The Virgin Birth of Christ, Isaiah 7:14 by Jack Kettler
“Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
This study will seek a better understanding of the birth of Christ in order to increase and magnify our praise for God’s glory. There are those who question the virgin birth. They do this by quibbling about the translation of the word virgin. Ultimately this translation dispute comes down to presuppositions that are imposed upon Scripture rather than conclusive lexical evidence.
Those who question the virgin birth, do not believe in the miraculous. A naturalistic presupposition imposed upon Scripture will lead to the rejection of all miracles including the fulfillment of biblical prophecies. This dispute could also be described as a debate between those who hold to biblical inerrancy, a high view of Scripture and those who do not.
It will be helpful to look at cross references, exegetical biblical commentary and lexicon evidence. In regards to cross references, the Bible is the best interpreter of the Bible. Additional passages of Scripture are helpful and provide more understanding of the Isaiah 7:14.
How is the Hebrew word “almah” is used in Isaiah? The Hebrew word “almah” can be translated both “young women” and “virgin.” Significantly, the Jewish translators in the Septuagint used the Greek word parthenos, which characteristically means “virgin.”
Strong’s Number: 3933 Original Word- παρθενος Transliterated Word Parthenos
Definition: a virgin, a woman who has never had sexual intercourse with a man, a marriageable maiden.
This study is an overview of the virgin birth of Christ rather than an exhaustive treatment of the subject. At the end of this study, the reader will be referred to the classic, The Virgin Birth of Christ by J. Gresham Machen for additional study.
“Behold! The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:23)
“To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27)
“Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you shall give Him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31)
“And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)
“And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
“Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.” (Isaiah 8:8)
“Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; State a proposal, but it will not stand, For God is with us.” (Isaiah 8:10)
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that He has spoken.” (Isaiah 38:7)
“In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:6)
When Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” in Luke 1:34 provides conclusive divine commentary on Christ’s birth and her virginity.
a virgin הָעַלְמָ֗ה ha·’al·mah 5959 a young woman, a virgin fem. of elem
Exegetical Commentary Evidence:
In this section, there will be some rather lengthy quotes. The diligent reader will surely be blessed to work through the material in this section.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary:
Therefore; because you despise me, and the sign which I now offer to you, God of his own free grace will send you a more honourable messenger, and give you a nobler sign, to try whether that will cure you of your infidelity. Or, nevertheless, as this particle seems to be understood, Isaiah 30:18 Jeremiah 16:14 30:16. Although you deserve no sign nor favour, yet, for the comfort of those few believers which are among you, and to leave you without excuse, I shall mind you or another and a greater sign, which God hath promised, and will in his due time perform; which also is a pledge of the certain accomplishment of all God’s promises. Or, surely, as this particle is sometimes used, as Genesis 4:15 Jeremiah 2:33 5:2 Zechariah 11:7.
A sign, to wit, of your deliverance.
Question: How was this birth of a virgin, which was not to come till many ages after, a sign of their deliverance from the present danger?
1. Because this was a clear demonstration of God’s infinite power, and goodness, and faithfulness, and consequently of the certain truth of all God’s promises from time to time, which can never fill so long as those attributes of God stand; and men’s faith is either strong or weak, as they believe them or doubt of them; of which see Psalm 77:8 78:19,20 Ro 4:20,21. And so this was a proper remedy for Ahaz’s disease, which was a secret suspicion that God either could not or would not deliver them.
2. Because that promise, I say not only the actual giving, which was long after, but even the promise, of the Messiah, which had been made long since, and oft renewed, and was universally believed by all the people, was the foundation of all God’s mercies and promises unto them, 2 Corinthians 1:20, and a pledge of the accomplishment of them.
3. Because this promised birth did suppose and require the preservation of that city, and nation, and tribe, in and of which the Messiah was to be born; and therefore there was no cause to fear that utter ruin which their enemies now threatened to bring upon them.
4. This is one, but not the only sign here given, as we shall see at Isaiah 7:16.
Behold; you who will not believe that God alone is able to deliver you from the united force of Syria and Israel, take notice, for your full satisfaction, that God is not only able to do this work, but to do far greater and harder things, which he hath promised, and therefore both can and will accomplish
A virgin; strictly and properly so called. The Jews, that they may obscure this plain text, and weaken this proof of the truth of Christian religion, pretend that this Hebrew word signifies a young woman, and not a virgin. But this corrupt translation is easily confuted,
1. Because this word constantly signifies a virgin in all other places of Scripture where it is used, which are Genesis 24:43, compared with Isaiah 7:16 Exodus 2:8 Psalm 68:25 Song of Solomon 1:3 6:8; to which may be added Proverbs 30:19, The way of a man with a maid, or a virgin: for though it be supposed that he did design and desire to corrupt her, and afterwards did so; yet she may well be called a virgin, partly because he found her a virgin, and partly because she seemed and pretended to others to be such, which made her more careful to use all possible arts to preserve her reputation, and so made the discovery of her impure conversation with the man more difficult, whereas the filthy practices of common harlots are easily and vulgarly known.
2. From the scope of this place, which is to confirm their faith by a strange and prodigious sign, which surely could not be not a young woman should conceive a child, but that a virgin should conceive, &c.
Bear a Son; or rather, bring forth, as it is rendered, Matthew 1:23, and as this Hebrew word is used, Genesis 16:11 17:19 Judges 13:5.
And shall call; the virgin, last mentioned, shall call; which is added as a further evidence of her virginity, and that this Son had no human father, because the right of naming the child (which, being a sign of dominion, is primarily in the husband, and in the wife only by his consent or permission, as is evident from Genesis 5:29 35:18 Luke 1:60,63, and many other places of Scripture) is wholly appropriated to her.
Immanuel; which signifies, God with us; God dwelling among us, in our nature, John 1:14, God and man meeting in one person, and being a Mediator between God and men. For the design of these words is not so much to relate the name by which Christ should commonly be called, as to describe his nature and office; as we read that his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, &c., Isaiah 9:6, and that this is said to be his (the Messiah’s) name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6, although he be never called by these names in any other place of the Old or New Testament; but the meaning of these places is, He shall be wonderful, and our Counsellor, &c., and our Righteousness; for to be called is oft put for to be, as Isaiah 1:26 4:3, &c. (1)
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible:
Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Whether they would ask one or not; a sign both in heaven and earth, namely, the promised Messiah; who being the Lord from heaven, would take flesh of a virgin on earth; and who as man, being buried in the heart of the earth, would be raised from thence, and ascend up into heaven; and whose birth, though it was to be many years after, was a sign of present deliverance to Judah from the confederacy of the two kings of Syria and Israel; and of future safety, since it was not possible that this kingdom should cease to be one until the Messiah was come, who was to spring from Judah, and be of the house of David; wherefore by how much the longer off was his birth, by so much the longer was their safety.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son; this is not to be understood of Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, by his wife, as some Jewish writers interpret it; which interpretation Jarchi refutes, by observing that Hezekiah was nine years old when his father began to reign, and this being, as he says, the fourth year of his reign, he must be at this time thirteen years of age; in like manner, Aben Ezra and Kimchi object to it; and besides, his mother could not be called a “virgin”: and for the same reason it cannot be understood of any other son of his either by his wife, as Kimchi thinks, or by some young woman; moreover, no other son of his was ever lord of Judea, as this Immanuel is represented to be, in Isaiah 8:8 nor can it be interpreted of Isaiah’s wife and son, as Aben Ezra and Jarchi think; since the prophet could never call her a “virgin”, who had bore him children, one of which was now with him; nor indeed a “young woman”, but rather “the prophetess”, as in Isaiah 8:3 nor was any son of his king of Judah, as this appears to be, in the place before cited: but the Messiah is here meant, who was to be born of a pure virgin; as the word here used signifies in all places where it is mentioned, as Genesis 24:43 and even in Proverbs 30:19 which is the instance the Jews give of the word being used of a woman corrupted; since it does not appear that the maid and the adulterous woman are one and the same person; and if they were, she might, though vitiated, be called a maid or virgin, from her own profession of herself, or as she appeared to others who knew her not, or as she was antecedent to her defilement; which is no unusual thing in Scripture, see Deuteronomy 22:28 to which may be added, that not only the Evangelist Matthew renders the word by “a virgin”; but the Septuagint interpreters, who were Jews, so rendered the word hundreds of years before him; and best agrees with the Hebrew word, which comes from the root which signifies to “hide” or “cover”; virgins being covered and unknown to men; and in the eastern country were usually kept recluse, and were shut up from the public company and conversation of men: and now this was the sign that was to be given, and a miraculous one it was, that the Messiah should be born of a pure and incorrupt virgin; and therefore a “behold” is prefixed to it, as a note of admiration; and what else could be this sign or wonder? not surely that a young married woman, either Ahaz’s or Isaiah’s wife, should be with child, which is nothing surprising, and of which there are repeated instances every day; nor was it that the young woman was unfit for conception at the time of the prophecy, which was the fancy of some, as Jarchi reports, since no such intimation is given either in the text or context; nor did it lie in this, that it was a male child, and not a female, which was predicted, as R. Saadiah Gaon, in Aben Ezra, would have it; for the sign or wonder does not lie in the truth of the prophet’s prediction, but in the greatness of the thing predicted; besides, the verification of this would not have given the prophet much credit, nor Ahaz and the house of David much comfort, since this might have been ascribed rather to a happy conjecture than to a spirit of prophecy; much less can the wonder be, that this child should eat butter and honey, as soon as it was born, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi suggest; since nothing is more natural to, and common with young children, than to take down any kind of liquids which are sweet and pleasant.
And shall call his name Immanuel; which is, by interpretation, “God with us”, Matthew 1:23 whence it appears that the Messiah is truly God, as well as truly man: the name is expressive of the union of the two natures, human and divine, in him; of his office as Mediator, who, being both God and man, is a middle person between both; of his converse with men on earth, and of his spiritual presence with his people. See John 1:14. (2)
14. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Ahaz had already refused the sign which the Lord offered to him, when the Prophet remonstrated against his rebellion and ingratitude; yet the Prophet declares that this will not prevent God from giving the sign which he had promised and appointed for the Jews. But what sign?
Behold, a virgin shall conceive. This passage is obscure; but the blame lies partly on the Jews, who, by much cavilling, have labored, as far as lay in their power, to pervert the true exposition. They are hard pressed by this passage; for it contains an illustrious prediction concerning the Messiah, who is here called Immanuel; and therefore they have labored, by all possible means, to torture the Prophet’s meaning to another sense. Some allege that the person here mentioned is Hezekiah; and others, that it is the son of Isaiah.
Those who apply this passage to Hezekiah are excessively impudent; for he must have been a full-grown man when Jerusalem was besieged. Thus they show that they are grossly ignorant of history. But it is a just reward of their malice, that God hath blinded them in such a manner as to be deprived of all judgment. This happens in the present day to the papists, who often expose themselves to ridicule by their mad eagerness to pervert the Scriptures.
As to those who think that it was Isaiah’s son, it is an utterly frivolous conjecture; for we do not read that a deliverer would be raised up from the seed of Isaiah, who should be called Immanuel; for this title is far too illustrious to admit of being applied to any man.
Others think, or, at least, (being unwilling to contend with the Jews more than was necessary,) admit that the Prophet spoke of some child who was born at that time, by whom, as by an obscure picture, Christ was foreshadowed. But they produce no strong arguments, and do not show who that child was, or bring forward any proofs. Now, it is certain, as we have already said, that this name Immanuel could not be literally applied to a mere man; and, therefore, there can be no doubt that the Prophet referred to Christ.
But all writers, both Greek and Latin, are too much at their ease in handling this passage; for, as if there were no difficulty in it, they merely assert that Christ is here promised from the Virgin Mary. Now, there is no small difficulty in the objection which the Jews bring against us, that Christ is here mentioned without any sufficient reason; for thus they argue, and demand that the scope of the passage be examined: “Jerusalem was besieged. The Prophet was about to give them a sign of deliverance. Why should he promise the Messiah, who was to be born five hundred years afterwards?” By this argument they think that they have gained the victory, because the promise concerning Christ had nothing to do with assuring Ahaz of the deliverance of Jerusalem. And then they boast as if they had gained the day, chiefly because scarcely any one replies to them. That is the reason why I said that commentators have been too much at their ease in this matter; for it is of no small importance to show why the Redeemer is here mentioned.
Now, the matter stands thus. King Ahaz having rejected the sign which God had offered to him, the Prophet reminds him of the foundation of the covenant, which even the ungodly did not venture openly to reject. The Messiah must be born; and this was expected by all, because the salvation of the whole nation depended on it. The Prophet, therefore, after having expressed his indignation against the king, again argues in this manner: “By rejecting the promise, thou wouldest endeavor to overturn the decree of God; but it shall remain inviolable, and thy treachery and ingratitude will not hinder God from being, continually the Deliverer of his people; for he will at length raise up his Messiah.”
To make these things more plain, we must attend to the custom of the Prophets, who, in establishing special promises, lay down this as the foundation, that God will send a Redeemer. On this general foundation God everywhere builds all the special promises which he makes to his people; and certainly every one who expects aid and assistance from him must be convinced of his fatherly love. And how could he be reconciled to us but through Christ, in whom he has freely adopted the elect, and continues to pardon them to the end? Hence comes that saying of Paul, that all the promises of God in Christ are Yea and Amen. (2 Corinthians 1:20.)
Whenever, therefore, God assisted his ancient people, he at the same time reconciled them to himself through Christ; and accordingly, whenever famine, pestilence, and war are mentioned, in order to hold out a hope of deliverance, he places the Messiah before their eyes. This being exceedingly clear, the Jews have no right to make a noise, as if the Prophet made an unseasonable transition to a very remote subject. For on what did the deliverance of Jerusalem depend, but on the manifestation of Christ? This was, indeed, the only foundation on which the salvation of the Church always rested.
Most appropriately, therefore, did Isaiah say, “True, thou dost not believe the promises of God, but yet God will fulfill them; for he will at length send his Christ, for whose sake he determines to preserve this city. Though thou art unworthy, yet God will have regard to his own honor.” King Ahaz is therefore deprived of that sign which he formerly rejected, and loses the benefit of which he proved himself to be unworthy; but still God’s inviolable promise is still held out to him. This is plainly enough intimated by the particle lkn, (lachen,) therefore; that is, because thou disdainest that particular sign which God offered to thee, hv’, (hu,) He, that is, God himself, who was so gracious as to offer it freely to thee, he whom thou weariest will not fail to hold out a sign. When I say that the coming of Christ is promised to Ahaz, I do not mean that God includes him among the chosen people, to whom he had appointed his Son to be the Author of salvation; but because the discourse is directed to the whole body of the people.
Will give you a sign. The word lkm, (lachem,) to you, is interpreted by some as meaning to your children; but this is forced. So far as relates to the persons addressed, the Prophet leaves the wicked king and looks to the nation, so far as it had been adopted by God. He will therefore give, not to thee a wicked king, and to those who are like thee, but to you whom he has adopted; for the covenant which he made with Abraham continues to be firm and inviolable. And the Lord always has some remnant to whom the advantage of the covenant belongs; though the rulers and governors of his people may be hypocrites.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive. The word Behold is used emphatically, to denote the greatness of the event; for this is the manner in which the Spirit usually speaks of great and remarkable events, in order to elevate the minds of men. The Prophet, therefore, enjoins his hearers to be attentive, and to consider this extraordinary work of God; as if he had said, “Be not slothful, but consider this singular grace of God, which ought of itself to have drawn your attention, but is concealed from you on account of your stupidity.”
Although the word lmh, (gnalmah,) a virgin, is derived from lm, (gnalam,) which signifies to hide, because the shame and modesty of virgins does not allow them to appear in public; yet as the Jews dispute much about that word, and assert that it does not signify virgin, because Solomon used it to denote a young woman who was betrothed, it is unnecessary to contend about the word. Though we should admit what they say, that lmh (gnalmah) sometimes denotes a young woman, and that the name refers, as they would have it, to the age, (yet it is frequently used in Scripture when the subject relates to a virgin,) the nature of the case sufficiently refutes all their slanders. For what wonderful thing did the Prophet say, if he spoke of a young woman who conceived through intercourse with a man? It would certainly have been absurd to hold out this as a sign or a miracle. Let us suppose that it denotes a young woman who should become pregnant in the ordinary course of nature;  everybody sees that it would have been silly and contemptible for the Prophet, after having said that he was about to speak of something strange and uncommon, to add, A young woman shall conceive. It is, therefore, plain enough that he speaks of a virgin who should conceive, not by the ordinary course of nature, but by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit. And this is the mystery which Paul extols in lofty terms, that
God was manifested in the flesh. (1 Timothy 3:16.)
And shall call. The Hebrew verb is in the feminine gender, She shall call; for as to those who read it in the masculine gender, I know not on what they found their opinion. The copies which we use certainly do not differ. If you apply it to the mother, it certainly expresses something different from the ordinary custom. We know that to the father is always assigned the right of giving a name to a child; for it is a sign of the power and authority of fathers over children; and the same authority does not belong to women. But here it is conveyed to the mother; and therefore it follows that he is conceived by the mother in such a manner as not to have a father on earth; otherwise the Prophet would pervert the ordinary custom of Scripture, which ascribes this office to men only. Yet it ought to be observed that the name was not given to Christ at the suggestion of his mother, and in such a case it would have had no weight; but the Prophet means that, in publishing the name, the virgin will occupy the place of a herald, because there will be no earthly father to perform that office.
Immanuel. This name was unquestionably bestowed on Christ on account of the actual fact; for the only-begotten Son of God clothed himself with our flesh, and united himself to us by partaking of our nature. He is, therefore, called God with us, or united to us; which cannot apply to a man who is not God. The Jews in their sophistry tell us that this name was given to Hezekiah; because by the hand of Hezekiah God delivered his people; and they add, “He who is the servant of God represents his person.” But neither Moses nor Joshua, who were deliverers of the nation, were so denominated; and therefore this Immanuel is preferred to Moses and Joshua, and all the others; for by this name he excels all that ever were before, and all that shall come after him; and it is a title expressive of some extraordinary excellence and authority which he possesses above others. It is therefore evident that it denotes not only the power of God, such as he usually displays by his servant, but a union of person, by which Christ became God-man. Hence it is also evident that Isaiah here relates no common event, but points out that unparalleled mystery which the Jews labor in vain to conceal. (3)
My Comments, in Summary:
The doctrine of the virgin birth is of paramount importance. Mary asks the angel Gabriel; “How shall this be?” in Luke 1:34. Gabriel tells Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). Gabriel also reassures Joseph regarding his apprehension about espousing Mary with these expressions: “what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Matthew states that; “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son” (Matthew 1:18). Consider the apostolic commentary, the virgin birth is taught by the apostle Paul: “God sent His Son, born of a virgin.” (Galatians 4:4)
If you want to have debate on the virgin birth of Christ, first demonstrate that you have read Machen’s book and then we can discuss the topic.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
1. Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, Isaiah, Vol. 2., (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 310-311.
2. John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Isaiah, 9 Volumes, Isaiah, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, pp. 113-115.
3. John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Isaiah, Vol. 7., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), p. 244-249.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)
“To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)
Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks. Available at: http://www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com
For more study:
J. Gresham Machen’s The Virgin Birth of Christ is considered one of the best books ever written on the subject of the virgin birth.
Praise for Machen’s The Virgin Birth of Christ:
“Professor Machen’s work is elaborate, learned and full. The writer possesses an acute mind and a competent knowledge of modern critical literature.” The Times
“The Author has thought all around his subject and has left no phase unconsidered. His earlier published studies show that he has been thinking about it for a quarter of a century. I am not aware of any important literature on either side of the subject that he has overlooked.” The Christian Century (USA)
“It is no doubt the most extensive book on the subject that has hitherto appeared, an impressive volume. But it is … also so earnest, so circumspect, so intelligent in its discussions, that it must be recognized unqualifiedly as an important achievement.” Theologische Studien und Kritiken
“Dr. Machen’s learning is so great and his reading exceedingly wide, so that his book will long be a repertory of information as to all angles of its subject.” The Churchman (USA)
“Professor Machen has written a book on the Virgin Birth which is certain to gain the attention of all, friends or foes, who have an interest in this perplexing subject. His work is genuinely learned; it displays a thorough mastery of relevant literature, even when rather out of the way, and is surrounded by a wider zone of scholarship than discussion of this special subject might seem to require, but one which testifies the more to the writer’s extreme carefulness.” Professor H.R. Mackintosh, in British Weekly
I recommend getting a hardcopy reprint of this book. However, you can get the complete book in PDF form at the link below.
The Virgin Birth of Christ by J. Gresham Machen
Click to access virginbirth_p.pdf
Dr. Machen’s reputation as not only one of the world’s foremost New Testament scholars but as one of the ablest defenders of historic Christianity. His former books, ‘The Origin of Paul’s Religion’ (1921), ‘Christianity and Liberalism’ (1923) and ‘What is Faith?’ (1925), have so whetted the appetites of their thousands of readers that the announcement of a new book by Dr. Machen fills them with eager expectancy—whatever may be their theological position. It will be recalled that Mr. Walter Lippmann, whose theological position is about as far removed as possible from that of Dr. Machen’s, in his widely read book, ‘A Preface to Morals’, not only speaks of Dr. Machen as ‘both a scholar and a gentleman’ but says of his book, ‘Christianity and Liberalism’: ‘It is an admirable book. For its acumen, for its saliency, and for its wit, this cool and stringent defense of orthodox Protestantism is, I think, the best popular argument produced by either side in the current controversy. We shall do well to listen to Dr. Machen.’ Dr. Machen’s latest book, it is true, like ‘The Origin of Paul’s Religion’, moves throughout in the field of exact scholarship. It would be difficult to point to a book anywhere that is more thorough-going in its recital and examination of all that bears upon the subject with which it deals. But while this is the case, Dr. Machen writes so simply and lucidly that men and women of intelligence everywhere, whatever their standing as technical scholars, will be able to read it with understanding and profit. Certainly, no minister or Bible teacher of adults can afford to ignore this book. To the reviewer at least it is a source of much satisfaction to know that what is confessedly the most exhaustive and most scholarly book on the problem of the Virgin Birth of Christ ever published, at least in English, has been written by a man who after having acquainted himself with everything of importance that has been written on the subject since the first century, no matter in what language, holds to the historic belief of the Christian Church that its founder was born without human father, being conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.” -Samuel Craig