Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Was Matthew’s genealogy artificially composed?

I have been intrigued by Matthew’s use of “son of David” as one of the titles for Jesus, particularly since Matthew who has used this phrase in seven passages in his Gospel and six of these are healing stories. This seemed odd to me but I have not been able to articulated why it seemed odd to me.

Luke traced the lineage of Jesus to David through his son Nathan while Matthew traces the lineage of Jesus to David through his son, Solomon. Last July 6th, I added a comment to my blog on Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!,, wherein I stated the tradition concerning the healing powers of Solomon may be based upon Chapter 7 of the Wisdom of Solomon. Previously on April 19th, in my blog, The Epistle of Barnabas and the Deuteronomic tradition,, I expressed surprise that that the Epistle of Barnabas denied the Davidic royal notion of messiah (12:10b, 11b).

I am now wondering if the author of the Epistle of Barnabas was aware that Matthew’s genealogy was artificially composed.

The artificial composition of the genealogy is suggested by several facts. This genealogy is ordered in three divisions with each division consisting of fourteen generations. In the third division, Matthew covers the period of more than five centuries with only fourteen generations while Luke has twenty-two generations.

It appears to me that Matthew rearranged the genealogy to support his claim that Jesus was the son of David, a descendant of David and Solomon, and like the Solomon of traditions, one blessed with the ability to heal.

Readers may be aware of the dispute among some bloggers about the need for peer review of new ideas. Consequently I need to issue a CAUTION. This article, in fact, none of my blog articles have been peer reviewed.

copyrighted 2005


Blogger Pelty said...

If I could briefly add to your queries about Solomon and healing/magic, it would be worth your while to note that Josephus also mentions Solomon's powers over daemons (I am blanking on the reference; I apologize). Further, there is the obvious (but later) Testament of Solomon and the lesser-known Epistle to Rehoboam which also refer to healing and exorcistic abilities. A book worth looking at that attempts to trace this tradition is Pablo Torijano's "Solomon the Esoteric King: From King to Magus..."

4:35 PM

Blogger Pelty said...

One other thing. You may be putting the cart before the horse when you say that the Solomonic healing traditions are based upon the Wisdom passage. It is more likely that the healing tradition was "out there" in some circle(s) to include the one to which the author of that section of Wisdom belonged. If we approach it from your angle, that is an awful lot of weight being placed on one somewhat opaque passage. Given that the Qumran community also was aware of this tradition as was Josephus, it seems more likely that this association of magical healing and exorcism was a current into which the author of Wisdom dipped.

10:13 PM


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