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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters of St. Jerome > Letter 120

Letter 120

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To Hedibia.

At the request of Hedibia, a lady of Gaul much interested in the study of scripture, Jerome deals with the following twelve questions. It will be noticed that several of them belong to the historical criticism of our own day.

(1) How can anyone be perfect? And How ought a widow without children to live to God?

(2) What is the meaning of Matt. xxvi. 29?

(3) How are the discrepancies in the evangelical narratives to be accounted for? How can Matt. xxviii. 1 be reconciled with Mark 16:1, 2.

(4) How can Matt. xxviii. 9 (Saturday evening) be reconciled with John xx. 1-18 (Sunday morning)?

(5) How can Matt. xxviii. 9 be reconciled with Joh. xx. 17?

(6) How was it that, if there was a guard of soldiers at the sepulchre, Peter and John were allowed to go in freely? Matthew 27:66; John 20:1-8

(7) How is the statement of Matthew and Mark that the apostles were ordered to go into Galilee to see Jesus there to be reconciled with that of Luke and John who make Him appear to them in Jerusalem?

(8) What is the meaning of Matthew 27:50, 51?

(9) How is the statement of John xx. 22 that Jesus breathed on his apostles the Holy Ghost to be reconciled with that of Luke Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4 that He would send it to them after His ascension?

(10) What is the meaning of the passage, Rom. ix. 14-29?

(11) What is the meaning of 2 Cor. ii. 16?

(12) What is the meaning of 1 Thes. v. 23?

The date of the letter is 406 or 407 A.D.

About this page

Source. Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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