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Genealogies of Jesus
Two of the four gospel records — Matthew and Luke — record in detail the events of Christ’s birth. The same two give detailed genealogies.
The phrase “genealogy” or “generation(s) of...” occurs fourteen times in the whole Bible, eleven times in Genesis, twice more in the Old Testament, and finally this, as might be expected, the fourteenth time: Matthew 1:17.
Why Are There Different Genealogies For Jesus In Matthew 1 And Luke 3?
Both Matthew 1 and Luke 3 contain genealogies of Jesus. But there is one problem—they are different. Luke’s genealogy starts at Adam and goes to David. Matthew’s genealogy starts at Abraham and goes to David. When the genealogies arrive at David, they split with David’s sons: Nathan (Mary’s side?) and Solomon (Joseph’s side). There are differences of opinion with two main options being offered. The first is that one genealogy is for Mary and the other is for Joseph. It was customary to mention the genealogy through the father even though it was clearly known that it was through Mary.
Some Difficult Passages: The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke
The genealogy of Matthew 1 poses a number of problems. Before attempting to resolve some of these problems — before even stating them — let us remind ourselves of the simple facts.
The Genealogies of the Bible: A Neglected Subject
On my desk I have a little snuff box. When we were children we used to use snuff and I still recall how remarkably refreshing it was. It was somewhat like opening a window and getting a sudden, exhilarating breath of completely fresh air blowing away all the mental cobwebs. I don’t know quite why it went out of fashion: perhaps it came under some Drug Act. This little snuffbox is made of whale bone, and on the lid it has a small silver plaque with my initial and name on it: “A. Custance.” But it is not really my name, because underneath that is the date: 1766.
Are the Genealogies of Jesus Contradictory?
When opening the New Testament many readers encounter a difficulty when comparing the genealogy of Jesus given in Matthew chapter 1 with that found in Luke chapter 3. At first glance the impression is formed in the reader’s mind that in both passages the lineage of Jesus is traced by listing the ancestors of Joseph, (the husband of Mary). In other words, many readers believe that in both instances we have before us the genealogy of Joseph. But according to Matthew 1:16, the father of Joseph was a man named Jacob, while Luke 3:23 appears to state that Heli was the father of Joseph. “Aha! A discrepancy,” say the enemies of the Bible! Is it a contradiction?
Was the Mother of Jesus of the Tribe of Levi?
A Monmouthshire [U.K.] lady reader takes exception to the statement of our colleague in the March, 1947, Testimony, page 92, that “Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus by the line of his mother,” and asks, “Where is Mary’s name mentioned?”
Son of Mary’s Husband: The Paternity of Jesus
Our Blackburn correspondent “says: “You refer to Matthew 1:18-25, but you do not tackle Matthew 1:1, which declares that Jesus was the son of David and Abraham, and then gives a tables of names which ends in Joseph. The writer of Matthew 1:1-17 clearly believed Jesus to be the son of David via Joseph, and could not have been the writer of vv. 18-25.
An Elaborate Design of Sevens
A discussion arose in an American paper about the inspiration of the Bible, and the following letter appeared in defence of the Scriptures:
Purpose of the Three Triads of Fourteen Generations
“…fourteen generations …fourteen generations …fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17)