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Is there harmony in the Gospels? What is the harmony of the Gospels?

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The harmony of the Gospels refers to a unified story of the four New Testament Gospel accounts. Each Gospel includes both unique material found only in its particular Gospel and content similar to that found in other Gospels. Many have attempted to categorize these accounts into a single story. These efforts to organize the four Gospels into one single, unified narrative are called the harmony of the Gospels.

The earliest known effort to produce a harmony of the Gospels was by the early church historian Eusebius. Since then, many others have sought to produce their own harmony of the Gospel accounts. The four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—each emphasize particular aspects of Christ's life while providing several of the same events and teachings more than once. The Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—especially share many passages, since each offers a synopsis of Christ's life. John, in contrast, was traditionally written after the other three Gospels and emphasizes Jesus as the Son of God, offering a more detailed look at the end of Christ's life, especially the final week.

Some, however, have sought to highlight the differences or inconsistencies found between the Gospel accounts. For example, some argue that the differing accounts of the resurrection appearances of Christ somehow "prove" they did not take place. However, the Gospel writers did not meet together in advance in any attempt to match their stories together. Each writer emphasized different aspects; however, the accounts can be compared to provide a fuller picture of the events that took place. In some cases, the teachings of Jesus repeated in more than one Gospel may also be due to Jesus Himself teaching the same material in more than one setting with some variation. Such differences are not inconsistencies, but rather provide a fuller picture of what took place during the life of Jesus.

Like other places in Scripture, the four Gospels are offered as God's revelation to humanity. A former tax collector named Matthew left everything to become a follower of Jesus. His writing would emphasize Jesus as the fulfillment of the Jewish prophecies of the Messiah. Mark provided a fast-paced narrative of Christ' ministry fitting of a man who traditionally served alongside the apostle Peter and wrote down the account of His teachings. Luke utilized a wide variety of sources as a scholar-doctor who sought to offer a chronological account for Western readers. John offered the words of close follower of Jesus, including much unique material that would have only been known to those most intimately acquainted with Christ. Together, these writings give a more comprehensive look at the life, work, miracles, and teachings of Jesus, including a compelling account of the death and resurrection of God's Son to provide eternal life.

Related Truth:

When were the Gospels written?

What is the Synoptic Problem?

The Q Gospel – What is it? If there was a Q Gospel would that make the Synoptic Gospels less valid?

Why do Matthew and Luke have different genealogies of Jesus?

Were there different authors of the books of the Bible? Who were the authors?

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