Do we know Jesus' genealogy?

How do we know that Jesus descends from David? In the book of genealogy of Jesus Mt 1:1-17 we learn only about Joseph, his father/guardian. But he was not Jesus’ biological father. So Jesus could have descended from any tribe of Israel? Does the Bible say where Mary descends from? Why is this book called genealogy of Jesus when it has nothing to do with Jesus in genetic sense?

There is no record of Jesus’ genealogy through Mary. So how do we know that Jesus descended from the house of David?

Matthew (1:2-16) and Luke (3:23-38) each thought it important to record Joseph’s genealogy. *The Navarre Bible * commentary on St Matthew’s Gospel explains why this is important: “Jewish genealogies followed the male line. Joseph, being Mary’s husband, was the legal father of Jesus. The legal father is on par with the real father as regards rights and duties… Since it was quite usual for people to marry within their clan, it can be concluded that Mary belonged to the house of David. Several early Fathers of the Church testify to this – for example, St Ignatius, St Irenaeus, St Justin and Tertullian, who base their testimony on an unbroken tradition” (p. 28-29).

There is other evidence as well that Jesus was David’s descendant.

Paul tells us that Jesus “was descended from David according to the flesh” (Rom 1:3).

The *Catholic Encyclopedia * article The Blessed Virgin Mary offers this scriptural evidence: “As if to exclude all doubt concerning the Davidic descent of Mary, [Luke] (1:32, 69) states that the child born of Mary without the intervention of man shall be given “the throne of David His father”, and that the Lord God has “raised up a horn of salvation to us in the house of David his servant”… If Mary were not of Davidic descent, her Son conceived by the Holy Ghost could not be said to be “of the seed of David”. Hence commentators tell us that in the text “in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God. . .to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David” (Luke 1:26-27); the last clause “of the house of David” does not refer to Joseph, but to the virgin who is the principal person in the narrative; thus we have a direct inspired testimony to Mary’s Davidic descent”.

And finally, A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture points out the telling fact that “Jewish adversaries of our Lord never denied his Davidic descent” (p 945).

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