Isaiah 7:14 is a prophecy of the Messiah (contrary to claims by Infidels)
Round 1 is for exceptance only. All other rounds are for argugments and rebuttals.
There is nothing in Isaiah 7:14 which says he must have been called Immanuel on the same day he was born, he could receive that name at any time. Since the disciples did recognize him as God, it is reasonable to believe that Mary herself refered to him as Immanuel during his ministry or even before that, seeing as she too would have known about these prophecies. Luke backs up Matthew, testifying that in his day this virgin birth did occur. (Luke 1:26-35; 2:7) Thought Luke was not an eyewitness like Matthew, he got his information from the eyewitnesses (Luke 1:1-4), so we can be confident that this did occur. If Isaiah didn't prophesy a virgin birth, it is rather odd that such did still occur nevertheless.
While I'm tempted to offer a preemptive rebuttal to the argument I know my opponent could raise, I'll let him present that case fist. It is up now to him to cast doubt on whether this truely is a messianic prophecy.
Thank you for challenging me to this debate. Throughout this debate, I will argue that Isaiah 7:14 is not a messianic prophecy at all.
Virgin is mistranslated
First and foremost, I wish to point out that the word virgin in the text is sorely mistranslated. The word virgin in this sense is the word alamah, which means young woman, NOT virgin. 
Implications of a virgin birth
At times, many Christians do not realise that there are severe implications to a virgin birth. Consider what Galatians 4:4 has to say: "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law."
There are implications to this. We are presumming that this birth is without the assistance of a male, but Jesus was not born in accordance with the Law. According to the New Testament, the virgin birth violates the Law of God, which specifies what constitutes adultry. (See Deuteronomy 22:23-34). As a result, the claim taht Jesus swas born of a woman, that was to be married to another man, yet had God has his father, is considered an adulterous union.  What good is a moral code violated by God himself?
What is really going on in Isaiah 7?
We also see a few characteristics of this son:
1) He will eat cream and honey when he reaches the age of accountability;
2) Before he reaches that age, the land of the kings that Ahaz is at war with will be desolate; and
3) Be a son of a young woman.
Now, ask yourself this: How can a child born 700 years later possibly be a comfort to Ahaz? It can't!
Furthermore, the reason why this Messianic prophecy is not a prophecy of the messiah at all is because in the next chapter the prophecy is fulfilled in Mahershalahashbaz. (I think I spelled that correctly). Let's take a look at what Isaiah 8 says:
What do we see in this child?
1) His name means, "Hasten loot, speed the spoils";
2) The lad will not know how to call "father" and "mother" when his enemy kings are destroyed; (verse 4)
3) Referred to as "Immanuel" in verse 8; and
4) Referred to as the fulfillment of the prophecy.
I would like to encourage my opponent (and the readers) to read the proper translation at http://www.harfordjewish.com...;
In his book, J. Edwart Barrett points out the fact that early Christians rejected the notion of a virgin birth. According to Berrett, the evidence is found in 1 Timothy 1:3-4. The writer advises his audience "instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than futhering the administration of God which is by faith." The earliest gospel is Mark. Mark lacks the account of Jesus' birth, as does John. The Virgin birth is obviously quite relevant to genealogies and myths that is pointed out in 1 Timothy.
| CONCLUSION |
As we see, the notion that Isaiah 7:14 is a reference to the messiah is false on the accounts of:
1) There are severe theological problems with the VB;
2) The prophecy was fulfilled in the next chapter;
3) The early Christians do not believe in a virgin birth;
4) "Virgin" is mistranslated; and (most importantly)
5) The writers of the gospel is out-of-context.
 Yosef, Uri. "Isaiah 7:14 - Part 1: An Accurate Grammatical Analysis." The Jewish Home. Web. 17 Sept. 2011. <http://thejewishhome.org...;.
(Download the pdf with the article entitled: "Isaiah 7:14 - Part 1: An Accurate Grammatical Analysis."
 Segal, Gerald. "What Are the Implications of the New Testament Claim That Jesus Was "born under Law"?" Jews for Judaism. Smotrich Family Foundatio. Web. 17 Sept. 2011. <http://jewsforjudaism.org...;
http://www.google.com...) Since Jewish custom held that a woman young was to remain a virgin till marriage (Deu 22:13-21), even such a young woman (almah) would normally be a virgin, hence, Matthew is perfectly justified in his rendering weather the Hebrew of his day said betulah (virgin) or almah (maiden).
Con goes on to use Deuteronomy 22:23-34 in his argument that for Mary to get pregnant by God would constitute adultery since she was engaged to Joseph, but this passage is talking about having sex outside of one's marriage, that's what adultery is - "sex" outside of one's marriage union, but since Mary was not having sex she couldn't be guilty of adultery. (Luke 1:34) Adultery must also involve sexual relations with the opposite sex, but since neither God the Father or the Holy Spirit who were involved in her pregnancy are members of the opposite sex (but are spirit), this miracle can't constitute adultery. (Luke 1:35)
Con wants to know how a baby born 700 years after Ahaz could be a "sign" to him, well, it wasn't. Ahaz rejected the sign, and so God gave the sign, not to Ahaz specifically, but to "the house of David." (Isaiah 7:13-14) Ahaz no longer existed when Jesus was born, but the house of David sure did. This brings up a question I'd like Con to answer: if this young woman (almah) wasn't a virgin, then how was this quite normal, non-miraculous birth supposed to be a sign? What would be so special about that? Young women were giving birth for thousands of years! Why would the prophet point to something so natural and unspectacular as a "sign"? A literal virgin birth makes more sense of the text in terms of the prophet's use of this birth as a special sign.
When offered a sign, Ahaz replies defiantly: "I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord." (Isaiah 7:12) Yahweh is inviting him to turn back to true worship and is offering to strengthen his faith by performing a sign. However, Ahaz prefers to seek protection elsewhere. It is possibly at this point that the king sends a large sum of money to Assyria, seeking help against his northern enemies. (2 Kings 16:7, 8) Meanwhile, the Syro-Israelite army encircled Jerusalem and the siege was on. With the king's lack of faith on his mind, Isaiah says: "Hear ye now, O house of Daid; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?" (Isaiah 7:13) Yes, Jehovah can get tired of constant defiance. Observe, too, that the prophet now says "my God," not "your God." An ominous change! When Ahaz rejects Jehovah and turns to Assyria, he loses a fine opportunity to restore his relationship with God.
Far from telling Ahaz God was with him, Isaiah terrified him with news that disaster was coming at the hands of Assyria. (Isaiah 7:17) Ahaz reasoned that befriending Assyria would relieve him of Israel and Syria, that Assyria's king will respond to Ahaz' plea by eventually attacking Israel and Syria. (2 Kings 16:9) This is likely why Pekah and Rezin will be forced to lift their siege of Jerusalem. Thus, the Syro-Israelite league will have proved unable to take Jerusalem. (Isaiah 7:1) Now, though, Isaiah tells his shocked audience that Assyria, their hoped-for protector, will become their oppressor! The prophet goes on to describe what the Assyrian invasion will do to the land and its people. (Isaiah 7:18, 19) The armies of Egypt and Assyria, like swarms of flies and bees, will have their attention directed to the Promised Land. This will not be a passing invasion. "The flies" and "the bees" will settle down, infesting every nook and cranny of the land. Ahaz hires the Assyrian king to "shave" Syria and Israel. However, this "hired razor" from the Euphrates region will move against Judah's "head" and shave it clean! (Isaiah 7:20) The context of Isaiah 7:14 therefore shows Isaiah was not saying Immanuel would be a sign in their time that God was with Ahaz; he was pointing far into the future, for in his day, God had abandoned Ahaz.
Before Jesus reached the age to chose good over bad everything prophesied to happen regarding Assyria had happened, so Jesus still fits the bill fine.
My opponent says it was Mahershalalhashbaz referred to as Immanuel, but Isaiah 8:5 says that God was speaking to "me," that is, Isaiah, therefore, the Immanuel of Isaiah 8:8 was the prophet himself. Immanuel was a common name. However, it makes no sense for God to be speaking to a baby in Isaiah 8:8 who can't understand him. There is no statement in Isaiah 8 that the Immanuel prophecy was being fulfilled, that's just Con's opinion. Matthew was discussing the "fulfillment" of the birth, Isaiah wasn't. So the Immanuel of Isaiah 8 isn't the Immanuel of chapter 7.
Con denies the early Christian believed in a virgin birth based on 1 Timothy 1:3-4, but this was discussing genealogies, not virgin births. Neither does Paul say here "which" genealogies he means. Con is claiming that because Mark and John didn't mention the virgin birth, that early Christians didn't believe in it, so let me ask, did Mark and John record everything that the early church believed? He presents no proof Mark was written before Matthew. Subscriptions, appearing at the end of Matthew's Gospel in numerous manuscripts say that the account was written about the eighth year after Christ's ascension (c. 41 C.E.). This would not be at variance with internal evidence. The fact that no reference is made to the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy respecting Jerusalem's destruction would point to a time of composition prior to 70 C.E. Around 140 C.E., Bishop Papias of Hierapolis wrote:
"Mark became Peter's interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not indeed in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement of the Lord's oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them." (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.39.15)
Mark, though shorter than Matthew in length, is still much too long and varied for its order to have been known to be "improper" through any remembrance of oral tradition. Its order had to be improper relative to some other, written document, which then must have been a gospel that preceded it. Hence Mark could not have been the first gospel written. Around 170/180 C.E., Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, clearly expressed the tradition of the order in which the Gospels were written, and he says Matthew came before Mark. (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3.1.1) Other church fathers attest to this, so Con's point is again negated.
I thank my opponent for this important debate. Is Isaiah 7:14 a Messianic prophecy contrary to claims by Jews and Infidels? That is the question I wish to answer. I hope, by the end of this debate, that we can conclude that the answer is a big fat NO!
Virgin is mistranslated
My opponent uses the LXX defense, which may seem reasonable, until we look at the problems.
Problem 1: Parthenos does not always mean "virgin"
1) The 70 rabbis did not translate Isaiah, only the "Pentateuch";
2) The introduction to the English edition of the LXX states that "The Pentetuch is considered to be the part best executed, while the book of Isaiah is considered to be the worst;
3) In Genesis 34:2-4 the word "Parthenos" is used to reference a non-virgin, young woman that was raped!; and
4) The version you are thinking of is not original, but a later corrupt version. 
Problem 2: The LXX is not a literal translation.
Because it is not a literal translation, it is possible that the young woman was a virgin at the sign of the prophecy, and then concieved in the next chapter.
My opponent's "solution" is negated.
Context of Isaiah 7
My opponent asks: "If this young woman was not a virgin, then how was this quite normal, non-miraculous birth suppose to be a sign?" This is a straw-man argument. The sign was not a miraculous birth, but rather it was the prophecy of the name itself. Notice that in Hosea, and throughout the Old Testament, names have very special meanings and is often a prophetic name. Thus the name, "God is with us" is to prove that God is truly with Israel.
PRO then goes on to state taht Ahaz refused the sign. This is true, but God grants him a sign anyway.
"Before Jesus reached the age to chose good over bad everything prophesied to happen regarding Assyria had happened, so Jesus still fits the bill fine."
Yes, as does Mahershalahasbaz, which makes a lot more sense than a Virgin Birth.
Notice the verse states "ha'almah" or "the young woman," not a young woman as the Christian Bible states.
Notice that it states "she will call his name Emmanuel," not "they shall call,"
In addition to these issues, it becomes clear based upon the context of Hebrew that the young woman referred to in Isaiah 7:14 knows Ahaz. .
"For before the boy will know enought to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken." Note that the very next chapter states, "For before the child shall know to cry, 'My father and my mother' the riches of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away." This is a clear fulfillment of the prophecy.
 Kravitz, Bentzion. The Jewish Response to Missionaries: Counter-missionary Handbook.p 33. Los Angeles, CA: Jews for Judaism, 2001. Print.
 Ibid. p 35
Because it doesn't "always" mean virgin doesn't show that it "never" does, as for example Genesis 24:16 where parthenos is used for "virgin" in the LXX, and we know it means virgin because it also says no man had known (had sex with) her. Words tend to have more than one meaning at times, and showing that parthenos has other meanings besides "virgin" is no evidence that it can't mean virgin in Isaiah 7:14. Similarly, the word "son" doesn't always mean a biological relationship (John 1:34) but that doesn't mean it "never" does. (Matt 1:25)
"The 70 rabbis did not translate Isaiah, only the "Pentateuch""
Following the translation of the Torah "(285-244 B.C.E.)...The designation Septuagint was EXTENDED to the rest of the Bible and non-canonical books that were translated to Greek during the following two centuries." (Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 14, p1178) At Hebrews 10:5-6 Paul says: "Sacrifice and offering thou hast not desired, but a body thou hast prepared for me." (Heb. 10:5,6) This quote of Psalm 40:6 is taken direct from the Septuagint but disagrees with the Mesoretic text of the OT which reads: "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired; mine ears Thou hast opened." The MT doesn't say anything in Psalms about "a body Thou hast prepared for me." Similar comments could be made comparing Hebrews 10:38 and Habakkuk 2:4. The fact that Paul's numerous LXX quotes agree with the today's 4th-5th century LXX shows it is merely a copy of an earlier LXX written before Jesus was born upon which NT writers relied. This LXX is almost 1000 years older than the 9th century MT which we know only goes back to the 9th-10th centuries C.E.
"The introduction to the English edition of the LXX states that "The Pentetuch is considered to be the part best executed, while the book of Isaiah is considered to be the worst... The version you are thinking of is not original, but a later corrupt version."
We have numerous NT quotes from the ancient LXX which agree with the Syriac Peshitta Christian Aramaic Scriptures of the 5th century C.E., the 4th century Latin Vulgate which has "virgo" (virgin), as well as the 5th century Septuagint. All three agree on Isaiah 7:14. They also agree on how the rest of the passage is to be read; we have no such agreement among the Hebrew manuscripts. In Isaiah 7:14 the Dead Sea Scrolls have יהוה (YHWH) as the name of God while the Masoretic text has אדוני (adonai); the Dead Sea Scrolls have וקרא (v'qara) meaning "he will call" but the MT uses וקראת (v'qarat) meaning "she will call," other Hebrew texts have "you will call." The Greek texts have no such disagreement on this passage. As I said before, the LXX is older and better than the MT. It was the Jews who changed the Hebrew texts to deny this verse was talking about the Messiah. The LXX is obviously based on a better Hebrew text than modern Hebrew manuscripts which lack passages found in the original.
As for the woman calling the child's name Immanuel, consider this: According to 2 Samuel 12:24–25, Solomon was to be called Jedidiah, but he was never referred to by this name once in the Tanakh. The Talmud and a number of Rabbinic commentaries claim that the birth of Hezekiah fulfilled Isaiah 9:6, referring all the names of the child to him. But when was he ever called by any of these names, let alone called by all of them? Yet that did not stop these traditional Jewish sources from claiming that this passage referred to him. How then can the argument be made that Isaiah 7:14 cannot refer to Jesus because he was not called Immanuel in the New Testament? There was therefore no need for the NT to record the name Immanuel as being given to Jesus for Jews to understand the prophecy as applying to him. The fact is that Yeshua the Lord is praised and adored as Immanuel by millions of his followers around the world. Many of the great hymns of the church center in on that one key name, including the medieval classic beginning with the words, "O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel." Matthew says "they" will call his name Immanuel, and since he was closer to the text than commentaries today, he was in a better position to know what it said.
Con argues that the child being given the name Immanuel is what would prove God was with them, but how can this be when Immanuel was a common name and never proved God was with them before? Women in Israel had always been naming their babies Immanuel. Con then argues that God gives the sign to Ahaz anyway but I've already shown that not only did Ahaz reject the sign, but God promised destruction to come upon him and his contemporaries by the Assyrians! How is that a sign of God being with them? God turns to this unbelieving king and says, in effect, "Since you didn't want a sign, I'm going to give it to the house of David." Accordingly, He turns from Ahaz to the descendants of David. "Hear, O house of David." (Isaiah 7:13) Seen in this light, the sign has nothing to do with Ahaz who has already demonstrated his unbelief. Signs are given, not to those who refuse to believe, but to those who are willing to believe.
Con says Mahershalahasbaz qualifies to fulfill this prophecy, but he is never called God in the Bible. Jesus is God with us all over the NT, and what's more, neither of them are called ‘Immanuel' specifically, for the Immanuel in Isaiah 8 isn't the baby, its Isaiah himself. And if Mahershalahasbaz was the sign of God being with them, then why did God bring the Assyrian army upon them? Was God with them during the Assyrian invasion?
Note that Con didn't respond to the fact that almah usually denoted a young woman, a maiden, which in Jewish culture was typically a virgin. So even this word can correctly be rendered as "virgin" by Matthew. When we examine each of the uses of almah in the Old Testament, we come to the observation that it always seems to refer to a young unmarried girl who is expected to also be a virgin. Almah is used of the unmarried Rebekah. In this passage, the servant of Abraham has been sent to find a bride for Isaac. He is evidently looking for an unmarried maiden who is assumed to be a virgin. (Gen 24:43) At Exodus 2:8, the young girl, Miriam, the sister of Moses, is obviously a very young unmarried virgin. "There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins (almah) without number." (Song of Solomon 6:8) The word Almah is used to describe the young women of the court of Solomon who had not yet been taken as concubines. They are seen as separate and distinct from the wives and the concubines. In each of these instances, Almah refers to young women who are of an age ready for marriage, but who have not yet been married and who, by implication, are expected to be virgins. So almah and parthenos at Isaiah 7:14 both can mean a virgin.
""For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken." Note that the very next chapter states, "For before the child shall know to cry, 'My father and my mother' the riches of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away." This is a clear fulfillment of the prophecy."
Similarity doesn't make two situations the same. The promised presence of God, "God with us," is fulfilled in God the Son – Jesus Christ. He was God with us, not Mahershalahasbaz. The presence of Mahershalahasbaz didn't guarantee preace from war or safety from the invading Assyrian army, but Jesus came at a time of relative peace to enlighten them with his teachings. Matthew directly testifies Jesus was born of a virgin, so does Luke; no one in the Old Testament says Mahershalahasbaz was born of a virgin. Con has not torn down my evidence that Isaiah 7:14 is a genuine prophecy of the Messiah.
kohai forfeited this round.
Con argued that parthenos doesn't always mean virgin, but I showed that even though that's true, you can't rationally argue that because it doesn't "always" mean virgin, that it "never" does!
Con argued in round 2 that God getting Mary pregnant would constitute adultery, which I demonstrated as false by comparing this situation with the Biblical definition of adultery. No sex or opposite sex was invovled, hence no adultlery. Con dropped this argument in round 3, never returning to it, so I guess either he ran out of space, or I had clearly refuted that point.
He went on to claim that the sign was given to Ahaz and thus must be fulfilled in his day, but I demonstrated that not only did Ahaz reject the sign, but God turned from him and gave it to the house of David which would still be around when Jesus was born to be there for the sign. I also showed by means of the Assyrian invasion promised by God that God with not claiming to be "with" Ahaz and his Jewish contemporaries, and thus, the Immanuel (God with us) sign was clearly not meant for their day. Isaiah could not have been saying God was with them but at the same time bringing destruction on them by Assyrian hands.
Con claimed Mahershalahashbaz fulfilled the sign, but I've shown he was not "God with us," for nobody in the Bible considered him to be God, nor said he was born of a virgin, nor was his birth accompanied by God's protection, but rater, an Assyrian invasion. On the other hand Jesus came at a relatively peaceful time, and was God according the Bible, and is recognized as Immanuel today by his followers. Such was not the case for Mahershalahashbaz. I have shown the agreement in Greek texts, plus Matthew's closeness to the anceint manuscripts available to thim in the first century CE, agree that "they" would call him Immacuel as oposed to the contradictory Hebrew manuscripts on this verse.
In response to the objection that Jesus was never called by the name Immanuel in the Bible, I have shown that neither was Mahershalahashbaz, for the Immanuel in Isaiah 8 is not the baby, but Isaiah himself. So to use this argument against Jesus fulfilling the rophecy would also prove Mahershalahashbaz didn't fulfill it in contradiction of Con's previous point. I also demonstrated that the Jews believed Isaiah 9:6 was fulfilled in Hezekiah even though he is never called Eternal Father, Mighty God, etc, in the Bible. So even if Jesus isn't called Immanuel this would not prevent a Jew from viewing the prophecy as appliying to him, so he can't deny Isaiah intended the prophecy in this way on such grounds.
FInally, I have argued that similarity between two situations doesn't make them the same. So while the portions about what will happen to the two kings before the boy knows how to reject good from bad sounds much the two kings defeat before Mahershalahashbaz can call out mother and father, this in itself doesn't prove the two are synonymous. Therefore, I believe I have indeed refuted all of my opponents objections, and hence, we have a genuinen Messianic prophecy on our hands.
If Con wants to make a final rebuttal to my previous round that would be fine seeing as he is supposed to get the last word anyway. I hope he takes this opportuity because he only has one more round left. Too bad I won't get to respond to this final rebuttal if he posts it.
I thank Con nfor an interesting and thoughtful debate.
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