The Layman's Gospel Harmony

Period 4 -- Magnificent Galilee
Spring to Spring, 28-29 AD
From Just After the Passover of John's Arrest to Just After the Passover of John's Execution

As reported by:

Mark 1:14 - 7:23
Matthew 4:12 - 15:20
Luke 4:14 - 9:17
John 6:1-71

22,838 KJV Words

"Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into
Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon
the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be
fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying..." (Matthew 4:12-14)

..."The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the
land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" (Isaiah 9:2)

The stunning gems of discovery unearthed through the proper harmonization of the four gospel accounts into a plausible historic time line of Galilee events nearly overwhelms the mind. It was foretold in the prophets that in Galilee -- in the ancestral borders of the Hebrew tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali -- the Christ would be magnified as a great light conquering darkness. Through harmonization, the four gospel accounts reveal that magnified Christ as never before in Gospel chronology research.

Highlights of the time line that emerges which are analyzed in detail in The Layman's Gospel Harmony include:

  • Just as in the birth narrative accounts, the lives of John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Law, and Jesus the Christ, the High Priest of Grace, are overlapped and intimately interwoven throughout Christ's 3.5 year messianic witness. Only when John has been imprisoned and silenced does the path open for Jesus to shine in Galilee. The radiant Galilee period proceeds while John languishes, silenced in the dungeon of Herod Antipas' Machaerus fortress. And then that radiant period is abruptly shattered upon the news of John's execution. The theological relations between John, Jesus, the Law, and Grace, manifest in profound and mysterious ways worthy of further devotional research into unplumbed depths of Gospel history research.

  • As with the two Temple cleansing reports, harmonization reveals that Jesus was violently rejected not once (per stagnant academic tradition) but twice in his home town of Nazareth. Luke reports the first incident at the period's onset and Mark and Matthew report the second incident at about the same time that John is executed. It is also at this time that Christ's radiant Galilean ministry is crushed by Temple loyalist infiltrating Christ's Capernaum base near the Passover of 29 AD.

  • The "Why?" of the two hostile rejections of Christ in Nazareth seem even more plausible in light of modern archaeology in Israel, which reveals that Nazareth had been the site of a priestly outpost community as early as 100 years after Christ, and probably was during Christ's life as well. If so, then the 12 year old Jesus, a scriptural prodigy who astonished Temple priests with his knowledge of the Torah (Luke 2:47) would have been well known to the priestly community of Temple loyalists in Nazareth. If so, latent jealousies and judgments almost 20 years old could have boiled over when Jesus declared himself the Savior in the Nazareth synagogue (Luke 4:21). It is no accident that nowhere in the Gospels is Jesus said to be residing in Nazareth except during the birth narrative accounts. John reports Jesus immediately settling in Capernaum with his mother, brethren, and disciples following the Cana miracle (John 2:12), perhaps because of an animosity toward Jesus from his pre-ministry life in Nazareth. Jesus is never reported in Nazareth except for the two hostile receptions.

  • For the first time ever in Gospel chronology research, The Layman's Gospel Harmony fully articulates "Matthew's Thematic Galilee Array" (MTGA), an intentionally non-chronological sub-structure spanning Harmony "Scenes" 42 through 72 in Matthew's Galilee report. Matthew's MTGA narrative reorganizes the historic sequence of events (preserved in Mark, Luke, and John) the way a journalist writes the lead sentence of a story first. In this case, Matthew's "lead" is his epic rendering of Christ's Sermon on the Mount discourse. The rest of MTGA is structured thematically in relation to the Sermon "lead" text in the structure of a Jewish didactic oration. The deeper purpose and origins of Matthew's MTGA sequence are yet to be discovered. For instance, MTGA may inform scholarly understanding of the report by early Church father Papias that Matthew wrote the "logia" in Hebrew. Until MTGA's true purpose is discovered and taught, the seemingly conflicting order of events in the Galilee period of the Gospel accounts will continue to confound and thwart Christendom's appreciation of the Gospels as accurate and reliable historic accounts. MTGA presents a fresh research opportunity which can deepen devotional understanding of the Gospels as accurate histories.

  • The two following graphic visualizations illustrate additional new insights into the plausible historic time line of the Gospels as realized in the research of The Layman's Gospel Harmony:

Informed by the time frame parameters defined in Daniels' vision of the 3.5 year messianic witness of the Christ, and by John's explicit listing of four Passovers, new vistas of discovery open in textual analysis of the Gospel texts reporting on the momentous Galilean phase of Christ's ministry. Key to the understanding of the reports is the use by the Gospel writers of the narrative technique of compression to summarize what were surely overwhelming experiences of the itinerant travels of Christ and the human flood which reacted to him in an areas spanning literally thousands of square miles across the Holy Land, as the Gospels are careful to report. Sociological "Network analysis" techniques show the plausibility of Christ and the disciples effectively canvassing the entire Galilean region three times within the Galilean period.