This question focus on the physical body used by Jesus during his time on Earth.

I believe there is much biblical support for and little question that the body of Jesus gestated in the body of Mary for 9 months following the normal course of growth and birth.

If a sample of the blood of Jesus was tested by today's science what DNA results would be supported by the bible?

It seems like there are only 3 options:

  1. Jesus has 100% Mary's DNA with a divinely created Y chromosome
  2. Jesus has DNA created entirely by God at the time of his "Conception" (assume this includes a sampling of DNA from anything more than 2 humans, as well as no relationship to any human living at the time)
  3. Jesus has 50% DNA from a human female (Mary's) and 50% DNA from a human male (this need not be a challenge to Mary's virginity, today's science can do it)

There are several questions on this site, asking for clarification on what Jesus looked like, and a couple of questions asking about the creation of his body; How can Jesus, born of mankind, be sinless? & Was Christ the man created? are two good examples similar to my question, but don't really answer what I am looking for.

The question What was the conception of Jesus? seems to be asking what I am asking, but is either not well written or not well received as there is a single unaccepted answer, with only one up vote.

There are a couple of potential sources to obtain such a sample (i.e. Shroud of Turin, Holy Grail). If a source was offered, and a test made, what results would be supported by the Bible or other canon sources?

  • 5
    I like this question but I have no idea how / whether it can be answered in a way that is not speculative. Clearly DNA creation is not a problem for the Author of Creation. Aug 5, 2014 at 12:52
  • 2
    I think both this question, and the one you liked to, are 'Primarily opinion based.' Any answers will be pure speculation.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 5, 2014 at 12:56
  • 6
    But Kudos on a well-formulated, thoughtful question. And +1 for actually searching the site before asking!
    – Flimzy
    Aug 5, 2014 at 12:57
  • 3
    Believe it or not there is no mention of DNA in the bible.
    – LCIII
    Aug 5, 2014 at 13:26

3 Answers 3


My first posting as an answer. (Pardon my english mistakes if any)

The short answer is obviously 3 (except the Mary's part).

Let's think about the Wine Miracle where water turns into wine to get some idea of characteristics of an miracle. The wine is obviously really wine although we don't know whether it is zinfandel or cabernet souvignon nor the age of it (3 years maybe?). Although the wine wasn't fermented from real grape juice that came from real grape trees with history of sunshine and raining, it was real wine in every physical aspect.

Jesus was fully humane and fully divine. So, from physical observance, Jesus must be a real human though the conception process had a jump between a non-miraculous process and another non-miraculous process during the conception.

The question may be the exact point of miracle whether it was the seed(no bad intention) or a fetus appearing Mary's womb. Then, it may be helpful to understand what they thought about birth process at the time and until about 17th century. Up util 17th century, people believed that the essence of a baby comes only from its father, none from mother's side. Figuratively, the seed and the soil. I am quite sure people reading the bible up until that time could imagine The Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary easily and agreed that Jesus is 100% from the Father. But now in 21st century, we know that half essence comes from its mother's side so that the imagination part becomes difficult (with the idea of 100% from the Father) or we need to image a fetus suddenly appearing in Mary's womb.

I think it is also possible to explain the Trinity even after accepting the half of Jesus came from Mary but this wasn't what the two apostles writing about the birth of Jesus thought about.

Anyway, we now need to imagine a bit different (the fetus) from what they imagined at the time or before 17th century (the seed) if we want to keep the intention of the apostles. Either way is miraculous.

Jesus is fully humane and fully divine. So, I am sure that it is the choice 3. But we don't know whether half of it is Mary's or what the other half looks like because of the same reason that we don't know whether the wine is of zinfandel or of cabernet souvignon. Its miraculous jump is impossible to figure out precisely. Just taking the whole as a miracle may be reasonably good enough as in the case of the Wine.

An article about Davinci's drawing surprisingly explains very well about people's thought on conception. An article (pdf)

  • 1
    This is a great, and well-thought-out, answer. It would be even better if you could find some references to specific denominational beliefs that support you. Aug 5, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    It's interesting, yes; but it's not relevant to my comment. What I was looking for was a reference to something that was a specific denominational statement (i.e. from Catholics, or Lutherans, or Reformed theologians, or Jehovah's Witnesses, or anybody) that agreed with you. Aug 5, 2014 at 14:57
  • @MattGutting I see. ^^. The answer is just a personal view. I am no close to an expert in theology.
    – msk
    Aug 5, 2014 at 14:59
  • @msk With all due respect, consider reading: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/692/… Aug 6, 2014 at 19:14
  • Freemason, thanks for your pointing me to the guide. I better spend more time in my postings.
    – msk
    Aug 7, 2014 at 1:30

Divine Conception

The answer to your question is relatively simple. Mary provided the egg; God provided the sperm. This may sound shocking, and there is no single verse which "proves" my assertion, but there are many scriptures--particularly Romans chapter 5--which clearly lay out for us the reason why Christ was conceived and born with a sinless human nature. (The "God" part of His being is the reason why. Simply put, God cannot sin, nor can He even be tempted to sin. James 1:13)

Why do I link a "sinless nature" with the DNA of both the God-created part and the Mary-donated part? Let's look in detail at Romans 5:

". . . through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin . . . [D]eath reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam's offense, who is a type of Him who was to come [viz., Jesus]. . .. [If B]y the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous" (vv.12-19, excerpts NASB Updated).

The Argument and Proof of Divine Conception

Notice how Paul lays out his "case" for how the justification provided by God through Christ works in a "legal" sense. Through the use of rhetorical techniques and simple logic Paul lays the foundation for his assertions in Romans 5. Notice in the above verses and elsewhere in the chapter Paul repeats the words much more (vv.9, 10, 15, 17). These words indicate his use of the a fortiori argument, which has been defined as follows:

"An a fortiori argument /ˈɑː fɔːrtɪˈoʊriː/1 is an "argument from a yet stronger reason." For example, if it has been established that a person is dead (the stronger reason), then one can with equal or greater certainty argue that the person is not breathing. "Being dead" trumps other arguments that might be made to show that the person is not breathing, such as for instance, not seeing any sign of breathing.

"An a fortiori argument draws upon existing confidence in a proposition to argue in favor of a second proposition that is held to be implicit in the first. The second proposition may be considered "weaker," and therefore the arguer adduces a "stronger" proposition to support it" [my emphasis].

The proposition of which Paul speaks is that of representation. Adam represents one thing; Christ represents another thing. Whereas Adam represents humankind in general, Christ represents God. Now if the weaker proposition is true (viz., death reigned in humanity from Adam, onward, because of his one sin), then the stronger proposition ("the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ," v.17) is even truer.

Paul, then, as a master lawyer arguing his case, wraps up this section of his forensic oratory in vv.18-21 with several "so" statements. In other words (using a little sanctified imagination):

"So we can see, your honor and honorable members of the jury, that I have proved this part of my case beyond a reasonable doubt."

Representational Theology

Representational theology is at the heart of the answer to your DNA question.

Adam represents humanity in his disobedience, sin, and spiritual and physical death.

Jesus Christ represents humanity in His obedience, sinlessness, and spiritual and physical life.

Adam's "contribution," his "gift" (notice the implied sarcasm in Paul's use of the word) to humanity is sin and death. (Thanks a lot, Adam!). Literally, then, Adam's DNA, as it were, is the agency of successive, generational sin up the to present day and beyond. That "Y chromosome" you refer to is tainted, as it were, by sin. Is this literally so? I do not claim to have an answer to that question. Theologically, however, it is so.

Jesus' contribution, His gift to humanity is righteousness, life, and justification. Literally, then, Jesus' DNA, which originated in God, has the power to pass on to all those who believe in and receive Him, those three gifts, and more!

The "sperm" donated by a holy God to the process of fertilization and conception, and the miraculous creation of a sinless embryo, was impeccable--without sin, sinless--in contrast to a mere man's contribution to fertilization and conception, which is peccable. King David put it this way:

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5)

Then prophetically--and certainly unbeknownst to him, speaking of his Savior to come he said,

"Behold, You desire truth

in the innermost being

And in the hidden part

You will make me know wisdom" (v.6).

Christ, the Believers' Representative

Whereas David was speaking on one level in this verse about God's desire for all of us to be truthful with Him whenever we sin, and not to attempt to cover up our sin or pretend it does not exist (David, you will recall, committed adultery and murder-by-proxy), David was also speaking on another level about the One who was to come, the One who would one day say,

"I am the truth" (John 14:6)

Moreover, in His relation to all believers in Him--

"to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [has become] the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24 NAS). Many evangelical Protestant churches affirm not only the truth, who is Christ, but they often quote John 1:14, which is source of comfort to all Christians:

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (my emphasis)

I highlight the word grace because Jesus, in a sense, did not lead with truth, but grace. The truth is, we're all messed up because of sin. The good news is, He is gracious in looking beyond our fault and seeing our need. Ah, the simplicity and power of the gospel!


In conclusion, the theological concept of representation is a powerful argument which really provides a satisfying answer, I believe, to the heart of your question. Christ's DNA was impeccable. Would it look the same under a microscope as the DNA of any other representative of the human race. Yes. Was it the same DNA? No. It was the DNA of the God-Man, whose life, death, and resurrection became the basis for our justification before a holy God.

  • Does Jesus's DNA have to be of special quality to be divine? Then how about his fingers? specially created cells?
    – msk
    Aug 5, 2014 at 16:46
  • @msk: I have a question for you: Where in our human DNA is the information that "tells" our bodies to die?" Wherever that is, is where Jesus' DNA was different from ours. He is the possessor of an immortal life. There is no "switch" in His DNA that controlled the length of His life. His death was a voluntary act of His will and the perfect will of His Father. Hebrews 7:16 NAS says of Jesus: "who has become such [a priest] not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life." Re created cells: aren't they all created, whether ours or Christ's? Aug 5, 2014 at 17:44
  • I think you are too much focused on DNA. In your logic, we may find the magic sequence of DNA to live forever or even to be divine. It is purely my personal view but divinity doesn't lie in DNA or flesh. Just my two cent.
    – msk
    Aug 5, 2014 at 17:52
  • @msk: You could be right. I speak now not as a scientist: death, however it may come, whether by old age, disease, accident, or suicide, is the lot of humankind, and not necessarily because death is written in DNA. The cause is sin. Period. "In the day that you eat thereof, you will die." They ate; we died. Pretty simple. That was not God's intention when He made us, however. If our first parents had not sinned, they would have lived forever. God was not surprised when they forfeited their gift of immortality, because His plan to save sinners was His plan A from eternity (see 1 Peter 1:20). Aug 6, 2014 at 0:33

Your question assumes that Jesus the man was one singular identity in a human body. This seems to be in error according to what I can determine from the Bible.

Jesus was fully human, and by that we must deduce that he had the same DNA as any other human being,that is 50% human female and 50% human male The 50% human female would have come from the egg provided by Mary, and the 50% male contributed through the Holy Spirit which is one third of the trinity which in turn means contributed by God, as is spelled out in the part about the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary in the Scriptures. Otherwise how could he be tempted in every way as every other human is tempted:

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation, unless otherwise noted.

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

Jesus was also fully God, and here is where most misunderstanding about the dual personage of Jesus comes from:

The Deity of Jesus is a Spirit and being a Spirit has no material aspects, and therefore is able to inhabit the human body of Jesus just as these other Spirits inhabited another human being.

Mark 5:2 through 9 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

From this passage we learn that Jesus had the authority to order these many Spirits to vacate the man's body, and that shows that his Spirit was of God.

This was not the man Jesus ordering them to leave it was the Deity Jesus.

Jesus the man was just like any other man as far as physical nature goes, he got hungry just as we do, and felt the heat of day and cool of night. and all the sensations we feel, and yet the Spirit within him prevented him from succumbing to temptation.

That same Spirit can inhabit our bodies today when we accept Christ as our Savior, however our human body has already experienced sin and will always be tempted by the cloak of desirability Satan uses to blind us to the true nature of sin.

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    Which denominations accept this as the Truth? The statements you make sound like they'd be accepted by the Assyrian Church of the East, but not by most Western denominations; not by anyone who accepts the Chalcedonian Definition of the nature of Jesus. Aug 5, 2014 at 14:29
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    So your answer is... Jesus' DNA was 100% identical to Mary's DNA? I really don't see how this answers the question.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 5, 2014 at 15:10
  • @Flimzy The question was "If a source was offered, and a test made, what results would be supported by the Bible or other canon sources?" with 3 numbered, likely options provided. Isn't saying "Result #1 would be supported." an answer to the question? Or are you reading "supported by the Bible" to mean "which one does the bible say occured?" If the latter, then the question is not well written, is actually two questions in one, and one (possibly both) likely does not have an answer at all.
    – Loduwijk
    Aug 5, 2014 at 15:34
  • @Loduwijk: What I'm saying is that I don't see this answer addressing the issue of DNA at all, but more about the essence of Jesus. I think #1 is a reasonable answer to the question--I just don't see that answer presented here.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 5, 2014 at 15:40
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    @Bye: That doesn't address the question, though, which asks specifically if his DNA is 1) 100% identical to Mary, 2) 100% unique (not borrowed from Mary at all), or 3) 50% from Mary, 50% from a human male. The question seems to assume that his DNA is 100% human--it just wants to know from WHICH human(s) did it come.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 5, 2014 at 15:59

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