What Does the Bible Say About.../Part 13 | John Ankerberg Show

What Does the Bible Say About…/Part 13

By: Dr. Thomas Figart
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By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2004
Questions from 8th graders at a Christian school include questions about the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke, plus the meaning of “John” and “Simon Peter.”

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Students from Manheim Christian Day School (PA) ask Questions About the Bible

Answered by Dr. Thomas Figart

Why are the genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 different?

BM asks: “Why are the genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 different?”

Answer: Matthew’s Gospel gives the genealogy from Abraham through Joseph back through Solomon, which gives Jesus His legal right to the throne of David. Luke’s Gospel begins with Jesus Himself and traces the genealogy back through Nathan, another son of David and Bath-Sheba, which by-passes the curse on King Jechoniah in Jeremiah 22:24-30 which says that Jechoniah’s seed shall not prosper, sitting on the throne of David and ruling in Jerusalem. In other words, the Messiah could not come through the line of Jechoniah. This also preserves the doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ through Mary. (For a fuller discussion, please refer to my commentary on Matthew, pages 3-7).

Does the name John have a specific meaning?

AR asks, “Does the name John have a specific meaning?”

Answer: Yes it does; his name, John, means “one to whom Jehovah is gracious,” or “God’s favor.”

The names (in the genealogy) get more complicated after the exile to Babylon. Is this from some Babylonian influence?”

TZ asks: “The names (in the genealogy) get more complicated after the exile to Babylon. Is this from some Babylonian influence?”

Answer: Let me quote from my commentary on Matthew 1, pages 6-7: “Several names are omitted, making threefold series of fourteen. As has been suggested, it may have been for purposes of memorization. Some link it to the numerical value of David’s name: the three He­brew consonants D= 4; V= 6; D= 4, totaling 14.” It was more convenient to limit the list to 14 names, as a summary, instead of getting involved in much longer lists.

How many years were there between Abraham’s birth and David’s?

CM asks: “How many years were there between Abraham’s birth and David’s?”

Answer: Evidence is not certain for setting a precise date for these births. Dr. John C. Whitcomb of Grace Theological Seminary has figured Abraham’s birth at 2165 BC, and David as King from 1011-971 BC. This would give 1154 years between the birth of Abraham and the reign of David as king. The age of David when he became king is hard to determine. Let us assume that he became king when he was 25 years old. Then his birth would have been in the year 1036 BC, and then there would have been 1129 years between the births of Abraham and David.

Calling Simon-Peter, is that like calling someone nowadays by their first and middle names?

EP asks: “Calling Simon-Peter, is that like calling someone nowadays by their first and middle names?”

Answer: “Simon BarJona” or “Simon, son of John,” is the original name of this Apostle, as Jesus used it in Matthew 16:17, and in John 1:42a. His name “Peter” was given to him by Christ in Matthew 16:18 and in John 1:42b. Peter, or Petros is the Greek word for “rock” and in John 1:42b the Lord says of him, “Thou art Simon, the son of Jonah; thou shalt be called Cephas, which by interpretation, a stone.” The name Cephas is from the Aramaic language, and is their word for stone.

In English today we would possibly say his full name was Simon “Rocky” Johnson (son of John). Peter was a name conferred by the Lord to depict the solid, rocklike character of Simon once he became established in the faith.

Read Part 14

Dr. Thomas Figart

Dr. Thomas Figart

Dr. Thomas Figart

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