Are Matthew's & Luke's genealogies both Joseph's or is one Mary's?

I know this has most likely been discussed before, but I wanted to ask two things?

  1. Are Matthew’s & Luke’s genealogies both of Joseph’s? Or is Luke’s genealogy of Mary?

I have heard both arguments. Here is one favoring both are Joseph:

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ (According to Eusebius)

Here is one favoring only Matthew’s is Joseph’s, while Luke’s is Mary’s:

Understanding the Genealogy of Jesus

  1. Is there an “official” Catholic teaching on this? If so, could someone post the source?

Just curious. What are your thoughts? Explanations would also be appreciated & valued. Blessings to you.

I would like to hear arguments as well, since logically there is no line of descent in Jesus through Joseph.

Biologically, no, since Mary was a virgin & Joseph was not Jesus’ natural father. But Matthew does record Joseph’s genealogy to demonstrate Jesus could not fulfill His Davidic royal line through Joseph, because Jeconiah was their ancestor, which put a curse on his descendants, which gets bypassed through the Virgin Mary. I posted two links in the OP that gives two opposing arguments of whose genealogy is Luke’s. What are your thoughts? Does the Catholic Church have an official position on which is Luke’s?


The closest I could find was CCC 437:
…God called Joseph to “take Mary as your wife…” so that Jesus … should be born of Joseph’s spouse into the Messianic line of David.

So that settles it for me.


And for those unfamiliar with the CCC this quote is full of properly referenced scripture.


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So, it seems Catholic Answers (or at least Jimmy Akin & that particular priest) believes Eusebius’ account that they were both Joseph’s - one being biological, while the other being adoptive through Levitate marriage. Is that the official Catholic view, or is that just a “possibility” open to interpretation?

Thanks but that really doesn’t help in answering my two questions in the OP.

There is not an official position. The Church does not have official positions on everything.

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It is possible that Luke’s genealogy is the line of Mary. Some scholars have suggested that Luke’s gospel was written later than Matthew’s and he wanted to show that Mary’s line was also Davidic.

New Advent has a very good and detailed explantion and Catholic view of the genealogies:

It was my understanding that Luke’s was Mary’s, and that Matthew’s was Joseph’s, since although they were both Davidic, they were through two different branches.

The genealogy in Matthew connects Jesus to the primary kingly branch-- but he was not biologically related. There’s a lot of interesting discussion about the Curse of Jeconiah.

The genealogy in Luke also shares David as an ancestor-- but Luke is through Nathan, not through Solomon.

Other arguments suggest that Joseph had a biological father and an adoptive father.

Other arguments suggest a bunch of the in-between names were just a fabrication.

Much ink has been spilled. :slight_smile:

But one of the interesting things was that, when the Annunciation happened–

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

But she does not say, “How will this be, since I’m not of the House of David?”

The argument being that if an angel appeared to me and told me I would bear a son who would become the Emperor of Japan, I’d be more likely to say, “How will this be, since I’m not even Japanese, let alone related to their royal lineage—!” rather than “How will this be, since I’ve made a promise?”


Irony to the max…

One of the common criticism i heard here on CAF when i first came here, usually from the Orthodox Christians, was “the Catholic church likes to explain in too much detail what should be left to the mysticism of the Holy Spirit”.

I suppose it will always be true that no matter what, you cannot please everybody. :man_shrugging:t3:



So, the view posted by Jimmy Akin and that one priest was just their personal views of Scripture? You would think there would be some early authoritative writing that would be definite on this, since Luke expects his readers to know. “I” want to know! :upside_down_face:

It just seems strange that something like a detailed genealogy of Jesus, yet nobody seems to know whose it is, and we only have TWO possible options.

I do understand that is your limited view but please keep in mind the following:

A false dilemma (also known as a false dichotomy ) is a logical fallacy which involves presenting two opposing views, options or outcomes in such a way that they seem to be the only possibilities: that is, if one is true, the other must be false, or, more typically, if you do not accept one then the other must be accepted. The reality in most cases is that there are many in-between or other alternative options, not just two mutually exclusive ones.


How are you defining the term “official position”? Is an “official position” also infallible?

Nothing to do with infallibility.
There is no Church document taking a position of any kind on the subject of the two genealogies.

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Okay, then please explain how accepting Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogy are both Joseph’s AND at the same time accepting one is Joseph’s and the other is Mary’s NOT a false dichotomy?

Again, since these two genealogies were written with the idea of their readers knowing whose they were, why don’t we have a definitive declaration in the early church, like we have other doctrinal and dogmatic explanations?

You might want to ask the source from which this comes.

If the church thought it was necessary to define it she would. Someone just wanting to know something unimportant to the whole church is not a reason. She, the church, is not going to define every question people have. Its simply not important, at least not in the way Catholics use scripture.


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