THE HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS

BOOK II – PART II

CHAP. XXXII.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE UPBRAIDED THE CITIES BECAUSE THEY REPENTED NOT, WHICH INCIDENT IS RECORDED BY LUKE AS WELL AS BY MATTHEW; AND OF THE QUESTION REGARDING MATTHEW'S HARMONY WITH LUKE IN THE MATTER OF THE ORDER.

79. Thereafter Matthew goes on as follows: "Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not;" and so on, down to where we read, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom at the day of judgment, than for you."(5) This section likewise is given by Luke, who reports it also as an utterence from the lips of the Lord in connection with a certain continuous discourse which He delivered. This circumstance makes it the rather appear that Luke has recorded these words in the strict consecution in which they were spoken by the Lord, while Matthew has kept by the order of his own recollections. Or if it is supposed that Matthew's words, "Then began He to upbraid the cities," must be taken in such a way as to imply that the intention was to express, by the term "then," the precise point of time at which the saying was uttered, and not to signify in a somewhat broader way the period at which many of these things were done and spoken, then I say that any one entertaining that idea may equally well believe these sentences to have been pronounced on two different occasions. For if it is the fact that even in one and the same evangelist some things are found which the Lord utters twice over, as is the case with this very Luke in the instance of the counsel not to take a scrip for the journey, and so with other things in like manner which we find to have been spoken by the Lord in two. different places,(1)--why should it seem strange if some other word of the Lord, which was originally uttered on two separate occasions, may happen also to be recorded by two several evangelists, each of whom gives it in the order in which it was actually spoken, and if thus the order seems to be different in the two, simply because the sentences were uttered both on the occasion noticed by the one, and on that referred to by the other?

CHAP. XXXIII.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE CALLS THEM TO TAKE HIS YOKE AND BURDEN UPON THEM, AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE ABSENCE OF ANY DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND LUKE IN THE ORDER OF NARRATION.

80. Matthew proceeds thus: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I make my acknowledgment to Thee,(2) O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent," and so on, down to where we read, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."(3) This passage is also noticed by Luke, but only in part. For he does not give us the words, "Come unto me, all ye that labour," and the rest. It is, however, quite legitimate to suppose that all this may have been said on one occasion by the Lord, and yet that Luke has not recorded the whole of what was said on that occasion. For Matthew's phrase is, that "at that time Jesus answered and said;" by which is meant the time after His upbraiding of the cities. Luke, on the other hand, interposes some matters, although they are not many, after that upbraiding of the cities; and then he subjoins this sentence: "In that hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit,(4) and said."(5) Thus, too, we see that even if Matthew's expression had been, not "at that time," but "in that very hour," still what Luke inserts in the interval is so little that it would not appear an unreasonable thing to give it as all spoken in the same hour.

CHAP. XXXIV.--OF THE PASSAGE IN WHICH IT IS SAID THAT THE DISCIPLES PLUCKED THE EARS OF CORN AND ATE THEM; AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO HOW MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE ARE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER WITH RESPECT TO THE ORDER OF NARRATION THERE,

81. Matthew continues his history in the fob lowing terms: "At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath-day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat;" and so forth, on to the words, "For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath-day."(6) This is also given both by Mark and by Luke, in a way precluding any idea of antagonism.(7) At the same time, these latter do not employ the definition "at that time." That fact, consequently, may perhaps make it the more probable that Matthew has retained the order of actual occurrence here, and that the others have kept by the order of their own recollections; unless, indeed, this phrase "at that time" is to be taken in a broader sense, that is to say, as indicating the period at which these many and various incidents took place.(8)

CHAP. XXXV.--OF THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND, WHO WAS RESTORED ON THE SABBATH-DAY; AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO HOW MATTHEW'S NARRATIVE OF THIS INCIDENT CAN BE HARMONIZED WITH THOSE OF MARK AND LUKE, EITHER IN THE MATTER OF THE ORDER OF EVENTS, OR IN THE REPORT OF THE WORDS SPOKEN BY THE LORD AND BY THE JEWS.

82. Matthew continues his account thus: "And when He was departed thence, He went into their synagogue: and, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered;" and so on, down to the words, "And it was restored whole, like as the other."(9) The restoring of this man who had the withered hand is also not passed over in silence by Mark and Luke.(10) Now, the circumstance that this day is also designated a Sabbath might possibly lead us to suppose that both the plucking of the ears of corn and the healing of this man took place on the same day, were it not that Luke has made it plain that it was on a different Sabbath that the cure of the withered hand was wrought. Accordingly, when Matthew says, "And when He was departed thence, He came into their synagogue," the words do indeed import that the said coming did not take place until after He had departed from the previously mentioned locality; but, at the same time, they leave the question undecided as to the number of days which may have elapsed between His passing from the aforesaid corn-field and His coming into their synagogue; and they express nothing as to His going there in direct and immediate succession. And thus space is offered us for getting in the narrative of Luke, who tells us that it was on another Sabbath that this man's hand was restored. But it is possible that a difficulty may be felt in the circumstance that Matthew has told us how the people put this question to the Lord, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath-day?" wishing thereby to find an occasion for accusing Him; and that in reply He set before them the parable of the sheep in these terms: "What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath-day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? How much, then, is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath-days;"(1) whereas Mark and Luke rather represent the people to have had this question put to them by the Lord, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath-day, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?"(2) We solve this difficulty, however, by the supposition that the people in the first instance asked the Lord, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath-day?" that thereupon, knowing the thoughts of the men who were thus seeking an occasion for accusing Him, He set the man whom He had been on the point of healing in their midst, and addressed to them the interrogations which Mark and Luke mention to have been put; that, as they remained silent, He next put before them the parable of the sheep, and drew the conclusion that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath-day; and that, finally, when He had looked round about on them with anger, as Mark tells us, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand."

CHAP, XXXVI.--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."(3) 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.(4) 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 goeth 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."(5) 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.(6)

CHAP. XXXVII.--OF THE CONSISTENCY OF THE ACCOUNTS GIVEN BY MATTHEW AND LUKE REGARDING THE DUMB AND BLIND MAN WHO WAS POSSESSED WITH A DEVIL.

84. Matthew then goes on with his recital in the following fashion: "Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb; and He healed him, insomuch that he both spake and saw."(7) Luke introduces this narrative, not in the same order, but after a number of other matters. He also speaks of the man only as dumb, and not as blind in addition.(8) But it is not to be inferred, from the mere circumstance of his silence as to some portion or other of the account, that he speaks of an entirely different person. For he has likewise recorded what followed [immediately after that cure], as it stands also in Matthew.

CHAP. XXXVIII.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH IT WAS SAID TO HIM THAT HE CAST OUT DEVILS IN THE POWER OF BEELZEBUB, AND OF THE DECLARATIONS DRAWN FORTH FROM HIM BY THAT CIRCUMSTANCE IN REGARD TO THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND WITH RESPECT TO THE TWO TREES; AND OF THE QUESTION WHETHER THERE IS NOT SOME DISCREPANCY IN THESE SECTIONS BETWEEN MATTHEW AND THE OTHER TWO EVANGELISTS, AND PARTICULARLY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND LUKE.

85. Matthew proceeds with his narrative in the following term: "And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils but in Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation;" and so on, down to the words, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."(1) Mark does not bring in this allegation against Jesus, that He cast out devils in [the power of]] Beelzebub, in immediate sequence on the story of the dumb man; but after certain other matters, recorded by himself alone, he introduces this incident also, either because he recalled it to mind in a different connection, and so appended it there, or because he had at first made certain omissions in his history, and after noticing these, took up this order of narration again.(2) On the other hand, Luke gives an account of these things almost in the same language as Matthew has employed.(3) And the circumstance that Luke here designates the Spirit of God as the finger of God, does not betray any departure from a genuine identity in sense; but it rather teaches us an additional lesson, giving us to know in what manner we are to interpret the phrase "the finger of God" wherever it occurs in the Scriptures. Moreover, with regard to other matters which are left unmentioned in this section both by Mark and by Luke, no difficulty can be raised by these. Neither can that be the case with some other circumstances which are related by them in somewhat different terms, for the sense still remains the same.

CHAP. XXXIX.--OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE MANNER OF MATTHEW'S AGREEMENT WITH LUKE IN THE ACCOUNTS WHICH ARE GIVEN OF THE LORD'S REPLY TO CERTAIN PERSONS WHO SOUGHT A SIGN, WHEN HE SPOKE OF JONAS THE PROPHET, AND OF THE NINEVITES, AND OF THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH, AND OF THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT WHICH, WHEN IT HAS GONE OUT OF THE MAN, RETURNS AND FINDS THE HOUSE GARNISHED.

86. Matthew goes on and relates what followed thus: "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign of thee;" and so on, down to where we read, "Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."(4) These words are recorded also by Luke in this connection, although in a somewhat different order.(5) For he has mentioned the fact that they sought of the Lord a sign from heaven at an earlier point in his narrative, which makes it follow immediately on his version of the miracle wrought on the dumb man. He has not, however, recorded there the reply which was given to them by the Lord. But further on, after [telling us how] the people were gathered together, he states that this answer was returned to the persons who, as he gives us to understand, were mentioned by him in those earlier verses as seeking of Him a sign from heaven. And that reply he also subjoins, only after introducing the passage regarding the woman who said to the Lord, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee."(6) This notice of the woman, moreover, he inserts after relating the Lord's discourse concerning the unclean spirit that goes out of the man, and then returns and finds the house garnished. In this way, then, after the notice of the woman, and after his statement of the reply which was made to the multitudes on the subject of the sign which they sought from heaven, he brings in the similitude of the prophet Jonas; and then, directly continuing the Lord's discourse, he next instances what was said concerning the Queen of the South and the Ninevites. Thus he has rather related something which Matthew has passed over in silence, than omitted any of the facts which that evangelist has narrated in this place. And furthermore, who can fail to perceive that the question as to the precise order in which these words were uttered by the Lord is a superfluous one? For this lesson also we ought to learn, on the unimpeachable authority of the evangelists,--namely, that no offence against truth need be supposed on the part of a writer, although he may not reproduce the discourse of some speaker in the precise order in which the person from whose lips it proceeded might have given it; the fact being, that the mere item of the order, whether it be this or that, does not affect the subject-matter itself. And by his present version Luke indicates that this discourse of the Lord was of greater length than we might otherwise have supposed; and he records certain topics handled in it, which resemble those which are mentioned by Matthew in his recital of the sermon which was delivered on the mount.(7) So that we take these words to have been spoken twice over, to wit, on that previous occasion, and again on this one. But on the conclusion of this discourse Luke proceeds to another subject, as to which it is uncertain whether, in the account which he gives of it, he has kept by the order of actual occurrence. For he connects it in this way: "And as He spake, a certain Pharisee besought Him to dine with him."(1) He does not say, however, "as He spake these words," but only "as He spake." For if he had said, "as He spake these words," the expression would of course have compelled us to suppose that the incidents referred to, besides being recorded by him in this order, also took place on the Lord's part in that same order.

CHAP. XL.--OF THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THERE IS ANY DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MATTHEW ON THE ONE HAND, AND MARK AND LUKE ON THE OTHER, IN REGARD TO THE ORDER IN WHICH THE NOTICE IS GIVEN OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HIS MOTHER AND HIS BRETHREN WERE ANNOUNCED TO HIM.

87. Matthew then proceeds with his narrative in the following terms: "While He yet talked to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak to Him;" and so on, down to the words, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."(2) Without doubt, we ought to understand this to have occurred in immediate sequence on the preceding incidents. For he has prefaced his transition to this narrative by the words, "While He yet talked to the people;" and what does this term "yet" refer to, but to the very matter of which He was speaking on that occasion? For the expression is not, "When He talked to the people, Behold, His mother and His brethren;" but, "While He was yet speaking," etc. And that phraseology compels us to suppose that it was at the very time when He was still engaged in speaking of those things which were mentioned immediately above. For Mark has also related what our Lord said after His declaration on the subject of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. He gives it thus: "And there came His mother and His brethren,"(3) omitting certain matters which meet us in the context connected with that discourse of the Lord, and which Matthew has introduced there with greater fulness than Mark, and Luke, again, with greater fulness than Matthew. On the other hand, Luke has not kept the historical order in the report which he offers of this incident, but has given it by anticipation, and has narrated it as he recalled it to memory, at a point antecedent to the date of its literal occurrence. But furthermore, he has brought it in in such a manner that it appears dissociated from any close connection either with what precedes it or with what follows it. For, after reporting certain of the Lord's parables, he has introduced his notice of what took place with His mother and His brethren in the following manner: "Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at Him for the press."(4) Thus he has not explained at what precise time it was that they came to Him. And again, when he passes off from this subject, he proceeds in these terms: "Now it came to pass on one of the days, that He went into a ship with His disciples."(5) And certainly, when he employs this expression, "it came to pass on one of the days," he indicates clearly enough that we are under no necessity of supposing that the day meant was the very day on which this incident took place, or the one following in immediate succession. Consequently, neither in the matter of the Lord's words, nor in that of the historical order of the occurrences related, does Matthew's account of the incident which occurred in connection with the mother and the brethren of the Lord, exhibit any want of harmony with the versions given of the same by the other two evangelists.

CHAP. XLI.--OF THE WORDS WHICH WERE SPOKEN OUT OF THE SHIP ON THE SUBJECT OF THE SOWER, WHOSE SEED, AS HE SOWED IT, FELL PARTLY ON THE WAYSIDE, ETC.; AND CONCERNING THE MAN WHO HAD TARES SOWED OVER AND ABOVE HIS WHEAT; AND CONCERNING THE GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED AND THE LEAVEN; AS ALSO OF WHAT HE SAID IN THE HOUSE REGARDING THE TREASURE HID IN THE FIELD, AND THE PEARL, AND THE NET CAST INTO THE SEA, AND THE MAN THAT BRINGS OUT OF HIS TREASURE THINGS NEW AND OLD; AND OF THE METHOD IN WHICH MATTHEW'S HARMONY WITH MARK AND LUKE IS PROVED BOTH WITH RESPECT TO THE THINGS WHICH THEY HAVE REPORTED IN COMMON WITH HIM, AND IN THE MATTER OF THE ORDER OF NARRATION.

88. Matthew continues thus: "In that day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the seaside: and great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying;" and so on, down to the words, "Therefore every scribe which is instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."(6) That the things narrated in this passage took place immediately after the incident touching the mother and the brethren of the Lord, and that Matthew has also retained that historical order in his version. of these events, is indicated by the circumstance that, in passing from the one subject to the other, he has expressed the connection by this mode of speech: "In that day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea-side; and great multitudes were gathered together unto Him." For by adopting this phrase, "in that day" (unless perchance the word "day," in accordance with a use and wont of the Scriptures, may signify simply "time"), he intimates clearly enough either that the thing now related took place in immediate succession on what precedes, or that much at least could not have intervened. This inference is confirmed by the fact that Mark keeps by the same order.(1) Luke, on the other hand, after his account of what happened with the mother and the brethren of the Lord, passes to a different subject. But at the same time, in making that transition, he does not institute any such connection as bears the appearance of a want of consistency with this order.(2) Consequently, in all those passages in which Mark and Luke have reported in common with Matthew the words which were spoken by the Lord, there is no questioning their harmony with one another. Moreover, the sections which are given by Matthew only are even much more beyond the range of controversy. And in the matter of the order of narration, although it is presented somewhat differently by the various evangelists, according as they have proceeded severally along the line of historical succession, or along that of the succession of recollection, I see as little reason for alleging any discrepancy of statement or any contradiction between any of the writers.(3)

CHAP. XLII.--OF HIS COMING INTO HIS OWN COUNTRY, AND OF THE ASTONISHMENT OF THE PEOPLE AT HIS DOCTRINE, AS THEY LOOKED WITH CONTEMPT UPON HIS LINEAGE; OF MATTHEW'S HARMONY WITH MARK AND LUKE IN THIS SECTION; AND IN PARTICULAR, OF THE QUESTION WHETHER THE ORDER OF NARRATION WHICH IS PRESENTED BY THE FIRST OF THESE EVANGELISTS DOES NOT EXHIBIT SOME WANT OF CONSISTENCY WITH THAT OF THE OTHER TWO.

89. Matthew thence proceeds as follows: "And it came to pass that, when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed thence: and when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogues;"(4) and so on, down to the words, "And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."(5) Thus he passes from the above discourse containing the parables, on to this passage, in such a way as not to make it absolutely necessary for us to take the one to have followed in immediate historical succession upon the other. All the more may we suppose this to be the case, when we see how Mark passes on from these parables to a subject which is not identical with Matthew's directly succeeding theme, but quite different from that, and agreeing rather with what Luke introduces; and how he has constructed his narrative in such a manner as to make the balance of credibility rest on the side of the supposition, that what followed in immediate historical sequence was rather the occurrences which these two latter evangelists both insert in near connection [with the parables],--namely, the incidents of the ship in which Jesus was asleep, and the miracle performed in the expulsion of the devils in the country of the Gerasenes,(6)--two events which Matthew has already recalled and introduced at an earlier stage of his record.(7) At present, therefore, we have to consider whether [Matthew's report of] what the Lord spoke, and what was said to Him in His own country, is in concord with the accounts given by the other two, namely, Mark and Luke. For, in widely different and dissimilar sections of his history, John mentions words, either spoken to the Lord or spoken by Him,(8) which resemble those recorded in this passage by the other three evangelists.

90. Now Mark, indeed, gives this passage in terms almost precisely identical with those which meet us in Matthew; with the one exception, that what he says the Lord was called by His fellow-townsmen is, "the carpenter, and the son of Mary,"(9) and not, as Matthew tells us, the "carpenter's son." Neither is there anything to marvel at in this, since He might quite fairly have have been designated by both these names. For in taking Him to be the son of a carpenter, they naturally also took Him to be a carpenter. Luke, on the other hand, sets forth the same incident on a wider scale, and records a variety of other matters which took place in that connection. And this account he brings in at a point not long subsequent to His baptism and temptation, thus unquestionably introducing by anticipation what really happened only after the occurrence of a number of intervening circumstances. In this, therefore, every one may see an illustration of a principle of prime consequence in relation to this most weighty question concerning the harmony of the evangelists, which we have undertaken to solve by the help of God,--the principle, namely, that it is not by mere ignorance that these writers have been led to make certain omissions, and that it is as little through simple ignorance of the actual historical order of events that they have [at times] preferred tO keep by the order in which these events were recalled to their own memory. The correctness of this principle may be gathered most clearly from the fact that, at a point antecedent to any account given by him of anything done by the Lord at Capharnaum, Luke has anticipated the literal date, and has inserted this passage which we have at present under consideration, and in which we are told how His fellow-citizens at once were astonished at the might of the authority which was in Him, and expressed their contempt for the meanness of His family. For he tells us that He addressed them in these terms: "Ye will surely say unto me, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy country;"(1) while, so far as the narrative of this same Luke is concerned, we have not yet read of Him as having done anything at Capharnaum. Furthermore, as it will not take up much time, and as, besides, it is both a very simple and a highly needful matter to do so, we insert here the whole context, showing the subject from which and the method in which the writer has come to give the contents of this section. After his statement regarding the Lord's baptism and temptation, he proceeds in these terms: "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about. And He taught in their synagogues, and was magnified of all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as his custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias: and when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me. He hath sent me to preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the accepted year of the Lord, and the day of retribution. And when He had closed the book, He gave it again to the minister, and sat down: and the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And He said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy country."(2) And so he continues with the rest, until this entire section in his narrative is gone over. What, therefore, can be more manifest, than that he has knowingly introduced this notice at a point antecedent to its historical date, seeing it admits of no question that he knows and refers to certain mighty deeds done by Him before this period in Capharnaum, which, at the same time, he is aware he has not as yet narrated in detail? For certainly he has not made such an advance with his history from his notice of the Lord's baptism, as that he should be supposed to have forgotten the fact that up to this point he has not mentioned any of the things which took place in Capharnaum; the truth being, that he has just begun here, after the baptism, to give us his narrative concerning the Lord personally.(3)

CHAP. XLIII.--OF THE MUTUAL CONSISTENCY OF THE ACCOUNTS WHICH ARE GIVEN BY MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY HEROD ON HEARING ABOUT THE WONDERFUL WORKS OF THE LORD, AND OF THEIR CONCORD IN REGARD TO THE ORDER OF NARRATION.

91. Matthew continues: "At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him."(4) Mark gives the same passage, and in the same manner, but not in the same order.(5) For, after relating how the Lord sent forth the disciples with the charge to take nothing with them on the journey save a staff only, and after bringing to its close so much of the discourse which was then delivered as has been recorded by him, he has subjoined this section. He does not, however, connect it in such a way as to compel us to suppose that what it narrates took place actually in immediate sequence on what precedes it in the history. And in this, indeed, Matthew is at one with him. For Matthew's expression is, "at that time," not "on that day," or "at that hour." Only there is this difference between them, that Mark refers not to Herod himself as the utterer of the words in question, but to the people, his statement being this: "They said(6) that John the Baptist was risen from the dead;" whereas Matthew makes Herod himself the speaker, the phrase being: "He said unto his servants." Luke, again, keeping the same order of narration as Mark, and introducing it also indeed, like Mark, in no such way as to compel us to suppose that his order must have been the order of actual occurrence, presents his version of the same passage in the following terms: "Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; and of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see Him."(1) In these words Luke also attests Mark's statement, at least, so far as concerns the affirmation that it was not Herod himself, but other parties, who said that John was risen from the dead. But as regards his mentioning how Herod was perplexed, and his bringing in thereafter those words of the same prince: "John have I beheaded: but who is this of whom I hear such things?" we must either understand that after the said perplexity he became persuaded in his own mind of the truth of what was asserted by others, when he spoke to his servants, in accordance with the version given by Matthew, which runs thus: "And he said to his servants, This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him;" or we must suppose that these words were uttered in a manner betraying that he was still in a state of perplexity. For had he said, "Can this be John the Baptist?" or, "Can it chance that this is John the Baptist?" there would have been no need of saying anything about a mode of utterance by which he might have revealed his dubiety and perplexity. But seeing that these forms of expression are not before us, his words may be taken to have been pronounced in either of two ways: so that we may either suppose him to have been convinced by what was said by others, and so to have spoken the words in question with a real belief [in John's reappearance]; or we may imagine him to have been still in that state of hesitancy of which mention is made by Luke. Our explanation is favoured by the fact that Mark, who had already told us how it was by others that the statement was made as to John having risen from the dead, does not fail to let us know also that in the end Herod himself spoke to this effect: "It is John whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead."(2) For these words may also be taken to have been pronounced in either of two ways,--namely, as the utterances either of one corroborating a fact, or of one in doubt. Moreover, while Luke passes on to a new subject after the notice which he gives of this incident, those other two, Matthew and Mark, take occasion to tell us at this point in what way John was put to death by Herod.

CHAP. XLIV.--OF THE ORDER IN WHICH THE ACCOUNTS OF JOHN'S IMPRISONMENT AND DEATH ARE GIVEN BY THESE THREE EVANGELISTS.

92. Matthew then proceeds with his narrative in the following terms: "For Herod laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother's wife;" and so on, down to the words, "And his disciples came and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus."(3) Mark gives this narrative in similar terms.(4) Luke, on the other hand, does not relate it in the same succession, but introduces it in connection with his statement of the baptism wherewith the Lord was baptized. Hence we are to understand him to have acted by anticipation here, and to have taken the opportunity of recording at this point an event which took place actually a considerable period later. For he has first reported those words which John spake with regard to the Lord--namely, that "His fan is in His hand, and that He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn up with fire unquenchable;" and immediately thereafter he has appended his statement of an incident which the evangelist John demonstrates not to have taken place in direct historical sequence. For this latter writer mentions that, after Jesus had been baptized, He went into Galilee at the period when He turned the water into wine; and that, after a sojourn of a few days in Capharnaum, He left that district and returned to the land of Judaea, and there baptized a multitude about the Jordan, previous to the time when John was imprisoned.(5) Now what reader, unless he were all the better versed(6) in these writings, would not take it to be implied here that it was after the utterance of the words with regard to the fan and the purged floor that Herod became incensed against John, and cast him into prison? Yet, that the incident referred to here did not, as matter of fact, occur in the order in which it is here recorded, we have already shown elsewhere; and, indeed, Luke himself puts the proof into our hands.(7) For if [he had meant that] John's incarceration took place immediately after the utterance of those words, then what are we to make of the fact that in Luke's own narrative the baptism of Jesus is introduced subsequently to his notice of the imprisonment of John? Consequently it is manifest that, recalling the circumstance in connection with the present occasion, he has brought it in here by anticipation, and has thus inserted it in his history at a point antecedent to a number of incidents, of which it was his purpose to leave us some record, and which, in point of time, were antecedent to this mishap that befell John. But it is as little the case that the other two evangelists, Matthew and Mark, have placed the fact of John's imprisonment in that position in their narratives which, as is apparent also froth their own writings, belonged to it in the actual order of events. For they, too, have told us how it was on John's being cast into prison that the Lord went into Galilee;(1) and then, after [relating] a number of things which He did in Galilee, they come to Herod's admonition or doubt as to the rising again from the dead of that John whom he beheaded;(2) and in connection with this latter occasion, they give us the story of all that occurred in the matter of John's incarceration and death.

CHAP. XLV.--OF THE ORDER AND THE METHOD IN WHICH ALL THE FOUR EVANGELISTS COME TO THE NARRATION OF THE MIRACLE OF THE FIVE LOAVES.

93. After stating how the report of John's death was brought to Christ, Matthew continues his account, and introduces it in the following connection: "When Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities. And He went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick."(3) He mentions, therefore, that this took place immediately after John had suffered. Consequently it was after this that those things took place which have been previously recorded--namely, the circumstances which alarmed Herod, and induced him to say, "John have I beheaded."(4) For it must surely I be understood that these incidents occurred subsequently which report carried to the ears of Herod, so that he became anxious, and was in perplexity as to who that person possibly could be of whom he heard things so remarkable, when he had himself put John to death. Mark, again, after relating how John suffered, mentions that the disciples who had been sent forth returned to Jesus, and told Him all that they had done and taught; and that the Lord (a fact which he alone records) directed them to rest for a little while in a desert place, and that He went on board a vessel with them, and departed; and that the crowds of people, when they perceived that movement, went before them to that place; and that the Lord had compassion on them, and taught them many things; and that, when the hour was now advancing, it came to pass that all who were present were made to eat of the five loaves and the two fishes.(5) This miracle has been recorded by all the four evangelists. For in like manner, Luke, who has given an account of the death of John at a much earlier stage in his narrative,(6) in connection with the occasion of which we have spoken, in the present context tells us first of Herod's perplexity as to who the Lord could be, and immediately thereafter appends statements to the same effect with those in Mark,--namely, that the apostles returned to Him, and reported to Him all that they had done; and that then He took them with Him and departed into a desert place, and that the multitudes followed Him thither, and that He spake to them concerning the kingdom of God, and restored those who stood in need of healing. Then, too, he mentions that, when the day was declining, the miracle of the five loaves was wrought.(7)

94. But John, again, who differs greatly from those three in this respect, that he deals more with the discourses which the Lord delivered than with the works which He so marvellously wrought, after recording how He left Judaea and departed the second time into Galilee, which departure is understood to have taken place at the time to which the other evangelists also refer when they tell us that on John's imprisonment He went into Galilee,--after recording this, I say, John inserts in the immediate context of his narrative the considerable discourse which He spake as He was passing through Samaria, on the occasion of His meeting with the Samaritan woman whom He found at the well; and then he states that two days after this He departed thence and went into Galilee, and that thereupon He came to Cana of Galilee, where He had turned the water into wine, and that there He healed the son of a certain nobleman.(8) But as to other things which the rest have told us He did and said in Galilee, John is silent. At the same time, however, he mentions something which the others have left unnoticed,--namely, the fact that He went up to Jerusalem on the day of the feast, and there wrought the miracle on the man who had the infirmity of thirty-eight years' standing, and who found no one by whose help he might be carried down to the pool in which people afflicted with various diseases were healed.(1) In connection with this, John also relates how He spake many things on that occasion. He tells us, further, that after these events He departed across the sea of Galilee, which is also the sea of Tiberias, and that a great multitude followed Him; that thereupon He went away to a mountain, and there sat with His disciples,--the passover, a feast of the Jews, being then nigh; that then, on lifting up His eyes and seeing a very great company, He fed them with the five loaves and the two fishes;(2) which notice is given us also by the other evangelists. And this makes it certain that he has passed by those incidents which form the course along which these others have come to introduce the notice of this miracle into their narratives. Nevertheless, while different methods of narration, as it appears, are prosecuted, and while the first three evangelists have thus left unnoticed certain matters which the fourth has recorded, we see how those three, on the one hand, who have been keeping nearly the same course, have found a direct meeting-point with each other at this miracle of the five loaves; and how this fourth writer, on the other hand, who is conversant above all with the profound teachings of the Lord's discourses, in relating some other matters on which the rest are silent, has sped round in a certain method upon their track, and, while about to soar off from their pathway after a brief space again into the region of loftier subjects, has found a meeting-point with them in the view of presenting this narrative of the miracle of the five loaves, which is common to them all.

CHAP. XLVI.--OF THE QUESTION AS TO HOW THE FOUR EVANGELISTS HARMONIZE WITH EACH OTHER ON THIS SAME SUBJECT OF THE MIRACLE OF THE FIVE LOAVES.

95. Matthew then proceeds and carries on his narrative in due consecution to the said incident connected with the five loaves in the following manner: "And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat;" and so forth, down to where we read, "And the number of those who ate was five thousand men, besides women and children."(3) This miracle, therefore, which all the four evangelists record? and in which they are supposed to betray certain discrepancies with each other, must be examined and subjected to discussion, in order that we may also learn from this instance some rules which will be applicable to all other similar cases in the form of principles regulating modes of statement in which, however diverse they may be, the same sense is nevertheless retained, and the same veracity in the expression of matters of fact is preserved. And, indeed, this investigation ought to begin not with Matthew, although that would be in accordance with the order in which the evangelists stand, but rather with John, by whom the narrative in question is told with such particularity as to record even the names of the disciples with whom the Lord conversed on this subject. For he gives the history in the following terms: "When Jesus than lifted up His eyes, and saw a very great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this He said to prove him; for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto Him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are they among so many? Jesus said therefore, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. And when they were filled, He said unto His disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that they be not lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten."(5)

96. The inquiry which we have here to handle does not concern itself with a statement given by this evangelist, in which he specifies the kind of loaves; for he has not omitted to mention, what has been omitted by the others, that they were barley loaves. Neither does the question deal with what he has left unnoticed,--namely, the fact that, in addition to the five thousand men, there were also women and children, as Matthew tells us. And it ought now by all means to be a settled matter, and one kept regularly in view in all such investigations, that no one should find any difficulty in the there circumstance that something which is unrecorded by one writer is related by another. But the question here is as to how the several matters narrated by these writers may be [shown to be] all true, so that the one of them, in giving his own peculiar version, does not put out of court the account offered by the other. For if the Lord, according to the narrative of John, on seeing the multitudes before Him, asked Philip, with the view of proving him, whence bread might be got to be given to them, a difficulty may be raised as to the truth of the statement which is made by the others,--namely, that the disciples first said to the Lord that He should send the multitudes away, in order that they might go and purchase food for themselves in the neighbouring localities, and that He made this reply to them, according to Matthew: "They need not depart; give ye them to eat."(1) With this last Mark and Luke also agree, only that they leave out the words, "They need not depart." We are to suppose, therefore, that after these words the Lord looked at the multitude, and spoke to Philip in the terms which John records, but which those others have omitted. Then the reply which, according to John, was made by Philip, is mentioned by Mark as having been given by the disciples, --the intention being, that we should understand Philip to have returned this answer as the mouthpiece of the rest; although they may also have put the plural number in place of the singular, according to very frequent usage. The words here actually ascribed to Philip--namely, "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little"(2) --have their counterpart in this version by Mark, "Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?"(3) The expression, again, which the same Mark relates to have been used by the Lord, namely, "How many loaves have ye?" has been passed by without notice by the rest. On the other hand, the statement occurring in John, to the effect that Andrew made the suggestion about the five loaves and the two fishes, appears in the others, who use here the plural number instead of the singular, as a notice referring the suggestion to the disciples generally. And, indeed, Luke has coupled Philip's reply together with Andrew's answer in one sentence. For when he says, "We have no more but five loaves and two fishes," he reports Andrew's response; but when he adds, "except we should go and buy meat for all this people," he seems to carry us back to Philip's reply, only that he has left unnoticed the "two hundred pennyworth." At the same time, that [sentence about the going and buying meat] may also be understood to be implied in Andrew's own words. For after saying, "There is a lad here which hath five barley loaves and two fishes," he likewise subjoined, "But what are they among so many?" And this last clause really means the same as the expression in question, namely, "except we should go and buy meat for all this people."

97. From all this variety of statement which is found in connection with a genuine harmony in regard to the matters of fact and the ideas conveyed, it becomes sufficiently clear that we have the wholesome lesson inculcated upon us, hat what we have to look to in studying a person's words is nothing else than the intention of the speakers; in setting forth which intention all truthful narrators ought to take the utmost pains when they record anything, whether it may relate to man, or to angels, or to God. For the subjects' mind and intention admit of being expressed in words which should leave no appearance of any discrepancies as regards the matter of fact.

98. In this connection, it is true, we ought not to omit to direct the reader's attention to certain other matters which may turn out to be of a kindred nature with those already considered. One of these is found in the circumstance that Luke has stated that they were ordered to sit down by fifties, whereas Mark's version is that it was by hundreds and by fifties. This difference, however, creates no real difficulty. The truth is, that the one has reported simply a part, and the other has given the whole. For the evangelist who has introduced the notice of the hundreds as well as the fifties has just mentioned something which the other has left unmentioned. But there is no contradiction between them on that account. If, indeed, the one had noticed only the fifties, and the other only the hundreds, they might certainly have seemed to be in some antagonism with each other, and it might not have been easy to make it plain that both instructions were actually uttered, although only the one has been specified by the former writer, and the other by the latter. And yet, even in such a case, who will not acknowledge that when the matter was subjected to more careful consideration, the solution should have been discovered? This I have instanced now for this reason, that matters of that kind do often present themselves, which, while they really contain no discrepancies, appear to do so to persons who pay insufficient attention to them, and pronounce upon them inconsiderately.

CHAP. XLVII.--OF HIS WALKING UPON THE WATER, AND OF THE QUESTIONS REGARDING THE HARMONY OF THE EVANGELISTS WHO HAVE NARRATED THAT SCENE, AND REGARDING THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY PASS OFF FROM THE SECTION RECORDING THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE FED THE MULTITUDES WITH THE FIVE LOAVES.

99. Matthew goes on with his account in the following terms: "And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit;" and so on, down to the words, "They came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth Thou art the Son of God."(1) In like manner, Mark, after narrating the miracle of the five loaves, gives his account of this same incident in the following terms: "And when it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land. And He saw them toiling in rowing: for the wind was contrary to them," and so on.(2) This is similar to Matthew's version, except that nothing is said as to Peter's walking upon the waters. But here we must see to it, that no difficulty be found in what Mark has stated regarding the Lord, namely, that, when He walked upon the waters, He would also have passed by them. For in what way could they have understood this, were it not that He was really proceeding in a different direction from them, as if minded to pass those persons by like strangers, who were so far from recognizing Him that they took Him to be a spirit? Who, however, is so obtuse as not to perceive that this bears a mystical significance? At the same time, too, He came to the help of the men in their perturbation and outcry, and said to them, "Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid." What is the explanation, therefore, of His wish to pass by those persons whom nevertheless He thus encouraged when they were in terror, but that that intention to pass them by was made to serve the purpose of drawing forth those cries to which it was meet to bear succour?

100. Furthermore, John still tarries for a little space with these others. For, after his recital of the miracle of the five loaves, he also gives us some account of the vessel that laboured, and of the Lord's act in walking upon the sea. This notice he connects with his preceding narrative in the following manner: "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force and make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone. And when it became late, His disciples went down unto the sea; and when they had entered into a ship, they came over the sea to Capharnaum: and it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew," and so on.(3) In this there cannot appear to be anything contrary to the records preserved in the other Gospels, unless it be the circumstance that Matthew tells us how, when the multitudes were sent away, He went up into a mountain, in order that there He might pray alone; while John states that He was on a mountain with those same multitudes whom He fed with the five loaves.(4) But seeing that John also informs us how He departed into a mountain after the said miracle, to preclude His being taken possession of by the multitudes, who wished to make Him a king, it is surely evident that they had come down from the mountain to more level ground when those loaves were provided for the crowds. And consequently there is no contradiction between the statements made by Matthew and John as to His going up again to the mountain. The only difference is, that Matthew uses the phrase "He went up," while John's term is "He departed." And there would be an antagonism between these two, only if in departing He had not gone up. Nor, again, is any want of harmony betrayed by the fact that Matthew's words are, "He went up into a mountain apart to pray;" whereas John puts it thus: "When He perceived that they would come to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone." Surely the matter of the departure is in no way a thing antagonistic to the matter of prayer. For, indeed, the Lord, who in His own person transformed the body of our humiliation in order that He might make it like unto the body of His own glory,(5) hereby taught us also the truth that the matter of departure should be to us in like manner grave matter for prayer. Neither, again, is there any defect of consistency proved by the circumstance that Matthew has told us first how He commanded His disciples to embark in the little ship, and to go before Him unto the other side of the lake until He sent the multitudes away, and then informs us that, after the multitudes were sent away, He Himself went up into a mountain alone to pray; while John mentions first that He departed unto a mountain alone, and then proceeds thus: "And when it became late, His disciples came down unto the sea; and when they had entered into a ship," etc. For who will not perceive that, in recapitulating the facts, John has spoken of something as actually done at a later point by the disciples, which Jesus had already charged them to do before His own departure unto the mountain; just as it is a familiar procedure in discourse, to revert in some fashion or other to any matter which otherwise would have been passed over But inasmuch as it may not be specifically noted that a reversion, especially when done briefly and instantaneously, is made to something omitted, the auditors are sometimes led to suppose that the occurrence which is mentioned at the later stage also took place literally at the later period. In this way the evangelist's statement really is, that to those persons whom he had described as embarking in the ship and coming across the sea to Capharnaum, the Lord came, walking toward them upon the waters, as they were toiling in the deep; which approach of the Lord of course took place at the earlier point, during the said voyage in which they were making their way to Capharnaum.(1)

101. On the other hand, Luke, after the record of the miracle of the five loaves, passes to another subject, and diverges from this order of narration. For he makes no mention of that little ship, and of the Lord's pathway over the waters. But after the statement conveyed in these words, "And they did all eat, and were filled, and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets," he has subjoined the following notice: "And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him; and He asked them, saying, Who say the people that I am?"(2) Thus he relates in this succession something new, which is not given by those three who have left us the account of the manner in which the Lord walked upon the waters, and came to the disciples when they were on the voyage. It ought not, however, on this account, to be supposed that it was on that same mountain to which Matthew has told us He went up in order to pray alone, that He said to His disciples, "Who say the people that I am?" For Luke, too, seems to harmonize with Matthew in this, because his words are, "as He was alone praying;" while Matthew's were, "He went up unto a mountain alone to pray." But it must by all means be held to have been on a different occasion that He put this question, since [it is said here, both that] He prayed alone, and [that] the disciples were with Him. Thus Luke, indeed, has mentioned only the fact of His being alone, but has said nothing of His being without His disciples, as is the case with Matthew and John, since [according to these latter] they left Him in order to go before Him to the other side of the sea. For with unmistakeable plainness Luke has added the statement that "His disciples also were with Him." Consequently, in saying that He was alone, he meant his statement to refer to the multitudes, who did not abide with Him.

CHAP. XLVIII.--OF THE ABSENCE OF ANY DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND MARK ON THE ONE HAND, AND JOHN ON THE OTHER, IN THE ACCOUNTS WHICH THE THREE GIVE TOGETHER OF WHAT TOOK PLACE AFTER THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAKE WAS REACHED.

102. Matthew proceeds as follows: "And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Genesar. And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out unto all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased, and besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole. Then came to Him scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread," and so on, down to the words, "But to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."(3) This is also related by Mark, in a way which precludes the raising of any question about discrepancies. For anything expressed here by the one in a form differing from that used by the other, involves at least no departure from identity in sense. John, on the other hand, fixing his attention, as his wont is, upon the Lord's discourses, passes on from the notice of the ship, which the Lord reached by walking upon the waters, to what took place after they disembarked upon the land, and mentions that He took occasion from the eating of the bread to deliver many lessons, dealing pre-eminently with divine things. After this address, too, his narrative is again borne on to one subject after another, in a sublime strain.(4) At the same time, this transition which he thus makes to different themes does not involve any real want of harmony, although he exhibits certain divergencies from these others, with the order of events presented by the rest of the evangelists. For what is there to hinder us from supposing at once that those persons, whose story is given by Matthew and Mark, were healed by the Lord, and that He delivered this discourse which John recounts to the people who followed Him across the sea? Such a supposition is made all the more reasonable by the fact that Capharnaum, to which place they are said, according to John, to have crossed, is near the take of Genesar; and that, again, is the district into which they came, according to Matthew, on landing.

CHAP. XLIX.--OF THE WOMAN OF CANAAN WHO SAID, "YET THE DOGS EAT OF THE CRUMBS WHICH FALL FROM THEIR MASTERS' TABLES," AND OF THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE ACCOUNT GIVEN BY MATTHEW AND THAT BY LUKE.

103. Matthew, accordingly, proceeds with his narrative, after the notice of that discourse which the Lord delivered in the presence of the Pharisees on the subject of the unwashed hands. Preserving also the order of the succeeding events, as far as it is indicated by the transitions from the one to the other, he introduces this account into the context in the following manner: "And Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But He answered her not a word," and so on, down to the words, "O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."(1) This story of the woman of Canaan is recorded also by Mark, who keeps the same order of events, and gives no occasion to raise any question as to a want of harmony, unless it be found in the circumstance that he tells us how the Lord was in the house at the time when the said woman came to Him with the petition on behalf of her daughter.(2) Now we might readily suppose that Matthew has simply omitted mention of the house, while nevertheless relating the same occurrence. But inasmuch as he states that the disciples made the suggestion to Him in these terms, "Send her away, for she crieth after us," he seems to imply distinctly that the woman gave utterance to these cries of entreaty behind the Lord as He walked on. In what sense, then, could it have been "in the house," unless we are to take Mark to have intimated the fact, that she had gone into the place where Jesus then was, when he mentioned at the beginning of the narrative that He was in the house? But when Matthew says that "He answered her not a word," he has given us also to understand what neither of the two evangelists has related explicitly,--namely, the fact that during that silence which He maintained Jesus went out of the house. And in this manner all the other particulars are brought into a connection which from this point onwards presents no kind of appearance of discrepancy. For as to what Mark records with respect to the answer which the Lord gave her, to the effect that it was not meet to take the children's bread and cast it unto the dogs, that, reply was returned only after the interposition of certain sayings which Matthew has not left unrecorded. That is to say, [we are to suppose that] there came in first the request which the disciples addressed to Him in regard to the woman's case, and the answer He gave them, to the effect that He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel; that next there was her own approach, or, in other words, her coming after Him, and worshipping Him, saying, "Lord, help me;" and that then, after all these incidents, those words were spoken which have been recorded by both the evangelists.

CHAP. L.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE FED THE MULTITUDES WITH THE SEVEN LOAVES, AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE HARMONY BETWEEN MATTHEW ANDMARK IN THEIR ACCOUNTS OF THAT MIRACLE.

104. Matthew proceeds with his narrative in the following terms: "And when Jesus had departed from thence, He came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them; insomuch that the multitudes wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat," and so on, down to the words, "And they that did eat were four thousand men, besides women and children."(3) This other miracle of the seven loaves and the few little fishes is recorded also by Mark, and that too in almost the same order; the exception being that he inserts before it a narrative given by no other,--namely, that relating to the deaf man whose ears the Lord opened, when He spat and said, "Effeta," that is, Be opened.(4)

105. In the case of this miracle of the seven loaves, it is certainly not a superfluous task to call attention to the fact that these two evangelists, Matthew and Mark, have thus introduced it into their narrative. For if one of them had recorded this miracle, who at the same time had taken no notice of the instance of the five loaves, he would have been judged to stand opposed to the rest. For in such circumstances, who would not have supposed that there was only the one miracle wrought in actual fact, and that an incomplete and unveracious version of it had been given by the writer referred to, or by the others, or by all of them together; so [that we must have imagined] either that the one evangelist, by a mistake on his own part, had been led to mention seven loaves instead of five; or that the other two, whether as having both presented an incorrect statement, or as having been misled through a slip of memory, had put the number five for the number seven. In like manner, it might have been supposed that there was a contradiction between the twelve baskets(1) and the seven baskets,(2) and again, between the five thousand and the four thousand, expressing the numbers of those who were fed. But now, since those evangelists who have given us the account of the miracle of the seven loaves have also not failed to mention the other miracle of the five loaves, no difficulty can be felt by any one, and all can see that both works were really wrought. This, accordingly, we have instanced, in order that, if in any other passage we come upon some similar deed of the Lord's, which, as told by one evangelist, seems so utterly contrary to the version of it given by another that no method of solving the difficulty can possibly be found, we may understand the explanation to be simply this, that both incidents really took place, and that they were recorded separately by the two several writers. This is precisely what we have already recommended to attention in the matter of the seating of the multitudes by hundreds and by fifties. For were it not for the circumstance that both these numbers are found noted by the one historian, we might have supposed that the different writers had made contradictory statements.(3)

CHAP. LI.--OF MATTHEW'S DECLARATION THAT, ON LEAVING THESE PARTS, HE CAME INTO THE COASTS OF MAGEDAN; AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO HIS AGREEMENT WITH MARK IN THAT INTIMATION, AS WELL AS IN THE NOTICE OF THE SAYING ABOUT JONAH, WHICH WAS RETURNED AGAIN AS AN ANSWER TO THOSE WHO SOUGHT A SIGN.

106. Matthew continues as follows: "And He sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magedan;" and so on, down to the words, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it but the sign of the prophet Jonas."(4) This has already been recorded in another connection by the same Matthew.(5) Hence again and again we must hold by the position that the Lord spake the same words on repeated occasions; so that when any completely irreconcilable difference appears between statements of His utterances, we are to understand the words to have been spoken twice over. In this case, indeed, Mark also keeps the same order; and after his account of the miracle of the seven loaves, subjoins the same intimation as is given us in Matthew, only with this difference, that Matthew's expression for the locality is not Dalmanutha, as is read in certain codices, but Magedan.(6) There is no reason, however, for questioning the fact that it is the same place that is intended under both names. For most codices, even of Mark's Gospel, give no other reading than that of Magedan.(7) Neither should any difficulty be felt in the fact that Mark does not say, as Matthew does, that in the answer which the Lord returned to those who sought after a sign, He referred to Jonah, but mentions simply that He replied in these terms: "There shall no sign be given unto it." For we are given to understand what kind of sign they asked--namely, one from heaven. And he has simply omitted to specify the words which Matthew has introduced regarding Jonas.

CHAP. LII.--OF MATTHEW'S AGREEMENT WITH MARK IN THE STATEMENT ABOUT THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES, AS REGARDS BOTH THE SUBJECT ITSELF AND THE ORDER OF NARRATIVE.

107. Matthew proceeds: "And He left them, and departed. And when His disciples were come to the other side, they forgot to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees;" and so forth, down to where we read, "Then understood they that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."(8) These words are recorded also by Mark, and that likewise in the same order.(9)

CHAP. LIII.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE ASKED THE DISCIPLES WHOM MEN SAID THAT HE WAS; AND OF THE QUESTION WHETHER, WITH REGARD EITHER TO THE SUBJECT-MATTER OR THE ORDER, THERE ARE ANY DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE.

108. Matthew continues thus: "And Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi; and He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I,(10) the Son of man, am? And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets;" and so on, down to the words," And whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."(1) Mark relates this nearly in the same order. But he has brought in before it a narrative which is given by him alone, --namely, that regarding the giving of sight to that blind man who said to the Lord, "I see men as trees walking."(2) Luke, again, also records this incident, inserting it after his account of the miracle of the five loaves;(3) and, as we have already shown above, the order of recollection which is followed in his case is not antagonistic to the order adopted by these others. Some difficulty, however, may be imagined in the circumstance that Luke's representation bears that the Lord put this question, as to whom men held Him to be, to His disciples at a time when He was alone praying, and when His disciples were also with Him; whereas Mark, on the other hand, tells us that the question was put by Him to the disciples when they were on the way. But this will be a difficulty only to the man who has never prayed on the way.(4)

109. I recollect having already stated that no one should suppose that Peter received that name for the first time on the occasion when He said to Him, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." For the time at which he did obtain this name was that referred to by John, when he mentions that he was addressed in these terms: "Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, Peter."(5) Hence, too, we are as little to think that Peter got this designation on the occasion to which Mark alludes, when he recounts the twelve apostles individually by name, and tells us how James and John were called the sons of thunder, merely on the ground that in that passage he has recorded the fact that He surnamed him Peter.(6) For that circumstance is noticed there simply because it was suggested to the writer's recollection at that particular point, and not because it took place in actual fact at that specific time.

CHAP. LIV.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE ANNOUNCED HIS COMING PASSION TO THE DISCIPLES, AND OF THE MEASURE OF CONCORD BETWEEN MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE IN THE ACCOUNTS WHICH THEY GIVE OF THE SAME.

110. Matthew proceeds in the following strain: "Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples how that He must go into Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes;" and so on, down to where we read, "Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." 7 Mark and Luke add these passages in the same order. Only Luke says nothing about the opposition which Peter expressed to the passion of Christ.

CHAP. LV.--OF THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE THREE EVANGELISTS IN THE NOTICES WHICH THEY SUBJOIN OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE LORD CHARGED THE MAN TO FOLLOW HIM WHO WISHED TO COME AFTER HIM.

111. Matthew continues thus: "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me;" and so on, down to the words, "And then He shall reward every man according to his work."(8) This is appended also by Mark, who keeps the same order. But he does not say of the Son of man, who was to come with His angels, that He is to reward every man according to his work. Nevertheless, he mentions at the same time that the Lord spoke to this effect: "Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."(9) And this may be taken to bear the same sense as is expressed by Matthew, when he says, that "He shall reward every man according to his work." Luke(10) also adds the same statements in the same order, slightly varying the terms indeed in which they are conveyed, but still showing a complete parallel with the others in regard to the truthful reproduction of the self-same ideas."

CHAP. LVI.--OF THE MANIFESTATION WHICH THE LORD MADE OF HIMSELF, IN COMPANY WITH MOSES AND ELIAS, TO HIS DISCIPLES ON THE MOUNTAIN; AND OF THE QUESTION CONCERNING THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE FIRST THREE EVANGELISTS WITH REGARD TO THE ORDER AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THAT EVENT; AND IN ESPECIAL, THE NUMBER OF THE DAYS, IN SO FAR AS MATTHEW AND MARK STATE THAT IT TOOK PLACE AFTER SIX DAYS, WHILE LUKE SAYS THAT IT WAS AFTER EIGHT DAYS.

112. Matthew proceeds thus: "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom. And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into an high mountain;" and so on, down to where we read, "Tell the vision to no man until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." This vision of the Lord upon the mount in the presence of the three disciples, Peter, James, and John, on which occasion also the testimony of the Father's voice was borne Him from heaven, is related by the three evangelists in the same order, and in a manner expressing the same sense completely.(1) And as regards other matters, they may be seen by the readers to be in accordance with those modes of narration of which we have given examples in many passages already, and in which there are diversities in expression without any consequent diversity in meaning.

113. But with respect to the circumstance that Mark, along with Matthew, tells us how the event took place after six days, while Luke states that it was after eight days, those who find a difficulty here do not deserve to be set aside with contempt, but should be enlightened by the offering of explanations. For when we announce a space of days in these terms, "after so many days," sometimes we do not include in the number the day on which we speak, or the day on which the thing itself which we intimate beforehand or promise is declared to take place, but reckon only the intervening days, on the real and full and final expiry of which the incident in question is to occur. This is what Matthew and Mark have done. Leaving out of their calculation the day on which Jesus spoke these words, and the day on which He exhibited that memorable spectacle on the mount, they have regarded simply the intermediate days, and thus have used the expression, "after six days." But Luke, reckoning in the extreme day at either end, that is to say, the first day and the last day, has made it "after eight days," in accordance with that mode of speech in which the part is put for the whole.

114. Moreover, the statement which Luke makes with regard to Moses and Elias in these terms, "And it came to pass, as they departed(2) from Him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here," and so forth, ought not to be considered antagonistic to what Matthew and Mark have subjoined to the same effect, as if they made Peter offer this suggestion while Moses and Elias were still talking with the Lord. For they have not expressly said that it was at that time, but rather they have simply left unnoticed the fact which Luke has added,--namely, that it was as they went away that Peter made the suggestion to the Lord with respect to the making of three tabernacles. At the same time, Luke has appended the intimation that it was as they were entering the cloud that the voice came from heaven,--a circumstance which is not affirmed, but which is as little contradicted, by the others.

CHAP. LVII.--OF THE HARMONY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND MARK IN THE ACCOUNTS GIVEN OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE SPOKE TO THE DISCIPLES CONCERNING THE COMING OF ELIAS.

115. Matthew goes on thus: "And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that He spake unto them of John the Baptist."(3) This same passage is given also by Mark, who keeps also the same order; and although he exhibits some diversity of expression, he makes no departure from a truthful representation of the same sense.(4) He has not, however, added the statement, that the disciples understood that the Lord had referred to John the Baptist in saying that Elias was come already.

CHAP. LVIII.--OF THE MAN WHO BROUGHT BEFORE HIM HIS SON, WHOM THE DISCIPLES WERE UNABLE TO HEAL; AND OF THE QUESTION CONCERNING THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THESE THREE EVANGELISTS ALSO IN THE MATTER OF THE ORDER OF NARRATION HERE.

116. Matthew goes on in the following terms: "And when He was come(5) to the multitude, there came to Him a certain man, kneeling down before Him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son; for he is lunatic, and sore vexed;" and so on, down to the words, "Howbeit this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting."(6) Both Mark and Luke record this incident, and that, too, in the same order, without any suspicion of a want of harmony.(7)

CHAP. LIX.--OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH THE DISCIPLES WERE EXCEEDING SORRY WHEN HE SPOKE TO THEM OF HIS PASSION, AS IT IS RELATED IN THE SAME ORDER BY THE THREE EVANGELISTS.

117. Matthew continues thus: "And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men; and they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again. And they were exceeding sorry."(8) Mark and Luke record this passage in the same order.(9)

CHAP. LX.--OF HIS PAYING THE TRIBUTE MONEY OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE FISH, AN INCIDENT WHICH MATTHEW ALONE MENTIONS.

118. Matthew continues in these terms: "And when they were come to Capharnaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said to him, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes;" and so on, down to where we read: "Thou shall find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."(1) He is the only one who relates this occurrence, after the interposition of which he follows again the order which is pursued also by Mark and Luke in company with him.

CHAP. LXI.--OF THE LITTLE CHILD WHOM HE SET BEFORE THEM FOR THEIR IMITATION, AND OF THE OFFENCES OF THE WORLD; OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY CAUSING OFFENCES; OF THE ANGELS OF THE LITTLE ONES, WHO BEHOLD THE FACE OF THE FATHER; OF THE ONE SHEEP OUT OF THE HUNDRED SHEEP; OF THE REPROVING OF A BROTHER IN PRIVATE; OF THE LOOSING AND THE BINDING OF SINS; OF THE, AGREEMENT OF TWO, AND THE GATHERING TOGETHER OF THREE; OF THE FORGIVING OF SINS EVEN UNTO SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN; OF THE SERVANT WHO HAD HIS OWN LARGE DEBT REMITTED, AND YET REFUSED TO REMIT THE SMALL DEBT WHICH HIS FELLOW-SERVANT OWED TO HIM; AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO MATTHEW'S HARMONY WITH THE OTHER EVANGELISTS ON ALL THESE SUBJECTS.

119. The same Matthew then proceeds with his narrative in the following terms: "In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who, thinkest Thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven;" and so on, down to the words, "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."(2) Of this somewhat lengthened discourse which was spoken by the Lord, Mark, instead of giving the whole, has presented only certain portions, in dealing with which he follows meantime the same order. He has also introduced some matters which Matthew does not mention.(3) Moreover, in this complete discourse, so far as we have taken it under consideration, the only interruption is that which is made by Peter, when he inquires how often a brother ought to be forgiven. The Lord, however, was speaking in a strain which makes it quite clear that even the question which Peter thus proposed, and the answer which was returned to him, belong really to the same address. Luke, again, records none of these things in the order here observed, with the exception of the incident with the little child whom He set before His disciples, for their imitation when they were thinking of their own greatness.(4) For if he has also narrated some other matters of a tenor resembling those which are inserted in this discourse, these are sayings which he has recalled for notice in other connections, and on occasions different from the present: just as John s introduces the Lord's words on the subject of the forgiveness of sins,--namely, those to the effect that they should be remitted to him to whom the apostles remitted them, and that they should be retained to him to whom they retained them, as spoken by the Lord after His resurrection; while Matthew mentions that in the discourse now under notice the Lord made this declaration, which, however, the self-same evangelist at the same time affirms to have been given on a previous occasion to Peter.(6) Therefore, to preclude the necessity of having always to inculcate the same rule, we ought to bear in mind the fact that Jesus uttered the same word repeatedly, and in a number of different places,--a principle which we have pressed so often upon your attention already; and this consideration should save us from feeling any perplexity, even although the order of the sayings may be thought to create some difficulty.

CHAP. LXII.--OF THE HARMONY SUBSISTING BETWEEN MATTHEW AND MARK IN THE ACCOUNTS WHICH THEY OFFER OF THE TIME WHEN HE WAS ASKED WHETHER IT WAS LAWFUL TO PUT AWAY ONE'S WIFE, AND ESPECIALLY IN REGARD TO THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND REPLIES WHICH PASSED BETWEEN THE LORD AND THE JEWS, AND IN WHICH THE EVANGELISTS SEEM TO BE, TO SOME SMALL EXTENT, AT VARIANCE.

120. Matthew continues giving his narrative in the following manner: "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; and great multitudes followed Him; and He healed them there.(7) The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying, Is it lawful top a man to put away his wife for every cause?" And so on, down to the words, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."(8) Mark also records this, and observes the same order. At the same time, we must certainly see to it that no appearance of contradiction be supposed to arise from the circumstance that the same Mark tells us how the Pharisees were asked by the Lord as to what Moses commanded them, and that on His questioning them to that effect they returned the answer regarding the bill of divorcement which Moses suffered them to write; whereas, according to Matthew's version, it was after the Lord had spoken those words in which He had shown them, out of the law, how God made male and female to be one flesh, and how, therefore, those [thus joined together of Him] ought not to be put asunder by man, that they gave the reply, "Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?" To this interrogation, also [as Matthew puts it], He says again in reply, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." There is no difficulty, I repeat, in this; for it is not the case that Mark makes no kind of mention of the reply which was thus given by the Lord, but he brings it in after the answer which was returned by them to His question relating to the bill of divorcement.

121. As far as the order or method of statement here adopted is concerned, we ought to understand that it in no way affects the truth of the subject itself, whether the question regarding the permission to write a bill of divorcement given by the said Moses, by whom also it is recorded that God made male and female to be one flesh,(1) was addressed by these Pharisees to the Lord at the time when He was forbidding the separation of husband and wife, and confirming His declaration on that subject by the authority of the law; or whether the said question was conveyed in the reply which the same persons returned to the Lord, at the time when He asked them about what Moses had commanded them. For His intention was not to offer them any reason for the permission which Moses thus granted them until they had first mentioned the matter themselves; which intention on His part is what is indicated by the inquiry which Mark has introduced. On the other hand, their desire was to use the authority of Moses in commanding the giving of a bill of divorcement, for the purpose of stopping His mouth, so to speak, in the matter of forbidding, as they believed He undoubtedly would do, a man to put away his wife. For they had approached Him with the view of saying what would tempt Him. And this desire of theirs is what is indicated by Matthew, when, instead of stating how they were interrogated first themselves, he represents them as having of their own accord put the question about the precept of Moses, in order that they might thereby, as it were, convict the Lord of doing what was wrong in prohibiting the putting away of wives. Wherefore, since the mind of the speakers, in the service of which the words ought to stand, has been exhibited by both evangelists, it is no matter how the modes of narration adopted by the two may differ, provided neither of them fails to give a correct representation of the subject itself.

122. Another view of the matter may also be taken, namely, that, in accordance with Mark's statement, when these persons began by questioning the Lord on the subject of the putting away of a wife, He questioned them in turn as to what Moses commanded them; and that, on their replying that Moses suffered them to write a bill of divorcement and put the wife away, He made His answer to them regarding the said law which was given by Moses, reminding them how God instituted the union of male and female, and addressing them in the words which are inserted by Matthew, namely, "Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female?" and so on. On hearing these words, they repeated in the form of an inquiry what they had already given utterance to when replying to His first interrogation, namely the expression, "Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?" Then Jesus showed that the reason was the hardness of their heart; which explanation Mark brings in, with a view to brevity, at an earlier point, as if it had been given in reply to that former response of theirs, which Matthew has passed over. And this he does as judging that no injury could be done to the truth at whichever point the explanation might be introduced, seeing that the words, with a view to which it was returned, had been uttered twice in the same form; and seeing also that the Lord, in any case, had offered the said explanation in reply to such words.

CHAP. LXIII.--OF THE LITTLE CHILDREN ON WHOM HE LAID HIS HANDS; OF THE RICH MAN TO WHOM HE SAID, "SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST;" OF THE VINEYARD IN WHICH THE LABOURERS WERE HIRED AT DIFFERENT HOURS; AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE ABSENCE OF ANY DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND THE OTHER TWO EVANGELISTS ON THESE SUBJECTS.

123. Matthew proceeds thus: "Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them;" and so on, down to where we read, "For many are called, but few are chosen."(2) Mark has followed the same order here as Matthew.(3) But Matthew is the only one who introduces the section relating to the labourers who were hired for the vineyard. Luke, on the other hand, first mentions what He said to those who were asking each other who should be the greatest, and next subjoins at once the passage concerning the man whom they had seen casting out devils, although he did not follow Him; then he parts company with the other two at the point where he tells us how He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem;(1) and after the interposition of a number of subjects,(2) he joins them again in giving the story of the rich man, to whom the word is addressed, "Sell all that thou hast,"(3) which individual's case is related here by the other two evangelists, but still in the succession which is followed by all the narratives alike. For in the passage referred to in Luke, that writer does not fail to bring in the story of the little children, just as the other two do immediately before the mention of the rich man. With regard, then, to the accounts which are given us of this rich person, who asks what good thing he should do in order to obtain eternal life, there may appear to be some discrepancy between them, because the words were, according to Matthew, "Why askest thou me about the good?" while according to the others they were, "Why callest thou me good?" The sentence, "Why askest thou me about the good?" may then be referred more particularly to what was expressed by the man when he put the question, "What good thing shall I do ?" For there we have both the name "good" applied to Christ, and the question put.(4) But the address "Good Master" does not of itself convey the question. Accordingly, the best method of disposing of it is to understand both these sentences to have been uttered, "Why callest thou me good?" and, "Why askest thou me about the good?"

CHAP. LXIV.--OF THE OCCASIONS ON WHICH HE FORETOLD HIS PASSION IN PRIVATE TO HIS DISCIPLES; AND OF THE TIME WHEN THE MOTHER OF ZEBEDEE'S CHILDREN CAME WITH HER SONS, REQUESTING THAT ONE OF THEM SHOULD SIT ON HIS RIGHT HAND, AND THE OTHER ON HIS LEFT HAND; AND OF THE ABSENCE OF ANY DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND THE OTHER TWO EVANGELISTS ON THESE SUBJECTS.

124. Matthew continues his narrative in the following terms: "And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him; and the third day He shall rise again. Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him;" and so on, down to the words, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."(5) Here again Mark keeps the same order as Matthew, only he represents the sons of Zebedee to have made the request themselves; while Matthew has stated that it was preferred on their behalf not by their own personal application, but by their mother, as she had laid what was their wish before the Lord. Hence Mark has briefly intimated what was said on that occasion as spoken by them, rather than by her [in their name]. And to conclude with the matter, it is to them rather than to her, according to Matthew no less than according to Mark, that the Lord returned His reply. Luke, on the other hand, after narrating in the same order our Lord's predictions to the twelve disciples on the subject of His passion and resurrection, leaves unnoticed what the other two evangelists immediately go on to record; and after the interposition of these passages, he is joined by his fellow-writers again [at the point where they report the incident] at Jericho.(6) Moreover, as to what Matthew and Mark have stated with respect to the princes of the Gentiles exercising dominion over those who are subject to them,--namely, that it should not be so with them [the disciples], but that he who was greatest among them should even be a servant to the others,--Luke also gives us something of the same tenor, although not in that connection;(7) and the order itself indicates that the same sentiment was expressed by the Lord on a second occasion.

CHAP. LXV.--OF THE ABSENCE OF ANY ANTAGONISM BETWEEN MATTHEW AND MARK, OR BETWEEN MATTHEW AND LUKE, IN THE ACCOUNT OFFERED OF THE GIVING OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND MEN OF JERICHO.

125. Matthew continues thus: "And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the wayside heard that Jesus passed by, and cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David;" and so on, down to the words, "And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him."(8) Mark also records this incident, but mentions only one blind man.(1) This difficulty is solved in the way in which a former difficulty was explained which met us in the case of the two persons who were tormented by the legion of devils in the territory of the Gerasenes.(2) For, that in this instance also of the two blind men whom he [Matthew] alone has introduced here, one of them was of pre-eminent note and repute in that city, is a fact made clear enough by the single consideration, that Mark has recorded both his own name and his father's; a circumstance which scarcely comes across us in all the many cases of healing which had been already performed by the Lord, unless that miracle be an exception, in the recital of which the evangelist has mentioned by name Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter Jesus restored to life.(3) And in this latter instance this intention becomes the more apparent, from the fact that the said ruler of the synagogue was certainly a man of rank in the place. Consequently there can be little doubt that this Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, had fallen from some position of great prosperity, and was now regarded as an object of the most notorious and the most remarkable wretchedness, because, in addition to being blind, he had also to sit begging. And this is also the reason, then, why Mark has chosen to mention only the one whose restoration to sight acquired for the miracle a fame as widespread as was the notoriety which the man's misfortune itself had gained.

126. But Luke, although he mentions an incident altogether of the same tenor, is nevertheless to be understood as really narrating only a similar miracle which was wrought in the case of another blind man, and as putting on record its similarity to the said miracle in the method of performance. For he states that it was performed when He was coming nigh unto Jericho;(4) while the others say that it took place when He was departing from Jericho. Now the name of the city, and the resemblance in the deed, favour the supposition that there was but one such occurrence. But still, the idea that the evangelists really contradict each other here, in so far as the one says, "As He was come nigh unto Jericho," while the others put it thus, "As He came out of Jericho," is one which no one surely will be prevailed on to accept, unless those who would have it more readily credited that the gospel is unveracious, than that He wrought two miracles of a similar nature and in similar circumstances.(5) But every faithful son of the gospel will most readily perceive which of these two alternatives is the more credible, and which the rather to be accepted as true; and, indeed, every gainsayer too, when he is advised concerning the real state of the case, will answer himself either by the silence which he will have to observe, or at least by the tenor of his reflections should he decline to be silent.

CHAP. LXVI.--OF THE COLT OF THE ASS WHICH IS MENTIONED BY MATTHEW, AND OF THE CONSISTENCY OF HIS ACCOUNT WITH THAT OF THE OTHER EVANGELISTS, WHO SPEAK ONLY OF THE ASS.

127. Matthew goes on with his narrative in the following terms: "And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her;" and so on, down to the words, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."(6) Mark also records this occurrence, and inserts it in the same order.(7) Luke, on the other hand, tarries a space by Jericho, recounting certain matters which these others have omitted,--namely, the story of Zacchaeus, the chief of the publicans, and some sayings which are couched in parabolic form. After instancing these things, however, this evangelist again joins company with the others in the narrative relating to the ass on which Jesus sat.(8) And let not the circumstance stagger us, that Matthew speaks both of an ass and of the colt of an ass, while the others say nothing of the ass. For here again we must bear in mind the rule which we have already introduced in dealing with the statements about the seating of the people by fifties and by hundreds on the occasion on which the multitudes were fed with the five loaves.(9) Now, after this principle has been brought into application, the reader should not feel any serious difficulty in the present case. Indeed, even had Matthew said nothing about the colt, just as his fellow-historians have taken no notice of the ass, the fact should not have created any such perplexity as to induce the idea of an insuperable contradiction between the two statements, when the one writer speaks only of the ass, and the others only of the colt of the ass. But how much less cause then for any disquietude ought there to be, when we see that the one writer has mentioned the ass to which the others have omitted to refer, in such a manner as at the same time not to leave unnoticed also the colt of which the rest have spoken! In fine, where it is possible to suppose both objects to have been included in the occurrence, there is no real antagonism, although the one writer may specify only the one thing, and another only the other. How much less need there be any contradiction, when the one writer particularizes the one object, and another instances both!

128. Again, although John tells us nothing as to the way in which the Lord despatched His disciples to fetch these animals to Him, nevertheless he inserts a brief allusion to this colt, and cites also the word of the prophet which Matthew makes use of.(1) In the case also of this testimony from the prophet, the terms in which it is reproduced by the evangelists, although they exhibit certain differences, do not fail to express a sense identical in intention. Some difficulty, however, may be felt in the fact that Matthew adduces this passage in a forth which represents the prophet to have made mention of the ass; whereas this is not the case, either with the quotation as introduced by John, or with the version given in the ecclesiastical codices of the translation in common use. An explanation of this variation seems to me to be found in the fact that Matthew is understood to have written his Gospel in the Hebrew language. Moreover, it is manifest that the translation which bears the name of the Septuagint differs in some particulars from the text which is found in the Hebrew by those who know that tongue, and by the several scholars who have given us renderings of the same Hebrew books. And if an explanation is asked for this discrepancy, or for the circumstance that the weighty authority of the Septuagint translation diverges in many passages from the rendering of the truth which is discovered in the Hebrew codices, I am of opinion that no more probable account of the matter will suggest itself, than the supposition that the Seventy composed their version under the influence of the very Spirit by whose inspiration the things which they were engaged in translating had been originally spoken. This is an idea which receives confirmation also from the marvellous consent which is asserted to have characterized them.(2) Consequently, when these translators, while not departing from the real mind of God from which these sayings proceeded, and to the expression of which the words ought to be subservient, gave a different form to some matters in their reproduction of the text, they had no intention of exemplifying anything else than the very thing which we now admiringly contemplate in that kind of harmonious diversity which marks the four evangelists, and in the light of which it is made clear that there is no failure from strict truth, although one historian may give an account of some theme in a manner different indeed from another, and yet not so different as to involve an actual departure from the sense intended by the person with whom he is bound to be in concord and agreement. To understand this is of advantage to character, with a view at once to guard against what is false, and to pronounce correctly upon it; and it is of no less consequence to faith itself, in the way of precluding the supposition that, as it were with consecrated sounds, truth has a kind of defence provided for it which might imply God's handing over to us not only the thing itself, but likewise the very words which are required for its enunciation; whereas the fact rather is, that the theme itself which is to be expressed is so decidedly deemed of superior importance to the words in which it has to be expressed,(3) that we would be under no obligation to ask about them at all, if it were possible for us to know the truth without the terms, as God knows it, and as His angels also know it in Him.

CHAP. LXVII.--OF THE EXPULSION OF THE SELLERS AND BUYERS FROM THE TEMPLE, AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE FIRST THREE EVANGELISTS AND JOHN, WHO RELATES THE SAME INCIDENT IN A WIDELY DIFFERENT CONNECTION.

129. Matthew goes on with his narrative in the following terms: "And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple." and so on, down to where we read, "But ye have made it a den of thieves." This account of the multitude of sellers who were cast out of the temple is given by all the evangelists; but John introduces it in a remarkably different order.(4) For, after recording the testimony borne by John the Baptist to Jesus, and mentioning that He went into Galilee at the time when He turned the water into wine, and after he has also noticed the sojourn of a few days in Capharnaum, John proceeds to tell us that He went up to Jerusalem at the season of the Jews' passover, and when He had made a scourge of small cords, drove out of the temple those who were selling in it. This makes it evident that this act was performed by the Lord not on a single occasion, but twice over; but that only the first instance is put on record by John, and the last by the other three.

CHAP. LXVIII.--OF THE WITHERING OF THE FIG-TREE, AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE ABSENCE OF ANY CONTRADICTION BETWEEN MATTHEW AND THE OTHER EVANGELISTS IN THE ACCOUNTS GIVEN OF THAT INCIDENT, AS WELL AS THE OTHER MATTERS RELATED IN CONNECTION WITH IT; AND VERY SPECIALLY AS TO THE CONSISTENCY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND MARK IN THE MATTER OF THE ORDER OF NARRATION.

130. Matthew continues thus: "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David, they were sore displeased, and said unto Him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise? And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there. Now in the morning, as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a single(1) fig-tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig-tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig-tree withered away! But Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig-tree; but also, if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."(2)

131. Mark also records this occurrence in due succession.(3) He does not, however, follow the same order in his narrative. For first of all, the fact which is related by Matthew, namely, that Jesus went into the temple, and cast out those who sold and bought there, is not mentioned at that point by Mark. On the other hand, Mark tells us that He looked round about upon all things, and, when the eventide was now come, went out into Bethany with the twelve. Next he informs us that on another day,(4) when they were coming from Bethany, He was hungry, and cursed the fig-tree, as Matthew also intimates. Then the said Mark subjoins the statement that He came into Jerusalem, and that, on going into the temple, He cast out those who sold and bought there, as if that incident took place not on the first day specified, but on a different day.(5) But inasmuch as Matthew puts the connection in these terms, "And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany,"(6) and tells us that it was when returning in the morning into the city that He cursed the tree, it is more reasonable to suppose that he, rather than Mark, has preserved the strict order of time so far as regards the incident of the expulsion of the sellers and buyers from the temple. For when he uses the phrase, "And He left them, and went out," who can be understood by those parties whom He is thus said to have left, but those with whom He was previously speaking,--namely, the persons who were so sore displeased because the children cried out, "Hosanna to the Son of David"? It follows, then, that Mark has omitted what took place on the first day, when He went into the temple; and in mentioning that He found nothing on the fig-tree but leaves, he has introduced what He called to mind only there, but what really occurred on the second day, as both evangelists testify. Then, further, his account bears that the astonishment which the disciples expressed at finding how the fig-tree had withered away, and the reply which the Lord made to them on the subject of faith, and the casting of the mountain into the sea, belonged not to this same second day on which He said to the tree, "No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever," but to a third day. For in connection with the second day, the said Mark has recorded the incident of the casting of the sellers out of the temple, which he had omitted to notice as belonging to the first day. Accordingly, it is in connection with this second day that he tells us how Jesus went out of the city, when even was come, and how, when they passed by in the morning, the disciples saw the fig-tree dried up from the roots, and how Peter, calling to remembrance, said unto Him, "Master, behold the fig-tree which Thou cursedst is withered away."(7) Then, too, he informs us that He gave the answer relating to the power of faith. On the other hand, Matthew recounts these matters m a manner importing that they all took place on this second day; that is to say, both the word addressed to the tree, "Let no fruit grow on thee from henceforward for ever," and the withering that ensued so speedily in the tree, and the reply which He made on the subject of the power of faith to His disciples when they observed that withering and marvelled at it. From this we are to understand that Mark, on his side, has recorded in connection with the second day what he had omitted to notice as occurring really on the first,--namely, the incident of the expulsion of the sellers and buyers from the temple. On the other hand, Matthew, after mentioning what was done on the second day,-- namely, the cursing of the fig-tree as He was returning in the morning from Bethany into the city,--has omitted certain facts which Mark has inserted, namely, His coming into the city, and His going out of it in the evening, and the astonishment which the disciples expressed at finding the tree dried up as they passed by in the morning; and then to what had taken place on the second day, which was the day on which the tree was cursed, he has attached what really took place on the third day, --namely, the amazement of the disciples at seeing the tree's withered condition, and the declaration which they heard froth the Lord on the subject of the power of faith.(1) These several facts Matthew has connected together in such a manner that, were we not compelled to turn our attention to the matter by Mark's narrative, we should be unable to recognise either at what point or with regard to what circumstances the former writer has left anything unrecorded in his narrative. The case therefore stands thus: Matthew first presents the facts conveyed in these words, "And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there. Now in the morning, as He returned into the city, He hungered; and when He saw a single fig-tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever; and presently the fig-tree withered away." Then, omitting the other matters which belonged to that same day, he has immediately subjoined this statement, "And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is it withered away!" although it was on another day that they saw this sight, and on another day that they thus marvelled. But it is understood that the tree did not wither at the precise time when they saw it, but presently when it was cursed. For what they saw was not the tree in the process of drying up, but the tree already dried completely up; and thus they learned that it had withered away immediately on the Lord's sentence.

CHAP. LXIX.--OF THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE FIRST THREE EVANGELISTS IN THEIR ACCOUNTS OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH THE JEWS ASKED THE LORD BY WHAT AUTHORITY HE DID THESE THINGS.

132. Matthew continues his narrative in the following terms: "And when He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it?" and so on, down to the words, "Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things."(2) The other two, Mark and Luke, have also set forth this whole passage, and that, too, in almost as many words.(3) Neither does there appear to be any discrepancy between them in regard to the order, the only exception being found in the circumstance of which I have spoken above, -namely, that Matthew omits certain matters belonging to a different day, and has constructed his narrative with a connection which, were our attention not called [otherwise] to the fact, might lead to the supposition that he was still treating of the second day, where Mark deals with the third. Moreover, Luke has not appended his notice of this incident, as if he meant to go over the days in orderly succession; but after recording the expulsion of the sellers and buyers from the temple, he has passed by without notice all that is contained in the statements above--His going out into Bethany, and His returning to the city, and what was done to the fig-tree, and the reply touching the power of faith which was made to the disciples when they marvelled. And then, after all these omissions, he has introduced the next section of his narrative in these terms: "And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests, and the scribes, and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him; and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him. And it came to pass, that on one of these days, as He taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon Him, with the elders, and spake unto Him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things?" and so on; all which the other two evangelists record in like manner. From this it is apparent that he is in no antagonism with the others, even with regard to the order; since what he states to have taken place "on one of those days," may be understood to belong to that particular day on which they also have reported it to have occurred.(4)

CHAP. LXX.--OF THE TWO SONS WHO WERE COMMANDED BY THEIR FATHER TO GO INTO HIS VINEYARD, AND OF THE VINEYARD WHICH WAS LET OUT TO OTHER HUSBANDMEN; OF THE QUESTION CONCERNING THE CONSISTENCY OF MATTHEW'S VERSION OF THESE PASSAGES WITH THOSE GIVEN BY THE OTHER TWO EVANGELISTS, WITH WHOM HE RETAINS THE SAME ORDER; AS ALSO, IN PARTICULAR, CONCERNING THE HARMONY OF HIS VERSION OF THE PARABLE, WHICH IS RECORDED BY ALL THE THREE, REGARDING THE VINEYARD THAT WAS LET OUT; AND IN REFERENCE SPECIALLY TO THE REPLY MADE BY THE PERSONS TO WHOM THAT PARABLE WAS SPOKEN, IN RELATING WHICH MATTHEW SEEMS TO DIFFER SOMEWHAT FROM THE OTHERS.

133. Matthew goes on thus: "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in my vineyard. But he answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and went not;" and so on, down to the words, "And whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."(1) Mark and Luke do not mention the parable of the two sons to whom the order was given to go and labour in the vineyard. But what is narrated by Matthew subsequently to that,--namely, the parable of the vineyard which was let out to the husbandmen, who persecuted the servants that were sent to them, and afterwards put to death the beloved son, and thrust him out of the vineyard,--is not left unrecorded also by those two. And in detailing it they likewise both retain the same order, that is to say, they bring it in after that declaration of their inability to tell which was made by the Jews when interrogated regarding the baptism of John, and after the reply which He returned to them in these words: "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things."(2)

134. Now no question implying any contradiction between these accounts rises here, unless it be raised by the circumstance that Matthew, after telling us how the Lord addressed to the Jews this interrogation, "When the lord, therefore, of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?" adds, that they answered and said, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons." For Mark does not record these last words as if they constituted the reply returned by the men; but he introduces them as if they were really spoken by the Lord immediately after the question which was put by Him, so that in a certain way He answered Himself. For [in this Gospel] He speaks thus: "What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the l husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others." But it is quite easy for us to suppose, either that the men's words are subjoined here without the insertion of the explanatory clause "they said," or "they replied," that being left to be understood; or else that the said response is ascribed to the Lord Himself rather than to these men, because when they answered with such truth, He also, who is Himself the Truth, really gave the same reply in reference to the persons in question.

135. More serious difficulty, however, may be created by the fact that Luke not only does not speak of them as the parties who made that answer (for he, as well as Mark, attributes these words to the Lord), but even represents them to have given a contrary reply, and to have said, "God forbid." For his narrative proceeds in these terms: "What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And He beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?"(3) How then is it that, according to Matthew's version, the men to whom He spake these words said, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out this vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons;" whereas, according to Luke, they gave a reply inconsistent with any terms like these, when they said, "God forbid"? And, in truth, what the Lord proceeds immediately to say regarding the stone which was rejected by the builders, and yet was made the head of the corner, is introduced in a manner implying that by this testimony those were confuted who were gainsaying the real meaning of the parable. For Matthew, no less than Luke, records that passage as if it were intended to meet the gainsayers, when he says, "Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?" For what is implied by this question, "Did ye never read," but that the answer which they had given was opposed to the real intention [of the parable]? This is also indicated by Mark, who gives these same words in the following manner: "And have ye not read this scripture, The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner?" This sentence, therefore, appears to occupy in Luke, rather than the others, the place which is properly assignable to it as originally uttered. For it is brought in by him directly after the contradiction expressed by those men when they said, "God forbid." And the form in which it is cast by him,--namely, "What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? "--is equivalent in sense to the other modes of statement. For the real meaning of the sentence is indicated equally well, whichever of the three phrases is used, "Did ye never read?" or, "And have ye not read?" or, "What is this, then, that is written?"

136. It remains, therefore, for us to understand that among the people who were listening on that occasion, there were some who replied in the terms related by Matthew, when he writes thus: "They say unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen;" and that there were also some who answered in the way indicated by Luke, that is to say, with the words, "God forbid." Accordingly, those persons who had replied to the Lord to the former effect, were replied to by these other individuals in the crowd with the explanation, "God forbid." But the answer which was really given by the first of these two parties, to whom the second said in return, "God forbid," has been ascribed both by Mark and by Luke to the Lord Himself, on the ground that, as I have already intimated, the Truth Himself spake by these men, whether as by persons who knew not that they were wicked, in the same way that He spake also by Caiaphas, who when he was high priest prophesied without realizing what he said,(1) or as by persons who did understand, and who had come by this time both to knowledge and to belief. For there was also present on this occasion that multitude of people at whose hand the prophecy had already received a fulfilment, when they met Him in a mighty concourse on His approach, and hailed Him with the acclaim, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."(2)

137. Neither should we stumble at the circumstance that the same Matthew has stated that the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the Lord, and asked Him by what authority He did these things, and who gave Him this authority, on the occasion when He to, in turn, interrogated them concerning the baptism of John, inquiring whence it was, whether from heaven or of men; to whom also, on their replying that they did not know, He said, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do those things." For he has followed up this with the words introduced in the immediate context, "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons," and so forth. Thus this discourse is brought into a connection which is continued, uninterrupted by the interposition either of any thing or of any person, down to what is related regarding the vineyard which was let out to the husbandmen. It may, indeed, be supposed that He spake all these words to the chief priests and the eiders of the people, by whom He had been interrogated with regard to His authority. But then, if these persons had indeed questioned Him with a view to tempt Him, and with a hostile intention, they could not be taken for men who had believed, and who cited the remarkable testimony in favour of the Lord which was taken from a prophet; and surely it is only if they had the character of those who believed, and not of those who were ignorant, that they could have given a reply like this: "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen." This peculiarity [of Matthew's account], however, should not by any means so perplex us as to lead us to imagine that there were none who believed among the multitudes who listened at this time to the Lord's parables. For it is only for the sake of brevity that the same Matthew has passed over in silence what Luke does not fail to mention,--namely, the fact that the said parable was not spoken only to the parties who had interrogated Him on the subject of His authority, but to the people. For the latter evangelist puts it thus: "Then began He to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard," and so on. Accordingly, we may well understand that among the people then assembled there might also have been persons who could listen to Him as those did who before this had said, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord;" and that either these, or some of them, were the individuals who replied in the words, "He will miserably destroy these wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen." The answer actually returned by these men, moreover, has been attributed to the Lord Himself by Mark and Luke, not only because their words were really His words, inasmuch(3) as He is the Truth that ofttimes speaks even by the wicked and the ignorant, moving the mind of man by a certain hidden instinct, not in the merit of man's holiness, but by the right of His own proper power; but also because the men may have been of a character admitting of their being reckoned, not without reason, as already members in the true body of Christ, so that what was said by them might quite warrantably be ascribed to Him whose members they were. For by this time He had baptized more than John,(4) and had multitudes of disciples, as the same evangelists repeatedly testify; and from among these followers He also drew those five hundred brethren, to whom the Apostle Paul tells us that He showed Himself after His resurrection.(5) And this explanation of the matter is supported by the fact that the phrase which occurs in the version. by this same Matthew,--namely, "They say unto Him,(6) He will miserably destroy those wicked men,"--is not put in a form necessitating us to take the pronoun illi in the plural number, as if it was intended to mark out the words expressly as the reply made by the persons who had craftily questioned Him on the subject of His authority; but the clause, "They say unto Him,"(1) is so expressed that the term illi should be taken for the singular pronoun, and not the plural, and should be held to signify "unto Him," that is to say, unto the Lord Himself, as is made clear in the Greek codices,(2) without a single atom of ambiguity.

138. There is a certain discourse of the Lord which is given by the evangelist John, and which may help us more readily to understand the statement I thus make. It is to this effect: "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, then ye shall be my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. And they answered Him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be free?(3) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the Son abideth for ever. If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you."(4) Now surely it is not to be supposed that He spake these words, "Ye seek to kill me" to those persons who had already believed on Him, and to whom He had said, "If ye abide in my word, then shall ye be my disciples indeed." But inasmuch as He had spoken in these latter terms to the men who had already believed on Him, and as, moreover, there was present on that occasion a multitude of people, among whom there were many who were hostile to Him, even although the evangelist does not tell us explicitly who those parties were who made the reply referred to, the very nature of the answer which they gave, and the tenor of the words which thereupon were rightly directed to them by Him, make it sufficiently clear what specific persons were then addressed, and what words were spoken to them in particular. Precisely, therefore, as in the multitude thus alluded to by John there were some who had already believed on Jesus, and also some who sought to kill Him, in that other concourse which we are discussing at present there were some who had craftily questioned the Lord on the subject of the authority by which He did these things; and there were also others who had hailed Him, not in deceit, but in faith, with the acclaim, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." And thus, too, there were persons present who could say, "He will destroy those men, and will give his vineyard to others." This saying, furthermore, may be rightly understood to have been the voice of the Lord Himself, either in virtue of that Truth which in His own Person He is Himself, or on the ground of the unity which subsists between the members of His body and the head. There were also certain individuals present who, when these other parties gave that kind of answer, said to them, "God forbid," because they understood the parable to be directed against themselves.

CHAP. LXXI.--OF THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING'S SON, TO WHICH THE MULTITUDES WERE INVITED; AND OF THE ORDER IN WHICH MATTHEW INTRODUCES THAT SECTION AS COMPARED WITH LUKE, WHO GIVES US A SOMEWHAT SIMILAR NARRATIVE IN ANOTHER CONNECTION.

139. Matthew goes on as follows: "And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them: and when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet. And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding, and they would not come;" and so on, down to the words "For many are called, but few are chosen."(5) This parable concerning the guests who were invited to the wedding is related only by Matthew. Luke also records something which resembles it. But that is really a different passage, as the order itself sufficiently indicates, although there is some similarity between the two.(6) The matters introduced, however, by Matthew immediately after the parable concerning the vineyard, and the killing of the son of the bead of the house,--namely, the Jews' perception that this whole discourse was directed against them, and their beginning to contrive treacherous schemes against Him,--are attested likewise by Mark and Luke, who also keep the same order in inserting them.(7) But after this paragraph they proceed to another subject, and immediately subjoin a passage which Matthew has also indeed introduced in due order, but only subsequently to this parable of the marriage, which he alone has put on record here.

CHAP.LXXII.--OF THE HARMONY CHARACTERIZING THE NARRATIVES GIVEN BY THESE THREE EVANGELISTS REGARDING THE DUTY OF RENDERING TO CAESAR THE COIN BEARING HIS IMAGE, AND REGARDING THE WOMAN WHO HAD BEEN MARRIED TO THE SEVEN BROTHERS.

140. Matthew then continues in these terms: "Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they send out unto Him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man; for thou regardest not the person of men: tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?" and so on, down to the words, "And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine."(1) Mark and Luke give a similar account of these two replies made by the Lord,--namely, the one on the subject of the coin, which was prompted by the question as to the duty of giving tribute to Caesar; and the other on the subject of the resurrection, which was suggested by the case of the woman who had married the seven brothers in succession. Neither do these two evangelists differ in the matter of the order.(2) For after the parable which told of the men to whom the vineyard was let out, and which also dealt with the Jews (against whom it was directed), and the evil counsel they were devising (which sections are given by all three evangelists together), these two, Mark and Luke, pass over the parable of the guests who were invited to the wedding (which only Matthew has introduced), and thereafter they join company again with the first evangelist, when they record these two passages which deal with Caesar's tribute, and the woman who was the wife of seven different husbands, inserting them in precisely the same order, with a consistency which admits of no question.

CHAP. LXXIII.--OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE TWO PRECEPTS CONCERNING THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOUR WERE COMMENDED; AND OF THE QUESTION AS TO THE ORDER OF NARRATION WHICH IS OBSERVED BY MATTHEW AND MARK, AND THE ABSENCE OF ANY DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THEM AND LUKE.

141. Matthew then proceeds with his narrative in the following terms: "But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. And one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."(3) This is recorded also by Mark, and that too in the same order. Neither should there be any difficulty in the statement made by Matthew, to the effect that the person by whom the question was put to the Lord tempted Him; whereas Mark(4) says nothing about that, but tells us at the end of the paragraph how the Lord said to the man, as to one who answered discreetly, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." For it is quite possible that, although the man approached Him with the view of tempting Him, he may have been set right by the Lord's response. Or we need not at any rate take the tempting referred to in a bad 'sense, as if it were the device of one who sought to deceive an adversary; but we may rather suppose it to have been the result of caution, as if it were the act of one who wished to have further trial of a person who was unknown to him. For it is not without a good purpose that this sentence has been written, "He that is hasty to give credit is light-minded, and shall be impaired."(5)

142. Luke, on the other hand, not indeed in this order, but in a widely different connection, introduces something which resembles this.(6) But whether in that passage he is actually recording this same incident, or whether the person with whom the Lord [is represented to have] dealt in a similar manner there on the subject of those two commandments is quite another individual, is altogether uncertain. At the same time, it may appear right to regard the person who is introduced by Luke as a different individual from the one before us here, not only on the ground of the remarkable divergence in the order of narration, but also because he is there reported to have replied to a question which was addressed to him by the Lord, and in that reply to have himself mentioned those two precepts. The same opinion is further confirmed by the fact that, after telling us how the Lord said to him, "This do, and thou shall live,"--thus instructing him to do that great thing which, according to his own answer, was contained in the law,--the evangelist follows up what had passed with the statement, "But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"(7) Thereupon, too [according to Luke], the Lord told the story of the man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers. Consequently, considering that this individual is described at the outset as tempting Christ, and is represented to have repeated the two commandments in his reply; and considering, further, that after the counsel which was given by the Lord in the words, "This do, and thou shalt live," he is not commended as good, but, on the contrary, has this said of him, "But he, willing to justify himself," etc., whereas the person who is mentioned in parallel order both by Mark and by Luke received a commendation so marked, that the Lord spake to him in these terms, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God,"--the more probable view is that which takes the person who appears on that occasion to be a different individual from the man who comes before us here.

CHAP. LXXIV.--OF THE PASSAGE IN WHICH THE JEWS ARE ASKED TO SAY WHOSE SON THEY SUPPOSE CHRIST TO BE; AND OF THE QUESTION WHETHER THERE IS NOT A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MATTHEW AND THE OTHER TWO EVANGELISTS, IN SO FAR AS HE STATES THE INQUIRY TO HAVE BEEN, "WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST? WHOSE SON IS HE?" AND TELLS US THAT TO THIS THEY REPLIED, "THE SON OF DAVID;" WHEREAS THE OTHERS PUT IT THUS, "HOW SAY THE SCRIBES THAT CHRIST IS DAVID'S SON?"

143. Matthew goes on thus: "Now when the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He? They say unto Him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions."(1) This is given also by Mark in due course, and in the same order.(2) Luke, again, only omits mention of the person who asked the Lord which was the first commandment in the law, and, after passing over that incident in silence, observes the same order once more as the others, narrating just as these, do this question which the Lord put to the Jews concerning Christ, as to how He was David's son.(3) Neither is the sense at all affected by the circumstance that, as Matthew puts it, when Jesus had asked them what they thought of Christ, and whose son He was, they [the Pharisees] replied, "The son of David," and then He proposed the further query as to how David then called Him Lord; whereas, according to the version presented by the other two, Mark and Luke, we do not find either that these persons were directly interrogated, or that they made any answer. For we ought to take this view of the matter, namely, that these two evangelists have introduced the sentiments which were expressed by the Lord Himself after the reply made by those parties, and have recorded the terms in which He spoke in the hearing of those whom He wished profitably to instruct in His authority, t and to turn away from the teaching of the scribes, and whose knowledge of Christ amounted then only to this, that He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, while they did not understand that He was God, and on that ground also the Lord even of David. It is in this way, therefore, that in the accounts given by these two evangelists, the Lord is mentioned in a manner which makes it appear as if He was discoursing on the subject of these erroneous teachers to men whom He desired to see delivered from the errors in which these scribes were involved. Thus, too, the question, which is presented by Matthew in the form, "What say ye?" is to be taken not as addressed directly to these [Pharisees], but rather as expressed only with reference to those parties, and directed really to the persons whom He was desirous of instructing.

CHAP.LXXV.--OF THE PHARISEES WHO SIT IN THE SEAT OF MOSES, AND ENJOIN THINGS WHICH THEY DO NOT, AND OF THE OTHER WORDS SPOKEN BY THE LORD AGAINST THESE SAME PHARISEES; OF THE QUESTION WHETHER MATTHEW'S NARRATIVE AGREES HERE WITH THOSE WHICH ARE GIVEN BY THE OTHER TWO EVANGELISTS, AND IN PARTICULAR WITH THAT OF LUKE, WHO INTRODUCES A PASSAGE RESEMBLING THIS ONE, ALTHOUGH IT IS BROUGHT IN NOT IN THIS ORDER, BUT IN ANOTHER CONNECTION.

144. Matthew proceeds with his account, observing the following order of narration: "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: all, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not;" and so on, down to the words, "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."(4) Luke also mentions a similar discourse which was spoken by the Lord in opposition to the Pharisees and the scribes and the doctors of the law, but reports it as delivered in the house of a certain Pharisee, who had invited Him to a feast. In order to relate that passage, he has made a digression from the order which is followed by Matthew, about the point at which they have both put on record the Lord's sayings respecting the sign of the three days and nights in the history of Jonas, and the queen of the south, and the unclean spirit that returns and finds the house swept.(5) And that paragraph is followed up by Matthew with these words: "While He yet talked to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him." But in the version which the third Gospel presents of the discourse then spoken by the Lord, after the recital of certain sayings of the Lord which Matthew has omitted to notice, Luke turns off from the order which he had been observing in concert with Matthew, to that his immediately subsequent narrative runs thus: "And as He spake, a certain Pharisee besought Him to dine with him: and He went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that He had not first washed before dinner. And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and platter."(1) And after this, Luke reports other utterances which were directed against the said Pharisees and scribes and teachers of the law, which are of a similar tenor to those which Matthew also recounts in this passage which we have taken in hand at present to consider.(2) Wherefore, although Matthew records these things in a manner which, while it is true indeed that the house of that Pharisee is not mentioned by name, yet does not specify as the scene where the words were spoken any place entirely inconsistent with the idea of His having been in the house referred to; still the facts that the Lord by this time [i.e. according to Matthew's Gospel] had left Galilee and come into Jerusalem, and that the incidents alluded to above, on to the discourse which is now under review,(3) are so arranged in the context after His arrival as to make it only reasonable to understand them to have taken place in Jerusalem, whereas Luke's narrative deals with what occurred at the time when the Lord as yet was only journeying towards Jerusalem, are considerations which lead me to the conclusion that these are not the same, but only two similar discourses, of which the former evangelist has reported the one, and the latter the other.

145. This is also a matter which requires some consideration,--namely, the question how it is said here, "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,"(4) when, according to this same Matthew, they had already expressed themselves to this effect.(5) Besides, Luke likewise tells us that a reply containing these very words had previously been returned by the Lord to the persons who had counselled Him to leave their locality, because Herod sought to kill Him. That evangelist represents these self-same terms, which Matthew records here, to have been employed by Him in the declaration which He directed on that occasion against Jerusalem itself. For Luke's narrative proceeds in the following manner: "The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto Him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And He said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I am perfected. Nevertheless, I must walk to-day, and to-morrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house shall be left unto you desolate: and I say unto you, that ye shall not see me until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."(6) There does not seem, however, to be anything contradictory to the narration thus given by Luke in the circumstance that the multitudes said, when the Lord was approaching Jerusalem, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." For, according to the order which is followed by Luke, He had not yet come to the scene in question, and the words had not been uttered. But since he does not tell us that He did actually leave the place at that time, not to return to it until the period came when such words would be spoken by them (for He continues on His journey until he arrives at Jerusalem; and the saying, "Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I am perfected," is to be taken to have been uttered by Him in a mystical and figurative sense: for certainly He did not suffer at a time answering literally to the third day after the present occasion; nay, He immediately goes on to say, "Nevertheless, I must walk to-day, and to-morrow, and the day following"), we are indeed constrained also to put a mystical interpretation upon the sentence, "Ye shall not see me henceforth, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord," and to understand it to refer to that advent of His in which He is to come in His effulgent brightness;(7) it being thereby also implied, that what He expressed in the declaration, "I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I am perfected," bears upon His body, which is the Church. For devils are cast out when the nations abandon their ancestral superstitions and believe on Him; and cures are wrought when men renounce the devil and this world, and live in accordance with His commandments, even unto the consummation of the resurrection, in which there shall, as it were, be realized that perfecting on the third day; that is to say, the Church shall be perfected up to the measure of the angelic fulness through the realized immortality of the body as well as the soul. Therefore the order followed by Matthew is by no means to be understood to involve a digression to another connection. But we are rather to suppose, either that Luke has antedated the events which took place in Jerusalem, and has introduced them at this point simply as they were here suggested to his recollection, before his narrative really brings the Lord to Jerusalem; or that the Lord, when drawing near the same city on that occasion, did actually reply to the persons who counselled Him to be on His guard against Herod, in terms resembling those in which Matthew represents Him to have spoken also to the multitudes at a period when He had already arrived in Jerusalem, and when all these events had taken place which have been detailed above.

CHAP. LXXVI.--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 unto 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."(1) 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,(2) 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 fulness 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,(3) which appears also in Matthew and Mark, on the subject of the destined overthrow of the temple.(4)

CHAP. LXXVII.--OF THE HARMONY SUBSISTING BETWEEN THE THREE EVANGELISTS IN THEIR NARRATIVES OF THE DISCOURSE WHICH HE DELIVERED ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, WHEN THE DISCIPLES ASKED WHEN THE CONSUMMATION SHOULD HAPPEN.

147. Matthew continues in the following strain: "And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered, and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many;" and so on, down to where we read, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." We have now, therefore, to examine this lengthened discourse as it meets us in the three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. For they all introduce it in their narratives, and that, too, in the same order.(5) Here, as elsewhere, each of these writers gives some matters which are peculiar to himself, in which, nevertheless, we have not to apprehend any suspicion of inconsistency. But what we have to make sure of is the proof that, in those passages which are exact parallels, they are nowhere to be regarded as in antagonism with each other. For if anything bearing the appearance of a contradiction meets us here, the simple affirmation that it is something wholly distinct, and uttered by the Lord in similar terms indeed, but on a totally different occasion, cannot be deemed a legitimate mode of explanation in a case like this, where the narrative, as given by all the three evangelists, moves in the same connection at once of subjects and of dates. Moreover, the mere fact that the writers do not all observe the same order in the reports which they give of the same sentiments expressed by the Lord, certainly does not in any way affect either the understanding or the communication of the subject itself, provided the matters which are represented by them to have been spoken by Him are not inconsistent the one with the other.

148. Again, what Matthew states in this form, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come,"(1) is given also in the same connection by Mark in the following manner: "And the gospel must first be published among all nations."(2) Mark has not added the words, "and then shall the end come;" but he indicates what they express, when he uses the phrase "first "in the sentence, "And the gospel must first be published among all nations." For they had asked Him about the end. And therefore, when He addresses them thus, "The gospel must first be published among all nations," the term "first" clearly suggests the idea of something to be done before the consummation should come.

149. In like manner, what Matthew states thus, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Darnel the prophet, stand m the holy place, whoso readeth let him understand,"(3) is put in the following form by Mark: "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not, let him that readeth understand."(4) But though the phrase is thus altered, the sense conveyed is the same. For the point of the clause "where it ought not," is that the abomination of desolation ought not to be in the holy place. Luke's method of putting it, again, is neither, "And when ye shall see the abomination of desolation stand m the holy place," nor "where it ought not," but, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with an army, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."(5) At that time, therefore, will the abomination of desolation be in the holy place.

150. Again, what is given by Matthew in the following terms: "Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains; and let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes,"(6) is reported also by Mark almost in so many words. On the other hand, Luke's version proceeds thus: "Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains."(7) Thus far he agrees with the other two. But he presents what is subsequent to that in a different form. For he goes on to say, "And let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto: for these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." Now these statements seem to present differences enough between each other. For the one, as it occurs in the first two evangelists, runs thus: "Let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house;" whereas what is given by the third evangelist is to this effect: "And let them which are in the midst of it depart out." The import, however, may be, that in the great agitation which will arise m the face of so mighty an impending peril, those shut up in the state of siege (which is expressed by the phrase, "they which are in the midst of it") will appear upon the housetop [or "wall"], amazed and anxious to see what terror hangs over them, or what method of escape may open. Still the question rises, How does this third evangelist say here, "let them depart out," when he has already used these terms: "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with an army"? For what is brought in after this--namely, the sentence, "And let not them that are in the countries enter there-into "--appears to form part of one consistent admonition; and we can perceive how those who are outside the city are not to enter into it; but the difficulty is to see how those who are in the midst of it are to depart out, when the city is already compassed with an army. Well, may not this expression, "in the midst of it," indicate a time when the danger will be so urgent as to leave no opportunity open, so far as temporal means are concerned, for the preservation of this present life in the body, and that the fact that this will be a time when the soul ought to be ready and free, and neither taken up with, nor burdened by, carnal desires, is imported by the phrase employed by the first two writers--namely, "on the house-top," or, "on the wall"? In this way the third evangelist's phraseology, "let them depart out" (which really means, let them no more be engrossed with the desire of this life, but let them be prepared to pass into another life), is equivalent in sense to the terms used by the other two," let him not come down to take anything out of his house" (which really means, "let not his affections turn towards the flesh, as if it could yield him anything to his advantage then"). And in like manner the phrase adopted by the one, "And let not them that are in the countries enter thereunto" (which is to say, "Let not those who, with good purpose of heart, have already placed themselves outside it, indulge again in any carnal lust or longing after it"), denotes precisely what the other two evangelists embody in the sentence, "Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes," which is much the same as to state that he should not again involve himself in cares of which he had been unburdened.

151. Moreover, Matthew proceeds thus: "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day." Part of this is given and part omitted by Mark, when he says, "And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter." Luke, on the other hand, leaves this out entirely, and instead of it introduces something which is peculiar to himself, and by which he appears to me to have cast light upon this very clause which has been set before us somewhat obscurely by these others. For his version runs thus: "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass."(1) This is to be understood to be the same flight as is mentioned by Matthew, which should not be taken in the winter or on the Sabbath-day. That "winter," moreover, refers to these "cares of this life" which Luke has specified directly; and the "Sabbath-day" refers in like manner to the "surfeiting and drunkenness." For sad cares are like a winter; and surfeiting and drunkenness drown and bury the heart in carnal delights and luxury--an evil which is expressed under the term "Sabbath-day," because of old, as is the case with them still, the Jews had the very pernicious custom of rePelling in pleasure on that day, when they were ignorant of the spiritual Sabbath. Or, if something else is intended by the words which thus appear in Matthew and Mark, Luke's terms may also be taken to bear on something else, while no question implying any antagonism between them need be raised for all that. At present, however, we have not undertaken the task of expounding the Gospels, but only that of defending them against groundless charges of falsehood and deceit. Furthermore, other matters which Matthew has inserted in this discourse, and which are common to him and Mark, present no difficulty. On the other hand, with respect to those sections which are common to him and Luke, [it is to be remarked that] these are not introduced into the present discourse by Luke, although in regard to the order of narration here they are at one. But he records sentences of like tenor in other connections, either reproducing them as they suggested themselves to his memory, and thus bringing them in by anticipation so as to relate at an earlier point words which, as spoken by the Lord, belong really to a later; or else, giving us to understand that they were uttered twice over by the Lord, once on the occasion referred to by Matthew, and on a second occasion, with which Luke himself deals.

CHAP. LXXVIII.--OF THE QUESTION WHETHER THERE IS ANY CONTRADICTION BETWEEN MATTHEW AND MARK ON THE ONE HAND, AND JOHN ON THE OTHER, IN SO FAR AS THE FORMER STATE THAT AFTER TWO DAYS WAS TO BE THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER, AND AFTERWARDS TELLS US THAT HE WAS IN BETHANY, WHILE THE LATTER GIVES A PARALLEL NARRATIVE OF WHAT TOOK PLACE AT BETHANY, BUT MENTIONS THAT IT WAS SIX DAYS BEFORE THE PASSOVER.

152. Matthew continues thus: "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples, Ye know that after two days will be the feast of the passover, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to be crucified."(2) This is attested in like manner by the other two,--namely, Mark and Luke,--and that, too, with a thorough harmony on the subject of the order of narration.(3) They do not, however, introduce the sentence as one spoken by the Lord Himself. They make no statement to that effect. At the same time, Mark, speaking in his own person, does tell us that "after two days was the feast of the passover and of unleavened bread." And Luke likewise gives this as his own affirmation: "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the passover;" that is to say, it "drew nigh" in this sense, that it was to take place after two days' space, as the other two are more apparently at one in expressing it. John, on the other hand, has mentioned in three several places the nearness of this same feast-day. In the two earlier instances the intimation is made when he is engaged in recording certain matters of another tenor. But on the third occasion his narrative appears clearly to deal with those very times, in connection with which the other three evangelists also notice the subject,--that is to say, the times when the Lord's passion was actually imminent.(4)

153. But to those who look into the matter without sufficient care, there may seem to be a contradiction involved in the fact that Matthew and Mark, after stating that the passover was to be after two days, have at once informed us how Jesus was in Bethany on that occasion, on which the account of the precious ointment comes before us; whereas John, when he is about to give us the same narrative concerning the ointment, begins by telling us that Jesus came to Bethany six days before the passover.(1) Now, the question is, how the passover could be spoken of by those two evangelists as about to be celebrated two days after, seeing that we find them, immediately after they have made this statement, in company with John, giving us an account of the scene with the ointment in Bethany; while in that connection the last-named writer informs us, that the feast of the passover was to take place six days after. Nevertheless, those who are perplexed by this difficulty simply fail to perceive that Matthew and Mark have brought in their account of the scene which was enacted in Bethany really in the form of a recapitulation, not as if the time of its occurrence was actually subsequent to the [time indicated in the] announcement made by them on the subject of the two days' space, but as an event which had already taken place at a date when there was still a period of six days preceding the passover. For neither of them has appended his account of what took place at Bethany to his statement regarding the celebration of the passover after two days' space in any such terms as these: "After these things, when He was in Bethany." But Matthew's phrase is this: "Now when Jesus was in Bethany." And Mark's version is simply this: "And being in Bethany," etc.; which is a method of expression that may certainly be taken to refer to a period antecedent to the utterance of what was said two days before the passover. The case, therefore, stands thus: As we gather from the narrative of John, Jesus came to Bethany six days before the passover; there the supper took place, in connection with which we get the account of the precious ointment; leaving this place, He came next to Jerusalem, sitting upon an ass; and thereafter happened those things which they relate to have occurred after this arrival of His in Jerusalem. Consequently, even although the evangelists do not mention the fact, we understand that between the day on which He came to Bethany, and which witnessed the scene with the ointment, and the day to which all these deeds and words which are at present before us belonged, there elapsed a period of four days, so that at this point might come in the day which the two evangelists have defined by their statement as to the celebration of the passover two days after. Further, when Luke says, "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh," he does not indeed make any express mention of a two days' space; but still, the nearness which he has instanced ought to be accepted as made good by this very space of two days. Again, when John makes the statement that "the Jews' passover was nigh at hand,"(2) he does not intend a two days' space to be understood thereby, but means that there was a period of six days before the passover. Thus it is that, on recording certain matters immediately after this affirmation, with the intention of specifying what measure of nearness he had in view when he spoke of the passover as nigh at hand, he next proceeds in the following strain: "Then Jesus, six days before the passover, came to Bethany, where Lazarus had died, whom Jesus raised from the dead;(3) and there they made Him a supper."(4) This is the incident which Matthew and Mark introduce in the form of a recapitulation, after the statement that after two days would be the passover. In their recapitulation they thus come back upon the day in Bethany, which was yet a six days' space off from the passover, and give us the account which John also gives of the supper and the ointment. Subsequently to that scene, we are to suppose Him to come to Jerusalem, and then, after the occurrence of the other things recorded, to reach this day, which was still a two days' space from the passover, and from which these evangelists have made this digression, with the object of giving a recapitulatory notice of the incident with the ointment in Bethany. And after the completion of that narrative, they return once more to the point from which they made the digression; that is to say, they now proceed to record the words spoken by the Lord two days before the passover. For if we remove the notice of the incident at Bethany, which they have introduced as a digression from the literal order, and have given in the form of a recollection and recapitulation inserted at a point subsequent to its actual historical position, and if we then set the narrative in its regular connection, the recital will go on as follows;--according to Matthew, the Lord's words coming in thus: "Ye know that after two days shall be the feast of the passover, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to be crucified. Then assembled together the chief priests and the elders of the people unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, Not on the feast-day, lest there be an uproar among the people. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Scarioth, went unto the chief priests,"(5) etc. For between the place where it is said, "lest there be an uproar among the people," and the passage where we read, "then one of the disciples, called Judas, went," etc., that notice of the scene at Bethany intervenes, which they have introduced by way of recapitulation. Consequently, by leaving it out, we have established such a connection in the narrative as may make our conclusion satisfactory, that there is no contradiction here in the matter of the order of times. Again, if we deal with Mark's Gospel in like manner, and omit the account of the same supper at Bethany, which he also has brought in as a recapitulation, his narrative will proceed in the following order: "Now after two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by craft, and put Him to death. For they said,(1) Not on the feast-day, lest there be an uproar of the people. And Judas Scariothes, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray Him."(2) Here, again, the incident at Bethany which these evangelists have inserted, by way of recapitulation, is placed between the clause, "lest there be an uproar of the people," and the verse which we have attached immediately to that, namely, "And Judas Scariothes, one of the twelve." Luke, on the other hand, has simply omitted the said occurrence at Bethany. This is the explanation which we give in reference to the six days before the passover, which is the space mentioned by John when narrating what took place at Bethany, and in reference to the two days before the passover, which is the period specified by Matthew and Mark when presenting their account, in direct sequence upon the statement thus made, of that same scene in Bethany which has been recorded also by John.(3)

CHAP. LXXIX.--OF THE CONCORD BETWEEN MATTHEW, MARK, AND JOHN IN THEIR NOTICES OF THE SUPPER AT BETHANY, AT WHICH THE WOMAN POURED THE PRECIOUS OINTMENT ON THE LORD, AND OF THE METHOD IN WHICH THESE ACCOUNTS ARE TO BE HARMONIZED WITH THAT OF LUKE, WHEN HE RECORDS AN INCIDENT OF A SIMILAR NATURE AT A DIFFERENT PERIOD.

154. Matthew, then, continuing his narrative from the point up to which we had concluded its examination, proceeds in the following terms: "Then assembled together the chief priests and the elders of the people unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty and kill Him: but they said, Not on the feast-day, lest there be an uproar among the people. Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on His head as He sat at meat;" and so on down to the words, "there shall also this that this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her."(4) The scene with the woman and the costly ointment at Bethany we have now to consider, as it is thus detailed. For although Luke records an incident resembling this, and although the name which he assigns to the person in whose house the Lord was supping might also suggest an identity between the two narratives (for Luke likewise names the host "Simon"), still, since there is nothing either in nature or in the customs of men to make the case an incredible one, that as one man may have two names, two men may with all the greater likelihood have one and the same name, it is more reasonable to believe that the Simon in whose house [it is thus supposed, according to Luke's version, that] this scene at Bethany took place, was a different person from the Simon [named by Matthew]. For Luke, again, does not specify Bethany as the place where the incident which he records happened. And although it is true that he in no way particularizes the town or village in which that occurrence took place, still his narrative does not seem to deal with the same locality. Consequently, my opinion is, that there is but one interpretation to be put upon the matter. That is not, however, to suppose that the woman who appears in Matthew was an entirely different person from the woman who approached the feet of Jesus on that occasion in the character of a sinner, and kissed them, and washed them with her tears, and wiped them with her hair, and anointed them with ointment, in reference to whose case Jesus also made use of the parable of the two debtors, and said that her sins, which were many, were forgiven her because she loved much. But my theory is, that it was the same Mary who did this deed on two separate occasions, the one being that which Luke has put on record, when she approached Him first of all in that remarkable humility, and with those tears, and obtained the forgiveness of her sins.(5) For John, too, although he has not given the kind of recital which Luke has left us of the circumstances connected with that incident, has at least mentioned the fact, in commending the same Mary to our notice, when he has just begun to tell the story of the raising of Lazarus, and before his narrative brings the Lord to Bethany itself. The history which he offers us of that transaction proceeds thus: "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary; and her sister Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick."(1) By this statement John attests what Luke has told us when he records a scene of this nature in the house of a certain Pharisee, whose name was Simon. Here, then, we see that Mary had acted in this way before that time. And what she did a second time in Bethany is a different matter, which does not belong to Luke's narrative, but is related by three of the evangelists in concert, namely, John, Matthew, and Mark.(2)

155. Let us therefore notice how harmony is maintained here between these three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and John, regarding whom there is no doubt that they record the self-same occurrence at Bethany, on occasion of which the disciples also, as all three mention, murmured against the woman, ostensibly on the ground of the waste of the very precious ointment. Now the further fact that Matthew and Mark tell us that it was the Lord's head on which the ointment was poured, while John says it was His feet, can be shown to involve no contradiction, if we apply the principle which we have already expounded in dealing with the scene of the feeding of the multitudes with the five loaves. For as there was one writer who, in giving his account of that incident, did not fail to specify that the people sat down at once by fifties and by hundreds, although another spoke only of the fifties, no contradiction could be supposed to emerge. There might indeed have seemed to be some difficulty, if the one evangelist had referred only to the hundreds, and the other only to the fifties; and yet, even in that case, the correct finding should have been to the effect that they were seated both by fifties and by hundreds. And this example ought to have made it plain to us, as I pressed it upon my readers in discussing that section, that even where the several evangelists introduce only the one fact each, we should take the. case to have been really, that both things were elements in the actual occurrence.(3) In the same way, our conclusion with regard to the passage now before us should be, that the woman poured the ointment not only upon the Lord's head, but also on His feet. It is true that some person may possibly be found absurd and artful enough to argue, that because Mark states that the ointment was poured out only after the alabaster vase was broken there could not have remained in the shattered vessel anything with which she could anoint His feet. But while a person of that character, in his endeavours to disprove the veracity of the Gospel, may contend that the vase was broken, in a manner making it impossible that any portion of the contents could have been left in it, how much better and more accordant with piety must the position of a very different individual appear, whose aim will be to uphold the truthfulness of the Gospel, and who may therefore contend that the vessel was not broken in a manner involving the total outpouring of the ointment! Moreover, if that calumniator is so persistently blinded as to attempt to shatter the harmony of the evangelists on this subject of the shattering of the vase? he should rather accept the alternative, that the [Lord's] feet were anointed before the vessel itself was broken, and that it thus remained whole, and filled with ointment sufficient for the anointing also of the head, when, by the breakage referred to, the entire contents were discharged. For we allow that there is a due regard to the several parts of our nature when the act commences with the head, but [we may also say that] an equally natural order is preserved when we ascend from the feet to the head.

156. The other matters belonging to this incident do not seem to me to raise any question really involving a difficulty. There is the circumstance that the other evangelists mention how the disciples murmured about the [wasteful] outpouring of the precious ointment, whereas John states that Judas was the person who thus expressed himself, and tells us, in explanation of the fact, that "he was a thief." But I think it is evident that this same Judas was the person referred to under the [general] name of the disciples, the plural number being used here instead of the singular, in accordance with that mode of speech of which we have already introduced an explanation in the case of Philip and the miracle of the five loaves.(5) It may also be understood in this way, that the other disciples either felt as Judas felt, or spoke as he did, or were brought over to that view of the matter by what Judas said, and that Matthew and Mark consequently have expressed in word what was really the mind of the whole company; but that Judas spoke as he did just because he was a thief, whereas what prompted the rest was their care for the poor; and further, that John has chosen to record the utterance of such sentiments only in the instance of that one [among the disciples] whose habit of acting the thief he believed it right to bring out in connection with this occasion.

CHAP. LXXX.--OF THE HARMONY CHARACTERIZING THE ACCOUNTS WHICH ARE GIVEN BY MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE, OF THE OCCASION ON WHICH HE SENT HIS DISCIPLES TO MAKE PREPARATIONS FOR HIS EATING THE PASSOVER.

157. Matthew proceeds thus: "Then one of the twelve, who is called Judas [of] Scarioth, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver;" and so on down to the words, "And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them, and they made ready the passover."(1) Nothing in this section can be supposed to stand in any contradiction with the versions of Mark and Luke, who record this same passage in a similar manner? For as regards the statement given by Matthew in these terms, "Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand: I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples,"(3) it just indicates the person whom Mark and Luke name the "goodman of the house,"(4) or the "master of the house,"(5) in which the dining-room was shown them where they were to make ready the passover. And Matthew has expressed this by simply bringing in the phrase, "to such a man," as a brief explanation introduced by himself with the view of succinctly giving us to understand who the person referred to was. For if he had said that the Lord addressed them in words like these: "Go into the city, and say unto him [or "it "],(6) The Master saith, My time is at hand, I will keep the passover at thy house," it might have been supposed that the terms were intended to be directed to the city itself. For this reason, therefore, Matthew has inserted the statement, that the Lord bade them go "to such a man," not, however, as a statement made by the Lord, whose instructions he was recording, but simply as one volunteered by himself, with the view of avoiding the necessity of narrating the whole at length, when it seemed to him that this was all that required to be mentioned in order to bring out with sufficient accuracy what was really meant by the person who gave the order. For who can fail to see that no one naturally speaks to others in such an indefinite fashion as this, "Go ye to such a man"? If, again, the words had been, "Go ye to any one whatsoever," or "to any one you please,"(7) the mode of expression might have been correct enough, but the person to whom the disciples were sent would have been left uncertain: whereas Mark and Luke present him as a certain definitely indicated individual, although they pass over his name in silence. The Lord Himself, we may be sure, knew to what person it was that He despatched them. And in order that those also whom He was thus sending might be able to discover the individual meant, He gave them, before they set out, a particular sign which they were to follow,--namely, the appearance of a man bearing a pitcher or a vessel of water,--and told them, that if they went after him, they would reach the house which He intended. Hence, seeing that it was not competent here to employ the phraseology," Go to any one you please," which is indeed legitimate enough, so far as the demands of linguistic propriety are concerned, but which an accurate statement of the matter dealt with here renders inadmissible in this passage, with how much less warrant could an expression like this have been used here (by the speaker Himself), "Go to such a man," which the usage of correct language can never admit at all? But it is manifest that the disciples were sent by the Lord, plainly, not to any man they pleased, but to "such a man," that is to say, to a certain definite individual. And that is a thing which the evangelist, speaking in his own person, could quite rightly have related to us, by putting it in this way: "He sent them to such a man,(8) in order to say to him, I will keep the passover at thy house." He might also have expressed it thus: "He sent them to such a man, saying, Go, say to him, I will keep the passover at thy house." And thus it is that, after giving us the words actually spoken by the Lord Himself, namely, "Go into the city," he has introduced this addition of his own, "to such a man," which he does, however, not as if the Lord had thus expressed Himself, but simply with the view of giving us to understand, although the name is left unrecorded, that there was a particular person in the city to whom the Lord's disciples were sent, in order to make ready the passover. Thus, too, after the two [or three] words brought in that manner as an explanation of his own, he takes up again the order of the words as they were uttered by the Lord Himself, namely, "And say unto him, The Master saith." And if you ask now "to whom" they were to say this, the correct reply is given [at once] in these terms, To that particular man to whom the evangelist has given us to understand that the Lord sent them, when, speaking in His own person, he introduced the clause, "to such a man." The clause thus inserted may indeed contain a rather unusual mode of expression, but still it is a perfectly legitimate phraseology when it is thus understood. Or it may be, that in the Hebrew language, in which Matthew is reported to have written, there is some peculiar usage which might make it entirely accordant with the laws of correct expression, even were the whole taken to have been spoken by the Lord Himself. Whether that is the case, those who understand that tongue may decide. Even in the Latin language itself, indeed, this kind of expression might also be used, in terms like these: "Go into the city to such a man as may be indicated by a person who shall meet you carrying a pitcher of water." If the instructions were conveyed in such words as these, they could be acted upon without any ambiguity. Or again, if the terms were anything like these, "Go into the city to such a man, who resides in this or the other place, in such and such a house," then the note thus given of the place and the designation of the house would make it quite possible to understand the commission delivered, and to execute it. But when these instructions, and all others of a similar order, are left entirely untold, the person who in such circumstances uses this kind of address, "Go to such a man, and say unto him," cannot possibly be listened to intelligently for this obvious reason, that when he employs the terms, "to such a man," he intends a certain particular individual to be understood by them, and yet offers us no hint by which he may be identified. But if we are to suppose that the clause referred to is one introduced as an explanation by the evangelist himself, [we may find that] the requirements of brevity will render the expression somewhat obscure, without, however, making it incorrect. Moreover, as to the fact, that where Mark speaks of a pitcher(1) of water, Luke mentions a vessel? the simple explanation is, that the one has used a word indicative of the kind of vessel,[2] and the other a term indicative of its capacity, while both evangelists have nevertheless preserved the real meaning actually intended.

158. Matthew proceeds thus: "Now when the even was Come, He sat down with the twelve disciples; and as they did eat, He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say, Lord, is it I?" and so on, down to where we read, "Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is itI? He said unto him, Thou hast said."(3) In what we have now presented for consideration here, the other three evangelists,(4) who also record such matters, offer nothing calculated to raise any question of serious difficulty.(5)

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