Re: Jude 14 and the age of the world
Sat, 10 Apr 1999 04:28:32 EDT


You've made some good points.

David: Not everyone among the early church believed in those dates [the earth
being just four or five thousand years old] Origen questioned whether days
1-3 could be 24 hour when the sun does not appear until day 4.>>

If anyone doubted the four or five thousand year old world in the early
church, Origen would be a likely candidate. However, I have not seen any
evidence that he did not accept that dating. Augustine questioned the
literality of the seven days in Gen 1; but, he still rejected the idea that
the earth was very old. He said, "They ...being deceived by a kind of false
writing, that say: 'The world has continued many thousand years,' whereas the
holy scripture gives us not yet six thousand years since man was made."

David: Also, there was at least recognition that Matthew omitted
some names in his genealogy to fit the 14 person per unit pattern.
Similar discrepancies occur in a number of passages, including the addition
in Luke 3 of a "grandson" of Shem omitted in Gen. 10 and 11. I do not know
one way or the other regarding early comments on such passages as these,
but it seems likely that expositors would have at least recognized that
perhaps a few folks were skipped in the Genesis genealogies.>>

With Jude 14 in mind, I was thinking primarily of the genealogy in Gen 5.
You may be right that Gen 10 and other OT genealogies may have been seen as
more open than Gen 5 was. But, the hard concentration on the ages of those
named in Gen 5 and the three generations which are clearly direct father-son
made the genealogy almost irresistably incapable of being seen as incomplete.
I doubt that even so different a thinker as Origen did not take it as
complete. But, I am open to correction if anyone can give evidence that he
or any other early church figure did not.