One can gather the importance of genealogy to religion and history by learning of the genealogy of Jesus as recorded in the book of Matthew in the Bible. While we know Jesus was one of the Trinity, he also described himself as the "Son of Man" and said that he was in all things like man.
Prophecies in the Old Testament long predicted the birth of Jesus and events in the New Testament fulfill these prophecies exactly as they were fore-told.
The Bible goes all the way from Abraham to Joseph in listing the forebear of Jesus, this Joseph being the earthly father of Jesus, but as we have been taught in Sunday School, Jesus was actually conceived by the "Holy Ghost."
I am aware now that I am speaking only of what has been revealed to Protestants. For years I sang in the Reformed Ochs Temple in Chattanooga
and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed being in those services on Friday nights.
There was a beautiful sense of sacredness i the Temple and the music was thrilling. I learned so much about Judaism and have a very high regard for this faith. I had a wonderful rapport with the two Rabbis under whom I served. They were both learned men who taught me a lot. They were Rabbi Abraham Feinstein first, and on his retirement, Rabbi Lloyd Goldman. It would behoove all
of us to remember that Jesus was Jewish and worshiped in a Temple.
The Bible, in Matthew, quotes Jesus' genealogy thusly: Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, Jacob begat Judas, Judas begat Phares, who begat Esrom, who begat Arom, who begat Aminadab, who begat Naasson, who begat Almon who begat Boaz of Rachab, and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, who begat David, the King, and David begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias. Solomon begat Roboam who begat Abia, and Abia begat Asa who begat Josaphat, and Josaphat begat Joram who begat Ozias and Ozias begat Joatham, and he begat Achaz who begat Ezekias who begat Manasses who begat Amon, who begat Josias, who begat Jechonias, and they were carried away to Babylon.
At Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel who begat Abiud who begat Eliakim who begat Azor who begat Sadoc who begat Chim who begat Eliud who begat Eleazar who begat Matthan who begat Jacob and Jacob begat Joseph, husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Jews have always been good at keeping records and oftentimes refer to "the book" and names written in the "Book of Life." The Bible says the number of generations from Abraham to David are 14 and from David until Babylon were 14. But, in genealogy, one never tires of trying to fill in gaps. It is the search that is exhilarating and one never stops looking. The Bible, at least my edition, explains that the names in Jesus' genealogy were interpreted by an angel. I guess we need an angel to help us locate some of the lost information that might fill in more of our histories.
Since we know the genealogy of Jesus' earthly father, Joseph, another questions arises as to the parents and background of His mother, Mary. Many scholars think she was a daughter of the Heli mentioned in Luke 3:23. Jews reckoned their geneaolgy only by the male of the family and a son-in-law was put down as a son. This accounts for Joseph being recorded as a son of Jacob and by another writer as the son of Heli. Apart from this tiny bit of information nothing further can be determined as definite about Mary's heritage.
Also, nothing can be learned about the death of either or their burial place.Some writers believe that Mary was with the Apostle Peter in Ephesus many years later than the crucifixion.
Joseph, according to Christian tradition, was well over 80 when he married Mary, but this isot necessarily accepted by genealogists as they base their presentations on provable facts. A book ranking the greatest people of all time does not list Jesus as first. He is listed third, and the reason is that he was only important in religion but that Mohammed was important in religion and the political and secular levels. So Mohammed was listed first and Isaac Newton was listed second as the greatest scientist of all time. Newton and Mohammed are said to have influenced more people than Jesus. I can't believe either of these men was greater than Jesus, but the author claimed he was not recording greatness but the influence on the most people.
You can also find the genealogy of Joseph all the way back to Adam in Luke 23:23-28. Interestingly, the last verse says that Enos was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the Son of God. The two genealogies differ in that one is said to be ascending and the other descending. These genealogies are over 4,000 years old and are supposed to cover 42 generations, three groups of 14 each, according to one Bible historian. Genealogies are recorded in the Old Testament to prepare the way for the New Testament.
No scripture in the Bible is more literary of more beautiful than Luke's description of the birth of Jesus. Such lovely words as "stars," "angels," "gloria," and " multitude of the heavenly host" give us a vivid depiction on that wondrous night. Later we learn what Jesus was all about - "loving our neighbors as ourselves, loving God with our hearts, minds, and souls,and kindness, justice, and mercy. I am reminded of the words to the beautiful song, "Jesus, our Brother, kind and good, was humbly born in a stable rude, and the friendly beasts around Him stood, Jesus, our Brother, kind and good."
All of the material in this article was found in my own Bible Encyclopedia, an authorized version of the King James Bible, "Light of the World Edition." 1955.