From: Ben Crick (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Jun 18 1997 - 12:38:37 EDT
On 17 Jun 97 (15:38:21), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> I was wondering what the general consensus is out there on the
> difficulty of different geneologies of Jesus.
> Is Matthew's Joseph's and Luke's Marys?
> Or is it the fairly recent thing I heard that perhaps Joseph was
> adopted and he goes back to DAvid both ways?
> Or is it something else? I would tend to think it is important for us
> to figure out since the Bible has it in there.
As a newbie to this list, may I interject what may answer Lance's question?
The late Principal J Stafford Wright wrote concerning the genealogies of
"The simplest explanation is that the genealogy in Luke 3 is that of Mary,
since the early chapters of Luke's Gospel are clearly written from Mary's
point of view. In Luke, Jospeh is the son of Heli [some prefer the spelling
Eli], whereas in Matthew's Gospel he is described as the son of Jacob.
"Let us suppose, then, that Mary's father was Heli. Mary had a sister; we
are told that 'standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his
mother's sister' (John 19:25). We are nowhere told of a brother. If,
therefore, Heli had two daughters only, the line, which was always traced
through the male line, would have died out. The regulations quoted in
Numbers 27:1-11 and 36:1-9, were that, when daughters only survived, their
possessions and their family name required a male relative, or at least
someone of the same tribe, to carry them on. Even if Joseph was not a (near)
relative of Mary, he was one of the line of David, and, in marrying her, he
carried on the line of Heli, thus becoming the son [in law] of Heli."
(JS Wright, /Our Mysterious God/, Marshalls, 1983, p 105)
The view that Luke's list is Mary's genealogy was held by people such as
Luther, Bengel, J Lightfoot, Wieseler, Godet, B Weiss, AT Robertson,
N Geldenhuys and others; maybe as early as the 5th century (Lagrange,
/Evangile selon St Luc/, p 119. IH Marshall, /The Gospel of Luke/,
Paternoster 1978, p 158, attributes the theory to Annius Viterbo (1490).
Another view, in FF Bruce & JG Machen, /The Virgin Birth of Christ/, is
that Matthew gives the line of royal descent (where a sovereign's successor
is not always his son) from David to Joseph; whereas Luke gives the natural
succession back from Joseph to David and Adam.
Commenting further, John Wenham /Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke/, Hodders,
London, 1991, adds "Luke's taking the genealogy back to Adam fits well with
the 'last Adam' theology of his travelling companion Paul (1 Cor 15:45).
This information about Mary's descent provides a valuable complement,
theologically as well as historically, to what Matthew has told us" (p216).
-- Ben Crick, BA Bristol, 1963 (hons in Theology) <email@example.com> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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