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“Ναι Κύριε εγώ πεπίστευκα, ότι συ ει ο Χριστός ο υιός του Θεού και εις
EDINBURGH: ANDREW ELLIOT, 17, PRINCES STREET.
The object of this book is to present the details of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ given in the four gospels in one connected narrative, so as to enable the reader to form a just conception of them as a whole. It
Diatessaron Gospel compiled by four—the words of the Authorized Version being, as nearly as possible, preserved.
That such a work is not without its importance and its use may be inferred from the great and general interest taken in gospel harmonies, as well as from the fact that many erroneous opinions have been formed regarding the life of the Saviour ; because many of those who read the Bible are either unable or unwilling to undergo the task of arranging the scattered events, as recorded by the Evangelists, in unbroken and historical order. The gospels are confessedly of a fragmentary character, and are not studied with the attention they deserve unless they are compared with each other and harmonized. The mind may receive lively impressions of particular incidents without any regard being paid to the relation one gospel bears to another; but it cannot otherwise obtain a clear and satisfactory view of the life of Jesus in its unity and completeness. An attempt has accordingly been here made to incorporate into one narrative, and in what appears their natural order the various events in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus. In
doing so we have, of course, been frequently constrained to alter the arrangement of the Inspired Record, but we do not think there need be any conscientious scruple in such a work as this against altering the dispositions of the sacred text. In whatsoever order the words of Scripture are placed they are still the Word of God, and no change in this respect can affect the divine authority that is stamped upon them.
It is not, however, to be concealed that very many difficulties stand in the way of the harmonist of the four gospels, and no one who endeavours to form the evangelical narratives into one consecutive story can feel that he has entirely succeeded. The Evangelists are very sparing in their notices of time and place, and, in order to bring together incidents or discourses alike in their character, they often show a total disregard to external and minor details. Evidently with them it was always the person, and not the place, that stood pre-eminent. It is, therefore, quite impossible to trace our Lord's footsteps as he journeyed on his missionary rounds from place to place, and from month to month, with anything like accuracy, and we can only hope to obtain an approximation thereto by collating the different accounts in each Evangelist, and availing ourselves of any ray of light which the context may be supposed to supply, by determining the number of passovers over which Christ's ministry extended; noting as carefully as we can the greater events between each, and giving special attention to those notes of time which may fairly be presumed to imply continuance. The result of such an examination, we are confident, will be the belief that our Lord made three extensive tours through all the towns and villages of Galilee, besides five or six more limited ones; and that the duration of his whole ministry extended to about three years and a half, this chronology being determined by the three passovers distinctly mentioned by John (John ii. 13, vi. 4, xii. 1), and by the proba