The Gospels

A gospel is a writing that describes the life of Jesus. The word is primarily used to refer to the four canonical gospels: the Gospel of St. Mark, Gospel of St.Matthew, Gospel of St.Luke and Gospel of St.John.

The first canonical gospel written is thought by most scholars to be  St. Mark
(c 65-70), which was according to the majority used as a source for the gospels of  St.Matthew and  St.Luke. These first three gospels are called the synoptic gospels because they share similar incidents, teachings, and even much language.
The synoptic gospels are the source of many popular stories, parables, and sermons, such as Jesus' humble birth in Bethlehem, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the Last Supper, and the Great Commission. The synoptic evangelists demonstrated reserve in altering or inventing stories about Jesus, and historians regard the synoptic gospels as including significant amounts of historically reliable information about Jesus. Scholars maintain that the gospels and all the books of the New Testament were written in Greek.

The fourth gospel, the Gospel of  St.John, presents a very different picture of Jesus and his ministry from the synoptics. In differentiating history from invention, historians interpret the gospel accounts skeptically.

John provides a theological description of Jesus as the eternal Word, the unique savior of humanity. All four attest to his Sonship, miraculous power, crucifixion, and resurrection.

More generally, gospels compose a genre of early Christian literature. Gospels that did not become canonical likely also circulated in early Christianity. Some, such as the Gospel of Thomas, lack the narrative framework typical of a gospel. These gospels appeared later than the canonical gospels, and in the case of Thomas, after the Bible was officially cannonized.

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The Gospels