Skip to comments.The Bible vs. The Quran
Posted on 08/31/2002 5:30:20 AM PDT by vance
The Bible vs. The Quran
By Abdullah Al Araby
The Quran is the Muslims' Holy Book, the same as is the Bible to Christians, Muslims regard the Quran as the infallible utterance of the Almighty. The word "Quran" means recitation. The name was applied by Mohammed to each individual portion of the Book, but was later used for the whole Book.
Mohammed proclaimed the Quran as the miracle that proved his prophethood. There has been, however, much debate among intellectual Muslims on the issue of the miracle of the Quran. Some Arabic scholars like az-Zamakhshari noted more than one hundred grammatical errors in the Quran.
The Quran is written in Arabic poetic prose. It is divided into 114 Surahs or chapters, and contains the religious, social, civil, commercial, military, and legal code of Islam. It also contains stories which occur in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and Apocrypha.
The Quran, however, contradicts the Bible in many of the details of these stories, including some of the names of the people involved. When faced by these contradictions, Muslims justify them by claiming that the Bible must have been altered. Yet in no place in the Quran do we find the Omniscient (knowing everything) Allah pointing out these altered passages of the Bible, or revealing the correct ones. Such a claim can also be disputed by historical evidence, as well as by the Quran itself, which approved of the Bible, and said so repeatedly:
There is enough evidence to support the claim that the Quran may have been tampered with. Nobody knows where the original Quran is. The Quran that we have in our hands now is called the Uthman's Quran, which was collected long after Mohammed's death. Parts of the original Quran must have been lost, after many of the reciters of the Quran died or were killed in battle. Uthman, the third Caliph (successor of Mohammed) gathered what was left of the Quran, arranged it by length of Surahs rather than chronologically, then burned all other existing copies.
The Bible, on the other hand, has stood the test of time. To suggest that the Bible has been altered is against both reason and historic findings.
Neither Christians nor Jews can reasonably be accused of altering their Scriptures. One reason is that they didn't have anything to gain from doing so, and if they did, they wouldn't willingly spill their blood defending it. In the book of Revelation God puts a severe punishment on those who add to or take away, any part of God's Word. (See Revelation 22:18 & 19)
The Jews were also commanded not to commit such a terrible act. (See Deuteronomy 4:2)
Furthermore, Christians and Jews did not alter their Scriptures based on historic evidence. Many manuscripts of early copies of the Bible were discovered through the years, and were found to match the text we have now. Here are some of these famous manuscript:
The Sinaitic - It was written in the middle of the fourth century, about 270 years before Islam. It contains the whole of the New Testament and a large part of the Old Testament. It is now kept in the British Museum
The Alexandrian - It was written in the early fifth century, more than 200 years before Islam. It contains the whole Bible, except a few pages that have been lost. It is also kept in the British Museum.
The Vatican - It was written in the early fourth century, about 300 years before Islam. It contains the whole Bible. It is now kept in the Vatican Library at Rome.
These and other manuscripts such as Codex Ephraemi and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the thousands of other copies or part of copies of the early Bibles prove beyond doubt that the Bible could not possibly be altered or corrupted.
CAN GOD CONTRADICT HIMSELF?
Many stories of the Bible that have been recorded in the Quran were misquoted and are contradictory to the Bible. Here are a few: examples:
The story of Cain and Abel
After Cain killed his brother Abel, The Quran says that "Allah sent a raven who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the shame of his brother." Surah 5:31. This is not mentioned in the Bible.
The story of Noah and the flood
The Quran in Surah 11:42 & 43 says that one of the sons of Noah refused to go into the Ark and was drowned in the flood, while the Bible says that all three sons of Noah went into the Ark with him and were saved from the flood (Genesis 7:7).
In Surah 11:44 the Quran says that the Ark came to rest on top of mount Judi, While the Bible says that it was Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4).
The Story of Abraham
Abraham's father, according to the Quran, is Azar (Surah 6:74), while the Bible says that his name was Terah (Genesis 11:26).
The Quran says Abraham had two sons, the Bible says they were eight.
The Quran says some of Abraham's descendants lived in the valley of Mecca (Surah 14:37),while the Bible says they lived in Hebron (Genesis 13:18).
The Quran says that Abraham had two wives, in the Bible he had three.
The Quran says that he built the Kaaba (Surah 2:125-127). The Bible has no record of that.
The story of Moses
The Quran states that the one who adopted Moses was Pharaoh's wife (Surah 28:9), While the Bible says it was Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus 2:5)
The Quran states that Haman lived in Egypt during Moses' time (Surah 28:6), while the Bible says that Haman lived in Persia during King Ahasuerus time (Esther 3:1).
The story of Mary (the mother of Jesus)
The Quran states that her brother was Aaron (Surah 19:28), while the Bible says that Aaron lived 1300 years before Mary (Numbers 26:59).
That she gave birth to Jesus under a palm tree (Surah 19:23),while the Bible says it was in a stable (Luke 2:7).
That Jesus spoke and made miracles at the time he was a baby (Surah 19:24-26). The Bible has no record of that. That Zacharias could not speak for three nights (Surah 19:10), while the Bible says he could not speak until the child was born (or for about 9 months) Luke 1:20.
CAN GOD MAKE THESE ERRORS?
Muslims believe that the Quran is a direct utterance of Allah (God). Because God is infallible, one would expect the Quran to be infallible also. However, by examining the Quran, we are faced by many statements that go against the undisputed facts of science. It would be unacceptable if such errors were attributed to a learned human being, worse yet to attribute them to the Omniscient God. The list of the errors in the Quran is very long, and are discussed in full detail in other books. Here, we have a limited space to list only a few samples. Our goal is to question whether God can make such errors, whether God was in fact the author of the Quran.
The Earth is stationary
"He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky, and produce on the earth every kind of noble creature, in pairs." Surah 31:10
The Sun sets in a spring
"Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." Surah 18:86
Pharaoh built the tower of Babel in Egypt
"Pharaoh said: "O Chiefs! no god do I know for you but myself: therefore, O Haman! light me a (kiln to bake bricks) out of clay, and build me a lofty palace, that I may mount up to the god of Moses: but as far as I am concerned, I think (Moses) is a liar!" Surah 28:38
Alexander the Great was a prophet
"They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain (Alexander the Great) Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story." Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed, Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." Surah 18:83-88
"God will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing." Surah 2:225
"O Apostle! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding." Surah 8:65
"God will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth God make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful." Surah 5:89
A corps leaning on a staff for a year
"Then, when We decreed (Solomon's) death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task)." Surah 34:14
A nap lasting three hundred and nine years
"So they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, and (some) add nine (more)" Surah 18:9-26
Scourging the witness
"And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-" Surah 24:4
God ordains taking spoils
"And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God,- and to the Apostle, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in God and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For God hath power over all things." Surah 8:41
Since the Bible came first, and since there is every reason to believe that the Bible was kept uncorrupted, Muslim theologians have lots of explaining to do with regard to such contradictions and errors in their Book.
Don't play the injured party. The above is a dangling conjuctive sentence. The first part of it... "I have no respect for those that have faith" ... stands up nicely all by itself.
The second part... "and because they have faith refuse to read or hear about things that challenge them..." is meaningless.
A better way of saying what I think you meant to say would be: I have no respect for those that have faith and refuse to read or hear about things tha challenge that faith.
The free creative writing lesson I just gave you I would think displays my bonafides as a Christian. Your welcome. LOL.
"Adherents.com is a growing collection of over 41,000 adherent statistics and religious geography citations -- references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc."
You really shouldn't try to be clever, you know. It just doesn't work.
More silliness. Why do you write such nonsense?
That will certainly surprise the 13,000,000 (more or less) Jews in the world. I expect they'll shut down Israel when they hear.
I only want to get to the truth here. I DO CARE. Shouldn't everyone? I mean, if Jesus is who He claimed to be, isn't that important?
I am well aware of the stories of Gilgamesh. The Sumerians called Noah Zuisudra, the Babylonians Utnaphishtim. These accounts show signs of elaborations indicating a corruption of the original account.
They have the rain lasting only seven days, and subsiding in one. Both of these are grossly inadequte to do the job the texts claim they did. Also, the pagan accounts end up with the hero being granted immortality. The bible moves on to speak of Noah getting drunk and cursing his grandson. Which one is embellished and which one tells the truth warts and all? I think Genesis is the obvious choice.
As far as the part about going beyond 800 BC you find Yaweh in consort with Astheroth, I think you are not going back far enough. Abraham, the first Jew, was about 10 centuries before that. What you refer to is a LATER CORRUPTION of the true faith Abraham passed down to his posterity. The Bible even records that the people tried to mix Yaweh worship with the worship of other gods, so your point is actually a confirmation of the historical accuracy of the bibical account. The way you put it implied Yaweh started as head of a pantheon and slowley became the sole deity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Hammaraubi claimed credit himself fo rhis code. THre may be a picture of him going up the mountain on the steele, but in the writing of the steele itself he takes credit. Very different from the Torah, where Moses is quoting God.
The only versions most of us can read are translations of translations of translations.
Hmm. I hear this every once in a while. Either you've heard this from somebody else or you haven't looked into the issue yourself. Nothing wrong with that as we're all in different places in life. In fact I probably held the position you state above at one point in time. The translations we have today are the result of a single translation - the original language into English. Different parts of the Bible were written in three different languages, each one translated into English in one step:
Time will tell which chronology is correct, but if one fits the bible and the other does not, I've got to think they got the dates wrong on their first whack at it.
I meant that the cities were refounded on another SITE, like we did here in America with cities from the old country.
I don't find it a bit strange that God's word is tested. It says within the Bible that every word would be. If he came to us all in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night we would have no choice but to acknowledge Him. That is not what He wants. He wants us to want Him. He wants the evidence to be like it is, on a razors edge until faith opens our eyes. He wants us to choose Him because we want Him, not because He comes on like a two ton garlic truck.
Einstein is often pointed to as a brilliant scientist who believed in God and certainly he talked about God a lot. If you read his thoughts on the subject it is apparent that for him God was an abstract first principle or the first cause from which all other causes and effects emanated. That's a physicist's God--a far cry from an old man on a throne a la Zeus.
On September 11, nineteen ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers. So I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist. How do I differentiate between the true Arab-Muslim-Americans and the Arab-Muslims in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter those very same good neighbors and children? The events of September 11th changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of it's religions, with ALL of it's different citizens, with all of it's faults. It is time for every Arab-Muslim in this country to determine it for me. I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know whether or not you love America. Do you pledge allegiance to it's flag? Do you proudly display in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it?
Or do you pray that Allah with destroy it in one of your "Jihads"? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America? If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it. Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America.
Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. And no more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy ...I am only interested in action. What will you do for America-our great country-at this time of crisis, at this time of war? I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting "Allah Bless America". I want to see young Arab-Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.
The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize in Muslim communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals. The very few Arab-Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States prove who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing "leaders" like Khadafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat. If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good and pure and true when your "leaders" are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance. It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if large numbers of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members defended Johnny Cochran and O. J. Simpson after the latter butchered his wife and murdered an innocent friend. A form whose members (some as young a five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.
Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because our women proudly show their faces in public rather than cover up like a shameful whore? Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because we drink wine with dinner, or celebrate Christmas? Do you and you fellow Muslims hate us because we have befriended Israel, the ONLY civilized democratic nation in the entire middle-east? And if you and your fellow Muslims hate us, then why in the world are you even here? Are you here to take our money? Are you here to undermine our peace and stability? Are you here to destroy us? If so, I want you to leave. I want you to go back to your desert sandpit where women are treated like rats and dogs. I want you to take your religion, your friends, and your family back to your Islamic extremists, and STAY THERE! We will NEVER give in to your influence, your retarded mentality, your twisted, violent, intolerant religion. We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the greatest constitution in the world. I want to know where every Arab-Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family. I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American. But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand." "Until then ... you worry me." ""
You might find this interesting. I have a true HTML version of it somewhere... just can't find it.
The Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23b-38 Both Matthew and Luke give a genealogical list for the descent of Jesus. When these are compared, differences and difficulties appear immediately. The most obvious difference is that Matthew's list begins with Abraham and descends to Jesus, whereas Luke's list begins with Jesus and ascends to Adam, the son of God. This in itself presents no difficulty; but when comparing, it is quite another matter. Of course only Luke gives the generations from Adam to Abraham, and the lists of progenitors between Abraham and David as given by Matthew and Luke are nearly identical. No problem comes until we compare the two versions of the succession from David to Jesus: Matthew's list Luke's list (in inverse order) David David Solomon Nathan Rehoboam Mattatha Abijah Menna Asa Melea Jehoshaphat Eliakim Jehoram Jonam Uzziah Joseph Jotham Judah Ahaz Simeon Hezekiah Levi Manasseh Matthat Amon Jorim Josiah Eliezer Jeconiah Joshua Shealtiel............ Er Zerubbabel........ . Elmadam Abiud . . Cosam Eliakim . . Addi Azor ? ? Melki Zakok . . Neri Akim . ............Shealtiel Eliud ...............Zerubbabel Eleazar Rhesa Matthan Joanan Jacob Joda Joseph (husband of Mary) Josech Jesus Semein Mattathias Maath Naggai Esli Nahum Amos Mattathias Joseph Jannai Melki Levi Matthat Heli Joseph Jesus ("the son, so it was thought, of Joseph") For students of a harmony of the gospels the above comparison presents two problems; the difference in the number of generations and the dissimilarity of names. How can the two genealogies be harmonized without sacrificing the historical integrity of either? Recent critical studies have generally regarded past attempts at harmonization as just so much frustrated effort. Both H.C. Waetjen and M.D. Johnson summarily dismiss past efforts to preserve full historical authenticity as unconvincing, strained, and beside the point. In any event, it is said, historicity will not effect significantly the reader's existential response or understanding of New Testament theology. Instead, each genealogy must be understood individually and theologically in relation to the gospel in which it appears and the thought of the evangelist that is intended to express. The content and structure of each supposedly is arbitrary to suit the evangelist's purpose. What those specific purposes were need not occupy our attention here, for the analyses of scholars such as Waetjen and Johnson follow the assumptions and methodology of much recent New Testament critical scholarship. Their analyses will be no better than their assumptions and methodology. And the fundamental question of the historical reliability of the genealogies cannot be bypassed in so a cavalier a fashion. Consequently we turn our attention to the problems of harmonizing the two lists of Jesus' ancestral descent. The first problem, the difference in the number of generations, is the easier to resolve. Although it is true that Matthew lists twenty-six progenitors between David and Jesus, compared with Luke's forty, two factors must be kept in mind. First, it is not uncommon for the generations in one line of descent to increase more rapidly than in another. Second, and more important, in Jewish thinking son might mean "grandson," or, even more generally, "descendant" (as "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham," Matt. 1:1). Similarly, begat (rendered by the patter "'X' [was] the father of 'Y'" in the New International Version, Matt. 1:2-16) does not necessarily mean "was the actual (that is, immediate) father of" but instead may simply indicate real descent. Just the fact that Matthew casts his list in the form of three groups of fourteen generations suggests this was a convenient though arbitrary arrangement from which some generations may have been omitted. In fact, it can be shown that Matthew's list has omissions (cf. 2 Kings 8:24; 1 Chron. 3:11; 2 Chron. 22:1,11; 24:27; 2 Kings 23:34; 24:6). Omission of generations in biblical genealogies is not unique to this case, and Jews are known to have done it freely. The purpose of a genealogy was not to account for every generation, but to establish the fact of an undoubted succession, including especially the more prominent ancestors. The second problem is more difficult to resolve. In the two lists of succession, between David and Joseph all the names are different except Shealtiel and Zerabbabel (connected in the list by dotted lines). How is this to be accounted for? Some exegetes unnecessarily despair of finding an adequate solution or even suggest the lists are in error. Others see them as redactional devices by which the writers sought to fulfill their theological purposes in writing. But among the attempts to harmonize the genealogies with each other, four proposals deserve consideration. 1. Julius Africanus (d. A.D. 240) suggested that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph through his actual father, Jacob, but Luke gives Joseph's genealogy through his legal father, Heli. In this view, Heli died childless. His half-brother, Jacob, who had the same mother but a different father, married Heli's widow and by her had Joseph. Known as levirate marriage, this action meant that physically Joseph was the son of Jacob and legally the son of Heli. Jacob was the descendant of David through David's son Solomon, and Heli was the descendant of David through David's son Nathan. Thus, by both legal and physical lineage Joseph had a rightful claim to the Davidic throne and so would his legal (but not physical) son Jesus. Matthew gives Joseph's physical lineage, Luke his legal lineage. 2. In his classic work, The Virgin Birth of Christ, J. Gresham Machen argued for the view that Matthew gives the legal descent of Joseph whereas for the most part (he does allow for levirate marriage or transfer of lineage to a collateral line in Joseph's physical line), Luke gives the physical descent. Although the physical and legal lines are reversed, the purpose is still to establish Joseph's rightful claim to the Davidic throne. This view holds that Solomon's line failed in Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) (Jer. 22:30). But when the kingly line through Solomon became extinct, the living member of the collateral line of Nathan (Shealtiel, Matt. 1:23, cf. Luke 3:27) inherited the title to the throne. Thus, Maechen asserts, Matthew is tracing the legal heirship to the throne from David, through Solomon, through Jeconiah, with transfer to a collateral line at the point. Luke traces the physical descent (with a possibility of jumps to a collateral line or levirate marriages) to David through Nathan. Matthew starts with the question, Who is the heir to David's throne? Luke starts with the question, Who is Joseph's father? A large number of scholars have preferred some form of this view, including A. Hervey, Theodor Zahn, Vincent Taylor, and Brooke F. Westcott. 3. A third view suggests that the apparent conflict between the two genealogies of Joseph results from mistakenly assuming Luke is intending to give Joseph's genealogy. Instead it should be understood as Mary's genealogy. Joseph's name stands in for Mary's by virtue of the fact that he had become son or heir of Heli (Mary's father) by his marriage to her. This view holds that Heli died with no sons, and that Mary became his heiress (Num. 27:1-11; 36:1-12). The first of these passages seems to provide for the preservation of the name of the man who dies with daughters but no sons. In the case of Heli and his daughter, Mary, this could have been accomplished by Joseph's becoming identified with Mary's family. Joseph would be included in the family genealogy, although the genealogy is really Mary's. Thus the genealogies of Matthew and Luke diverge from David on because Matthew traces the Davidic descent of Joseph, and Luke the Davidic descent of Mary (with Joseph's name standing in). Each of the three proposals discussed thus far would resolve the apparent conflict between the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. Each also appears to be within the realm of reasonable possibility. It must be pointed out that all three, however, rely upon conjecture that is possible but far from certain. In the first two views one must appeal to levirate marriages or collateral lines to resolve difficulties. The third view rests on the conjecture that Joseph takes Mary's place in the genealogy. In addition, the first must explain why Luke rather than Matthew is interested in the legal lineage of Joseph. Both the first and second views must explain why Luke, in light of his apparent interest in and close association with Mary, would be concerned with Joseph's genealogy at all. Interested as he was in Jesus's humanity, birth, and childhood, why would Luke give the genealogy of the man who was Jesus' legal but not physical father? These questions are not unanswerable, but they do leave the field open for a view less dependent on conjecture, one that does not raise these questions. 4. There is such a view. Like the third proposed solution, this fourth view understands the genealogy in Luke really to be Mary's, but for different reasons. Here Heli is understood to be the progenitor of Mary, not of Joseph. Joseph is not properly part of the genealogy, and is mentioned only parenthetically, Luke 3:23 should then read "Jesus ... was the son (so it was thought, of Joseph) of Heli." The support for this view is impressive. a. Placing the phrase "so it was thought, of Joseph" in parentheses, and thus in effect removing it from the genealogy, is grammatically justified. In the Greek text Joseph's name occurs with the Greek definite article prefixed; every other name in the series has the article. By this device Joseph's name is shown to be not properly a part of the genealogy. Jesus was only thought to be his son. This would make Jesus the son (that is, grandson or descendant) of Heli, Mary's progenitor, and is consistent with Luke's account of Jesus' conception, which makes clear that Joseph was not his physical father (Luke 1:26-39). b. This view allows the most natural meaning of begat to stand. In other words, begat refers to actual physical descent rather than to jumps to collateral lines. c. Matthew's interest in Jesus' relation to the Old Testament and the Messianic kingdom makes it appropriate that he give Joseph's really descent from David through Solomon - a descent that is also Jesus' legal descent - and thus gives him legal claim to the Davidic throne. d. Because Luke emphasizes the humanity of Jesus, his solidarity with the human race, and the universality of salvation, it is fitting that Luke show his humanity by recording his human descent through his human parent, Mary. His pedigree is then traced back to Adam. e. The objection that Mary's name is not in Luke's version needs only the reply that women were rarely included in Jewish genealogies; though giving her descent, Luke conforms to custom by not mentioning her by name. The objection that Jews never gave the genealogy of women is met by the answer that this is a unique case; Luke is talking about a virgin birth. How else could the physical descent of one who had no human father be traced? Furthermore, Luke has already shown a creative departure from customary genealogical lists by starting with Jesus and ascending up the list of ancestors rather than starting at some point in the past and descending to Jesus. f. This view allows easy resolution of the difficulties surrounding Jeconiah (Matt. 1:11), Joseph's ancestor and David's descendant through Solomon. In 2 Sam. 7:12-17 the perpetuity of the Davidic Kingdom though Solomon (vv. 12-13) is unconditionally promised. Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) later was the royal representative of that line of descent for which eternal perpetuity had been promised. Yet for his gross sin (2 Chron. 24:8-9), Jeconiah was to be recorded as if childless, and no descendant of his would prosper on the Davidic throne (Jer. 22:30). This poses a dilemma. It is Jeconiah through whom the Solomonic descent and legal right to the throne properly should be traced. Solomon's throne had already been unconditionally promised eternal perpetuity. Yet Jeconiah will have no physical descendants who will prosper on that throne. How may both the divine promise and the curse be fulfilled? First, notice that Jeremiah's account neither indicates Jeconiah would have no seed, nor does is say Jeconiah's line has had its legal claim to the throne removed by his sin. The legal claim to the throne remains with Jeconiah's line, and Matthew records that descent down to Joseph. In 1:16, Matthew preserves the virgin birth of Jesus and at the same time makes clear that Jesus does not come under the curse upon Jeconiah. He breaks the pattern and carefully avoids saying that Joseph (a descendant of Jeconiah) begat Instead he refers to "Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus." In the English translation the antecedent of "whom" is ambiguous. But in the Greek text, "whom" is feminine singular in form and can refer only to Mary who was not a descendant of Jeconiah. As to human parentage, Jesus was born of Mary alone, through Joseph his legal father. As Jesus' legal father, Joseph's legal claim passed to Jesus. But because Jesus was not actually Jeconiah's seed, although of actual Davidic descent through Mary, descendant of Nathan, Jesus escaped the curse on Jeconiah's seed pronounced in Jeremiah (22:30. Thus the problem is resolved. What we have then are two different genealogies of two people. Probably even the Shealtiel and Zerubbabel of Matthew and Luke are different persons. This view does not depend on conjecture, rests with evidence within the texts themselves, fits the purposes of the evangelists, and easily resolves the problem surrounding Jeconiah. Of this view L.M. Sweet appropriately wrote, "Its simplicity and felicitous adjustment to the whole complex situation is precisely its recommendation." Although it is not, strictly speaking, a harmonistic problem, one other difficulty of lesser significance found in Matthew's record of Josephs's genealogy needs discussion here. In 1:17, Matthew divides the generations from Abraham to Christ into three groups of fourteen generations; from Abraham to David, from David to the deportation of Babylon, and from the deportation to Christ. In part, this was likely a device used by Matthew to aid memory; it does not imply that he mentioned every progenitor. At least five names are omitted: Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Jehoiakim, and Eliakim. As previously stated, this procedure was not unusual and presents no real problem. With three groups of fourteen generations, however, one does expect to find forty two different names. But there are only forty-one. Although one set has only thirteen different names, the problem is only apparent. Matthew does not speak of forty-two different names but of three groups of fourteen generations, which he divides for himself. David's name concludes the first set and stands first in the second set (cf. 1:17). In other words, David is counted twice and is thus given special prominence in the genealogy that shows Jesus' Davidic throne rights through his legal father, Joseph. Another means used for increasing the focus on David is the title assigned to him in Matthew 1:6. He is called King David, and is the only person in the genealogy to whom a title is given. Possibly the Davidic emphasis is even further enhanced by the number 14. The sum of the numerical value of the Hebrew letters in the name David is 14. To the modern reader this might seem overly subtle, but it was not necessarily so in ancient Semitic thought. The numerical value of David's name, however, is not necessary to the resolution of this problem. Again, alleged discrepancies between and in the genealogical lists of Matthew and Luke are shown to be more apparent than real. Reasonable solutions to the problems exist and even throw further light on the text. ============ Johnson, Marshall D. The Purpose of the Biblical Genealogies: With Special Reference to the Setting of the Genealogies of Jesus, 1969 pp. 139-256. Machen, J. Gresham. The Virgin Birth of Christ, 1930. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, "The Genealogy of Jesus Christ," L. M. Sweet. Waetjen, Herman C. "The Genealogy as the Key to the Gospel according to Matthew," Journal of Biblical Literature 95 (1976): 205-230.
But really, I don't claim to be speaking for God in that way. God spoke for Himself and the people He spoke to were inspired to record it. It is not secret knowledge, it is right there for anyone who cares enough to pursue it.
Some common tests used to determine if the person behind the book was really inspired by God are 1) Ability to do miracles authenticates their message 2) They give prophecy that is later fulfilled or 3) Prophecy by someone who met #2 was givne and they fufilled it.
"The book says the book is true" doesn't hold up logically. But, to each his own. Peace
Do you know as much about Mormonism as you profess to know about everything else?
The question is false? What's the recorded Egyptian explanation on how the pyramids were built?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.