An extraordinary birth

The events surrounding the nativity remain some of the best known and most distorted Gospel stories.

Christmas cards, school plays and hit songs serve both to remind and confuse our culture regarding what really happened 2,000 years ago.

At the heart of the story is the virginal conception of Jesus, popularly called the virgin birth. Even theologians can be quick to dismiss the historicity of the event. Bart Ehrman notes that only Matthew and Luke record the virgin birth and points out: ‘It has always struck scholars as odd that the tradition – which surely would be an important thing to know! – isn’t attested anywhere else in our earliest sources.’

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