At your website, I read your answer to the question “Why does the Bible mention Jesus’ geneology from Joseph’s side when Joseph is not His father?” In your answer, you say that Luke gives a genealogy from Joseph’s side since the Greeks prefer the father’s side and Matthew wrote from Mary’s side for the Jewish audience. But aren’t both the genealogies from Joseph’s side? That’s what I can see, because both mention a father of Joseph, but do correct me if I’m wrong.


There are two reasons that nearly all scholars believe that the Matthew genealogy is actually that of Mary, not Joseph.

1. A different name for the father is used in the two genealogies.  This could be explained by the fact that some people in ancient times were known by two different names, and Luke and Matthew have two different names of the same father, but this is not likely.

But put this with the second reason, and you have a very strong argument.

2. Matthew gives a hint that it is the genealogy of Mary in the wording.  It is subtle, but, given the other evidence, the meaning is clear.  It says, “and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.    I interpret this as Jacob the father [in law] of Joseph, the husband of Mary.

Putting the two facts together makes it very likely that Jacob was the physical father of Mary, not of Joseph, which would explain a lot of other things.  Some have claimed that Luke is bogus genealogy because Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. Although this is true, Joseph adopted Jesus and accepted him as his son.  The legitimization of the adopted son of Joseph is part of what makes this story so wonderful.

John Oakes

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