No word of God is without power.
GREEK AND ENGLISH HARMONY
COPYRIGHT NEIL CADMAN B'Sc.(Arch.) B Arch. M.Rel.Ed.
ARE THERE ERRORS IN THE BIBLE?
ARE THERE ERRORS IN THE GOSPELS?
IS THERE LITERARY DEPENDENCY IN THE GOSPELS?
THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM
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Matthew’s record of Christ’s ancestry varies from Luke’s record and both vary from the record in Chronicles and all
three vary from the record in Genesis. These variations have valid reasons. The genealogies within Chronicles and following do
not contain all the names of those mentioned in Genesis because there is no need. In reality only a few names need be
mentioned. Since inerrancy is attributed to the first Biblical document, Genesis, the names within Matthew 1, Luke 3 and
Chronicles automatically assume the relationship of one to another in the first genealogy, for that is its reference point. Where
names occasionally differ, it presents little real problem for it was quite common for the Hebrews to be known by several
different names. E.g. Paul was also known as Saul and Peter as Celphas.
Matthew’s genealogy is the genealogy of Joseph and is not the bloodline of Jesus but nevertheless it is His ancestry
according to Jewish law. The bloodline of Jesus through Mary is recorded in Luke. It is plain the ancestry is through Mary even
though Mary’s name is not mentioned but rather Joseph’s. Joseph is recorded as the son of Heli but Heli, we see from Matthew,
did not beget Joseph. Matthew says that Jacob begot Joseph. (Matt. 1:16)
However a son in law is also called a son. So Heli could beget Mary and not Joseph but still have have him as a son through
marriage. The fact that Luke says, “Jesus as was supposed was the son of Joseph” (Lk.3: 23) implies a contradiction to what was
supposed. So in reality, Luke is saying that Jesus was not the son of Joseph even though people thought He was. Therefore Luke
records the ancestry through Mary’s line and enables it to be done so without directly mentioning that Jesus had no earthly
father. This could not be done if the genealogy was arranged in the same manner as Matthew’s, which begins with Abraham.
Luke’s account, if it were written today would say: “Jesus was the son of Mary and the supposed son of Joseph, the husband of
Mary. Joseph being the son in law of Heli who was the father of Mary…”
It can be seen from the foregoing that the difficulties of different genealogies in the Gospels do not detract from the
accuracy of the Scriptures but in a subtle and precise manner add to the veracity of the testimonies, for these intricacies indicate
that they are separate testimonies from separate sources; that is if they were humanly recorded written sources. However since
the genealogies are in different order to each other this rules out a common written source such as may have been found in
temple records, for no one copies documents in reverse order but it supports revelation by the Holy Spirit. The Temple records
would only have one order, which would not be Luke's but Matthew's. This is strong evidence against the idea of the individual
books of the Gospels being copied one from another.
The line from Abraham to Solomon is essentially the same, except that Matthew has Judas, Luke has Judah.
The genealogy from Adam to Abraham is not given in Matthew emphasizing that Jesus is the son of promise, the
fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus is not a descendent through this line because of the virgin birth.
In Luke the generations before Abraham appears to be abridged as some names are omitted. Luke's descendency goes
back to Adam then God. But because of the virgin birth, Jesus is not a descendent of Adam through this line on the
male side either, so it is appropriate that the descendency goes back to God. For Jesus male line is God, He is the second
Adam, the true Son of God.
Dialogue which is different to Luke is highlighted in green. Dialogue which is different to Matthew is highlighted in turquoise. Dialogue which is common is indicated in bold.
CLIMATE CHANGE OR GOD'S JUDGEMENT