Ask a Pastor Column
March 2, 2023
Presenting biblical answers to tough questions
Q: In a previous article you mentioned “extra-biblical evidence for the virgin birth.” Exactly what evidence were you talking about?
A: What I meant by extra-biblical evidence is that a Christian’s faith can be sustained by far more than “The Bible tells me so” in regards to various events and truths proclaimed by Scripture. The Virgin Birth is one of many historical events in Scripture which can be rationally taken at face value.
The evidence for the virgin birth rests fundamentally with two contemporary historical accounts: the gospels of Matthew and Luke. By poring over 5,600 manuscripts of the New Testament (more than twice as many as any other ancient work), Bible scholars have ensured that Christians can have complete confidence in the accuracy of our Bible; including the gospels. What we read is what the original authors wrote.
We can have just as much confidence that the gospel authors were honest about what they recorded, as J. Warner Wallace can attest. J. Warner Wallace is a retired, award-winning cold case detective and former atheist. He has closed dozens of cold cases, relying solely on written documents, often cracking a case by identifying false witnesses or missed details in the written testimony. This skeptic was sure he could do the same with the gospels, but the more he examined them the more convinced he became that these men were presenting a straightforward account. Their lack of copying from each other, their willingness to present potentially harmful truths and their commitment to the truth in the face of hardship and death threats all showed him their accounts could be trusted. He became a Christian as a result of that journey (which you can read about in his book Cold Case Christianity). This is only one example of skeptics who were forced to change their views on Christianity by the integrity of the gospel accounts.
A scholar of ancient literature once said this about the accuracy of the New Testament: “To be skeptical of the…text of the New Testament is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.” (John Montgomery, History and Christianity; Downers Grove, Illinois, Intervarsity Press 1964, pg. 29). God took care to ensure that Christ’s identity and work were validated by miracles like the virgin birth. He saw to it that the events were recorded by eyewitnesses. And He ensured that those eyewitness statements were preserved and distributed so that all could know that Jesus really is our Savior (see John 20:30-31).
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