New Books

I am going to start to recommend new books to people. These are culled from the lists of new books at Dove Books and at my Seminary bookstore:

1. Exodus by Phillip G. Ryken. These sermons (I sat through most of them at Tenth Pres.) are masterful examples of redemptive-historical preaching. Anyone working on Exodus should have this book.

2. Colossians by John Davenant. This newest edition in the Geneva Series of Commentaries should be bought simply because of the series it is in.

3. Salvation Through Judgment and Mercy by Brian Estelle. He teaches at Westminster West. This book is a redemptive-historical reading of the book of Jonah. Should be excellent, given the series that it is in.

4. Hebrews in the Ancient Christian Commentary Series. This volume just became available. These collections of comments by the early church fathers are often eye-opening in their freshness. The backbone of this volume is the sermon set by John Chrysostom.

Coming soon:

Esther and Ruth by Ian Duguid. Duguid also teaches at Westminster West. This will be a series of sermons on Esther and Rught. Duguid is redemptive-historical, practical, and Christ-centered.

Chronological Gaps in Genesis 5?

I am talking about a very limited subject, but one which has been constantly misinterpreted by the scholarly community. I am referring to the issue of whether there are gaps in the genealogy in Genesis 5.

In other genealogies, there do appear to be gaps. For instance, in Matthew 1, there are three kings that are deliberately left out in order for the number in each segment to equal 14. Matthew is making there the theological statement that Jesus is the Davidic king. But is the same thing true whenever we see genealogies in the Bible?

In Genesis 5, we see this formula: X lived Y number of years and fathered Z. After fathering Z, X had lived Y1 number of years (having had other sons and daughters). I would beg to ask those who favor a chronological gap in the geneaologies this question: how does one account for the word “after,” as in Genesis 5:4? Where exactly is the gap supposed to fit in this genealogy?

Furthermore, at the beginning and end of Genesis 5, it is obvious that there is no gap: Adam fathered Seth, and Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Are we to now suppose that there gaps in between the 2nd and 9th generations? Would it not appear more natural to interpret all the generations as having no gap, since the genealogy plainly starts and ends that way?

It is an inclusio, which is a fancy term that means “literary bookend.” The inclusio here is the no-gap genealogy of Adam-Seth and Noah-sons. Usually an inclusio means that whatever is in between is to be treated in a similar way. For instance, in Matthew 5, the Beatitudes start and end with Kingdom Beatitudes. Hence we can infer that all the Beatitudes in between also are referring to the Kingdom.

What is the importance of discussing this question? Well, it does have a bearing on whether Genesis can be made to fit with the theory of evolution. Evolution requires billions of years. Those scientists who require an old earth to fit their theories (which BY NO MEANS constitutes all scientists), but who also want to square their ideas with Scripture, tend to interpret these genealogies as having gaps. I wish to close that gap to these scientists. Just because there are gaps in some genealogies does not mean that there are gaps in all genealogies in Scripture.