Whatever your feelings may be on this subject (and it's a pretty controversial and imotive one, I admit) it is not a doctrine of salvation. I respect those who believe that Christ lived a celibate life because the scriptures say nothing definitive on His marrital status. The only area I am likely to quarrel with people over is whether sex is in some way 'dirty' or 'sinful' because the Bible most definitely does speak on this subject: sex within the bonds of marriage, practiced with self-control and consideration for one's spouse(s), according to the rules laid down by the Creator in His Word, is good, pure and holy.
The following letter is typical of those who regard sex under any circumstances as being intrinsically evil. For such people, sex in monogamous marriage is a 'necessary evil' to propagate the species, polygamy is perversion, and the idea that Christ might have been married is ... well, an unspeakable blasphemy. The writer is probably a Catholic so his ire is the more readily understood:
As is typical of such people who react to feelings, they do not take the trouble to carefully study all of our materials on a subject and so bother to find out exactly where we stand on issues. But as the writer raises some interesting and important issues, I thought I would take the opportunity to delve into a very difficult though necessary doctrinal area concerning the conception of Yah'shua (Jesus).
"Please take me off your list, I signed up only to write a letter to you on my distaste for your website and your obvious lack of knowledge on the backdrop of the bible. I can only deduce that you are a very sick and disturbed individual to have an interpretation of the bible that is so sexually focused. In my experience with this obvious sin nature and it's incorporation into the scriptures, I can only say one thing, 'Check yourself and pray to Jesus and ask Him to clear your mind on these issues in order for your own sake and maybe quit possibly for the sake of your salvation.' It is clear from a good portion of your interpretation of the scriptures that you have a severe problem with 'lust'. I will pray for you and that you stop spreading half of the truth and that you get right with God. Nak, in Christ. Please do not bother to respond, just send this along to the leader in charge of this webpage. Anything that you have to say to me in your defense is a waste of your time. I am merely telling you a truth based on your posted doctrine on your site. This material that I am referring to focuses on: Jesus and marriage with many wives, or anything else that is that puts Jesus in the same context as sex. Your claims on Mary are outrageous, leaving room for lots of corruption on the Holiness of Christ and instead you lead helpless beginners to a cesspool on sin. God help you for spreading a false doctrine and interpretation on scriptures" (anonymous).
The doctrine of the Virgin Birth, so clearly stated in the Gospel of Matthew, is central to the Christian faith. The fact that Mary (Miriyam), the mother of Yah'shua (Jesus), had known no man (i.e. was a virgin) has captured the imagination of millions. But the question still remains: was the Saviour born in this extraordinary way so as not to be 'tainted' by sex, or was there another more important reason for no human man being involved? It is my belief, which I believe is overwhelmingly supported from the Bible, that the virginity of Mary had nothing to do with sex whatsoever but with the fact that the Messiah's Father was Yahweh Himself. And before we go on, let it be clearly stated that I am not advocating the blasphemous Mormon doctrine that Yahweh ('Elohim' in the Mormon system) came down and had sexual intercourse with Mary, if for no other reason that would have made Elohim (God) a polyandrist and therefore an adulterer, since Mary was already married to Joseph. With this heresy clearly disposed of, let us proceed with a careful examination of the scriptural facts.
As we know from the multitudes of scriptures on the subject, the atonement of our sins was made through the blood of Christ. The physical shedding of His blood, which was pure and sinless, was the required price for the redemption of man. Man's blood, by contrast, is tainted, and for this reason can redeem no other living soul - only Yahweh can redeem (Psalm 49:7-8,15). As the Jehovah's Witnesses are fond of reminding us, the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11,14). Accordingly, the issue of sin and salvation revolves, in the final analysis, around the life-giving principle which is the blood. Conclusion: only Yahweh can redeem man eternally, and the decreed price was sinless blood.
The moment we lose our blood-focus (however unappetisingly graphic a subject it may be ... and I must confess it is not a topic I much enjoy dwelling on in the physical), we lose the whole point of redemption.
In his very interesting though controversial book, the late Baptist Dr. Martin R. De Haan, M.D., of Radio Bible Class, points out that as our blood cleanses the body of impurities (carbon dioxide, urea, toxins, etc.), so the blood of Christ cleanses our soul from sin. He reminds us that the "life" (Heb. chai) Yahweh breathed into Adam had to do with blood, because, as we have seen, blood is life. The Tree of Knowledge, once eaten by Eve and then by Adam, had the effect of corrupting their blood, and making them mortal (Genesis 2:17). The fruit was poisonous and our blood has been tainted ever since. As descendants of Adam, we all therefore suffer from the same blood disorder, a kind of spiritual anaemia, if you like, for we are all of the same race (Acts 17:26).
What made Yah'shua (Jesus) unique was not only the fact that His Spirit was Elohim (God) but that He did not have the blood of Adam flowing in his veins. His blood was pure, undefiled, unfallen, because it was His Heavenly Father's blood. It was entirely without corruption, untainted, and holy.
As any biologist will tell you, the mother contributes no blood to the embryo in her womb. Indeed, there is no contact whatsoever between the mother's and the child's blood. A barrier called the placenta separates their two blood streams allowing nutrients to pass across it but not blood. The baby's blood is produced by the baby - it is not derived from its mother. Dr. De Haan states:
The original physical life of man began when Yahweh-Elohim breathed it into a lump of clay. From that moment on, this 'life factor' has been transmitted from one generation of human to another. And according to the Bible this life factor is transferred from father to child because it is exclusively to be found in the fertilising seed of man - it is not passed from the mother.
"... it is only after the sperm has entered the ovum and a foetus begins to develop that blood appears. As a very simple illustration of this, think of the egg of a hen. An unfertilized egg is simply an ovum on a much larger scale than a human ovum. You may incubate this unfertilized hen's egg, but it will never develop. It will dry up completely but no chick will result. But let that egg be fertilized by the introduction of the male sperm and incubation will bring to light the presence of life in the embryo. After a few hours it visibly develops. In a little while red streaks occur, denoting the presence of blood. And life is in the blood ..." (The Chemistry of the Blood, Zondervan, 1971, pp.30-31).
That the blood actually possesses a living principle, and that human life is derived from it, is an uniquivocal doctrine of biblical revelation, and which is confirmed by science. And although geneticists correctly teach the nature of the blood (for example, its type) is determined from the genes of both father and mother, it is still a fact of revelation that the bloodline is traced through the fathers and not the mothers (though curiously Talmudic/Rabbinbical Judaism has reversed this biblical principle by saying wrongly that descent is through the mother). Thus if the father is (say) Jewish and the mother (say) is Burmese, then the children are Jewish. If the father is (say) an Arab and the mother is (say) an Ephraimite, then the children are Arab.
This is proven by seven clear areas of evidence:
The point of citing this evidence is to show conclusively that the reason why Mary had to be a virgin was not because sex was in some way 'dirty' but to show that in order to receive pure blood it had to come from a non-human male source, and that source was Yahweh-Elohim, our Heavenly Father. Precisely how the Holy Spirit did the conceiving so that pure blood was received from the Father we don't know, only that it happened, and for the reasons given above. Though Mary no doubt contributed to the genetic make-up of the resultant blood of Yah'shua (Jesus), the point it that the 'life marker', if I can call it that, was from Elohim (God).
- 1. The covenant of circumcision is with the male, that he might bring forth offspring dedicated to Yahweh (Genesis 17:10-11; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 4:11);
- 2. Tribal inheritance passes through the fathers: "They shall receive their inheritance according to the names of the tribes of their fathers" (female heirs had to marry within 'the tribal clan of their father', so the inheritance would remain in his tribe. It could not 'pass from tribe to tribe' (Numbers 26:5; 36:5-12; Ezekial 47:13-14);
- 3. To eliminate Israel, the king of Egypt said to kill their "male children", but to let the daughters live (Exodus 1:12-22);
- 4. Yahweh "cut off the houses of both Jeromoam and Aham by killing every male child" (1 Kings 14:10; 21:21-22; 2 Kings 9:7-9);
- 5. The "house of Jacob" is first defined as, "All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob's sons, were sixty-six persons in all" (Genesis 46:26);
- 6. Hebrews speaks of Levi being "in the loins of his father [Abraham] when Melchizedek met him" (Hebrews 7:9-10);
- 7. In addition to many Biblical confirmations - in the Apocrypha we read: "I too a, a mortal man like all the rest, descended from the first man, who was made of dust, and in my mother's womb I was wrought into flesh during a ten-months space, compacted in blood from the seed of her husband.." (Wisdom of Solomon 7:1-3, NEB). (from Battya Wooten, Who is Israel? And why You Need to Know, Key of David Publishing, Saint Cloud, FL: 1998, pp.67-68)
But why, after the divine conception of Yah'shua (Jesus), did Joseh have "no union" with Mary until she had given birth? (Matthew 1:24). Though the Bible does not give a specific reason, there are two possible reasons that may be inferred:
This is admittedly speculation. A third possibility is that Mary was required to spend these days in prayer and meditation and not be distracted by other things. The sperm of Joseph would have been 'impure' and might possibly have defiled her and the child, per pro the ceremonial requirements of Torah and the abstinence from sex required of the Israelites when they approached the Holy Mountain at Sinai. Some, of course, argue that this is evidence that sex is in some way impure - but I would interpret this to mean simply that it is impossible to have sex and be properly Elohim/God-focussed per pro Paul (i.e. abstain by mutual consent so that there may be time for prayer). This is not to say that sex is sinful, only that there are times and places for it.
- 1. There is a tradition amongst some people, including some Jews, that sexual intercourse should not take place during pregnancy. Indeed, there are still a number of societies which observe this custom, incuding polygamous ones in Africa and the fundamentalist Mormons;
- 2. By injecting sperms into the pregnant Mary Joseph would have been injecting his 'life force' into her in some way and thus interfering with the development of the sin-free foetus, possibly corrupting it - not genetically but by interfering the the aura or electro-magnetic force that surrounds a person.
Our Catholic friend was, of course, upset by the suggestion in other articles on our site that Mary was not immaculately conceived as recent Roman Catholic dogma insists but was a sinner in need of the same Mosaic sacrificial offerings as all others, evidenced by her presentation in the temple of a sin offering after the birth of Yah'shua (Jesus). This Catholic dogma simply compounds the hatred of things sexual, and was no doubt so purposefully conceived by the spirit that lies behind that organisation. It perpetuates the lie that the priesthood must be celibate because this is somehow a 'holier' estate, and fulfils the prophecy made by Paul to Timothy that in the last days marriage would be forbidden (including polygamy) (1 Timothy 4:3).
The "cesspit of sin" is, alas, seen to be in the reader's own mind warped by Catholic doctrine. Sin is disobedience to Torah (Law). To commit sexual sin is to break Yahweh's laws on the conduct of sex. Illustrating the absurdity of Catholic extremism, and their hatred of sex (and of Yahweh's laws on the same), the Roman Church also teaches that Mary was, and is, perpetually a virgin even after having had children through Joseph! To know what Elohim (God) thinks about sex, we have only to read the Torah in this regard, which tells us what may and may not be done, with whom and when. Sex between heterosexual males and females in a one-to-one or one-to-many relationship is sanctioned and blessed. This would also be true of the human Mary (who must have had sex with Joseph to have given Yah'shua (Jesus) brothers and sisters) and even of Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself, who was fully man and was tempted in every way ("in all points" - NKJV) as we are (Hebrews 4:15). And marriage is an integral part of human life.
That Yah'shua (Jesus) could have been married as well as sire children is not incompatible with holiness nor His mission to atone for the sins of the world. And it certainly does no violence to the meaning of the Virgin Birth. There is no evidence that Yah'shua (Jesus) and a married life would have been incompatible with His mission and certainly no evidence that such normal marital behaviour warrants the accusation that such a teaching is from the "cesspits of hell". The cesspit is calling that which holy evil.