Re: Genealogies (was Re: personal revelations)

From: George Murphy (
Date: Thu Mar 13 2003 - 07:04:26 EST

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    John Burgeson wrote:
    > George wrote, in part: "Inerrancy isn't the issue - there are, inter alia,
    > errors of fact in the biblical text. But I think Christians should give it
    > the benefit of the doubt & before concluding that some passage is in error,
    > try to understand what theological point the
    > writer may have been making."
    > I agree 100%.
    > "In the case of the genealogy, it's hard to see why the writer would have
    > made an elementary arithmetic error."
    > Evaluating the text as in error does not demand that I attribute that error
    > to Matthew. But I don't see that "it is hard to see" him making that error.
    > Although it seems more likely that a copyist did it some years after the
    > original was written.

            So you believe in "inerrancy in the autographs?" (:))
            But seriously folks -
            I don't have the full textual apparatus here but while there are some textual
    variants in Mt.1:16 there seem to be none that would correct the error - irf error it
    was. In any case it's a rule of thumb in such matters to accept the more difficult
    reading, on the principle that later scribes would be more likely to correct what
    appeared to them errors than vice versa.
            It may be worth mentioning that Brown's _The Birth of the Messiah_ has a
    detailed discussion of the genealogies in Mt & Lk including a section (pp.81-84)
    entitled "Could Matthew Count?"
    George L. Murphy

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