'CP' denotes 'compare passage' 1:18-21 How are we to understand this?

This is more easily understood in the light of Lu 1:26-35 (CP Lu 1:26-35). This describes the virgin birth of Jesus - one of the central doctrines of the Christian faith. Many professing Christians however deny the virgin birth, and thus are denying the plain truth of scripture (CP Mt 1:22-23 with Isa 7:14). Isaiah prophesied the virgin birth in Isa 7:14 here, nearly eight hundred years before the Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to interpret the prophecy as applying to the virgin birth of Jesus, in Mt 1:22-23. All these scriptures are meaningless if there was no virgin birth.

Mary was a virgin in the strictest sense. She had never had a sexual relationship with any man when Jesus was conceived in her womb. But she was not a perpetual virgin either, as so many other Christians believe (CP Mt 1:24-25). "...and knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son", means that Joseph did consummate his marriage with Mary after the birth of Jesus. Mary had at least seven children with Joseph after Jesus was born (CP Mt 12:46-47; 13:53-56; Mk 3:20-21; 6:1-3). Friends in Mk 3:20-21 (KJV), means immediate family members. This is confirmed in V31-32 (CP V31-32; Lu 8:19-20 (see also comments on Mt 12:46-47 and Mk 3:20-21)).

Immanuel in Isa 7:14 and Mt 1:23, which means "God with us", confirms the deity of Jesus; that He has always existed as God (CP Mic 5:2; Jn 1:1-3; 3:13; Php 2:5-8; 1 Ti 3:16; He 1:1-13; Rev 22:13). For a more detailed study on the deity of Jesus see also comments on Lu 1:35 (B), Jn 12:41, Ac 13:33, 20:28, Php 2:5-8, 1 Ti 3:16, He 1:5, 5:5, 1 Jn 5:6-9, Rev 1:8.

2:1 Who were the wise men and how many were there?

Scriptures do not say who the wise men were, where they came from, or how many there were. All that is known of them is that they brought gifts of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, for the baby Jesus (CP V 11-12).

2:3-5 Who prophesied Christ's birthplace?

The Old Testament prophet Micah prophesied that Christ would be born in Bethlehem (CP V 6 with Mic 5:2). Bethlehem means "house of bread". It is not without significance that Jesus, the bread of life, was born in the house of bread (CP Jn 6:31-35).

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