A Harmony of the Gospels
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In instances where two or more of the writers have recorded the same event or teaching, the account that gives it most fully is printed complete, and the additional material is inserted in parentheses at the appropriate places. It has been divided into 136 chapters, with appropriate headings. It is thus systematically arranged, and all that the four writers have to say about any particular event or teaching is brought together in one compact statement. Full Scripture references are given, usually by means of footnotes. Since all repetition has been eliminated, this HARMONY is only about three-fourths as long as are the four Gospels.
This arrangement was worked out while the present editor was teaching Bible in Pikeville College, in Kentucky. It proved to be a real help in class work. No claim is made that the present arrangement is infallible. But no references have been consciously taken out of context or exhibited in a false light. The four Gospels are the final authority. The table of contents gives a list of the various events, teachings, miracles and parables; and a Scripture index makes it possible to locate any particular passage or its parallel statement.
The American Standard Version of 1901, rather than the King James or any of the modern translations, has been used, since, in the opinion of the present editor, it best preserves the beauty of the King James while improving the accuracy of translation. We believe that it is well that our Bible is in language that to some extent sets it apart from the uninspired writings of men, so that as we read it or hear it read we quite readily recognize it as Scripture. We count it as one of the really great blessings that have come to the people of Britain and America that the Bible has been given to them in this rather unique form. For more than three and a half centuries these people have had the Bible readily available in the language of the common people. And we believe that the enlightenment and progress that these nations have enjoyed has been due primarily to that fact.
One distinct advantage that the American Standard Version has over the King James is that it arranges the material in paragraphs according to subject matter rather than making each verse a separate paragraph. And certainly either of these versions lends itself much more easily to memorizing than do the modern versions.
It has been said that the greatest service that anyone can render is to make more available the riches of grace that are found in Christ our Saviour. The present arrangement is designed to make more readily available the material found in the Gospels, and so to make more interesting and rewarding the time spent in Bible study.