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Tatian's Diatessaron

Year Group 1997/98

Collaborative research into the reconstruction of Diatessaron, second-century gospel harmony.

About the topic

The theme group “Tatian’s Diatesseron” focussed on the reconstruction of this second-century gospel harmony, concentrating on those sections that were adopted from the Gospel of John. Reconstructions of the Diatesseron have been made by a few earlier scholars, who usually restricted themselves to the Syriac text. Since 1923 the Dutch scholar D. Plooij developed the theory that Western harmonies might also contribute to the reconstruction of the original Diatesseron. He was followed in that view by others. The group’s research consisted of John 1-5, trying to make a corpus of all the textual witnesses in both the West (Latin, German, Dutch, and English) and the East (Syriac, Arabic, Persian, and Armenian), to evaluate on this basis all former attempts at reconstructing the Diatesseron, and to test earlier theories on the Diatesseron traditions and their development. The results of this research will be published in two collective monographs: The first will be on “Wedding at Cana” (John 2:1-11) in which all the materials pertinent to the Diatesseron will be collected and commented on, and in which theories are tested; the second will be an edition of John 1-5 in the Diatessaronic witnesses, with short comments to enable textual critics of the New Testament to use Diatesseron readings for a critical text of John.