October 22, 2002
This is a response I just sent to a person asking me why Christians believe Isaiah 7:14 is a prophecy of Jesus. He/She signed the letter as "Another Pagan". So, I will refer to this person as Pagan. Pagan said this prophecy was not fulfilled 700+ years later by Jesus. Pagan believes Isaiah's son fulfilled this prophecy. Pagan also said the verse was not translated correctly. Specifically, the Hebrew word "almah" means "young woman", not "virgin".
I would like to thank you for visiting my website. I also appreciate your message.
Why do Christians believe Isaiah 7:14 is a prophecy of Jesus? My answer is that Matthew said Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled by Jesus. The study notes in my Bible say this prophecy is twofold. It was fulfilled for Ahaz by Isaiah's son, and also foretold the birth of Christ. Here is link to a detailed discussion that concludes Jesus alone was fulfillment of this prophecy: http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fabprof2.html
I have researched the translation issue you mentioned and found hard evidence that there is no mistranslation there. A young Jewish woman of marriageable age was presumed to be a virgin. One reason the word "bethulah" was not used is because it does not always mean a virgin.
I have read in the Bible where God appeared in many different forms. He appeared as a burning bush to Moses. Do I have any physical proof of this burning bush? No. He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Have I ever held the tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments? No. I don't think the tablets would even be enough proof. There still would be some doubt. To be 100% sure, I would need to see God actually write the commands on the tablets. Is that going to happen? Probably not. However, I still try to live my life by the Ten Commandments because I believe they are very important to God and for the general welfare of mankind.
The same goes for Jesus. Do I personally have any physical proof of Jesus that will prove his existence to you beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. However, they continue to find physical proof in the Holy Land that builds a good case for Jesus. The story of Jesus is not just some fairytale. A historical document written by Josephus, a Jewish historian, provides additional support for Christ. You can find more information on Josephus at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08522a.htm