Why Four Gospels?

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Most modern critical scholars consider that the extant citations suggest at least two and probably three distinct works, at least one of which possibly two closely parallels the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Thomas is mostly wisdom without narrating Jesus's life. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that the original may date from c.

The Gospel of Peter was likely written in the first half of the 2nd century. It had been lost but was rediscovered in the 19th century.


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The Gospel of Judas is another controversial and ancient text that purports to tell the story of the gospel from the perspective of Judas, the disciple who is usually said to have betrayed Jesus. It paints an unusual picture of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, in that it appears to interpret Judas's act not as betrayal, but rather as an act of obedience to the instructions of Jesus. The text was recovered from a cave in Egypt by a thief and thereafter sold on the black market until it was finally discovered by a collector who, with the help of academics from Yale and Princeton, was able to verify its authenticity.

The document itself does not claim to have been authored by Judas it is, rather, a gospel about Judas , and is known to date to at least AD. The Gospel of Mary was originally written in Greek during the 2nd century. It is often interpreted as a Gnostic text. It consists mainly of dialog between Mary Magdalene and the other disciples. It is typically not considered a gospel by scholars since it does not focus on the life of Jesus.

The Gospel of Barnabas was a gospel which is claimed to be written by Barnabas , one of the apostles. The Gospel was presumably written between the 14th and the 16th century. It contradicts the ministry of Jesus in canonical New Testament, but has clear parallels with the Islamic faith, by mentioning Muhammad as Messenger of God. It also strongly denies Pauline doctrine, and Jesus testified himself as a prophet, not the son of God.

Marcion of Sinope , c. Marcion is said to have rejected all other gospels, including those of Matthew, Mark and especially John, which he allegedly rejected as having been forged by Irenaeus. Marcion's critics alleged that he had edited out the portions he did not like from the then canonical version, though Marcion is said to have argued that his text was the more genuinely original one.

A genre of " Infancy gospels " Greek: protoevangelion arose in the 2nd century, and includes the Gospel of James , which introduces the concept of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas not to be confused with the unrelated Gospel of Thomas , both of which related many miraculous incidents from the life of Mary and the childhood of Jesus that are not included in the canonical gospels.

Another genre is that of the gospel harmony , in which the four canonical gospels are combined into a single narrative, either to present a consistent text or to produce a more accessible account of Jesus' life. The oldest known harmony, the Diatessaron , was compiled by Tatian around , and may have been intended to replace the separate gospels as an authoritative text.

It was accepted for liturgical purposes for as much as two centuries in Syria , but eventually developed a reputation as being heretical and was suppressed. Subsequent harmonies were written with the more limited aim of being study guides or explanatory texts. They still use all the words and only the words of the four gospels, but the possibility of editorial error, and the loss of the individual viewpoints of the separate gospels, keeps the harmony from being canonical.

Quotations related to Gospel at Wikiquote. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the written accounts of the life of Jesus. For the message of Christianity, the "Good News", see the gospel. For other uses, see Gospel disambiguation. Matthew Mark Luke John.


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Further information: The gospel. Main articles: Matthew , Mark , Luke , and John.

Why Are There Four Gospels?

Main article: Development of the New Testament canon. Main article: New Testament apocrypha. Further information: Gnostic gospels. Christianity portal. Christian proselytization , see also the Great Commission.

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Evangelicalism is a 20th century branch of Protestantism that emphasizes the reception of the "good news" by the individual see also Low church , in contrast to the traditional and historical emphasis on the communal aspect of the Church's guardianship of the authentic Gospel see also High church as crucial to the salvation of the faithful Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar.

The five gospels. Palo Alto: Mayfield. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the Church is spread over all the earth, and the pillar and foundation of the Church is the gospel, and the Spirit of life, it fittingly has four pillars, everywhere breathing out incorruption and revivifying men.

From this it is clear that the Word, the artificer of all things, being manifested to men gave us the gospel, fourfold in form but held together by one Spirit. As David said, when asking for his coming, "O sitter upon the cherubim, show yourself. For the first living creature, it says, was like a lion, signifying his active and princely and royal character; the second was like an ox, showing his sacrificial and priestly order; the third had the face of a man, indicating very clearly his coming in human guise; and the fourth was like a flying eagle, making plain the giving of the Spirit who broods over the Church.

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Now the Gospels, in which Christ is enthroned, are like these. Luckily the religious at that time buried many other Gospels listed below in the desert to be stored until they were discovered in the 20th. During the 2nd. And final decision on the canon was not made until AD , by the Catholic Bishops. Bibles into the 5th.

The final canon of the NT was not defined until the 16th. All Protestant churches have followed the decision of the Roman Catholic Church on the books to be included in the NT - though not the actual wording approved by the Church. Bible is the revealed truth from God. New Testament is a record of teachings of Jesus Christ during His ministry which later on, inspired by Holy Spirit, were written down in four Gospels, acts and epistles by His followers.

As such it is tantamount to the Word of God. This was clearly told by Jesus:. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.

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God used human authors with different backgrounds and personalities to accomplish His purposes through their writing. Each of the gospel authors had a distinct purpose behind his gospel and in carrying out those purposes, each emphasized different aspects of the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Yet all the four Gospels are perfectly harmonious. The four New Testament Gospels are like the singers in a four-part choir. They each have their distinct parts to sing, yet the parts combine to make a beautiful composition. Each of the four Gospels gives testimony of Jesus from a slightly different perspective, but they all tell the same story.

Thus, they are all in harmony with one another. Gospel of Matthew was writing to a Hebrew audience, and one of his purposes was to show from Jesus' genealogy and fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies that He was the long-expected Messiah, and thus should be believed in. Gospel of Mark was written by Mark, a cousin of Barnabas Colossians , was an eyewitness to the events in the life of Christ as well as being a friend of the apostle Peter.

Mark wrote for a Gentile audience, as is brought out by his not including things important to Jewish readers genealogies, Christ's controversies with Jewish leaders of His day, frequent references to the Old Testament, etc. Mark emphasizes Christ as the suffering Servant, the One who came not to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many Mark Luke is the only Gentile author of the New Testament. Because he specifically wrote for the benefit of Theophilus, apparently a Gentile of some stature, his gospel was composed with a Gentile audience in mind, and his intent is to show that a Christian's faith is based upon historically reliable and verifiable events.

Gospel of John , written by John the apostle, is distinct from the other three Gospels and contains much theological content in regard to the person of Christ and the meaning of faith.


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The gospel of John begins not with Jesus' birth or earthly ministry but with the activity and characteristics of the Son of God before He became man John Thus, in having four distinct and yet equally accurate accounts of Christ, different aspects of His person and ministry are revealed. Each account becomes like a different-colored thread in a tapestry woven together to form a more complete picture of this One who is beyond description. And while we will never fully understand everything about Jesus Christ John , through the four Gospels we can know enough of Him to appreciate who He is and what He has done for us so that we may have life through faith in Him.

Imagine a tax collector Matthew , an untrained Jewish lad with a history as a quitter Mark , a Roman doctor Luke , and a Jewish fisherman John all writing harmonious testimony about the events in the life of Jesus. There is no way, without the intervention of God, that they could have written these amazingly accurate accounts 2 Timothy The historical references, the prophetic references, and the personal details all work together to compose one very detailed, very accurate picture of Jesus—the Messiah, the King, the Servant and the Son of God. God didn't.

The early Church did. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Why four Gospels?

The Gospel of Mark

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