The Two Genealogies
of Jesus in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke
Steiner's explanation of the two Gospel genealogies of Jesus
may seem at first sight not only difficult but even startling to some
readers of this booklet This will not arise from any lack of
intelligence on their part, but solely from the nature of the subject
which, however, will act as a transforming force and will illuminate
the mind and soul of the reader who is willing to entertain these
thoughts without prejudice.
should be realized that the early Christian theologians discussed
this problem of the two different genealogies of Jesus and attempted
many explanations none of which are acceptable. Even the great St.
Thomas Aquinas of the thirteenth century offered an explanation which
was not tenable.
were traditions prevalent especially among the painters of the
Renaissance concerning this problem. This can be seen in the
paintings of Raphael — especially in the totally different
character of the Jesus child in his painting known as the “Madonna
della Casa Alba” (Hermitage, Leningrad) from that of the child
in his painting known as the “Madonna del Cardellino”
(Uffizi, Florence). The characteristics of these two children are so
strikingly different that one finds it difficult to believe that they
were intended to be representations of the same person. The first
seems clearly that of the Solomon Jesus child, and the second that of
the Nathan Jesus child. In his painting “Madonna del Duca di
Terra Nuova” (Berlin) both Jesus children are represented. This
is not offered as a proof, but as a possible explanation of something
that has so far eluded many earnest seekers.
can be called supporting evidence (not proof) of a still more
striking character can be seen in the mural by Borgognone in the
Church of S. Ambrogio at Milan, depicting the scene of Jesus in the
Synagogue before the Elders. If one studies these beautiful paintings
with reverence in connection with the Gospels, their truth and
significance can illuminate the spirit of the contemplator. Such a
subject will forever elude any attempt to discover physical
man has little use for genealogies, and rightly so. They no longer
carry the weight they bore in ancient times when the blood
relationship held great significance in determining the position of
the individual in human society. Today the human being has importance
as an ego. Hence the modern indifference to these two different
Gospel genealogies of what Rudolf Steiner calls the two Jesus
children. But the ancients viewed the descent through generations as
of great importance. They also held certain numbers in high esteem;
for instance, the number 7 and its combinations 14, 42, 56, 77. When
they occurred in life and events, attention was paid to their
presence. If one contemplates these two genealogies, it will be seen
that the number 7 and its combinations play an important role.
brief note cannot do more, however, than draw attention to these
facts. The reader can investigate the matter himself. He will
discover much of interest. The two genealogies are given below.
Henry B. Monges.