“With regard to the conception, the Old Roman Creed, of very great antiquity, says He ‘was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.’ The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (AD 325, 381) says He ‘was made flesh of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.’ The Nicene Creed really carries over the affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed of which the origins lie in the second century. Any one who doubts the church believed, confessed and taught this from the very earliest time should read the evidence cited by John G. Machen in The Virgin Birth of Christ. One of the very earliest of the writing Fathers, Ignatius of Antioch (martyred not later than AD 117, perhaps as early as AD 107) mentions the virgin birth and miraculous conception. The writer’s phrases appear as if not needing confirmation among his Christian readers, viz.: ‘conceived in the womb of Mary … by the Holy Ghost’ (both in To Ephesians, xviii). Twice in To Ephesians xix, he says ‘the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of the world.’ Other similar statements showing acceptance of the virgin birth by Ignatius and his readers will be found in To the Smyrnaeans chapter 1 and other places. Justin Martyr, who lived from about AD 110 to AD 165, is similarly at ease with the virgin birth, even devoting two chapters of his Dialogue with Trypho to prove from Old Testament prophecy that Christ was born of a virgin. The matter was not seriously challenged so far as we know until post-Reformation times.” – Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology, 470

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