Thank you for the questions.

 Your questions concern the “virgin birth of Jesus,” the promised Messiah. The birth of Jesus could not be explained in human terms. While it is possible for a female human being to get pregnant without the actual sexual intercourse; it is not possible, however, for a female human being to give birth to a child and remain virgin. God, 700 years before the birth of Jesus announced it through the prophet Isaiah. “…the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14, the Septuagint.  The translators of the Septuagint, approximately 250 years before the birth of Jesus, used the Greek word for “The Virgin.”  The apostle Mathew quoted this verse, and he used the word “virgin.” We must accept the account in the Bible by faith in God and Jesus Christ. We could not know all the details concerning the birth of the Messiah. The people of Israel always understood, from Isaiah’s account, that the mother of the Messiah will remain a virgin after giving birth to Him. The first-century Christians had several more detailed reports concerning Mary and Jesus.

A more extended account was written, in the first century, by James, the oldest son of Joseph. It is titled “The Protevangelion; or a “Historical Account of the Birth of Christ.” James was also known as the brother of Jesus, even though Mary was not his mother, and Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. Joseph adopted Jesus. Joseph was an older widow, with several children, when he was ordered to take “The Virgin” Mary as his wife. James, the eye-witness, describes Mary as one of the several girls who was raised in the Temple by a female caretaker. They had no contact with males in the Temple. They were kept pure because one of the girls was expected to be the mother of the Messiah. The girls were known by the name “The Virgins.”

The Temple rule, however, according to James, dictated that when a “Virgin” reaches the age of 12, she must get married. This rule was to ensure that “The Virgins” would not begin to menstruate while still in the Temple because that would defile the Temple. The priests, by casting a lot, determined that Joseph must marry the Virgin Mary. However, his business circumstance prevented him from having the wedding ceremony immediately. When he returned home to have the wedding, Mary was pregnant. The angel assured him that it was from God, so Joseph formally made Mary as his wife, but did not treat her as such.

When Joseph and his family had to go to Bethlehem to pay tax, the time came for Mary to give birth to Jesus. They were still in the hills just before the Bethlehem; Mary informed Joseph it is time for her to deliver. The only place there was a small cave, used by the shepherds, so Joseph left Mary and his children there and went to Bethlehem to look for a Jewish midwife. On his way there, according to James who quotes Joseph, a woman met him and inquired where he was going. Joseph told her about Mary and stated that she needs a midwife. The woman asked him to take her to the place where Mary was. When they arrived at the cave, a cloud filled the entire cave so they could not go in. When the cloud dissipated, a bright light filled the cave so they could not see anything. When the light subsided sufficiently, they looked inside the cave and saw Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus.

 While Joseph, the woman, and his children were not able to see anything inside the cave, they did not hear anything either because Mary did not have the labor pains. This  fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, She delivered a male child.: Isaiah 66:7, NKJV.

The woman was astonished. She went to the Bethlehem to the midwife Salome and explained what she had just observed. She stated that Mary was a virgin after giving birth to a male child. The Salome would not believe it until she examines Mary to verify what the other woman said. They went to the cave, and Salome did verify that Mary was a virgin even though she has given birth to a male child.

James concludes his Protevangelion by stating that he, James wrote, in Jerusalem, the account of the birth of Jesus. The “Protevangelion” had significant acceptance in the early Christian world. The ancient Fathers quoted from it often. However, per the rules of the Christian Orthodoxy, this kind of writings was not included in the New Testament Canon. James was the first Bishop of the Christian Church in Jerusalem and had significant influence among the Jewish believers.

Therefore, based on the accounts by the eye-witnesses, it is at least probable that the birth of Jesus was as described. There were no cesarean sections performed in those days. Moreover, Mary was perfectly fine and able to move around freely after the birth of Jesus.

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Dan Lazich

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