Re: ANDRA and ANHR in the Genealogy of Jesus Christ

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sun Jun 22 1997 - 01:17:07 EDT

At 4:47 PM +0700 6/21/97, Lemuel G. Abarte wrote:
>The convincing evidence in context is Genesis 3:17 in the LXX: kai pros
>ton andra sou hH apostrofH sou...

How, exactly, is this 'convincing evidence'? How are you understanding the
LXX reference? The LXX of Genesis 3:17 uses ANDRA to mean 'husband', not

>The genealogy on Joseph's line was from Coniah, under the curse. The
>genealogy on Mary's line was from Nathan.

There is no real evidence that either Matthew or Luke has a genealogy
following Mary's line. The wording of both texts makes it clear that they
are tracing Joseph's genealogy. To posit that Matthew is tracing Mary's
line requires either assuming that Matthew didn't know the meaning of ANHR
or that the person you are talking to doesn't. The usage of this word is
quite clear in the Greek literature. In the New Testament, the other early
Christian literature, the pagan literature, and all other texts even close
to the New Testament in time, ANHR means 'man'. When it is more specific
than that, it means 'husband'. It is never used to mean 'father'.

>It is worth noting that both evangelists are careful in their accounts
>concerning the supernatural origin of Jesus Christ and his royal descent.
>They never took Joseph as his father but they do state that Mary is his

True. They are both very careful to make this point. They both use Joseph's
genealogy while making the point that Jesus was not his physical son. This
is, of course, not a problem, since his being Joseph's adopted son was
enough to make the point of the genealogy legitimate.

The differences between the two genealogies are not a threat to Christian
theology--or even to conservative views of inspiration. There is no need,
even for a conservative Christian, to posit that one is Mary's genealogy
despite the text's explicit claim to the contrary.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

Visit the Greek Language and Linguistics Gateway at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:19 EDT