Translating Genealogies 1
It is of vital importance for a translator to appreciate and understand the significance of every part of the text she is translating. It is too easy to attempt to boil things down, to translate key passages first, to offer excerpts of the word. Of course, this is done to establish the acceptablility of a translation, and especially to test the orthography. I have seen many such selections which were submitted to me as examples.
But back to the genealogies - these were read along with every other chapter in the scriptures at our dinner table. I am just back from visiting my elderly father. His voice is the one which I first heard read scripture, along with my mother, who supplied the commentary.
Here are the opening verses of Matthew 1. May they not be skipped.
- Matthew 1
The Genealogy of Jesus
1A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
- Boaz is also a wealthy, and successful man who falls in love with Ruth after investigating her relationship with God and her character, until he is certain that she is the woman of his dreams. After Ruth gets all dressed up and puts herself in Boaz’s way as Naomi instructed her, Boaz redeems Ruth, marries her, and cares for her and her mother-in-law. He is a type of Jesus who redeems these women and blesses them in every way, treating the poor, widowed, outcast, marginalized, and racially despised with redeeming love.
- In Matthew 1, Ruth the foreigner is included with the unwed Mary and Tamar the prostitute as the only three women included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Bauckham's chapter on this topic turns a genealogy into a book and opens new doors.