The Virgin Birth
By the late R.H. Judd
Who is this of whom the scriptures say that he was “declared to be the Son of God with power” (Rom. 1:4)? The Greek word here translated “declared” means more than the bare announcement of some current happening, for it carries the sense that the person spoken of was “marked out” beforehand, predetermined for the high position chosen for him. It is the same word occurring in Acts 17:26, “determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Verily, Jesus the Christ did not just happen in history! The great part he would take in the affairs of men is given in Genesis 3:15, when the promise was made that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. It is, however, no more than an intimation. Like all Bible prophecies, precision of detail is added from time to time as events and time progress toward the goal. Further prophecies occur in Genesis 12: 7 (referred to by Paul in Gal. 3: 16), Deuteronomy 18: 15, and 2 Samuel 7:12-29. Each of these, in contrast to heathen legends, assigns his origin to human gene-alogies and relationships, instead of to mythical dei-ties and problematical human personalities. The prophecy of Moses (Deut. 18:15) could hardly be more specific in this respect.
“A Virgin Shall Conceive”
Again we ask, “Who was this man, this foreordained, “marked out” personality?” Not some preexisting deity, as was the custom in heathen lands, but one who, in vision, was already “despised and rejected” (Isa. 53:3) of man, that the power of God might be made manifest. Two Messianic verses in scripture make this abundantly clear. The first is Isaiah 7:14, saying: “Behold, a virgin [R.V. marg., maiden] shall conceive, and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel; which being interpreted is God with us.” (Cp. Matt. 1:23.) This verse has never been successfully denied as having reference to the Messiah; yet from the human standpoint, no person in Israel was more “despised and rejected” than the person, whoever he might be, who was born out of wedlock. Upon no other, except those condemned to death, was the law in Israel so terrible in its process. Note the following from Deuteronomy 23:2, “A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of Jehovah” (R.V.). Here surely, in the plainest of language, is shown God’s hatred of the sin of misusing the gift of life committed to man.
That Joseph was not the father of Jesus is proved by his intention to divorce his wife, for such she was in the eyes of the law. (Matt. 1:20.) Let us seek further, for if the story of the virgin birth of Jesus is not true, then a stain is laid upon Mary that can never be purged, for some other man must have been the father of her son. Who, then, was this other m