The virgin birth (conception) of Jesus
The virgin birth in Bible
passages & church creeds.
Biblical references from a number of translations that are commonly cited about the virgin birth:
|"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (New International Version[NIV])
|"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young
woman is with child and shall bear a son and shall name him Immanuel."
(New Revised Standard Version [NRSV])
|"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall
conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (American Standard Version
|"The virgin shall be with child, and will give birth to a son, and they shall
call him Immanuel; which means, 'God with us.'" (NIV)
|"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they
shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us."
|"In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The
virgin's name was Mary...The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come
upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So
the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.' " (NIV)|
|"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of
Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the
house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary...And the angel answered
and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power
of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy
offspring shall be called the Son of God.' " (ASV)|
The virgin birth expressed in the church creeds:
Some of the historic creeds of the Christian Church recognize the Virgin Birth of
|The Apostles' Creed was originally believed to have been
written by Jesus' apostles shortly before they spread out over the
known world to teach the Gospel. Some Christian faith groups still
However, liberal theologians generally accept the historical evidence that it was written about the 4th century
CE by unknown person(s) and attributed to the apostles: |
"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And
in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and
One curious feature of this creed is that it includes no details about Jesus'
life, deeds, miracles, and teachings -- almost as if they did not matter. All details
after his birth and before his torture under the Roman Army are ignored.
|The Nicene Creed, adopted at the Council of Nicea in 325 CE: |
"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of
all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ...[who] for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made
|The Athanasian Creed was written by an unknown author in Gaul about 450 CE: |
"...we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God
and man; God of the substance of the father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the
substance of his mother, born in the world."
|The Chalcedonian Definition, adopted at the Council of Chalcedonian in 451 CE: |
"...we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our
Lord Jesus Christ...begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the
|The Small Catechism of Martin Luther of 1529 CE: 2|
"I believe in...Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the
Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary..."
|The Augsburg Confession This was the first Protestant confession, written by
Philip Melanchthon, and presented to Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire at the Diet
of Augsburg in 1530 CE. 3 Article III, "Of the
Son of God", begins:|
"Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human
nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary..."
- Mather & Nichols, "Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult,"
Zondervan (1993), P. 331-332
- Martin Luther, "The Small Catechism (1529 CE) is at:
- Philip Melanchthon, "Augsburg Confession" (1530 CE) is at:
Copyright © 1996 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on
Essay last updated: 2010-DEC-06
Written by: B.A. Robinson