"Instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation, rather than furthering the administration of God..."
~ Paul's advice to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:3-4)
Paul gave Timothy sound advice. The differences in the genealogies raise many questions. Admittedly, much of the documentation that would enable us to draw absolute conclusions is not available.
Instead of dwelling on the many speculations regarding the genealogies, this article has focused on biblical evidence and the most credible ideas.
Response of first century Jews
Many first century Jews were literate, vocal opponents of Christianity. Unlike modern scholars, they had access to the original genealogical records. Had the genealogies been inaccurate, it would have been easy for a first century Jew to prove that they were.
Although some capable Jewish writers would have been predisposed to refuting the genealogies, they did not. One might conclude that their silence is testimony to the accuracy of the gospel writers.
Brevity and clarity have been key considerations in this work. The material presented here has been limited to that which this author deems most relevant and credible.
It would be remiss to ignore other issues related to the genealogies. The following issues have not been presented, but may be of interest.
- Roman burning of the genealogical records.
- The many Leverite marriage possibilities.
- Theories that both genealogies are through Joseph.
- The debate over Shealtiel and Zerubbabel.
Much has been written regarding the genealogy of Jesus. Some additional sites which further explore this topic are below.