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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book II, Chapter 76

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book II

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Chapter 76. Of the Harmony in Respect of the Order of Narration Subsisting Between Matthew and the Other Two Evangelists in the Accounts Given of the Occasion on Which He Foretold the Destruction of the Temple.

146. Matthew proceeds with his history in the following terms: And Jesus went out and departed from the temple; and His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, See ye all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another which shall not be thrown down. This incident is related also by Mark, and nearly in the same order. But he brings it in after a digression of some small extent, which is made with a view to mention the case of the widow who put the two mites into the treasury, which occurrence is recorded only by Mark and Luke. For [in proof that Mark's order is essentially the same as Matthew's, we need only notice that] in Mark's version also, after the account of the Lord's discussion with the Jews on the occasion when He asked them how they held Christ to be David's son, we have a narrative of what He said in warning them against the Pharisees and their hypocrisy — a section which Matthew has presented on the amplest scale, introducing into it a larger number of the Lord's sayings on that occasion. Then after this paragraph, which has been handled briefly by Mark, and treated with great fullness by Matthew, Mark, as I have said, introduces the passage about the widow who was at once so extremely poor, and yet abounded so remarkably. And finally, without interpolating anything else, he subjoins a section in which he comes again into unison with Matthew, — namely, that relating to the destruction of the temple. In like manner, Luke first states the question which was propounded regarding Christ, as to how He was the son of David, and then mentions a few of the words which were spoken in cautioning them against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Thereafter he proceeds, as Mark does, to tell the story of the widow who cast the two mites into the treasury. And finally he appends the statement, which appears also in Matthew and Mark, on the subject of the destined overthrow of the temple.

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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. <>.

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