Can Our Skin Sin?

Apparently so. Ever heard of Hamartoma?

A little context. The term hamartia derives from the Greek ἁμαρτία(hamartia), which means “to miss the mark” or “to err.”

Hamartia is also used in Christian theology because of its use in the Septuagint and the New Testament. The Hebrew (chatá) and its Greek equivalent (àµaρtίa/hamartia) both mean “missing the mark” or “off the mark.” There are several nuanced theological meanings, but the one that strikes me the most is the idea of a weakness of the flesh. And this reminded me of a question in the Bible that the disciples asked Jesus.

John 9:1-2 “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Now I’m not here to discuss the validity of the Bible, but clearly, this idea was common in the first century. This idea wasn’t just pulled out of thin air.

This brings me to my current studies on skin disorders within the context of human physiology and disease pathology and the term ‘Hamartoma.’ An error in the normal physiology of human soft tissues or flesh.

Hamartomas, while generally benign, can cause problems due to their location. For example, when located on the skin, especially on the face or neck, they can be very disfiguring. Cases have been reported of hamartomas the size of a small orange. They may obstruct practically any organ in the body, such as the colon, EYE, etc. They are particularly likely to cause major health issues when located in the hypothalamus, kidneys, lips, or spleen.

So again, “Who sinned(missed the mark),” this man or his parents?”

Was this an ancient way of asking if a malady was genetic or hereditary? The main difference between these two terms lies in the fact that hereditary diseases have the potential to be carried from one generation to another, whereas a genetic disease can either be hereditary or not, but there will always be a mutational change in the genome.

This takes personal responsibility to a whole new level. Clearly, poor lifestyle and diet choices like smoking, drugs, and drinking can affect a child in the womb.

What about Twinkies, Coffee, and Taco Bell?