Most scholars believe the Book of Isaiah was written by different prophets at different times. Chapters 1–39 are pre-Exilic: that is, before the Babylonian Exile. The remainder (chapters 40–66) is post-Exilic; it is attributed either to an anonymous Second Isaiah (deutero-Isaiah) or, in the opinion of some scholars, chapters 40–59 to Second Isaiah and chapters 60–66 to Third Isaiah (trito-Isaiah).



The Caesarean creed of Eusebius was appended by Athanasius to his work on the Council of Nicea, De decretis. For the text and an English translation, see J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (London/New York: Longmans, Green, 1950), p. 182.


For Ignatius’ statements on the birth of Jesus, see his letter, Ephesians 19:1 and Smyrnaeans 1:1.


A convenient source for the works of the Apostolic Fathers is the two-volume edition of The Apostolic Fathers transl. Kirsopp Lake, the Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann/Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1912, 1913, reprinted numerous times).


Iranaeus, Against Heresies 1.26.1.


See John 3:17, 5:36, 38, 6:29, 57, 7:29, 8:42, 11:42, 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23, 25, 20:21


See, for example, Philippians 2:6–11; Colossians 1:15–20; John 1:1–15; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:3–4; 1 Corinthians 15:3–5.


Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “The Virginal Conception of Jesus in the New Testament,” Theological Studies 34 (1973), p. 567.


For a chart with detailed citations to each of the five narratives, see Raymond E. Brown, The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977), p. 156.


That John the Baptist was to drink no wine (Luke 1:15, 7:33) is reminiscent of the Nazirite vows promised for Samson and Samuel in Judges 13:4–5 and 1 Samuel 9:15. Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55) echoes the song of Samuel’s mother Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1–10. Mary brings Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22) as Hannah brought Samuel to the tabernacle at Shiloh (1 Samuel 1:21–28). In the sacred precincts Mary encounters the aged Simeon much as Hannah had encountered the old priest Eli.


Philo, Life of Moses 1.50, #276.


The stories involved may have dated from the second century, but they survive only in a few late Greek manuscripts and in Arabic and Armenian versions, not all of which give the same material. The work probably has no relationship to the Coptic Gospel of Thomas found at Nag Hammadi. See Edgar Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. 1: Gospels and Related Writings, ed. Wilhelm Schneemelcher; transl. R.McL. Wilson (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1963), pp. 392–401. For material on all of the so-called infancy gospels, see pp. 363–417.


Matthew 3:3, 4:14–16, 8:17, 12:17–21, 13:14–15, 13:35, 21:4–5, 26:56, 27:9–10.