Many people often inquire about the evidential ancestry of Jesus Christ. Is there in fact Biblical documentation as to the genealogy of the Son of God? If so, how far back does the trail of evidence lead us? Are there records on both the maternal and adoptive paternal side? The following paragraphs will answer some of your questions or at the very least get you started on your own path of discovery. I wish I could take credit for the work, but this was written and researched by my friend Russell. If anyone has questions or concerns, leave them in the usual way and I’ll either get feedback from him or put you in touch with him directly.
JESUS: THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHRIST
As we know, the ancestry of Jesus contains two genealogical tables. The first in Matthew is of Joseph and traces Jesus’ ancestry back to Abraham. The second, in Luke, is of Mary and traces Jesus’ ancestry back to Adam. Matthew traces the genealogy of Jesus back to David through Solomon; Luke traces it back to David through Nathan.
During King David ‘s residence at Hebron, while he was as yet only the king of Judah, six sons were born to him. 0f these, three appear to have died in infancy – we don’t know. Of the other three, Amnon was murdered by Absalom, Absalom was killed while in rebellion against his father, and Adonijah, having attempted to usurp the throne, was put to death by Solomon. The right of succession to the crown was secured to the sons of David born after he was enthroned king over all Israel. The children that were born to David after he was crowned king over all Israel are also enumerated – 1 Chronicles 3:1-9; of these we only need to mention Nathan and Solomon. Solomon succeeded his father as king, but Nathan was older than Solomon, and on that ground might have contested Solomon’s right of succession. That there should be no cloud upon Jesus’ title to the ‘throne of David’ God ordained that Mary should be a direct descendent of David thru Nathan, the ‘legal heir’ to the throne. But Jesus had no right to David’s throne through Mary, for she was not in the ‘Kingly Line’ of descent through Solomon. How then was Jesus’ right to David’s throne to be brought about?
Only by marriage.
MARY married (after conception) a man who could not be the natural father of Jesus, because of a taint or defect in his ancestry. Joseph was a lineal descendent of David through the ‘Kingly Line’ of Solomon, but in that line there was one Jechonias (Matt. 1:11,12) called in Jeremiah 22:24-30, Coniah, of whom God said: “no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the ‘Throne of David’ and ruling anymore in Judah.”
So we see that Joseph could not be the ‘natural’ father of Jesus for no descendant of his could sit on the Throne of David and ‘prosper’. this is another reason for the Virgin Birth. The marriage of Joseph and Mary made Jesus the adopted son and legal heir of Joseph. The title, unaffected by the curse pronounced upon Coniah, was thus conveyed to Jesus, in whom there centers through both Nathan and Solomon, exclusive right to the “Throne of David”.
That there might be no question as to Joseph and Mary’s ancestors, God ,when the time came for Jesus to be born put it into the heart of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, to call for an enrollment census, this required that every Jewish citizen should be enrolled in the city where his family had lived and as Joseph was of the ‘House and Lineage of David’ this required him to go to Bethlehem to be enrolled. Mary was of the same family and so she went also.
They could not have been enrolled unless their names were on the Register, and that they were enrolled proves that they could at that time trace their ancestry back to King David. It was probably from this register that Matthew and Luke got their genealogy. Up to the time of Jesus rejection as King, all genealogical records were preserved in the Temple and easily accessible to all the people. However, when Titus in AD 70 destroyed the city and the Temple those records were all destroyed, and since that day the genealogical tables of Matthew and Luke alone remain to give us the lineal descent of Jesus from King David.
Therefore the only living man who can today establish an unbroken genealogy directly from King David and prove that he has a right to the throne both thru the kingly line and the legal line is Jesus because his lineage was precisely preserved in the New Testament.