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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book II, Chapter 36

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book II

Chapter 36. Of Another Question Which Demands Our Consideration, Namely, Whether, in Passing from the Account of the Man Whose Withered Hand Was Restored, These Three Evangelists Proceed to Their Next Subjects in Such a Way as to Create No Contradictions in Regard to the Order of Their Narrations.

83. Matthew continues his narrative, connecting it in the following manner with what precedes: But the Pharisees went out and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; and charged them that they should not make Him known: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Esaias, saying; and so forth, down to where it is said, And in His name shall the Gentiles trust. He is the only one that records these facts. The other two have advanced to other themes. Mark, it is true, seems to some extent to have kept by the historical order: for he tells us how Jesus, on discovering the malignant disposition which was entertained toward Him by the Jews, withdrew to the sea along with His disciples, and that then vast multitudes flocked to Him, and He healed great numbers of them. But, at the same time, it is not quite clear at what precise point He begins to pass to a new subject, different from what would have followed in strict succession. He leaves it uncertain whether such a transition is made at the point where he tells us how the multitudes gathered about Him (for if that was the case now, it might equally well have been the case at some other time), or at the point where He says that He goes up into a mountain. It is this latter circumstance that Luke also appears to notice when he says, And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray. For by the expression in those days, he makes it plain enough that the incident referred to did not occur in immediate succession upon what precedes.

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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/1602236.htm>.

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