Re: Genealogy of Jesus

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Sat Jun 21 1997 - 08:56:42 EDT

Re: Genealogy of Jesus

[This is only indirectly Greek, but it may have a bearing on the topic
re: why there are only 13 names in Matthew's genealogy. I cannot vouch
for the veracity or accuracy of this author's claims. For all I know, he
could be making this up.]

>From "B'SOROT MATTI - The Good News According To Matthew from An Old
Hebrew Manuscript" by James Scott Trimm, (c) 1990, Hebrew/Aramaic New
Testament Research Institute, P.O. Box 471 Hurst, Texas 76053 (no ISBN
number) - probably a self-published work:

"This manuscript is NOT the same version as the "Shem Tob" version (also
known as the "Evan Bohan" version), though it bears a close relationship
to the Shem Tob version.... This version was obtained in 1553 by Jean
DuTillet, Bishop of remains in the Biblioteque Nationale,
Paris to this day as Hebrew Ms. No. 132." (pp. vii-viii)

"The next evidence that our Hebrew text predates the Greek is found in
the genealogy of Yeshua in chapter one. The text should contain three
sets of 14 names (Mt. 1:17), however, the Greek only contains the
following 13 names in the last set: 1. SH'ALTIEL ... 13. YESHUA. This
discrepancy takes us by surprise, since the text indicates that there
SHOULD be 14 names (Mt. 1:17). Our Hebrew text, however, DOES contain 14
names in the last list. In verse 13 we see the missing name "Av'ner"
between "Av'ichud" and "Elyakim"...since "Av'ner" looks, in Hebrew,
similar to "Av'ichud," it is apparent that a careless scribe looked back
up to the list and picked back up after "Av'ner," mistaking it for
"Av'ichud." This scribal error shows clearly that the Hebrew text came
BEFORE the Greek text, which is affected by the later scribal error....
Other internal evidences that our Hebrew manuscript predates the Greek
are Hebrew word plays. In Mt. 1:17 we are pointed to three sets of 14
generations, because Yeshua is the son of DAVID (Mt. 1:1) and in Hebrew,
"David" is a mathematical expression for 14, thus Yeshua is the son of
14 (Mt. 1:1,17)." (pp. viii-x)

My comments (from something else I read along these lines). "David" in
Hebrew is dalet-waw-dalet, with numerical values, respectively, of
4-6-4. Hence, 3 letters totaling 14 yields 3 sets of 14 generations, a
useful mnemonic device and one intended to emphasize Jesus' Davidic
lineage. If author Trimm is correct that Matthew was originally written
in Hebrew and a name DID drop out before the Greek Matthew was composed,
that could explain why the third list only has 13 names. (Trimm doesn't
claim that this manuscript is the original Hebrew Matthew, only that
some of its readings and internal evidence, when compared with Greek
Matthew and other "Hebrew" versions of Matthew, indicate that it may be
based on a Hebrew text that predates the Greek text of Matthew.)

"Eric S. (and Karol-Ann) Weiss"
part-time grad student at The Criswell College
"Send those testimonies!"

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