Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Common Objection #21- "The Genealogies of Jesus Conflict with Each Other."

One of the supposed problems with the gospels is that the genealogy of Christ recorded by Luke (3:23-38) appears to conflict with the genealogy of Christ recorded by Matthew (1:1-17).

Sean and Josh McDowell offer a concise answer to this claim:

"At first glance, we may get the impression that both accounts are tracing the family line of Jesus through his legal father, Joseph, in which case there is an obvious contradiction. It is confusing because Matthew 1:16 indicates Jacob is Joseph’s father, while Luke 3:23 says that Heli is the father of Joseph.

A plausible solution is to recognize that Matthew is giving us Joseph’s family line, but Luke is tracing the genealogy of Mary. The reason that Mary is not mentioned in Luke 3 is probably because she has already been designated the mother of Jesus in several instances.

The usual practice of a Jewish genealogy is to give the name of the father, grandfather, and so on, of the person in view. Luke follows this pattern, and does not mention the name of Mary, but the name of the legal father. However, Luke makes it clear that Joseph is not, in reality, the father of Jesus, since Jesus had been virgin born (see Luke 1:26-35).

Luke is no doubt tracing the roots of Jesus through his mother, Mary, who was a descendant of Heli, and so on. Joseph’s name is mentioned, according to the common practice, but he is portrayed as the supposed father of Jesus, and God as the actual father.

Additionally the reason two genealogies are even given could be that one (Luke’s) demonstrates Jesus’ connection to all humanity since it traces his roots to Adam. And the other (Matthew’s) shows he is the rightful heir to King David’s throne and is the continuing fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham. This emphasizes Jesus as both the Messiah to the Jews and the Savior of the entire human race." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Text found here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've got a great start to this article. The Matthew genealogy actually shows that Jesus had to be born of a virgin. The Davidic line through Solomon ceased. Jeremiah pronounces its end in chapter 22. Verse 12 in Matthew connects Joseph to Jeconiah and therefore proves he cannot father the Messiah.
Luke then proves that Jesus was born of a virgin and rightful heir by tracing his lineage back to Nathan, next in line after Solomon (Luke 3:31).