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Discussion 2 to Meditation 268
Re: A Bible Genealogy Challenge

by JT

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Thank you for your comments. They will be added to debate and discourse for Meditation 268 on the next update.

The point you make is made in a number of bible commentaries. One Matthew Henry wrote in 1706 in commentary of this passage:

"The difference between the two evangelists in the genealogy of Christ has been a stumbling-block to infidels that cavil at the word, but such a one as has been removed by the labours of learned men, both in the early ages of the church and in latter times, to which we refer ourselves."

I guess I'm one of those infidels that "cavil at the word."

How did this "learned man" determine that Luke meant this to be the genealogy of Mary rather than Joseph?

"...the evangelists are not supposed to write these genealogies either of their own knowledge or by divine inspiration, but to have copied them out of the authentic records of the genealogies among the Jews, the heralds’ books, which therefore they were obliged to follow; and in them they found the pedigree of Jacob, the father of Joseph, to be as it is set down in Matthew; and the pedigree of Heli, the father of Mary, to be as it is set down here in Luke."

Here we have something which is not even in the text - Matthew and Mark supposedly headed down to the first century equivalent of the Registry Office and copied out these two different genealogies. Pure invention!

I'm sorry, but the labours of so-called learned men have only served to try to make the words say something which they clearly don’t.

I point, as clear evidence that Luke intended to detail Joseph's lineage, to two specific passages which precede the genealogy he gives:

first Luke 1:27:

"27. to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary."

and secondly Luke 2:4:

"4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.

In both pasages, Joseph, and only Joseph is specifically said to be of the house of David. No mention is made in either passage of Mary being of that lineage. When the detailed support for that lineage is brought forward in Luke 3, there is absolutely no mention of Mary. And nowhere in the Bible is it stated that Mary is the daughter of Heli.

What we have is "learned men" inventing an explanation for which there is no evidence other than their inability to accept that there is a glaring error in the bible.

For another glaring error in Luke, consider Luke 2.1. That census was conducted in 6AD - the Romans kept records. And Herod (mentioned in Luke 1.5) died about 4BC.

I'd be interested in seeing that explained.

Best wishes