Jesus’ Genealogies Contradict

The genealogies recorded in Matthew and Luke are totally different!

Matthew 1:16 “16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”

Luke 3:23 “23Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,”

Who was Joseph’s father?

Matthew Luke
Isaac son of Abraham Isaac son of Abraham
Jacob Jacob
Judah – Tamar Judah – Tamar
Perez – Zerah Perez – Zerah
Hezron Hezron
Ram Ram
Amminadab Amminadab
Nahshon Nahshon
Salmon – Rehab Salmon – Rehab
Boaz     – Ruth Boaz     – Ruth
Obed Obed
Jesse Jesse
David (King) – Uriah David (King)
Solomon Nathan
Rehoboam Mattatha
Abijah Menna
Asa Melea
Jehoshaphat Eliakim
Jehoram Jonam
Uzziah Joseph
Jotham Simeon
Ahaz Levi
Hezekiah Matthat
Manasseh Jorim
Amon Eliezer
Josiah Joshua
Jeconiah (& brothers) Er
Matthew (cont.) Luke (cont.)
Shealtiel Elmadam
Zerubbabel Cosam
Abiud Addi
Eliakim Melki
Azor Neri
Zadok Shealtiel
Akim Zerubbabel
Eliud Rhesa
Eleazar Joanan
Matthan Joda
Jacob Josech
Joseph husband of Mary Semein
Jesus Mattathias
Jesus (“or so it was thought”)

There are two responses Christians have provided me to this seemingly obvious error.

(a) Matthew’s genealogy is that of Joseph; Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary

(b) Both Matthew and Luke give the genealogy of Joseph, but one is through the natural lineage and the other through the legal lineage. The Jewish law required a man to take into his household the childless widow of a brother and to raise up children to continue the name of the brother. Joseph is said to be the son of Jacob, but legally the son of Heli, who had died childless. Heli and Jacob were stepbrothers with the same mother but different fathers, the two genealogies give the lines of different families, but uniting in David.

Are there contradictions between gospel accounts?

What were Jesus’ last words?

Matthew 27:46 “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”

Mark 15:37 Just a loud cry

Luke 23:46 “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.”

John 19:30 “It is finished”


Who was the first to visit the tomb?

Matthew 28:1 1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.

Luke 24:10 – 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.

John 20:1 – 1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

1 Corinthians 15:5 – 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”


That seems a bit strange…

Was there a mass resurrection of holy people?

NIV Matthew 27:51- 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

If there was such a mass resurrection, surely it would have been recorded by others – Christian and non-Christian alike? Yet no mention of this ANYWHERE. Not Luke, John, Mark or Paul to mention it in their writings. Doesn’t it seem weird that only one of the gospels wrote about such a miraculous event? Is it possible that Jesus rose from the dead in the same way as these Holy people probably did, not in physical form – our spirit returning to our rotten corpse, but raising to life in a spiritual form?

Who wrote the bible?

Moses could not have written Genesis-Deuteronomy

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – the first five books of the Bible- are known as the ‘Five books of Moses’, the ‘Torah’ (Hebrew word for ‘instruction’). Moses is commonly attributed as the author of these books – that after leading the Israelites out of Egypt he hiked to the top of a mountain and asked for God’s direction. He came down from the mountain with the beginning of Christianity – the story of creation, and a list of laws for this new society to follow.

For a straight up practical example of how we know for sure that Moses didn’t write these books, pickup your Bible and glance over Genesis 1:1- 2:4a and then Genesis 2:4b-4:26. They are the two sources, two writers, overlapping their accounts of creation. Check out the story of the flood in Chapter 7 & 8 – almost every second paragraph repeats itself – the two sources weave so closely. This continues throughout these early books, with different narrator’s descriptions being presented side by side. One author most certainly did not write this book, and definitely not an infallible God. I don’t know how I didn’t realize this before.

Here is a simple example, although I suggest checking it out in your Bible for yourself. Chapter 7 verse 2 “Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird” by a few verses later in verse 7 “Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground…” Was it two or seven of each clean animal and bird on the boat?

Genesis contains: Two creation stories in Genesis. Two descriptions of the Abrahamic covenant. Two stories of the naming of Isaac. Two instances where Abraham deceived a king by introducing his wife Sarah as his sister. Two stories of Jacob traveling to Mesopotamia Two stories of a revelation at Beth-el to Jacob. Two accounts of God changing Jacob’s name to Israel Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah.

Also, funny that Moses’ death, burial and mourning are recorded in Deuteronomy 34:5-9 – unless he foresaw his own death, I don’t see how he could have written this part. Apparently our English translations make the distinction between writers less obvious, but in other languages, different authors can be identified by the way God is referred to as ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Elohim’, and through their writing styles. In my appendix you can seen a table setting out specific examples of how these writers were intertwined in the first few books of Genesis. I think this is important for any Christian to know – who wrote the books that they base their life upon.


And yet Jesus believed Moses was the author


Luke 24:44…I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true.

John 1:17For the law was given through Moses…

John 5:46But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. And since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?


Why didn’t Jesus know that Moses was not the writer? If Jesus was God then wouldn’t He know that? If Moses is not the author, then does the Bible appear to be in error? Does this mean we are not sure about which parts of the Bible we can and can not trust? If Moses is not the author, then, who was? What were their intentions? Were they all inspired by God? Could some details have been exaggerated throughout their oral tradition?

Who was Cain’s wife?

Gen 4:16-17: “So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, [f] east of Eden. Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.

Where is this land of Nod? Does this not infer people existed outside the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve weren’t the only people God created? How can the creation story be literal then?

Missing books?

referred to inside the Bible

The Book of Jasher (fully translated as the Book of the Upright or the Book of the Just) is mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18

Joshua 10:13 reads,

“So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.” I’m going to continue because this is so interesting – verse 14 continues, “There as never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!” (NIV Bible)

The Book of Jashar is not in the bible.

The notes section of study Bibles

NIV Study Bible is a great source of information. The Introduction to each book, and the notes sections of each page, explain so much about the unknowns, omissions and contradictions. It’s great that the Bible has been published with such honesty, but why is it that most Christians are unaware of what these notes say? Why, when I quote things I learnt in these notes, do I get faces of disapproval, and shamed into feeling like a heretic? IT’S IN THE BIBLE. Check out Luke 9:55-56; John 5:3; Acts 24:6, 1 Corintians 8:36-38 and Mark 16:9-20.

How is it that as Christians, we often avoid the extra effort of reading the notes sections, as if it is too tiresome and academic, and irrelevant. How can interpretations taught at church suffice our thirst for knowledge about the most important thing in life? We are supposed to have a PERSONAL relationship with God, don’t you think this is worth a bit of time and effort? Don’t you think we need to learn as much as we can, think about it for ourselves and speak with God ourselves, rather than blindly accepting someone else’s thoughts? What would Jesus want us to do? Also, if some verses are taken as symbolic, and some God’s word, and literal – who decides???

Age of earth according to the Bible

Genealogies in the Bible, not only cover the lineage between Abraham and Jesus, but also between Adam and Abraham. Along with the lifespan of each person. Hence if we are to believe the Bible is the Word of God, and without error, you would think we MUST believe the calculated age of the earth would be correct. Let’s explore this further.

In 1654 – James Ussher published a work called Annales veteris testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti (“Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world”) that calculated creation occurred on the night before 23 October 4004BC – a great knowledge of ancient history, including the rise of the Persians, Greeks and Romans as well as strong expertise in biblical languages and in- depth knowledge of the Bible itself.

In Genesis Chapters 4,5,11,21 and 25, precise genealological data including the length of time each person lived and the father’s age at birth of his son – thus it is easy to calculate the dates of birth and death in relation to creation of Adam, demonstrating that Abraham was born 1948 years after Adam.

Date of birth Length of life Date of Death
















































































Maurice Bucaille 1979 The Bible, The Qur’an and Science (translated from French by Alastar D Pannell)

What about all the evidence of the Aborigines arriving in Australia 30,000 years ago??? And other scientific findings about the earth being millions of years old? Dinosaurs reigning for millions of years – how could this all fit together?

The age of Earth combined with the flood = IMPOSSIBLE BEYOND DOUBT:

  1. Adam was the first man
  2. Genealogy from Adam, to Abraham covers 1948 years
  3. Genealogy between Abraham and Jesus covers between 40 and 54 generations
  4. If we overestimate and say that each person along this lineage lived 100 years, then this is a maximum of 5400 years
  5. We know Jesus lived 2000 years ago
  6. 1948+5400+2000 = 9000. If we believe the Bible at all, then we must believe that people have not been around longer than 9000 years. Is there any evidence of humans living earlier than 7000 BC? How conclusive is this evidence?

How does this reconcile with the 30,000 year + history of the Australian aborigines? And the dinosaurs who lived 60 million years ago? Ancient remains of campfires, pottery and hundreds of objects, are said to be reliably carbon dated at 30,000 BCE or earlier… Sorry this does not compute.

Still, Christians bring up their children (myself included), with the belief that the world was created around 4,000 BC, approximately 6000 years ago rather than the 4.5 billion years that most history books teach – an estimation coming from the dating of rocks using potassium-argon and other radiometric dating systems.

It was interesting to discover a massive debate that has been going on for some time between two groups: the Creationists and the Evolutionists. It is a very scientific debate, and I felt in-over-my head, each group speaks with such conviction that I swayed between beliefs of whoever is talking. How can I ever know what to believe, when even professionals in their field argue about such major topics? Speaking with intellectuals and professionals I discovered Creationism has little respect around the world, in academic and scientific communities, and even in most religious groups including mainstream Christianity. More info on both sides of the debate check out The creationist debate: the encounter between the Bible and the historical mind – by Arthur McCalla on google books.

What makes more sense?

1. That God selected ONE species to be his “chosen” species, abandoning all His other creations to nothingness.
2. That God values all of his creations. The idea that humans are the only creations with souls, is a narrative created by humans not God.

What makes more sense?

1. That God selected ONE group of people to be His “chosen people, to help them conquer other groups of people (as long as they obeyed Him) and to punish all other people in the world who strive to discover Him and His will.
2. That this group of people crowned themselves God’s chosen people, and that in times where these people won battles they believed it was because of their obedience to God, while in times of trouble their scapegoat was to disobedience to God.

What makes more sense?

1. That the world was created in 6 days, 6,000 years ago, by a God who is an entity separate from the world, that watches the world from afar. And yet is omnipotent, omnipresent and omni?
2. That some component of the universe has always existed, and this has be personified as God. That the universe is, like the breath of God, currently expanding, and one day it will compress back to a single quantum atom at which time the process of expansion will start again. The process of creation, destruction and recreation never ends, hence presenting the beautiful process and nature of “God”. A never-ending process of yin and yang, good and evil, diametrical opposites that allow us, (and God) to know the other.

What makes more sense?

1. That carbon and other dating methods are inaccurate by millions/billions of years, that evolution is incorrect, and that the 30,000-year history of the aborigines is a complete fabrication.
2. That the biblical account of Genesis is, like many other (very similar) creation stories about human beings that lived between 5-2000 years ago, a mythological symbolic account that explained the origins of life in a non-literal sense.

What makes more sense?

1. That God selected one point in time, that is, 2000 years ago, to impregnate a human woman to bare His one son, who is also an incarnation of Himself, in order to save humanity and provide an opportunity for people born lucky enough to hear this story, to have a relationship with Him. That this path to heaven does not come through how people live their lives, but they come from His “grace” that allows “anyone who believes in Him” – and the biblically narratated account of His divine Son dying on a cross and physically rising again for my, or your, sin, can have a relationship with God and go to heaven when they die.
2. That God would love ALL the human (and non-human) beings He created and continues and will always continue to create over billions and zillions of years – before our universe’s beginning, and after it will end. That each group of people, through myriad circumstances, have developed a unique relationship with “Him” (referring to a personification of what is not human nor of any gender), discovering different aspects of the macrocosmic, omnipotent, omnipresent entity to which we are all a part of.

What makes more sense?

1. That all the Mayans and Incas in South America, the Aborigines in Australia, the Chinese, Japanese, Indians – all the people that were born into other cultures and see the world through a different lens that they have been brought up in, people who believe they have a relashionship with God – are actually wrong and are worshiping false gods, and hence will go to hell unless they repent and abandon the beliefs of their ancestors, and believe in the Christian God and Jesus Christ His son.


2. That none of these religions have discovered the whole of who (or what) “God” is?

Is it possible that by exploring each tradition in it’s historical context, alongside the ongoing scientific and astronomical discoveries, that we can together continue to uncover more about the nature of the powers driving the universe?


Further Reading:

Chapter 1 – Introduction Click here

Chapter 2 – Is the Bible the “Word of God”? Click here

Chapter 3 – Is Jesus Christ the “Son of God?” Click here

Chapter 4 – Discussing the contradictions Click here

Chapter 5 – What does this mean for my life today? Click here

Chapter 6 – My conclusions Click here