In a day of miserable headlines and ambiguity surrounding us, a piece of good news is always welcome. When Christians refer to the “Gospel,” they’re referring to the good news that Jesus died to pay the penalty for the people’s sin so that they might become the children of God through faith alone in Christ alone.
In other words, “the Gospel” is the totality of the saving truth as God has interconnected it to lost humanity, as it’s discovered in the person of His song and the Holy Bible.
What is the Gospel?
Gospel is a term utilized more than seventy-five times in the New Testament. It has different nuances of meaning, but the most fundamental definition from Greek is “good news.” But you may be wondering good news of what?
Based on the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, the Gospel is the blissful proclamation of God’s redemptive activity in Christ Jesus on behalf of a man caged by sin. Another use of the term is to refer to particular books in the Bible, which set forth the teaching and life of Jesus. For instance, the Gospel of Matthew.
The significance of the Gospel can’t be overstated. Certainly, it’s the culminating idea of the entire Bible. Thus, as the Biblical writers announced that good news to everyone, so we, in turn, proclaim it to the readers.
The gospels were written from c. 70 CE to probably 100 CE. Their portraits of Jesus, who he was, and why he’s here differ regarding both later reflections and changes in the demographics of the earliest Christian communities over time. The four gospels differ in some of the details of Jesus.
For instance, the two nativity stories of Luke and Matthew are thrown together under the Christmas tree, even though they differ in many different ways. Matthew has the star and the Magi, while Luke has the shepherds and the stable. Nonetheless, when the Gospels agree on details, that doesn’t suggest four different sources. Being first, Mark was used and edited by the other three.
Who wrote the Gospels?
The original texts of the Gospels existed for nearly a hundred years without any names. In the second century CE, the Church Fathers allocated the names, but none of the writers signed their work. You see, the gospels aren’t eyewitness accounts, and none of the writers directly claimed to be an eyewitness.
The only exception is Luke, saying he interviewed witnesses but doesn’t provide any further details. In their effort to offer upbringings for the writers, the Church Fathers tried to associate them as close to the original circle of Jesus Christ. They’re aware of the fundamental concern as well: the first disciples of Jesus were fishermen from Galilee who couldn’t write and read the level of Greek in those documents.
The four portraits of Jesus
Did you know that all the four gospels signified Jesus within the frame of their own experience? Scholars concentrate on their uniqueness and try to reconstruct what was taking place in their communities during their arrangement.
- Mark: The Apocalyptic Jesus
The conviction of Mark that end times were starting colors the ministry. Everything Christ did was understood within the frame of apocalyptic concepts. They use the term apocalyptic as a concept shared by most Jewish groups, waiting for the final deliverance of God. That was highlighted in Mark, where he showcased the ministry as a battle between Jesus and Satan.
- Matthew: The New Moses
Matthew arranged his Gospel around the claim that Christ was the new Moses. His nativity story involves different references to Moses’ story and the Israelites in Egypt. Further, Herod the Great in the story plays the part of the Pharaoh.
- Luke: The Compassionate Jesus
The Gospel of Luke is distinguished as Jesus spending more time with outcasts and the poor than in any other gospel. He also added unique parables like The Good Samaritan or The Prodigal Son that highlighted compassion and mercy. Another theme he used is forgiveness. It’s the only Gospel where Christ forgives the other crucifixion victims and his oppressors from the cross.
- John: The Man from Heaven
The Jesus of John is less a prophet of Israel than a philosopher discoursing on the state of the universe. He differs substantially from the first three: no exorcisms and no parables. John also dismissed the concern of Jewish disbelief by claiming they weren’t children of Abraham but belonged to the father, the devil.
Keep in mind that the Gospel you have were thoroughly vetted against a body of early church literature. Further, the four gospels you see in the Bible are the most historically true, inspired accounts of Jesus.
For many centuries, John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew have motivated billions of people to believe in Christ and the salvation he brings. They all have amazing things to present us about his ministry and life and what it genuinely means to follow him.