A mystery...did you know that there are two differing genealogies for Christ in the Bible?  One in Luke and one in Matthew.  The two genealogies converge in only 2 places, (Shealtiel and Zerubbabel)  and other than that they are entirely different.  Obviously, they are not the same genealogy.  At first glance, there seems to be a discrepancy in the Bible. 

And, since both genealogies lead to Joseph, who was not related to Jesus biologically, it is a mystery.  Jesus Christ was a Jew, and He had to have a genealogy proving it---and it had to be through Mary his biological mother, not His adoptive father Joseph.  The Messiah has to be a descendant of David.  So it is important to have proof of Jesus Christ's direct lineage to David. 

Below is a short segment of each genealogy.  We can obviously see that they are different.  Joseph appears to have 2 different fathers!  And Christ must prove lineage through Mary anyway, not Joseph.

Luke 3:23
"Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,"

Matthew 1:16
"and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

What are we to make of this mystery?  In Luke, Joseph is called the son of Heli, and in Matthew, it says Jacob begat Joseph.  Joseph didn't have two dads, and two completely different genealogies to boot! 

Thankfully, there is an easy explanation.  The genealogy in Luke is actually Christ's genealogy through Mary his mother.  Heli was Mary's dad.  But, since they rarely used women's names in genealogies, it causes confusion.  Look at it again.

Luke 3:23-25
"Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought of Joseph, (Christ was) the son of Heli, the son of Matthat,

Note that Christ is the subject of this passage.  He was the son of Heli through His mother Mary.  The phrase "son of" doesn't literally have to mean "the son of" anyway.  It can mean "descended from." 

An online encyclopedia says,

"The suggestion focuses on the language of Luke's Greek text. Luke adds a phrase that today would be considered a parenthetical comment. Luke 3:21 says literally: "And Jesus himself was ... a son (being thought) of Joseph of Heli" (The plain meaning of the text is usually understood as communicating the notion that Jesus was believed to be the son of Joseph but was actually the product of virgin birth. The suggestion simply expands the parenthesis to literally comment Joseph out of the genealogy altogether. "And Jesus himself was ... a son (being thought of Joseph) of Heli".

In light of that, we understand why there are two different genealogies for Christ.  One through his biological mother and one through his legal adoptive father.  Mystery solved.  He was legally and biologically a Jew, descended through David both ways.  Case closed.  Mystery solved.  Below is a chart of both genealogies.


A Mystery solved!




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