Mary’s Ancestry

Q. There is a bit of a discussion in a Bible study group I’m in on the topic of Jesus’ ancestry, and part of the discussion focuses on Mary’s ancestry. Your website asserts that “Mary and Joseph were both of the tribe of Judah and descendants of David”, and “Mary’s line was through Solomon’s brother Nathan (Luke 3:31).” Since Luke 3:23 begins Jesus’ lineage with “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, “, how can this be said to be Mary’s lineage?

I’ve always believed without too much critical analysis what your website says, but now I want solid Biblical underpinning.

A. Neither Greek nor Hebrew have a separate word for in-laws, so father and father-in-law are the same. But there are three clues to confirm my statement. First, Luke lists a different father for Joseph than Matthew does (Luke’s is really Joseph’s father in law, Heli). Second, Mary is related to a different son of David (Nathan) than Joseph (Solomon), and third, everything between David and Jesus is different in the two genealogies, so they can’t both be Joseph’s.

Since the names from Abraham to David are the same in both genealogies, we know both were of the tribe of Judah and descendants of David.

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