Infancy Narratives: Matthew & Luke II

  1. Augustine exhaustive explanation of all the differences and discrepancies in the Gospels, On the Harmony of the Evangelists. His cogent justifications for the differences among the Gospels remained the last word for 1,000 years (Thomas Aquinas)[1]

Faith seeks understanding. Skepticism is an understanding seeking faith.

His antagonists, Manichaeans (especially vis a vis Resurrection appearances & infancy narratives) who constantly pointed out the muddled headed inconsistencies of the Gospel. In response to this critique, he wrote the most sophisticated and comprehensive explanation of the Gospels in all of early Christianity.[2]

>> Some Guidelines of Augustine are represented in DV. HS, as author, is Truth itself, different genres within SS, law of contradiction regards to the deposit (rule) of Faith, Canon set by the Church, the HS prompted each Gospel writer to create a unique portrait of Jesus. Matthew focused on royal lineage while Luke brought out the Lord’s priestly lineage and character.[3]

Dungan provides an excellent summary of Augustine’s arguments and his view of how the Gospels.[4] After this, no more was heard from the Manicheans until the Reformation Project.

e.g. The authors recorded events as the HS prompted them, not necessarily in chronological order. Another insight, when the author was finished with the work, they did not rewrite or correct anything has it had been under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


[1] David Laird Dungan, A History of the Synoptic Problem (Doubleday: NY 1999) 12

[2] Dungan 112

[3] Dungan 118 and following

[4] Dungan 135 & 136

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