The ancestors of Jesus (Lk 3:24-3:24)

“Heli was

The son of Matthat,

The son of Levi,

The son of Melchi,

The son of Jannai,

The son of Joseph.”

 

τοῦ Ματθὰτ τοῦ Λευεὶ τοῦ Μελχεὶ τοῦ Ἰανναὶ τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ

 

Luke said that Jesus’ grandfather was Heli.  From then on there is a major difference in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.  A simple solution to this problem would be to say that Luke has presented the genealogy of Mary, not Joseph.  The father of Mary was Heli.  However, that does not explain where the names came from.  The end of the genealogy of Matthew, chapter 1:15, is Joseph with his father Jacob.  Most of the people mentioned in the genealogy of Matthew could be found in other biblical works.  However, where Matthew got these last 9 generations of names was unclear.  He must have had some source, since he was so meticulous following 1 Chronicles.  Zerubbabel was Abiud’s father.  Abiud was the father of Eliakim, while he was the father of Azor.  He, in turn was the father of Zadok, whose son was Achim.  His son was Eliud.  Eliud’s son was Eleazar whose son was Matthan.  Matthan was the father of Jacob, the father of Joseph.  None of those names are here as Luke said that Heli was the son of Matthat (τοῦ Ματθὰτ), the son of Levi (τοῦ Λευεὶ), the son of Melchi (τοῦ Μελχεὶ), the son of Jannai (τοῦ Ἰανναὶ), the son of Joseph (τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ).

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The grandfather of Jesus (Lk 3:23-3:23)

“Jesus was the son,

As was thought,

Of Joseph,

The son of Heli.”

 

ὢν υἱός, ὡς ἐνομίζετο, Ἰωσὴφ, τοῦ Ἡλεὶ

 

Luke said that Jesus was the son (ὢν υἱός), as was thought or supposed (ὡς ἐνομίζετο), of Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ,), the son of Heli (τοῦ Ἡλεὶ).  Right off the bat, there is a problem with the differences between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.  The end of the genealogy of Matthew, chapter 1:16, is Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ) with his father Jacob (Ἰακὼβ).  Perhaps the names of Jacob and Joseph were an attempt to connect Jesus with the great Joseph, the son of Jacob, who brought the sons of Jacob to Egypt.  However, compared to the text here in Luke, there is a difference with the father of Joseph, the grandfather of Jesus.  Luke called him “the son of Heli,” not “the son of Jacob.”  Luke said that Joseph was the so-called father of Jesus.  Thus, it might seem simple enough to compare this genealogy of Jesus with the one in Matthew, chapter 1:1-1:17.  Both the gospels of Matthew and Luke listed the family tree of Jesus.  These genealogies were theological statements with different parent genealogies and different audiences.  Matthew, went from Abraham to Jesus, so that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish messianic expectations.  The theme of David was important, since Joseph was called the son of David.  Matthew explained that there were 3 sections of 14 generations.  One section went from the call of Abraham to the accession of David as king.  The second grouping went from David to the Babylonian exile.  The final section went from the Exile to the coming of the Messiah.  The Gospel of Luke genealogy, on the hand, goes from Jesus to Adam to God.  Luke’s view was more universal.  Jesus could trace his roots back to God.  Luke, who had the best Greek, was apparently writing for the gentiles of the Pauline Churches.  The Son of God was a more meaningful term.  Luke spoke of the Son of Adam, the second Adam, a theme that Paul also used.  Jesus had both divine and human origins.  This was not difficult for Greeks, since their gods were always having relations with humans in their mythical stories.  Thus, there are two different genealogies for Joseph, with only one common person, David.  This left Jesus with 2 paternal grandfathers, Jacob and Heli.  Matthew listed 52 people, but Luke has 77 ancestors because he went further back in time.  It is what it is.