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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book II, Chapter 29

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book II

Chapter 29. Of the Two Blind Men and the Dumb Demoniac Whose Stories are Related Only by Matthew.

69. Matthew proceeds with his narrative in the following terms: And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us; and so on, down to the verse where we read, But the Pharisees said, He casts out devils through the prince of the devils. Matthew is the only one who introduces this account of the two blind men and the dumb demoniac. For those two blind men, whose story is given also by the others, are not the two before us here. Nevertheless there is such similarity in the occurrences, that if Matthew himself had not recorded the latter incident as well as the former, it might have been thought that the one which he relates at present has also been given by these other two evangelists. There is this fact, therefore, which we ought to bear carefully in mind—namely, that there are some occurrences which resemble each other. For we have a proof of this in the circumstance that the very same evangelist mentions both incidents here. And thus, if at any time we find any such occurrences narrated individually by the several evangelists, and discover some contradiction in the accounts, which seems not to admit of being solved [on the principle of harmonizing], it may occur to us that the explanation simply is, that this [apparently contradictory] circumstance did not take place [on that particular occasion], but that what did happen then was only something resembling it, or something which had gone about in a similar manner.

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Source. Translated by S.D.F. Salmond. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602229.htm>.

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