What does Luke 3:28 mean?
ESV: the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
NIV: the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
NASB: the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
CSB: son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er,
NLT: Neri was the son of Melki. Melki was the son of Addi. Addi was the son of Cosam. Cosam was the son of Elmadam. Elmadam was the son of Er.
KJV: Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,
NKJV: the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,
Verse Commentary:
As Luke traces Jesus' genealogy back to Adam, he includes several names that repeat. As in the modern day, some names are more popular than others—especially when associated with famous figures. As with prior mentions of names like Levi and Joseph, the name Er as used here is not a reference to Judah's son (Genesis 38:7).

The name Melchi was seen early in this genealogy, possibly being named for the man mentioned in this verse (Luke 3:24).
Verse Context:
Luke 3:23–38 traces the earthly ancestry of Jesus, apparently focusing on direct family lines. That is, Luke might be following literal birth, rather than by legal means such as adoption. Scholars differ on the precise meaning of these lines, but a common interpretation is that Luke is establishing Mary's ancestry. This establishes Jesus' physical relationship to His ancestor David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Matthew's genealogy shows Joseph's descent from David, making his adoptive son, Jesus, a legal member of that line.
Chapter Summary:
The early part of Luke's gospel shifts back and forth between the histories of Jesus and John the Baptist. Chapter 3 starts with historical and prophetic context about John. It then depicts some of John's interactions with local religious leaders. Luke gives only a brief description of Jesus' baptism. He also touches on John's criticism of Herod the Tetrarch, which would eventually result in John's execution (Matthew 14:10–12). The chapter ends with a genealogy of Christ.
Chapter Context:
Chapters 1 and 2 provided early history for both John the Baptist and Jesus. Chapter 3 establishes John's preaching ministry and its connection to Jesus Christ. The chapter ends with a genealogy which some believe runs through Mary's side of the family. Chapter 4 transitions from Jesus' baptism into His public ministry, by describing His fasting in the wilderness and temptation by Satan.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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