The topic of the virgin birth can provide a test case for the relation between critical biblical scholarship and creedal tradition within theological interpretation of Scripture. Divergent approaches to such interpretation are evident in Andrew Lincoln’s monograph, Born of a Virgin? and Oliver Crisp’s critique of that book in his Analyzing Doctrine. In this article Lincoln continues the discussion in a response to Crisp that explores some of their disagreements. It argues that Crisp misrepresents Lincoln’s type of theological interpretation as dominated by a fear of anachronism, while Crisp himself unwittingly defends a version of the virgin birth that is not the traditional doctrine. Crisp’s attempted theological refutations of Lincoln’s proposals for a fully incarnational Christology without a literal virginal conception and for an interpretation of the later dogma in terms of its force of signaling Christ’s full humanity are shown to be deficient. The exchange serves as a reminder that the result of bringing together biblical scholarship and theological skills will inevitably depend on the types of biblical and theological study involved and suggests that, in relation to the virgin birth, Crisp’s version of analytic theology fails to do justice to the historical and cultural dimensions of biblical texts and creedal affirmations.

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