The Virgin Birth: Jesus' Chromosomes and DNA?

How does the chromosome structure work in God's economy? Scientifically speaking, shouldn't Eve be a man and Jesus a woman?

Thanks for your rather intriguing question.

Scientific Facts:

Each human being has what are called chromosomes (Greek, chromosoma, chroma = color + soma = body). Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes for a total of 46 in all. They receive one set from each parent; (a) 23 from the male and (b) 23 from the female. The 23rd pair of chromosomes is either a pair of; (a) XX (female) or (b) XY (male) chromosomes. So, females have two copies of the X chromosome, and males have one X and one Y chromosome; all the cells in the female contain only X chromosomes, while the male has both X and Y chromosomes.

The Miracle(s) of the Virgin Birth:

(1) Virgin Birth: During Mary's conception a specific egg (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35; Gal. 4:4) inside her began to undergo what is called mitotic-division; the process in cell division by which the nucleus divides. This occurs when an egg is fertilized.

(2) X Chromosome: In the virgin birth, "if" conception occurred without fertilization, Mary's offspring would have been a "female," not male, because Mary had no Y chromosome. So, "if" nothing else occurred, Jesus would have had the exact same chromosomes or DNA coding as Mary, who only had X chromosomes.

(3) Y Chromosome: Jesus was and still is a man (Matt. 1:1; John 1:14; Rom. 1:3; Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:5), so God the Holy Spirit must have supernaturally supplied the Y chromosome (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35)..

What is the "possible origin" of this Y chromosome?

Possible Origin of the Y Chromosome:

(1) Creation of Adam: Adam was created uniquely by God. Genesis 2:7 states, "then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." Adam was a male, so he was created with a XY chromosome.

(2) Creation of Eve: Eve was created from Adam's rib. "So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man" (Gen. 2:21-22).

(3) Eve a Man?: Since Eve was made from Adam's XY rib, she should have had the same DNA coding as Adam. Eve should have had one X and one Y chromosome in her DNA structure. So, "if" nothing else occurred, Eve should have been a male, as she would have had both a X and Y chromosome structure.

(4) Eve no Y Chromosome: Since, Eve was declared to be a "woman" by God himself (Gen 2:22), he must have supernaturally withheld the Y chromosome (Psa. 139:14). Genesis 2:22 states that God "made" her. This is when the removal of the Pre-Fall Y chromosome took place. Therefore, like man, she is a unique creation too. Because Eve was "made" with no Y chromosome she is not a he/she, but a she/she, meaning XX. God did not make transgenders, these are the creation of a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:18).

(5) The Pre-Fall Y Chromosome: What did God do with the Pre-Fall Y chromosome? Though it is not expressly set down in Scripture, I believe we may by good and necessary consequence deduce (WCF 1.6) that God may have taken the Pre-Fall Y chromosome from the Pre-Fall first Adam in the Garden and held it in absolute pure abeyance until the fullness of time - the birth of Jesus (Gal. 4:4). This Pre-Fall Y chromosome then endued with power from on high (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35) was placed in "the" specific egg of the virgin Mary. So, Jesus is the Second and Last Man Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, 47). Another possibility, is that in a similar manner that God the Holy Spirit "made" the Pre-Fall XX Eve, he also made the Un-fallen XY Jesus (see next paragraph).

Either way, "the Word became flesh" (John 1:14). To clarify, the divine Second Person of the Trinity took on perfect unfallen humanity (Gen. 1:31) in the person of the XY Jesus (the second and last man Adam; 1 Cor. 15:45, 47), not by losing any of his divinity, but by adding perfect humanity to himself (Phil. 2:6-7 = "taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men"). In essence, "Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin" (WSC A.22).

A Brief Summary:

So, total depravity came through the disobedience of the XY chromosome Adam in the Garden. This passed onto all his posterity, except Jesus (Rom. 5:12-21). All humanity is infected and deadened by "original sin" (Eph. 2:1).

Man "transmits" original sin and the sin nature, where women are mere "recipients" only; they do not transmit original sin. Since Jesus was/is sinless, this means that he had to be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:27, 34). Because women do not transmit original sin, this means Jesus was born without original sin (2 Cor. 5:21; cf. Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

By good and necessary consequence (WCF 1.6), we may surmise that God took the perfect Per-Fall Y chromosome (Gen. 1:31) he removed from Pre-Fall Adam and held it in absolute pure abeyance until the Holy Spirit put it into "the" specific egg of Mary resulting in "the" XY male (Gen. 3:15 = "the seed" = Gal. 3:16) - Jesus Christ, the very Son of God (John 1:14; Rom. 1:3; 8:3; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:7; cf. Luke 2:21). So, Jesus is the Second and Last Man Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, 47), and the only Savior of God's elect (1 Tim. 2:5).

Some Theological Ramifications:

(1) XY Chromosome Adam, the Federal Head of the Covenant of Works: Adam was the Head of the Covenant of Works (Hos. 6:7). See "What is Federal Headship?," below.

(2) XY Chromosome Adam, Broke the Covenant: Adam was not deceived in the Garden, he willingly violated the covenant with God (Gen 2:16-17; 3:6; 1 Tim. 2:14). This is "original sin."

(3) Original Sin: Adam's Fall infected / deadened all mankind (Rom. 5:12, 14; Eph. 2:1).

(4) XY Chromosome Jesus, the Head of the Covenant of Grace: Jesus was faithful and kept the covenant (Isa. 42:1-7; 49:7-9; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 5:17-18; 2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 8:6).

(5) XY Chromosome Jesus, the Redeemer of God's Elect: "The only Redeemer of God's elect, is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever" (WSC A.21). Jesus Christ having been faithful to the covenant redeemed his people (Rom. 5:15, 17, 18, 19, 21; 1 Tim. 2:5).

(6) Origin of Grace: Grace is a gift of God and not of works (Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 2:11; 3:4). See "What is the Covenant of Grace?," below.

PS: Note, this is a work/answer in process.

Related Topics:

What is Federal Headship?
What is the Covenant of Grace?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).