Tatian's Diatessaron

Its Creation, Dissemination, Significance, and History in Scholarship


A gospel harmony composed c. 172 C.E., the Diatessaron is one of the earliest witnesses to the gospels. Regarded as the first version of the gospels in Latin, Syriac, and Armenian, the Diatessaron was used by Encratites, Judaic-Christians, and “Great Church” Christians alike.
This study is the first comprehensive treatment of the Diatessaron in more than a century. After sketching the second-century setting and Tatian's biography, it describes virtually every Diatessaronic witness and provides a scholar-by-scholar summary of research from 546 to the present. Criteria for reconstructing Diatessaronic readings are developed, and numerous examples offer the reader first-hand experience with the witnesses. It contains the first Bibliography of research on the Diatessaron (600+ titles) and the first “Catalogue of Manuscripts of Diatessaronic Witnesses and Related Works” ever published.
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EUR €285.00USD $383.00

Biographical Note

William L. Petersen, Dr.Theol. (1984), University of Utrecht, is Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Pennsylvania State University. Publications include The Diatessaron and Ephrem Syrus as Sources of Romanos the Melodist; Gospel Traditions in the Second Century.

Review Quotes

' This is a masterly treatment comprehensively setting out all the problems and issues relating to this famous second century harmony, and is to be warmly recommended.'
J.K. Elliott, The Expository Times, 1995.
' The book is richly furnished with meticulous footnotes and a bibliography of over 700 titles.'
J.K. Elliott, Novum Testamentum, 1995.
' ...un très beau volume...magnifique ouvrage…'
Jean-Daniel Dubois Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religions, 1995.
' This careful and demanding work is highly recommended for research libraries.'
Gary A. Anderson Religious Studies Review, 1996.
' It is beautifully produced and will be an indispensible reference for students in this field.'
E. Earle Ellis, Southwestern Journal of Theology, 1996.
' Both the author and the publisher are to be congratulated on the production of a significant volume, for which many will be grateful.'
Bruce M. Metzger, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1996.
' ...a magnificent book that ought to be on the shelves of every library.'
T. Baarda, Biblica, 1996.
' Ohne sein Buch ist fortan keine Weiterarbeit am Diatessaron zu denken.'
Walter Beltz, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte, 1998.


Advanced students and scholars of the New Testament, especially the gospels; church historians; historical theologians; textual critics; advanced students and scholars of Oriental Christianity and the early Versions; Medievalists, Germanists


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