What About Those Pesky Genealogies?

November 22, 2011

On any long trip there are those sections of road that are at least unappreciated, if not outright disdained. When our family travels across the country, it is the cities that I dislike. Usually there is some maneuvering that necessitate lane-changes. If the timing is right (or, wrong in this case) these lane changes have to be made in heavy traffic. While others might dislike sections that seem boring, it is the cities that displease me the most.

Similarly, when reading the Bible through, there are those sections that are formidable because they might be boring or because they are nearly impossible to understand. I think for many of us the genealogies might be irksome. Here Biblical scholar Gerald Bray give some insight into how we might read and apply the genealogies. Bray encourages Bible readers to ask three questions that help one unpack and apply the meaning of the text:

The first question we must ask of every biblical text is simply this—what does it tell us about God? What does it say about who he is and about what he does?

The second question is: what does this text say about us human beings? What are we meant to be and what has gone wrong?

The third and final question is: what has God done about this and what does he expect of us in the light of what he has done?

Asking these questions and seeking answers to them will help us interpret the Spirit’s message to Christ’s people and to each of us as individuals.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

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