The Diatessaron: A Harmony of the Four Gospels

Tatian (c120 – c180)

Translated by Hope W. Hogg (1863 – 1912)

The Diatessaron is such an impersonal work that we do not need to know very much about its compiler. It will suffice here to say that he tells us himself that he was born “in the land of the Assyrians,” and brought up a heathen. After travelling in search of knowledge, he settled at Rome, where he became a pupil of Justin Martyr, professed Christianity, and wrote in Greek his Address to the Greeks, translated in vol. iii. of the Ante-Nicene Christian Library. He was too independent in his attitude to maintain a permanent popularity, and after Justin’s death left Rome and returned to Mesopotamia. It was probably here that he issued in Syriac his most important work, the Diatessaron, which won such a warm place in the heart of the Syrian church. Among the Greek scholars, however, he became more and more regarded as a heretic, Encratite (ascetic), and Gnostic.

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