Regarding the Conception of Jesus of Nazareth

Thread Title Edited 2/24/2022 - T.S.

The “Creationist-Theistic Evolutionist Conflict”–or whatever you choose to call it–is, IMO, just the currently popular battle that Biologos has engaged in. But, IMO, it won’t be the most intense. The next phase will be: in which the “Biogenetic versus Abiogenetic Conception of Jesus of Nazareth” promises, I think, to be as contentious if not more so.

My notes:

  • My personal opinions regarding the nature of the Cosmos and it’s constituent parts is such that I am very comfortable, at this time, with a notion of the living God in whom we all live, move, and have our being.
  • I am also quite comfortable with the literal Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth AND his Ascension.
  • However, given my 30+ years of amateur genealogy and 20+ years of amateur genetic genealogy (with the increasing popularity of DNA testing), my mind reels when I try to imagine an abiogenetic human conception in the 1st century of the Common Era. Not even my non-mainstream beliefs about the nature of the Cosmos open a window or door to it.
  • After all, we’re not talking about “a mutation” in one chromosome from one generation to the next or “the result” of an evolution over years.
  • Warning! Collections of stories about miraculous births have no place in this thread. So, myth-collectors, save your breath.
  • By all means, if someone knows how an abiogenetic human conception can occur, tell me about it.
  • I offer here directions to three things:
  • I welcome other references.

OP author’s comments:

  • Reviewing and reflecting on this thread, I’m inclined to view it as a “comedy of errors”, if not a monumental fiasco.
  • My second mistake was to believe that my 2nd version of the OP, written in response to a request for “a quick two sentence summary and some definitions”, was a reasonable effort.
  • Unfortunately, two sentences in the 2nd version of the OP led some to imagine that I don’t know the difference between an Incarnation and a Conception. My bad! I do. If I didn’t, I’d just ask the Muslims. They’ve got the difference down purty good.
  • My third mistake was to let a Moderator’s edit of this thread’s original title stand. I shouldn’t have, and have changed it now.
  • My first mistake was to write this sentence in my OP:
  • I should have either left that whole sentence out of my OP or not used the metaphor "bring Christ’s conception and humanity ‘under the microscope’. My bad again! Although it was amusing, momentarily, what some will do when they object to a metaphor.
  • As a consequence of my review of and reflection on my OP, I’ve changed this thread’s title; eliminated the offending sentence in the OP; and in the edited 2nd version of my OP, I’ve eliminated the two bulleted sentences that caused so much trouble from the git-go.

Some of us might not be totally clear what this potential controversy relates to, Terry, would you mind giving us a quick two sentence summary and some definitions, please?

Asking for a friend… :sweat_smile:

1 Like


  • According to my understanding of genetics, literally, each and every human being born of a woman. must have a biological mother who provides the egg necessary in conception and a biological father who provides the sperm necessary to fertilize the egg.
    • In a biogenetic conception, the fertilized egg (i.e. the zygote) receives DNA from its mother AND DNA from its father.
    • The fertilized egg has no less than four kinds of DNA:
      • Autosomal DNA (at-DNA) - received from paternal AND maternal ancestors;
      • X-DNA received from the mother;
      • X-DNA received from the father if, and only if, the zygote is/becomes a female; OR
      • Y-DNA received from the father if, and only if, the zygote is/becomes a male;
      • Mitochondrial DNA (mt-DNA) received from the mother only. (Mt-DNA from the father is contained in the little bump in a sperm’s tail, which drops off as the sperm enters the egg.
    • In other words, somebody’s going to have to do some fancy dancing to explain how Jesus could be “fully human” without a human, biological father, whether “fully God” or not.

Does that help, @LM77 ?

Word-smiths are welcome to paraphrase or rewrite the content of this post.

I edited this post on the morning of 2/24/2022.
Prior to my edit of this thread’s title and this post, the thread’s title was: “DNA, Genetics, & The Incarnation”–which was, itself, a Moderator’s edit of my previous thread title: “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, …”–and this post contained the following bulleted sentences:


In the edited version of this post, I have deleted both sentences.


Gotcha, thanks for the background, Terry. :+1:t2:


The difference is there are piles of actual scientific evidence pointing to common descent and an ancient earth. There is zero empirical evidence to examine when it comes to understanding the Incarnation. It’s pure theology, miracles, and speculation. There is nothing to put under a microscope.


So if I put Jesus under a microscope and conclude–based on the science of genetics–that his abiogenetic conception didn’t happen, but I can still worship the Incarnate Word, Emanuel, are you going to grouse about it?

Keep us posted as to your progress. ; - )


I’ve renamed this thread to make it clearer what is being discussed when browsing the board.


You can’t. That’s my point. All you can do is thought experiments. Which is fine, and you are welcome to incorporate scientific knowledge and conclude whatever you want from your thought experiments, but the result isn’t science. It’s a conclusion based on imaginative speculation, not empirical observations.


For me I don’t care either way enough to think it’s heretical wherever someone lands. It’s written a bit ambiguous.

On one side we see a “prophecy” being fulfilled from the Old Testament about a young woman who got pregnant and gave birth and before the son was a certain age some event I can’t remember would happen. It was not about a virgin. Or at least no reason to believe it was. Presumably she was young and gave birth. Then that story is pulled s bit out of context and the writer and is mapped on to the story of Jesus leaving you think well perhaps she did get pregnant from someone other than Joseph.

But then on the other side we read that the angel said the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. As in she did not cheat. Jospeh then decided to stay with her. He did not sleep with her until sometime after giving birth.

One thing I have to consider is that we see potentially bad natural disasters linked to being used by Yahweh that genesis may not have necessarily guided. God often used chaos for good. Perhaps Mary was raped , maybe she did it even remember. She was pregnant and God did not want her stoned to death or for Joseph to leave and so the Holy Spirit was credited with conceiving the child.

So I think there are several legitimate ways to discern it.

I even think it’s possible that God as the angel of the lord saw a daughter of men and thought she was beautiful and took her myth coming into reality. Could have been consent with the angel of the lord for as far as I know.

LOL!! Yes, I can. With the result that my faith rests on a single thread: the Resurrection.

You can’t study the Resurrection scientifically either. If you keep saying you can study the Incarnation scientifically, I’m just going to write you off as deluded.


Whoa! Far too many “could have beens” for my blood.

I feel like with the incarnation anything is a “could have been” as far as answers go.

Gee, looks like there’s an irreconcilable difference between us. What a surprise!

1 Like

How would it be possible for you to test this stuff though? It seems like it’s fairly impossible to get Jesus and run tests on him. I can’t imagine stealing the communion and testing it would provide much help either. Without being able to preform the actual study that seems to indicate we are left with just speculation.

1 Like

Test what? The Lord’s presence in the elements of Communion? :laughing: I wouldn’t even think of trying.
O ye of little faith …


Don’t hold your breath. I’m the one who says abiogenetic conception in 1st century Israel is contrary to genetic science. Under the microscope, my Jesus is fully human.

I can. the ‘DNA’ on the cover has a left-handed helix. That does not inspire confidence.


Perhaps you should have posted that with a “spoiler alert”.

1 Like

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.