The Genealogy of Jesus Christ (According to Eusebius)

--[ 3 MIN READ]

This video explains the discrepancy which is supposed to exist in the gospels respecting the genealogy of Christ.

To see a related video that I made about Jesus’ genealogy, which deals with the curse on the line of Jeconiah, click here:…

I’ve heard many times that the genealogy in Matthew is of Joseph, and the one in Luke is of Mary. However, according to these historical documents, that is not the case.

The information in this video can be found in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, Book 1, Chapter 7:…

Eusebius is considered by many bible scholars to be the greatest of church historians.

Eusebius references a letter that Julius Africanus wrote to Aristides:…

The explanation that I give in this video concerning the genealogies of Christ:

A. Fits in well with the obvious interpretation of Luke chapter 3 *,
B. Is backed up by the law found in Deuteronomy 25:5,
C. Is backed up by an example in Genesis 38 ***, and
D. Is also backed up by two extra-biblical historians from the 3rd and 4th centuries, Eusebius of Caesarea and Julius Africanus who claim that this history was handed down to them by the Desposyni, a group of people who were descendants of Jesus’ blood relatives.

However, the explanation given by most modern-day apologists:

A. Does not fit in well with the obvious interpretation of Luke chapter 3 *,
B. Is not backed up by the Inheritance Law of Numbers 27 like they claim **,
C. Is not backed up by any examples in the Old Testament ****, and
D. Is not backed up by any historical account.

  • The obvious interpretation of Luke 3 is that Joseph is the son of Heli. There is nothing written in Luke chapter 3 that would ever cause a 5th or 6th grade child to formulate the idea that Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli. The scriptures are not so elusive to where a child cannot understand its obvious interpretation.

** Modern-day apologists claim that the Inheritance Law of Numbers 27 caused Joseph to trace his genealogy through his father-in-law, Heli. However, all Numbers 27 says is that if a man dies and has no son, then his daughters will take the inheritance. It never says that his daughter’s husbands will succeed to the name of their dead father-in-law.

  • The example of Genesis 38 gives the story of Onan, whose older brother, Er, had died. Onan was told by his father, Judah, to marry his dead brother’s widow, Tamar, and raise up an heir to him. But Onan refused to have a child with her, because he knew the child would not be recognized as his son, but rather as his brother’s. This story unveils one of the customs that the Hebrews had, which later became the law of Deuteronomy 25:5.

** There is no example in the Old Testament implying that a man would ever trace his genealogy through his father-in-law, except in the case of Abraham who married his sister (his father was his father-in-law).

To sum it up:

  1. Matthan, of Solomon’s descent, marries Estha and gives birth to Jacob. [Matthew]
  2. Matthan dies. Matthat, of Nathan’s descent, marries Estha and gives birth to Heli. [Luke]
  3. Jacob and Heli are uterine brothers (same mother but different fathers).
  4. Heli marries a wife but dies childless.
  5. Keeping Jewish Law in view, Jacob (Heli’s brother) marries his brother’s wife to raise up seed for him.
  6. Joseph is born.
  7. Joseph is naturally Jacob’s son. [Matthew]
  8. But, is, according to Law, Heli’s son. [Luke]

I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, After Effects, Premiere, and Soundbooth.

disclaimer *
Just to let you know, Eusebius actually says that Melchi is the father of Heli, not Matthat. When I made this video I thought that I had read that Melchi is the latin translation of Matthat. So I just replaced Melchi for Matthat. However, I found out later on that this is not true. Melchi is NOT the latin translation for Matthat.

Eusebius omits Matthat and Levi from the genealogy making it seem like Melchi is the father of Heli. So Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History has a mistake in it.

Although it is still possible that the discrepancy could be explained the way Eusebius describes, it is important to understand that he made a minor mistake, like many historians do (Josephus makes mistakes also). So just chew the meat and spit out the bones.


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