Ian Harper wrote:
Now I do not know where to start? I thought that the best way to start at Joseph and work back; but as you say that there are a lot of gaps and people being missed out then this is going to make the job a lot harder.
The other problem that I can see is that of keeping out those that are not in the direct line down from joseph. There must be a book around that will give the names, date of births, place of birth, and other info like this, on the people in the Bible?
David Nicholls replied:
Right, firstly, there will be problems. Matt (chap 1) traces Jesus back to Abraham - to show he was seen as the Jewish messiah. Luke (3) however wants to show him as meant for all mankind, so traces him back to Adam.
The whole thing cannot be taken seriously as apart from Matt and Luke contradicting each other, both trace Jesus back through Joseph, but as Jesus was supposedly virgin-born, Joseph is not even relevant. Jesus' only connection with humanity would have been through Mary, but she was of Levi's line (Luke 1:5 shows this, ie. her relationship with Elizabeth), and David was of Judah, so Jesus couldn't have therefore been the Christ as this demanded Davidic descent. Paul satates quite clearly Jesus was of David's "seed" (ie. semen) in Rom 1:3 and knowns nothing of virgin birth. "Adoption" by Joseph would NOT have satisfied this strict requirement. Furthermore, the ficticious nature of all this is shown by whilst agreeing from Abraham to David (In 1 Chron 1-2 anyway !), they totally diverge after this and there are only 2 occasions where both use a common name (Shealtiel & Zerubbabel). Matt's list is divided into 3 lists of 14 and each ends with an important event - David, the captivity and Jesus. However, the 2nd list is "arranged" to make 14 as Matt has conveniently dropped 4 kings given in the Old Testament. Also, he only gets his 14 names in the third list by repeating the last name of the 2nd ! In the case of Luke, this has a list of 7 x 11 although manuscripts vary. Luke selects Nathan from David's sons and therefore traces Jesus through a non-royal line and only joins up again with the royal line at Shealtiel.
With the ** others above, they are all otherwise unknown in the Bible. As can be seen the number of generations do not even agree (e.g. 11 of Matt against Luke's 17).
You may get a book that details it all for you, but I'm not aware of any, and surely that will take all the fun away from doing it (!!!). As you can see from what I've just said, details such as dates and places of birth for many of them are wholly unknown. It won't be easy, but it will be a worthwhile and interesting exercise - Go on, have a laugh - try and work it all out!