This article is a response directed towards Shahid Bin Waheed’s (SBW) misinformation and slander against the Apostle Paul in the article Paul LIED: Jesus is NOT the Seed of David!
Normally, we would ignore such poor and incoherent attacks since we do not want to give the individuals who produce such material credibility in the eyes of the readers. Yet, since SBW’s specific attacks focused on Christ’s genealogy we decided to expose his gross errors in order to provide clarification on this issue for our readers.
Let me expose another Christian Trojan Horse, the so-called claim of Jesus being the son of David or seed of David, well, he is not:
In Matthew 1:20 and Luke 1:35 we learn that Mary was made pregnant with Jesus not by Joseph, who was of the Davidic line, but by the Holy Ghost.
1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Let us read what the author conveniently omitted:
“A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ THE SON OF DAVID, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ. This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph SON OF DAVID, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’” Matthew 1:1-20
“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of HIS FATHER DAVID, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:28-35
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli… the son of Mele-a, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David… the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,” Luke 3:23, 31, 33 RSV
The words, “as was supposed,” suggest that it is Mary’s genealogy which is being presented, with Joseph acting as the male representative. This is supported by extrabiblical documents such as the Jewish tractate of the Talmud, Chagigah, where a certain person had a dream in which he saw the punishment of the damned. There, “He saw Mary the daughter of Heli amongst the shades.” (John B. Lightfoot, Commentary On the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica [Oxford University Press, 1859; with a second printing from Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1995], vol. 1, p. v; vol. 3, p. 55)
Neither Matthew nor Luke apparently had a problem with calling Jesus a Son of David while still affirming his virginal conception and birth. Unlike SBW, they were aware that Christ truly became a full human being, and truly was Mary’s virgin born son, which meant that he truly had a human ancestry from his mother’s side which linked him to King David and to the Patriarchs:
“who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 9:4-5 NET Bible
It is because of this that Apostolic Father Ignatius of Antioch, writing approximately AD. 110, could say:
“For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Ghost …
… For the Son of God, who was begotten before time began, and established all things according to the will of the Father, He was conceived in the womb of Mary, according to the appointment of God, of the seed of David, and by the Holy Ghost … (Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians Chapter XVIII. – The Glory of the Cross; http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-16.htm#P1093_206499)
The author continues:
But the Saul AKA Paul of Taurus said in Romans 1:3 the following:
1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
And in Revelation 22:16, Paul said:
22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Let me correct SBW’s gross error regarding the authorship of Revelation. Paul didn’t write it, THE APOSTLE JOHN DID:
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel TO HIS SERVANT JOHN, who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. JOHN, to the seven churches in the province of Asia:” Revelation 1:1-4
“I, JOHN, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.’” Revelation 1:9-11
“I, JOHN, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.” Revelation 22:8
Hence, Revelation provides independent attestation that the first Christians clearly believed that Jesus was a descendant of David. Note for instance what John also wrote here:
“Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe OF JUDAH, THE ROOT OF DAVID, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’” Revelation 5:5
John isn’t the only one to claim that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah:
“For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.” Hebrews 7:14
It is the consistent testimony of the Scriptures, starting from the earliest Gospel tradition, that Jesus is a son of David:
“Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” Mark 10:46-48
“David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place ONE OF HIS DESCENDANTS on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.” Acts 2:25-31
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel …” 2 Timothy 2:8
SBW erroneously claims:
This creates a serious dilemma for Christians, since according to their own New Testament, Jesus is NOT of the seed of David, through Joseph; who by the way was not Jesus’ biological father, and was of line of David. Whereas the “Holy Ghost” is a spirit without blood and flesh. Readers must know that Mary was a Levite and not from the house of David. In fact Mary was from the house of Aaron, thus, “according to the flesh” could not have been referring to Mary’s flesh because she was not from David’s line. We read in Luke 1:5 (Readers are advised to read the complete chapter)!
1:5 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
The above facts from the Bible, undeniably proves that Paul LIED, Jesus is NOT the Seed of David.
First, SBW erroneously thinks that Jesus can only be a descendant of David through Joseph, but fails to tell us why he can’t be one through his mother Mary.
Second, NOWHERE DOES THE NT TEACH THAT MARY WAS A LEVITE. The passage cited by SBW is referring to Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, NOT MARY!
SBW seems to have erroneously concluded that since Elizabeth is said to be Mary’s relative, the latter therefore must have also been a Levite:
“Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age …” Luke 1:36
All this passage proves is that Elizabeth had Judean blood in her, since Levites were allowed to marry women from any of the twelve tribes:
“The woman he (the Levitical Priests) marries must be a virgin. He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people.” Leviticus 21:13-14
Ezekiel, in his vision of a restored priesthood and temple, further clarifies this point:
“They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, or a widow who is the widow of a priest.” Ezekiel 44:22 ESV
The Holy Bible even provides an example of a priest who had married a woman from Judea, who was actually a descendant of king David:
“Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death.” 2 Chronicles 22:10-11
The foregoing demonstrates the plausibility of Elizabeth’s mother being from the line of David, from the tribe of Judah, accounting for her being related to Mary.
Third, the noncanonical Apocryphal writings provide further attestation that Christians considered Mary to be of Davidic stock, not of Levitical descent.
From the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, Chapter 1:
The blessed and glorious ever-virgin Mary, sprung from the royal stock and family of David … (http://wesley.nnu.edu/noncanon/gospels/natmary.htm)
From the Protevangelium of James, X.1:
“Now there was a council of the priests, and they said: Let us make a veil for the temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Call unto me pure virgins of the tribe of David. And the officers departed and sought and found seven virgins. And the priests called to mind the child Mary, that she was of the tribe of David and was undefiled before God:” (http://wesley.nnu.edu/noncanon/gospels/gosjames.htm)
Fourth, EVEN MUSLIM SCHOLARS ADMIT THAT MARY WAS FROM THE HOUSE OF DAVID! For instance, noted Muslim historian Al-Tabari goes so far as to “borrow” Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus and links Mary to David!
The Persians assert that sixty-five years after Alexander seized Babylonia, and fifty-one years after Arsacid rule began, Mary the daughter of ‘Imran gave birth to Jesus. But the Christians assert that Jesus was born to her 303 years after Alexander conquered Babylonia, and that John the Baptist was born six months before Jesus. They report that Mary was pregnant with Jesus when she was thirteen years old. They also report that Jesus lived thirty-two years and a few days before his ascension, and that Mary lived six more years after his ascension, altogether over fifty years. They assert that John and Jesus met in the Jordan River when Jesus was thirty years of age, and that John was slain before the ascension of Jesus. Zechariah b. Berechiah, the father of Yahya b. Zechariah, and ‘Imran b. Matthan, the father of Mary, were married to two sisters. One was married to Zechariah- she was the mother of John, the other was with ‘Imran b. Matthan, and she was the mother of Mary. ‘Imran b. Matthan died when the mother of Mary was pregnant with her. When Mary was born, Zechariah provided for her after her mother’s death, because her aunt, the sister of her mother, was with him. The name of Mary’s mother was Hanna bt. Faqud b. Qabil; the name of the sister of Mary’s mother, that is, the name of John’s mother was Elizabeth bt. Faqud. Zechariah provided for Mary, and she was engaged to Joseph b. Jacob b. Mathan b. Eleazar b. Eliud b. Achim b. Zadok b. Azor b. Eliakim b. Abiud b. Zerubbabel, b. Shealtiel b. Jechonia b. Josiah b. Amon b. Manasseh b. Hezekiah b. Ahaziah b. Jotham b. Uzziah b. Joram b. Jehosaphat b. Asa b. Abijah b. REHOBOAM b. SOLOMON b. DAVID.
According to Ibn Humayd- Salamah- Ibn Ishaq: As far as I could learn from her lineage, Mary was the daughter of ‘Imran b. Josiah b. Amon b. Manasse b. Hezekiah b. Ahaziah b. Jotham b. Azariah b. Amaziah b. Joash b. Ahaziah b. Joram b. Jehosaphat b. Asa b. Abijah b.REHOBOAM b. SOLOMON. (The History of al-Tabari Volume IV – The Ancient Kingdom, Moshe Perlman trans. [The State University of New York Press; Albany, 1987], pp. 103-104; bold emphasis ours)
Hence, al-Tabari clearly states that both Joseph AND MARY were descendants of King David. The other classical Muslim scholars shared al-Tabari’s view regarding Mary’s ancestry:
The Qur’an informs us that the father of Mary was named ‘Imran and the classical Muslim scholars UNANIMOUSLY ACCEPT that she was from the line of the prophet David … Differences of opinion emerge, however, over the intervening genealogy, most probably due to a lack of familiarity with such foreign names and consequent error in recording them in the Arabic orthography. According to the Spanish exegete al-Qurtubi, ‘All these differences are mentioned because the Prophets and Messengers are all descendants one of the other.’ The following genealogy (taking into account orthographic variations), which is attributed to Ibn Ishaq or directly to the Prophet’s … companion Ibn ‘Abbas, is the most generally accepted: Mary bint ‘Imran ibn Yashim ibn Misha ibn Hazqiya ibn Yawish (ibn Isha ibn Yahushafat) IBN SULAYMAN IBN DAWUD… Although the name of her mother is not supplied in the Qur’an, it is universally accepted as Hanna bint Faqudh. (Source: Aliah Schleifer, Mary The Blessed Virgin of Islam, Fons Vitae; ISBN: 1887752021; July 1, 1998, pp. 22-23)
One such scholar was Ibn Kathir who wrote in reference to Sura 19:16 that:
<And mention in the Book, Maryam,> She was Maryam bint `Imran from the family lineage of Dawud. She was from a good and wholesome family of the Children of Israel. Allah mentioned the story of her mother’s pregnancy with her in Surah Al `Imran, and that she (Maryam’s mother) dedicated her freely for the service of Allah. This meant that she dedicated the child (Maryam) to the service of the Masjid of the Sacred House (in Jerusalem). Thus, they (Zakariyya, Maryam’s mother and Maryam) were similar in that aspect. (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
It is quite clear that Paul wasn’t lying, but was faithfully and accurately reporting Jesus’ lineage, a lineage which he inherited from his biological mother Mary.
For the real Islamic position regarding the Apostle Paul please read the following articles: