But at least one pastor has a few comments that seem to indicate otherwise. In this post, Paul Janssen's main point is to ask his readers about the role the virgin birth plays in their Christian lives. But in the process he mentions two things that pretty much all of us know: (1) that pre-Christian religions had virgin births; (2) that Matthew mistranslated Isaiah 7:14 when he substituted "virgin" for the OT's broader, "young woman". He doesn't say for sure, but Janssen is apparently skeptical of the NT's accounts.
Well, I took issue with the post in a comment there that I figured might be worth reproducing here for those of you who are generally interested in this issue or who share his assumptions. I hope it helps:
(1) What other virgin births are you thinking of, specifically?
(2) You say that most of us are aware of Matthew's mistranslation of Isaiah 7. For one thing, properly speaking it would be the LXX's mistranslation more than Matthew's, since he sticks very close to the LXX in that quote.
But more importantly, the Gk. parthenos, which most certainly means "virgin" in English, is quite a reasonable translation of the Hebrew almah. Almah only occurs a handful of times in the Hebrew Bible, but in all but one case it most certainly refers to an unmarried woman (i.e. a "virgin"), and in only one case is it possible for it to refer to a married young woman, [and even there] it really could go either way (that reference escapes me right now, because my old computer broke so I don't have my BibleWorks, and my good commentaries are in my office!).
All that to say this: to say that all of us recognize that Matthew has mistranslated Isaiah 7:14 is, well, wrong for both of the reasons that I gave
(3) I should also add that Matthew 1:18-25 paints the picture of Jesus basically being adopted by Joseph- that is where the text wants us to go, I think, despite that it doesn't actually use the word "adopted". Remarkable then, isn't it, that our Lord's adoption into the line of David is seen as enough for him to be truly David's son, no less than if he were physically born of a descendant of David. Why is this remarkable? Because, of course, we Gentiles were not in the line Abraham, yet we receive the promises given to him. We sinners were also not the true sons of God, but we were adopted by the Father. If adoption is good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for us. Virginal conception points to the nature of our Lord and to the precedent he sets for us in beautiful ways.