Re: Re: Harmonization of Gospels

Date: Sat Jun 27 1998 - 20:36:35 EDT

From: Ho (David Palmer)
Re Harmonizations of the gospels;

Carl Conrad wrote:

"... harmonization, an idea which I personally think does more
harm than good because it neutralizes the distinct and valuable
perspectives that each evangelist brings to bear on the Jesus narrative."

I can see how this would be a concern if by virtue of the existence of such
harmonizations the four separate gospels would be banned or cease to be
available for reading.

Jim West wrote:

"Such harmonizations are, to my mind, unproductive, as they flatten out the
differences and thus represent documents and ideas that never really existed."

I think the gospel of Luke is is a harmonization, and it is not unproductive.
Though he wasn't an eyewitness to the events he recorded, I am glad he made
his account, gathered from many sources, even though, by his own admission,
"many have taken the task in hand" before him. The ideas Luke wrote, he said,
were "fully assured" or "surely believed" among us, even though they may be
expressed in a number of ways.

Nichael Cramer wrote:

One could _image_ a single text that was filled with passages like "At this
point Jesus did X according to Mark, but he said Y according to John".

If Luke in his account had said, "At this point Peter says Jesus next said X,
but the spruchquelle says Jesus next said Y, but James says Jesus next said Z,
but Joanna says Jesus next said W," I for one would not be a very enthusiastic
reader. I think it would clutter up the page, and make the reader lose the
train of thought. When Luke harmonized all accounts, I don't think he was
"glossing over" the differences. I think he did in writing what we ourselves
all must do after we have read all four gospels: we form our own harmony of
what happened. So why shouldn't someone who has specialized in the study of
the gospels write their harmonization down?

Nichael Cramer further wrote:

 "But such complexities are surely more easily handled in a
side-by-side (more properly 'Synoptic') lay-out."

Exactly. So if that is what you want to see, you read a synopsis like A.T.
Robertson's. But a harmonization is for a different purpose: to read the
story in a form that contains all the facts and details from all four gospels,
without having to read repetitions and flip pages all the time. This latter
is what I understand Ted to want to read.

Nichael Cramer further wrote:

"No such genuine harminization could be written because --given the well known
contradictions and inconsitencies in the four Gospels-- there is no 'one
single narrative'."

There are a few alleged contradictions that do indeed appear at first to be
such. However, I have been able to figure most of them out. The rest I enjoy
studying. I would appreciate it if you would send me your list of well-known
contradictions and inconsistencies. I mean it. Please?

 Eric Weiss wrote:
"The author's/translator's inclusion of all details results in some strange -
or should I say "interesting"
- features. For example, it has Peter denying the Lord 6 times - three times
before the cock crowed at all, as well as three times before the cock crowed

Yes, Mark's cock crowing twice vs the others not specifying how many times, is
an example of a "contradiction" that I just don't think is such. One witness
is more detailed on that event (Peter, because he was the one there) than the
others. The four accounts can be harmonized by making the more detailed,
Mark, the reading for all four.

Regards, (David Palmer)

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