Harmony of the Four Gospels

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    Harmony of the Four Gospels

    Each of the four gospels contributes information, details, and insights not found in the other three. When combined, they present the most complete and accurate picture we have of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Here, the major events concerning the known periods of the Savior’s life are listed, with locations and references given from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Arrangements like this are commonly referred to as harmonies. The exact location of all of the events is not known, but the suggested sequence of events and the general locale of yet unknown places can assist in a better understanding of the life of the Master.

    The harmony and its division into periods of the life of Christ is based upon the harmony arranged by J. Reuben Clark, Jr. in Our Lord of the Gospels (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1957). This same work was used for the general arrangement of the lessons in this year’s (1974–75) Gospel Doctrine class. The unit reading assignments for the course are a consolidation of the scriptural references according to the major periods of Christ’s life as presented by President Clark. (The bookmark found in this issue of the Ensign has listed the unit reading assignments for the course.) See also The Four Gospels—Gospel Doctrine Teachers Supplement 1974–75, pp. vii, 1, 3, 15, 23, 37, 43, 65, 73, 83. The expanded format of the events as outlined by President Clark’s work is provided here for a more detailed study of the mortal life of the Savior. Of this arrangement President Clark wrote:

    “I have arranged the incidents in a chronological order that seemed generally to represent the majority view of the harmonists consulted. It is not to be assumed that they necessarily represent the true chronological order of the incidents that made up the Savior’s life. It is thought they may approximate that order. It is certain that some would make a different chronological order from the one here used.

    “But after all, the precise order of events may not be too material. What Jesus said and what he did, his teaching and doctrines, these are the things that are important.” (Our Lord of the Gospels, p. vi.)

    The excellent New Testament works by Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary Volume I: The Gospels, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1966), and James E. Talmage’s Jesus the Christ present the events of Christ’s life in the same general sequence as given here. Any notable differences have been footnoted in the harmony.

    First Period: From Predictions of Jesus’ Mortality to John’s Ministry

    (Sunday School Lessons 6–8)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Premortal life

           

    John 1:1–19

    Annunciation to Zacharias

    Jerusalem

       

    Luke 1:5–20

     

    Elisabeth in seclusion

    Judea

       

    Luke 1:24–25

     

    Annunciation to Mary

    Nazareth

       

    Luke 1:26–38

     

    Mary visits Elisabeth

    Judea

       

    Luke 1:39–56

     

    Joseph’s vision

    Nazareth

    Matt. 1:18–25

         

    Birth of John

    Judea

       

    Luke 1:57–80

     

    Caesar Augustus decree

         

    Luke 2:1–5

     

    Birth of Jesus

    Bethlehem

       

    Luke 2:6–7

     

    Christ’s Genealogies

     

    Matt. 1:1–17

     

    Luke 3:23–38

     

    Shepherds

    Bethlehem

       

    Luke 2:8–20

     

    Circumcision

    Bethlehem

       

    Luke 2:21

     

    Presentation in the temple

    Jerusalem

       

    Luke 2:22–38

     

    Return to Nazareth

    Nazareth

       

    Luke 2:39

     

    Visit of the Magi

    Bethlehem or Jerusalem

    Matt. 2:1–12

         

    Escape into Egypt

    Egypt

    Matt. 2:13–15

         

    Slaughter of the babes

    Bethlehem

    Matt. 2:16–18

         

    Return from Egypt

    Nazareth

    Matt. 2:19–25

     

    Luke 2:40

     

    Jesus in the temple

    Jerusalem

       

    Luke 2:41–50

     

    Residence in Nazareth

    Nazareth

       

    Luke 2:51–52

     

    Second Period: From John’s Ministry to the First Passover of Jesus’ Ministry

    (Sunday School Lessons 9–13)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Early ministry of John the Baptist

             

    Beginning of the ministry

    Judea

       

    Luke 3:1–2

     

    Introduction and message of John

    Judea

    Matt. 3:1–6

    Mark 1:1–6

    Luke 3:3–6

     

    John’s preaching

     

    Matt. 3:7–12

     

    Luke 3:7–14

     

    Announcement of Christ’s coming

     

    Matt. 3:11–12

    Mark 1:7–8

    Luke 3:15–18

     

    John baptizes Jesus

    Bethabara

    Matt. 3:13–17

    Mark 1:9–11

    Luke 3:21–23

     

    The Temptation

    Judea

    Matt. 4:1–11

    Mark 1:12–13

    Luke 4:1–13

     

    John proclaims he is not the Christ

    Bethabara

         

    John 1:19–28

    John testifies Jesus is the Christ

           

    John 1:29–34

    Andrew and Simon meet Jesus

           

    John 1:35–42

    Philip and Nathanael found

           

    John 1:43–51

    The first miracle— Cana wedding

    Cana

         

    John 2:1–11

    Jesus goes to Capernaum

    Capernaum

         

    John 2:12

    map of Judea area

    Third Period: Early Judean Ministry From the First Passover to the Return to Galilee

    (Sunday School Lessons 14–15)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    The first Passover— first clearing of the temple

    Jerusalem

         

    John 2:13–25

    Nicodemus visits Jesus

    Jerusalem

         

    John 3:1–21

    Returns to Judea

    Judea

         

    John 3:22

    John’s testimony to his disciples

    Judea

         

    John 3:23–36

    Herod imprisons John

    Machaerus

    Matt. 14:3–5

    Mark 6:17–20

    Luke 3:19–20

     

    Jesus leaves Judea for Galilee

    Judea

    Matt. 4:12

    Mark 1:14

    Luke 4:14

    John 4:1–3

    The woman of Samaria

    Sychar

         

    John 4:4–42

    Jesus goes into Galilee

    Galilee

         

    John 4:43–44

    map of Galilee area

    Fourth Period: Great Galilean Ministry A. From the Return to Galilee to the Choosing of the Twelve (Sunday School Lessons 16–17) 1

    NOTE: As used here, “Galilee” refers to a province of Palestine located north of Samaria, stretching eastward to the Jordan River and westward to the Sea of Galilee.

    1. Lessons 18–20 were placed in error in Part A of the Great Galilean Ministry instead of in Part B with lessons 21–23. (See The Four Gospels—Gospel Doctrine Teachers Supplement 1974–75, pp. iii, 43.)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Preaches in Galilee

    Galilee

    Matt. 4:17

    Mark 1:14–15

    Luke 4:14–15

    John 4:45

    Healing nobleman’s son

    Cana

         

    John 4:46–54

    Rejected at Nazareth

    Nazareth

       

    Luke 4:16–30

     

    Work at Capernaum

    Capernaum

    Matt. 4:13–16

     

    Luke 4:31–32

     

    Call of Peter, Andrew, James, and John

    Galilee

    Matt. 4:18–22

    Mark 1:16–20

    Luke 5:1–11

     

    An unclean spirit cast out

    Capernaum

     

    Mark 1:21–28

    Luke 4:31–37

     

    Peter’s wife’s mother healed; many miracles

    Capernaum

    Matt. 8:14–17

    Mark 1:29–34

    Luke 4:38–41

     

    Jesus makes tour preaching

    Galilee

    Matt. 4:23–25

    Mark 1:35–39

    Luke 4:42–44

     

    The leper healed

    Galilee

    Matt. 8:1–4

    Mark 1:40–45

    Luke 5:12–16

     

    One sick with palsy is healed

    Capernaum

    Matt. 9:2–8

    Mark 2:1–12

    Luke 5:17–26

     

    Call of Matthew who gives a feast.

    Galilee

    Matt. 9:9–13

    Mark 2:13–17

    Luke 5:27–32

     

    John’s disciples question about fasting

    Near sea of Galilee

    Matt. 9:14–17

    Mark 2:18–22

    Luke 5:33–39

     

    The second passover

    Jerusalem

         

    John 5:1–47

    Disciples pluck grain on Sabbath

    Galilee

    Matt. 12:1–8

    Mark 2:23–28

    Luke 6:1–5

     

    Man with withered hand healed

    Galilee

    Matt. 12:9–14

    Mark 3:1–6

    Luke 6:6–11

     

    Withdrawal to the Sea of Galilee

     

    Matt. 12:15–21

    Mark 3:7–12

       

    Ordination of the Twelve

    Galilee

    Matt. 10:1–4

    Mark 3:13–21

    Luke 6:12–16

     

    Fourth Period: Great Galilean Ministry (continued)

    B. From the Sermon on the Mount to the Tour in Northern Galilee (Sunday School Lessons 18–23)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Sermon on the Mount 1

     

    Matt. 5–7

     

    Luke 6:17–49

     

    Centurion’s servant healed

    Capernaum

    Matt. 8:5–13

     

    Luke 7:1–10

     

    The son of widow of Nain raised

    Nain

       

    Luke 7:11–17

     

    John sends messengers, questions to Jesus

    Galilee

    Matt. 11:2–30

     

    Luke 7:18–35

     

    Jesus anointed by sinful woman

    Galilee

       

    Luke 7:36–50

     

    Another tour of Galilee

    Galilee

       

    Luke 8:1–3

     

    Blind and dumb man healed

    Capernaum

    Matt. 12:22–23

         

    Charged with league with Beelzebub

    Capernaum

    Matt. 12:24–37

    Mark 3:22–30

       

    Jesus discourses on signs

    Capernaum

    Matt. 12:38–45

         

    Sought by his mother and brethren

    Capernaum

    Matt. 12:46–50

    Mark 3:31–35

    Luke 8:19–21

     

    Multitudes taught by parables (Sea of Galilee)

    Galilee

    Matt. 13:1–3

    Mark 4:1–2

    Luke 8:4

     
     

    Parable of the sower

    Galilee

    Matt. 13:3–23

    Mark 4:3–25

    Luke 8:5–18

     
     

    Parable of the seed growing

    Galilee

     

    Mark 4:26–29

       
     

    Parable of the tares

    Galilee

    Matt. 13:24–30

         
     

    Parable of the mustard seed and leaven

    Galilee

    Matt. 13:31–35

    Mark 4:30–34

       
     

    Parable of the tares explained

    Galilee

    Matt. 13:36–43

         
     

    Other parables

     

    Matt. 13:44–53

         

    Storm stilled (Sea of Galilee)

    Galilee

    Matt. 8:8–27

    Mark 4:35–41

    Luke 8:22–25

     

    Gadarene (Gergesenes) demoniacs cast out

    Gadara

    Matt. 8:28–34

    Mark 5:1–20

    Luke 8:26–39

     

    Return to Capernaum

    Capernaum

    Matt. 9:1

    Mark 5:21

    Luke 8:40

     

    Daughter of Jairus raised

    Capernaum

    Matt. 9:18–19, 23–26

    Mark 5:22–24, 35–43

    Luke 8:41–42, 49–56

     

    Woman with the issue healed

    Capernaum

    Matt. 9:20–22

    Mark 5:25–34

    Luke 8:43–48

     

    Two blind men healed

    Capernaum

    Matt. 9:27–31

         

    Dumb demonic healed

    Capernaum

    Matt. 9:32–34

         

    Second rejection at Nazareth

    Nazareth

    Matt. 13:54–58

    Mark 6:1–6

       

    Tour of Galilee

    Galilee

    Matt. 9:35–38

    Mark 6:6

       

    Twelve sent forth— Parable of the soils and stewardships

    Galilee

     

    Mark 6:7–13

    Luke 9:1–6

     

    Jesus continues His tour

    Galilee

    Matt. 10:1, 5–42

         

    Herod beheads John 2

    Machaerus

     

    Mark 6:21–29

       

    Herod thinks Jesus is John

    Galilee

    Matt. 11:1

    Mark 6:14–16

    Luke 9:7–9

     

    Twelve report their mission

    Capernaum

    Matt. 14:6–12

    Mark 6:30

    Luke 9:10

     

    Ministry at Bethsaida

    Bethsaida

    Matt. 14:1–2

    Mark 6:31–32

    Luke 9:10–11

     

    Five thousand fed (near Bethsaida)

    Galilee

    Matt. 14:13

    Mark 6:33–44

    Luke 9:12–17

    John 6:1–14

    Jesus prevents their making him king

    Galilee

    Matt. 14:14–21; Matt. 14:22–23

    Mark 6:45–46

     

    John 6:15

    Jesus walks on the Sea of Galilee

    Galilee

    Matt. 14:24–33

    Mark 6:47–52

     

    John 6:16–21

    Discourse to multitude on Bread of Life

    Capernaum

         

    John 6:22–71

    People in Gennesaret healed

    Gennesaret

    Matt. 14:34–36

    Mark 6:53–56

       

    Discourse on cleanliness

    Capernaum

    Matt. 15:1–20

    Mark 7:1–23

       

    1. Both McConkie and Talmage indicate the Sermon on the Mount was given after the calling of the Twelve. (See McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Volume I; The Gospels, pp. 14–16, 213–15; and Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 230.)

    2. In Talmage’s Jesus the Christ, the story of John the Baptist’s imprisonment to his death is considered as a whole, outside the chronology of events. (See Jesus the Christ, pp. 252–61.)

    Fourth Period: Great Galilean Ministry (continued) C. From the Retirement into Northern Galilee to the Closing of the Galilean Ministry (Sunday School Lessons 24, 25)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Journey into northern regions

     

    Matt. 15:21

    Mark 7:24

     

    John 7:1

    Daughter of the Greek woman healed

    Region of Tyre, Sidon

    Matt. 15:22–28

    Mark 7:25–30

       

    Return to the Sea of Galilee

    Sea of Galilee

    Matt. 15:29

    Mark 7:31

       

    Deaf man healed

    Decapolis

     

    Mark 7:32–37

       

    Four thousand fed

    Decapolis

    Matt. 15:29–38

    Mark 8:1–9

       

    Jesus goes to Magdala (Sea of Galilee)

    Magdala

    Matt. 15:39

    Mark 8:10

       

    Discourses about signs

    Capernaum

    Matt. 16:1–2

    Mark 8:11–21

       

    Blind man healed

    Bethsaida

     

    Mark 8:22–26

       

    Peter’s testimony of the Christ

    Region of Caesarea-Philippi

    Matt. 16:13–20

    Mark 8:27–30

    Luke 9:18–22

     

    Teaching to disciples concerning the death and Resurrection

    Region of Caesarea-Philippi

    Matt. 16:21–28

    Mark 8:31–38; Mark 9:1

    Luke 9:23–27

     

    The transfiguration— conferring of priesthood keys

    Mt. of Transfiguration 1

    Matt. 17:1–13

    Mark 9:2–13

    Luke 9:28–36

     

    Demoniac healed

     

    Matt. 17:14–21

    Mark 9:14–29

    Luke 9:37–43

     

    Jesus tours Galilee again

    Galilee

    Matt. 17:22–23

    Mark 9:30–32

    Luke 9:43–45

     

    Jesus asked about tribute money

    Capernaum

    Matt. 17:24–27

         

    Discourse on meekness and humility

    Capernaum

    Matt. 18:1–14

    Mark 9:33–37

    Luke 9:46–48

     

    Discourse on forgiveness and sealing power

    Capernaum

    Matt. 18:15–35

         

    Responsibility of those acting for Christ

    Capernaum

     

    Mark 9:38–42

    Luke 9:49–50

     

    Discourse on sacrifice 2

    Capernaum

       

    Luke 9:57–62

     

    Seventy sent forth

    Capernaum

       

    Luke 10:1–16

     

    Encouraged to go to Judea—rejected by kinsmen

    Galilee

         

    John 7:2–9

    Jesus starts for Jerusalem

         

    Luke 9:51–56

    John 7:10

    1. Mt. Hermon or Mt. Tabor.

    2. Jesus the Christ, p. 306, footnote d.

    Fifth Period: Later Judean Ministry

    (Sunday School Lessons 26, 27, 28)

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Preaching at the Feast of the Tabernacles

    Jerusalem

         

    John 7:11–53

    Woman taken in adultery

    Jerusalem

         

    John 8:1–11

    Light of the world and oneness Discourse

    Jerusalem

         

    John 8:12–30

    Discourse to the Jews about their sins

    Jerusalem

         

    John 8:31–59

    Seventy return 1

    Judea

       

    Luke 10:17–24

     

    Two great commandments— parable of the good Samaritan

    Judea

       

    Luke 10:25–37

     

    Jesus visits Mary and Martha

    Bethany

       

    Luke 10:38–42

     

    Instruction to disciples on prayer

    Judea

       

    Luke 11:1–13

     

    Casting out of dumb devil—accused

         

    Luke 11:14–36

     

    Discourse on cleanliness

         

    Luke 11:37–54

     

    Jesus teaches multitude—parable of the foolish rich man

    Judea

       

    Luke 12:1–59

     

    Slaughter of the Galileans, parable of fig tree

    Judea

       

    Luke 13:1–9

     

    Jesus heals man born blind 2

    Jerusalem

         

    John 9:1–41

    Parable of the good shepherd

    Jerusalem

         

    John 10:1–21

    Feast of Dedication—Jesus proclaims Messiahship

    Jerusalem

         

    John 10:22–39

    1. Talmage lists as a later event, but indicates exact time not known. (Jesus the Christ, p. 427.)

    2. This event is presented earlier in the chronology of events by Talmage. (Jesus the Christ, p. 412, footnote i.)

    Sixth Period: Perean Period

    (Sunday School Lessons 29, 30, 31)

    NOTE: Jesus retreated to the province of Perea, an area of land beyond Jordan, after almost losing his life at the Feast of the Dedication. He preached in the area for approximately three months, converting many. When John the Baptist began his ministry, this area was the first in which he labored.

    Event

    Place

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Jesus goes beyond the Jordan

    Perea

         

    John 10:39–42

    Healing on Sabbath of woman 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 13:10–17

     

    Parable of the mustard seed 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 13:18–21

     

    Beginning of journey to Jerusalem 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 13:22–30

     

    Warning about Herod Antipas 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 13:31–35

     

    Message that Lazarus is sick

    Perea

         

    John 11:1–16

    Man with dropsy healed on Sabbath 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 14:1–24

     

    Discourse on sacrifice 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 14:25–35

     

    Parables: 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 15:1–2

     
     

    Lost sheep

         

    Luke 15:3–7

     
     

    Lost coin

         

    Luke 15:8–10

     
     

    Return of prodigal son

         

    Luke 15:11–32

     
     

    Unjust steward

         

    Luke 16:1–13

     

    Discourse on covetousness 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 16:14–18

     

    Parable of the rich man and Lazarus 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 16:19–31

     

    Discourse on offense and faith 1

    Perea

       

    Luke 17:1–10

     

    Raising of Lazarus

    Bethany

         

    John 11:17–46

    Plot against Jesus

    Jerusalem

         

    John 11:47–53

    Journey to city of Ephraim

    Ephraim

         

    John 11:54

    Continues journey—Jesus heals ten lepers 1

    Samaria

       

    Luke 17:11–19

     

    Discourse of Kingdom of God

    Galilee

       

    Luke 17:20–37

     

    Parables:

    Galilee

           
     

    Importunate widow 2

         

    Luke 18:1–8

     

    Pharisee and the publican 1

         

    Luke 18:9–14

     

    Crosses Jordan into Perea

     

    Matt. 9:1–2

    Mark 10:1

       

    Pharisees tempt Jesus 1

    Perea

    Matt. 19:3–12

    Mark 10:2–12

       

    Blesses little children 1

    Perea

    Matt. 19:13–15

    Mark 10:13–16

    Luke 18:15–17

     

    Rich young ruler asks about eternal life 1

    Perea

    Matt. 19:16–30

    Mark 10:17–31

    Luke 18:18–30

     

    Parable of laborers in vineyard

    Perea

    Matt. 20:1–16

         

    Goes before the Twelve, toward Jerusalem

    Perea

    Matt. 20:17–19

    Mark 10:32–34

    Luke 18:31–34

     

    Ambitions of John and James

    Perea

    Matt. 20:20–28

    Mark 10:35–45

       

    Blind Bartimaeus healed (near Jericho)

     

    Matt. 20:29–34

    Mark 10:46–52

    Luke 18:35–43

     

    Jesus stays with Zacchaeus the publican

    Jericho

       

    Luke 19:1–10

     

    Parable of the ten pounds

    Jericho

       

    Luke 19:11–27

     

    Continues toward Jerusalem

         

    Luke 19:28

     

    Many seek him

    Jerusalem

         

    John 11:55–57

    1. Talmage discusses these events in an earlier time sequence (Jesus the Christ, pp. 443–82), but suggests they could have occurred at a later time (p. 490).

    2. This parable is treated by Talmage earlier only to illustrate a doctrinal teaching of the Master. He suggests it was given later as shown in the harmony here. (Jesus the Christ, pp. 435–36.)

    Seventh Period: The Week of Atoning Sacrifice (Sunday School Lessons 32–44) 1

    Note: Events during the last week of Jesus Christ’s life occurred within the city walls or in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem.

    Event

    Matt.

    Mark

    Luke

    John

    Jesus comes to Bethany

     

    [photo] Sea of Galilee, or Sea of Tiberias. (Photography by Don O. Thorpe.)

    [photos] Cana—where he made water into wine.

    [photo] Bethany—home of Mary and Martha.

    [photo] Nazareth—his own country.

    [photo] Mt. Tabor—site of transfiguration.

    [photo] Mt. Olivet—where he often went.

    [photo] Mt. Olivet at sundown.