Notes On Dr. Riddle’s Edition Of Robinson’s Harmony Of The Gospels: Being A Contribution To A Complete Harmony Of The Gospels -- By: Charles Leaman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 047:186 (Apr 1890)
Article: Notes On Dr. Riddle’s Edition Of Robinson’s Harmony Of The Gospels: Being A Contribution To A Complete Harmony Of The Gospels
Author: Charles Leaman


Notes On Dr. Riddle’s Edition Of Robinson’s Harmony Of The Gospels: Being A Contribution To A Complete Harmony Of The Gospels

Rev. Charles Leaman

[Continued from Vol. 46. p. 465]

The Gospels Are Methodical Annals

Having thus indicated the arrangement of a complete harmony, as compared with that of Robinson’s, let us examine into the results as to the chronological order of the several narratives. Robinson remarks in his introduction to his notes: “In the arrangement of the Harmony, made solely according to the probable sequence of the events, and without assigning any preference to the order of either evangelist, this unexpected result has been brought out, namely, that the order of both Mark and John remains everywhere undisturbed, with the exception of four short passages in Mark and of three in John; in all of which cases the reasons for a change of order are obvious.” On this the editor remarks, “The deviations from the chronological order in Mark may be reduced to two”—Levi’s feast and the supper at Bethany. “In John the deviations indicated above scarcely deserve the name, if the first passage [the supper at Bethany, John 12:2-8] is in chronological position. If there was an informal trial before Annas, John 18:25-27 follows verse 24, and John 20:30, 31 is merely a comment of the evangelist.”

Thus the chronological character of John is complete, even to single verses that involve chronology, and that of Mark really so, as in the only two passages mentioned by the editor “the reasons for a change of order are obvious,” and do not in the least affect the methodical and chronological character of his record.

In the arrangement of many, perhaps most, recent harmonists, Luke’s narrative is found to be more chronological. In considering the chronological character of the Gospels, it is only fair to give the narratives the benefit of the more chronological arrangements. It is found in this way, as shown particularly in the arrangement given above, that the real and necessary changes which have any reference to chronology in Luke’s narrative are only four, as follows: (1) Draught of Fishes, 5:1-11; (2) Levi’s Feast, 5:29-39; (3) True Disciples, 8:19-21; (4) Incidents at the Last Supper, 22:19-23. Of these four, (2) is the same as in Mark, and (4) can be easily understood, and is satisfactorily explained by Robinson. So, there only remain two passages, and in these the reasons for the changes are apparent, and are not worth naming as in any way affecting the chronological order or methodical character of Luke’s narrative. All the necessary changes in Luke’s record seem to be for the same general reason as that ...

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