“Was Mary married to Joseph at the time of Jesus’ birth?” –RF
A careful reading of the Bible account will answer your question. The Bible states that at the time Mary was found to be expecting, she had been betrothed to Joseph, becoming his betrothed or espoused wife (see Matt. 1:18; Luke 2:5). It also says this was “before they came together.”
It is helpful here to understand a little about Jewish customs of the time. According to the encyclopedia, there was a “distinction between betrothing a woman and taking her to wife” (Deut. 20:7) (see Baker encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 2, p. 1408). “Betrothal with the ancient Hebrews was of a more formal and far more binding nature than the “engagement” is with us. Indeed, it was esteemed a part of the transaction of marriage, and that the most binding part” (ref. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
The situation with Joseph and Mary was according to the above custom. Joseph did not take Mary from her father’s house (the final step in the marriage covenant) until some time after the betrothal. This was customary at the time. It could be months or even years, though usually within a year, before the “bridegroom” took the betrothed wife from her father’s house.
Since the Bible says clearly that Mary was found to be pregnant “before they came together,” it is clear that Jesus was not the result of the union of Mary and Joseph. Mary was still a virgin when Christ was born (Matt. 1:24-25).
The genealogy account of Joseph’s lineage, recorded in Matthew 1, confirms the above. The author of states that Joseph is “the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus” (Matt. 1:16). Luke, giving the genealogy of Mary, states that Jesus was “(as was supposed) the son of Joseph”—another way of saying that Jesus was not the son of Joseph. Luke knew Jesus was not Mary and Joseph’s son, that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father (see John. 1:45).
“Was Mary a virgin? If so, what caused her conception?”
We have good evidence from Scripture that Mary was indeed a virgin when Jesus was born, and that her conception was miraculous, the result of Divine intervention. Even though she and Joseph were at that time “betrothed,” Jesus was conceived “before they came together” (Matt 1:23; Luke 1:31; Isa. 7:14). The Bible says she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. This fact is stated both by Matthew and by the words of the angel to Joseph (see Matt. 1:18, 20- 21). For a virgin to bear a child (as did Mary) would be physically impossible if not for Divine intervention. But the same can be said of raising the dead to life again, yet we have several examples in Scripture where it was done…by Divine intervention.
Yes, Mary was a virgin when Christ was born.
“Did her husband look at her with scorn when he learned she was pregnant?”
There is no indication in Scripture that he harbored any scorn toward Mary. When he found that she was “with child” as the Bible says it, and knew that they had not been together, his first thought was to “put her away privately” because he was “a righteous man” and wanted “no harm to come to her” (Matt. 1:19). But the angel intervened, assuring Joseph that she was innocent of any sin and even approved their marriage (Matt. 1:20).
After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had several more children (Mark 6:3), suggesting a loving family relationship. But I can hardly think had a “normal” life, being the human guardians of the child who was destined to be greatest man ever born on earth.