(A look at the genetics of The Lord)
Few things are as contentious as Mary. Her position, importance, and place in the history of the church.
But I want to take a look in a fresh way at Mary and her history. God does things in a very methodical way, layer upon layer and precept upon precept. Laying a foundation and building on it one step at a time in a logical manner. Could He have snapped His fingers and made His wishes instantly? Yes, but that is not how He seems to do things.
Let’s go all the way back to the Garden of Eden and the creation of Adam. Where does Adams DNA come from? From God of course, it was designed and created by Him for modern mankind. It was developed complete and without corruption. Adam had full genetic expression, perfectly functional and without error.
When the time came for the creation of Woman, God didn’t go back to the dust of the Earth but took a rib from Adam. Why the rib?
What is in the rib but bone marrow. The genetic structure of the DNA of the host. Stem cells, RNA etc.
God took Adam’s DNA from the marrow and genetically modified it into the female version of his DNA, XX from XY, and created the woman. (God didn’t call her Eve, “they” were Adam. Mankind in male and female form, the species of Man) Thats why Adam said upon seeing her “this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23)
As much as I love and adore my wife she is not bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Thats a child not a spouse. She was literally of his bone and flesh,
male and female.
After the Fall (which is a whole other topic) corruption (sin) entered into the genetic structure of mankind. All the talk of the “sons of God entering into the daughters of man” notwithstanding (again, another topic) the genetic structure of man became corrupt until the point where “the thoughts of man were only evil continually” but Noah was “perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:9) his DNA was not corrupted to the point of irreparable. So God saved Noah and his sons and his daughters in laws. (That will be important later)
We hear no more about the sons of God after the flood. All the corrupted DNA was purged and the Plan started again fresh with Noah’s DNA.
Dr. Rob Carter does great work on the genetics after the fall. With a study titled “Mitochondrial Diversity within Modern Human Populations” in his lecture series “Mitochondrial DNA and the Three Daughters of Noah”
As he focuses a great deal on the Tower of Babel and the effect on genetic diversity.
Eventually Abraham was called from his land and led away. After receiving the Promise of being the father of a great nation and the Covenant between God and Man through Abraham he was told of his upcoming son. After Abraham had Ishmael with Hagar, God rejected him and told Abraham that he will have a son by Sarah. (Genesis 17:19) And the others were sent away.
When Isaac was born and old enough to marry he was told not to marry local women but to take a wife from the family line. (Important) Sending a servant to find a wife from the family and returning with her.
When Isaac and Rebecca had children they were the twins, Jacob and Esau.
The boys looked very different. (Important)
Esau married local women but Jacob was sent to take a wife from the family line of his mother (mitochondrial line) and wed Leah and Rachael. Scripture states that “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated” (Romans 9:13)
The sons of Leah and Rachael were the influential tribes of Israel. The lessor tribes were the sons of the handmaids. The tribe of Judah was chosen even though he was not the firstborn or by any means the most moral. Why was not the tribe of Joseph the chosen tribe? He was the moral and upstanding son of Israel.
Joseph was given a wife by Pharaoh, not from the line of Israel. His sons were to receive an inheritance but were not important or influential compared to Judah or Levi.
When Israel and the brothers were introduced to Pharaoh, Joseph told them not to tell him the are shepherds as the are an abomination to the Egyptians.
They then told Pharaoh that they were shepherds. Separating themselves from the Egyptians and inadvertently (or by direction) segregated their line and culture from the local peoples. (Genesis 46:34-47:4)
When the son of Judah took Tamar as a wife he died without a son. The law said that his brother should marry and raise sons with his widow. But the son refused (a polite way to put it) and God killed him as well. When Judah promised his youngest son to Tamar but was later not given to him she took action on her own. Was this at Gods direction? Was her Mitochondrial DNA important to the Plan? I believe so. Remember that Tamar is listed in the genealogy of The Lord. (Genesis 38:6)
When Moses’s story begins and the people are led from captivity the people are a much more numerous but distinct people. When the law is given it is very explicit about marrying outside of the people of Israel. Keeping the genetics pure and on track. Upon the entry into the Promised Landwe are introduced to Rahab. We don’t know her genealogy but she was from Jericho and helped the Israelites enter the city. She later converted to Judaism and traditionally married one of the spies sent into Jericho. She is also listed in the genealogy of The Lord. (Joshua 6:25)
The book of Ruth is during this time and her mitochondrial DNA is also added to the narrative via Boas. The grandfather of David.
The book of Judges list all the times the people of Israel fell short of these laws, many times with marriages and religions outside of Israel. Again and again God sent judges to return the people to Him and His law until he gave them a king. The long story of the rise of David notwithstanding, lets look at him. David was not the firstborn of Jesse, and was different in appearance to his brothers. (Important) David was smaller and we are told he had a “ruddy” completion. But he was told that through his line the Messiah would come.
David married many women from different peoples but his line would be from Solomon, his mother Bathsheba was known for her uncommon beauty. (Genetics again)
Ten tribes were separated including the tribes of the handmaids and Israel was reduced to Judah and Benjamin. Benjamins land was within the borders of Judah. After many twist and turns, wars and idolatry, faith and falling of the Israelites. They are sent into captivity.
There are many stories about the captives keeping with their faith and returning to God. After the return of the captives and the rebuilding of the temple there is not longer any problem of idolatry amongst the people of Israel. In fact when Ezra returns and rebuild the nation, he is very distressed about the men marrying local women. After discussion and prayer, Ezra orders the men to put away their foreign wives and (important) their children. And take wives of Israel. Restoring the genetic line. (Ezra 9:1-10:44)
What was God trying to do this whole time?
Step by step, generation by generation, God was selectively breeding his people. Remember Noah’s daughter is laws, they were not perfect in their generations as Noah was. Noah’s sons were genetically correct but the daughters were not. We ate told that mitochondrial DNA can be traced back farther than nuclear DNA. This is because it is traced back through the daughter to Eve. Nuclear DNA goes back to Noah. Thus the adjustments to the mitochondrial (mothers) DNA through Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth.
God was rebuilding, a little at a time, logically, step by step the original DNA of Adam and Eve. Separating distinct people and then distinct individuals. Massaging the genetics of the people until he finally got to…Mary.
I don’t believe God sat on his throne and said it was time for His Son to come into the world then look down on the crowd in Israel and pick Mary at random. She was prepared and designed for this time.
When Gabriel came to Mary he said “full of grace” as a greeting. There had not been a salvation yet, how could she be full of grace. When he told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would bear a son.
No, God did not rape Mary, The Holy Spirit didn’t molest Mary, aliens didn’t inseminate Mary. Thats modern mans foolishness.
God did the same thing that he had done with Adam. He modified her DNA and inseminated her with a male version of her own, original, DNA.
That is what God meant in the Garden when he told the serpent that He would put enmity between him and her “seed”. Woman doesn’t have seed, men do, women have the egg. How can she have seed? he also didn’t say “woman’s seed” but “her” seed, referring to Eve as an individual. Mary was genetically the same as Eve. And a male version of her DNA was the same as Adam’s. Fulfilling Gods word from the beginning. (Genesis 3;15)
Points to consider:
St Paul refers to Jesus as the last Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:47)
One of the criticisms of the Church is that the traditional image of Jesus doesn’t look like a typical Jewish man of the era. Why should he, he was not the same as them genetically, he probably looked a lot like Adam
The Church has described Mary as the Immaculate Conception, the pinnacle of Creation, and teaches that she was born without original sin. I’ll quote Pope Pius IX;
In 1850, Pope Pius IX taught that all Catholics must accept an ancient Christian belief about Mary, the mother of Jesus: that God granted her a kind of baptism at her conception.
Since God stands outside of time, He could give her the graces of Christ’s redemption in advance. So when she was born, she was just like Adam and Eve at their creation: free of original sin.
The only people born without original sin were Adam and Eve…