Skip to comments.The Real Bloodline of Jesus
Posted on 12/19/2007 7:03:18 PM PST by Richard Poe
|by Richard Lawrence Poe
Monday, December 17, 2007
| Permanent Link
AT CHRISTMASTIME, Nativity scenes help bring the family of Jesus to life. However, they present only a small portion of his family. Scripture informs us that Jesus grew up in a large, sprawling clan, with many relatives. What became of that clan? Some branches may have survived. It is possible that some people living today might be related to Jesus.
Dan Browns blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code contends that Jesus wed Mary Magdalene and fathered a royal dynasty of France. The book sparked interest in Jesus bloodline. Unfortunately, Brown's wild speculations and burning hostility toward the Church tainted the subject with an odor of crankery.
The fictional bloodline of Jesus ballyhooed in Browns novel should not be confused with Jesus' real bloodline.
Ancient writings make clear that Jesus hailed from an old and honored family. The first sixteen verses of the Gospel of Matthew set forth a genealogy depicting Joseph, the father of Jesus, as the twenty-fourth great grandson of King David.
Early Christians plainly viewed Jesus as an heir of David, a legitimate claimant to the throne of Israel.
Of course, they also viewed Jesus as the son of God, not of Joseph. This complicates the picture, but an adopted prince is a prince nonetheless.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, also came from a prominent family. Luke 1:5 tells us that Marys cousin Elizabeth was a Levite, descended from a long line of Israelite priests.
Mary's parents Joachim and Anna (or Hannah) were a wealthy and pious couple favored by God, according to the Gospel of James. Though never included in the Bible, the Gospel of James has received respectful study from generations of Christian scholars.
Despite his illustrious pedigree, Jesus worked as a humble carpenter. This should not surprise us. In his day, the sons of Herod ruled Judea, serving as puppets of Rome. The House of David was out of power, out of favor, and, in Jesus' case, out of pocket as well.
The New Testament names other relatives of Jesus. "Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Cleophas...", states John 19:25.
It may seem odd that two sisters would share the same name, but these two Marys were probably cousins, not sisters.
Poor translation is to blame. The oldest known manuscripts of the New Testament are written in Greek. However, these Greek documents apparently drew on earlier sources composed in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke.
Neither Aramaic nor Hebrew has any word for cousin. In these ancient tongues, the only precise way to identify a cousin was to use a clumsy formula such as "the son of my uncle". Consequently, Hebrew and Aramaic scribes often referred to cousins and other relatives as "brother" or "sister".
For example, in Genesis 29:15, Laban calls Jacob, his nephew, "brother". Genesis 14:12-14 refers to Lot as the "brother" of his uncle Abraham.
Four men are called "brothers of the Lord" in the Gospels; James, Simon, Jude and Joseph. Mark 6:3 also mentions sisters of Jesus. These "brothers" and "sisters" were most likely cousins of Jesus.
Two of them -- James and Joseph -- are probably the sons of "Mary, wife of Cleophas" whose names appear in Matthew 27:56. This same Mary also had a daughter named Salome, according to Mark 15:40.
At least a dozen blood relatives of Jesus can be identified by name. Could any of these have living descendants today?
Written records provide only fragmentary clues. Other research methods are available, however.
One such approach was featured on a March 27, 2006 episode of the History Channel's archaeology series Digging for the Truth.
Former host Josh Bernstein put the Da Vinci Code to the test by comparing DNA from the bones of a French Merovingian queen with DNA from a community claiming kinship with ancient Galileans. Not surprisingly, the samples showed no match. However, Bernstein made a more important discovery.
He found that members of Jerusalems Syriac Orthodox Church claim descent from the family of Jesus. This ancient community still speaks and worships in Aramaic. Its origins are obscure.
These families can be traced all the way back to Jesus Christ?, Bernstein asked the church's Archbishop Severios Malki Murad.
Of course, he replied. We are from the same family.
Such claims may or may not withstand scientific scrutiny. But they are worth exploring.
By comparing oral history, DNA and whatever scraps of written records survive, we may yet succeed in locating the nearest living relatives of Jesus.
|Richard Lawrence Poe is a contributing editor to Newsmax, an award-winning journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Siezed Control of the Democratic Party, co-written with David Horowitz.|
Please let me know if you want ON or OFF of my Traditional Roman Catholic ping list.
Jesus Schwartz? Goldstein? Are there any clues as to the last name?
Murdoch. Jesus Murdoch.
It’s kind of interesting, but of absolutely NO theological significance whatsoever.
This strikes me as being more of the goofy, unsubstantiated “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” nonsense. No thanks, I left the keys to my UFO on Zeta Reticuli, pecifically so I could get away from intergalactic nonsense.
Jesus blood line: God-Jesus. (please not the period at the end of the blood line.
The nearest relative to Jesus?? Many of us here are adopted sons! (Rom 8:15)
WE ARE FAMILY! :)
This is true. However unless I missed it the article isn't talking about Jesus's children, it is talking about siblings he would be related to either through his mother (half-brothers and sisters) or cousins also through his mother's bloodline and heritage.
The God-Jesus bloodline of course ends at Jesus as he had no children, however the Joseph-Mary bloodline probably continued on.
As stated before though by Arthur McGowan, "Its kind of interesting, but of absolutely NO theological significance whatsoever."
It does point out the holes in the theories that some have raised about Mary, the Theotokos, having other children, which even the Early Church recognized as false.
No doubt it may be interesting to investigate, but other posters are correct in saying it doesn’t have any real theological significance. Any brothers and sisters would have been HALF brothers because they were fathered by Joseph.
If you want to see the living brothers and sisters of Christ, look at the places his followers gather. There will be many there and you can actually talk to them...
We are all related to Jesus, since God is our Father.
Which is why I'm a strong advocate of cloning Jesus.
From the Wiki article on the Aramaic Primacy that was linked:
“George Lamsa’s translation of the Peshitta New Testament from Syriac into English brought the Aramaic Primacy issue to the West. However, his translation is poorly regarded by most academics in the field. With the rise of the Internet, Aramaic primacists began to pool arguments in favor of their case. Prominent advocates include Paul Younan, Andrew Gabriel Roth, Raphael Lataster, James Trimm, and Steven Caruso; none of whom are associated with mainstream academia in this field, and work mainly through the medium of the Internet.”
Erg. Poorly regarded by most academics in the field. None of whom are associated with mainstream academia. Work mainly through the INTERNET. I think you should be hearing klaxons going off.
The first mistake is the use of Wikipedia. The second is using a Wiki that isn’t necessarily all that supportive of the theory.
So what we have here is that most of academia in the field believes that the NT was written in Greek.
Again, from your source:
“Mainstream and modern scholars have generally had a strong agreement that the New Testament was written in Greek. They acknowledge that many individual sayings of Jesus as found in the Gospels are translations from oral Aramaic, but hold that the Gospels’ text in its current form was composed in Greek, and so were the other New Testament writings. Scholars of all stripes have had to acknowledge the presence in the Gospel of Mark of scattered, but only occasional, Aramaic expressions, transliterated and then translated.”
If this is the case, then there is a problem with the Marian Doctrines. If the Gospels were originally written in Greek, where ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ of Jesus are mentioned throughout the Gospels, as you have quoted, the terms would mean just that.
There is little or no indication that those mentioned had a close personal relationship that could be used as a basis to call Jesus ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, while not using the same terms for the Apostles, esp. John, or the women that followed Jesus.
We have no indication of an Aramaic primacy. I can see where one would come in real handy for the Roman Catholic Church...
GRPL Sola Scriptura vs. Ecclesia Ping!
Anyone else have comments?
All believing Christians receive the blood of Christ in the miracle of the Eucharist during mass. Accept Jesus as the Son of God, live according to God’s word and you will live forever in Heaven.
This is VERY different than what was claimed by conspiracy theorists and The di Vinci Code, both of which claimed that Jesus fathered children through Mary Magdalene. Problem is, there is no proof from Roman historians of that ever happening, nor does the Bible and several rejected books that didn't make it into the final Bible we know today.
Which I think Jesus vied for, but rather having died instead became the Messiah in the hearts of those who believed it.
And so Christ became the figure who liberated whole science form the dark ages, true reverence from today, and for which the New World could never have been known.
Jesus the Christ...The Living Son of G-d...
Does any more really matter?
Apparently not to you. But to those who seek the “historical” Jesus, it’s of great importance. I guess some people think there can be too much knowledge, huh?
The De Vinci Code is mostly bunk. But it happens that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. The proof is in the fact that he waited until she was alone and then he revealed himself to her alone, and he did this before seeing God. Only one person would be more significant to Jesus than his Father, and would be his wife.
Bump/ping for later read!
I hear that the family settled in and around the Alabama/Tennesee border...
I think they were mostly Thompsons.
What are you smoking? The “Roman Church”? What church exactly is that? After all during the 2nd and 3rd century there was no legal church in the Roman Empire, and much less one that could issue “edicts” calling for the murder of the “diaspora”, who would have enforced that, the Emperor Diocletion? What tripe.
He was born into it.
"but rather having died instead became the Messiah "
He claimed that while alive.
Last name? Who was Jesus’ father’s father...and so on.
You would be surprised how common it is today to find two sisters both named Mary that also have a brother named Jesus.
Interesting stuff. BUMP!
Mary and Joseph who? If someone were to send them a letter would it be addressed to just Mary and Joseph? Maybe they didn’t use last names in those days. But if that’s true then why was one Mary called Mary Magdalene?
I believe that the Jews of this period did not have family names, unlike the Romans and the Greeks. People had a personal name, and would be further identified by their relationships, e. g. son of, brother of, daughter of, etc. In the James ossuary hoax of a year or two ago, the vessel was inscribed as being that of 'James, son of Joseph, brother of Joshua (Jesus)'. The hoax was adding 'brother of Joshua' to the original inscription.
I don't see why, this is not some silliness about descendants of Jesus, but is a consideration of the likely existence of descendants of his cousins. Jesus is a human being with relatives whose descendants could still exist, as much as he is God.
Now I can see why the use of last names became more popular as the population grew. Margaret Mead said she had just about completed the genealogy for a given Pacific Island when she discovered somebody who had married someone from a neighboring island. Now she had to that genealogy too.
I’m wonde3ring why you left out Mary’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea?... Good read, though.
You're getting into some pretty deep philosophical territory there. When you say Jesus was the son of God, does that mean that he had 23 of God's chromosomes? Does God have 23 human chromosome pairs? If not, and if He chose which genes to give to Mary's baby, who says He didn't choose Joseph's?
Under Jewish law at the time -- and for that matter, under common law up to today -- a child born within a marriage is presumed to be the child of both spouses, absent proof to the contrary. So legally, Jesus was the son of Joseph. Ethically and emotionally, Joseph loved and raised Jesus as his own. What I'm suggesting is that this might also have been true biologically.
They are given names. Magdalene was where she came from or resided, IIRC, Woman of Galilee.
I don’t know how they kept it all straight. Last names did make it more simple than calling everyone of their Father, town or profession!
And just why is it worth exploring?
Fascination with this kind of nonsense just takes our attention away from out true status in Christ.
Most western last names are based on a father, location, or profession.
If the Rosicrucian and Gnostic tendancies of advancing the StClair bloodline were true, then there should be no problems with them falling in line consistently with the more forceful policies of grace as provided by God to man through Christ in Scripture.
One fatal flaw in those theories is that the basics of Christian faith, as communicated throughout every book in the Bible, are completely ignored in their advancement.
Salvation is provided by God and only by God. He doesn’t need man nor does man have the power to give eternal life. Such power only comes from God the Holy Spirit. Even when our Lord Christ Jesus conducted miracles, He performed them by the doctrine of kenosis and in manifesting the Hypostatic Union.
This is certainly a legitimate concern. As Christians, our chief focus should be upon the improvement of our own souls, so that our example might inspire and encourage others to do likewise.
At the same time, I find it significant that the first words of the New Testament -- a full sixteen verses -- are devoted to a rigorous documentation of Joseph's descent from King David.
If God did not want us to ponder this subject, on some level, surely he would not have filled the Holy Scriptures with so many references to it.
I see what you are saying, but the genealogy given stopped with Christ. It was provided to validate his lineage.
If God wanted us to ponder genealogy beyond the birth of our Savior, He would have provided additional information.....
Bump for later...
So what we have here is that most of academia in the field believes that the NT was written in Greek.
The reason I linked to the Wikipedia article on Aramaic Primacy is that it provides numerous links to arguments on both sides of the issue.
The main flaw with the Wikipedia article is that it gives readers the mistaken impression that radical Aramaic Primacy and radical Greek Primacy are the only two possible positions, when in fact there are many degrees in between. The question is not whether or not Aramaic sources existed. Of course they did. The question is to what extent they influenced the Greek version.
Defenders of radical Aramaic Primacy contend that the entire New Testament was written in Aramaic and that the Greek version is not only a translation, but a very bad one.
Defenders of radical Greek Primacy contend that the only parts of the New Testament which were translated from Aramaic are the sayings of Jesus.
No mainstream scholar goes so far as to deny any Aramaic influence at all.
The sayings of Jesus were all spoken originally in Aramaic. Yet somehow they found their way into the Greek New Testament. Somebody, somewhere along the line, had to translate those sayings from Aramaic into Greek. No one denies this.
For a good example of radical Greek Primacy, see Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins' online refutation of Aramaic Primacy and his online review of Christopher Lataster's Aramaic Primacy for Dummies.
While savaging Lataster's theories on Aramaic Primacy, Jenkins nonetheless acknowledges: "Lancaster, Lamsa and company have it right in that regard the Aramaic version was primary. But not because the Gospel and definitely not because the whole New Testament collection was written originally in Aramaic. But rather, because the base of the teachings of Jesus were in Aramaic, and circulated freely and copiously in the years and decades following his life on earth."
In short, Jenkins acknowledges Aramaic influence on the New Testament, but insists that this Aramaic influence came from oral traditions, memorized and passed down by word of mouth, rather than from written sources.
Personally, I do not see why it would make much difference if the Gospel writers were drawing their material from oral or written sources. The point is, at least some of those sources were originally Aramaic.
Hmmm. I don't think this is really a Protestant vs. Catholic issue. Roman Catholic scholars are not leaning toward Aramaic Primacy, as far as I know -- at least not toward the radical position which is so hotly debated nowadays.
The most passionate defenders of Aramaic Primacy seem to be people of Middle Eastern descent who are motivated by pride in their Aramaic heritage, and, in some cases, by their belief in the special sanctity of the Aramaic Bible, as taught by the Assyrian Church of the East.
Most of these folks are fiercely anti-Catholic. They accuse the Roman Catholic Church of suppressing Aramaic and of mistranslating the Bible.
My interest in this topic is probably more historical than theological.
That said, if these Syriac Orthodox folks can really prove they are descended from cousins or other relatives of Jesus, it increases the likelihood that they may have valid oral traditions which could shed light on theological questions.
I am not saying that I would consider converting to their church, in such a case. As a confirmed Catholic, I would not. However, these people could very well possess traditional knowledge which might enrich my understanding of Scripture.
Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. These people sound like there’s some relevance to the physical bloodline of Christ, I don’t believe for a second there is.
So, I guess my comment is - “What’s the point?”
>>If God wanted us to ponder genealogy beyond the birth of our Savior, He would have provided additional information.....<<
Well said, thank you.
It’s along the same lines as those who salivate over the news to find connections to the Jenkins/LaHaye version of eschatology. There’s a certain mystical nature to it that appeals to our fleshly need to figure out a good mystery. It appeals to sinful desires, and ultimately profits nothing.