Gospel Harmonies

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New Testament Commentaries


Charles Spurgeon:

“As these [harmonies] are somewhat aside from our plan, we mention but a few.  That they are very numerous may be gathered from the following list given in Smith’s Dictionary.”




Life & Times of Jesus
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Order of Contents

Harmonies  16
Greek  5
Early & Medieval  3



Harmonies of the Gospels in English


Boettner, Loraine – The Harmony of the Gospels  Buy  1st ed. (1933)  Uses the ASV

Boettner (1901–1990), an American presbyterian, was known for his works on Predestination, Roman Catholocism and others.

“The purpose of this harmony is to weave together the material in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, into one continuous account that includes everything but does not repeat anything, and, so far as possible, to put it in chronological order giving places and dates. In instances were 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.” – Boettner

Clarke, George – A New Harmony of the Four Gospels in English… with Explanatory Notes  1870

***  “This American author is greatly indebted to other works.  He has produced a very handy book for teachers of youth.” – Spurgeon

Robinson, Edward – Harmony of the Four Gospels in English According to the Common Version, with Explanatory Notes  (1867)

***  “Robinson’s Harmony is a work which has met with great acceptance, and the Tract Society did well to bring out this work for those unacquainted with Greek.  The notes are mainly those of Robinson; but Wieseler, Greswell, and others have also been laid under contribution by the Editor, who has executed his work well.” – Spurgeon


The Early Church

Augustine – The Harmony of the Gospels   365 pp  in Works, ed. Dods, vol. 8



Calvin, John – Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark & Luke, vol. 1, 2, 3

***  “…Calvin only harmonized three of the evangelists, but he did his work in his usual superb manner.” – Spurgeon



Lightfoot, John – Harmony, Chronicle and Order of the New Testament  1654

**  “Lightfoot was a member of the Assembly of Divines, profoundly skilled in scriptural and Talmudical lore.  He never completed this harmony, for his plan was too comprehensive to be finished in a lifetime.” – Spurgeon



Doddridge, Philip – The Family Expositor: or, a Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament with Critical Notes and a Practical Improvement of each section  d. 1751

**  ‘Upon the New Testament Doddridge’s Expositor is worthy of a far more extensive reading than is nowadays accorded to it.  It is all in the form of a paraphrase, with the text in italics; a mode of treatment far from satisfactory as a rule, but exceedingly well carried out in this instance.  The notes are very good, and reveal the thorough scholar.  Our authorized version is placed in the margin, and a new translation in the paraphrase.  The four evangelists are thrown into a harmony, a plan which has its advantages but is not without its evils.  The practical improvements at the end of each chapter generally consist of pressing exhortations and devout meditations, suggested by the matter under discussion.  It is sadly indicative of the Socinianism of the age in which this good man lived, that he feels called upon to apologize for the evangelical strain in which he has written.  He appears to have barely finished this work in shorthand at the time of his death, and the later books were transcribed under the care of Job Orton.  No Life Insurance Society should accept the proposals of a commentator on the whole of either Testament, for it seems to be the rule that such students of the Word should be taken up to their reward before their task is quite completed.’

‘The late Dr. Barrington, Bishop of Durham, in addressing his clergy on the choice of books, characterizes this masterly work in the following terms: ‘I know no expositor who unites so many advantages as Doddridge; whether you regard the fidelity of his version, the fullness and perspicuity of his composition, the utility of his general and historical information, the impartiality of his doctrinal comments, or lastly, the piety and pastoral earnestness of his moral and religious applications.’  Later interpreters have somewhat diminished the value of this work.’ – Spurgeon



Broadus, John – A Harmony of the Gospels, in the Revised Version, with some New Features  2nd ed. 1894   296 pp.

“…one day his young assistant [Robertson] suggested to Dr. John A. Broadus that he prepare a harmony of the Gospels that should depart from the old plan of following the [Jewish] feasts as the turning points in the life of Jesus.  He acted on the hint and led the way that all modern harmonies have followed…  Broadus began teaching the life of Jesus in 1859 and kept it up till his death in 1895.” – A.T. Robertson

Dunn, Samuel – The Gospels Harmonized, with Notes, Explanatory, Experimental & Practical: Forming a Complete Commentary on the Evangelists, Chiefly by Adam Clarke  (1838)

**  “Samuel Dunn has taken Adam Clarke as his basis, and then built thereon with stones from Lightfoot, Macknight, Doddridge, Gresswell and others.  It is, of course, a Wesleyan harmony, and the reader is not long before he discovers that fact; but the names of those concerned are a sufficient guarantee that it is by no means a despicable production.” – Spurgeon

Greenleaf, Simon – Examination of the Testimony of the Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice, with an Account of the Trial of Jesus  (1847)

**  “The author is an American lawyer, very learned in his profession.  He has issued a treatise upon the laws of evidence, which is a standard work among his brethren.  It was a happy thought on his part to apply the laws of evidence to the narratives of the evangelists.  To thoughtful men of all sorts, but to lawyers especially, this book is commended.” – Spurgeon

Greswell, Edward – Dissertations upon the Principles & Arrangement of an Harmony of the Gospels, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4  (1837)

***  “‘The learned writer has greatly distinguished himself as the most laborious of modern harmonists.  His work is the most copious that has appeared, at least since the days of [Martin] Chemnitz’s [1522-1586, a Lutheran] folios.’  So days Dr. S. Davidson.  To us it seems to be prolix and tedious.” – Spurgeon

Greswell, Synopsis:  “…the fundamental principle of the work; which is rested on the truth of the following propositions: I. That the last three Gospels are regular compositions:  II. That St. Matthew’s Gospel is partly regular and partly irregular:  III. That each of the Gospels was written in the order in which it stands:  IV. That the Gospels last written in every instance were supplementary to the prior.”

Mimpriss, Robert – The Gospel Treasure & Expository Harmony of the Four Evangelists, with… Selected from the Most Approved Commentators, Practical Reflections, etc.  (1855)

**  “Condensed and compressed.  Wonderfully useful.” – Spurgeon

Stevens, William Arnold & Ernest De Witt Burton – A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study: an Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels  1st ed. 1893

Williams, Isaac – Devotional Commentary, vol. 2 (Harmony)  (1884)

**  “Anglican popery for quartz, and sparkling grains of precious gospel largely interspersed as gold.  We cannot imagine any spiritual man reading these works without benefit, if he knows how to discriminate.” – Spurgeon



Robertson, A.T. – A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ: Based on the [John] Broadus Harmony in the Revised Version  (1922)  360 pp.

“A generation has passed by and it is meet that the work of Broadus should be reviewed in the light of modern synoptic criticism and research into every phase of the life of Christ.  So I have made a new analysis.” – Robertson

Robertson, the renowned, reformed, Southern Baptist professor, though conservative, adopted the critical text viewpoint of his day.

Throckmorton, Jr., Burton – Gospel Parallels: a Synopsis of the First Three Gospels  (Thomas Nelson, 1979) Uses the RSV.  The Arrangement follows the Huck-Lietzmann [Greek] Synopsis, Ninth Edition, 1936 [below]  Oversized book.  Non-Canonical parallels are given in full.



Harmonies of the Gospels in Greek


Robinson, Edward – Harmony of the Four Gospels in Greek according to the Text of Hahn, with Explanatory Notes  (1853)

On the English version of this work:  ***  “The notes are mainly those of Robinson; but Wieseler, Greswell, and others have also been laid under contribution by the Editor, who has executed his work well.” – Spurgeon

Stroud, William – A New Greek Harmony of the Four Gospels  (1853)

***  “One of the best of the Harmonies.” – Spurgeon


Early 1900’s

Burton, Ernest De Witt & Edgar Johnson Goodspeed – A Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels in Greek  (1920)

“Except for the use of the Greek text in the place of the English, the present work is in method and execution substantially identical with that [of Steven’s & Burton’s English work above].” – Preface

Huck, Albert – Synopsis of the First Three Gospels  9th ed.  rev. Lietzmann  (1935)  230 pp.

“The plan of this Synopsis differs from that of other similar works in that each of the three Gospels is printed continuously word for word in it s proper column and in unaltered order, and the corresponding parallel passages are repeated as many times as this principle demands.  As a result, the form it is independent of any particular theory about sources and can be readily used for studies from any angle.” – Preface


More Recent

Aland, Kurt – Synopsis of the Four Gospels: Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum  (1963; 1976)  620 pp.  Prefaces are in German, Latin & English.  Subheadings through the book are in German unless a different edition is found.  The Greek text is the Nestle text current to publishing.  Oversized book.

“…a Greek synopsis which would supply material in a complete and convenient format for the exegesis of the Gospels, suitable for use in academic instruction and scientific research.” – Preface



Early Church

Titanus – The Earliest Life of Christ… being the Diatessaron of Tatian (c. 160 AD), with a Historical & Sritical Introduction, Notes & Appendix by J. Hamlyn Hill  (1894)  400 pp.

Tatian (120-180 AD) was a Syrian Christian writer.  This was his attempt at a harmony of the Gospels.



Eusebius of Caesarea – 10 Canons for a Harmony of the Gospels  in Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 22, pp. 1275-1299



Medieval Church

The Anglo-Norman Gospel Harmony: A Translation of the Estoire de L’Evangile…  trans. Brent A. Pitts  in Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, vol. 453  Ref  (Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, 2014)  156 pp.  Blurb

This work may date to the mid-1200’s.  It is the only gospel harmony extant in the French of England.  Like the earliest Diatesserons which it echoes, the Estoire aims to merge (or harmonize) the four canonical gospels into a single account.




Related Pages

New Testament Commentaries

Commentaries on the Four Gospels