Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 98Again, when the idea that one of the genealogies is Mary's is spoken of:
"One thing is certain, that our belief in Mary's descent from David is grounded on inference and tradition and not on any direct statement of the sacred writings. And there has been a ceaseless endeavor, both among ancients and moderns, to gratify the natural cravings for knowledge on this subject."
Thomas Scott, speaking of the genealogies, says:
"It is a favorite saying with those who seek to defend the history of the Pentateuch against the scrutiny of modern criticism, that the objections urged against it were known long ago. The objections to the genealogy were known long ago, indeed; and perhaps nothing shows more conclusively than this knowledge, the disgraceful dishonesty and willful deception of the most illustrious of Christian doctors."[161:2]
Referring to the two genealogies, Albert Barnes says:
"No two passages of Scripture have caused more difficulty than these, and various attempts have been made to explain them. . . . Most interpreters have supposed that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, and Luke that of Mary. But though this solution is plausible and may be true, yet it wants evidence."
Barnes furthermore admits the fallibility of the Bible in his remarks upon the genealogies; 1st, by comparing them to our fallible family records; and 2d, by the remark that "the only inquiry which can now be fairly made is whether they copied these tables correctly."
Alford, Ellicott, Hervey, Meyer, Mill, Patritius and Wordsworth hold that both genealogies are Joseph's; and Aubertin, Ebrard, Greswell, Kurtz, Lange, Lightfoot and others, hold that one is Joseph's, and the other Mary's.
When the genealogy contained in Matthew is compared with the Old Testament they are found to disagree; there are omissions which any writer with the least claim to historical sense would never have made.
When the genealogy of the third Gospel is turned to, the difficulties greatly increase, instead of diminish. It not only contradicts the statements made by the Matthew narrator, but it does not agree with the Old Testament.
What, according to the three first evangelists, did Jesus think of himself? In the first place he made no allusion to any miraculous circumstances connected with his birth. He looked upon himself as belonging to Nazareth, not as the child of Bethlehem;[162:1] he reproved the scribes for teaching that the Messiah must necessarily be a descendant of David,[162:2] and did not himself make any express claim to such descent.[162:3]
As we cannot go into an extended inquiry concerning the genealogies, and as there is no real necessity for so doing, as many others have already done so in a masterly manner,[162:4] we will continue our investigations in another direction, and show that Jesus was not the only Messiah who was claimed to be of royal descent.
To commence with Crishna, the Hindoo Saviour, he was of royal descent, although born in a state the most abject and humiliating.[163:1] Thomas Maurice says of him:
"Crishna, in the male line, was of royal descent, being of the Yadava line, the oldest and noblest of India; and nephew, by his mother's side, to the reigning sovereign; but, though royally descended, he was actually born in a state the most abject and humiliating; and, though not in a stable, yet in a dungeon."[163:2]
Buddha was of royal descent, having descended from the house of Sakya, the most illustrious of the caste of Brahmans, which reigned in India over the powerful empire of Mogadha, in the Southern Bahr.[163:3]
R. Spence Hardy says, in his "Manual of Buddhism:"
"The ancestry of Gotama Buddha is traced from his father, Sodhódana, through various individuals and races, all of royal dignity, to Maha Sammata, the first monarch of the world. Several of the names, and some of the events, are met with in the Puranas of the Brahmins, but it is not possible to reconcile one order of statement with the other; and it would appear that the Buddhist historians have introduced races, and invented names, that they may invest their venerated sage with all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of divinity."
How remarkably these words compare with what we have just seen concerning the genealogies of Jesus!
Rama, another Indian avatar—the seventh incarnation of Vishnu—was also of royal descent.[163:4]
Fo-hi; or Fuh-he, the virgin-born "Son of Heaven," was of royal descent. He belonged to the oldest family of monarchs who ruled in China.[163:5]
Confucius was of royal descent. His pedigree is traced back in a summary manner to the monarch Hoang-ty, who is said to have lived and ruled more than two thousand years before the time of Christ Jesus.[163:6]