The 3 billion character tweet

[a contribution from a regular follower]

Roboam begat Abia,” says the King James version at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, and in 1 Kings 14:31 we learn that Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah the Ammonitess. This means that we are left with the intriguing possibility that the Lord Jesus was descended from Lot on account of his younger daughter’s misguided attempt to save the world.

If the earthly Jesus of Nazareth were alive today it could be confirmed by a simple test. The truth of it, or otherwise, was written inside almost every cell of his body. Our cells include a large protein molecule full of information – think of it as a three billion character tweet – which tells the story of our ancestors. For Jesus, if the technology had been available, it would have confirmed those “begats” in his genealogy and told him if he had an ancestor among the ancient Ammonites.

Three billion characters makes a big tweet! It’s about the size of three King James Bibles. But that’s how much information is used to set out the biochemical specification of a new human being. By comparing it with “tweets” from other people – and other living things, actually – a remarkably full story can be found out. This is because each person in each generation has one to two hundred non-lethal mutations, allowing the family tree to be inferred. Recently a criminal was tracked down by comparing his genetic information with a public genealogical data base, and finding his relatives. (…)

For a relatively small amount of money you can have your own tweet read, if you want. There might be a chance that you too are descended from an Ammonite! A human Ammonite, that is, from the first or second millennium BC. Fossilised Ammonites are a story for another day.


4 thoughts on “The 3 billion character tweet

    1. COD Post author

      Hi Mark. Rehoboam appears in the Matthew genealogy not in the Luke one. It has been assumed that one list is Mary and one list is Joseph, although it’s hardly clear from the record which is which. Regardless of which list leads to Mary, both lists converge on Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in Matt 1:12 and Luke 3:27. Since the lines converge post Rehoboam it is reasonable to say – regardless of which list we attribute Mary – that Jesus was descended from Rehoboam somehow.


  1. Mark Taunton

    Despite your uncertainty on which list is for Mary and which for Joseph, you seem quite sure that the two instances of a Salathiel+Zerubbabel, between the two genealogies, are one and the same father+son. But on what basis? The names before and after this pair don’t match up at all…


    1. COD Post author

      Matt and Luke have different lists though both point to Joseph. The post was clear on the basis of its use of Matt – and in context the OP is about the information in DNA rather than reconciling the genealogies but as usual you wish to change focus.

      The identity of Shealtiel and Zerubbabel is rarely questioned and has been accepted in our community (eg articles in The Christadelphian Magazine by RR in Vol 4 page 308, C Bower Vol. 48 Page 384, M Ashton Vol 135 page 238).

      H Whittaker suggested in Study in the Gospels that Mary and Joseph were cousins based on the likely Matthan/Matthat being the same person in the lists (in which case the descended from Rehoboam stands) as well as noting the tangle that Shealtiel and Zerubbabel causes (accepting the standard identification).



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