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Virgin Birth?: The Real Story of Mary and Her Son Jesus Paperback – May 1, 1998

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From the Back Cover

What historical realities lie behind the birth of Jesus and the description of the Holy Family by the evangelists? In this book, controversial New Testament scholar Gerd Ldemann investigates all of the references to Jesus' birth and the Holy Family in the writings of the earliest church and rival Jewish sources. He discusses what the New Testament Christmas stories set out to say, reconstructs the traditions used in them, and answers the question of what really happened at Jesus' birth.

Anti-Christian polemic stigmatized Jesus as a child born out of wedlock and branded his mother a sinner. The Christian myth of the virgin birth, Professor Ludemann argues, maintains the structures of stigmatization, denying the right of women to sexual and cultural self-determination. Instead of taking Mary seriously as a woman of our time and therefore also taking seriously women in our time, he says, many churches today continue to ignore the often damaging consequences of the myth of Mary for believing men and women.

Gerd Ludemann is Professor of New Testament at the University of Gottingen.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 1st North American ed edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563382431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563382437
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Gerd Lüdemann (born 1946), is a German scholar who taught New Testament from 1983 to 1999 at the University of Göttingen. After complaints from churches, his Chair of New Testament was renamed the "Chair of History and Literature of Early Christianity"; his research funding was also cut and his teaching was no longer part of the curriculum. He has also written books such as What Really Happened to Jesus, The Great Deception: And What Jesus Really Said and Did, Jesus After 2000 Years: What He Really Said and Did, etc.

He explained in an introductory section of this 1997 book, "Some years ago I critically examined the resurrection of Jesus, which traditionally is regarded as THE foundation of Christian faith; now here is a non-technical book on the Virgin Mary. I have written it because the birth of Jesus from the Virgin Mary is in many places the basic support for the assumption that Jesus is the Son of God. To this degree the miraculous birth of Jesus and his miraculous resurrection from the tomb are simply two sides of one and the same coin." (Pg. xiii)

He suggets, "...it possibly becomes clear WHY the Christians developed the notion of the conception of Jesus and the virgin birth at all. It was a reaction to the report, meant as a slander but historically correct, that Jesus was conceived or born outside wedlock. Of course other aspects were in play in the development of the doctrine of procreation by the Spirit and virgin birth ...
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By Alberto Mendez on June 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent. Well researched and presented with conviction.
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