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§ 108. Differences of Chronology.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke include but one feast of the Passover within the period of Christ’s public ministry, while John’s narrative embraces three or four. It may be enough to say in regard to this, that the former Gospels do not confine themselves to a chronological arrangement, and therefore we are entitled to draw no conclusion from the fact that the Passover is mentioned in them but once, and that towards the close of Christ’s career upon earth. The facts narrated may have extended through several years, and yet the mention of the Pass. over feasts may have been omitted, as other chronological marks have been.

There is nothing in the first three Gospels to contradict the theory that Christ’s ministry lasted for several years. Even in Luke himself237237   Luke, vi., 1 the σάββατον δευτερόπρωτον, in connexion with the “ripe ears of corn.” there is a passing remark which necessarily presupposes the occurrence of one Passover in the midst of that ministry. There is nothing, then, to invalidate John’s account, which mentions the occurrence of several.

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