Hello, everyone. Today is Thursday, December the 8th. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation and the airwaves at all times by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, and just helping us keep the discussion alive. When I say at all times, I do mean at all times, because I think... Every moment of the day. This needs to be a 24-7 livestream show, I believe. I am not willing to commit to that. That's not something that you're prepared to...
I'm not prepared to commit to that. I wish that would have been a conversation we'd had off mic, but thank you for... I wish it would have been a conversation off mic as well, but here we are. While we're here, why don't you go ahead and do the rest of the day? Yeah, I'll do the word of the day. Verse of the day.
Excuse me. Galatians 6-9, and let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. That's a great reminder, because I feel like a lot of times, we have this sort of soda machine mentality. Like, I put in my good deed, I deserve a reward. It's like an exchange, when that's not how God's economy works. That's not how it works at all, and it's one thing where... Excuse me. That was extremely unprofessional.
I will silence my cell phone. It's also a thing where God gives us these blessings, and yet when we don't get them in the way that we expect, in the season, in the timing that we expect, we end up trying to quit. We always... And that's something Dr. Shai has taught me, even when I first started here at Clearview. Most people quit, I think, 25% away from the finish line. You know what I mean?
Like, right at the finish line, that's when people quit. You're almost there. Just a little bit of perseverance, and you'll make it. Yeah. That's what Paul's saying here. Don't grow weary from doing good. It's a blessing.
It's a blessing to do God's work. That's right. All right. I got one for you. Okay. Million dollars. I will give you a million dollars.
That sounds excellent. I'm gonna do it. But here's the thing. For the next two years, there's going to be a snake living somewhere in your house. You'll never get rid of it.
You'll never be able to get rid of it. If you kill it, if you find it and you kill it, two more are gonna appear. If you put it outside the house, it'll find its way back in. There's always going to be a snake somewhere in your house, just roaming around. How often am I gonna run into the snake? It's completely up to chance. The snake may go live in the attic for two years. The snake may be in your bed at one point. You never know.
It's completely up to chance. Can I domesticate the snake and put it in a terrarium type situation? It'll get out. So it's going to be out somewhere that I don't expect in the house? It'll be roaming the house. The snake will be roaming the house.
Any attempts to kind of domesticate it or put it in an enclosure, it's going to find its way out. Is it venomous? No. Is it aggressive?
No. It's just a snake. It's just a scary snake.
I don't like it, but I'd probably be willing to suffer through that for two years. If it's not going to attack my family, and if it's not going to hurt my family. It'll scare the snot out of them. It might slither over your wife's foot.
Or if you're in the shower, it might just fall on your shoulders. Oh, hey. Here I am now. Here I am. Past the loofah.
Past the loofah. Again, I don't like it, and it would be a miserable two years. But for a million, I think I'd take it. Are you inherently scared of snakes? I feel like I could be okay.
I feel like I could be okay. I don't love snakes, but I'm not terrified of them. So would it be miserable because you know Elizabeth's scared of snakes? I think it would just be miserable for the unexpected factor.
You can't anticipate it. It's not in the same place. It's just like, I'm going to open the cupboard and get a coffee cup. Oh, there's a snake. But if we saw a snake here, if you looked in the corner of the studio over there and saw a snake, would you be startled? Or would you be like, oh, I just need to get that out? I would be startled for sure, but I'm not terrified, frozen in fear. I'd be like, oh my gosh. And I would spring into action. We've dealt with, um, you know, some snakes on our property at home before.
Um, not like extensively, but scary, but not to the point that I would be like terrified and incapacitated. So it's worth a million dollars to live with a snake in your house for two years. I would say so. I would say so. I wouldn't like it, but I'd take it.
I would not take the money. No, really. You're not a snake guy. I'm not a snake guy, but I also just don't want pests in my house that I can't get rid of. That's fair.
That would be kind of annoying. Yeah. Mice, slugs. I don't like any of that. Like animals, they gotta, they gotta be outside. You gotta be outside. I don't like pests in the house, especially not a snake.
I wouldn't do it for a million dollars for two years. What if, uh, what if one of your boys one day when they're older is like, daddy, I'd really like a, I'd really like a snake as a pet. Um, uh, gosh, that's a hard one. Uh, no, I think you gotta be in your own place to have that. That's, that's a ride out. I think that's out. I think that's out. Yeah.
I'm the same way. Snakes, snakes, not a pet. You can have one, but it's going to be at your house. We're not doing pet snakes. We're not doing pet tarantulas. I saw home alone. I know how that works.
I ain't doing that. Well, today we are back in our December series as we approach Christmas talking about, uh, specifically today talking about the virgin birth of Jesus. You know, that's something that we talk a lot about at Christmas, but we're going to understand today just why that's significant and you know, the weight behind what that means. We're going to bring Dr. Shaw in in just a minute, but if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, text us at two five two five eight two five zero two eight or you can visit us online at clear view today show.com. We'll be right back after this.
Hey there listeners. My name is John and I'm David and we just want to take a second and talk to you about Dr. Sean Nicole's new book, 30 days to a new beginning daily devotionals to help you move forward. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck. You're going to have goals that you just can't seem to reach and you're going to be looking for some new way to start over. Unfortunately, life does not have a restart button, but here's the good news. God's mercy is new every day, right? And so that means every day is a new chance for you to start over. Now, Dr. Shah and his wife Nicole have written a new 30 day devotional in their 30 day series designed to give you practical tools for starting over.
No matter where you are in life's journey or what pitfalls you've encountered, this devotional is going to help you move forward, refocus your mind on God's truth and meditate on his word. And you guys can pick up a copy right this second on amazon.com. Unless you're driving. Yeah, don't shop and drive unless you're driving, in which case, wait till you get home. But we're going to leave a link for you right here in the description of this podcast.
So it'll be waiting for you when you get home. That's 30 days to a new beginning daily devotionals to help you move forward. And for the remainder of November and all through December, we'll be sending a free copy to anyone who supports the podcast by visiting us online and donating to the show at clearviewtodayshow.com.
That is a very, very good incentive gang. That's 30 days to a new beginning daily devotions to help you move forward by Abaddon and Nicole Shaw. Thank you guys so much for listening. David, you want to jump back into the show? Let's go. All right.
Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shaw, welcome to the studio today. How are you today?
I'm doing very well. Christmas is nearer than it was yesterday. We need to bring closer and closer to that peppermint colored finish line. That's right. Very nice.
Very nice. Well, if you guys are joining us for the first time today, you've never listened to the show before. You're unfamiliar with Dr. Shaw's work. Dr. Shaw is a PhD in new Testament, textual criticism professor at Carolina university, an author, full-time pastor, and he's the host of today's show.
And you can always follow his work on his website, AbaddonShaw.com. That's right. And today we're talking about in the, in the theme of Christmas in the realm of Christmas, we're focusing on an element of the nativity story. We're talking today about the Virgin birth of Jesus. And this is something that we hear a lot about at Christmas is something that I feel like we sort of, you know, just kind of take for granted, but there's actually a lot that goes into this discussion. And then there's a lot of misunderstandings that happen related to this. Dr. Shaw, do you want to kick off our discussion for today?
Absolutely. So we're talking about the Virgin birth. So when we say Virgin birth, we're not talking about immaculate conception. We're not talking about the perpetual virginity of Mary. We're not talking about the assumption of Mary or the dormition of Mary. We're talking about the, we're talking about the virginal conception of Mary. So very different thing. We need to clarify that. Absolutely.
And in fact, we had somebody in our room in this, in the studio itself who got confused. I don't know who that was. I don't know. Not me. Someone. Not me. Oh, it wasn't you?
It wasn't me. Okay. All right. Thanks for clarifying.
I appreciate the honesty. So can we walk through each of those and, you know, kind of just walk through each one of them and see what each of them, because I remember you and I were talking a few weeks ago, I think it was actually before Clearview today started, but we were talking about all these topics and even I was like, okay, so wait, what exactly is immaculate conception? I've heard that, but doesn't that mean that Mary just conceived Jesus without any physical interaction? I thought they were synonymous. Right. Yeah.
They're there. It's it's a little different. So in the early church, some actually believed that Mary had a painless birth in which her hymen was not ruptured, you know? So, and this is not a biblical doctrine, you know, the what is really should be virginal conception, which means that she was a child through the Holy Spirit without any interaction from any male. Right. That's a different thing. So are there extra biblical texts that support this or is it something that they just assumed and kind of created? They just, they just went with it.
The virgin birth, just the idea of virgin birth that the hymen was not ruptured. Okay. Yeah.
That's just assumptions, you know, and they are not correct. Gotcha. And then on top of that, you know, other, I would say unbiblical ideas got into into the mix.
For example, the one that's most famous immaculate conception that Mary, you know, what it really means is that Mary herself was conceived in her mother's womb as a sinless human being. Wow. Really? Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's not even virgin birth. That's definitely not to do with Jesus at all. Right. It's she herself. This is to protect her sinlessness.
And I don't think we have to do that. Yeah. Why is it important that Mary is sinless?
Is it so that it gives Jesus a little more? Yeah. That makes him perfect. So, okay. Yeah. And again, this idea was not, was sort of an invention of the medieval church and even the Catholic church did not recognize it until 1854 when Pope Pius IX declared it.
And it's really not a biblical doctrine. So do they still declare it? Yeah. So they still, okay. The immaculate conception is still there. Haven't you heard of schools and, and colleges, you know, that have that title in there somewhere?
Wow. Or churches, I should say, not colleges. Yeah. So they, they, I guess that's why in the Catholic church, Mary is such a huge deal. They pray to Mary, right? Is it because she's, I guess it's because she's sinless. She herself was sinless in addition to Jesus. Right. Mother of God, right?
The autocause. Do they also believe, I guess she never committed a sin? I guess so in a way. But then there are two other doctrines if you want me to deal with. Another one is called the perpetual virginity or I parthenos. I parthenos means, parthenos is virgin.
I means perpetual. It teaches that Mary was a virgin before, during and after giving birth to Jesus for the rest of her life. She was a virgin for the rest of her life. Right. How do they handle Jesus as half siblings? That's a good point.
She had other children. Right. So this idea again has been held by the Catholic church and the Orthodox church since the seventh century. And it's not a biblical doctrine either.
I would love to get a guest on the show that actually, that actually believes this and have a discussion on what, cause I mean, that's true. Where does this come from? It's a very instant, what you call it? A very instant objection. Like Mary had other children. Right. And then there's, there are two more. Wow.
I said three, but let's make it four. Okay. There's also the assumption of Mary. It teaches that Mary was taken up into heaven before she died. So she never truly experienced death.
Hmm. Of course Jesus ascended, so why not Mary? But then again, Jesus died, was buried. Jesus actually had to die. When Mary, just time to go. This is like an Elijah moment. She went the Elijah route.
And it's not a biblical doctrine. Huh? Where do they, where do they get this from? It's just, it's just a super veneration of Mary, I would say.
Huh. We're just like so enamored with her that, you know, people, I'm not saying we, I'm talking about certain groups and sects or whatever, so enamored that they kept on adding more accolades. This is, this is wild to me because this isn't like I can point to this text and say, this is where this came from. This is like somebody came up with this because they thought this of Mary.
And then now this is just sort of passed down. We just believe this. We're going to teach it.
We're going to teach it and it's going to become a doctrine. That's wild. Wait, there's another one. Oh no. This is called a Dormition of Mary. In this view, she actually dies.
But three days later she rose again. They're getting worse. Like they're getting progressively worse. Yeah. It's like, it's like we're blurring the distinction between Mary and Jesus. Everything that Jesus did, Mary also did. They might be the same person.
This is crazy. Like mother, like son. Yeah. But the thing is, you know, the, even Muhammad, right in the Quran, when it comes to attacking the Trinity, he gets it wrong and he gets it wrong because he overheard some of these discussions among the Christians, the Nestorians and other kinds of, you know, the different groups in Arabia who were discussing these things. So to him, the Trinity was father, son and Mary.
She just kind of scooted in there. Right. And the Holy Spirit is out. So what a misunderstanding, but can you see why he misunderstood? Yeah. Because of things like this. Yeah. Yeah. So he, he's wrong, you know, and it was, it was a horrible misunderstanding, but I get it because of these silly discussions and these silly beliefs that really don't add up with the biblical fact. Yeah.
I guess if you didn't have any frame of reference and you heard all of these, you know, divine accolades of Mary, you would just sort of assume that she must also be, she must be gone. Yeah. Mother of God. Right. So, so that's, I want us to clarify that we're talking about virginal conception. I know this sounds odd, so I usually don't use that in church, in my messages and my preaching. I just said virgin birth, but really we should be talking about, we should be referring it to as virginal conception because that's really what the Bible has in mind, which is that Mary was with child through the Holy Spirit and not through any human interaction. Yeah.
You gave it a mail. Yeah. You gave an illustration one time that I, that has always stuck with me where you asked, you know, does a person have to believe in the virgin birth in order to be saved? Is this a doctrine that's fundamental for your salvation? And obviously your answer was no, you know, and you point to the thief on the cross that was talking to Jesus. You know, he didn't know anything about the virgin birth, but there was something you went further. It was where you say, let's suppose that thief was taken down off the cross and someone told him about the virgin birth. Does he now have liberty to not believe it? Right.
No, no. He has to be, you have to believe it because it is a fundamental characteristic of Jesus's nature that he was born fully God, fully man. Right. Now here's the thing, you know, when I'm sharing the gospel with somebody, I'm not going to say, well, he was, she, he was born of a virgin, right?
Do you understand virgin birth and are you willing to believe in it? Right. I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to get to, you're a sinner. God sent his son down the cross for your sins.
Do you believe him as your savior that he died in your place? Okay. And if he accepts or she accepts it, that's it.
But if I were to go further a week later, a month later, a year later, or 10 years later and explain to that person what the virgin birth is all about and for them to say, ah, I don't believe that. Yeah. Ooh, we have a problem. It has to be a major issue.
Yeah, we have a problem. Yeah, absolutely. You know, early in the week we were talking about this prophecy in Micah. We were talking about this historical context of this prophecy and how complicated it actually got. It was, um, it was, uh, yes, absolutely. Um, and it was just one of those things where out of you, uh, but what was the, hold on, shall come forth a ruler. Right. Um, you know, we're talking about Jesus. I guess it was just that thing where it was already determined that Jesus was going to come through the tribe of Judah, through the line of King David and God was going to protect his promise and Mary being part of that was extremely significant. Right. And that, that prophecy is Isaiah seven, right? Because, um, in this prophecy, the fact of the Virgin of virginal conception is very clearly given right to give you a contact.
Can I do that? So the Southern kingdom is surrounded from the North. Remember we talked about that, uh, by the Northern kingdom of Israel and Syria.
Uh, then from the South Edom and then from the West Philistia. So they are surrounded and God told Isaiah to go to King Ahaz, the King of Judah, the Southern kingdom and tell him, don't worry. I've got this. Don't worry. Don't fret. Don't be anxious, which is something that we all get, right?
We get upset, afraid, doubtful, um, you know, discouraged. God was telling Ahaz through Isaiah, don't get discouraged. And he said it this way in Isaiah seven 13, we usually just go to Isaiah seven 14, but Isaiah seven 13 says, then he said here now, Oh, house of David. He is addressing Ahaz, not just as King Ahaz or King of Judah.
He's saying the house of David. When you say house of David, it is such a weighty title because it is, it is not just talking about a person or a dynasty is talking about a house through a family through which the Messiah would come. Now, whether they use the term Messiah back then in the eighth century BC, we don't know for sure, but at least the promised one, the King, right? Later on, we, we, we read in Isaiah about unto us a child is born unto us a son is given Isaiah chapter nine.
So other titles, maybe not Messiah. Nonetheless, the promise is that, listen, you're not an ordinary King. Your kingdom is not an ordinary kingdom.
Your house is not an ordinary house. You guys are the carriers of the promised one, right? Don't worry.
Don't worry. And it goes on to say, is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? And the reason he says that is because God had asked, He has to ask for a sign. Isaiah said, ask for a sign.
He said, Oh, I'm not going to ask for a sign. You know, it's wrong to tempt God. And God's like, wait, I'm telling you to do that.
Ask me. He's like, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm not going to tempt God. Like God's trying to trap him or something. Well, he's like, yeah, the hyper spiritual is right. Yeah. Except that he was not being hyper spiritual. He was avoiding facing the fact that he had already contacted the King of Assyria. Oh, he had already done it.
He's already done it. Oh no. Yeah. Human nature.
Human nature, right? Yeah. I know we're praying, but I got a backup plan. And again, folks, we're not telling you for a moment.
Don't have things planned and have a safety net in your life. But a backup plan is like, yeah, for traditional purposes, we're going to pray, but really truly, we don't believe it's going to do anything. Right. So he's already contacted the King of Assyria. And so God says to him, to King Ahaz, through Isaiah the prophet, in Isaiah 7 14, behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name, Emmanuel. Now, what does that mean? What did it mean first to King Ahaz? Because, you know, we're talking about single mention, single referent, you know, single meaning, single referent is how I see things. It has one meaning. You cannot have multiple meanings happening.
So one meaning, what is the one meaning for King Ahaz? Before we talk about the prophecy, it was this, that there is someone in your palace who is with child and she is a virgin. Doesn't mean that she's never had sex with a man. What it does mean is that she was a virgin until conception. Okay.
Right. She was a virgin until conception, because prior to the coming of Jesus, there was no virginal conception. So even though it says behold a virgin, the idea behind it is that she was pure until she had, maybe it was her husband, whoever, she was with child or maybe one of the women in his harem.
We don't know for sure. But nonetheless, so here was that promise that the Kings to the North will not be successful and that the line of David will go on. Somebody in your family is already having a child and your line will go on and the child will be born. And that what it says, behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son.
Means it's not over. God's got you. Your child will be born. That child in your palace.
I can imagine Ahaz saying, who's pregnant? I guess as long as this child is being born, which means we're going to keep going. Yeah. But that same promise, by the way, manual means what?
God is God is with us. That's what it meant. Yeah. But it also was a promise way down the line that one day God's son was going to come and he was going to be the one born truly of a virgin. And this virgin will not be like a virgin until conception.
This will be a virgin even in conception. Yeah. Yeah. And I love that because two different things. Absolutely. And it's a, it's a promise to Ahaz, but it's also a promise to us.
You know what I mean? It's because as faithless as we can be, we need to be reminded that God is with us at all times. And that's what Jesus came to do.
And so many levels of implications here. One is of course the promise of God to Ahaz. Second, the promise of God to God's people.
Thirdly, of course, the fact that Jesus was fully God, fully man, we just don't only focus on one, but really there are many, many applications there. Yeah. And God is with us and it's God with us. Right? So God is with us.
Wow. What assurance, but God is with us. He's fully God, fully man. I love that double meaning.
I love that. Like, you know, God's provision, God's providence is here, but God himself is with us. Right. Us, humans. Yeah. He has come among the humans.
He is one of us now. Man, that just takes it to a whole other level. How do you handle, how do you handle like, not even, not even like unbelievers, but Christians who deny the Virgin birth. Like they say, it's just a myth or it's, yeah, the high Rosagamos kind of stuff, you know, Zeus and Semele or Isis and Osiris and all that.
I mean, it's garbage. It's, it, there is no comparison there. And if there is just know that Satan will always counterfeit every good doctrine. And so he's done that with the Trinity. He'll do that with the Virgin birth.
So that's what's happening here. And then there are those who will claim that the word for Virgin in the Hebrew text at Isaiah is Alma, which does not have the meaning of a Virgin and that the true word is Betulah. Now, again, again, this is not true.
When you really do research, there are five different words in this debate. The three are Hebrew and two are Greek. The first Hebrew word is Isha, right? Isha. Isha is man.
Isha is woman. It simply means woman or wife. Then the word is Alma. When you examine every use of that word in the Old Testament, it actually means Virgin.
Then of course the word Betulah, which does mean Virgin. But when you compare their uses, Alma is found in those passages. Listen carefully.
This is R.T. Frantz, one of my favorite scholars from yesteryears. He said it this way. When you compare their uses, Alma is found in those passages where there is something other than a normal birth.
That's how you find it. Something other than a normal birth. So it's almost is to set that one apart as a special birth.
And that's what's happening here. Of course, we believe that's the Virgin birth. So, you know, when the Septuagint translators came to this verse, they could have easily translated that to be like Nianis. Nianis, it would be young woman. Nianias is young man. But Nianis is a young woman. But they purposely chose the word Parthenos.
Parthenos explicitly means Virgin. So when you put that kind of research in the words and word meanings, I don't know why people still fuss about that. Yeah. With so much evidence. I mean, it seems like the proof is overwhelming. Unless they don't want it to be true. I guess. But even then, what do you gain from it not being true? Jesus is a sinner like us. Yeah. I can see from an unbeliever standpoint, but Christians, why would you not want? Why would you not want it to be true? Well, some of the scholarship of yesteryears and even today, uh, in biblical studies, they're not believers.
They're just experts in biblical languages, biblical history, archeology, textual criticism, but they themselves don't walk in Christ. Yeah. Man. So such a helpful discussion for us today, especially as we're headed toward Christmas. Hope that helped you out. Those who are listening, those who are watching the podcast, if you have any questions about today's topic or any suggestions for future topics, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com.
And don't forget, you can support us on that same website. Every gift goes to building up this partnership so that we together standing shoulder to shoulder can impact the nations for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can I share a quote with you guys today?
All right. So, uh, I'm going to paraphrase this quote a little bit. Um, but Abraham misunderstood God's promise because the promise was to Abram and Sarai. That's why in Genesis, it talks about the seed of the woman would save, right?
And that's why we, like we were talking about today, we get to the virgin birth with Mary. And that quote is from Dr. Abaddon Shaw. Oh, and your most recent series, man of promise that quote kind of unlocked this, this understanding of like, Oh, of course it's Abraham and Sarah.
And he would have misunderstood that, but it was meant for both of them. And it just, it just unlocked so much for me, just that quote and being able to trace it through the Old Testament. That was, that was hugely helpful for me. Thank you. Thank you for being you. You always, the whole team is that way, but since Ryan has given the code today, I appreciate you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear Read Today.
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