GENEALOGY OF JESUS CHRIST. .7m liortance of the subject.—There is an observable difference in the genealogical documents of the two Testaments. While the O. T. abounds in pedi grees of every extent and variety, the Christian Scriptures contain but one lineage. This, how ever, bears on its surface such signs of complete ness as to present at the very threshold of the N. T. a strong presumption of the finality and perfection of its sacred revelation. It is impos sible to overrate the importance of the genealogy of our Lord—indicating as it does the connection and fulfilment of many prophecies,* and binding together in closest union and interest the most separate and various dispensations of men in the evidence which it affords of the Redeemer's relation, not only to the human race as a whole, but to its successive t generations, up to the fulness of time.' Various objections and Meories.—Proportioned to its importance has been the attention bestowed on the subject. From Geist's, in the 2d century, to Strauss in the present one, the manifold objec tions of hostile critics have elicited learned defences, winch, by various methods and processes, have solidly vindicated the sacred record. The objec tions of the Epicurean philosopher were rather external ; lie charged the two genealogists of Christ with baying fabricated their records. The Manichean Faustus, and the apostate Julian, after wards attacked them for the inconsistency' (Di's sonantimn Evangelistarum ; S. Hieronyini Opera, Comment. in Matt. i. 16) in their two lines of our Lord's descent. Strauss's objections are a com bination of both ; he charges the genealogy with both mythic fabrication and discrepancy. Reserv ing the details, we proceed to state the two leading interpretations by which it has been sought to reconcile the discrepancy, and vindicate the correct ness of the two genealogical tables, of St. Matt. i., and St. Luke iii. Lord Arthur Hervey (Genea logies of °lir Lord and Saviour yams Christ, and art. Genealogy of 7 C., in Smith's Dictionary oi the Bible) propounds one of these interpretations. Closely resembling his statement is that of Dr. W. H. Mill, tbe late Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge (Observations on Pan theistic Principles [section on the Genealogies]), and that of the learned F. X. Patritius (De Evangeln's,
lib. iii. diss. 9). The first of these authors thus states the salient points of his system—( I.) The genealogies in St. Matthew and St. Luke are both the genealogies of Joseph ; i.e., of Jesus Christ as the reputed and legal son of Joseph and Mary.
(2.) The genealogy of St. Matthew is Joseph's genealogy as legal successor to the throne of David; i.e., it exhibits the successive heirs of the kingdom, ending with Christ, as Joseph's reputed son. St. Luke's is Joseph's private genealogy, exhibiting his real birth as David's son, and thus shewing why he was heir to Solomon's crown ; so that in St. Matthew we have only legal descent, in St. Luke the true stem of birth,'* or /inea/ pedigree.
(3.) On the failure of issue to Jechonias in Solo mon's line, the succession is replenished from the collateral line of Nathan in the person of Salathiel.
(4.) Abiud, the third below Salathiel, had two children ; the elder of whom stands in St. Matthew at the head of six generations, which fail in Eleazar ; while the younger in St. Luke was the ancestor of Mattlian, who becomes the second instance of restoring the failing line of the other branch, by transferring to it his eldest son Jacob, who how ever occasions a third interruption to the line of St. Matthew, by himself dying childless, leaving his inheritance to bis brother Hell's son, Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. (5.) Mary the mother of Jesus was, in all probability, the daugh ter of Jacob, and first cottsin to Joseph her hus band. So that in point of fact, though not of form, both the genealogies are as much hers as her husband's. In these five theses lies the sub stance of a theory for which its advocates claim the support of an uninterrupted tradition from the earliest times (Dr. Mill, p. 182 ; Lord A. Hervey, The Genealog,ies, p. 9, note ; Patritius, Dissert. ix. p. 92). This scheme, in its main features, has been adopted by Dr. Wordsworth (Greek Test.), who has given a remarlcably perspicuous statement of the details in a short space, in his note on Matt. i. 1. Dean Alford (Greek Test., vol. i. p. 444) and Bp. Ellicott (Historical Lectures 07Z the Life oi Christ, p. 96) express, without fresh argument, their concurrence.