God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Who are you calling a virgin?

The NAB’s decision to change “virgin” to “young woman” in Isaiah 7:14 has once again brought up the virgin birth, Mary, and the nature of prophesy, as well as the role of translation in accurately conveying the text of the Bible.

Most reports I’ve seen recently, though, confuse what are really three separate issues here.

Isaiah 7:14

The first issue is the text of Isaiah 7:14. The Hebrew there reads: “an alma … will bear a son and call him `Emmanuel.'” It has long been known that alma does not mean “virgin.” Rather, the Hebrew word applies to any young woman. So the English translation of that line should read along the lines of “a young woman … will bear a son…” (The evidence is widely known and readily available, including in my And God Said.)

Unfortunately, the Septuagint — the highly influential ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament — got the translation wrong here, translating the Hebrew alma as the Greek parthenos, which (probably) did mean “virgin.” It was an easy mistake to make, because most young women back then were virgins, and most virgins were young women. It would be like translating “teenager” as “high-school student” in a society where most teenagers were in fact in high school.

Based on this mistranslation, though, most modern translations — going back to the KJV and including the recently published NIV — translate “a virgin … will bear a son” here. (The NIV has a footnote, “or young woman.”) The new NAB (“NABRE”) is a notable exception. That version now has, “the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.” Their choice to go with “young woman” reflects the correct understanding of the original Hebrew (though I do have problems with their phrasing of the rest of the line).

The Virgin Birth

Importantly, though, Isaiah 7:14 is not the description of “the virgin birth” of Jesus. Rather, we find the virgin birth first in Matthew 1:18-25, which brings us to the second issue.

As part of the description of Jesus’ birth, the text in Matthew cites Isaiah 7:14, noting that Jesus’ birth “fulfilled” (plirow) the phrophet Isaiah’s words (a point I return to below).

Matthew 1:18-25 only uses “virgin” (parthenos) in quoting Isaiah 7:14. But Matthew’s description of Jesus’ birth is nonetheless clear on the matter. The text uses the euphemisms “before [Mary and Joseph] came together [sunerchomai]“ and “[Joseph] did not know [ginosko] her [Mary] until after she gave birth” to indicate that Mary was a virgin, and the text twice clarifies that the pregnancy was “from the Holy Spirit” [ek pneumatos agiou].

These combine to create a clear account: Jesus was born to a virgin.

The text in Luke 1:26-38 is similar in nature. Though again “virgin” is replaced with a euphemism (“Mary asked the angel, `how [is it possible that I will conceive] since I do not know [ginosko]” any men?), the text is clear, adding for emphasis that “with God nothing is impossible.”

The actual descriptions indicate a virgin birth, regardless of what the words in Isaiah 7:14 mean.

Prophesy

The third issue is how to reconcile the virgin birth with Isaiah 7:14, which is cited in Matthew 1:23.

The most straightforward way is to note that even though Isaiah 7:14 refers to a “young woman,” not a “virgin,” the text doesn’t say that she wasn’t a virgin. She could have been. (By comparison, the text also doesn’t say that the woman had long hair, but she might have.) In other words, Isaiah 7:14, even with the better understanding of the original text, doesn’t contradict anything in the NT.

The more nuanced way to reconcile the two texts is to recognize what the verb in Matthew 1:22, plirow, really indicates. Though the word is commonly translated “fulfill” (as in, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet [Isaiah]“), better is “match,” as I describe here (“What Happens to Prophecies in the New Testament?”). I won’t go through the whole explanation again, but for now I think it suffices to note that Matthew knew that the details in Isaiah 7:14 differed from those he was describing. After all, the name of the child in Isaiah 7:14 was Immanuel, not Jesus.

Either way (and even though it’s not really my place to say), I don’t see a huge theological problem here. And even if there were a problem, I would still be in favor of an accurate translation.

Summary

It seems pretty clear to me that Isaiah 7:14 mentions a pregnant woman (who, at least as far as translation can take us, may or may not have been a virgin) and that the NT refers to the virgin birth of Jesus. It seems equally clear that the lack of perfect harmony between the texts is in keeping with other kinds of prophesy in the NT.

Still, from the international stage (“traditionalists may see [the NABRE's change from "virgin" to "young woman" in Isaiah 7:14] as a step away from the original meaning”) to local communities (“If the meaning of the language is changed to reflect that Mary may not have been a virgin, you’ve just denied the divinity of Christ”) the discussion seems skewed to me. It seems to start with theology, and then ask how the translations can be doctored to match that theology, while I think an accurate translation should stand on its own.

Or to put it another way, it seems to me that basing theology on a translation designed solely to support that theology is both bad translation technique and bad theology.

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March 23, 2011 - Posted by | Bible versions, translation practice, translation theory | , , , , , , , , , , ,

45 Comments »

  1. Not sure about “most”. NRSV, NET, REB, GNB, & NJB all have “young woman” in Is 7:14 i.e. all the main non-evangelical-only translations

    Comment by clayboy | March 23, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Doug.

      I guess, “many modern translations” would be better.

      Also, I owe you an apology. In an interview with the AP, I paraphrased your wonderful example about the non-inclusiveness of the word “man.” (You used “I’d like to ask my fellow men to stand.” I paraphrased it as “Will every man stand up?”) But unfortunately your name didn’t make it into the final piece.

      Comment by Joel H. | March 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. The rendering of Isaiah 7:14 as “virgin” is an example of “back translation.” That is, you take a faithful translation [NT] of a mistranslation [LXX] and force it – round peg/square hole style – on the “original” text [Masoretic].

    The fact of the matter is that many NT arguments are based on the LXX only, and fall apart when you try to reconcile them with the Masoretic.

    Protestants are generally able just to chalk this all up to translation issues, rather than enormous transmission issues, but I don’t buy that.

    Comment by WoundedEgo | March 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. The fact of the matter is that many NT arguments are based on the LXX only, and fall apart when you try to reconcile them with the Masoretic.

    I understand what you’re saying, but it seems to me that:

    1. When the NT cites the LXX, it isn’t in the context of a logical argument; so

    2. Nothing “falls apart.”

    And for that matter, certainly if God can create prophecies in the OT, God can do so in a manner that is only revealed in Greek.

    So I think that it’s only the very limited approach that “all text must be scientific” that has a problem in cases like these.

    Comment by Joel H. | March 24, 2011 | Reply

  4. [...] In basketball, the transition game is all about switching quickly between defense and offense. In biblioblogging, it’s all about transitioning between Old and New Testaments. This month several top seeds showed us how it’s done. Joel discussed a rather infamous translation issue involving both the Old and New Testaments in “Who Are You Calling a Virgin?” [...]

    Pingback by Biblical Studies Carnival LXI – March Madness Edition | Dr. Platypus | April 1, 2011 | Reply

  5. whats exactly a virgin in the hebrew bible? it seems that a non virgin woman cannot marry a man without his knowlegde in deuteronomy but she can divorce and re marry other man, whats the point?

    Comment by lupo | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • The point is, if a man doesn’t care whether his wife-to-be is a virgin, he can marry whoever he wants. If he does care, then he has the right to know.

      The two general categories of sexual violations are outlined in Deuteronomy 22:13-30. One has reference to sexual sins committed by the woman while she was single and still living in her father’s house. The other has reference to sexual sins committed after the marriage has been consummated. Both demanded the death penalty, and no Jewish authority in the Law would dispute that the punishment was just and reasonable – there would be no mercy for those who were caught out deceiving their spouses about their sexual chastity.

      A woman who lied about her virginity leading into marriage would have faced the death penalty in OT Israel according to this law, so the point was to discourage the woman from misleading her partner and entering a marriage that was based on a lie.

      Comment by Robert Kan | April 12, 2011 | Reply

      • Um, Robert, you seem to be shooting from the hip, describing a historical situation that you imagine, not one from history. Please cite some sources.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | April 12, 2011

  6. Well, given the question related to an issue in Deut, I thought the answer was relevant….

    Comment by Robert Kan | April 12, 2011 | Reply

    • You’re right, sorry.

      Comment by WoundedEgo | April 12, 2011 | Reply

      • I guess tho that a man would still have the right to know, since you can’t make the assumption that he doesn’t care.

        Comment by Robert Kan | April 12, 2011

  7. Nicely done Joel. I enjoyed the read.
    I have 2 questions:
    1) Was Matthew quoting from the Septuagint or misquoting the Hebrew? Or would it be argued that he was not quoting, but simply referring to the text from Isaiah?
    2) The text indicates that this pregnancy will be a “sign” from the Lord. It seems that a “virgin” giving birth is a visible “sign”. What is the “sign” value of a “young woman” giving birth? It seems that one would not recognize anything “significant” about a “young woman” giving birth. It, in fact, happens all the time.

    Comment by John | April 21, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s not at all like the Hebrew, and almost identical to the LXX. It is an obvious quote of the LXX. He even used the odd LXX translation “GASTRI” which means she had the baby in her stomach, rather than her womb! Most of the arguments of the NT are built either on the LXX (including the apocrypha) or other later Greek texts, such as Enoch.

      As to the sign, read Isaiah 7 and you’ll see it had nothing to do with Jesus. It is obvious that Matthew is not concerned about the actual original texts he quotes, or their original context. Most, if not all of his quotes are reckless “prooftexting,” a practice that continues on in religious circles.

      Comment by WoundedEgo | April 21, 2011 | Reply

      • I don’t think the prooftexting is “reckless” at all. It’s what they did, and everyone knew it (back then). We in the scientific era try to make everything scientific — and prooftexting is not scientific in the way that other analysis or proof might be — but even though my background is in science, I think that future generations will mock us for our obsession with science and for our attempts to shove it where it doesn’t belong.

        Comment by Joel H. | April 24, 2011

    • 1. Matthew was almost certainly quoting the LXX.

      2. As for the sign: In its original context, the sign seems designed to reinforce Isaiah’s message, though (to quote The Jewish Study Bible), “it’s not clear if the sign is the woman’s pregnancy, the child’s birth, his name, or his diet; nor is ti clear when the sign comes to pass…”

      (My own interpretation is that we wouldn’t need the text to remind us that a virgin birth is a sign worth noticing, but some people forget that every birth is a miracle worthy of note.)

      Comment by Joel H. | April 24, 2011 | Reply

      • W.E. & Joel,
        Thanks for the responses. It is great to hear the insights from those of you with the linguistic skills to open up the texts. Joel, I like your comment regarding the care with which we must take, to not project our scientific categories onto the writers of Scripture. This seems like it can lead to errors on both extremes. One extreme being a fundamentalist reading of Scripture (which should not be attributed to them), and the other being a rationalist reading (which should not be expected from them). Neither of which seem to fit within the context of the original authors. They were not writing scientific texts and they were not critically analyzing the text. They were looking upon them as sacred texts.

        Comment by John | April 24, 2011

  8. Do we suspect that Matthew quoted from the LLX in this regard because it most closely matched his understanding of events, or simply because it was the most prolific?

    Perhaps we can reconcile the prophecy with Isaiah 7:14 by deliberately overlooking the LXX error and just focusing on the name Emmanuel. The prophecy bears a similar resemblance to that of Malachi 4:5 concerning Elijah in that Jesus revealed that it was actually referring to John the Baptist, therefore not a literal Elijah but a type of Elijah. Luke also testified that John would come ‘in the spirit and power of Elijah’ (Luke 1:17). Hence the ministry of John the Baptist was the fulfillment of this prophecy. At the time it fuelled a lot questions about it. But John denied he was Elijah (John 1:21), which seems to indicate his ignorance of this fulfillment. (Some say that there will be another re-enactment of the same prophecy.)

    As ‘Elijah’ was a kind of metaphor for John the Baptist, in the same way we can see how ‘Emmanuel’ could have been an intentional metaphor for Jesus. So like the parables were to the original listeners, prophecies were shrouded in a mystery of their own albeit in a different category. And whether Matthew appreciated Isaiah 7:14 in this way or not, at least with this perspective (and hindsight) we can see another way of how the prophecy ‘fits’.

    Comment by Robert Kan | April 25, 2011 | Reply

    • >>>Do we suspect that Matthew quoted from the LLX in this regard because it most closely matched his understanding of events, or simply because it was the most prolific?

      The people who wrote the NT were fully Hellenized. Their scriptures were the LXX. Their language was Greek. They were clearly *very* taken with the writings of “The Book of Enoch.” They embraced “New Age ideas” such as an after life, pre-existence, guardian angels, communicating with the dead and the like. It would stick out like a sore thumb to see them reach back to the Hebrew scriptures, of which they show great ignorance.

      As I understand the reference to Elijah, it was based on the idea that Elijah was taken up into the sky via a tornado, and the idea was popular that he would re-descend some time in the future.

      There’s always a way to make stuff “fit” if you push hard enough! It’s called “eisegesis” (pronounced “I-See-Jesus!”

      Comment by WoundedEgo | April 25, 2011 | Reply

      • WoundedEgo, point taken – he wasn’t literally called Emmanuel, and it wasn’t a prophecy that ‘came true’. It does take some stretch of the imagination to ‘believe’ the ‘prophecy’, but nonetheless I do see merit in the view that the name was meant to be taken as a figurative application (i.e. not literally called but symbolically called Emmanuel).

        And even though the ‘prophecy’ was taken out of context, if not for any other reason, we can still give the author credit for at least ‘acknowledging’ the OT.

        (You can also refer to Mat 11:14 for Jesus’ testimony of John as ‘Elijah’.)

        Comment by Robert Kan | April 25, 2011

      • Matthew’s concern was to legitimize Jesus by pointing to verses, not to expound those verses. That practice is generally, rightfully frowned upon by Catholic-Protestants when a modern group does it, but sees it as meritorious when Matthew does it. This is a case of dishonest scales, or unevenly weighted stones. I find it interesting that the prophets seemed to have no qualms about taking issue with previously written scriptures. For example, Moses has YHVH say “Let us make man in our image.” Isaiah finds this offensive and says, “There wasn’t anyone with me when I made stuff.” But then John says, “God’s utterance was there in the beginning with God.” You see the prophets saying, “Who commanded all of these dead animals? I can’t stand them! I want justice to be done, not sacrifice!” And so on. Paul even says that the whole history of the Jews was just an object lesson in failure! The current dialog, or rather message, is what trumps all for the current writers, but they draw on and identify with the Jews because that is huge and powerful. I mean, when Jesus says, “The whole law is summed up in “Love” you have to be pre-disposed to overlook the obvious difference between all of these very specific commands and “Love” in order to accept these as interchangeable.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | April 26, 2011

      • Firstly, I don’t see it as a case of dishonest scales. I don’t recall anyone ‘admiring’ the NT writers for quoting as they do, for the simple reason that the writers are considered by most as ‘inspired’, regardless of what their background may be.

        Secondly, with regards to all the ‘hard parts’ in Scripture, can you imagine what a mess we would have if one writer took issue with the works of another writer? Such a proposition should not even figure in our thinking. As a writer yourself, I would have expected you, of all people, to have regard for the literary value of what you profess to hold dear, or so as I thought it was the case (??).

        Thirdly, you seem to abruptly ‘stop’ at your mentioned ‘obvious differences’, as if to put it all in the too hard basket. What’s so hard to accept about the law being “summed up in love”? In the context of where I think you are quoting, is it not implicit that Paul presupposed the first and greatest commandment, and hence it was not his careless neglect of it, but rather his treatment of it as something taken for granted that should be observed? In any case, is it not a big assumption that these differences cannot be reconciled?

        Comment by Robert Kan | April 27, 2011

      • My point was that one must not assume anything, but rather give it an honest reading. If you assume something, you aren’t reading what is written. Matthew is quoting a mistranslation that suggests that Jesus was inside Miriam’s stomach. If you assume inerrancy, then you have to say that the Hebrew is wrong or that modern anatomy is wrong or that this was a strange situation indeed! Nor should we assume that Matthew agrees with Moses. He starts off saying that Joseph was righteous because he wasn’t going to do what the law said and have her publicly stoned; he was going to put her away privately to spare her the shame prescribed by Moses. And Jesus flat out says “Moses gave you that law as a concession to your hard hearts…” An honest read demands that we let these writers tear down and build up, in order to understand their words and viewpoints. The law is not “Luv” but rituals and such.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | April 27, 2011

      • By the way, Rob, the “first and greatest commandment” is not “Luv” because that is actually an obscure part of the code:

        Lev 19:18 And thy hand shall not avenge thee; and thou shalt not be angry with the children of thy people; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; I am the Lord.

        Note that “my neighbor” is a fellow Jew “of the children of your people”, at least in context.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | April 30, 2011

      • Look a bit further down.

        Lev 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 1, 2011

      • Han, maybe I’m not making myself clear.

        How does “doing unto others as you would have them do to you” have to do with seventh day observance, food restrictions, appointed days, rinsings, animal sacrifices, etc? These are very specific commands, not a general command to be kind. For example, what does the Golden Rule have to do with the US tax code?

        The Jews were given, and have applied themselves for millennia to keep, specific instructions. But the NT writers suggest that these instructions are really a failed attempt to communicate “just be nice to one another, and to strangers.”

        I may be over simplifying the situation, but that is the impression that these very bold assertions leave – obedience to commands was never the issue, only upright relations.

        Do you see where I’m coming from?

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 1, 2011

      • If we consider Romans 9, we will see exactly where and why the Jews failed.

        It probably had something to do with ‘Love’ and all the other ‘specific instructions’, but in and of itself doesn’t tell the whole story.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 1, 2011

      • Can you be more straightforward? I don’t know what you are saying. Thanks.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 2, 2011

      • Sorry for being so vague. Yes, I think I know what you’re saying. The instruction to ‘love’ in the OT was seemingly obscured and clouded by all the other specific ‘non-love’ instructions. You seem to draw a sharp contrast between what was ‘specific’ and what was ‘general’ under OT law. In the New Covenant, we have the benefit of being free from the repetitive and ritualistic nature of the OT law, thus enabling us to see things more clearly. To some extent, I do identify with this observation although the real issues were much deeper as we read in Romans. And what I was trying to say was that the emphasis on these ‘specific’ commands probably contributed to the Israelites losing their way.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 2, 2011

      • Unless the writers of the NT, by eclipsing the specific with a New Age word, vilified what God had vested:

        Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

        Were the words of the Torah so utilitarian that the Jews should have ditched them long ago, and embraced “love-ism”?

        Too bad Moses had never been to Haight-Ashbury or an Earth Day celebration!

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 2, 2011

      • NASB has ‘magnified Your word according to all Your name.’

        >>>Were the words of the Torah so utilitarian that the Jews should have ditched them long ago, and embraced “love-ism”?

        How can you ditch something that was spoken by the LORD? And according to Moses, it wasn’t hard to do:

        Dt 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
        11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
        12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
        13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
        14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 3, 2011

      • Another example came up in a conversation today… “He is not a Jew who is one outwardly… circumcision is of the heart…”

        I mean, when are these to be taken as polemic devices, and when as actual assertions? ISTM that if taken seriously, the assertion is daft.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 3, 2011

      • Ummm, you’ve lost me on this one. I don’t see where the problem is, or what the controversy is. Is he not treating this from the viewpoint of a ‘spiritual’ Jew?

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 3, 2011

      • Is cutting the tip of one’s wonker off a “spiritual” thing? Or a very physical thing?

        Suppose I said that “Being American is a matter of eating Apple Pie!” Would that really be accurate? Isn’t it a question of citizenship, either by birth or lawful immigration? Isn’t that “climbing up some other way”?

        We’re off topic here, so I’ll bow out and you may have the last word.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 3, 2011

  9. >>>I mean, when are these to be taken as polemic devices, and when as actual assertions? ISTM that if taken seriously, the assertion is daft.

    Deut 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

    Deut 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

    Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

    Comment by Robert Kan | May 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Robert, do you believe that Jeremiah was suggesting for Jews to stop circumcising? Is that how you read Jeremiah?

      Comment by WoundedEgo | May 7, 2011 | Reply

      • No, I don’t believe there was any ‘incompatibility’ between circumcision of the flesh and that of the ‘heart’, if that is what you mean.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 8, 2011

      • What I’m trying to suggest is that they are “apples and oranges.” That is, his point was, unless he was daft, that “if you had to omit one thing, omit circumcision before you omit devotion in your daily conduct because that is what is most important.” Ditto for Paul, when he says “circumcision is of the heart…” etc.

        A more measured statement is this one:

        Luk 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, **and not to leave the other undone**.

        So, to my mind, several statements in the scriptures are “over the top” and either need to be treated as rhetorical, or, in my view, they are just untenable assertions.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 8, 2011

      • So, in your view, they are incompatible?

        Doesn’t the phrase “and not to leave the other undone” speak for itself; hence it is untenable that the writer could imply cessation? (And you don’t seem to acknowledge your understanding of the references in Duet?)

        I think I’m finding your thought process here a bit hard to decipher.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 8, 2011

      • I’m saying that if you take Jeremiah’s charge at face value, the Jews were to stop circumcising their flesh. Do you agree?

        But that would be at odds with the solemn charge given to Abraham. Correct?

        So, it seems unlikely that Jeremiah literally wanted Jews to stop circumcising (though that is, of course, possible).

        So, do you think that Jeremiah wanted Jews to stop circumcising their flesh, or not?

        And if not, to what do you attribute his words, that say should not circumcise? I see only two possibilities:

        * he DID want the Jews to stop circumcising
        * he was being rhetorical

        Ditto for Paul. Did Paul think circumcision was exclusively a matter of the heart, and not something you do to a baby with knife? Or was he being rhetorical?

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 8, 2011

      • >>>…the Jews were to stop circumcising their flesh. Do you agree?

        No, I don’t agree.

        Yes, the only option then is, he was being rhetorical.

        Comment by Robert Kan | May 8, 2011

      • Robert, I thought you might, once you grapsed what I was getting at.

        Have a great evening.

        Comment by WoundedEgo | May 8, 2011

  10. The link to your book “And God Said” isn’t working; it omits the needed “.com”

    Comment by Kate Gladstone | November 22, 2011 | Reply

  11. Dr. JoEL Hoffman, i love your book(s)

    A. this baby/Sign was for King Ahaz to see or be aware of, IN His Lifetime.
    so unless 7:14 is wrong , Ahaz was made aware of this baby…

    B.
    “Isa” 7:16 tells (gives time frame) when this baby was born.

    7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

    so before child is 13/14 the two kings will be dead or removed..

    7:14 is not talking about Yeshua/Yahoshua aka “Jesus”.
    but baby is likely King Ahaz’s or “Isaiah’s” (Yeshayahu)

    see 2 Kings 15:27, 2 Kings 15:30; 2 Kings 16:1
    to grab time line, i think within four yrs, the two kings were foiled..
    what would you say?

    C.
    i suspect baby sexed for in “Isa” 8:3 is this baby..
    “G-d is with us” or ImmanuEL appears in chapter 8 also..
    chapters 7 and 8, also has other Prophetic/theophoric name(s) of Yeshayahu’s children like Shir-Jashub..

    D.

    this prophesy of 7:16 is revised in
    Isaiah 8:4 after the baby in 8:3

    4 for before the youth doth know to cry, My father, and My mother, one taketh away the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria, before the king of Asshur.’
    love to help you with books , rarely do i find any one setting the record strait like you.

    Comment by Dr. JoEL Hoffman's distant student | December 30, 2011 | Reply

    • I was surprised when someone pointed out to me that Matthew is in the the minority in the NT in holding that Jesus was born of a virgin. I was equally surprised when someone pointed out that there exists a variant reading of John that reads…

      Joh 1:13 Who was born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

      The reading is extremely poorly attested, but if it were original, it would be another reference apart from Matthew.

      Like the first gospel, the fourth is clearly dependent on the LXX, as the very first words of it eloquently testify.

      Comment by bibleshockers | December 31, 2011 | Reply

  12. [...] the “Human One” The Value of a Word for Word Translation Gender in the Updated NIV Who are you calling a virgin? So, What? John 3:16 and the Lord’s [...]

    Pingback by The Year in Review (2011) « God Didn't Say That | January 1, 2012 | Reply


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