Hello everyone and thank you for giving me a venue to ask questions. I have placed an introduction post but for those who have not seen it, I am a Buddhist. I have great respect for Jesus as a teacher but do not see Him as a Messiah in the same way that Christians do. Anyone however, that points the way to truth is a messiah (re: liberator or savior from illusion) in my opinion and in that context I do believe Jesus qualifies. How then could I believe in Jesus as a bringer of truth and not be Christian? The answer to that simply lies in my interpretation of the Bible. For those to whom it is of interest, I first read and studied the Bible as a child relying on James 1:5-6 and Matthew 18:3-4 to encourage, guide and strengthen my convictions.
There have been questions I have never been able to find satisfactory answers to however, and it is my hope that I can find answers here. That I could not answer them is proof of nothing - as it would be if no one here can answer them for me. In other words, I will not take an absence of a reason as proof that it is wrong. I am not looking to challenge your beliefs, just understand them better. And now, to the question:
Matthew begins the geneology of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-16. In Matthew 1:17 we are told that there are fourteen generations from Abraham to David and verses 1-6 are consistent with this. Matthew 1:17 goes on to tell us that there are fourteen generations from David to the carrying away of Babylonia. Verses 6-11 are also consistent with this. Lastly, Matthew 1:17 tells us that there were fourteen generations from the carrying away of Babylonia to the Messiah. Verses 12-16 do not show this to be the case.
Fourteen three times is forty-two, but I count forty-one. Moving on to Luke 3:23 we once again examine the geneology of Jesus - this time in reverse order from Jesus back to Adam who was the son of God. If however we count from Jesus back only to Abraham, we count fifty-six generations which of course, is neither forty-one or forty-two. Would someone explain this to me?
My stumbling across this was actually the result of a sermon I heard in Arizona. I had travelled with an evangelist through the southwest setting up tents for approximately six months many years ago, perhaps thirty or more, and he suggested we go back to the Bible and study those passages we skipped over as there was something in there for us. I was just a boy at the time who found the 'begats' rather boring. I'm quite certain now that he was referring to people who skipped over passges that spoke to their sins but be that as it may be, I took him literally and ended up with this question.
I'd like to thank you all, in advance, for any time you are able to give this question.