It is time for the weekly Readers’ Mailbag.  This week I will be dealing with only one question, one that I find particularly intriguing.  If you have any questions you would like me to answer, either in a comment or in the mailbag, let me know.  I can’t answer every question I get, either because I don’t know the answers (often enough!) or because I can’t get to them all.  But I take them all seriously and will do my best to get to yours!



I’ve read of one NT scholar who is critical of your reasoning in How Jesus Became God. He says that your argument from silence is fallacious. For example, he says that just because the virgin birth is absent in Mark’s gospel does not constitute evidence that the writer did not believe in the virgin birth.



       Great question.  The first and most obvious thing to point out is that there is no way to know what another person believes (either the person who wrote Mark or the person who lives across the street) unless they say something about it (and even then it’s complicated: people say things all the time for all sorts of reasons!).  So anyone who thinks that an ancient author such as Mark believes something he doesn’t talk about – such as the virgin birth –obviously they bears the burden of proof.  What hints does Mark give that he subscribes to the idea of a virgin birth?  None at all.

But how could you show that Mark probably does not believe in the virgin birth (or possibly even know about it), if he never says one way or the other?  I think there are a number of things that have to be born in mind.

The first thing to stress is that the virgin birth is mentioned in only …

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