Matthew 1: 1 – 17

Begin as you mean to go on.

The first seventeen verses of Mathew lists the genealogy of Jesus. The fact some of the people in the genealogy have never been heard of outside of genealogy, and those superstars that have been like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and Solomon have only the tiny tinniest evidence that they ever existed is not what I’m interested in talking about (but it should give the believer pause in accepting the genealogy at face value nonetheless).

What I am interested in talking about is that the genealogy was written in three tesseradecades, with some names being omitted from the genealogy in order to hit the magic number of fourteen. While various reasons are given for the particular omissions themselves, the important point is that the writer of the genealogy felt that its literary form was much more important than its historical accuracy; that whatever knowledge the reader would gain by being informed of the real genealogy was less important than the pleasure of seeing it presented in a well-known literary device.

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