Re: wondering....

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Wed Jun 18 1997 - 12:38:37 EDT

On 17 Jun 97 (15:38:21), 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)
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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