Where are Jesus’ descendants?

A conversation about genealogies got me thinking.  If I am correct, historically speaking, the Jewish people kept track of their families’ blood lines back to the biblical tribes of Israel.  There ought to be a line, or lines, of Jewish families who could trace their roots back to Jesus’ immediate family.

After his death and resurrection, Jews converted by the thousands and abandoned the strict Judaism of their history in order to follow the promised Messiah.  Jewish converts to Christianity, though often ostracized by unconverted friends and family, still held onto their cultural Jewish identity.  They still knew their family bloodline.

I’m not suggesting Jesus had children; but Mary and Joseph had children other than Jesus.  As per the custom of the era and region, Jesus’ siblings likely had children of their own: Jesus’ nieces and nephews.  From Jesus’ parents, aunts and uncles — in the matter of one to two generations — would have birthed dozens of direct relatives, all of whom would have benefited from riding the coat-tails of the Savior of the world.

My point is, shouldn’t we have Jewish families at least making the claim to be descendants of Jesus’ family?  Where are the families asserting divine lineage?

Given the impact that Jesus had on the region, and subsequently the world, there should at least be claims (even false claims) throughout history from people to be of Jesus’ blood line.  Add to that, the Jews willingness and ability to keep accurate genealogical records, especially in the first century, we should expect to see relatives of Jesus.  Where are they?

Comments

  1. I’m kind of surprised this got no attention today.

  2. John,

    I’ve told you before and perhaps you remember, but I research genealogies all the time for a hobby. I haven’t updated my blog in awhile, but I still love researching family history. I’ve traced my own back to the 1400s and my wife’s all the way back to Charlemagne. Yes, Charlemagne is a great, great x14 or so grandfather to my wife. Indeed, I’ve bedded French royalty.

    Anyway, at a certain point, it’s near impossible to march it back. Records weren’t kept like they are today. When I got to the 1400s with my own family, I hit a wall of nothingness. No records, nothing. So, to your question, who knows? Could be anyone. Could be you.

    • But the Jewish culture of the day was quite concerned with their family’s ancestry. I find it difficult to swallow that any Jewish converts who could lay claim to Jesus’ familiage wouldn’t have done so. Being the Savior of the world is a bit more prestigious than being the mayor of buckshot township’s great-great-great third cousin three times removed.

  3. paynehollow says:

    Interesting question. I don’t know the answer, but an interesting question.

    Would our atheist friends point to this as evidence of Jesus’ non-existence?

    ~Dan

  4. Didn’t get a chance to sit down long enough to answer until now, but you have a point. Considering how important it was to Jewish culture, you’d think there’d be something.

    My question would be, do modern Jews still trace their ancestry with the same dedication? It could be that it simply stopped being important.

    The other possibility is that Jesus’ siblings didn’t have children, or the line died out.

    • Kunoichi

      It could be that modern Jewish families as a whole don’t trace their families. But like I mentioned to T, this isn’t the mayor of some Podunk town, it’s Jesus, the man were calling God.

      It could also be that all the lines died out, but I don’t think so. It was normal to have 4-7 kids. For all Jesus’ siblings to have had no children is a stretch. More so a stretch to say none of Joseph or Mary’s siblings didn’t either. There is a line somewhere.

      But even on top of that, there should at least be people making the claim, even if false, shouldn’t there?

  5. I would have to say Kunoichi answers the question. Are modern Jews as dedicated as their ancestors?

    Also, nobody may have laid claim because they simply don’t know it. Like I said, concerned or not, records just weren’t kept then like they are now. Depending on the circumstances, after a few generations all knowledge regarding one’s ancestry could have been lost, for whatever reason.

  6. Great post. I’m curious about this too. I’m surprised there haven’t even been any false claims (that I know of).

  7. I´ll let you in on a little secret…
    it´s me, I´m his great great great great great grandson.

  8. First, your question is in error, because Jesus was not married and had not children, so there can not be descendants of Jesus.

    Now, from reading your article, you question is really “where are the descendants of Jesus’ siblings?”

    From my understanding of old Jewish genealogy, they traced themselves back to the 12 tribes of Israel as what was important. Also, much of that sort of record-keeping was probably lost/destroyed when Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D.70.

    I do find genealogy interesting, but I’ve learned that those with normal lineages have a difficult time researching if there is little family records. What is somewhat easier to find is when there was wealth or other connections of importance. For example, on my father’s side, we’ve traced back to the 1400s in England because when Henry VIII decided to toss out the Catholic Church in the 1500s, my 12th-Great-grandfather Richard participated in helping oust the Catholic hierarchy and so was knighted and acquired a coat of arms, and acquired some of the Catholic riches to boot! So when his descendants came to America in 1639 (three brothers; one died without issue, while the other two account for virtually all U.S. Chatfields) they were wealthy men and became founding fathers of cities, held whaling operations, and many municipal offices including justices of the peace, etc. My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather changed political sides during the Revolution so as not to lose his wealth to the Brits, and he was too old to fight battles, while his sons all fought in the Revolution, including my great-great-great-great-grandfather Lewis, who started in the Continental Army for a bit over a year, then went to the Navy for five months before going back to the Army. Because of that he got land in Ohio. As the family grew they own property in Michigan, ran sawmills, etc. Then my great-great-grandfather operated all the sawmills, had a woodworking shop as well as a huge farm. He joined the Army for the Civil War and left service as a Captain, commanding Company F, 113th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. My granddad left the family farm and businesses and moved to the city and by the time my Dad came around the family money had gone to another line! That is the most interesting line in my ancestors.

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