This article sheds historical light on William Henry Green's influential article, "Primeval Chronology,"(1890), establishes the meaning of the hiphil of YLD (translated “begat” in the AV) throughout Genesis 5 and 11, and analyzes Andrew Steinmann’s recent case for chronological gaps.
Interpreters did not challenge the chronological intent of the Genesis genealogies until the ascendancy of Darwinism in the 1860s. Green’s article became the most famous attempt to disrupt the timeline. As a young scholar, Green had ardently defended the chronology, but prevailing scientific claims finally compelled him to abandon this conviction. Recent scholarship (as well as a censored article from the mid-1890s) has demonstrated that Green only showed the possibility of genealogical gaps, which do not entail chronological gaps. Steinmann bases his unprecedented argument for chronological gaps on an idiosyncratic semantics of causation (which he applies to the hiphil of ילד) that contradicts the consensus among Hebraists and other linguists.
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This article was first published in the March 2018 issue (61.1) of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. It has been published here with permission from the author and JETS.