Who are the parents of Mary, the mother of Jesus?


Clarify Share Report Asked December 12 2015 Mini David Mann

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Speaking from the standpoint of information specifically found in the Bible, the only indication of which I am aware as to who either of Mary's parents might have been is from the genealogy of Jesus contained in Luke 3:23-38, in which Luke indicates (Luke 3:23) that Joseph (Mary's husband) was "the son of Heli".

Note that this verse does not say that Heli begat Joseph, whereas the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew 1:1-17 (which traces Jesus' ancestry through the royal line of kings of Israel or Judah who were descended from David through Solomon) specifically says (Matthew 1:16) that "Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary."

From this, and since Mary (as Jesus' mother) would also have had to be descended from King David, according to the promises that God had made about the Messiah coming from David's line (Isaiah 9:7 and Jeremiah 33:14-15), the usual interpretation assigned to Luke 3:23 is that Heli was, in fact, Mary's father, and that Joseph was thus Heli's son-in-law, rather than his son by birth. The genealogy in Luke is thus held to be Mary's ancestry, which indicates that she was descended from David through his son Nathan (as noted in Luke 3:31), rather than Solomon. 

If this is the case, it would also resolve the difficulty created by the judgment of God against Jehoiachin (also known as Jeconiah or Coniah), one of Joseph's kingly ancestors, as noted in Matthew 1:11. In Jeremiah 22:30, we find the following judgment pronounced against Jehoiachin by God (at the time that the people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were carried away to exile in Babylon): "This is what the Lord says: “Record this man as childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David, or rule anymore in Judah.” 

This judgment would have meant that the Messiah's descent from David through Solomon was no longer valid. It would therefore have been necessary for the Messiah to have been descended from David through one of his other sons. Since (as indicated previously) Mary would also have had to be descended from David, then interpreting the genealogy found in Luke to be Mary's ancestry thus serves both purposes. (However, neither the genealogy in Luke, nor any other reference in the Bible, gives any indication of the name of Mary's mother.)

Roman Catholicism assigns the names Anne and Joachim to the mother and father, respectively, of Mary, but even a source such as the website Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org) says, "We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition.

"We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings)."

December 13 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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