Not even Christians believe in the virgin birth

08/12/08 | Posted by Ralph

Last year a piece of research showed that the UK as a nation is a little confused about the details of the story behind Christmas. This year we’re not even sure we believe it. ‘What’s the problem’ you ask? Well, I’m wondering how someone can call himself or herself a Christian and not believe the basics. Even more than that I’m wondering what you think.

image
 Mary and Jesus

The researchers asked the following questions and also asked those questioned what religion they were from – if any. The percentage figures after each question are those that answered yes as ‘historically accurate’ and ‘Christian’ as religion.

Thinking about how Jesus is described in the Bible, do you think each of the following are historically accurate, fictional, or are you unsure if they are historically accurate or not?

1. Jesus was born to a virgin called Mary 42%
2. Jesus was born in Bethlehem 65%
3. Angels visited shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus 36%
4. Herod wanted to kill Jesus, so he ordered the death of infant boys 43%

Percentages of the following are ‘Strongly agree’ + ‘agree’

5. The birth of Jesus is significant to me personally 68%
6. The birth of Jesus remains significant culturally 77%
7. I will be attending a Christmas church service this year 57%

Original research from Theos. Read it for yourself. Last years research is here.

I don’t think this story is owned by Christians and I don’t know how the people who ticked ‘Christian’ define a ‘Christian’. And I don’t think belief in the story is reserved for Christians, it seems by the research that more Muslims believe in the virgin birth than do Christians. More women than men, more older people than younger people and more from up-north than down south believe in the virgin birth. What about you?

Does it matter if we know the details or not any more?
Does it matter if we believe the details or not?
What difference would it make?

Why not relearn the basics yourself just so you can get those quiz answer questions right.

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Your comments

I consider myself a Christian, but I don’t believe what’s written in the Bible to the letter. How can I when two separate translations can interpret the same words in different ways? How can I when a lot of it wasn’t written by eye witnesses. It’s a wonderful historical document and an excellent guide to how we should live our lives and what kind of people we should be, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free from mistake. We’re all human, even those who wrote the Bible, and as humans we can make mistakes. That doesn’t mean that the Bible is less of a valid document or less relevant to me.

#1. By Christine on December 08, 2008

I think that being a follower of Jesus (and therefore God) today has never been further from what a lot of people call being “Christian”. I think that it is meant to be living in each moment in the presence of our Father (which is possible because of what Jesus did).

I believe that Jesus was born from a virgin called Mary through the Holy Spirit and therefore God’s son. I don’t understand why Matthew chapter 1 in the Bible would list the “genealogy of Jesus”. If Jesus’ father is God and Mary was a virgin, then he has no genetic link or ancestry to Joseph’s side of the family and therefore is not genetically a descendent of David or Abraham. It’s a bit confusing. Maybe it means that Jesus is a spiritual son of Abraham and David?

#2. By Jenny on December 08, 2008

I’m a Christian but I believe that worrying about Biblical detail is basically un-Christian.  2 reasons for this:

1) As Christians, we’re followers of Jesus Christ.  He took His guidance mainly from His relationship with God the Father, not from the scriptures, and He didn’t seem to worry about details like who was Cain’s wife etc?  He took God’s Word and made it relevant to the people of His day. 

He also made it possible through the New Covenant for us to have a direct relationship with God and we should be trying to copy His example and listen to what God has to say to us, rather than worrying about the Bible’s accuracy.

2) Following the Bible too literally can lead to some prejudices that are completely wrong in today’s world. They can make us intolerant and unloving.  Jesus stood against these things and, again, it is important that we take His example of love and compassion, rather than live out the prejudices and values of peoples from thousands of years past.

#3. By Jay on December 15, 2008

I think that it is wrong to call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe about the Virgin Birth. Who said we have any right to counter the word of the Bible?

Also, I find it particularly frustrating when people who have no belief in God go accusing Mary of unbelievable things. If they don’t believe in God that is their problem, but they don’t have to go ruining the lives of other people.

#4. By Alice on January 16, 2009

god set natural laws that still work—one such law is that it takes a man and a women to             bring new life into the world that is still true today wheater artificul insimunation or intercourse, ther is now or ever has been any other way its a god law-virgins dont get pregnet without a man being involved and thats the truth

#5. By Mario on April 30, 2009

I don´t belong to religion, but I believe in God, The Virgin Mary and Jesus.

I think that is not a coincidence that God had choosen to Mary as the Mother of Jesus.

I think The Virgin Mary is really special and She is our Mother.

The Virgin Mary left us many teachings.
SHE accepted the will of God with absolutely love, and this is really great, because the man (in general men and women)do what they want and they live in the proud and egotism.

The Virgin Mary and Jesus are the best examples in accepting the Will of God with love.

#6. By Naoko3 on September 24, 2009

hum bug i tell you, hum bug

#7. By Manuel Apodaca on October 07, 2011

I consider myself a Christian but I don’t believe in the bible lol. The rationalizations you guys make. When will you admit that it’s just a book with some nice teachings it it perhaps. But still just a book.

#8. By Dave on October 31, 2011

“Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein much contradiction”...Holy Quran 4:82  
**Peace**:)

#9. By Rami on January 28, 2012

What are the ‘basics’? Does anyone have a copyright on Christianity? Who says the Orthodox view even represents what happened - or that it happened at all? Maybe they’re just the scions of polemical editors, syncretists and pious frauds? Oh, wait - that is what Orthodoxy is!

#10. By Aziza on May 13, 2013

I was raised Christian.
I no longer believe in teh virgin birth now that have have learned how science works. I don’t believe Jesus is the son of God anymore than I am the daughter of God. I believe we as humans are all the children of God equally. I believe some of us were destined by God to come into this life and tell of his story. I believe that no one is 100% correct b/c we can’t grow to an age of lingual interpretation without being somewhat brainwashed by other humans, rules, laws, and beliefs. Christmas used to be such a magical time for me and now has dulled b/c I no longer believe in the virgin birth. I often feel hypocritical for celebrating it with my family, but I don’t want to have this huge religious debate with my whole family by telling them that I don’t believe in the virgin birth. Some would think I’m a horrible person simply b.c it’s all they’ve ever known. It’s fact to them simply because they were born here in America to Christian families.

#11. By Carlye on August 07, 2014

Your religion is only what you’re taught and agree with and solely depends on the lottery of who you were raised by.  In history Jesus is not the only virgin birth. It’s just the most popular one of our time. Ancient Egyptians believed in several virgin births.Greek and Roman Mythology tells of virgin births. I think that is something we as humans came up with to try to find or wonder where we came from. How did we start?  I do believe we have a creator/spirit/judge=God that is with us throughout our life or lives. I don’t know if we’ll ever meet him see him or hear him the way we hear each other physically. I can only hope. I believe all religion is mythology trying to answer 3 questions about past, present, and future. How did Human life begin? What are we supposed to be doing here? and What happens to us when we die? Who knows? No one know? That’s why we had to create religion and how is that any different from myth. It is the result of our wonder.

#12. By Carlye on August 07, 2014

Belief in Mary’s immaculate conception and Jesus’ virgin birth are not based on clear-cut Bible and Qur’an proofs. They do not cite a single virgin birth case. If so, prove by arguments on specific quotes.  Test me and I will give you specifics in detail on how John was the husband of Mary and father of Jesus from the Bible and Qur’an.
For example, in this way, with Peter’s inspired Sermon:
  ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God
  among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the
  midst of you, as ye yourselves know;
  Men and Brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is
  both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.
  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him,
    that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit
    on his throne.’  Acts 2: 22, 29 -30

#13. By Ameer on December 18, 2015

My resoning was man was not fit to be fathers because of woman like Adam with eve or it said many vigin had born infants

#14. By thaddeus on March 13, 2016

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