Introduction To The Synergy Of The Gospels


My name is Ben. I have an evangelical Christian background and grew up Baptist. I attended Baptist schools, colleges, and churches. I’ve heard hundreds of sermons about Jesus, read dozens of books, and attended many retreats. Although I cannot reference specific chapters and verses of many discussion points, I can hold my own in a theological debate or proof text on almost any agenda – an unfortunate consequence of an immature understanding of scripture.

Upon graduating from college, a man came to me and asked if I wanted to study the Bible. He was not a Baptist man and began teaching me different ways to examine scripture. Over the next ten years, I’ve tried to open a narrow mindset I’ve carried for many years, give grace, and understand who Jesus was better. Although failing many times, I’ve taught bible studies, facilitated home churches, and preached dozens of sermons in many countries.

Through all of this, I understand there are many different denominations, Bible versions, text edits and rewrites, values, goals, experiences, revelations, etc., that change the trajectory of a human soul. My story is similar to yours—a different struggle, another understanding, or a different perspective. But still, I’m a human like you, trying to understand life, figure out what’s truly important, and find hope, hopefully, in Jesus.

Why The Synergy Of The Gospels?

This book is for anyone trying to find hope, rest, and better understand who Jesus of Nazareth was. Where did he come from? How did he act? What did he say, do and teach? Those questions will be answered with minimal commentary, religiously pious, or side agenda. This book isn’t for scholars examining a deep root of context through an ancient language. It’s not a new study Bible or a competitive new and better version. This book is the opposite. It’s a book to read slowly, casually, and with an eagerness to sit at the feet of Jesus and apprentice beside him.

I recently read John Mark Comer’s book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. It was good. I won’t unpack everything here. However, he made a comment that stuck with me, suggesting that most people read the New Testament as a story and not as a biography. Then I started to think to myself, “Self, as I claim I would like to be an apprentice of Jesus, maybe I should read his biography.”

I didn’t find one. Don’t get me wrong; there are many great books about Jesus. Off the top of my head, as I sit here typing, I can rattle off a couple, like Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright and Jesus by Paul Johnson are excellent. But I didn’t know where to turn if I wanted to sit down and read the Gospels like a flowing biography without extra commentary, context, and opinions (which might not even be a good idea). Fortunately, I did secure myself a copy of The NIV/NASB Harmony Of The Gospels by Robert L. Thomas and Stanley N. Gundry a few years back and fumble through that every so often.

A Biography Of Jesus

This is when I thought again to myself, “Self, let’s write out a simple biography.” And that is what I aimed to do. Basically, this book is a study for myself. I did not write it for you; I wrote it for me, but you’re welcome to read it. I did not chapter and verse scripture of a specific version of the Bible. I’m not a scholar. I’m an average person who wants a better understanding of who Jesus is. I hope to humble myself more so that I will become less and He will become more.

However, I reviewed The New Testament by David Bentley Hart closely and borrowed from my 10-year-old chicken scratch notes, which I jotted down while listening to Mark Moore’s Life of Christ lectures. Those two men have done a lot of work. Consider listening and reading what they have to say before me. You’ll be better off for it.

This book contains a simi-orderly timeline of Jesus’s actions and words. Much of this will be paraphrased. I trimmed some stuff, made sentences flow for my brain to understand better, and cut, pasted, and merged a few things occasionally. Don’t accept it as God’s revelation of an “approved” version of scripture. As you read each paragraph, I added the scriptures used in (parentheses). Where there are two or more overlapping gospel accounts, I tried to summarize them the best I could without removing any (in my opinion) grand details. When citing more than one gospel, the one noted first is typically the one with more content added. I also tried to note Old Testament references in [brackets]. Any dates or times mentioned are estimated and meant for easier reading and clarity.

I suggest you dig into The Word of God for yourself. Take your time reading it, chewing on it, and sitting at Jesus’s feet.


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