Hello, I was reading Romans 1:3 (Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh). The original Greek word for seed is “sperma” (something sown, i.e. seed (including the male “sperm”)
It also mentions that Christ is his son “according to the flesh.” My question is why is Christ not considered Joseph’s biological son despite this verse?
I can understand your confusion regarding the etymology of the word ‘seed’ in this particular verse.
In the original Koine Greek, the fact that sperma is the root of both seed & sperm is nothing peculiar. It also meant offspring. It simply was the word with multiple definitions as are many words.
In this verse it is referring more to bloodline and the importance of Mary being from the Davidic line. The fact that Joseph was also from this line holds tremendous significance.
One of the best explanations I have found regarding this was from a 1974 Ensign article “Mary and Joseph” by Robert J. Matthews.
Since Jesus was not begotten by mortal man, his descent from David would, by necessity, be through his mother. Thus, when Mary came to earth, she was born into that royal lineage so she could transmit it to her son Jesus. That Mary was of Davidic descent is plainly set forth in the scriptures. Jesus was frequently addressed as “Son of David”; he did not disclaim that title.
Paul made it clear that Jesus was of royal blood in his earthly lineage. To the Roman saints he wrote: “… Jesus Christ our Lord … was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom. 1:3.) And to Timothy he said: “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead.” (2 Tim. 2:8. See also Acts 13:22–23 and Acts 2:30.)
That Joseph also was descended from David is likewise set forth in the New Testament, which states that Joseph was of Bethlehem and “of the house and lineage of David.” (Luke 2:4. See also Luke 1:27; Matt. 1:16, 20; Luke 3:23–31.)
So Jesus, though not a blood descendant of Joseph, inherited legal status as a son of David through him.
So being a biological son of Joseph wasn’t necessary to be recorded as such. The lineage and bloodline of David is what mattered.