Isaiah predicted the coming of the Lord
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14
The Hebrew word in the original text for “virgin” was almah, which just means “young girl” There is no reference to her sexual history in this word. When the Hebrew Bible was translated to Greek, the translators used the word parthenos. This has dual meanings. It can mean young girl, and also a young girl that has never had sexual relations (virgin).
Now along comes the author of Matthew (who was NOT the apostle Matthew), and he uses the Greek word parthenos, and then comes the King James translators, and they select the virgin meaning for the English translation. It appears that the whole concept of a “virgin birth” is just a mistranslation.
(Jana Riess gives an excellent writeup on this in her Flunking Sainthood column)
Does it matter in Mormon theology if Mary was a Virgin or not? I can see that the Catholic Church might take this very hard, but I don’t see much of an issue for Mormons. The only time we ever speak about her is during Christmas. She plays no part in our worship of God like She does in the Catholic church.
But could it be a problem in that Christ was not born of a earthly mother and a Heavenly Father? What if he was the offspring of Joseph? Then the whole story of Joseph being upset that his future wife was pregnant is not true either.
The Book of Mormon references the Lord’s mother as a virgin three times. But is this any more problem than all the other KJV mistranslations that show up in the Book of Mormon?
I looked up in the General Conference Corpus, and saw that “virgin” has only been mentioned 8 times in the last 20 years, with several of those references to the parable of the ten virgins. Only one stands out, that of 2007 when Elder Holland said “I bear witness that He was born of a virgin mother…….”. Was he actually testifying of the sexual history of Mary at the time of the birth, or was he using virgin as another word young woman, and he was really witnessing to the birth of Christ?
What are your thoughts on this? Like I asked before, does anything change in Mormon theology if Mary was not a virgin?