Geneology of jesus


(Joshua Mathew) #1

who was the grandfather (father of joseph) of jesus …as in matthew 1:16…it is written that, the father of joseph is jacob…while in luke 3: 23…it is written as Heli.?
how come the two geneology of jesus…written in luke and mathew has a lot of differences(in the name of ancestors of joseph) ?


(Jamie Hobbs) #2

As I’m writing from my phone, which is painful, I’ll be horrendously concise and say that one is written in light of Joseph and the other in light of Mary. I’ll be happy to provide a better answer a little later, but that’s the gist.


(Joshua Mathew) #3

@Jamie_Hobbs when you write in detail…pls do tell me which one is geneology of mary and why you consider it so…beacuse…as i was reading it now…i coudn’t find either of them…possibly indicating …as the geneology of mary


(Jamie Hobbs) #4

Sorry for the vague answer before. Multitasking is inherently inefficient. I’ve read several varying views of the “issue” of the divergent geneaologies of Jesus. I say “issue” because it’s really not a problem for the Word and doesn’t present an error as some have said. The version in Matthew gives the line of kings through Joseph showing Jesus’ royalty. He rightly is king of the Jews based on bloodline (even though technically Joseph isn’t his blood father). Whereas in Luke the line passes through Mary, which is why the list is so different after David. In that society you were always listed as “son of dad”, not “son of mom” which is why Joseph is listed again. Luke shows the priestly line of Jesus.

Speaking from a perspective of literary context, going back to the Greek helps here. In Matthew, the word “huiou” is used meaning son and what follows is a bloodline genealogy. In Luke, that same word is used for “son of Joseph”, but is not used again throughout the passage. The literal translation is “the son of Joseph, of Heli, of Matthat…” The English translation reads “son of” as a linguistic insertion that is not literally from the Greek.

The intention of the authors were different, so they gave different lists to make their points on Jesus’ credibility. It is confusing looking back with different cultural eyes, but there isn’t a contention here.


(Joshua Mathew) #5

@Jamie_Hobbs can you clarify the reason due to which you say that the geneaology mentioned in the gospel of luke…passes through mary
as not a single time…the name of mary is mentioned in verse 23-38…but the name of joseph comes


(Jamie Hobbs) #6

Certainly. It was a cultural norm of that day in most, if not all, cultures that the line passes through the father. So for written record, the Jews listed the father and then gave Jesus’ family line through Mary not saying “begat” or “son of”, but by just saying “of”. All of those listed are still in his family tree, but through Mary’s branch. Eventually of course it gets back to David in both lines, as it was customary to intermarry within the family then. Both Joseph and Mary are of the line of David.


(SeanO) #7

@Joshua_Mathew @Jamie_Hobbs already did a good job of explaining the option that one is Mary’s genealogy. Here is an article from Zondervan Academic that provides three possible explanations and here are the three possible explanations in brief:

1 - One of the genealogies is Mary’s
2 - One genealogy is loyal/legal and the other is physical
3 - Joseph had two fathers

The article seems to be slanted towards explanation 3 - however, I am not convinced that their argument that Luke’s focus on the birth narrative is insufficient for the genealogy to be Mary’s. I am not committed strongly to one view, but I think they are each possible. Hope that is helpful.


(Joshua Mathew) #8

@SeanO thank you for sharing the link
actually i do think explanation 1 is right
but the problem with this explanation is that…it is written in verse 23 ‘son of joseph, son of heli’
and also there is no mention of mary in whole geneology


(SeanO) #9

@Joshua_Mathew Yes, the article suggested 2 possible ways Joseph could have two fathers:

  1. Mary’s father had no sons to carry on the family line, so he adopted Joseph as his son

  2. Based on a law in Deuteronomy, when one of Joseph’s fathers died his brother/half-brother may have married Joseph’s mother - giving Joseph two fathers.

Deuteronomy 25:5: “If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.”


(Olivia Davis) #10

Hey Sean — just wanted to say thanks for posting this article. Came upon this question today and this is helping me think through it! Many thanks.


(SeanO) #11

@Olivia_Davis Awesome! Glad that it is providing helpful as you process these passages. May the Lord Jesus grant you wisdom and understanding by His Spirit :slight_smile:


(Micah Bush) #12

On a related topic, something that bothers me more than the difference in the names is the way in which Matthew’s genealogy is obviously contrived to fit a desired number scheme (three sets of fourteen generations). I understand that numbers held greater significance to the biblical writers than they do to us today, and maybe I’m just a Westerner trying to wrap my mind around an Eastern way of writing, but it still bothers me. Why start a gospel by (seemingly arbitrarily) removing generations from a genealogy in order to force-fit it into a particular pattern, rather than write as complete a genealogy as possible (as Luke does)?


(SeanO) #13

@MicahB Luke was writing chiefly as a historian seeking to lay out all of the details. Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience about Christ as Messiah. Rather than thinking about it as the author of Matthew leaving out information - think of how it has been specially crafted to address his specific audience.

Additionally, it is not uncommon in the Bible to ‘telescope’ genealogies and not include every single generation.

Much of the misunderstanding surrounding these genealogies results because we are reading them in modern English and in the context of modern western culture. The genealogies were written in ancient Hebrew and represent ancient Jewish culture. For one thing, the Hebrew word for “son” ( ben ) can mean “son”, “grandson”, “great grandson” or “descendent”. And, likewise, “father” (Hebrew ab ) can mean father, grandfather, great-grandfatheror ancestor. For example, in Genesis 28:13, God says to Jacob, “I am the LORD the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac”. But Abraham wasn’t the father of Jacob. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Abraham was the father of Isaac, thus making Abraham the grandfather of Jacob.