Jesus and his disciples commanded people to believe in the Gospel, and Christians have been preaching the Gospel ever since. But what is the Gospel? The word “Gospel” means “Good News.” The “Good News” found in the pages of the New Testament is that God did something for us that we could never do for ourselves.
Gospel is the standard term for the first four books of the New Testament, describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth,
The four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are considered to be revelations from God and central to Christianity. The four gospels portray Jesus as a leader of a group of disciples, who performed miracles, preached in Jerusalem, was crucified, and arose from the dead on the third day after dying on the cross. Christianity traditionally teaches that the four canonical gospels are an accurate and authoritative representation of the life of Jesus, but many scholars and historians, as well as some Christians, believe that much of that which is contained in the gospels is not historically reliable.
The baptism of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus are events almost universally agreed upon by biblical scholars to be historically authentic. However, historical authenticity is disputed regarding the two accounts of the nativity of Jesus, as well as certain details about the crucifixion and the resurrection.
The consensus of modern scholarship is that Mark was the earliest of the gospels.It was probably written c. AD 66–70, during Nero’s persecution of the Christians in Rome or the Jewish revolt, as suggested by internal references to war in Judea and to persecution. Early Christian tradition names the author as John Mark, a companion and interpreter of the apostle Peter, but most modern scholars are doubtful of the Markan tradition and instead regard the authorship as unknown. Mark’s sources included conflict stories (Mark 2:1–3:6), apocalyptic discourse (4:1–35), and collections of sayings. His book is not history but “history in an eschatological or apocalyptic sense,” depicting Jesus caught up in events at the end of time.
The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) represent Jesus as an exorcist and healer who preached in parables about the coming Kingdom of God. He preached first in Galilee and later in Jerusalem, where he cleansed the temple. He states that he offers no sign as proof (Mark) or only the sign of Jonah (Matthew and Luke).
In Mark, apparently written with a Roman audience in mind, Jesus is a heroic man of action, given to powerful emotions, including agony.
In Matthew, apparently written for a Jewish audience, Jesus is repeatedly called out as the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy.
In Luke, apparently written for gentiles, Jesus is especially concerned with the poor. Luke emphasizes the importance of prayer and the action of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s life and in the Christian community.
Jesus appears as a stoic supernatural being, unmoved even by his own crucifixion. Like Matthew, Luke insists that salvation offered by Christ is for all, and not the Jews only.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus is represented as an incarnation of the eternal Word (Logos), who spoke no parables, talked extensively about himself, and did not explicitly refer to a Second Coming. Jesus preaches in Jerusalem, launching his ministry with the cleansing of the temple. He performs several miracles as signs, most of them not found in the synoptics. The Gospel of John ends:(21:25) “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”