Many surface and resurface and then resurface again. Some can be quite creative. Handling them via email certainly presents its challenges. I much prefer the dynamics and elaboration of the face to face exchange — which I will often suggest as the first option. Pop by the bookstore on Sunday and let’s find a moment to ponder this together a bit. That really is my first choice. Sometimes it’s possible, other times not practical, and still others I simply feel led to answer it on the spot in an emailed response.
Had this question sent to me this week:
I had a question come up concerning the two genealogies of Jesus, the one in Matthew and the one in Luke. I thought originally that the general consensus was that the one in Matthew was his earthly father (not biological) and the one in Luke was of his mother’s side, with her father likely being named Joseph. Well, I have a new study bible this year and in the footnotes it said that the earthly father / mother side theory was not likely true and tried to say something about how the genealogies skipped generations at their convenience. If that were true then why are the two so different? After David I don’t remember seeing any matches in names. I’m really confused at this point, do you happen to know of anything regarding these two genealogies? Are there any good resources on this subject? And with respect to the original Greek is there anything in there that might provide a clue?
Note to self: beware of questions in the form of a paragraph.
Think about how you would answer this question. Just don’t hurt yourself. Or anyone else.
This is how I responded – and you can decide it if it is an FYE (for your edification) answer or an FYA (for your annoyance). It could also be a WTH (what the heliotrope or what the heretic, depending on which way you go) or WTF (what the freeman!) answer, but let’s just not go there, shall we? Enjoy. Or not.
One that has occupied scholars for ages. For my part, after the first millennium in the new heavens and earth I’m planning on getting an appt with Matthew and Luke and asking them to ‘splain themselves. Just out of pure curiosity. Although, I’ll be happy, I suppose, to simply listen to them talk about anything they want to.
Both points you mention are usually the points discussed when the discrepancies are brought up. Neither seem to explain the anomaly to me. To my knowledge, neither Greek or Hebrew holds any unseen cards here.
This, of course, would be distressing to me if I still were of the mind that all seeming discrepancies and disharmonies in this expansive divine community library we know as the Bible must be explained and smoothed out for me to keep reading there and listening. But the longer I read and the more I hang out with the Librarian, the more I see a God of many seeming discrepancies speaking to and through quite flawed and unharmonious human beings. So now, at each such bump in my reading, I have learned to smile, for the jolt is another sign, to me, of the authenticity and reality of the God who moves through the pages of this all too human collection of books.
This is probably not a very satisfying answer, but it’s where I am and what I have.