The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
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Ordinaria: The full expression would be “This is the book of the generation; "but this is a usual ellipse; e.g. “The vision of Isaiah,” for, ‘This is the vision.’ “Generation,” he says in the singular number, though there be many here given in succession, as it is for the sake of the one generation of Christ that the rest are here introduced.
But since from this title it appears that the whole book is concerning Jesus Christ, it is necessary first to know what we must think concerning Him; for so shall be better explained what this book relates of Him.
Other denied the reality of Christ’s human nature. Valentinus said that Christ sent from the Father, carried about a spiritual or celestial body, and took nothing of the Virgin, but passed through her as through a channel, taking nothing of her flesh. But we do not therefore believe Him to have been born of the Virgin, because by no other means He could have truly lived in the flesh, and appeared among men; but because it is so written in the Scripture, which if we believe not we cannot either be Christians, or be saved. But even a body taken of spiritual, or ethereal, or clayey substance, had He willed to change into the true and very quality of human flesh, who will deny His power to do this? The Manichaean said that the Lord Jesus Christ was a phantasm, and could not be born of the womb of a woman. But if the body of Christ was a phantasm, He was a deceiver, and if a deceiver, then He was not the truth. But Christ is the Truth; therefore His Body was not a phantasm.
And as the opening both of this Gospel, and of that according to Luke, manifestly proves Christ’s birth of a woman, and hence His real humanity, they reject the beginning of both these Gospels. Nay, so far is this genealogy from being part of the Gospel, that the writer does not venture so to entitle it; beginning, ‘The book of the generation,’ not ‘The book of the Gospel.’ Mark again, who cared not to write of the generation, but only of the preaching of the Son of God, which is properly The Gospel, begins thus accordingly, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” Thus then, all that we read in Matthew before the words, “Jesus began to preach the Gospel of the kingdom,” But the Gospel of the Apostle Paul was likewise that of the other Apostles, and of all the faithful, as he says, "Whether I, or they, thus have we preached the Gospel.”