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A TABLE of the birth of Jesus CHRIST, the son of DAvid, the son of ABRAHAM*. ABRAHAM begat Isaac ; and Isaac begat Jacob ; and Jacob begat Judah and his brethren; and Judah begat Phares and Zara, by Tamar; and Phares begat Hezron; and Hezron begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab ; and Aminadab begat Naashon; and Naashon begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Boaz, by Rahab ; and Boaz begat Obed, by Ruth ; and Obed begat Jessé; and Jessé begat king DAvid; and king DAvid begat Solomon, by her that had been the wife of Uriah ; and Solomon begat Rehoboam ; and Rehoboam begat Abijah; and Abijah begat Asa; and Asa begat Jehoshaphat; and Jehoshaphat begat Jehoram ; and Jehoram begat JAhaziah ; and Ahaziah begat Joash; and Joash begat Amaziah ; and Amaziah begat Uzziah ; and Uzziah begat Jotham; and Jo
* Epiphanius says that Cerinthus and Carpocrates, who used the gospel of the Ebionites, which was probably the original gospel of Matthew, written in the Hebrew language for the use of the Jewish believers, argued from the genealogy at the beginning of the gospel, that Christ was the son of Joseph and Mary; but that the Ebionites had taken away even the genealogy, beginning their gospel with these words: “And it came to pass in the days of Herod the king, &c.” See Epiph. Haeres. 30. N. 13. Jones on the Canon, vol. i. pt. 2. ch. 25. It is probable, therefore, that the first sixteen verses of this chapter are genuine: and that they were found at least in the copies of Cerinthus and Carpocrates. And, indeed, it can hardly be supposed that an author writing for the instruction of Hebrew christians, would have omitted to trace the descent of Christ from Abraham and David, upon which they justly laid so great a stress. Archbishop Newcome adds the names in v. 8, from 1 Chron. iii. 11, 12. And he suspects v. 17 to have been a marginal note anciently taken into the text. See the annotations to his Harmony, S. 9. The eighteenth verse begins a new story, which continues to the end of the second chapter. This could not have been written by the author of the gemealogy, for it contradicts his design, which was to prove that Jesus, being the son of Joseph, was the descendant of Abraham and David, whereas the design of this narrative is to show that Joseph, the reputed father of Jesus, was not his real father. This account therefore of the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ must have been wanting in the copies of Cerinthus and Carpocrates as well as in those of the Ebionites: and if the genealogy be genuine, this narrative must be spurious.
tham begat Ahaz; and Ahaz begat Hezekiah; and Hezekiah begat Manasseh ; and Manasseh begat Amon; and Amon begat Josiah; and Josiah begat Jehoiakim; and Jehoiakim begat Jeconiah and his brethren, about the time of the going away to Babylon; and, after the going away to Babylon, Jeconiah begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zerubbabel; and Zerubbabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; and Azor begat Sadoc ; and Sadoc begat Achim ; and Achtm begat Eliud ; and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan ; and Matthan begat Jacob ; and Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called CHRIST".
* The remainder of this chapter, and the whole of the second, are printed in Italics, as an intimation that they are of doubtful authority. They are indeed to be found in all the manuscripts and versions which are now extant, but from the testiinomy of Epiphanius and Jerome we are assured that they were wanting in the copies used by the Nazarenes and Ebion tes, that is, by the ancient Hebrew Christians; for whose instruction, probably, this gospel was originally written; and to whom the account of the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ could not have been unacceptable, if it had been found in the genuine narrative. Nor would it at all have militated against the doctrine of the proper humanity of Christ, which was universally held by the Jewish Christians, it being a fact analogous to the miraculous birth of Isaac, Samuel, and other eminent persons of the Hebrew nation. If it be true, as Luke relates, chap. iii. 23. that Jesus was entering upon his thirtieth year (see Wakefield's Translation) in the
fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, he must have been born two years at least after *
the death of Herod, a circumstance which alone invalidates the whole story. See Lardner's Works, vol. i. p. 432. It is indeed highly improbable that no notice should have been taken of these extraordinary events by any contemporary writer, that no expectation should have been excited by them, and that no allusion should have been made to them in any other passage of the sacred writings. Some of the facts have a fabulous appearance, and the reasoning from the prophecies of the Old Testament is inconclusive. Also, if this account be true, the proper name of Jesus, according to the uniform custom of the Jews, would have been Jesus of Bethlehem, not Jesus of Nazareth. Our Lord in the gospels is repeatedly spoken of as the son of Joseph, without any intimation on the part of the historian that this language is incorrect. See Matt. xiii. 55. Luke iv. 23. John i. 45, vi. 42. The account of the miraculous conception of Jesus was probably the fiction of some early gentile convert, who hoped, by elevating the dignity of the Founder, to abate the popular prejudice against the sect. See upon this subject, Dr. Priestley's History of Early Opinions, vol. 4. b. iii. c. 20; Pope on the Miraculous Conception; Dr. Williams's Free Enquiry; Dr. Bell's Arguments for the Authenticity of the Narratives of Matthew and Luke, and Dr. Williams's Remarks; Dr. Campbell and Dr. Newcome's Notes upon the text; Mr. Evanson's Dissonance, chap. i. sect. 3. chap. iii. sect. 2; Jones's Developement of Events, vol. i. p. 365, &c. *:S
17 [All the generations therefore from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the going away to Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the going away to Babylon unto Christ are fourteen geneTrations, 18 JNow the birth of [Jesus] Christ was thus. When his mother Mary had been espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found to have conceived by the holy spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not willing to earpose her to public shame, purposed to put her 20 away privately. But after he had thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of 21 the holy spirit. And she shall bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: which, being interpreted, is Sarrow R, 22 for he shall save his people from their sins.” (.Now all this zwas done, so that it was fulfilled which the Lord spake by 23 the prophet, saying, “ Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a Son, and his name shall be called EMM3NUEL:” 24 which, being interpreted, is, God moth Us.) Then, Joseph, when he rose up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had 25 commanded him, and took unto him his wife : and knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son ; and he called his name Jesus. Ch. 11. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of king Herod, behold, JMagians came from the 2 east to Jerusalem, saying, “ Where is he that is born king of the Jews 2 for we have seen his star in the east-country, 3 and are come to do him obeisance,” But when king Herod heard these things, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with 4 him. And when he had gathered together all the chief-priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ 5 was to be born. JAnd they said unto him, “ In Bethlehem 6 of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘JAnd thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art by no means the least