Have you ever seen Monty Python’s Argument Clinic sketch?
“Pardon me, is this the five-minute argument or the full half hour?”
In the spirit of arguing for amusement, I present what I hope will become a weekly staple…
The Argument Clinic!
…in which, I choose a random topic that has been bouncing about in my cerebral cortex and pick a fight with the interwebs. Heaven knows, I have plenty of material.
This weeks topic is Christ’s DNA.
I read a book some years ago called Blood of Heaven by Bill Myers in which Christ’s DNA is discovered on a scrap of fabric. The blood is then transplanted via bone marrow into the body of a murderer who escaped death row by allowing himself to become a lab rat. Following this premise, say we did find the DNA of Jesus somewhere. My question for the interwebs is this: would the DNA carry the essence of His divinity?
My first inclination was to say no. Why? Well, it’s DNA. DNA is physical and mortal. Something about that doesn’t jive with divinity. I contemplated this for awhile, mostly ignoring any theological implications and just arguing with myself about the science involved.
And then it hit me: Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. One could argue His DNA would have come at least in part from his mother Mary, but where did the other half of the strand come from? (On a related note, I have often wondered if our Savior looked different from His siblings since He wasn’t Joseph’s son.) You could also easily argue that Mary didn’t contribute any genetic material at all, and that Jesus was an entirely unique individual with genes never seen before or since. In that way, perhaps some of the essence of divinity would be imparted to the building blocks of Jesus’ cells.
But then I came back to how “He made Himself nothing…being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man.” He was totally God but totally man (ah, the paradox). God could have used normal old boring DNA with nothing fancy about it to give Himself human form. Then there’s the whole body-spirit thing, and the question of how to separate/join the two.
So… discuss! I’m inclined to think our Lord’s DNA was something never seen before or since, but I’m on the fence about the essence of His glory being imparted to genetic material.