Whose genealogy?

In “Jesus’ questionable ancestors point to a messy incarnation” (Dec. 25), Melanie A. Howard rightly points out major questions about some of the people included in the Matthew 1 genealogy, which we are told is a genealogy of Jesus. However, elsewhere in Matthew 1 we are told that Jesus was conceived “from the Holy Spirit.” So, if Joseph did not impregnate Mary, then Matthew 1 is not a genealogy of Jesus but only of Joseph. Matthew, of course, couldn’t have known that genealogy works by DNA passing from generation to generation. Clearly, only one of these accounts can be true. The church and the culture were so hung up on the idea that sexual intercourse is “dirty,” and shameful if unmarried people are involved, that they didn’t want to admit the obvious.

Abner Schlabach, South Royalton, Vt.

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