The alleged conception of Jesus in his mother's womb occurred in circumstances, which lay outside the laws of nature common to all human beings. The egg produced by the mother's ovary did not need to join with a part which should have come from his father, to form the embryo and hence a foetus. The phenomena of the birth of a normal person without the fertilizing action of the male's part is called 'parthenogenesis'. This form of reproduction occurs in some insects and flowers, in which the unfertilized ovum develops directly into a new life. In trying to present Jesus as a biological exception, Biblical writers and composers defied logic and science. It is shameful and repugnant that the alleged embodiment of God would be conceived like an insect or flower. Jesus did not need to a biological exception only in the way he was conceived in his mother's womb, but then presented as have grown in the same womb, was born and had a childhood that was biological or natural.
If Christ had to come into the world avoiding the impurity of human conception and birth, why did he not descend directly from heaven in person? If he can descend on the clouds at his still awaited alleged second coming, why could he not do the same at his first coming, thereby pre-empting reasons for doubt and saving far more of fallen humanity?
The Babylonian Talmud says that Jesus was a mamzer (literally a bastard or an illegitimate child). It says he was born out of an illegitimate union between his mother and a drunken Roman soldier. Only the offspring of incestuous or forbidden marriages are mamzerim. Children born out of wedlock are not mamzerim in Jewish law and bear no stigma, unless the marriage would have been prohibited. Children of a married man and a woman who is not his wife are not mamzerim (because the marriage between the parents would not have been prohibited), although children of a married woman and a man who is not her husband are mamzerim (because she could not have married him).
There are scattered first century Christian and Talmudic references to a miracle worker named Jesus ben Pantera. Among them is a quote from Origen, saying that his arch-rival Celsus had heard from a Jew in Jerusalem that Jesus Ben Pantera was born of Mary as the result of a rape by a Roman soldier named Pantera, and had borne the baby in secret. There may be something to this assertion, which would account for Mark's obvious embarrassment regarding the origins of Jesus since Gospel of Mark never mentions Joseph as the husband of Mary.
Note also that it was both the Roman custom and the custom of the Jews to include a patrilineal surname as part of a person's full name; yet nowhere in the New Testament does the surname of Jesus, (or Joseph, for that matter) appear. Jesus is often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, a geographical surname that was usually reserved by Jews for illegitimate children of unknown patrilineage (Romans used the surname of the father, regardless of the legitimacy of the birth). The Talmud refers to Jeshu as being the illegitimate son of an adulteress named Mary Magdala.
The Talmud mentions Jesus' name 20 times and documents that he was born an illegitimate son of a Roman soldier called Panthera, nicknamed "the Panther". In many Jewish references, Jesus is often referred to as "ben Panthera". ‘ben’ means ‘son of".
Religious scholars over the centuries have discussed at length why Jesus was so regularly called ben Panthera. Origen of Alexandria (184-254 CE) is one of the greatest of all early Christian theologians, a historian and clergyman. He was appointed to succeed Clement of Alexandria as head of the catechetical school of Alexandria, where he had been a student. Prior to St. Augustine, he was the most influential theologian of the church.
He recorded the following verses about Mary from the research records of a highly regarded second-century historian and author named Celsus (c. 178): Mary was turned out by her husband, a carpenter by profession, after she had been convicted of unfaithfulness. Cut off by her spouse, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard; that Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt; that while there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing - ‘Contra Celsum’ (Against Celsus), 1:28.
Later, in passage 1:32, Origen supports the Jewish records and confirms that the paramour of the mother of Jesus was a Roman soldier called Panthera, a name he repeats in verse 1:69. Some time during the 17th century, those sentences were erased from the oldest Vatican manuscripts and other codices under Church control (Origen 1:28 and 1:32) by Lommatzech in his Origen Contra Celsum, Berlin, 1845.
Contra Celsum (Against Celsus) is a closely reasoned long apologetic work refuting arguments advanced by the philosopher Celsus, an influential 2nd-century Platonist of Alexandria and perhaps the first serious critic of Christianity.
The early Christian church writings of St Epiphanius (315-403 CE), the Bishop of Constantia/Salamis, the metropolis of the Island of Cyprus, again confirm the ben Panthera story, and his information is of a startling nature. This champion of Christian orthodoxy and saint of Catholicism states: Jesus was the son of a certain Julius whose surname was Panthera – ‘Haer’ (Heresies), lxxvii, 7.
While very young, St Epiphanius followed the monastic life in Egypt. On his return to Judea he founded a monastery at Besanduk and was ordained to the priesthood. In 367 his reputation for asceticism and learning brought about his nomination as a bishop.
According to Jonathon D. Michaelis, Commentaries on the Law of Moses, vols. I-IV (1814), the story of Mary's pregnancy by a Roman soldier also appears in the sacred book of the Moslems, the Koran. It states that "a full-grown man" forced his attentions on Mary, and in her fear of the disgrace that would follow she left the area and bore Jesus in secret. This story was supported in the Gospel of Luke, with the description of the departure of Joseph and Mary from their home prior to the birth. Rape was a common event in Palestine during the Roman occupation, and soldiers were notorious for their treatment of young women.
It would be unthinkable for Mary to admit such an event had occurred, for under the Law of Moses a betrothed virgin who had sex with any man during the period of her betrothal was to be stoned to death by the men of the city (Deut. 22:21). Simply put, Mary faced the death penalty unless she could prove her innocence.
There are numerous rabbinical sources from the early Christian period, which refer to the Jesus of Christian fame as Jesus ben Pantera from Nazareth. There are several interesting references to a Jeshu ben Pandera from Nazareth who travelled around and practised as a member of the Essene Movement during the reign of Alexander Janneus, who ruled Palestine from 104 to 78 BCE. He was declared a heretic by a temple court, was stoned to death and hanged on a tree on the eve of Passover in 88 BCE.