I am happy to announce that I will be presenting and recording a Chrismas-season lecture “Other Virgin Births in Antiquity,” on December 14, 8:00-9:30 ET. The lecture is not connected with the blog per se, except in sofar as y’all as blog members may well be particularly interested. You can find out about it, along with other lectures and courses that are available here: Online Courses by Dr. Bart Ehrman (10% Off First Order):
This is how I’m describing the lecture in my announcement of the course in other venues.
Other Virgin Births in Antiquity
Bart D. Ehrman
Jesus of Nazareth was not the only miracle-working Son of God known to the ancient world. Others were also said to heal the sick, cast out demons, control the weather, raise the dead, and ascend to heaven.
But were any of these others born of a virgin?
Search the Internet and you’ll find a definitive answer: Yes. But ask an expert who has actually studied the ancient sources and … and what will you learn?
That is the topic I will address in a special Christmas-season lecture, “Other Virgin Births in Antiquity.” Here are some off the key issues:
- What does it mean to say that someone was born of a virgin? It’s obvious, right? Wrong.
- Apart from Jesus, who else in the ancient world was said (literally) to have a god for his father but a mortal for his mother?
- Was this a widespread notion in Greek and Roman antiquity?
- What specifically do our sources say about the miraculous births of such famous figures as Hercules, Romulus, Alexander the Great, Apollonius of Tyana, and others?
- Were their mothers virgins? If so, what makes Jesus different? If not, why would Christians come up with the radical idea of a virgin birth?
Following the lecture will be a live 30-minute Q&A with the audience. I’m expecting some hot questions.
I hope you can come!