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Gospels

The gospel or “good news” of Jesus Christ is outlined in the first four books of the New Testament.

The gospels give us a glimpse of the life of Jesus, His teachings, mostly in parable form, the miracles He performed, and the plan of salvation. The word Apostle refers to any of the original 12 disciples called by Jesus to preach the gospel or “good news”.

The Apostles or disciples were:

  • Simon Peter
  • the brothers James and John
  • Andrew
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew
  • Matthew
  • Thomas
  • James the son of Alpheus
  • Thaddaeus
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Judas Iscariot

The first three gospels are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels from their similarity in content, order, and statement.

The Gospel of Matthew is credited to the Apostle Matthew.  Prior to becoming a disciple of Jesus, Matthew was a tax collector and the book of Matthew reflects a very orderly account of the life and teachings of Jesus.  Matthew wrote his account to his fellow Jews in an effort to parallel the Old Testament prophecies of a messiah with the life of Jesus in order to show them that Jesus is the messiah they had been waiting for since Old Testament days.   Of the four gospel writers,  Matthew quotes the old Testament the most and lays out the lineage of Jesus from King David. Matthew references the Old Testament prophesies more than 60 times to demonstrate how the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth fulfills each one.

The Gospel of Mark is credited to John Mark spoken of in the New Testament book of Acts whose mother was an active participant in the early church and it is believed their home was used as a meeting place for worship.  Marks writings seem to be for the Gentile believers as opposed to Jewish converts to the Christian faith.  Mark emphasizes not the Old Testament prophecy link to Jesus and therefore does not start off with the lineage or early life of Christ.  The book of Mark begins with the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Mark portrays Jesus as a humble servant of God and as a savior and emphasises what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

The Gospel of Luke is credited Luke who was not one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus but a physician and a peer of Paul.  Luke is credited with being the only Gentile (not a Jew) to write any of the books contained in the Bible.  The book of Luke is very thorough account of the life of Jesus and gives details the other gospels do not expound upon.

The Gospel of John is credited to the Apostle John, son of Zebedee.  John tells us himself in Chapter 20 verse 31 why he wrote:  “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”  John is not one of the Synoptic Gospels as he does not present an ordered account of the life of Jesus. John’s gospel, or “good news” is that Jesus is who He said He was, Song of God, the long-awaited Messiah, fully God and fully man and the way to salvation.

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