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Virgin Birth? by
Publication Date: 2012-01-01
What historical realities lie behind the birth of Jesus and the idyll of the Holy Family? This book investigates all the evidence in the writings of the earliest church and the rival Jewish sources. It examines the New Testament Christmas stories, reconstructs the traditions used in them, and discusses the question of what really happened in connection with the birth of Jesus. The picture that emerges is a much darker one, in keeping with the troubled times in which Mary gave birth.According to anti-Christian polemic, a scandal was associated with Jesus and his mother. This view denigrates Jesus as a child born out of wedlock and brands his mother a sinner. But, Professor Liidemann argues, the Christian myth of the virgin birth also supports equally pernicious attitudes. By daiming that Mary's pregnancy was brought about miraculously by the Holy Spirit, it denies the right of women to sexual and cultural self-determination. Many Protestants and Catholics today continue to assert the virgin birth. In so doing, instead of taking Mary seriously as a woman of her time and therefore also taking seriously women in our time, they trivialize or make taboo the damaging consequences of the myth of Mary for believing men and women.