The Gospels

The Gospels Tell the Story of Jesus Christ

The Gospels
Bill Fairchild

The Gospels recount the story of Jesus Christ, each of the four books giving us a unique perspective on his life. They were written between A.D. 55-65, with the exception of John's Gospel, which was written around A.D. 70-100.

The term “Gospel” comes from the Anglo-Saxon "god-spell," which translates from the Greek word euangelion, meaning "good news." Eventually, the meaning expanded to include any work dealing with the birth, ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Bible critics complain that the four Gospels don't agree on every event, but these differences can be explained. Each account was written from an independent perspective with its own unique theme.

  • The Gospel of Matthew presents undeniable evidence that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. This book forms the joining link between Old and New Testament, focusing on the fulfillment of prophecy.
  • Through a dramatic and action-packed sequence of events, the Gospel of Mark shows Jesus Christ as the suffering servant and Son of God.
  • Luke's Gospel was written to give a reliable and precise record of Jesus Christ's life, revealing not only his humanity but his perfection as a human. Luke portrays Jesus as Savior of all people.
  • The Gospel of John gives us an up-close and personal look at Christ's identity as the Son of God, disclosing Jesus' divine nature, one with his Father.

The Synoptic Gospels

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels. Synoptic means "same view" or "seeing together," and by that definition, these three books cover much the same subject matter and treat it in similar ways.

John's approach to the Gospel and recording of Jesus' life and ministry is unique. Written after a longer lapse of time, John seems to have thought deeply about what everything meant. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John provided more interpretation of the story, offering theology similar to the teachings of the apostle Paul. 

The Gospels Form One Gospel

The four records comprise one Gospel: "the gospel of God regarding his Son." (Romans 1:1-3) . In fact, early writers referred to the four books in the singular. While each Gospel can stand alone, viewed together they provide a complete picture of how God became man and died for the sins of the world. The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles that follow in the New Testament further develop the foundational beliefs of Christianity.

(Sources: Bruce, F. F., Gospels. New Bible Dictionary; Eerdmans Bible Dictionary; Life Application Study Bible; Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Trent C. Butler; NIV Study Bible, "The Synoptic Gospels".)

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