Myth of the Nativity

The Virgin Birth Re-examined

Andrew Welburn

Out of print

Quick Look

A new interpretation of the Virgin Birth, exploring the different ancient traditions come together in its sacred narrative.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Religion & Spirituality; Religion & Spirituality
192 pages
Publication date:
23 Feb 2006


Lamech 'was afraid of him and fled and ... said: I have begotten a strange son; he is not like a human being, but like the children of the angels.'
(1 Enoch from the Dead Sea Scrolls)

The conception and birth of Jesus is one of the most mysterious and challenging stories in the Gospels, surrounded by many signs and miracles. Is it possible to understand the Virgin Birth in a light that is both true to its origins and meaningful in our times?

In this carefully argued study, Andrew Welburn says that we must reimagine the events of the Virgin Birth through the eyes of the Gospel writers. He explores many parallel stories and prototype characters, drawn from Jewish, Persian, Egyptian and Roman sources, which could have been known by them. Stories of unusual children with mysterious parenthood have, in fact, long inspired human beliefs and story-telling -- an awareness often lost to modern orthodox Christianity.

Welburn concludes that the Virgin Birth is part of a greater story, a synthesis of many traditions, and stands for, above all, a promise of spiritual rebirth. This book is for anyone interested in the origins, and future, of the Christian faith.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Virgin Birth: What Really Happened?
1. Memoirs of Joseph and Mary?
2. The Shocking Truth
3. Jesus as Noah
4. A Near Miss and the Wrong Virgin
5. The Christmas Gospel
6. The Son of God
7. Virgin Birth: The Mystery


'Andrew Welburn approaches the subject with what we have come to expect from him, a wide scholarship infused with spiritual imagination. It is clear that this book has been written for a wider readership than those familiar with the work of Rudolf Steiner. Hopefully it will reach many people, for it takes the realm of spirit as serious and real within a scholarly context. It is a thought-provoking and challenging book.'
-- Pearl Goodwin, Perspectives, Christmas 2006

'I advise readers to allow themselves time to grant this book the attention it merits. Andrew Welburn has provided a notable example of the courageous scholarship we have come to expect from him.'
-- Ormond Edwards, New View, Spring 2006

'Welburn brings a rare combination of perspectives to his work as a biblical scholar. A fascinating book for anyone trying to fathom the deeper truths of Christianity. Ours is an emerging age of Gnosis and scholars like Welburn are beacons spreading a new light.'
-- David Lorimer, Scientific & Medical Network Review, Spring 2006

'Engagingly written.'
--F. Gerald Downing, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Booklist 2007, Vol. 29.5


Andrew Welburn taught at the University of London, has been a Fellow of the Warburg Institute and taught at New College, Oxford, until 2005. He is author of The Beginnings of Christianity, Gnosis, The Mysteries and Christianity, and Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy.

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