A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study

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9780024172402: A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study

This Harmony, like the small Outline Handbook of the Life of Ohrist which preceded it, is intended to promote and facilitate the historical stady of the gospels. The Life of Christ is now engaging the attention of Biblical scholars to a remarkable degree. In the decades that followed the publication of Stranss s Life of Jesns in 1885 the literature of the subject was chiefly controversial. An apologetic motive was manifestly dominant in the powerful works of Neander, Ebrard, and Lange. At present it is the subject itself that commands attention. There is a deepening conviction that in Biblical science, and indeed in Christian theology as a whole, the study of the Life of Christ should be made primary and centraL Books upon the subject are increasing in number. But it is to be remembered that the principal textbook is the fourfold gospel The study of the Life of Christ is primarily the historical study of the four gospels, which implies the tracing of the events they narrate in their chronological sequence and in their organic connection. For this purpose a constant comparison of the four narratives is necessary, and a synopsis or harmony becomes in the very nature of the case indispensable. In accordance with current usage we have used the title Harmony, although, as frequently happens with technical terms, it is likely to convey to the general reader a sense not intended. To some it may perhaps require explanation that the proper object of a harmony of the gospels is not to harmonize them, if by that is meant bringing them into agreement. It is simply an arrangement by which the corresponding parts of different documents may be brought together before the eye and compared a method not peculiar to Biblical study, but familiar to all students of literary and historical documents. Accordingly we have made no attempt to harmonize what is not harmonious, but sim
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William A. Stevens, Ernest D. Burton
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