Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is the first book of the New Testament and one of the three synoptic gospels. It tells how the promised Messiah, rejected by Israel sends the disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world. Most scholars believe it was composed between AD 80 and 90, with a range of possibility between AD 70 to 110; the anonymous author was a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time. Writing in a polished Semitic "synagogue Greek", he drew on three main sources: the Gospel of Mark, the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source, material unique to his own community, called the M source or "Special Matthew"; the divine nature of Jesus was a major issue for the Matthaean community, the crucial element separating the early Christians from their Jewish neighbors. The title Son of David identifies Jesus as the healing and miracle-working Messiah of Israel, sent to Israel alone.
As Son of Man he will return to judge the world, an expectation which his disciples recognise but of which his enemies are unaware. As Son of God he is God revealing himself through his son, Jesus proving his sonship through his obedience and example; the gospel reflects the struggles and conflicts between the evangelist's community and the other Jews with its sharp criticism of the scribes and Pharisees. Prior to the Crucifixion the Jews are called the honorific title of God's chosen people; the oldest complete manuscripts of the Bible are the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus, which date from the 4th century. Besides these, there exist manuscript fragments ranging from a few verses to whole chapters. P 104 and P 67 are notable fragments of Matthew; these are copies of copies. In the process of recopying, variations slipped in, different regional manuscript traditions emerged, corrections and adjustments were made. Modern textual scholars collate all major surviving manuscripts, as well as citations in the works of the Church Fathers, in order to produce a text which most approximates to the lost autographs.
The gospel itself does not specify an author, but he was a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time. The majority of modern scholars believe that Mark was the first gospel to be composed and that Matthew and Luke both drew upon it as a major source for their works; the author of Matthew did not, however copy Mark, but used it as a base, emphasising Jesus' place in the Jewish tradition and including other details not covered in Mark. An additional 220 verses, shared by Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark, from a second source, a hypothetical collection of sayings to which scholars give the name "Quelle", or the Q source; this view, known as the Two-source hypothesis, allows for a further body of tradition known as "Special Matthew", or the M source, meaning material unique to Matthew. The author had the Greek scriptures at his disposal, both as book-scrolls and in the form of "testimony collections", and, if Papias is correct oral stories of his community.
These sources were predominantly in Greek, but not from any known version of the Septuagint. The majority view among scholars is that Matthew was a product of the last quarter of the 1st century; this makes it a work of the second generation of Christians, for whom the defining event was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans in AD 70 in the course of the First Jewish–Roman War. The Christian community to which Matthew belonged, like many 1st-century Christians, was still part of the larger Jewish community: hence the designation Jewish Christian to describe them; the relationship of Matthew to this wider world of Judaism remains a subject of study and contention, the principal question being to what extent, if any, Matthew's community had cut itself off from its Jewish roots. There was conflict between Matthew's group and other Jewish groups, it is agreed that the root of the conflict was the Matthew community's belief in Jesus as the Messiah and authoritative interpreter of the law, as one risen from the dead and uniquely endowed with divine authority.
The author of Matthew wrote for a community of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians located in Syria (Antioch, the largest city in Roman Syria and the third-largest in the empire, is me
Miraculous catch of fish
The Miraculous catch of fish or more traditionally the Miraculous Draught of Fish/es, is either of two miracles attributed to Jesus in the Canonical gospels. The miracles are reported as taking place years apart from each other, but in both miracles apostles are fishing unsuccessfully in the Sea of Galilee when Jesus tells them to try one more cast of the net, at which they are rewarded with a great catch. Either is thus sometimes called a "miraculous draught of fish". In the Gospel of Luke, the first miraculous catch of fish takes place early in the ministry of Jesus and results in Peter as well as James and John, the sons of Zebedee, joining Jesus vocationally as disciples; the second miraculous catch of fish is called the "miraculous catch of 153 fish," and seems to recall the first catch. It is reported in the last chapter of the Gospel of John and takes place after the Resurrection of Jesus. In Christian art, the two miracles are distinguished by the fact that in the first miracle Jesus is shown sitting in the boat with Peter, while in the second miracle he is standing on the shore.
According to the Gospel of Luke, on the day of this miracle, Jesus was preaching near the Lake of Genesareth, when he saw two boats at the water's edge. Boarding the one belonging to Simon, moving out a little from shore, he sat and taught the people from the boat. Afterwards, he said to Peter: "Put out into deep water, let down the nets for a catch."Peter answered: "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."When they had done so, "they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break," requiring help from another boat. When Peter saw the large catch, which filled both boats to sinking point, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord. Jesus responded "Don't be afraid. According to John 21:11 "Simon Peter dragged the net ashore, it was full of 153 large fish, but with so many the net was not torn". This has become known popularly as the "153 fish" miracle. Gospel of John, seven of the disciples—Peter, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, two others – decided to go fishing one evening after the Resurrection of Jesus, but caught nothing that night.
Early the next morning, Jesus called out to them from the shore: "Friends, haven't you any fish?"When they reply in the negative, Jesus responds: "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some". After doing so, "they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish". Realising the identity of their advisor, the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" at which Peter jumped into the water to meet him, while the remaining disciples followed in the boat, towing the net, which proved to be full of 153 large fish. This passage has traditionally been one of the liturgical readings following Easter, sermons have been preached on it by Augustine of Hippo and John Chrysostom, among others. Second Chronicles 2:17 records Solomon as having conducted a census of foreigners: "And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them. John's Gospel points toward ministry of those outside Judaism, just as Solomon's temple was built with the labor of "strangers."
The precision of the number of fish as 153 has long been considered, various writers have argued that the number 153 has some deeper significance, with many conflicting theories having been offered. Discussing some of these theories, theologian D. A. Carson suggests that "If the Evangelist has some symbolism in mind connected with the number 153, he has hidden it well," while other scholars note "No symbolic significance for the number of 153 fish in John 21:11 has received widespread support". References to aspects of the miracle, or to the general idea of being "fishers of men," can sometimes be recognised by uses of the number 153. For example, St Paul's School in London was founded in 1512 by John Colet to teach 153 poor men's children: although the school is now larger, it still has 153 Foundation Scholars, who since the 19th century have worn a fish emblem on their watch-chains, or, more in their button-holes. In Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras, a tale is mentioned in which Pythagoras, while journeying from Sybaris to Crotona, is said to have met some fishermen, who were drawing their net laden to the shore, he told them the exact number of fish they caught.
In this reference, the exact number is not mentioned. Depictions of The Miraculous catch of fish Chronology of Jesus Life of Jesus in the New Testament Ministry of Jesus Miracles of Jesus Parables of Jesus Restoration of Peter
James, brother of Jesus
James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord, was an early leader of the Jerusalem Church of the Apostolic Age, to which Paul was affiliated. He died in martyrdom in 62 or 69 AD. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, as well as some Anglicans and Lutherans, teach that James, along with others named in the New Testament as "brothers" of Jesus, were not the biological children of Mary, but were cousins of Jesus or step-brothers from a previous marriage of Joseph. Roman Catholic tradition holds that this James is to be identified with James, son of Alphaeus, James the Less, it is agreed by most that he should not be confused with son of Zebedee. Eusebius records that Clement of Alexandria related, "This James, whom the people of old called the Just because of his outstanding virtue, was the first, as the record tells us, to be elected to the episcopal throne of the Jerusalem church." Other epithets are "James the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just," and "James the Righteous". He is sometimes referred to in Eastern Christianity as "James Adelphotheos", James the Brother of God.
The oldest surviving Christian liturgy, the Liturgy of St James, uses this epithet. The Jerusalem Church was an early Christian community located in Jerusalem, of which James and Peter were leaders. Paul was affiliated with this community, took his central kerygma, as described in 1 Corinthians 15, from this community. According to Eusebius, the Jerusalem church escaped to Pella during the siege of Jerusalem by the future Emperor Titus in 70 and afterwards returned, having a further series of Jewish bishops until the Bar Kokhba revolt in 130. Following the second destruction of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the city as Aelia Capitolina, subsequent bishops were Greeks. James the Just was "from an early date with Peter a leader of the Church at Jerusalem and from the time when Peter left Jerusalem after Herod Agrippa's attempt to kill him, James appears as the principal authority who presided at Council of Jerusalem."The Pauline epistles and the chapters of the Acts of the Apostles portray James as an important figure in the Christian community of Jerusalem.
When Paul arrives in Jerusalem to deliver the money he raised for the faithful there, it is to James that he speaks, it is James who insists that Paul ritually cleanse himself at Herod's Temple to prove his faith and deny rumors of teaching rebellion against the Torah. Paul describes James as being one of the persons to whom the risen Christ showed himself, in Galatians 2:9, Paul lists James with Cephas and John the Apostle as the three "pillars" of the Church. Paul describes these Pillars as the ones who will minister to the "circumcised" in Jerusalem, while Paul and his fellows will minister to the "uncircumcised", after a debate in response to concerns of the Christians of Antioch; the Antioch community was concerned over whether Gentile Christians need be circumcised to be saved, sent Paul and Barnabas to confer with the Jerusalem church. James played a prominent role in the formulation of the council's decision. James was the last named figure to speak, after Peter and Barnabas, he supported them all in being against the requirement and suggested prohibitions about eating blood as well as meat sacrificed to idols and fornication.
This became the ruling of the Council, agreed upon by all the apostles and elders and sent to the other churches by letter. The Encyclopædia Britannica relates that "James the Lord's brother was a Christian apostle, according to St. Paul, although not one of the original Twelve Apostles." According to Schaff, James seems to have taken the place of James the son of Zebedee, after his martyrdom, around 44 AD. Modern historians of the early Christian churches tend to place James in the tradition of Jewish Christianity. According to Schaff, James was the local head of the oldest church and the leader of the most conservative portion of Jewish Christianity. Scholar James D. G. Dunn has proposed that Peter was the "bridge-man" between the two other "prominent leading figures": Paul and James the Just. Apart from a handful of references in the synoptic Gospels, the main sources for the life of James the Just are the Pauline epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, Eusebius and Jerome, who quote the early Christian chronicler Hegesippus and Epiphanius.
There is no mention of James in the Gospel of John and the early portions of the Acts of the Apostles. The Synoptics mention no further information. In the extant lists of Pseudo-Hippolytus of Rome, Dorotheus of Tyre, the Chronicon Paschale, Dimitry of Rostov, he is the first of the Seventy Apostles though some sources, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia, state that "these lists are worthless"; the New Testament mentions several people named James. The Pauline epistles, from about the sixth decade of the 1st century, have two passages mentioning a James; the Acts of the Apostles, written sometime between 60 and 150 AD describes the period before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It has three mentions of a James; the Gospels, with disputed datings ranging from about 50 to as late as 130 AD, describe the period of Jesus' ministry, around 30-33 AD. It mentions at least two different peop
Lamb of God
Lamb of God is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John. It appears at John 1:29, where John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."Christian doctrine holds that divine Jesus chose to suffer crucifixion at Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of his divine Father, as an "agent and servant of God" as well as to pick up and carry away the sin of the world. In Christian theology the Lamb of God is viewed as foundational and integral to the message of Christianity. A lion-like lamb that rises to deliver victory after being slain appears several times in the Book of Revelation, it is referred to in Pauline writings: 1 Corinthians 5:7 suggests that Saint Paul intends to refer to the death of Jesus, the Paschal Lamb, using the theme found in Johannine writings. The lamb metaphor is in line with Psalm 23, which depicts God as a shepherd leading his flock; the Lamb of God title is used in Christian prayers, the Agnus Dei is used as a standard part of the Catholic Mass, as well as the classical Western Liturgies of the Anglican and Lutheran Churches.
It is used in liturgy and as a form of contemplative prayer. The Agnus Dei forms a part of the musical setting for the Mass; as a visual motif the lamb has been most represented since the Middle Ages as a standing haloed lamb with a foreleg cocked "holding" a pennant with a red cross on a white ground, though many other ways of representing it have been used. The title Lamb of God for Jesus appears in the Gospel of John, with the initial proclamation: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29, the title reaffirmed the next day in John 1:36; the second use of the title Lamb of God takes place in the presence of the first two apostles of Jesus, who follow him, address him as Rabbi with respect and in the narrative bring others to meet him. These two proclamations of Jesus as the Lamb of God bracket the Baptist's other proclamation in John 1:34: "I have borne witness that this is the Son of God". From a Christological perspective, these proclamations and the descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove in John 1:32 reinforce each other to establish the divine element of the Person of Christ.
In Johannine Christology the proclamation "who takes away the sin of the world" begins the unfolding of the salvific theme of the redemptive and sacrificial death of Jesus followed by his resurrection, built upon in other proclamations such as "this is indeed the Saviour of the world" uttered by the Samaritans in John 4:42. The Book of Revelation includes over twenty-nine references to a lion-like lamb which delivers victory in a manner reminiscent of the resurrected Christ. In the first appearance of the lamb in Revelation only the lamb is found worthy to take the judgment scroll from God and break the seals; the reference to the lamb in Revelation 5:6 relates it to the Seven Spirits of God which first appear in Revelation 1:4 and are associated with Jesus who holds them along with seven stars. In Revelation 21:14 the lamb is said to have twelve apostles; the handing of the scroll to the risen lamb signifies the change in the role of the lamb. In Calvary, the lamb submitted to the will of the Father to be slain, but now is trusted with the judgment of mankind.
From the outset, the book of Revelation is presented as a "revelation of Jesus Christ" and hence the focus on the lamb as both redeemer and judge presents the dual role of Jesus: he redeems man through self-sacrifice, yet calls man to account on the day of judgment. The concept of the Lamb of God fits well within John's "agent Christology", in which sacrifice is made as an agent of God or servant of God for the sake of eventual victory; the theme of a sacrificial lamb which rises in victory as the Resurrected Christ was employed in early Christology. For example in 375 Saint Augustine wrote: "Why a lamb in his passion? Because he underwent death without being guilty of any iniquity. Why a lion in his passion? Because in being slain, he slew death. Why a lamb in his resurrection? Because his innocence is everlasting. Why a lion in his resurrection? Because everlasting is his might." The 11th century Christology of Saint Anselm of Canterbury disassociates the Lamb of God from the Old Testament concept of a scapegoat, subjected to punishment for the sins of others without knowing it or willing it.
Anselm emphasized that as Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer in Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of the Father. John Calvin presented the same Christological view, of "The Lamb as the agent of God", by arguing that in his trial before Pilate and while at Herod's Court Jesus could have argued for his innocence, but instead remained quiet and submitted to crucifixion in obedience to the Father, for he knew his role as the Lamb of God. In modern Eastern Orthodox Christology, Sergei Bulgakov argued that the role of Jesus as the Lamb of God was "pre-eternally" determined by the Father, before the creation of the world, by considering the scenario that it would be necessary to send The Son as an agent to redeem humanity disgraced by the fall of Adam, that this is a sign of His love. Multiple hypotheses about the suitable symbolism for the Lamb of God have been offered, within various Christological frameworks, ranging from the interpretation of Old Testament references to those of the Book of Revelation.
One view suggests the symbolism of Leviticus 16 as scapegoat, coupled with Romans 3:21–25 for atonement, while another view draws parallels with the Paschal
Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Simon the Zealot
Simon the Zealot or Simon the Cananite or Simon the Cananaean was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. A few pseudepigraphical writings were connected to him, the theologian and Doctor of the Church, Saint Jerome, does not include him in De viris illustribus written between 392–393 AD; the name Simon occurs in all of the Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts each time there is a list of apostles, without further details: Simon, Andrew his brother and John, Philip and Bartholomew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, Judas Iscariot, the traitor. To distinguish him from Simon Peter he is called Kananaios or Kananites, depending on the manuscript, in the list of apostles in Luke 6:15, repeated in Acts 1:13, the "Zealot". Both titles derive from the Hebrew word קנאי qanai, meaning zealous, although Jerome and others mistook the word to signify the apostle was from the town of קנה Cana, in which case his epithet would have been "Kanaios", or from the region of כנען Canaan.
As such, the translation of the word as "the Cananite" or "the Canaanite" is traditional and without contemporary extra-canonic parallel. Robert Eisenman has pointed out contemporary talmudic references to Zealots as kanna'im "but not as a group — rather as avenging priests in the Temple". Eisenman's broader conclusions, that the zealot element in the original apostle group was disguised and overwritten to make it support the assimilative Pauline Christianity of the Gentiles, are more controversial. John P. Meier points out that the term "Zealot" is a mistranslation and in the context of the Gospels means "zealous" or "jealous", as the Zealot movement did not exist until 30 to 40 years after the events of the Gospels. However, neither Brandon, nor Hengel support this view, both independently concluding that the revolt by Judas of Galilee, arising from the census of Quirinius in 6 AD, was the ultimate origin of the Jewish freedom movement, which developed via the "Fourth Philosophy" group into the Zealots by the time of Jesus.
Both of these researchers suggest that "Simon Zelotes" was indeed a Zealot belonging to this movement, that other disciples were also. However, Hengel concluded that Jesus himself was not a zealot, as much of his teaching was contrary to Fourth Philosophy views. In the Gospels, Simon the Zealot is never identified with Simon the brother of Jesus mentioned in Mark 6:3: 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that Simon the Zealot may be the same person as Simeon of Jerusalem or Simon the brother of Jesus, he could be the cousin of Jesus or a son of Joseph from a previous marriage. Another tradition holds that this is the Simeon of Jerusalem who became the second bishop of Jerusalem, although he was born in Galilee. St. Isidore of Seville drew together the accumulated anecdotes of St. Simon in De Morte. According to the Golden Legend, a collection of hagiographies, compiled by Jacobus de Varagine in the thirteenth century "Simon the Cananaean and Judas Thaddeus were brethren of James the Less and sons of Mary Cleophas, married to Alpheus."
In the apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel a fact related to this apostle is mentioned. A boy named Simon is bitten by a snake in his hand, he is healed by Jesus and told the child "you shall be my disciple"; the mention ends with the phrase "this is Simon the Cananite, of whom mention is made in the Gospel."In tradition, Simon is associated with St. Jude as an evangelizing team; the most widespread tradition is that after evangelizing in Egypt, Simon joined Jude in Persia and Armenia or Beirut, where both were martyred in 65 AD. This version is the one found in the Golden Legend, he may have suffered crucifixion as the Bishop of Jerusalem. One tradition states that he traveled in Africa. Christian Ethiopians claim that he was crucified in Samaria, while Justus Lipsius writes that he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia. However, Moses of Chorene writes. Tradition claims he died peacefully at Edessa. Another tradition says he visited Britain— In his 2nd mission to Britain, he arrived during 1st year of Boadicean War 60 AD.
He was crucified May 10, 61AD by the Roman Catus Decianus, at Caistor, modern-day Lincolnshire, See The Drama of the Lost Disciples, p. 159 by George F. Jowett. Another, doubtless inspired by his title "the Zealot", states that he was a member of the group involved in the Jewish revolt against the Romans, brutally suppressed; the 2nd century Epistle of the Apostles, a polemic against gnostics, lists him among the apostles purported to be writing the letter as Judas Zelotes and certain Old Latin translations of the Gospel of Matthew substitute "Judas the Zealot" for Thaddeus/Lebbaeus in Matthew 10:3. To some readers, this suggests that he may be identical with the "Judas not Iscariot" mentioned in John 14:22: "Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Our Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, not unto the world?" As it has been suggested that Jude is identical with the apostle Thomas, an identification of "Simon Zelotes" with Thomas is possible. Barbara Thiering identified Simon Zelotes
A gospel harmony is an attempt to compile the canonical gospels of the Christian New Testament into a single account. This may take the form either of a single, merged narrative, or a tabular format with one column for each gospel, technically known as a synopsis, although the word harmony is used for both. Harmonies are constructed for a variety of purposes: to provide a straightforward devotional text for parishioners, to create a readable and accessible piece of literature for the general public, to establish a scholarly chronology of events in the life of Jesus as depicted in the canonical gospels, or to better understand how the accounts relate to each other. Among academics, the construction of harmonies has always been favoured by more conservative scholars. Students of higher criticism see the divergences between the gospel accounts as reflecting the construction of traditions by the early Christian communities. Among modern academics, attempts to construct a single story have been abandoned in favour of laying out the accounts in parallel columns for comparison, to allow critical study of the differences between them.
The earliest known harmony is the Diatessaron by Tatian in the 2nd century and variations based on the Diatessaron continued to appear in the Middle Ages. The 16th century witnessed a major increase in the introduction of gospel harmonies and the parallel column structure became widespread. At this time visual representations started appearing, depicting the life of Christ in terms of a "pictorial gospel harmony", the trend continued into the 19th–20th centuries. A gospel harmony is an attempt to collate the Christian canonical gospels into a single account. Harmonies are constructed by some writers in order to make the gospel story available to a wider audience, both religious and secular. Harmonies can be studied by scholars to establish a coherent chronology of the events depicted in the four canonical gospels in the life of Jesus, to better understand how the accounts relate to each other, to critically evaluate their differences; the terms harmony and synopsis have been used to refer to several different approaches to consolidating the canonical gospels.
Technically, a "harmony" weaves together sections of scripture into a single narrative, merging the four gospels. There are four main types of harmony: radical, synthetic and parallel. By contrast, a "synopsis", much like a parallel harmony, justaposes similar texts or accounts in parallel format, synchronized by time, while preserving their individual identity in columns. Harmonies may take a visual form and be undertaken to create narratives for artistic purposes, as in the creation of picture compositions depicting the life of Christ; the oldest approach to harmonizing consists of merging the stories into a single narrative, producing a text longer than any individual gospel. This creates the most straightforward and detailed account, one, to be most accessible to non-academic users, such as lay churchgoers or people who are reading the gospels as a work of literature or philosophy. There are, difficulties in the creation of a consolidated narrative; as John Barton points out, it is impossible to construct a single account from the four gospels without changing at least some parts of the individual accounts.
One challenge with any form of harmonizing is that events are sometimes described in a different order in different accounts – the Synoptic Gospels, for instance, describe Jesus overturning tables in the Temple at Jerusalem in the last week of his life, whereas the Gospel of John records a counterpart event only towards the beginning of Jesus's ministry. Harmonists must either choose which time they think is correct, or conclude that separate events are described. Lutheran theologian Andreas Osiander, for instance, proposed in Harmonia evangelica that Jesus must have been crowned with thorns twice, that there were three separate episodes of cleansing of the Temple. On the other hand, commentators have long noted that the individual gospels are not written in a rigorously chronological format; this means that an event can be described as falling at two different times and still be the same event, so that the substantive details can be properly brought together in a harmony, although the harmonist will still have the task of deciding which of the two times is more probable.
A less common but more serious difficulty arises if the gospels diverge in their substantive description of an event. An example is the incident involving the centurion. In the Gospel of Matthew the centurion comes to Jesus in person. Since these accounts are describing the same event, the harmonist must decide, the more accurate description or else devise a composite account; the modern academic view, based on the broadly accepted principle that Matthew and Luke were written using Mark as a source, seeks to explain the differences between the texts in terms of this process of composition. For example, Mark describes John the Baptist as preaching the forgiveness of sins, a detail, dropped by Matthew in the belief that the forgiveness of sins was exclusive to Jesus; the modern popularizing view, on the other hand, while acknowledging these difficulties, deemphasizes their importance. This view suggests that the divergences in the gospels are a small part of the whole, that the accounts show a great deal of overall similarity.
The divergences can therefore be sufficiently discussed in footnote in the course of a consolidated narrative, need not stand in the way of conveying a better overall view of the life of Jesus or of making this material more accessible to a wider readership. To illustrate the concept of parallel ha