Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have been following the on-going dialogue I have been having with some atheists, since I picked up on the statement that the Bible is “the biggest fictional tale ever told.” If not, you might be able to look back past my recent bout of Twitterrrhoea about easyJet and see something of what was said.
I have to say that it was difficult to engage in a reasoned discussion, but there have been some interesting questions and issues raised and I thought I would share some thoughts here.
It was suggested that I begin with answering the question “why do [I] think Jesus was in fact born of a virgin?”
I’m not sure that I ever said anything about my belief in the virgin birth; however it was a correct assumption to make and I shall answer the question without further ado.
The bottom line is that I trust what has been written in the Bible. I am not aware of any extra-Biblical references to the virgin birth (but I am happy to stand corrected), but in any case this is not something which can be proven scientifically.
However, the lack of scientific proof does not mean that it isn’t true. Similarly, the fact that the Bible records extra-ordinary events does not mean that it cannot be trusted. That said, I do not blindly trust the Bible. I think that the books of the New Testament hold weight as historic documents, for example, and my worldview as a whole is coherent.
Of course, the more important questions to ask concern the notion of the existence of God, and the claim that Jesus was God in human form. Discussing whether or not he really was born of a virgin is potentially interesting but of no relevance to the bigger picture. If theism is true and there is a god capable of creating the whole Universe then the notion that Jesus may have been born of a virgin is not hugely shocking.
On the other hand, if you believe that there is no god, would finding out that Jesus was born of a virgin do anything to convince you otherwise?