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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book III, Chapter 11

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book III

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Chapter 11. Of the Consistency of Matthew's Version with that of Mark in the Account of the Potion Offered Him to Drink, Which is Introduced Before the Narrative of His Crucifixion.

38. Matthew then proceeds in these terms: And they came unto a place called Golgotha; that is to say, a place of a skull. So far as the place is concerned, they are most unmistakeably at one. The same Matthew next adds, and they gave Him wine to drink, mingled with gall; and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink. This is given by Mark as follows: And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; and He received it not. Here we may understand Matthew to have conveyed the same sense as Mark, when he speaks of the wine being mingled with gall. For the gall is mentioned with a view to express the bitterness of the potion. And wine mingled with myrrh is remarkable for its bitterness. The fact may also be that gall and myrrh together made the wine exceedingly bitter. Again, when Mark says that He received it not, we understand the phrase to denote that He did not receive it so as actually to drink it. He did taste it, however, as Matthew certifies. Thus Mark's words, He received it not, convey the same meaning as Matthew's version, He would not drink. The former, however, has said nothing about His tasting the potion.

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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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