The Genealogy Of Jesus -- By: R. P. Nettelhorst

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 31:2 (Jun 1988)
Article: The Genealogy Of Jesus
Author: R. P. Nettelhorst


The Genealogy Of Jesus

R. P. Nettelhorst*

An old problem for expositors has been the apparently contradictory genealogies of Christ given in Matthew and Luke. Matthew traces Jesus’ lineage through forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ. Luke traces it from Adam to Christ for more than seventy generations.

It is unnecessary to examine in detail the genealogy between Adam and Abraham in Luke. That genealogy appears to derive from the Old Testament (1 Chr 1:1–4, 24–27; Gen 5:3–32; 11:10–26). Matthew gives no listing from Adam to Abraham, so no problems arise there. Both Matthew and Luke list the people from Abraham to David, but again there is no problem. The two genealogies are nearly identical at that point.

The problem that has confounded readers of the NT is found in the listing of names between David and Joseph. Matthew traces Joseph’s line through Solomon and the successive kings of Judah. Luke, however, gives a completely different account, tracing Joseph’s line through Nathan, Solomon’s brother:

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Matthews Genealogy

Lukes Genealogy

David

Eliud

David

Zerubbabel

Solomon

Eleazar

Nathan

Rhesa

Rehoboam

Matthan

Mattatha

Joanan

Abijah

Jacob

Menna

Joda

Asa

Joseph

Melea

Josech

Jehoshaphat

Jesus

Eliakim

Semein