Jesus' genome


You realize that even competent scientists can go off the rails later in life. Look at Linus Pauling,the great Mr. Vitamin C.

(Christy Hemphill) #120

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(Robin) #121

I am with Beaglelady on this one. It is highly unlikely that a young woman of marriageable age in that culture was sleeping around, at any rate. And the impetus for some of the early aspects of the birth account — the possibility of Mary being stoned, Joseph’s anguish, and so on — comes, at least, from some uncertainty as to how Mary/Miriam ended up preggers without the usual prelude. That was an agricultural society. Kids grew up knowing “how babies came.” No one was fooled on that score. The taunts about Jesus’ legitimacy — found in some extrabiblical sources – seem to affirm that the issue was in question from the beginning.

And Nicea was quantifying issues that had been in the air since earliest times of Christian history.


There are hints that maybe his legitimacy was being questioned even in the canonical Scripture. See John 8:

Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

(Phil) #132

And in Mark 6 where he is referred to as the son of Mary, rather than the son of Joseph.

(Robin) #137

Yes, that is what John 8:41 has often been said to suggest. That interpretation was made early on regarding the passage of verses leading up to, and including, v 41. It could also mean that people in the crowd were saying that they were children of God – at a point when Jesus was noting that their rejection of Him as Messiah and God suggested that they had a different father. There is a bit of a debate on that section of verses — see Blomberg’s The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel and his sources.

Nevertheless, the idea that Jesus had a suspicious or uncertain heritage goes back to the beginning. I understand that if they were disputing or uncertain of a man’s parentage, he could be denied admittance to the Temple in Jerusalem — which really made someone an outcast.

(Christy Hemphill) #138

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(Albert Leo) #139

@beaglelady, you don’t seem to play fair with @mitchellmckain. You seem very fond of animals, and I’m assuming you believe they have spirits. Is it not logical to assume that our human spirit, our soul, is intrinsically different because there is a mysterious connection between Mind & Spirit–how a human soul ‘grows’ as it is influenced by the growing mind (and conscience) with which it is associated. At 20 weeks into pregnancy the human mind begins to react to stimuli–to sounds surrounding it in its mother’s belly, and later to her voice and to music. Upon entry into the world, the infant mind is suddenly subjected to an avalanche of new information, which it files away for future use in making choices which determine its spiritual as well as material nature.

Usually before its 2nd birthday a child realizes it is one individual in a human society and its behavior can give it some advantage in fulfilling its desires, even if they are purely selfish; i.e. the “terrible twos”. This is where parental discipline plays such an important role in spiritual growth [“as the twig is bent”] However, throughout history, society, while recognizing that humans are making choices at the early age of two, it does not hold them morally responsible until the “Age of Reason”, which is usually between 7 and 10. The human spirit (or soul) is constantly changing through out life, and no one knows for sure how God will judge each of us upon leaving this earth. Most humans have some sort of Faith that gives them some satisfaction that all will turn out OK.

But all this is somewhat tangential to the topic, “Jesus genome”. Did Jesus possess a God-genome at the moment of his conception? Or did he just have that potential, and he actuated it by the choices he made during his life before his ministry? Furthermore, as humans are we 'made in God’s Image from the moment of conception? Or is it just a potential that we must actuate by making unselfish choices through out our lifetimes? The solution to many of the most troubling problems of current society (e.g. abortion, capital punishment) depend on how we deal with these basic issues.

These ideas are submitted with the best of intentions–not to ‘rock anyone’s boat’.
Al Leo


Why, because I questioned his implication that I have fetishes? Or because I asked when a baby can make choices? I just don’t think a newborn makes choices and certainly viruses don’t. I don’t need a LONG lecture on human development or any other mansplaining, thank you.

(Albert Leo) #141

Until now, when accessing posts that have too many responses for me to read, I have given priority to yours. They seem succinct and to the point. This last post of yours definitely changes my views. It lacks both grace and insight, and it insults a (former) admirer. What elicited your unfavorable attitude? The fact that I am male? My submissions to this forum are not directed solely to you, and they get enough ‘likes’ to assure me that not too many readers regard them as ‘LONG lectures’ or ‘mansplaining’. Surely you are NOT guilty of gender bias???
Sharing a belief in a God of Love.
Al Leo


Surely not. Otherwise, why would I be here? BioLogos is OVERWHELMINGLY male (and very white to boot).

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #144

Yes, it is clear that the spiritual body of someone is very different from the physical body. On the other hand it is important to Paul and to us that it is still a real body. The Apostles’ Creed ends: “I believe … in the Resurrection of the Body.”

The body which is resurrected looks like our body, feels like our body. and moves like our body. I see no reason why it should not have DNA like our body, because that determines the structure of our body. To be sure it is not subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, but it is subject to the rules of human interaction which means it must be real and not just a ghost or spirit.

(Mitchell W McKain) #145

Yes and no. It is more powerful. Its motion and feeling has nothing to do with the laws of nature and all the decay and illness that goes along with them.

The structure of the physical body is determined by DNA and if there is an error in the DNA then the result is problems in the structure of the physical body. But no, the structure of the spiritual body is NOT determined by DNA. It is rather a matter of identity – who we really are. And yes, for most of us that means pretty much just like our physical body – as it was some point in our life anyway. It is not an animated corpse.

God is spirit and He is the ultimate reality. Therefore logic dictates that spirit is more real than the physical not less so. Ghosts are dead spirits and that is very different from God and the resurrected Jesus. Ghosts are nothing but shadows – stuck in their own private hell – with nothing that makes existence worthwhile.

(Edward T Babinski) #147

Did the Holy Spirit employ a set of freshly constructed chromosomes that fused with Maryʼs? In that case, some divinely produced DNA would need to be produced that appeared to have come from a human father with a long evolutionary past of his own. Thatʼs because the divinely implanted paternal chromosomes have to line up right beside the naturally evolved maternal chromosomes in Maryʼs zygote. So letʼs say the Holy Spirit injected a ready-made Y chromosome into Mary (along with 22 others from falsified meiosis in a non-existent human father), complete with endogenous retroviruses, fossil genes, and other hallmarks of evolution that would be capable of lining up beside Maryʼs chromosomes to form a fully complementary set. So the Holy Spirit would have had to add a Y chromosome that was faked to look like it had been passed down, with occasional mutations, from an endless line of evolutionary descendants. And we know what “those” guys were like: Aggression, predation, suffering, death and even extinction were around long before the first species of upright large-brained primate — and let’s add, since we are not creationists, that that primate species had slowly evolved to a point where it could recognize such things and how awful they are, including things like nakedness, how shameful. Thus guilt was born. But in such an accommodationist scenario one is stuck with the fact that God made aggressive impulses, predation, suffering, death and extinction, even felt they were necessary in order to squeeze out upright primates in the end. So it looks more like a rise over time than a ‘fall.’ Maybe God was the one slowly evolving a moral sense over time, and the one who should feel most guilty?

How to reconcile the very method employed (of first evolving aggression, pain, death, extinctions to get to humans and then demanding they be sinless), as well as the process appearing like tinkering & a rise rather than a “fall” over eons of extinctions of hominoid&human species?

(Shawn T Murphy) #148

Dear Edward,
This is the early enlightened theory called the Apokatastasis or the Restoration of All Things. It shows how all of creation is slowly reaching for God over a very long period of time - ethically, morally, culturally and physically evolving closer to the perfection of God. There is a simultaneous development of the souls of humanity, slowly reconciling with God, individually and as a whole. The long-term goal is the perfection that Jesus asks for in Matthew 5:44.
Best Wishes, Shawn

(Albert Leo) #149

From what I have highlighted in your response, one might conclude that you are already in possession of all knowledge related to human development; or, if not, you need not give credence to anything new coming from a male source. In the final paragraph in my post, I brought up the question directly pertinent to the subject of the original post: Did Jesus have the “God Genome” from the moment of his conception? Or did he just have the potential which he developed during the 30 yrs of his pre-ministry life? This is also pertinent to the question: Am I a creature made in the Image of my Creator? Or was that just a potential that, having been given the gift of Mind and Conscience, I must actuate on my own?

These are questions hotly debated since the Christian church was in its infancy. If you feel you already have reliable answers to them, please share them with us rather than disparaging, as dispensers of Long Lectures, those of us who are still struggling with them.
Al Leo

(Edward T Babinski) #150

There is also process theology in which God Himself is evolving, even learning morally.

A similar option is a Tinkerer rather than. Designer, which might help explain all the extinctions including mass extinction events. Perhaps cosmos extinction events as well.

But if you start with classic theology in which God is perfectly good, omniscient and omnipowerful, then obvious questions arise. Such a God would not need to squeeze upright hominoid species (including the last remaining species of human) out of such a long history of pain, aggresssion, competition, death and extinctions.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #151

Nor would such a God need to “squeeze” trees and plants so slowly out of soils built up from years of prior plant death, and yet that is just what “let the earth produce…” seems to have done in God’s slow, good timing. So it isn’t so much about what God could do as it is about what he did do.

(Cindy) #152

I agree that it is possible that God’s plan gets tweaked here and there. I don’t think that I’d use the word “evolve” though. That would seem to indicate that He was under influences not under His control which would just leave us asking well where did those influences come? As in he was some sort of lesser god under the laws created by the real “God”. Well unless we want to continue this little chain of gods out even further.

The Original Mover and all that.

(Mitchell W McKain) #153

I wouldn’t go quite that far. Besides I am not a fan of Whitehead’s process philosophy let alone the theology derived from it.

However, how do we answer the question… Is God capable of learning?

Like most questions of this sort, my answer is yes. I think theology which makes a list of things God cannot do (particularly when they are things we can do) is very strange.

But how can God learn if He already knows everything?

The answer to this is much the same a how God can regret something as the Bible says He does in Genesis 6. It is a peculiarity of relationships that you can have regret even when you have done nothing wrong. And for the same reason we learn the other person in a relationship even when we have no deficiency of knowledge otherwise. I cannot agree with those who would deny this because without such learning and the possibility of regrets, as well as a sacrifice of control, it isn’t really a relationship at all. You go into a relationship without this kind of surrender and the relationship is frankly nothing but a sham. So I would say that it all boils down to the question of whether God is even capable of love. A God who cannot relinquish absolute control is a God who cannot love.