1) Names of descendants who are not necessarily children are preceded by a tilde (~).
2) Associations that are uncertain or unclear are followed by a question mark.
3) Variations of names are given and separated by a slash.
4) These files assume that Matthew, intended for Jewish readers, records the legal lineage of the Messiah through Joseph although he was not the physical father of Jesus, while Luke, written to stress the humanity of Jesus, actually traces the ancestry of Mary.
Difficulties in organizing biblical genealogies (or "Why there will be mistakes in
both organization and spelling"):
1) There are various names for many individuals. There are various spellings for the same names in different translations or even between chapters of the same book.
2) Grandsons and other descendants are listed as "sons."
Benjamins sons in Genesis 46:21: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman. (Are Eli and Rosh children or grandchildren of Benjamin; are Muppim, Huppim and Ard children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren?)
Benjamins sons in 1 Chronicles 7:6: Bela, Becher, Jediael.
Benjamins sons in 1 Chronicles 8:1,2: Bela, Ashbel, Aharah, Nohah, Rapha.
Sauls ancestors in 1 Samuel 9:1,2: Aphiah, Becorath, Zeror, Abiel, Kish
Sauls ancestors in 1 Chronicles 8:29-33 and 9:35-39: Jeiel, Gibeon, Ner, Kish
(In these files, Sauls ancestors can be traced through both Aphiah and ~Jeiel.)
3) Is the line just fathers or do the lines of some mothers enter the lists? (In 1
Chronicles 8:26 "Athaliah" is a male while in 2 Kings 8:26 it is a female, so it
is not always possible in English to distinguish between men and women.)
4) Some wording is unclear: In 1 Chronicles 8:37 and 9:43 is Raphah the son of Moza or Binea, and are Eleasah and Azel son and grandson of Raphah or sons of Moza?
5) The same name may represent an individual, a group or a city. ("Etam" is a place in 1 Chronicles 4:32. Is it a proper name in verse three? Are "Ephrathah" and "Bethlehem" in verse four places or proper names?)
There is a difference between a chronology and a genealogy. The purpose of a genealogy is to demonstrate ancestry. So it is not critical whether two individuals are parent/child or grandparent/grandchild. A chronology, however, involves time. Again, a chronology may involve parent/child or ancestor/descendant. But the time given is intended to be accurate. Some do disservice to lists such as the one given in Genesis 5 when they say that there may be many generations between the individuals listed. There is certainly nothing to support this claim. It doesnt change anything, though. Whether Seth was a distant ancestor or the father of Enosh, Seth was still 105 years old when Enosh was born. Seth still lived to be 912. In spite of efforts to discredit such an effort, the Bible clearly provides CHRONOLOGICAL information to date individuals up to the time of Solomon. Hence some of these records use dates starting with "0" for the creation of Adam. Secular history is reliable back to about the time of David. It is an interesting "coincidence" that the Biblical chronology drops off at the point where secular calculations begin.