Chapter V.—A Statement of the Manner in Which Lukes Procedure is Proved to Be in Harmony with Matthews in Those Matters Concerning the Conception and the Infancy or Boyhood of Christ, Which are Omitted by the One and Recorded by the Other.
14. After the enumeration of the generations, Matthew proceeds thus: Now the birth of Christ 710 was on this wise. Whereas His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 711 What Matthew has omitted to state here regarding the way in which that came to pass, has been set forth by Luke after his account of the conception of John. His narrative is to the following effect: And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgins name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art full of grace, 712 the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw 713 these things, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born 714 shall be called the Son of God; 715 and then follow matters not belonging to the question at present in hand. Now all this Matthew has recorded [summarily], when he tells us of Mary that “she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Neither p. 108 is there any contradiction between the two evangelists, in so far as Luke has set forth in detail what Matthew has omitted to notice; for both bear witness that Mary conceived by the Holy Ghost. And in the same way there is no want of concord between them, when Matthew, in his turn, connects with the narrative something which Luke leaves out. For Matthew proceeds to give us the following statement: Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son; and His name shall be called 716 Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us. Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife; and knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son; 717 and he called His name Jesus. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa, in the days of Herod the king, and so forth. 718
15. With respect to the city of Bethlehem, Matthew and Luke are at one. But Luke explains in what way and for what reason Joseph and Mary came to it; whereas Matthew gives no such explanation. On the other hand, while Luke is silent on the subject of the journey of the magi from the east, Matthew furnishes an account of it. That narrative he constructs as follows, in immediate connection with what he has already offered: Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. Now, when Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled. 719 And in this manner the account goes on, down to the passage where of these magi it is written that, “being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” 720 This entire section is omitted by Luke, just as Matthew fails to mention some other circumstances which are mentioned by Luke: as, for example, that the Lord was laid in a manger; and that an angel announced His birth to the shepherds; and that there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God; and that the shepherds came and saw that that was true which the angel had announced to them; and that on the day of His circumcision He received His name; as also the incidents reported by the same Luke to have occurred after the days of the purification of Mary were fulfilled,—namely, their taking Him to Jerusalem, and the words spoken in the temple by Simeon or Anna concerning Him, when, filled with the Holy Ghost, they recognized Him. Of all these things Matthew says nothing.
16. Hence, a subject which deserves inquiry is the question concerning the precise time when these events took place which are omitted by Matthew and given by Luke, and those, on the other hand, which have been omitted by Luke and given by Matthew. For after his account of the return of the magi who had come from the east to their own country, Matthew proceeds to tell us how Joseph was warned by an angel to flee into Egypt with the young child, to prevent His being put to death by Herod; and then how Herod failed to find Him, but slew the children from two years old and under; thereafter, how, when Herod was dead, Joseph returned from Egypt, and, on hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judæa instead of his father Herod, went to reside with the boy in Galilee, at the city Nazareth. All these facts, again, are passed over by Luke. Nothing, however, like a want of harmony can be made out between the two writers merely on the ground that the latter states what the former omits, or that the former mentions what the latter leaves unnoticed. But the real question is as to the exact period at which these things could have taken place which Matthew has linked on to his narrative; to wit, the departure of the family into Egypt, and their return from it after Herods death, and their residence at that time in the town of Nazareth, the very place to which Luke tells us that they went back after they had performed in the temple all things regarding the boy according to the law of the Lord. Here, accordingly, we have to take notice of a fact which will also hold good for other like cases, and which will secure our minds against similar agitation or disturbance in subsequent instances. I refer to the circumstance that each evangelist constructs his own particular narrative on a kind of plan which gives it the appearance of being the complete and orderly record of the events in their succession. For, preserving a simple silence on the subject of those incidents of which he intends to give no account, he then connects those which he does wish to relate with what he has been immediately recounting, in such a manner p. 109 as to make the recital seem continuous. At the same time, when one of them mentions facts of which the other has given no notice, the order of narrative, if carefully considered, will be found to indicate the point at which the writer by whom the omissions are made has taken the leap in his account, and thus has attached the facts, which it was his purpose to introduce, in such a manner to the preceding context as to give the appearance of a connected series, in which the one incident follows immediately on the other, without the interposition of anything else. On this principle, therefore, we understand that where he tells us how the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and how they went back to their own country by another way, Matthew has simply omitted all that Luke has related respecting all that happened to the Lord in the temple, and all that was said by Simeon and Anna; while, on the other hand, Luke has omitted in the same place all notice of the journey into Egypt, which is given by Matthew, and has introduced the return to the city of Nazareth as if it were immediately consecutive.
17. If any one wishes, however, to make up one complete narrative out of all that is said or left unsaid by these two evangelists respectively, on the subject of Christs nativity and infancy or boyhood, he may arrange the different statements in the following order:—Now the birth of Christ was on this wise. 721 There was, in the days of Herod the king of Judæa, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priests office before God, in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priests office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord: and the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord: and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mothers womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people perfect 722 for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel, answering, said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, 723 and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: and he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgins name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art full of grace, 724 the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy p. 110 thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 725 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her who is called 726 barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? for, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed art thou that didst believe, 727 for there shall be a performance of those things which were told thee from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him, from generation to generation. He hath made 728 strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen 729 His servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy: as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 730 Then it proceeds thus:—She was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 731 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel; which, being interpreted, is, God with us. Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife, and knew her not. 732
Now 733 Elisabeths full time came that she should be delivered, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her relatives 734 heard that the Lord magnified His mercy with her; and they congratulated her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called 735 him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he spake and praised God. And fear came on all them that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judæa. And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, What manner of child, thinkest thou, shall this be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began; (to give) salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us: to perform mercy with our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He sware to Abraham our father that He would give to us; in order that, being saved out of the hand of our enemies, we might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all our days. And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people, for the remission 736 of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed p. 111 strong in spirit, and was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 737 This first taxing 738 was made when Syrinus 739 was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, 740 every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed 741 with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped Him in swaddling-clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the vigils of the night over their flock. And, lo, the angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of goodwill. 742 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they understood 743 the saying which had been told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it, wondered also at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 744 And then it proceeds thus: 745 Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. Now when Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa; for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently the time of the star which appeared unto them. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star which they had seen in the east went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they found 746 the child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return unto Herod, they departed into their own country another way. 747 Then, after this account of their return, the narrative goes on thus: 748 When the days of her (His mothers) purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was in him.
And it had been revealed unto him 749 by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lords Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the cusp. 112 tom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. And His father and mother 750 marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be spoken against; and a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers day and night. And she, coming in that instant, gave thanks 751 also unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for the redemption of Jerusalem. 752 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, 753 behold, 754 the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation and great mourning, 755 Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young childs life. And he arose, and took the young child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judæa, in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither; and being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee; and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. 756 And 757 the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was in Him. And His parents went to Jerusalem every year, at the feast of the passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and His parents 758 knew not of it. But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a days journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem seeking Him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. And when they saw Him, they were amazed. And His mother said to Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing. And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers business? 759 And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them; and His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 760 And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, 761 and in favour with God and men. 762
Luke i. 26-34. [Ver. 34 is differently rendered in the text of the Revised Version. The Latin of Augustin would perhaps admit of the same sense, but is more naturally explained as above.—R.]108:716
Vocabitur. The mss. give vocabunt, they shall call; one ms. gives vocabis, thou shalt call. [The proper reading is probably vocabunt; at all events, this accords with the Greek text. The variations can be accounted for by the presence of vocabitur and vocabis in previous part of the paragraph.—R.]108:717 108:718 108:719 108:720 109:721
Matt. 1:18, Luke 1:5. [In this extended citation from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Latin text given by Augustin is in many cases, more closely reproduced in the Revised Version than in the Authorized. The translator has, as usual, taken the language of the latter, except in a few places, where the difference seemed more important and striking.—R.]109:722 109:723 109:724 110:725 110:726 110:727 110:728 110:729 110:730 110:731
Matt. i. 18. [The discovery of Marys condition probably occurred, as the order of Augustin implies, after the return of Mary from the visit to Elizabeth. But it is altogether uncertain whether it preceded the birth of John the Baptist.—R.]110:732
Matt. i. 18-25. [The last clause of ver. 25 is omitted here, but given in §14. Possibly the variation was intentional.—R.]110:733 110:734 110:735 110:736 111:737 111:738
Descriptio prima [This is now the accepted sense of the phrase in Luke ii. 2; Comp. Revised Version.—R.]111:739 111:740 111:741 111:742 111:743 111:744 111:745
Matt. ii. 1. [It is here assumed that the visit of the Magi preceded the presentation in the temple. But this order cannot be positively established. The two events must be placed near together. In chap. xi. Augustin implies that there was an interval of some length. The traditional date of the Epiphany (Jan. 6) is clearly too early, since it assumes an interval of twenty-seven days.—R.]111:746 111:747 111:748 111:749 112:750 112:751 112:752 112:753 112:754 112:755 112:756 112:757 112:758 112:759 112:760 112:761 112:762
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