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NET Bible Synopsis of the Four Gospels

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To View the Full Version of the Synopsis of the Four Gospels by Gregory White, Click Here (PDF)

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For a Synthetic Harmony of the Four Gospels by Jerry Peyton, Click Here

For a Chronological Journey through the Gospels In His Footsteps by Hon Stuart Robert, Click Here


Synopsis of the Four Gospels

A synopsis is a tool which displays different passages of a text side by side for comparison. This is most commonly done with the four Gospels of the New Testament because of their similar material, but it could reasonably be done with any text that has similar passages, such as the Old Testament historical narratives. The synopsis you presently hold contains the four Gospels of the New Testament. It is different from comparing parallel versions, such as one English translation to another, because all of the passages displayed in this synopsis are from the same version, the NET Bible. It is different from a harmony because the passages are not reorganized into one story; each Gospel in a synopsis is separate from the others and can be read by itself or in comparison with the others. This parallel arrangement enables fruitful comparison of the Gospels to each other so each may be understood well on its own in light of the others.

The layout of the synopsis is designed to allow for comparison of similar material across the Gospels while not losing sight of each Gospel as a discrete whole. Each Gospel has been subdivided into small units, usually paragraphs but sometimes smaller or larger depending on the material. The Gospels are then arranged into columns which follow the canonical order of Matthew, Mark, Luke, then John, with similar paragraphs presented side by side so the reader can compare them easily. The far right column is used for ancillary material helpful to the reader.

The Tables of Parallels are based upon the Synopsis of the Four Gospels of Kurt Aland, 12th Edition, (New York: United Bible Societies, 1985). In Aland’s Synopsis, the numbered pericopes are often repeated in order to provide a continuous series of references in sequential order, for each of the four gospels. Each text ultimately occurs in consecutive order with references to previous and next citations to provide continuity. Following the bold type in the same column header, (e.g., Matthew), of each table below, provides the verses in order for each book of the Gospels. The reader using this synopsis can run their eyes down each Gospel’s column, stopping only at the references in bold type, in order to read all of the references and parallels in order for each Gospel.

As a basic text for this Synopsis of the Four Gospels, the NET Bible has been chosen. It would perhaps prove helpful to you to use this synopsis as an extra-biblical reading or a study guide with your own copy of the NET Bible. The complete NET Bible is available online, for free, at The synopsis follows four conventions which may seem a bit unusual, but they are done for important reasons. (1) Empty space in a synopsis is intentional: When any Gospel lacks material that is found in another, that column will be left empty as a visual clue that there is no parallel to the material found in the other Gospel. (2) Some paragraphs will be printed more than once in the synopsis. This is because the material occurs in two or more Gospels. The first time the material is printed the synopsis is following the order of the first Gospel, while the second time the material is printed the synopsis is following the order of the second Gospel, and so on. This allows the reader to compare and contrast the broad setting of the paragraphs in each Gospel more objectively. (3) Through different sizes of type the synopsis indicates the relative closeness of the parallel material. Primary parallels, which indicate a direct relationship between the paragraphs, are printed in normal type. Secondary parallels, which indicate a less direct, perhaps only conceptually parallel relationship, are printed in smaller type. (4) Quotations from the Old Testament are printed in bold italics, and allusions to the Old Testament are printed in plain italics. This convention is followed in the NET Bible itself, and it is retained here as a help for the reader.

Synopsis Features

A Table of Scriptures that enables the reader to see at a glance which of the four writers reported on the events that make up the complete Gospel story and also has a page reference to direct you to that event.

Table of Scriptures

  • Eusebius Canons with modern chapter and verse references for the numbered sections. Also include are two letters relating to the Eusebius Canons translated by Kevin P. Edgecomb:
  • Eusebius’ letter to Carpianus
  • Jerome’s letter to Pope Damasus

Column Size and Column Headings are used as a navigational aid. In addition to the use of bold type as detailed above, the size of a column on a page specify whether the other made any references or alluded to the pericope. In addition, the verses contained within the pericope are noted in the Column Headings.

A Notes Column on the right hand side of each page where the reader is kept informed of:

  • Paragraph Titles from the Net Bible associated with the event
  • OT References and allusions associated with the text
  • Eusebian Canons associated with the event with cross referenced verses and Canons.

Additional Features

Charts tables and maps appearing in this synopsis include:

  • An index of Gospel Parallels
  • An index of New Testament passages
  • A diagram of the Genealogy of Jesus
  • A chart of Exactly Identical Verses
  • A chart For Finding Passages In the Harmony
  • A chart of Jesus’ Discourses & Conversations
  • A chart of Prayers in the Gospels
  • A chart of Parables of Jesus
  • A chart of Miracles of Jesus
  • A chart of Messianic Prophecies
  • A chart of New Testament References / Old Testament Sources
  • A chart of Women in the Gospels
  • A map indicating Mary, Joseph and Jesus’ Flight To Egypt
  • A map indicating Christ’s Great Galilean Ministry
  • A map indicating Events in Christ’s Ministry
  • A map indicating The Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion and Burial of Christ
  • A map indicating The Resurrection, Appearances, and Ascension of Christ
  • A map indicating Israel In Christ’s Time

All charts include the page that references where each item can be found in the Synopsis. Text in square brackets

[] indicates verses that appear in the Notes section of the NET Bible but have been excluded from the NET Bible text.

Related Topics: Gospels

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