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Jesus of Nazareth - Speculative Genealogy

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  • Saint Elizabeth (deceased)
    Elizabeth was not married to Zechariah the Prophet who lived hundreds of years before her. She was married to another Zechariah.The Gospel of Luke describes Elizabeth as a "kinswoman" of St. Mary (Luke...
  • Jesus (c.-4 - c.33)
    Parents, marriage and other relations: Jesus . Genealogy of Jesus . More resources at the bottom. For speculative genealogies of Jesus, please see the projects: Jesus of Nazareth- Speculative ...
  • Saint Joachim (c.-41 - c.-10)
    Joachim and Anna, the parents of St. Mary, are not named in canonical writings. All information about them comes from apocryphal literature, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary and the Gospel of James ....

This project is to collect together the profiles speculated to be part of the genealogy of Jesus, which lack the minimum source proof typically required by genealogists, or which contradict the traditional versions of his family line:

Please do not create relationship links to Jesus's profile on the world tree.

  • Contents:

A. Competing ideas about Jesus' father

B. Competing ideas about Jesus' wife

C.Competing ideas about Jesus' grandmother

A. Competing ideas about Jesus' Father:

Throughout history different groups have had different traditions and theories about the father of Jesus. Some of those include the following:

  1. Jesus was the son of Mary and her husband Joseph. It was also the view of the early Jewish-Christian Ebionites and Nazareans, according to Epiphanius (4th century). See also Gospel of Barnabas (probably 14th–16th centuries). and Gospel of Philip (4th century). This is also the modern secular view.
  2. Jesus was the son of God and the Virgin Mary. Although not physically descended in the male line from King David, Jesus was the Davidic heir to the throne as the adopted son of Joseph, and perhaps also as a descendant of King David through his mother. This has been traditional belief of Christians (Gospel of Matthew; Gospel of Luke).
  3. Jesus was the son of Mary, and her lover, or rapist, a soldier named Panthera. This was the belief circulated among Jews (Toledot Yeshu, probably 4th-6th centuries; cf. Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 104b, Sanhedrin 67a). In the Talmud there several spellings for the father's name (Pandera, Panthera, Pandira, Pantiri, and Pantera). This was also the view publicized by Celsus (2nd century), a Greek philosopher. For more information see below.
  4. Jesus was created in his mother's womb. So, he had no human parents but is called the son of Maryam because she bore him. This has been traditional belief of Muslims (Qur'an, Surah 3:38-48).
  5. Jesus was the heir to the Jewish kingdom as the son of Antipater and grandson of Herod the Great. This is a modern idea first suggested by Robert Graves in his novel, King Jesus (1946). He followed up the idea in Nazarene Gospel Restored (1954). Graves claimed to have discovered proof, but never presented it. The idea was taken up by Graham Phillips in The Marian Conspiracy (2000), reissued as The Virgin Mary Conspiracy (2005). Most recently, the idea was explored by Joseph Raymond in Herodian Messiah: Case For Jesus As Grandson of Herod (2010). For more information see below.
  6. Jesus was heir to the Jewish kingdom as heir of the Hasmoneans. This is another modern idea. It takes dozens of forms, but no central theory has emerged. For more information see below.


- Panthera: Father of Jesus?

Panthera or Pantera. He is said in some sources to have been the father of Jesus of Nazareth

Early Jewish sources make Jesus the son of Panthera, a Roman soldier. "Rabbi Shiemon ben Azzai has said: I found in Jerusalem a book of genealogies; therein was written that Such-an-one [a common Jewish euphemism for Jesus] is the bastard son of an adultress." (Mishnah). If true, this must have been before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, so preserves a very early tradition.

The story was also reported the Greek philosopher Celsus (c. 178): "[Celsus] accuses [Jesus] of having 'invented his birth from a virgin,' and upbraids him with being 'born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own county, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a god.'" (Origen Adamantius (c. 185-254), Contra Celsus, 1.28). "But let us return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that 'when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera' . . ." (Origen, 1.32; see also 1.69). Some Christian apologists note that Panthera could have been a satirical pun on the Greek word parthenos (virgin).

One of the heresies St. Epiphanius of Salamis (315-403) attempted to refute was the charge that "Jesus was the son of a certain Julius whose surname was Panthera."

A tombstone found in Bingerbrück, Germany in 1859 bears the name Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, a Roman soldier from Sidon who served in the Cohors I Sagittariorum. Craveri has suggested that this Panthera was Jesus' father (Craveri). The full inscription reads, "Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera from Sidon, aged 62 years served 40 years, former standard bearer (?) of the first cohort of archers lies here." (CIL 13:7514). Pantera, which is this man's given name, was a common Syrian name, meaning panther.

Later Jewish tradition is confused about the details: "But is it not (the case that) Ben Stada brought magic marks from Egypt in the scratches on his flesh?" They said to him, "He was a madman and you cannot base laws on (the actions of) madmen." Was he then the son of Stada? Surely he was the son of Pandira? Rabbai Hisda [a third-century Babylonian] said, "The husband was Stada, the paramour was Pandira." (But was not) the husband Pappos ben Yehuda? His mother was Stada. (But was not) his mother Miriam (Mary) the hairdresser? (Yes, but she was nicknamed Stada) -- Pumbeditha, "s'tat da [this one has turned away from, was unfaithful to] her husband." (Tosefta, Shabbat 11.15, quoted by Smith, 47). This passage shows confusion with another Jesus, Jesus ben Stada, a sorcerer who was condemned by a rabbinic court in Lydda, and stoned (Tosefta, Sanhedrin 10:11, cited by Smith, 47). Note that the passage calls Jesus' mother a hairdresser, an occupation assigned in Christian tradition to St. Mary Magdalene. The word means braider. Another translation often given is spinner.


View of Celsus

Celsus, a 2nd century Greek philosopher, wrote:

"[Jesus] came from a Jewish village and from a poor country woman who earned her living by spinning. He says that she was driven out by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, as she was convicted of adultery. Then he says that after she had been driven out by her husband and while she was wandering about in a disgraceful way she secretly gave birth to Jesus. He states that because he [Jesus] was poor he hired himself out as a workman in Egypt, and there tried his hand at certain magical powers on which the Egyptians pride themselves; he returned full of conceit, because of these powers, and on account of them gave himself the title of God . . . the mother of Jesus is described as having been turned out by the carpenter who was betrothed to her, as she had been convicted of adultery and had a child by a certain soldier named Panthera." (Origen, Contra Celsus Bk. 1, ch. 32, quoting Celsus)


-Antipater: Father of Jesus?

Historically, Antipater III was the eldest son of Herod the Great by his first wife Doris. Antipater was married twice. First, to his niece Mariamne III, daughter of Aristobulus IV (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVII, Chapter 1:2). Secondly, to an unnamed daughter of Antigonus II Mattathias, the last Hasmonean king (who also served as high priest). King Herod made a will naming Antipater as his heir, and this will was accepted by the Emperor Augustus. Jealous of his son, Herod then accused Antipater of conspiring to kill him. Antipater was imprisoned, tried by the Roman governor of Syria, and executed in 4 BCE. Herod changed his will but died five days later (Josephus). His territories were divided by his children, but the emperor had not approved the new will so none of them inherited the title of king.

In this theory, the unnamed second wife was also named Mariamne. She was pregnant when her husband Antipater was executed. To protect herself and her unborn child, Mariamne kept secret her pregnancy. She married a pious, old carpenter. The unborn child was Jesus. Herod attempted to find him but failed (Matthew 2:1-16). Later in life, Jesus was tried by Pilate for claiming to be King of the Jews (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33). This was the reason Pilate gave him a private audience. Jesus divulged this secret to Pontius Pilate. Pilate, recognizing that Jesus was the legal heir of Herod under the will approved by the emperor, was reluctant to order Jesus' execution, but ultimately had him crucified under the inscription IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDÆORVM (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews) (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke; Luke 23:38; John 19:19). This inscription is one argument given to support the theory. Throughout the New Testament, the title King of the Jews is used by Gentiles (referring to the Herodian kingdom), while the title King of Israel is used by Jewish leaders (referring to the Davidic kingdom).

-Jesus: Hasmonean Heir?

The idea that Jesus might have been heir to the Hasmonean dynasty of Jewish kings is a modern idea. There are several different versions, but the following is typical:

  1. Helios (Heli), executed 20/16 BCE; md Hannah (Anne), a Levite
    1. Mattathias (Mattat ben Levi), married (1) Elizabeth of Jerusalem aka Hasmonean princess Alexandra II, daughter of King Hyrcanus, as the first of her three husbands; married (2) Rachel of Arimathea; married (3) Salome "the Proselyte" of Jerusalem
      1. Alexander III Helios (Heli) (by 1st wife); married Hannah (Anne), who was one of the three daughters of Jesus II/III (Yehoshua), High Priest 36-23 BCE
        1. Miriam, a temple virgin
          1. Jesus
      2. Alexandra III (by 1st wife); married Ptolemy bar Mennius, a Babylonian Exilarch
      3. Joseph of Arimathea (by 2nd wife), died c58, a wealthy merchant who frequently traveled abroad on business-trips; married Alyuba
        1. Joseph[es], ancestor of the Grail-Kings
          1. Enygeus, married Bran, a British prince called “The Fisher-King”
      4. Gjor (by 3rd wife), executed 45/6
        1. Simon V bar Gjora, last king of the Jews 69-70


B. Competing ideas about Jesus' Wife:

C. Competing ideas about Jesus' Grandmother:

Anna / Hannah, mother of Mary

Joachim and Anna (or Hannah), said to have been the parents of St. Mary, are not named in canonical writings. All information about them comes from apocryphal literature, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary (part of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew) and the Protoevangelium of James.

The Protoevangelium of James and Gospel of the Nativity of Mary both say St. Anne and her husband Joachim, after years of childlessness, were visited by an angel who told them that they would conceive a child. Anne promised to dedicate the child to God's service. That child was St. Mary, the mother of Jesus.

"The Protoevangelium gives the following account: In Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Hannah. They were childless. When on a feast day Joachim presented himself to offer sacrifice in the temple, he was repulsed by a certain Ruben, under the pretext that men without offspring were unworthy to be admitted. Whereupon Joachim, bowed down with grief, did not return home, but went into the mountains to make his plaint to God in solitude. Also Hannah, having learned the reason of the prolonged absence of her husband, cried to the Lord to take away from her the curse of sterility, promising to dedicate her child to the service of God. Their prayers were heard; an angel came to Hannah and said: "Hannah, the Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world". The angel made the same promise to Joachim, who returned to his wife. Hannah gave birth to a daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary). Since this story is apparently a reproduction of the biblical account of the conception of Samuel, whose mother was also called Hannah, even the name of the mother of Mary seems to be doubtful." Catholic Encyclopedia.

The earliest surviving source for Anna's ancestry dates from the 3rd century. Clement of Alexandra (c. 150-c. 215) and Origen Adamantius (c. 185-254) identified the prophetess Anna, as the mother of St. Mary. Luke 2.36-8 says the prophetess Anna was daughter of Phanuel, a member of the tribe of Asher, and a widow of great age, about 88, at the time of Jesus' birth. According to St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-c. 236), Anna was the youngest daughter of High Priest Phanuel and his wife Mary.

In the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary (composed probably between 600 and 625), St. Anne is said to have been daughter of Achar, of the tribe of Judah and family of David. This version was included in The Golden Legend, compiled about 1260 by Jacobus de Voragine.

Nevertheless, the prevailing tradition in Western Europe was that St. Anne was the daughter of Stollanus and Emerentia. This version came from a sermon published at Paris In 1579 by Johann von Eck. He said Anne was born after Stollanus and Emerentia had been childless for 20 years. Emerentia, St. Anne, and St. Mary, the maternal ancestors of Jesus, formed a sort of female trinity in medieval iconogrphy.

The Orthodox tradition is different. The Greek Menaea (25 July) says the parents of St. Anne were Mathan and Maria, and relate that Salome and Elizabeth the mother of St. John the Baptist, were daughters of two sisters of St. Anne.

Some modern genealogists speculate the father of St. Anne as Jesus ben Fabus, High Priest (30-23 BCE), but without citing any source. See, for example, FabPedigree.

Anna's Marriages

Ancient belief, attested to by a sermon of St. John of Damascus (c. 676-749, was that Anne married once. However, according to a medieval tradition, Anne was also grandmother to five of the twelve apostles: John the Evangelist, James the Greater, James the Less, Simon and Jude. She is said to have married three times, first to Joachim, then to Cleopas, and finally to a man named Solomas, and that each marriage produced one daughter: Mary, mother of Jesus; Mary of Cleopas; and Mary Salomae, respectively. This legend, called the trinubium, has been traced to Haymo, Bishop of Halberstadt (d. 853) in his Historiae Sacrae Epitome.

Anna solet dici tres concepisse Marias,
Quas genuere viri Joachim, Cleophas, Salomeque.
Has duxere viri Joseph, Alpheus, Zebedeus.
Prima parit Christum, Jacobum secunda minorem,
Et Joseph justum peperit cum Simone Judam,
Tertia majorem Jacobum volucremque Johannem. Jacobus de Voragine, 2.131.
(Anna is usually said to have conceived three Marys,
Whom her husbands Joachim, Cleophas, and Salome begot.
These [Marys] the men Joseph, Alpheus, and Zebedee took in marriage.
The first bore Christ; the second bore James the Less,
Joseph the Just, with Simon [and] Jude;
The third, James the Greater and the winged John.)

However, the tradition is not reliable: "The renowned Father John of Eck of Ingolstadt, in a sermon on St. Anne (published at Paris in 1579), pretends to know even the names of the parents St. Anne. He calls them Stollanus and Emerentia. He says that St. Anne was born after Stollanus and Emerentia had been childless for twenty years; that St. Joachim died soon after the presentation of Mary in the temple; that St. Anne then married Cleophas, by whom she became the mother of Mary Cleophae (the wife of Alphaeus and mother of the Apostles James the Lesser, Simon and Judas, and of Joseph the Just); after the death of Cleophas she is said to have married Salomas, to whom she bore Maria Salomae (the wife of Zebedaeus and mother of the Apostles John and James the Greater). The same spurious legend is found in the writings of Gerson (Opp. III, 59) and of many others. There arose in the sixteenth century an animated controversy over the marriages of St. Anne, in which Baronius and Bellarmine defended her monogamy." Catholic Encyclopedia.


  • "St. Anne" In Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)

Prince Alexander III Helios was apparently not as much Hellenized as he was anti-Herodian. It appears that Prince Heli had the same aspirations and hopes for “Israel” as the high priest within the temple at Jerusalem. In the era in which parents chose the husband of their daughters, Heli found favor with the High Priest Yeshua III. Now this high priest was the son of Phabi, the founder of the House of Phabit, and the grandson of Boethus, that Alexandrian Zadokian priest that King Herod in 37 BCE asked to return to Jerusalem in order to restore the Zadokian dynastic reign again over the office of the high priest. Herod’s reasons were more subliminal and sinister, for he eventually plotted to eliminate the Maccabees from holding either royal or priestly offices in Jerusalem and eliminate their presence entirely from Judea. Was Prince Heli, or his father, Mattathias ben Levi, approached by the high priest for the young Davidian was a potential candidate to marry one of his three daughters, Hannah or Anna?

The Grotto of the Nativity at the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem – Photo by Robert Mock

To Prince Heli and Hannah, a young daughter, Princess Miriam, was born about the year of 20 to 19 BCE. This Jewish maiden, Mary, was a Davidian on her father’s side, and a Zadokian priest heiress on her mothers. Yet, fate appeared not to be good to her, for she was early orphaned.

Her Davidian father, Prince Alexander III Helios, was executed by King Herod the Great in a series of persecutions or pogrom against the Davidians. It was Herod’s attempt to eliminate any rival to the throne of Judea. The death of Heli occurred, according to Davidian genealogist David Hughes, in the “Davidic Dynasty”, either in the years of 20 to 16 BCE or 17 to 13 BCE. Heli’s wife, Anne or Hannah, died a few years later and the orphaned young maiden was placed in the temple within the Order of the Temple-Virgins until she was eligible for marriage about the year of her bat Mitzvoth at the age of 12-13 years of age.


The Christ A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of his Existence by John Eleazer Remsburg

The following is a list of writers who lived and wrote during the time, or within a century after the time, that Christ is said to have lived and performed his wonderful works:

  • Josephus,
  • Philo-Judaeus,
  • Seneca,
  • Pliny the Elder,
  • Arrian,
  • Petronius,
  • Dion Pruseus,
  • Paterculus,[25]
  • Suetonius,
  • Juvenal,
  • Martial,
  • Persius,
  • Plutarch,
  • Justus of Tiberius,
  • Apollonius,
  • Pliny the Younger,
  • Tacitus,
  • Quintilian,
  • Lucanus,
  • Epictetus,
  • Silius Italicus,
  • Statius,
  • Ptolemy,
  • Hermogones,
  • Valerius Maximus,
  • Appian,
  • Theon of Smyrna,
  • Phlegon,
  • Pompon Mela,
  • Quintius Curtius
  • Lucian,
  • Pausanias,
  • Valerius Flaccus,
  • Florus Lucius,
  • Favorinus,
  • Phaedrus,
  • Damis,
  • Aulus Gellius,
  • Columella,
  • Dio Chrysostom,
  • Lysias,
  • Appion of Alexandria.