Matthew 1:8

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and Asa begat Jehoshaphat; and Jehoshaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Uzziah; (ASV)

Contents

Pro

Edit this section if you suspect error.

Who is Uzziah's father?

Detail argument

JW: According to 1 Chronicles 3: (ASV)

11 "Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,"

"Ahaziah" was Joram's son.

According to Matthew 1: (ASV)

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%201:8-9;&version=8;

8 "and Asa begat Jehoshaphat; and Jehoshaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Uzziah; 9 and Uzziah begat Jotham; and Jotham begat Ahaz; and Ahaz begat Hezekiah;"

"Uzziah" was Joram's son. "Matthew" appears to have omitted three names that 1 Chronicles has above, "Ahaziah", "Joash", and "Amaziah", if 1 Chronicles "Azariah" is the same person as "Matthew's" "Uzziah" as both are said to be the father of "Jotham". The combinations of original Hebrew, translated Greek, possible name variations/mispelling, genealogy and narrative descriptions make it all potentially very confusing. Keep in mind that at the time "Matthew" likely wrote there probably was no official Canon to go by and there was also no Wickied! computer sight organized by Peter (Kirby) to assist the Semitically blind.

The Greek for "Matthew" here is:

http://www.zhubert.com/bible?book=Matthew&chapter=1&verse=8

"???? ?? ????????? ??? ??????? ??????? ?? ????????? ??? ????? ????? ?? ????????? ??? ?????"

"?????" is "Uzziah" which is the last name on the right. All the major Greek families have "?????".

2 Kings 8:24 gives the narrative version from the Jewish Bible:

"And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead." (ASV)

Further potential confusion is caused by the Jews having two Kings at this time. One for Judah and one for Israel. Israel had its own King Ahaziah:

1 Kings 22:51

"Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel."

Now let's look at the Hebrew for "Ahaziah":

1 Chronicles 3:

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt25a03.htm

??  ?????? ?????? ??????????? ?????, ??????? ??????. " 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son;"

" ??????????? " (Ahaziah).

2 Kings 8:

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt09b08.htm

??  ???????????? ?????? ???-????????, ??????????? ???-???????? ??????? ??????; ??????????? ??????????? ?????, ??????????. {?} " 24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead. {P} "

" ??????????? " (Ahaziah).

1 Kings 22:52

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt09a22.htm

??  ??????????? ???-???????, ?????? ???-?????????? ????????????, ????????? ?????? ????????, ???????????? ?????? ????????; ??????????? ???-??????????, ??????????." 52 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel."

"  ??????????? " (Ahaziah).

We can see that the Hebrew spelling for "Ahaziah" in the Jewish Bible is exactly the same.

Now for the LXX spelling (fasten your seat belts, yea!)

1 Chronicles 3:

3:11

"????? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?????"

"??????" (Uzziah)

2 Kings 8:

8:24

"??? ???????? ????? ???? ??? ??????? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ??????? ????? ?? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??? ??????????? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ?????"

"???????" (Uzziah)

1 Kings 22:

22:52

"??? ??????? ???? ????? ??????????? ??? ?????? ?? ???????? ?? ???? ????????????? ??????? ??????? ????? ??? ??????????? ?? ?????? ??? ???"

"???????" (Uzziah)

Summary of Greek name:

Matthew 1:4  ?????

1 Chronicles 3:11  ??????

2 Kings 8:24  ???????

1 Kings 22:52  ???????


Transliteration:

Masoretic  ??  ?  ??  ??  ??  ??

English A cha z yah who

Matthew 1:4  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?

English O z i a u

1 Chronicles 3:11  ?  ??  ?  ?  ?

English O cho z i a

2 Kings 8:24  ?  ??  ?  ?  ?  ?

English O cho z i a z


The problem for the Greek translators here was that "Ahaziah" had no existing Greek equivalent. It had to be transliterated. The next problem was that Hebrew of this time lacked the Masoretic vowels so if you were not an expert with the Hebrew bible you could be fluent in Hebrew in general but not know the proper pronunciation of a Biblical name that was no longer in use. You had to guess at the vowel sounds. Therefore, variation in Greek spelling could be a result of using different Greek letters for the same Hebrew sound and different Greek letters based on guesses for the vowel sounds. You can see the resultant variation above.

Now to try and determine the possible source of "Matthew's" omission. But was it unintentional or intentional? Did he copy the omission from the LXX?

1 Chronicles 3:11

http://www.zhubert.com/bible?book=1%20Chronicles&chapter=3&verse=11

"????? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? 12 ??????? ???? ????? ??????"

????? (Joram), ?????? (Ahaziah), ???? (Joash), ??????? (Amaziah), ?????? (Azariah)

Presumably the LXX had the missing names so it wasn't the source of "Matthew's" omission. Let's look at a different possible source, "Matthew's" creanativity. Back to "Matthew" 1:8:

8 "...Joram begat Uzziah 9 and Uzziah begat Jotham

Now let's look at the son of Joram and the father of Jotham per the complete genealogy:

11 "Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,"

"Ahaziah" is the son of Joram and "Azariah" is the father of Jotham. Now compare the Greek:

?????? (Ahaziah)

?????? (Azariah)

Now the transliteration:

?  ??  ?  ?  ?

O cho z i a

?  ? ?? ?  ?

A z ar i a

My guess is that the names were close enough and as "Matthew's" theology was more important to him than literal correctness, he intentionally showed ????? (Uzziah) as the son of Joram and as the father of Jotham, knowing they were two different persons, because the names were similar, and thus he was close to being figuratively correct. This allowed him to "complete" his pattern of fourteens.

In the Appeal To Authority category:

Brown, Page 82, Birth Of The Messiah:

"A more plausible explanation is that the omission was accidental caused by the similarity between the Greek forms of the names of Uzziah (Azariah) and Ahaziah...then the lists were already in Greek and already contained errors."

ICC, Page 176:

"One should observe that the omission of names from a genealogy, for one purpose or another...was common practice."

So Brown ((Catholic) thinks Error and ICC (Protestant) does not.

The most extreme potential error here is that "Matthew" claims groups of 14 generations:

17

"So all the generations from Abraham unto David are fourteen generations; and from David unto the carrying away to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon unto the Christ fourteen generations." (ASV)

But according to 1 Chronicles:

http://www.errancywiki.com/index.php/1_Chronicles_3

Solomon
Rehoboam
Abijah
Asa
Jehoshaphat
Joram
Ahaziah
Joash
Amaziah
Azariah
Jotham
Ahaz
Hezekiah
Manasseh
Amon
Josiah
Jehoiakim
Jeconiah

There were 18 generations.

Let's move back to "Matthew's" possible intent. What was "Matthew's" intent for the Reader to understand here. "Matthew" starts the genealogy with:

1

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

The implication here for the Reader is that this is a complete genealogy. "Matthew" ends the genealogy with:

17

"So all the generations from Abraham unto David are fourteen generations; and from David unto the carrying away to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon unto the Christ fourteen generations"

Again, the implication here for the Reader is that this is a complete genealogy. "all the generations" is used, it's explicitly quantified as three groups of 14 and implies there is something significant about the three groups of exactly 14. So "Matthew" has communicated intent of a complete genealogy at the start and finish of the generations. If "Matthew's" intent was for the Reader to take this as a complete genealogy one wonders what exactly "Matthew" could have added, using his normal style, to make it clearer. Add to this the general observation that "Matthew's" primary objective was to persuade that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. The best way to do this regarding lineage would be to give a complete genealogy.


Here's famed Internet Apologist JP Holding's defense against the original abbreviated version of my claimed error (apparently he's reading this and was alerted to the problem at his site):

http://www.tektonics.org/uz/wally01.html

"Same dip, different day. See #5 about genealogy omissions. Normal stuff. Not an error."


JW: Holding's brief response here does refer to #5 which does give some examples, authority and detailed reasoning but is still General in nature and wouldn't carry all that much weight against my detailed article here which concentrates on Specifics. Holding does mention genealogy omissions as an acceptable, non-erroneous convention of the time which seems to be the most popular "defense" here so I'll address that:

1) General arguments are evidence of course but don't allow you to ignore the Specifics of the context of the potential error.

2) Finding examples supports your General argument but you also have to consider examples that don't support your General argument if you want to conclude Probable rather than just Possible.

3) Specifically here, Chronicles from the Jewish Bible is probably the best parallel for "Matthew's" supposed genealogy and sure looks like it intends to give a complete genealogy for David's line. Even if you can demonstrate one omission in it you would still have to conclude that for any other specific sequence in it it likely intended to be complete.

4) The Greek word "Matthew" uses has a primary meaning of "begat". Greek has a separate word with a primary meaning of "father". So while Chronicles is using "his son", "Matthew" is using "begat" which is even harder to justify using with skipped generations. Perhaps Mr. Holding can provide some such examples in Greek literature.

While we're on the subject of Holding here I asked the Admins here to invite Holding to argue against Genealogy error. He declined. I conclude from this that Holding does not want to debate Genealogy error here because he knows his argument is weak. Thus, more evidence for Error.


So in Summary, the evidence that "Matthew's" omission of three Kings at 1:8 is an Error, ranked by weight of evidence is:

1) The specific wording at the start and end of the genealogy and explict use of "14" indicates the Reader would understand that a complete Genealogy was being presented.

2) "Matthew" uses "begat" instead of "father/son of" indicating no omissions were intended.

3) The necessity of transliteration of no longer used Hebrew names and resultant spelling variation and similar names would make it easier for names in between two such similar names to be omitted unintentionally or intentionally.

4) We will see that "Matthew" has other omissions in his list.

5) The likely best parallel to compare "Matthew's" Genealogy to, Chronicles, appears to have intended to present a complete listing for the Davidic line.

6) "Luke" has no known omissions in her Genealogy and doesn't even use "begat"! For the Monarchical period Brown Confesses to us that 'Luke" has 21 Names compared to "Matthew's" 15.

7) We have no evidence that such omissions in Greek writings were the Rule rather than the exception.

8) The Jewish Bible has no known omission when presenting the line of Kings.

9) There are many more examples of "Matthew's" problems with names in the genealogy.

10) Origen confesses to us that in his time the Greek manuscripts were filled with errors regarding Hebrew names. This would have been well before any extant manuscripts.

11) And listen to this (waving arms around excitedly on sidelines ala "John" Maddin!) Bezae, Curetonian, Epiphanes and Th-Mop (I tell you the Truth, ICC mentions this but I have absolutely no idea what it refers to but it sure sounds impressive) all add the three issing Kings to "Matthew" indicating they thought the omission was an error.

12) Famed Internet Apologist JP Holding declined to argue this Error at this time indicating he understands the strength of the Pro argument.


The evidence that "Matthew's" omission of three Kings at 1:8 is not an Error, ranked by weight of evidence is:

1) The Jewish Bible, Greek Bible and literature of the time sometimes give ancestry that contains omissions.

2) The detail genealogy in Chronicles appears to have a time gap itself between the Exodus and Conquest as there is a deficit of names for the supposed time period. This may be because of a separate Jewish tradition that the stay in Egypt was Four generations rather than Four hundred years.

3) "Matthew" may have intended to omit names.


In my opinion, the weight of the Evidence above is that the omission by "Matthew" of the names of three Kings here is an Error. Let me also point out something for the benefit of Fundamentalists here. If you want to believe that "Matthew's" omission of three Kings here was intentional and an accepted literary convention of the time a complete genealogy would have been a better presentation and therefore, the existing genealogy by "Matthew" is not "perfect".


Joseph


Authority

Ehrman points out in Jesus, Interrupted that Joram was not Uzziah's father but Uzziah's great- great-grandfather

--JoeWallack 10:30, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

Con

Edit this section if you doubt error.

Neutral

Edit this section to note miscellaneous facts.


SPELLING

JEHOSHAPHAT

Matthew:  ???????

Josephus:  ?????????


JORAM

Matthew:  ?????

LXX:  ?????

Josephus:  ???????


UZZIAH                               Ahaziah
Matthew:               ?????
LXX:                   ?????         ????????
1 Chr. 3:11:           ??????
1 Chr. 3:11/12 (B):    ??????         ?????
1 Chr. 3:11 (A V Luc):                ?????
            A         ???????
           Luc        ?????


--JoeWallack 09:57, 16 Jun 2006 (CDT)

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