Dick Fischer (email@example.com)
Wed, 17 Jun 1998 19:17:37 -0400
>If you could prove that every generation is demonstrably father-son
>then you would be correct.
Ah, it's proof you want. I found a church web site three weeks
The pastor believes the King James version is the "Bible" and
the modern versions are perversions. It's a semi-popular notion
some conservatives that the 1611 translators were guided by the=20
Spirit to produce an inerrant English translation. This particular
Canadian pastor gives talks and argues the case. What he does is
similar to what YEC's do. He ridicules modern versions.
So I figured I would do him a favor, one Christian brother to
I sent him an email and showed him a few obvious flaws in the KJV.
I'm sure he never knew about them, and undoubtedly the next Sunday he
recanted before his congregation and asked forgiveness, though why he
never sent me a thank you I don't know.
We all draw lines, Glenn. I draw the line at inerrant original
as set down by the authors themselves under the divine inspiration of
the Holy Spirit. Some Christians draw their lines elsewhere.
believe the original authors occasionally made mistakes, but they
weren't serious ones. Others believe that if God was careful enough
to insist upon perfection from his 44 authors, he could certainly
protect the text through scribes and translators.
So we all draw our lines and defend our positions. You do it.
I do it. But if we are honest, somehow we need to account for the
The Canadian pastor I spoke of simply ignores contrary data and counts
on the collective ignorance of his audience.
Now about the genealogies. Matthew lists fourteen descendants from
David to the Babylonian exile and writes: "So all the generations
from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until
the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations ..."(Matt.
The sequence of descendants in Matthew includes: "Joram begat
(Matt. 1:8). Yet in 2 Kings 8:24 we read: "And Joram slept
with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David:
Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead." And in 2 Chronicles
all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and=20
made him king in the room of his father Amaziah."
2 Kings and 2 Chronicles leads us to believe there are three
that stand between Joram and Ozias (Greek for
Uzziah). They are Ahaziah,
Joash, and Amaziah. Thus there seem to be not fourteen but
generations. It clearly is a discrepancy, but what happened?
Archer addresses this question in Encyclopedia of Bible
I wished I could say he solved it, but he didn't.
Since I draw the "inerrancy" line between the authors and
scribes, I would
suggest that Matthew got it right, but a careless scribe left three names
out. Another scribe further down the chain may have counted
and changed "seventeen" to "fourteen" to be
consistent. But someone else
who draws lines in different places could suggest that Matthew didn't
get his facts right. Or another might believe that Matthew had a
good reason for the omission. We just don't know what it was.
My preference in this example meets two criteria. (1) It is
And (2) It is consistent with my overall beliefs. I'll be the first
admit I could be wrong. Personally, I have found enough
errors to convince me that errors in transmission, translation and
interpretation are sufficient to account for most if not all the
discrepancies between the various books of the Bible, and between the
Bible and science.
Now the difference between Luke's genealogies and the genealogies
in the KJV of Genesis 11 are explainable. I have read the
with my own eyes and can see Cainan as big as Dallas right where Luke
placed him between Arphaxad and Shelah. The Septuagint OT predates
Mesoretic text by about 900 years and was widely in use at the time
Of course, had Luke not recorded the name of Cainan (Luke 3:36) we would
have no way of knowing he was absent in Genesis 11:12-13. The
version records Cainan as the son of Arphaxad who lived 130 years before
begetting "Salah." Cainan is a conspicuous deletion in
the Masoretic text
confirmed by the New Testament author, Luke. Again, a careless
in all likelihood, exacted his toll on the Hebrew text probably before
the Masoretes got hold of it. (But how anyone could pronounce two
accounts as "inerrant" is beyond me.)
But there is another way we can see that missing generations won't
By comparing the number of years Methuselah lived (Gen. 5:27) with his
age at the birth of Lamech (Gen. 5:25), with the age of Lamech at the
of Noah (Gen. 5:28,29), and with the age of Noah at the time of the flood
(Gen. 7:6), it can be seen that Methuselah died near the year of the
flood, presumably before the rain started. That ties in the age of
the patriarch at his death with the approximate date of the flood,
thereby precluding any additions of time between Methuselah and
In Jude 1:14, Enoch is =93the seventh from Adam,=94 inhibiting additional
unnamed patriarchs in the first seven generations. So if there is
no space to stick in thousands of generations from Adam to Enoch, and
Enoch=92s son, Methuselah, died near the time of the flood, that should be
the coup de grace to the expanded genealogies method.
Inserting additional time or generations is not a workable proposition
from Adam to Noah.
So if the first ten patriarchs are literal father and son
why should the next ten be any
different? Or so we have latitude to
say that although the generations in Genesis 5 are strictly
the next series of genealogies in Genesis 11 are merely a representative
sampling? Put another way, can we say that from Adam to Noah
covered 1656 years and from Noah to Abraham was, oh, say 5,000,000
Now I suggest to you there are reasonable explanations of discrepancies
between the recorded genealogies, consistent with a plausible theory of
explanation that places all the events from Adam to Abraham in a 3,000
year time frame from 7,000 years ago to 4,000 years ago in Southern=20
The idea that tens of thousands of supposedly missing relatives can be
pushed into this rather small window of opportunity may be consistent
with what you believe, but I submit to you it is hardly reasonable.
>>Granted, Christ was called "son of David," but
>>that responds to the prophecy that the Messiah would come from
>>of David.=A0 There is no good exegetical reason to believe that the
>>genealogies in Genesis, Matthew and Luke can be expanded at will
>>than to fit a popular conception that Adam was the first
>Well, calling Christ the 'son of man' also could be a reference to
>Adam' and this would extend the use of 'son of' to quite a distance,
>think your attempt to limit the 'son of' phraseology to
>relationships is highly dubious.
Actually no. The New Testament was written in Greek, and the word
is the Greek "anthropos." Nowhere is Christ called the
"son of Adam"
>But as I have pointed out, the reason I can't accept your solution
>because it requires a flood in a location for which there is no
>evidence of its occurrence, at a time for which there is no
>requires water to go uphill carrying the ark from southern Iraq to
>a topographic rise of several thousand feet.
I don't know where the ark rested. There are different
ancient writers disagreed on where the ark landed. But Southern
Mesopotamia is flatter than a fritter, and water can stand around for a
long time before it drains away. The ziggurats were built for
express purpose. It gave them somewhere to go to survive the
floods when the Euphrates overflowed its banks.
But Genesis does say that the ark "rested upon the
Hebrew har also means "hills." And that probably
would have been a
better choice. But in your Mediterranean scenario the ark starts
the bottom of the basin and comes to rest at sea level on the shore
somewhere. There is no physical way the ark could get to hills
any sort, let alone mountains.
I know you could say that from Noah's point of view at the bottom
of the basin, looking at the horizon, what became the shore of the
Mediterranean may have appeared to him as mountains or hills.
In Viet Nam we had a saying, "In order to save the village we
to destroy the village." Didn't make sense then and doesn't
"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago."