Years ago I started a “Through the Bible” series of posts. For some crazy reason, I decided to start this two days before I started radiation in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. Somehow, I managed to get about halfway through the Bible over the next six months before I just couldn’t do it anymore.
This time, I am going to do it slower. The general goal is one chapter per day, but at the start it will be impossible to define one chapter. When someone asks me where to start in the Bible, I direct them first to Luke and Acts. Acts is the continuation of Luke by the same author, so the two books make one long history from the birth of Jesus to the end of Paul’s life. With the story of Jesus and his church understood, it becomes much easier to understand the letters of the New Testament.
For this trip through the Bible, however, I want to start with Tatian’s Diatessaron. It is a harmony of the four Gospels written around the year 160. I don’t know how long it will take us to go through it, but I’ll cover whatever the Lord will allow me to cover as often as the Lord will let me.
Borg Manuscript of Tatian’s Diatessaron, public domain
I really feel like this is the Lord’s idea, and I hope you will be blessed by it.
Tomorrow I will briefly discuss the history of the Diatessaron. I am not going to try to be a historian on the subject. I will simply introduce the text enough so we know what we are reading. If you want something deeper, there is a long introduction by the translator here. I find it fascinating that some of the translation work was done by his wife, who was fully involved in the whole work.
It seemed cool to me that we could read what is both the Scriptures—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John combined in one document—and an early Christian writing because it was compiled by a relatively well-known figure from the second century.
The translation we will be using is from 1895, but it seems easy enough to read. The link in the third paragraph goes to Section 1 of the text.