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Genealogy of Jesus

One of the major difficulties that faced the Bible scholars for a long time was the fact that the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew is totally different from that in Luke.

What did Christian Commentators say about Jesus Genealogy?

In Robertson’s Word Picture, it says:

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)…. 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. …. 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 that Luke carries the genealogy back to Adam and does not stop with Abraham. (Source here)

This was how Robertson shows the difficulty and how he and other Christians tried to solve it. This may seem a good explanation, 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, this means that it is not that of Jesus, which means that he won’t be the Messiah since the Messiah should be from David’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 there is no evidence in the Bible that it treats a biological father as a father by adoption. On the contrary, it tells that heir should be only from the biological father not from a father by adoption:

 Genesis 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.   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

Moreover there are some other difficulties in the genealogy of Matthew, the first difficulty is that when we compare the genealogy in Matthew with the genealogy in 1 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 true, but it should not be appliead 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 that they were omitted because of their sins, so they can’t be considered from the generation of the Messiah. However the genealogy already other sinners, for example it contains Judah, who fornicated 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. So when Muslims object on omitting names from the genealogy Christians answer and say that this was due to their sins, and when they 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!

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

The fourth person omitted from the genealogy was Jehoiakim (see 1 Chronicles 3:15), and it seems that the reason for removing him is this verse:

Jeremiah 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 this verse in Jeremiah, no one from Jehoiakim’s descendants shall sit on David’s throne, 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, but this is not an appropriate justification. If this was the case, then this genealogy already has nothing to do with Jesus. If the justification for this genealogy was to prove that Jesus is from the descendents of David as he was the son adopted by Jesus and accordingly the conditions of the Messiah apply on him, then the whole genealogy should be taken. Otherwise this would mean 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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