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1 A TABLE of the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of DaVID, the son of ABRAHAM

ABRAHAM begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and 3 Jacob begat Judah and his brethren ; and Judah begat

Phares and Zara, by Tamar; and Phares begat Hezron; 4 and Hezron begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab;

and Aminadab begat Naashon; and Naashon begat Sal5 mon; and Salmon begat Boaz, by Rahab; and Boaz 6 begat Obed, by Ruth; and Obed begat Jessé; and Jessé

begat king David; and king David begat Solomon, by 7 her that had been the wife of Uriah ; and Solomon begat

Rehoboam; and Rehoboam begat Abijah; and Abijalı 8 begat Asa; and Asa begat Jehoshaphat; and Jehoshaphat

begat Jehoram ; and Jehoram begat Ahaziah ; and Aha

ziah begat Joash ; and Joash begat Amaziah ; and Ama9 ziah 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 hagi 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. Hæres. 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, §. 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 genealogy, 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,


10 tham begat Ahaz; and Ahaz begat Hezekiah; and Heze

kiah begat Manasseh ; and Manasseh begat Amon; and 11 Amon begat Josiah ; and Josiah begat Jehoiakim; and

Jehoiakim begat Jeconiah and his brethren, about the 12 time of the going away to Babylon; and, after the go

ing away to Babylon, Jeconiah begat Salathiel ; and Sa13 lathiel begat Zerubbabel ; and Zerubbabel begat Abiud; 14 and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; and

Azor begat Sadoc ; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim 15 begat Eliud ; and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar be16 gat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; and Jacob be

gat 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 testiînony 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 Tiberias, he must hare been born two years at least after the death of Herod, a circumstance which alone invalidates the whole story. See Lardner's Works, rol. 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 elerating 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, &e.

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 gene

rations, 18 Now 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 expose 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 into

thee Mary thy wife ; for that which is conceived in her is of 21 the holy spirit. And slie shall bear a son, and thou shalt

call his name Jesus: which, being interpreted, is SAVIOUR, 22 for he shall save his people from their sins.(Now all this

was 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 EMMANUEL:24 which, being interpreted, is, GOD WITH 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, Magians came from the 2 east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king

of the Jews ? 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 wilh 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. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem 6 of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet: ' And thou,

Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art by no means the least

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