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Genealogy of Jesus

This was one of the major difficulties that faced the Bible scholars for a long time, that the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew is totally different than that in Luke.

What did Christian Commentators say about Jesus Genealogy?

In Robertson’s Word Picture, it says:

Being Son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli (ōn huios hōs enomizeto Iōsēph tou Helei). For the discussion of the genealogy of Jesus, see notes on Matthew 1:1-17. The two genealogies differ very widely and many theories have been proposed about them. At once one notices that Luke begins with Jesus and goes back to Adam, the Son of God, while Matthew begins with Abraham and comes to “Joseph the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (Mat_1:16). Matthew employs the word “begot” each time, while Luke has the article tou repeating huiou (Son) except before Joseph. They agree in the mention of Joseph, but Matthew says that “Jacob begat Joseph” while Luke calls “Joseph the son of Heli.” There are other differences, but this one makes one pause. Joseph, of course, did not have two fathers. If we understand Luke to be giving the real genealogy of Jesus through Mary, the matter is simple enough. The two genealogies differ from Joseph to David except in the cases of Zorobabel and Salathiel. Luke evidently means to suggest something unusual in his genealogy by the use of the phrase “as was supposed” (hōs enomizeto). His own narrative in Luk_1:26-38 has shown that Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus. Plummer objects that, if Luke is giving the genealogy of Jesus through Mary, huios must be used in two senses here (son as was supposed of Joseph, and grandson through Mary of Heli). But that is not an unheard of thing. In neither list does Matthew or Luke give a complete genealogy. Just as Matthew uses “begat” for descent, so does Luke employ “son” in the same way for descendant. It was natural for Matthew, writing for Jews, to give the legal genealogy through Joseph, though he took pains to show in Mat_1:16, Mat_1:18-25 that Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus. It was equally natural for Luke, a Greek himself and writing for the whole world, to give the actual genealogy of Jesus through Mary. It is in harmony with Pauline universality (Plummer) that Luke carries the genealogy back to Adam and does not stop with Abraham.”

Answering Christian Commentaries

This was how Robertson shows the difficulty and how he tried to solve it. Actually this may have been right, but there are still other difficulties that must be put into consideration, the first thing is that if the genealogy in Matthew is the genealogy of Joseph, which means that it is not that of the Christ, which means that he won’t be the Messiah since the Messiah should be from Solomon’s genealogy. It may be said that Joseph was considered his father even if he wasn’t the biological father, so Jesus still has the right to be the Messiah according to this genealogy, but actually I didn’t find an evidence in the Bible where it treats a biological father as a father by adoption, but even I found what tells that heir should be from the biological father not from a father by adoption:

Gen 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. Gen 15:4 And, behold, the word of Jehovah came unto him, saying, This man shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

Other Difficulties in the Genealogy of Jesus

Also there are some other difficulties in the genealogy of Matthew. The first difficulty is that when we refer back to the genealogy in I Chronicles 3, we find that 3 names were dropped in Matthew who are Ahaziah, Joash and Azariah, and each of them is supposed to be a king who ruled, these are 3 continuous generations which were omitted.

It may be said that they used to omit some names in the genealogy, which is really right, but not in this case, because it is supposed that the writer of Matthew is writing 42 generations during 3 periods each period should contain 14 generations, which is not actually the case here since the second period will contain 18 generations not 14 that way.

It may be said as well that they were omitted because of their sins, so they can’t be considered from the generation of the Messiah, but actually this is not an excuse, because the genealogy already other sinners, for example it contains Judah, who sinned with Tamar and begat Perez(Genesis 38). It contains Solomon, whom the Bible claims that he worshiped the idols and died that way (and we Muslims reject this blasphemy against God’s prophets), and Jehoram who also worshiped the idols as in Easton’s Bible Dictionary.

What I see is that when Muslims object on omitting names from the genealogy Christians answer and say that this was due to their sins, and when we say how can the highest genealogy from where the Messiah is supposed to get from contains 4 cases of adultery (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Batheshba), they will say that God so loved the sinners that he put 4 adulterers in his genealogy!

Contradictions and major problems in the genealogy of Jesus

Omitting from the Genealogy of Jesus what is Against Jesus being Messiah

The fourth one omitted here was Jehoiakim (see 1 Chronicles 3:15), and it seems that the reason for this is this verse:

Jer 36:30 Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David; and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost

According to that verse in Jeremiah, no one from Jehoiakim’s descendants shall sit on David’s, which means that the Messiah can’t be from his descendants. It may be said that this was the genealogy of Joseph not Jesus, so he could have been omitted.

Of course first this is not an appropriate justification, since if this was the case, then this genealogy has nothing to do with Jesus. We either take all the genealogy for Jesus and consider that since he was the son adopted by Jesus, then all the genealogy refers to him, or that we say that this genealogy has nothing to do with Jesus, but we shouldn’t take it selectively. Besides, it seems that the writer of Gospel Matthew didn’t understand it that way, otherwise he wouldn’t have omitted his name.

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