Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Harmony of the Gospels: Rules for Establishing Historical Order

11. Various rules are established for investigating the order and progression of the histories.



Moreover, let rules of this sort for the investigation of order, gathered by the Most Learned Chemnitz, out of the ancients, Tironius, Augustine, etc., and the more recent men, be principal, that, while a threefold order is wont to be observed in the narrations, first, when the histories are described in their own place and order, just as also when they happened; second, when out of order later histories are reckoned earlier upon another occasion; which Tironius and Augustine call anticipation; third, when what was done earlier in time is upon occasion narrated later, or among those histories that happened afterwards, which Augustine calls Recapitulation, but Gerson Rememoration: let it be diligently observed of what sort of these three a history be, which is set in context here or there: and, that it is thus able to be done, if the general connections of the narration, which do not argue a definite order of sequence, of which sort are, at that time;[1] in those days;[2] and it came to pass;[3] and coming;[4] and He passed through;[5] etc.: are accurately distinguished from other special formulæ, in which the series, continuation, or sequence of events is indicated, of which sort are, when He had descended from the mount…behold, he came;[6] passing forth from thence He saw;[7] with Him yet speaking, one comes;[8] as they went out, they brought to Him;[9] and it came to pass, when He had completed these commandments;[10] as they departed, He began to say;[11] with those parables finished, He came;[12] and it came to pass, when He had finished those sayings;[13] as He went forth from the Temple, he said;[14] on the second day,[15] on the third day, after two days,[16] one came; His relatives come; it came to pass ἐν τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ, on the next day;[17] etc.: if particles, sometimes indicating continuous order, sometimes interpolated order, of which sort are μετὰ ταῦτα, after these things;[18] behold/lo; and then; be rightly distinguished: if it be observed whether the Evangelists, describing the same history, agree in order or series according to antecedents and consequents, and by some notation of the circumstances indicate the order of the times. In which case a reckoning of the order will be ready and plain. Or whether at least two agree, and the third has another context: In which case the suffrage of the two is to be preferred, unless the third has more certain and manifest marks of the order having been preserved. Whether or not in the context of one Evangelist, with one history following after another, and in such a way that the one following is later, other histories are to be inserted from the other Evangelists between this one preceding and that one following. Whether a history is on record in one Evangelist, subjoined in a certain order to what precedes, but in the other Evangelists something occurs as to be inserted by a notation of circumstance, or not to be inserted. Whether or not, with all the circumstances gathered, a history that is at hand is able to be placed before or after what precedes. Indeed, how, with a narration conjoined, but conducted at a different time, they are able to be distinguished, and to be placed in their own time and order. Whether in similar things the principal circumstances agree or not. Whether or not a reckoning of the travels, succession, and stays of Christ in certain places, or the time interjected, whether it be long or brief, allows the histories to be arranged in this or that manner.

[1] See Matthew 12:1; 14:1. [2] See Matthew 3:1; Mark 1:9; 8:1; Luke 2:1. [3] See Mark 1:9; 2:23; Luke 1:8; 2:1. [4] See Matthew 2:23; Mark 9:33; Luke 3:3. [5] See Mark 9:30; Luke 17:11; 19:1. [6] Matthew 8:1, 2. [7] Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14. [8] Luke 8:49. [9] Matthew 9:32. [10] Matthew 11:1. [11] Matthew 11:7. [12] Matthew 13:53. [13] Matthew 7:28; 19:1; 26:1; Luke 11:27. [14] Mark 13:1. [15] Matthew 27:62. [16] Matthew 26:2; Mark 14:1. [17] Luke 9:37. [18] Luke 5:27; 10:1.

ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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