Matthew records forty two generations (three times fourteen) from Abraham to Christ, these being (from David onwards) the royal line, the route of the throne.

Luke records about fifty generations, via Joseph, from Christ back to Abraham, being the natural line ; it being more circuitous and involving persons of shorter longevity than royalty so there are more of them.

The line is via Joseph ; Mary's name is not mentioned. And Luke affirms that Jesus was only 'supposed' to be 'of Joseph'.

Luke also records about twenty more names from Abraham back to Adam and thence to God.

The italicised interpolation 'the son of' (employed by the KJV in Luke 3) is incorrect, not being present in the Greek text, but the names are, indeed, a genitive of origin, one would suggest.

Are these seventy, or so, 'generations' regarded by Reformed, Protestant, Trinitarians as an accurate genealogy from Christ back to Adam in 'beginning of creation'(1), and thence to God, or do such persons think otherwise ?

(1) ... but from beginning of creation male and female made them the God ... [Literal from Englishman's Greek New Testament (Stephanus Text) Mark 10:6]

απο δε αρχης κτισεως αρσεν και θηλυ εποιησεν αυτους ο θεος [Stephanus TR Mark 10:6]

  • Interesting. For example (from Matthew 1:16) Jacob he begat the Joseph and (from Luke 3:23) Joseph of the Eli. Commented May 27, 2022 at 12:38
  • This article summarizes many viewpoints concerning Biblical genealogies, Liberal, Conservative and everything in between. answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/genealogy/… Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


There appears to be a named list of 75 generations from Christ to Adam in Luke's account in all the translations I have here. As pointed out, there are differences between Matthew's genealogical list and Luke's, but for particular reasons. This means that they are not contradictory lists; just designed for different purposes, especially as Matthew's list only starts with Abraham.

This means that it's only Luke's list that goes all the way from the Son of Man to the first man, Adam. Luke was inspired of the Holy Spirit to form that list, and, therefore, the simple answer is that all who believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant word of God, will take Luke's list as the generations involved. All the Reformed Protestant Trinitarians I know do not appear to have any quarrel with that. But, then, maybe I don't know very many of them.

There could be different ideas expressed amongst them regarding why there are differences between Matthew and Luke's respective records, or even if Luke's details occasionally merge names / generations, but that should not alter their view on the inspired nature of both accounts.

Anyone wishing to thrash such matters out would find invaluable details in the O.T. books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles with regard to names and genealogies, which help reconcile apparent difficulties. Young's Analytical Concordance is particularly helpful.

  • 1
    Up-voted and appreciated. If we add the names 'Jesus Christ' and 'God' to the list I believe we have 77 generations - a very significant number. Matthew points out the significant number of fourteen generations times three in his tabulation so I feel it is appropriate to point out the seventy-seven of Luke's (if that is, indeed, correct).
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 14:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .