Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ever wondered why the geneaologies in Matthew and Luke don't quite match up?

As Holding puts it, Probably through the law of levirate marriage.

The Jewish folk had numerous provisions for cases of inheritance-transfer in extreme cases. One of the more frequent situations that had to be covered (in a land-based, clan-ownership system) was that of childless marriages, or in some cases, of son-less marriages. One of the more concise statements of how this would apply here, is by J. Stafford Wright in Dict. of New Test. Theol., III. 662: "Mary's father (Heli?) had two daughters, May and the unnamed wife of Zebedee (John 19:25; Matt 27:56). If there were no sons, Joseph would become son of Heli on his marriage, to preserve the family name and inheritance (cf. Num 27:1-11; 36:1-12, esp. v. 8, which accounts for Mary marrying a man of the family of David.)"

Just one more example of the Jewishness of the Gospels that I like to bring up to those who disdain them as overly Hellenized.

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