5 Reasons to Study Genealogies in the Bible
Created by Jon Taylor - Tuesday 16 May 2017
Jon Taylor
5 Reasons to Study Genealogies in the Bible
1 Historical value
God’s word is rooted in history and concerns real people involved in real events that affect us today and will continue to do so. History and genealogies are provided for a reason .The way in which the precise historical record and extensive lists of ancestors are presented in Scripture and linked to massively significant events is unmistakably unique, especially when compared with other religious texts, many of which have either less or no concern regarding historical accuracy. Therefore, history is ‘His story’.
It is no surprise that there are journals of biblical archaeology and history that are unparalleled across the globe. 1 Kings 6:1 draws our attention to the fact that in the fourth year of King Solomon’s reign over Israel, it was 480 years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt. The family of Adam listed in Genesis 5 helps us understand when the flood occurred. Anthropologists should be aware of the extensive number of flood accounts from many societies on the respective continents leading to the conclusion that a worldwide flood actually occurred, not simply a vast number of localised ones.
2 Personal value
The Old Testament Scriptures have been given to us that we might learn from them and have hope (Romans 15:4). These things happened, thus providing examples for our admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11). It is an intensely personal exercise to read of one’s family tree and consider how that is linked with our identity and origins. It is similarly interesting to read an obituary amongst the lists of biblical characters and consider the kings and the summary of how and why some were godly and the dangers and pitfalls others encountered. Some started out well but finished tragically often as the trappings of this world seemed more appealing than doing what was right in the Lord’s eyes.
3 Messianic connection
Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are similar but with a different emphasis showing the family lineage on Mary and Joseph’s side and demonstrating emphatically that the Messiah was the Son of Abraham and the Son of David in fulfilment of prophecy. Matthew opens up the line of Judah providing the kingly lineage whilst Luke lists the priestly line. Jesus our Lord is Prophet, Priest, King and the Saviour of the world. These lineages also help us to comprehend the overall structure of the Bible and to see how well it fits together and that Christ is central throughout the Bible.
4 Oral cultural value
The Bible speaks today. Earlier this year at the annual Gideon’s Conference, it was explained that in predominately oral cultures, great importance is afforded concerning genealogies because of identity and belonging (tribal affiliation and origin) and especially relating to credentials and authority. Thus in countries or areas where there are relatively low literacy rates, missionaries have introduced Bible apps with tribal languages that have become increasingly available and the listeners have often immediately recognized the significance of the family line. On the contrary, it is all too easy for us to give little consideration to a list of names that seemingly have little significance to our lives.
5 The literal approach
Genealogies run throughout scripture so that we cannot merely avoid the fact that there are many things that cannot simply be allegorised and to do so would mean comprising the doctrinal reality and importance of texts such as Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. Adam and Eve were our original parents. They were real and created perfect and succumbed to temptation and that was how sin entered the world. The last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ was the only one that could through His substitutionary atonement satisfy the anger of God’s wrath upon sin and unrighteousness and provide the only means of salvation. Even their names explain God’s history and plan of creation as Adam means red earth, dust, clay or man, Eve means mother of all living (Genesis 3:20) and Jesus means Saviour. 
The conclusion
None of these names was recorded out of idle curiosity or by accident, but by the sovereign will of God since the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Each one of us is connected with history that we are inescapably related to; either by a smaller or lesser degree. Each and every person has profound value since we are created in the image of God. Even if you are unable to trace your family line, God knows all your ways and the number of days allocated in your brief earthly existence; but death is not the end since the Saviour of the World who is the Lamb of God, has conquered death. What is of paramount value is not whether you have an impressive gravestone or are remembered for personal ambition, bur rather is your name graven in His hand and is it recorded in the Lamb’s Book of life?
Tuesday 16 May 2017