Different geneologies for St. Joseph?

Two of the Gospels give different geneologies for St. Joseph–one says he’s descended from David through Solomon by 27 generations; the other says he’s descended from David through (I think) Nathan by 42 generations. Why this disparity?

Solomon and Nathan were two of King David’s many sons. Jacob is named as the father of Joseph in Matthew’s genealogy and is a descendant of Solomon. Heli is also named as the father of Joseph in Luke’s genealogy and is a descendant of Nathan.

Numbers 36:2-12 delineates the decision that Moses made regarding an Israelite who had no sons to pass his inheritance, but only daughters. According to his decision, the inheritance of such a father would pass unto his daughters’ children through the husband.

If we assume that Jacob was the biological father of Joseph, then it is possible that Heli was Mary’s biological father… If this is the case, then Joseph would become Heli’s legal son in order to pass on Heli’s inheritance to the children of his daughter, Mary. Thus, Jesus would become a legal heir to the throne of David being a descendant of David’s son, Nathan.

There is at least one problem with this explanation from the traditional Catholic viewpoint. “Joachim’ is named as the father of Mary in the ‘Protevangelium of James’. Although it is unlikely that this book was written by James, or even by a Jewish person. Many of the temple procedures and events mentioned in this book are not according to the Torah given to Moses. In addition, Joachim is an unusual name to be given as Mary’s biological father.

King Jehoiakim was the father of King Jeconiah. Jeremiah is given a prophecy from the LORD that no descendant of King Jeconiah would ever sit on the throne of David. (Jeremiah 22:24-30).

King Jeconiah is an ancestor of Jacob, the father of Joseph. There is one thing we can conclude from this prophecy, and from the genealogy of Matthew. Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, otherwise, Jeremiah’s prophecy would not be true. The Virgin Mary conceived our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit according to scripture.

The authors of each Gospel had different sources and intentions.

I have seen it explained that the genealogy in Matthew is the descent through the inheritance of the kingship; while that in Luke is the biological descent. Don’t remember where I got that, and don’t remember the qualifications of the source. So don’t bet more than a dime on it. On the other hand it does sound reasonable.

Scripture is infallible, so the above cannot be the correct explanation.

Matthew gives the lineage of Joseph.
Luke gives the lineage of the Virgin Mary. Luke uses Joseph’s name:

{3:23} And Jesus himself was beginning to be about thirty years old, being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph, who was of Heli, who was of Matthat,

saying ‘as it as supposed’, to stand in place of Mary’s name, since the husband is the head of his wife.

Bl. Emmerich tells us that Joachim (Mary’s father) was also called Heli.

Where does the Catholic Church teach that Scripture is infallible? Or…another way of asking…what exactly do you mean by that claim? Thanks for any clarification.

Ok. So, who is Jesus’ paternal grandfather? In Matthew 1:16, Jacob is the father of Joseph. In Luke 3:23, Heli is the father of Joseph.

Good for Bl. Emmerich. Nowhere near as authoritative as Scripture, and doesn’t clarify the Scriptural question I asked which was about Joseph’s father, not Mary’s (by the way, all Catholics know Mary’s parent were Anne and Joachim, as we celebrate them liturgically on their memorial July 26, with no disrespect to Bl Emmerich).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.