In a service I attended the pastor said that Christianity is unique with its idea of the virgin birth. I was surprised because according to the Zeitgeist movie I had watched, virgin births and other elements of Jesus were a common myth.
Your thread title is misleading. When I saw it, I was ready with counterexamples.
But you seem to be saying that the pastor was wrong in claiming “Christianity is unique with the virgin birth”, and backing this up with Wikipedia site claiming the opposite.
You might want to change the thread title, although perhaps you want top stir up controversy. It’s actually a little unclear to me what you want to do – you evidently agree with the Wikipedia site. Do you want Believers to challenge this?
The pastor was incorrect. Virgin births are not an idea unique to Christianity.
Once again, you’ve raised an argument you didn’t believe and then refuted it.
In debate, this is known as a strawman argument. In general, debate flourishes when opposing sides each have a proponent that genuinely advocates for the truth of the proposition they are advancing.
Now, it’s true that Christianity’s virgin birth contains a combination of specific elements that other traditions do not. Whether that specific combination make it “unique,” I leave up to you, OP, to define just how “unique,” you’re looking for. But the general story of a pregnancy and birth to a virgin is not unique, per se.
If you read that article carefully, not all of those supposed Virgin births are really virgin births. I can’t vouch for every religion out there, but certainly Hinduism has none that I’m aware of, and the supposed virgin births in Hinduism don’t qualify.
A number of them are not “virgin births” as such, but “impregnation by deity,” with the question of the mother’s virtue pre-deity-sexy-time left unanswered. We know Krishna’s mother was not a virgin; she was married, and already had eight other children.
Off the top of my head, though, I think Danaë/Perseus qualifies as a true virgin birth, but Perseus was only a demigod and remained among mortals until his death.
The movie Zeitgeist help spread what has become a popular meme: that everything is Christianity is just a rehashed version of some earlier pagan myth.
In reality, the OP’s pastor is closer to the truth than Zeitgeist. There are surprisingly FEW genuine parallels between Jesus and the various and sundry pagan deities and heroes we’re often told are just like him.
For example, Mithras and Jesus have practically nothing in common, despite what Bill Maher may have told you. Many people will tell you that Mithras was born of a virgin. No, actually, Mithras was born of a rock… though I suppose it’s possible, even likely that the rock had never had sex, so technically…
Sorry I wasn’t clear in my post. I am saying that before I thought the pastor was wrong but now I think he may be right. The first link explicitly says the pastor is right and the wikipedia link seems to agree as well with the first link. I was wondering if people think that the pastor is wrong (e.g. like in the Zeitgeist video)