The Incarnation Of The Christ: His Birth
The Biblical record effortlessly states the marvelous truth of the birth of Jesus. Matthew 1:18 states, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise ...” Luke 1:30, 31 reveal the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary: "Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and, bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus."
The question of concern is, “How shall this be?” A basic understanding of the facts of life allows us to know how babies come into our world on a regular basis. However, there is a wonderful difference about the conception and birth of Jesus. He had no human father involved in the conception and was born of a virgin mother. This “how” was chosen to produce a “fully God and fully man in one person” and is referred to as the Incarnation. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” (John 1:14).
There are those today who declare that the teaching that Jesus was born of a virgin is a hoax or a myth. They further contend that his being born of a virgin has nothing to do with the essentiality of Christianity. Is this possible? No!
New Testament Christianity is founded in reality and history, and not on the mere basis of ideologies or philosophies. The validity of Christianity rests on whether or not the events connected with it actually happened. Unfortunately, we live in an age where both secular and religious histories are being reconstructed right before our very eyes. In Wayne Jackson’s book, The Bible On Trial, he writes about the nature of credible history. He cites Professor Stephen Neill’s “canons of history” as follows: 1) History is unique; 2) History is unpredictable; 3) History is not repeatable; 4) History is unalterable; 5) History is irreversible. Jackson then gives guidelines for the determination of true history as opposed to mythology. There are four levels (or degrees) of witnesses to history. Given from the strongest (first degree) to the weakest (fourth degree), they are: 1) Eye-witness testimony; 2) Second hand testimony; 3) Oral tradition (provided they are not removed more than 150 years from the event); 4) Corroborating societies.
If good and honest hearts would examine the writings of the eight New Testament writers in light of the above recognized historical principles, their writings would pass as credible historical documents with flying colors. Among the various doctrines based on historical fact (death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus), one finds nestled among them the teaching about the birth of Jesus to a virgin mother. It is absolutely essential to Christianity that the inspired record be true. If it is not true, it casts a shadow of doubt on every passage of scripture as the word of God. If it is not true, it destroys the very foundation for the Church to exist (Matthew18:16-18). One should never tamper with history, especially the history of Christianity as it is set forth in the Scriptures. -P.O. Box 351, Hundred, WV 26575.
Return to West Virginia Christian