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Matthew 1:16

And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
All Commentaries on Matthew 1:16 Go To Matthew 1

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
De Cons. Evan., ii, 2: He is more properly called his son, by whom he was adopted, than had he been said to have been begotten of him of whose flesh hewas not born. Wherefore Matthew, in saying, “Abraham begot Isaac,” and continuing the same phrase throughout down to “Jacob begot Joseph, "sufficiently declares that he gives the father according to the order of nature, so as that we must hold Joseph to have been begotten, not adopted, by Jacob. Though even if Luke had used the word, “begotten,” we need not have thought it any serious objection; for it is not absurd to say of an adopted son that he is begotten, not after the flesh, but by affection. de Cons. Evan., ii, 4: And suitably does Luke, who relates Christ’s ancestry not in the opening of his Gospel, but at his baptism, follow the line of adoption, as thus more clearly pointing Him out as the Priest that should make atonement for sin. For by adoption we are made the sons of God, by believing in the Son of God. But by the descent according to the flesh which Matthew follows, we rather see that the Son of God was for us made man.Luke sufficiently shows that he called Joseph the son of Heli, because he was adopted by Heli, by his calling Adam the son of God, which he was by grace, as he was set in Paradise, though he lost it afterwards by sinning. De Haeres, ii: This is said against Valentinus, who taught that Christ took nothing of the Virgin Mary, but passed through her as through a channel orpipe.Wherefore it pleased Him to take flesh of the womb of a woman, is known in His own secret counsels; whether that He might confer honour on both sexes alike, by taking the form of a man, and being born of a woman, or from some other reason which I would not hastily pronounce on. de Cons. Evan., ii, 1: It was not lawful that he should think to separate himself from Mary for this, that she brought forth Christ as yet a Virgin. And herein may the faithful gather, that if they be married, and preserve strict continence on both sides, yet may their wedlock hold with union of love only, without carnal; for here they see that it is possible that a son be born without carnal embrace. de Nupt. et Concup., i, 11: In Christ’s parents was accomplished every good benefit of marriage, fidelity, progeny, and a sacrament. The progeny we see in the Lord Himself; fidelity, for there was no adultery; sacrament, for there was no divorce. Also, the line of descent ought to be brought down to Joseph, that in wedlock no wrong might be done to the male sex, as the more worthy, providing only nothing was taken away from the truth; because Mary was of the seed of David. Hence then we believe that Mary was in the line of David; namely, because we believe the Scripture which affirms two things, both that Christ was of the seed of David according to the flesh, and that He should be conceived of Mary not by knowledge of man, but as yet avirgin. Vigil. Cont. Fel. 12. ap. Aug.t. 8. p. 45: But not one was the Son of God, and another the son of a man; butthe same Christ was the son of both God and man. And as in one man, the soul is one and the body is another, so in the mediator between God and man, the Son of God was one, and the son of man another; yet of both together was one Christ the Lord. Two in distinction of substance, one in unity of Person. But the heretic objects; “how can you teach Him to have been born in time whom you say was before coeternal with His Father? For birth is as it were a motion of a thing not in being, before it be born, bringing about this, that by benefit of birth it come into being. Whence it is concluded, that He who was in being cannot be born; if He could be bornHe was not in being.”(To this it is replied by Augustine:) Let us imagine, as many will have it, that the universe has a general soul, which by some unspeakable motion gives life to all seeds, so as that itself is not mixed up with the things it produces. When this then passes forth into the womb to form passible matter to its own uses, it makes one with itself the person of that thing which it is clear has not the same substance.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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