ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Lineage of Jesus - Why are there different accounts?

Updated on December 5, 2016
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.

At Christmas time we hear the story of the birth of Jesus. There are caroles about the census being taken by the Romans that was the cause of Joseph and Mary's trip to Bethlehem. As the Bible explains, they went to Bethlehem because Joseph was of the house and lineage of David. So was Mary.

It is an accepted tradition even to this day in the Middle East for marriages to be common between cousins. Biblical scholars have documented the historical fact that Mary and Joseph were cousins. But why are the descendants in the line of Jesus different in the books of Luke and Matthew?

The reason is an interesting commentary on the accepted views on women in biblical times. It is just as interesting that the difference is also based on who is telling the story.

In the Gospel of Matthew, written by a Hebrew, the lineage of Jesus begins with Abraham and comes down through Zerubbabel's oldest son, Abihud, who was Joseph's great-eight generations back- grandfather. The names in the lineage from that point follow Abihud's descendants to Joseph. So in Matthew the line ends with Joseph, son of Jacob, the husband of Mary.

But in the Gospel of Luke, written by a Greek, the lineage of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam and comes down through Zerubbabel's youngest son, Rhesa, who was Mary's great-eight generations back- grandfather. The names in the lineage from that point follow Rhesa and end with Mary -except, even in the Greek tradition, the woman's name is not listed in the lineage. If a family ended with a daughter, it was the practice to list her husband, the son-in-law, as the last in the line. So in Luke the line ends with Joseph, son of Heli, who was Mary's husband.

For more information on this and other Biblical studies, consult Clarke's Commentary at www.jcsm.org

None of this changes what Jesus did for the world through his life, death and his victory over death. But it is always interesting to find the answer to a riddle. I take any argument that the Bible contains contradictions with a grain of salt. It is probably more accurate to accept that we just don't know all the answers - yet.

Merry Christmas.





Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      8 weeks ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This article was heavily read this week. Thanks readers!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Merry Christmas!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      19 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Stumbled upon this difference a while back. I thought it was an interesting tell on different cultures. Merry!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      dahoglund: Welcome to my hubs and Merry Christmas. Interesting commentary - you've added good points to this hub. I appreciate it.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I think a basic element of it all is to consider the purpose of the writing. The pupose and style of writing in the past is not the same as today. we are accustomed to scientifically factual, journalistic and historical writing styles. Much of this would not have mattered back then. Their interest was in spiritual truths. Also much was still in the oral trditions back then. Details did not matter so much.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Zionsphere: Beautifully said. Welcome to my hubs. Hope you enjoy more of them.

    • zionsphere profile image

      zionsphere 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      I agree that we can never know anything. I have noticed a few contradictions, but the message seems to be the same. To love God, and to love others as we love ourselves. So I guess all we need to know is love.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I definitely feel like I've been to church! Thanks for the blessings. "a new song" I love that.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 

      6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Then this must be Worship Time sister...

      The Grace in your thanks just Created Seven More (i LOVE The Number SEVEN) - Amen †

      † Psalm 33 : 3 †

      "Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise."

      † Psalm 149 : 1 †

      "Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints."

      † Revelation 4 : 5 †

      "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/Theres-A-...

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/TheWonder...

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/YOU-Said....

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/Holy-IS-o...

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/I-Have-Be...

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/THE-Young...

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/Revival.m...

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you for this beautiful gift!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for the music blessing. What a great way to comment! I was surprised I hadn't heard of these different geneologies before by the naysayers. I thought the reason for the two lines was facinating. Welcome to my hubs.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 

      6 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Re : "None of this changes what Jesus did for the world through his life, death and his victory over death. But it is always interesting to find the answer to a riddle. I take any argument that the Bible contains contradictions with a grain of salt. It is probably more accurate to accept that we just don't know all the answers - yet."

      Like your Hub, i also LOVE this Closing Paragraph - Amen sister....

      This End Time atheist agenda to try and pick Holy Scripture to pieces does NOTHING but BUILD my own Faith Higher - Amen

      In fact, OFTEN, when they get REALLY oppressive i learn MORE by researchng and then ALWAYS pointing out their GROSS ERRORS - Glory...

      † 2 Peter 3 : 2 - 3 †

      "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

      Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,"

      Have a free Musical Gift - Maranatha † :

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/I-Heard-T...

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Strange that all these years I never noticed the difference. Your Hub and explanation is a great commentary on how cultural issues and practices impinge upon and shape history. Thanks for doing the research. :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)