"Was Jesus really born of a virgin?"

Matthew 1:18-20 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."

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This is one of the most miraculous claims made in the Bible. Was Jesus really born of a virgin? Was this a common story in other religious traditions? Why do only half of the gospels discuss the virgin birth?

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Referenced Verses:
Matthew 1:18, Matthew 1:19, Matthew 1:20