religions that flourished there.

Until the fourth century, Mithra and Christianity were distinct but after Constantine, the two cults were blended to form the new faith that was to conquer most of the world.

Communion, Blood, Flesh, Eating and Drinking

The bull is seen as a symbol of Spring, of rebirth, and a very common carving is of Mithras cleansing himself in the blood of a bull. Ritual killing of bulls and washing in its blood was believed to be necessary for cleansing, eternal life and salvation. This was followed by a meal of the bulls flesh. Life anew could be created from the flesh and blood of the sacrificed bull. If a bull was not available a substitute was used by poorer congregations, such as a ram, bread or fish.

“The adherents of Mithras believed that by eating the bull’s flesh and drinking its blood they would be born again, just as life itself has been created anew from the blood of the bull. Participation in this rite would give not only physical strength but lead to the immortality of the soul and to eternal light. Justin also mentioned the similarity between the Mithras ritual and the Eucharist”

“According to the Mithraic myth, he would undergo a cultic transformation into a bull [or] a ram. He would be killed and his flesh and blood (or wine representing his blood) would be consumed by the faithful. The pictorial and sculpted scenes presenting this sacred meal were the ones which enraged Christian sensitivities, and many smashed-up Mithraeums show the traces of the fury of Christian iconoclasts. Tertullian [160-240] mentioned –  this ritual of the Mithras which was a ‘devilish imitation of the Eucharist’. He also mentions that the Mithraists enacted the resurrection.”

Sunday as the Day of Worship, and December 25th

In 313 A.D., Emperor Constantine declared December 25th to be the birthday of Jesus (December 25th was prescribed earlier as the birthday of Mithra, by emperor Aurelian). Sabbath day, which is literally Saturday (as the Jews still maintain), became Sunday as it was the day of the Sun, another element from the Mithra worship.”

“It may be mentioned here that the Greeks celebrated the birthday of their sun-god Apollo at the winter solstice. Another important point is the fact that the Christian Church abandoned the Jewish sabbath (contrary to the commandment of God) in favour of the Mithraic day of the sun.

Virgin birth in Matthew and Luke

According to both Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born of a virgin.  This claim makes it impossible, however, for Christians to insist that Jesus was king of the Jews.  This is because tribal lineage is traced only through a person’s father.  This is clearly stated in Numbers 1:18.  According to Christian teachings, Jesus had only a human Jewish mother, not a human Jewish father.  This human Jewish father would be essential for anyone to be a legitimate heir to the throne of David.

The New Testament provides two conflicting genealogies of Jesus as “proof” Jesus was the offspring of David. The problem is that in the Gospel of Matthew, the author claims Jesus was born of a virgin and had no earthly father. The Gospel of Luke doesn’t indicate this as strongly, however since fundamentalist Bible believers claim the Bible has no errors, it is generally accepted that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth with no earthly father. It should be noted that the claim of a virgin birth cannot be found or confirmed anywhere else in the NT. The problems with this claim are immense for Christianity because the virgin birth destroys the physical connection between Jesus and David which is required to be a valid king Messiah.

Genealogy of Jesus Christ

The genealogy of Jesus via Joseph (the husband of Mary who gave birth to Jesus) in the Matthew gospel does pass through David, Solomon, and Asa as required by scripture. However, since Joseph wasn’t the biological father of Jesus, the genealogy is irrelevant. The basic requirement that the Messiah was to be the physical offspring of David is not met because Jesus had no biological father.

One needs to look at the adoption ploy in the genealogy of Matthew which has a cursed king in it –  which disqualifies any of the descendants (adopted or otherwise) of this king from sitting on the throne of Israel. Joseph could never have sat on the throne, nor could Jesus, even if he was the biological son of Joseph. The cursed king (Jeconiah) in the lineage prevents this unconditionally.

Matt 1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

Jeconias (also called Coniah, Jechoniah or Jehoiachin) was cursed by God (Jer 22:29-30, Jer 36:30).

Jer 22:29-30 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

All Jeconiah’s descendants (which include Joseph) were under the curse and none of them could ever sit on the throne of David.

The dishonesty Christians exhibit in this desperate attempt to supply Jesus with legitimate credentials to sit on the throne of David is an excellent example of the type of tactics which Christians are forced to use to hold their New Testament assertions together.

Christians commonly combine two excuses together in an effort to concoct the following doctrine to validate Jesus as a king Messiah: That doctrine asserts:

The genealogy in Matthew represents the royal or legal line of Jesus and the genealogy in Luke represents the physical line of Jesus.

As has been demonstrated, this hybrid rationalization falls apart once the individual components have been examined in detail.

1) Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus as required by scripture.

2) Genealogies and thrones are only passed through males.

3) The Matthew genealogy contains a cursed king, none of whose descendants can ever sit on the throne.

4) The Luke genealogy fails to include Solomon. The king Messiah must also be the physical offspring of Solomon.

5) There is no evidence the genealogy of Mary is presented anywhere in Luke 3.

6) There is no evidence that Mary even descended from David, nor would it matter as she was a woman who cannot pass a kingship regardless of what tribe she was from.

7) There is no evidence Joseph or Mary ever announced or acknowledged to the public that Joseph adopted Jesus, nor would it matter as a biological connection was needed to fulfil the requirements of being a king Messiah.

8) The impregnation of Mary by the Holy Spirit occurred outside the confines of God’s moral law.

According to Christians, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus is supposed to represent the most important event in the history of the universe. Remember what the New Testament says:

1 John 2:22

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

The acceptance of Jesus as the Christ or Messiah is critical for anyone who wants to have a relationship with God. If you don’t accept that Jesus was a valid Messiah then you deny God and are a liar.

What kind of holy, righteous God would condemn people to hell for their failure to accept Jesus as a valid Messiah when the evidence for his qualifications to be a legitimate Messiah is so utterly invalid?

Further invalidating Jesus as a king Messiah is the fact that Jesus never sat on the throne of David nor is there anything in the Tanach (OT) scripture that states a king Messiah would come once and then require a second coming to accomplish what he was supposed to do the first time.

According to the NT, the angel Gabriel promised Mary the following:

Luke 1:32-33

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

This promise was not even remotely fulfilled by Jesus. The Tanach (OT) makes it very clear that the expected king Messiah would reign on the throne of David and in his days Judah would be saved and Israel would live in safety.

Jeremiah 23:5-6

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

In his days, Jesus never sat on the throne and Judah/Israel was under Roman occupation.

Jerusalem was also destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E.

To repeat:  There is nothing in the Old Testament which declares that a king Messiah would come once die and require a second coming to accomplish what he failed to do the first time.

The only way to claim that Jesus was a valid king Messiah is to ignore the Tanach (OT), ignore parts of the NT, and invent new rules which attempt to jam a square peg into a round hole. This is exactly what Christians have done and continue to do. Which is pretty serious considering the whole idea of Christianity is that its foundation and authority comes from the Tanach (the Old Testament).

How do Christians get around this problem of Jesus not being linked to David by blood? The acrobatics Christians are forced to use to explain away this problem are a sight to behold. These acrobatics are also disingenuous.

One ploy used to get around this problem is to claim that while Jesus had no earthly father, his mother Mary was a descendant of King David so the blood connection requirement is met. In doing this, they claim that the genealogy of Jesus presented the Luke gospel traces Jesus through his mother Mary. However, there is absolutely nothing in the Luke genealogy that mentions even the name Mary.

The New Testament is it the word of God?

Christians assume that the Bible has no errors so the Matthew genealogy cannot possibly contradict the Luke genealogy. The Luke genealogy must be about Jesus through Mary because Matthew gave the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. There is no reason other than expediency and the desire to escape a fatal dilemma that drives Christians to resort to this rationalization. Mary’s name never appears anywhere in the list.

It should also be noted that the issue of whether Mary is the subject of the Luke 3 genealogy is moot because women cannot pass kingships or bloodlines in the Bible. Genealogies are exclusively male as shown in Num 1:2,18. Women simply didn’t count when it came to establishing a bloodline for a kingship.

Cenus Registration

As his future spouse, one might stretch credulity to the maximum and presume that Mary, in an advanced stage of pregnancy, accompanied Joseph on the journey to register for the census, but are we to believe that she went to Bethlehem because she too had to register as a descendant of David? This would suggest that married and unmarried women, not fortunate enough to have a spouse or fiancé traveling in the same direction, were out on the road with no one to protect them.

Credulity is stretched to the limit by the intimation that young and old, the healthy and the invalid, married and unmarried took part in this mass movement of population and the historical records remain silent about its occurrence.

The author of Luke utilized the historic fact that the Romans took a census about a decade after the birth of Jesus. He then connected this census to the time of the birth of Jesus and exaggerated its registration requirements in order to have Mary accompany Joseph to Bethlehem. Luke emphasizes what he believes to be Joseph ancestry, not Mary’s. The text in Matthew 1:23 reads: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, ‘God with us.'” This misquote to fulfil scripture quoted by Matthew comes from Isaiah 7:14 has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus.

Isaiah 7:14

As it happens, the ancient Greek translators of the Septuagint and similar translations made an ancient error. They translated the Hebrew word “almah” into the Greek “parthenos”, which usually means a “virgin.” “Almah” appears 9 other times in the Hebrew Scriptures; in each case it means “young woman” – a female who might have been a virgin or might have been sexually active. When the Hebrew scriptures referred to a virgin (and they do over 50 times) they always used the Hebrew word “betulah.” So, Isaiah was referring to a young woman becoming pregnant (a rather ordinary event) and not to a woman having conceived while still remaining a virgin (a miracle). During the Christian era, the passage has become so famous that many modern translators find it difficult to conform to the Hebrew original. Many duplicate the error of those ancient Greek translations. The story in Isaiah 7:14 is unrelated to the birth of Jesus.  It describes a siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians about 715 BCE. The child that was born to the young woman at the time was a sign from God that the siege would be lifted and that Jerusalem would continue as before.

The seventh chapter of the Book of Isaiah begins by describing the military crisis that was confronting King Ahaz of the Kingdom of Judah.  In about the year 732 B.C.E. the House of David was facing imminent destruction at the hands of two warring kingdoms: the northern Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Syria.  These two armies had laid siege to Jerusalem.  The Bible relates that the House of David and King Ahaz were gripped with fear.  Chapter seven relates how God sent the prophet Isaiah to reassure King Ahaz that divine protection was at hand — the Almighty would protect him, their deliverance was assured, and these two hostile armies would fail in their attempt to subjugate Jerusalem.  In Isaiah 7:1-16 we read,

“And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, marched on Jerusalem to wage war against it, and he could not wage war against it.  It was told to the House of David, saying, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim,” and his heart and the heart of his people trembled as the trees of the forest tremble because of the wind.  The Lord said to Isaiah, “Now go out toward Ahaz, you and Shear-Yashuv your son to the edge of the conduit of the upper pool, to the road of the washer’s field, and you shall say to him, ‘Feel secure and calm yourself, do not fear, and let your heart not be faint because of these two smoking stubs of firebrands, because of the raging anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.  Since Aram planned harm to you, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, saying: “Let us go up against Judah and provoke it, and annex it to us; and let us crown a king in its midst, one who is good for us.”  So said the Lord God, “Neither shall it succeed, nor shall it come to pass . . .”

The Lord continued to speak to Ahaz, saying, “Ask for yourself a sign from the Lord, your God; ask it either in the depths, or in the heights above.”  Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not test the Lord.”  Then he said, “Listen now, O House of David, is it little for you to weary men, that you weary my God as well?  Therefore the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign: Behold the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.  Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good;  for when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned.”

Isaiah 9:5-6 says: “For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called A wonderful counsellor is the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the ruler of peace; that the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts does perform this.” Who is the child the prophet speaks about? Isaiah is known for the method by which he presents many of his messages through the use of prophetic names (Isaiah 7:3, 14; 8:3). In the verse under study, the prophet expounds his message by formulating a prophetic name for Hezekiah. The words of this name form a sentence expressive of God’s greatness, which will become manifest in the benefits to be bestowed upon the future king in his lifetime. Thus, the name, though borne by the king, serves, in reality, as a testimonial to God. Hezekiah is called “a wonderful counsellor” because this name is a sign, which foretells God’s design for him.

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying: “As I have thought, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break Asshur in My land, and upon My mountains trample him under foot; then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulder.” This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? (Isaiah 14:24-27)

Be not afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. (Isaiah 37:6-7)

Hezekiah is called “the mighty God” because this name is a sign that foretells God’s defence of Jerusalem through the miraculous sudden mass death of Sennacherib’s army.

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast a mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come to this city, says the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake. (Isaiah 37:33-35)

Hezekiah is called “the everlasting Father” because this name is a sign, which foretells that God will add years to his life. “Go, and say to Hezekiah: Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add to your days fifteen years” (Isaiah 38:5). Hezekiah is called “the ruler of peace” because this name is a sign, which foretells that God would be merciful to him. Punishment for lack of faith in the Almighty will be deferred and peace granted during the last years of his rule. “Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah: ‘Good is the word of the Lord which you have spoken.’ He said moreover: ‘If but there shall be peace and security in my days'” (Isaiah 39:8). The fulfilment of the above-stated declarations is foretold in Isaiah 9:6, when, after the Assyrian defeat, Hezekiah’s glory increased and peace reigned for the rest of his life (2 Chronicles 32:23). Archaeologists have found that there was a sudden expansion of Judean settlements in the years following the fall of the northern kingdom. This indicates that many refugees fled south, thus giving added significance to the statement “that the government may be increased.” Hezekiah’s kingdom is declared to be forever, for through his efforts to cleanse the Temple ritual of idolatry, even though apostasy followed under his son Menasseh, the Davidic dynasty was once more confirmed as the only true kingly rule that God would accept over his people “from henceforth and forever.” The greatness of Hezekiah lies in his setting the stage for Israel’s future. Hezekiah was a true reformer. He cleansed religious worship of foreign influence, purged the palace and the Temple of images and pagan altars, and re-established pure monotheistic religion. In the long run Hezekiah’s achievements would outlive him, leaving an everlasting, indelible impact on the history of his people. Thus, God, through Isaiah, bestows upon Hezekiah this name which honours the king by proclaiming the great things God will do for him, and, through him, for the people of Israel.

It is clear from this chapter that Isaiah’s declaration was a prophecy of the unsuccessful siege of Jerusalem by the two armies of the Kingdoms of Israel and Syria, not a virgin birth more than 700 years later.  If we interpret this chapter as referring to Jesus’ birth, what possible comfort and assurance would Ahaz, who was surrounded by two overwhelming military enemies, have found in the birth of a child seven centuries later?  Both he and his people would have been long dead and buried.  Such a sign would make no sense.

Verses 15-16 state that by the time this child reaches the age of maturity (“he knows to reject bad and choose good”), the two warring kings, Pekah and Rezin, will have been removed.  We see, in II Kings 15-16, that this prophecy was fulfilled when these two kings were suddenly assassinated.  With an understanding of the context of Isaiah 7:14 alone, it is evident that the child born in Isaiah 7:14 is not referring to Jesus or to any future virgin birth.  Rather, it is referring to the divine protection that Ahaz and his people would enjoy from their impending destruction at the hands of these two enemies, the northern Kingdom of Israel and Syria.

Out of Egypt did I call my Son…

Matthew 2:13-15 makes the claim that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus fled to Egypt until recalled by an angel. This is supposedly in fulfilment of a prophecy: “Out of Egypt did I call My son.” The source of the so-called prophecy is Hosea 11:1. However, in the context of the verse as found in Hosea there is no prophecy, but simply a restating of Israelite history.

What is more, the following verse in Hosea is a continuation of the prophet’s statement. It says of those called out of Egypt that they sinned against God: “The more they [the prophets] called them, the more they went from them; they sacrificed to Baalim, and offered to graven images” (Hosea 11:2). The application of Hosea 11:1 to Jesus would, on the basis of verse 2, describe him, as well as Mary and Joseph, as sinners. If one reads Matthew’s so-called fulfillment of prophecy within the context of that “prophecy” then one must consider that Jesus was a sinner.

 

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