June 8, 2010

Honoring Gospel Disharmony

There is no 'Gospel Harmony'. The Gospels are like a Corinthian cacophony! Each sings beautifully in its own way, but Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as a group will always require a 'Paul' to bring their four songs decently into order. (Historically OR Theologically)

Singing four songs at once - or splicing parts of each song into one Frankensteinian medley - will not produce 'Harmony'. Rather, for any beneficial harmonization to take place, a new song must be sung - one based on the four Greater Songs, that does not merely copy them, or attempt to one-up them, but to bring homage.

The Gospels are ultimate classics. Respect the classics. Play, replay and cover them!

2 comments:

mike fox said...

These are great thoughts. I've never found the harmony-of-the-gospels approach very satisfying or convincing. But, I still don't think they are a cacophony. Witnesses to a crime emphasize different aspects and focus on different details, but all the different versions build the overall witness. Maybe that example breaks down at certain points, but all metaphors and examples eventually do.

For me the concept of canon is important (and obviously it is for you too). The 4 gospels are all different instruments sounding forth in the larger symphony that is the NT canon.

Good thoughts, fun post.

Bill said...

Technically a cacophony. Ideally a symphony... but that requires a conductor, doesn't it?

What I'm saying is I'd love to see many more become adept at wielding that conductor's baton in historical ways (not just theological ways).

But you knew that about me. ;-)

Thanks for the input. :-)

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