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The Gospel of Luke: The Genealogy of Jesus

The discovery of the Jesus tomb in East Talpiot has led to a consideration of some of the canonical Gospels, along with apocryphal texts, to obtain historical documentation of people and events.

The Gospel of Luke is one of the four canonical Gospels found in the New Testament Bible along with the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and John. The Gospel of Luke is the third and longest Gospel of the four, and relates the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew are the only biblical sources in which the genealogy of Jesus can be found, and some have turned to these sources to answer questions regarding the historical family of Jesus, and whether Jesus himself had brothers, and who those brothers could be.

The Importance of Genealogy

Chapter three of the Gospel of Luke relates the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and subsequently provides the genealogy and familial lineage of Jesus. It is commonly believed that this genealogy represents the bloodline of both Mary and Joseph, tracing it back to the royal lineage of David and Abraham. This royal lineage to David is considered important on the basis of prophesies of the Old Testament, declaring that the Messiah must be of the lineage of David. The genealogy found in the Gospel of Luke is said to confirm the royal lineage of both Mary and Joseph, thus fulfilling the Messianic prophesy of Jesus.

The Genealogy of Mary

From this list of genealogy in chapter three of the Gospel of Luke, some have focused on the importance of the lineage of Mary which is believed to contain variations of the name Matthew as quoted. The names Mattatha, Matthat, Mattathias, Maath, and Levi, which is often interchangeable with the name Matthew in the Bible, are all listed as part of the genealogical line of Jesus’ mother Mary.

The Importance of Matthew

Some scholars assert that the name Matthew was not a commonly given name at the time of the historical Jesus, and was rather customarily given to individuals of higher orders such as Priests. This would indicate that Mary’s familial lineage can be traced to individuals of importance named Matthew, and that it would not be unlikely for Mary to name her child after such an individual. If Jesus did have a brother who was a descendent of Mary’s lineage, some scholars would purport that it is not unlikely that he would have been named Matthew.

Jesus of Nazareth Mary Magdalene: Mariamne Early Christianity
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