The Overview Bible Project, a website that offers users a deeper look into scripture, has released a fascinating new infographic that explores Jesus Christ's lineage.
Jeffrey Kranz, the personality behind the site who is a Christian designer, writer and a self-professed "Bible geek," told TheBlaze in an email interview that he was motivated to create the graphic to shows others "how interesting the Bible is."
This, of course, is somewhat of a tough sell when it comes to arduous lists of genealogies, which many Christians tend to skip right over, he admits. But Kranz believes the content holds important value.
"Matthew makes a point to begin his story of Jesus with that genealogy: that should signal to us how important it is," he said. "I wanted to give readers a visual way to digest this (important!) list of names."
When we asked Kranz to explain what's so fascinating about Jesus' lineage, he delivered a pointed answer: "It's scandalous." He also offered up a list of facts surrounding the lineage that he maintains are "not-so-glamorous":
- Judah sleeps with the woman engaged to his son … while she’s disguised as a prostitute. Their son is in Jesus’ genealogy.
- Ruth is from the nation of Moab. That whole people group came from Abraham’s nephew Lot, who was raped by his daughters (Gn 19:30–37). Moabites weren’t even allowed in the Lord’s assembly (Dt 23:3).
- And we all know about David and Bathsheba. Adultery and murder are pretty disgusting things to have in your family tree.
But rather than cover these facts up, Kranz said that Matthew intentionally includes these individuals in his first chapter genealogy of Christ.
On the surface, this might seem curious, especially for someone who is formulating the lineage of a man Christians believe to be God's son, but Kranz said that these mentions in the family tree are "consistent with the grand narrative of scripture"
See his infographic below:
Image source: Jeffery Kranz
"Jesus’ genealogy isn’t nice and neat and pretty. It’s a long line of sinners, and it sets us up perfectly for the angel’s message to Joseph later in the chapter: 'He will save his people from their sins' (Mt 1:21)," he said. "The bloodline of Christ exposes our need for the blood of Christ."
The infographic examines the genealogies that are presented in both Matthew 1 and Luke 3. While the former examines Jesus' Israelite bloodline, the latter focuses on his biological lineage, according to Zach Hoag, who also penned a blog post about the infographic.
There are also other takes on why these lineages are so different, though, as presented here.
Either way, Kranz is hoping that the visual presentation of the lineage helps readers understand that the content they likely sometimes skip over contains many important events and characters.
He also said that he'd be encouraged to see the graphic encourage additional interest in the Old Testament, where people can explore some of these stories themselves.