Who’s Your Grandfather?

The genealogies of Jesus have perplexed some. Was Jesus’ grandfather Jacob (Matthew 1:16) or, Heli (Luke 3:23)? Furthermore, such is not the only difference between Matthew’s record and that of Luke’s.

A careful study of the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke seem to reveal a different focus. Matthew’s focus is on Joseph [1. The angel explains the pregnancy to him (Matthew 1:18-25). 2. He is warned to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). 3. He is informed of Herod’s death (Matthew 2: 19-21). 4. He is instructed to go to Nazareth (Matthew 2:22)]. Luke’s focus is on Mary. [1. Gabriel announces the pregnancy to her (Luke 1:26-38). 2. She went to the house of Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45). 3. She uttered there great words (Luke 1:46-55). 4. She delivered the child (Luke 2:1-7). 5. She ponders the words of the shepherd (Luke 2:8-20). 6. Simeon addressed her (Luke 2:34-35). 7. She spoke with twelve-year-old Jesus (Luke 2:48)]. It seems likely, to me, that the two records show that Jesus was legally (Matthew 1) and biologically (Luke 3) of the seed-line of David.

Another consideration is how repunctuating Luke 3 might resolve the situation. Matthew reads, “Jacob begot Joseph” (Matthew 1:16). Luke reads, “being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli” (Luke 3:23). Robert Gromacki has written—“No parenthesis mark occurred in the original Greek text. Therefore, their placement of the parenthesis marks was arbitrary. Because of the words ‘as was supposed,’ no linguist doubts that a parenthesis was intended. But, what words should be incorporated within the parenthesis? Since the article ‘tou’ does not appear before Joseph (it occurs before every other proper name in the list B.H.), it should read: “being the son (as was supposed of Joseph) of Heli (The Virgin Birth: A Biblical Study of the Deity or Jesus Christ, p. 183).

Jesus was of the correct lineage. “In order for Jesus Christ to be the rightful king of the Jews, He had to be both the physical and the legal son of Abraham and of David, thus making Him the heir to all of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenant promises” (ibid).

It is noteworthy that both records suggest that Joseph was not biologically the father of Jesus. Luke reads, “as was supposed the son of Joseph” (Luke 3:23). Matthew reads, “Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus” (Matthew 1:16). The words “of whom” is feminine gender.

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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