We have in our Bibles four Gospel stories about Jesus Christ: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Anyone who has read the accounts knows that they differ in the events they present, in the order of the events, and in the characterization of Jesus himself. Yet the church over the centuries has kept the four separate stories in spite of attempts to harmonize the differences. As early as the 2 nd century a church father named Tatian attempted to pull the stories together and give us one story of Jesus. He called his story The Diatessaron, “the four through one.” The church rejected his harmonization.
To this day we live with four Gospels, four stories, and one Jesus. How did we get these stories? What are they meant to tell us about Jesus and about our faith? How can we continue to read them so that the Holy Spirit speaks to us? Using symbolism (human, lion, ox, and eagle) arising in the 2nd century, we will explore these stories and address many questions regarding Jesus and those who wrote about him.
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