The Gospels Interwoven is a 415-page hardcover book that was also published by Victor Books in 1987. This “Reference Edition” is a two-part book. The first part includes the entire single-narrative harmony inThe Gospel as well as footnoted questions that identify the apparent discrepancies which emerge when comparing especially the synoptic gospels (first three gospels). The reader is then directed to the “Harmonization Endnotes” in the second part of the book, in which answers are provided to these 132 questions (121 pp.) by appealing to distinguished New Testament scholars. The Gospels Interwoven also includes a defense of this type of gospel harmony, twenty-five maps of the journeys of Jesus appropriately placed in the gospel narrative, and other helpful aids.
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 Interwovenwith 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.
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.