Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
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26-02-2016, 11:57 AM
Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
This subject was brought up in another thread, but I thought it deserved its own thread and stand-alone discussion. If you ever find yourself in a debate with a Christian over theological matters, I sincerely hope this information can be of use to you.

The basis for which Christens use to “prove” the “miraculous” nature of Jesus’s birth comes from the book of Isaiah –a Jewish book that has an entirely different meaning for the Jewish people. The KJV version speaks of a virgin who will be pregnant in the future. The JP version speaks of a young woman who is already pregnant at the time the book was written. Both Christians and Jews agree that the Hebrew Bible is the original source for all translations used today, yet we manage to have different translations of the same Hebrew text.

KJV - Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Judaica Press – Isaiah 7:14 Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sigh; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.

Below is a clip from a Christian website, Scripture4all.org, where Christian translators who have tried to render a true-to-the-text translation of the Hebrew.
Note that the English translation in this clip says that a young woman is already pregnant, and not that a virgin shall conceive at some future point in time.

[Image: Isaiah%207.14_zpsax53sw6p.jpg]

The primary argument with Isaiah 7:14 boils down to the tense of the pregnancy (whether this is present tense, or future tense), and the sexual status of the woman in question. In separate posts, I will address each of the following topics that are used to debunk the virgin birth story as being foretold prophecy from the Hebrew Bible.

1. What if it really does say “virgin” and not “young woman”?
2. The prophecy was to be fulfilled within a period of a few years, not within 700 years.
3. Scriptural evidence shows that Christians seem to understand in other places that the Hebrew word for virgin is “betula” and not “almah,” which means young woman and is the word used in this passage.
4. Almah is used in other parts of the bible to describe an adulteress and a rape victim.
5. The Septuagint is commonly used by Christians to show that the ancient Jewish understanding of the word did include "virgin," but the Septuagint is not a Jewish document and cannot be used to validate the Christian translation.
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26-02-2016, 12:00 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
Totally agree. First week at Harvard, we were all expected to know about this one.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...3#pid49743

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-02-2016, 12:08 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
When I was still a Christee, I used the Revised Standard Version (RSV) bible, explicitly because it correctly translated almah as young maiden. It is most possible to be a Christee without believing in the virgin birth, but this is certainly a good argument to use on the Fundies!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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26-02-2016, 03:56 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
(26-02-2016 12:08 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  It is most possible to be a Christee without believing in the virgin birth

Sounds like decaf coffee... I mean, I drink the stuff on occasion. But it doesn't go 'zing' the way the fully leaded stuff does.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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26-02-2016, 04:04 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
(26-02-2016 12:08 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  When I was still a Christee, I used the Revised Standard Version (RSV) bible, explicitly because it correctly translated almah as young maiden. It is most possible to be a Christee without believing in the virgin birth, but this is certainly a good argument to use on the Fundies!

There are a lot of bibles that translate that verse as "young woman." Many of the more modern bibles came about in response to a desire to have a more honest and accurate translation of the original Hebrew. There are a lot of Christians out there that really do want to know what the bible really says.

Sadly, they're in the minority, and the KJV is still regarded as the gold-standard. As I understand it, the vast majority of proselytizing Christians maintain that this verse means "virgin." Q sure does.
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26-02-2016, 04:22 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
(26-02-2016 04:04 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 12:08 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  When I was still a Christee, I used the Revised Standard Version (RSV) bible, explicitly because it correctly translated almah as young maiden. It is most possible to be a Christee without believing in the virgin birth, but this is certainly a good argument to use on the Fundies!

There are a lot of bibles that translate that verse as "young woman." Many of the more modern bibles came about in response to a desire to have a more honest and accurate translation of the original Hebrew. There are a lot of Christians out there that really do want to know what the bible really says.

Sadly, they're in the minority, and the KJV is still regarded as the gold-standard. As I understand it, the vast majority of proselytizing Christians maintain that this verse means "virgin." Q sure does.


My only disagreement is that the KJV is the gold standard. There are certain fundamentalist baptist sects that believe in the KJV only, but it's a pretty small minority of Christians overall...at least 15 years ago when that stuff mattered to me. Big Grin

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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26-02-2016, 05:25 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
Point 1) What if the word almah, used in Isaiah 7:14, really does mean “virgin”?

The plain reading of the text talks about a king who doesn’t follow Torah law, but is told that he will win this battle for the benefit of his descendants and for the citizens of his kingdom. Isaiah prods him to ask G-d for a sign, but he refuses to do so. So Isaiah tells him that G-d is going to send a sign none-the-less. The sign for King Ahaz is that this particular woman is pregnant (probably his own wife) and will have a son who she’ll call Immanuel. By the time Immanuel is old enough to know right from wrong, the king will see victory.

No mention of the messiah or the messianic era is made in this passage or its surrounding passages. If the word in question, "almah" really does mean virgin, then how might this help the Christian position?

But this prophecy for the benefit of King Ahaz, and is not about the messianic era or the messiah. By default, aren't Christians making the argument that Immanuel was also born to a virgin? If a virgin birth is supposed to be so miraculous, then why didn’t the real Immanuel’s birth merit the messiahship? Is there another man-god out there that just didn’t get the hype he deserved? Perhaps Jesus is the pretender, and we should all be worshipping Immanuel, the son of this unnamed woman who Isaiah and King Azah knew personally.

If Jesus is to be the son of a virgin, then it’s not a miraculous event, and apparently, this prior example spoken about in the bible had resulted in the normal birth of a normal human male. Isaiah 7:14, if read with the word virgin, sets the precedent that virgin births do not result in infant man-gods and that there is no reason to conclude that Jesus's "virgin birth" would break from the established expectation of these types of births.
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26-02-2016, 09:07 PM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
This issue is helpful, I find myself debating the prophecies of the Bible a lot, I find not one of them holds any water of course but the tense issue in this verse is interesting, it completely nullifies it.
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27-02-2016, 12:37 AM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
I thought king Ahaz was sorta famous for telling God to suck it? Did the prophecy even come true for you guys, according to your tradition?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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27-02-2016, 05:24 AM
RE: Scripture Twisting - Isaiah 7:14 (virgin birth)
(27-02-2016 12:37 AM)morondog Wrote:  I thought king Ahaz was sorta famous for telling God to suck it? Did the prophecy even come true for you guys, according to your tradition?

Yes on both accounts. King Ahaz most certainly told G-d to suck it. Tongue
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