The Genealogy of Christ -Matthew 1 / Luke 3

In Matthew chapter one it gives the ancestry of Jesus. In Luke chapter 3 it gives the ancestry again but it is different. I have been told that Luke is actually Mary’s ancestry and Matthew is Joseph’s ancestry. If this is true, then why does it say in Luke at the start of the ancestry that Joseph was the son of Heli and in Matthew it says Joseph was the son of Jacob? Are they skipping generations? We’re Joseph and Mary related? Why doesn’t it say this is the Mary’s ancestors?

Thank you for your question. You have hit upon some questions that are sort of complex to explain:

Both Matthew 1 and Luke 3 contain genealogies of Jesus. But as you noted, they are different. Luke’s genealogy starts at Adam and goes to David. Matthew’s genealogy starts at Abraham and goes to David. When the genealogies get to David, they split with David’s sons: Solomon (Joseph’s side); and, Nathan (Mary’s side). The genealogy in Matthew is for Joseph (his legal father), and the one in Luke is for Mary (who was also of the royal Davidic line). It was customary to mention the genealogy through the father even though it was clearly known that it was through Mary. Thus by both His mother and His earthly father, Jesus had a right to the throne of Israel. You can think of this as though the genealogy in Luke is Christ’s real line, while the one in Matthew is His reputed line.

As you noted, Matthew says that Joseph’s father was Jacob, but Luke says that Joseph’s father was Heli. Mary’s father was Heli, but men in ancient times often regarded their sons-in-law as their own sons. So, we can interpret that Joseph was “the son of Heli” to mean that he was his son-in-law, as the husband of his daughter Mary (as in Ruth 1:11, 12). Joseph’s name is only introduced instead of Mary’s, in conformity with the Jewish custom in such tables.

This also has to be considered in light of the fact that Matthew gives the descendants of David down the royal line (i.e. who was heir to the throne at any given time), but Luke gives the particular line to which Joseph belonged. Actually, these two passages and explanations complement each other:

Matthew 1 clearly explains that Joseph is Mary’s husband. Matthew recorded this for legal purposes, to show the Jews that Christ was the Messiah. It was the custom of the Jews to trace and record the father’s descent. The Jews simply saw Christ as legally Joseph’s Son (John 6:42).

Joseph’s lineage was also given to show that Jesus was, in fact, born of a virgin. If Joseph had been Christ’s natural father, then Christ could never have sat on the throne of David, because of a curse God placed on one of Joseph’s ancestors. This ancestor, Jechonias, is mentioned in Matthew 1:11-12. He is also referred to as Coniah in Jeremiah 22:24-30. Verse 30 states, “Thus says the LORD, Write you this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” This man was so evil, that God cursed him and his descendants. Jeconiah (as his name is spelled in the Old Testament) did go on to have children (I Chronicles 3:17). But, this curse was fulfilled because none of his children went on to rule from the throne of David.

So how could Christ, a descendant of David, qualify to rule from the throne? This is how Luke 3 complements the Matthew account. Mary’s lineage did not have this curse as Joseph’s did. And Mary descended from Nathan—one of David’s sons! (see Luke 3:31). God honored Nathan, and made him the ancestor to the promised King—Jesus Christ—who would sit on David’s throne forever (Luke 1:31-33). This fulfills God’s promise of establishing David’s throne for eternity!

According to Israel’s law, if a daughter were the only heir to the father, she would inherit all his possessions, inheritance and rights—but only if she married within her tribe (Numbers 27:1-8; 36:6-8). Since Mary had no brothers who could be heirs to her father, she was able to transmit David’s royal inheritance—and the right to the throne—to her husband upon marriage. This made Joseph heir to Heli, giving him the right to David’s throne. This inheritance was then passed to Christ.

The genealogies in Matthew and Luke were both recorded to show Christ’s right to the throne. Matthew’s account showed that through Joseph’s genealogy, Christ was a legal descendant of Jeconiah (Coniah), but could not sit on and rule from the throne because of the curse. This account also proved how Christ was born of a virgin woman, because the curse would have passed onto Christ if Joseph were, in fact, His natural father. Of course, Christ was really the Son of God—begotten by the Holy Spirit!

Luke’s account showed that through Mary’s genealogy, Jesus was a descendant of Nathan—David’s son. This allowed the inheritance to pass to Joseph, who in turn passed it onto Christ. This firmly shows Christ to be completely human, yet a true descendant of David. This allows Him to claim the throne legitimately as a true human descendant of David, and as the adopted heir of the kingly line of Joseph.

I hope this helps.



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Climate Change for our Kids

Ann Carlton of UCLA argues that our U. S. government needs to take some radical measures in order to resolve the climate change problem. She recently said, “It’s not radical to ask the government to protect the health and the lives and the property of this current generation of kids.” I agree with her statement relative to both climate change and abortion. It’s not radical to ask the government to protect the lives of this current generation of kids, whether they are inside or outside of the womb. How can we protect their health and property when we don’t protect their lives?

She also said, “If you can’t have your life protected by government policy that saves the planet, then what’s the point of having a constitution?” Again, we need to have our lives protected by government policy–all of our lives, not just those deemed worthy by
a parent or a doctor.

Our Declaration refers to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as three examples of the “unalienable rights” which the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their creator, and which governments are created to protect. How does one possess the unalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness without that of life? How does abortion not violate this concept?

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Viewing the Earth

Can the Whole Earth Be Viewed From a Mountain Top? 

Matthew 4:8 says, “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” This passage implies neither a flat earth nor a mountain large enough to oversee the earth. Even on a flat earth, a high mountain would be a very poor place to observe the kingdoms of the world “in their glory.” Furthermore, if Matthew was implying that a mountain existed from which all the world was visible, then obviously, the mountain would be visible from all parts of the world. It is invalid to suggest that Matthew believed that such a mountain existed. Incidentally, the mountain in question was probably Mt. Quarantania, and it commands an incredible view of the Jordan Valley, which may be used in this passage to symbolize “all the kingdoms of the world.”

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37 Things God Did at Salvation

God did 37 specific things for you at salvation:  Click here.

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The Analysis of Scripture

Advanced Bible Doctrine – The Analysis of Scripture


Isagogics (Introduction to Philippians)

Exegesis of the Koine Greek Language

The Greek Verb

Greek Nouns, Pronouns, and Prepositions

Hermeneutics and Etymology

Categories of Doctrine

The Pastor-Teacher

Basic Bible Doctrine       The Techniques of the Christian Life       Prophecy       All Series

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The Ends of the Earth

What are The Ends of the Earth?

Psalm 135:7, Job 37:3, and Daniel 4:11 reference “the ends of the earth.” Another way of saying the “ends of the earth” is to refer to the “extremities of the earth.” In this case, as is also the case for “the four corners of the earth,” the word “earth” refers to the land mass, country, or continents, as opposed to the globe (Exodus 10:12-15). Since the word “earth” can be used as synonymous with “land,” the “ends of the earth” thus refer to the points of land most distant from some a central point.

For the Bible, this central point is the land of Israel. On a globe, a great circle passing through Jerusalem and the north and south poles very nearly cuts the Pacific Ocean in half and leaves four continental “corners” or “ends,” namely the Chukchi Peninsula of the Soviet Union (opposite the Bering Straits of Alaska), Alaska, the southeastern tip of Australia, and the Cape Horn of South America. These four geographical locations can account for the four corners of the earth. Alternatively, since there was probably a land-link between Siberia and Alaska at the time the Bible was written, the four corners of the earth could be Norway, Newfoundland, Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.

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The Doctrine of the Dispensations

The Dispensations


A Summary of the Dispensations

The Age of the Gentiles

The Age of the Jews

The Age of the Church

The Age of the Kingdom

Basic Bible Doctrine       The Techniques of the Christian Life       Prophecy       All Series

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When Will the Rapture Occur?

How long do you REALLY think we, the New Testament church, have left before the rapture? 

Thank you for your question. I will give you a direct answer to your question as to when I believe the rapture will occur. However, I would first like to give you some background on my thoughts.

Over the years I have done a lot of thinking about when the rapture will occur. However, I have had mixed feelings about discussing it, for several reasons:

– The Bible does tell us that nobody knows the day or the hour when Christ will return (His Second Coming).

– Many foolish people have spent way too much time on this when their time would have been better spent in other pursuits. This includes the many people who have predicted the end of the world, only to have been proven wrong when the time of their prophecy came and went without incident (so they usually just established another date in the future).

– Regardless of when we believe the rapture will occur, I believe that this should have no impact upon how we live our daily lives. We should live our lives today for Christ, no matter if the rapture occurs today or in a thousand years. This is especially true considering the fact that we could be wrong in our expectations, just like so many others already have been.

However, when I read your question, I felt moved to give you a direct answer. I have a B.S. degree in Mathematics, and I have always been intrigued by numbers, dates, etc. When combined with my desire to know God’s Word, this has resulted in my spending quite a bit of time in thinking about when the rapture (the next prophecy of Scripture) would occur.

However, like many before me, I have had to be careful about staying intellectually honest about this subject, without letting my emotions interfere. After all, it’s only natural that a believer would hope that the rapture would occur soon, and sometimes our hope (wishes) can sway our sound judgment.

At one time, I felt quite certain that the rapture would occur in the year 1988, primarily because that would have been 40 years (one generation; i.e., Matthew 24:34) after Israel was re-established as a nation in 1948 (although this passage refers to the Second Coming, and not the rapture). When 1988 passed and the rapture did not occur, I went back to the drawing board. So, over the past 30 years, I have developed a new “prediction” about the rapture, based on several different trains of thought, and I’ll know share those with you here:

1) In 1987, I published a book entitled, “Believe: A Synopsis of the Entire Bible.” This book is available free on my website at Believe, A Synopsis of the Entire Bible. While doing the research for that book, I decided to construct a timeline of Biblical events by using the Bible as my only source. I went through the painstaking process of recording every event in the Bible that had a specific time frame associated with it. This included every place where the Bible noted a certain number of years between events, etc. Then I had to sort of backtrack in order to determine the historical perspective for all of these events, including the date (in B.C. years) as well as the number of years after Creation. As a result, I included some timeline charts in the appendices at the end of my book, and you can view these at the web page noted above.

2) When I had completed my timeline, my results showed that God created the earth in the year 4,241 B.C. My extra-biblical research indicated that this did not agree exactly with anyone else’s timeline. The most widely accepted date for Creation was/is 4,004 B.C. I decided that I could still accept my date with a fairly high level of confidence, based upon the fact that others included extra-biblical sources for their timelines, while my timeline used only the Bible. Then one day I happened to be at the library (back in the days before the Internet), and I decided to do some more research to see if I could find any reference to the date 4,241 B.C. What I discovered was that this is the first date recorded in the ancient Egyptian calendar. Although all sources do not agree on that fact either, I decided that it was good enough for me. I elected to interpret this as direct confirmation from God that my calculations were correct, so I suddenly had an extremely high level of confidence in my timelines.

3) There is an extra-biblical book called The Book of Barnabas which was not included in our New Testament Canon. I think that there is the possibility that it does indeed belong in our New Testament. However, regardless of whether or not it was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit, I believe that we can learn much from many of these ancient extra-biblical books. The Book of Barnabas 13:3-5 says this: “And even in the beginning of creation He makes mention of the Sabbath. And God made in six days the works of His hands; and He finished them on the seventh day, and He rested on the seventh day, and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies, He finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this: that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him one day is a thousand years; as Himself testifieth, saying, Behold this day shall be as a thousand years (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). Therefore, children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished.” It just makes sense to me that God would follow this pattern.

4) I am a dispensationalist, so I believe that God grants stewardship to certain groups of people throughout certain eras of time. This includes the Age of the Gentiles, the Age of the Jews, the (current) Age of the Church, and the Age of the Millennial Kingdom.

5) Now, I also believe in the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18) at the end of the Church Age. Based upon the above, I believe that the same amount of time will be granted to the Age of the Gentiles, the Age of the Jews, and the Age of the Church. The charts mentioned above can be summarized as follows:

  • The Age of the Gentiles from Creation in 4,241 B.C through the call of Abram in 2,218 B.C. This is 2023 years.
  • The Age of the Jews from the call of Abram in 2,218 B.C. through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in 29 A.D. This is 2247 years.
  • The Age of the Church from the death burial, and resurrection of Christ in 29 A.D. through the rapture (see below).

Now, you can see that these first two time periods are not equal in length, but there’s a caveat: There are many places during the Age of the Jews when the Bible says that “God forsook Israel.” Most of these occurrences are during the times of the Judges, and they’re all denoted in my charts. I believe that God is not counting the time when He forsook Israel; i.e., He didn’t count those years when He decided how long to extend time. So, here’s how the numbers work out when this is considered:

  • The Age of the Gentiles was 2023 years
  • The Age of the Jews was 2247 years, less the 224 years when God forsook Israel. This results in 2023 years.
  • If the Age of the Church is also 2023 years, then this is from 29 A.D. through 2052 A.D. So, this is when I believe the rapture will occur: 2052 A.D.

6) I received some unexpected confirmation on this as well. It turns out that Sir Isaac Newton was also a mathematician, as well as a theologian. Some of his notes have indicated that he expected the world to end in the year 2060 A.D. Now, I don’t know how he came to this number, but it seems to coincide with my calculations. If the rapture occurs in 2052 A.D., as I expect, and this is followed by the seven-year tribulation period, then Christ’s second coming (the end of time, as we know it–as well as the beginning of the Millennium) would occur in 2059 A.D. This is a difference of only one year from Newton’s date, and this could easily be due to a rounding error or a different reconciliation for the year zero. Now, I know that 2023 years for each dispensation results in 6069 years instead of exactly 6000 years, like Barnabas indicated. I can’t explain this for sure, but the difference could be due to something like the way that years were represented in the ancient calendars.

For example, I’ve often read that the Jewish calendar used 360-day years instead of 365-day years. If the 6069-year time periods were 360-day years, then this would be 5986 years in 365-day years, and this is even closer to 6000 years. Again, I can’t really explain this difference, but this is the closest I can come with my current understanding. There is, however, an interesting coincidence here. If we considered that the 2023 years was given in terms of a 360-day calendar, then we can calculate that this would be 1993 years in terms of a 365.25-day calendar. If this period of time actually corresponds to 1993 years, and we added that to the year 29 A.D., we get the year 2023 B.C. So, again, the number 2023 shows up–this time as a date instead of a number of years. So, I guess the year 2023 A.D. could be an alternate date for the rapture.

So, of course, I could be wrong, but I believe that the rapture will occur in about 30 more years. What about you? When do you think the rapture will occur? Do you think that my argument above is worth considering? I’ll tell you what: If we’re still here in the year 2053, send me another e-mail, and we can discuss how I need to modify my prediction! However, I’ll probably be long gone by then!



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Amazon Pays No Taxes

The Washington Post reported on Sunday, February 17, 2019 that Amazon, the e-commerce giant helmed by the world’s richest man, paid no federal taxes on profit of $11 billion last year. In fact, Amazon actually received a federal tax rebate of $129 million, giving it an effective tax rate of -1%. This was the second year in a row that Amazon has enjoyed a negative federal tax rate on multibillion-dollar profits.

This was legal due to a variety of tax credits and tax breaks. In comparison, the poorest 20% of American households had a larger effective federal tax rate of about 1.5%.

In summary, Amazon is a $1 trillion company in the market cap of its stock; it grossed some $232 billion; its gross profit was $93 billion; its net profit was $11 billion; and, it paid no taxes, but instead received a $129 million tax rebate in 2018. What’s wrong with this picture?

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Infanticide and Abortion are Equally Wrong

Peter Singer, an atheist professor of bioethics at Princeton University, says that it’s morally okay to kill disabled newborns if their parents don’t want them.

Kathy Tran, a Democratic State Delegate of the Virginia legislature, has a bill that would legalize murdering the baby at any point, through the third trimester, up to 40 weeks–up to the moment of birth, as they were being born, and after.

Virginia governor Ralph Northam said, “The infant would be delivered (and set on a table, like a piece of furniture). The infant would be kept ‘comfortable.’ The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” And then the baby would be killed by letting it starve or completely dehydrate, or by administering lethal chemicals. A Gallup poll has found that only 13 percent of Americans favor making third-trimester abortions ‘generally’ legal. I wonder what the percentage is of those who would legalize infanticide, especially after viewing a video of this.

Life starts at conception, and killing the child at any point is murder. I don’t care at what point of pregnancy the unborn human is fully formed with arms, hands, feet, fingers, fingernails, or teeth, or if the mother is dilating or even in distress; except that it may be repulsive enough to some people to make them see that abortion is wrong.

The baby is undeserving of violent death on either side of the mother’s cervix; and, there’s nothing “comfortable” about it.

It seems that the only common ground I have with pro-abortionists is, “If abortion is OK, then infanticide is too.” They are both murder.

To see why abortion is wrong, please read Abortion and Is Abortion Wrong. To see why infanticide is wrong, read Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder.”

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