The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 23 of 167
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We believe that I Thess. 4: 17 contains a very precious provision, arranged by the
Lord to meet this very case. We read that at the coming of the Lord and the resurrection
of His sleeping saints, that there is first of all time allowed for re-union and recognition,
so that when the moment comes for the living and the raised to meet the Lord Himself,
the claims of natural affection shall not detract from the glory of His presence. The
words that suggest this are "Together with them . . . . . to meet the Lord".
We trust you will be able to take comfort from these words.
pp. 62, 63
A reader who has been attempting a harmony of the four Gospels has written asking
for help, as very early in the attempt difficulties have arisen.
There seems to be a fascination for some minds in the attempt at constructing a
harmony. Prof. Harles, in the year 1795, gave a list of extant harmonies amounting to
one hundred and seventy-two, and that number by no means indicates the complete total.
Tatian is the most ancient harmonist whose work The Diatessaron is known to-day. The
canons of Eusebius, while ranged under the heading "Harmony", are something more
than that. He arranged the teaching of the four Gospels under the following ten canons:--
The ancient chapter divisions of Ammonius.
Those passages related by Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Those passages related by Matthew, Luke and John.
Those passages related by Matthew, Mark and John.
Those passages related by Matthew and Luke.
Those passages related by Matthew and Mark.
Those passages related by Matthew and John.
Those passages related by Luke and Mark.
Those passages related by Luke and John.
Those passages peculiar to (a) Matthew, (b) Mark, (c) Luke, (d) John.
Strictly speaking Eusebius did not attempt to construct a harmony, he did something
far more profitable, he drew attention to the things that differ.
We have gone to this length before answering our correspondent because we have no
use for a harmony of the four Gospels. From the nature of the case, and from John's own
testimony (John 20: 30, 31; 21: 25), it is evident that we do not possess one hundredth
part of the words and deeds of the Lord Jesus, and it is manifest therefore that in the
composition of the four Gospels each writer was moved to select such words and deeds,
and place them in such sequence and relation with each other with much or little detail
and circumstance as the special purpose with which he wrote his narrative demanded.