If you are like me, you have bought a lot of books over the years. I have found many that looked interesting while browsing in the bookstore but until you get it home and start reading you never know how useful a book or study tool is going to be. A few years back I bought “A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels” by George W. Knight at a local bookstore. I have found this book to be one of the most useful study tools I own. And just to show that a book’s usefulness does not have to mean it is expensive, this book is about $10 from Amazon for soft cover and also for Kindle. I bought this about 7 or 8 years ago and I paid $14.95 (I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it.)
This harmony of the Gospels is different than many I have seen. Most have four columns containing the text of the different Gospels. In this harmony, the author has combined them into one continuous flowing text, which I think makes it easier to read. Throughout the text, the reference information (i.e., Mark 1:1-8) is clearly marked, so you know where this text is found in the Bible. This harmony uses the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation (HCSB) which I find very readable and makes for a great reference or study Bible even if you prefer a different version.
Here are some additional features I really like about this harmony of the Gospels:
- There is a good Expanded Outline which shows where each passage is found in the 4 Gospels (this is in the 4 column layout and only includes the reference, i.e., John 11:1-44)
- There are explanatory notes for many of the Gospel passages which give helpful insight into the context and background.
- Also, there is some commentary related to key phrases that are highlighted throughout the text. These comments are conveniently located at the bottom of the page where the phrase is located rather than at the end of the section.
- There is a Systematic Reading Plan that will guide you through the harmony of the Gospels in about 4 months if you would like a more structured study.
- There are 4 indices at the back—one for each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) which will tell you what page each scripture passage is on.
- There is a subject index which includes about 180 subjects and page numbers to find them in the text.
- There is an indexed list of 38 miracles of Jesus with page numbers.
- And finally, there is an indexed list of 29 major parables of Jesus with page numbers.
I have taken the time to share about A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels because I have found it to be one of the most helpful study tools I have used in the last 20 years related to the life and ministry of Jesus.
If you have a desire to dig deeper into the life of Jesus I highly recommend getting this book.
We honor God when we study His word and learn more how to live like Jesus.