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Fundamental doctrine of orthodox Christianity that Jesus had no natural father but was conceived by Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. Based on the infancy narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the doctrine was universally accepted in the Christian church by the 2nd century. It remains a basic article of belief in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, most Protestant churches, and Islam. A corollary of its dogma is the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity, accepted by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and by some Lutheran and Anglican theologians. See alsoImmaculate Conception.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Virgin Birth, visit Britannica.com.
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