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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VI:
The Harmony of the Gospels.: Chapter XVIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVIII.—Of the Date of His Departure into Galilee.

42. Furthermore, we must consider the question how the evangelist John, before there is any mention of the casting of John the Baptist into prison, tells us that Jesus went into Galilee. For, after relating how He turned the water into wine at Cana of Galilee, and how He came down to Capernaum with His mother and His disciples, and how they abode there not many days, he tells us that He went up then to Jerusalem on account of the passover; that after this He came into the land of Judæa along with His disciples, and tarried there with them, and baptized; and then in what follows at this point the evangelist says: “And John also was baptizing in Ænon, near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they came, and were baptized: for John was not yet cast into prison.” 843 On the other hand, Matthew says: “Now when He had heard that John was cast into prison, Jesus departed into Galilee.” 844 In like manner, Mark’s words are: “Now, after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee.” 845 Luke, again, says nothing indeed about the imprisonment of John; but notwithstanding this, after his account of the baptism and temptation of Christ, he also makes a statement to the same effect with that of these other two, namely, that Jesus went into Galilee. For he has connected the several parts of his narrative here in this way: “And when all the temptation was ended, the devil 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.” 846 From all this, however, we may gather, not that these three evangelists have made any statement opposed to the evangelist John, but only that they have left unrecorded the Lord’s first advent in Galilee after His baptism; on which occasion also He turned the water into wine there. For at that period John had not yet been cast into prison. And we are also to understand that these three evangelists have introduced into the context of these narratives an account of another journey of His into p. 124 Galilee, which took place after John’s imprisonment, regarding which return into Galilee the evangelist John himself furnishes the following notice: “When, therefore, Jesus knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus makes and baptizes more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples), he left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.” 847 So, then, we perceive that by that time John had been already cast into prison; and further, that the Jews had heard that He was making and baptizing more disciples than John had made and baptized.



John 2:13, John 3:22.


Matt. iv. 12.


Mark i. 14.


Luke 4:13, 14.


John iv. 1-3.

Next: Chapter XIX

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