The Miracle of Mary's Lineage

Critics of scripture often use the differences in Jesus’ lineage as evidence against the infallibility of God’s word. They fail to understand that the Bible is recording two distinct lineages, one for Joseph, which is found in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 1 verses 1-17; and Mary’s lineage which is in the third chapter of Luke, verses 23 through 38.

It was a Hebrew custom of the time to list the mother’s genealogy under the name of the father because the two were viewed as one (Genesis 2:24). This custom is most likely the origin of our modern day custom of the wife assuming the last name of her husband.

It was also a Hebrew custom that when a woman married, she was then brought into her husband’s tribe. For example, if she was of the tribe of Benjamin, if her husband was of Judah, then she would also be of the tribe of Judah. This is another reason why scripture lists Mary’s genealogy under the name of her husband.

Both Mary and Joseph were of the tribe of Judah, the tribe through which the Messiah was prophesied to come. He is the lion of the tribe of Judah emerging at a time in Israel’s future when the “scepter” would be departed (Genesis 49:10). Jesus came when Israel was not allowed to pronounce capital judgments under Roman authority. That is why they had to bring Jesus to Pilate for sentencing. The scepter had departed.

Joseph’s lineage is traced from Abraham up to Joseph. However, Mary’s lineage is traced all the way back from Mary to Adam. Science has since discovered that the DNA of anyone is carried by the mother. Thus Mary’s lineage miraculously affirms that discovery centuries before science even knew that DNA existed.

The critics are silenced, the word of God is the final word, and Jesus’ is the Messiah.

Copyright 2023 by H.D. Shively

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