Isaiah doesn't claim the boy will be an incarnation of Yahweh - plus he goes on to make references to political events occurring in that boy's lifetime which did not occur in the lifetime of Jesus.
It's to be noted that the original Hebrew word almah, translated as "virgin" here, is translated "young women" everywhere else it appears in the Hebrew scripture. The reason Matthew quotes it as "virgin" in his gospel is that HE was reading the Greek translation known as the Septuagint, which got it wrong. So this error in the Septuagint is now carved in stone because Christian theology was in part built on it, and new translations struggle with the issue of whether to translate Isaiah 7:14 correctly or not from the original Hebrew. The NIV does it wrong, the NRSV is much more honest.
It also turns out, if you continue reading Isaiah for the next chapter or so, that he is referring to some woman living in his own day. And he duly goes off and shags her and she becomes pregnant. Not much of a prophecy (presumably he had reason to be confident that she'd put out for him).
"t's to be noted that the original Hebrew word almah, translated as "virgin" here, is translated "young women" everywhere else it appears in the Hebrew scripture. The reason Matthew quotes it as "virgin" in his gospel is that HE was reading the Greek translation known as the Septuagint, which got it wrong. So this error in the Septuagint is now carved in stone because Christian theology was in part built on it, and new translations struggle with the issue of whether to translate Isaiah 7:14 correctly or not from the original Hebrew."
In this, Steve is correct.
Thanks Steve - I ripped this off (more or less) tonight because it was relevant to a youtube discussion I had on the go. :D
I had no idea. That's some handy information.
As far as the trinity, yah, Father, Son, Holy Spirit are all the same person, much like I can be a mother, a daughter and a friend, but I'm still only one person.
But that's not the Trinity as taught by most Christian sects or as described by most Christian theologians. They teach that Jesus sits at the side of God The Father, for example, and that the Trinity actually is a contradiction in terms that we as feeble humans simply cannot comprehend but must simply accept.
Also, have you forgotten that Jesus himself appealed to God The Father? "Why hast thou forsaken me?"
We know that Mercedes, and no one here, except possibly Unseen, will criticize anyone for wanting to learn. It is the Christian way to try to convert disbelievers, it is not our way, and I think we may all agree on this - no one here is interested in converting you to our way of thinking. In fact, I would say that above all, we prize freedom of thought, and you are free - at least on this site - to think as you please.
Mercedes, RE: "How does one say it's just made up? Especially since there are so many prophesies that have already come true?"
Let me give you just one example, and there are many, MANY others: the Book of Isiah prophesied that the Jewish Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. This was important, because a building existed in Bethlehem, known as a Migdala, and it was where special Jewish priests raised sheep that would be used in temple sacrifices to Yahweh. They took very special care of the lambs born there, as all sacrifices must be perfect, "without blemish." After they were born, the priests even wrapped the new-born lambs in swaddling clothes and lay them in a manger so that they could gain strength before trying to walk, and thus wouldn't be as likely to injure themselves.
Yeshua (Jesus), if he ever existed, was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem, and after his death, and the decision of the writers of the Gospels that he was the Messiah, somehow they had to reconcile Isiah's prophecy with Yeshua's birth. So they completely fabricated the story about a Roman census, in the days of Caesar Augustus, that required all Hebrews to travel to the place of their birth to be counted, thus placing Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, not Nazareth. But the truth is, there are no Roman records of such a census, and the Romans were meticulous record-keepers - and even if a census HAD been necessary, having all of the males in the country leave their farms, livestock, businesses, just to travel to the place of their birth, would have totally disrupted the country's economy - it simply wasn't something the Romans had ever done anywhere else, and they wouldn't have done it in Israel.
The entire story was made up, in order to make the birth of Yeshua seem to fit the prophecy of Isiah. The first Gospels weren't even written, as Heather said, until 45 years after Yeshua, and most of the people who would have had any memory of whether or not there had been such a Roman census, would have died, besides the fact that most of the Jewish people of the time, were totally illiterate, so even those still alive, likely would not have read any of the gospels.
It's easy, 70 nor so years after the fact, to say something happened that didn't.
It's worse than that, Archae.
ONLY Luke tells the story of the census and no room at the inn and the manger. Matthew strongly implies Mary and Joseph lived in Bethlehem to begin with (the story references their house) but only moved to Nazareth to avoid Herod's mass killing of the newborn and his successor's similar repressions--an incident not recounted in Luke.
Luke simply has them returning home after the birth and census (stopping at the temple in Jerusalem on the way), only Matthew talks about the rather panicked trip to Egypt--and according to Matthew they'd have to be completely NUTS to bring Jesus to the temple in Jersalem at all--but (again) Luke has them do precisely that.
[as an exercise for Mercedes: read the two accounts seprately trying very hard to forget what you think you know the whole story is, and you will realize it's two very different stories. That in many ways cannot be logically reconciled with each other.]
So Archae, they didn't just make up one story to put Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, they made up two different stories to do so. The usual nativity tale shown in the media around Christmas is a pastiche of the two.
I know that's right, Steve - I just didn't want to overwhelm Mercedes with TMI - baby-steps --
Just wanted to make it crystal clear to Mercedes that only Luke tells the version of the story that you were referencing.
And by the way, Mercedes, if you read the first few versus of Luke, the author explicitly states he is collecting the accounts of others. He is by his own admission not a first-hand witness. (He also doesn't give his own name as Luke, either; none of the gospels actually state in their text who their author was, like Paul's letters do. The titles, headings, chapter and verse numbers and so on in your bible were added much later and are not considered part of the text, even fundamentalists can't regard them as authoritative--though many of the less informed ones do.)
First, could you list some prophesies which have come true, so we might discuss them?
My initial response is that if I were to make some guesses and call them prophesies, a goodly number might have come true 2000 years from now.
As for atheists not having a "center," if that means a core set of beliefs, no we don't have that. We have a sense of justice, I suppose, which functions as a standard of behavior, but that varies from person to person among atheists as it does among Christians. One Christian might think "spare the rod and spoil the child," for example, while another feels that appealing to reason and their innate sense of right and wrong is better.
If we have a core belief, it's that the whole idea that everything was created by some grand magical PERSON called Yahweh, Jehovah, God or whatever simply doesn't pass the giggle test.