Q. I’ve recently read your article printed in ‘Prophecy Update’ regarding Messianic prophecy in the O.T. You mentioned that Matthew’s genealogy traces Joseph’s line, while Luke’s traces that of Mary, mother of Jesus. But I’m struggling to see how Luke shows the line of Mary – albeit v.11 mentions Nathan, David’s brother.
But how does that relate to Mary?
A. The two lines differ from King David on, right up to and including naming different people as Joseph’s father. Matthew claims it’s Jacob and Luke says it’s Heli. This problem is resolved when you understand that there was no word for father-in-law at the time, which is what Heli was to Joseph, being Mary’s biological father. The NIV Study Bible that I use points this out, and the Jewish Talmud confirms Heli as Mary’s father. Knowing that makes it plain that Matthew shows Joseph to be a descendant of King Solomon’s while Luke’s genealogy traces Mary’s lineage from Solomon’s brother Nathan.