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Wednesday, January 03, 2007  

Don't Forget to Use the Parallels

Recently I was writing something and wanted to cite where Jesus deals with a dispute among his disciples about which of them would be the greatest. I had the phrase "greatest in the kingdom" in my mind, so I did a search for greatest AND kingdom in the Gospels. This brought me to Matthew 18:1 and 18:4, a passage in which the disciples come to Jesus and ask him "Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" That was close to what I was looking for, but not quite. I wanted the passage in which Jesus asks his disciples what they were quarreling about on the road. I could, of course, try to search for words like "quarrel" or "argue," but I couldn't remember the exact phrasing of the translation I was searching, so such searches would have been hit or miss and probably would have taken an unnecessary amount of time.

A quicker approach would be to take the passage I had already found and look for parallels to it in the other gospels. So I simply clicked in Matthew 18:1 to select it, then chose Gospels from the Parallels pop-up menu of the Resource palette (the icon with two side-by-side scrolls). This opened a Parallel window displaying the parallels to this passage in Mark and Luke. It was the passage in Mark that I ended up quoting from.

The moral of this story: Don't forget to use the Parallel databases to help you find parallel passages to the one you're studying. It can often be more convenient than trying to search by word.

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Wow! Thank you for this tip! Last week I spent maybe 10 or 15 minutes performing similar search, and I wish I knew this last Sabbath... Anyway, next time it will be real time saver for me! Thank you once more!

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