The Harmony of the Gospels

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The treatise of Augustin On the Harmony of the Evangelists (De Consensu Evangelistarum) is regarded as the most laborious task undertaken by the great African Father. But its influence has been much less obvious than that of his strictly exegetical and doctrinal works. Dr. Salmond, in his Introductory Notice, gives a discriminating and just estimate of it. Jerome was, in some respects, far better equipped for such a task than Augustin; yet one cannot study this work, bearing in mind the hermeneutical tendencies of the fourth century, without having an increased respect for the ability, candor, and insight of the great theologian when engaged in labors requiring linguistic knowledge, which he did not possess. Despite his ignorance of the correct text in many difficult passages, his lack of familiarity with the Greek original, many of his explanations have stood the test of time, finding acceptance even among the exegetes of this age.