Talk:Gospel harmony

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V, OR, POV[edit]

These seems like OR to me, what is the source? Slrubenstein | Talk 20:07, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

This article is entirely inappropriate as is. As stated in the lead, it is simply Carlaude's guesswork being published here for the first time. And while we are on the topic, I've noticed succession boxes being added to the bottom of articles claiming some gospel events/topics occur before or after others. (but that's another issue) Back to this article though, the lead needs an entire re-write to avoid self-references. This article also lacks any citations. The article is also not in an encyclopedic format. It isn't simply describing, in an encyclopedic fashion, the historical appearance of gospel harmonies, such as the Diatessaron, or the contemporary phenomena. From what I can gather, this article tries to present a unique synthesis, which is strictly forbidden here on Wikipedia. I'm also concerned that this content, in this tabular format, may not be appropriate for an encyclopedia, but instead maybe wikisource or wikibook. Taking another look at this article, though, it seems a bit more like a gospel parallel than a harmony. I still don't know how we can overcome the original research issue though. Is there any way this article can be salvaged? -Andrew c [talk] 22:33, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
It's also redundant with the chronology article. I wouldn't recommend salvaging it, just merge any reasonable additions (like the verse citations) to the hatnoted article and turn this into a redirect page or write an article on harmony in gospel music.Somedumbyankee (talk) 01:01, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Does it qualify for speedy deletion? Slrubenstein | Talk 09:29, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

It's sort of hard to say, because it is "cited" in that it has links to the biblical text. I'll drop a question at WP:Christianity and see if they have an opinion there. A quick google search on the name shows a similar table at this site: [1], so it may and/or may not be OR.Somedumbyankee (talk) 09:46, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
If other users believe a table such as this would be useful, I would support it's inclusion (under 3 conditions). First, we remove any "guesswork". Next, we add sources so that the article is verifiable. Finally, we rename the article Gospel parallels, or even Table of Gospel parallels, and remove the "chronology" element. There simply is not a single order of all NT events. Due to NPOV, we cannot say one event occurred before or after another event, if there is scholarly disagreement. I don't see how a NPOV table would work, if we have scholar X saying Jesus upset the money changers at the beginning of his minstry, and we have scholar Y saying Jesus did it at the end. We would have no guideline as to where to place this event on the table when scholars conflict, and choosing sides would be pushing a POV. I believe the chronology issue should stay in that article. That said, I could see an encyclopedic article about the topic of Gospel Harmonies, (because they are there own notable phenomena) as long as we don't present our own original harmony. I'm just trying to brainstorm a way to salvage this table (needs sourcing, guesswork removed, and rescoped as a parallel, not a harmony).-Andrew c [talk] 12:03, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The phrase "gospel harmony" was used to describe several works in the early Christian era, so I can see that there would be good reason to have an article with this title to describe those works. Having said that, the content of this article as it stands does seem redundant, and I have no objections to mergeing the content as proposed. John Carter (talk) 15:25, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I have no objection to a merge though I defer to someone more knowledgable about this material than I to do it. My main concerns remain clear compliance with WP:V and WP:SYNTH. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:53, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I have add references and corrections to resovle any WP:V and WP:SYNTH issues. The basic outline comes from a work in the public domain. Individual event placement (for those events not in canon order) comes from the agreement of more than one published harmony.
I have no objection to a merge per say but think how to do it may be tricky at best and harder to verify since the articles have two different focuses. Chronology of Jesus is dealing more with placement in terms of calendar dates and this is more of placement of events with each other. For example, Chronology of Jesus lists multible possible birth years, (without footnotes) and the harmony would be very messy to list-- say-- all the nativity events, or even just the one-- 4 or 5 times. Maybe there can be just one pointer to a centralized summary of the debate on such a topic.--Carlaude (talk) 15:07, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Having heard the rest of the discussion, I don't see a problem with keeping this as a separate article with the following restrictons:
  1. Any harmony listed is directly cited to a notable author WP:V
  2. The harmony listed is clearly noted to be an example, not an authoritative ordering of events WP:NPOV. Leaving it notably incomplete, such as only having the section on the nativity, would further reinforce the concept that it is an encyclopedia article about Gospel Harmonies and not a harmony in itself.
  3. Having a separate article about a specific (notable) harmony and the qualifications, possible bias, and history of its author would be a better way to present a full list, this article should really only explain the concept in general. Somedumbyankee (talk) 20:20, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The subject the order of gospels events and attempts to or harmonize them is a very notable subject. I do not follow what you are asking for in #2 above. Maybe an example would help make your point.

Having a separate article about a specific harmony would not be a way to present a full list, since that would not be fair use to have an entire table of the harmony-- the table would be a copyright violation.

I also personally do not see any specific harmony being notable subject on its own-- except maybe an ancient one for historic reasons. They are just a common reference tools that do not vary that much from one another to make any one of them that important. It would be like trying to find a specific "Bad Speller's Dictionary" (a list of easily misspelled words) that is notable. --Carlaude (talk) 22:11, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Andrew_c's comments pretty much contradict yours on how much the harmonies agree. Since it appears there is some POV put into each construct, I don't see any way to follow WP:NPOV, and we're definitely not going into authoritatively resolving disagreements between Paul's lawyer and some of his boss's old friends. In short, a full harmony would be a violation of WP:NPOV. Explaining what a Gospel Harmony is sounds like a reasonable topic for an encyclopedia, but providing any particular interpretation is beyond the scope unless the article is about the particular interpretation.Somedumbyankee (talk) 02:58, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I share Somedumbyankee's concerns. Carlaude, thank you for adding the references - this does indeed take care of my concerns about V and I appreciate your adding them. Now, can we lay out the POV/NPOV issues and deal with them? Slrubenstein | Talk 10:15, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Andrew c stated that "There simply is not a single order of all NT events" but this does article not claim to be the single order of all NT events. It does not violate NPOV if it is not advacning any particular view.

For example, we can just note that some scholar indicate the consider Jesus upset the money changers at the beginning of his minstry, and others at end of his minstry, and others at both times-- (with the table showing it at both times).

If anyone does have POV/NPOV issues-- as Slrubenstein says-- I am glad to lay them out and and deal with them. --Carlaude (talk) 18:18, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Carlaude, this is not what the article says. the article states that "Gospel Harmony describes attempts to merge or harmonize the Christian canonical gospels into a single gospel account" - this is necessarily a synthesis and a point of view. The article then says that what follows is one example of a Gospel Harmony. Now, even if the article provided three examples, it would be representing three points of view and according to our NPOV policy each view would have to be identified and contextualized. But the introduction says this is only ONE possible GH, which means only ONE POV is being represented. This violates NPOV! I propose one possibl solution: just as the article on the Biblical Canon provides the Jewish, Catholic, and protestant canons - three points of view, each properly identified - this article could provide two, three, four or more examples of Gospel harmonies - and properly identify each one (whose view, whose merging or harmonizing, to paraphrase the article's definition, is represented in each example). Right now elements of it are linked to sources, so it complies with WP:V. But it is not clear to me who came up with this example. If a Wikipedia editor did, it still violates SP:SYNTH and thus NOR and NPOV! Slrubenstein | Talk 18:23, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Good point. I was thinking of the comment just before the table-- ( an example of a harmony...), but the intro should be fixed. WP:POV does not required a complete harmony for each POV. Each view can be "presented fairly" within a one table and thus "various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader." --Carlaude (talk) 18:49, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Important chronological marker missing: Census of Quirinius[edit]

Should be in the article somewhere. (talk) 19:06, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Also, Luke 3:1-2 "15th year of Tiberius". (talk) 19:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Those I have read do not agree that Luke 3 is talking about the Census of Quirinius from 6 AD.--Carlaude (talk) 19:18, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


So if someone wants to merge this the talk page should have a merge section.

It seem that people are willing to merge but no one (so far) wants to do it themselves.--Carlaude (talk) 14:50, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


An editor claimed "default translation should not be NIV, let the reader pick which translation to use, in the spirit of NPOV)"

The reader easily can pick any translation they want from the biblegateway site-- more easily than if you do not even give a default translation. Again, POV requieres "various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader" and this does.

But if refusing a to allow a default translation was some how not NPOV then wikipedia code could and would just not support any given default translation.

I totally object to not having some default translation-- it does not have to be NIV if we want to debate a new one but lacking any default translation is a bad idea and unprofessional. --Carlaude (talk) 19:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

In what sense is it "professional" to make the NIV or any particular translation the default translation? The obvious neutral solution is to allow the user to select which translation he or she wants, as for example: Gen 1:1. To force a particular translation, whether it be the NIV or the NRSV or the NAB or the KJV or the NKJV is simply POV pushing. (talk) 19:04, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Why don't we just make this a disambiguation to the Gospel harmony in every possible translation?
See above.
The obvious neutral solution is to allow the user to see any good notable translation with just one click that still allows them select which other English translation he or she wants with the pop-up menu.
Also using a no-default-translation code does not return the verse at all. It just returns a list of all possible translations -- many if not most of which are not WP:notable to the English Wikipedia since they are not in English! This would also be very tedious if anyone want to look and many passages!
Read WP:IAR -- If a "rule" prevents you from improving Wikipedia, ignore it. --Carlaude (talk) 19:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
What you are calling an "improvement", namely forcing the evangelical NIV translation or forcing only translations found at biblegateway (which doesn't include NRSV or NAB for example), is only an "improvement" if your goal is POV pushing. (talk) 20:11, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Also, regarding your claim that a reading of WP:IAR allows one to ignore Wikipedia:Neutral point of view:

"Wikipedia:Neutral point of view is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies. The other two are Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. Because the policies are complementary, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should familiarize themselves with all three. The principles upon which these policies are based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus. Their policy pages may be edited only to improve the application and explanation of the principles." (talk) 20:13, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Talk about having a POV to push.

Again, NPOV requiers "various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader" and the Biblegateway does this. It does not have all the translations I like either.

If folks feel that is NIV is too "evangelical," the English Standard Version, Contemporary English Version, NRSV, or Today's New International Version are all fine with me. The New American Bible does not display in text paragraph form-- only the artificial "verse by verse." I mainly do not want a "no-default." --Carlaude (talk) 22:36, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Not specifying the version and using the template default is by far the most obvious choice. There's no reason to pick any particular translation, so we should pick none. Let the template pick. If you don't like the template's default, then bring it up on the template talk page. There's nothing "unprofessional" about not providing a translation (apart from the fact that editing Wikipedia is not a profession). People are capable of choosing which version they like; they don't need us to tell them; and if they do, then that is us pushing our POV. McLerristarr | Mclay1 09:52, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Chapter Number / Verse Numbers[edit]

The "sortable table" will not work as well if they are added without leading zeros.

  • Use "Matthew|08:01-10"
  • Not "Matthew|8:1-10"--Carlaude (talk) 19:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

This is one nice table. But this article is hidden and I had not noticed it before. It deserves more promotion. The following lines are blank, but I did not want to touch the table. Whoever made the table (I assume mostly Carlaude) can probably do that best: 82, 89, 105, 111.

I am going to add some references and history, etc. There are other tables around that may help improve the current table, e.g.: [2] . But I am not going to attempt to modify the table. However, it will make a lot of sense to separate the 4 Gospels from Acts, etc. and have two tables, one for the 4 Gospels, up to Ascension, the other for others, post Ascension etc. because it is not the life of Jesus any more. And traditional tables do it that way as well.

Overall, nice article that needs some touch up and more promotion. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 22:30, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks; I do agree; I will try and look at your items tonight or soon. Carlaude:Talk 05:50, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Fine. However, as is the table is just too long to be used or managed. There are minor errors (immediately visible) that can be avoided if the table is split into smaller pieces. e.g. #12 is not ministry, 14 has no entry, 38 and 63 are duplicates, as are 29 and 62, etc. There are probably other errors that can not be immediately observed and will only come to light if the table is separated for the sake of clarity.

Given that people handle about seven items best, it may make sense to make seven subsections, each with a table. I have now looked at various divisions in harmony and synopsis approaches, etc. Based on that here is a suggestion that uses key milestones as used in general, and leads to readable, naturally occurring tables:

1. Early life: 1-13. Boy Jesus at Jerusalem is a very natural break point.
2. Start of public ministry with the Baptism of Jesus, item 15 which inaugurates his ministry as an adult is a key milestone. There will probably be 12-14 items in this table by the time suitable items are grouped.
3. Commissioning the Twelve as item 25 (which may later become a higher number) is another key starting point. This table includes the Sermon on the mount, etc. It needs to be separate from item 4 below to make the tables manageable.
4. There is an intermediate section here which gives some breathing room to the overall structure to achieve harmony. Storm and miracle on the boat, etc. and various parables can fit here. This is in effect the ongoing ministry of Jesus, until things change when Lazarus dies. This section is needed to reconcile various elements from the 4 Gospels.
5. From the death of Lazarus, as in Jesus wept, item 78, onwards there is another key group, which leads to the Passion. The Last supper is a natural end to this section.
6. The Passion, starting with the Agony in the Garden of course deserves to be on its own. It ends just before the resurrection.
7. Resurrection and Ascension, item 108 onwards is a natural table onto itself.

Of course all post-Ascension items are a separate issue. They are not the life of Jesus any more. This structure gives 7 main tables of 12-18 elements each that approximate the chronology of all 4 gospels and are close to various published synopsis.

The key is that you have already done most of the work - a lot of work, I guess. Now it is a question of packaging and promoting it. In fact, it will probably become a useful educational tool anyway, provided it gets packaged in a way that people can digest the separate sections. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 12:33, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

  • 38 and 63 are not duplicates. 38 is on "Jesus' True Relatives" from Matthew 12:46-50 and Mark 03:31-35, whereas 63 is the "Parable of the Strong Man" from Luke 11:17-22.
  • 29 and 62 are the too versions of the Lord's Prayer. Each is a bit different, and more important each has a particular context. Matthew 6:09-13 includes is in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount and Luke 11:2-4 has him repeat the prayer when his asked by his follows to teach them how to pray. I do not think I have ever read a published harmony to combine them.
  • I fixed 12 and added to 14.
  • I prefer to keep it has on large sortable chart. There are many advantages to this. For example by sorting by Event lets me see the two locations next to each other. If I sort the Matthew verse it places all the events to the order Matthew does. This could not be done unless it is all one table.
  • As for separating Gospels from Acts that is fine. Are you asking me to do that or were you going to? Carlaude:Talk 22:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the work you put into that table will be very useful in time. I am going to "generate" your table exactly as is from a program, but only for the 4 gospels. I am writing the program now. I will then separate the acts as well. That way, I can also generate a table for the Miracles of Jesus and Parables of Jesus and it will all be consistent throughout, as in User:History2007/Improving_Wikipedia which talks about the rivers in Europe. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 22:44, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Tables. Miracles, etc.[edit]

There is a discussion on Miracles attributed to Jesus about tables, miracles, names, etc. as they appear in the Gospels and what the table needs to be. Comments will be appreciated. History2007 (talk) 07:48, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


This is much improved, I especially like the new openingsection introdeucing the idea of a Gospel harmony. I still have NPOV problems that the one harmoney presented is just one possible harmoney (POV0 when the article suggests that there are other harmonies (other POVs) - as long as multiple POVs are not represented this article could be deleted. But the one harmony is long, I acknowldge that haviung three or four equally detailed harmonies would be unweildy. Here is what i propose: pick three or four periods in Jesus' life where notable Gospel Harmonies differ, and just provide a comparison of three or four different GHs for those thre or four portions of the harmony. (This would bbe like providing examples of five different translaions of five different versus, to illustrate the differences between translations) Slrubenstein | Talk 23:04, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Would you like to do that yourself? It is so easy to suggest 3 months of work to others. Carlaude put a lot of work into that table, and I am writing a program just to get that to be consistent with the miracles and parables. Unless my salary is doubled, I am not doing any more of this. History2007 (talk) 23:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Your proposel would be redundant with the footnotes. The footnotes compare three Gospel harmony already with each other and with this one-- when ever any of the three harmonies differ. Carlaude:Talk 23:52, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
How hard would it be to draw on footnotes to put a few examples in the body of the article? Otherwise I think you wtill have real NPOV concerns. Slrubenstein | Talk 10:37, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Examples of what?
And how would it be a POV concern?
I expect it would depend on how much work you want to put into it. Carlaude:Talk 11:33, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I would not have a NPOV concern. And I do not want to spend huge amount of time based on "armchair observers" issuing edicts for work to be done. Maybe Slrubenstein would like to do a sample ona test page in his own user space, then we will take a look. History2007 (talk) 12:41, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, Carl, right now we have a detailed Gospel Harmony. Whose view is it? Who made it? Slrubenstein | Talk 12:58, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia made the harmony-- thou mostly myself. It is the "view" of the combination published harmonies and harmony scolars as expressed in the footnotes and as consulted in the process. Since all published harmonies are very similar to each other, this was not difficult.
Also since they are very similar to each other, there is no noteworth pattern of differences to them, nor is there are any "significant viewpoints" to discuss. Discussing the "viewpoint" of placing X before or after Y or vice-versa would be undue wieght. In fact, even in the published harmonies themselves the authors do not dicuss that they placed items in a certain order nor why they placed items in a certain order. Carlaude:Talk 20:41, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Okay, Carl, I appreciate your explaining this to me. If you made the harmony from variety of sources, this raises NOR (SYNTH) concerns. From your explanation, I think you will tell me that in this case such concerns are unwarranted - rather than synthesizing you are presenting "the mainstream view" as it were. If I am interpreting you correctly, that is fine. I wonder if the introduction to the article could perhaps be clearer on this? I am just trying to be careful, I don't mean to be a pain in the ass and am sorry if that is how I am coming across. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:13, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you don't mean to,.... but.... History2007 (talk) 23:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:No original research#Synthesis of published material that advances a position begins by saying:
All of the particular "orders of events" match the "order of events" of the cited soures. This artical does not "reach or imply a conclusion" based on the order of events or overall order of events. It is not SYNTH issue.
I agree that the introduction to the section "could perhaps be clearer on this"-- but I am not sure how. I do not what people to read it to think it is a SYNTH issue. If you have ideas how to make this more clear but post them here first. Carlaude:Talk 23:19, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Clearly not a SYNTH issue. History2007 (talk) 23:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Carl, I agree with you. And i am glad you agree with me that the intro can be clearer. I am not sure how to fix it myself but will think about it. For what it is worth, I do not think that making it clearer will encourage anyone to think there are synth issues. I think as long as it is clear why there are differences between different Gospel Harmonies, and why people - theologians, clerics, historians, whoever uses Gospel Harmonies - consider these diferences trivial (and do not favor any particular one over another), you remain on safe ground. Perhaps a bir more context into why there are so many diferent harmonies would help. In other words, if the differences are trivial, why would anyone make a new harmony? I can understand why there may be different ones in different languages, but why would there be more than one in any given language? Carl, I really am trying to be constructive I know you are particularly interested in the harmony itself. Maybe i am just asking for more context. for example, if there are several harmonies in English because there are say three major publishers that aim at Christian audiences and each has come out with their own harmony just to seek market share, this fact may be completely irrelevant to you, but it actually makes the article more informative to a general audience. My example is made up, I am not saying this is the case. My point is that reasons for different harmonies may have nothing to do with theology or history (and thus, there are no POV or SYNTH issues) and therefore not be of interest to people who care about theology - but the reasons have to do with something else and might be interesting to other readers. I am trying to think of ways you can flesh out the article with more context about Gospel harmonies, and my point is there may be information abou the context that you know, and are not particularly interested in, but that actually may have encyclopedic value and might help make the article better (= more informative to a more diverse audience). Slrubenstein | Talk 20:33, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, I expect the main reason that new harmonies are made is because of copyright concerns. It would still be a copyright violation to publish someones else harmony without permission. Also, even if a public domain harmony was considered really good, creating a new harmony gives that author a new copyright and thus a source of income. Harmonies are also produced in different formats and for different traslations and with different features, and so to reprint an old harmony it would have to be all reformated etc., and so you might as well make a new harmony.
As for publisher market share issues, my guess is they each seek new market share with new formats, traslations, and features. But of course to say this on WP would be OR.
Also-- I expect at least some of the authors would consider the differences not "trival"-- such people produce hundreds of pages of new commentaries every year on the the gospel books alone and have to write about something, (but having said that, I don't recall ever having read a gospel commentary discuss an order of events issue-- and I have an interest in that-- so it cannot happen much.) But I think most nonauthors of harmonies would consider them to be not "noteworthy" or "significant." Carlaude:Talk 21:51, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, then it may be a good idea to say nmore about how different harmonies are often published as part of or along with new/original commentaries, although it is only differences among commentaries that are notable, not any difference sin the harmonies themselves. Maybe there is a value to saying a bit more about what kinds of commentaries get published along with harmonies and what kinds do not (I am assuming that commentaries exist without harmonies - if I am wrong, sorry, but then this should be highlighted in the article) commentaries published with harmonies differ in some uniform way from commentaries that are not attached to harmonies? I realize that these are not ground-shaking questions, but I hope my ignorance about gospel harmonies gives you ideas about what more informaton general readers might appreciate in the article. You don't need to respond to me - you have responded at length and thoughtfully and I appreciate it. I am just tring to ive you some ideas of other info. that could enhance the article. I trust you do decide what if anything to add and if so how. Slrubenstein | Talk 02:42, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Does "say nmore" mean "say no more" or mean "say more"? But this could be a moot question...
I guess I was unclear again. Harmonies are not published with commentaries or vise-versa. They are separate sorts of works that are used for somewhat separate purposes. It is only that the scholars who create the one are also the scholars that could or would create the other-- and that the people who read the one could or would also read the other. Even if I needed a commentary and a harmony by the same author to study the same gospel, it would be inconvenient to print them in the same volume, as then I could not open them together to look at side by side. Carlaude:Talk 05:30, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Hey guys, please wake me up when this suggestion talk is over. In the meantime, something more serious below. History2007 (talk) 11:58, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

The simple mathematics of harmony[edit]

What is a harmony? It is defined, for inquiring minds, (no refs) as follows:

  • There is a space called the text space of each Gospel. The text fragments are identified by identifiers within the space, e.g. "Mark 10:46-52" is a unique identifier for a text fragment, as is "Matthew 20:29-34".
  • There is a selection of text fragments, e.g. in the current harmony Carl selected 10 miracles and the harmony only refers to the text fragments relevant to those.
  • There is a "Name Space" that names the text fragments, potentially with a type e.g. miracle vs parable.
  • There is a function from the Text Space to the Name Space. It is a name assignment for each text fragment in each text space, e.g. "Mark 10:46-52" may be called the healing of the Blind man Bartimaeus. Similarly the name for "Matthew 20:29-34" may be "healing a blind man in Jericho". and
  • There is an equality relationship within the Name Space. This is a really crucial decision. It says that "healing Blind man Bartimaeus" = "healing a blind man in Jericho", thus indirectly assuming that "Mark 10:46-52" = "Matthew 20:29-34".

So the ONLY decisions in making a harmony are:

  • Selection of the text fragments and name assignment for each. When Carl built the table, Wikipedia only had 10 pages for miracles. Three weeks ago, I built 21 new miracle pages, so the new harmony table needs to include those.
  • The assertion of equality among names. These are found in several harmony books and are very close to each other. There is hardly any disagreement here.

Then the entire harmony follows automatically by deduction. There is NOTHING else to do: the rest will follow automatically. For instance, is "Luke 18:35-43" assumed to be equal to "Mark 10:46-52" or not.

In fact the first step is just a matter of convenience and is not technically necessary. That is all there is to making a harmony. Nothing else.

But adding harmony lines by hand from the equality assertions will be error prone, so I will generate it with a program - much easier. Then it will all be consistent as well with the other pages. History2007 (talk) 12:27, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

This sounds all great. When needed, I can confirm the "equality relationship" with the sources I have used before and, when needed, supply like footnotes. I was remined the other day that I did leave out a number of pericopes. The more the better. BTW I found a couple errors yesterday-- so do let me know if you find anything that seems to be an error. It was a compicated process to make the table so I seem to have left out or duplicated the a text fragment identifier here and there.
Anything else I can do the help?
By the way I also began (but did not finish) succession box linking the gospel pericope articals in order (e.g. see below) just as things like the other events and books themselves are succession box linked. (Succession boxes need the same footnotes as we have here for certain pericopes in the Gospel harmony table.) As you add a miracle or other pericope-- if it comes between two other pericopes linked by a succession box-- the succession box of those other pericope articles would need modifing. Did you follow that? Maybe I can do those but be aware anyhow.
Gospel harmony
Preceded by
Parable of the Two Builders
in the Sermon on the Mount
New Testament
Succeeded by
Parable of the Two Debtors
Parables of Jesus
Do you think it would be useful to include all gospel pericope-- even those without a Wikipedia article ? Carlaude:Talk 13:00, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
We can do better than that. I will publish the name table and equality table that is to be used here first, so you can confirm it, then generate after it is agreed upon and ref checked. . As for things that do not have articles, we should really write them as we go along, and the advantage of generation is that it can all get regenerated in 3 seconds. And of course "list of parables in Matthew" will also be auto-generated and will be consistent with the harmony. As is, I do not know if these are all consistent.
However, in the spirit of stepwise development, I would like to start with miracles and parables as a test, then gradually work up to ministry and thereafter. We will learn in the first 2 test cases.
Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels page 348 has 2 clean tables that can be used. So it is actually easier than may seem, with the right approach.
As I said before, I think eventually the list of rivers in Europe needs to be generated the same way, from the list of rivers in the world. Wikipedia gradually needs to start using the technology that it describes. History2007 (talk) 13:44, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

table errors[edit]

Carl, you said to mention anything that may look like an error. I found that Luke 20:9-19 was listed twice, and that you said the "Parable of the Two Sons" in Mt. has Lk. and Mk. parallels, when I'm pretty sure that isn't the case. It seems like you may have combined the preceding "authority of Jesus questioned" section with the Parable of the Two Sons. Not sure if that was intentional. -Andrew c [talk] 21:31, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I have fixed these errors and adding the section on the Authority of Jesus Questioned. Thanks for pointing it out. Carlaude:Talk 05:12, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Excellent! -Andrew c [talk] 05:33, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Parallels to add:

Matt 7:7-11 with Luke 11:9-13

Duplicate to remove:

Matthew 06:09–13 repeated on rows 40 and 68
Matthew 13:53–58 repeated on rows 28 and 83
Matthew 18:01–06 repeated on rows 98 and 103

Links in the table:

Most links in the table are not resolving correctly and need to be investigated. The code behind the template Bibleverse may have changed and may have caused it to break.

Consistent harmony generation[edit]

I have published a text editable record set for the parables and miracles in a Base harmony table page.

Please check it for accuracy and if it is ok, my program will generate a set of lists and harmony tables. These will then be consistent across Wikipedia articles, e.g. list of parables in Matthew in the Matthew page will be the same as the list of parables in the Parables page and the harmony here. And the order and counts of parables in Luke, or those common to Luke and Matthew will be correct all the way through. I will also generate those tables automatically, but I am not sure where they should go.

I am almost finished with a program that parses back this very page, so as you guys edit and correct it, I can pick it up again. So please maintain the format, so it will be easier to parse.

I have not published the program yet, for it uses my own parsing and generation libraries that are too large to make sense to other users. Sooner or later I will rewrite the obvious/needed parts in a more obvious language like Perl and publish that so that it can also apply to the list of rivers in Europe, vs list of rivers in France. Or in the meantime someone else may write a few Perl routines for it- it will be easy to do. Those routines can then become part of the open source Perl system so anyone can maintain it.

This will then be the VERY first step in the modern automation of Wikipedia.

I also generated the Biblegateway links, so it is easy to check, but the names of parables from the books and those in Wikipedia are not all the same, so some page names do not pick up the Wikipages, but we can correct those in a day or two. If you guys could do that while I finish the parser that would be great. But we should probably not have "parable" in the title and just use redirects when necessary.

Cheers. History2007 (talk) 13:55, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

I make some fixes and notes to Talk:Gospel harmony/BaseTable#List of parables in Matthew. Can you tell me if this is what you had in mind? Carlaude:Talk 22:55, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

It helped clarify some links, but it also means that I really need to write better instructions for how to modify that page, e.g. it can not include tables. I will write that in a little while and we will try again. I am still not clear about the naming used within Wikipedia and other books on Parables, so we will need another iterations. I do not really care about the naming details, but cannot match the Section numbers, e.g. the books use larger text fragments in some cases, so it will take more attention after next round to decide where a parable starts and ends. Let us wait until the next round and then check again today. History2007 (talk) 12:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Unclear items[edit]

Moved to Talk:Parables of Jesus#Unclear items
See also Talk:Gospel harmony/BaseTable Carlaude:Talk 04:15, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Clear terms[edit]

Moved to Talk:Parables of Jesus#Clear terms
See also Talk:Gospel harmony/BaseTable Carlaude:Talk 04:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)


A harmony with Mark as the primary index is here: MarkBased.

A harmony with Matthew as the primary index is here: MatthewBased.

I will later show how comparative issues between these are handled. History2007 (talk) 22:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Temporal order[edit]

Based on Carl's pointing out temporal and thematic issues, here is an extension to the simple mathematics of harmony section above, about temporal order. Given 4 Gospels, Gospale1, ... Gospel4 and a topic e.g. parables, miracles or "parables or miracles" (and yes ministry is a good next topic) the set union of all items is the "harmony entity set" e.g. the set of all parables from 4 gospales.

Each gospel has a coverage here, e.g. Mark has a 24% coverage on parables (9/37) and Matthew has 56% (21/37), while Luke is at 73% (27/37). But Mark's coverage of miracles is higher, i.e. about 63%.

Given the "harmony entity set", a temporal harmony is an order relation which specifies which items come before and after each other. E.g. Healing the blind near Jericho is towards the end of the list of miracles, since three gospels report it to be close to the Passion of Christ, while Healing the mother of Peter's wife is reported much earlier in 3 gospels. In any case, a given proposed order relation on the entire item set, automatically gives rise to an order relation on the items in each Gospel. This is very simple and is just the ordered subset of the items that are in that Gospel.

However, the "implied order" via the total harmony and the "sequence order" in that Gospel may not agree in many cases, and hence that Gospel has a temporal skew with respect to that harmony. E.g. if Mark is used as the key index for the harmony, then its temporal skew will automatically be zero, but the temporal skew or Matthew or Luke will be greater than zero.

A temporal skew may be defined as the number of items "out of order" with respect to the total harmony. It is then possible (and various scholars have proposed various harmonies) to adjust a totally Mark based harmony to reduce the temporal skew of Luke, at the cost of increasing the temporal skew of Mark. Hence the total skew for a harmony is

  • S = tempskew(Gospel1) + ... + tempskew(Gospel4).

Of course weights can be added here, e.g. Mark may have more weight than John because it is not thematic. Hence given two harmonies H1 and H2 one can compare them via their total temporal skew as well as their relative skew for each Gospel.

An optimal harmony is then one that has minimal temporal skew with respect to each and all gospels. History2007 (talk) 18:01, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

How is this not original synthesis? -Andrew c [talk] 18:23, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I have not used it anywhere have I? It is on the talk page, as discussion, and comment on literature. It will never make it into the article. And the harmony that is there is totally unaffected by it. However, in case anyone asks which harmony out of which book got included here, and how do they compare, one has an answer. Indeed, it will help select the harmony with least POV issues. History2007 (talk) 18:33, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

New Harmony tables[edit]

I started to work on harmony consistency again, and modified my program to generate Wiki-tables. This will make it easier to see what there is compared to existing tables in Wikipedia. First run Tables for harmonies are there now for parables and miracles on their own. In the process I actually understood the challenge of creating harmonies, e.g. considering "miracles on their own", the Raising of Lazarus can go anywhere after Jn. 9:1-12 and the table would still be consistent in itself, but not with the rest of the Gospel if parables etc. are considered. So I will have to extend it to almost all pericopes in Wikipedia. But that should be easy now. Comments will be appreciated. Next week I will write a program to read the base tables that can be modified by anyone and then regenerate it as fixes are made. This will be a first step towards what I hope for here. History2007 (talk) 07:05, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good. BTW, I don't know anything about Zegarelli. Where is his index is online? şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 07:27, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
This is Zegarelli's book [3], and his index is around page 250. After writing this program, I started to appreciate the effort that would take to do a harmony "by hand". It must be a huge effort and Zegarelli, Aland or Orchard must have spent a huge amount of effort to do it by hand. But I think that is yesterday's approach and future harmonies will probably be auto-generated and just hand-adjusted, now that the bible is online, etc. I will start on the parser on Monday and should have it by the end of next week. Then as the base tables get modified, the harmonies will get consistently auto-generated. History2007 (talk) 11:58, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

By the way, generating this type of connector

Talk:Gospel harmony[1]
Life of Jesus: Sermon on the Mount or on the Plain
Preceded by
Commissioning the Twelve
New Testament
Succeeded by
Widow’s Son at Nain Raised
Miracles of Jesus

is very easy and once the table are there, I will just auto-generate these as well. History2007 (talk) 12:18, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Very cool. A few of the current connectors were complicated but I can go look at them for errors after they are all in place.
How hard would it be to include citations for each of the connectors (like this[1]) to be included in the said pages? This would cut back a lot on complaints we might otherwise get to adding them all at once. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 16:49, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. ^ a b This succession box follows the event placement of Edward Robinson: A Harmony of the Gospels in Greek, Revised Ed., pub. by Crocker & Brewster and Orville Daniel: "A Harmony of the Four Gospels", 2nd Ed., pub. by Baker Books
Not a big deal really, provided a suitable notation for declaring them in the base tables is defined. And that should not be hard either. The key challenge here for me is getting it done while my focus is on it. I will work on it during May 2010 and then I may just get tired and busy with other things and have to stop for another 6 months. So I will push to wrap it all up in 10 days or so, and if you could help point out errors, we should have it together in May and not have to drag it into June, for I may have to focus on other things that month. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 17:00, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we can give the succession boxes all the same one at first (like this working below), and if you/we still have "focus", then we can improve them afterward. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 17:23, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

New version[edit]

I wrote something to parse the wikitables and made a new list from that. There are unclear issues like naming etc. But the rest should be easier. I will regenerate a test larger table and multi-tables from that in a day or so. In the meantime items such as "olivet" are unclear compared to parables: Talk:Gospel harmony/BaseTable. It also has some duplicates and some missing rows, I have to fix that soon. History2007 (talk) 22:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

There is also a List of episodes which should act as the basis for the rest. History2007 (talk) 23:08, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Now there is a public list List of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels. Comments will be appreciated. History2007 (talk) 17:24, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Full text gospel harmony[edit]

I have created a harmony based on Matthew with the full texts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in parallel here:

Just granpa (talk) 23:21, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I now have one based on Luke

Just granpa (talk) 22:45, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Ok, but are you building these by hand? Last year I wrote a program that generates them, given that multiple harmonies are possible, of course, even for Matthew. History2007 (talk) 00:30, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
The purpose of my tables is not just to produce a harmony but to also show the structure of the gospels. If Luke is chronological then Matthew has a very strange convoluted structure. It almost appears as though 2 separate books were interwoven to produce it.
Just granpa (talk) 22:32, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I guess you are using Google Chrome. It leaves blank lines all over, but you do not see them. History2007 (talk) 22:37, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Its a work in progress. It appears to me that there might originally have been 12 versions of the events surrounding the calming of the sea and the healing of Jairus's daughter. Maybe one for each apostle?
Just granpa (talk) 11:11, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
You are, of course, totally free to research the gospels as you wish to explore and understand "their structure". Wikipedia, however has a built-in avoidance of the results of such research per the WP:OR policy. History2007 (talk) 03:03, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
The last 2 links are original research but the first 2 are just listing the gospels side by side and showing where they overlap and where the authors apparently jumped back in time (assuming that one or the other of the books is chronological). I thought the people here working on this article might find them useful.
Just granpa (talk) 01:19, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

'A parallel harmony presentation'[edit]

While I have little doubts about the NPOV state of most of this article, it seems as though the offered harmony here is limited to a single POV and might involve some OR. While I see there has been discussion on the topic before, I don't see any compelling arguments to leave the table intact, nor do I see any consensus reached in prior discussions.

Beyond the fact that by only offering a single POV you're not providing an NPOV even if you make certain to state it's an example, I see no need to have Wikipedia provide an example of a Gospel Harmony in the article that discussion them. If any articles should be covering any specific Gospel Harmonies in detail, it should be on the pages of those Gospel Harmonies notable enough to be receiving their own page OR a specific page dedicated to the comparison of Gospel Harmonies, which should attempt to provide comparisons of all notable Gospel Harmonies. (though a summary of such and a main article link could definitely be appropriate for this article.)

Finally, I don't think a massive table such as this provides any benefit to the reader. It doesn't explain anything about why the chronology was put together like this, and as it's a disputed chronology there is little to no benefit in just offering it 'as is.' These kinds of chronologies are worthless without context or rationale, neither of which the table provides.

As it stands, I see no reason to leave the section as currently provided in place, though perhaps there are better solutions than just removing the section. I can't name any such solutions, but I would love to hear it. Vuurcifer (talk) 21:55, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

The able was originally put there by another user, Carlaude, and when I happened on the article, it actually helped me understand what a harmony was. So as a reader it was very useful to me. I think the table is fine.
As the article states, several harmonies are possible and the one shown is based on specific sources named in the article. So the reader (myself one of them) is well served to see what a harmony looks like, and given that it states that this is "an example" harmony, no claim to uniqueness is made. If you look at Cox and Esley's book, these types of harmonies are produced by scholars. This issues has been discussed on talk before.
And this is not a POV table at all, given that it states this is an example. The way you know it is not POV is that if you have a different harmony and want to reshuffle the table to present that one I would say ok fine, that is just another example. So given that there is no claim to uniqueness, and no objection to a reshuffle, there is no POV. The reader needs to see what a harmony looks like.
If one shows an example image of an object in an article on car, no POV has happened, given that it says it is an example. One can not have the article on car without an example image of parts by stating that each one would be POV to a specific car. I see no problem with the table, and I see it as very useful to instruct a reader what a harmony looks like.
Maybe it just needs more text clarifying that this is just one example and many more are possible. History2007 (talk) 01:57, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Vuurcifer that this table is much more information than is necessary to explain what a harmony is. A few select lines of the table would suffice to do that. I think Vuurcifer's idea of creating separate articles for discussing specific harmonies is a good one. Then this page can simple link to them for examples. Jojalozzo 02:20, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

That is a separate issue from not having a table at all. A smaller table will give the idea anyway, so I would not have a problem with that. But the table also serves a separate purpose which is to provide a list of episodes in the gospels. But in reality "list of episodes" should be a separate page. I do not think each harmony will get its own page, but a page on "List of episodes in the gospels" is needed anyway. Then the whole POV discussion evaporates as well, because the list (presented as the table) will be "Matthew ordered" and the other Gospels just relate to it.

I can try that in a day or two. Now let us agree on the size of the table that makes sense here. The idea would be that the table should be:

  • small enough to be absorbed.
  • related to one topic, so can be understood
  • illustrate the issue with the sparse nature of harmonies
  • not get a POV comment

The first candidate is of course the Passion given that it fits the size. But it is so densely populated that it does not convey the idea. The Nativity does, however clearly illustrate the issues. And what is more important is that there is only one possible early nativity harmony. No other option exists in ordering the early parts (say 7 episodes or so) and hence no POV discussion can take place in the future. So I think a short Nativity table will fit the bill. Another candidate would have been the resurrection episodes, but they are harder to digest and there are harmony variations, so someone can start a POV discussion on it later. But the Nativity has none of those problems and easily conveys the ideas as well. History2007 (talk) 07:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

In general, I do think that using the Nativity is a good idea, though it's worth nothing that of the four canonical gospels, only two (Matthew and Luke) address the topic. I don't think that's a problem (as long as it's noted that full length harmonies incorporate all four canonical gospels and some have incorporated non-canonical gospels as well.) It also serves to illustrate a well-known issue with Gospel Harmonies, as the Nativity includes the genealogy of Christ, which is not consistent between Matthew and Luke. It would be prudent to add this to the short example. Vuurcifer (talk) 09:56, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
As for separate pages for separate Harmonies. I don't think every Harmony deserves its own page, but some certainly do. Some (such as the Diatesseron) already have. Gospel Harmonies deserve their own page as long as they're sufficiently notable, just like any other work that fits within a larger group of works. Vuurcifer (talk) 09:56, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, let us see if Joja is ok with Nativity and if so we will go with that. One point, however is that the details of genealogy is not usually part of harmony tables - I have not in fact seen one. The synopsis type presentation in tabular/parallel form usually works on specific pericopes, not content analysis such as genealogy variations.
But your point about Matthew and Mark being empty columns seems valid to me, so perhaps we could add the Passion as well, have two tables and show what a dense harmony looks like. And again, there is no debate about the Passion sequence, so no problem there.
About Diatesseron, it is a textual harmony and I have not even read it. Do you know of a tabular/synopsis version of that? I may be fun to add that to the Diatesseron page. I have a program that generates harmony tables, so if I know the order I can just generate it based on that.
About other harmonies, there are plenty, but only a few are notable. Kurt Aland's is certainly notable, and may well be the one to get a page. Cox and Easley (used in the article) is pretty modern and based on the latest items and they are scholars. Gregg Zegarelli who is an attorney was adding refs to his own here and was deleted. Kermit Zarley has his own as well - I wonder if the shepherds were playing golf there in Bethlehem during the Nativity scene when the angel appeared... History2007 (talk) 12:36, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
You are both doing a great job here. Jojalozzo 15:13, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
You have laid out an excellent set of goals for the example table. I trust you will figure it out without my non-expert input. Even if we don't get it right this first time around, it will be an improvement. Jojalozzo 19:00, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps the List of Gospel episodes article could contain a table similar to what we have here but with additional columns for alternate harmonies in which alternate orderings and interpretations could be noted. Jojalozzo 15:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Do I take it that you are ok with the Nativity idea? I do like your idea of multiple harmonies, and in fact it just a question of selecting a few. I think Aland (if we can find it) is a good candidate.
As for the list of Gospel episodes, there is one already there. In fact I have a program that can parse that page and generate multiple harmonies as desired. It is a question of selecting the desired harmonies. So your idea will work fine, I think. History2007 (talk) 15:18, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I do think it's a good idea to have a kind of comparison between major/notable gospel harmonies, but I think that's out of the scope of this article. I'm not too knowledgeable on this topic, but I feel that the Diatesseron should definitely be included (if only because it's the oldest known example) and the Harmony produced by St, Augustine also seems like a proper inclusion.Vuurcifer (talk) 16:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Diatesseron is notable and has a page. So is Augustine probably. But those are both text narratives and would be gigantic. I have not checked, but they may even be in Wikisource... Or given that they are pub domain can go there.
I had not played with this page for a while, but based on this I think the history needs some expansion, e.g. that until the 16th century they were all text, etc. In fact until then Diatesseron dominated the field and the Florentine and Dutch items etc. were all based on that. I know the sources, so give me a day or two to do that anyway. I have started adding sources now that I looked at it again. In the meantime we think of what to add to the "other page" in terms of harmonies. Adding multi-harmonies to this page will be overkill, as you said. History2007 (talk) 16:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Early version with notes[edit]

I believe this table orginally had footnotes to make it less POV. It indicated whenever any of the consulted Gospel harmonies differed (in event order) from the others (no footnote, which was frequent, ment they all agread). When they did differ it indicated as such, and used the majority order of events.
Like Jojalozzo said, I think the greatest benifit would be to have a linked list of Gospel episodes (but it sould be sortable and include all events with an article). tahc chat 18:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
So you want a large table? Anyway, show me which version you mean from the history please? I do not remember that. And were there sources for how they differed or not? Seems very complicated.
Anyway, what do you mean by a linked list? Can you give an examples of a short harmony with sortable links? I am not sure if Wikitables can do that. So let us see.
By the way, how do you remember that? Have we met before? I don't recall it... But... History2007 (talk) 19:18, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way Vuurcifer, this is getting to be funny. I just checked and there is a page for Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) - I built it over a year ago and had totally forgotten. And the text is in Wikisource as linked from there.... memories... History2007 (talk) 20:56, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
This looks to be one of the earlies versions with the notes.
If you look you will see it was not that complicated.
All I mean by "linked list" is that the elements on the list/table are wikilinked to the said articles.
The current table is a sortable table and wikilinked. tahc chat 22:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
So it is pretty much the same table, just has annotations about a few different harmonies. I am pretty sure Carlaude built that table. Now let us see what everyone else think. History2007 (talk) 22:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Test example[edit]

Here's is more or less what I was thinking of (fabricated gospel refs):

HarmonyA HarmonyB HarmonyC Event Type Matthew Mark Luke John
007 007 007 Annunciation to the shepherds nativity Luke 02:08-15
008 008 009 Adoration of the shepherds nativity HarmonyA & HarmonyB:Luke 02:16-20
HarmonyC:Luke 02:02-20
009 011 010 Circumcision of Jesus nativity HarmonyC:Matthew 02:21 HarmonyB:Mark 02:21 HarmonyA:Luke 02:21
010 012 ~ Infant Jesus at the Temple nativity HarmonyB:Mark 02:21 HarmonyA:Luke 02:22-38
011 009 008 Star of Bethlehem nativity HarmonyA:Matthew 02:01-02 HarmonyB & HarmonyC:Mark 02:21
012 010 011 Adoration of the Magi nativity HarmonyA & HarmonyC:Matthew 02:03-12 HarmonyB:Mark 02:21
013 013 012 Flight into Egypt nativity Matthew 02:13-15
(~:Does not occur in that harmony.)

Jojalozzo 22:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Now, this is different and very interesting - and informative. I do not think I have seen one like this before. Wikitables can certainly handle it. But it will take tremendous effort to do the comparison and get it right. It needs a volunteer, myself excluded. History2007 (talk) 22:45, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure what you (Jojalozzo) have in mind here would show anything meaningful. At the very least, it is obscured by the fact that this is a fictional example. Can you give a real example? Depending on what you have in mind, a prose explination may also work.
For example, the Adoration of the Magi is certainly only referenced in the Gospel of Matthew (2:11), so there is no reason for any harmony to claim it is (instead) in Mark 2:21! This just is not the type of thing that anyone disputes. By the way, many people seem to greatly over-estimate how much any harmony disagrees with any other harmony, so let us know if you want help finding a difference between two different harmonies. tahc chat 04:44, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

I thought about his approach more:

  • It is "possible" to generate real tables like his, but not with Wiki-tables.
  • I would have liked to see those for they would have been interesting and informative
  • These multi-harmony tables can never be represented in HTML pages and require dynamic updates. It would need a dedicated program to "reshuffle harmonies", not just reorder them
  • It is an interesting project that could help Bible students understand the gospels, but requires major effort and not deliverable in Wiki-tables
  • Oneday, it would make a good piece of educational software

So although pretty interesting it is hard to do here. History2007 (talk) 07:14, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Why would it not be possible to generate Wiki-tables like his? It looks possible to me. tahc chat 07:44, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
My initial comment was that it was possible. Then I realized it would need an internal reshuffle in some cases, not just sorting. In any case, if you can do it fine, I will not try - will take much time and in 6 month some user will still say it is POV etc. etc. Wikipedia can eat time real fast.... History2007 (talk) 07:59, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
So say I could do this. What would be the best 2 or 3 harmonies to use, and why would it be those harmonies and not others? tahc chat 09:09, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Actually what I think (or any editor thinks) has almost no value, of course. The article says:
  • Two separate books, both titled Synopsis of the Four Gospels, one by Kurt Aland[10] and the other by John Bernard Orchard,[11] are considered by some to be the standard texts in the field of Gospel harmony since the 20th century.[8]
If I had a decision, I would also use Cox and Easely because it is a recent book by scholars. So that would be three. History2007 (talk) 12:24, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I have looked up the one source that is cited for this claim, and it is not in the text as indicated. While Cox and Easley do regard Kurt Aland as "prehaps the standard an in-depth study of the Gospels" they make no similar claim about Orchard's work. They merely cite it as a major source in there own work and point out that it is unusual it being considering Matthew 1st, Luke 2nd, and Mark 3rd. Since broad scholarly consensus is that Mark came first, this is no point in its favor; it is rather quite the opposite. tahc chat 02:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Orchard is unusual, but well known. Anyway, I explained that now. Yet that shows the challenge in building that type of table, if the order is not the same among the harmonies. And as you play with the table, other reshuffle challenges will emerge. History2007 (talk) 03:13, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Another thought is that based on the above if you just use Aland, problems may go away anyway. Because it is acknowledged as likely the best, so the example can come out of that and end the debate. History2007 (talk) 08:11, 14 September 2012 (UTC)


I started touching the article up to expand the history, etc. and now that there is more info, the reader may get tired by the time these have been read. I think adding a short example upfront may be necessary, just before the history section. And the 5-6 Passion episodes may well be the example, given that they are well known and have 4 gospels (unliek Nativity). After that we can have history, and then the larger table. History2007 (talk) 18:04, 13 September 2012 (UTC)


Actually I touched up the lede differently because per WP:LEDE:

The lead section should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it can stand on its own as a concise version of the article.

So the lede cannot contain things that do not appear in the body. Hence the lede should be a summary of he body and may well include overlapped sentences. Sorry, must put that back that way. History2007 (talk) 08:03, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

This is (in my view) a rather perplexing view on the purpose of the WP:LEAD. Have you seen any other Wikipedia article do this... to repeat the lead in an "overview" with 90% of the same langage? Let me quote from Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section#Relative emphasis: "Do not hint at startling facts without describing them. Significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article, although not everything in the lead must be repeated in the body of the text." tahc chat 17:51, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the issue is that "there should be nothing in the lede that is not in the body". E.g. let us look at Quantum mechanics and probability amplitude. It is in the body, then summarized in the lede. The idea is that the lede must be a standalone sumamry. Can ask at the WP:Helpdesk if you like. History2007 (talk) 18:00, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Section and lede structure[edit]

A quesion was asked on the MOS page about lede, so we should probably figure it out the structure of the sections. There is no issue at all about the three sections:

Early Church and Middle Ages
15-20th centuries
A parallel harmony presentation

The question is: is here a section before them? The way I see it:

  • The definition of harmony vs synopsis etc. and the problems in harmony construction are key items, and hence can not just go into the lede without being in the article, given that there can be no major items in the lede not present in the body.
  • The lede needs to mention the history briefly in order to be a "standalone summary" of the article.

So given those constraints, what is there to do? Suggestions? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 11:52, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

The shorter the article, the less of the intro the that needs repeating. Quantum mechanics is a long article that well covers all the subjects found in the intro. This is not needed in a article like Gospel harmony. Gospel harmony has only the sections on historical development and on the example. There is no need to cover things from the intro for a short article. Clearly a stub doen't need to repeat the lead, because the whole article is the lead.tahc chat 15:03, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
So how about a suggestion from you how to do things, without going against WP:LEDE? History2007 (talk) 15:05, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Let's do this. tahc chat 15:13, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
But you just correctly stated that "a short body requires a short lede". In that link, the lede is gigantic, in proportion and also misses the requirement that nothing major in the lede that is not in the body. So please make another suggestion. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 15:22, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
My other suggestion would be to improve the overview section. The main problem may be that the overview is too brief and does not have enough substance. It does not for instance discuss how the fig tree and cleaning example works, etc. That should be better explained anyway. If we do that, then we get a better overview section and it will not look like it is repeating the lede. History2007 (talk) 16:25, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anywhere that I said "a short body requires a short lede." What I did say was "The shorter the article, the less of the intro the that needs repeating." That only makes body shorter. A big lead is fine as long as all of it is good infomation and none of the infomation would be improved by moving it into its own section.
The overview is not too brief. We don't seem to need it at all. tahc chat 17:09, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought you were referring to this, which is what we really need to use in any case. So based on that, what do you think about the length of the lede? History2007 (talk) 17:21, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
We can shorten this lead by moving some of the synopsis-related text into a section on that topic. I guess can also make the short example a section of its own it you really want. tahc chat 07:59, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, that may be the way to agree on a solution. Now, if there is a section for synopsis and something for example, that means there are the following sections:

  • Section X
  • Section Y
  • Early Church and Middle Ages
  • 15-20th centuries
  • A parallel harmony presentation

Do we have two sections X and Y or just one? And what are the titles and contents there? History2007 (talk) 08:35, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

I have looked around and the Cox/Easley item is pretty much a summary of most harmonies and as Tahc said they are not much different. So I suggest that we just use Cox's form, refer to his book and say is one example, then can remove the tag. History2007 (talk) 23:29, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

While I would be glad to have a simple solution, I am concerned that wholesale use of one harmony could be a Wikipedia:Copyright violation. Is Cox/Easley a merged narrative rather than a one using tables and columns? If so, that would work since we would only have a table. Otherwise we would seem to need to use multiple harmonies with notes, or a harmony in the public domain.
Maybe we can ask advice from someone who edits copyright related pages, or via a Wikipedia:Requests for comment. tahc chat 07:03, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
The person to ask advice from would be user:Moonriddengirl who knows more about it than most people. However, given that the terms we use for the episodes are different from theirs and the list we use is a subset of theirs, I am pretty sure we have no problem at all. We are just summarizing what they have by taking a sublist and even the episode names we use are not the same. History2007 (talk) 08:49, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay; that will work. If you are doing the formating then I will trust your call. tahc chat 20:48, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
You can trust that I will do my best... But feel free to check it against Cox's book if you want in case I overlook something. It will probably take me a week or 10 days to get started on it. History2007 (talk) 21:14, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

A parallel harmony presentation: table errors[edit]

Rows 96 and 103 are currently duplicates. Many occasions where Jesus Predicts His Death are omitted. They are in the article "Jesus Predicts His Death." — Preceding unsigned comment added by GOR42 (talkcontribs) 06:08, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Rows 96 and 103 are not at all duplicates, and I cannot see why you would think they are. tahc chat 18:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually it's rows 98 and 103 that are duplicates - Sort by Event and search for "The Little Children" and you will see the duplicates. EpaphrasCol4.12 (talk) 15:46, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

This table is missing from John 4:27 to John 4:45 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pglufkin (talkcontribs) 02:03, 10 May 2013 (UTC) This table is missing from Luke 1:1 to Luke 1:4, the Prologue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pglufkin (talkcontribs) 19:21, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Duplicate Rows[edit]

Since row numbers can change, the Events and verse references are included:

  1. Rows 40 and 68 - The Lord's Prayer - Matthew 06:09–13 - Luke 11:02–04
  2. Rows 44 and 74 - The Birds of Heaven - Matthew 06:25–34 - Luke 12:22–34 (row 74 is missing the Matthew reference but is essentially the same)
  3. Rows 98 and 103 - The Little Children - Matthew 18:01–06 - Mark 09:33–37 - Luke 09:46–48

I intend to sort each gospel column to determine if there are any other duplicates. EpaphrasCol4.12 (talk) 16:07, 12 March 2016 (UTC)


What you really mean to say is that the text is plagiarized from the citation. I now see you just lift the text from his book and passed it off as your own. If you quote a source, it needs to be placed in quotation marks. Since the author is Britsh it is unclear what he means by "fundamentalist" viewpoint. Furthermore since he an Old Testament scolar, he is not really a WP:RS on either topic. Page 59 of [4]

I do not want to keep changing this today per WP:TRR, but please talk about removing or changing your summary until or unless you can find a peer reveiwed WP:RS on the topic that supports your view. tahc chat 23:17, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

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Numbering needs correcting[edit]

There's a missing 23 in the table. Is this a missing part of the gospels or a typo? Kev (talk) 23:19, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

I found what was removed. tahc chat 05:05, 4 January 2018 (UTC)