How many years in a generation

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Cory
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How many years in a generation

Post by Cory » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:13 pm

In Mathew, he states that there have been 14 generations between time periods. How many years would a Jew of the time consider a generation?

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mattrose
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Re: How many years in a generation

Post by mattrose » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:09 pm

In that passage (Matthew 1), he's not using the term 'generation' to speak of a specific time period (such as 14 x 40 = 560 years). Matthew is just listing 14-steps in a sequence. Some fathers in that list might have had their eldest son at 25 years old. Some 35. Some much older. So a 'generation' in that context is not a concrete amount of time.

But generally speaking, I've heard that Jews considered a 'generation' to be approximately 40 years

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Homer
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Re: How many years in a generation

Post by Homer » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:17 pm

According to the theological dictionary, in the NT "generation" most often refers to a class of people rather than a temporal meaning.

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Paidion
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Re: How many years in a generation

Post by Paidion » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:45 pm

From Baker's Dictionary of Theology:
The word "generation" (or "generations") occurs in the AV over 200 times. It is used to translate the Hebrew words dor (also translated "age"and "posterity") and toledot (in one place translated "birth") and the Greek words genea (meaning a begetting, birth, clan), genesis (source, origin, birth, creation), genos (race, family, stock), and gennēma (progeny,offspring, that which is begotten or born). Basically, therefore, generation has to do with creation, the act of begetting, but it has variant applied uses in both Testaments. For example: (1) it is used in relation to the time process, to denote an age or successive ages (so Gen 9:12; Ex. 30:10; Ps. 102:24); (2) in Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32, it might mean the race, or those living at one time — either the time when the words were spoken, or when signs begin; (3) it is used in the sense of offspring, descendants from the same stock (so Acts 2:40; 1 Pet. 2:9)
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