Craig Evans on the Problem of the Genealogies

One of the hardest things to reconcile in the New Testament is the differences between the genealogies in Matthew and Luke.  While I have no easy answers, I appreciate the words of Craig Evans from his NIBC commentary on Luke:

“I would suggest that although we cannot completely explain (or harmonize) the Matthean and Lucan lists, at least not with the available sources, we should assume that both Matthew and Luke (or the tradition before them) made use of real records and registries.  (For Matthew, of course, the OT provided most of the names.)  Invented genealogies would serve no useful purpose and, being open to critical scrutiny of contemporaries, could have become a cause for embarrassment.  Had Jesus’ genealogical records been unavailable, then in all probability Matthew and Luke would have been content without them (as were Mark and John).” (pp. 57-58)

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