Study of Christianity: Aram, Asaph, and Amos (2)

Yesterday I posted a link to the first of two videos from @StudyofChrist concerning the names Aram, Asaph, and Amos in the Matthean genealogy and the problems they pose. Today I am posting the second video in which @StudyofChrist deals with the problems of Asaph/Asa and Amos/Amon (see Matthew 1:7-8, 10).

To begin with, @StudyofChrist points out that our oldest and best manuscripts have the names Asaph and Amos whereas later manuscripts have Asa/Amon (i.e. Byzantine/Majority text types). It is obvious why later manuscripts would have the corrected reading since scribes had a tendency to correct what they perceived to be mistakes. But did Matthew make a mistake or was this an intentional move? Was it theologically motivated?

One of the things that I have hard time wrapping my head around is the notion that Asaph and Amos necessarily refer to a psalmist and a prophet. Why should we suppose that Matthew intended for us to think of those two? Is it because they are famous in biblical texts? Is Matthew name-dropping? Or did Matthew just mess up? @StudyofChrist quotes one New Testament scholar who seems to think that Matthew’s use of Asaph instead of Asa because of Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:35 where he cites from Psalm 78:2 which is a psalm of Asaph. But this is just strange to me. For Matthew it is David who is far more important than anyone else and Asaph served under David. I am skeptical that Matthew would change Asa to Asaph just so a few thousand words later he could quote from a Psalm of Asaph. The same is true of Matthew’s quoting of Amos in Matthew 10:29. Adding Asaph and Amos to the genealogy doesn’t really add anything of substance to the Gospel as a whole. This explanation seems very contrived. Maybe Matthew just messed up.

While I disagree with @StudyofChrist’s view I can still appreciate where he is coming from. Who knew that digging this deep into a couple of names in a genealogy hardly anyone reads could be so fascinating?

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