Articles From the March 1995 Unification News
The Virgin Birth
As usual I continue to enjoy Dr. Hendrick's insightful and thought- provoking columns, yet nonetheless feel it necessary to critically respond to his recent "virgin" birth article.
I understand how important it is to lay the groundwork to build up a case for Jesus' having a birth unlike any other (Adam excepted). Yet, as a Unificationist, I object to what amounts to appropriating the term "virgin." It is not only misleading in the sense that it has always been associated with an unprincipled birth (woman without man) but not based on biblical scholarship. I refer to Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism by Episcopal Bishop Shelby Spong. In that a book, Bishop Spong clearly points out that when Matthew, in his gospel, quoted a text from Isaiah [Greek translation] to emphasize a virgin birth tradition, he neglected to go the original Hebrew text. In Hebrew, there is no use of the word `almah' for maiden or young woman , rather, the Hebrew word for virgin is `betulah'-an entirely different word.
One would do better to speak of a "sanctified" birth, a "unique" or "sinless" birth or even an "immaculate conception." Such concepts are quite palatable when presented side by side with Father's exposition of the actual process of conditional cleansing of the womb through Jesus' ancestors Tamar and so forth.
I hope I am not making too much of this point, as it was altogether an excellent article.
Lloyd Howell, Holiday, FL
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