Why do the chronologies of Matthew and Luke differ?

Questions & Answers September 9, 2016

Q: Could you please shed some light on the differences between the chronologies of Matthew and Luke? — Sigrid, from Canada

A: Sigrid, I assume that you are asking about the differences in the genealogies in these two gospels.

Dr. Clinton Wahlen, associate director at the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) and New Testament scholar, says: “The difference between the two genealogies can be accounted for if Matthew gives Jesus’ lineage through Joseph while Luke gives Jesus’ lineage through Mary, which is hinted at by the mention of Jesus being ‘as was supposed the son of Joseph’ (also the birth narratives of Matt 1-2 and Luke 1-2 respectively focusing on Joseph and Mary seem to support this). A more detailed discussion of this question can be found in the ‘Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,’ vol. 5, p. 721.”

I hope you find this answer helpful.