1 This letter, as given by Eusebius, is acephalous. A large portion of it is supplied by Cardinal Angelo Mai in the Bibliotheca nova Patrum, vol. iv. pp. 231 and 273. We enclose in brackets the parts wanting in Gallandi, who copied Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., i. 7). On this celebrated letter of Africanus to Aristides, consult especially Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., i. 7); also Jerome, comm. on Matt. i. 16; Augustine, Retract., ii. 7; Photius, cod. xxxiv. p. 22; and in addition to these, Zacharias Chrysopol. in Bibl. P. P. Lugd., vol. xix. p. 751.
8 Reading sunepepla/kh. Migne would make it equivalent to "superimplexum est." Rufinus renders it, "Reconjunctum namque est sibi invicem genus, et illud per Salomonem et illud quod per Nathan deducitur," etc.
11 But in our text in Luke iii. 23, 24, and so, too, in the Vulgate, Matthat and Levi are inserted between Heli and Melchi. It may be that these two names were not found in the copy used by Africanus.
14 Two things may be remarked here: first, that Africanus refers the phrase "as was supposed" not only to the words "son of Joseph," but also to those that follow, "the son of Heli;" so that Christ would be the son of Joseph by legal adoption, just in the same way as Joseph was the son of Heli, which would lead to the absurd and impious conclusion that Christ was the son of Mary and a brother of Joseph married by her after the death of the latter. And second, that in the genealogy here assigned to Luke, Melchi holds the third place; whence it would seem either that Africanus's memory had failed him, or that as Bede conjectures in his copy of the Gospel Melchi stood in place of Matthat (Migne). [A probable solution.]
18 This whole story about Antipater is fictitious. Antipater's father was not Herod, a servant in the temple of Apollo, but Antipater an Idumean, as we learn from Josephus (xiv. 2). This Antipater was made prefect of Idumea by Alexander king of the Jews, and laid the foundation of the power to which his descendants rose. He acquired great wealth, and was on terms of friendship with Ascalon, Gaza, and the Arabians.
19 Several Mss. read a0rxiproshlu/twn for a@xri proshlu/twn, whence some conjecture that the correct reading should be a@xri twsn a0rxiproshlu/twn, i.e., back to the "chief proselytes,"-these being, as it were, patriarchs among the proselytes, like Achior, and those who joined the Israelites on their flight from Egypt.
20 This word occurs in the Septuagint version of Ex. xii. 19, and refers to the strangers who left Egypt along with the Israelites. For Israel was accompanied by a mixed body, consisting on the one hand of native Egyptians, who are named au0to/xqonej in that passage of Exodus, and by the resident aliens, who are called geiw=rai. Justin Martyr has the form gho/ran in Dialogue with Trypho, ch. cxxii. The root of the term is evidently the Hebrew rn
21 The word despo/sunoi was employed to indicate the Lord's relatives, as being His according to the flesh. The term means literally, "those who belong to a master," and thence it was used also to signify "one's heirs."
23 e0k te th=j biblou tw=n h9merw=n. By this "Book of Days" Africanus understands those "day-books" which he has named, a little before this, i0diwtika\j a0pografa/j. For among the Jews, most persons setting a high value on their lineage were in the habit of keeping by them private records of their descent copied from the public archives, as we see it done also by nobles among ourselves. Besides, by the insertion of the particle te, which is found in all our codices, and also in Nicephorus, it appears that something is wanting in this passage. Wherefore it seems necessary to supply these words, kai a0po\ mnh/mhj e0j o@son e\ciknou=nto, "and from memory," etc. Thus at least Rufinus seems to have read the passage, for he renders it: Ordinem supradictae generationis partim memoriter, partim etiam ex dierum libris, in quantum erat possibile, perdocebant (Migne).
1 Edited from two Munich codices by J. Chr. von. Aretin, in his Beiträge zur Geschichte und Literatur, anno 1804, p. ii. p. 49. [I place this apocryphal fragment here as a mere appendix to the Genealogical Argument. An absurd appendix, indeed.]
5 There is a play upon the words, perhaps, in the original. The Greek term for Juno (#Hra) may be derived from e@ra, terra, so that the antithesis intended is, "She is no longer called Earthly, but Heavenly."
7 The initial letters of the Greek 'Ihsou=j Xristo\j Qeou= Ui0o9j Swth/r, i.e., "Jesus Christ the Son of God the Savior." when joined together, make the word ixqu/j, i.e., fish; and the fathers used the word, therefore, as a mystic symbol of Christ, who could live in the depth of our mortality as in the abyss of the sea. [Vol. ii. p. 297.]