This next page of Meacham’s article starts with a pretty funny analogy. He said “In 1965, the Second Vatican Council held that while the Scriptures are ultimately “true,” they are not necessarily to be taken as accurate in the sense we might take an Associated Press wire report about what happened at a school-board meeting as accurate.” Now, I know the AP is considered pretty reliable, but I also know that they’re considered biased, just as Mr. Meacham. I digress… Here’s the summary of page 3:
He starts out following the logic from the last page. Basically, the gospel writers didn’t have anything to go on, so they embellished Jesus’ life, using grandiose terms that would be inherent in works of the times, and were more concerned with their theological truths than history itself. Meacham states that the only accounts of the nativity are in Matthew and Luke– though Paul mentions it in passing and John avoids it by starting at the beginning of time. Meacham talks about how there are many miraculous births, but all the others are to older barren or married women– this is the first virgin born. He then says that the most obvious reason could be that Jesus was virgin born, but then sites the fact that it isn’t repeated throughout the New Testament, and one account in Mark where his family said that he was beside himself to take it that the people close to him didn’t know he was special. He then says that we could see that there would be a definite advantage to having Jesus miraculously born to complete the story.
Since we’ve already debunked the myth that there were not sources of the truth, the first part of this I don’t feel I have to comment on.
Also, his comment about John: In John 1:14 John does talk about God becoming flesh. Just to set the record straight.
As for the argument that the virgin birth is only indicated in the two accounts (Matthew and Luke), Meacham leaves out the fact that even in Genesis 3:15, we have a “seed of the woman” crushing the snake, not the seed of the man.
As for his Mark argument, why is it necessary that his family includes his mother? Since we know from other accounts that she expected him to turn water into wine in his first miracle, why would she indicate that he was not with his right mind? In taking in this account, Jesus seemed to limit his miraculous ministry until he was thirty. If you grew up with your oldest brother, and all of a sudden he claims to be God, that might be a cause of envy and or accusations that he is not with it. Whether or not they had heard the story of his Virgin birth, they could still be convinced that he was the same old “Jesus” that they had known that did not do miracles.