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Harmony of the Gospels


Rain

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The church has a chronological harmony of the gospels.  It was pretty much created in 1974.   

Personally I prefer putting the genealogy of Jesus after the premortal life and before the annunciation to Zacharias.  

Do any of you see something you would switch up?  Do you know of more recent harmonies that you feel are better because we have more knowledge now?  

Edited by Rain
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This is tough to find.  I don't know if it has been superseded by, or incorporated into, a newer product or not, but I have seen other products compiled by Steven and Julie HIte, for whatever that's worth.  But I have The New Testament With the Joseph Smith Translation"Includes all textual changes made by the Prophet Joseph Smith and The Four Gospels in Chronological Harmony and Parallel Columns."  The ISBN for the version I have is 0-9642325-1-0.  Again, for what it's worth.  Happy hunting! :D

P.S.: As hard as this might be to find, if it weren't for Ye Olde Internet, I suspect Robert's would be impossible to find! :D

P.P.S.: It says additional copies are available from the publisher, but this information is from ... 1994! :shok::blink:

 The Veritas Group, 560 South 500 East, Orem UT 84058; (801) 224-2903.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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On 9/16/2020 at 8:01 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

This is tough to find.  I don't know if it has been superseded by, or incorporated into, a newer product or not, but I have seen other products compiled by Steven and Julie HIte, for whatever that's worth.  But I have The New Testament With the Joseph Smith Translation"Includes all textual changes made by the Prophet Joseph Smith and The Four Gospels in Chronological Harmony and Parallel Columns."  The ISBN for the version I have is 0-9642325-1-0.  Again, for what it's worth.  Happy hunting! :D

P.S.: As hard as this might be to find, if it weren't for Ye Olde Internet, I suspect Robert's would be impossible to find! :D

P.P.S.: It says additional copies are available from the publisher, but this information is from ... 1994! :shok::blink:

 The Veritas Group, 560 South 500 East, Orem UT 84058; (801) 224-2903.

The basic problem with such harmonies is the false assumption that the Gospels are actually chronologically arranged.  They are not, and each of them disagrees with the others on the sequence of events.  They were each composed late in Christian Church history to reflect piety and worship in the early Church.  Jesus did not have secretaries or scribes taking dictation, and none of his followers kept a running list of events for later publication.  Jesus taught in Aramaic, while the Gospels are in Greek.  Each Gospel author(s) sat down to write a reminiscence about Jesus, to try to capture the essence of his teachings.  Some scholars even deny that Jesus ever claimed to be the messiah.  Not only can scholars not agree on where Jesus was born, but they cannot agree on whether he actually rose from the dead.  These are entirely matters of faith.

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On 9/16/2020 at 10:01 AM, Rain said:

The church has a chronological harmony of the gospels.  It was pretty much created in 1974.   

Personally I prefer putting the genealogy of Jesus after the premortal life and before the annunciation to Zacharias.  

Do any of you see something you would switch up?  Do you know of more recent harmonies that you feel are better because we have more knowledge now?  

The book Jesus the Christ written by James Talmage is the best harmony of the gospels that I have read.  It begins with what we know of his premortal history and goes up to these latter days.

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On 9/16/2020 at 5:22 PM, InCognitus said:

This isn't an LDS source, but this is a useful site for parallel study of the gospels.  You can even pick your preferred translation at the top (I'm linking to the KJV selection):

http://www.para-gospel.com/full/kjv1900

 

Funny how this excites me!  So far I love how this one has a "prologue"/"preface" introducing the gospels.  The church talks about the premortal life.  Some harmonies start with genealogy.  Just different ways of doing it all, but I never noticed the introduction of the whole story like I did with it put as a preface. Doctrinally I wouldn't include the John scriptures with it, but since we are big on premortal life and others not as much, it makes sense for me to feel that way.   

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As has been said, there are contradictions among the gospels making it very difficult to harmonize them, and many of the orders are a matter of personal choice. i created a harmony where I made four columns and put the verses together as closely as i could word for word and it quickly became impossible to make such a chart. The stories are not so much historical events as they are stories that teach gospel principles, each telling a different aspect of the story with the aim of teaching a principle. The facts of who said what when is not what matters. Whether or not there was a Moses or a Noah misses the point. it is not which version is correct but rather what do each of the versions mean to me. 

As for the question of harmonies, the one created by the church was for convenience sake to give an example of how to correlate them but the purpose of gospel study is to create our own. The many harmonies provide a jumping off point for the novice; the sad reality is most remain as novices and do  not take the time to become a genuine gospel scholar. I do not suggest that we should be phd's but rather that we must be become true students determined to study with all our heart might mind and strength. 

The same applies to any area. We need to become experts in our occupations, experts in church administration, experts in all areas of life that we are involved in. Rather than reading the far right Blaze on the one hand or the far left Palmer Report on the other, we need to read and be open minded to both sides from reliable sources. 

In another example, I read An ancient American Perspective on the Book of Mormon and as soon as I could I created my own geography based on the wording in the text. It became very apparent where Sorenson was following the text and where he was using conjecture; but I found out for my self how the book teaches the geography rather than relying on someone else's opinion. 

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 10:31 AM, Rain said:

Funny how this excites me!  So far I love how this one has a "prologue"/"preface" introducing the gospels.  The church talks about the premortal life.  Some harmonies start with genealogy.  Just different ways of doing it all, but I never noticed the introduction of the whole story like I did with it put as a preface. Doctrinally I wouldn't include the John scriptures with it, but since we are big on premortal life and others not as much, it makes sense for me to feel that way.   

I like the way that particular web site functions, although I have a few issues with the content or it just needs to be updated.  For example, I understand the controversy surrounding the textual evidence of John 7:53–8:11, for the story of the woman taken in adultery (see Wiki article here), since that passage isn't found in most of the early Greek Gospel manuscripts.  I don't know if that is the reason it is omitted in the Parallel Gospel website, or if it was just an oversight.   There's a heading for it (search for " The Woman Caught in Adultery") but no text is given, even in the King James Version selection.   I sent an email to the website owners earlier this week asking if that was done intentionally or not, but I haven't heard back from them.  But at least they have a placeholder for it.  

As has been pointed out, these "harmonies" are the products of some human doing their best to match things up, so there are always going to be different opinions on how things should be arranged.  That's why it's always good to check things out on your own.  But I like the convenience of seeing the verses all side-by-side like it does in that web site.  

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So the harmony the church has listed puts Matt 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount) after a number of things listed in Matt 8.9.10 and 12.  They do it for this reason:

Quote

Both McConkie and Talmage indicate the Sermon on the Mount was given after the calling of the Twelve. (See McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Volume I; The Gospels, pp. 14–16, 213–15; and Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 230.)

Would any of you agree with this reasoning? Or disagree?

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Matthew has Jesus healing the leper "when he was come down from the mountain" after the Sermon on the mount.  Mark (when Jesus was traveling around Galilee) and Luke (when in a certain city) have it elsewhere.  So some of the harmonies put it in order with Matthew and some put it in order of Mark and Luke.  

It makes sense to me to have it in Matthew order because of "when he was come down from the mountain" because it specifies, sort of, what he was doing just before.  It seems to me the harmonies that have it in Matthew and Luke order may do it because there are two records in that order instead of one.  

Is there any reason it should be done in Mark and Luke order that I might not be aware of?

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