The genealogy of Jesus in the Gospels is fraternal, but it seems his genes were from his mother, Mary. It’s also noteworthy that Jews believe that their Jewish ancestry is maternal.
Joseph is Jesus’ legal father, by adoption (as it were). That makes Jesus a “son of David”. A “paternal genealogy” demonstrates Jesus’ (legal) lineage through Joseph.
Mary, on the other hand, is Jesus’ biological mother; she contributed her genes to Him in His incarnation.
Jesus is Jewish maternally; but is a ‘son of David’ paternally.
That reminds me of how we are children of God “by adoption.”
I love the meditations and contemplations this time of year.
From Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary on the genealogy of Jesus from Luke 3:
…in the genealogy in St. Luke, two sons improperly so called, that is, two sons-in-law, instead of sons. As among the Hebrews, the women entered not into the genealogy, when a house finished by a daughter, instead of naming the daughter in the genealogy, they named the son-in-law, who had for father-in-law the father of his wife. The two sons-in-law mentioned in St. Luke are Joseph, the son-in-law of Heli, and Salathiel, the son-in-law of Neri. This remarks clears up the difficulty. Joseph, the son of Jacob, in St. Matthew, was the son-in-law of Heli, in St. Luke; and Salathiel, the son of Jechonias, in St. Matthew, was the son-in-law of Neri, in St. Luke. Mary was the daughter of Heli, Eliacim, or Joacim, or Joachim. Joseph, the son of Jacob, and Mary, the daughter of Heli, had a common origin; both descending from Zorobabel, Joseph by Abiud the eldest, and Mary by Resa, the younger brother. Joseph descended from the royal branch of David, of which Solomon was the chief; and Mary from the other branch, of which Nathan was the chief. by Salathiel, the father of Zorobabel, and son of Jechonias, Joseph and Mary descended from Solomon, the son and heir of David. And by the wife of Salathiel, the mother of Zorobabel, and daughter of Neri, of which Neri Salathiel was the son-in-law, Joseph and Mary descended from Nathan, the other son of David, so that Joseph and Mary re-united in themselves all the blood of David.
It’s also noteworthy that Jews believe that their Jewish ancestry is maternal.
They do now because of the many persecutions in which Jewish women were molested, the fathers of their children born afterwards being uncertain. And as a the result of the Diaspora of the Jews. But in Jesus’ day the lineage was determined from the paternal line.
Very informative! Thank you!
The previous answers have been good. Here’s my take on the subject – Jesus would have shared DNA **with **Joseph, because of their shared descent from Mary, but he did not **receive **any DNA **from **Joseph.
Joseph was not a descendant of Mary; methinks you meant David?
Our LORD receiving HIS male human body from purely female DNA would be the reverse of the process in Genesis, where Eve received her female body from Adam’s male DNA.
(I think the Russians hacked my post )
Yes, thru their shared descent from DAVID.
Jesus probably bore some physical resemblance, i.e., miraculously shared some of the same or similar genes, to Joseph so that people wouldn’t suspect Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.
Umm… that’s precisely the insult that they did hurl against Jesus! We don’t see it now, but in that time and place, you were called “the son of <insert father’s name here>”. For Jesus to be called “the son of Mary” was intentional; it was a slam against Jesus (and Mary) and the fact that Joseph wasn’t His biological father…
Remember – Joseph hadn’t yet taken Mary into his house… and when she returns from visiting Elizabeth, she’s already three months pregnant. So, she either already has a baby bump, or begins showing one soon thereafter (and before she moves into Joseph’s home). You know how rumors spread in small communities, don’t you? The villagers knew that something was going on… and I’m sure they had unsavory conjectures of exactly what that was…
Thank you both for sharing those thoughts!
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3)
Although it is true that Jesus was referred to as the son of Mary once (above) in the Gospels, it seems he was usually referred to as the son of Joseph or the carpenter’s son:
And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22)
Philip found Nathan′a-el, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:45)
They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (John 6:42)
Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brethren James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? (Matthew 13:55)
Mary is also descended from David. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3:23-38
The genealogy in BOTH Mathew and Luke is of Jesus through Joseph, not Mary.
Two different lines though?
Keep in mind the speaker. I’m not saying that all who referenced Jesus were trying to insult him… only those who were negative toward him.
The citation you give from John is from Philip, who is excited he’s found the Messiah. Naturally, this isn’t an example of someone trying to insult Jesus.
As I look at my Synopsis of the Gospels, I see that the other three references are telling the same story. Mark includes the “insult”, phrased in a couple of ways: Jesus is just a “carpenter”, and is the “son of Mary”. Interestingly, Matthew pulls back from the insult, and rephrases both references: Jesus is the “son of the carpenter” (which doesn’t impugn Jesus so much as it identifies his family), and mentions Mary, but just by way of identification (“isn’t his mother called ‘Mary’?”). Luke sticks with Matthew’s take on things.
Nevertheless, we see the animosity reflected in the way that Mark tells the story…
All this talk of Jesus’ genes, DNA, etc just begs the question. How normal was Mary’s conception and pregnancy? What kind of DNA and genes does the holy spirit have? Was Mary’s egg fertilized in the normal manner with a male sperm? If not, but rather just by some holy spirit magic, then what would later testing of Jesus DNA reveal? I would find the actual biological facts of Jesus’ conception to be of great interest. No one I’ve ever talked to seems to care to look into this a little deeper. Could we say Mary’s was a case of artificial impregnation and conception? Comments?
Among attempts to answer such questions would be
A Proposed Biological Interpretation of The Virgin Birth
As you can imagine, that article, and such inquiry in general, are controversial.
Here are some criticisms of the article:
Here are some defenses of the inquiry if not the entire article:
I think an article from which I obtained the following quotation summarizes things well: “… it is appropriate to comment here on an article in this journal which has aroused some controversy: Kessel on the Virgin Conception. His basic argument is that there are known biological processes which might have made possible the virginal conception of Jesus by natural means. Whether or not the processes addressed in that article could, in fact, have brought about the desired result need not be discussed here. The point is that such an explanation, if in fact scientifically credible, would be completely consistent with the mediated character of God’s creative work. That is to be expected, since one of the things that the doctrine of the Virgin Conception does is to point to the one who was thus conceived as the incarnate Creator.”
Ive wondered about this aspect too, imo, if someone had been there to do a DNA test of the baby Jesus, I highly doubt it would look anything remotely close to human, it would probably be something no one could understand or explain.
I dont think Jesus was a normal baby either, I think as soon as he came out of the womb, he probably was able to have complex discussions, walk, and probably understood exactly what he was.