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Reply #270 posted 04/17/17 9:10pm

IanRG

toejam said:

IanRG said: Alma implies virginity, therefore it connotes virginity. Yes, it may depend on the circumstances, but this does not allow you to say alma does not connote virgin.
That's the point again.

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You demonstrate that you have zero intregity everytime you pretend I am talking about Isaiah. I am not talking about Isaiah. You make yourself look foolish everytime you think that just because you repeat yourself that somehow this will promote your conspiracy theory.

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Taking out just a phrase of what I said just to repeat your creed/mantra does not allow you to hide from the fact that you are wrong. Alma is used in Genesis about Rebekkah, you just got it wrong about where. Alma is used to describe Rebekkah as a young virginal woman suitable for marriage in Genesis by its context. There is no sloppiness that renders the Greek translation wrong about Rebekkah. If there is nothing that changes the message about Rebekkah in the Greek translation but it instead it is the same as the message in the Hebrew, then this does not provide the precedent you imagine. Instead it confirms that 2150 years ago and before the Jewish people tried to restrict the definition of alma, alma was understood by the Jewish people to connote virginity in most circumstances - So convincingly did they believe this then that the Jewish people translated all the words about Rebekkah's suitability to be married to a Greek word that means both a young woman/maiden and virgin because that is what the Hebrew text meant about Rebekkah - She was a young virginal woman suitable to be married.

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Strong's Concordance
parthenos: a maiden, a virgin

Original Word: παρθένος, ου, ὁ, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: parthenos
Phonetic Spelling: (par-then'-os)
Short Definition: a virgin
Definition: a maiden, virgin; extended to men who have not known women.

HELPS Word-studies

3933 parthénos – properly, a virgin; a woman who has never had sexual relations; a female (virgin), beyond puberty but not yet married; (figuratively) believers when they are pure (chaste), i.e. faithful to Christ their heavenly Bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Rev 14:4).

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Therefore, in the verses about meeting Rebekkah, alma does connote that she is a young virginal woman suitable for marriage.

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Nothing you have said proves, or even reasonably argues, that your conspriracy theories about how Christian beliefs formed to recognise Jesus as the Son of God are correct. Nothing you have said demonstrates that Jesus is not the Son of God.

[Edited 4/17/17 21:41pm]

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Reply #271 posted 04/17/17 10:08pm

toejam

avatar

IanRG:
the verses about meeting Rebekkah, alma does connote that she is a young virginal woman suitable for marriage.


The use of alma in Genesis 24:43 does not refer to her virginity:

42 “When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43 See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman (alma) comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,” 44 and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

Like I said, if it is said that someone longs for chocolate, it does not necessitate a longing for brown chocolate exclusively because earlier the available chocolate in the story was specified as brown chocolate.

Alma simply means young woman. We learn of Rebecca's virginity not from alma, but from betulah and the phrase "she had not known a man" - neither of which are used for Isaiah's alma. Isaiah 7:14 is not a prophecy about a virgin birth nor Jesus.
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Reply #272 posted 04/17/17 10:23pm

IanRG

toejam said:

IanRG: the verses about meeting Rebekkah, alma does connote that she is a young virginal woman suitable for marriage.
The use of alma in Genesis 24:43 does not refer to her virginity.

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Of course it does. It is the same event as above it and is about Rebekkah being found to be suitable to be married. It is clear that the Jewish people know exactly what they were saying because they chose to use the Greek word, parthenos, as the translation of alma because they both mean in this context a young virginal woman suitable to be married - This is the clear and only intent of this whole section - the identification of a suitable wife for Isaac being a young virginal woman.

.

Strong's Concordance
parthenos: a maiden, a virgin

Original Word: παρθένος, ου, ὁ, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: parthenos
Phonetic Spelling: (par-then'-os)
Short Definition: a virgin
Definition: a maiden, virgin; extended to men who have not known women.

HELPS Word-studies

3933 parthénos – properly, a virgin; a woman who has never had sexual relations; a female (virgin), beyond puberty but not yet married; (figuratively) believers when they are pure (chaste), i.e. faithful to Christ their heavenly Bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Rev 14:4).

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Quoting a translation to English that does not use virgin does not change the fact that the jewish people used the Hebrew word alma and the Greek word parthenos interchangeably - In this time the Greek and the Hebrew agree - so long as you don't use the post Jesus reduction in the definition of alma that was only pushed later.

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More about Isaiah - you are beyond shame and simply not worth talking to any further.

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Reply #273 posted 04/17/17 10:32pm

toejam

avatar

Like I said, we can't say that the word "chocolate" only refers to "brown chocolate" despite that most chocolate is brown and a character in a story is said to crave chocolate and we know the chocolate he will end up getting will be brown chocolate. Chocolate is not synonymous with brown chocolate as alma is not synonymous with virgin.

Rebecca's virginity is not specified by the use of alma in Genesis 24:43. It is specified by betula and the phrase "she had not yet known a man" in earlier verses - neither word or phrase are assigned to the alma in Isaiah 7:14. Despite Matthew's Jesus-coloured glasses reading into the text, the text itself is not a prophecy about a virgin conceiving and giving birth without intercourse with a man. It is about a coming child in Isaiah's generation, 700yrs before Jesus, who is not much more than a temporal marker.

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[Edited 4/17/17 22:37pm]
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Reply #274 posted 04/17/17 10:55pm

IanRG

toejam said:

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You are wrong and not addressing anything I say and are just repeating your mantras/ creeds - Stop trolling - Goodbye

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Reply #275 posted 04/17/17 11:51pm

toejam

avatar

If "the Jewish people knew what they were saying", why then does the Jew Trypho, in our earliest (as far as I'm aware) documentation of Jewish reaction to Christian claims that Isaiah 7:14 is a prophecy about a virgin born Jesus complain that Isaiah 7:14 is not a prophecy about a a virgin born Jesus but a prophecy about a young woman conceiving anchors in Isaiah's time? Simimalry, Justin Martyr, his Christian opponent, does not respond by claiming that Trypho is a 'conspiracy theorist' who should know better that other Jews interpret it as a prophecy of a virgin birth...

Goodbye Ian. I hope I have at least helped you get a better understanding of my views and the argument that Jesus had a human father like the rest if us. It is disappointing, though not unexpected, that you were unable to back up your constant smear of labelling a 'conspiracy theorist' by articulating what 'conspiracy' I hold to and promote. The views I've expressed here are not that controversial, are held widely by the scholarly community, and are requiring of 'conspiracy'.

To summarize: It is not unreasonable to think that the Virgin Birth narratives are legend that draw and adapt common literary tropes of the time where heroes were assigned fictional 'miraculous conception shenanigan' stories and potentially sparked by mistranslations and innovative interpretations between the testaments. These were common phenomena of the time. Similarly, there are good reasons form suspecting that the Virgin Birth narratives come from a time beyond the first generation of Christians. They are late and legendary. There aren't any real good reasons for thinking that Jesus was a 1 in a 107 billion biological enigma. He, like the rest of us, had a human father.
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Reply #276 posted 04/18/17 12:07am

IanRG

toejam said:

If "the Jewish people knew what they were saying", why then does the Jew Trypho, in our earliest (as far as I'm aware) documentation of Jewish reaction to Christian claims

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This is why no one else talks to you here - You think you are so clever because you jump with arguments after the discussion has ended.

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I was not talking to you about Isaiah at all, not ever, never.

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I was talking to you about what the Jewish people were saying BEFORE there were any Christians. You are simply too far gone down you rabbit hole to understand something as simple as 2150 years ago is before Christianity and before the Jewish people had to restrict their definition of alma as a result of Christianity. Then the Jewish people knew alma and parthenos meant the same as clearly demonstrated by them translating alma (and its synonyms) to parthenos.

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You never had enough courage or integrity to engage with what I was saying and answered only a few questions properly. You wasted 25 days because you could not answer a question without mocking and strawman analogies. So, yes I understand your conspiracy theory tactics very well.

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Stop trolling: Goodbye - If you need the last word, at least try to make not so self serving and actually on what we were discussing - You shame yourself by seeking to jump in with what we were not discussing.

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Goodbye

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Reply #277 posted 04/18/17 3:46am

RicoN

avatar

IanRG said:

RicoN said:



So the question is: is a figment of your imagination able to do anything that your imagination can imagine? The answer to that question is obviously 'yes, it's your imagination!'

But if that is the question it is the most stupid non question ever.

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That is even more of a strawman answer than toejam's. Obviously it is not the question and you know it.

if God is as Christians perceive God - is a figment of your imagination

then is something like the Virgin Birth within God's power? - able to do anything that your imagination can imagine?

Yes, I've probably made a spelling mistake, but I can't be arsed to go back and correc tit.
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Reply #278 posted 04/18/17 4:40am

IanRG

RicoN said:

IanRG said:

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That is even more of a strawman answer than toejam's. Obviously it is not the question and you know it.

if God is as Christians perceive God - is a figment of your imagination

then is something like the Virgin Birth within God's power? - able to do anything that your imagination can imagine?

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If God is a figment of my imagination then I agree with your strawman argument.

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If God is real and not a just a figment of anyone's imagination, can you agree that that something like the virgin birth is within God's power? This is the actual question i asked.

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Reply #279 posted 04/18/17 6:19am

RicoN

avatar

IanRG said:

RicoN said:

if God is as Christians perceive God - is a figment of your imagination

then is something like the Virgin Birth within God's power? - able to do anything that your imagination can imagine?

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If God is a figment of my imagination then I agree with your strawman argument.

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If God is real and not a just a figment of anyone's imagination, can you agree that that something like the virgin birth is within God's power? This is the actual question i asked.

I already answered yes. If something exists to which the rules of existence, physics, biology and logic (in fact any rules about anything) don't apply then the answer can only be yes.

Toejam is doing you a favour by thring to drag your question into the realms of reality, in an attempt to make it a proper question worth answering.

If magic exists can you do magic? would be another way of putting it.

Yes, I've probably made a spelling mistake, but I can't be arsed to go back and correc tit.
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Reply #280 posted 04/18/17 9:41am

Dasein

RicoN said:

IanRG said:

.

If God is a figment of my imagination then I agree with your strawman argument.

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If God is real and not a just a figment of anyone's imagination, can you agree that that something like the virgin birth is within God's power? This is the actual question i asked.

I already answered yes. If something exists to which the rules of existence, physics, biology and logic (in fact any rules about anything) don't apply then the answer can only be yes.

Toejam is doing you a favour by thring to drag your question into the realms of reality, in an attempt to make it a proper question worth answering.

If magic exists can you do magic? would be another way of putting it.


Rico, you have to pose your question differently because if magic exists, then you can certainly
perform magic. But Ian's belief in God is not commensurate with belief in magic; this is an error
in the contra-theistic arguments of many new atheists.

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Reply #281 posted 04/18/17 12:19pm

Monarch

avatar

Was Jesus the son of God..... There was political attempts at the time by Roman & Jewish leadership to discredit Jesus. The op mentioned the existence of one of these examples. The phrase "son of God" was understood by the followers at the time as a title & as a diss to other common religions. YHWH commonly throughout the Bible would "show up" other supernatural accounts of other religions. This was done to Ramsey's II by Moses's snakes eating those of the magicians. The concepts of son of God & rising again after 3 days showed up other Mesopotamian religions who also made similar claims. The prophecy of calling Jesus Imanuel was because that name means God with us.

This is why people were actually freaking out. Jesus was not only claiming to be the promised Messiah, but he on several occasions referred to himself as God in the flesh. This was a primary reason to kill him. The new testiment was a collection of accounts by several witnesses. If he claimed to be God & performed miracles (raised people from the dead), then himself did so. & We now have all these written testimonies of it..... I believe it.

The Virgin birth was explained in the Bible as an act of unatural power. That God himself formed a vessel in a woman's womb.

To be perfectly honest, im more interested in why Jesus was here. The moment Jesus died the Bible says the veil in the temple tore. This was a veil that separated two rooms called the holy room & the most holy room where people couldn't go. Tearing the veil signified that humanity now had direct free access to God for those who want it.
Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.
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Reply #282 posted 04/18/17 12:57pm

IanRG

RicoN said:

IanRG said:

.

If God is a figment of my imagination then I agree with your strawman argument.

.

If God is real and not a just a figment of anyone's imagination, can you agree that that something like the virgin birth is within God's power? This is the actual question i asked.

I already answered yes. If something exists to which the rules of existence, physics, biology and logic (in fact any rules about anything) don't apply then the answer can only be yes.

Toejam is doing you a favour by thring to drag your question into the realms of reality, in an attempt to make it a proper question worth answering.

If magic exists can you do magic? would be another way of putting it.

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That is just another strawman, but lets explore it anyway. Knowledge, understanding and science are based on if magic exists, i.e. an outcome or event that seems impossible apparently occured, then why? If there is an anomaly that otherwise looks like magic, then you can stand back and throw pooh or you can investigate it.

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Let's say the "magic" is the story of an albino child having been born into your tribe a long time ago. You can pretend this is made up magic and it never happened because as far you know it has not happened at any other time in, say, 107 billion other people, or you can seek to understand whether it did or did not and how, if it did, it could have happened. Note: this is seeking to find the reality, not just promote a conspiracy theory about how the false belief that an albino was born in our tribe was fabricated. One way leads to science and understanding, the other to us staying in the trees throwing pooh at passer's by. Note: The investigation to find understanding instead being to fabricate uncertainty is not reliant on there actually having been an albino child who was born in that tribe (there may not have been, even if there was one born in the neighbouring tribe 500 years later). It is certainly not reliant on a method of research that is exclusively focused on finding people who agree with your pre-determined conclusion that there cannot have ever been an albino child in our tribe.

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The thing that Fundamentalist Atheists (as opposed to just non-believers) constantly state is the strength of their religion is that they accept science and science accepts it can be wrong on the false assumption that all theists are anti-science. The thing that separates these atheists from true scientists is that they don't accept that they can be wrong, they only accept that all those theists are wrong. They, for example, will simply refuse to read a book by an atheist that explores how we all (including atheists) make up our beliefs because this does not fit your beliefs about atheists. Sure they know that they cannot prove that they are right, so they dress this up with words like probably, more likely and illogical word plays like "you are atheist to all other theistic beliefs but one, I just go one further" and misunderstandings of the scientific process with lines like "you can't disprove a negative" when science is about proving the H1 hypothesis and disproving all the H0 negative hyotheses.

[Edited 4/18/17 13:11pm]

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Reply #283 posted 04/18/17 2:54pm

IanRG

Monarch said:

Was Jesus the son of God..... There was political attempts at the time by Roman & Jewish leadership to discredit Jesus. The op mentioned the existence of one of these examples. The phrase "son of God" was understood by the followers at the time as a title & as a diss to other common religions. YHWH commonly throughout the Bible would "show up" other supernatural accounts of other religions. This was done to Ramsey's II by Moses's snakes eating those of the magicians. The concepts of son of God & rising again after 3 days showed up other Mesopotamian religions who also made similar claims. The prophecy of calling Jesus Imanuel was because that name means God with us. This is why people were actually freaking out. Jesus was not only claiming to be the promised Messiah, but he on several occasions referred to himself as God in the flesh. This was a primary reason to kill him. The new testiment was a collection of accounts by several witnesses. If he claimed to be God & performed miracles (raised people from the dead), then himself did so. & We now have all these written testimonies of it.......... I believe it. The Virgin birth was explained in the Bible as an act of unatural power. That God himself formed a vessel in a woman's womb. To be perfectly honest, im more interested in why Jesus was here. The moment Jesus died the Bible says the veil in the temple tore. This was a veil that separated two rooms called the holy room & the most holy room where people couldn't go. Tearing the veil signified that humanity now had direct free access to God for those who want it.

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To all the Jesus never existed crowd, I find it interesting that the Romans and especially the Jewish leadership at the time and soon after did not seek to discredit the followers of Jesus by saying Jesus never existed.

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Yes, it is better to seek to understand the why Jesus was here. I would add it is better to also seek to understand his teachings. Regardless of whether Jesus is, as I believe, the Son of God, the Prophet was right about Allah or the Buddhas were right about our existence, etc., there is far more worth in the teachings than in wasting time seeking to promote your conspiracies about how you think each of these religions formed.

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Reply #284 posted 04/18/17 6:09pm

toejam

avatar

So the first time we have evidence of a Jew discussing the meaning of alma you simply dismiss it as retrojected restrictive use to combat Christian claims? He can't actually be reflecting its meaning? Now who is sounding like a conspiracy theorist!?

Recall that we have no evidence of a Jewish sect interpreting Isaiah 7:14 as a prophecy of a virgin born Messiah prior to Matthew's reading that into it.

While most almas were virgins, it doesn't mean that the word was synonymous with it. You haven't shown how alma necessitates a reading of "virgin". We don't learn of Rebecca's virginity by Isaac's longing for an alma. We learn of it from betula and the phrase "she had not known a man" in earlier verses.

Goodbye Ian.
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Reply #285 posted 04/18/17 6:55pm

IanRG

toejam said:

So the first time we have evidence of a Jew discussing the meaning of alma you simply dismiss it as retrojected restrictive use to combat Christian claims? He can't actually be reflecting its meaning? Now who is sounding like a conspiracy theorist!? Recall that we have no evidence of a Jewish sect interpreting Isaiah 7:14 as a prophecy of a virgin born Messiah prior to Matthew's reading that into it. While most almas were virgins, it doesn't mean that the word was synonymous with it. You haven't shown how alma necessitates a reading of "virgin". We don't learn of Rebecca's virginity by Isaac's longing for an alma. We learn of it from betula and the phrase "she had not known a man" in earlier verses. Goodbye Ian.

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Straws, nothing but straws and still with no integrity because I was NEVER discussing Isaiah.

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If I was I would point out that you don't need to find a separate Jewish sect stating this. You have their own translation of the Hebrew into Greek prior to Christianity. You don't need to play toejam semantics, a school of semantics with a long history of epic fails, to find that the Jewish people prior to there being any Christians had no trouble considering Rebekkah being a virgin when she is referred to as an alma. The Hebrew used two words that connote virgin, one word that denotes virgin and even a description of what virgin means - so the Jewish translators, long before any Christians, simplified this to the well understood and unabiguous meaning by replacing all three words with one - the same one they use in Isaiah. It was only since Christianity arose that they tried to change this.

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Good bye Scott (but we know you just post more of exactly the same again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again)

[Edited 4/18/17 19:12pm]

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Reply #286 posted 04/18/17 8:39pm

Dasein

IanRG said:

Dasein said:


I don't want to distract you from your work here in this thread, but Ian you don't see how this is
fraught with epistemological difficulty? Ultimately, what you're suggesting is that Christian claims,
when asked to show epistemic justification, only have to make sense within a Christian conception
of reality.

But that is not fair to those who are not Christians. So, to answer your question: yes, God, as a
traditional Christian perceives God, has the power to produce something like the Virgin Birth. But
that production, for most who are not Christians, does not cohere with (non-Christian) reality which
is confusing as Christian claims are not made anywhere else but on Earth.

Jesus of Nazareth's historical ministry does not fall apart if he is not born of a virgin; his two com-
mandments still cohere if he is not the literal son of God. But, because he died in part because he
did preach those two commandments, I'd consider him a son of God. And I agree with you that
Toejam's arguments would be much more complete if he ever showed us the results of his engage-
ment with those scholars who disagree with his constructed pantheon. Yet, I just think looking to
show or (dis)prove Jesus as being the son of God takes away from what he actually preached as the
spiritual authority of the kergyma exists not because of the ontological status of the one who preached
it, but because it works.*


*hopefully

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None of us here can prove this one way or the other. We all operate from within our own religions and religious beliefs.


Agreed.

And this applies to atheists as well.

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Reply #287 posted 04/18/17 9:00pm

toejam

avatar

IanRG said:

...to find that the Jewish people prior to there being any Christians had no trouble considering Rebekkah being a virgin when she is referred to as an alma.


I'm not disputing that Rebecca was considered a virgin. The dispute is that this consideration was known to Hebrew speakers as a result of Isaac's longing for an alma. In the narrative, we know Rebecca is a virgin from the more specific betulah and the statement that she "had not yet known a man", in earlier verses, not from alma.

Neither of these more specific terms are used for Isaiah's alma. Isaiah's alma may or may not be a virgin. It's not specified. Even if she is there's nothing in the text to say she will conceive without intercourse with a man. It's bot a prophecy about a virgin birth of a 700yr later Jesus Messiah. It's a prophecy with imminent-to-Isaiah's-generation expectations of Judean desolation from surrounding Kings. The alma about to conceive and the child itself are little more than temporal markers to know that the prophecy of desolation is on target with Isaiah's expectations.

Genesis's overuse of "parthenos" in the sentence "the parthenos was a parthenos" shows the sloppiness in its application by Septuagint translators. In most cases "parthenos" might have been close-enough of a word. But, as is inevitable in translation, things are inevitably brough to, and lost, from then original meaning.
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Reply #288 posted 04/18/17 9:20pm

IanRG

toejam said:

IanRG said:
...to find that the Jewish people prior to there being any Christians had no trouble considering Rebekkah being a virgin when she is referred to as an alma.
I'm not disputing that Rebecca was considered a virgin. The dispute is that this consideration was known to Hebrew speakers as a result of Isaac's longing for an alma. In the narrative, we know Rebecca is a virgin from the more specific betulah and the statement that she "had not yet known a man", in earlier verses, not from alma. Neither of these more specific terms are used for Isaiah's alma. Isaiah's alma may or may not be a virgin. It's not specified. Even if she is there's nothing in the text to say she will conceive without intercourse with a man. It's bot a prophecy about a virgin birth of a 700yr later Jesus Messiah. It's a prophecy with imminent-to-Isaiah's-generation expectations of Judean desolation from surrounding Kings. The alma about to conceive and the child itself are little more than temporal markers to know that the prophecy of desolation is on target with Isaiah's expectations. Genesis's overuse of "parthenos" in the sentence "the parthenos was a parthenos" shows the sloppiness in its application by Septuagint translators. In most cases "parthenos" might have been close-enough of a word. But, as is inevitable in translation, things are inevitably brough to, and lost, from then original meaning.

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And again and again and again and again and again and as ever with no development, no understanding, just to promote your conspiracies again and again and again and again ...

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But to do this you have to pretend it is sloppines rather than a reflection of how the pre Christian Jewish people understood it. You have to ignore the language links of alma to the Punic languages and to pre-Isaianic and Mosiac Hebrew where in all these cases alma has only ever meant a reference to a young virgin woman suitable to be married. You have to clutch at straws.

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Reply #289 posted 04/18/17 10:22pm

toejam

avatar

My conspiracies? What would they be, Ian?

To allude to the woman who is going to conceive and bear a son, the Hebrew Isaiah 7:14 does not refer to a virgin, or a “betulah” in Hebrew, but to an “almah”, that is to say, a “young woman”, a neutral term that does not necessarily connote virginity. For example, in the Song of Songs 6:8 the term “young woman” (“alamot”) appears in parallelism with “queens and concubines”, who are surely not virgins. What is more, the “almah” referred to in Isaiah 7, the young woman who in the near future will conceive and give birth to a son, is most unlikely to be a virgin. The context suggests that she is already married and is the wife of the reigning Jewish king, Ahaz, at the end of the 8th C BCE.
- Geza Vermes (Oxford), 'The Nativity: History and Legend'

Matthew declares [Mary’s virginal conception] to be the fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14, which he quotes in Greek: "Behold, the virgin (Parthenos) shall have in womb and bear a son" (Matthew 1:23). The original Hebrew does not have the term "virgin", but an ordinary Hebrew word which means "young woman" (‘almah), so this use of scripture was only possible when Christianity was Greek-speaking.
- Maurice Casey (Univ. Nottingham), 'Jesus of Nazareth', p.150
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Matthew, always particularly attentive to Old Testament prefigurations, interprets the events as a fulfilment of a passage in Isaiah which he renders: 'the virgin [Parthenos] will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel, a name which means "God is with us".' But in the original Hebrew, rightly translated, the word had meant not virgin (for which there was a different word) but only young woman, as it often does in translations from that language.
- Michael Grant (Univ. Edinburgh) 'Jesus', p.71
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Matthew also alludes to an ancient saying of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, "A young woman shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel," as if to say that Mary’s pregnancy was a fulfilment of prophecy (Isaiah 7:14). But Isaiah was speaking of a child to be born in his own day, the 8th century B.C., and whose birth would be a sign for King Ahaz, who ruled at that time. The Hebrew word (‘almah) that Matthew puts as "virgin" in his Greek translation means a "young woman" or "maiden" and carries no miraculous implications whatsoever. The child is given the unusual name of Immanuel, meaning "God with us," and Isaiah assues King Ahaz that before this special child was old enough to know “right from wrong” that Assyrians who threatened Jerusalem and Judea would be removed from the land. Ahaz would not have long to wait. Matthew implies that Isaiah’s prophecy was "fulfilled" by the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus – but the original text clearly carries no such meaning.
- James Tabor (Univ. North Carolina), ‘The Jesus Dynasty’, p.46
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But the evangelists' use of the Bible went boldly beyond such theological applications. In the Septuagint, the Gospel writers felt they had a third historical source for information about the life and especially the death of Jesus. We see this most clearly in Matthew, who often prefaces or concludes some action or story with the words, "This was done in order to fulfil the words which were spoken of by the prophet" (whether such a prophecy exists in Jewish Scripture or not. This creative usage of the Septuagint clearly shapes both synoptic birth narratives. The tradition that Jesus’ mother was a virgin at the time of his birth, for example, draws on a prophecy available only in the Greek version of Isaiah 7:14: In the original Hebrew, the word that stands behind the Septuagint’s parthenos, "virgin", is ‘aalmah, "young girl." And this biographical usage of ancient Scriptures likewise shapes all four evangelists’ presentation [… further examples…]. In light of such dense citation, historians have to ask whether the existence of the scriptural image did not create the detailes or even the action of the story. Put differently: The source for a Gospel story about Jesus might lie not in some transmitted tradition going back to a contemporary eyewitness in the early first century, when Jesus lived, but in the religious authority of the distant biblical past.
- Paula Fredriksen (Boston Univ.), ‘Jesus of Nazareth: King of the Jews’, p.27

And I'll remind your view goes against the dialogue with Trypho, the earliest evidence we have of a Jew discussing the meaning of alma.
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Reply #290 posted 04/18/17 11:05pm

IanRG

toejam said:

And I'll remind your view goes against the dialogue with Trypho, the earliest evidence we have of a Jew discussing the meaning of alma.

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And again and again and again and again and again and as ever with no development, no understanding, just to promote your conspiracies again and again and again and again ...

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Which is how much younger than 1400BC which is the earliest evidence of the exact etymological predecessor of alma preserved in clay?

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You are hiding behind a discussion that must by its very nature be post the formation of Christianity when we have examples pre the birth of Christ such as LXX, the Punic language and earlier Hebrew works. When you restrict yourself to just those sources that support your pre-determined conclusions in your conspiracy theories, then it is hardly surprising that this only focuses on the controversy post Christ's birth and this both ignores any pre-Christ sources or writes off them off as too sloppy for toejam i.e. can't be relied upon because they disagree with your pre-determined conclusions.

[Edited 4/18/17 23:14pm]

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Reply #291 posted 04/18/17 11:28pm

toejam

avatar

What "conspiracy", Ian?

We have looked at some pre-Jesus sources - the Hebrew Bible - and you've yet to show how alma there necessitates virgin as opposed to simply maiden/young woman. Betulah and phrases like "she had not yet known a man" are used in the Hebrew bible to specify virginity (neither of which are used for Isaiah 7's alma). Not alma. That most almas were virgins and that Isaac longed for an alma who would turn out to be a virgin does not mean the words are altogether synonymous.

No hiding or restricting from me. I'm unaware of this clay evidence and how it functions to show that alma in Isaiah 7 necessitates virgin. If you are able to spell out the argument or post a link, that would be much appreciated.

Would you say that Geza Vermes promotes conspiracies too?

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[Edited 4/18/17 23:35pm]
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Reply #292 posted 04/18/17 11:41pm

IanRG

toejam said:

Would you say that Geza Vermes promotes conspiracies too?

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I have said time and time and time again that you, in promoting your conspiracy theories rely on selective sources that only look at one side - the side that is consistent with your pre-determined conclusions. Other than people like Ehrman and MacDonald I have said nothing about your other selected sources other than to to say you only choose those that suit your conspiracy theories about how Christian beliefs formed.

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But he does miss the point that alma in Song of Solomon is also a bride - ie a young virginal woman suitable for marriage.

[Edited 4/18/17 23:43pm]

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Reply #293 posted 04/19/17 12:59am

toejam

avatar

^That doesn't actually answer my question which was whether you think Vermes promotes 'conspiracy'. Do you? It's just more of your usual smear game. You have yet to articulate what 'conspiracy theories' I hold and promote. You also haven't articulated the 'conspiracy theories' Ehrman and MacDonald hold and promote either.

It wasn't my predetermined conclusion that Isaiah 7 wasn't a prophecy about Jesus. Contrary to your strong belief, my research has simply involved reading as many Historical Jesus/Christian Origins books as possible from as many different scholars as possible and allow my beliefs to be formed one way or the other on any small or large issue, in an as unbiased a fashion as I can hope to achieve. I've developed an interest in Christian Origins that goes beyond 'Atheism vs Theism' (not that I still don't enjoy that also!) Of course you won't buy this as the view of me in your head is well and truly fixed as a "fundamentalist atheist" who holds and promotes "conspiracy theories"

Contrary to your belief, I actually prefer to read scholars with views I have not yet come across. I've read my fair share of scholars I'd consider, or border on, 'conspiracy theorists', from all sorts of theological angles. And people like the scholars I've quoted in this thread I don't consider promoting 'conspiracy theories'. Joseph Atwill is a conspiracy theorist. Vermes is not.

I don't see that the almas in Song of Songs 6 are necessarily all "virgins" either.

And I'm still waiting for your 3400yr old clay evidence that you think will add weight to your argument that Isaiah's alma should be understood as a virgin necessarily... No rush...
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Reply #294 posted 04/19/17 1:13am

RicoN

avatar

Dasein said:

RicoN said:

I already answered yes. If something exists to which the rules of existence, physics, biology and logic (in fact any rules about anything) don't apply then the answer can only be yes.

Toejam is doing you a favour by thring to drag your question into the realms of reality, in an attempt to make it a proper question worth answering.

If magic exists can you do magic? would be another way of putting it.


Rico, you have to pose your question differently because if magic exists, then you can certainly
perform magic. But Ian's belief in God is not commensurate with belief in magic; this is an error
in the contra-theistic arguments of many new atheists.



That was my point - that is what Ian's question is doing. the answer is in the condition he sets in the first part of his question. I didn't mention a belief in magic, he didn't mention belief in god. He said if god exists can god... - considering the christian version is supposed to be omnipotent then it is easily wihin the abilities of something that can do everything to do something.

So perhaps the question should be: Can something that can do everything do something?


(and what is a new athiest? everyone is born athiest)

[Edited 4/19/17 1:16am]

Yes, I've probably made a spelling mistake, but I can't be arsed to go back and correc tit.
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Reply #295 posted 04/19/17 2:20am

IanRG

toejam said:

^That doesn't actually answer my question which was whether you think Vermes promotes 'conspiracy'. Do you? It's just more of your usual smear game. You have yet to articulate what 'conspiracy theories' I hold and promote. You also haven't articulated the 'conspiracy theories' Ehrman and MacDonald hold and promote either. It wasn't my predetermined conclusion that ....

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Yes, it does answer your question. However, because I am not you, I will be an adult and clarify this rather than waste 26 days as you are currently doing - It is your conspiracy theories about how you believe Christian beliefs formed. All I pointed out was the error in the quote from Vermes. The Song of Solomon is talking about a bride to be - so it is talking about a young virginal marriagable woman, just like Rebekkah. She and the other alma are not the married queens or the concubines, but the virginal maidens. It is silly to say that these are all in parallel so all must have the similar levels of sexual history and experience. It is the type of quote that only make sense to those who have already reached their own pre-determined conclusions, because it makes no sense to any critical analysis.

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There is no smear game by me at all - you do constantly talk about how you believe Christian beliefs formed after the event. If you don't like your conspiracy theory being critised, don't keep repeating it endlessly whilst refusing to discusss criticisms of your conspiracy theory other than to constantly call all criticisms smears.

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I have discussed your conspiracy theories - read back. I have discussed Ehrman's fabrication of made up references - You know this - He lied to you after you paid to get on his private forum. I have discussed MacDonald cheating to include different people from different times and different places to make it look like Mary is just a cleaned up version of Aphrodite disguising herself to seducing a person. I have discussed that you pre-determined conclusions were already made and espoused here endlessly starting many years ago before you did all your "research" in the years since then. "Research" that is exclusively limited to just those who agree with you. This is the prime "research" tactic of the conspiracy theorist - Not a smear, just a fact.

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What you have not addressed (other than my question, obviously), is that LXX predates Christianity and the Jewish people had no qualms then considering alma as connoting virginity and translated it so. The controversy only arose after Christianity formed. Alma in the Punic language from before Jesus denotes, not just connotes, virgin. That your "research" is limited to only finding reasons to find uncertainty in Christian beliefs so it can be used to promote your conspiracy theories about how Christian beliefs formed is your problem, not my smear.

[Edited 4/19/17 2:25am]

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Reply #296 posted 04/19/17 2:38am

IanRG

RicoN said:

Dasein said:


Rico, you have to pose your question differently because if magic exists, then you can certainly
perform magic. But Ian's belief in God is not commensurate with belief in magic; this is an error
in the contra-theistic arguments of many new atheists.



That was my point - that is what Ian's question is doing. the answer is in the condition he sets in the first part of his question. I didn't mention a belief in magic, he didn't mention belief in god. He said if god exists can god... - considering the christian version is supposed to be omnipotent then it is easily wihin the abilities of something that can do everything to do something.

So perhaps the question should be: Can something that can do everything do something?


(and what is a new athiest? everyone is born athiest)

[Edited 4/19/17 1:16am]

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This new strawman is much broader than what I said - but I have no problems with it - It does not contain mocking and, whilst it is a different question, I can accept this.

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The upshot of the question is that to determine whether Jesus is the Son of God or the son of some man can only be answered by whether God exists as Christians perceive God or not - Is God real or in some of our imaginations - it is not determined by toejam's endless promotion of his beliefs or mine. It is confirmation that we have wasted the last 25 days.

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Reply #297 posted 04/20/17 7:04pm

toejam

avatar

IanRG said:
Yes, it does answer your question.

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No it doesn’t. My question was whether you think Vermes promotes ‘conspiracies’. As I read through your proposed answer, I’m still left hanging – Does Ian think Vermes promotes ‘conspiracies’ too?
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it is your conspiracy theories about how you believe Christian beliefs formed [...] if you don’t like your conspiracy theory being criticised [...] I have discussed your conspiracy theories - read back

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I've read all your reply posts (unlike yourself who has admitted to not reading all of mine). And you haven't actually articulated what 'conspiracy' I hold and promote. What do you believe my ‘conspiracies’ involve, Ian? Who do you think I believe were the ‘conspirers’? What are the mechanics of the ‘conspiracy’ you think I believe? Vermes, Fredriksen, Grant, Lincoln, Ehrman, Casey, MacDonald, Tabor's views on Christian Origins - in particular for this thread, their understanding that the Virgin Birth narratives are legend historicized (as opposed to history-remembered) - are not "conspiracy theories".

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The Song of Solomon is talking about a bride to be - so it is talking about a young virginal marriagable woman, just like Rebekkah. She and the other alma are not the married queens or the concubines, but the virginal maidens. It is silly to say that these are all in parallel so all must have the similar levels of sexual history and experience

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There's no "must" from either myself or Vermes. The only "must" I suspect is yourself who is insisting that they must have been virgins. I don’t see that the almas in Song of Songs 6 are necessarily "virgins". That they are not queens or concubines does not mean the group of them are necessarily to be thought of as "exclusively virgins". They are simply lumped together as one of three categories of 'all the beautiful women' - the queens, the concubines, and all the others. The argument is NOT that alma means non-virgin. It is just that it's unspecified. The stress on alma is on the female's youth and 'ripeness' (for lack of a better phrase) - not necessarily virginity - like the English terms "young woman", "maiden", "pubescent girl", etc. Most of them will be virgins. And in most cases if someone translated them as "virgin girl", it probably wouldn't be a big deal. It becomes a big deal when someone wants to stress something about the text that wasn't there originally. These words are not completely synonymous with "virgin". The alma in Isaiah 7 may or may not be a virgin. And even if she is, the prophecy does not say she will conceive without intercourse with a man. It is not a prophecy of a virginal conception and birth of a 700yr later Jesus Messiah.

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MacDonald cheating to include different people from different times and different places to make it look like Mary is just a cleaned up version of Aphrodite disguising herself to seducing a person

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Whether MacDonald is right or wrong, in what sense do you think he is promoting a "conspiracy theory"? And I've already told you how this is not much of a rebuttal. MacDonald's point is that the Christians "adopted and adapted popular stories in order to depict Jesus as more compassionate, stronger, and wiser than the gods and heroes of the Greeks", hence the removal of the deception, seduction, lust, and icky sex. The similarities still remain: The hero is given a 'miraculous conception shenanigan' story that involves ascending/descending divine beings, the making of declarative statements to the frightened human that his/her offspring will be a son of a God who will become a great leader of men, the divine being announcing the name to be given to the child, etc. This stuff was common fodder. Of course someone influenced by such tropes are going to change details such as times and locations and motivations, etc. Saying there was influence - whether direct in MacDonald's case, or more cultural, as in Andrew Lincoln's quote, is not a "conspiracy theory".

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What you have not addressed (other than my question, obviously), is that LXX predates Christianity and the Jewish people had no qualms then considering alma as connoting virginity and translated it so. The controversy only arose after Christianity formed. Alma in the Punic language from before Jesus denotes, not just connotes, virgin

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Your question was addressed. Many times. You just didn't like the answer because it exposed the emptiness of the question. Ducci got it. Ricon got it. No one else is complaining that your question wasn't addressed. Recall the thread is about whether Jesus really was the son of God, with obvious stress on whether or not he had a human father and if so who that might be (Recall there were and are many Christians who believe Jesus is the Son of God AND the son of a human father. There is nothing incompatible in that idea with an omnipotent Christian God). The question was not 'Do Christians think Jesus was the son of God and if so is that possible if their conception of God is correct'?

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I suspect the overwhelming majority of 'the Jewish people' had no idea alma was translated to parthenos. Recall that even Hebrew was already antiquated in Jesus's time, with most Palestinian Jews speaking Aramaic. I've already shown you how the term 'parthenos' was used sloppily by Septuagint translators. It is almost inevitable that things are brought to and lost in translation. In most circumstances, parthenos for alma might be OK. The nuance of difference would probably be negligible in most cases. It becomes a factor though when people try to read more out of the translated text than wasn't originally there. For example, translating "The doctor was flirting with his assistant" to "The doctor was flirting with the nurse" would be close-enough in most circumstances. But if someone later said the doctor's assistant must have had a nursing degree and this proved the doctor only worked with university-qualified workers, the nuance of the original has been exploited potentially incorrectly. The original is not about the university qualifications of his assistant.

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Recall again the first time we DO have evidence of a Jew discussing Christian use of Isaiah 7. Trypho, quoted in Greek, states that "the Scripture has not, 'Behold, the virgin (parthenos) shall conceive, and bear a son,' but, 'Behold, the young woman (neanis) shall conceive, and bear a son'". I am not sure whether Trypho is getting that from the Hebrew alma or a no-longer surviving potentially equally-ancient Greek translation. But either way, the dispute is there - the first time we have evidence of what 'Jewish people' thought of this matter, it is that Christians were reading Isaiah 7 incorrectly as a prophecy of a virgin birth. We have no other evidence of a proto-Christian Jewish sect interpretting it that way either. It is conceivable, however. We know from the Qumran community that reading stuff into the Hebrew Bible that wasn't there was a common phenomena.

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"Research" that is exclusively limited to just those who agree with you. This is the prime "research" tactic of the conspiracy theorist - Not a smear, just a fact

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How many of these authors in this list do you think I "agree" with? Seems a weird accusation to me. With all of them there will points of agreement and disagreement. I try to read as many varied scholars as possible. I've asked you to provide a link or spell out how the Punic language evidence and your mysteriously mentioned clay evidence work as an argument to show that alma necessitates "virgin" - especially in the case of Isaiah 7. Don't accuse me of limiting my research when I've asked you to provide more and you've yet to do so!

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[Edited 4/20/17 21:55pm]

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