Despite many counter-proposals Matthew, like the other Gospels, is best described as a theological biography. Little if any detail in the book appears out of sheer historical interest. Matthew was trying to commend his understanding of Christianity to his audience. But theological motive does not exclude historical reliability. Ancient historiography regularly valued both accuracy and ideology even if it did not insist on compartmentalizing the two the way modern historians do.
Once Matthew’s text is interpreted in light of literary conventions of the day, which for the most part do not require modern standards of precision in reporting, we may fairly assume his accounts to be historically trustworthy. But the reason for their inclusion is almost always theological.
The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Themar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon…
And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Then charged He his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Wednesday, February 6
In our prayers: Claudia Strattman, Jennifer Williams, Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
Special prayers for Mary Ellen’s four-year-old grandson, Joseph Patrick, who is fighting cancer
In memoriam: Louis Remson “Ray” Avant, Bonnlyn W. Hollis, Brady Franklin Corley, Anne C. James, David Wayne Culick, Margaret Owens Kelly, James Almond Merritt Sr., Edna Inez Sinclair, James Albert Rish, Grace Evelyn Minor
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box or email me.