Harmony of the Gospels

HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS, editions of the gospel narratives in two forms: (1) Combined, unified works which interweave material from all four gospels into a chronological narrative; such works have traditionally been called Diatessaron (q.v.) (2) Arrangements of the gospels in parallel columns according to some chronological scheme, often excluding John and utilizing the material from the synoptics. The earliest harmony was the work of an Alexandrian, Ammonius (3rd Christian cent.) whose work is known only from citations in Eusebius. Augustine utilized the four gospel texts harmonistically in his De consensu evangelistarum libri quattuor (c. a.d. 400). During the Middle Ages and Renaissance the gospels were discussed separately or intermixed in the Diatessaron form. The next harmony was that of the Swiss scholar J. Clericus (Le Clerc), Harmonia evangelica. The term “harmony” had been applied first to such works by the Ger. theologian, A. Osiander (1537); the first modern harmony, however, was that of J. J. Griesbach, Synopsis evangeliorum (1776). During the 19th cent. many of the foremost Ger. lower critical scholars edited their own, e.g. G. M. de Wette (1818), J. H. Friedlieb (1847), C. von Tischendorf (1851). The edition of A. Huck, Synopse der drei ersten Evangelien (1892) and its derivatives is the most widely used in modern times.