THE VIRGIN CONCEPTION
In the ancient semitic religions, virginity was one of the two contradictory attributes of the goddess, who united in herself virginity and fecundity. In popular belief, the virgin was endowed with great desirability and greater fertility than the woman who had known man. Thus the “virgin” is one of the titles of the goddess Anath of Ugarit (canaan).
Mt 1:23 reads, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means God –is –with-us”.
Mt 1:23correpsonds to the following words in the Apostles creed, “He (Jesus) was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.”
In the two cited texts, there is myth and mystery. Joseph cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict vi, while commenting on the cited two texts makes an allusion to the Egyptian myth and mystery of Osiris and Isis.
The birth of Jesus as described in Mt. 1:20-25 is shrouded in mystery. Mary who knew no man is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As is obvious, the inspired writers of the Bible borrowed directly from the mythical structure of the Ancient Near East. The mystery of the virgin birth is borrowed directly from the Egyptian myth and mystery of Osiris and Isis.
Osiris was the king and deity. Isis was his sister, wife and goddess.
Set, the brother of Osiris is jealous of his brother’s position as king. He plots to kill Osiris and take the throne. He drowns Osiris in a sealed coffin in River Nile.
The bereaved Isis goes out in search of her husband’s body so as to give him a ceremonial funeral. She found the coffin along River Nile and left it in a quagmire.
While hunting, set finds Osiris coffin in the quagmire. He dismembers Osiris into fourteen (14) parts and scatters them across the land of Egypt.
Isis sets out again in search of the fourteen (14) scattered parts of her husband’s body. She was able to find only thirteen (13) of the fourteen (14) parts, however, she was unable to find the fourteenth (14th) part, his penis which was eaten by oxyrhymchus fish.
Isis fashions a phallus of gold for Osiris. Isis sings a song around Osiris and brings him up to life. Osiris is resurrected. Isis grows wings and hovers over Osiris. She breathes life into him in order to revive him and conceive Horus, the son-god.
Mary, the Virgin who knew no man is conceived by the Holy Spirit, she gave birth to a son-God; and he (Joseph) named him Jesus.
Jerome Biblical commentary while referring to Mt. 1:20-25 asserts, “The agent of the conception of Jesus is “a Holy Spirit.” The term is used in Old Testament to designate God’s power, it is not used to designate the agent of human conception.”