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The Virgin Conception in The Gospel of John

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SavedByGrace, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Active Member

    Sep 14, 2020
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    "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13)

    Instead of the reading in the Greek, "ἐγεννήθησαν" (were born), which is in the plural. There is very strong eary textual evidence, as I have shown below, for the singluar reading, "ἐγεννήθη", which does not refer to believers, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. This corruption was made at a very early time, as the Church father Tertullian shows, by the heretic Valentinians.The early evidence from both the Greek and Latin, shows that the singular reading was part of the Greek New Testament in the first century A.D., and older than any of the Greek manuscripts that have come down to us.

    Further, the fact that verse 12 actually ends with the words, "εις το ονομα αυτου" (literally, in Name His), where "αυτου", is in the singular, better suits the singular reading, which follows on.

    Another interesting fact is, that the words, "nor of the will of man", is not in the Greek the word, "ἄνθρωπος", which is a generic word, and can include both the "man and woman" (humankind). But, John is very specific, when he uses the Greek, "ἀνδρός", which is singular and masculine, "father". ALL humans are born from both the mother and father, and for which John would have used, "ἀνθρώπων", which is the plural. The fact that he used the singular, masculine, so to remove any reference to any human "mother", can only mean that the wished to show that the Lord Jesus Christ's Virgin Conception (Birth) was meant.

    The order of the words in verse 13 in the Greek is important. The English versions have "which were born", at the start of the verse. In fact, the words, "εκ θεου εγεννηθησαν" are at the end of this verse. Literally translated, "out of God was begotten". That is, God the Holy Spirit. Which is exactly what Matthew 1:18, " Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit"; and Luke 1:35, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that Holy Child which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God".

    In Matthew 1:16, we read in the Greek, "μαριας εξ ης εγεννηθη ιησους ο λεγομενος χριστος", "Mary out of whom was born Jesus, Who is called Christ". Here "ης" (whom) is in the singular, feminine, and excludes Joseph, even though he is mentioned in this verse. Likewise in Luke 1:35, as found in the KJV, we have the two words in the Greek, "ἐκ σοῦ" (out of you), where, like Matthew 1:16, is in the singular number, denoting that Jesus Christ was concevied in the womb of Mary, apart from Joseph.

    1. IGNATIUS (A.D.35-107)

    "Our Lord, that He is in truth of the family of David, according to the flesh; God's Son, by the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin" (to the Smyrnaeans; 1:1)

    Although Ignatius does not quote the text verbatim, yet there can be no doubt that he had it in mind. If the reader were to compare this quotation with those of Justin, they will at once see that our text was indeed the basis of Ignatius' reference above. Most scholars would accept that Justin at least alludes to John 1:13, and since his language is similar to that of Ignatius, we can conclude that both writers knew of the singular reading.

    Of the quotations made by Ignatius, for those of us who have read his works, it will be seen that his "references to the Gospels being in no case verbally exact" (Sir F Kenyon; Handbook to the Textual Criticism, p.209). This is not only the case in the Gospels, but can also be seen from some of his quotations from the other books of the New Testament. Let us take just two examples, where this can be seen. In his epistle to the Ephesians he writes: "You are imitators of God, and, having kindled your brotherly task by the blood of God, you completed it perfectly" (1:1); where the language is that of Acts 20:28, where Paul says: "the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood". And, remaining in his epistle to the Ephesians, we also read: "God was manifest as man" (19:3); which is language used by Paul, where he says: "God was manifested in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16). (see, Dr F H A Scrivener; A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol. II, pp.375-376, 393). Both these texts have now been corrupted, so as to weaken the testimony to the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ!

    2. JUSTIN MARTYR (A.D.100-165)

    "His blood did not sprin from the seed of man, but from the will of God" (Dialogue Try 63.2)

    "(the Scripture) has predicted that the blood of Christ would not be of the seed of man, but of the power of God" (Dial 54.2)


    "In God, the Lord, the Son of God, do we believe, that He is the Word become flesh; that of Mary the holy virgin He took a body, begotten of the Holy Spirit, 'not of the will (lust) of the flesh, but by the will of God'"

    (M R James; The Apocryphal New Testament, p.486)

    a. "originally written in Greek, perhaps in Asia Minor" (F Cross; The Early Christian Fathers, p.85)
    b. "Author was familiar with all four Gospels, but influenced by the Gospel of John" (B H Streeter, The Four Gospels, p.70; B M Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament, pp.181-182)
    c. “the Epistula Apostolorum…deals with such supernatural questions as the Incarnation and Ascension…in an explicitly anti-gnostic way, emphasizing the true flesh of Christ” (J D Douglas, ed. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p.961)

    4. IREANEUS, BISHOP OF LYONS (A.D.120-202)

    a. "that He is Emmanuel, lest perchance we might consider Him as a mere man: 'for not of the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the will of God', was the Word made flesh" (Adver Her III. xvi.2)

    b. "but He to Whom the Father, which is in heaven has revealed Him, knows Him; so that he understands that: 'He who was not born, either by the will of the flesh, or by the will of man', is the Son of man" (III xix.2)
    c. "and for this reason in the last times, 'not by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man', but by the good
    pleasure of the Father" (On the Virgin Birth, V.i.3)

    5. TERTULLIAN (A.D.150-220)

    What, then, is the meaning of this passage, “Born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God?” I shall make more use of this passage after I have confuted those who have tampered with it. They maintain that it was written thus (in the plural) “Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” as if designating those who were before mentioned as “believing in His name,” in order to point out the existence of that mysterious seed of the elect and spiritual which they appropriate to themselves. But how can this be, when all who believe in the name of the Lord are, by reason of the common principle of the human race, born of blood, and of the will of the flesh, and of man, as indeed is Valentinus himself? The expression is in the singular number, as referring to the Lord, “He was born of God.” And very properly, because Christ is the Word of God, and with the Word the Spirit of God, and by the Spirit the Power of God, and whatsoever else appertains to God. As flesh, however, He is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of man, because it was by the will of God that the Word was made flesh. To the flesh, indeed, and not to the Word, accrues the denial of the nativity which is natural to us all as men, because it was as flesh that He had thus to be born, and not as the Word. Now, whilst the passage actually denies that He was born of the will of the flesh, how is it that it did not also deny (that He was born) of the substance of the flesh? (on the flesh of Christ xix)

    6. ORIGEN (A.D.185-254) - heretic (Latin translation)

    According to Bruce M Metzger; A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p.196; and, Dr A Souter; Novvm Testamentvm Graece.

    7. AMBROSE, BISHOP OF MALAN (A.D.339-397)

    "qui non ex sanguine neque ex voluntate carnis, sed ex Deo natus sit" (C.S.E.L.; vol. lxiv, Explain. Psalm, xiii, 36:28-32; 37:2-5,p.96)

    "ille ex sanguine concretus et ex cranis et viri voluntate generatus, iste ex Deo natus" (ibid; Psalm 48:1-4; p.364)


    "in like manner, I read that God the Word was born, 'not of flesh, nor of bloods, nor of the will of the man, nor
    of the will of the flesh, but of God"
    (Confessions VII.ix.14)

    John Chrysostom (349-407)

    Such was the birth of Christ, not of blood, nor of travail.” (Hom. Eph.xx)


    "qui natus est"

    9. LIBER COMICUS (LECTIONARY) - (6th Century) - Latin

    "qui non ex sanguinibui neque ex voluptate vire, sed ex Deo netus est"

    10. JOHN OF DAMASCUS (A.D.675-740)

    "and thus, she conceived the Son of God. The hypostatic power of the Father: 'not by the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man', that is to say, by connection and seed, but by the good pleasure of the Father, and cooperation of the Holy Spirit" (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith IV.xiv)