I’ll never look at geneologies in the Bible the same way

Faith Comes By Hearing is a ministry that produces audio recordings of the Bible in 371 languages and all are available for free download. Some countries are 80-90% illiterate, so getting the spoken Word to them is a powerful evangelistic tool. They have a product which is just really, really cool. “The Proclaimer is an audio player containing the New Testament on an embedded microchip. It has just one purpose: to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the nations! The Proclaimer is practically indestructible. It can play by solar panel . . .”

This is a great ministry to donate to as well as a terrific source of free audio Bibles for your MP3 player.  Check out their web site and see what I mean.

I heard their President speak a couple years ago and was fascinated at how many of these cultures fixate on the genealogies that we reflexively want to skip over.  But for them, a person’s ancestors have a big impact on their credibility.  So when they realize who Jesus’ ancestors were they were prepared to take him more seriously.

5 thoughts on “I’ll never look at geneologies in the Bible the same way

  1. So when they realize who Jesus’ ancestors were they were prepared to take him more seriously.

    A few years ago, I participated in a Bible study that focused completely on the book of Matthew. The leader made a big point of saying that the geneological section at the beginning was put there so that the Jews (who were the book’s primary audience) would see that Jesus was of a royal lineage going back to King David.

    What I don’t quite understand is that knowing this, why the Pharisees and other elements of the Jewish leadership of Jesus’ day still didn’t take Him seriously. Were they not aware of the ancestry that Matthew chronicles for us, or did they not believe it, not care….?

    For that matter, why didn’t Joseph (Mary’s fiancee) or his immediate ancestors appear to have a crown or any other royal trappings, for lack of a better term? Was the kingship in Israel simply abolished when the Romans invaded the country?

    • The Jewish leaders knew, but chose to refuse to believe, instead spreading the rumor that Jesus was conceived by fornication, thus it wouldn’t matter who His earthly father or mother were, He would have been a bastard at best, and quite possibly a half-breed Jew.

      And as for why Joseph and Mary didn’t any “royal trappings”, I can see two reasons:

      1) The last true (and rich) Davidic king very likely would have been the one deposed at the start of the Babylonian captivity. [I'm not up on my ancient Jewish history of the time between the captivity and Jesus' day, but I don't think there was a ruling king during that time, or at least not continuously; and the rulers of that time were not of the line of David, like Herod, who wasn't even fully Jewish, much less a descendant of David.] Thus, probably almost all of the descendants of David would have like all the other Israelites — generally poor, though perhaps some had acquired and kept some wealth.

      2) David probably had 10,000 descendants by that time. He had lots of children and they all had lots of children (Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines; I don’t think the number of his children is mentioned, but if each woman had only one child by Solomon, that would still be 1,000 children just from Solomon — maybe 10,000 is too low a number, although certainly many of his descendants were targeted for extermination because they may have been rivals to other kings). It would be impossible for all of them to have the trappings of royalty hundreds of years later.

      Serendipitously, I recently read of a historic discovery of the body of Richard III, who was killed in battle in the late 1400’s. One of the ways they authenticated the body was to take a DNA sample from the body and compare it to known descendants of Richard, or at least, of the same royal line. There were two such people alive, one living as a clerk or something fairly lowly in Canada, and the other wished not to be identified. Only 500 years later, this royal descendant was living an obscure life, and was rather poor. So we have a modern example of the obscurity to which some people descend, though they had wealthy and/or well-known ancestors.

  2. We’ve lost the importance of genealogies because our culture is so focused on the individual and not one’s family. I think our country is more an oddity in history in more ways than we can imagine.

  3. I think studying one’s genealogy can be fascinating, because it gives you a sense of your place in history.

    Some people go over-board in such studies and spend their whole lives doing it, finding every connection to distant cousins, etc, and it can get to be virtual idolatry. But finding direct links from parents to their parents, etc, is plenty to find one’s connections to history.

So, what do you think?

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