Question 80. Since “Jewishness” comes through the male line and Jesus had no earthly father, how then is Jesus considered to be a Jew?

The festive season for many is a time to celebrate the Messiah’s miraculous incarnation. While recognizing the miraculous, this question wonders about the human aspect of Yeshua’s identity.

I know that “Jewishness” comes through the male line. As in Timothy’s case (father a Gentile, mother a Jew), the offspring of such a marriage has the option to identify with either side.

If Mary the mother of Jesus was Jewish and the father was the Holy Spirit, then how is Jesus considered to be a Jew? I understand and believe that He is, but I am not sure how to explain this correctly. Is God the Father a Jew also?

Messiah is a person who has only one human origin. Prophetically, this was already seen in Genesis 3:15, where the Messiah was to be reckoned after the seed of the woman. This statement went contrary to the biblical norm, according to which the seed was always to be reckoned after the man. Therefore, in most genealogies of both testaments, women were not mentioned. In the few cases where they are mentioned, it is only in passing and not directly relevant to the genealogy itself. In the case of the Messiah, however, his entire humanity came from only one source, and that was the mother. Therefore, the Messiah had to be reckoned after the seed of the woman.

Just as His entire humanity came only from the mother, so did His Jewish identity. However, it should be kept in mind that because of His supernatural conception, the Messiah is not the rule but the exception to the rule.

Arnold Answers is a series of questions from readers with answers from founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

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