August 21, 2009

Sequence, not Harmony

I know scholars frown on Harmonies, but I'm not trying to replace the four Gospels. I'm trying to reconstruct their event sequence. With that in mind, the most important piece of scholarship to my efforts thus far has been the work of Johnston Cheney.

Evangelical harmonies of the Gospels are indefensible because they're using the wrong chronology. They use a three year chronology of Christ's ministry because the necessary apologetics were more readily available, back in the day. But those arguments weren't quite good enough. So Cheney came along with his four year solution and was largely ignored, perhaps not completely apart from the fact that he was a layman. But his study of sequence in the four Gospels is peerless. If he had written more about the process of his work, instead of merely publishing the result and a brief defense of it, maybe we'd all be relying on his four year chronology, and I might be writing fiction about the church in Thessalonica, instead of working through Matthew's chronology... again.

Someday, someone may need to redo Cheney's work from scratch. Precisely why do the four Gospel sequences demand the conclusions he reached? Cheney did not explain that sufficiently. But if you're willing to take my word for it - believe me - he did the work well. So well, in fact, he may have had help. Oh, I'm not getting spooky. I'm getting busy. But I will gladly take your prayers...

1 comment:

Danilo Sergio Pallar Lemos said...

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