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NPNF1-06. St. Augustine: Sermon on the Mount; Harmony of the Gospels; Homilies on the Gospels
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Chapter XI.—Of the Consistency of Matthew’s Version with that of Mark in the Account of the Potion Offered Him to Drink, Which is Introduced Before the Narrative of His Crucifixion.

38. Matthew then proceeds in these terms: “And they came unto a place called Golgotha; that is to say, a place of a skull.”13771377     Matt. xxvii. 33. So far as the place is concerned, they are most unmistakeably at one. The same Matthew next adds, “and they gave Him wine13781378     Vinum. [So the correct Greek text. Comp. Revised Version.—R.] to drink, mingled with gall; and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink.”13791379     Matt. xxvii. 34. This is given by Mark as follows: “And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; and He received it not.”13801380     Mark xv. 23. Here we may understand Matthew to have conveyed the same sense as Mark, when he speaks of the wine being “mingled with gall.” For the gall is mentioned with a view to express the bitterness of the potion. And wine mingled with myrrh is remarkable for its bitterness. The fact may also be that gall and myrrh together made the wine exceedingly bitter. Again, when Mark says that “He received it not,” we understand the phrase to denote that He did not receive it so as actually to drink it. He did taste it, however, as Matthew certifies. Thus Mark’s words, “He received it not,” convey the same meaning as Matthew’s version, “He would not drink.” The former, however, has said nothing about His tasting the potion.


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