Matthew 1:16

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and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (ASV)

Contents

Pro

Edit this section if you suspect error.

"Matthew" Says Jesus' Paternal Grandfather was Jacob. "Luke" Says Jesus' Paternal Grandfather Was Heli

JW:

Luke 3:23

And Jesus himself, when he began [to teach], was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the [son] of Heli,

Compare to Matthew 1:16:

and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

"Matthew's" Primary Source Does Not Mention Jesus' Father

"Mark", the Original Gospel, never even mentions the name of the supposed father of Jesus.

Having A Son Named "Joseph" Would Make It Unlikely That The Father Was Also Named "Joseph"

Another problem with Jesus' Father being Named Joseph is that per "Matthew" one of Jesus' brothers was named Joseph and it would have been unlikely back than to name a son after yourself.

Contrived Father and Grandfather Based On Jewish Bible

The father of Joseph (not sure what the correct term is for the father of the husband of the wife who virgin birthed you as I don't believe that Amy Vanderbilt ever addresses this issue) according to "Luke" is Heli and according to "Matthew" is Jacob. Just going by names "Matthew" seems to have picked names based on their significance and order in the Tanakh. "Matthew's" primary source "Mark" does not provide a name for Jesus' father. In the Jewish Bible Jacob was the father of Joseph who had Egyptian children and "Jesus" is remarkably similar in sound to the Egyptian "Iusa" which means "the ever coming one". Of course this is just rampant speculation on my part.

Appeal to Authority

Raymond Brown

Raymond Brown, who wrote the classic on the subject of the Infancy Narratives, Birth Of The Messiah, writes on page 94, "The message about Jesus, son of Joseph, is not that factually he is also (grand) son of either Jacob (Matthew) or of Eli (Luke)"


Bart Ehrman

Ehrman writes on page 37 of Jesus, Interrupted:

"the two genealogies are actually different...Who, in each genealogy, is Joseph's father,"

--JoeWallack 10:18, 9 June 2009 (EDT)

Early Church Father Commentary

Africanus

http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-06/anf06-48.htm

"As Joseph, therefore, is the object proposed to us, we have to show how it is that each is represented as his father, both Jacob as descending from Solomon, and Heli as descending from Nathan: first, how these two, Jacob and Heli, were brothers; and then also how the fathers of these, Matthan and Melchi, being of different families, are shown to be the grandfathers of Joseph. Well, then, Matthan and Melchi, having taken the same woman to wife in succession, begat children who were uterine brothers, as the law did not prevent a widow,12 whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from marrying another. By Estha, then-for such is her name according to tradition-Matthan first, the descendant of Solomon, begets Jacob; and on Matthan's death, Melchi, who traces his descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, having married her, as has been already said, had a son Hell. Thus, then, we shall find Jacob and Hell uterine brothers, though of different families. And of these, the one Jacob having taken the wife of his brother Heli, who died childless, begat by her the third, Joseph-his son by nature and by account.13 Whence also it is written, "And Jacob begat Joseph." But according to law he was the son of Heli, for Jacob his brother raised up seed to him. Wherefore also the genealogy deduced through him will not be made void, which the Evangelist Matthew in his enumeration gives thus: "And Jacob begat Joseph." But Luke, on the other hand, says, "Who was the son, as was supposed14 (for this, too, he adds), of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Metchi." For it was not possible more distinctly to state the generation according to law; and thus in this mode of generation he has entirely omitted the word "begat" to the very end, carrying back the genealogy by way of conclusion to Adam and to God.15

IV.

Nor indeed is this incapable of proof, neither is it a rash conjecture. For the kinsmen of the Saviour after the flesh, whether to magnify their own origin or simply to state the fact, but at all events speaking truth, have also handed down the following account: Some Idumean robbers attacking Ascalon, a city of Palestine, besides other spoils which they took from a temple of Apollo, which was built near the walls, carried off captive one Antipater, son of a certain Herod, a servant of the temple. And as the priest16 was not able to pay the ransom for his son, Antipater was brought up in the customs of the Idumeans, and afterwards enjoyed the friendship of Hyrcanus, the high priest of Judea. And being sent on an embassy to Pompey on behalf of Hyrcanus. and having restored to him the kingdom which was being wasted by Aristobulus his brother, he was so fortunate as to obtain the title of procurator of Palestine.17 And when Antipater was treacherously slain through envy of his great good fortune, his son Herod succeeded him, who was afterwards appointed king of Judea under Antony and Augustus by a decree of the senate. His sons were Herod and the other tetrarchs. These accounts are given also in the histories of the Greeks.18

V.

But as up to that time the genealogies of the Hebrews had been registered in the public archives, and those, too, which were traced back to the proselytes19 -as, for example, to Achior the Ammanite, and Ruth the Moabitess, and those who left Egypt along with the Israelites, and intermarried with them-Herod, knowing that the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to him, and goaded by the consciousness of his ignoble birth, burned the registers of their families. This he did, thinking that he would appear to be of noble birth, if no one else could trace back his descent by the public register to the patriarchs or proselytes, and to that mixed race called georae.20 A few, however, of the studious, having private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting at them in some other way from the archives, pride themselves in preserving the memory of their noble descent; and among these happen to be those already mentioned, called desposyni,21 on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. And these coming from Nazara and Cochaba, Judean villages, to other parts of the country, set forth the above-named genealogy22 as accurately as possible from the Book of Days.23 Whether, then, the case stand thus or not, no one could discover a more obvious explanation, according to my own opinion and that of any sound judge. And let this suffice us for the matter, although it is not supported by testimony, because we have nothing more satisfactory or true to allege upon it. The Gospel, however, in any case states the truth.

VI.

Matthan, descended from Solomon, begat Jacob. Matthan dying, Melchi, descended from Nathan, begat Hell by the same wife. Therefore Hell and Jacob are uterine brothers. Hell dying childless, Jacob raised up seed to him and begat Joseph, his own son by nature, but the son of Hell by law. Thus Joseph was the son of both.24"

JW:

Let's start with Africanus' conclusion (just like he did):

"23 Whether, then, the case stand thus or not, no one could discover a more obvious explanation, according to my own opinion and that of any sound judge. And let this suffice us for the matter, although it is not supported by testimony, because we have nothing more satisfactory or true to allege upon it. The Gospel, however, in any case states the truth."

Africanus starts with the Conclusion that there is no Error (surprise). He confesses that he has no testimony supporting his conclusion, it is entirely his creation. He implies that his evidence isn't that good but there is no better evidence.

Specifically, Africanus proposes that Heli was the original husband of Joseph's mother. Heli died childless and his brother Jacob married Heli's wife and begat Joseph. Based on common sense and narrative from the Jewish Bible this would already be unlikely but is especially unlikely because of the overall difference in genealogies between "Luke" and "Matthew".

Origen

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen162.html

"CHAP. XXXII.

We have already shown that Jesus can be regarded neither as an arrogant man, nor a sorcerer; and therefore it is unnecessary to repeat our former arguments, lest, in replying to the tautologies of Celsus, we ourselves should be guilty of needless repetition. And now, in finding fault with our Lord's genealogy, there are certain points which occasion some difficulty even to Christians, and which, owing to the discrepancy between the genealogies, are advanced by some as arguments against their correctness, but which Celsus has not even mentioned. For Celsus, who is truly a braggart, and who professes to be acquainted with all matters relating to Christianity, does not know how to raise doubts in a skilful manner against the credibility of Scripture. But he asserts that the "framers of the genealogies, from a feeling of pride, made Jesus to be descended from the first man, and from the kings of the Jews." And he thinks that he makes a notable charge when he adds, that "the carpenters wife could not have been ignorant of the fact, had she been of such illustrious descent." But what has this to do with the question? Granted that she was not ignorant of her descent, how does that affect the result? Suppose that she were ignorant, how could her ignorance prove that she was not descended from the first man, or could not derive her origin from the Jewish kings? Does Celsus imagine that the poor must always be descended from ancestors who are poor, or that kings are always born of kings? But it appears folly to waste time upon such an argument as this, seeing it is well known that, even in our own days, some who are poorer than Mary are descended from ancestors of wealth and distinction, and that rulers of nations and kings have sprung from persons of no reputation."

JW: Origen confesses to us that some noted contradictions in the genealogies which were difficult for Christians to defend against. Origen (and his Editors) doesn't give us the specific contradictions and seems more interested in attacking Celsus' ability than in defending specific supposed errors.

Appeal to Apology

JP Holding refers, defers and obscures to The Man behind the Curtain Veil, Glenn Miller:

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fabprof4.html

"Was Jesus' grandfather on Joseph's side Jacob (Matthew 1:16) or Eli (Luke 3:23)?

The answer is "YES"! In the levirate situation described above he would have TWO 'grandfathers'."

JW:

And as the Emperor kept saying in "Amadeity", "There you have it." Miller adopts Africanus' adoption theory.

Other Errors In "Matthew's" Genealogy

There are many more examples of "Matthew's" problems with names in the genealogy.

Matthew 1:4 "Aram" instead of "Ram".

Matthew 1:5 Use of Rachab with an impossible chronology.

Matthew 1:7 "Asaph" instead of "Asa".

Matthew 1:8 Omission of "Ahaziah", "Joash", and "Amaziah".

Matthew 1:10 "Amos" instead of "Amon".

Matthew 1:11 Omission of "Jehoiakim".

Matthew 1:11 Misidentification of the "brothers" of Jeconiah.

Matthew 1:13 Misidentification of Abiud as a son of Zerubbabel.

Matthew 1:17 Misidentification of the number of generations.

Other errors in "Matthew's" genealogy make it more likely that 1:16 also has error.

Conclusion

So in Summary, the evidence that "Matthew's" identification of Jacob as the father of Joseph is contradicted by "Luke's" identification of Heli as the father of Joseph, ranked by weight of evidence is:

1) They are clearly two different names in Greek and Hebrew.

2) There are many more examples of "Matthew's" problems with names in the genealogy.

3) Origen confesses to us that in his time the Greek manuscripts were filled with errors regarding Hebrew names. This would have been well before any extant manuscripts.

4) In Appeal to Authority, Raymond Brown testifies Contradiction.

5) Early Church Father testimony indicates it was recognized as a serious problem but there was no history of a reasonable explanation.

6) "Matthew's" sequence of Jacob, Joseph and Jesus looks like it was contrived based on the Jewish Bible.

7) "Matthew's" Primary Source, "Mark", Does Not Mention Jesus' Father

8) One of Jesus' brothers was Named Joseph so it would have been unlikely for Jesus' father to have the same name.

So in Summary, the evidence that "Matthew's" identification of Jacob as the father of Joseph is not contradicted by "Luke's" identification of Heli as the father of Joseph, ranked by weight of evidence is:

1) Because JP Holding says that Glenn Miller says so.

In my opinion, the weight of the Evidence above is that "Matthew's" identification of Jacob as the father of Joseph is contradicted by "Luke's" identification of Heli as the father of Joseph. Let me also point out something for the benefit of Fundamentalists here. If you want to believe JP Holding that there is no error here than "Matthew's" use of a name at this point in the genealogy that agreed with "Luke" would still have been a better choice and therefore, the existing genealogy by "Matthew" is not "perfect".


--JoeWallack 14:16, 27 July 2008 (EDT)

Con

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Neutral

Edit this section to note miscellaneous facts.

JW:

"John", the Final Gospel, never even mentions the name of the supposed mother of Jesus.


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