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Page 7 of 15
 
CONCEPTION

 
If we rely on the report of Matthew and Luke that we have in today's Bibles, the conception of Jesus was done without a sexual act. In that case, we can imagine what might have happened when Mary told Joseph she was pregnant by the holy spirit. Joseph obviously
  • did not believe and
  • wanted to let her go (Matthew 1:19).
Because of this detail, the Joseph report goes beyond certain frames because
  • Joseph does not believe in virgin conception.
Joseph's reaction merely shows that the Jews did not have in mind any similar event from the past, nor any prophecy that would indicate the possibility of a virgin birth. If the Bible had spoken about it, Joseph would have reacted differently. If he had reacted so, how would other people in their midst have reacted when Joseph told them that it was God, and not himself, who had caused the conception of Jesus. This could not be proven and would be doubted by everyone.
 
Note: The prophet Isaiah (7:14) mentioned a sign from God that a young girl (Hebr. 'Alma') became pregnant to give birth to her son Emanuel at the time of king Ahaz. However, hundreds of years later, the Greek translators translated the term "pregnant" (present tense) with "pregnant” (future tense) to give a fulfilled prophecy a sense of the expectation of the Messiah who would be Emanuel, that is, a lasting sign of God's presence in the people of God. Then they used the Greek word 'parthénos', that is, a virgin, but not in order for someone to think of a conception without a father's seed, but to point to the purity of a marriage that required a devoted man to marry a virgin and give him a consecrated son - the promised offspring of David. That is why God demanded that the consecrated man not marry a widow and a dishonorable woman. Thus, no one at the time thought that the Messiah should be conceived in a supernatural way, let alone without the seed of a biological father.
 
Joseph's reaction is not in favor of those who use the prophecy of Isaiah to separate Jesus from Joseph's fatherhood. But there is something else that his reaction reveals to us because it is his
  • righteousness was questioned
Let us remember that priests were not allowed to marry a dishonored woman in order to be holy and maintain a priestly lineage. So probably Joseph also wanted to keep the purity of the lineage of his fathers, knowing that God had promised to raise the king of the law from it. So, he intended to secretly release Mary because he did not want to take the woman he thought was dishonored. In that case, the following sentence is contradictory because it says:

"And Joseph her husband was righteous, and would not dishonor her publicly, and so he intended to release her secretly." (Matthew 1:19)
 
This sentence includes something that could not be associated with him as a righteous and faithful man. In this case, as a righteous man, he had to obey the law of God, which states that such a woman, who is in doubt, should be brought before judges and priests (Genesis 22: 13-24; Genesis 5: 12-31). On the other hand, if he had left her, she would have given birth to a child without a father, and everyone would wonder whose child she was and why Joseph had left her. He would have to explain it to the judges. If she was not an adulteress, her parents had the right to protect her by giving proof of her virginity if they had it (Deuteronomy 22:15). With this in mind, in order to be righteous, Joseph should have acted according to the law, and not secretly leave her, as it would have caused trouble both himself and her. If he took Mary out of compassion, he would have to lie to himself, the child and others. But was he supposed to lie? No, because the angel told him:
 
 "Joseph, son of David, be not afraid to take Mary your wife with you; for what is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”(Matthew 1: 18-20)
 
What can we conclude from this sentence? What was Joseph afraid of? He was obviously afraid that his fiancee would be dishonored and that his marriage would not be holy. But the angel tells him not to be afraid. When he said to him, "take your wife," it was as if he had said to him, "take your wife that bears your son." Joseph obviously should not have been afraid to consider Jesus his son because his wife's pregnancy implied his paternity, even though it was not caused naturally, but by the holy spirit. The angel briefly mentioned to him that 'conception' happened, which implies that it happened via 'seed', but by the means of the holy spirit. If he was not to be afraid, then it meant that the conception was not made by someone else's 'seed'. As a Jew, he believed that the holy spirit was God's acting force and not a person who had a relationship with his wife. So he could understand that a child could only be conceived by his 'seed' through the holy spirit. He believed that God did not just use it as a screen to cover up other people's fatherhood. So he didn't have to lie to anyone. He could remain silent and not tell anyone how Jesus conceived, knowing that people would respond to such a story that is hard to believe and prove. That is why this story can only be accepted in this way.
 
In addition, Joseph did not have to fear that Mary was dishonored. When it comes to pregnancy, then dishonesty involves a 'seed' that does not belong to her fiancé (spouse), regardless of whether a person or a spiritual being is behind the act because there is no legal difference. Of course, God would not do such a thing. He could have been behind the conception without desecrating Mary, which means that such conception could have occurred with the seed of Joseph. That is why God obviously did nothing against his laws and principles, and so Joseph did not have to fear such a supernatural conception, because the child could only be his, despite him not being with Mary. He knew his son could only be legally appointed king. When he accepted Mary, he was aware that this must remain a secret that only he and his wife and no one else should know. The Gospels and epistles prove that this event was a mystery that was not talked about, preached or written of in the 1st century until it was found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
 
When it comes to Mary, Luke’s report is also a bit debatable. Namely, Mary was engaged to Joseph and they were about to get married, which implies the possibility of conception of children. Then comes an angel who tells her:
 
"... you shall conceive and bear a son ..." (Luke 1:31)
 
There is nothing strange about that sentence because it could only mean that she would soon conceive with his fiancé when she enters under his roof. However, she asks:
 
"How is it possible when I didn't meet my husband?" (Ie I didn't have a relationship with my husband)
 
This takes her question out of context because the possibility of conception existed because she already had a fiancé. The angel said nothing special except that she would give birth to the one who would be the Messiah and Savior. Just that was something special for her, who was chosen to give birth to that child. Namely, if it was an old barren woman like Elizabeth, then such a woman might have been surprised and wondered how it was possible for her to conceive. Therefore, only if the angel had told Mary that she was already pregnant (past tense), only then could she wonder and ask -
 
"How was that possible when I didn't meet my husband"
 
Since there are other illogicalities in the Gospels and even subsequently added words and sentences that can only be eliminated by knowing the context, then for a moment we will ignore this illogicality and consider that Mary really asked 'how is that possible'. From what we will read below, we could conclude that the angel indirectly told Mary that it was as possible as it was in the case of the elderly, barren woman, Elizabeth. So he told her:
 
"And Elizabeth, your cousin, conceived a son in her old age, and one whom they call a barren woman ... For nothing is impossible to God." (Luke 1:36)
 
The angel here mentions the miraculous 'conception of a son' which implies the 'seed' of Elizabeth's husband. Just as Elizabeth, by the holy spirit that revived her womb, conceived a son with her husband, though it seemed impossible, so Mary, though it seemed impossible, could conceive by the holy spirit, but only with the seed of her husband who he earned the right to 'have a son' through her.
 
That is why Mary could only understand that, by the holy spirit, it is possible to conceive with a man without meeting her yet. This would mean that God supernaturally transmitted this 'seed' from Joseph's hips, making the conception possible by means of the holy spirit. Because of such a supernatural mode of artificial insemination, the fact that Jesus was the son of Joseph cannot be refuted. However, Joseph and Mary obviously could not speak publicly about it. In that case, it was a secret that Mary would keep to herself even after Joseph's death.
 
Even his brothers in the flesh did not consider Jesus to be the adopted son of their father, because Joseph and Mary obviously did not convey this story to them. Therefore, until his death and resurrection
 
"Even his brethren did not believe in him." (John 7:5)
 
To them, he was just their brother who was conceived and born like any other human. If they were to accept him as the Messiah, then Mary at that time would obviously be able to convince them of the story of the virgin conception, but we see that she did not do, so only his resurrection convinced them of his messiahship.
 
During his ministry, Jesus did not mention anything unusual about his conception. That is why none of the apostles knew anything about it or mentioned it in their sermons and epistles. The only thing that was preached was that Jesus, the 'son of David' and his 'descendant' without any further explanation. Specifically, the writers of the gospel had this freedom to make their comment or note, so they could be expected to enter it in places where Joseph is listed as the biological father of Jesus (Luke 2: 27,33,43,48; 4:22; Matthew 13: 35; John 1:45). They could at least say that it was not known at that time that Jesus was not conceived by Joseph. However, they did not mention this to their readers, so the fact remains that it was entirely acceptable to regard Jesus as the biological son of Joseph, that is,
  • Jesus was conceived in a natural way.
This was the original point of view of all early Christians. Otherwise, if it were thought that Joseph was not or could not have been Jesus' biological father, then this would have been widely discussed, explained and preached from the very beginning. For the apostles, Joseph was the father of Jesus, and that was the most important thing for them and all the first Christians, because only then they could call him the son of David.
 
When all that is written in the Hebrew scriptures is taken into account, then this description of the supernatural conception in the two Gospels cannot at all throw out Joseph's 'seed' because it alone had to cause the conception in Mary's womb in a natural or supernatural way. God could not break his law and deprive Joseph of his birthright and conceive of another seed instead of his seed because Jesus could be considered an extramarital son. Why would God interfere in a marriage arrangement in such an unlawful way?  Joseph, to whom Mary was engaged, had a God-given, legal right to a firstborn, who was to be consecrated to God, which he did. When Jesus was born:
 
"... they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord - as it is written in the law of the Lord: Let every male firstborn be sanctified to the Lord!" (Luke 2:7)
 
During his consecration, Joseph was to tell the truth before the priests and before God, which he was to be recorded in the genealogy, namely, to say his name and the name of his firstborn son, who, by him, came from the lineage of David. If Jesus was an adopted son, Joseph would not have been able to say that or would have had to lie.
 
All of this is neglected to this day only because we find in the two Gospels that Joseph did not personally cause conception. Even today it is possible to cause a virgin conception without a sexual act, and one can know who the father is and whose seed caused the conception. It is enough for us to know that Jesus is the son of Joseph and that God was behind this and such conception. Therefore, unless Jesus is naturally conceived, then it is a matter of faith. But as Paul says:
 
"Faith is the proof of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1)
 
In order to know whether or not Jesus is the natural son of Jesus, and thus to prove what was left unspecified in the said accounts, we should rely on the whole Bible. Neither should we single out one detail that deciduously says so, and then create or accept dogmas that contradict the rest of Scripture. It is very easy to notice that in the rest of the Greek scriptures (New Testament) there is no detail of the conception and birth of Jesus anywhere, except that he is a descendant of David in the flesh. That was the fundamental truth about him as Christ.

Then, where did Matthew and Luke take this story, and is it entirely true? We cannot know this because we do not have the original scriptures, and since we know that some thoughts and ideas were subsequently inserted into the transcript, then the context of the Bible is the only yardstick for determining the truth about Jesus. But even if we fully accept all that was written about his conception and birth, then Mary and Joseph had to keep the true truth from everyone so that the stories of unbelievers and adversaries would arise, requiring Mary to tell them who Jesus' true father was in the flesh if it was not Joseph. To say that God caused this would be doubtful to many. They only knew one story, so they spoke of Jesus;
 
 "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother Mary, and his brothers James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? ”(Matthew 13:35)
 
 "They said, 'Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, to whom we know father and mother?'" (John 6:42)
 
 Back then, no one heard another story because the Pharisees would use such a story as an additional accusation against such an extramarital Messiah and would be right to doubt in him. Since Joseph had already died by then, the question is how long has Mary been hiding this story of conception by the holy spirit and is her story different from what it says in the Gospels? Even if some truth is hidden for a time, it should not change the fundamental truth that was already the content of the faith and the gospel, otherwise it would consciously mislead others. Did Jesus and his mother misguide anyone who considered him the biological son of Joseph? That would not make sense. This means that Jesus should have remained Joseph's fleshly son at the moment when this story of his miraculous conception came out to the public. Nothing had to change except that Jesus was miraculously conceived. This miracle only makes sense if Jesus was conceived by Joseph's 'seed'. Everything else deviates from truth and context.
 
Mary witnessed the conversion of many Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah. She knew everyone considered him Joseph's son. But if she chose to say that Jesus was not naturally conceived, she must have been aware that this would enable others to speculate about how Jesus most likely did not come from the 'seed' of Joseph? If such a view existed in the 1st century, it would have sparked a debate over 'seed' because it would turn out that a woman could be extended the 'name' of Joseph and David's royal lineage, which would be completely contrary to God's law and its ordinances governing rights and the responsibilities of every human being. On the other hand, there would be those believers who would claim that God included Joseph's seed in such conception. However, at that time, there were no discussions among Jews and the first Jewish Christians about this, so Mary was not a subject to be dealt with by Jewish rabbis at the time the apostles were still alive. The fact is that such a story was only later introduced to the Gospels, and therefore caused the Jewish rabbis to state in their Talmud that a 4th-century rabbi described Mary as a harlot. Such stories about Mary did not exist in the 1st century.
 
So, the next time you read Matthew’s and Luke's account of the conception of Jesus, then you must know that the first Christians believed that Jesus was the biological son of Joseph, who was born naturally like all other people. Only later did some accept the story of the virgin conception. Although this story was used to develop different dogmas about Jesus' supposed preexistence, we wanted to prove here that such a miracle of God (if it happened) could and should include Joseph's' seed 'with which God conceived Jesus in his mother's womb. Only thus could Jesus be the true Messiah and the son of David who came by the promise. Some claim that God transposed Jesus' existing heavenly life into a fertilized egg, which creates many complications, while we claim that only Joseph's' seed 'could be transmitted into the womb, making such a supernatural conception the first artificial fertilization, behind which stood God. Such a claim does not create problems or complications because it completely adheres to biblical and other facts. The Bible must have the first and last word, and it stands only behind a statement that does not contradict the Bible and which can be substantiated and proved by biblical arguments.
 
The problem obviously arose when such an event subsequently became part of Christian scriptures and tried to be interpreted outside of the biblical framework in order to view Jesus as a sinless being who has no common roots with other people, according to the Gnostic teaching of Jesus. But such teachers consciously avoid mentioning these problems only to make their interpretation seem inspirational. They even avoid considering these problems in the light of the Bible because they have no cover in it for their interpretation. Such interpretations should be rejected because they are like a blank check. They do not have God’s signature.
 
What about those first-century Christians who did not believe in virgin conception, even when it was included in the gospels. There are such Christians today. Should their point of view be rejected as well, since it essentially corresponds to the biblical context? To answer this question, we must consider that none of the Jewish believers believed in virgin conception ...
  • before Jesus was born
  • during his childhood
  • during his messianic ministry
  • years after his death and resurrection
After the resurrection of Jesus, it was still believed that he was the natural, biological son of Joseph. The question is when did one begin to believe in virgin conception and when did the apostles ask Christians to change their original view. Since we have no evidence in the Bible that the apostles sought any change of view, then I was motivated to look for the evidence. Let's look at that in part two.