Re: Matt 24:34 - hN GENEA

From: Joseph Garnier (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2000 - 01:18:34 EST

I also have no necessity to understand all Jesus said, but fortunately I
have received enlightenment from somewhere I cannot remember about this
particular difficulty. GENEA, as I was taught, encompasses greater breadth
than the English will allow, and while 'generation' fits the majority of
occurences, this case requires an interpretation parallel to it. If the
word is understood as 'lineage', then the apparent nonsensicalness
disappears, for the Jews have demonstrated a remarkable ability to withstand
many attempts to exterminate them since this was said. As I said, I was
only the recipient of this opinion, and because it is functional and
appropriate I have accepted it. You may choose to do the same.

                                        By God, Joseph Garnier

----- Original Message -----
From: clayton stirling bartholomew <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2000 10:01 PM
Subject: Re: Matt 24:34 - hN GENEA

> Roger,
> Natural language is not the same as Euclid's Geometry. Natural Language
> is vague. This is both a liability and and asset. This passage is
> difficult for those who assume that,
> #1 Matthew has given a faithful and accurate report of Jesus words
> and
> #2 That Jesus didn't utter nonsense statements or false statements
> For the bulk of NT Scholars who deny both #1 and #2 this is not a
> difficult passage.
> The attempts that have been made down through history to make sense out
> of this difficult passage have focused on two broad approaches. One is
> to find some less than obvious reference for hH GENEA hAUTH. The other
> is to limit the scope of PANTA TAUTA.
> There is certainly some vagueness in hH GENEA hAUTH so some diversity
> of opinion on this may be justified. On the other hand PANTA TAUTA is
> even more vague, I am tempted to say a great deal more vague. I would
> suspect that solutions to this problem that focus on the referent of
> PANTA TAUTA have a higher probability of success simply because it is a
> far more semantically flexible word group than hH GENEA hAUTH.
> Based on the sources I have, it appears that the textual history of this
> verse shows little or no tampering by scribes to "clean up" our problem.
> This is a point worth noting because there were always some scribes that
> felt the need to remove difficulties. If you find no attempts to remove
> a difficulty then you might be tempted to conclude that the difficulty
> is one that did not present itself early on in the history of the NT
> text.
> However we have comments on this passage as early as Origen and
> Chrysostom (c.f. H.A.W. Meyer, Matthew p426). So fairly early on this
> difficulty was noticed and attempts were made to solve it.
> It is not hard for me to accept the idea that Jesus said things that we
> simply don't understand. For that reason I don't lay awake at night
> fretting over texts like this one. When asked, I admit that I don't know
> what it means. Furthermore, the solutions currently being proposed
> appear to be inadequate. For a good review of the options on this see
> Leon Morris' Matthew (Pillar).
> Clay
> --
> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
> Three Tree Point
> P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
> ----------
> >From:
> >To: Biblical Greek <>
> >Subject: Matt 24:34 - hN GENEA
> >Date: Fri, Jan 28, 2000, 6:08 PM
> >
> > Matthew 24:34 reads:
> >
> >
> > Commentaries approach hH GENEA in different ways. To some, it refers to
> > generation to which the disciples of Jesus belonged because He was
> > to them at the time (with the destruction of Jerusalem in view) or it
> > to whatever generation would see PANTA TAUTA (e.g., Hendricksen says it
> > refers to all Jews). A.T. Robertson (Word Pictures) seems to skirt the
> >
> > Are these ALL nice opinions, each of which is equally supportable by the
> > text, or is there something about the words, grammar, or structure of
> > Greek text that points the reader to one conclusion and away from any
> > Can one adamantly say that the verse must mean such and such and cannot
> > anything else? Might one conclude that the verse (and Jesus' intent) is
> > be mystical and that the verse is not decipherable except, perhaps,
> > some broader context (whatever that turns out to be)?
> >
> > Roger Hutchinson
> ---
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