The Virgin Shall Conceive

It’s Advent, so it probably won’t be long before we’ll be subjected to the standard rant about Isaiah 7.14: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

What you may hear is that the Hebrew word for “virgin” is bethulah, but the word here is alma, which simply means “a young girl,” so the early Christians who thought Isaiah 7.14 meant “virgin” were simply confused.

I’ve had to endure this rant several times from the pulpit, and it’s trotted out every few years in the mainstream media, trumpeted as though it were the fruit of the latest biblical scholarship.

Read more