The word “Christology” comes from two Greek words meaning “Christ / Messiah” and “word” – which combine to mean “the study of Christ.” Christology is the study of the Person and work of Jesus Christ. There are numerous important questions that Christology answers: Today Dr. Hocking looks at the Virgin Birth of Christ. This doctrine at first blush doesn’t seem as important as other doctrines, but we find that it is absolutely crucial to the ministry of Jesus
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Isaiah 7:14
Christology Session 07
The Virgin Birth of Christ
If I were to ask you on the test, “What is the method by which He becomes incarnate?” your answer is, “The virgin birth.” The virgin birth: I do not know of a subject that gets people so messed up as this. In 1952, there was an attempt by the Revised Standard Version to clear things up, but instead it caused more controversy than you can shake a stick at. In the Revised Standard Version, Old Testament edition that came out, they translated Isaiah 7:14 (which should say, “Therefore a virgin shall conceive,”) as “a young woman shall conceive.” Now the word does mean “a young woman.” A virgin is a young woman, but not all young women are virgins. The question is, “How do you answer this problem?”
First of all, I believe that the virgin birth is rooted in the prophecies that are in the Old Testament. It was not a last minute thing of Jesus and the Father saying, “You know, we really ought to have the virgin birth, because that would really seal this thing up pretty good.” No. It was a prophecy which He was going to fulfill. A prophecy that began in Genesis 3:13, “The seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.” It was a prophecy that was in the time of Ahaz, in the prophet Isaiah (Isa 7:14), and that is the key passage. In Isaiah 9, it is also a prophecy that says, “Behold, a child is born and a son is given.” Make sure you know this, if you want to jot it down in the margin, the child is referring to His birth, and the son is referring to His adoption. The virgin birth is what created the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6-7. How could one person be born a true son and be adopted as a son at the same time? The virgin birth provided the answer to Isaiah 9:6 as well.
The Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 is almah. The key that we believe (those of us who know the Bible to be Old Testament as well as New Testament) is that in Greek, the word parthenos does not have the variety of interpretation that almah does. Parthenos always means “virgin.” In Athens, when you look at the Acropolis, or if you ever see a picture of it, or see it in a movie, you will see the beautiful Parthenon, one of the most amazing buildings in the world, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is called the Parthenon because it was a temple of prostitution using virgins. It means “virgin,” and it cannot mean anything else. Now the word parthenos is in Matthew 1:23, which quotes Isaiah 7:14. It is also in the Greek Old Testament translating Isaiah 7:14. It is the word Parthenos, it is not a virgin, it is the virgin. “Behold, the virgin is bearing a son, and she calls His name Emmanuel.” The word Emmanuel (“God with us”) brings us back to the question of deity. Jewish scholars list 456 references to the messiah, but Isaiah 7:14 is not one of them.
Isa 7:14; Gen 3:13; Isa 9:6-7; Mat 1:23; Jer 22:24-30; Dan 9:26; Isa 53:5; Zec 13:6; Psa 132:11; Luk 3:23-38; Isa 9:6; Luk 1:35; 2Cr 5:2; Hbr 4:15; Psa 51:5; Rom 6:6, 12; Rom 5:12; Hbr 11:17-19; Jhn 17:24; Isa 9:6; Rom 5:12, 19; 2Ti 3:15
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