Secrets in the Bible

Jesus' father

1 Jesus never said he was born of a virgin.

2 Neither Mark nor Luke mention Jesus’ virgin birth.

3 Neither does Paul –whose books make up half the NT– mention Jesus’ virgin birth. He even contradicts it: “born a descendant of David, according to the flesh” (Rm1:3).

4 Matthew and Luke, the only Evangelists who refer to a mystery regarding Jesus’ birth, offer different genealogies for Jesus (Mt1:1-17/Lk3:23-38)*.

5 Matthew bases his genealogy for Jesus on the ‘father begot son’ principle, but finishes with: “…Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus.” It is significant that Matthew does not say that Joseph begat Jesus.

6 Matthew mentions four women in his genealogy for Jesus –Rahab, Ruth, Betsheba and Tamar– and all had extramarital relations. Tamar had Perez from Judah, her father-in-law (Gn38).

7 By pointing out that there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, from David to the Babylonian deportation, and from the Babylonian deportation to Christ, Matthew encourages us to investigate which generation marks the deportation to Babylon.

8 According to genealogies in Genesis that go from Adam to Abraham, and which are also based on the ‘father begot son’ principle, there are 14 generations from Enoch to Abraham. Enoch, Abraham, David, Josiah and Jesus are all significant figures: Enoch walked with God and God took him with Him when he was 365 years old; God offered Abraham a covenant; David founded a kingdom and God said the Messiah would be a descendant of him; Josiah imposed an important religious reformation; and Jesus did something similar.

9 Since Josiah marks the Babylonian deportation and there are already 14 generations between him and Joseph, the fact that Matthew says there are 14 generations from the Babylonian deportation to Jesus, means that Joseph and Jesus belong to the same generation.

10 The fact that Joseph and Jesus were brothers means that Jacob had Joseph from one relationship and, later, when Joseph reached adulthood, had Jesus from Joseph’s wife (his daughter-in-law).