Skip to comments.The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ: All or Nothing
Posted on 12/20/2011 7:06:16 AM PST by Colofornian
Some of the most brilliant people who have ever lived have believed in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and, in one sense, over half the world accepts it today.
"The answer to that question would explain history for me." Atheist Larry King on his show's 25th anniversary (June 5, 2010), on whether Jesus was virgin born.
Some of the most brilliant people who have ever lived have believed in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and, in one sense, over half the world accepts it today. Its historicity is equal to that of any declaration in the Gospels.
The importance of the virgin birth can hardly be overestimated; it has been a universally held belief of the Christian Church for 2,000 years, and for excellent reasons.
Nevertheless, many unbelievers, critics, liberal theologians, and skeptics of all stripes have assailed it as a theological invention or religious fable. For example, because of the personal will to disbelieve or an unjustified anti-supernatural bias, a belief in the virgin birth is often held to exist in the same genre as pagan myths; such a belief probably began with the second century Platonic philosopher Celsus. One of the most popular approaches attempts to show alleged parallels between the biblical virgin birth and claimed divine birth stories in the ancient pagan world (or of dying and rising "savior" gods). However, as several scholars have demonstrated conclusively, the relationship is at best superficial the biblical account is too distinct to have a common origin with paganism. For example, in the ancient pagan stories, the impregnation is always physical, and this includes even modern religions like Mormonism.
Controversial liberal bishop and author John Shelby Spong's Born of a Woman: a Bishop Rethinks the Virgin Birth and the Treatment of Women by a Male-Dominated Church is one example in this skeptical genre. Ironically it's as good an example of myth-making as one can find. Other notable examples include Jane Schaberg's, The Illegitimacy of Jesus (which Spong relies upon) and the book by Uta Ranke-Heinemann and Peter Heinegg, Putting Away Childish Things: The Virgin Birth, the Empty Tomb, and Other Fairy Tales You Don't Need to Believe to Have a Living Faith.
It is likely that the virgin birth has been subject to such attack and ridicule because of its unparalleled importance to the Christian faith, being of no less significance than the physical resurrection of Christ himself from the dead. In contrast to the claim of the last book title above, without the virgin birth, Christians do not have a living faith; they do not have any faith at all. Why?
If Jesus Christ was not virgin born, then by definition he was produced by normal human procreation. If so, this makes him a normal human being just like every other person. The implications of this for all of Christology and biblical theology are devastating. If Christ was not virgin born, then he was not sinless, but a sinner like all other humans. If he were a sinner, he would require salvation from sin. If he was a sinner, he could not be God incarnate. If he was not God incarnate, he could not be the atoning Savior for sin. If he was not the atoning Savior for sin, we are still in our sins and the whole edifice of Christian theology crumbles. If we are still our sins, we are without hope.
The apostle Paul makes the same argument for the physical resurrection of Christ from the dead: "and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins." (1 Corinthians 15:17).
Without the virgin birth, there can be no doctrine of justification no being declared righteous by God on the basis of grace through faith alone in Christ alone. If the sinless Lamb of God has not died for sin, there can be no forgiveness of sin, let alone a declaration of Christ's righteousness to the believer. Without the virgin birth, logically, there can be no doctrine of the incarnation, propitiation, atonement, regeneration, calling, conversion, adoption, union with Christ, reconciliation, etc.
Messianic prophecy itself suffers a fatal blow because the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 cannot be fulfilled and therefore Jesus Christ was not the Messiah. Indeed, all prophecy relating to the incarnation, atonement, and related subjects would then be false (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, etc.) In addition, Jesus role as the ultimate Priest, Prophet, and King is destroyed. The doctrine of biblical inspiration and inerrancy also falls. In denying the virgin birth, so much of the Bible becomes mistaken that it cannot possibly be the divinely inspired, inerrant word of God.
In other words, if we deny the virgin birth, Christianity must be false. However, among all the known religions that have ever existed, only Christianity can logically and evidentially be considered a genuine revelation from God. Christianity is the only religion in the world with solid evidence to back up its claims. Almost every other religion is accepted based on subjective claims or upon blind faith contrary to fact. Even the relatively few religions that appeal to history such as Islam and Mormonism are often disproved by history.
To illustrate, I have a PhD in comparative religion; my masters thesis was on Nichiren Buddhism/Buddhism and my PhD dissertation on Hinduism. In addition, I have written an encyclopedia on over 60 new religions, three texts on Islam, and have Masters degrees in both apologetics and biblical studies. I have spent the last 40 years studying religion of one kind or another. I can state categorically that only biblical Christianity is absolutely true. Further, in terms of uniqueness and magnificence, there is no one even remotely approaching Jesus Christ and never will be. Anyone who wishes can prove this simply and personally by an attentive reading of the Gospels. I know factually that Christianity alone is fully true and that if Christianity is not true, there is no absolute religious truth anywhere. Period.
If Christianity is false, philosophical agnosticism and practical atheism become true by definition. In sum, if we deny the virgin birth, agnosticism and atheism are all that's logically left to us. The great reformer Martin Luther was correct when he said that in the end there are only two religions in the world: the religion of works and the religion of grace. Likewise, when all is said and done here, it's either the incarnation or agnosticism and atheism.
1. Ravi Zacharias, Jesus among Other Gods: the Absolute Claims of the Christian Message, 2000, pp. 38-39.
2. On the historicity of the Gospels see e.g., F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?; Craig Blomberg, The Historic Reliability of the Gospels; Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: the Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, Mark D. Roberts, Can We Trust the Gospels?: Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
3. The Platonic philosopher and noted Christian critic Celsus (circa 178 A.D.) acknowledged Christian belief in the virgin birth although attributing it to what he believed were similar mythic stories in other religions; Origin (Contra Celsus) responded colorfully that Celsus wrote more like a buffoon than a philosopher.
4. Among these are J.M. Robertsons Pagan Christs, Kersey Graves The Worlds Sixteen Crucified Saviors or Christianity Before Christ, and Joseph Campbells The Power of Myth and The Masks of God.
5. For example, Dr. Ronald H. Nash, Christianity & the Hellenistic World. For a brief critique see John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Handbook of Biblical Evidences. Also see, "Alleged Similarities between Jesus and Pagan Deities," The Divine Evidence.com; http://thedevineevidence.com/jesus_similarities.html.
6. This is true even in modern Mormonism. Modern Mormonism, which is also pagan, believes that the physical Earth god "Elohim" (The Father) had physical sex with the Virgin Mary in order to produce Jesus Christ. For example, former Mormon and leading authority on Mormonism Sandra Tanner comments: "While Mormon leaders assert that they believe in the virgin birth they have changed the definition. The LDS Church teaches that God the Father has a physical, tangible, resurrected body and that God literally sired Jesus in the same physical sense that any other man begets a child. Consequently "the virgin birth" is redefined to mean Mary had intercourse with a god, not a mortal, in order to literally conceive the baby Jesus." She proceeds to cite nine standard Mormon authorities in evidence. For example, Mormon doctrinal theologian and apostle Bruce McConkie taught that: "God the Father is a perfected, glorified, holy Man, an immortal Personage. And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742) Sandra Tanner, "LDS Leaders Define Their Concept of JESUS CHRIST," Utah Lighthouse Ministry; http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/ldsleadersconceptofjesus.htm. Emphasis original.) For additional documentation and the pagan nature of Mormonism see the website of former Mormons Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry (utlm.org) or John Ankerberg, John Weldon, What Do Mormons Really Believe?, Chapter 3.
7. Spong speculates that Mary may have been raped and engages in much invention, not to mention a priori argumentation. "Is there any possibility that the narratives of our Lord's birth are historical? Of course not. Even to raise that question is to betray an ignorance about birth narratives." (p. 59, emphasis added) A few days prior to his untimely death, the late expert on cults and new religions, Walter Martin, debated Bishop Spong on the John Ankerberg Show, and that tape can still be ordered. For a critique of Spong's overall theology and worldview, see Michael Bott and Jonathan Sarfati, "What's Wrong with Bishop Spong," Creation.com; http://creation.com/whats-wrong-with-bishop-spong.
8. Since a being that was both undiminished deity and full humanity in one person was required to both satisfy infinite holiness and adequately represent true humanity.
9. Given the chronological restraints on the appearance of the Messiah cited by the prophet Daniel in chapter 9.
10. For example, see attorney Craig A. Parton's critique of non-Christian religion, Religion on Trial and the noted scholar Dr. John Warwick Montgomery's Tractatus Logico-Theologicus (fourth edition) modeled structurally on Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus which, point by point, logically shows biblical Christianity as "the only ultimately verifiable and satisfying solution" to religious truth claims. (p. 8) His writing spanned some 35 years.
11. For example, Timothy Keller, The Reason for God; CS Lewis, Mere Christianity; Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity; http://apologetics315.blogspot.com/; http://www.classicapologetics.com/about.html; < http://historicalapologetics.org/collection/
12. (Of course, they are disproved by other information as well.) I am unaware of any non-Christian religion that is historically verified as true. Religions with numerous historical errors of fact cannot logically comprise a divine revelation from a God who is infinitely righteous and truthful, a God who does not lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18) and is incapable of error. On Islam see the information at JAshow.org and below; on Mormonism see the information at Utah Lighthouse Mission, http://utlm.org.On Islam, for example, consider first that the Bible and its history are proven true on the basis of the objective evidence for its divine inspiration (such as genuine messianic and other prophecy); Jesus physical resurrection from the dead proving the truth of his authority and thus his view of the Old Testament as the inerrant word of God (John 17:17, cf. John Wenham, Christ and the Bible; Norman Geisler (editor) Inerrancy); archaeological findings which typically corroborate (and never disprove) the biblical text, often when a given text was once thought to be in error; scientific and medical prevision, etc. In many places the Quran, written at least 500 years after the New Testament, has borrowed from the biblical text (Old Testament and Gospels) but has significantly changed the history. For example, it claims that Jesus never died nor was crucified on the cross (Sura 4:15) and that Abraham was a Muslim, not a Jew (Sura 3:67). Because the Bible is proven true historically as a divine revelation and yet the Quran contradicts it at many places, the Quran cannot rationally be considered a divine revelation unless God contradicts himself which is logically impossible for an infinite being who is rational. (See: "Historical Errors of the Qur'an"; AnsweringIslam.org; http://answering-islam.org/BehindVeil/btv7.html; Also: "Historical and Reality Errors in the Koran," Light Shines in the Darkness.com; http://www.lightshinesindarkness.com/history_errors_koran_1.htm
May the hope of the Christ child, born of the Virgin Mary, be with each of you FREEPERS and lurkers!
To show how Mormonism has "changed the definition" of the "virgin birth," see these Mormon leader citations:
Example: Some LDS leaders have tried to play it both ways re: describing Mary as a virgin (for example, LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie). Some clearly implied that she wasnt (Brigham Young)
Example of LDS saying Mary was a virgin: "Modernistic teachings denying the virgin birth are utterly and completely apostate and false." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 822. [A CARM writers comment to this was: Let them proclaim it. But quite honestly, I fail to see how the Mormon people can assert that Mary remained a virgin in light of this evidence from their prophets and apostles. I see them saying two different things and backpedaling trying to sound Christian.]
Lets deal with each of those descriptions separately, shall we?
The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended with any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit." (Lds "prophet" Joseph Fielding Smith, Religious Truths Defined, p. 44)
Did ya'll catch the conception part here being discussed as part of a normal and natural course of events process? Was McConkie just making that up out of thin air? No. He was simply repeating what earlier LDS prophets have said about this natural process:
...same physical sense that any other man begets a child...:
God created man [as spirit children], as we create our children: for there is no other process of creation in heaven, on the earth, in the earth, or under the earth, or in all eternities, that is, that were, or that ever will be. Journal of Discourses (JoD), vol. 11, p. 122
(OK, Young's quote here = absolute statement that God only has one means of creation, and that the spirit, Jesus, was first created in heaven through the same process as we create our children).
The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and bloodwas begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers. (JoD vol. 8, p. 115)
(Of course, if any poster wants to tell us that they were begotten of their fathers in some other manner that their fathers who partook of flesh and blood--anything other than what Young called a natural action--weve got listening ears)
When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it. (JoD, vol. 4, p. 218, 1857)
What was Brigham meaning? When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven. (JoD vol. 1, p. 50, April 9, 1852)
What did Brigham mean by "who is the Father?...first of the human family?
Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. (Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 770, 1853)
What other LDS prophets embraced Brighams natural process of begottening?
As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propogates its own species & perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate His. (Lds "prophet" John Taylor, Mediation & Atonement, 1882, p. 165 )
What about other LDS apostles? What did they say about this natural process?
"In relation to the way in which I look upon the works of God and his creatures, I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my saviour Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it." (LDS apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, p. 211)
"Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" (LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547.)
Now Ive cited McConkie twice, and a lot of folks have seen one or both of those quotes, but not nearly as many have seen this following McConkie excerpt where McConkie makes sure we otherstand the literalness of whats he talking about:
We have spoke PLAINLY of our Lords conception in the womb of Mary. I am the son of my father and the father of my sons. They are my sons because they were begotten by me, were conceived by their mother, and came forth from her womb to breathe the breath of mortal life, to dwell for a time and a season among other mortal men. And so it is with the Eternal Father and the mortal birth of the Eternal Son. The Father is a Father is a Father
And the Son is a Son is a Son
a literal, living offspring from an actual Father. God is the Father; Christ is the Son. The one begat the other. Mary provided the womb from which the Spirit Jehovah came forth, tabernacled in clay, as all men are, to dwell among his fellow spirits whose births were brought to pass in like manner. There is no need to spiritualize away the plain meaning of the scriptures. There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lords coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. It is that simple. Christ was born of Mary. He is the Son of Godthe Only Begotten of the Father. (McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pp. 467-468, 1978 )
This is what mromonISM teaches. However, never fear because the lds jesus progressed to a god like state.
That's pretty feeble logic. It implies that parthenogenesis was the only miracle God was capable of performing. God could have put Jesus here in innumerable other ways. Ways literally beyond number.
Not to say there wasn't very good (ie, perfect) reason for the method He chose. But it wasn't the first time God made someone without relying on "normal human procreation" -- nor even the second time.
It is an interesting question with historical roots: I saw this research some time ago:
There are at least a few dozen instances of virgin births in history that I’m aware of, mostly of religious figures.
Eighteen hundred years before Christ, we find carved on one of the walls of the great temple of Luxor a picture of the annunciation, conception and birth of King Amunothph III, an almost exact copy of the annunciation, conception and birth of the Christian God.
Roman/Greek: Demeter and Persephone, Rhea and Zeus, Apollo
In Egypt, virgin mother Isis begat Horus
In Phrygia, Attis was born of the virgin Nama.
A nymph bathing in a river in China is touched by a lotus plant, and the divine Fohi is born.
In Siam, a wandering sunbeam caresses a girl in her teens, and the great and wonderful deliverer, Codom, is born.
In the life of Buddha we read that he descended on his mother Maya, “in likeness as the heavenly queen, and entered her womb,” and was born from her right side, to save the world.”
In Greece, the young god Apollo visits a fair maid of Athens, and a Plato is ushered into the world.
From Greece comes the virgin birth of Adonis, who was resurrected after being killed by a wild boar. Adonis was revered by the Phoenicians as a dying-and-rising god, and Athenians held Adonia, a yearly festival representing his death and resurrection, in midsummer.
From the Americas comes a remarkable story of the god-man Quetzalcoatl told by the Aztecs and Mayans. Not only did he have a virgin birth, but he was associated with the planet Venus, the morning star, as was Jesus. In addition, the religion built around him used the cross as a symbolic representation. Like the myths around Jesus, Quetzalcoatl said he would return to claim his earthly kingdom.
Mithra was a Persian god who was also a virgin birth, but was more than just a tribal god. Mithra was born in a cave and had twelve companions. Mithra’s birthday was also on December 25th. Both religions celebrate the resurrection at Easter. Much of what we know about Mithracism today came from the Christians. The prophet Zoroaster was also born of a virgin.
Perseus and Hercules all experienced virgin births after being fathered by yet other gods. Horus, Mithra, Dionysus and Krishna were all born on December 25th., their births were announced by “stars”, attended by ‘wise men’, involved humble birth locations, entailed the massacre of innocents and fleeing for safety from enemies, and so on and on.
A Roman savior Quirrnus was born of a virgin.
In Tibet, Indra was born of a virgin. He ascended into heaven after death.
In India, the god Krishna was born of the virgin Devaki.
Virgin births were claimed for many Egyptian pharaohs, Greek emperors and for Alexander the Great of Greece.
For a discussion of several aspects of the Christian virgin-birth story, including speculation on origins.
Not only the idea of a virgin mother, but all the other miraculous events, such as the stable cradle, the guiding star, the massacre of the children, the flight to Egypt, and the resurrection and bodily ascension toward the clouds, have not only been borrowed, but are even scarcely altered in the New Testament story of Jesus.
Comparisons of the story of Jesus Christ to stories of other religious figures
A discussion of the virgin-birth story from a modern perspective
This is spectacularly bad theology. (Of course, I certainly believe in the Virgin Birth, but I'd like to see it better defended than this.)
Jesus is either God incarnate, or he isn't. If he isn't, Christianity is wrong anyway and we're wasting our time.
If he is, there is no question of him being a "sinner" or "needing a savior". God can't do that or be that, questions about his birth or his gestation notwithstanding.
(The idea that someone who isn't born of a virgin is a "sinner" is also wrong. God isn't bound by any silly rule like that unless he chooses to be; he's God, he gets to make the rules.)
The Virgin Birth can best be defended by observing that Scripture teaches it, and Christian tradition has always taught it, not by trying to construct bad arguments-from-necessity that try to tie God's hands and tell him what he can and can't do.
The point of his miraculous conception, was that Father put his hand to impart a special spirit within the Ovum. A marriage, if you will of the spiritual, and the flesh. Mary was the vessel that carried him for 9 months, and after his birth he fulfilled his mission.
Arguing over interpretations of Bible verses, benefits no one. Every one of us is born with a clean slate, we could live a sinless life if our spirit were strong. Sadly, our spirits are weak, we give in to the flesh, and we sin.
The life of Yeshua, and his death, redeems us from our spiritual downfall. The vessel of our body does not impart sin to us, the flesh has wants and "needs", but it is the spirit that lives within is what sins and defiles the body. Thinking of it in a way that makes more sense, we are not physical beings, on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings, on a physical journey, in which nearly all fail at perfection.
There were humans in the Bible, that lived sinless lives, and were taken to Heaven without dying first. With all that said, my readings of scripture show that Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, without aid of sperm from her soon to be husband. Yeshua lived without sin, and was sacrificed for all. Partake of the sacrifice, accept it and truly try and live a sinless life, confessing your sins to the Father in the name of Christ, and you too will be "seen" as blameless.
And I can imagine that SATAN knew of GOD’s plan, way before it came to pass.
Nothing like a few phonys that predate the TRUTH to try to mess up The Plan!
That's because the god of NON-creation; Condom, was not yet around...
(Well, of course not. You've apparently already jettisoned much of the Bible...they're not worth the effort)
The life of Yeshua, and his death, redeems us from our spiritual downfall. The vessel of our body does not impart sin to us, the flesh has wants and "needs", but it is the spirit that lives within is what sins and defiles the body.
The Gnostics were just as imbalanced; only they blamed sin on the flesh.
Sorry, but our body AND our spirit has conducted a "teamwork" exercise to place us in sin.
Every one of us is born with a clean slate, we could live a sinless life if our spirit were strong. Sadly, our spirits are weak, we give in to the flesh, and we sin.
That's not what David the Psalmist concluded:
"Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies" (Ps. 58:3); "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Ps. 51:5).
Or the apostle Paul:
1 As for you, you were DEAD in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of OUR FLESH and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were BY NATURE deserving of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
But go ahead. Label the apostle Paul as being mistaken or a liar or a false prophet. Go ahead.
As for me and my house, I'll take Jesus' ancestor, David and the apostle Paul over somebody running their lips any day!
The problem with your comparisons is that they usually involved the pagan gods physically impregnating the women involved, so they weren’t virgins anymore. The example of the inscription at Luxor is just bad interpretation; in the panel that is supposed to show her being impregnated with an Ankh up her nose, she’s clearly already pregnant, so what is being depicted is definitely not what your sources are making it out to be.
Also, some of your examples actually come AFTER the story of Christ. Mithra, for example, existed before Christ, but all the elements similar to the nativity story are only found in documents that date long after the Christ story is well-known.
Faith is a gift, not given to everyone. That's sad, isn't it? It must be frustrating to nonbelievers, never knowing what reality is.
Psalm 51 when David was chastised by Nathan the prophet. Have mercy unto me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: According unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out MY transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight That Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thouh judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Clearly, this is a prayer for forgiveness. It is not a teaching of what the flesh is, but an admission that David was sinful, and had sinned. Asking for forgiveness for all sins, even those of his that he could know nothing about. Now, if you want to go on and say that his Mother conceived him in sin, because sex is sin within marriage, then you are on your own. Sex is a blessing within a marriage, and is expected, and is one of the first things God instructed man to do.
As for the quote from Paul, we are sinful by nature. It does not connote sin upon all BECAUSE of birth. It shows that we all have fallen victim to our flesh nature. "Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies" (Ps. 58:3); "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Ps. 51:5). Ps 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: They go astray.....(not are astray) as soon as they are born, speaking lies.