Thursday, May 11, 2006

Need an Idea for a Paper?

If you don't mind being flat wrong and historically aggregious, if you don't mind borrowing (it's our lifeblood), and you'd like to be provocative and thus popular, I've got one for you. The "missing generation" in the third section of Matt's genealogy--there are only 13, whereas the previous two have 14, depending on how you count-- is variously thought to reflect:

(Stendahl) 13th generation is earthly Jesus, 14th is risen, exalted Christ
(Blomberg) Matthew's counting--alternates inclusive/exclusive
(Augustine) Jesus is the 41st generation, after 40 of "testing" or purifying
(Carson and others) God's sign that he cuts short the time to Messiah out of Messiah
(Many scholars) Matthew can't count...or was true to a source, and didn't care that the 13 generations didn't square with 1:17.
(Me) Late one night I discovered there were 41 divinely authorized monarchs of Judah/Israel. It's wishful thinking, but no worse than some other explanations I've heard.

But here's an alternative worthy of publication in some our crap-passing-for-insight journals: the missing 14th generation is obviously a reference to a continued "Jesus dynasty"--his son would rule in his place, or wife, or what have you. This is also the meaing of Jesus' "I'll be with you always..." (28:20). His offspring will always be here, ruling after him, representing him. You could tie this into some of the readings of the "women" in the genealogy (which readings are not exegesis, but sexegesis). So if you want a sure fire popular paper, have at it. Maybe you could even work this into a dissertation..."Matthew and the Jesus Dynasty" or some such. Just be sure and cite me, noting I think the argument is crap in advance.

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