The main difference between Matthew and Luke Genealogy is that Matthew genealogy goes from Jesus to Abraham while Luke genealogy goes from Jesus to Adam.
In Scripture, Jesus’ genealogy is described in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38. Matthew genealogy starts with Abraham, but Luke genealogy begins with Adam. Although the names are identical between Abraham and David, they differ radically after them. In addition, in Matthew, there are twenty-seven generations from David to Joseph, but in Luke, there are forty-two generations; however, there is little overlap between the names in them.
Key Areas Covered
Matthew Genealogy, Luke Genealogy
What is Matthew Genealogy
Matthew genealogy opens with the following words: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt 1:1). It is clear from this opening that Matthew wants to root Jesus firmly in the story of Israel, with a focus on Abraham and David: Abraham who is considered the father of the nation, through whom God promised to bless the gentiles and David, who is Israel’s second king, and whose lineage ruled Judah until the Babylonian exile. The comment at the end of the genealogy clearly mentions this exile. “Thus all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations” (Matt 1:17).
Matthew divides the history of Israel into three main periods: pre-monarchial period up to David (verses 2-6a), the Davidic monarchy after David (verses 6b-11), and the time from the exile to the Messiah (verses 11-16). The names or figures in the first two periods mainly recall aspects of Israel’s history. Moreover, Matthew genealogy presents Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, who was expected to be a descendant of King David.
What is Luke Genealogy
The Luke genealogy traces the genealogy from Jesus to Adam. In the Gospel of Luke, the lineage starts at the beginning of the public life of Jesus and is in ascending order from Joseph to Adam. Luke 3:23–38 mentions, “Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli, …” (3:23) and continues on until “Adam, which was [the son] of God.” (3:38)
As evident from this description, Luke genealogy is different from Matthew genealogy. Moreover, there are many explanations for this difference. Some scholars believe that Luke genealogy is a recording of Mary’s lineage while Matthew is a recording of Joseph’s lineage. According to this theory, Luke genealogy follows the line of Mary, through David’s son Nathan, and Joseph is called the “son of Heli” because of his marriage to Mary, who is Heli’s daughter.
Difference Between Matthew and Luke Genealogy
Matthew genealogy refers to the genealogy of Jesus traced from Joseph to Abraham whereas Luke genealogy refers to the genealogy of Jesus traced through from Joseph to Adam.
Beginning and End
Matthew traces the genealogy from Jesus to Abraham, while Luke traces the genealogy from Jesus to Adam.
Number of Generations
In Matthew, there are twenty-seven generations from David to Joseph, but in Luke, there are forty-two generations.
Matthew mentions Joseph’s father as Jacob, whereas Luke mentions Joseph’s father as Heli.
Matthew traces the lineage through David’s son Solomon, but Luke traces the lineage through David’s son Nathan.
Some scholars believe that Luke genealogy is a recording of Mary’s lineage while Matthew is a recording of Joseph’s lineage.
Matthew traces the genealogy from Jesus to Abraham, while Luke traces the genealogy from Jesus to Adam. In Matthew genealogy, there are twenty-seven generations from David to Joseph, but in Luke, there are forty-two generations. Thus, this is the main difference between Matthew and Luke Genealogy
1. “JesseTree” By Anonymous – from  Original uploader was SimonP. Originally from en.wikipedia (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Full Genealogy of Jesus with Comparisons” By Melissa Schworer – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia