How Should We Interpret Biblical Genealogies? (BioLogos Interview and Blog Posts)

I was recently interviewed for an episode of the Language of God podcast. The topic was the genealogies in Scripture, particularly in Genesis and Matthew, about which I had just written a series of blog posts.

This is the description of the podcast that BioLogos posted:

At first glance, biblical genealogies appear to straightforward family trees, the kinds we see on that map out the precise relationships between parents and offspring, tracing back as far as we can go. But is that how the genealogies in the Bible are supposed to be read? It turns out there’s a lot more going on in the genealogies than just that straightforward accounting. Bible scholar, Richard Middleton, shares with us some of the historical context that helps us to see the genealogies as another part of the story of God’s creation.

You can access the podcast on the BioLogos podcast page.

Or on Apple podcasts. Or Spotify. Or Stitcher. Or Google.

The interview is based on blog posts that that BioLogos asked me to write on biblical genealogies (posted in July and August, 2021). They actually asked for one blog post, but I got so into it that wrote a four-part blog post addressing the genealogies in Genesis 4–11 (parts 1 and 2) and the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 (parts 3 and 4).

The series was entitled “How Should We Interpret Biblical Genealogies?”

You can access the four-part blog post at these links:

I learned a whole lot writing them (and had a lot of fun too). I hope you enjoy them.

There are interesting follow-up comments following the first three of these blog posts on the BioLogos Forum.

You can access the comments for Part I here.

You can access the comments for Part II here.

You can access the comments for Part III (with some comments on Part IV) here.

2 thoughts on “How Should We Interpret Biblical Genealogies? (BioLogos Interview and Blog Posts)

  1. Thanks for this. I remember Rookmaaker at a L’Abri conference suggesting a figurative reading of Matthew’s genealogy. Francis S jumped to his feet to head us inerrancy group at the pass. The clash of Dutch and American hermeneutics.

    Sent from my iPad


    • I can just imagine the clash, even though Schaeffer learned pretty much everything he knew about modern art, literature, and philosophy through Rookmaaker (he communicated a pop version of Rookmaaker’s scholarship). I knew one of Rookmaaker’s students who put it this way (perhaps with a bit of hyperbole): One evening Schaeffer and Rookmaaker went for a walk (Schaeffer like to have long conversations on his walks); they didn’t come back till after 2 am. The next day Schaeffer wrote Escape from Reason.

Comments are closed.