The Genealogy Of Christ Jesus

The biographers of Jesus, although they have placed him in a position

the most humiliating in his infancy, and although they have given him

poor and humble parents, have notwithstanding made him to be of royal

descent. The reasons for doing this were twofold. First, because,

according to the Old Testament, the expected Messiah was to be of the

seed of Abraham,[160:1] and second, because the Angel-Messiahs who had

usly been on earth to redeem and save mankind had been of royal

descent, therefore Christ Jesus must be so.

The following story, taken from Colebrooke's "Miscellaneous

Essays,"[160:2] clearly shows that this idea was general:

"The last of the Jinas, Vardhamana, was at first conceived

by Devananda, a Brahmana. The conception was announced to

her by a dream. Sekra, being apprised of his incarnation,

prostrated himself and worshiped the future saint (who was in

the womb of Devananda); but reflecting that no great saint

was ever born in an indigent or mendicant family, as that of

a Brahmana, Sekra commanded his chief attendant to remove the

child from the womb of Devananda to that of Trisala, wife of

Siddhartha, a prince of the race of Jeswaca, of the Kasyapa


In their attempts to accomplish their object, the biographers of Jesus

have made such poor work of it, that all the ingenuity Christianity has

yet produced, has not been able to repair their blunders.

The genealogies are contained in the first and third Gospels, and

although they do not agree, yet, if either is right, then Jesus was

not the son of God, engendered by the "Holy Ghost," but the legitimate

son of Joseph and Mary. In any other sense they amount to nothing. That

Jesus can be of royal descent, and yet be the Son of God, in the sense

in which these words are used, is a conclusion which can be acceptable

to those only who believe in alleged historical narratives on no other

ground than that they wish them to be true, and dare not call them into


The Matthew narrator states that all the generations from Abraham to

David are fourteen, from David until the carrying away into Babylon

are fourteen, and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Jesus are

fourteen generations.[161:1] Surely nothing can have a more

mythological appearance than this. But, when we confine our attention

to the genealogy itself, we find that the generations in the third

stage, including Jesus himself, amount to only thirteen. All attempts

to get over this difficulty have been without success; the genealogies

are, and have always been, hard nuts for theologians to crack. Some of

the early Christian fathers saw this, and they very wisely put an

allegorical interpretation to them.

Dr. South says, in Kitto's Biblical Encyclopaedia:

"Christ's being the true Messiah depends upon his being the

son of David and king of the Jews. So that unless this be

evinced the whole foundation of Christianity must totter and


Another writer in the same work says:

"In these two documents (Matthew and Luke), which profess to

give us the genealogy of Christ, there is no notice whatever

of the connection of his only earthly parent with the stock of

David. On the contrary, both the genealogies profess to give

us the descent of Joseph, to connect our Lord with whom by

natural generation, would be to falsify the whole story of his

miraculous birth, and overthrow the Christian faith."

Again, when the idea that one of the genealogies is Mary's is spoken of:

"One thing is certain, that our belief in Mary's descent from

David is grounded on inference and tradition and not on any

direct statement of the sacred writings. And there has been a

ceaseless endeavor, both among ancients and moderns, to

gratify the natural cravings for knowledge on this subject."

Thomas Scott, speaking of the genealogies, says:

"It is a favorite saying with those who seek to defend the

history of the Pentateuch against the scrutiny of modern

criticism, that the objections urged against it were known

long ago. The objections to the genealogy were known long

ago, indeed; and perhaps nothing shows more conclusively than

this knowledge, the disgraceful dishonesty and willful

deception of the most illustrious of Christian


Referring to the two genealogies, Albert Barnes says:

"No two passages of Scripture have caused more difficulty than

these, and various attempts have been made to explain them.

. . . Most interpreters have supposed that Matthew gives the

genealogy of Joseph, and Luke that of Mary. But though this

solution is plausible and may be true, yet it wants


Barnes furthermore admits the fallibility of the Bible in his remarks

upon the genealogies; 1st, by comparing them to our fallible family

records; and 2d, by the remark that "the only inquiry which can now be

fairly made is whether they copied these tables correctly."

Alford, Ellicott, Hervey, Meyer, Mill, Patritius and Wordsworth hold

that both genealogies are Joseph's; and Aubertin, Ebrard, Greswell,

Kurtz, Lange, Lightfoot and others, hold that one is Joseph's, and the

other Mary's.

When the genealogy contained in Matthew is compared with the Old

Testament they are found to disagree; there are omissions which any

writer with the least claim to historical sense would never have made.

When the genealogy of the third Gospel is turned to, the difficulties

greatly increase, instead of diminish. It not only contradicts the

statements made by the Matthew narrator, but it does not agree with

the Old Testament.

What, according to the three first evangelists, did Jesus think of

himself? In the first place he made no allusion to any miraculous

circumstances connected with his birth. He looked upon himself as

belonging to Nazareth, not as the child of Bethlehem;[162:1] he

reproved the scribes for teaching that the Messiah must necessarily be a

descendant of David,[162:2] and did not himself make any express claim

to such descent.[162:3]

As we cannot go into an extended inquiry concerning the genealogies, and

as there is no real necessity for so doing, as many others have already

done so in a masterly manner,[162:4] we will continue our investigations

in another direction, and show that Jesus was not the only Messiah who

was claimed to be of royal descent.

To commence with Crishna, the Hindoo Saviour, he was of royal

descent, although born in a state the most abject and humiliating.[163:1]

Thomas Maurice says of him:

"Crishna, in the male line, was of royal descent, being of

the Yadava line, the oldest and noblest of India; and nephew,

by his mother's side, to the reigning sovereign; but, though

royally descended, he was actually born in a state the most

abject and humiliating; and, though not in a stable, yet in a


Buddha was of royal descent, having descended from the house of

Sakya, the most illustrious of the caste of Brahmans, which reigned in

India over the powerful empire of Mogadha, in the Southern Bahr.[163:3]

R. Spence Hardy says, in his "Manual of Buddhism:"

"The ancestry of Gotama Buddha is traced from his father,

Sodhodana, through various individuals and races, all of royal

dignity, to Maha Sammata, the first monarch of the world.

Several of the names, and some of the events, are met with in

the Puranas of the Brahmins, but it is not possible to

reconcile one order of statement with the other; and it would

appear that the Buddhist historians have introduced races, and

invented names, that they may invest their venerated sage with

all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of


How remarkably these words compare with what we have just seen

concerning the genealogies of Jesus!

Rama, another Indian avatar--the seventh incarnation of Vishnu--was

also of royal descent.[163:4]

Fo-hi; or Fuh-he, the virgin-born "Son of Heaven," was of royal

descent. He belonged to the oldest family of monarchs who ruled in


Confucius was of royal descent. His pedigree is traced back in a

summary manner to the monarch Hoang-ty, who is said to have lived and

ruled more than two thousand years before the time of Christ


Horus, the Egyptian virgin-born Saviour, was of royal descent,

having descended from a line of kings.[163:7] He had the title of "Royal

Good Shepherd."[163:8]

Hercules, the Saviour, was of royal descent.[163:9]

Bacchus, although the Son of God, was of royal descent.[164:1]

Perseus, son of the virgin Danae, was of royal descent.[164:2]

AEsculapius, the great performer of miracles, although a son of God,

was notwithstanding of royal descent.[164:3]

Many more such cases might be mentioned, as may be seen by referring to

the histories of the virgin-born gods and demi-gods spoken of in Chapter



[160:1] That is, a passage in the Old Testament was construed to mean

this, although another and more plausible meaning might be inferred. It

is when Abraham is blessed by the Lord, who is made to say: "In thy

seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast

obeyed my voice." (Genesis, xxii. 18.)

[160:2] Vol. ii. p. 214.

[161:1] Matthew, i. 17.

[161:2] Scott's English Life of Jesus.

[162:1] Matthew, xiii. 54; Luke, iv. 24.

[162:2] Mark, ii. 35.

[162:3] "There is no doubt that the authors of the genealogies regarded

him (Jesus), as did his countrymen and contemporaries generally, as the

eldest son of Joseph, Mary's husband, and that they had no idea of

anything miraculous connected with his birth. All the attempts of the

old commentators to reconcile the inconsistencies of the evangelical

narratives are of no avail." (Albert Reville: Hist. Dogma, Deity, Jesus,

p. 15.)

[162:4] The reader is referred to Thomas Scott's English Life of Jesus,

Strauss's Life of Jesus, The Genealogies of Our Lord, by Lord Arthur

Hervey, Kitto's Biblical Encyclopaedia, and Barnes' Notes.

[163:1] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 130. Asiatic Researches,

vol. i. p. 259, and Allen's India, p. 379.

[163:2] Hist. Hindostan, ii. p. 310.

[163:3] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 157. Bunsen: The

Angel-Messiah. Davis: Hist. of China, vol. ii. p. 80, and Huc's Travels,

vol. i. p. 327.

[163:4] Allen's India, p. 379.

[163:5] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 200, and Chambers's Encyclo.,

art. "Fuh-he."

[163:6] Davis: History of China, vol. ii. p. 48, and Thornton: Hist.

China, vol. i. p. 151.

[163:7] See almost any work on Egyptian history or the religions of


[163:8] See Lundy: Monumental Christianity, p. 403.

[163:9] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 152. Roman Antiquities, p. 124, and

Bell's Pantheon, i. 382.

[164:1] See Greek and Italian Mythology, p. 81. Bell's Pantheon, vol. i.

p. 117. Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 118, and Roman Antiquities, p.


[164:2] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 170, and Bulfinch: The Age of

Fable, p. 161.

[164:3] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 27. Roman Antiquities, p. 136,

and Taylor's Diegesis, p. 150.