There is probably no aspect of the Christian faith that has been subjected to more abuse than the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus.
The first mention of the concept in prophecy is found in Genesis 3:15. In this verse, God tells Satan that the redemption of Mankind will come through one who will be born of "the seed of woman."
Isaiah makes the same point in Isaiah 7:14 where he states the Messiah will be born of a "virgin." It is true that the Hebrew word used by Isaiah can also be translated "maiden." But when a group of rabbis translated this verse into Greek in what is known as the Septuagint Version of the Hebrew Scriptures (about 285 BC), they used a Greek word that can only mean "virgin." Likewise, when Matthew quoted this verse in his Gospel (Matthew 1:23) and applied it to Jesus, he used the same Greek word that can only be translated "virgin."
A third prophecy is found in Jeremiah 31:22, "The Lord has created a new thing in the earth — a woman will encompass a man." This is a rather enigmatic prophecy, but the important thing about it is that Jewish rabbis over the centuries have interpreted it to mean that the Messiah will have a miraculous origin. As one rabbi put it, the conception of the Messiah will be "like the dew of the Lord upon a woman."