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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Virgin vs Young Woman

I enjoy the writings of the Bible scholar, Amy Jill Levine. This morning I am reading a section of her book "The Bible With and Without Jesus." Below is a small section. I do hope you will read the whole book, as this is just a tiny piece.

Since Isaiah clearly spoke of a pregnant young woman, and since the sign clearly addressed the looming political crisis, how did the idea of a virginal conception arise? For that, we need to look at the Greek translation of Isaiah 7:14.

INSTEAD OF translating ‘almah as “young woman of marriageable age,” with the expected Greek term neanis, the Septuagint offers parthenos. And with this one word, centuries of Jewish-Christian debate, as well as of internal Christian litmus tests, begin.

Because of a mistranslation of one word, centuries of theology have piled on top of that one word -  everything from burning at the stake if you said Mary was not a virgin to burned Bibles that translated that word correctly.

As a seeker of truth, I ask myself, Does the brilliant teaching of Jesus suffer because he was born naturally rather than supernaturally? I think not. I think his ideas stand on their own without hocus pocus.

He is my master teacher, my guide, my reference, my example. He has changed my life over and over again. 

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