The genealogy of Jesus Christ has been a topic for discussion for many
years. Matthew gives one account of the lineage of Christ while Luke gives
another. The two accounts are different. Does this mean that there is a
contradiction within the Bible? If there is a contradiction, does that
indicate that the Bible is not the inspired word of God? If the Bible is not
inspired by God, then the Bible is truly myth.
The purpose here is to prove that the two accounts of Christ's
genealogy are not a contradiction at all, rather both accounts are totally
accurate. This also leads to the Bible indeed being the inspired word of
God, and therefore not myth.
Matthew's Account: Let's first begin by looking at
Matthew's account of the lineage of Christ. Matthew, who was also called
Levi, was one of the original twelve apostles. Matthew was a publican, a Jew
who collected taxes for the Roman government. Therefore, he was despised by
the Jewish people. He was also probably very accurate in his records and
highly concerned with the legal aspects of Jewish life.
Matthew's gospel, was written for the Jewish people. Matthew
tries to convince the Jews that Jesus Christ was indeed the royal son of
David. Seven times in the Matthew's Gospel we see where the statement "son
of David" is used (1:1, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30, 21:9, 22:42). Only in
Matthew does Christ speak of "The throne of his glory" (19:28, 25:31). And
only in Matthew is Jerusalem referred to as "the holy city" (4:5).
Therefore, Matthew spends a great deal of time trying to convince the Jewish
people that Jesus Christ was indeed the "King of the Jews" (27:29, 27:37).
Matthew begins with Abraham, the "Father" of the Jewish nation, then
follows the line through David the King. Each individual that Matthew lists
is of royal lineage. This gives evidence of the royal blood line of Jesus.
As Matthew continues to follow the line from David to Christ, Matthew
traces the lineage through Jesus' earthly father, Joseph. This, too,
indicates that Matthew is writing to the Jewish people. During first century
times, if a Jewish man adopted a son, that son receives the father's
lineage. Therefore, according to Jewish tradition, Jesus would be given the
legal genealogy of his adopted father, but a child "jewishness" came from
his mother (The Law aka:
Luke's Account: Luke was known as the "Beloved Physician."
He was a follower and companion of Paul. Luke's gospel was written primarily
for the Greeks or Gentiles. This is identified through Paul, who first took
his message to the Jews, and when the Jews rejected him, went to the Greeks.
Luke's gospel emphasizes the perfect humanity of Christ. Tracing Christ's
lineage all the way back to Adam, Luke lets the Greeks know that Christ's
sacrifice is for all of mankind, not simply for the Jews.
Luke's gospel, being written for the Greeks, would not be as interested
in the royal lineage of Christ, rather his true earthly lineage.
Additionally, Joseph's line had been cursed and could not possibly seat the
throne of Israel. The lineage of Joseph in
Matthew shows us a guy called Jeconiah in
Matt 1:11. Cross reference this to
This speaks of Jeconiah and says in
verse 30 that none of his
descendants would sit on the throne of David and rule in Judah anymore.
account of the genealogy of Christ, it is my opinion, that Luke traces
Christ's ancestry through his mother, Mary. I say this because Luke only
mentions Joseph to identify who Christ was. "As was supposed the son of
Joseph," (3:23). The genealogy of Luke and the genealogy of Matthew agree
exactly with the line between Abraham and David. From David to Mary
in Luke, or from David to Joseph in Matthew, the lineage changes. Only three
times do the two different accounts mention the same names, Shealtiel,
Zerubbabel, and possibly Matthat (Matthan in Matthew). This can be explained
very easily. Mary and Joseph were first cousins.
Only in the twentieth century has this form
of union become a taboo. We even
had a President who married a cousin. The ancient Egyptians were so tied to
keeping the royal blood line pure that the Pharaoh King could only marry his
sister or at the least first cousin to produce a pure blood line to the
We are born with two genealogies, one from our father and the other from our
mother. It stands to reason that if Luke traces through Mary, and Matthew
through Joseph, then Christ will have two different genealogies. If this
theory is correct, and the account of Matthew traces through Joseph, and
Luke traces through Mary, the combined accounts may read like this:
The Genealogy of Christ **
Luke 3:23-38 and Matthew 1:1-17
God who was the father of Adam, who was the father of Seth, who was
the father of Enos, who was the father of Cainan, who was the father of
Mahalalel, who was the father of Jared, who was the father of Enoch, who
was the father of Methuselah, who was the father of Lamech, who was the
father of Noah, who was the father of Shem, who was the father of
Arpachshad, who was the father of Cainan, who was the father of Shelah,
who was the father of Eder, who was the father of Peleg, who was the
father of Reu, who was the father of Serug, who was the father of Nahor,
who was the father of Terah, who was the father of Abraham.
Abraham begot Isaac; and Isaac begot Jacob; and Jacob begot Judah and
his brethren; and Judah begot Perez and Zerah of Tamar; and Perez begot
Hezron; and Hezron begot Ram; and Ram begot Ammin'adab; and Amminadab
begot Nahshon; and Nahshon begot Salmon; and Salmon begot Boaz of Rahab;
and Boaz begot Obed of Ruth; and Obed begot Jesse; and Jesse begot
David, the king; and David, the king, begot Solomon of her that had been
the wife of Uriah; and Solomon begot Rehoboam; and Rehoboam begot Abijah;
and Abijah begot Asa; and Asa begot Jehoshaphat; and Jehoshaphat begot
Joram; and Joram begot Uzziah; and Uzziah begot Jotham; and Jotham begot
Ahaz; and Ahaz begot Hezekiah; and Hezekiah begot Manasseh; and Manasseh
begot Amon; and Amon begot Josiah; and Josiah begot Jeconiah and his
brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon and after
they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel; and
Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel; and Zerubbabel begot
Abiud; and Abiud begot Eliakim; and Eliakim begot Azor; and Azor begot
Sadoc; and Sadoc begot Achim; and Achim begot Eliud; and Eliud begot
Eleazar and Eleazar begot Matthan; and Matthan begot
Jacob; and Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born
Jesus, who is called Christ.
Jesus being the son of Joseph, [the husband of Mary, who was the
daughter of] Heli, who was the son of Matthat, who was the
son of Levi, who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Jannai, who
was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of
Amos, who was the son of Nahum, who was the son of Esli, who was the son
of Naggai, who was the son of Maath, who was the son of Mattathias, who
was the son of Semein, who was the son of Josech, who was the son of
Joda, who was the son of Joanan, who was the son of Rhesa, who was the
son of Zerubbabel, who was the son of Shealtie, who
was the son of Neri, who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Addi,
who was the son of Cosam, who was the son of Elmadam, who was the son or
Er, who was the son of Joshua, who was the son of Eliezer, who was the
son of Jorim, who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, who
was the son of Simeon, who was the son of Judas, who was the son of
Joseph, who was the son of Jonam, who was the son of Eliakim, who was
the son of Melea, who was the son of Menna, who was the son of Mattatha,
who was the son of David, the king.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen
generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are
fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto
Christ are fourteen generations.
**Genealogy taken from: Steven Breedlove
Fort Smith, Arkansas
From the creation to the end of time, as we
seek to learn more about the Bible, more about God and more about ourselves,
we will eventually determine that the Bible is indeed the true inspired word
of God. We will learn that the Bible does not have contradictions, and that
the Bible is not myth. We will stand before God, knowing the power and
purity of his presence. God's word is what we build our faith upon, and his
word will never fail.
For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then, face to face; now I
know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now
abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
(I Corinthians 13:12-13)
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