Who were Mary and Joseph's parents?


Actually, the Bible doesn't tell us anything about Mary's parents. Some believe that the genealogy in Luke 3 is actually Mary's genealogy, but there is no indication of this in the text. Rather, even though they are clearly different, the genealogies in both Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 are traced through Joseph.

Thus, while we know nothing of Mary's lineage, we know that Joseph was descended from David. In Luke, Joseph is the 40th generation after David. In Matthew, Joseph is the 27th or so generation from David. It is certainly not impossible that neither genealogy skips any generations, and that both are legitimate even though they are different. For example, the complications that arise in tracing genealogies in the event of a levirate marriage could account for two different men being listed as Joseph's father. David lived about 1,000 years before Joseph, so in Luke's genealogy the generations would have been about 25 years apart, and in Matthew's they would have been about 37 years apart. Both are within the normal ranges. Still, it is true that ancient genealogies sometimes left gaps, skipping generations.

As a result of these complexities, regardless of how we reconcile these accounts, the fact remains that we do not know specifically who Joseph's father was. We also find no reference to his mother.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.