Harmony of the Four Gospels


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.