Black Spirituality Religion : Re: The Word 'Virgin' in the Bible...

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Aqil, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Several years ago I read that the word “virgin” in the New Testament was mistranslated from a Hellenistic Greek word or phrase. The correct translation was said to be, “a woman of marrying age” (or something similar)…not the “haven’t had sex” definition. I think the Greek word/phrase began with the letter “b” or the equivalent. I wondered how such an error could occur, since Hellenistic Greek is so well understood. I also wondered if the word “virgin” is correctly translated in the Old Testament.

    There are two Hebrew words usually translated “virgin” in English. “Bethulah” means “virgin” in the sense that we understand it. It was used in Isaiah 62:5. “Almah” (the word used in Isaiah 7:14) simply means a young woman. Although it is sometimes used in the sense of a sexually pure woman, this is not its exclusive usage. The context will usually point out the correct usage.

    The confusion arose when the Greek Septuagint used the Greek word “parthenos” to translate Isaiah 7:14. In the Greek language this word does denote a sexually pure woman, and was the inspiration for the gospel myth of the “virgin birth.”

    A look at the context of Isaiah 7:14 reveals that the woman Isaiah was referring to was probably already pregnant, thus pointing out which sense of the word “almah” was intended. In any case, the point of Isaiah’s prophecy was that before the child reached the age of accountability, both Israel and Syria would be desolated (a prophecy that was only partially fulfilled, by the way).

    The use of the word “virgin” is not germane in Isaiah’s prophecy. The “sign” was the child, not a miraculous conception. In short, Isaiah’s “sign” was fulfilled in its own context, hundreds of years before anyone thought to apply it in a different sense...

    The basic details are given in Ian Wilson’s Jesus The Evidence. Although this is an unlikely source, The Selfish Gene (1989 edition) by Richard Dawkins gives the same basic story. He states: “the point is in fact well known to Biblical scholars, and not disputed by them.” This is what seems to have happened:

    The word actually used in Hebrew Scriptures is “almah,” meaning, “young woman.” The Hebrew word which could have been used – but wasn’t – is “bethulah,” which means “virgin.” The Septuagint is a version of the Old Testament prepared in the 3rd century BC by Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek for the Greek-speaking Jewish community. In translating for the Septuagint, the word “almah” was translated as “parthenos,” the Greek word for virgin.

    Thusly, Isaiah’s prophecy in the original Hebrew states that the Messiah would be conceived by an “almah” (young woman), whereas the Greek translation in the Septuagint version of Isaiah refers to a “parthenos” (Gk. “virgin”).

    It appears that Matthew’s Gospel attempts to justify Jesus’ divine parentage by claiming fulfillment of a prophecy that was never actually made…
     
  2. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Here is Isaiah 7:1-17, under the heading, Isaiah Offers Hope to King Ahaz. The famous verse in question, 7:14, is bolded:

    "Ahaz, the son of Jotham and the grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah when King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah, son of Remaliah of Israel went to attack Jerusalem. But they were not able to do what they had planned. When the news reached the royal palace that Syria had joined forces with Israel, King Ahaz and everyone in Judah were so terrified that they shook like trees in a windstorm. The the Lord said to me:

    'Take your son Shearjashub and go see King Ahaz. You will find him on the road near the clothmakers' shops at the end of the canal that brings water from the upper pool. Tell Ahaz to stop worrying. There's no need for him to be afrain of King Rezin and King Pekah. They are very angry, but they are nothing more than a dying fire. Ahaz doen't need to fear their evil threats to invade and defeat Judah and Jerusalem - and to let the son of Tabeel be king in his place. I, the Lord, promise that this will never happen.

    Damascus is just the capital of Syria, and King Rezin rules only in Damascus. Samaria is just the capital of Israel, and King Pekah rules only in Samaria. But in less that sixty-five years, Israel will be destroyed. And if Ahaz and his officials don't trust me, they will be defeated.

    Once again the Lord God spoke to King Ahaz. This time He said, 'Ask me for proof that my promise will come true. Ask for something to happen deep in the world of the dead or high in the Heavens above.' "No Lord," Ahaz anwered. "I won't test you!" Then I said:

    'Listen, every one of you in the royal family of David. You have already tried my patience. Now you are trying God's patience by refusing to ask for proof. But the Lord will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel. Even before the boy is old enough to know how to choose between right and wrong, he will eat yogurt and honey, and the countries of the two kings you fear will be destroyed.

    But the Lord will make more trouble for your people and your kingdom than any of you have known since Israel broke away from Judah. He will even bring the king of Assyria to attack you."

    (Isaiah 7-17, KJV, Contemporary English Version)

    Re: the word, "virgin":

    Or "young woman." In this context the difficult Hebrew word did not imply a "virgin birth." However, in the Greek translation - ca. 200 BC and used by the early Christians - the word "parthenos" had a double meaning. While the translator took it to mean "young woman," Matthew understood it to mean "virgin," and quoted the passage (Matt. 1:23) because it was the appropriate description of Mary, mother of Jesus...

    The Hebrew name "Immanuel" means," "God is with us."
     
  3. LibertyLady

    LibertyLady Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    aqil...


    the word virgin....

    in the bibel as far as the story....with mary....maria...


    ment that she was a woman who never had sex with her husband ....

    and that she would reseave a child....


    wich was jesus...




    do you agree with that aqil ?
     
  4. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Hebrew name "Immanuel" means," "God is with us." Immanuel could also refer to Amen. Paul and John did call Jesus Amen
     
  5. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In Judaism, it is taught that the word "Amen" is an acronym for A(l), Me(lech), N(e'eman), meaning, "Lord (or God), King, (who is) Trustworthy." It is related to the Hebrew word emuna or "faith," with the same lingiustic root, implying that one is affirming with, and of, "the faith" of Judaism (and its belief in Monotheism)...
     
  6. spicybrown

    spicybrown Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Poifect....

    Thanx for the info. This officially debunks the myth of Mary giving birth to a baby via imacculate conception. JMHO
     
  7. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You're welcome, spicybrown...
     
  8. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    I know many of you are familiar with Rebekah in Genesis. The NIV Bible says in Genesis 24:15-16:

    15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor. 16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

    Would this be the virgin as in 'never had sex with,' or virgin as in 'of marrying age?' Because to me, it looks as if it is a little bit of both, because by the end of the chapter, she married Isaac. Also, it says right after the word virgin, no man had ever lain with her. How do you view this Aqil?

    CD
     
  9. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Peace, CD...and thank you for your query. In the Contemporary English Version of the KJV, Genesis 24:15,16 reads as follows:

    "While he was still praying, a beautiful unmarried young woman came by with a water jar on her shoulder. She was Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife Milcah. Rebekah walked past Abraham's servant, then went over to the well, and filled her water jar..."
     
  10. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    So what you're saying, is essentially, it could be which ever one a person chooses?

    CD
     
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