Chris comments on Randal Rauser’s blog. Here’s a comment of his on the genealogy of Jesus:
Numbers 27 is the “ace in the hole” that God uses after cursing Jeconiah’s line in Jeremiah. Nobody from Jeconiah’s line could sit on the Davidic throne – Jer 22:30:
…. for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
In Luke 1:32 Mary is told: “He (Jesus) shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David”
So somehow God has to have Jesus come from David’s line, but not the line of Jeconiah.
So we take what we have and put it all together.
Mary and Joseph are both from the same tribe. If Mary has no brothers then Joseph can marry her and he would inherit the family line of Mary’s father. We know Mary had a sister. There is no mention of a brother. John 19 and other places, based on Jewish custom at the time indicate that Mary had no living male relatives at that time(true a brother could have died).
It ultimately does not matter who was the father of Joseph or his genealogy goes because the Christ to be the SEED of David and the SEED of a woman. The genealogy in Matthew is not a blood genealogy because Joseph is not his biological father. And Matthew’s gospel narrative is told from the perspective of Joseph.
In Luke the narrative is told from Mary’s perspective. The is the woman of whom the seed comes from. This genealogy is the one that is untainted by the blood curse on Jeconiah. Therefore this CAN be the bloodline of Christ. In Luke 3:23 Jesus is said to be (as was supposed) the son of Joseph. Luke uses the word nomizo to indicate the it was supposed He was his son, but not really.
And then it goes to say that Joseph was of Heli, NOT that he was his son. And this can easily be explained by taking what we know from Numbers and looking at the evidence we have about Mary and the fact that they are both of the same tribe which would allow for the provision of Numbers and would allow Jesus to be the blood relative and David as well as a legal son of David.
Now this is only one explanation. There are early church fathers who support this. But there is also another very good explanation that dates to the second century and considering the people living at the time could also very well be true. Africanus has explained this and it is recored by Eusebias I believe. I can pull it up for you, but essentially it is similar in that it uses the levirite marriage to explain things.
What it all comes down to for me is that whenever you find a paradox in the scripture, its a great opportunity to dig deeper. The least wise thing to do is just assume that the text is wrong. Considering the Bible has been vindicated time and time and time again by every type of evidence imaginable, the worst thing to do is just assume its a contradiction without digging deeper or trying to deny the inspiration of scripture or appeal to method of writing that doesn’t value the facts, especially when the into to Luke’s Gospel makes his purposes of establishing exact detailed facts the sole purpose of his writing.
If you want to see this comment in context, go the post Why should a Christian think the Bible is inspired? (Part 1) and you will find his comment dated Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 5:59pm and addressed to “Pete.”