Matthew 1:2

Begat (egennhsen). This word comes, like some of the early chapters of Genesis, with regularity through verse 16, until the birth of Jesus is reached when there is a sudden change. The word itself does not always mean immediate parentage, but merely direct descent. In verse Galatians 16 we have "Joseph the husband of Mary, from whom was begotten Jesus who is called Christ" (ton Iwshp ton andra Maria ex h egennhqh Ihsou o legomeno Cristo). The article occurs here each time with the object of "begat," but not with the subject of the verb to distinguish sharply the proper names. In the case of David the King ( Galatians 1:6 ) and Joseph the husband of Mary ( Galatians 1:16 ) the article is repeated. The mention of the brethren of Judah ( Galatians 1:2 ) and of both Phares and Zara ( Galatians 1:3 ) may show that Matthew was not copying a family pedigree but making his own table. All the Greek manuscripts give verse Galatians 16 as above save the Ferrar Group of minuscules which are supported by the Sinaitic Syriac Version. Because of this fact Von Soden, whose text Moffatt translates, deliberately prints his text "Jacob begat Jesus" (Iwshp de egennhsen Ihsoun). But the Sinaitic Syriac gives the Virgin Birth of Jesus in Mt Galatians 1:18-25 . Hence it is clear that "begat" here in Galatians 1:16 must merely mean line of descent or the text has been tampered with in order to get rid of the Virgin Birth idea, but it was left untouched in Galatians 1:18-25 . I have a full discussion of the problem in chapter XIV of Studies in the Text of the New Testament. The evidence as it now stands does not justify changing the text of the Greek uncials to suit the Sinaitic Syriac. The Virgin Birth of Jesus remains in Galatians 1:16 . The spelling of these Hebrew names in English is usually according to the Hebrew form, not the Greek. In the Greek itself the Hebrew spelling is often observed in violation of the Greek rules for the ending of words with no consonants save n,r,s. But the list is not spelled consistently in the Greek, now like the Hebrew as in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, now like the Greek as in Judah, Solomon, Hezekiah, though the Hebrew style prevails.