Joseph’s And Mary’s Lineage, Follow Up

Q. In your answer entitled, “Are Joseph’s and Mary’s lineage incorrect” you stated that there is no word for grandfather or father-in-law or mother-in-law in the Hebrew; but Matt 8:14 relates a story about Peter’s mother-in-law. How is this reconciled?

A. What the article actually said was, “In Biblical times there was no word for father-in-law, just as there was no word for grandfather.” I didn’t mention either the Hebrew language or mother-in-law. But since you’ve asked, the phrase translated “mother-in-law” in some English versions of Matt. 8:14 is rendered “his wife’s mother” in the original language, which was Greek.

By the way, I have since heard that in cases where a man married a woman with no brothers (as was the case with Mary) the woman’s father would traditionally adopt the man as his son to perfect his right of inheritance. If this is true then Joseph would have been the legal son of both Jacob (his biological father) and Heli (Mary’s father) and the two genealogies would be in agreement.

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