Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


genealogy, profit, tradition, Bible, manipulation


When the writer of the Gospel of Matthew listed the genealogy of Christ, he divided it into three sections, each containing 14 generations, to wit, Abraham to David, David to the Exile, and the Exile to Christ (Matthew 1:17; also 1–17). In order to do this he had to manipulate the names by leaving out several ancestors mentioned in the Old Testament. The reason Matthew thought it necessary to create this mathematical/genealogical fiction has never been explained adequately.