Interview with Daniel John

Why did you choose to create The Synoptic Gospel?
When I first read the Gospel of Matthew, I thought, "Wow! That was interesting!" And then there was another Gospel, of Mark, after that. So I read that and said, "That was almost the same but different..." And then there is a third Gospel, and a fourth... And in the end, although I had read all that Jesus Christ said and did in the Gospels, I was unsure of many details, and confused about the sequence of what happened. Then I learned about Gospel harmonies, that display the synoptic and parallel sections of the texts in columns side-by-side, and that was useful, but because no harmony merged the duplicate words, I still had to read the words from three or four Gospels. I thought about this and decided to create a single Gospel text from the four. Eventually, I saw a way to notate the pieces of the original Gospel verses, which allowed for a true word-for-word merger. So, I created The Synoptic Gospel to be a complete and accurate account, because it is not only much faster to read, but with the events of the four Gospels aligned against a single timeline, it is now possible to follow the sequence of the events from the life and ministry of Jesus - like why Jesus did this or why He said that to these people at this time.
Has this type of harmonious merger of the Gospels been done before?
Yes. Long before there were the four Gospels as a collection, they were first used together as a merged harmony called, the "Diatessaron", in about 160 CE. That was the Gospel for the Roman and Byzantine churches for more than 250 years, until the Roman church released the Vulgate version of the New Testament in Latin in 405. The Vulgate used the same four Gospels as the Diatessaron, except that it presented them as the four separate accounts. So, there has almost always been a type of merger of the four Gospels, because before these four Gospels were read together, there was the Diatessaron. Since then, there have been several 4 column harmonies, and very few mergers, but there has never been the precision of a harmonious merger like The Synoptic Gospel.
How did you compile "The Synoptic Gospel?"
In fact, "The Synoptic Gospel" is subtitled "The Story of The Life of Jesus", because it is just the reprint of the fifth column of another document called FIVE COLUMN. It is the FIVE COLUMN database which aligns the texts of the four Gospels chronologically on a word-for-word basis. This is achieved using a three part, sixteen step, harmonization and merging process, which aligned the parallel and synoptic sections of text, and removed the duplication as those words were copied into the fifth column. So, the FIVE COLUMN database is very complicated, and took five years to complete, while The Synoptic Gospel is very simple, because it is just a reprint of the fifth column of that database. All of the detailed steps of the merging process can be found on the tsg5c website.
In what way is The Synoptic Gospel better than reading the four Gospels of the New Testament?
Many reasons. First, The Synoptic Gospel is complete, in that every word and detail from each of the four Gospels is included or accounted for. When the parallel verses are aligned and merged, the words that they repeat is eliminated as duplication, which means that you do not have to read the same thing three or four times. The result is a complete text that is 22% shorter to read. A second big advantage is that all of the sayings and events from the four Gospels are interwoven against the same timeline, so it is now possible to understand the sequence of what happened, and also where it happened. And this is important to know why Jesus said and did what He said and did when and where He said and did it. I guess the third big advantage is the way that this Gospel is divided into chapters, acts and scenes, which makes every part of the book searchable with a simple three digit number. By this I mean that, if, for example, you wanted to read about when Jesus was being led to Golgotha, the place of His crucifixion, the full reference from the four Gospels would be, Matthew 27:33 - plus - Mark 15:22 - plus - Luke 23:33 - plus - John 19:17. If you left out reading even one of these verses, then your understanding of what happened might be incomplete. By contrast, The Synoptic Gospel lists this as verse 863.1 - Scene eight six three, verse 1. Not only is this shorter reference complete, but it also tells you when this particular event happened, in relation to all of the other events in the Gospel story. By that I mean that as this event happened in the eighth chapter, and as there are nine chapters in total, this event happened near the end of the Gospel story.
Who do you think will read The Synoptic Gospel?
This Gospel is for the world, and for the future. Initially, it is individuals that are reading it, but many of the large churches are becoming aware of the books, and several are reviewing them. In time, as more churches endorse the use of The Synoptic Gospel, more people will hear about it, and will add it to their libraries. I mean, to be able to completely read through the Gospel in a year, without confusion, is very useful indeed. A few pastors are also now using FIVE COLUMN and The Synoptic Gospel to see all of the parallel and overlapping texts, so that they can compose more complete sermons. But actually, the book was written for those life-long Christians who have never actually read any or all of the four Gospels, because they found four Gospels too much to read, or too confusing to understand. As the churches begin to use The Synoptic Gospel, so will most Christians read it in their daily lives.
Published 2015-11-08.
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Books by This Author

The Synoptic Gospel - The Story of The Life of Jesus
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 96,050. Language: American English. Published: June 24, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Biblical Studies / Jesus, the Gospels & Acts, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Bibles
(4.00 from 1 review)
Seeing the Four Gospels as One! This is the official reprint of the fifth column of The Synoptic Gospel - FIVE COLUMN, the database that aligns all of the words from the four Gospels, and harmonizes them on a truly word-for-word basis. Read all of the teachings and deeds of Jesus Christ in a chronological story of 360 Scenes. Being 22% shorter to read, this Gospel is really easy to understand!