God Story—Witnesses

While working on my “Son of Man” musical, I felt that it would be useful for me to see the story of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) in harmony, in completeness, and in one continuous read. So I took the Joseph Smith Translation of the New Testament, along with a Gospel harmony, and prayerfully abridged those passages that overlapped in two or more of the four Gospels. For example, the image below shows three of the writers telling of Jesus after His baptism, going into the wilderness to fast for forty days, and while there, being tempted by the devil. The words that appear in “strikethrough” are the words that Joseph prophetically removed from the original King James version, while the words in bold italic are the words Joseph added…

And now, my abridgment of the same:

There are also places in the abridgment where modern day scripture is inserted, either when it tells specifically of a moment in time spoken of in the four gospels, or when it quotes the Lord’s word and enhances His meaning. The abridgment is divided into sections of the Lord’s life and work, as if in separate books: Prologue, Birth & Childhood, John the Baptist, Beginning of Miracles, First Judean Ministry, Galilean Ministry, etc., and also has its own verse order that could not correlate with the differing numbered verses in the Bible. As well, I’ve added some footnotes if they felt they would be helpful to me in defining the biblical terms or setting better. And while i make no claims that this abridgment is prophetic, or even perfect in its scholarship, it has been useful to me, as it was created for my sake alone, that I might be able to see the particular details of the story of Jesus unfold before me in a more complete way. Therefore, it must be seen for what it is, as a useful aid. Additionally, it is in no way meant to replace for me the individual testimonies of the authors of the four gospels. They each wrote differently, and to different audiences, and a great part of their combined strength is found in the fact that there are four of them and not just one. Hence the title: Witnesses.

As I finish cleaning it up, if it would be useful to you as an aid in your study of our Lord’s life, I would be more than happy to share it with you.