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Answering The Atheist
December 10, 2006 / Volume 6, Issue 50

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
From which of David's sons was Jesus descended? Matthew 1:6-7 says it was through Solomon, but Luke 3:31 says it was through Nathan. Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
This question is much like the inquiry of who Jesus' grandfather was, Jacob (Matthew 1:16) or Heli (Luke 3:23), or as is more often put, which of these men was Joseph's father. As can be seen in the April 1, 2001 edition of Answering The Atheist, Matthew and Luke trace different lineages, Matthew the royal lineage through Joseph and his ancestors, and Luke, still a lineage of David's descendants and Jesus' ancestors, but through Mary's father Heli.

As to the question, from which of David's sons was Jesus descended, the answer is both Solomon and Nathan. Solomon was an ancestor of Joseph; Nathan was an ancestor of Mary. When they were married, Jesus became a descendent through both lineages.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible