Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

Family_TreeA few years ago, a Pastor friend of ours told me I shouldn’t be working on my genealogy because the Bible speaks against it. He quoted a few scriptures that “proved” his statement. At this point in my life, I had been a Christian for 42 years and I had been a Genealogist for over 20 years. I never felt the two were in conflict with each other. Even so, his words bothered me.

I went home and got out my Bible and sure enough, that is basically what those scriptures stated. They inferred that taking on Genealogy endeavors were “unprofitable and vain”. Being a researcher at heart and having been misguided by others in the past because they pulled one verse out of an entire book in the Bible to prove their point, I did my own research on what those scriptures meant.

Here is what I discovered. Throughout the Old Testament being able to “prove” your lineage is what gave you a position in society and/or in the Temple. If you were from, let’s say, the line of Aaron who was the high priest of the wilderness tabernacle, then each high priest that came after him had to be from his line. This line assured their importance and position. Fast forward to the New Testament. Things had not changed. Each group of people fits into society according to their lineage. When Jesus began His ministry, He did not follow the “rules”.  He called some fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a zealot, and several tradesmen to be His disciples.

in-gods-eyes-we-are-all-unique-and-equal-257x300

When the 2 verses (see verse references below) that had been quoted to me made the statement about “vain genealogies” it was referring to those who use their ancestors to put themself above others or who believes this makes them better than others. The bottom line is…..God created us all and we are equally valuable. I can comfortably reconcile my love of genealogy with my faith in Jesus!

SIDE NOTE: I have found through my research that there is a rich Religious Heritage that has been passed down through the generations to me. This comes from many different faiths and beliefs and I am thankful for this foundation.

 

Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9

 

cropped-blog-pic.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

  1. Wow! I’ve never heard of that before and I find it very sad that some may interpret it in a way that might dissuade them from genealogy. Good for you for putting in the research and finding an alternative way of looking at it!

  2. I have been thinking for some time of writing my own commentary on this topic, so was glad to read your thoughts. As with any scripture, context is key. Scripture affirms at least some role for genealogy by citing the family trees all the time. Also, I am lately gravitating to the Biblical admonition to pass on to “our children” (the next generations) what we have experienced that God has done. What our ancestors experienced, what we know of their lives is a testimony. It is not about “endless genealogies,” but what we can learn from the testimony of their lives.
    Thanks for sharing!

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