Many Christians believe that we can accurately trace the dating of mankind through the genealogies in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11.

By directly tracing the genealogies you would be able to approximate the origin of humanity to around 4004 BC. However, about 41% of Christians surveyed said that these genealogies have gaps.

Is it possible for there to be gaps? Definitely. Is it provable? Perhaps.

Take a look at this genealogy in Genesis 11:

10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.
Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

Genesis 11:10-13

So according to Genesis, the family line goes Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah.

Now let’s look at Luke’s gospel:

Shelah was the son of Cainan.
Cainan was the son of Arphaxad.
Arphaxad was the son of Shem.

Luke 3:36

According to Luke, the family goes from Shem to Arphaxad to Cainan to Shelah.

So the genealogies in Genesis 11 are not complete. Cainan is not mentioned in Genesis 11.

Perhaps Genesis only covers significant figures in the genealogy, or maybe this is only a one-time occurrence. Either way, it does not affect biblical inerrancy, as the Hebrew word to describe a decedent in the Genesis genealogy also means a grandson or an even latter descendent.

What do you think?

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