The Five Gospels Parallels

Edited by John W. Marshall. 1996 - 2001
Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Using these links implies agreeing to the copyrights
acknowledged below under Copyrights

The Five Gospels
The Four Canonicals

The Three Synoptics

Five + Paul Vertical
Five + Paul with Lower Window

The Q Twosome

Sayings Sources Sources
Synoptics and Thomas

Help! The additional of the Paul text and a new view on Thomas and the Synoptics are minor improvement after five years, but see below if you want to help out with the next version of the Five Gospel Parallels.

This HTML presentation of the Five Gospels is designed to be a teaching tool for introductory level classes in New Testament and Christian Origins. For this reason, and because of the particular constraints of HTML, it does not offer the same level of detail as a printed synopsis (i.e. Throckmorton 1979, 1992; Aland 1985). Its advantage is that it allows more "play" than a printed synopsis and that it presents the materials in the same order as the canonical Gospels. Moreover, it offers texts that are not commonly included in the synopses designed for classroom use: Thomas and Paul. Others may follow.

The sections outlined on the left give more details, but it's important to note that I am not (yet) distributing this product and that I retain copyright to the original encoding herein.


Having the parallels work most efficiently demands a little thought from the user and perhaps even a little understanding of HTML. If you click on a Gospel that is not already displayed in the browser configuration you have chosen, it will be opened in a new window.

Regarding Speed

The files involved in this presentation of the gospels are very large, roughly 150kb per gospel. This means that they take a while to load. If you have a slow connection, they may take a very long time to load. Graphics are not the problem. To run all five Gospels takes only 25k of graphics (less than 5% of the total data). For this reason you cannot significantly speed up operations by turning off automatic image loading.

What you can do to speed up operation is to set large memory cache and disk cache values. Four Mb each works very well. With large cache values, operation actually speeds up as you go. Best of luck.

Regarding Frames

If you hate frames or don't have or won't get a frame compatible browser, you can use the links below to open each gospel in its own frameless browser.





The copyright to the RSV is held by the National Council of Churches of Christ.

The copyright to Lambdin's translation of the Gospel of Thomas is held by E.J. Brill (correct ???).

The copyright to the original markup of this edition of these texts is held by John W. Marshall. The HTML markup is not insubstantial in this case; it forms approximately ¾ of the data within the HTML presentation of the Five Gospels.

These texts are presented for educational purposes only and are not an adequate substitute for printed editions.


The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John use the text of the The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version. Copyright 1946, 1952, 1973 by the National Council of Churches of Christ. All rights reserved.

The Gospel of Thomas uses th translation of the Coptic version by Thomas O. Lambdin and produced in ASCII form by Craig Schenk. In the single case of logion 70, Schenk has substituted the translation offered by Elaine Pagels in The Gnostic Gospels (New Youk: Random House, 1979).

The parallels used proceed from a wide variety of sources, most notably Throckmorton (1979, 1992), Schenk's tables for GTh, the parallels implied in the NA27, Aland's Synopsis Quattor Evangeliorum Kloppenborg's Q/Thomas Reader, and many others.

The final decisions on parallels for this edition and the means of presenting them have been mine and thus so has the responsibility. The texts presented here are continuous files which could be printed out and read just like any other edition of the gospels and so they present different organizational challenges than traditional parallel editions such as those of Huck-Leitzmann, Kloppenborg, Throckmorton, or Aland would face.

HELP! (formerly "Works In Progress")

I've realised that in the five years since I began this project that development has slowed to a rate that can only be described as imperceptible. I'm calling for help in two major areas: moving to a more sensible and expandable method of managing the source for this project, creating a more usable user interface. If you have the capabilities to assist me in this, drop me a line and we'll talk. If your capabilities are financial rather than computational, let me know and I'll see what I can do to make channel a donation through the University in order to make it a fully accountable and deductable charitable contribution. Beyond these computational tasks three major improvements for this resources are barely underway: A set of Q Parallels that only make use of the common portions of GMt and GLk; a set of Q Parallels that also includes the reconstruction of Q by the International Q Project; and an integration of further parallel texts (e.g. Egerton, GPt, DialSav, etc.).

User interface

How about something like this?

Main Texts


Other Texts (if Applicable)

Dialogue of the Saviour
Egerton Papyrus


Lower Window

Sigla for the Gospel of Thomas

C. Schenk's ASCII text of GTh employs the following sigla:

[squarebrackets] indicate a damaged portion of the manuscript where the translators have attempted a reconstruction.
(parentheses) indicate comments or text added by the translator for clarification purposes.
<pointed brackets> indicate a scribal error (spelling, grammatical, etc) in the original, where the translator has made a correction.
{braces} indicate superfluous text added by the scribe.


I am interested in feedback on the presentation as well as outright correction of the errors that inevitably enter such a project at its early stages.

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