Book Review“ The Four In One Gospel Of Jesus: Chronologically Integrated According To Matthew, Mark, Luke, And John,” Second Edition, Nikola Dimitrov, Ventura, California: Nordskog, 2017. 280 Pages. -- By: Roland Cap Ehlke

Journal: Global Journal of Classical Theology
Volume: GJCT 14:3 (Jan 2018)
Article: Book Review“ The Four In One Gospel Of Jesus: Chronologically Integrated According To Matthew, Mark, Luke, And John,” Second Edition, Nikola Dimitrov, Ventura, California: Nordskog, 2017. 280 Pages.
Author: Roland Cap Ehlke


Book Review“
The Four In One Gospel Of Jesus: Chronologically Integrated According To Matthew, Mark, Luke, And John,” Second Edition, Nikola Dimitrov, Ventura, California: Nordskog, 2017. 280 Pages.

Roland Cap Ehlke

Putting the four Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus together is not new. The publisher of The Four in One Gospel points out, for instance, that a nineteenth century edition of the well-known Bible commentary by Matthew Henry (1662-1714) had contained a harmony of the Gospels (276). More recently, William F. Beck compiled the four Gospels in his own translation (1959): The Christ of the Gospels: The life and work of Jesus as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, presented as one complete story in the language of today. Others—such as J. Dwight Pentecost (1981), A Harmony of the Words and Works of Jesus Christ, and Robert L. Thomas and Stanley N. Gundry (2003), The NIV Harmony of the Gospels (an update of an earlier harmony)have set the gospels in parallel columns, rather than in a single narrative.

What, then, sets this latest version apart? In his introduction to The Four in One Gospel, Nikola Dimitrov explains what is unique about this single-narrative harmony: “The uniqueness of this material is the chronological mixing and blending of the four Gospels” (1). Dimitrov proceeds to give the following example:

The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus touched the hand of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, and the fever left her (8:15). In Mark’s Gospel, it is written that Jesus took Simon Peter’s mother-in-law by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her (1:31). Luke says that Jesus stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her (4:39). See how the fact that the fever left Peter’s mother-in-law is the same, while each Gospel writer adds a new element to the “process” of her healing and thus, to the whole picture?

In this four-in-one Gospel of Jesus, this passage would look like this: “Jesus came, stood over her, rebuked the fever, took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her” . . . (1)

In setting up his harmony, Dimitrov has used the Gospel of Mark “as a base Gospel, since it recounts events virtually in chronological order” (3). When a story is found in other Gospels, but not in Mark, then another Gospel is used as “the base.” In every case, each account indicates which Gospel or Gospels are beings used.

Dimitrov enlists for the narrative the venerable King James Version of the Bible, with certain updates for contemporary readers (simplifying verbs with “est” and “eth” endi...

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