Title: The Gospels Interwoven
Publisher: Reprint by Wipf and Stock Publishers
Date of Publication: orig. 1987; reprint 2001
Author: Kermit Zarley
Weight: 1.42 pounds
Dimensions: 6.14 x 0.94 x 9.5
Page Count: 416
Category: 1. Harmony of the Gospels 2. Life of Jesus
The foreword in The Gospels Interwoven is by S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., former Professor of New Testament and Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago. This book includes endorsements by Evangelist Billy Graham and Dick Halverson, former Chaplain to the United States Senate for ten years. Graham states that the book is “highly readable and understandable … will add a new and rich dimension to your appreciation of God’s Word.” Halverson claims that it is “a scholarly work … that deserves attention of not only the laity,… but of pastors and teachers as well.”
Indeed, some college and university professors have used The Gospels Interwoven in teaching their courses on the New Testament gospels. In 1988, The Gospels Interwoven was awarded a Silver Angel award at the eleventh annual Religion and Media Angel Awards in Los Angeles, California.
By the late 1990s, The Gospels Interwoven also was out-of-print. In 2002, Wipf and Stock Publishers republished The Gospels Interwoven with a different cover in slick paperback and perfect binding. They do on-demand publishing, so that this book should continue to be in print.
The Gospel is a 237-page soft cover book published in 1987 by Victor Books, a division of Scripture Press. It is a single-narrative (=composite) harmony of the four New Testament gospels in the words of the New International Version of the Holy Bible (NIV). So, it is a chronological narrative of the life of Jesus interweaving every detail of the four gospels together, yet eliminating repetition. The result is a condensation representing 75% of the four gospels. This compilation has been very carefully produced by rigorously adhering to “Ten Principles of Composition” drafted by the author. The chronological arrangement of events in the life of Jesus has not been achieved arbitrarily but determined by a sophisticated table which shows the majority view of the chronology of each event by thirteen scholars who produced the most popular gospel harmonies in English over the past 325 years.
The Gospel was later translated into German, adapted and published by Hanssler-Verlag in paperback in 1992 under the title Das Leben Jesu. This book was republished by Hanssler with a different hard cover in 2000 and again in 2009.
Over half of The Gospel was also included in a devotional book entitled 101 Days in the Gospels with Oswald Chambers (Victor Books, 1992). The Gospel was out-of-print in the late 1990s and is no longer available except through used book dealer.
It is a single-narrative (=composite) harmony of the four New Testament gospels in the words of the New International Version of the Holy Bible (NIV). It is therefore a chronological narrative of the life of Jesus interweaving every detail of the four gospels together yet eliminating repetition.
“It may well become a classic”
~ Evangelist Billy Graham
“Kermit Zarley has made the New Testament’s timeless message come alive in a fresh way by combining the four Gospels into one continuous narrative. Those unfamiliar with the Bible will find this a highly readable and understandable introduction to the life and teachings of Christ. Those who have studied the Bible for years will discover that *The Gospels Interwoven* will add a new and rich dimension to their appreciation of God’s Word. It may well become a classic.”
~ Billy Graham, Evangelist
“. . . A scholarly work at a time when biblical scholarship in harmonization of the Gospels is under question and criticism. A work that deserves attention of not only the laity, who will be greatly helped by it, but of pastors and teachers as well.”
~ Richard C. Halverson Chaplain, United States Senate
“I have known Kermit Zarley for years as a diligent student of the Bible, and remember his visiting seminary libraries to read and study even when playing golf on the PGA Tour. . .. To read the Gospels in such a book as *The Gospels Interwoven* is to expose oneself to an immediate, uninterrupted, and straightforward personal encounter with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
~ Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., Former Professor of New Testament Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Kermit Zarley’s The Gospels Interwoven is simply the best harmony of the four gospels of the New Testament. Instead of putting texts side by side, this book strings together all the words of Jesus and all the narrative framework into one readable book. I have used it in my classes for a decade and students love it.”
~ Dr. Scot McKnight, Religious Studies Professor, North Park University, Chicago
The Gospels Interwoven by Kermit Zarley is absolutely the FINEST . . . In my research I have been able to identify about 60 different blended harmonies of the 4 gospels. Because of their publication date, many of these are based on the KJV or the ASV or are an original translation done by the author. Zarley’s The Gospels Interwoven uses the NIV and therefore, at least for me and my congregation, is MUCH MORE USEFUL and HELPFUL than the other 59. Another strength of The Gospels Interwoven is that Zarley mostly uses Thomas and Gundry’s sequence of events. They are tops in that area. Finally, if the Lord appeared in my office right now and told me that I could only keep 10 of my books, The Gospels Interwoven by Kermit Zarley would be one of them. I really can’t imagine my library without it. So, if you don’t own it, stop what you are doing, get online and buy it TODAY! For the rest of your life you will be glad you did.
~ Mike Sublett, Pastor of Hi-Land Christian Church; Pampa, Texas (May 7, 2008)
At the outset let me make something perfectly clear: IMHO, The Gospels Interwoven by Kermit Zarley is absolutely the best of all of the “blended” harmonies of the 4 Gospels. There are actually 5 different types of harmonies. 1- the type that is usually described as a blended, interwoven, single narrative harmony of the four gospels, 2- the type that puts the various accounts in different side-by-side columns, usually called a parallel harmony, 3- the type that is like most chronological Bibles, listing the complete record of each different account in a continuous narrative, one after the other, 4- the type that lists every different event in all 4 gospels, but only the account that is determined to be the major one appears in the text, 5- the type that is a retelling of every different event from Christ’s life in all 4 gospels, but does not limit itself to the exact wording used in the gospels and does not try to mention anything that isn’t considered as part of His life (genealogies). The Gospels Interwoven is the first type. In my research I have been able to locate about 60 different blended harmonies of the 4 Gospels. Because of their publication date, many of these are based on the KJV or the ASV or are an original translation done by the author. Zarley’s The Gospels Interwoven is based on the NIV and therefore, for me and my congregation, MUCH MORE USEFUL and HELPFUL. Another strength of The Gospels Interwoven is that Zarley mostly uses Thomas and Gundry’s sequence of events. They are tops in that area. I really can’t imagine my library on the life of Christ without The Gospels Interwoven. If you don’t own it, stop what you are doing, get online and buy it TODAY! For the rest of your life you will be glad you did so. God bless.
Amazon Review –
Having read the New Testament several times over, I’ve always thought it would interesting to see an account of the Gospels if they were put into chronological order.
Although I was aware that many had undertaken this task, I wanted a version that was more than just a bunch of parallel columns.
Here are some things I like about the Kermit Zarley version:
–I greatly appreciate his section entitled “Principles of Composition” as it informs the reader how the author decided what gospel to use in the narrative when more than one have that account.
–The chronological narrative starts fittingly with John 1:1-5.
–While most Bibles map the journey’s of Paul, it was interesting to see maps of Jesus’ travels.
–Best of all, there is a huge section entitled “Harmonization Endnotes: Help in Understanding Gospel Differences.” This helps immensely in understanding alleged “contradictions” between the Gospels. Making a good objective effort, although the author states what position he agrees with most, he also lists many (all?) other positions, even though they may not be widely accepted.
A few things that I learned in particular from reading this chronological account that I would not have known reading the Gospels on their own:
–The target audiences of each of the Gospel writers.
–An explanation of the two different genealogies for Jesus. One goes forward while the other goes backwards. This book explains why.
–Reveals “hidden characters” in the Gospels.
–Explains how the Resurrection sequences are the most difficult to piece together.
As this is the first book I’ve read about Chronological Gospel Narratives, I am unqualified to say that it is the best–hence the four stars–but I can tell you that it is very informative and edifying. There are things in this book that I learned that I did not learn and probably would never learn from going to Church.
Amazon Review –
We are using this book for our Ladies’ Bible Class on Tuesday morning. It helps you understand the gospels and how they are interwoven as well as how John is different. Great Book!
Amazon Review –
An Interwoven Bible is one that is in chronological order and prints only one account (there are 4 separate accounts) of the events of the life of Jesus Christ. It is like walking alongside Him for me. I wore my 1st copy out reading the short story of Jesus over and over.
Kenneth. Norman –
Kermit Zarley is very much to be commended for his fine work in THE GOSPELS INTERWOVEN. In this expanded “reference edition,” he also adds some very useful extras not found in the shorter version — well worth the small additional cost!
I was glad to see all the other reviewers also give Five-star ratings. However, I confess I was puzzled to see one Five-star reviewer go on to criticize Mr. Zarley’s decision to base his work on the NIV version rather than on a more word-for-word English translation from the Greek original. Probably the best (and easiest) way to get around the problem of reliance on any one translation is to use any of the several widely available “PARALLEL NEW TESTAMENTS” published by Oxford Univ. Press, where up to 8 different translations are shown on the facing pages. I’ve found using a “PARALLEL NEW TESTAMENT” to be a very satisfying experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking to get more out of Bible reading. When a particular phrase or passage in any one translation seems not quite clear, having 7 other English translations right nearby almost always settles the matter, and often leads to further insights. The reader is once again left awe-struck by the depth and beauty of Holy Scripture, is once again confirmed that it is God who speaks through the words of humans.
I still have to critically compare to the chronological NKJV order, but otherwise I really thank the Lord Jesus Christ for this man having taken the time to put the gospels into the best order that he could AND take the time to explain critically at the end of the book why he thinks the order is so.
The only thing I don’t like is that the NIV version, which is the version this man uses, leaves out certain passages of the bible that I find critical, because they are things Jesus says. Therefore I always carry a NKJV or a regular KJV with me to double check.
I’m not a KJV-onlyist, I just don’t want to miss anything the King of Kings said.
Again, I thank the Lord for this man’s work. It’s the most beautiful story when put together like this.
Valarie M-C –
Craig Sather –
It has an excellent summary table of previous gospel harmonies. The in depth explanation and defense of the gospel is outstanding.
Ken Grimes –
Book places events together, promotes learning, encourages Christian attitudes. I now understand more; but still only a tiny smidgen.
R. Freed –
I’ve been searching for a book like this for a long time. It’s exactly what I was hoping to find.
Vionnta T. Traylor –
Tremendous book. Has been a great help in my studying and teaching the life of Christ!
Wm. Mather –
When learning to study the Bible, a scholar said “If it is out of context it is out of context.” Meaning, seeking to understanding the context of Scripture is essential to the application of Scripture. The Gospels Interwoven is an excellent tool for getting context. If you want to learn about Jesus, start with reading what he said and did – read the Gospels.
David H Wilson –
I have owned this in hardcover since 1987. I have read this wonderful reference book several times over my Christian walk and would recommend it to anyone.