FaithFrom the Stack

An answer to Jesus’ genealogy?

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When I was younger, and a non-believer, one thing that propelled me to declare Christianity to be a hoax, was the genealogy of Jesus.

The Bible follows Jesus’ genealogy in two different books: Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Comparing both accounts usually makes non-believers or new Christians wonder about the authenticity of the Bible. While some names appear in both lists, many names are completely different.

The question of Jesus’ lineage is an important one to resolve because if one part of the Bible is inaccurate, then all of God’s word can be subject to doubt.

After becoming a Christian, I still struggled with the issue of Jesus genealogy. That’s when I heard the argument that one book follows Joseph’s lineage while the other traces Mary’s family tree.

That seemed to make sense to me, and there is no Biblical evidence to the contrary.

This week, I read an article that put forth a different argument which also has plausibility.

Writing at, pastor Jesse Johnson suggests that Luke traces the biological ascent of Joseph, who was Jesus’ stepfather, while Matthew traces Jesus’ legal descent through Abraham and David’s line.

That argument proves that Jesus has both the legal right to the throne, and the biological right.

It’s an interesting and theologically sound argument. Perhaps it will clear up any misconceptions you had regarding the discrepancy between the accounts of Matthew and Luke.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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