Was Jesus Really Born of a Virgin? by Brandon D. Crowe
This is a great series of short booklets in which Crowe goes about showing some of the arguments against the virgin birth and offering brief counterarguments. These sections are extremely brief and they might have been fleshed out just a little bit more.
Brandon Crowe (assistant professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary) takes up the question, Was Jesus Really Born of a Virgin? Following some preliminary definitions and clarifications he considers, in order, objections grounded in Scientific and Philosophical understandings, objections regarding the supposed origin of the doctrine in Mythology, Jewish expectation, and early Christian Embellishment, and objections stemming from a presumed Theological bias and Discordance in the Gospel writers. At several points the question reduces to presuppositions and worldview – in a world where God rules over all, the question of a miraculous birth is not at all a difficult one. But in some respects this all reads like a “mini-Machen,” highlighting each point of contention quickly and succinctly providing crisp responses at each step.
The given purpose of the booklet is to defend the reality of the virgin birth of Jesus against objections that have been leveled against it, not to expound its significance, and so Crowe provides no exposition of Isaiah’s famous prophecy (7:14) or of the Gospel birth narratives (How much can we expect in under 30 pages!). But he does provide a helpful survey of what Matthew and Luke actually say about Mary’s conception of Jesus, and in answer to the common objection that the virgin birth of Jesus is taught nowhere else in Scripture he also notes briefly how this doctrine, if not explicitly mentioned, is presupposed and alluded to in John and Paul. Brief theological reflections are offered in closing, with a summary statement of the relation of the virgin birth to the incarnation and person of Christ and our salvation