- virgin birth
1. Theol. the doctrine or dogma that, by the miraculous agency of God, the birth of Christ did not impair or prejudice the virginity of Mary. Cf. Immaculate Conception.2. Zool. parthenogenesis; parturition by a female who has not copulated.[1645-55]
* * *Fundamental doctrine of orthodox Christianity that Jesus had no natural father but was conceived by Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit.Based on the infancy narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the doctrine was universally accepted in the Christian church by the 2nd century. It remains a basic article of belief in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, most Protestant churches, and Islam. A corollary of its dogma is the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity, accepted by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and by some Lutheran and Anglican theologians. See also Immaculate Conception.
* * *doctrine of traditional Christianity that Jesus Christ had no natural father but was conceived by Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine that Mary was the sole natural parent of Jesus is based on the infancy narratives contained in the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke. It was universally accepted in the Christian church by the 2nd century, was enshrined in the Apostles' Creed, and, except for several minor sects, was not seriously challenged until the rise of Enlightenment theology in the 18th century. It remains a basic article of belief in the Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism), Orthodox, and most Protestant churches. Muslims (Islām) also accept the Virgin Birth of Jesus.A corollary that has been deduced from the doctrine of Mary's virginity in the conception of Jesus is the doctrine of her perpetual virginity, not only in conception but in the birth of the child (i.e., she was exempt from the pain of childbirth) and throughout her life. This doctrine is found in the writings of the Church Fathers and was accepted by the Council of Chalcedon (451). It is part of the teaching of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Protestantism has generally accepted the Virgin Birth but not the notion of perpetual virginity.
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