Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Virgin Birth of Christ

The Apostles' Creed, sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol".

It is widely used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical Churches of Western tradition, including the Catholic Church, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and Western Orthodoxy. It is also used by Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Congregationalists and other Christian denominational Churches.

Latin text

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae, et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam.


English Text

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.


Why is the Virgin Birth of Christ so important? 

Answer: The doctrine of the virgin birth is crucially important (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27, 34). First, let’s look at how Scripture describes the event. In response to Mary’s question, “How will this be?” (Luke 1:34), Gabriel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). The angel encourages Joseph to not fear marrying Mary with these words: “What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Matthew states that the virgin “was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Galatians 4:4 also teaches the Virgin Birth: “God sent His Son, born of a woman.”

From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus’ birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary’s womb) were both involved. Mary, of course, could not impregnate herself, and in that sense she was simply a “vessel.” Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation.

However, denying a physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus was not truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17.)

Jesus was not born in sin; that is, He had no sin nature (Hebrews 7:26). It would seem that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father (Romans 5:12, 17, 19). The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man.

Korean Translation

질문: 그리스도의 동정녀 탄생이 중요한가?

대답: 동정녀 마리아를 통한 탄생은 아주 중요합니다 (이사야 7:14; 마태복음 1:23; 누가복음 1:27, 34). 첫째, 성경이 축복된 사건을 어떻게 묘사하는지 봅시다. 마리아가어떻게이런 일이 일어나겠느냐고 당혹스러워 , 가브리엘 천사는 말합니다. “성령이 네게 임하시고 지극히 높으신 이의 능력이 너를 엎으시리니” (누가복음 1:35). 천사는 요셉에게성령으로 잉태된 아기라고 (마태복음 1:20)” 설명해주면서, 마리아와 결혼해도 된다고 격려합니다.  갈라디아서 4:4 처녀를 통한 탄생을 가르칩니다:

구절들을 통해, 예수의 탄생은 마리아의 몸을 통한 성령의 역사임을 있습니다. 비물질 (성령) 물질(마리아의 자궁) 모두가 관련된 사건입니다. 물론 마리아는 임신을 막을 없었다는 사실에 근거한다면, 그녀는 그저 도구로 쓰인 입니다. 이렇게 오직 하나님께서만이 성육신의 기적을 이루십니다.

하지만, 마리아와 예수가 혈연 관계가 아니다라는 사실은 예수는 우리와 같은 인간이 아님을 암시합니다. 성경은 예수가 우리와 같이 육체를 가진 온전한 사람이라고 가르칩니다. 육체는 마리아를 통해 주어진 동시에 예수는 영원한 그리고 없는 온전한 하나님이셨습니다. (요한복음 1:14; 디모데전서 3:16; 그리고 히브리서 2:14-17)

예수님은 죄를 지니고 태어나지 않으셨습니다. , 그는 죄의 속성이 없으셨습니다 (히브리서 7:26). 죄는 아버지를 통해 세대에서 세대를 통하여 계속적으로 이어지는 싶습니다.(로마서 5:12, 17, 19). 그러나, 동정녀를 통한 예수의 탄생은 이렇게 이어지는 죄를 막고, 영원하신 하나님이 없는 온전한 인간이 되는 것을 가능하게 것입니다.

Original Hebrew and Greek Word Study:

Isaiah 7:14 (735 BC)

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The VIRGIN will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

In this passage from the book of Isaiah the prophet predicts to king Ahaz that a young woman will give birth to a child who will be called "Immanuel", meaning "God with us", The Hebrew word is "עלמה" (almah), which scholars agree means ‘a young woman of child-bearing age’, without any connotation of virginity.

The Greek-speaking author of Matthew, however, used the Greek translation of Isaiah, in which the word is given as "παρθένος", parthenos, meaning a virgin.

Hebrew 'God with us' - עמנואל ‛immânû'êl - from אל 'ĕl, "God," and עמנוּ ‛ı̂mmânû, "with us."

Some 730 years later….

Gospel Matthew 1 (5 BC)

The Gospel of Matthew (written 80-85 AD) begins with a genealogy leading from Abraham to Joseph, but then calls Joseph "the husband of Mary, of whom (Mary) was born Jesus, who is called Christ.(Matthew 1:16)

The original Greek text, which has "ξ ς" (eks  heis, feminine singular), shows that the phrase "of whom" refers to Mary, not to Joseph or to Mary and Joseph together. It then states that, when Mary was found to be pregnant, she had not lived with Joseph, to whom she was engaged (Matthew 1:18) and that he did not have marital relations with her before the child was born. (Matthew 1:25)

Matthew then states: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:20)  in fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet: "A virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.(Matthew 1:22-23) Scholars interpret "prophet" as a reference to Isaiah 7:14.  

Hebrew has a specific word "almah", which may mean "maiden," "young woman," or "virgin". When Matthew 1:22 states: "Behold the virgin shall be with child" it uses the Greek term " παρθένος , parthenos" as "virgin" as in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah, while the original Masoretic Isaiah uses the Hebrew "almah".

 This Greek translation alters or refines the meaning of Isaiah's original Hebrew: where the prophet had talked only of a ‘young woman’ conceiving and bearing a son, the Septuagint projected ‘young woman’ into the Greek word for ‘virgin’ (παρθένος, parthenos)."

Footnote:The Septuagint (play /ˈsɛptjuːəˌɪnt/), or simply "LXX", or the "Greek Old Testament", is a translation into Koine Greek of the Hebrew Bible, which began by the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE.

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