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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book III, Chapter 3

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book III

Chapter 3. Of the Manner in Which It Can Be Shown that No Discrepancies Exist Between Them in the Accounts Which They Give of the Words Which Were Spoken by the Lord, on to the Time of His Leaving the House in Which They Had Supped.

9. At this point, therefore, we may now follow, as far as we can, the order of the narrative, as gathered from all the evangelists together. Thus, then, after the prediction in question had been made to Peter, according to John's version, the same John proceeds with his statement, and introduces in this connection the Lord's discourse, which was to the following effect: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; and so forth. He narrates at length the sayings, so memorable and so pre-eminently sublime, of which He delivered Himself in the course of that address, until, in due connection, he comes to the passage where the Lord speaks as follows: O righteous Father, the world has not known You: but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent me. And I have declared unto them Your name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith You have loved me may be in them, and I in them. Again we find, according to the narrative given by Luke, that there arose a strife among them which of them should be accounted the greatest. And He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve. For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? Is not he that sits at meat? But I am among you as he that serves. And you are they which have continued with me in my temptations: and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me; that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. The said Luke also immediately subjoins to these words the following passage: And the Lord said to Simon: Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. And he said unto Him: Lord, I am ready to go with You, both into prison, and to death. And He said, I tell you, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that you shall thrice deny that you know me. And He said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. Then said He unto them, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough. Next comes the passage, given both by Matthew and by Mark: And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. Then says Jesus unto them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of You, yet will I never be offended. Jesus says unto him, Verily I say unto you, That this night, before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice. Peter says unto Him, Though I should die with You, yet will I not deny You. Likewise also said all the disciples. We have introduced the preceding section as it is presented by Matthew. But Mark also records it almost in so many and the same words, with the exception of the apparent discrepancy, which we have already cleared up above, on the subject of the crowing of the cock.

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Source. Translated by S.D.F. Salmond. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602303.htm>.

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