Talk:Diatessaron

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Genealogies[edit]

The original entry read "irreconcilable genealogies" when referring to the different genealogies in Matthew and Luke. This is, however, a biased statement---they are certainly different, but that does not imply that they're "irreconcilable." That would be equivalent to someone from the other side of the discussion stating that they are "complementary genealogies." As such, I've changed the entry to read "different genealogies." I think this is fair to both sides of the discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by an unknown editor (talkcontribs)

If they are not "irreconcilable", then the article should report how they've been reconciled. Suppressing statements of awkward fact that run counter to one's personal point-of-view is anti-Wikipedian. --Wetman 23:01, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I have reverted the attached text relating to the genealogies;

Tatian's harmony follows the four Gospels closely in terms of text but puts the text in a new, different sequence. Tatian weaved the four Gospels together into one coherent and continuous narrative. It also omits the genealogies in Matthew and Luke [The genealogy in Matthew is Joseph's and the genealogy in Luke is Mary's; Mary is the daughter of Heli, according to the Talmud and according to Jewish tradition women are NOT mentioned in genealogies, hence, why Joseph (son-in-law of Heli) is mentioned in place of Mary.].

There is a substantial scholarly tradition arsing out of proposed reconciliations of the Matthew and Luke genealogy traditions; but since neither genealogy is witnessed in the Diatessaron, the matter is irrelevant to this article, much better in Genealogy of Jesus.TomHennell (talk) 17:13, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I totally agree. But, an anonymous user User:108.30.250.8 is constantly inserting unreferenced statement in the lead section trying to explain the difference between the two genealogies ([1], [2], [3]). This issue is discussed at long at Genealogy of Jesus, so there is completely no need to discuss it in this article. Vanjagenije (talk) 22:29, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Well said Vanjagenije. TomHennell (talk) 09:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


Anonymous, the word "different" is perfect. Providing a neutral and factual point-of-view is Pro-Wikipedian.

Wetman, I agree. The article should report how the different genealogies are reconcilable, if they are.

Anonymous, thank you for your reconciling contribution.

LadyMargo (talk) 00:22, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Lady Margo


I have had to revert this again. Please don't indulge in edit wars - discuss changes here; and respect any consensus thats is reached. (It also helps, and is good Wiki-manners, if editors identify themselves). Thank you one and all. TomHennell (talk) 10:15, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I have slightly re-ordered the lede, and provided an explicit citation of the McFall article (which is far the best recent summary analysis of Tatian's working methods). http://lmf12.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/tatianarticle.pdf McFall discusses the omission of the genealogies at length; and essentially proposes that Tatian saw them as 'duplications' not 'contradictions', and omitted them for that reason. I trust this will clarify the points at issue. TomHennell (talk) 11:17, 25 April 2014 (UTC)


TomHennell: You stated, "I have had to revert this again. Please don't indulge in edit wars - discuss changes here; and respect any consensus thats is reached." You wrongfully reverted it. Just because you do not agree with it, it does not mean that you can revert it. What you wrote is equivalent to 2+2=5 but not to 2+2=4. The two genealogies are not contradictory but different and an accurate explanation has been given, which you removed. I was not indulging in edit wars but providing accurate information. I will not respect your inaccurate information nor anyones inaccurate information. You are not fit to discuss this matter with because you obviously are ignorant of the fact that 2+2=4. As for the healing of the blind men: When sports journalists report about a sports game, they do not report every single thing. If one sports journalist reports that 2 football players got hurt and a second sports journalist reports that a football player got hurt, it does not mean that they reported contradictory information but different information.

You stated, "It also helps, and is good Wiki-manners, if editors identify themselves." That is your opinion and I do not agree with you. I have been writing & editing on Wikipedia for 5 years and never had an account & never identified myself. There is no need for it. Wikipedia is about articles and not about the people who write and edit articles.

You stated, that McFall "essentially proposes that Tatian saw them as 'duplications' not 'contradictions', and omitted them for that reason." So, a 21st Century scholar's ASSUMPTION is your preference over THE FACT that the genealogies were omitted because Tatian believed that the flesh of Jesus was imaginary (Gnostic view) but the genealogies show that Jesus was born of the seed of David after the flesh?! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.30.250.8 (talk) 23:00, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Lady Margo: Thank you for being appreciative of my contribution, which reconciled the different genealogies but it was reverted by a person who is obviously ignorant of the fact that it is relevant information and linked "genealogies" to a Wikipedia article, which has MANY errors. He is also ignorant of the fact that 2+2=4; there are no contradictions among the 4 gospels.

Thank you 'unsigned'; it is good that we can discuss matters on here first I am disappointed though that you are unable to identify yourself - whether you feel bound by good Wiki-manners or not.
As you have been posting on Wikipedia for five years, I suspect that not much that I say will be new to you; other editors will no doubt have made these points before in respect of other articles. Wikipedia doesn't belong to you and me; its their bat and ball, so they set the rules; and we must abide by them or post somewhere else.
Here goes:
1. Wikipedia is not a democracy; everyone can edit, but only published current authoritative scholarly opinions are to be included. That is why all assertions of 'fact' must be tied to a published citation from a named authoritative academic figure; the more recent, the better. So, if you or I assert that 2+2=4, that counts as 'original research' and has no place in Wikipedia; but if the Regius Professor of Mathematics asserts that 2+2=5, and published this last year in a peer-reviewed journal; then that is an authoritative current scholarly opinion; and that is what Wikipedia exists to record. McFall is a published scholar; so his opinion is notable and proper for inclusion in Wikipedia; even if it were to be factually incorrect. Whatever your assumptions to the contrary, I have not given my opinions on the subject; I am not published and am not notable - and so long as you are unnamed, neither are you. So you are correct; the published ASSERTION of a 21st century scholar should always be preferred in Wikipedia above FACT, if that fact is based only on original research, or on outdated scholarship.
2. The subject of the article is 'Tatian's Diatessaron'; not 'Contradictions in the Gospels'. It may well be that other Wikipedia articles have many errors; indeed if they are good articles that is as it should be; since much current published scholarship is erroneous, and nothing should be in Wikipdiea that is not in current published scholarship - and articles should give space to all current scholarship on a subject, whether it it factual or not. The right response is to find a current published scholar who asserts the opinions that you feel ought to be recorded in Wikipedia, and add them to the article in question. You will find I will be fully behind you. The wrong response, I'm afraid,is to put those opinions in a different article. Tatian omits both the genealogies, and McFall's article discusses why that may have been. Why the two genealgies are so different is not relevant to the article - and if McFall is right, is not an issue that bothered Tatian. One thing we can be sure though, is that Tatian did not remove from the Diatessaron other references to Jesus being descended from David according to the flesh; so it is highly unlikely that this view (if it really was his view, and not a later slander) underlies his omission of the genealogies. It may well be that Matthew presents Joseph's genealogy, and Luke presents Mary's; it is equally (perhaps more) likely that the gospel lists present Mary and Joseph's genealogies the other way round. But Raymond Brown's statement is unequivocal (in 'The Birth of the Messiah') that 'most scholars today have rejected the explanation that both the Matthean and Lucan genealogies are family lists' (page 90). And, according to the rules of Wikipedia, that does rather settle the matter, unless you can find the contrary view more recently than 1979. What most modern sholars have rejected is not proper for inclusion in Wikipedia. But in any case, the article is not concerned with the genealogies as they stand in the separate gospels, but with how Tatian treated them in his gospel - which in this case was total omission. Their bat and ball, their rules.
3, The healing of the blind man is in Tatian; and so discussion of the matter is quite proper for the article. And you are quite correct, there is no necessary contradiction at all in the three synoptic accounts as they stand. It is quite possible that Jesus healed two blind men at Jericho (as per Matthew), that one was healed on his way into town (as per Luke), and the other called Bartimeus, as Jesus left town for Jerusalem (as per Mark). And most later classical harmonists adopt just such a composite harmonising narrative. But Tatian does not (and not does he do so in a number of other such passages). This is an important point; it may be that 'there are no contradictions among the four gospels'; but that is emphatically not Tatian's view; he is not seeking to show that all four Gospels taken individually are correct and without error; he is seeking to show that the textual material in the four gospels can be abstracted and re-arranged (without major addition) to make a single consistent narrative. It does not bother Tatian at all, it seems, that by including Luke 2:39 he makes the Magi appear to the Christ child in Nazareth, not Bethlehem; the important thing is to incorporate all the text from all the four gospels, not to substantiate the accounts found in any one gospel (let alone all of them) as they stood before his scissors-and-paste exercise. TomHennell (talk) 00:56, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Dear anonymous user User:108.30.250.8, please stop inserting your statement into article's lead section. The question is not what's 2+2, but what is relevant and properly sourced information for this article. The difference between two genealogies of Jesus are not relevant for this article since they are not present in the Diatessaron at all. We have articles "Genealogy of Jesus" and "Internal consistency of the Bible", and that is where this problem should be resolved. There are many opinions on why Luke and Matthew give differed genealogies, and scholars do not agree on the reason. You are constantly inserting one of this opinions into the lead section, which is contrary to Wikipedia's WP:NPOV policy. I would also like to point out to you that you should treat other editors with respect, and not call them "ignorant" and not tell them to "mind their business" ([4]). We are all Wikipedia editors here, and this is our business. This is not just my opinion, this is official Wikipedia policy (WP:CIVIL). You should also sign your posts, as to help other users follow the discussion. That is not anyone's opinions, that is Wikipedia's policy (WP:SIGNATURE: "Comments posted on user talk pages, article talk pages and other discussion pages should be properly signed."). Vanjagenije (talk) 18:18, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

the Diatessaronic Tradition[edit]

I have re-edited the text to be more consistent with the entry on Tatian, and to take into account recent manuscript discoveries TomHennell 11:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Would we be right in assuming that you mean this edit?. It is regrettably devoid of sources, and some of it I have just deleted. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 15:46, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Date of compilation[edit]

How is it that a date of c. 175 AD is set for this when Bruce Metzger (reflected over at ntcanon.org) puts a date of 150-160 AD? 15 years makes a difference.

Sntjohnny 16:54, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

It is generally agreed that Tatian left Rome for Syria after the death of Justin Martyr in 165. I suppose it depends whether you consider that Tatian compiled the Diatessaron while in Rome, or later. Since the most recent scholarship tends to suggest that the language of composition was Syriac, the later date would appear more likely. However, a difference or 15 years more or less really is crucial to your evaluation of a NT text, then I suggest you may need to reconsider your theorising. TomHennell 14:26, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I note that User:Carnegiecarnage has edited the date to 250 - 300. The corollary of this is that Tatian cannot be the author - and therefore that the current work (or rather the original form if it) cannot be the work identified as Tatian's harmony. Does anything substantiate this late dating? TomHennell (talk) 22:13, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

did Tatian use the Gospel of John?[edit]

Apparently not. It is actually possible that the Gospel of John was being written about the time of Tatian's Diatessaron, or was not widely read at that time. According to Helmut Koester, professor of New Testament Studies at Harvard University, in his book "History and Literature of Early Christianity" page 32, The Gospel of John was not included.166.203.44.113 (talk) 22:49, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I have found the page you refer to - isn't Google wonderful - and I fear that you may have misread Koerster's point. He is stating that Justin's harmony most likely only contained only the synoptics, and that Tatian merged his own Syriac translation of John into this to create the Diatessaron. So I take Koerster as supporting the statement as in the article. TomHennell (talk) 08:20, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I stand corrected- I did re-read Koerster, and concur with your article. Sometimes we see what we want to see. 32.178.22.125 (talk) 14:27, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Uncategorized remarks from 2009[edit]

01/04/09 The title says "Diatessaron" but the actual article refers to the "Diatesseron"

--- —Preceding unsigned comment added by 168.215.79.212 (talk) 05:08, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

sorted (I think) TomHennell (talk) 01:05, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Now why on earth is: [Ammonius Saccas|Ammonius Saccas who taught Origen and Plotinus] really a useful way to do this? The issue of the (possible!) multiple Ammonius Saccases is explored in the Ammonius Saccas entry. --MichaelTinkler

Notes[edit]

I have been reading through Petersen's 1994 opus magnum on the history of research on the Diatessaron, and I came across some interesting observations that I thought were worth noting.

The first one is about the great light on the water during Jesus' baptism which is thought to have been in the Diatessarion. Examples of the great light can be found in Codex Vercellensis (Codex a) and Codex Sangermanensis I (Codex g1) as well as the Pepysian Gospel Harmony. It is also found in fragments of the Gospel of the Ebionites and the Gospel of the Hebrews preserved in quotations by the early Church Fathers. Petersen has an interesting discussion about this on pp.14-22; he speculates that this tradition is related to the fire on the water during Jesus' baptism described by Justin Martyr in Dialogue with Trypho 88.3 (c. 160). Petersen notes that the words for light and fire are very different in Greek (translated "phos" and "pyros", respectively), but they are homophones in Aramaic (translated "nuhra" and "nura", respectively). He credits scholar David Levinson with this insight and conjectures that both variants derive from an earlier common Jewish-Christian tradition.

The second observation comes from a later chapter with 8 examples of readings that Petersen thinks are most likely to have come from the Diatessaron. In Exhibit 8 on pp.414-20, Petersen describes an alternate reading of Luke 23.48 found in Codex g1 following Jesus' death on the cross which reads as follows: "...beating their breasts turning back saying, 'woe to us who have today, on account of our sins, hastened the desolation of Jerusalem'." The reading is also found in slightly modified form in Ephrem the Syrian's Comm. 20.28: "'Woe, woe to us,' they said. 'This was the Son of God!'... 'Behold, the judgement of the destruction of Jerusalem has come!'.", and in the Gospel of Peter: "...began to lament and to say, 'Woe unto our sins; the judgement and the end of Jerusalem is drawn near'." /* This reading has an obvious parallel to the Gospel of the Ebionites and the Ascents of James in which Jesus' prophetic mission is to abolish the Jewish sacrifices. (my OR)*/

If someone ever decides to expand this article, these might be two interesting examples to include. Ignocrates (talk) 19:59, 21 August 2013 (UTC)