An Interview with Daniel John – Part 2

Has this type of Harmonious Merger of the Gospels existed before?

Long before there were the four Gospels that we have today, placed side-by-side as a collection in the New Testament, the four accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were combined in a merged harmony called, the “Diatessaron“, in about 160 CE.  The creator of that unified Gospel account was a man named Tatian, who was a student of Justin Martyr in Rome. After Justin died, Tatian continued his school, until he came into conflict with the Church of Rome, and left the city.

A Harmony of the GospelsIt should be noted that in the year 160 CE, when Tatian was compiling his merger, there were many Gospel accounts, and collections of the sayings and teachings of Jesus Christ, being circulated throughout the growing church. By some accounts, there were more than 20 such “Gospels”. Of those, Tatian used just four, the same four accounts that are found in every New Testament of Jesus Christ today.  Why he used these four Gospel accounts, in favor or lieu of the others, was likely because he knew John’s Gospel to be inspired, and perhaps he used the other three because they were so similar. read more

Why Merge The Gospels?

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Why merge the four Gospels?  It is important to preserve each of the four individual accounts of the life of Jesus Christ, because each contains unique sayings, events and stories that are not found within the others.

Yes, that is true, and the world will always have the four Gospels as they now appear in all of the versions of the New Testament of the Holy Bible.  However, because there is overlap and duplication amongst so much similarity, the benefits of producing a single, concise account has long been recognized, and the first attempt at a merger of the content of the four Gospels into a single storyline may have been Tatian’s Diatessaron of 160 CE.

Because there are differences in the details that each account records, no single instance of a parallel saying or event could by itself be considered complete or accurate if it lacked a detail that is mentioned in the text of one or more of the other Gospel accounts.  For this reason, the only way to know the full detail of all of the things that Jesus Christ said and did and taught, is to read all four of the Gospel accounts.  As to why these particular four Gospel accounts have been preserved together, in lieu of any and all others, see The Synoptic Gospel – Note 5.1: Why Are There Four Gospels? read more

An Interview with Daniel John – Part 1

Why Did You Create The Synoptic Gospel?

When I first read the Bible in my mid-twenties I started with the Book of Genesis, in the Old Testament.  Reading all of the books in order, I eventually completed the Old Testament, and arrived in the New Testament at the Gospel of Matthew.  After reading that, I thought, “Wow! That was interesting!” And then there was another Gospel, of Mark. So I read that, and said, “That was almost the same, but different…” And then there was a third Gospel, and a fourth…  And in the end, although I had read all that Jesus Christ said and did in the four Gospels, I was unsure of certain details, and was confused about the overall sequence of all of the events that had happened.  It also seemed odd that some stories and sayings of Jesus were found in all four of the Gospels, while most were found in only one of the accounts.

While I liked that there were four different flavors produced from the unique personalities and styles of four different men, I was troubled by the overlap between their words, which produces confusion.  I mean, it seems illogical to not know exactly what the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said, or did, or taught.  And to have to read four similar accounts of the exact same event seemed, well inefficient, if not stupid.  Why was there so much confusion about the very important words of the Gospel?  There had to be a better way. read more