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The Rhetoric of the Genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel According to

Matthew

1. Different Readings of Mtt 1:1-17


The discussion on the harmony of genealogies of Jesus begun by Sextus Julius Africanus (d.
237 CE), a contemporary of Origen, in the ancient Christianity began to fade only in the last
century and questions were raised about their sources in the German speaking world. 1 The
pioneers of form criticism were not fascinated by the genealogies of Jesus; for them Mtt 1-2
and Lk 1-2 were collections of “myths” and “legends” and serious study on the gospels
should start with the baptism of Jesus only. 2 The extensive study of M. D. Johnson about the
form and function of biblical genealogies helped NT academicians divert their attention to
new avenues of interpretation. 3 Johnson’s thesis of a genealogical method of the Christian
apology about Jesus the Messiah was welcomed by many. R. R. Wilson invited our attention
to the use of genealogies in deciphering the history of a community of the ancient Greco-
Roman world.4

Modern scholarship shifted their attention from the questions about the Quellen of the
genealogies to the questions from the perspective of the redaktionsgeschichte and they found
out the theological significance of the infancy narratives of the gospels in general and that of
the genealogies in particular.5 B. M. Nolan talks about a Royal Covenant Christology in Mtt
1-2 which is described further in Mtt 3-286 and Raymond E Brown sees Mtt 1:1-17 as an
attempt of the evangelist to underline the process of a post-Easter theological development of
the Son of God Christology. 7 In this juncture we find the scope for reading the genealogy of
Jesus in Matthew from a rhetorical critical perspective; “text” and “intertextuality” of the
genealogy is to be studied carefully. Mtt 1:1-17 is not simply a “reproduction” of existing

1
Julius Africanus wrote about the harmony of the two genealogies of Jesus (Mtt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38) in his
Letter to Aristides; according to this the priesthood and royal heritage of Jesus should have met in the
genealogies; see Eusebius of Caesarea, History of Christianity, I, 7,16. A study about Africanus led P. Vogt to
claim that the genealogy of Mary in Lk 3:23-38 shows the biological heritage of Jesus and the genealogy of
Joseph in Mtt 1:2-16 expresses the legal inheritance of Jesus; P. Vogt, Der Stammbaum be idem Evangelisten
Matthaeus, BSt [F] 12/3, (Freiburg, 1907); J. M. Heer, Stammbaueme Jesu bei Matthaeus und Lukas (Freiburg,
1910), G. Kuhn, “Geschlechtsregister Jesu bei Lukas und Mattaeus nach ihrer Herkunft untersuct” ZNW 22
(1923) 206-228, and K. Bornhaueser, Die Geburts- und Kindheitsgeschichte Jesu (Guetersloh 1930) were trying
to find out the sources for the genealogies of Jesus.
2
Hermann Gunkel called the infancy Narratives as “Sage” while R. Bultmann simply ignored this portion in his
studies on the gospels. K. L. Schnmidt found in Mtt 1-2 and Lk 1-2 more liturgical elements than biographical
and for G. Bornkamm found in them “Legende” developed out of the expectation of the Messiah.
3
M. D. Johnson, Purpose of Biblical Genealogies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969).
4
R. R. Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Old Testament: A Study of the Form and Function of the Old
Testament Genealogies in their Near Eastern Context (Michigan, 1972).
5
E. A. Ahirika, “The Theology of Matthew in the Light of the Nativity story”, BiBh 16 (1990), 5-19; F.
Kattenbusch, “Die Geburtsgeschichte als haggada der Urchristology”, ThStKr 102 (1930), 454-74; D.
Nineham, “The Genealogy in St. Matthew’s Gospel and its significance for the Study of the Gospel”, BJRL 58
(1975/6), 421-444; R. Pesch, Zur theologie der Kindheitsgeschichte. Der heutige Stand der Exegese (Muenchen,
1981); K. F. Plum, “Genealogy as Theology”, SJOT 1 (1989), 66-92; H. C. Waetjen, “The Genealogy as the
Key to the Gospel According to Matthew”, JBL 95 (1976), 205-230.
6
B. M. Nolan, The Royal Son of God (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck and Rupprecht, 1979).
7
Raymond E Brown, The Birth of the Messiah (London, 1977/1993).
1
records. Rather, it was “constructed” to answer the issues raised by the community of its
recipients, or to say, the readers.

2. Rhetorical Criticism and Mtt 1:1-17


Craig S Keener’s The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary is an important
work in reading the first gospel from a socio-rhetorical perspective. 8 He states in the first
page of his work itself that the Greco-Roman rhetorical observations are “less relevant for
Matthew than for many other areas of NT interpretation” and that Matthew’s speeches reflect
“a more Palestinian Jewish sage ‘rhetoric’ and Matthew’s own editing reflects also popular
biographic techniques with somewhat limited analogies to the rhetoric of elite speeches”. 9 He
wishes to discuss Mtt 1:1-17 in the context of the custom of “rhetorically sensitive speakers
and writers” who used the introductory sections “to establish rapport or goodwill” with the
rest of their work; for these, both in literature and speeches, an introduction was a “necessary
background for major themes”.10 Keener is right in observing that Matthew establishes a
“rhetorical community with his audience in his proem” because “proems typically appealed
to audience sympathy”.11 Here he agrees with George A Kennedy’s statement: “Matthew
begins with a clearly defined proem (1:1—17). It is an unusual proem which makes no
specific appeal to the interest and sympathy of the audience, but it nevertheless performs that
function”.12 However, Keener fails to give us a closer look into the important “rhetorical
indices” used by Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus.

W. Wuellner presents the ups and downs of Rhetorical Criticism in his study about the
Narrative Rhetoric of John 11.13 James Muehlenberg caricatures Rhetorical Criticism as an
offshoot of Form Criticism.14 Phyllis Trible stresses “the organic unity of form and content”, a
“close reading of the parts and whole of a text” as “full rhetorical analysis”. 15 By an “intrinsic
reading” of the text the details of the text like the beginning and ending of a text, repetition of
words and phrases, design and structure, plot development, character portrayals etc. are
important. 16 Anthony Thiselton sees two or three distinct ways of understanding of the word
“intertextuality” which was coined by Julia Kristeva. 17 The underlying principle of
intertextuality sees every text we write or speak is “constructed from the building blocks of
previous texts”. For Kristeva “it was not simply a study of sources” but rather “ a

8
Craig S Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William
B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009).
9
Ibid, xxv.
10
Ibid, xxvii.
11
Ibid, 77.
12
George A Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism (Chapel Hll, NC: University
of North Carolina Press, 1984) 102.
13
W. Wuellner, “Rhetorical Criticism and its Theory in Culture-Critical perspective: The Narrative Rhetoric of
John 11”, in Text and Interpretation. New Approaches in the Criticism of the New Testament, Eds. P. J. Hartin
and J. H. Petzer (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1991), 171-186.
14
James Muehlenberg, “Form Criticism and Beyond”, Journal of Biblical Literature 88 (1969):1-18.
15
Phyllis Trible, Rhetorical Criticism:Context, Method, and the Book of Jonah (Minneapolis:Fortress, 1994), 91.
16
Patricia K. Tull, “Rhetorical Criticism and Intertextuality”, in: To Each Its Own Meaning, Eds. Steven L.
McKenzie and Stephen R. Haynes (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999), 159.
17
Anthony Thiselton, New Horizons in Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House,
1992), 38.
2
‘transposition’, which demanded a new understanding of a text that could no longer be seen
as ‘single’, ‘complete’ but always as ‘plural’, shattered”.18

Intertextuality is for Jonathan Culler “prior body of discourse in terms of which a given text
becomes intelligible: that which the text implicitly or explicitly takes up, prolongs, cites,
refutes, transposes…”.19 It can be “pre-understanding” or even “pre-suppositions”. It can be
an “inner-biblical exegesis” too where a later biblical writer takes up an earlier biblical text in
order to “re-use”, “re-contextualise” , “extend”, “reformulate”, “re-interpret” or “transform”
it.20 For George Kennedy Rhetorical Criticism “takes the text as we have it, whether the work
of a single author or the product of editing, and looks at it from the point of view of the
author’s or editor’s intent, the unified results, and how it would be perceived by an audience
of near contemporaries”.21 Sometimes “the writers of the New Testament may not have
received formal training in rhetoric, but they had enough cultural contact with a world
dominated by classical rhetorical education to be aware of its norms and practices”. 22 The role
of the community and the dialogue between the author and his community are much
discussed in recent studies.23 This gives an opening for discussing the relevance of a text and
the “genotexts” in the original setting as well as for the recipients and readers. Patricia K. Tull
states that “no text, not even Bible, enters an ideological vacuum. Rather, even in the most
submissive of readers, even in the readers closest to the author’s own contexts, texts meet
assumptions, experiences, questions, and demands that the authors could not have
anticipated”.24

3. The Christological Title Son of Abraham and the Rhetoric of Mtt 1:1
Elaine Wainwright rightly points out that “the intertextual possibilities in the opening of the
Matthean Gospel shape readers to encounter a new book, a book of origins like the first book
of the Bible, a beginning of a new story”.25 The word Toledoth appears 36 times in Hebrew
Old Testament and among them 21 times ge,nesij is the LXX equivalent. It runs through
the history of the People of God as a red line and it bridges gaps in that history. In our case
the scholars differ on their opinion about the function of the phrase in Mtt 1:1. R.
Schnackenburg puts it as the inaugural words of the Genealogy of Jesus while U. Luz sees it
as the title of the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. R. E. Brown finds “certain logic” in
applying the title to the whole of Mtt 1-2. 26 However, the phrase bi,bloj gene,sewj in Matt
18
Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, Trans. Margaret Waller (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1984), 59-60.
19
A. Thiselton, New Horizons, 38.
20
Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 440.
21
George A Kennedy, 4.
22
See Patricia K. Tull, “Rhetorical Criticism and Intertextuality”, in: Steven L. McKenzie and Stephen R.
Haynes (Eds.), To Each Its Own Meaning (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999), 161.
23
Graham N. Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992); A. J.
Saldarini, Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).
24
Patricia K. Tull, Rhetorical Criticism , 163.
25
Elaine Wainwright, “Rachel Weeping for her children: Intertextuality and the Biblical Testaments- A Feminist
Approach”, Athalya Brenner and Carole Fontaine, A Feminist Companion to Reading the Bible. Approaches,
Methods and Strategies (Sheffield: Scheffield Academic Press, 1997), 460.
26
R. Schnackenburg, Matthaeusevangelium, NEB.NT 1/1 (Zuerich, 1985), U. Luz, Matthew 1-7, Trans. Wilhelm
C Linss (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989), 104, Raymond E Brown, The Birth of the Messiah, Vol. I, The Anchor
Bible Reference Library (New York: Doubleday, 1993) pp. 59, 584.
3
1:1 is hapax legomenon in New Testament and in LXX it appears twice only as the
translation for sepher toledoth of the Hebrew Bible: In Gen 2:4 bi,bloj gene,sewj is an
introduction to the following narration whereas in Gen 5:1 it can mean both the introduction
to a genealogy as well as the beginning of a narration. 27 One who examines Mtt 1:1-17
closely and one who compares its theological ideas with the theology of the narration of the
Gospel will have no doubt in seeing it as the title of the book and to interpret the genealogy
as the Christological introduction to the whole gospel.28
Matthew’s fascination for the number three is reflected in the title of the Gospel as in other
places. There are three titles for Jesus: Son of David, Son of Abraham and Christ.29 The
rhetoric of Mtt 1:1 pronounces the programmatic statement of the whole gospel: Jesus is not
simply a saviour of the People of God who received the promises of the Messiah, the Son of
David. He is at the same time the Son of Abraham who fulfils the promises given to Abraham
not only as the father of the Israelites (Gen 15:4) but also as the father of a multitude of
nations (Gen 17:4), who asks his disciples to “go to all nations and make them my disciples”
(Mtt 28:19). As per the Gospels and the writings Paul to Romans and Galatians we
understand that this title was much discussed in the Early Church and it carried a theology of
transformation.

However, it is interesting to note how Jesus and the writers of the Early Church challenge the
Jews about their understanding of the title Son of Abraham. The usage spe,rma
`Abraa,m was in NT the terminus technicus for Israelites; the people who inherited the
privilege of an Israelite through birth and circumcision (Lk 1:35; Acts 7:5-6). In the Q text of
the sermon of John the Baptist o` path.r h`mwn `Abraa’,m was the self understanding
of Jews in general and that of the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to John for baptism (Lk
3:7-8; Mtt 3:7-9). Paul calls his Jewish audience as ui`oi ge,nouj `Abraa,m (Acts
13;26). Luke calls Zachaeus u`ioj `Abraa,m (LK 19:9) and the woman with bleeding
quga,thr `Abraa,m (Lk 13:16). The rich man who was tormented in Hades calls
Abraham pa,ter `Abraa,m and Abraham replies by calling him te,knon (Lk 16:24-25).
However, he does not get a reward after death for his claim as son of Abraham; on the
contrary, it is Lazarus who sits on the “bosom of Abraham”.

In Lk 3:9 we see that in the Messianic time the inheritance of Abraham will be based neither
on their biological inheritance nor on the mark of circumcision. God is able to raise te,kna
tou `Abraa,m out of the stones. “Bearing fruits” is the criterion for achieving the title
“children of Abraham”. This is underlined in the debate between Jesus and the Jewish
leaders in Jn 8: 30-47.30 It is not the genealogical inheritance of the Jews as sons of Abraham
but ta. evrga tou `Abraa,m is the decisive factor for the inheritance of God’s blessings
(Jn 8:39). Paul clarifies our doubts about such debates in his epistles to Romans and Galatians

27
Reji Mathew, Die Genealogie Matthaeus 1:1-17 im Rahmen der Christologies des Matthaeusevangeliums,
Erlangen, 1997, pp. 68-70
28
Reji Mathew, Die Genealogie Matthaeus 1:1-17 im Rahmen der Christologies des Matthaeusevangeliums,
Erlangen, 1997.
29
Beyse, K. M, “Das Geheimnis der Drei. Die Dreizahl in der Erzelungen des Alten und Neuen Testaments”, in :
C. Meyer etc. Nach den Anfangen Fragen. Festschrift G. Dautzenberg (Giessen, 1994) 95-105.
30
Dozeman, T. B, “Sperma Abraam in John 8 and Related Literature”, CBQ 42 (1980) 342ff.
4
(Rom 4: Gal 3).31 He makes an etymological note in Galatians; God’s promise to Abraham
was not in favour of the “offsprings”, but to “the offspring” (Gal 3:6-9), which is Christ. 32
The whole discussion of the sonship of Abraham comes to a climax when Paul says: “If you
belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Gal
3:29).

Matthew enters into this world of debate and makes his point through the Christological title
“Son of Abraham” which is unique in New Testament. By bringing this title into the attention
of his readers not only does he take us back to the whole stuff of narrations about Abraham in
the Old Testament but also does he make a closing remark on the debate about Abraham and
his kinship. Moreover, the inter-relationship of the titles “Son of David” and “Son of
Abraham” makes the Matthean rhetoric a hope for a community which had believers from
Jewish and Gentile backgrounds.33

4. Intertextuality and Rhetorical Indices of Mtt 1:2-16


M D Johnson makes it clear that the form and function of a genealogy are closely related. A
close look at the genealogies of the Old Testament in general and that of 1 Chronicles, which
is called the “genealogical portico” of the book by some scholars, gives us a lot of
information about the literary form of a genealogy. The “linear” and “segmented” genealogies
were produced by ancient scribes to fulfil the social and literary needs of the hour. The
“location”, “depth” and “fluidity” of a genealogy tells us the intention of the author. 34 In the
Greco-Roman world genealogies were produced for different purposes; a) Religious Purpose
– eg: appointing someone as an employee of the Temple of Jerusalem, b) Political Purpose –
eg: admitting someone in the army of a nation, c) Social Purpose – eg: fixing marital
relationship of two individuals, d) Judicial Purpose – eg: settling legal battles between two
relatives etc. There was a legal need for the genealogy of Jesus when the child was
circumcised and named and Joseph had no option other than producing his own genealogy
and to claim that he was the legal father of the child.

For many readers of antiquity as well as of modern times the differences between Mtt 1:1-17
and Lk 3:23-38 are quite interesting. Adylson Valdez makes a beautiful comparison of both
these genealogies of Jesus in his recent studies.35 However, more significant are the
“additions” made to the names in the genealogy. The message of Mtt 1:2-16 will be evident
only when we make a note of these “rhetorical indices”. With the help of a title given to a
name, a phrase or additional information the evangelist would make the story of Jesus, the
main character of the gospel, more meaningful.

a) Abraham as Urvater of Jesus

31
M. Cranford, “Abraham in Romans 4; The Father of all who believe”, NTS 41 (1995), 71-88.
32
See more about this in Juergen Roloff, “Abraham im Neuen Testament”, in: Exegetische Verantwortung in der
Kirche, Ed. By Martin Karrer (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck and Rupprecht, 1990), 231-254.
33
Reji Mathew, Genealogie Jesu, 114-149.
34
See more on this by Reji Mathew, gnealogie…24-39.
35
Adylson Valdez, “The Genealogies of Jesus” Revista Bíblica 71/3-4 (2009) 193-4.
5
The striking difference between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke is the starting point of
the history of Israel told by the genealogy. For Matthew, it is not in Adam, but in Abraham
begins the history of Israel.36 And the reader has no difficulty in remembering the history of
Israel in Mtt 1:2-16 and it is compatible with the story that he/she has in mind. For the reader
as well as for Matthew the history of Israel means the salvation history of mankind. It starts
not with Adam, but with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3). This fact is evident in the Early Christian
speeches like those of Acts of the Apostles too.

b) “The brothers” in the Glory and Downfall of Israel


Usually brothers or sisters will not be mentioned in a linear genealogy; the major lineage will
only be reproduced. But Matthew tells us about the brothers at three instances of the
genealogy of Jesus: a) Judah and his brothers (Mtt 1:2), b) Perez and his brother Serach (Mtt
1:3) and c) Joconiah and his brothers (Mtt 1:11). By mentioning the brothers along with the
name of Judah Matthew wants us to understand that Jesus is not simply an heir to one of the
Patriarchs; He is the successor of the Israelites as a whole, the People of God. Although Judah
had five sons Matthew mentions only Serach, because the other three were born from another
mother (1 Chr 2:3-4); only the children of Tamar are considered as forefathers of the
Messiah. Similarly, by mentioning the brothers of Jeconiah and his brothers “at the time of
the Babylonian exile” we are reminded of another message: the one who shares the glory of
the Patriarchal age is also destined to share the downfall of that community. Here the
evangelist succeeds in bringing up a long story of the history of Israel into our observation
simply by using the phrase the brothers.

c) The Wife of Urijah and the other three great grandmothers of Jesus
Names of five women in Mtt 1:1-17 are fascinating for a student of the genealogy. The
selection of the names of the fore-mothers of Jesus and the avoidance of the name Beersheba
and calling her instead “the Wife of Uriah” gives us an opening for intertextuality and for
Matthew’s rhetoric in the genealogy. The “classical theory” of P. Billerbeck about the absence
of names of women in the Old Testament is categorically refuted by recent students of
genealogies.37 What is fascinating in Mtt 1:2-16 is not the inclusion of women in a
genealogical list, but the selection of the names. Matthew could have included elite names
like Sarah, Rebecca, Asneth etc; but what he does is selecting women like Tamar, Rahab, Rut
and Beersheba, whose known stories are in shameful shades. Behind each feminine name
there is an OT text and a story which is well known by the readers; Tamar (Gen 38), Rahab
(Jos 2), Rut (Rut 1-4) and Beersheba (2 Sam 11). Ancient interpreters interpreted the
occurrence of these names as indices for “sinners” for whose salvation Jesus was born;
Krister Stendahl saw in these names the “irregularity of God’s handling” and J. Schaberg
found in them a justification for “the illegitimate birth” of Jesus. 38 All these theories have
been challenged by modern scholars and proved wrong.39

36
Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (London, 1975).
37
See more on this by Reji Matthew, Genealogie Jesu, Pp. 34-39.
38
K. Stendahl, “Quis et Unde”, in Judentum-Urchristentum-Kirche, Ed. W. Eltester, Festschrift J. Jeremias
(Berlin: 1960), 101; J. Schaberg, “The Foremothers and the Mother of Jesus”, Concilium 206 (1989), 112-119.
39
Reji Mathew, Genealogie, 133-7.
6
A better solution can be found in the following way: Even though these three women had
gentile backgrounds they became part of the People of God by their allegiance to the faith of
Israel. At the time of the formation of the first Gospel these women were considered as model
proselytes. Intertestamental writers like Philo of Alexandria called Tamar “the Mother of
Faith”, a counter part to Abraham, “the Father of Faith” as far as the history of Israel is
concerned.40 Similarly, Rahab is praised for her faith in YHWH not only in the Letter to the
Hebrews (Heb 11:31) but also in the Letter of James (Jam 2:24-26) and in the latter she is
placed along with Abraham for maintaining the faith in YHWH. The Book of Rut makes it
clear that she wanted not to leave her dead husband’s clan because of her attraction to the
faith of Israelites.

However, the most interesting fact for the reader is the avoidance of the name Beersheba in
the list and in that place the evangelist puts the phrase “the wife of Uria”. There lies the
intertextuality of the Matthean rhetoric. By calling Beersheba “the wife of Uria” Matthew
invites our attention more to the name of her husband and thereby her religious background
than to the heinous act of King David. Since she was a Jewess by birth Matthew calls her “the
wife of Uria”; this makes her suitable to fit in the group of the other three. By putting these
names in the ancestral list of Jesus the evangelist wants to communicate with us the story of
Jesus, the Son of Abraham, who gives the “people of other nations” enough space in the
community of the People of God.

d) Numerical Symbolism 3x14 and the Missing Names


For Matthew the numerical symbolism plays an important role in his rhetoric about Jesus the
Messiah, the Son of David. It is an established fact that the writers of the Jewish cultural
milieu used numbers often with a rhetorical objective, i.e. for emphasis of a person, idea or in
a hyperbolic sense.41 At times the rhetorical effect is achieved through a latent number, i.e.,
certain words or names appear a given number of times, although the actual figure is not
specified. Hebrew literature is not altogether unique in this regard; analogues are to be found
in literature of the Ancient Near Eastern world. However, the biblical use of sacred numbers
is significant and Matthew makes a good use of it in the genealogy. From beginning to the
end of the rhetoric about Jesus the first evangelist finds number three important and he
divides sections and subsections in groups of three.42 He might have been influenced by the
Early Christian emphasis on the trinity. Number seven was the sacred number and the number
of perfection for the Jews always and number fourteen was the numerical value for the name
David. U. Luz rightly observes that the number 14 and the scheme of 3x14 in Mtt 1:2-16 are
purely Matthean contributions.43 The significance of the Davidic number fourteen is evident
in the genealogy not simply by organizing the names in three groups of 14 each but also by
stating this fact in Mtt 1:17.44 However, the mathematical inaccuracy of this division is not so
important for Matthew. For the sake of maintaining number 14 in the second phase of the
40
Ibid, 142-6.
41
Israel Abrahams, “Numbers, Typical and Important” in Jewish Virtual Library,
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud.
42
Reji Mathew, Genealogies Jesu, 109.
43
U. Luz, Matthew 1-7, 107.
44
Cf. S. Valler, “The Number Fourteen as a Literary Device in the Babylonian Talmud”, JSJ 26 (1995) 169-184.
7
genealogy he cuts short the list of Judean kings.45 When we compare Mtt 1:7-11 with the list
of 1 Chron 3;10-16 (Uzziah in Matthew is Azariah in 1 Chronicles) we find the absence of
names of three kings, viz. Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah. 46 In rhetoric “avoiding” certain
incident or name would communicate a message as good as by a narration of these. In short,
not only does Matthew introduce the number scheme three times fourteen but also does he
avoid some names to communicate a new message: Jesus, the Son of David, is three times
powerful than king David, the greatest figure of Jewish history.

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J. Jeremias (Berlin: 1960), 101.
45
See the missing names by Adylson Valdez, “The Genealogies of Jesus: A Complementation”, Revista Bíblica
73/3-4 (2011) 117-129.
46
Rick Freeman, “Do the Genesis Genealogies Contain Gaps?”, in Answers in Depth, Vol. 2(2007), pp. 83– 97.
https://assets.answersingenesis.org/doc/articles/aid/v2/do-genesis-genealogies-contain-gaps.pdf
8
Stilll, Judith and Michael Worton. Intertextuality: Theories and Practices. Ed. Judith Still and
Michael Worton. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1991.
Thiselton, Anthony. New Horizons in Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1992.
Waetjen, H. C. “The Genealogy as the Key to the Gospel According to Matthew”. JBL 95
(1976), 205-230.
Wilson, R. R. Genealogy and History in the Old Testament: A Study of the Form and
Function of the Old Testament Genealogies in their Near Eastern Context. Michigan, 1972.
Valdez, Adylson. “The Genealogies of Jesus” Revista Bíblica 71/3-4 (2009) 193-218
_____________ “The Genealogies of Jesus: A Complementation”, Revista Bíblica 73/3-4
(2011) 117-129
_____________________________

Fr Dr Reji Mathew
Orthodox Theological seminary
Kottayam, Kerala
E-Mail: rejiachen1959@gmail.com