Why do Jews Reject the Christian dogma of the Virgin Birth?

From the article found on http://www.harrington-sites.com/terms.htm..

Based on Isaiah 7:14, Christians claim that the birth of Jesus was predicted long before the event. The verse reads, "Behold, the alma shall conceive and bear a son and shall call him Immanuel [literally, 'God is with us']." Although the Hebrew word alma literally means "young woman," when the Gospel of Matthew (1:23) cites the verse from Isaiah, it translates Alma as "Virgin." This translation is useful in supporting the contention that the miraculous birth of Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament.

Jewish scholars reject the idea of the Virgin Birth because, they point out, in Isaiah 7:14 the word Alma is part of the Hebrew phrase ha-alma hara, meaning "the alma is pregnant." Since the present tense is used, it is clear that the young woman was already pregnant and hence not a virgin. This being the case, the verse cannot be cited as a prediction of the future.

Jewish scholars, supported by many Christian scholars, have also noted that the word alma in Isaiah 7:14 cannot mean "virgin" because elsewhere when the Bible wants to specify "virgin," it uses the Hebrew word betula.

6 Answers

  • gatita
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Best Answer

    I am a Christian, however, I believe it is better to go to a source which explains why Judaism rejects the virgin birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. However, this does not explain why they reject the virgin birth as much as their disbelief that Jesus is God in the flesh.

    What is one reason Jews do not accept the Christian belief that Jesus is the incarnation of God?

    Christians claim that in the birth of Jesus there occurred the miracle of the incarnation of God in the form of a human being. To say that God became truly a human being invites a number of questions. Let us ask the following about the alleged truly man- truly god Jesus. What happened to his foreskin after his circumcision (Luke 2:21)? Did it ascend to heaven, or did it decompose as with any human piece of flesh? During his lifetime what happened to his hair, nails, and blood shed from wounds? Did the cells of his body die as in ordinary human beings? If his body did not function in a truly human way, he could not be truly human as well as truly God. Yet, if his body functioned exactly in a human way, this would nullify any claim to divinity. It would be impossible for any part of God, even if incarnate, to decompose in any way and still be considered God.

    By definition, not mystery, the everlasting, one God, in whole or in part, does not die, disintegrate, or decompose: "For I the Lord do not change" (Malachi 3:6). Did Jesus' flesh dwell in safety after his death? 1 Peter 3:18 states Jesus was "put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." 1 Corinthians 15:44-45 claims Jesus was "raised a spiritual body," that is, he "became a life-giving spirit." No mention of the survival of the flesh is alluded to. In Acts 2:31, it is claimed Peter stated that following the alleged resurrection Jesus' body did not see decay. Paul is alleged to have also made this claim (Acts 13:34-37). However, unless Jesus' body never underwent "decay" during his lifetime he could not be God, but if it did not undergo "decay" then he was not truly human.

    Also, Jesus did not not fulfill the Messianic prophecies.

    What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

    A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

    B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

    C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

    D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

    The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

    Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.


    Baptized in Jesus Name according to Acts 2:38

    My faith in the One who died for me

  • Jerry
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    To me, all of the discussion about the interpretation of the Isaiah passage has very little to do with the TRUE reason Jews and all other non-Christians don't believe in the virgin birth of Jesus.

    How about the FACT that there is ZERO evidence that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth? We have ZERO claims from Jesus even in the New Testament about his Mother's sex life before his birth. Jesus never once discusses it. And we have zero alleged testimony from Mary about it. In fact, no one lets her speak in the New Testament.

    All we have is a claim that was made by some of the followers of Jesus decades after Jesus was dead. When he was no longer around to correct them. And even they don't give any insight into how it is that they would have this knowledge. they just make the claim out of whole cloth.

    So - just because someone SAYS that someone's mom was a virgin doesn't make it so. And no matter how you interpret Isaiah doesn't change that fact in even the slightest way. No matter what Isaiah meant by "alma" it has ZERO to do with the FACT that there is no reason to believe that Mary was a virgin.

    So the reason it is "rejected" is because there is zero reason to believe it. The "almah" discussion is a complete side issue.

  • 7 years ago

    There are two main reasons as to why the Christian dogma of 'virgin birth' is rejected by Jews:

    1. The majority of people do not know that, according to Jewish law, there is nothing special about a virgin birth. In fact, today they're not that uncommon due to in vitro fertilisation. This is because, a woman is considered a virgin so long as her hymen is intact. If the woman in question has sex with a man who is not well endowed and her hymen remains intact, she is still a virgin. Also, as mentioned above, if a virgin becomes pregnant via in vitro fertilisation, she is still considered a virgin.

    2. The idea of HaShem impregnating a woman is blasphemous according to the Tanach and Jewish teachings. A literal child of HaShem is a pagan concept and directly violates HaShem's specifications that He will never be man or son of man. Also, this would directly violate HaShem's specification of like with like.

    Please note that the definition of 'almah' is, and only is, 'young woman'. Isaiah repeatedly uses the word 'b'tulah', which means 'virgin', in his writings and only uses almah once. In the instance where he uses almah, he is pointing out a young woman who was already pregnant. It's also believed that the young woman in question was his wife. The child referenced in Isaiah 7 isn't the prophecy, he just serves as the timeline for the prophecy Isaiah was giving, a prophecy that was completed in his own lifetime.

  • 7 years ago


    Those Jews who do not believe in Jesus, do not believe their own Scriptures.

    Isaiah 7:14 - H5959 ‛almâh (From Strong's Dictionary)

    Feminine of H5958; a lass (as veiled or private): - damsel, maid, virgin.

    And in Matthew 1:23 parthenos G3933 parthenos

    Of unknown origin; a maiden; by implication an unmarried daughter: - virgin.


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  • Steve
    Lv 4
    7 years ago


    You pretty much stated the case perfectly. The Hebrew term for virgin ("besulah") is used dozens of times in the Torah. If Isaiah wanted to say virgin he would have said besulah not alma.

    Besides this whole virgin birth thing is based on roman mythology and Jews have always rejected anything that involves paganism.


    Don't believe everything you read. Just because some Christian apologist creates an incorrect definition to support a pagan philosophy, doesn't make it accurate.

    No Hebrew English dictionary, not written by a Christian, would contain that in accuracy. There is only one word for virgin in the Hebrew language and its besulah

    Source(s): Talmudic scholar
  • 7 years ago

    'cause it's crazy

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